It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...is something that I haven't felt the urge to say lately. Kind of a bitter beginning I expect but I think both Candace and I are feeling rather homesick today. It's funny...because the last two Christmases we actually chose to take warm-weather vacations. Given that fact, it might therefore seem a tad hypocritical for us to lament being away again. The difference is quite clear to us however. Part of the reason we chose to travel the previous holidays was because each time we had expected to make the trip we are currently on. When the adoption plans had not worked out the way we had hoped we decided to take our minds off things with trips. This time we so desperately want to be home and we feel like we are kind of stuck in some far away place that Christmas forgot. Now I know the actual Christmas day over here is on January 7th...but for the last 37 years of my life December 25th was pretty significant. Even our last two years the places that we visited catered to North American tourists and we spent Christmas Eve toasting the holidays with other Canadians. Tonight, we enjoyed pork cutlets and potatoes listening to technopop and some selections from Cher and Madonna in the hotel restaurant. We had planned on toasting the holidays but when I asked our waiter to bring us two light beer he returned with another Greek salad for Candace. The other English speaking couple (from Minnesota) went straight home this evening because the wife is suffering from gastrointestinal distress cause by some unknown food product. Prior to their departure, we spent the last few minutes of our visit talking about what we missed the most about back home. That is probably why I am in such glum holiday spirits.
Despite our distant location and unusual circumstances, I do feel more fortunate this Christmas than ever before. While I would much rather be sitting at Candace's grandmother's house with her family than in this internet cafe, I know that our visit here has already reaped rewards. Christmas is about family...and you don't have to be actually with your entire family to appreciate them. So to all our family and friends...we are thinking about you and hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. I am grateful that I am here with Candace and we both realize that we have already received the best present we could have ever imagined. So while Santa may not find us tonight, I know that at 9:00 am tomorrow morning we will see Alexandra again...and that beats opening any other gift that we could find under a tree. Again, to everyone back home, Merry Christmas. While we wish we could be with you we are really glad we are here.