That's him, over there. Way over there on the other side of the world, that is. Le Trong An has been living at the Tam Binh Nourishing Orphans Center in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the first four years of his life. On Tuesday, the last remaining piece of red tape was peeled away, and he was cleared to come and join our family when we received our Giving and Receiving Date. I like reducing it to "G&R Date", because it reminds me of Guns & Roses, a band which has nothing to do with orphans or adoption or anything remotely resembling the complex emotions of adoption. But thinking of Guns & Roses reminds me of their 80's smash hit, "Sweet Child O' Mine", which again had nothing really to do with children at all (it was about a girl, of course), except for the title. But it was a great song with a huge, soaring guitar hook that made me love a band I normally wouldn't have cared for. And it is the feeling of that unforgettably rapturous guitar solo that somehow reminds me of this little boy who is so full of life.
We meet him for the first time on June 11. We fly to Vietnam, all of us, Mollia, Greta, Mom, and me, on June 9th. The people who have met An at the orphanage since we received the referral back in February report that he is just as engaging and joyful as he appears in these photos as well as the others that we have received.
There are a thousand little things to do before we leave next week. Next week! We are going to be on a plane early next Saturday morning. Surprisingly, most of the paperwork is ready to go. Our airline tickets have been purchased and we are waiting for confirmation from a hotel. It's all coming together. Despite all of the waiting and anticipation of the past year, I'm still in a state of shock that this is actually happening. That's just me, though. I like to pretend that I don't care one way or the other how things in this world turn out, so when the really good things come to pass, I get the full effect. It's some kind of coping tic I picked up in childhood.
So, we're on our way, far, far away. And he's coming home with us!