I mulled it over for several seconds but really I knew the answer. And blinked back a few tears while digesting the question and preparing the answer.
"Subconsciously...probably forever." And that's true. And the tears came from a place deep down because I know that many times, so very many times, I (we) nearly lost our grip and sight of the dream. This dream.
While I can pinpoint the moment we jumped in faith for this one, there's always been a piece of my heart that has ached for children - for my (unknown) child perhaps - and I've felt the insatiable desire to do something about it.
And here's what I've learned - and continue to learn. And here's what we as a family have also learned in very recent months and weeks and days: You have to leap.
You have to do the things that scare you and hurt you and give way to uncertainty and especially to fear.
And you certainly have to do all these things if they are the things which your dreams are made of.
Because here's the thing folks, if you can't leap...if you can't say you're seeking to achieve and strive and ache for your dream, you're never gonna feel the real and raw adrenaline of your life.
The stuff of dreams - that's the stuff our lives (my life!) should be made of. The fulfillment is unparalleled.
It's scary and messy and exhausting and it will push you to the brink.
To. The. Brink.
But the rewards, the growth, the "this is it" sensation and firm knowledge that this is what you should be doing and how you should be living...they are greater than any scare, mess, or exhaustion.
I'm here telling you this because I'm living it. We've survived (conquered) the system and we've pushed through. Not on our own strength certainly...but here I sit in the middle of Addis in the middle of my dream being realized.
March was horrific. And so was February. November was full of tears as was July 2009 and the many months that followed it.
And yesterday, today, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and the days that ensue: they are the dream being lived out.
The high that isn't the caffeine. I am living the high that isn't caffeine but rather the knowledge that God's will and desire and grace and dream for us - is coinciding (or rather being obediently followed by and) with ours.
So jump. Leap for pete's sake. If it hurts and you want to scream and cry but the burning inside you tells you to press on, then press on.
If you do, you will make it to your Addis. To your orphanage. To your child. You will be a stronger more content and fulfilled and life-filled person. You will know that you are capable of more. You will see bigger.
And you will dream bigger!
Tomorrow at 10am.
That's the thing my dream is made of right now...the meeting we have in less than 24 hours.