P.

Papa and Nana Go Home

There was a moment about half-way home on our train ride this morning when Avery said, “Where’s Papa and Nana?” Clearly she didn’t understand what we were doing a few hours earlier when we said goodbye to them in Prague. But that’s just what we did. We said goodbye.

Goodbyes are never easy. We left pretty early today and we’re still suffering from minimal sleep with a newborn, so that’s probably why I wasn’t as emotional as I can be at times when we say goodbye (I honestly felt like I was more in survival mode). But now as I write it’s getting to me. Papa and Nana are special people and we’re so thankful they were able to with us these past few weeks. It really seems like it flew by in a flash, but that’s to be expected with all that has gone on with Karis’ birth and us traveling a little bit with them. Just a few days ago when we were with them and our friends Zach and Kara, Zach said to me, “Isn’t it cool to have family here?”

Papa and Nana Left (6/13/15)

As another missionary who lives here in Czech, Zach understands the flood of familiar that washes over you when someone you know, and know well, visits you here. It’s really cool. Finally you can show them your house which they have only seen through the periscope lens of video chat. Then you can show them your town and where your kids go to school and what you do to buy food. You can laugh as they too experience what it’s like to live in another culture, not know the language, and fumble your way around just to buy a few things at the store. Even with all the language apps on our phones and modern advances, it’s still hard. And even more than all of that, you get the opportunity to have those late night chats and catch up on life and talk about what God is teaching you and share about life here. For a moment you feel like they might understand better the things you say because they can see it happen and are experiencing it too. You know when they leave that you can talk differently with them because they actually have some point of reference for what you’re talking about and that’s just somewhat comforting.

If all has gone as planned, Papa and Nana are somewhere over the Atlantic en route to their final destination on the West Coast. And as we walked home today from the train station as a family I said something to Bethany to the effect of, “And then there were five.” It’s just us now. For the first time since Karis was born we’re back on our own. Bethany said to me, “We can do this.” We both laughed. What she means is, “We can handle this. We can be a family of five. We’ll make it.” Yes. By God’s grace, we’ll figure out how to function as a family with our newest daughter. We’ll manage to get through those sleepless nights, still get up to take Titus to school, make time for language learning, and do all that God has called us to do. But the Lord in his good grace gave us Papa and Nana to get us jump started in that process and we couldn’t be more thankful. Thank you, Papa and Nana, for your kindness to us, for sacrificing your time and energy for our family, and for loving us so well. We love you.

T.

The Czech Hospital

Karis (6/3/15)

Today could very well be our last full day in the hospital here in Czech as we’re hopeful that some time tomorrow morning Bethany and the baby will get released. Czech hospitals require a 72 hour stay from the time you give birth and that time would be up tomorrow around 10:30am. Even though we’re excited to get home, our stay here has actually been very enjoyable. I though it would be good to write a bit about our experience here and maybe some of the differences we have noticed between Czech and the States.

Karis (6/3/15)

Above is a photo of the room that we’ve been in the past three days. On Monday and in to Tuesday, Bethany and Karis were sharing this room with another mommy and baby. They were released yesterday and the room was given completely to us and that’s why I was able to sleep here last night. The past few days have been very warm outside (mid-high 80s) and there is no AC in here, so we brought our own fan that has been running non stop. At times we have been sweating in here, but we’re thankful for the moving air. The sun is setting as I type and I’m feeling the cooler begin to blow which is a nice break for the warm day. Over all this place has been a nice, temporary home.

Karis (6/3/15)

Karis (6/3/15)

In the States we only really remember seeing the pediatrician a few times during our stay at the hospital. Here we see her daily, if not a few times a day. Today the doctor and nurses came early to check on Karis and they gave us the task of weighing her before and after every feeding. Our room has a little scale and they gave us a chart to keep track of Karis’ weight and at first we thought this would be burdensome task, but it’s been just fine. Occasionally the doctor or nurse has come in to check her progress. Any staff person entering our room has the potential to be difficult because of the language barrier, but we have done pretty well understanding what’s going on. We have been super impressed with the kindness of the staff here and their willingness to try and speak whatever English they can to us. They are kind, sweet, and in general just have a love of babies. It’s great to hear them talk to little Karis in Czech and we have felt very cared for by everyone here.

Karis (6/3/15)

Karis’ crib on wheels (shown above) is pretty nice. It has a little heart monitor that we have to turn on and off when we lay her down or pick her up. We have forgotten to turn it off a few times and it begins to beep loudly! I actually like the crib better then the plastic, bucket-style one that we had in the States because it’s a little more spacious and seems quieter in general when we are picking up or putting Karis down. Since she’s mostly just sleeping right now I’m glad she’s got a queen (baby) size mattress.

Karis (6/3/15)

Like most Czech homes and schools, you’re asked to not wear shoes inside and that’s true here. We brought our own house slippers and every day they clean our floors and the floors of the entire hospital. You are also given a mug and a glass cup, along with your own silverware. They leave the silverware with you and just bring food, which I think is pretty smart because you can just reuse your silverware and it cuts down on the dishes they have to deliver and do on a daily basis. I also figured out how to hook my computer up to the TV in the room so we could watch a little American baseball (Go Dodgers!), so that was fun this afternoon. Our room has a wardrobe for your clothes and a full shower in the bathroom (not something I remember us having in the States).

Karis (6/3/15)

It will be a joy to take Karis to our home tomorrow but as I’ve written we have been really blessed here. Part of learning a new culture is having experiences like this one and I can honestly say we’re thankful for it. I’ve even been thinking about all the women throughout the globe who give birth in so many different facilities and locations. For us, this has been similar to what we call home but for others this is quite different. We’re thankful for modern medicine and well trained people who can care for us despite a language barrier. There’s no other way for me to express it than to say it’s all grace.

Karis (6/3/15)