Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Happy Light Goes Off for Good

* I wrote this post several weeks ago but with all the drama with Sami going on, it seemed a little out of place in the blog roll at the time.  But now that life has calmed down substantially, I still wanted to share this with you all.

Once upon a time, I thought that once we moved to China, my big transitions would be done with.  Because moving to China was indeed a big transition.  Packing, selling, Craigs List-ing, hugging, crying, goodbye-ing...it was all quite an ordeal.  An ordeal that I wasn't displeased to have behind me.  Now that doesn't mean I was displeased to have all our friends & family behind us, just the drama of leaving them.

That's what I figured at least.  That ordeals involving such transition would in fact be BEHIND me.  Little did I know that life overseas has turned out to be one transition after another.

Take this wonderful group of ladies, for example:

This picture was taken in July of 2010 and represented every American face that I called friend who lived within a 300 mile radius of me.  Now, one year later, every single one of those faces lives in a different place.  Each family that left meant a hard goodbye.  Each family that left meant one more transition.  

The most recent to leave was the honorable matriarch of this family (Just to clarify, her family left too. She didn't leave her husband & daughters in China without her!):

Rachel was not only one of my best friends here but my neighbor.  I could always see the happy lights of her kitchen & living room shining, and we could occasionally wave at each other from our own homes while she washed dishes and I hung laundry.  It took about 50 steps through a clump of trees and over a rock path through a pond to get to her house.  A path I knew quite well because I traversed it so often.  To share a meal.  To drop off half of a batch of crescent rolls because I made too many.  To return a borrowed book.  To babysit three darling kiddos.  To workout together.  To borrow some liquid smoke when my BBQ sauce isn't turning out right.  To worship in song together with Rachel at the piano.  To join in on a mom's book club she led for some Chinese friends.  Or, for my favorite reason, no reason at all but to chat and drink homemade chai tea together.

Rach taught me so much about what it means to be a mom who actively loves & serves her home & family while still not neglecting reaching out to the Chinese around her.  Both my China life & my family life are different because of her influence.

Rachel stood by us and supported us every step of the way during our adoption process.  She actually tried to understand what all the adoption lingo meant and how it affected our timeline.  It was uncertain if we would be able to bring the boys home before their scheduled departure date, so we were all so thankful when our family of four arrived home to China 4 days before they left for the States.  

The thing about not being able to necessarily choose your friends overseas is that you often end up being paired with people who are extremely different from yourself.  The disparity between my interests and Rachel's is pretty substantial, but now I'm happy to be somewhat versed in all things opera, small town living, The Joy of Cooking, gardening, and coffee.

Yes, it's true that the happy lights of the Wind's China home have now been darkened.  But that doesn't mean I'm alone.  Our Heavenly Father is our forever friend, a truth that I've learned in a deeper way with each transition & goodbye that we've faced.  In His kind provision, He's also given me two more ladies with whom to live this crazy China life.  Two new ladies who will teach me new things about shopping, counseling, ranch living, and photography.  Two new ladies who will, most importantly, teach me new things about the character & care of our most fabulous Father.


Brandon and April said...

So happy God has put us in the same city and has decided we should be friends!! So happy to be on the receiving end of that deal! :)

Rachel said...

Oh, I'm in tears! You didn't even mention just now that you had written this! You were too kind to me but I am zhen de hen gandong. Thanks for the great pictures and reminding me of all the memories. Love you Beck.

Corinne P. said...

Hi Kevin,
I just wanted to let you know about our class reunion that's coming up Oct. 8th. I really enjoy reading y'alls blog.
Here's the website for the reunion, it'd be great if y'all could come: http://desotoclassof2001reunion.eventbrite.com/#m_1_100

Take care and God bless!
Corinne Palermo

sandra said...

I really miss Rachel too! And I only knew her from a distance!

Brad and Carrie said...

Such a great post! Rachel will be missed for sure. I'm so glad that you guys made it back into country and you have some people there to fill a void or two.

Susan/Mama said...

I didn't really expect to see a post, but I'm really glad to see this one. I hope things settle down for you two for a very long time. Love you so much.