Three years since welcoming Bow into our family! What an extraordinary blessing she has been! We now can’t imagine family life without her.
Three years of ‘Oh my wow!’; pure wonder and unhindered delight…
Three years of spontaneous sassy dance moves bursting out from nowhere! Such natural ease of movement that evaporates the moment you put on a Youtube dance tutorial…
Three years of paper folding and paper cuttings covering every surface in the house; her go-to activity! God forbid we try to throw any paper away… or need some scissors …
Three years of food adventures; that legendary exclamation ‘what happened!?’ on first eating a chickpea! Now she can’t get enough of hummus and falafel (with chilli sauce of course)…
Three years of wonderful mispronunciations that we hope will never change but almost certainly will; marmalade and mayonnaise completely interchangeable…
Three years of discovering the world is a big place; maps, countries, flags to memorise, if she can decode it all perhaps she can find her fit…
Three years of love letters and utterly disarming charm; so much affection to give from the most generous heart, attachment disorder part of the mix to keep us on our toes…
Three years of ‘I don’t remember this stage with the boys’; refusal to fit in any easy boxes, terrifying tantrums, expanding our parenting skills daily…
Three years of changing diagnoses; Googling, panicking, praying, learning to manage symptoms…
Three years of two steps forward, one step back; ‘she’ll never learn phonics’ they said about the girl who now devours books like she does her morning porridge. ‘Exercise is too risky’ they said about the skater girl who jumps off ramps on a Saturday morning… then for weeks at a time forgets how to tell the time or loses her swallow reflex; no pretence, the neural pathway is gone and she learns again from scratch.
Beautiful, determined, endlessly complex Bow.
Three years. Thankful for Every. Single. Day.
It was a treat to connect with so many of you on our brief speaking trip. I hope that we could be an encouragement! Jon is in the UK for another few days whilst the rest of us already hurried back last week for a jet-lagged start to the school term.
During our two week stay we helped Elise’s parents prepare for a house move and also began to set up our own house ready for the move in July. There is building work in the house at present but we were able to collect up furniture and sort through some of our boxes stored in various garages; it’s funny the things we hang on to!
Elliot got in quite a few runs from the house, Sam enjoyed being able to skateboard (and injure himself) several times a day and Bow experienced her first frost! This was Bow’s first trip to the UK in cooler weather and it was a relief that she coped well with no metabolic blips. We’ve registered her with a local school that has a good reputation for special needs support. The boys enjoyed the down-time with Nana and Grandad but were gutted not to see Granny and Papa who had to isolate with covid infections – such bad timing!
It’s been a while since we spoke in churches so we were really quite nervous but received a wonderful welcome as always! Nothing beats sharing face to face and the invitation to talk about our future plans definitely felt like a burden shared. We were really blessed by all the engagement, care, and encouragement.
We travelled back on a packed flight and were worried about the overnight quarantine with pcr tests, but thankfully we were all clear! Arriving home to 40 degree heat was challenging but literally everybody is finding the heat unbearable at the moment so there is a noticeably slower pace!
There have been lots of offers of help from neighbours as I’ve returned to the neighbourhood without Jon. The guy next door is taking Elliot to school each day as I can no longer fit all three children on the motorbike! Single parenting is not easy and I have so much respect for those who do it everyday. Housework and admin have spiralled and made me appreciate Jon more than ever; we flush our toilet manually by scooping from a big bucket and it turns out the bucket doesn’t fill itself!
A few of the RoyRak team have recently had covid for the second time but in general we are seeing less cases, the numbers are quite stable and possibilities for indoor gathering are opening up. We are really praying that Thai schools might open in a few weeks after the hot-season break and regain some semblance of normality for local kids. We have a good number of RoyRak events coming up this month which is a morale boost for all the team.
The young woman I wrote about in our last blog post is out of hospital and healing well. Thankyou for your prayers and concern. We’ll continue to check in with her and her family now the lines of communication are open!
Does anyone remember Jon building an outdoor sitting area or ‘sala’ outside our house around six years ago? It saw lots of happy bbq/ hotpot evenings in it’s heyday! The tiered roof flew off in a storm months ago but the whole structure is now sinking along with several other houses around. Nothing physical lasts forever but perhaps we see that more starkly here. The cat looks happy enough!
- Pray that Jon returns home safe and well and encouraged.
- The Adoption preparation course that we were due to speak at a few months back has been rescheduled for the 27th and 28th May. Pray that we can share openly and usefully with prospective adoptive parents about our experiences. Pray for opportunities to strengthen our links with the Department for Children and Youth where we seek to have a voice on behalf of families living in poverty.
- Pray for Jon travelling to an orphanage in Khon Kaen later this month to begin the groundwork with the government backed Alternative Care pilot project. Pray for rapport with the staff there and shared goal setting.
- It is Sam’s birthday next Saturday! Pray that we can celebrate him well and really make the most of the last few months gathered as a family before we split locations.
- Pray for comfort in the upheaval and for supportive people around us in both countries. Pray for peace that passes understanding, especially surrounding finances and visas and other practicalities.