Baylor has their move in program well organized into a science of efficiency, speed and fun. After taking our coffee at the wee hour of 4:15 and slipping out of the driveway at 5:30 we pulled into town three hours later with signs pointing the way to specific dorms. Volunteers moved traffic in the right direction of our destination. We pulled up to the assigned door, and about sixty college kids wearing camouflage move in t-shirts unloaded a crammed van in five minutes. With in ten minutes everything was in his room. It took us an hour and a half to unpack and set up the room. And we had fun.
To our great surprise David Crowder was part of the greeting crew, and he even carried the heaviest box up to Donny’s room. It was cool to know he’s up close and personal with the students. He stood in Donny’s dorm room and asked him about his music, evidenced by his guitar and keyboard. (He is quite a famous Christian musician and singer, and on staff for music at Baylor. A favorite artist in our house. He also leads worship at one of the local churches.)
As we finished up sorting his things and attaching hooks to the walls his roommate arrived, also from Houston. His family was friendly and Cesar seemed very nice. His grandma and mother quickly made his bed with hospital corners. He brought a 40 inch television. It’s as wide as his desk. David Crowder appeared, box in hand again, and said Donny really scored with a roommate as he eyed the enormous television. Cesar loves to play video games and is an expert on the topic of monster trucks. Donny brought a key board, long board, guitar and two little pet frogs in a tiny aquarium. It will be fascinating to see how their relationship develops.
After moving in we went to the bookstore where they were happy to take our money during such a vulnerable time of sentimental celebrating, and we took home Baylor inscribed clothing and paraphernalia. We met up with Donny again so he could get his books for his classes. It was fun to see all the college books on shelves. I confess a tinge of envy as I like being a student so much I would love to be able to learn so many more topics at a university. ( ok, I confess I bought the same creative writing text book that Donny will use for his writing class. I couldn’t help myself.) I often fantasize about getting a masters in this or aPhD in that. (or a baby from Uganda- even better) He took out a armload of books for a steep price of $775. Ouch. And then, there in the lobby of the Baylor bookstore we said “see ya Later son.” He turned one way back to his dorm room, waiting for a text from friends both from home and from Arizona who are planning to meet with him later, and wondering where he would take his first lunch on campus. We turned the other way intending to leave campus, until we realized he left one of his bags with us. We tramped back up to his dorm room with it. It gave us an opportunity to hug privately and Craig said a special prayer with us blessing this new journey in his life. That was a much more satisfying good-bye.
The move was fun and it brought back so many of our own memories of our first day of college. The ride home was quiet, pensive and reflective. We could imagine all he was about to discover and do and it made us smile. Then we considered the holes in our home life that we would return to, and it made us a bit somber. I began to accept that I can no longer define my relationship with Donny by what I do for him. We have a new relationship to sculpt from a great love.
We are honored now to step aside in his life and allow him to prove to us all that he’s learned from growing in our care. And we have peace. A natural paged turned in our life as we returned home. We began to think of the baby we get to cradle in Uganda this fall, the new roles of leadership Jordan and Kevin will move towards, and the beginning of the remaining LaTorre boy’s school year. Thank God we have a big family- a growing family, because if this was it and my nest was empty, I’d be devastated tonight. I’m not. I’m full of God’s love and blessing. I was reminded during the lonely ride home of the verse in Psalm 118: “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I made that choice today. And I’m going to make it again tomorrow. One day at a time.