Monday, April 16, 2012

glancing backwards

One of the things that most "helps" Rich and me to undertand just how long we've been here in New Zealand is to remember what our kids were like at this time two years ago (just before we left to come here). We're about a month away from departure -again. Two years ago at this time we were about a month away from departure as well, but things in the family were very different.

April 2010
age - 2 years and 11 months 
(just about the same age that Bernadette is now)

April 2012
age - 4 years and 11 months

She's lived half of her cognizant life in New Zealand -
but has crystal clear memories of the States. 
Over the past two years she's cultivated a persuasive Kiwi accent
 - one she can turn off or on at will -
(and she always turns it on to horrify/amuse her grandparents)
She's always clearly understood that NZ was temporary (not "home")
so she's not distressed about leaving - I believe the transition will be smooth for her. 
She's most looking forward to seeing her grandparents, 
getting a pet cat, and having a pink bedroom.
I know Maria will have definite memories of New Zealand for years to come & 
I think she'll most miss the youth group kids, the beaches and the ubiquitous livestock.

April 2010
age - 9 months 
(and darn lucky to have survived 9 months of death holds from her proud sister)

April 2012
age - 2 years and 9 months

She's lived most of her life in New Zealand and hasn't the foggiest memory of the States. 
Nevertheless, I'm confident she'll transition very well (other than the flights). 
If Maria says that America is filled with
grandparents, kittens and pink bedrooms -
well, that's all Bernadette needs to hear. She's stoked.  
I'm not sure how much of New Zealand Bernadette will remember. 
I'm not sure how much of last week Bernadette remembers. 
We'll see. 

April 2010

(obviously, there was no such thing)

(but there WAS such a thing the following April.....)

April 2011
March 26, 2011

April 2011

April 2011
it's hard to believe that a year ago at this time, 
we were blissfully, ignorantly unconcerned about Joseph's liver.  
In fact, I only had the vaguest idea that he even had a liver.
I couldn't have told anyone the function of a liver.
It goes to show what ONE year can bring, no less TWO!

April 2012

The little man has lived his entire life in New Zealand. 
He wasn't even an official US citizen until he was four months old.
He'll transition just fine and won't remember a thing about his first homeland -
but I have a feeling he'll come back one day. 
But it better just be for a short visit. 

Richard has encouraged me to write some posts reflecting and looking back on our mission time - the highlights, the lessons learned, the "essence of New Zealand". I'm going to try. I'm not sure that I'll really understand it at all or have proper perpective on it for many years. But we have six weeks left here and our future beyond that is still veiled. So it seems that even the Lord wants us to reflect a bit on the past - and live in the present. As these two years have wrought astonishing physical growth in our children, they have been no less filled with changes for Richard and me. For starters, we're going home with twice as many children as we came with. And beyond that....well, that's another night's post. 

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