Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Secret handshakes and treasured friends.

Last week, Jacob and I were so busy with paperwork.  We stayed up till midnight four nights in a row filling out adoption forms so that we could send them off to the states with our neighbors.  This week we can breathe a little more and enjoy normal things like meal planning, fewer sandwiches, and take out.  We are also enjoying lots of family time with our kids, as goodbyes are beginning.  Our teammate Erica took me and the kids bowling Monday, yesterday Jacob and the kids had dinner with students while I had dinner with friends after Jacob and I had an afternoon date, today we have team time, tomorrow I have coffee with another friend while we discuss a book about being moms, Friday is family movie night with our friends who are visiting us for the weekend from Harbin.  We are planning a fun full weekend with them, then a teaparty for me and Eden with some girls, and Jacob and the boys are having guy time with a friend.  Can you tell we miss people.  So many of our evenings have been devoted to paperwork, and we are thrilled to have a little breather while we wait on another approval.  Though those evenings filled with paperwork seem tedious, they are an investment in our kids, another way we can show them how precious they are to us, our paper labor.

 This week, my kids said their first goodbyes to their friends.  Thankfully, this particular family plans to be back in 7 months, while the rest are moving elsewhere.  The last few days, they played their little hearts out together outside, eating popsicles, being on teams, taking pictures.  Monday, we had Eden and Ephraim's little friends, Jacob and Rachel, over for the last morning that they were here.  My kids have been anticipating these goodbyes, and grieving over them.  There have been many chats, tears, and hugs.  When 11:30 came, and it was time to say goodbye, I stood quietly in the room and witnessed the precious moment.  They said goodbye and gave hugs, then Eden grabbed Rachel's hand and said, "Promise me no matter where we are that we will always be friends."  She agreed, and then came the secret handshake between all the friends.  It broke my heart.  They later got to play outside with them again, but that goodby didn't end on as good of a note since Eden and Ephraim came up to resolve an argument, and their friends were gone when they were ready to go back.  I grabbed Xavier with no shoes, and we ran out the door and down the stairs to say goodbye again.  Later as we were on our way to go bowling, while sitting in the backseat of a taxi with my kids, Eden said, "Mom, I already miss Rachel more than my friends in America."  I comforted her, and, as hard as it was to see her hurt, I was thankful.  "She's getting it," I thought.  She's starting to love China for the people it's brought into her life.  She's learning the value of deep, and meaningful, and good, true friendships that impress your heart for years to come.  Father sees her tears, He has heard how hard it is for her to be away from America, He sees her sadness, but none of it is wasted.  What a loving Father we have.  

Showers of Blessing:
Breather from paperwork
Meal planning again
Thoughtful friends who spend their last bowling coupons on us
Husband who takes all three kids to dinner with students
Mom friend who I can be real about motherhood with
Family movie night
Friends from Harbin
Guy time and tea parties
Friends who teach us what a good friend is
New pics and videos of Theo this week!
Secret handshakes :)

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