First class. Our only experience with the first class cabin has been in the past, walking past folks sipping champagne in lay-flat seats, while we were being herded toward 12 hours of attempts to get comfortable in an upright position while sipping tiny plastic cups of juice and avoiding your neighbors’ elbows. Until this flight.
When the airline staff called us to the podium today, just minutes before boarding, they told us we had been upgraded…and they couldn’t have given that gift to more grateful recipients. Trailmix and homemade energy bars stayed tucked in our bags while Alex and Monte dined on pan seared ribeye filet (finished with savory sriracha butter and served with cedar plank roasted vegetables), following a starter of Chinese scallops and vegetable soup and a spinach and arugula salad with roasted pears, spiced pecans and pomegranate seeds. Afterward, Monte pointed out the massage functions and iPod ports of our seats and explored a playlist of movies spanning the Avengers to Tolkien (and about 75 titles in between). Then Alex and I lay horizontal (reread that word: horizontal), and wearing matching plane-issued slippers, stretched long legs under plush comforters – and slept.
One of the most difficult parts about the final leg of this adoption journey is that when this little person enters your world, they are often finding a sleep-deprived shell of you. And, so often in the past, my ability to cope well with the itinerary and emotions of the coming days is shaped by those missing hours of sleep. I am typing this now from my seat in first class. I am comfortable and rested. This tremendous gift is not lost on me or the grinning, long-limbed man that I love beside me. The son we will meet this week is waiting in Beijing, having just celebrated yet another birthday without his forever family. Leaving four of my children behind this morning was incredibly difficult, and I know that the days ahead will be contain tremendous emotional upheaval for us. But, I am facing those days with the freshness that only several hours of sleep and a lemon-scented hot cloth can offer. And my boys are pretty thankful for the menu’s promise of French onion quiche and chicken-apple sausage for breakfast before we land.
We have been given so many gifts along this journey. Truly, there are too many folks to count – and many of them anonymous – that have given generously and sacrificially to bring Milo home. We are humbled and so blessed as we recount the stories of the ways so many have cheered for us, meeting needs along the way. Today though, was the first time we have been given the gift of sleep. God is gracious.