Thank you Dr. Suess for this quote that has become my motto over the last week. Wednesday I tearfully watched my children get on a plane and fly back to their homeland of Africa. It was hard not to feel like they were walking out of my life. I held myself together until hugging them goodbye and then I could hold the tears in no more. As I sit here 3 days later though, I am sincerely content and so thankful about the way our last hours were spent together. The night before going home, the children finally got their tour long wish to play in snow. We sledded and built snowmen, and chucked snowballs at each other with great excitement. The perfect way to spend our last night together. I slid down the hill with Racheal and at the bottom we layed back and looked up at the stars for awhile. I told her that even though we will be oceans apart we can still look up at the same big sky, the same sun, and the same moon. It's a beautiful thought and makes me feel so much closer to them. During our last hours together at the airport we had plenty of time to talk, take pictures, and read/draw pictures/play. Thanks to the wonderful people at British Airways we were all allowed gate passes to accompany the children all the way to the plane! What a tremendous blessing. I looked out the window at the plane backing out and imagined that someday those pilots in the cockpit will be Christopher and Julius. I hope with all my heart that their dreams come true.
Laura and I made it safely to Ontario Thursday and have been resting and adjusting to life off tour. I'm so thankful for her amazing friendship and the chance to be together at this difficult time of letting go. We've cried a bit, but also laughed a lot, reminisced, processed, and praised the Lord together for the rich year and half that we have shared. I'm quite content with how tour ended and am feeling good altogether.
Friday morning we awoke to a call from Africa and had the chance to talk with Patrick and a few of the children. What a blessing to hear their voices and hear all the children playing and laughing in the background. They are happy to be home and excited to see their families. As I write this blog the children are enroute to be reunited with their families and friends-a moment I wish I could be present to experience. They have grown and changed so much. I know their parents/guardians will be shocked, delighted, and proud to see who their children have become. I know their Christmas celebrations will be extra special this year, before the children return to the boarding school and start their full-time education.
Thank you for your prayers, sweet notes, and support for me during this time. I am doing surprisingly well right now. The intial parting and letting go has not been as difficult as I thought. I know it will be a gradual process and some days and moments will be hard, but I am so thankful for the Lord's strength, and good friends to walk through these times with me. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to those I won't see during the holidays!