When we were building our house, I'd go out to it, and think, this is really kind of small. Perspective when building a house, when you don't have the ability to see the finished look in your mind's eye, can definitely taint things in your imagination.
After the house was finished, I thought, "holy cow, this house is big! What were we thinking?" hahahaha
We've only been in the house for two months. There are still a ton of my boxes from Minnesota in the garage! I've sorta lost my fire to go through them, and get rid of them. I want a fairy godmother to come along, and poof it all into place so we can park our cars in the garage. Unfortunately, I guess I'll be relegated to doing it myself.
About a month after living here, I told Fred that I wanted to be able to use the house to bless others. If missionaries needed a place to stay, if someone was in need, having as much extended family here, etc, then we could open our home! He was totally on board. Thank goodness!
Probably less than a week later, he told me he'd found out our church was going to be hosting a children's choir. That totally piqued my interest. When my girls were little, and we lived in Washington, the Vineyard Church we attended hosted the African Children's Choir. Close friends of mine had a couple of the girls stay with them. I remember we all went swimming in the river in Duvall. So much fun.
I totally wanted to host someone. I hadn't ever heard of Children of the World, and had no clue how many kids there would be. At first we were told we would have an adult and two boys around our boys' ages. Worked for me!
See, we have two bedrooms that are set up for Fred's kids to come over, so they were available during the week since his kids live with their mom. Then my youngest has a bunkbed in his room, so that gives us room for one or two more. If it were two more, he'd go up to my oldest son's room and stay on an air mattress. In reality, we could've had 4 kids and 1 adult! Isn't that awesome?
As it turned out, we ended up with four boys and no adults. lol They were supposed to be around my boys' ages, but they were a lot younger. One of the boys said he was 8. Can you imagine? lol I can't imagine sending my 12 yr old son on a month long mission trip in the summer let alone an 8 yr old around the world for a year or so. I'm not actually sure how long it is, but I'm pretty sure it's a year.
When we got the boys, we found out 2 were from Nepal, 1 was from Uganda, and 1 was from Honduras. I fell in love as soon as I saw them! We picked them up from church around 5:30 and they sure were squirrely! I mean, hello, 4 young boys who'd been traveling in a bus for hours...no surprise. I really wanted to take them to Chick-fil-A, but they wanted pizza. lol Ok, so we stopped and picked up pizza. Then we got home and watched Cars.
I could tell their personalities by the end of the night. Lale (la-lay), the oldest from Nepal was the older brother kind of boy who made sure things were getting done right; Saroj (sah-rōj) was also from Nepal and had a bit of mischief in him and he readily admitted it (and he actually looked a lot like Fred's son); Marcio was from Honduras and completely stole my heart with his cutiepatootie personality; and Isaac from Uganda was the youngest we think and he was a joker.
The next morning I made breakfast. As in real food. Not pop tarts. I really enjoyed it, and should really do it for my boys, too! Hey, novel idea, maybe I'll ask them. From breakfast, Fred took them to church, where we met up with them to watch their concert.
Oh my gosh, that concert was fabulous! They were so stinking cute. Singing their little hearts out for the Lord! It was so funny because my reaction in my heart was, "there are my boys!" I probably took as many videos and pictures as I would have of my own kids.
After the concert everyone wanted to take pictures with the kids, and again, I felt like the proud mom (house mom that is). It was late, so we got home, let the kids have snacks, and then they each had showers. While two were showering, I helped pack the other two's clean clothing, and then they swapped. We all finished up the night watching Mickey Mouse.
I couldn't believe how quickly our time had gone. We'd only had them in the evening for bedtimes pretty much. lol Long enough for me to want to hide them all at my house until the rest of the choir headed off to their next destination. Hey, they stole my heart. What can I say?
In the morning I made breakfast again. After they finished Fred packed their suitcases into the car. While he was doing that, I finished writing in each of their journals. The kids put a lot of ornaments on the tree after it had fallen down the weekend before.
I also made their lunches. I used to love making my kids fun lunches for field trips so I treated their leaving like a field trip. I didn't have a lot of time, so I wrote their names on lunch bags, and let them decorate them. Isaac had zero desire to do anything with his, while the other boys, I pretty much had to take the pens out of their hands to get them out the door.
I'm excited to open our home up as much as possible! So many opportunities, I can't even begin to imagine how God can use it!