You all know Krakow was not our "home." It was fine. I'm glad we lived there for the year and a half we did, but it never felt like home. There are many things that contributed to our "tough time" but a major one was Ella's school experience. It's not to say that Ella wouldn't have had similar struggles in an American school, but to know we took her out of the only culture she knew, dropped her in an all Polish speaking school within 10 days of arriving, and were not able to really help her because we couldn't speak the language added to the struggles...or at least didn't help matters. Ella has always been my flexible, easy going, joyful kid. I didn't worry about her. But she did not have a great time. The kids at school were unkind and very exclusive of Ella. It broke my heart. I slowly watched the joy drain from my baby. She became more and more withdrawn and a bit depressed. And I couldn't really help her.
So when we moved north, our main prayer for Ella was a friend. Just one good friend could make all the difference. Oh we begged God for a friend. Well Ella's new school has been so different. She has been so much happier...now we still struggle a lot with school and completing assignments on time and taking our time on our work or tests, but she has friends. She has been to 3 people's homes on various occasions and had people over to our home.
One girl in particular, Misia, is not only in Ella's class, but also goes to our church. Huge answer to prayer! Today we spent the afternoon with her and her mom. Her mom told me that last year she and her husband had prayed for Misia to find a new, good friend. So for them, Ella was an answer to prayer as much as Misia was for us. God is so good.
Here are some pics of the girls sledding down a small hill. It was like 10 degrees outside and not quite enough snow but they had fun.