The day has come. The day to say goodbye. I type this through tears. Forgive me if these thoughts are not coherent. Or pretty. But the weight of today has laid heavily on my shoulders for the past four weeks. From the moment these five little bodies walked through airport security waving, and with smiles on their faces, I knew….I knew my heart was in for it. And I was right. Each one of these children have embedded themselves into my heart, into places I didn’t even know existed. I thought my heart only had room for my children…but I was wrong….so wrong. I have fallen madly in love with these five kids, and the host families who have loved them as their own for the past four weeks. While it provides some comfort in knowing that three of the five will be returning to the US to their forever, it does not take away the angst in my heart for the other two….and it does not make watching all of their tears any easier.
Jasper and Shane. I could shower you with words about each of them like resilient, kind, happy, amazing. But I just can’t right now. The thought of them on the plane. Going back. Knocks the wind right out of me and makes me feel like I can’t breathe. And, as a dear friend recently said to me, that’s ok. It’s ok for me to feel not ok. For the sake of them. I will continue to feel not ok until I know all five will come back. Until I know that all five will come home for good. Until then, I will leave you with these images. These beautiful, heartbreaking, loving, emotional images. And all I ask is that you dab your tears, and share the stories of these children to all you know, until we find them their forever…..until we know this will be their last goodbye.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” —The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne