Several months ago I did a post on the Cambodian family our church sponsored back in the 1980s . They had family members here in town already, being sponsored by my in-laws' church, and we were asked to bring the brother and his family. We agreed and our much smaller (at that time) church took on this challenge and privilege. I was the coordinator of the "project."
When we agreed to bring the Yim family, there were 3 daughters. By the time everything was arranged and they got out of the refugee camp in Thailand, they had added twin boys to the family. I could tell you many stories. I'll never forget the trip to the airport to get them, seeing them arrive with one huge box on Chhien's shoulder, serving them a dinner of food they'd never seen before and probably didn't like.
We moved them into a 4-bedroom apartment which we got through city housing. They were overwhelmed with the size and often we'd find that they'd moved their mattresses all into one bedroom - they were used to being together 24/7.
That was in April, and for 5 months we had a wonderful time getting acquainted and doing what needed to be done for them - and with them. But as fall came and winter loomed, they became very fearful of winter in Colorado. Noral, the mom, had a brother in California and Chhien's sisters had left Colorado and also gone to California, so they began to ask if they could leave, too. We took them to the bus station, sadly, but with 30+ boxes of belongings.
We heard from them a couple of times after they left. But it had been a long time since we'd heard anything. I tried everything to find them over the years. I had this dream that one day they'd drive into my driveway to visit.
Imagine my amazement when, 27 years later, I got a phone call from the secretary at church that there was a young woman from California with the last name of Yim who was trying to reach me. I knew immediately that this was the call I'd been wanting for years. I could not believe that they had found us instead of us finding them. Shannon told me that they had found a picture with our last name on the back. They remembered all of our first names, since we'd spent quite a bit of time with them, even remembering our dog's name. But they couldn't remember the last name until they found this picture hiding in a dictionary. She and her co-worker found us and the church on the internet. What a wonderful surprise!
I have talked to Shannon (who was Chauna when she was here) several times now and we're keeping in touch by Facebook. I've also connected with Sarah, who was the two year old when they came. The whole family went together and sent our family a wonderful, generous Christmas gift. And the best surprise ever - as many of them as possible are coming to visit us in March! I can hardly wait.
The children have all done very well in school and have careers and families, as I knew they would. Here is a picture of the two I've been in contact with. They are so beautiful.