If you must look back, do so forgivingly……
If you must look forward, do so prayerfully….
However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…. Gratefully. – Maya Angelou
Hi!! I know, I know. Its been a while since you’ve last heard from me. You have no idea how many people have asked me why they haven’t seen any new blogs 🙂 which to have people notice, does make me happy! Summer has arrived, and with it- a very very busy schedule. To top it all off I’m trying to live in the present, gratefully- like the above quote says.
This blog isn’t going to be about a new recipe, not that I haven’t been trying new ones now and again. I have loved trying some yummy cakes with polenta or cornmeal- and fruit….. but this is going to be all about looking back over the last year and how its made such a huge difference on our family.
As many of you know, we adopted into our family an exchange student from Germany last year. Little did we know that when we started on this journey of all the applications and forms to fill out, the letters to send and pictures to take, background checks to have done etc that we would be starting on a journey that would forever and completly change our lives….for the better.
We started our process in March/April last year- which seems like a lifetime ago, actually. We got to have out first communication with “L” on May 1st where we sent her a little message telling her how excited we were to have her come stay with us for a year and a video of the girls. After that we communicated by email or text several times a week, anxiously awaiting her arrvial in August.
August rolled around and she finally arrived. I couldn’t imagine the heartache it was for her mom to put her young 16 year old daughter on a plane and have her fly half way across the world to a family that she had never met. I hoped that she knew we would do our best to take care of her as much as we could, but the bravery of that momma still amazes me.
The first time we met “L” was amazing. It was like we had known her our entire life and like she was just suppose to be here. We didn’t lack for things to talk about and didn’t feel uncomfortable. The girls had been so excited to finally have this day though, they talked non-stop all the way home. I thought they might drive her crazy!
We had so many firsts this year. Ryan and I have never had a child in high school, so a first with scheduling classes and making sure she is taking everything she is suppose to. That was interesting- and fun! We had a first with learning about curfews (haha!) and setting times to be home ahead of actvities. We’ve never had a child break a bone before….”L” warmed us up to that too! She broke a bone in her foot in February…. so lots of doctor appointents, x-rays, boots, casts, more boots… and then rehab… and shes finally walking on it right again!
We’ve never had a child go to prom! I got to dress shop with her and help her find the perfect dress, do her hair and be here when she left. We got to watch her walk in for the grand march, all of these moments that were so special for her- were so special for us too!
But on top of the big things that were special for her and exciting we got to show her a very traditional American Thanksgiving, a huge Christmas that went on for a week, our American style cooking and food…. the little things- like the way she says Vinegar and the jokes she and Ryan have or the way they try to scare each other through the house- these are the things we will all miss when she is gone.
Now we have just barely over a week and a half until her plane flies out and she’s back on her way to her German home. To say that we’re all sad is an understatement. She’s packing all her belongings and boxing things up. To see an empty room might be one of the hardest things.
But we are so grateful for the time we have been blessed with. We will think about when we get to see her again soon, and pray for her every single day- along with her sweet sweet family. And live in the present right now while we still have her!
So while you haven’t heard from me in a while, I haven’t forgotten or stopped blogging! I’m just living and taking each day one step at a time for the next couple weeks, soaking in as much time as I can with my girls and Ryan while we’re all together as a family- because a huge piece of us is going to be leaving and flying away soon, and we will miss her dearly!
If you have ever considered an AFS student- or if my blogs about our “L” has made you think about one- DO IT! You won’t regret it. AFS is one of the best organizations with support and advice- Its such a life changing experience, not only for the student- but more-so for the family that opens their home!!