|Amanda with her trusty staff.|
This being our last working week before heading back to the old country, things have been pretty manic. Indeed, two days away from leaving, our to-do list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. Nonetheless, there have been a couple of highlights.
Before all of that, though, to the question that is on the tip of everyone's tongue: what about Ringo? Well, we have some cracking news. Though no small yolk to bear, we are delighted to inform you that we delivered him, intact, to social services (and no, before you ask, we didn't at any time shell out for a replacement). Gallingly, the psychologist, the very picture of solemnity a week previously, barely batted an eyelid as we marched into her office and triumphantly placed our pride and joy on the desk. And these are the people we entrust with our children?!?!?
Ringo's return brought the curtain down on a week of daily visits to social services, where we submitted ourselves to a series of interviews and psychological evaluations, answering such searching questions as, "When do you feel most powerful?", "What do you fear most in life?" and "Which animal would you most like to be?" (a whale, of course). We were even paid a visit at the house one afternoon, so that they could get a feel for the prospective child's surroundings (amazingly, there was no comment on the current lack of a bannister on a lower section of our stairs -- tiled flooring and all).
We managed to get through the week unscathed, meaning that we will now be recommended to the judge as potential adoptive parents. There are one or two legal processes to deal with when we return here in late July and, assuming they go smoothly, it will be a case of waiting for a child to be offered to us through social services, while also keeping our ears to the ground for any possible unwanted pregnancies; indeed, an advantage of Trinidad's small-town mentality is that word tends to get around fairly quickly. In short, we might have to get that bannister installed sooner rather than later.
Earlier on Friday, we had something of an appropriate ending to our first 'semester' back at Fundación Totaí. While, once again, we have found ourselves with our fingers in oh so many pies (the best laid plans o' mice and men...), in general my prime focus has been on the church, while Amanda has chosen to concentrate on the personnel side of things at FT. You will know that Amanda has already been involved in planning special events such as the 'Pray for Fundación Totaí' evening, and has met regularly with individual staff members to minister to them.
And yesterday morning, for the first time, we put up the 'closed' signs and devoted the whole morning exclusively to the staff, with breakfast served, team-building games played, and a half-hour slot in which you were to sit with a randomly-assigned member of the personnel and get to know them to the extent that you could answer a series of 'Mr & Mrs'-style questions by the end of the morning.
An added bonus was the visit of some contacts from the local deaf school, who gave an 'introductory' sign-language lesson (an important skill, particularly for the medical staff who work with many patients with hearing disabilities). What's with the inverted commas? Well, straight after the likes of 'Hello' and 'How are you?', our teachers reckoned the next natural step was, er, the human reproductive organs! And let's just say that, unusually for beginners in sign language, most people had guessed the correct words for each sign from the word 'go'! My advice would be to not ask questions and to file that one under 'Only in Bolivia'.
Still, we reckon it was a most beneficial morning for all involved, and a really good way to say 'chau' to our 9-5 friends before getting out of here for a few weeks. And yet another confirmation of the Lord's will, as revealed to us during our sabbatical year. Indeed, now would probably be as good a time as any to look back on these past six months and reflect on the legion ways in which our calling has been further confirmed.
Well, tough cookies. I have far too much packing to do. See you in August!
- The road home, as you'll already be aware, is long and winding, and particularly drawn out this time. This time we're driving to Santa Cruz on Monday, probably leaving around 5am and getting there early afternoon (our car has an issue with the steering that needs looked at, and in this motorcycle-heavy town, few people are qualified to address it; we're taking it to a trusted contact in the big smoke, who will return it to Trinidad later in the week). On Wednesday morning we fly to Sao Paulo (Amanda will be on her Irish visa this time!) and then, on Thursday evening, we head to Frankfurt, where we will have to spend most of Friday before our flight to Edinburgh. Pray for safety and patience.
- Pray for Craig, who has one last sermon to deliver on Sunday morning (1 Kings 3).
- For big progress this week on adopting.
- For yesterday morning's event at FT.
- For a really encouraging six months back here (and, in all seriousness, if you're looking for highlights, you've come to the right webpage).
|"Don't you forget a-bow-wow-t me."|
Finally, though our time in Scotland is limited, we will be giving a report at Shettleston New next Sunday (5th of July, 11am), and then two weeks later at Strathaven Evangelical Church (19th of July, 11am). Would be great to see you if you can make it.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda