Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010-Decade in Review

I have seen several other friends on Facebook and in emails give a synopsis of the last decade and thought, "What a neat idea - I should do that!" And a little voice in my head - "Yeah, and try to get it done before the NEXT decade begins." I will always be in procrastination recovery and so it is with great pride that I get to this task before I am 10 DAYS into the new decade - much less 10 years!!

2000 - we lived in Roselle, IL. Cody was in the 4th grade and Kati was in preschool. Terry worked for a couple of higher education firms as vice-pres of admissions and such. I worked as a PreK teacher for a Christian daycare/preschool. Not a field I'd ever anticipated, but it allowed me the opportunity to work around kids & school and have time at home with my family.

2001 - disasterous year for the Sanfords. We moved in June to Cerritos, CA and spent six LLLOOOOONNNGGG agonizing months experiencing life too close to Los Angeles, job loss, our first time being the minority in a community that was 90% Korean. My kids were lonely, I was lonely, Terry was struggling to make the right decisions for supporting his family. God had much to teach us in California and I needed Him more there than I ever had before in my life. (I feel I must say not all of our California experience was bad - we did make some wonderful friends - but overall it is way up on my list of things I do NOT want to ever have to go through again.) Top it off with 9-11 - and well, there's just not much else to say.

2002 - Somehow seemingly miraculously we found ourselves back in Wyoming!! I was so grateful to be back in my home state I didn't even care that we had ended up in Cheyenne. We finally were able to get the dog our girls had been begging for, Terry was working for the National Guard, I got a job with a lawfirm part-time. Cody started 6th grade and Kati started Kindergarten and for the first and probably only times in their lives my two kids were in the same school.

2003 - Bought our 1st home in Cheyenne!! Added 2nd dog that I am still having to apologize for. Terry and I still with the same employment. Overall a rather calm year for our household.

2004 - At the age of 36 I gave birth to my third daughter. This really threw me for a loop, because in my mind we were done having children. Obviously God had different ideas!! In no time at all my memories of life with only two kids were fuzzy and it seemed impossible to imagine what life without Tori as a part of it was ever like. I cut my work hours down to next to nothing and for the first time was able to stay home with my new baby. I didn't know it at the time but I met one of my lifelong best friends at church as she was leading an adult Sunday school class.

2005 - Two great departures. My dear friend Tobi moved to Utah as her husband was transferred with the Air Force. My husband shipped halfway around the world to Afghanistan as he began what was to be 14 months of deployment with Army National Guard. Fortunately before she left Tobi introduced me to my next bestest friend Rhonda by ordering me to join a ladies bible study. I could not have dealt with that year without the support I found in that circle of sisters.

2006 - After thinking I would never have a son (at least not before one of my girls got married) - Terry sent me one from Afghanistan. We took a leap of faith and invited the young man who had been his interpreter during his deployment to come live with us and have the chance to go to an American college. Right from the first moment he ever spoke to me over the phone Najib has called me "Mom." His own Afghan father told him that to really succeed in a new country he did not need mere "hosts" - he needed a family. I am so glad that Najib took his father's advice. He quickly worked his way into the hearts of his adopted family. It is only truly with God's help that we were able to integrate a young Muslim male into our predominantly female Christian family - and make it work.

2007 - This year was dominated by lots of medical visits and trips to Ft. Carson for Terry as he worked through injuries to his knee and ankle that he had received in Afghanistan. A tough one because for the first time in his life he was forced to admit that he had physical limitations. This did not happen quickly or easily for him - those of you who know him, know that he has something of a stubborn streak. We bought our 2nd house and moved to a new neighhborhood. I started going back to work a few more hours each week when Tori started preschool. Kati is not happy to be starting 5th grade in new school - she's my girl who never likes change!! Cody started driving. Lots of praying in our home - at least by me!

2008 - Terry ended up retiring after over 27 years with the military. Kati is somewhat more resigned to her "new school" as a 6th grader. Cody began her senior year and Najib left us to move first to Oregon and then eventually back to Afghanistan as he got a job with an American firm as an interpreter. My sadness at his leaving is helped somewhat by having another Afghan interpreter and his whole family move to Cheyenne. Life just wouldn't be the same without all of them calling me "Mom."

2009 - My "milestone" year with all of my girls. Cody insisted on becoming a college freshman and moved to Laramie. Kati started 7th grade and entered the hormonally packed world of junior high. And Tori started Kindergarten. Tori was not happy that Cody left - especially after Najib had already done so. It helps that Cody is not all that far away and we do get to see her occasionally!! Don't know what we'll do when it's Kati's turn to go!! Fortunately we have a few years to figure that out.

2010 - And here we are - one week into the new decade. I would never have imagined my life to be where it is now. This makes me even more unable to have any idea where the next 10 years will lead. I know that there are things I would like to see happen so I will borrow from my dearest friend Rhonda and say this: "Lord, this is what I desire. Please do it or something better!" Amen."
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