This post has nothing to do with adoption or infertility. Just life in general.
On hot days like today I am taken somewhere else. I am taken to a room in a developing country, surrounded by the spanish language and beautiful Bolivian babies. I am taken to a Gambian compound where I am sitting on a little wooden stool under a tree, teaching the Bible to youth. I feel an ache in my heart for these places and I am reminded that my heart is no longer wholly in the United States. Rather, I have left a piece of my heart in La Sala Cuna where I sat with those babies every day. I have left a piece of my heart in dusty Gambian villages with families that have persevered even in the difficult times.
My heart is scarred.
The beautiful thing about this though is that my heart is not missing the chunks that I have left in other countries, rather, pieces of my heart were patched with pieces of my experience in that country. In Bolivia, the pain was immediate and searing as I left part of my heart there and received a patch that would throb for the next year as the pain gradually decreased, leaving me with only a familiar ache. As for Gambia, there were many times that I didn't think I would notice the part of my heart that I have left there at all. But over time as that patch became a part of me I have found myself missing Gambia and aching for our life there. It wasn't the throb of Bolivia, but it is more recent and the ache now stronger than that of the country I first fell in love with.
Despite the aching and longing that I feel in my heart I am reminded of how enormously blessed I am. I have seen beautiful things and heart wrenching things. I have loved deeply and then dealt with the pain that leaving brings when you allow yourself to love. I have been transformed into a different person that reminds me of a joyful young woman that I want to return to while also reminding me of the person that I once was and that I never want to become again. This transformation hasn't been easy and there have been times where I pushed away the people in my life that I love, simply because I didn't know how to bring the new me and my old life together. Each time I come back from another culture it feels as though I have learn how to socialize all over again. But once again I am reminded that I am blessed and that I will never be fully American again.
Yes, I hope to visit these places again, maybe even serve in one of them again, but for today I will simply remember. Maybe even shed a tear now and then, but I will praise God for the time that I had and the memories that were made.