Heart and Seoul




I know I haven't been posting much, and I am sorry!
Remember THIS post?

Well, in it, I give you an overview of my summer.
And this coming Monday, the 8th, it officially comes to an end with Miss A's first day
of being a Junior in High School.

But before that happens, we have a wonderful blessing happening today.

FOREIGN. -adjective
1.of, involving, located in, or coming from another country, area, people, etc.
2.dealing or concerned with another country, area, people, etc.
3.not pertinent or related
4.not familiar; strange
5.in an abnormal place or position: 
6.outside the jurisdiction of a particular state; alien


Our new daughter/foreign exhange student, Lovely (our nickname for her), 
arrives tonight on a Delta flight from South Korea!
We will greet her with a sign, balloons, smiles, hugs, and (from me) a few tears.

I cannot imagine how hard it would be for me, if I were 16 again,
to travel to a new country, on a 16 hour flight that takes me to the other side of the planet,
to meet people who live differently, speak differently, eat differently.
Unsure of my new surroundings, feeling out of control since my former home
was so familiar. 
Would I feel wanted? Loved? Missed? Misunderstood?
Would I feel alone? Would I feel homesick? Would I be liked?
Would I feel excited to learn about my new-to-me and foreign country?





I cannot imagine how hard it would be for me, if I were the parent
of that 16 year old, my daughter, to send her to a strange new place.
As I watched her plane leave the runway, would I now realize that there would be 
an empty space at the dinner table, the backseat of the car?
An empty room where she once slept, an empty hole in my heart?
Would I be proud of her bravery and would I be simply happy to know that this is part 
of her life's journey and I wanted her to experience something I never have?
After her safe arrival, would her host family treat her well, kindly, and gently?
Would her new mom and dad listen to her concerns, fears, and dreams?
Would they believe in her, encourage her, love her?
Would she have all she needs?

I have been pondering these thing since Mother's Day when we signed the paperwork
to make Lovely a part of our lives.
I want to always be aware of this responsibility I have.
That of motherhood.
To my children. To others' children.

The example I set (sometimes it's rotten), the attitude I have (sometimes it's rotten, too),
and the faith I have in God, the joy I have in living, the heart I put into that living,
is being watched and mimicked and that is just plain scary.
But, I know that His grace over me will highlight the beautiful things
and dim the ugly things.
~

I told Lovely's parents, in an email, that we 
"wanted Lovely to feel safe and comfortable with us.
We will welcome her and care for her like one of our own daughters.
We will teach her to treat others like she wants to be treated,
to use her gifts and abilities for good with her heart,
to be responsible for her actions, and to love and forgive others,
how to be a moral person and a beautiful young woman."
And these things we will do.
With the Lord's help.


I pray that I won't only get to share our America with her,
but the hope, peace, and joy that I have because of that Stranger 
that left His home, traveled through time and space, to meet people who live differently, 
speak differently, eat differently.
He'd be loved, misunderstood, and alone. He came anyway.

Because of His desire to know me and save me, 
He made the journey so He could come and live in my foreign heart.


Jaime

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The organization that has helped us find Lovely is PIE, Pacific Intercultural Exchange.
There are students all over the world that need a host home.
To learn about them, go HERE.


Welcome to our home and hearts, Lovely.


.

17 comments:

  1. Praying for her, her parents, and your family, that God blesses this time, and that opportunities are given to introduce her to Jesus Christ, if she does not know Him yet. What a tender heart you have, opening your home to her and being so thoughtful in everything, wanting to bless her while she is in your care. Can't wait to see what God does in this! Hugs!

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  2. I am so excited for you! And for Lovely!!

    A friend of mine is from South Korea. He and his family are in the process of moving back to SK for three years; they've been living in Los Angeles for many years and Brian has pastored a church there, but they're going back to work in Seoul. The church in SK is strong, so Lovely could have a wonderful support network when she goes back.
    (Don't know if I've told you that I'm on the Board of Renovare', a ministry dedicated to Christian spiritual formation. Renovare' was founded many years ago by Richard J. Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline and PRAYER: Finding the Heart's True Home. Renovare' has several international expressions, and one of our strongest is in South Korea.)

    Bless you all!!

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  3. What a wonderful...although a bit scary journey for Lovely...my nephew spent 5 years in South Kores teaching English...he loved the people there...so generous and friendly...enjoy your time with Lovely!

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  4. Best of luck today Leslie!! And the rest of your time with Lovely! I hope it goes well!!

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  5. I haven't been blogging much either so I do understand how life gets to take a front seat. Your lovely will have a blast! And I'm sure she will get to experience so much.Cant wait til you post her reactions to her different American adventures. Should be interesting.

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  6. Leslie you are an amazing lady! You are a wonderful example to your family and people all around you! God bless this experience for all parties involved!!!!!!

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  7. Hi, y'all!
    A few more hours and we get her.
    Thank you so much for all the sweet wishes and prayers.
    I think I need them ;)
    Will let you know how it goes~!
    ~Leslie

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  8. How exciting! If I were her I would be a nervous wreck and probably if I were you I would be, too.

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  9. How super exciting! Can't wait to "meet" her here! :)

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  10. Wow Leslie! Praying for you, your family, Lovely and her family! I don't doubt for one moment that Christ's love will shine through you onto her!

    Heather

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  11. Leslie,

    "Lovely" could have no one better than YOU as her guardian for this once in a lifetime experience. I know you will care for her as you do your own.

    Your Friend,
    Deborah

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  12. I'm wishing you much luck with your exciting adventure. That is a lot of responsibility but it sounds like you are prepared. Shannon

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  13. I can't wait to hear more, Leslie! You parallel to Christ's coming as man brought tears to my eyes. Love you, friend!

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  14. I know the Lord is going to use y'all mightily in that sweet girl's life. Y'all may be the first of Jesus that she has ever seen.

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  15. How awesome that you are opening your home to Lovely and watching over her! A great and blessed experience for all involved.

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  16. Leslie...this made me cry. You are so thoughtful, and such a wonderful person, that I KNOW Lovely is going to be happy there with you and your family. Praying for all of you during this journey, and that she would most certainly see the love of Christ through you!! Blessings!! Paula <3

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