Monday, June 12, 2017

Firstborn's Graduation Party: Our Blessings

Rather than try to get a group picture, I took individuals of Firstborn with the people who came. These people represent so much more than friendship. Many of them are like our family here, so far from our own. I simply could not exist here without them.

Her Korean auntie. She's our school nurse. She is so dear, I always want to get sick when she is working. This family is such an encouragement to us.

The sweet 7th grade friend who Firstborn tutored this year.

Her coaches. They've encouraged her, made her team captain to build leadership in her, judged the intensity of practice work-outs on her panting level. We love them!

One of her senior class sponsors. She's been here a year. I feel like I've known her 10. We are kindred spirits.

Sweet Missy. A teacher, yes, but also our hometown girl and friend. Firstborn will get to attend her wedding in September in America.

Getting hard to type this...her Turkish teacher, who has believed in her from day 1. She once used Firstborn's high Turkish test score to get a museum discount for the entire class. She announced last week that Firstborn and a few other needed to come to the principal's office. They walked in to find Turkish breakfast prepared for them.

Two families that we love and have invested deeply in our family.

Our Southern fix family. Just here one year, but Southern sisters at heart. They've told her, as they are moving back to Mississippi, they are just a phone call away.

Sigh. And this one. He has led her youth group all these years. Took her on the retreats that served to take her relationship with the Lord as her own, not just her parents' faith. Took her to Wales on her first mission trip and first time to be out of the country without us. He's not Mr. So-and-So. He's Uncle Mike.

Our school receptionist, who gives her a smile and so much love each day. She teases Firstborn, who is serving as a teacher's aide this year, that we are all using her to be a coffee and tea barista. There is some truth in it.

This sweet family and this sweet guy. They've been here 10 years. They are like family. She's known this boy next to her since she was about 2 feet taller than him. He'll be a friend for life.

Sweet teacher who has invested in her in youth group. It meant so much that she came to celebrate her.

This gal has bought many of Firstborn's paintings and commissioned her to create some. She was the one who first told her that her art was amazing, and it was her gift.

Oh goodness. This is a tough post to write. This sweet Tennessee gal came and took this school by storm with her leadership ability and talent. She has invested so much in Firstborn. L cries when she thinks of her leaving, but has decided there's no goodbye. They're meeting up in Tennessee.

She's her aunt. Through and through. She's known Firstborn since she was 5. Prayed for her, encouraged her, taken her on trips, treated her to surprise doughnuts, helped her survive math. She's more than a friend. I simply won't do Turkey without her, and I've told her that.

The post must be written! I can get through it. This family we have known since we got here. They've been our best friends. Holidays, vacations, thick-and-thin. We've done it all. They are moving in a few days. It's going to be a tough goodbye, but we have a forever friend in them. She already looked up how far it would be for her to drive down to Mississippi from North Carolina if Firstborn needs anything.

 I made it to the end! There are others, but these are the photos I took that day. I can not even begin to explain the depth of love I have for these folks and the others who have invested in us. It's going to be a big week. Graduation is Tuesday. Y'all pray. I'm going out to buy waterproof mascara today. I'm so humbled and grateful!

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