Who I Am.

I was talking to a family member tonight and they acknowledged what I already knew.  I came back from Ghana changed.  This person, who has known me my whole life, described me as coming back “harder” than I was before.  It felt good to have someone finally just say it to me, because…

It’s absolutely true.

It would be impossible to come back from a place that is just this side of hell and not come out changed.  I don’t mean to imply that what I experienced is representative of the entire country of Ghana.  It’s just representative of what I saw.  Lucky Hill was just this side of hell.  I didn’t realize it the first couple of times I was there, which made the betrayal of the whole experience all the more unbearable.  It’s absolutely certain that I came back jaded, and angry.

I wasn’t just angry about what had transpired at an orphanage I had supported, or with the adoptions I had encouraged.  I was angry at the poverty, the despair, and the manipulation that had occurred because of the poverty and the despair.  It made me literally sick.  Today, almost three years later, I feel sick at the idea of going back there, but I felt sick about the idea of not going back there.  I know that I’ll end there again, eventually.  This country gave me my children.  I will always have a love/hate relationship with the place simply because of that.

I’ve always struggled to verbalize how I felt to people who haven’t been there, and in some cases, to people who have.  There are families who had amazing experiences.  I wasn’t one of them.  Ghana will forever be a part of my soul, but not in the best of ways.  It was a lesson learned.  It was one of those pivotal moments in life where you make it or break it.  

I read something today.  I think that if you substituted some of the people I met, the stories I heard, and wove them into the tapestry that this writer creates, that my feelings are remarkably similar.  Just like this writer, I dream of trips to Paris, Rome or London.  I keep telling myself that I’ll get there someday.  I might.  I might go again as I fly through to get to someplace that’s just this side of hell again.  It’s in my blood now.  I don’t see that changing.  I thought it might, but it won’t.  It’s who I am now.

I am excited about another adoption trip.  I’m excited about where I’m going and all the people I’ll meet, but I’m preparing myself.  I’m preparing myself to be broken, yet again, by what I see.  By all the older kids, all the kids with special needs, all the kids who will be passed over in favor of the younger, healthier, more female, orphans.  I am prepared to have my eyes opened, and my heart changed, yet again.  I’m preparing to come back a different person then when I left.  I’m excited to see who I become.

who is ready to go.  

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