Many of you have been checking in to see if Meagan and Nathan's third bundle of joy has arrived. The title says it all, "Still No Baby!" Without a doubt this is the most unusual of the eight pregnancies we've lived through with our girls.
Meagan's first two pregnancies were good experiences with small complications here and there. Both babies came early; Madi required a bit of bedrest before arrival time.
Noah was born around 9PM on a Thursday. Meagan taught school all day; went for her check-up; moved to the hospital and birthed a little boy......all in time for us to be home before midnight. It was like he processed it all then asked, "Is now an okay time to make my appearance?" Such a thoughtful kid!
Don't get me wrong. When she was in the hospital at 29 weeks with this little guy, we were all extremely concerned. Every extra week this baby stays in place is a good week. But Meagan has had so much pain and so many unexplainable problems since then, it's definitely been perplexing.
Still, she and Nathan keep finding reasons to smile and express gratitude. It's all about the Attitude! Thank you for your prayers.
In other news, we are honored to be hosting a lovely young lady from China for three weeks. Her Chinese name is Wan Gind but she told us to call her "Barbara." She also seems to like Audrey Hepburn but I think "Barbara" was easier for everyone to pronounce.
She is here as a course leader with a wonderful program called Education First. It's an international group providing cultural learning opportunities for children and adults. My friend, Janet, became a liaison for EF and asked if Frank and I would serve this month as a host home. What better way to touch the nation of China than by offering a safe, loving environment for one of their visiting citizens?
Barbara is responsible for 17 students who call her at all hours to tell of everything from home-sickness, to great adventures, to injuries and such. She speaks really good English (thank Heavens.) I hear her switching back and forth easily between the languages as she talks with students and American host families. I'm impressed!
We're all praying these students (ranging in age from 8 to 12) will have a positive experience while here in the United States. So much going on. So many moving parts. And our July heat index has been topping out daily in the three digit range.
It's been nice for Frank to be able to share with Barbara his positive memories from visiting her country. She was surprised when he said, "I visited China many years ago and things have surely changed so much. But the people were genuinely helpful and kind to me. I loved being there."
I don't mind saying I was rather nervous getting ready for her to arrive. I mean, she's a stranger from half way around the world. A culture totally different from anything I know. Customs and habits completely different from my own. Sharing our home for three weeks. Apparently, she was a bit anxious as well.
We went to the grocery store her first full day so I could prepare food she could eat and enjoy. We talked casually about many things. After an hour or so, she looked directly at me and said, "I'm so glad you are happy," she hesitated, searching for the right words then put her hand on her heart. "I wondered how you would be. Thank you."
Two browned-eyed girls. One older the other younger. One American the other Chinese. Both struggling with exactly the same questions and concerns. More unites us than separates us in this world, Friends!
I'll close with a quick story about Noah, the 4 year old. Last week, I met Meagan at the obstetrician's office to pick up Madi and Noah while Meg was being checked out. Our wires had crossed about the time to meet and I was rather frazzled when I finally starting pulling out of the parking area.
Too sharp a turn and Meagan's unsecured tumbler fell over, lodging behind my back while dumping it's iced contents all over my bottom. I jumped forward on the seat and pulled to the side of the road as quickly as possible all the while yelling, "Oh, No! Oh, No!"
As I opened the van door and hopped out, I remembered the babies were riding with me and started adding in, "It's okay! Oh, no! Oh, no! It's okay!"
It took a minute to get the tumbler back into a cupholder. Fortunately, Meagan already had a towel on the passenger side seat. I grabbed it and mopped up as much of the formerly free-flowing liquid as possible. This included mopping Noni's backside as well as the driver's side seat all the while trying to reassure my little charges, "It's okay! Oh, no! Good heavens! It's okay, really! Everything is okay!"
Traffic continued to pass us. Each driver craning their necks and trying to see what was going on with the lady on the side of the road. That's when I heard Noah's little voice wafting from the back, "It's not the worst that's happened."
I threw my head back and laughed out loud, "You're exactly right, sweet boy! It's not the worst that's happened!"
So there you have it, dear reader. Still no baby. A cultural exchange happening in my home. Extreme heat of summer. A baptized bottom. But hey, it's not the worst that's happened.