Monday, September 24, 2012

Celebration and Sadness.

If there is anything that I have learned in the past few years, it's that conflicting emotions are normal.  We have felt sadness and joy so many times at the same time.
Taking Elisabeth to college yesterday was one of those times.  We are thrilled for her.  Seattle Pacific is the perfect place for her.  We are excited for the things she will learn and how she will grow.  But there is still an ache in our hearts as we let her go.  We are still family, still parents...just in a different way.
We left fairly early yesterday morning with a pile of 东西。

She actually had more than this but compared to some other girls, she didn't have much!

We took her to this school.  

We piled some of her stuff into her dorm room.  She is on a floor where over five of the girls have grown up in different countries- we are pretty thrilled about that.

We met her adorable roommate who grew up in China. She is half Dutch and half Chinese-the perfect combo!
We had about a day and a half of orientations and meetings. We heard three sample lectures from professors, went to a meeting on university ministries, met the professor that will head up her University Scholars program and went to many other parent information meetings.  One thing that surprised me were the many questions about campus security.  Parents wanted their children escorted to the dorms if they came back to campus late at night...what???  When told that the easiest way to get around Seattle was by bus, one mom asked if they would be given a demonstration on how to buy bus tickets.  Maybe it's because we have just come from overseas but those questions just were odd to me.
The new students were in parallel meetings on different or similar topics.  We didn't catch up at them until the end of the second day.

On the last day, there was an invocation.  The professors came in in their academic regalia (some with jeans and sandals underneath).  They were led in by a bag pipe player.  The President spoke, the pastor of the Free Methodist church that is across from SPU spoke and maybe someone else.  Then we sang the SPU song (Elisabeth and I actually sang the Shenyang International School Song "We are the tigers!"  We sang the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" as the new students went down to the floor.  The professors were down there, circling the students and each student got an SPU pin.  It was supposed to a tissue moment but for me it really wasn't.

See Elisabeth in the crowd getting her pin?  No, I can't see her either.

After the pinning, there was a final dessert. There was a clear message that parents were to say good-bye by 4:45.  I really was okay until Elisabeth's roommate started crying.  Her dad has raised her as a single dad in China and he has just done an awesome job.  He was leaving her to go back to China and it was just so hard.  Seeing her cry made my mama's heart bleed and I started crying.  Then it was time to go and I got myself together.  We were taking another girls mother back to Vancouver with us, so we all walked to the car.  I cried a little then but no public embarrassment, I hope.
We came back to a quiet house.  We really are thrilled for her as we believe she is in the perfect place for her academic and spiritual growth.  But we miss her daily presence in our lives.

1 comment:

  1. so many huge changes in your life in such a short time *hugs*