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ouch, my heart.


I successfully woke up at 4:58 this morning. I went to the boys room to greet, and went up the stairs wondering, "How? How does this go? How many times can I hug them before they actually have to get in the car?" Haha. Several hugs from ALL the boys and about 6 hugs from Jonah and Reagan later, the two piled into the car and I got in the driver's seat and said, "Who's ready to go to New York!" Jonah shouted out, "ME!" I wish. I stepped out and waved goodbye with tears in my eyes, as the rest of the chaps and I watched Uncle Craig pull away to the airport with two huge pieces of our hearts. Stacy and I then got in the van to start a mad shopping trip to fill all the holes in the children's suitcases. The combination of over exhaustion and being emotionally drained led to some very hilarious situations, for example... I laughed so hard I cried when Stacy didn't think Target was open because the lights on the sign weren't on. The sign doesn't have lights, and upon this realization, we spent 4 or 5 minutes sitting in the car laughing so hard I had to use two napkins from my bagel to wipe away my tears and blow my nose. We then walked in and noticed the phone books sitting next to the automatic doors, so we delivered them along to Customer Service. We also chatted it up with a man from the UK in front of the un-open Payless across from Panera. I asked him if he wanted to make the store clerk feel pressured to open up early with us as we stared in the windows, he just said that the store here wasn't as good as the parent store in the UK. Maybe that meant no?

All in all we had a successful shopping morning and the children are fully equipped to go home. Their bags are almost all packed, their things are getting in order, God is preparing all our hearts for the days to come. We can do it. We have been blessed with these children: to teach them and train them and love them so that they can go back to Africa and do the same to others.

Stacy also told me that the reason the pages in the book from last night were missing:

Some of the boys wanted to write Jonah and Reagan notes before they left. And they didn't have paper, but they had a Madagascar book.

I love our kids.

the end has come

The night should be over.

I should have been in bed hours ago.

I shouldn't be writing this right now.

I'm getting up in 4 hours to say goodbye to two of my children. And yet, it's like I can't go to bed. I sort of figure... that at this hour, if I sleep for more than 4, I'm going to get further into a rem cycle and it's going to be harder for me to wake up. It might however, be hard for me to fall asleep... as I've been sick lately and Nyquil makes the night so peaceful :) But I actually want to wake up to see the boys off in the morning.

I don't know how to say goodbye. I'm 24 years old and I'm about to experience an "empty nest" as I learn to adjust how to live without children that weren't mine in the first place. My face is stained with tears from this morning that I've been too busy to wash off. The house is a mess, there's a cake sitting out on the counter uncovered and the ant/fly problem in this house will automatically deem the ginormous platter of chocolaty sugar inedible by morning. It's okay though - we wouldn't have eaten it anyway. Just like the cake I made the other day... when I made two cakes instead of one. What was I thinking? And why do we use cake to celebrate? Fireworks are so much better. And how many people actually like cake? If it doesn't come with ice cream, why bother? And the ice cream just makes it soggy. But this is not about cake.

Tonight I went up to the boys room to say goodnight and I found myself climbing on the top bunk with 6 of the boys to read a "Madagascar" story book that at least three of the pages were ripped out of. The story made almost no sense, and it was part of a little kids mini series, so it didn't even end: the story just kind of.... stopped. It'd be like the story of the three little pigs, and the book ended on "He huffed and he puffed and he blew the." House down? What? No. The End. But the boys and I were nestled all in as I read the book, and I loved every second of it. Come Monday night, I won't get to read with them anymore. I won't get to climb onto the top bunk and be surrounded by six of the boys as I read a book that doesn't make sense. I don't know how to handle that.

I think about home and I am so excited to get there. I'm excited to sleep in my own bed. I'm excited to throw/give a ton of my stuff away (living out of a carry-on size piece of luggage has been lovely, and though I wish I had thought about the color selection a little more [almost all black....] ... simplicity is lovely.) I'm excited for Christmas at home. For freedom to do what I want when I want. Bathroom stops are no longer scheduled. Woah.

We are all ready to go home: but that doesn't mean it's easy. Aslan, it makes me think of Aslan. Is He safe? No, but He's good. Is it easy? No, but it's good.

Lord, give us the strength to get through these next few days. Help us persevere. Help us be strong examples for these little children we love so much, in our times of weakness see us through. Thank you for what you have given us. Thank you for Choir 35.