Janet was born not long after our first anniversary. First children are always a miracle. Kristen arrived 2 1/2 years later after some work with an infertility specialist. That was a real miracle, too. Then, even after spending alot of time (and money) in doctors offices and hospitals over the next 16 years, we were never able to have that experience again. No more pregnancies, but we had a feeling that just wouldn't go away. We both felt strongly that there were other children meant for our family. It hurt as the years passed by. We enjoyed every minute with our daughters, but somebody was missing.
Jenn came into our family when Janet was 8 and Kristen was 6. We were thrilled! We brought her home from the hospital on our 10th wedding anniversary. There was no word to explain her arrival except miraculous. We loved her from the first moment we held her in our arms. The pain went away and life was full.
In time, that old feeling that somebody was missing came back... stronger. The years were passing and we were getting older. Why did we still have such a longing for more children? More doctors. More hospitals. More disappointment. More pain - for years. At one point, I began praying that God would just take away my longing because I couldn't stand it anymore. It's a good thing He didn't. He knew better.
When Janet was 18 and already a student at B.Y.U, Kristen was 16 and in high school, and Jenn was 10 and in the 4th grade, our world turned upside down. All that longing had put us in the right doctor's office at the right time and God worked another miracle. Two premature, very sick babies were sent by God to our family. Our first glimpse of Amy and Emily was through the sides of their isolettes in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital. They had some problems. No problem for us. We loved them from the instant we laid eyes on them. The longing really went away this time. Our family was complete. We brought them home and hovered over them until they thrived.
Amy and Emily are 25 now. All our daughters are married and on their own. Once in awhile, I've looked back and wondered why it took God so long to answer our prayers. Just recently, my little brain came up with an answer. I don't know what God's big plan was. I'm sure he sent our daughters to us in the time and place that was best for them, in His wisdom. But I think I can see part of that wisdom. (If you want to skip the photos, the answer to what I learned is in the last paragraph.)
Amy, Colin, Emily and Josh just came to visit us in London. We had such a great time! Three of them were on their way to meet Clog America in the Czech Republic. We were their connecting city :) They spent 10 days with us. Most of the time they were on their own. We dropped them off at the train station in the morning and picked them up in the evening. They spent several days running around London and going to plays together. We got to spend two P-Days and a Sunday with them while they were here and we had a lot of fun! We saw London with them one day, went to Windsor Castle another, and drove out to the white cliffs of Dover after church on Sunday. Even though it was hard to say good-bye, knowing that it will be a long time 'til we see them again, it was wonderful to have them here. We have a whole bucket full of great memories that make saying good-bye worth it. I have to remember what I learned from Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
|Sunday at the London Temple|
|Takin' the train to London|
|There are benefits to train travel|
While both couples were wondering around London one afternoon, they were approached by a MSNBC news reporter and a camera man who asked what kind of computers they use. They had no idea that they would appear all across America a few hours later on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams! Here's the link. You'll have to cut and paste if you want to watch it. It's a news item about Orbitz:
|Victoria and Albert Museum -|
almost as much fun as Disneyland.
|On the museum grounds|
|Another trip to the|
Hyde Park Visitors' Centre -
next to the museum
|Happy Birthday, Colin!|
|A trip to Tesco - our favorite Target substitute.|
|The Carpenter's Arms|
|A windy Sunday afternoon at Dover|
|Buckingham Palace from the inside|
|Dining at Buckingham Palace...|
|We didn't see the Queen, but we loved her palace|
Now I know why God waited so long to send our family to us. While Amy and Emily were here in London, I realized that they are about the same age as most of our sister missionaries. It has been easy for us to learn to love and relate to both the elders and the sisters in the mission, in large part because of all the experiences we've had with Amy and Emily and their friends and their dance groups, particularly Clog America. We're really comfortable with this age group. Maybe God planned ahead for all of this and prepared us for the opportunity we are currently having. Now I think I know why. ~Pat~