Everyone is born into a family.  Usually the family you’re born into is also the one who raises you, but sometimes you are raised by an adoptive family.  If you’re married you gain new family members along with your spouse. And then there’s the family God gives you when you join His eternal family.  When you live 10,000 miles away from the first two kinds of family, the third kind of family is what gets you through.

In the past two months our fourth son, Daniel, was born, we made two out-of-town trips with all four boys, Toffer went to the US, and everyone in our family has been sick at least once, including Samuel being hospitalized for almost a week.  I have to admit-I’m a little spent right now, but not nearly as spent as I would have been without our “family” being here for us.

When  you call someone at 10:30 at night saying you need to take your oldest kid to the hospital and they come right then, no questions asked, you know they love you.

When they stay at your house and take care of two of your other children while that oldest child is in the hospital for almost a week and do your laundry (including the bloody mess that led you to saying you needed to go to the hospital) and tell you just to focus on the two kids you have with you, you know they REALLY love you.

When someone sends you a text and asks what you need and says “be honest, not polite” you know they’re serious and you know they love you.

When they sit in the hospital with your oldest and youngest kids so you can get a few minutes by yourself after bringing you a tasty dinner, you know they REALLY love you.

When they bring you a meal on Monday night because you had a baby six weeks ago and your husband is on the other side of the world, you know they love you.

When they ask on Friday what you want for dinner after bringing you dinner on Monday and bring you a hamburger and fries at the hospital after you say “something filling and more American than Asian”, you know they REALLY love you.

When they visit you in the hospital and bring some munchies for you and a book to borrow for the kid in the hospital, you know they love you.

When they also drop off a lasagna at your house the day you get home from the hospital along with some tasty bread to keep in the freezer for later and then bring you soup and garlic bread a couple weeks after that, you know they REALLY love you.

When you send a Facebook message asking them if they’ll make good on a meal this week that you cancelled last week because of being in the hospital and the response is “we’ll be there tomorrow,” you know they love you.

When they come by and pick up their dishes so you don’t have to worry about getting them back, you know they REALLY love you.

When they bring you two lasagnas, one for now and one for later, a month after you’ve had a baby and on the day your husband drove to the capital to pick up said baby’s passport, you know they love you.

When they do it for you even though they’re sick, you know they REALLY love you.

We have been loved on and cared for by our team and our church in amazing ways over the past couple months and especially the week Samuel was in the hospital.  We certainly miss our family back in the US, but having we are so very, very blessed to have local family-incredible people we share our lives with and who are there for us like family would be.