One of the main reasons I haven't been blogging since Inessa's arrival is because within a few days we knew we had something special, and I immediately eliminated anything that would take precious moments away from enjoying our temporary family of five. The blog, Dr. Holistic appointments, even favorite TV shows fell right off the schedule as we focused on the gift we'd been given of four weeks with Inessa. While it was definitely worth it, I am now trying to dig out from not only my neglected duties and appointments, but also from sadness. Inessa returned to Latvia three days ago, and it hasn't been an easy or fun adjustment for any of us.
As much as I know it is time to get back to blogging, I am not sure I can yet adequately describe our time with Inessa. We had so much fun with her! We traveled to my sister's house to hang out with family, visited Opryland Hotel and other cool Nashville sites, watched movies, baked cookies, laughed, and shared the best Christmas I can remember. I think hosting, like a lot of experiences, is one of those things where you learn a wide range of what could happen, and then you wait to see what actually happens. It's the proverbial box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get.
We got a treasure.
Inessa is a sweet, funny, determined, beautiful young lady who came to this experience ready to throw herself into it. She just wanted to get everything out of being in America that she could - not in a consumer sense, but in a "personal growth" sense. As they say in football, she left it all out on the field. She may have been shy or afraid at times, but she was always determined. While it took her some time to get to know each of us and become comfortable in our family, once she did she embraced us wholeheartedly. There is having guests, having guests who are easy, and then there's the family who love who you are day in and day out. Hosting Inessa was having family here.
And having Inessa gone means our family isn't quite the same.
I don't know what the future holds for us or for Inessa. It was a terribly difficult good-bye for all five of us at the airport, and I have moments when I miss her so much I actually feel it physically. The boys miss her. Mark misses her. But we don't know what will happen for any of us as we look ahead at this point. We are praying. Praying that God will continue to love on her in Latvia. Praying a believer will come into her life to encourage her and teach her more about Jesus. Praying God will make a way for us all to be together again someday.
And, of course, I worry. I worry that she will think we have forgotten about her and gone back to our "normal" life. I worry that she will forget that she is loved dearly by God and by a family. My greatest worry is that we will never see her again.
When I become overwhelmed by all those worries, I take a deep breath and remind myself that God loves Inessa even more than we do, and He is trustworthy with her life. But I still miss her.
We had an amazing four weeks, and our life will never be the same because of this delightful, Hannah Montana crazed, kind, silly, blue eyed girl.
I am so grateful for that.