Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nathalie's leaving soon...

There's nothing like sitting down on the computer with a piece of black forest cake on a Sunday night after what seems like a whirlwind of a week (another week)!

Shhhh - - - don't tell the kids I'm breaking my own rules and eating next to the computer :)

The two little ones just went to bed, Rich took off to a meeting with the DTS leaders and the teenagers left for Sunday night church. Before I crash into bed (VERY soon!), a little update for you blogging friends...

Nathalie is leaving for the US and the Germany a week from tomorrow (for 7 months!) and we put on a farewell/fundraiser party for her this afternoon. She will first visit her grandparents in the US, then her family in Germany and after that she'll be off to Herrnhut (Germany, birthplace of the Moravian missions movement) where her "Discipleship Training School" with YWAM will start on October 4th.

We had the party at the children's ministry venue of our church and I decided to treat about 40-50 people to German baking - hence the leftover black forest cake I'm munching on right now.

As you can imagine, this was a LOT of work - but worth it all!

It didn't help to have 2 almost sleepless nights leading up to today. I spare you the details...

Suffice to say I am absolutely exhausted - just the right mood for blogging:) (I do it when I'm not up for doing anything else, it's relaxing).

We had a good time of fellowship, eating and drinking, watching a movie clip about the YWAM base in Herrnhut, some fun with giving Nathalie a few (more or less) useful gifts, some questions and answers and a special time of prayer. She is also a little over NZ$300 closer to her goal of about NZ$4,000 needed funds for her outreach fees (don't know where to yet).

It is quite incredible how the Lord has already provided for her flight to Germany and the lecture phase of the school through many generous donors!!! She has been volunteering at our church since January and not been able to earn money for it, so this has been an extra-special blessing!!!
Some of the food and some of the guests

Guess who this crazy young lady is? No, it's not Nathalie! Did we have fun or what?!!

As we are about to send Nathalie across the oceans, others are arriving in Tauranga to do the exact school she'll be doing in Germany. A couple of the new students actually joined us this afternoon. One of them is from Paraguay and just arrived today for the DTS that will start tomorrow!

Rich wasn't supposed to work with the school (run by Impact World Tour), but was asked a couple of weeks ago to be involved, since they needed more staff. So here he goes, the next 3 months are going to be very intense. What's new?! It'll be good! Expectations are high - - - more soon...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Feeling comforted and reassured

Even though I still have crying "spells" that overcome me by the thought of Shayden leaving us soon, they are not so often anymore - and not so intense - although I'm sure there'll be LOTS of ups and downs in the next little while. THANK YOU, if you have been praying!!!

After the last post, I took some time really pouring out my heart to God, crying before him in my own pain, crying out to him for Shayden, and felt to read Psalms 145 and the following Psalms. What a GOOOOOOD time!!!

I felt comforted and reassured that GOD WILL FIND A GOOD FAMILY for Shayden and take care of him!

"The Lord is good to ALL, and His tender mercies are over ALL his works" Ps.145,9 - this includes Shayden!

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth.
He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them." Ps.145:18-19
That's me and my desire is for the best possible family for Shayden!

"The Lord upholds the fatherless." Ps.146:9

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds - curing their pains and their sorrows." Ps. 147:3

Also, for a while now, I have felt to sing Psalm 23 (by Keith Green) over Shayden every evening when I feed him his bottle and he is looking intently into my eyes - kind of as a declaration over his life. This is what I sing:

The Lord is your sheperd, you shall not want!
He makes you lie down in green pastures.
He leads you besides the still waters.
He restores your soul, and guides your paths in righteousness for his names' sake.

(forgot the middle part of the song and don't sing it)

Surely, goodness and loving kindness shall follow you all the days of your life.
And you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever and ever.

AMEN!!! And good night - Shayden has been sleeping quite badly this whole week (is he sensing something? He's so sensitive) and I have been exhausted - and even started to drink coffee, which I never do, just so that I can make it through the days. Night!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Check this out

I thought you might like to check out Nathalie's blog -
She's preaching her first message TONIGHT!
Go, girl, go!

Starting to grieve

Pretty soon, this room will be empty... sighAs you know, it has become clear that we are not to be Shayden's permanent foster family.

YET, deep down inside of me, I was still secretly HOPING that somehow it would work out and we could keep him after all - at least for another year or so...???

Well, this past week-end, it has become VERY clear that he will need to be in another family before we go on our trip to Germany and the US in November.

There is still NO family out there for him, though, which makes it so much harder! It was so difficult telling the social worker on Monday that he will have to move on in November, no matter what.

We cannot take him with us on our trip, and I definitely cannot perceive taking him back after he's been separated from us for a couple of months!!! I would feel like such a traitor and not ever worthy of his trust again!

Soooo, this is IT! I feel like my heart is going to be ripped out - - - and I've already started grieving... told the family not to be surprised and not to ask me any questions when they see me crying or with red eyes in the next couple of months. It is going to be so very very very hard!!!

I think I will only be able to handle this by hanging on to GOD for dear life!!! And remember what he spoke to me a year ago about Shayden, "Don't be afraid of pain."

