Our friends dropped meals by and Stella's god parents stocked our fridge with food. What a huge help. We found everything just as we left it. The white car we left parked in the garage for nearly 6 months however was black. A huge praise - our car started and runs beautifully despite sitting for so long.
Sunday at church was everything we hoped for and more. A big happy reunion. Of course everyone was happy to see Stella and how much she's grown, we were a side note. The pastors planned a lunch after church where we had lots of time to catch up with old friends and meet new people who have been coming to church. Sunday was the highlight of our week. We came home feeling so blessed to have so many caring friends.
Stella is still having a hard time with so many adjustments. Which caught me by surprise since her whole life as she's known it has been one big trip! I think part of the complication is that she is now at an age where she gets attached to people, places, smells, tastes etc. Brazil bananas are by far the best, but because she's never had them, she doesn't love them. She'll come around. A hunger strike can only last so long right?!? And the time change seems hard for her too. 3am brings this jolly little adventurer right to life!
Walking around the neighborhood in the late afternoon and grabbing a snack on the street has been a nice treat for all of us. Stella got her first taste of chocolate ice cream and based on her expression,her whole concept of "yummy" was completely overhauled. Surely she'll get used to all the new things, and if everything else fails, bribery with chocolate ice cream is definitely one idea I've tucked away.
From the moment the plane touched down we've been so thrilled to be back where we know we belong. It amazes me how God was building in me an anticipation to get here. Of course I was sad to say good-bye to my other home and definitely my family and friends, but when you know where you belong, it just feels right. Maicol has every reason to feel at home here; I on the other hand am delightfully amused how God has stirred in me the very same sentiments as if I'd also originated here.
As I sit in my living room - I hear the distant hum of honking horns, constant traffic, and the occasional rumble of diesel engines. There's a gentle breeze bringing in all the familiar smells of Home Sweet Home. Ironically, these same smells, sounds, and sentiments were the very things that felt like such a huge adjustment in the beginning. And in fact I try to imagine someone else sitting here and I realize, it's not everyone that would appreciate this ambiance. One more ironic and yet typical condition of pursuing the Creator of life itself. His ways are so mysterious and powerful and His simple yet immense existence boggles minds everyday - He is capable of creating amazing realities in the lives of those who will allow him. I'm astounded that my satisfaction and comfort today comes from the same source which brought me so much frustration and grief at one time.
Change is good, and so is God.