Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Very Delayed update

Well, it sure has been a long time since I've written anything here!

We've been busy (aren't we all?) and have all kinds of things going on around here.  I haven't written here lately because I keep thinking I'll add something that we've written recently for  But, I clearly haven't done that.  And, since I haven't, in case you're interested, here are the links to the last few posts:

"Lessons from a Former Orphan"
"Will Love Ever Be Enough?"
"Still Face Experiment"  Jon wrote this and if you have a few minutes, it's well worth your time.

So, I'll try to give a brief update about what's been going on here the last few months.

Spring break 2013
Jon has been enjoying his new job (did I ever mention that??) at Hope for Orphans as the director of FamilyCare.  Since last May he has been using his passions for orphan care, his experience as an adoptive dad, along with his professional training as a psychologist to help adoptive families and to train others in how to help children from hard places, along with other tasks as well.  We feel so blessed and honored to have joined this ministry and are thankful for the opportunities that God is giving us.    

Jian has had a rough few months both at home and at school.  We're thankful that things are improving in the last few weeks and pray that this trend continues.   He's finished with sports for this year and is doing quite well as a freshman in high school.  He's looking forward to football next fall and hoping to be able to make it through more than 1 game.  His arm has healed well, it doesn't look nice, but, we're very grateful that he has full use of it and are hoping that all of the feeling will still return in his little finger.  He's continuing to grow and is almost as tall as I am now (and of course, loves that!)    
Fishing in Corpus Christi
Tanner has grown so much in the last year, I can barely keep him in pants that fit!  We have seen the leukodystrophy affect him more this past year.  His academic and cognitive functioning have decreased as well as his communication skills.  He's slower than he used to be and a little more off balance and weaker as well.  This is sad to see, but not unexpected.  We love to see his smile and how he always wants to help others.  He loves our new chickens and thanks them for the eggs whenever he goes to collect them.
Tanner and "normal brown chicken" (Tanner's name  for her )

Tanner LOVES animals.  This goat was at the Victoria Zoo.
Let's see, what else has been going on.  We've helped to start a deaf church (with another family) in our community this past year. Our boys love to go and we love seeing more people learning about the gospel.  It's so great to see Deaf people see the word of God in their own language!  We're excited to see where God will lead this ministry.

Well, that's the brief update of what's happening here!  Hopefully I'll get around to posting a little more often in the coming months!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grandma's Goodbye

70th Anniversary Party - Feb. 2011
On November 29th, 2012, my mom called to say Grandma Lenger wanted to talk to me.  She got on the phone and said something like "Shelly, goodbye, I love you, I'll see you again in Heaven" I cried and selfishly asked her to wait a week, since I would be flying to Michigan then, and she replied "I can't, I'm going to Heaven." After saying I love you, we hung up and I sobbed, not so much because she was going to die, but, because I would miss her.  That evening the boys wanted to tell her goodbye as well, so we called again, she woke up when mom told her the boys were calling, they both said I love you and will miss you and Jian told her "have a good trip to Heaven," and she smiled.

Growing up, every Saturday that they were home (they owned a travel agency and often were traveling all around the world) she would take any grandkids that wanted to go, out for breakfast.  After breakfast, in the car, she would sing whatever songs we wanted (and always would obligingly sing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" with me, while the cousins and my sisters groaned).  She loved well.  She remembered everyone's birthday & made them feel special.  She left an amazing legacy of caring for others.  For many years they traveled to India taking pictures and videos, and then brought those around America to help others see the need for teaching people in India about their Creator.  Grandma cared for "the least of these" in a quiet, determined way.  She loved our boys.  The best part of that, is they knew that she loved them.  Jian, who struggles with understanding family and knowing what love means, told me the day before she died "Great-grandma Lenger cherishes me." How true that is.  In the last few years, she lost her sight and still would write letters to tell the boys that she loved them.
Christmas 2011
The day after she called me, I flew to Michigan.  I arrived in the evening and I believe she knew I was there, even though she didn't wake up.  Six hours later, at 12:37am on December 1st, I had the true privilege of lying next to her and holding her hand, (along with my mom, and Grandpa - her husband of 71 years) as she took her last breath and went to be with her Lord and Savior.  My Grandpa showed unconditional love in caring for her the last few years as her health was declining, a beautiful example of Christ's love for us.  We will miss her terribly, but, are so very thankful that we will see her again someday!