On Monday Toni wrote to confirm that we could purchase our tickets for ---AUGUST 5TH!!! Wow -- Praise the Lord! That is at least 3 weeks earlier than we'd expected. I always note others' trip times on my calendar so that we can be praying for the family that is traveling with Toni that week. So, I'd known that she was "booked up" for several weeks. Well, one family had had to delay their trip for a few weeks, and since she had not given us dates yet, of course we had not bought any tickets yet. She was free to have a different family come in the original one's place, so we quickly checked to make sure that Dan could be off work and other arrangements could be made for the kids. It wasn't long before I was on the phone with a travel agent!! VERY VERY Happy!!
And, while one piece of my heart continued rejoicing all week long at the thought of seeing Teddy again SO soon, another piece was becoming sad as we enjoyed our last days with our special summer guest. We got up at 3:30 am this morning to meet the 28 other kids of the summer hosting program and 3 EEuropean chaperones in Atlanta for the whole group to head back to their home country. A canceled flight and confusion in rebooking all of the tickets made for an 'eventful' morning in Atlanta, but -- Praise the Lord -- they were all able to get on a different flight (running for the gate! ... yes, it was a "nail-biter!") and it ended well. Actually, of course it ended rather tearfully, but we'd had tears leading up for 2 days.... so tears at the good-bye weren't a surprise.
My heart is full and grateful for the entire summer. Every hope and expectation that I'd had was fulfilled. Now, naturally (as I've said before) some of my expectations were that it would be full of challenges (which it was!) But, even beyond that -- God had an amazing plan, and when I can, I'll share it all. It was so awesome today to witness the changes in those 29 kids who came off the flight from EE on June 24 looking shell-shocked and scared to pieces! I loved seeing the changes in our guest during the five weeks. You can see the changes in her face from week to week as I took lots of pictures.... the look in her eyes and smile. I feel emotionally tired -- both happy and sad at the same time.