Wednesday, December 07, 2011

PAP -> Ausin, TX -> PAP

When we leave our kids for five sleeps and depart by airplane to a far off land, this is how sad they are. 

While we made a quick trip to Austin to attend a fund raising event and also went north to Waco to visit our oldest daughter and our son-in-law, our friends the Hendrick Family hosted five of our kids.

Troy made a flippant comment as we rolled toward the Port au Prince airport to fly away, "It sure was good being friends"; assuming that caring for our kids could easily irreperably damage our friendship.

We returned home Tuesday morning to confirm that both Heather and Aaron remained upright and still claim to like us.

Our kids were more than impressed and reported that Heather makes "amazing beverages" (does anyone else find this suspect? what was in those beverages?) and "really good food". I obviously know that Heather (and 95% of women in the world) surpass me in all things domesticity, that is no secret, but to hear my kids rave about Heather almost made me wish I was also skilled in the kitchen.  I said almost.

While we were away Paige translated for a team from Minnesota.  One of the contact people wrote to tell me that lots of eyes grew bigger when they heard the Kreyol come out of Paige's mouth.  For whatever reason Paige has the accent nailed better than any of us ... speaking the language is one thing, speaking it without sounding like a foreigner and getting the accent right is an entirely more impressive skill.  We're all totally jealous of that girl.

Lydia traveled with us. In theory we were taking the "hardest" child with us. It entertained us to experience a few days with a child we've never met before. She was totally content being the center of our world without any siblings around. She was pleasant. She listened and obeyed. (Within an hour of returning home she was calling Phoebe names and stirring up trouble. c'est la vie.)

It is always eye-opening to take our TCKs (Third Culture Kids) to the USA.  Lydia has spent 75% of her short life in Haiti.  Her norms are much different than the average American four year old.  We walked into a CVS pharmacy to grab cough medicine. There was a life-sized Santa statue standing at the door.  I said, "Lydia, do you know who that is?"  She paused and thought for a long time.  Finally she said, "Christmas????"   She knows enough to know he has something to do with Christmas, but why bother knowing his name, he is irrelevant to the real story after-all.  These sorts of TCK moments make us happy.  Her eyes were wider than their usual wide as we drove down the freeways at 65mph.  She hasn't moved that fast in a year.  On our first morning we woke up to a very dreary, rainy day.  Lydia's norm is 99% sunshiny days. She said, "Mama, do it be day or do it be night out?"  I pulled the curtains open so she could decide for herself.  "Oh, it be a little bit day and a little bit night" she said.

Baylor Football Fanatic
Britt and Chris hosted us for two of the nights.  It is always a special treat to step into their lives and be on their turf. We're must be in some sort of denial. We feel entirely too young to have such grown up and self-sufficient children; time marches on without our approval.

Lydia got to go to a Baylor game.  We also got to see where Britt teaches her classes and sit in the desks and pretend to be her students. (And marvel at the technology being used in university classrooms and make snarky comments about the cost of higher education.)  We even got to meet Britt and Chris' close friends. We packed as much in as we could. 

We're so thankful that after not seeing them for seven months, our 40 hours with them wasn't the only chance we'll have to spend time with them. They are coming here shortly after Christmas. That fact meant we could say goodbye without huge drama-filled melt-downs.

Jimmy & Troy
One highlight of our trip was a quick breakfast with the Dorrells.  You may remember this post where we asked you to be praying for them.  Seth has surgery scheduled next week.  Please keep praying.

Jimmy and Troy posed for one quick photo.  Being with Janet and Jimmy and Seth and Sarah was an unexpected treat. 

Happy reunion
At the Makarios fund-raising event  (where a non-profit based in the Dominican Republic also raised money for Heartline) we were treated to a gorgeous view of Austin from the top of the Frost Building. It was 100% amazing and fancy at the top of that building.

Freaks Friends from south of Austin drove to attend and hang out with us. (As an aside, a plug - If you are an adoptive or foster parent dealing with attachment disorder or RAD you will want to read Christine's therapeutic parenting posts.)

Toward the end of the night a multitude of much younger people showed up to make us feel old dance and enjoy the view.  We sat around lamenting how lame and un-hip we've become so quickly.  After a bit of commiseration we decided we'd better just go dance with the 18 and 20 year olds and show them how the old-folk do.

Mostly we did this in order to send Paige horrifying photos.
The fabulous Moers, bringing class to the fundraiser

Paige, this is for you.  Just try to contain your pride.

Old?  Dorky? I think not.

Thanks to Makarios for partnering with Heartline

We so appreciate the gift of the trip to Texas. 
Many thanks to Makarios for making that happen. 
Thanks to Tex for his truck and help.
We enjoyed every jam-packed minute of our trip.  
Thanks to the Hendricks for caring for our crew. 
Thanks also to our talented musical friends 
at the Austin Stone for ushering in the Spirit on Sunday 
and for blessing us with your gifts. 

To hear the sermon and music we heard go here and listen to "Why we Sing".

The trip was fast and fun. The greater gift of these short trips is that we can evaluate things together as a couple and have time to talk as we travel. They seems to serve to confirm to both of us that we desire to be in Port au Prince. What a gift that is to us too.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Two more babies have been born in the prenatal program since I last wrote. Guerda, and Roselene have recently delivered.  Please be praying for Roselene, she lost a lot of blood and was transported to MSF (Doctors without Borders) yesterday to receive a transfusion.  On the left side of the blog is a "Prayer Doula" button, that will take you to a post with photos and approximate due dates of the women we are asking you to cover in prayer.