When I was in 10th grade, a teacher asked me two questions: “What would I do if the most beautiful woman in the world walked into a room but didn’t speak English?” and “What would you do if you woke up one morning in a country where you didn’t speak the language?” Well, I lucked out and the most beautiful woman in the world spoke English and some German on the side but in the next few days I get to find out the answer to the second question.
Tomorrow, Becky and I get on a plane to go meet PK. The plane flies out of Raleigh a little before 3pm and, after three planes and a long layover in Frankfurt, Germany, we get to Poland around 2 in the afternoon, local time, on Wednesday. We’re both incredibly excited but also quite nervous. First, we’ve had some interesting experiences flying which means we always end up wondering what weird thing is going to happen on our next flight.
When we do finally make it to Poland, we’ll be in a different world. My Polish could all be written down on an index card and you never want to be “those Americans” when it comes to international travel. We trust our agency completely to take care of us. That’s a huge amount of trust – trust that our facilitator or another representative meets us at the airport and trust that they made a reservation for a place for us to stay are currently the ones that weigh heaviest right now. They do this often, so I know it will be taken care of but there’s always that niggling “what if?” in the back of my head. I have come to realize that I may be a small bit of a control freak. We also have to figure out our foreign city on our own when we aren’t doing official business.
Thursday morning, we meet the Commission and then meet PK. We know that, while important, the Commission meeting isn’t something we should be anxious about but, again, there’s that anxiety of a big meeting. Actually meeting PK is the part that I’m the least worried about. I think a lot of the questions in my head will be answered by just seeing her. Currently, my brain is running through the four pages of medical information and four pictures that we’ve seen of her and, as much as I hate to say it, running through worse case scenarios. This little girl is our daughter, I don’t doubt that. Those words on those pages though are big and I find myself afraid that I won’t be…enough. I realize that no one is really as ready as they think they are when they become a parent, that plans just go out the window, but right now it all seems so surreal with way too many variables. I know that a lot of that will melt away when I see that little face in front of me and I can play with with this little person.
That time is going to be too short this trip. In all, it will be just a few hours spread across Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Saturday we will have to walk away from this new, little person in our lives and trust the wonderful staff that has been her family to take care of her until we can come back months later. Sunday morning (6am Polish time), we climb on a plane to journey back home, probably a bundle of nerves and tears again, but for different reasons this time.
As you can see, we can use all your thoughts, prayers and good vibes that you can throw our way. We know that it will be all right but the nerves are definitely real. I know that we will bring back amazing stories and will then be looking forward to the long trip. I also know that I’ll be cramming in several more Polish lessons before then.