My mom is one of my heroes. She was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and had a 'normal' life. After college, she married my dad and they began preparing to move to the Philippines as missionaries. I was born during this time and the month before I turned 2 yrs. old they moved. My dad had visited the Philippines a few times during the summer and had done internships there, but my mom had never left the States. She said 'bye' to the only life she knew and her family.
When they arrived in the Philippines she started feeling sick and amidst the homesickness and adjustments, she figured it was just all the changes and well, if you've never been--the smell on a hot, humid day can make you gag. But nope, she was expecting my brother, Matt. Anyway, Matt and a couple of years later, Zach were both born in Makati Medical Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. So she didn't have much time to adjust to a 3rd world country before she had to give birth there. I was a little worried when I delivered Micah in Austria, but only because of the language barrier. It was 2006 and not a 3rd world country. The Philippines was another story back in 1981.
My parents have lived in a handful of cities within the Philippines Islands. Some were not as 'modern' as others. One place I remember having to go to the telephone company to place a call and wait for the longest time for it to go thru just to speak a few minutes to our grandparents. I believe it took 7 years to get a phone in our house. We had threats on our family (though I didn't know about most of it till I was out of the house), weird animals in our yard (remember the ant-eater, Mom?!?!), having stitches in a mobile-shack-looking thing... and of course, I believe Dad was out of town for that... he seemed to be out of town when some of the grossest things happened (Matt had 28 stitches once, but we were State-side for that, thankfully!). How about finding snakes/cobras in our yard and mom choppin' it to pieces with a bolo--just to make sure it was dead! Scorpions in the garage, lizards the size of a small toddler climbing the outside walls and then smaller ones on the inside (me & the boys believed we could talk to them- "tuu-ko" was the sound they made).
Having 2 sons was enough to make any mom go crazy sometimes ( I am currently experiencing this stage). Matt & Zach found some of the most interesting and unbelievable ways to entertain themselves. I recall an incident where Matt talked Zach into standing on one side of the yard so he could see how close he could throw a knife and how close he could get it to Zach's foot. Needless to say that he got close ;) Hmmm... help us all! She had to go thru long talks with me about why it wasn't exactly a good idea for me to blend in and get lice, just like all my other friends (I can't believe I'm admitting this), then picking out the bugs from the flour, sugar, etc. before using it and eventually coming to the conclusion that they will die in the bake, cook everything from scratch--this I'm so thankful for because it's come in handy!
Mom was also our school teacher for awhile too. She taught us how to read, write and to give respect to the flags--of both the countries we called 'home'. She let me talk them into praying about a boarding school I really wanted to attend the last 2 years of high school. Depending on weather (mud-slides, road close, construction) and traffic I could be 8-14 hrs. away at times. But they trusted that the things they had taught me and my relationship with God would pull me thru. I was never so homesick, but those were also some of the best years of my life. Matt & Zach also went to Faith Academy.
While this may sound off the wall to some of you... this was life for us. We loved it. Now that I'm a mom and in another land (though not even close to what I grew up with) I can relate to the homesickness, missing family and friends, and a home church, and missing out on certain events. She missed her siblings weddings, nieces/nephew births, funerals, etc. But no matter, mom and I would rather be in God's will and on the other side of the world than next door to each other and out of His will.
So, here's to a great Mom who has made any place we've ever lived feel like home, taught us in school, life and how to be a spouse to our also great Dad.
I love you, Mom!
Here's Nate, Mom, and me at Danny's ordination (Nate was 3 weeks old and we left the next month for Austria)
Mom and me (I'm prego w/ Micah)
Grammy & Nate
Grammy & Micah
Mom and Me