Today is March 31st.
To many it will just be another day...Friday, a passing moment, the last day of the month. For me, it represents family, life, new beginnings, and divinely orchestrated plans.
ON MARCH 31...
My sister was born. Somewhere in Seoul, South Korea she entered the world. Her birth mom was a young teenager who had made a decision well beyond her years to give her child a life she couldn't give her. After a few months there, she was on a plane and headed for Michigan...more importantly for my parents. Her debut on March 31 signified hope. Hope for two individuals who had been praying for a child for years. My mind always reels at the power of all of that. How God works to connect us to our family in ways we could never have imagined.
My sister is everything I'm not. She's peacefully introverted, usually calm, analytical (as in, she is able to do mental math), and able to laser focus in on something that's detailed. As you can imagine, we have very different personalities which was a healthy mix of good/bad growing up. She balanced my irrational wildness, I encouraged her to imagine and dream.
Like typical sisters, we were each others closest confidants as kids but also fought over items and space and nothing. We didn't see eye to eye sometimes and let each other know. But, at some point in my adulthood I stopped attemting to make her change into who I thought she should be and instead embraced the lovely woman she was. When I humbled myself and quit projecting my ideal of what our relationship should be, God gracefully breathed a new spirit into our sisterhood.
Significance #1=Amanda. Her presence in this universe and our family.
ON MARCH 31...
A few March 31sts later, my friend Jenn had her birthday. Who would have guessed that our paths would cross in such a meaningful way and that this day would take on more depth for me.
Jenn and I met in college through mutual friends and interests. From singing in choir to exploring a new city...I found a soul that spoke to mine. Cue us singing "For Good" from Wicked my senior year (also, cue tears). Our friendship developed from those shared commonalities to a treasured connection. Sidenote: she is a die hard Cubs fan so it was clear that she is a good person.
I think one of my favorite things about Jenn is her heart. I'm convinced it's split straight down the middle: one side full of empathy/listening ears/words of encouragement and the other is pure humor/wit/spirit of adventure. That balance has been a steady comfort for me in dark hours as we cried together and the moments when the tears ran from laughter. You all need some JVV in your life, trust me.
Significance #2=Happy Birthday kindred. You're inimitable...you're an original.
ON MARCH 31...
Knowing my sister needed a unique birthday gift, my adoption arrival day was March 31. After playing with me for a few days she politely asked if our parents could take me back to the airport but I'm convinced the initial excitement was there ;)
My mom re-told me the story of my homecoming yesterday. Apparently they were informed my plane had arrived from Korea. There were a few other families waiting in the same concourse. Suddenly the sound of BABY SCREAMS filled the air and all shared in a joke of 'hopefully that's not our kid screaming like that.' Not to worry, it was yours truly. Dehydrated, hot, and probably confused I was letting the airport know of my grievances. The part of the story I like is when my mom and dad share the end...me in a fresh outfit, hydrated, and happy. Content. With my family.
My husband often finds himself in a state of astonishment that I was born 6500 miles away from my future home...that God's plan included me boarding a plane at 6 months old so that I could join my family. I can't say that I blame him. As an adult the logistics alone in something like that (pre-cell phones, pre-internet, pre-email) is mystifying.
As I reflect on my 'gotcha day' and adoption in general, I am deeply humbled. Humbled by the unselfish choice that my birth mom made at a young age. Humbled by the foster family that showed me love during a pivotal time of development by embracing me as their own. Humbled by the foster mom who took the bus with an infant on a regular basis so I could get the medical care I needed. Humbled that I had a successful surgery in a hospital in the middle of Korea while my parents anxiously waited for news in the states. Humbled that God's plan for my family included me. Humbled.
Significance #3=Joining my family. The miracle and beauty that is adoption..."a future and a hope."
Eternally grateful for March 31.