Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Opportunity Part 6/Finale: Free to Love (This is not Goodbye)

Monday, March 12th, was the last day me and Dad would be spending in beautiful Dallas Texas.The yucky rain that had pervaded Saturday and most of Sunday fell away to blue skies and sunshine, with temps in the high 70's. It was gorgeous. We spent our morning with Marj and the kids, enjoying our last bit of relaxation and visiting time together before me and dad were off to visit the wonderful Burman family that evening and then leave early Tuesday morning. I was more than happy to have some quiet with a family that had turned from acquaintances to family for me in less than a week before I was thrust back into life back home. Poor Colvin was still feeling under the weather, but he took it like a trooper and we all had a fun morning playing together one last time.

       Lil' Georgia :)


For lunch, the Ochs took me and Dad into a gorgeous little Southern Home Cookin' restaurant called Babes in a local shopping square. The area itself feels like a modernized set from an old western movie, with little shops, restaurants and salons lining both sides of the street, with little porches and awnings and such. It was gorgeous.

The Restaurant itself, Babe's, is a restaurant that specializes in Fried Chicken and Chicken-Fried steak (for any of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a Steak in breading like fried chicken) with all the important sides, like your mash potatoes, hot biscuits (with butter and honey of course), etc etc. My mouth is already watering just reminiscing ;D Needless to say, it was DELICIOUS. And I officially became part southern.


After we got back form lunch, I got ready to head out with Dad to meet the lovely Burman family at their home. I first met Shelly (Mrs. Burman) when I was assembling the slideshow presentation the Lindquist Family put together for their adoption of Ethan. I got to talk with Mrs. Burman here and there, exchanging a couple e-mails back and forth. While I can't remember who it was, someone along the way reminded me as I was planning my trip that they were in the DFW area. As soon as I thought of it, however, I remembered that Shelly and the Burman's eldest daughter, Madelaine, would be traveling to Eastern Europe to meet the two handsome boys they are working to adopt, Kelten and Teagan. Still wanting to let them know they were in my thoughts and prayers, though, I sent Shelly a message saying that while I'd be in Texas if they were around and available, giving them the dates I'd be open to meeting up. Shelly responded saying that they would be home the night of the 11th, and would be more than happy to have me and my Dad over on the 12th for a visit before I left. From there on, I realized just how truly amazing this family was/is- inviting two guests they'd never met before over for a visit the day after they returned from a week-long mission trip to Europe! I don't know how they do it, but it's a pretty amazing thing to see :)

After about an hour of driving amidst some interesting traffic, we arrived at the Burman's to a living room full of smiling faces waving and looking up at the two new people who had just arrived. For the next couple hours, we enjoyed dinner and plenty of conversation with this amazing family and their 7 awesome kiddos.

Just for Maddie- "Carrginton's Like a Tiger!" pose ;)

And one extra bonus: a little video of Princess Carrington herself :)

The Burman's are one great family, and I am beyond happy I got to spend the time I did getting to know them and their story.

As we were heading home, I could feel the pangs of sorrow from a happy journey ending driving into me. So in stead I thought back on the trip and all it had entailed, affected me, changed me, moved me, opened my eyes, my heart, opened up new opportunities, etc. Had I known the song at the time, I probably would have thought of Aaron Shust's "We Are Free," a song talking about opportunities to overcome our weaknesses and become more than we ever thought we could be by being Christ's hands and feet to people.

When we got back to the Ochs' that night we said goodnight and goodbye to the toddlers and enjoyed one last night of conversation and quiet time with Marj and Ryan. It was so bittersweet, as it felt like part of the happy routine my days had fallen into, but with the knowledge it would be a while before it happened again. We said our goodbyes that night as well, as me and Dad would be heading out around quarter to 7 the next morning to get into DFW Airport on time.

Going to bed that night was hard. There was a part of me that was eager to get home and reunite with mi familia. There was another part of me that did not want to leave the new family I had found here. Alas, teleportation devices to bring one group to the other aren't in existence yet ;) I went to sleep that night thankful for the times I had enjoyed, saddened that they had come and gone, ready to head back to NY, and eager to come back again to Texas soon.


Tuesday morning me and Dad got ready in the most silence as possible in the hopes we wouldn't wake anyone early. We finished packing and got everything into the car, where the dew was still fresh on everything around us. Looking back, the song "This is not Goodbye" from Sidewalk Prophets plays in my head as we pulled away one last time.

"This is not Goodbye
I know we’ll meet again
So let your life begin
‘Cause this is not goodbye
It’s just “I love you” to take with you
Until you’re home again"

They say home is where the heart is.  If that really is true, as I believe it is, I've come to realize home doesn't have to be a house you live in for X amount of days/months/years, Or one certain place you call your "hometown." It's wherever you feel loved. Wherever the people that you love are. It's wherever you see God working. Where you know He's using you for some greater purpose. With that conclusion, I've come to realize my home isn't just in Rhinebeck New York. It's in Rhinebeck New York, as well as the Dallas/Forth Worth area of Texas. It's in Camp Veritas. It's in Northeast Ukraine. It's with every adoptive family that has ever called me a friend. It's in my church, and every place Christians gather across the world. 

Home is where the Heart is. 

 "But lay your treasures up in Heaven,  where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Matthew 6:20-21


  1. That's beautiful Caleb...

    I have loved reading about your time in Texas; what an awesome experience God allowed you to have!

    1. Thanks Andrea! Glad you enjoyed :)

  2. We're only slighty jealous you got to meet the Burmans! :-) Sounds like a wonderful trip!

  3. Caleb we thoroughly loved meeting the young man we have admired for quite some time as well as the man who has so greatly influenced you! Thank you for loving on my kiddos and so patiently taking so many wonderful pictures of them. You and your family are always welcome at the Burman Bunch Bungalow!!

  4. I'm glad you had such a great time Caleb! Beautiful post!!!

    And yes... we are only slightly jealous... *ahem* ;)

  5. Caleb, your family is welcome in our home anytime. It was such a blessing getting to know you and your dad. This post was so sweet. We consider you family, too.