Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Miduk with his parents in their home

Miduk with his little sister Loisa

Miduk with his grandmother

Linley and Miduk explained the surgery that Miduk had

Miduk and his dad

Miduk's mom came running outside to give him a hug and a kiss!

Miduk is showing off his handiwork with the apron he made

Miduk's father was waiting by the side of the road when they drove into town.  He could not wait to put his hands on his son!  :)

Linley took Miduk to do some shopping before returning to his village.  They purchased a new bicycle for him (an OSU bike! Orange and black!).  Miduk also got a mobile phone so that we can stay in touch with him.

Modeling the apron that he made!

On the way back to his village, Linley and Miduk stopped in to visit one of her patients, Tony, whom she has cared for.  Tony was electrocuted and suffered many burns while trying to install a television antenna on the roof of his mothers house.  He also had to have his right arm amputated.  Miduk comforted Tony and even made him laugh, which was amazing.  He then gave all the rest of his money to Tony's mother to help her with his care. 

Checking into a hotel room with Linley

Tony's mother is overcome with emotion when Miduk slipped her the rest of his money

These are all the final photos I have, photos that Linley sent to me after taking Miduk back to his village.  How I wish I could have been there at his homecoming!  Linley said that Miduk was so surprised and so very happy to see his father squatting beside the main road as they drove into town in the taxi.  He had been waiting a long time for Miduk to arrive. 

Fast forward to today, December 3, 2012.  Just to bring you up to date, since I have not been very good about updating the blog-Miduk is doing well.  He remains at the tailoring school where he lives and learns to sew.  He has only been back home one time to see his family since leaving in August, and that was when his father was involved in a motorcycle accident and was hospitalized for three days.  (Miduk reports that Dad is doing fine now) I talk to Miduk every week or two.  Usually he calls me and hangs up, or texts me and says "Mom you busy", meaning "Call me!".  He can receive our calls but cannot call us due to the expense.  He can text us when he has minutes on his phone card, which isn't very often.  He sounds good and says he is doing well and that he is happy.  Told me he made a pair of jeans!  We sent him a package two weeks ago with fabric in it for him to make some slacks for himself and his father, and of course included a large bag of his favorite "jerky beef"!  Today I put a Christmas package in the mail to him and hope he receives it before Christmas!  I am so glad that he has an address at the school where he can receive packages.  Once he goes back home it will be next to impossible for him to receive any mail since they are in such a rural area where mail is not delivered to them.

I just can't believe that it was this time a year ago that Miduk had just arrived.  I wonder if he thinks about us as often as we think about him?  Our friends in the neighborhood and at church ask about him all the time, and I always make sure to tell him that everybody misses him and that we are praying for his health and happiness and success in the sewing program.  I would love to see him again, and hope that someday soon we can go to Indonesia to visit him or perhaps even bring him back over here for a visit.  :) It's amazing how attached we got to Miduk in six months time. He is and will always be a part of our family!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Miduk learning to iron at Linley's house in Singapore

Miduk cutting fabric to make an apron

Learning to sew!

Miduk's finished project - an apron!

Or, it can be a cape for a super hero costume! haha Silly Miduk

Miduk flew from Dallas to Singapore to spend a week with Linley before returning to his village in Indonesia.  Linley wanted to spend some time with Miduk before taking him back to his family, feeding him and making sure he adjusted to the 12 hour time change and getting caught up on his sleep. They discussed his future and she offered options, making sure that he knew he actually HAD options and wasn't being forced to do anything.  He could choose to return to school (he does NOT want to do that), he could learn a trade such as sewing or perhaps learn to make braces from Linley's friend, or he could simply return home and continue to do farming work with his family.  His displaced hip will make for a short future in farming, and we have been talking with Miduk about learning a trade and planning for his future so that he can support himself one day and help his family out as well.  Linley told Miduk that she wants him to take a couple months to think about it while he enjoys being with his family and friends again.  She had a pile of fabrics at her home and got her Bernina Sewing Machine out and asked Miduk if he would like to play around with it.  He was keen to learn and told her he wanted to make me an apron!  Linley said he measured the fabric and cut it out himself, including a contrasting fabric for the front pocket, and took his job very seriously.  He had a good time using the foot pedal to operate the machine, and told her "It's like driving car!"  :)  Linley mailed the apron to me and I love it!  Best Mother's Day Gift ever! :)

