(MAS = Mutual Admiration Society)I should probably just apologize in advance.
Here goes: I am sorry.
Hopefully this entry doesn't cause any gagging. I know it gets very mushy.
Leaving people you care about, enjoy being with, and want to remain emotionally close to, is one of the harder parts of doing this work. That's not a complaint, just a fact. We never thought it was supposed to be easy, but we believe we are where we are supposed to be for this season of our lives. As we've changed because of Haiti, so have our relationships. As painful as it is missing our family and friends in Minnesota and Texas, we have made such good and deep friendships because of our time in Haiti. We wouldn't know some of our most trusted friends if it weren't for our years here. We're so grateful for that.
Up until we met the Hendricks we hadn't yet met another family that we totally clicked with that had a bunch of kids the same ages. We have made a lot of single and young married or older friends that we love dearly but finding another family - in the same area we live - with a butt-load of kids - with very similar interests wasn't quite as easy. When we began to build a friendship with Heather and Aaaron and their four sons we knew it was a gift straight from God. Our kids adore each other and the four adults have such weird things in common it is too odd and too good to be true. Without a doubt we know that whether we are living near each other or far, far away we will remain friends into the distant future. I plan to be at Hudson's wedding (and only partially because I think he and Lydia were made for each other).
Two days before the Hendricks were leaving Haiti for the summer I asked Troy if we could write them a song. He looked at me with his "Seriously woman?!?" look. He plays along with my whacked ideas at Christmas time - but it was only mid-May.
Troy happened to be working on the Phil Wickham song called "Beautiful" for church (an awesome song - click on link to hear it) when I asked him - so I suggested we just write one or two verses to that tune. Ten minutes later we had what we needed. The next night we practiced a few times with the kids. The following night the Hendricks came for dinner so we could all say our goodbyes. We had Jen video our less than perfect rendition of the very short song. Due to emotion we didn't expect, we were unable to give them our best version of the song. We cried singing and we cried saying "see you soon" as they left that night.
Lyrics: "We're glad you're here and we love you so much if you don't come back soon we're gonna kick you in the butts. We need you here cuz you're very good friends, this place can be so crazy but you help it to make sense. So come back soon we'll be waiting for you. We love the Hendricks yes we do, we really do."
We are storing their belonging for the summer and one thing that happens every day is that Lydia or Phoebe will come and ask for "Hen-dwick" toys. The Hendwicks are a bit of a legend around here. Their toys are surely better than that ours, even when they are mostly the same. :) The older kids are so excited to start school and have the boys back here. There has been a push to start a countdown but until it is closer we've resisted. Isaac and Noah especially have missed their friends and all the trouble that a group of boys can get into together.
Last week Heather told me they were working on a surprise for us. It arrived last night. Their production had so much time put into it and beats the tar out of ours and we must share it with you.
Lydia kept saying "They said me mom, they said me!" Isaac watched it four times in a row and then began writing lyrics to sing back to them. He said "That place they are looks so cool - can we go?" I regretfully informed him that it costs $600 each to get to TX and back and that we can't ... BUT -- we can watch this video every day all summer long ... And we plan to do just that.