We've survived our first week at orientation in Virginia...well, actually the first week was only 3 days, but it felt like 3 weeks! We were on the road, living out of our suitcases for over two weeks. What a wonderful experience! The kids got to meet new people the whole way across the country, and even ride in a combine during harvest in Iowa.
We were very excited to finally arrive in Virgina and actually have a home, even if it is only temporary. Our new home is a quad, which means that there are 4 "units" that share a common great room. We have our own private three bedroom apartment with a bathroom and kitchen. Our quad mates are wonderful! There is constantly a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and English being spoken in our home. Ryan and Ellie are beginning to repeat phrases that they hear and are so very excited about learning not one, but two new languages when we get to the field. What a blessing, and an answer to prayer, that they have a good attitude towards language.
The kids are doing amazingly well. Ryan is in a multiple age class ranging from age 5 to 7, and he absolutely LOVES it. There are 3 other boys in his class, and they are equally as active and energetic. Ellie is in a class of only 4 students (3 girls, 1 boy) and she appears to be taking charge. Levi seems to just be going with the flow, apparently enjoying the playtime. And little Matthew is adapting to not being with Mommy all day. He is in the nursery with NINE other babies...yes, that makes TEN babies under 11 months, in one room from 9am to 3pm! (Their teachers are really angels!)
Clay and I are doing well too. We're being overloaded with information and tasks that must be completed. Our challenge is to balance God, family, friends, and other responsibilities.
Some highlights of our week:
Brazilian coffee, new friends, an amazing spiritual retreat, "grandparents" that love to interact with the kids (and help when I need another set of hands), and so much more!
The low point of my week:
Matthew is not sleeping well at night. On Tuesday night, he only slept 1-2 hours at a time all night, and then we had our first day of school on Wednesday. I was beyond exhausted. But many people have been praying that he sleeps better...and God is answering! (As He always does!) Please continue to pray that Matthew (and the other 37 children on campus) sleep well.
Please stay tuned for the next step on our great adventure!