“Look, the books are here!” Cristian called to me excitedly as he unwrapped our fresh delivery of language-learning resources. I reluctantly opened a book. With a huge grin on his face, he continued, “Did I mention to you that mama in Georgian actually means dad?” It was not my first encounter with this unique language, and yet, at that moment, I experienced a miniature cultural shock. That small piece of reality made me feel so overwhelmed. I’ll never be able to learn this, I thought, staring at the strange characters. I’m going to raise my child in a country where “mama” means dad. He’s going to be so confused. What if he won’t be able to make any friends because his language is a big stew of Romanian, English and Georgian? Will he hate us for expecting so much of him? At some point I became aware of the big meltdown I was having over a language book, and my rational self took over. Calm down. Your son is not even out of diapers yet. I laughed and then looked down at the book in my hand with new determination: One day, I’ll be able to read this from cover to cover.
We’re still in the process of learning the basics of our new language. It becomes easier with every day, and it doesn’t look that scary and impossible anymore. But the most important process is learning over and over again how to trust God and rely on His wisdom to guide us through the changes.
For Cristian and me, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” has become more than just a nice quote. As we all enter a new year, may this become our motto as we take on new challenges. And if you’re still looking for a challenge, you’re more than welcome to join and support us in our unfolding journey.