The Five Day Pause


Last week I got on a plane bound for Seattle. And upon my arrival Sunday afternoon I never stopped. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was such a blessing to be with friends and family again before I take off for 15 months. Thanks to an upgrade to first class from Pointe-Noire to Frankfurt I actually got to sleep and ended up with no jet lag!

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Goodbye Congo!      First class ain’t too shabby      Hello Washington!

I made the decision before I left Congo that I wouldn’t even try to process my experience until I got to Texas. I knew it would be a lot and I didn’t want to spend my one week trying to make sense of reverse culture shock and such. Judge if you want but I think it was one of the best decisions. It enabled me to be present in each conversation and meal. It made it easy for me to purge and pack my apartment. It made my week special.

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Catching up with friends-Moving everything into storage-All the delicious foods I’ve missed-Snoqualmie Falls

However, there were some downsides. Like the fact that I saw a blog from a friend about the loss of little one back on the ship. I chose not to read it until I got to the airport because I didn’t know how to grieve a “family” loss without my “family”. And I’m sure the people in the airport thought I was done kind of crazy as I started crying in the airport terminal reading Deb and Amy’s posts.

And it wasn’t until halfway through my flight I started crying again. This time it was thinking about the difference between when I held Sebastian back at the orphanage in Pointe-Noire and when I held my friend’s baby, Kenzie at my goodbye party. She’s a happy, bubbly, social, healthy baby with rolls if fat and dimples. Sebastian was a skeleton in a suit of skin with longing but lifeless eyes. I cried for the babies in Africa who will never know love and health. I cried for thankfulness that Kenzie has such wonderful parents, that she will grow up knowing love.

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Now I’m in Texas and physically and emotionally drained, homesick for two different homes and trying to process four months of amazing and train for the next chapter.


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