Original generic-but-copyrighted photo found here (not the international adoption agency we're using).
I blanked out the faces lest anyone think I was posting actual pictures of the two girls we're adopting, because there are hugely strict privacy rules involved. So consider the shot, which is beautiful (alas, not as beautiful as the two girls we're adopting!), as a placeholder until the legal proceedings are completed later this month.
Well, Monday afternoon we got word that our referred case now has a court date in Addis Ababa in late June. Although I had long considered the odds of that date interfering with the Time/CNN/Fortune Global Forum to be quite low, it managed to force an untenable choice: I could make the court date but would miss the long trek south by car to first meet them in person. Absent the meeting, a whole different visa pathway would ensue.
That's the technical issue.
The personal issue would have been not being with my spouse on such an important trip deep in the middle of Africa. Remembering what it was to go to Nanchang and meet Vonne Mei alongside Vonne, I decided I simply could not miss this moment in my life as a husband and father. The Global Forum would have been fabulous, and very good for my career, but lying on my deathbed decades from now, I won't be saying, "If only I got that one extra fab speaking gig!" I'll be remembering beautiful moments like the first time I laid my eyes on my African daughters.
So an easy decision to make, if hard to execute. This is only the second gig in about 15 years that I've ever cancelled (the other being over kidney stones--another birth-like process!), and I have gone on stage no matter what through more sinus infections and migraines than I can count (thank God those days are over). But again, you're not who you say you are, you're what you actually do or choose to be through your actions, and I choose husband-father when push comes to shove simply because I dig those roles so much more than my career.
- Thanks again to the three individuals who sent us otoscopes from Amazon. If you want to help us out with donations, there's still plenty of time before we take the second/bringing-them-home trip in July/August. See the FAQ page for details on how to send us donations.
- I will be building up the blog queue for the duration of the trip, so it'll be a bit more latent than usual (understanding that this is not a breaking-news blog). I will not attempt to keep the usual frequency of posts, because there is just too much to do in the few days before we leave. I will have my biz manager Jenn handle approving comments while I'm gone, because the access over there will be spotty and I don't want to spend my days there working the blog.
- I will try to tweet here and there, understanding that any pics will be generic travel photos and I won't be sharing any details on the girls or our time with them.
- I will likely make a trip post when I get back, although that too may be awfully generic for privacy issues.
That's all I can think of for now. We are gearing up mightily, as we leave in a matter of days now.