...but this one was especially hard.
Perhaps it's that Abby understands a little better now what "moving away" really means.
Or perhaps it's that three-fourths of the girls that came to her Frog and Mashed Potato Party belonged to this one family.
Or perhaps it's that when we tell her they'll be back in four years, that seems like a lifetime to her. Because I guess it is.
In the year we've had to get to know them, we've come to love and admire this family of nine. (Yes, you read that right.) Abby still asks regularly if we can take in one of the six sisters, "since they have extras." She's kindly offered to trade one of her brothers, since they only have one. I've tried explaining that just because they have a large family doesn't mean any of the girls are "extras." But she's not convinced.
Abby and Caleb still pray nightly for healing for the burn Mazzy suffered months ago. Abby paused recently during one of her bedtime prayers to ask if God had healed her friend yet. I told her that yes, Mazzy's burn was healing very well, and their prayers were being answered. They've since switched to thanking God for his gift of healing. We're going on almost a half a year of this particular prayer, and I have a feeling it won't be dropped from the list anytime soon.
We had a fantastic evening treating them to some Georgia barbecue and local produce before they head back to their mission field in Slovakia. There was a fair amount of tears when their big van pulled out of our driveway, but we assured Abby that she will get to see her friends again, and even went so far as to offer her a tentative yes when she asked if we can go visit them.
I see some Skype dates with Slovakia in our future.