Our family has spent countless hours talking about this upcoming trip. We have discussed what if scenarios, how to handle illness, homesickness, technology, close living quarters, language barriers and the list goes on and on. What we haven’t talked about is our secret wishes and desires for the trip – those things we hold close, hoping they happen. I realized this the other day through something as simple as a fortune cookie.
At the end of a recent meal, my 11-year old daughter, Allison, opened her fortune cookie. It said, “Your deepest wish will come true by the end of the year.” She excitedly showed me her fortune, and I asked her what her deepest wish was. Expecting her to say a horse or an iPad, she surprised me by saying, “I want to meet my birth mother in Russia.”
The surprise for me was not that she wanted to meet her birth mom. I know she has held that hope. The surprise was that she hadn’t said specifically that one of her main reasons for wanting to visit Russia on our trip was the hope that she would “run into” and meet her birth mom. In all of our previous conversations, her reasons for wanting to visit Russia had been to see the country of her birth, visit and help at her orphanage, and meet her early caregivers. Yet, through one small little piece of paper, her deepest wish came pouring out.Just knowing this information sheds new light on the importance of this part of the trip for our entire family.
You see, the problem with secret wishes is that they are secret, so others around you aren’t given the chance to support and encourage you in your quest. It takes courage to share those secrets, but once you share them, you build a stronger force to help those wishes or some version of them to come true.
I am so glad to know Allison’s deepest wish. I can’t say that we will meet her birth mom in Russia, but if we do it will be an experience to remember, and nothing makes a Mom happier than to see her kids’ wishes come true.
This ah-ha has made me think about my own secret wishes for this trip. I bet you can guess what our next dinner conversation will be about.
Word of caution: It is important to be selective in who you tell your deepest wishes, if you do tell. There’s a chance they will laugh, scoff, or try to protect you with reasons it couldn’t happen. Don’t let it dampen your enthusiasm, just be courageous and go find someone else who will see your wish and support you in it.
If you don’t know of anyone to share them with, post them here. I promise not to laugh. I will only cheer you on and celebrate when your wish comes true.