Nearly eight months after we first arrived in Michigan, the time has come to say goodbye. When we first arrived, on Thanksgiving day last November, we had no idea how long we would be staying. Our lives were in flux; so much depended on when we would find an overseeing church. As the weeks stretched into months, sometimes the wait seemed interminable. Now, looking back, eight months really doesn't seem that long at all, and in many ways, it has just flown by. We are headed now to Nashville to be with our supporting church for a few months before we go off to Portugal for some intensive language study.
So, thank you, Michigan, for allowing us to be residents of your fine state for the past few months. We have enjoyed your winter snows, your gorgeous spring days, and we are loving your mild summer weather. We think your DMV should give lessons on efficiency to the other 49 states in the union. And we now think we finally understand the "Michigan left."
Thank you to all the churches in the Detroit area who invited us to come and do our Angola presentation. A special thank you to all those who contributed to our one-time expense fund. We know that the ecomony is especially dismal in Michigan these days, and so we are touched by your generosity, even as many of you face hard times.
Thank you to our Livonia church family, for welcoming us to your midst with open arms. Thank you for praying for us and encouraging us and inviting us to your home groups and being interested in our dreams for Angola. Thank you for allowing us to participate in as many church activities as our time and travel schedule allowed. A special thank you to all of Alex' amazing teachers -- he loved to go to Bible Class! And to Beth and Shannon for all the playdates -- it meant so much to Alex to have some social interaction. To those of you who have recently expressed a desire to be regular monthly contributors to our work -- thank you! Each pledge takes us closer to our goal and closer to Angola.
Thank you to "Dr. Kelly" and her staff for taking such good care of me during my pregnancy. Thank you for your willingness to accommodate my wishes for a natural birth and for assuaging my fears that my second labor would last as long as my first! Thank you for knowing when to tell me to rest and take it easy. I am only sorry that you weren't the one to deliver Stephen since everything happened so fast! Thank you to the nurses and the staff at the Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield for an incredible natural hospital birth. (I wish I could have all my future children at this luxurious hospital.)
Finally, to my parents... there really are no words to express our gratefulness for all the ways you have blessed our lives these past months. Thank you for allowing us to call your home our home for an indefinite length of time. It has been such a place of peace for us, a true haven while everything else in life has been in limbo. Thank you for continuing to allow us to use your basement as a second storage unit for the next several weeks. Thank you for putting up with our messes, with a pregnant woman, with a new baby, and with a (sometimes) cranky and defiant 3-year old. Thank you for all the delicious food and good conversations. Thank you for the free baby-sitting while Rusty and I went to our Bradley classes or just enjoyed a night out. Thank you for all the trips to Greenfield Village and the zoo, and for all the special memories you made with Alex. Thank you for sharing in several special events for our family over the past few months -- birthdays, our 10th anniversary, Rusty's HUGSR graduation. Thank you, most of all, for your prayers and encouragement as we waited on God's timing.
I can think of no place I would rather have been for the past eight months, than right where God put us -- in Livonia, MI. Although I am eager to move on, to be one step closer to permanency, I will always treasure the memories of these past months, and the extended time we were able to spend with my parents.