Inessa arrives in three weeks! I really thought I would bypass the nerves and fear having been through the hosting experience once before this year, but if I am really honest (and what is this blog for if not honesty?), I am, at times, overwhelmed. The logistics are slightly different this time - Inessa will be here for only four weeks, we are incorporating her into all the Christmas hoop-la, and there are different "winter" activities to enjoy this time around. While I have been planning and preparing for the logistics, I am just not sure what to do with all the emotions.
One of the most helpful things we learned in our training before Sintija came was to go into the hosting experience with no expectations. Something about that advice really stuck with me, and I found I was able to take each day as it came. Sure, some days were good, and some days where far more challenging, but I felt like I was able to accept what was happening each moment without everything being tainted by preconceived hopes or fears. It is a little harder for me this time.
Going into hosting for the first time, there was the fear of the unknown, but it was well balanced with excitement and hope. We weren't disappointed - hosting Sintija was, as my husband says, life changing. But this time around, I know some things and it is impossible to pretend I don't. I know that my heart will ache when I see tears of homesickness. I know I will fight an anxiety attack as we leave the airport to go home without one of "my" children. I know I won't live another day of my life without wondering and praying for a child I may never see again. As excited as I am about hosting and getting to know Inessa, I can't forget how emotionally difficult hosting is. So I am going into it this time with a more somber heart.
I am excited though! I am looking forward to meeting this beautiful girl and getting to know her. I am looking forward to sharing our lives for a short time. I am even looking forward to making and trying Latvian meat and cabbage pie! (I may be alone in that one, though.) Just this week I ordered tickets to take Inessa to see the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Opryland Hotel on December 17th! I hope we'll have a fun "girl" day there!
I just have to keep praying. No matter how overwhelmed I feel or how much planning I do, the bottom line is that every aspect of our time with Inessa needs to be rooted in a heart that is tender to God's prompting. I feel very, very certain that being a part of this hosting program is something our family is called to do right now, and at the same time I feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of it. I know it sounds so easy - bring a child into your home for four weeks and love them, but walking that out moment by moment is, again, life changing. And heart breaking.
So with three weeks to go, I am balancing excitement with the harder emotional realities of hosting. And I'm praying. I would love it if you'd pray for us, too.