Monday, August 09, 2010

Tears and Promises

Last night Mana and Akari packed their cases ready to return to Japan. We had spent the evening at a Bush Dance organised by the school. We had a wonderful time laughing and dancing and eating mountains of great food. By the time we got home it was dark and the sugar rush was wearing off. Everyone was very subdued.

The kids went to give goodnight hugs and gave our guests some Australian animal soft toys as a goodbye gift and the emotions spilled over. Gareth got so upset after he went upstairs, he lay in bed sobbing and then went back downstairs to give them another hug and to tell them again how much he was going to miss them. This set the Japanese girls off and the tears were flowing loud and fast. I didn't know who to hug. I just went from one child to another around the room and then started back at the beginning again. I rubbed Gareth's back after he returned to bed and the crying turned into softer whimpering and then finally sleep overtook him. When all three of my kids were finally settled it was close to 11pm. We made drinking chocolate for Mana and Akari and they went to their bedrooms where the soft chatting sounded happier.

This morning we were up at 6.30am showering and making breakfast and packing the last few things in their cases. I burned CD's with all the photos we took on our camera while they were here so they can take them home to their families in Japan.

We travelled to school with the suitcases in the boot and I stayed for a wonderful assembly to say goodbye. It was heartbreaking to hear the speeches made by the students. One Japanese girl broke down on stage as she sincerely promised to hold the memories of the past week in her heart until the day she died. If ever there was a moment that I understood the positive impact of hosting these kids in our homes and making them a part of our families then this was it. We hugged and made promises to keep in touch through letters and emails before they got on the bus and it pulled away down the long school driveway.

What I hope for Mana and Akari is that they will hold the memories of this visit in their hearts.

What I didn't foresee was the part of them they would leave behind in ours.

5 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. It is always sad to say goodbye. Reading through all of your posts, it sounds as if it was a great experience for everyone. I'm sure it will be a trip you will all remember for a very long time.

  2. Oh my gosh, I SOOOOOOO enjoyed catching up on your blog and reading about "your girls" from Japan. What an amazing week, you sure did pack a lot in that five days girl. I bet you will "crash" one of these days from all the fun and excitement and then let down. I love your family!!! So sweet and thoughtful, those girls were blessed to have been "plopped" at The Baynham's. Get some rest!!! xo,Gina

  3. Oh, those goodbyes are so hard! You get just as much from having a student stay with you as THEY do...

  4. I'm jumping into this backwards...I should really scroll back to the last post I remember reading before my hiatus and catch up in order!

    Goodbyes are so incredibly difficult, especially when someone has made such an impact on your life. I'm sure these girls will never forget you and your family, ...and likewise, I'm sure you and your family have been forever changed by meeting them as well.

    I'm excited to read all about your experiences over this week!

  5. A wonderful experience you gave these lovely girls .. and your family too. So hard to say goodbye but I am sure you and your family are engraved on their hearts♥