Honestly, the feelings I'm feeling this trip are really different from what they were when we were planning to leave January 12th. Because the boys aren't flying out with me; because I don't know how long I'll be separated; because I have to do these big, involved things "alone." I'm dreading leaving. When I've been making preparations, I've been struggling not to cry.
I don't want to leave my boys on a one-way ticket. I don't want to leave not knowing how many weeks it will be before I see them again. I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. Even two and a half weeks is a really long time for our four year old, not to mention our seventeen-month-old. He will not understand where I am.
The only thing that has kept me from calling the airline and canceling everything are my girls. I am so ready to feel the relief of my eyes clapped on their little bodies. I'm ready to renew the bond we began to build. I'm ready to restart the process of becoming a safe person. I'm ready to cling to God during what will probably be a pretty high-output season.
I just really, really wish we could all be together. But to change the boys' flights was $3,000-$4,000 per ticket (we're talking $7,000 for them to get there & come back). If I end up staying for weeks and weeks, I'm sure they'll come for a visit after the prices go down in mid-February. But having to leave my children to go be with my children... it should not be. I'm so ready for us to be one family.
I've been praying for the process to be short, but I've felt a little check in my heart tonight. I do often want to rush things, and Jesus isn't a hurried person. So I want this to take the amount of time he wants it to take. Not one day more or less. I want the girls to have the right amount of time with me before I take them from their home country and shuffle them onto plane after plane for hours and hours into a country that looks and smells and sounds utterly different from anything they've ever known.
I don't want our days to be constantly filled with things we must do, because life won't be like that here. I want time, unstructured time with them. Time to begin to know them and begin rhythms of living together. That won't happen if I'm busy stressing out over how long it's taking to be done with. What's another week, compared to the rest of our lives together?
And I want to actually trust God with my boys; I want to trust that his grace can stretch the gap left by my absence. It highlights how much I lean on my own understanding, on my own abilities, now that the rug is being pulled out from under me.
I'm just really glad God is gracious and patient with me, that I have to leave the country indefinitely to realize that I've been relying on myself too much. You're such a good Dad, God.