Friday, September 25, 2009

Returning to Guatemala...without Tommy

Next weekend we will celebrate Tommy's 2nd Family Day. I can't believe how quickly time is passing by.

Next weekend marks two years since I left Guatemala, not wanting to leave and not knowing when I would return.

In three weeks, I will return to Guatemala without my son.


I wasn't sure what it would feel like to be back in Guatemala WITH him in June. Honestly, it felt perfectly normal. It felt as if we never left. Of course I worried a little about bringing him back. Wouldn't we all? But not once did I feel uncomfortable while he was there with us and if I could, I would bring him on every trip...and I will have no doubts about moving our Guate-American son right back to Guatemala when that time comes for our family.

Now I am in unfamiliar territory and it is kind of freaking me out a little. I guess I haven't thought about it this way until recently, but how weird is this? I spent all of that time praying that we would be able to bring him home from Guatemala as quickly as possible. Now he is home and I am leaving him here while I go back to Guatemala. It even sounds crazy. I am not going to visit a child, not going to foster or bring one home.

Let me just say I am not afraid of returning to Guatemala. Obviously, I have no fear whatsoever about being in Guatemala regardless of what is said (or not said) on the news at any given time. I am much more comfortable in Guatemala than I am in the U.S. (don't ask me why because I have no idea).

What I am afraid of is stepping out of my comfort zone...again. I'm a mom now. Yeah, so I started this orphan care and family outreach ministry and it is requiring me to hop on a plane and go do missions work, first in Guatemala and soon enough other parts of the world, sometimes without my husband and our son. I am so blessed to be able to do this...all of this...and so thankful that much of the work that goes into this can be done either from home or with Tommy so that he rarely has to be with a babysitter. But now I am getting ready to leave him in the U.S. for a week (with Danny) and it is beginning to terrify me. I'm not sure how to be away from him for so long. I am certain that he will be OK...I'm sure he and Danny will have a blast doing guy things for a week without mom. But my heart is going to break when I have to walk away from them at the airport three Saturdays from tomorrow. I am going to miss both of them SO MUCH...I can't even stand to think about it.

I wondered what this would feel like as the trip got closer. Honestly, it's bad. I have been "practicing" being away from him sometimes for a couple of nights at a time. Twice he has gone with Danny to FL for the weekend and once, I even got on a plane and flew to Charlotte for 2 nights without him. But I was always in the U.S. Never more than a 2 hour non-stop flight or 4 hour drive away from home. I can handle 2 nights. I can handle being hours away. Surely I can handle it in Guatemala. Maybe I can just pretend that I'm going to FL. Or maybe not.

Two other moms will be traveling in our group. One adopted from Russia and Guatemala, the other has two biological children. As moms, it is only natural to feel this way when you are getting ready to leave your children for a week and I know that they are getting a little more concerned about this as the days fly by. If you are already praying about our trip, as I know some of you are, will you please spend a little extra time praying for those of us that will be leaving our children behind.

For me, it was so easy to say "yes" to the Lord about this trip, but that doesn't make leaving Tommy any easier. In the end, even though we all have young children, I believe that what we are doing is showing our children that serving God by serving others is matter how hard it is for us to do. I am praying that each of the moms will be at peace with their decision to follow Him to Guatemala during the next three weeks and as they hug their little ones good-bye on 10/17.

When we get back, I get to do this all over again in December...for 5 nights instead of 7. I am so excited about the December trip, but already dreading leaving my guys at home. Thankfully, they will BOTH be traveling to Guatemala with me for the first AAB mission trip of 2010.

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