There has been plenty of pain already in the past year - it has been the hardest, yet most rewarding thing for me to care for Shayden - and even though there were many times when I thought I couldn't make it through, I did LOVE caring for him - so much - and I love him like my own child!!! He is such a delight!!!

Arrgghhh! I don't like pain!!! But I will go through it - with HIS GRACE!!!

How much more than I will Shayden need God's grace!!!

Could you PLEASE join me in praying fervently for a good permanent foster family to be found - NOW!!! The transition needs to be very gentle for the wee chap, since he is SO sensitive!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

First days of school

Kylie has had her first two days of school. YAY!!!

She did really well, although it REALLY tires her out to be there for 6 hours!
When I picked her up after the first day, I was greeted with a very excited, "I can read!"
She brought home a little book, which she had pretty much "memorized". Too cute!!!

The next morning, she didn't want to go any more. She wanted to go back to kindi :(

As great as the school is - very relaxed, nice teacher, only 14 kids, lots of fun, play and art - it will need some getting used to for her.

I think she'll love school before long! I saw a poster there saying, "School is the best party in town!" How 'bout that?!

Here she is on her first day, just before getting into the classroom, about to hang up coat and backpack - everything pink, of course:)

Watching some boys play with dinosaurs - see the expression on her face? A bit sad...

Making playdough letters with her friend Meesha, the only child in the class she knew from her kindi - Shayden is trying to decide if he likes the taste of playdough
Note: the super-dooper doll-house on the right! A favourite of Kylie's!

Most of her classmates with her teacher at "mat-time"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Last day of kindergarten

Kylie's 5th birthday also marked the end of her kindergarten days. She had a special "ceremony" at the end of the session where she got to sit in "the special chair", wear the special hat she had made that morning, share her favourite memory from kindi, sing a song, answer 3 questions from the other children (like what her new school is, what her teacher's name is, etc), receive a card and give a gift and card to the kindergarten.
At the end, she stood at the gate as the children were leaving, giving them each a home-made gingerbread man as a good-bye gift.

She'd had a fantastic time at the kindergarten and was sad to leave - - -
One of her teachers reading the card they'd made for Kylie - and then:
Kylie choosing her favourite memory of her time at kindi - by looking at her folder - and then sharing with the class
Offering ginger-bread men to all her friends
... helped by her sisters who had come along... (brother was at school)

Bye Maungatapu Kindergarten (morning sessions)

Kylie will miss you

Somebody special turned 5!!!

Kylie having her birthday breakfast

"WOW - Where did that clown come from?", she asked, when she saw it. It came all the way from Germany from her Grandma:)

Opening the package from "Mutter" from Germany - with help of the siblings

What a beautiful card from her grandparents in the US!

A new outfit for Annabelle

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My baby growing up...

Yesterday was Kylie's first visit to school (american equivalent would be kindergarten).
She'll have another visit on Monday and then she will start school the day after her 5th birthday (next Wednesday) - which is how things are done here in NZ.

As I was spending some time with her at her new school, I had to fight back the tears, just thinking about her growing up so fast, starting school, learning how to read and write etc., being gone from me every day from 8:30am to 2:30pm - - -

When I told her about my feelings at bedtime, she looked at me with "those eyes" and said very matter-of-factly, "That's just normal, Mom."

Hmmm... She's definitely no baby no more...

Friday, August 1, 2008

Leilani's sayings

Although Leilani has been brought up as a YWAM-kid, she hasn't had that much exposure to the typical YWAM-world and -language.

Until very recently, she was convinced that we were talking about "Lord Cunningham" when we mentioned the name of our founder (Loren Cunningham).

Last week, we were talking about Nathalie's upcoming DTS (Discipleship Training School) and mentioned something about the "Lecture Phase". Leilani: "What's an electrical phase?"

This week, Leilani wanted to tell me something about King David from the Bible . She said, "You know, David - - - David - - - , what was his last name again?"

I love you, Leilani! You're unique and funny!!!

Foster boys

Every time we foster a child, part of my heart stays with that child...

I went to a gathering of several foster mothers this morning and got to see Slayd again, a little boy we did respite for almost 2 years ago (for just a week). I hadn't seen him since. He still looks so very handsome (he's 3 now)- - - but my heart was/is aching for him. He looks so SAD, almost as if part of him was "dead" - - - and I'm sure it is. Since he's been with us, he's been with several caregivers, one of them was his biological mom, who had him for 6 months but had to give him up again, because things weren't going well. I just want to cry...
When we had him, there was a couple who wanted to have him permanently, but his mother has been fighting against this. They just got him 2 1/2 months ago, and it's still not permanent...

I also got some news about Shohan, who we took care of as a newborn for 3 weeks 2 years ago. He was with his Dad when a terrible accident happened and he lost one eye!
He recently moved to Bangladesh with his Dad, being raised by his Muslim grandparents and Dad.
This also hurts - - - although I know that none of my prayers for him as a newborn were in vain and surely God can/will have a way to get through to him - somehow - - -

In the meantime, Shayden continues to be SUCH a joy, giggling and being so very very happy!
He is getting more secure, developing steadily, even though I was just told again today by the speech therapist that he is 12 months behind in his development.
Social Services still haven't found another family for him.
My heart aches for him, too - - - I wish there was a way we could keep him, but ...