As I've been getting ready for this trip to Cambodia, I hear again all the reasons why I should or shouldn't go, like a litany of lawyers making their case in my head. I'm excited and nervous, as I think is normal for any traveller heading to a new place for the first time.
There are a few rituals I go through in getting ready for a trip overseas, some practical, others not so.
I realize that I have to verbally process the fact that I'm leaving to my family exactly 1.3 million times before it sinks in that I am leaving. I have said, "I'm going to Cambodia" in as many situations as there are languages in the world. With toothbrush mid-stroke, while scraping a frosty windshield, while walking the dog, while making dinner. While folding laundry, while watching TV, while surfing the internet, while working. Standing in an elevator, or a restaurant lobby, while drinking coffee and while tucking my son into his bed. It becomes part of the language of our home for weeks preceding a trip and this time is no exception.
But this morning, sitting in my office, a picture comes across the ocean ~ two tiny babies in their newborn toques and blankets. Twins. Born to a single mom, who passed away during childbirth. And then suddenly, I'm not just going to Cambodia. I'm going to them. To see their new home first hand and meet those that will become their family. And meanwhile, there are tears for a single mom, who carried these sweet little ones in her body for months, only to pass away giving them life. I wonder about the mother who thought of names for her babies, only to have them called orphans. I wonder too, if she knew, that as she passed life on to them and left her own, that there would be a home already prepared to receive them and care for them as they grow.