Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Home Stretch

Can I be honest? Since we first started this process over two years ago, I have had two things going on. One is "Wow, this is going to be exciting - I can't wait" while the other is "Wow, this is huge - can we do this?" I have always managed to stay on the excited, positive side of things, but nagging at me were the doubts - not doubts about being able to parent a child or fill out the paperwork, but mostly doubt about the money. I have always said "Hey, no problem," and I have grown deeply in my faith that God will make it work, but until now I have always wondered not only how, but when.

Well, today I am here to say that the final hurdle has been cleared. All of our financial things are in order, and there is no more worrying. It may take a day or so to shake it, but now all of our efforts can be focused on packing and learning Chinese. Two weeks from today we will travel to my parents' house to spend the night so we can get up to fly off the next morning. Then the greatest adventure of our lives will be upon us. I know that Hannah will never know how much we have worked to make this happen, but all of that will be a dim memory when we hold her for the first time. Already the last two years seem like a blur. I vaguely remember the mad dash to Frankfort to get the Secretary of State's signature, the multiple trips to the courthouse and the jaunts to Louisville for fingerprints. But all those months of thinking we couldn't wait any longer have given way to a two week mad dash to get it all done.

I wonder if this is like a marathon. You run for miles and miles, and it seems that you will never finish. You find yourself wondering why you signed up for this and think about quitting. But then, before you know it, you have made it to the home stretch. You suddenly realize that the distance you have traveled is so much greater that that which remains. The last few mile markers seem to be coming more quickly now, and you are fast approaching the finish line. You get a rush of adrenaline that moves you forward faster and faster, until suddenly, before you know it, you are there. Home. Finished. With a baby. Okay, maybe I'm mixing my metaphors, but you get the picture.

4 comments:

vivianbeth said...

I'm here to read and can't wait for all the adventures to be posted!!

Mommy of Boys said...

The Carpenter family is ecstatic for you all! We are honored to be a witness through this adventure.

God bless you all!

Mendy said...

Ashley,
I have you added to my favorites to follow your blog while you are in China. Enjoy your trip, I loved China. We are settling in with Joleigh. It seems like she has been with us since she was born. God is good! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and know we will be praying for you and your family and for Hannah as she is welcomed and loved into her new forever family.
Mendy

Ashley Fowlkes said...

Thanks, you guys! We're glad you'll be along for the ride. I'm hoping we bond as well as your family did, Mendy! Please pray for us!