Year In Review

Just one year ago we boarded the plane to America. Emotions were running high, and I recorded a little bit of that in a short Facebook post:

Perspective on our trip home:

Humor: When Delta Airlines announced (on our flight from Hong Kong to Seattle) that ALL the bathrooms on the right half of the plane had stopped functioning while simultaneously handing out giant water bottles. #thanksforthelaughDelta

Regret: Watching the emotional movie, Lion, on the airplane after we had to say goodbye to our precious foster son. (Praying for this to be temporary.) #wemisshim

Shock: Arriving to a very cold, windy Idaho in the month of June! #notpreparedforthat

Hope: After Isaac’s memorial service almost ten years ago we kept one plant to remember him by. Today, the morning after we arrived, it bloomed. #newstart

UPDATES:

With the exception of Ethan, none of us have been on a plane in the last year. We have no complaints. 😉

We greatly miss our foster son Gohm. He went through a challenging time not long after we left when he lost his housing and once again, would have been out on the street. Thankfully we were able to find a place for him to rent with the help of some friends living in Chiang Rai. He is now sixteen. His (and Gunya’s) little sister, Dee, very recently moved in with him after the situation in their home required it. God continues to provide for these kids even when we aren’t certain how it will happen. Dee recently had to have an emergency surgery for a burst appendix, so we are thankful she is in the city and closer to medical care.

Concerning the weather: it WAS cold last June in Idaho! Here in the South, not so much. We’ve had more rain than usual this year according to all the locals, which causes flash flooding. It’s exciting driving home and wondering if you’ll be diverted to another street because your route is underwater. There’s definitely humidity, but nothing compared to Thailand.

It’s really strange to be back in the United States and unable to visit Isaac’s grave site. We are so much closer to our home state, but still so far! We felt this deeply recently when Ethan’s wonderful grandmother passed away. We’re so much closer to family than we used to be, but still much too far away to be with them during this time.

As for other updates, well . . . the kids have collectively grown several inches, it seems. We’ve forgotten some of our Thai words, but not our Thai friends. The ministry in Chiang Mai is growing every day, and Mari keeps us updated on what the girls are learning and doing. Gunya has moved there to serve as a “big sister” to all the girls and teach them Bible and English. She called us just a little earlier this week to chat and we got to see the girls working on music together.

Emotionally, it has been a hard year for everyone. Bubba has gone backwards in his behavior, unfortunately, and we see a lot more crying and struggle for him each day. It’s hard watching him regress, knowing how much he gained when we lived in Thailand. Calico cries every so often and asks if we can live in Thailand again, where she feels like she was “home.” As the youngest, Asia is the place of all her memories. We are learning much about teaching the kids how to draw closer to Christ and look to him when life isn’t easy.

God has been so faithful to continue to provide for our family through this transition to America. On paper it really never looks like we will be able to make it each month. Ethan has able to work on the side occasionally doing handyman work, and we’ve sold handmade items from our little shop, Chapter & Verse Studios. New friends here have helped us find furniture being given away, and our favorite furniture find was actually sitting on the side of the road. We are so thankful that we are still able to continue fighting child trafficking through this provision. One of my new favorite verses is Psalm 37:25.

“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”

All in all it has been a good year of moving forward. We can’t wait to see how God will continue to open doors in the year ahead!

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