Sunday, January 26, 2014

hitting the ground running

No photos for this post because I don't have my computer.  I'm sitting in a hotel room on my iPad with Avery asleep next to me (gymnastics meet).  But an update's overdue so here's a wordy, picture-less one.

January's been a busy month.

We celebrated New Years at the lake with my mom and Allen.  Soo relaxing and laid back.  We wanted Christine to experience The Bump (aka Bumpass) and we all wanted to spend some more time with them over the holidays.  And Christine loves BBQ ribs and my mom does a bang up job with a delicious recipe of Allen's mom's, Lois, so that was our plan for New Years Eve.  Of course, everyone hit the sack before midnight except JD, Payton and Christine.  I'm done trying to hang on until pathetic.  I'm just a 10 PM girl.  Maybe 11:00, if I'm being a real rebel.  :)

The following weekend Avery's gym hosted their annual meet (the New Year Opener) so Avery and I spent all day Saturday at the gym -- she competed then I had to 'do my shift.'  Brooks and Jackson had their first Upward basketball game that morning.  I missed it.  Pooh.  They love basketball!  I'll post photos at some point.  They're so stinkin' cute.

Then, on the 16th, it was the day we were all dreading...saying goodbye to Christine.  She handled it with such poise and grace.  None of us cried.  I was close, but really wanted to hold it together for her.  It began to snow on the way to the airport at 4:30 AM.  Poor girl missed the snow by an hour or two.  One of her greatest requests was one we had no control over.  It came the day she left.  Boo.

Our time with Christine was truly special.  She is a remarkable young lady.  She has a lot of bumps
and bruises from a childhood she did not create nor choose and yet she's full of zest, adventure, joy and the capacity to love.

It baffles us why she was never hosted before.  She doesn't know why either.  She was just never picked.  God definitely picked her for us because we were open to hosting anyone, just not a teenage boy. Well, guess what?  When we were ready to be matched the only children left were teenage boys and Christine.  Bingo.  We knew she was the one for us!

Our only real 'concern' was how she would get along with the children, especially Payton.

Oh my.

Why do I doubt God's ability -- and desire! -- to give us what we wish for?!

She and Payton hit it off.  The first night (Christine had been with us for two hours), Christine invited Payton to share the guest room with her.  We encouraged it knowing Christine normally shares a room with three or four other girls, so being put in a room by herself in a strange house, in a foreign land with complete strangers might be a little daunting for her.  She took me up on my offer!

Payton and Christine sat up talking in bed and learned that they have a lot in common -- the both love music, reading, movies, singing, etc.  The next day, Christine slept until noon and Payton told me, through her grin, that she wasn't expecting to have so much in common with Christine.  That was the beginning of a great friendship between those two.

Christine also bonded with our other kids too -- she was a huge fan of James (who isn't?!), but also had sweet moments with Jackson and Avery and Brooks.  She really likes them as people.  She was
very complimentary about Avery and Jackson's character and personalities.  She and Brooks got along great too, but Brooks is our solo guy...he's very happy to be outside by himself exploring the yard and woods.  He often goes off and does his own thing, so although he was the one who asked me about ten times when she was going to wake up that first morning, and he sheepishly whispered things to me like, 'I'm so glad Christine's here' or 'Does she have to leave so soon?', he isn't an overtly outward person who is overly expressive around his fondness for others -- except certain friends who are always his 'best friend.' :)  Sweet boy.

Every time James went to school or Christine was separated  from him for a time, when they would reunite, she would hug him and tell him she missed him.  Oh my goodness, so sweet!  And James definitely took a liking to Christine.  So much so that one day, as we were driving down the road lamenting out loud about how Christine only had a couple more days with us, James blurted out, "Mama, why can't we adopt Christine?  I want to!"  He's definitely coming to understand the concept of adoption and thinks this is a very simple request, like 'Can we eat lunch at Chick-Fil-A today?'  So sweet and innocent, a child's heart!

Nonetheless, we definitely miss Christine and felt a void when we returned home from the airport.  We would love nothing more than to bring her back again this summer.  We shall see.


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