Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Three Weeks Strong

Three full weeks have passed since my arrival at SFCV, but with all that has happened it feels like much longer. In those three weeks I have fallen in love all over again. I have fallen into a family that I had hoped for to keep from being lonely. I have fallen into my job with ease and excitement. Every time I try to answer questions of what is going on here, I want to come up with some big, grand story, but it is about the little things here. The sweet smiles that light up the world. The gentle touch of a little hand as it fills mine. The hugs that never end. The unexpected, but always welcome kisses. The little things are what keep me going every day.

We have, however, had a few big things happen since the garage sale. Darling little Melissa left this morning to meet her forever family! It was a complete surprise, but her orphanage called yesterday saying they had a family for her. Also, on Monday, we received a sweet new addition to our SFCV family. His name is George...I named him :) He is so beautiful. I love the way he stares at me with his big eyes and laughs when I make faces at him. He is little, but we will make a fat baby out of him soon enough! I love him so much already and can't wait to spend more time with him.

Meet George.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Garageless Garage Sale

Today SFCV hosted a garage sale to raise some money. The final count isn't in, but it was busy and successful. It was great seeing the staff and visiting team band together. We had a basic plan, but as life tends to go here, we hadn't really organized the event until it was set up. Even then, many of us made up the prices as we went along. I was able to practice my bargaining skills with some of the customers. And if any of you have ever shopped at a market in China, you know that is an important skill to develop. I can also count to six now...I know ten as well, but always forget seven, eight, nine...maybe someday. I worked the toy table which was interesting since we had no real prices for anything and I really did make it up per customer. Hopefully, I was fair. I think some of our ayis were more excited about the sale than the village folk, but overall, I think everyone enjoyed themselves. It was an exhausting morning, but a fun peak into a culture so different from our own. All in all, it was a blessing to us and the community. Here are a few pictures from the credits: Tim Baker.

This was only the beginning...
The clothing tables were very popular
Wendy (one of our kids) was very helpful with the books

Me and Pam before the madness

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Perry!

This is for Perry's family...and of course Annie :)


I am 3 years old :)

I'm just too cute

mmmmm :)

Birthday kisses!!!

I had 2 pieces of cake!
Little do you know, sweet boy, for your third birthday you are getting a family!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hanging with the boys

After school, the kids run out to the playground to burn off some energy. The scene is loud and chaotic, but wonderful and full of smiles. Eventually the nannies come to call them in for the evening. The past couple of days I've walked Eric, Tyler, and Henry home. It touches my heart to see the way Eric cares for his "brothers." He always helps Tyler off the trampoline and makes sure he gets his shoes on. He makes me wait so that we can all walk home together. Normally they go right into the house and that is the last I see them until the next day, but Monday and Tuesday, their nanny has let them stay outside with me for a little bit longer. I sit on the curb with Tyler next to me while Eric rides his bike around and Henry continually tackles me. His laughter can break even the greatest sadness. Its moments like these that remind me of why I am here. Just the four of us on the side of the house hanging out like we are in our own world. I wouldn't trade these afternoons for anything in the world. I look forward to every minute I get to spend with my boys.
Eric making faces at me as he rides his bike

Tyler left the curb today for the car

Henry after he tackled me and I rolled him to the grass

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome to Shepherd's Field Children's Village

Well, I've had two full days here at Shepherd's Field and they have been great. Although I am still battling a little bit of jet lag, I am adjusting rather well. Both mornings I have been up quite early, but I find you can accomplish a lot when you wake up with the sun. I was able to unpack and organize my room on the very first morning. I like my cozy little apartment.
My bed (nobody occupies the top bunk)

Our living room

Our kitchen area

I went to Walmart yesterday to shop for food. I don't recommend shopping when you are half asleep. I didn't know what I wanted and I couldn't think very well. I ended up with cheerios, noodles, and some fruit. That should last me a few days until I can go back. We really just seem to eat rice for every meal anyway...or at least that is what my new friends have told me (more about them in the future).

Today I spent the morning with Jacob-Jai. He is still recovering from his clubbed foot surgery so he can't really get around much yet. He cracks me up all the time. He always wants to take pictures for me. Often times his photos turn out better than mine. In the afternoon I went to hang out with Henry. He wanted to ride bikes but there weren't anymore with training wheels. He was too small for the bikes we had to choose from so I held onto the seat and pushed him around for a bit. He ditched me to hang out with Eric and Howard, but he came back before dinner for a hug :)

Tonight was my first experience eating the street meat. Let me just say: it was delicious! We ate lamb kabobs, spicy cucumbers, spicy green beans, spicy potatoes, fried rice, the Chinese version of garlic bread, and I'm sure there is something I forgot. There was so much food and I just kept eating as much as possible. By the time we walked home I was stuffed but happy. Sorry that I didn't take any pictures of the food, but Tim took a video that I'm sure will end up on Facebook.

All in all, the last couple of days have been great. Even though I am having trouble staying awake late enough to get a normal night's sleep, I know I am where I should be. My main struggle right now is feeling inadequate next to some of the incredible people I've met already. However, I know the Father has chosen me for a purpose. I'm excited for the adventures planned for the next few days before I start work on Monday!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"A farewell is necessary before we can meet again"

Sunday. Sunday is the only day left that stands between me and the 1:20pm Monday departure. Here I sit watching the season finale of Doctor Who, remembering my final week, and trying to prepare myself for the emotional rollercoaster of the next couple days.

This has definitely been a week to remember. There were some great moments, ones that will forever be some of my favorite memories, but it also brought some attack from the enemy.  However, it is just like God to work things out and shut down those attacks. I'd like to say I didn't give in to them, but I maybe, possibly had a meltdown or two. On Wednesday my crown didn't fit, but the dentist was able to rush order a new one and I got it put in today and only paid half of what I owed him because he decided to bless me. On Wednesday my ATM card number was stolen and I had to close the card, but the bank was gracious enough to rush order a new card to me which I received on Friday. Both events that caused me to freak out Wednesday morning worked out and after a reminder from a good friend, I knew that it was okay to not be in control. Unfortunately it didn't take me long to forget that because then came packing. Oh, packing. I have packed, unpacked, and repacked three times now. I have cried. I have snapped at the poor souls who have found themselves in my packing warpath. Tonight though, I am at peace with packing. Sunday night or Monday morning might not bring the same sentiment, but for now, I believe the issues have been resolved. I pray God keeps me in this place.

The next couple of days will be a challenge. My going away party may very well turn into a tear fest, but I am so very blessed to have so many people who care about me and want to celebrate with me. I hate to say goodbye, but the hello that comes next will make it worth it. I know that I am doing what the Lord has called me to. That is the comfort I take in goodbye. I might be sad for a few days, but I will be blessed for an eternity.