The end of this chapter

Life seems to be a dream right now. It will be two weeks on Tuesday since I have been home. It has been such a blessing seeing everyone again and hanging out with so many amazing friends and family. I honestly can't thank you enough for reading my blog and following me on this amazing journey. Words could never express how appreciative I am of all the continued support as I "transition" home.

This year has had amazing up's and down's. I've been able to experience so many different things and work into many different areas regarding non-governmental organizations. I am truly blessed to have served a year in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. However, it is obvious to me that this year has been all about my kids. Living with my eighteen children and being able to be their "mom" has been the best and most important part about my year. So to end of this series of blogs and my trip I wanted to write my kids one last good-bye letter. Hope you enjoy! Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love!

To my beautiful precious children:

There is not a single day that goes by that I have not been thinking about you wondering what you are up to. I haven't really slept because by the time I crawl into my bed you are already waking up. I wish I could play gymnastics with you at 5am in the morning and sneak in a morning game of UNO before breaky. I wish I could receive morning hugs and goodnight kisses from each one of you. You don't know what I would give to get a kiss from you, just one last time. 

I worry that your homework isn't getting done and that the big words in the books are just a little too big that you won't be able to sound them out. I worry that you'll go to bed with tears in your eyes realizing how hard life is and not having me rub your back or grab your hands and pray over you. I worry that you'll be hungry, board, not happy. My list can go on and on and on. 

However I am so thankful that you know Jesus. It's the only thing that matters to me, is that you know you are loved and adored by Jesus. I tried so hard with every ounce of me to not love you with "my" love but Christs. I know that as I left you all on that dreadful day that God loves never would leave you. God is always there for you and as I sit feeling helpless in Canada I know that God not only hears my prayer but He answers them. I am praying for each one of you every single day. Praying that you know you are loved, cherished and adored by the maker of the universe. I am praying that you have confidence in Jesus and that you shine for Him. Please please please never forget all the lessons we've learnt in our bible studies and chats throughout the day. I know I will never forget.

Yesterday I started organizing my photos. My four thousand photos of you and your smiling faces was way to overwhelming. My heart just aches at the thought that I won't be woken up with your giggles and morning smiles. I miss you guys so much. I so wish that I could be there with you. I am struggling with feelings of guilt for leaving you. How cruel I am to come into your lives and provide love when you haven't experienced a lot of that and than leave a short year later. Conversations stay with me on the last night when you asked me "if I really loved you, why would I want to leave you"- it breaks my heart that I had to and my heart is still so broken. I left most of my heart with you guys and I hope  that you know without a doubt that I love you, always will. Remember what we talked about when I was leaving: it's okay that it hurts, because we know we loved deep.... so deep. If it didn't hurt so much than I would question how much I loved you guys and how much you loved me back. But that's something I'm so certain about. That we loved deep. That our love was so much more than a superficial love and that this love we experienced will last.

I feel so blessed to have met each one of you. You have changed my life so radically that I really will never be the same. I miss the beautiful chaos that you brought into my life. I miss feeling so exhausted at the end of the day but knowing that reading one more story will help you in school which can result in you breaking your cycle of poverty. I loved that I learnt how to "booty-pop" and dance in a Zulu way. I love the way you showed me how to love others. How to treat others like you want to be treated. I love the way you take care of each other at the boarding house. You really are such a unique family all together. I have learnt so much about faith and how you never question when something bad happens if it is God's fault. Through all the terrible things that have happened to you, you never once blamed God, but you trusted He has a plan for you life. I can't thank you enough for teaching me this lesson, for living it out in your everyday life. How blessed am I ! Thank you for showing me grace as I learnt a new language and battled through a new culture. Thank you for laughing at me when I said something totally wrong in Zulu and for practicing my "clicks" over and over again until I could say sentences correctly. Thank you for allowing me into your lives even though you knew "Auntie Maddie" would one day have to go back to Canada. I wish I could adopt each one of you and bring you here with me! 

I love to dream about each one of your lives. I day dream about where you'll be in the next ten years, where the Lord will take you. Graduating metric, getting married, having children and a life of your own. I am so excited for the plans God has for each one of you! I get so excited and my heart becomes so full of JOY knowing that you will change your world. I know a lot is against you but you have the God of the unvierse walking with you every single step, so I have complete faith you will be okay.

So as tears start to fill my eyes, I want to let you know one last time that I love you. When I left Canada last year I didn't grasp what love truly was. I wasn't filled with God's love and I didn't walk in the freedom and confidence of knowing who I was in Christ. I didn't live like a prince or a princess should (I will never forget that bible study we did!) This year has allowed me to finally accept Christ's love, love you with that love and watch you love others with that same love. I really do love you with everything I am and I will never forget each one of your faces, your hearts or your stories. They are with me forever.

Take care of each other for me. Continue to do your bible studies and ask each other questions. Don't forget to brush your teeth twice a day and get your pj's on before dinner time so you have extra time to play after dinner! Remember to take care of each other and hold each other tight when it hurts to much to do anything else. 

I loved being your mom this year, thank you for allowing me to be that person in your lives.


Auntie Maddie


  1. its a joy to read what is on your heart Madeline! you truly have a gift and it's been amazing to see how God has used you this past year and how He has continually shown you more of His love for you and for all His children. You have gone outside of the box and you have faithfully and courageously stepped into an exciting life with Christ. One that has encouraged many im sure, i know it has for me. You're a risktaker and you are not afraid to make yourself vulnerable before God, that is something that is to be looked up to. It's amazing what God can do with a heart that it completely surrendered to Him. Thankyou for being you, and for being obedient to God's calling in your life! Proud of you!

  2. thank you so much for this amazing encouragement! It was so wonderful to read. I would love to thank you but not sure who wrote this?:)


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