Well, the time has come. It seems like it has been a lifetime, but it has only been ten months. Longer than it takes to have a baby. But less than it takes to finish a scrapbook. Julia leaves tomorrow.
You heard about her here and then here and here you saw her. I realize now that there was quite a bit of silence on this blog about her. I guess I didn't write about her much.
It has been a year of great experiences for all of us. We have absorbed Julia into our home and she has truly become part of our family. Letting her leave tomorrow will be hard.
For the past ten months, we have shared our lives with her. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I believe it has been a great ten months for her too. We've tried to do everything we would normally do... and allow her to experience life in the US as it truly is. And in our family, it's craziness! :) This past week, the girls slept out in the tent in the backyard, we went jet skiing, tubing in the river, had a farewell party, went out to eat, went out to breakfast, bar-b-qued, went to the public pool, and a host of other last minute fun events to hold on to our time we have left and make the best of it.
Her first meal in the US was pork chops and corn on the cob. Her last meal here will be the baked potato bar at church. :)
After becoming her parent, sister, friend... for the past ten months, it is difficult to shut that off. We are all sad today and not looking forward to tomorrow morning. I searched for her visa and passport (we had put it away for safekeeping last year) and secretly hoped I wouldn't find it so we could keep her a bit longer.
How can we bottle the time and memories and send it home with her... or keep it here?
Our family has had a great experience. We have had ten months with a very special girl we have learned to call sister and daughter. We have had ten months with a lifelong friend. We have seen her grow and mature and learn and develop... .and learn to drive-- :) well, kinda. (she's not that good yet).
We have went shopping, shopping, and shopping. She has experienced Chicago and the Black Hills. She tasted elk and corn dogs. She went to family reunions, and bar-b-ques with friends, Christmas gatherings, New Years Eve party. She experienced the hot tub in the winter, ice storms, lots and lots of dvds at home, and many movies in the theater. She dressed up like a bratz doll for Halloween. She mopped the floor at least a thousand times and now knows why I hate it when someone walks in when I'm doing it.
She carved pumpkins and ate cinnamon rolls. We had birthday parties and birthday parties. She visited new babies who were just born. She went to football games, basketball games, baseball games, soccer games. She went to homecoming and prom and school dances. She went running, and played tennis...and stayed up all night (probably more times than I know). We laughed until we cried. We cried together.
She went to youth trips with the church, and experienced God. She went to church gatherings and youth group. And the list goes on and on....
We will miss you Julia. We don't know when we will see you again. But, we will always be praying for you and asking God to keep you safe and secure.
Thank you for sharing your year with us! We love you.