If you are friends with me on Facebook, you may have noticed a mildly irritating daily countdown to my reunion with Hannah via my status updates. Props to my Facebook friendlets who have joined in the fun, and apologies to those who find it more than mildly irritating.
Today is 14.
2 weeks. 14 days. 840 hours. 50,400 minutes. 3,024,000 seconds. Give or take depending on when they set our reunion meeting.
I couldn't be more terrified, more excited or more anxious.
14 days filled with packing, making a packing list for my sister (she'll be joining us for our last two weeks in South Africa), shopping for forgotten "necessities", buying gifts for family and friends there, cleaning house and preparing last things. Making all ready for both departure and homecoming.
In the midst of all the whirlwind about me, there's a calming, centering presence I am so beyond grateful for. A presence I never fathomed would be here, acting a major role in this process. A presence I thank God for every day.
I haven't used this space to share much about him. There's been hints here and there - hints of my other - but more-than-hints seem too intimate, too personal, too vulnerable.
However, I think it's time you should know about a wonderful guy named Andy.
A wonderful guy named Andy who's been a major presence - a major calming, centering presence - in my life for almost eight months.
I never imagined. I never expected. I never dreamed.
But here he is.
You should know about a guy who didn't run screaming for the hills when I cautiously told him, "By the way, I'm adopting an eight-year-old girl from South Africa." You should know about a guy who knows my flaws, learns more about them everyday, and loves me, flaws and all. You should know about a guy who interacts with my family with gentle, respectful ease. You should know about a guy who hopefully, anxiously awaits his first meeting with Hannah. You should know about a guy who calms me on my crazy days, laughs with me on my joyful days, mourns with me on my lamentful days, and vegs with me on my lazy days.
A guy who loves hiking and being outdoors just as much as I do. A guy who we sometimes wonder if our personalities and our vices are a bit too similar. A guy who has not only accepted my quirky love for Doctor Who but is making the effort to love it too. A guy who gets grace better than anyone I've ever known. A guy who I can be honest with on my dark days and a guy who is honest with me on his. A guy who wants family and gets that family comes in a variety of shapes and forms. A guy who is already plotting out dances classes and piano lessons and realities for all of Hannah's dainty dreams.
As is always true, the future is difficult to predict.
We do not know how Hannah will respond to him. We do not know how he will respond to Hannah. We do not know how well Hannah will adjust. We do not know what turns our relationship will take with many new factors to consider.
But today you should know about my love - my love who I try to hold loosely in my hands. Not grasping too tightly. Not clinging or smothering. But gently holding out to the sweet trustworthiness of God.
Today you should know about my love who loves me in a gracious, good and gentle way.
Today you should know about my love who chooses everyday to stand by me and be there for me in the coming reality of Hannah home forever.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.