Day 14…

Dear friends,

I am so frustrated.  Everyday we get a comment, email or visit from our landlord reminding us that we have to pay for any damages that we cause to the apartment.  EVERYDAY!  We know we are doing our very best to take care of his apartment.  This morning we got another email saying that our neighbor was complaining that we are leaving our trash in the hallway…untrue we take our trash to the basement everyday & have never left it in the hallway.  Luckily our maid told us that our neighbor (in her words) is a crazy old lady who has nothing better to do that cuss & complain at everyone.

I don´t know what to do.  Everytime my children are awake in the house they seem to run into something, all I can see are the scratches on the baseboards, the shutters that are now slightly bent, the lamp that they broke on day 2 (now ALL electronics, lamps, clocks are put away as high as possible).  How do I explain to this man that we have had these children for less than 2wks & in our home we bought furniture that has already been dented so they can learn to take care of our house.  In the beginning we were supposed to be in a larger apartment but we would not have been able to move in until August 12th & right before we were going to move he came over & started telling us all of the things that we were going to be charged for so we asked to stay so we will only be charged once.  He said okay but seems to make a point to stop by personally at least 2-3x´s a week to remind us.  A point to walk around the house telling me not to let my children eat messy (because the white cushioned dining room chairs are dirty), to keep the shower door open so it will dry (I have it closed because I am drying off my 2yr old who will try to climb back in if it is opened, I open it when they go to bed), telling me that I need to have better control of my children it is expected in Colombia.

We have to stay here for over a month still…I just feel so hopeless.  I am so frustrated with our living situation, wondering how this is going to affect us financially the longer we are here & trying to allow my kids to play in our small apartment without any marks on anything.  We looked into moving to a hotel but the price was nearly 2x´s as much & again we could have to pay for damages again.  Oh friends what are we to do…crying at the computer, trying to accept this season that we are in.  Knowing that we are powerless in every aspect of our situation.

We are going on our first outing tomorrow, at least we will be out of the house for a short while.  Praying the kids stay well so we can be outside as much as possible so we do not ruin our apartment, but when I take the kids to the park everyday I am called a bad mom & told it is too cold & that the children need to stay inside…lose, lose, right?

Please pray, I cringe inside when this man shows up, I dread when I get an email, I despair when it is not hot outside.  I love my kids.  I do not love my situation.  Sorry for no puppies & butterflies in this post, just a need for prayer & hope.

At the dinnermesa,


12 thoughts on “Day 14…

  1. Donna S says:

    I don’t really know what to say for encouragement… just that I completely understand your frustration. I pray for this man, that he will have compassion and understand that everyone is doing their best under the circumstances. I pray that your family will stay in good health and can enjoy the outdoors, even if it is on a more limited basis. Be encouraged, know that you are doing your best and God will take care of the rest. 🙂

  2. Melissa says:

    Praying hats the enemy trying to knock you down you are very strong I Have talked to you many times and you always say it will get better, it will get better this is temporary I will pray for the softening of people’s hearts they may not undesrtand but maybe they’ll bite their tongues. We love you and are praying!!!

    • dinnermesa says:

      Thanks sweet friend, it´s true this too shall pass, even the TX heat goes away once in a while :)), love you miss you!

  3. gina k says:

    Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
    surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them. Ps 32:6

    Praying all the waters (worries) recede and are not even close to the Nichols. You see all white beaches head.

  4. Gail Garrett says:

    Tough situation and the language barrier makes it hard to respond and explain. will continue to pray- It is so very hard to respond with grace to people like that.

    another idea to wear those kids out while inside is an obstacle course- if the area is big enough. You might have it where they have to go through a room wearing your shoes or Tylers- then the next room they somersault through or roll, then they have to go through the hall doing something crazy- jump over pillows, cushions and stuffed animals. Put all the furniture aside when you do this. All kids can do this in their own way and it is not a race but just something they all can do and wears them out.

  5. Carmen Chapman says:

    I read your blog that saw through Gladney. I adopted three children from Bogota in 2010. Just reading your description of your children’s behavior sounds so familiar. The hardest part for us was when we were in Bogota. It was better when we got home. There are still some issues, but our kids have adjusted well. I will pray for you and your family. Please feel free to contact me anytime. I posted my email address.

    • dinnermesa says:

      Thanks so much Carmen! Love hearing about those who have made it home :). I´ll be sending you questions as they come to me; again so thankful that you will share all of your wisdom!

  6. Hang in there! Just remember….kids are kids. And HE can say that kids in Columbia are “angels” and they expect that of your kids, but the honest truth is YOU HAVE FIVE KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF SIX!!!! Things are going to happen. Also, is there anyway that you can “negotiate/argue” (not ridiculously, but reasonably) with him on the charges? I think sometimes–at least it was this way in China–they see a foreigner and they think “easy money…I can take advantage of them and make some good money”. Is there any way you can do that? If not, just accept that things are going to happen. God will handle the details. I will be praying for you guys to have wisdom to know how to address the situation. I also be praying that you will have a heart for this man that you can feel the overwhelming love of Christ for him and overwhelm him with kindness every time you see him. Maybe if you are able to create a relationship with him–learn about his family, etc–you can negotiate better. Also, talk with your housekeeper…maybe she’ll have some ideas on how things work–or your agency/ in country person can give you guidance as well. They can give you some ideas on how things are handled and help you handle it as well. Praying for you!!!

    • dinnermesa says:

      Thanks Kris, he definitely asks us everytime he sees us, “you have a big house right”, uh no sir, we have a lot of children, these kids are our greatest investment!! Trying to be kind & patient, thankful for our agency they called & set some boundaries with him. He´s not a bad guy & he is protecting his investment. I am just uber sensitive as a new mom & in a new country. Oh the roads we decide to go down :))!

  7. toni smith says:

    Girl, you and Tyler are doing a great job…someone somewhere will always question what you do, whether you even know what you are doing…believe me when I tell you have been given an incredible task one that most would not even consider. Please do not second guess yourselves, let your children play, teach them respect for others and just love love love them, let God worry about things like the Landlord, they things that may or may not get broken. (maybe he will just let you go when the time comes, because he wants you out…lol) know we are always thinking of you and Tyler and our newest Texans…we love you.

  8. Sharon says:

    Beth — my heart broke for you when I read this one. Why do some people feel it is their personal duty to reprimand you and give you unsolicited advice?? I can only assume God is preparing you and strengthening you for the advice you may get when you get home. Praise to the agency for stepping in and trying to help the situation. Enjoy the time and remember that anything that is damaged or dusty when you leave can be repaired or painted. The lives of these children is far more important than a smudge on a baseboard. You stand firm in your plans for this bonding time, and allow God to assure you of your choices!! Hang in there!
    Sharon Lee

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