OK, I need to give everyone a disclaimer. We try to be very honest and show our true colors on this blog, “warts and all”, but today sounds a little like we are farting rainbows and Skittles. It was an amazingly great day, which, the law of averages says we might be in for a doosy tomorrow… we’ll see!
Today was our first of many Sundays at FBC Mansfield, and the kids did so good!
We loaded up the autobus early this morning, and got to church early to get everyone settled in before most of the people arrived. We made plans to hover from class to class and check in on all the kids. We also called the grandparents in for reinforcements. We did this for about 15 minutes or so… then it happened!
You know that split second after you set the cruise control on your car and ease your foot off the gas to see if it set correctly or not (if you drive a fancy car with an indicator light, I envy you)? That is what we had. We realized that the kids were all fine in their classes, without needing mom and dad to peak in on them! Little brother had some trouble with transitions, so I decided to stay with him, but Beth was able to go to class and go to the worship service. After some time, I was able to leave him for periods of time, and float around a bit. God was so good today. A few of our childrens’ teachers were bilingual, and were able to communicate to them. The other children were with patient adults that did great at showing them what to do. It is almost as if God knew since the “foundations of time” what/who our children would need (shout out to our pastor)!
While floating from class to class, I got to talk to so many wonderful people that have prayed for us and supported us on this journey. The 10th graders that I used to teach all ran to the nursery after they found out we were there and asked “which ones are they?” They did a lap with me as I pointed them out. I think we have at least five babysitters ready if we need them! A few of the people in my parent’s Sunday School class, talked to us too, curious to know how things were going. One (who used to be my 8th grade Algebra teacher) even gave us a DVD of Veggietales in Spanish, and told us, “I bought this by mistake, but then I realized, that I didn’t. God wanted you to have it!” Our friends, the Sanders, also brought us the “Cars” movie in Spanish because the boys have been dying to see it. Our friends, who are in the process of adopting, gave us big hugs and lots of encouragement (even though the encouragement should have gone the other way), and the pastor came by after his sermon to see us too.
Many in our Sunday School class have children the same age. Over the course of about six months, many of those precious children have learned about our kids, prayed for our kids, and loved them before they ever knew them. Today, each one of my kids had at least two or three friends to play with in their class. I have to mention that our friends, the Cantons, have a son, that is middle brother’s age… He has earnestly prayed for our middle son for the past few months (as documented in this post). We were told that he asked God to give our son a window seat for his plane ride home on Wednesday, and God definitely answered his prayer, on both flights! For the first time, this little boy got to play with the one for whom he has prayed for so long! Amazing.
Also, Beth’s parents joined our church today! It will be super great to have them with us, to worship with us and help with the kids (I put it in that order to sound holy, but we are really excited about the “help with our kids” part)!
After church, we sort of lied to little brother and told him his birthday was today instead of tomorrow. We did this so we could have a very low-key party with most of our friends and family on a day when it was logistically easy. We insisted on no presents because the other boys didn’t get much on their birthdays a few weeks earlier in Bogota, and we’re still working hard to keep things even. We went to McDonalds, and let the kids play with a bunch of their church friends that they had met that morning. My parents, Beth’s parents, and my brother’s family were all there including about five other families that came from church. Again, it was amazing. The kids did really great listening and eating at a tiny table. Also, because McDonalds is doing a 20-piece chicken nugget meal for $9.99, the seven of us were able to eat for $25! As a matter of fact, the biggest problem from the party was, the icing on the cake melted a little in the car on the ride there… FYI – A 4-year old doesn’t care. He picked one of the most melty and disgusting pieces for himself!
We went home and watched the “Cars” movie that the Sanders brought us! Darth was out before we got home so all I had to do was carry her from the van to her bed. No tantrums, no crying.
Then we jetted back to church for evening worship. This time, we didn’t bother staying with the kids at all. We went to our adult class, and got “fed” with other believers. So nice! Beth told me that the RA’s were shooting rockets during the second hour, so I slipped out in case it was too much for big brother to handle. Again God provided another great friend, who is also bilingual. He was kind enough to be with me and big brother and explain what was going on! Fortunately big brother did amazing, and probably didn’t need me for the little bit of time I was out there with him. All of the kids loaded up in the car, super happy and excited about their new church. Way to go, First Baptist! You hit it out of the park.
I honestly do not know how some people go through life without Chirst. Further, I don’t know how some people go through life without the support of a body of believers. Christianity is definitely a team sport, and we have been so blessed by our team lately. Thank you all for graciously accepting and loving our five today.
The Bible says, they will know us by our love. Thank you for loving our kids, church!
At the dinnermesa,