Moving Forward and Looking Back

The most common question I’ve gotten since returning home has been “so… how are you adjusting?” and to be perfectly honest I don’t know. My #1 strength on Strength’s Finders is adaptability: great when my life’s work calls me to different cultures and lots of traveling, but difficult when I really want to reflect on HOW I’m adapting. Because sometimes I can feel oblivious to it.

I’m finding that the best way to reflect is to remember; to look back. To look at pictures of the kids, of the Resource Center, of the fun memories from this last year. And to listen to what emotions those bring up. Because I’m really proud of the last 12 months of our living. Of the way’s in which Kevin and I grew as a couple. In the personal and professional challenges that I faced and either learned from or overcame. But what I’m most proud of is what was often unspoken: the connection that is created when you simply love.

My last day in Thailand (Kevin had gone back to the states 2 weeks before me) the kids surprised me with a feast. All tiny dishes of whatever food their families had on hand – or had caught especially for this meal – prepared by the kids and brought to the Resource Center to enjoy together. They then proceeded to each share about what the year – and Kevin and I – had meant to them. And presented me with cards. It was a beautiful, emotional, affirming way to move back to America. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how profound it can be to simply love. And they reminded me of love’s power by showing me how much it had meant to them.

That last day will be forever one of the best moments in my career. I don’t have the luxury of spending every day with those kids anymore. But I work for them, and with them, every single day when I meet with donors, or share about my experiences in Thailand.

So how am I adjusting? I’d say just fine. But perhaps a better question is to ask: how are you remembering? Because I’m less concerned with how I’m adjusting here and more concerned with how I’ll carry the memory of that year, the emotions of that year, the learnedness of that year, into my work HERE.

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