Monday, March 7, 2011

stick a fork in me

It has been a long week. A very long week. I am realizing that long weeks in foreign countries are compounded by the fact that they bring out all of your homesickness and make you long to be home. It's a hard combination.

Last week started with our electric fence alarm going off at 5am. It is a terrifying feeling. We couldn't find our security guard which made us even more nervous. Needless to say it took awhile for Blake and I to go back to sleep. I just laid in bed thinking, "I want to live somewhere safe." I don't want to live in a place where home invasions are the norm. I don't think that anyone does. We also have no clue what the police response would be. Do they care? Would the police officers that come to our house be corrupt? There is no settled feeling living in a developing city. Pulling bars across your windows every night before you go to bed takes that feeling away from you.

Tuesday is when Tyler busted her head open. Tyler getting hurt and the need to take her to a hospital (even for something as simple as stitches) kicks my post-traumatic stress disorder stuff (from her NICU stay) into high gear. It puts me on edge and I start obsessing over Tyler being critically injured and landing back in the hospital. I have panic attacks thinking that I wouldn't be able to be with her (I couldn't hold her when she was in the NICU). I was only able to fall asleep on Tuesday night after I put Tyler in bed with us.

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Wednesday is when things really hit the fan. We found out at 5:30 that neither Ford nor Brady were admitted to the only school we applied to. I know that only applying to one school is risky and we may have brought this on ourselves. The application process is lengthy and expensive which makes it almost impossible to apply to different schools. More importantly, I fully trusted that the boys were going to get in because the school had been telling us it was looking good and because I truly believed that God would open any doors needed and make it happen. I am a control freak and it is very out of character for me to not have a Plan B. I normally have backups for my backups. I felt that God had led us to this school and given us a peace about it, so obviously the boys would get in. We also found a house one block from this school to rent, which I took as another sign of God's provision. It was a huge step of faith for me to trust God and believe He would get the boys into this school.

When I got the news about the boys I lost it. I just couldn't believe it. Blake immediately went to the school to talk to them. He told them that we felt completely led on during this whole process. While we were never guaranteed a spot, the staff was always reassuring about spots opening up. They specifically said that 3 kids were leaving 2nd grade. Apparently all 3 kids changed their minds at the last minute and got to keep their spots. The head of admissions admitted that the process was a horrible one and that she would look at everything again and see if she could find anyway to let the boys in.

We felt a renewed hope and began praying hard for both boys to be admitted. Again, I believed that it was going to work out. I knew that God was bigger than all of this and would take care of us. That night we found out that the school was opening a spot for Ford, but there was absolutely no room for Brady.

Again, I was devastated. We moved our family from the safest city in the United States with amazing public schools, not to mention our amazing neighbors and friends, to this unsafe city where I can't even find a school for my children? All I wanted was to be back in our home in California sending my kids to the school they love with the people they love. To be honest, I felt abandoned.

I spent Friday calling schools. I got hung up on more times than I was actually able to talk with anyone. I took all 4 kids around in taxis all day touring schools. It was my lowest point since we moved here. I came home completely exhausted, fed up with my kids, and without a kindergarten for Brady. That night, I became so scared of sending my child to a school that we found in a book and toured once. I felt overwhelmed with what a huge decision it was to pick a school in a foreign country and I was mourning the kindergarten experience I desired for both Brady and myself. I wanted to walk all 3 kids to school together for their first day and know they were together. I wanted to feel peaceful about dropping my 5 year old off at his first real day of school and leaving him for the day.

Saturday morning we went to tour the last school we could find with a kindergarten vacancy. Thankfully, we loved the school. We had Brady do his evaluations right then and there and we signed him up. Understandably he can't start school until we pay which will take a week since the check has to come from the States.

I am still battling the loss of our ideal situation. Instead of Brady starting kindergarten with his class, he will be 2 weeks late. Instead of simply walking everyone to school together every morning, Blake will have to drive Brady to school and I will walk with Riley and Ford. I will pick Brady up everyday at 2:40 and have exactly 20 minutes to get to Ford's school and pick him up (which is how long it normally takes with no traffic problems). Brady's school teaches some English but it is a stretch to say they are bilingual. I worry about my little boy not being able to communicate with a single person around him every day. If he is upset, who can he tell? Will he continually get in trouble because he can't understand any of the teacher's commands? I am trying so hard to be truly thankful that I feel peaceful about this school in many ways, but my heart still hurts.

The biggest question mark in light of our new situation is my involvement with Krochet Kids. It's a long story, but we had a whole plan for how I could be involved with Krochet Kids, but also get the sleep I need with my narcolepsy. The kids being at different schools ruins our original plan and we have yet to come up with a new one. So, that just leads to more questioning of God on my part.

I know that there is much to be grateful for right now. We could be without a kindergarten for Brady. We could have much worse problems then not getting into the school we wanted. This is all temporary and hopefully next year all 3 kids will be together. I am trying my hardest to keep perspective, but find myself failing constantly. One thing that comes easy for me to be thankful for: these 4 kids.

