So, this is Karin.
I'm sorry, let me correct that. This is OUR Karin.
She's kind of amaze balls. I mean, totally.
She loves our kids. They love her. She loves us. We love her. It's really one big love fest.
No, seriously. She came to us on recommendation 3 years ago as a babysitter. And, over the course of the past 3 years has become so, so much more. Yes, she babysat our kids so we could go out on dates. And anniversary trips out of town (if you know Dusk and I, you know we don't trust many people to watch our kids overnight, but Karin is at the top of the (very short) list).
But she also was one of Bodie's first sitters when I went back to work, encouraging him to be ok with mommy leaving, and loving on him a little more when he wasn't.
And she also took Sierra to the American Girl store for lunch. And shared her love of the dolls and stories.
She taught our kids about Jesus, and read them Bible stories, and sang praise songs with them.
And spent the night at our house before Bodie's recent dental surgery so that Sierra didn't have to get shipped off to a friend's house at our call time of 4:30am (yeah, Karin - sorry she jumped in bed with you!).
And visited Bodie in the hospital when he was recovering from the Fontan, and blessedly distracted Bodie while I went into the bathroom to cry because they were putting him back on oxygen.
And came and played with the kids and swam with them in the pool at the hotel days after our fire, when our heads were spinning and Dusk and I didn't know up from down.
And watched our kids and held them together when Dusk and I were at the OB's office, getting ready for my D&C last summer.
She has been our safety net, the calm in the midst of the ridiculous number of storms thrown at us over the past few years. We thank God so much for placing her into our lives exactly when He knew we would need her most.
She has gotten to know our kids, their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.
She has gotten to know me and my eccentricities, which is probably a harder task than getting to know the kids. (Anyone who knows me knows I'm not kidding - I once refolded a load of laundry in front of my mom because she didn't fold it the way I usually do - perhaps eccentricities is too nice a word. Control freak might be more fitting? But I digress…Let's just say that I never had to refold Karin's folding jobs! Ha!)
Last summer, when we were in a rental home and dealing with the aftermath of the fire and things were overwhelming, she kept our household running on days I went to work. She just intuitively knew what I needed, what our family needed, and was THERE.
I think everyone in Karin's life feels like she's "their" Karin. She has that special gift, that way of making people feel like the most important people in the world.
But we know the truth - she's really ours.
We love Karin. And she's leaving us.
We had our last dinner with her tonight.
In LA, everybody leaves. It's the big giant ball of fun that living in LA is.
But she's leaving for NOT the typical reasons (you know, not wanting to live in a shoebox, not wanting to sit in the car for days on end, etc etc.).
She's leaving because God has called her and she said "yes." She is leaving to homeschool missionary families in Mozambique.
How amazing is that???
This beautiful young lady is taking a year out of her life to go heed God's call. We can only hope our kids will have such a love of God and His calling when they grow up.
And we couldn't be more proud of her or excited for what lies ahead.
And, ok, more than a little sad because we won't have her here.
Please join us in wishing Karin well and praying for her in the year ahead. Pray for God's guidance, for travel mercies, for peace - and for Him to bring her back to us soon!
We love you, Karin!