When I say it's been an eventful week, by this point you should all roll your eyes and say, "Well, duh, what else is new?" Because every week around here seems eventful. Some of this week's events have been painful, and some full of joy.
We started out this week with some crummy news... on Monday night we were told that by Tuesday we had to move out of our apartment at the RMH and back into a regular dorm-style room. They needed the space for a kid that had a kidney transplant and so we had to move. We always knew this was a possibility but it was still a bummer. As we were packing and moving on Tuesday, I was trying not to cry as I thought about how we would no longer have a private place to be together in the evenings. Now we will put Jonah to bed and have to sit in the lobby. All day I was trying to have a good attitude, a good perspective. After all, the bombings at the Boston Marathon had just happened, and I kept telling myself, "THAT is bad news. This is not a big deal. I've lived in Africa for goodness' sake, I know that some people don't even have homes and I'm blessed to have a roof over my head." And so on. But you can imagine what it's like to take an entire apartment's worth of things and move it into a dorm room, where the 3 of us share one dresser. It's a land of boxes. Yesterday morning I couldn't find anything. I found my toothbrush, but not the toothpaste. I couldn't find Jonah's shoes. I was starting to get frustrated when Jonah managed to bring me back to the right attitude. While I was huffing around, Jonah said, "Mommy, you need to be thankful for this room." I am not kidding, he said that to me. Half super-proud/ half wounded pride by having my immaturity pointed out by a 4-year old, I told him he was right and we were truly blessed to have this room. By last night I didn't have to just say that, I felt it again. We ARE blessed to have a place to stay right across the street and it will make our new house feel that much more special when we someday get to live there.
Wednesday however brought truly devastating news. An hour after we'd gone to bed our phone rang and it was our dear friends Andres and Adriana, the ones who live in our old house, and their daughter Sofi was rapidly declining. Andres was home in New Castle and I got up and went over to be with Adriana until he could get there. My mother-in-law went to the house to stay with their son. Thank God they had moved to New Castle. When I got to Sofi's room, it felt so much like that last time I had to watch my friends holding their dying child in their arms, the day sweet Kiara went to heaven. It broke my heart and we just sat and cried until her husband came. Sofi died at about 3:00 in the morning. Daniel drove Andres back to New Castle so he could get his son and come back. We love this family so much and it's so hard to understand why some babies get better and some don't. What's especially difficult is that the two couples whom we've become the closest to here, and who are also strong followers of Jesus, are the ones who have lost their children. I haven't really known how to think about this, and I don't really have any more words to say about it. What is there to say? This life is just so hard and confusing sometimes.
The following morning, we were scheduled to have the boys pictures' taken. A nurse here at Riley had written a grant to have a professional photographer come and take pictures for families who have been here a long time and haven't had the chance to get pictures taken, and we were invited to do this. I dragged myself out of bed after being up and crying most of the night and I almost had to laugh at the fact that this was the morning I had to be in pictures. I decided I didn't even care. I had meant to go home and get something cute for the boys to wear, but because we had to move unexpectedly, I didn't even have time to do that. So the boys wore play clothes and I looked like a hag and it was the most fun I've had in a while. It was actually perfect timing that we got to have a photo shoot that day. And the pictures are great. (I will post them soon!) We all look tired and pale, like a family of vampires, but we look like a happy family of vampires. Our smiles are huge and you can see how much joy we have as a family. That's our life. It's hard, and it's full of challenges and pain, but it's also full of laughter and happiness and so much fun.
Please pray for our dear friends. And if you want to do something to bless or help them, please let me know. Also, just in case you are wondering, Caleb had a great and stable week. When you see the pictures we had taken, you'll see how chunky he's gotten and how happy his life is.