Jul 11, 2012

Going Home

When I was a teenager, preparing to leave my parents home for college,
my dad  had a joke for me.
He use to say "you know Sis. They say you can never go home again."
I'd laugh.
And wonder if he was serious.
As the oldest of three, maybe they were ready for me to leave.
To be gone, to never return.
If I really could never load up my car and spend summers on their couch,
raiding their refrigerator and forgetting that there was life outside
the cocoon they had lovingly created.

 I'm sure they took it hard when I left down that long, winding road for college.
21 miles due north.
Despite the distance, I saw them at least once a week.
And talked to them at least four times.
Sometimes all in one day.
It took a solid 20 minutes from my dorm room parking lot
to their gravel drive way.

The summer between college and law school I moved home.
My dad changed his joke.
"Sis, they say you can't go home again."
"But I have no idea who 'they' are, so feel free to come home whenever you want."

I never did move home after that summer.
I think a part of me regrets it to this day.
I mean, who doesn't love your mom making breakfast and doing your laundry?
(I wonder if she'll move back in. :)

Law school meant studying and studying meant late nights at the library.
I kept an apartment on the west side of campus,
north in the City,
almost 40 miles from my parents' front porch.
Then The Hero appeared and well, I had a new home.
Wherever he laid his head was my address.

But I never forgot Dad's reminder.
That if I ever needed a place to rest, to relax, to be who I am,
that the front door is always open.
It's one of the first things I want my children to know about The Hero and I:
The front door is always open.
You can always go home.

When I left you lovely blog readers last, we had a dilemma in our adoption planning.
One blank to fill, so that there would be less blanks in our family pictures.

I fought it.


With prayer and Italian heritage stubbornness,
I knew there was no way God was calling us back home.
The Hero and The Angel were adamant I was wrong.
The Dinosaur was unpersuasive.
Could we return to the land I loved again?
Wouldn't God place us some where else?
Why could this country, these people, that boy, those memories, why couldn't they be still.

Why couldn't they let me be still?
Why was I always called back there?

And then one day, it hit me.

Dad's words from so long ago.

Because this place, that boy, those memories, they were one thing to me:

That continent that hangs on my neck,
that stirs in my heart.

That landscape where our ministry, our business, our family rooted and grew.

The treasures we'd already received from being there once before.
(Yes. The Dino is in a dress. The Hero continues to lament my failures
 to parent while he's at the fire station.)

The culture we've come to accept as part of our own.

Those faces LoPa Art fell in love with and advocate for through Children's HopeChest
(You can STILL sponsor a child at Hands For the Needy, but you better hurry only 20 of our 210 kiddos remain.)

That place with the hurt and the anguish.

And then there's that boy.
Would we ever be able to adopt him?

With our without him through adoption, he is our life.
Our family.
Our love.

I could no longer be arrogant that the only other Ethiopian child I could love
would have to be that boy.

So yes, dear reader, our next adoption will lead us here:

to this flag,

to this place

but if nothing else, it will lead our children: HOME.

And home is always a place you can go.


Amber said...

Awesome! Love you :)

Unknown said...

Aww such a perfect decision! Home! Congrats and good luck!

Nici said...

That's my little! So proud of you!

Laura Ferry-Jimenez said...

They say home is where your heart is... not sure who they are but I think they're right! ;) Congrats!!!