Some seasons it becomes vitally important that you accentuate the positives. And that is precisely this post: when I can’t find the words for all the situations around us, we’ll just accentuate the positives.
We made it to Bangkok last week, and overall had a good trip. We drove there so we could make a trip to Ikea (!!), which is a lot of good things in one sentence! We had a car that made it all the way to Bangkok and back with no problems (thanks, Hagelbergs!); Stephen also rocked Bangkok traffic for a week, which is quite an accomplishment. And we went to Ikea!
And one of the hotels we stayed in had the elevators covered in denim fabric?! It wasn’t a win. We stood in the middle so we didn’t touch the sides! 😂
We successfully completed our adoption course with about thirty other couples from around the world.
That’s us: we’re PAPs! That is, Prospective Adoptive Parents. I don’t know if they use this reference worldwide, but I would think any countries that use Pap smears wouldn’t. Just a personal opinion.
And since we’re accentuating the positives, I’ll just say that we finished the course!
Then we headed just outside of the city to visit our Burmese friends working in local factories. In short: Musana moved back to live with her mom, step-dad, & sister at the end of last year. While we were in America, her grandmother & cousin, Zen Yaw, moved there, too, to join the whole family.
The good part? The family is all together. Zen Yaw is reunited with his mom & dad, who he hasn’t lived with since he was an infant. Musana is with her family, and they are all in the apartment building. The grandmother has less responsibility, and they are overall doing better–the adults have jobs and are paid minimum wage; the apartments have running water and real walls; they are eating better.
The bad part? It’s pretty far from our street in Mae Sot, and we’re sad about that! They also aren’t able to go to school where they are, and there aren’t many kids to play with.
But, we got to spend two days with them, and that was lovely. Zen Yaw remembered us and warmed up to us quickly; it was so fun to have him curl up into our laps. He also is doing really well for the amount of trauma he’s experienced in his 4 years.
They really are both doing so well emotionally, and they light up just having someone to play with. We played Chutes & Ladders, practiced some English workbooks, played games on our phones, and chatted with the adults. We try to bring them some toys, too, that are more long-lasting: dolls she can play with repeatedly; crafts they can do; English workbooks; a punching bag for Zen Yaw! And Stephen loaded up some videos onto a flash drive, so they can learn some English and listen to Bible stories, which they were oh-so-excited about.
As sad as it was to see them for such a short time, I can’t minimize the miracle it is to be able to see them after they’ve moved hours away. And we are truly glad to see them doing well and be able to reconnect with them often and continue to love on them any way we can.
And, because we drove, we wanted to find a place nearer to them to stay. We usually take a couple hours of train rides & taxis out to their house from the city. This time we found a resort about twenty minutes from them and decided to give it a try.
It was a WIN. It was set on 70 acres along the river, with beautiful paths and a lovely swimming pool.
They had three restaurants there, with food prepared from their on-site organic gardens. They also make soaps, teas, and other products organically right on their property, which was pretty great.
We got to go paddle boating out on the lake!
And now we’re back to Mae Sot, settled into our great new house and community space! We are loving it. Playhouse has gone so well in the afternoons, with kids coming from all over the neighborhood, and often parents, too.
We’re seeing moms coming with their young toddlers, sitting to play with them, read to them, and teach them. This is what we always hoped and envisioned, and it’s working!
I did attempt to teach Guess Who in Burmese, which was a bit of a disaster. Oh, well!
This week also held International Milk Day–who knew that was a thing?! It really just means milk was on sale and seemed a good treat for the kiddos!
This weekend, we braved a Bingo night! The first week we got back from America, Nyein Nyein asked when we’d have Bingo. (Nyein Nyein is an adult–one of the moms who bakes bread every Friday!😂) We recently have had a number of expatriates move back and leave us with some donations for the community. Since they are difficult to distribute evenly and fairly, Bingo is a great way to make it a fun community event and less of a stampede 😀 And we had SO much! In the photo below, the entire corner behind me was stuffed with clothes, shoes, bags, household items, toys, and other treasures.
And since this is all about accentuating the positive, I won’t dwell on the woman that grabbed a pile of things at the end and ran out the door…😳😡😕😡😣😡
Ultimately, it was chaotic and fun and everybody loved it. We’ll do it again in another six months when our bravery has returned!
And, while the photo below is pathetic, it was a fun part of the week! Stephen is working on pieces of his OneHouse album and had a friend record some vocals and keys this week. It’s exciting to see projects moving forward, even if slowly.
So, here’s to accentuating the positives! Makes for easier blog-writing 😀
Love this post of gratitude in a confusing time. Love you!!