no, really, it is.

And at 11:30 on Thursday morning, it’s approaching midnight Thursday night.

The airplane is a time machine. And part of my heart is still in Bangkok.

We had so many amazing adventures in Thailand, I can’t possibly tell them all. We rode elephants and fed water buffalos. We snorkled with thousands of tropical fish, and startled giant clams, and brushed against jellyfish in the ocean. We ate squid and scallops and jellyfish and countless Thai sweets and snacks, and drank sweet dark cocoa every day. We visited temples and took our shoes off in the presence of Buddhas. We bargained in floating markets and tasted durian and rambutan and more fruits than I can remember the names of.

But the best part was seeing my beautiful Thai daughter again, and seeing her life, and seeing that she is happy.

When someone asks you if you’d like to host an international student, say yes. Say yes, because it will open your family in ways you don’t expect. Say yes, because it means you will have family in places of the world you didn’t know anything about. Say yes, because the world will enter your home and your life, and you will be drawn into the wider world in new ways.

Say yes, because you will learn new words, and eat new foods, and have things like elephants in your house. Say yes, because you can share your favorite foods and traditions and stories with someone who will be interested to learn them. Say yes, because you will visit places you always meant to visit (in your own neighborhood, or around the world) and take hundreds of photographs and make memories with your children.

Say yes, because your children will be forced to adapt their habits and routines to accommodate a new person. Say yes, because your teens will look at a world map and see places where they know people, instead of just names of strange countries. Say yes, because you will see your own culture and country with new eyes, and from a different perspective.

Say yes, even though you will have to say goodbye and it will break your heart.

Say yes, because even after you say goodbye, and send them back to their home countries and their natural parents, you will still be family to each other. Your lives will be forever changed, forever connected to each other.

Part of my heart is still in Thailand…and part is in Switzerland…and in the Dominican Republic…and part is in Moldova, with our daughter we have not yet met, packing to come and anxious about who we will be.

The world is big. How can it be that our hearts are bigger yet?

Advertisements