Monday, October 8, 2012

Pam Came to Poland

In April of 2005, our lives were changed. Ella was almost 2. We were living at the Texas Baptist Children's Home as houseparents to crazy teenage girls. ;) This month, we received our first placement that had not already lived in the house when we moved in. Her name was Pamela Parker. At the time she was almost 14 and up for adoption. James and I had talked about if we were ever able, we would love to be able to adopt her. Fast forward a couple years to when we left TBCH in 2007. We prayed about having Pam come and live with us and discussed it with her. Initially we both felt we needed to wait a little while. So a year later, Pam came to live with us for her senior year. When we left to come to Poland, Pam was in college but it was still difficult to leave her behind. We honestly did not think we would be able to see her again until we returned to the States in 2014.

However, my grandparents contacted us last spring to see if we would be interested in her coming to visit and she could use their frequent flyer miles. Sure enough it all worked out and Pam came to stay with us for 10 days. It was her first time out of the country like this. We had a great time. During her time here, we also got our new home, so we were moving some and unpacking. But we also did some fun things. We took her to Gdańsk to walk in Old Town. We went to Hel and spent a cool afternoon on the beach. We went to Malbork Castle, the largest brick building in Europe and largest castle in the world. It was once ruled by the Teutonic Knights and built during the 1300s and finished in the early 1400s. Crazy right?!? And we of course visited the charming town of Sopot. But most of all, we got to spend time with our daughter and sister! The time went fast but was a lot of fun.

It was a bit too cold for Pam.

Train to Gdańsk

Pam in Old Town Gdansk 

Watching this guy make candy was fun!

Obviously the tour guide was fascinating. 

 The tour guide told us many brides get their pics made here. Since Pam won't be around for her bridal portraits, we decided to get them while we were here.

 Using the ancient toilet. There is cabbage behind it because that was used as toilet paper. Apparently it was soothing. Who knew?!?

This was the only original door...I think I remembered that correctly. 

Model of the Malbork Castle. Shows the size. It was huge!!

And this was just too funny to us. I don't think of nuns as sightseers but here they are having their picture made. 

  We had a wonderful time with and will miss her. Less than 2 years and we will be able to hug her again!


I was determined that while we were in Greece, we HAD to see things around Athens. There is so much amazing history there. So our last day we spent on a hop on/hop off bus. We saw the Acropolis and Parthenon. We saw Mars Hill where the apostle Paul preached to the people of Greece about their alter for the unknown god. We saw Olympic Stadium where the original olympics were held...which was even cooler because that night was the opening ceremonies in London for the 2012 Olympics. Some of these things were over 2000 years old. The Parthenon, for instance, was built between 448-439BC. AMAZING!!! And we walked all over it!! I know, I know...we are such nerds but this stuff is so cool!!!

We took an open air hop on/hop off bus around Athens.

Of course having great friends made the day that much more fun!

This was such an amazing sight of the Acropolis and Parthenon. 

It was SOOOO hot!!!

View of Mars Hill from the Acropolis.

Climbing on Mars Hill...this is where Paul preached against the unknown god.

Olympic Stadium

View of the Acropolis at night from the roof of our hotel.   
These were amazing sights. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have visited these ancient places. It is something I will always remember. :)