Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mexico City

Well, he's off.

It was so hard -- harder than I thought it would be to say goodbye for two years.  We'll get weekly letters and/or emails.  We get to Skype with him on Mother's Day and Christmas.  No phone calls or visits.  That all helps him to not be so homesick and instead focus on his work (instead of what is happening at home).  We're a close family.  I'm grateful that it was hard - it means we love each other.  A lot.

I've worried for a long time (see many previous posts) about how N would do with the stress of a mission.  The doctors all cleared him for service.  They all served missions, themselves, so they know what is involved.  We've prepped him for every possible trigger that I could imagine.  We've reviewed and discussed the importance of eating well over and over and over.

N has been gone for three weeks now.  All indications are that he is doing just fine.  Right now,  he is in Mexico City undergoing intensive language training as he tries to learn Spanish.  He has a cafeteria, a set meal schedule and set activity times.  It's a good setup for him.  After six weeks, he'll transfer to the border of Texas.  Then he'll fix his own meals and set his own eating schedule.  That's where I'll worry a little more.  But, he'll always have a companion by his side.

I pray every day for him - that he'll be happy and well.  I'm proud of all of his hard work, preparation and desire to teach people about Jesus Christ, forgiveness and forever families.  I wonder how his struggles with anorexia will affect his ability to teach.  I suspect that he will be more compassionate and kind.

Today, is his preparation day - the day he gets to email home.  I'm so excited to hear from him!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mission Call

N received his mission call last week.  He'll be headed to South Texas (below San Antonio and all the way to the Mexico border) for the next two years.  First, though, he'll be attending an intensive language program in order to learn Spanish for 6 weeks in Mexico City. We're all so excited!

He could have been assigned any where in the world.  But South Texas is really a good call for him.  I've been researching the area extensively.  Though it will be HOT! and he will be biking a lot, the missionaries there tend to gain weight rather than loose it.  That's a huge relief for me!  I've worried about the many stories of weight-loss associated with missionary work because of the often scarce or unusual food and long walking hours.  I'm so grateful that those who assigned his call, prayerfully took into consideration his past medical history.  His supervisor (President) will be aware of N's past medical history with anorexia.  He and his wife will regularly assess N's health and needs.  He'll also have another missionary (his "companion") with him at all times.  It's a good fit.

Not quite half of his mission area shares a border with Mexico (along the Rio Grande).  So, he'll get to eat great Mexican food (which he already loves).  He's also excited to learn Spanish.  He took three years of German, so it's a bit of a switch.  My husband speaks Spanish fluently so he is already teaching N and it seems as if N also has an aptitude for language.

I'm so grateful that we'll be able to use the US domestic mail service which is much more reliable and quick than international mail.  That means we can send him food overnight, if needed. 

There is a lot that has to happen to get him ready.   But first, we've got to get him graduated.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 2014 Update

It's been a whirlwind of a year!  I can't believe N is just a short month shy of graduation!  He'll graduate with a 3.5 GPA that is peppered with both good and bad grades.  He ended up getting involved with the Poetry Club, editing an online literary journal, getting several poems published, performing as lead singer with a rock band as well as an a'Capella group, passing several AP tests, and earning an academic scholarship.  He was able to get into the college of his choice.  He has a great group of friends that have gathered him right in.  He is currently applying for additional scholarships, planning his prom date, fighting senioritis, and waiting for his mission call.  He has come so far! 

I am so grateful to many of you readers, as well as all of the parents at Around The Dinner Table for his success and healing.  I'm convinced that N wouldn't be where he is today if it weren't for the loving guidance and support that you have given to us.  He has gone several years now without any problems.  Amazing!

About his mission:  In order to apply as a missionary, he had to have extensive doctor and dental visits as well as extensive documentation of his anorexia.  Most missionaries are able to quickly check off a form indicating that they are healthy and well.  But because of N's history, we also had to fill out pages and pages of information about the anorexia, depression, OCD and anxiety.  His doctor indicated that he didn't think N's past struggles with anorexia would prevent him from being fully able to serve.  So a little more than two weeks ago, those mission papers were turned in. 

That means sometime this summer, N will leave home for two years.  He'll be able to call home only four times during those two years, but he will be able to email weekly.  There will be medical staff and supervision who are aware of N's past issues.  He'll have a companion that will always be with him - even for meals.  So if there are issues, we should know about them quickly.  And if it's too much stress or if the anxiety returns, he'll come home.  You can imagine that we'll be missing him and praying like crazy.  He'll miss us, I'm sure.  But he will be busy serving others and teaching about Jesus Christ.  He could go anywhere in the world.  We're going crazy waiting to find out where.

His call could come tomorrow -- or in a week.  I'll post when I know.