Saturday, March 26, 2011

off to China we go....

Thursday is the big day. Agh! I can't believe it is here. I finally talked to Lilly about us going to help at the Starfish House and...I am not quite sure what I was thinking leaving my babies behind! Until Becky had cancer, I hadn't been away from my girlies for more than 24 hours. Crazy, I tell you!

BUT we have filled up 4 big ole' suitcases of goodies for those stinking adorable babies and we can't wait to love on them. We ended up with 98 sheets, 77 pillow cases, lots of pj's, onesies (Rachel appliqued 50 of them!) and lots of other baby goods. We've had help from a lot of friends, sewing like crazy to brighten the nursery.

I've had a few people that have been a little bewildered with our field trip to China and why we would go so I thought I would try to explain my most recent parenting experiment. (because so much of it really is an experiment, right?) I have been watching Rachel become a teenager with a little bit of dread in consideration of my teenage years and some of the grief I caused my parents. My memories of my teenage experiences include a lot of selfishness and a whole lot of me, me and me. My parents try to tell me that I wasn't "that" bad, but I remember differently.

So my recent hypothesis was that if my kids could see just how differently some people live, just how much some people really suffer...and if they could learn to love them and think about them more than about me, myself and I...they could maybe avoid some of that perma-selfishness. So that was driving point number one and number two was just that I would like to spend some major one on one time with each of the girls when they are 13.

We have spent the last three and a half months sewing like crazy for the Starfish House. I have watched Rachel change from being concerned about the touristy things we will do to only thinking about those babies. She checks their blog regularly, she can recognize most of them by name and knows their circumstance AND she has spent days and days up in her room sewing on her own. She packed her clothes today and told me she only packed clothes that were baby friendly. I had to remind her that we will be doing a week in Korea where I would like a few nice shirts to make an appearance. The best moment was when she decided (without ANY hinting or pushing) to pay for a surgery. When she found out that she could afford to pay for the whole shebang and that she could pay for Elise's surgery (our 4 year old is Elise, too.), she was jumping up and down with the excitement that might be saved for a new ipod at this age. In fact, she could have bought an ipod touch but she chose to help a baby that lives across the world that she has never met. As you can guess, Elise is pretty excited about helping Elise, too. She wants me to bring her just about all of her special belongings for Elise and she has been working like crazy to fill up her jar, too. She's up to $6 and some odd cents. I love seeing how excited Rachel is to help and serve. Autumn has already started planning her trip to India.