Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Was Your Trip?

"How was your trip?" 

We got this question a lot right when we returned from Uganda (yes, over a month ago! I've taken long to check back in!)

This was asked most memorably by a young man from my church. I don't know him well, and I don't think his disregard for personal space was any more than just the crowded church aisle or maybe a lack of social parameters....either way, he asked the classic, "How was your trip?"

I've coached people on how to respond to this question. Most people, when they ask it, can only handle about a 30 second reply. And normally, I have a pat statement for a response because it's a way for me to buffer the fact that most people who ask the question have NO IDEA what I just experienced!

This young guy didn't like what was actually an enthusiastic response from me: "We had a really great trip-"

"Oh, c'mon now," he said, "You took a trip and all you can say is that it was great?!"

He wanted details, and I could appreciate that. Given that I barely know him, I couldn't really divulge that much to him though. 

Because honestly:
How do you explain what it's like to introduce your son to his grandparents for the first time, and see the joy on their faces after so many months of waiting to see him?

How do you explain how wonderful and difficult it is to try and talk to your dearest friends about all the incredibly wonderful and incredibly difficult things that have happened in the past 2 years in the space of only 90 minutes?

How do you describe what it feels like to introduce your natural born son to your "first-born" Ugandan sons and see them look at each other in wonder and pure happiness and love?

How can you really tell someone what comes over you when you see a child that you were sure was going to die...and now they are happy, healthy, and loved? They are an undeniable miracle before your eyes!

And how can someone understand what my heart felt when I scrubbed the red soil off my feet after walking Kampala's streets and for a moment could feel like I was back where I belonged?

It's impossible to explain exactly what happened in my heart when I saw my boys in Ssenge, or how my heart ached for the ones that were no longer there.

Its hard to explain, particularly in words, because there are some things that can only be expressed as tears; some things can only be understood in the heart.

Not the greatest photo, but they're all together! :)