They are in the air. Somewhere over the ocean, near Canada now, they are making their way to us. I’m getting in my car soon to drive the four hours to the airport, and I can hardly sit still. It won’t be long now.
As I wait for Stephanie and her kids to arrive so that we can travel together, I want to take a moment to bask in these last moments.
Every time I have prepared to host, I have learned something new. This time, I have struggled mightily with my financial situation. Hosting is expensive and as more people join in this endeavor, the effort and my feelings of responsibility become ever heavier on my heart. But I have kept moving forward—not perfectly, not without fear—but believing that these things can be done if we are called to them.
At the beginning of this week, I was almost a thousand dollars short of the goal that I had conservatively estimated I needed to meet in order to host Sunshine. This morning, I added up the funds from our auction and some generous donations that have come in, and I am within a few dollars of the amount I had set. Hours before she arrives, the funds are there. And I know that if my estimate was too low, more will come. Once again, faithfulness and grace are poured out immeasurably.
And so they come. Two kiddos are arriving today—Sunshine and Sprite. They are coming on an “extended hosting” program, only available to families re-hosting the same children. They will be here for a total of eight weeks. What an opportunity—when you find the children of your heart and they live so very far away, every moment becomes a precious jewel. To have more time is truly a gift.
The other night, Stephanie and I sat together recounting how these two have changed the very fabric of who we are. We talked of how we have grown together to be so much more than friends…we are family, companions walking a road together we never knew existed. What an amazing thing to think about: that before we even started on this journey, the One who knows us both already knew how much we would need each other.
And so we talked and laughed and mimicked those dear accents and imagined what Sprite’s opinion would be about this activity, and what Sunshine’s reaction would be to that surprise.
“I can’t wait until I really hear those voices,” said Stephanie. “It’s so much better.”
It is. I can hardly contain my joy.
But at the same time, I am nervous today. Will we fall back into the rhythms of life together quickly? Will it be different? I’ve never re-hosted before. Maybe I will disappoint. Maybe I will show myself more and she will not like what she sees. Maybe she’s thinking the same things.
In these last hours the ghost of her lingers for the last time.
This time as I prepared, I could see her hands touching the item, her eyes lighting up, her head tilting, her mouth pursing in all its I-approve-but-won’t-admit-it cuteness. My sassy girl. This girl that I had no plan for, who has completely filled up the part of my soul that was waiting for her.
This time, it was not as much about making her feel comfortable as it was about making sure she knows my love and how she has never left our hearts and our lives. She is the tinge in all of our communications. Little Man and I can speak a turn of phrase and hear her voice. We can share a look and know her thoughts on the subject. We can see an item and know how she would respond to it. Every day, her shadow rests next to us.
She is in every corner of us.
Welcome home, my dear one.