Ah, it is so wonderful to break out of the hectic business of life and press the pause button.
Mom was right - I'm wired to work, and if there's a project to do I'm first to tackle the job. Business almost becomes a coping mechanism when I'm missing Africa extra badly.
Though I was really sick during my last couple of weeks in South Africa, I came back thinking I was ready to dive back into summer business. By the time I was in the States a week and a half, I quickly realized just how weak and burned out I really was.
For a gal who usually can't nap at all, I found myself exhausted by midmorning and easily slept for hours. "You need to get away," Mom said. "It's the only way you'll rest."
So after one last bang of business while I prepared to give a presentation about my trip in youth group, I took off for my cousins home in the mountains of Virginia. What a joy that family is!
I love them like second parents and another set of siblings, and I have a feeling that the feeling is mutual. Each one of my cousins have grown noticeably since I saw them last Christmas, and best of all, cousin number 20 has made his grand entrance.
Little Grayson is a doll, and the three days I spent with the family were full of card games, berry picking, dessert cooking, hiking through mountains, and all kinds of wonderful.
Grayson wasn't too fond of a photoshoot during his busy morning, but the pictures I captured of him make me swoon every time. Being around Grayson lessened the baby-ache I've been experiencing since leaving SA, big it is still there.
Mom spent one night with me in the mountains before returning home, and I found myself deep in thought about my little Huncie the morning she was supposed to leave.
"Mom," I mused, "what do you think it would have been like if I had moved to Africa for my senior year to raise Huncie? Or what if I could have adopted or long-term fostered her?" Images of the little one filled my mind and made me long for her to be by my side. What if, just what if, I wondered, what if I was her Momma, and she was mine? Though I longed for it, I knew the practicalities and logistics of the idea made it impossible, or at least extremely impractical.
"Well," Mom said, answering my question, "If you had moved there to raise her, you probably wouldn't have been able to get much, if any school done. You wouldn't be able to finish your senior year, and you'd become a high school drop-out."
I started giggling and Mom joined in. She knows my heart for that little one, and as my momma, she knows when to use humor to get a serious point across. The fact is, I cannot adopt Huncie, and it's not God's plan for me to move to SA right now. I believe that with all my heart.
Yet, one can dream, and right now those dreams are full of a beautiful, tiny little girl with huge brown eyes and a smile that has my heart.