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June 29, 1997:

Final Preparations Before the Trip

Sunday morning. The sun is streaming through the blinds. It is quiet, except for the dogs who can't help but jingle and jangle as they move about. I feel the same but on a different level. Somehow, as I think about hopping on that jet on Tuesday, I'm (mentally, at least) jingling and jangling, glowing a little bit, thinking about having my daughter soon.

Yesterday as I was driving to work I happened to hear a song about a father and daughter called "Butterfly Kisses." It sounded as if it were by Michael Bolton but I don't know for sure. It moved me to tears as I drove on in to work the comp day. It seemed that song was played just for me. It is a moving story about how grateful a dad is that his daughter is giving him butterfly kisses as she grows up. It ends with him giving her away at her wedding. About then, I had to reach for some tissue. If hearing a song about it moves me to tears, what will I be like when it really happens? Maybe I need to get counseling?

Linda is scurrying around packing all our stuff. She is a real trooper. Today is my day off but Linda's brother is helping me get a sprinkling system installed so instead of renting videos and vegetating in front of the tube, I will more than likely be digging trenches. I'll have a radio out there with me...maybe I'll hear that song, "Butterfly Kisses." If so, we might not need a sprinkling system just yet.

Yesterday we got an email from a couple who had adopted their daughter a year ago July. They were very excited for us and had a lot to say in the email message. I wrote them back with tons of questions and gave them my phone number. They called us and we chatted about EVERYTHING. It was wonderful speaking with this loving couple who couldn't say enough good things about Holt International and the hotels in which they stayed or how absolutely wonderful their now 2 year old daughter is.

We drive to San Francisco tomorrow evening after my work, spend the night in a hotel there and take the shuttle to the airport to fly into time (it will be roughly 16 hours later than the time we will see creeping by on our watches when we arrive). But we are doing so much more than flying into time. We are flying into a transformation. Our lives will be changed from the inside, out. I can sense it. My imagination can only visualize so much. My heart has to pick up the image and take it from there. A land halfway around the world beckons us to come but not just to sight see. We are asked to come and pick up our daughter and take her home with us to love for the rest of our lives.

My wife says she has envisioned this moment through all the paperwork we filled out and red tape that had to be sliced. Perhaps she was lucky at having this moment stamped indelibly in her mind. Myself? I lived day to day. I didn't really give a lot of credence to the end result. I merely trudged through the paperwork and did what was necessary, day in and day out. Do what I need to do and move on. But now? It all caves in on me emotionally. A glacier breaks loose in my consciousness and begins to melt. This is no longer an event that will take place in the far, distant future. It is an event that is drawing closer and closer to me and it is moving me to tears often. Hello, Kristina. Welcome into my world. Welcome into my heart! I look forward to meeting your people and your land.

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