Saturday, June 25, 2011

Last post before I leave for Africa: This was NOT what I expected....

I purposely waited until I got to DC to write this post....simply because I did not want to have to write about it before I knew how it was going to turn out. Here's the thing: I KNEW I was going to be stressed for the last couple of weeks as I prepared for my trip. There is sooooo much to think about. It requires so much strategy to pack 2 bags that weigh 50 lbs but no more than 50 lbs that it really should be a TV game show.....or maybe reality show. Crazy things have been on my list like take Typhoid Medication (which turns out to be way more complicated than I had imagined), don't forget to get last vaccination (which I almost forgot), not to mention keeping up with the list of ALL of the donations for our whole team (of course I volunteered to do that what else do I have going on?), finish all the stuff I have to do in the sweatshop, wrap up all photo shoots, tie up loose ends at my big girl job, pack for the kids, find clothes for the kids to wear in public so my mom doesn't take them out looking like urchins.....etc etc etc.....but the thing that I didn't expect was, that none of that came close to stressing me out as much as .....leaving my kids for SIXTEEN DAYS.

Now, you must understand, this is not a trust issue. I have an oddly great relationship with my ex-husband and his wife....actually so odd that it probably deserves it's own blog post at some point. I trust my parents, I trust Gigi. It is not that I am afraid they won't be well cared for while I am is just that this mama is going to miss them so much. And I know they are going to miss me so much too. SO, I set out to "prepare them" the best way I knew how.....and yes, I know I have a tendency to put more on myself than what a normal human can accomplish in any given period of time.....

I decided (sort of at the last minute) to collect soccer balls and have the kids decorate them. I will be leaving one at each of the orphanages we a way for the kids to feel like they are making a difference and are part of this trip too.

"Aidan loves Africa Girls" was not exactly what I was going for....but you win some you loose some right? :)

Then, mommy had the bright idea to make Ella a necklace and Aidan a bracelet similar to the ones we will be teaching the Karamajong women to make. Partly because I wanted to learn how to make them. Partly because I wanted the kids to have one more thing to remind them that mama loves them while I am sooooo far away. And partly because I am a crazy person.
And of course, they had to have Africa SHIRTS!

And a map.....and a DVD with 16 video clips of me reading a book, us singing  a song, or saying prayers together.....turns out that making a DVD with a video for each of 16 days away is no small task.......

And last but not least, we finished our very first chapter book AND saw the movie!
When Ella and I were talking about Africa a few weeks ago, she started to well up with real crocodile tears (not the fake ones that she somehow generates for fits). She BEGGED me not to go. I tried everything I could think of to make her 4 year old little brain understand and nothing helped. This went on for about 10 minutes. Then I told her (thinking this will surely seal the deal) that GOD wanted me to go to Africa and love on kids who have no mommies or daddies or toys etc and when GOD tells us to do something we have to obey Him. She thought for a moment.....then she turned her tearful face to the sky and screamed "GOD PU-WEAZE DONT MAKE MY MAMA GO TO AFRICA! PU-WEAZE! PU-WEAZE! PU-WEAZE DONT MAKE HER GO TO AFRICA!" At that point, I cried like a baby too and just held her for a while until she finally stopped. Her fit ended....and that is the day mine began.

So, ever since, I have been SOOOOOO stressed about leaving for the airport. I just knew that one or both of my kiddos would have a total five alarm come apart when it was time for me to leave and I thought that MAYBE if I stressed myself out to the MAX doing everything I COULD DO to prepare them before I left, they would be ok......and guess what...they were.

Leaving for the airport this morning was a total non-issue. Ella was distracted with her new roly poly collection (God bless them) and Aidan was in the rain filled baby pool in his underwear ready to play beach ball with his 7:30 in the morning. God has got this thing under CONTROL!

So, I ask you this: I am now at the point where there is nothing else I can do (with the exception of calling when possible) to keep my kids from missing mommy too much while I am away. Please pray for them. Please pray for my mommy heart because it is a little broken right now. I miss my people and I know that every set of little brown eyes that I look in to on this trip will only make me miss them more.

So, even though this is not what I expected to be stressed about, I know that God has this and all the rest of the details under control....He showed me that in a very tangible way this morning, and for that gift I am very grateful!

I will update as soon as and as much as I can!



  1. Jenny Clark, you are the BEST mama ever! God is doing GREAT things through you and your children. You show me what it means to LOVE God and others. Thank you for being such a wonderful example. I am reading CRAZY LOVE and YOU are the perfect example of that. I am praying for you and Aiden and Ella.
    Trish Cummings

  2. Isn't it great when God shows up and puts the calm in our anxiety storm. Love you. Bless you for being faithful and an obedient child of God. Will keep you in my prayers!