Friday, April 6, 2012

Should I stay or should I go? Rush's perspective on leaving China

It's a really long trip. It's a really long flight. It's a lot of nights to be away from loved ones. By the end of both trips to China I certainly have had a deep longing to be home. To see my girls, to drive a car, to get a cup of Dunkin' Donuts Cinnamon Spice coffee (first thing I'm doing when we get home). Things we often take for granted during the day-to-day routines of life gain significance when you are on the other side of the planet.

I also can't wait for Jude to become an official citizen of the United States when we land in Newark on Sunday afternoon. For him to become a part of the greatest nation on earth and to enjoy all the rights and privileges that come along with carrying the title "American". I'm especially thrilled for him to meet his sisters, grandparents and extended family. To carry him off the airplane and into the terminal in Richmond knowing that at the end of that long tunnel a small crowd of folks will be there waiting for him. I'm excited for him to be able to explore his new house, to meet his dog, to crawl on the floors of the home in which he will grow up. I can't wait to take him to church, out shopping, to the bus stop, to restaurants, to my kid's sporting events...just to show off the newest addition to my family.

I just can't wait to be home.

At the same time, I don't want to leave. I know that when the wheels of that 777 lift off from Hong Kong on Sunday morning there is a good chance I won't return to China for a very long time. Maybe never. I certainly hope this isn't my last visit to this amazing place, but I realize the costs and logistics of visiting again are somewhat overwhelming. Life happens. Kids grow up, they need braces, the heat pump breaks, the roof leaks, tuition is due. Mentally I am preparing for the possibility that I will never see the birthplace of two of my children ever again.

China is a place so monumentally different from home that it does little good to try to explain it in words. Language, religion, customs, sights, smells, government, food -- it's all different. But what China has taught me is that different is good. It's not always better, but it is good. Good to experience. Good to witness first hand. Good to learn from. There are of course things about China that I don't particularly like and many things I have seen here break my heart. But I have to push past the overbearing communist party, the centuries of customs and traditions that devalue children with special needs, the lack of liberty the people of this "People's Republic" possess.

What I find when I am willing to do so is a place of supreme beauty and an amazingly unique people. A nation with breathtaking landscapes and an equally inspiring rich history. Most importantly, I find a country that allowed me to step foot onto its soil and scoop up two children and make them my own. I cannot adequately express the gratitude and appreciation I have for the gifts the people of China have given me. No amount of money, no token and no words can repay this nation for my daughter and my son. This country and these people are so special to me. I will never forget my time and the memories I have made here. Now and forevermore a part of me will remain in this ancient land.

I so badly can't wait to get home. I so desperately hate to leave.


  1. Great post Rush! Both of you are such great explainers of your life situations. I really appreciate both perspectives on this and I'm excited about what's to come.

  2. Beautiful post - thanks for sharing, Kathy