Hello, again! It is finally my favorite month of the year, October! And we have already had a very busy month! Last week, as some of you may know, we hosted two little girls from the Children of the World Choir. I would like to share a little bit of my experience with all of you who are interested.
It all started at bible study a few weeks back. I got a note from our creative arts director to come see him in his office. If any of you have ever received a note asking you to come to anyone's office, you can probably guess as to how I was feeling. Of course, I was nervous to see what he wanted from me and was hesitant to enter his office. He greeted me with a friendly hello and proceeded to ask me if I knew anything about the upcoming choir visit. Feeling relieved that I was not in any sort of trouble, replied with a sort of, not really kind of answer. He then asked me if my husband and I would be interested in hosting two kids for a few nights in our home while the choir visited our church. A new twinge hit my stomach. Doubt flooded my mind as I thought of taking in two children from somewhere around the world into my home. My husband was at home sleeping at the time, so I was unable to give an answer right at that moment. I did need to give him an answer by that day, though, so I did not have much time to pray about the decision to be made. As I drove home from bible study, I prayed for the right thing to do and almost immediately felt the nudge I needed.
Of course we would take in these kids! How could we not? We were offered two little girls who would be right around the age of our oldest daughter and knew we should jump at the chance to do this. Little did we know just how big of an impact these precious children would have on our hearts.
So, last week was the big week! We were to pick them up Tuesday night and feed them dinner. I had prepared all day for their arrival. I had packed up all three kids to go grocery shopping, made some wise choices on meals for the week, and cleaned the house to get ready for them. Normally when someone comes to visit, I get very anxious and the house is usually chaotic before the event. Knowing this would probably happen, I prayed. I prayed for peace as I prepared my home for such little guests. And I can honestly say, I DID have peace that day! Normally going to the store with three kids and a mountain of groceries is so overwhelming for me I don't dare attempt it without my husband, but this day went rather smooth and I was excited! So were my kids! It was all they could talk about! In fact, they were quite the helpers that day.
I was even more nervous as the time got closer to picking them up because my husband was going to be working up until the time I brought them home. But once again, I packed all three kids up, made sure to grab the stroller and headed out. All the host families gathered in our huge "gym/auditorium" and awaited instruction. There we got to meet one of the directors, Auntie Ashley. She prepared us for what was to come, gave us our schedule for the week, and let us ask questions we had regarding the children. I then found out my girls' names: Jenny (from the Philippines) and Jemimah (from Uganda) and saw their little faces jump up to greet us! We quickly said hello, then were instructed to grab suitcases and head for the doors. They were so efficient. They knew exactly which luggage was theirs (they were all standard black suitcases) and was soon trailing quickly behind me to our van, all with huge grins on their faces. We loaded up the van and headed for home.
My husband had made it home just in time to meet the girls before dinner. They were instructed to call us "Auntie and Uncle" during their visit because they visit so many families during their tour. When I introduced "Uncle Dustin" they thought that was so funny because the director's husband's name had been Dustin as well. (This was something they cracked up over all week.) I had made homemade chicken noodle soup for our dinner because I had no idea what they were used to eating and didn't want to make anything that would be too harsh on their stomachs. Boy, that was a huge hit! Each and everyone of us finished our bowls in record time! I asked them if they had liked it, to which they replied yes. I learned that Jenny's favorite food in the Philippines was chicken and rice and Jemimah stated her favorite food was pizza. I figured I was off to a good start!
After dinner, I let the kids get to know each other a little better and let them loose in the yard to play. They ran to our little red wagon and insisted that everyone took turns going up and down the driveway while they pulled. This held their attention until it was dark outside. It was so awesome to see two little pale, redheads running around giggling and laughing with these girls that only knew just enough English. They all seemed to get along great together and I knew the week would be one to remember.
I hurried the kids inside to get washed up for bed. Each girl took their sweet time in the bathroom washing up and getting ready for bed. I think they enjoyed the little time to themselves while in the bathroom. Once everyone was washed and ready for bed, we laid our queen sized air mattress on the floor next to our daughter's bed. I tucked them all in and was told by Jemimah what order we would pray in before bed. I leaned in, as close as I could, to hear the sweet prayers of these girls but still could not catch it all. I closed in prayer and was surprised with big hugs from them both.....