Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Good Kind of Heat
You sometimes hear people talk about the “good kind of heat” versus the “bad kind of heat”. The “good kind of heat” is a dry heat...it feels good on your skin. It’s the kind of heat that makes you want to lay on the beach. The “bad kind of heat” is high humidity and makes you sweat buckets when you set foot in it.
Eleven years ago we landed in Guangzhou, China. We were there to adopt our first child, Abby. The particular flight that we were able to get had us land in Guangzhou and then take a connecting flight to Beijing. We got off the plane and found out that we would need to take a shuttle over to the terminal where we would be catching our second flight. About fourteen hours earlier we had left O’Hare airport in Chicago and the weather was typical early fall weather with mild temperatures. So when we exited the airport to take the shuttle we were unprepared for the air that hit us. It was only 5 in the morning and it was still dark out, but the air was so humid. Immediately we started to drip and we couldn’t move without feeling like hot, wet towels were being wrapped around us. It was even hard to breath. If you were thinking the shuttle would be air-conditioned, think again. For all intensive purposes it would be put in the “bad kind of heat” category.
But...whenever I feel that icky, muggy type of weather, which most summers we have many days of (this summer is abnormal)...I am taken back to that day. That day when we first landed in China and were just days away from being parents! A dream that we had had for several years by that point. We had made it through our home study, getting fingerprinted (more than once), getting our passports, answering completely hard questions for non- parents to answer on the Parenting Questionnaire (i.e. What will you do if your teenage daughter tells you she is pregnant?), answering embarrassing questions on the Marriage Questionnaire (i.e. What do you fight about?), writing about our growing up years, etc. We had put together our whole dossier (fancy word for a ton of paperwork) and gotten things notarized and then certified. We also had survived the delay during the SARS outbreak in China that happened right about when we were expecting to get our match. It turned out the delay was only about a month, but at the time we didn’t know how long the delay would be: days??? weeks??? months??? years???... it was the uncertainty that was so hard.
We had survived all of that and we were HERE! We made it to Beijing, where it was not as hot and humid as it had been in Guangzhou. As part of the adoption process they had us spend several days in Beijing to learn more about the country and have an appreciation for the culture. Finally on September 2nd we flew to Changsha. We got to our hotel and were told that we would be meeting our child later that afternoon. Our stomachs were tied in knots! Several hours later they had us come to a meeting room in the hotel. Due to the SARS delay, they were trying to catch up on adoption cases so our adoption group was HUGE...17 families! Representatives from our adoption agency were trying to have us fill out paperwork. All of us were so distracted by the fact that the babies might be in the hotel that we were not very good listeners and had to have them repeat the directions a lot. Imagine our surprise when our names were called first to get Abby. I nervously went up to the orphanage workers and gave them a gift for caring for her these past 9 months. The gift was really more of a token, because how do you truly thank someone for caring for your child during those critical first months? I remember holding her and she was snuggled into me and it was the best feeling in the world. And I will never forget (nor will Rob) when Abby put her hands out to him, asking for him to take her. In that single moment, she had won him over!
So, I think you’ll understand now why even though the weather that day was brutal and sticky...I will always think of it as the “good kind of heat”.