We are more than half way through our trip here in Latvia. I think it is safe to say that we are all very ready to be home. (Except for maybe Allison who doesn't know where "home" is). This has been a very trying trip for us. I think the lack of sleep from living in the city has finally taken it's toll on all of us, so when our attorney offered us a chance to get out of the city for a few days, Bill all but jumped on the chance. You see, our little "leak" in our bathroom, which caused our ceiling to fall in, left them all feeling very bad so they gave us the chance to get out of our apartment. God works in mysterious ways I guess.
So, yesterday Bill left the apartment around 10:00 to get a rental car. It's a really cool Volkswagen Transport, which is a 9 passenger van. I wish we had some of the cool cars that they have in other countries in America. In the good ol' USA there is nothing in between a minivan and a passenger van. I mean, I just need a little extra room...I don't need a 15 passenger bus to transport my kids to soccer practice, but a little extra room would be nice. I mean we are not the Duggarts (yet)!
While he was out I took the girls to Hessburgers (local McDonald's type restaurant) for lunch, then we headed out. Thankfully, Edgars lent us his garmin so we could have some help getting out of the city. We arrived at our cottage around 2:00, settled in, took the girls to the playground, visited the bunnies, then they watched a movie while mama took a nap! After that, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the beach. How many times in your life can you say you ate supper on the Baltic Sea? It is quite an amazing body of water. It is shallow forever (it seems) so the girls can just play and play in it without worry of ever getting over their heads. Sarah and Dee had to walk out about 1/4 mile before they were even at their hips! And, the neat part is that it is less salty than the ocean...Bill had to taste it to make sure that was true. (Sometimes he can be such a goob!)
I think everyone did sleep a bit better last night, except for me. I was too hot and was wide awake at 4 am! Ugh! I give up! I finally relented to God that He was ensuring that I was trusting in Him completely on this trip and not on my own merits. OK! I GET IT! Now, can I please have a full night of sleep?!?
We were going to go back to the sea this morning but it is now overcast, so we may just lay low, play at the playground and take naps. Allison has to go back into town this afternoon for an appointment with the US Embassy doctor. Originally, Bill was just going to take her but now we all may go if the weather remains blah. Please pray for her as she is quite afraid. She associates the doctor with shots and blood work.
Overall, she is doing very well. She is able to make herself known (most of the time) by taking us by the hand and bringing us to what she wants, or by pointing. We also have become familiar with some of the important words "bathroom, hungry, drink". Last night she became quite weepy when it was time for showers. She definitely DID NOT want to take a shower, but this was nothing new to us as Anita still freaks out at showers! (We've walked this road before).
Bill and I have been doing a lot of processing on this trip. We are both very tired and weary. I don't even think I can do an adequate job of explaining it right now. Please just continue to pray for us. Pray for strength. Pray for rest. Pray for patience as we parent our 5 children. Pray for each of the girls.
Sarah-she is doing an awesome job being the oldest sister to this brood! I am so proud of her! If you know her at all you know that she has always struggled with communication. She has a hard time expressing her feelings and she often "stuffs" her emotions until they come out in some unforeseen and unexpected way. She has at least been keeping herself open and keeps her quirky sense of humor at the forefront, which is a sign to me that she hasn't shut down yet. I pray that she can keep herself open and that Bill and I can be sensitive to her needs and not take her for granted.
Dee-overall has been doing very well. She was the one we were most worried about before the trip. Dee struggles with a lot of anger issues and that has come out a couple of times on the trip, but God was able to turn it into a great moment, as I was able to share my angers with her as well. Once she saw me open up about my hurts and anger she was able to open up a bit as well. It is so painful to be vulnerable (especially in front of our kids) but God really used this opportunity and I can now see that this is what Dee needs and I pray that I will be more sensitive to this in the future.
Hannah-oh Hannah! If you read my first blog post about the plane ride over here you know that she has been the one to push my buttons on a regular basis. It's almost like she is taking every opportunity to show Allison all of the things that we DON'T want her to do! She has continued to "toe the line" this entire journey, but thankfully she also has the ability to be a very sweet and sensitive child. She is trying to figure out how to incorporate her new "twin" as a buddy. Pray that she can see the benefit of showing Allison all of the fun that can be had in a family setting when you obey the rules instead of all of the trouble that you can get into when you double up.
Anita-my sweet Anita. She definitely has a sweet, sweet spirit about her and she can just melt my heart in an instant. She seems to know when I am low on reserve, and it doesn't take much for her to run up to me, pucker up her lips and put her arms around me for a hug to turn my moods right around. Thank you God for this fresh breath in the storm!
Allison-pray for her in all of the transitions she is going through right now. She doesn't understand our language, our traditions, our family ways. We are as foreign as you can get to what she has known her entire life. Pray that she would feel safe, protected, loved!
Thanks for walking this journey with us. We definitely could not do this without the love and support of family and friends back home.