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PS I'm going to be okay and my relationship with God is going to be ok. I'm just sharing honestly what we're struggling with and through right now. There will be better days to come and better stories to share soon.

13 comments:

danny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay Mizell said...

I have't been able stop thinking about you and praying for you. I try to imagine how things are as I read your words, and I can't. And as I read I am so thankful for you and Blaze, for your obedience and your struggle and just for the fact that when you were told, you went. Praying for laughter...like deep, belly laughs. Sometimes that is the only reminder I have of how intentionally God is involved in our world.

Wendy M said...

Oh Sarah. Love you. Big hug.

Jamye Jack said...

Sarah,

Your honesty amazes me!! Nate and I pray for you guys often and we miss you dearly. Thank you so much for continuing to share your story. I hope that this week brings some peace and rest to you.

Love you guys!!

Jamye

anonomity said...

You don't know me (I found your blog through Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan), but I just had to comment on this post. I've been following your story since before you moved and I am amazed at what a strong, Godly woman you are and the strength of your faith. I am so sorry you are having a difficult week and struggling with your relationship with God. I have been struggling in my relationship with Him (for other reasons) lately too, and it is comforting to me to know that even someone as strong as you questions him as well.

I know you are having a tough time right now, but I wanted you to know you are an inspiration to me. It is obvious to me that God has great plans for you and your family and that everything will fall into place soon. Stay strong and know that God is in control. I hope things get easier for you soon.

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS))

The Real Me? said...

I too started following your blog after reading about it on Rage Against the Minivan.

I have loved hearing your family's story & so admire you guys for this huge step of faith.

Thanks for sharing your adventure; the highs and the lows. Keep pressing on Ambassador. Know that you are cared about and prayed for :-)

-Katie, Rochester NY.

J.E.Brown said...

Sarah,

I'm starting to cry as I type this because your blog post really has touched me. I recently got engaged, and ever since that ring went on my finger, it seems like our lives have turned upside down.

My job laid off 2/3 of the company, and my fiance (who is a co-owner of his company) along with his business partners decided that they are moving their office to San Francisco as soon as June 1.

Now I am planning a wedding, finding a new job, and a move to a new city with a new husband all in a few short months. There are many other details that play into it
but the part that really resonates with me is this: none of this process of getting married is unfolding the way that I thought it would. I expected this season to feel like adventure and exciting, but instead sometimes it feels like something different. I feel rushed to plan my wedding, rushed to get married, and rushed to get us packed and up to the bay.

It's difficult because on their own, each of these changes are exciting - getting married is wonderful, planning a wedding is amazing, and moving with my new husband seems like such an adventure. Except when I have moments where I am really overwhelmed by the whole thing, when I don't feel ready for that many changes at once, and that I'm uncertain because this doesn't look like how I anticipated.

I love your family's blog - because you are raising beautiful children with a beautiful perspective on life and living. And even though I read your adventures sometimes with a sense of longing and envy - it's comforting to hear that your adventure is scary too.

Thank you for giving me perspective on how hard adventure can be sometimes...hearing your heart is a comfort.

peanutandpoppy said...

ditto lindsay above -- i couldn't say it any better. praying BIG prayers for you because our God is a BIG God. i am reminded of that every time i read your story and think about your past miracles. love you, friend!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty.
We will pray for you continually as you search for answers, comfort, and peace.
As I was reading your words, I couldn't help but remember that it is always so difficult to see the calm in the middle of the storm and even more difficult to see how it all will work together for good. But, as an outsider looking in, I can see God working things out the way they need to be. It may not seem to make sense right now, but it will. Things are being orchestrated to His perfect plan. I know that. And I love your courage for doing something that so few of us have the courage to do and that is to step out in blind faith.

Karen Cleary said...

May the Lord bless you and keep you today!
-Karen, RH South County

Courtney said...

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.." Ephesians 3:20

i've been challenged recently by this verse. it assumes that we ARE asking and imagining BIG things! do! ask! imagine! and watch Him work...

praying for you!

Eli said...

I know that nothing a stranger says can truly comfort you in this difficult time, but I would like to offer a few words anyway.

I teach Spanish immersion. This means I teach academic subjects, like math and science, in Spanish, to non-native Spanish speakers. The kids enter the program in kindergarten, where their teachers only speak to them in Spanish. The first few days might be a little tough, but after that, the kids have figured out the routines, and pick up the language like you wouldn't believe.

One of the most common questions that we teachers hear from parents who are considering language immersion programs is your same question....What will happen if he is upset?

What will most likely happen is that someone will speak to him in soft tones, listening to him, even if he is speaking in English, and comforting him even if they are doing it in a language that he doesn't understand. So much more of the understanding process is about actions, rather than words.

Hang in there. Rough weeks will come and go, and sometimes come and come and come before they go. You'll be stronger in the end.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, one day, you are going to look back on these first few weeks and probably laugh...you are, despite your challenges, in fact because of them, showing such love through perseverance and, really, patience.
Here in the states we are contemplating what to give up for Lent, and it pales when we consider what you all left to follow God's call. You and the family are an inspiration...we will keep praying for you!
Warmly,
Anne (in Costa Mesa)