Getting ready for the arrival of Kristaps and Samanta!!
Well–the day is almost here! Samanta and Kristaps arrive tomorrow–and there is so much tied up in that statement. The feelings are flowing in our house today–excitement? Sure, but also anxiety, concern–wonder.
The feelings have been flowing for several weeks coming up to this point, and we are learning more how we deal with these different feelings–talking about it, thinking about it, stuffing it . . . depends on the day and the time–and the person.
I’ve been more the expressive one, and thus the reason for this blog. Well–a reason–to express and reflect and process my thoughts and feelings over the next few weeks in a productive way. One that can invite others into the experience, and also–to not irritate my introverted wife to death! Yes–I talk to think, she thinks to talk . . . a lot of diffences there. Needless to say, we often drive separate cars to parties-ha.
Anyway, I’ve shared with a few people that I’ve landed on these thoughts:
- If God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), and we are challenged to be changed to become like God . . . then I need to be OK with the “discomfort” I feel as I learn new thoughts and new ways as God leads me (and I choose to follow)
- As God is the “Father to the fatherless . . . (who) places the lonely in families”, there is a mystery to me about what to expect in this experience over the next few weeks (Psalms 68:5-6).
I hope for the best, but I am mindful of some possible “worsts” that could occur over the next few weeks (re-reading the “manual” we received during training). That said, we are busy shopping, putting up Christmas lights and cleaning until they arrive tomorrow evening.
Please pray for our family and our guests for a great transition time over the next few days! Also, some of you have asked how you can still help since the fundraising portion of this adventure has passed. Thanks, by the way, for asking!
After they get here there are still many ways to help. As part of the agreement between the hosting program (www.newhorizonsforchildren.org) and the Latvian orphanages, we are to send the kids back with certain items to benefit the orphanage upon their return. There is a list of needed items below and we welcome used as long as they are in good condition. Gift cards are always an option as well, especially to the grocery store (Walmart/Harris Teeter) since we’ll have 4 teenagers for a month! Please give donations to Curtis, Julie, Stephen, or Graham or mail to 134 Canterbury Pl Rd, Mooresville, NC 28115.
Suggested Items to Send Home with Host Child
Each family is asked to obtain the following suggested items for each hosted child. These are items that we think will benefit them in the months after hosting.
- Tennis shoes/sneakers (Get a little big for growing room)
- 3-4 pair socks (dark colors are often preferred by boys)
- 3-4 pair underwear
- Toothpaste/toothbrush, soap, shampoo
- One hand towel/washcloth (No large towels, they do not have clothes dryers or the space)
- One dressy outfit, consisting of a pair of slacks or skirt along with a blouse or button up shirt
- 2-3 winter outfits and 2-3 summer outfits (consider a size larger than they currently wear)
- One conservative bathing suit
- Good winter coat, scarf, gloves, hat. Check E-BAY, Burlington Coat Factory, GoodWill and friends
- Journal (present on the 2nd or 3rd day to the children old enough to write).
- 1-2 toys that do not require batteries (sports equipment is popular for all), cheap Mp3 or inexpensive (under $25) handheld battery game is ok for carry for travel home. REMEMBER, no NAME brands or things that appear expensive.
- Small, inexpensive gift for their orphanage director and possibly 2 – 3 other caregivers. An idea is pretty notepads, notecards, stationary type stuff and souvenirs from your host city. They don’t have access to such things, yet we can get them here very cheaply. Also, consider low cost jewelry from Claire’s or Walmart or a photo of the host child with a recognizable landmark in a non-breakable frame.
- Items they can share with others who didn’t get to come on the trip (boys and girls). Perhaps rubber or stretch bracelets for friends, imprinted with faith based words and beaded jewelry that you can make together. Small, inexpensive things can be found at Christian bookstores or bulk catalogs like Oriental Trading. Stickers and decorated pencils are also cheap and easy to pack. Check clearance aisles, as this doesn’t have to be expensive.
- ONE (1) piece of luggage may not exceed 50 pounds under any circumstance. Luggage must have a good handle and good wheels. It can be any fabric or color, the “look” doesn’t matter. Used luggage is fine, check garage sales, GoodWill, thrift stores or ask friends. You must send home one 26-28” rolling suitcase. Do NOT exceed OR reduce this size! You will only risk running over the weight limits or making your child feel left out when they get to the airport and realize their bag is smaller than everyone else’s.
- Carry-on Backpack. One backpack is allowed as a carry-on. Please provide a good backpack the child can use after they return home.