As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
This morning, our alarm went off at 4:10 am. Brian and Thi left about half an hour later to take Thi to the airport for his flight back to Vietnam. I thought I would cry when I said “good-bye.” I didn’t. I waited ’til they were gone and I was back in bed; then the tears started.
Oh, how we are going to miss that boy!
The year didn’t start out as I had imagined. I expected us to bond much quicker than we did. It was slow-going at first and each day I wondered if this was going to work out or if we had made a mistake. It’s a lot different bringing an older child into your home. Your home is established and he’s been raised in a different environment and culture. There was a lot of adapting to do on both of our parts.
Looking back, I can’t tell you exactly when the bonding finally occurred. And, as I sit here thinking about it, I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books as a teenager:
Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.
Are you thinking of hosting? Don’t wait! Just do it!
Yes, there were times early on in this journey that I wondered if we had been crazy. Maybe we hadn’t prayed enough about this decision and jumped in too soon. Now, looking back, I see that God had a hand in this entire process and that Thi was supposed to be with our family this year.
I hear so many young people saying things like, “We’ll buy a house when _____ happens,” or “We’ll try for a baby when we pay off all our debt,” or “We’ll do this when that happens.” I’ve learned from experience that we cannot make our own plans and we can’t be in charge of our time – that’s God’s job! So, if you’re thinking about it, don’t wait! Just do it!
We had some very stressful family issues this past winter. There were many days when all I could do was sit and cry. If I had known my future last summer when we were thinking about hosting, I would have said, “no!” It wouldn’t have seemed fair to bring a child into the situation we found ourselves in. It was stressful and it was ugly.
If we had seen the future and said no to hosting, we’d have missed out on so, so many blessings! Not only did Thi serve as a good diversion for all of us, but he also served as a huge support and comfort to me.
Looking back, it’s quite clear that God had a hand in all of this – that Thi was to be a part of our family “for such a time as this.”
We have grown to love this boy like our own son!
Even though I know Thi has a family in Vietnam who loves and misses him, it still hurt to say good-bye this morning. He was nervous about the flight and about the reverse culture shock he’ll likely face at home. And, as a parent, I’m nervous for him.
But, he knows that this good-bye isn’t forever. His plan is to come back to PA later this summer and enter college. He’ll be less than an hour away and close enough to come home for the weekends and go to church with us. So, like our pastor said yesterday, if all goes as planned, we’ll barely have time to miss each other!
And, even if plans don’t work out as we all hope, Thi knows that he will forever be a part of the Strawser family.
It’s not good-bye, it’s see you later!
I made a going-away video for Thi, similar to the videos I made for my girls for graduation. I wanted to send him off with a keepsake that he didn’t have to pack in his (very full) suitcase. I hope it serves as a source of good memories for him over the days and years to come.
Thi, thank you so much for putting up with us and for becoming an integral part of our family! You’ll always hold a special place in my heart and you’ll always be a member of our family!