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Preparing for our summer with princess T…

FIRST–before I begin rambling, you HAVE to go back and look at our sneak peak beach session that Nicole sent us! I’m so technology challenged that I posted them really small…and sweet Nicole helped and now they are much more fun to peak at! Alrighty–so if you are going to Hilton Head this year, you must contact this precious girl for family pictures! You won’t regret it:)

See how much fun you’ll have:)

I totally need to put that picture in the “about us” section on my blog don’t ya think;)?!

Sooooo…back to preparing for our 15 year old princess. Richard and I spent 7 hours in a training class yesterday. YES–7 hours. I have to say though, it was REALLY good. Like–really good. The most powerful hour was a panel of kids who were all teenagers. It was really neat because 4 of the 5 kids were actually teenagers when they were hosted–very close to T’s age! The amazing part was hearing their hearts, hearing what they THOUGHT they were getting into coming…and hearing how they connected with their host families and later became permanent parts of their hosted families.

All 5 of them were scared to come. They had heard awful rumors about what might happen to them when and if they agreed to come. They thought their body parts might be taken for research. They heard they might be abused. They heard awful rumors about WHY people would pay for them to come. ALL OF THEM OF COURSE BEING UNTRUE. BUT…the point is they did NOT know for sure. And they all thought it was worth the risk because of their current life in the orphanage (often not having anything to eat…one saying some times kids would eat dirt and paper…some times they would run to bee fields and endure getting stung hundreds of times on their hands just to get a little honey in their belly)…so even if the rumors were true–they thought it was worth the risk.

Each came–and instead of being hurt…they discovered what it felt like to be LOVED…to be in a FAMILY…to have shelter, safety and security…that tomorrow they would be fed, taken care of and not only those things–but they would also get to DREAM for the first time. For their entire lives they spent day after day thinking about where the next meal might come from—fretting the day they would turn 16 and be on the streets–that they never got to dream about simple things like…”I wonder what we’ll do today!” And for the first time…these children as host children got to do this!

Richard and I didn’t realize kids couldn’t come with us because we are so last minute…and we didn’t read the email about yesterday until FRIDAY…and it was good for our kids NOT to be there as we listened to what these kids have SEEN, what they have already been through and what they have never received. (Thank you Aunt Reid and Gigi for saving the day and keeping the 4 littles for us!!! Can you tell Rico Suave and I stink at planning!?) We both needed to be there–and the kids did not as it was hard to listen to. Very, very, very cruel and hard things. Things no child should have to worry about or have to face. The majority of girls caught in the sex trade come from these countries–and it’s devastating. Something our princess might have to face…something my heart is not okay with now that it is hitting our family in a new, real way.

One of the girls was sharing her heart…she will soon turn 16 like our “T” and as she shared she began to say she wondered why she got chosen–and yet her friends would be 16 this summer…and she burst in to tears and ran off the stage. She ran to her once host mom…now adopted mom…they embraced–and we all cried. She bravely came back to finish what she needed to say…and I sat there staring at our girls beautiful picture–looking at my husband and shaking my head…we needed this day together–we needed just to process this as a family…and I can’t wait for my girl to get off that plane so I can hug her…tell her how loved she is and show her she has nothing to be scared of with our family–we are here to just love her.

And speaking of hugs–we talked about how these children have NEVER been hugged. They don’t know how. It’s strange to them–and awkward. So we had a class of “hug therapy” and talked about the healing that takes place in TOUCH…how attachment takes place in TOUCH…and how these kids who have never attached or been hugged…need this…and how it will not be easy at first. It was really funny because we had to take turns being the one that wouldn’t hug back–or didn’t want to be hugged…and then we practiced family hugs…here’s the group hug (not everyone looks as happy about the hug do they;)?!)

24 more days until our girl arrives.

When I stood to introduce ourselves and say why we were hosting…I just said, “I don’t know why–we just felt we were supposed to bring T home this summer…we are setting our expectations very low–whatever God wants to do and we are along for the ride.

For one of the rare times in my life I have no idea what God is going to do with this. I just want Him to do SOMETHING…and to use us however He wants to…because I want this precious one to have a beautiful life and to know Him…and to be able to dream and think the simple things without fear…”I wonder what I will do today…

Thank you for praying with us and for us and for being along for the ride!

XOXO,

Andrea

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