Hi everybody! For anyone who is still reading this blog…thank you! We have been home 7 weeks today! Wow! I was looking through some papers yesterday and saw a stack of sticky notes, all together, that were all my notes from booking our flights…it was stuffed under all the paperwork we brought home from the Philippines. Boy did it take me back. I was literally shaking and had butterflies in my stomach and did not sleep again after booking those tickets! As I was looking at them and how meticulously I had written EVERYTHING for our travel plans down (hence many post-its) I was amazed. Who was that girl (me)? And then I remember. She was excited, amazed, overjoyed, and SO HOPEFUL for all that was to come! I am still that girl, but 8 weeks ago I was not the same woman I am now. Every step of this journey has brought more amazement, more joy, more challenges, and more of God than I ever could have imagined. He has taught me PATIENCE (which I never pray for). It is HARD to adjust to a new culture and somewhat challenging to watch someone adjust to a new culture. I have learned the strangest thing. I really didn’t “know” American culture before. I guess no one does…until you watch someone who has never experienced it. I catch myself explaining things all the time that I thought were just human nature, but they are really just American 🙂 God has poured out his GRACE on me. Oh man…this is the biggest one…GRACE that is never ending. On days when I shouldn’t be able to breathe…I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and thank Him for the grace, because there is no way I have the ability to just keep going.
Vanessa has had some very sad and quiet days. Our social worker warned us on our first meeting with her this would happen. Our girl is grieving. Not all the time, not every day even, but it comes and it goes, it ebbs and it flows, like all grief does. She has a hard time verbalizing what she is feeling most of the time…just quiet and sad. Don’t get me wrong, we are having a lot more happy times than sad, but the sad breaks my heart. As a mom I just want to make it all go away, but that is not really my job. The best thing I can do is point her to God and promise her that it will get better and PRAY PRAY PRAY for her. I would love for her to REALLY open up to me, she does tell me a lot already, but I think she is not really sure what she is feeling, so it would be really hard to explain it to me. Poor girl.
On another note…the title of this post is “Flexibility”. I am not sure who shared this with me, but it has been invaluable. Someone told me during our time of waiting that we would have to really work on being Flexible…don’t get too tied in to one way that we aren’t able to change. They were right! So, we have decided that Vanessa is going to start attending school. She is completely on board and started the conversation with us. She wants to make friends and is used to going to school. I am sure staying home with me has gotten to be a little on the boring side. We have done a good bit of testing and evaluations and she is going to start in the 8th grade (same as Lizzie) this Friday. She is nervous and excited all at the same time. The school has done a good job of getting her in so that she can get to know the teachers as she does her evaluations, so hopefully that will bring her some peace as she begins. She and Lizzie will have one class together…Lizzie wanted them all together, but I said no. They both need to have their own friends or I think it could put a strain on their relationship. American school is very different, larger classes, more homework, etc. than where she was going in the Philippines, but I think she will adjust with time.
PLEASE PRAY FOR HER! This begins another period of adjustment to her life here. I have heard stories of people coming home and only waiting a week before starting school…by the time she starts we will be a few days shy of being home 8 weeks. Please pray that her teachers would give her TONS of grace and that she would make a friend, even on the first day. I pray God will protect her from feelings of “not measuring up” and that she would even feel SUCCESSFUL…thank you in advance for your prayers.