I miss everything about China -

Monday: It's noon and I've finally caved and taken painkillers for the neckache that's plagued me since I awoke.
I let Lucy Mae out the back door and stand with my face tilted up to the spring sun, and I pray....
or rather, I try to pray. I try to push the grief aside....why am I even grieving? 

"Jesus. I'm so sad. I'm hurting. I'm empty. I'm aching. I'm overwhelmed...and I miss my kids."
Hot tears sting my eyes. 

I walk back inside and write this down:
  "Just a reminder that if you want a good thing too much or more than Jesus it's no longer a good thing." 
and this "One year ago this Friday I flew to China. Today/this week I'm trying to ride 
out the grief of not being there this year. It's not going well. I miss my nan hai."

I stared at this picture of CJ and cried. I've been crying all week. 

Thursday: It's been the hardest thing not going back to China this year.

I miss everything about China (except Mary Jo getting vertigo/dehydrated & me being sick 1.5 days).
I even miss the back of the bus where the seat didn't have any padding between the springs and the
thin material and you realllllyyy took one for the team on the bus by sitting back there, because the
potholes on those springs left you rattling and bouncing (and laughing, because: you were in China).

I love you so much, China Team!! March 2018!! 

I wake up from multiple dreams and I can smell the tangible smells of China in my bedroom.
I've been playing Kenny G endlessly and sharing memories that haven't popped up until now.

I miss our kids. I miss the music. I miss the alley cats screaming at night. I miss the smoky smog. 
I miss the craziest things. And I miss them all because the ones we love so much are there. 

CJ is there

And I've been so impatient to get back, because my heart breaks not to hold him for one.more.minute,
that I've had to constantly and consistently remind myself "and. be. thankful."  

It was some of the best and yet most broken days of my life. 

CJ is two now. I can't think about it without crying. All week I've ached with missing him. 
He's two. He won't remember me. Yet the way he felt in my arms won't ever leave me.

When I walked out of his room for the last time sobbing over leaving him, and his wail followed me
 down the hall, I comforted myself that I would be back in a year. Every year. I would be back. 

But I won't be there this year. None of us will. Others will hold my boy. Others will make him laugh.
I shouldn't be jealous. But I am. He's the whole world all wrapped up in a boy with almond eyes
who likes having his nose beeped and searches my eyes for all the joy even when they're filled with tears.  

It's odd to be grieving something that was such a gift and not a loss. 

But I miss China with every fiber of my being, and especially this week on the 1 yr anniversary.
 I miss my team!! I miss going. I miss the tang of smoke in the air. I almost miss the 14hr flights.

I miss my CJ. I'm going to really miss stepping onto a plane tomorrow and flying halfway
around the world to tell some beautiful kids who can dance and sing and live better than I can....
that we've been missing them. That we've been holding them in our hearts. That we've been loving them.

And that Jesus has been loving them since the beginning of time.

And that Jesus will be holding them when we can't.

And that Jesus will be holding us when we aren't with them.

And that Jesus is all the LOVE we will ever need.


- Jean Marie -