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Spreken zie Deutsch?

Chad Dykstra - 2011-02-09
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It's late October.  The weather has been very warm - unseasonably warm.  Almost "too warm" for deer if I really have time for that anyways.  Who is thinking about's almost time to get on a plane!  Heading to Africa...where the weather is even warmer than the heat wave at home!  Heading to meet the two boys we've been waiting for.  Taking the trip that will change our life forever! 

Before we set foot in Africa though, there's just one thing we have to do first...Germany.

I know what you're thinking.  Probably the same thing I was thinking before we left.  It goes something like this...

You mean I have a two day layover in Germany?  In October?  Score!  Oh man, this is going to be awesome.  Who gets an opportunity like this?  We get to go to Europe!  Four star children...two day layover of a lifetime!  You know what happened?  By the time we were getting on a plane in Frankfurt, we were so ready to be off the ground.  I'll tell you why...but first, I should clarify that it was a good experience.  We saw a lot of amazing things and have lots of memories.  I don't want to come off complaining about two days in a four star hotel in goes. 

The weather was absolutely freezing.  Like 20 degrees.  We were not ready for it.  We were going to Africa, after all, where it's sunny and 75 every day.  We didn't bring big coats, just light jackets and fleece pullovers.  We didn't have room for bulky coats, and we sure didn't want to take them along with us to Africa.  All of our travel was either walking or riding the public transportation systems.  Neither of us spoke a lick of German.  We were so tired of going into restaurants or other public places and struggling to order food, and usually not getting what we expected.  You serve THAT on pizza?  This sausage looks like a...well... a sausage!  I don't even like mustard.  After two days, we were so tired of the German language.  We longed for something familiar - just to find people in the U-bahn tunnels that spoke English.  Even in Ethiopia, there would be dozens of other Americans traveling with us at all times.  We marked Germany off our list, and couldn't wait to get it behind us.

Fast Forward three and a half months.  Putting kids to bed these days gives me plenty of quiet time for reflection.  Many of my blogs come from time cuddling in bed with the boys and thinking about their life and what might be going through their little minds.  Tonight, for some reason,  I was thinking about Germany.  About the cold. The weird food.  The strange language.  About being different.  And then I thought about the boys.  All of this started to sound pretty familiar.  Jackpot!  Head to America - and a 4 star house to live in!  A family!  What an adventure!  It is all those things and more...and less.  If two grown adults don't think too much about these kinds of things, how much less two boys?  It's easy to take normal and comfortable for granted.  Familiar surroundings, familiar food, language we've spoken since we were toddlers.  Just being normal and like everyone else.  It's easy to forget that even though this is normal for us, everything isn't normal for the boys.  Over time, it's becoming more familiar, but not everything will ever become normal and that's something we'll have to work through.

I look forward to being able to communicate with the boys more deeply to talk about these kinds of things.  But for now, I'll just lay in bed and enjoy the time that we have with them.

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Posted by Christie Maatman on 2011-02-12

Great connection!!!! I had as much fun playing with them the other Wens. night. Thank you for bringing them in, hope to see them again!!!!

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