We went to sleep early last night, thinking we'd be rising before the sun to take Jaynie to our local airport for a 7 am flight. Despite the early hour, we all planned to see her off (with the exception of Mr. Beaver who had an unavoidable business meeting in Florida).
However, about 11:30 Mr. Beaver got a call from Delta Airlines telling him Jaynie's first flight on her long trip had been cancelled. Mr. Beaver scrambled with the agent and was able to get her on a flight out of Omaha in the early afternoon, that would still allow her to connect in Atlanta with the family with whom she's traveling. She'd also still make her connection to her flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where she'll stay for a couple of days before heading on to her final location. Mr. Beaver got a very groggy wife when he called me to tell me of the change, but I went back to sleep grateful to God that the travel glitch had been no worse than a slight inconvenience.
So, this morning we got to sleep later than we anticipated. Then, however, we had to make rapid the preparations for a full day traveling to and from Omaha. We arrived there with plenty of time to spare. When Jaynie checked in, God was gracious to us, and the airline over looked the extra three pounds in each of Jaynie's suitcases.
After we ate lunch, I asked the kids for a group photo--the last one that would include Jaynie for four months.
We then headed to Jaynie's gate, all of us experiencing heavy hearts at the thought of the goodbyes that were now inevitable.
Before the individual goodbyes began, we dropped our belongings on the ground and joined together in a prayer huddle. God blessed Jaynie "above and beyond all we could have asked or thought" (Ephesians 3:20) on her previous trip to that dangerous corner of the world. We pleaded with Him once again for mercies in her life.
After the prayer huddle, many hugs took place and a few tears.
Just before Jaynie made her way down the ramp to the security line I asked our first trio of older Russian adoptees for a photo. When we celebrated their tenth anniversary with us last September, Jaynie was gone and the photo op was impossible.
|Mark (16), Jaynie (18) and Cassandra (17)|
Then it was time.
Jaynie couldn't resist turning around a couple of times as the distance between us grew.
When she did, we loudly yelled, "We love you, Jaynie!" Okay...I loudly yelled that, but I'm sure the others were feeling the same sentiment!
In some ways the photo below captures what I will miss the most while Jaynie's gone--her enormous grin that gives evidence to a heart filled with peace and joy.
She's not the same child we adopted 10 years ago. That little girl was sullen, distant, rebellious, and even belligerent at times. God has truly healed her orphan hurts. When we adopted her she was in serious need of love. Now she's fully ready to pour out love among the least of these. God is so good.
As the rest of us headed back the way we'd come, we saw Jaynie's plane arrive.
Her siblings watched the jet with sober faces.
After the plane rounded the corner, we continued our march through the airport, knowing Jaynie was going exactly where the Lord was calling her--a central Asian country which is poor in so many ways.
For those of us left here, we had to redefine family yet again.