This is the airplane that will take Miduk from Dallas to Los Angeles this morning. He will then fly from LA to Shanghai China, then finally from Shanghai to Singapore. All in all about 32 hours door to door! Linley will meet him in Singapore, and he will stay with her for a few days and recover from the jet lag before going on to Indonesia. Miduk put on a brave face this morning. He was quiet as we finished packing his bags, threw his swimsuit in the dryer for a last minute quick-dry, and gave him last minute instructions. I had made out an information card for him with all his flight info, my phone number and Linley's too, and we talked about how he was going to get from gate to gate. He is supposed to be met by American Airlines personnel in both LA and Shanghai, and they will escort him (in a wheelchair) from gate to gate. He is probably so tired of hearing me tell him where to put his passport and not to set his backpack down. Put snacks in his backpack and gave him some cash for airport food if needed. We have talked about it all week long, I know I sound like a broken record but I want to make sure he understands all the logistics since he is flying by himself. This morning his eyes were glazed over from staying up late and getting up early; he was simply going through the motions. Last night the Hammonds came over, as well as Kaitlyn and Sam, to say their goodbyes. We had ice cream sundaes and watched a video that Kasey had made for Miduk. (If you want to watch it, go to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ and then in the search type in "Miduk's Journey to America"). Wes wasn't able to be with us, as it is finals week at OSU, but he skyped with Miduk earlier and said goodbye. It was hard on Wes not to be here with us. There were buckets of tears as Miduk said goodbye to his ladies last night-Sam and Kaitlyn have spent so much time with Miduk, and he really loves hanging out with them. Miduk had an especially tough time saying goodbye to Ben too, as Ben has been like a brother to Miduk and spent a lot of time with him. The goodbye between Miduk and Kasey this morning was the saddest thing I've ever seen. I don't know about Miduk, but I know my daughter will never be the same. Nor will our family. Miduk has touched so many hearts in his short six month stay, and has made many friends who hopefully he will be able to keep in touch with. It is our hope that Miduk will return to his family, to his village of Aek Popo feeling stronger and more confident in both body and soul, having experienced the unconditional love of strangers. That he will know he is a child of God and that he is precious. That he will have hope for his future and that he will be motivated to find a job someday that he enjoys. That he won't let his disability hold him back. I wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future and see what he will do with his life. I feel certain that he will stay in touch with us, and I also think that we will see him again - if not back in Texas, then we will go to Indonesia to visit him. I've been looking for an excuse to go back to Bali anyway! :) As my friend Orbie said, some of us plant the seed-some water it along the way-and some of us are lucky enough to watch it bloom. I'm hoping we get to watch Miduk bloom! :)
Please keep Miduk in your prayers, not only for safe travels as he returns home, but for his family to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome.