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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Oldest Son's 16th Birthday (2 years ago)
As we continue to make our preparations for moving to The Philippines, I can feel something strange and a little sad happening.  A shift in my thinking. 

I consider how old and ragged my couch  is looking.  I think "there's no need to replace it. We won't be here . . ."

I consider my daughter and second-oldest son's high school graduations and then catch myself . . . "oh, they'll be in The Philippines then."   And I feel sad and happy . . . the word "sappy" was created just for thoughts like these.

We have been blessed with tremendous friends and family here in the good old US of A . . . and I can't think about the void that will be left in my heart when I have to consider the time difference, the reliability of my internet and the cost when I want to reach out and touch someone.

But even more than my own sad and weird feelings, I am sad for my children.  THEY have made some wonderful friends, too.

Thanksgiving at Our House

Our boys with Two Great Friends at the Beach

Kyky's birthday with his favorite friends

Lunch With Family and Daughter's Close Friend
 Leaving family makes things doubly hard although I know there are airplanes and we will need to see them just as much as they will need us.  Of this, I am certain.
"MY side" at Oldest Son's Graduation Party

Uncle Jr with our sweet Angel Baby 
There is also a giddy thought that keeps my heart full of joy even though we leave so many behind.
It is the off chance, just the possibility, that after so many years of praying for Lemuel's oldest biological brother and writing so many senators( and even the President )to try to bring him to the US  and no one could help because immigration law does not allow for a young man of his age to be adopted, it might just happen in the most unexpected way . . . we will come to him.
And even at almost 22 years old, with many  there who love and care for him already, he has room for eight more people in his life.  Maybe, despite the many he has called "Mom", he would be willing to say that to this white lady who has sent him boxes and skyped with him over the years but never been able to visit in person. 
This young man has never left my heart and always has been in my prayers.   I think of his hard work just to speak some English to his little brother when they skype. And how he sang "Who Am I" by Casting Crowns to us over skype the first time we talked . . . and I felt like a ninny because it made me cry.    And every time it seemed time to end the skype, Ariel would say "Lem, Lem" and I could visibly see him trying to think of something more to talk about so they could have a little more time .

And when I pray for him now,  I refer to him as my "one", thinking of the parable of leaving the 99 sheep for the "one that was lost".  Even though he isn't lost, we know right where he is and who is watching over him, it seems he has been without blood relatives for far too long.  And we have his blood brother right here.  Seems simple enough . . .

As if adding another son to this full and blessed quiver wasn't enough, there's the ministry we get to do. We will have the privilege of going to many different orphanages to do play therapy and screening with visually impaired orphans.  We get the chance to put our hands on these fatherless boys and girls and tell them how precious they are!  We can build relationship with these children and, Lord willing, help them find their families.  Most importantly, we will be able to tell them about their Heavenly Father, who made them and loves them and has a plan for each one of them.

So focusing on Ariel and focusing on the children, I think I can do this "goodbye" thing. 
I know it won't be easy on any of us but I also know that Ephesians tells me I serve a God who does "immeasurably more than we ask or imagine" . . . so much more . . . and if those things I am imagining are THIS great, I look forward to seeing what the "MORE" will look like!

It's not quite time for official goodbyes yet but I feel the shift. The time is drawing near.
I have never had to trust so much in my life.  But our faithful Father is paving the way and
turning our hearts toward The Philippines in new ways.

And we wait . . . and expect . . . and follow . . .


  1. i love the thought that when someone is leaving, the group on the shore watching them leave is saying "there they go!"...but the group on the other shore is saying, "here they come!" i look forward to getting together when you're here!

    1. Me, too, Denie! And that's a wonderful sentiment . . . here we come!!!

  2. Replies
    1. ASAP . . . Just kidding (sort of). We expect to be fully relocated by March/April, Lord willing.

  3. And I am sure your family and friends here will be saying, Nikki, Nikki, trying to prolong your conversation, your time here.

    I can feel your love for the Philippines and its orphans.

  4. God Bless you all as you follow Him where ever He leads. (((HUGS)))

  5. I completely understand what you are feeling. It is so hard, but oh so very worth it.