Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bon Voyage!

This past week we said good-bye to our good friends, the Gibsons. For them the time finally arrived for their family of 5 to make the long journey to become a family of 6. Actually, I suppose, the journey started a long time ago, but this past weekend they boarded a plane bound for Ethiopia where a precious baby girl is waiting for them. In the coming days they will meet her for the very first time even though they have loved her for months now. And then they will stay--their whole family--in Ethiopia until the adoption process is complete, probably 2 months or more. Boy will we miss them! Boy how we already do miss them!

You'd think they were leaving and never coming back the way I've been feeling lately. Maybe it's silly. After all, it is just 2 months. But I guess in all honesty, it has been so hard--so sad--because I feel like I'm missing out. (Sorry Nana Pam, I know I'm preaching to the choir!) It's just that for over 8 years now, our families' lives have been completely intertwined. We've been thru so much together. We've shared in heartache, elation, and everything in between. When my babies were born, Sarri was one of the first ones there. When her babies were born, my arms were at the ready to snuggle them during their first day of life. I got to be there. This time I don't get to be there. And selfishly, that makes me a little sad. Because I can only imagine how incredible those moments are going to be--those moments when Sarri and Joel and their kids are going to see that sweet baby girl for the first time in living color. Oh my. It, in fact, is almost too overwhelming to really imagine. But, even though I, too, can't be on African soil with them these next 2 months, I am definitely there in both spirit and prayer. And really truly, my own (pitiful) sadness in NO WAY compares to the joy that I feel for my friends. I was there, sitting behind them in church, the day that Joel leaned over and told Sarri that they should do it--that they should travel the long road to Baby R. I'm so proud of them. And even though I know that it has been a very emotional past several months for them, they have dealt with everything with so much grace and strength. No doubt they are going to be such a blessing to so many while they're away, not just Baby R. But when they're done and their journey is complete, believe you me, "Auntie" Judy will be ready!

Before they left, our playgroup surprised Sarri and the kids with a 'chance' (or not) meeting at Starbucks. It was one last chance for all of us to wish them well and say our good-byes. We also (thanks to CB and Teresa) gave them a scrapbook full of pictures from the past 8? 9? years and a photo "album" of sorts, complete with recorded sound bites of each family--all 7! I know it touched Sarri's heart deeply, but hey, no one ever accused our "village" of not loving and supporting fiercely. And we do Sarri, we love you! Bon voyage, my friend! Can't wait for February!

Waiting for the guests of honor...

Surprise! Maddy came in first...

...then Sarri.

Present time!

(complete with many tears)

Sweet girls.

Another sweet girl with her "Auntie".

My little girl thinks the world of this sweet big girl.

Happy boys. Love them!

Enjoying the new scrapbook...

Sweet and sad all at once. :(

Love you, friend!


Michelle said...

Nicely said Judy. What a neat surprise for Sarri! Their family will definitely be missed, but what a journey they have! We all are praying for Gibson 6. :)

Paige Lomas said...

You are so honest and true...very well said. I think if we had all walked in your shoes these last 9 years we would be feeling the same two are like sisters. It is good that you shared and used blog as therapy. You are a good, kind person Judy...the Gibson are blessed to have you feel so greatly about them!

Stefanie said...

I can't imagine - I barely know them and I love reading her blog and sharing in their adventure. I think it's so cool that they took the kids out of school and went for it!

Hang in there:)

Sarri said...

I love this post! It makes me cry now, all these months later! I actually read it via google reader in Ethiopia and couldn't comment! Love, love, love though. Love. And from this side of things, it's even more special, I think. Thank you!

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

Hi Judy! What a great post. Sarri is so blessed to have such a great community of close friends who obviously love and cherish them & it has been so fun to get to know you guys a little better. Hopefully looking forward to more time with you in the future! :)