Since I landed here in Asia a mere six weeks ago I have experienced more than I could have ever expected, hoped, or imagined. And though I would love to carry you through everyday, every minute, and every second of my time here I find it far more important to zoom in and bring you to two very specific moments. These two moments are valuable to me, they have molded me, shaped me and above all they have changed me.

The first, I’d like to call: Stranger Danger. This is not the typical creepy man in a big van with tinted windows asking you if you’d like some candy, I could handle that. This is the extremely excited young Asian student who is ecstatic to hang out with you, but for the sake of all things good and true, you can not remember what she looks like. This is stranger danger. Therefore, walking into a meeting with the knowledge that this was what I was up against left me hoping for the best but expecting the worst. A quick side note: one very important principle I learned through this is to stop expecting, cause chances are (and by “chances are” I mean “the fact of the matter is”), my expectations are wrong. Anyways, once I had arrived at the spot where she and I had agreed to meet I scanned the faces of those surrounding with an anxious look of desperation. Then, by a sure miracle, I made eye contact with a girl frantically waving and smiling at me. A moment of ease fell over me, this was my girl. She wears a beautiful smile filled with curiosity and ignorance, and she looks at both me and my partner as though she is asking questions with her eyes. The night proceeds and we are sitting at a table sipping on the last morsels of milk tea, as we strangers, exchange the little details that make up our lives. But one detail remains, and I have been longing to uncover it all night. Dad tells me it is time, and so I timidly, yet abruptly ask, “So… What do you believe?.” Every word that followed overwhelmed me with hope, but these words above all. That when I asked “Can I tell you what I believe?, ” she said yes! When I asked her “Do you understand,” she said yes! When I asked her “Do you want to follow Dad?,” she said yes! And when I asked her “Would you like to talk to him right now?,” with wide eyes, she said yes! I knew then that she was no stranger at all, I knew then that I had gained a new sister, and Dad, had won back his child.

Now for the second. Very different from the first. This girl is no stranger, this girl is a friend. We have spent much time together and my expectations are high. I had spent the night before asking Dad to give me his heart for his children and asking him to break me, although I did not yet truly know what it meant to be broken. That was, until this moment. With high hopes, ready to share and expecting a new sister, I was filled with joy. Our meal went on and we began to share Dad’s story, talking about his love for his children and his plan of adoption. But as our time of sharing had nearly reached its end, I saw that no matter what words I used, or how I spoke them, or how long they lingered in the air, they would not reach her heart, not tonight. I was overcome. My smile faded, as I forced it upon my face over and over again. My hope dwindled, and my expectations immediately dropped from their hight. “Is this what it is like to know the heart of Dad,” I thought, “Is this what it is like to be broken.” Our time together had ended for the night, and as we turned our separate ways, I let go. The tears began to roll, so I let them roll. Once home, as I layed there on my pillow in silence, I wept with Dad.

These are two very different moments and I would say that each are equally important. One, displays what joy we can find in experiencing with Dad how it feels to have a child, once lost, return home. The other, deepens our knowledge of what Dad’s love means, of how it feels to persue so passionately and love so purely only in the end be rejected. I have learned something which I hold at utmost value and that is something which I wish to pass to you. It is this, that our Father is a Dad who so loves us, whose heart is so broken beyond measure, and so ravished that he would weep for his lost sons and daughters, until the moment when he can rejoice at their return. Dad’s heart is to never stop pursuing his treasure, because to him, it is worth it. And so I ask my self daily, “Is it worth it?,” and how I choose to answer, well that changes everything. Until next time!

With gobs of love,