Linley said that the first night Miduk stayed with her he slept with our photo.  It still makes me emotional when I think about that.  They called us and we got to see him and talk with him via Skype on the computer so that was really neat.  Wesley was home at the time so he got to talk with Miduk too (he arrived home only six hours after Miduk departed, so I still have a hungry boy to feed!).   And before I went to bed he texted me and said "Night mom I love you". I guess now is as good a time as any to tell you about what I now call THE BIGGEST SCARE OF MY LIFE.  I don't even like to think about it anymore and have pretty much suppressed the memories, but in a nutshell the airlines lost Miduk.  I am not kidding.  Thank God I wasn't aware of it at the time. When Linley called me late Saturday afternoon (Miduk left here Friday morning) to tell me that Miduk had not arrived, I pretty much lost it.  In the Walmart garden center where I was shopping.  I remember screaming at her, "What do you mean he's not there?" and running out to the parking lot crying like a crazy woman.  Which I was.  Miduk was my responsibility and I was already feeling uneasy about him flying solo to Singapore.  We had changed his return reservations in an effort to hopefully make his connections easier, sending him thru Shanghai via China Eastern Airlines instead of having him change airports in Tokyo by himself and having to recheck all his luggage which would be nearly impossible for him to do.  Before he left, Miduk and I spent a lot of time going over his flight details, and I made a notecard for him with all the necessary information including my name and contact information in case of emergency, and helpful phrases in English/Bahasa translation.  As it turned out, the story has a happy ending because of course Miduk finally arrived safe and sound. He was put on a Singapore Airlines flight which was great and he even had  flight attendant who spoke Bahasa so he was happy clappy.  And he did follow all my instructions that I had written out and he asked to use someone's cell phone when he arrived in Singapore and phoned Linley to tell her he was in customs (she was frantically filing a missing persons report with the Singapore police).   I won't even go into detail except to say, note to self:  NEVER fly China Eastern Airlines!!! It would have been nice for them to contact me and let me know what they had done.  When I called them to try and figure out where Miduk went missing, they couldn't even pull up his name in their records!  I cried for hours, even after he was found, because it scared me so bad. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Well this picture says it all........We are all missing Miduk in our own way.  Sugar walks all over the house looking for Miduk and usually ends up in his room laying on his bed.  I feel like I hear him and see him every time I turn around.  I can still hear him in the car shouting "Mom oh my gosh did you see that?"

 Today as I blog it is 10/24/12, almost six months after Miduk left us to return to Indonesia.  I spoke with Miduk on the phone yesterday morning, and he sounded great.  We usually text or talk every week or two.  I am finding it increasingly difficult to understand Miduk when we talk on the phone-sometimes the connection is poor or there is too much background noise, but most of the time I am unable to understand his English!  I do believe that we are the only people with whom he speaks English.  He is currently in a vocational training program to learn some sewing skills, with the hope that he will become a tailor someday.  This was Miduk's chosen vocation and he tells me he likes it each time I call.  "I like it very very a lot!" he tells me.  When Miduk initially returned to his village in mid May, he spent his days playing soccer with friends, fishing, hanging out, helping his brother with the tomato gardens.  In late July his friends all went off to "college" in another village, leaving Miduk very lonely and bored.  At that point he told Linley that he had decided he wanted to learn to become a tailor.  Linley was familiar with a tailoring program designed for handicapped students that is in a village about two or three hours away from Miduk's village.  Miduk's parents gave their approval and were very eager for him to begin, although it would mean saying goodbye to him again and not seeing him for six months.  In August Miduk arrived at the school and made friends easily.  I'm pretty sure he is the youngest student there, and most likely the least handicapped.  He turned seventeen years old on September 30, and enjoyed the care package that we sent: beef jerky, soccer ball and pump, hair "jelly" which he had requested, and assorted snacks and cards.  He is also telling me that he has a girlfriend now (Maryjuliatta) who is not in the sewing program but attends "college" a couple hours away.  Now I REALLY wish I could communicate with him a little better!  :)

Friday, May 4, 2012



This is the airplane that will take Miduk from Dallas to Los Angeles this morning.  He will then fly from LA to Shanghai China, then finally from Shanghai to Singapore.  All in all about 32 hours door to door!  Linley will meet him in Singapore, and he will stay with her for a few days and recover from the jet lag before going on to Indonesia.  Miduk put on a brave face this morning.  He was quiet as we finished packing his bags, threw his swimsuit in the dryer for a last minute quick-dry, and gave him last minute instructions.  I had made out an information card for him with all his flight info, my phone number and Linley's too, and we talked about how he was going to get from gate to gate.  He is supposed to be met by American Airlines personnel in both LA and Shanghai, and they will escort him (in a wheelchair) from gate to gate.  He is probably so tired of hearing me tell him where to put his passport and not to set his backpack down.  Put snacks in his backpack and gave him some cash for airport food if needed.  We have talked about it all week long, I know I sound like a broken record but I want to make sure he understands all the logistics since he is flying by himself.  This morning his eyes were glazed over from staying up late and getting up early; he was simply going through the motions.  Last night the Hammonds came over, as well as Kaitlyn and Sam, to say their goodbyes.  We had ice cream sundaes and watched a video that Kasey had made for Miduk.  (If you want to watch it, go to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/ and then in the search type in "Miduk's Journey to America").  Wes wasn't able to be with us, as it is finals week at OSU, but he skyped with Miduk earlier and said goodbye.  It was hard on Wes not to be here with us.  There were buckets of tears as Miduk said goodbye to his ladies last night-Sam and Kaitlyn have spent so much time with Miduk, and he really loves hanging out with them.  Miduk had an especially tough time saying goodbye to Ben too, as Ben has been like a brother to Miduk and spent a lot of time with him.  The goodbye between Miduk and Kasey this morning was the saddest thing I've ever seen.  I don't know about Miduk, but I know my daughter will never be the same.  Nor will our family.  Miduk has touched so many hearts in his short six month stay, and has made many friends who hopefully he will be able to keep in touch with.  It is our hope that Miduk will return to his family, to his village of Aek Popo feeling stronger and more confident in both body and soul, having experienced the unconditional love of strangers.  That he will know he is a child of God and that he is precious.   That he will have hope for his future and that he will be motivated to find a job someday that he enjoys. That he won't let his disability hold him back.  I wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future and see what he will do with his life.  I feel certain that he will stay in touch with us, and I also think that we will see him again - if not back in Texas, then we will go to Indonesia to visit him.  I've been looking for an excuse to go back to Bali anyway!  :)   As my friend Orbie said, some of us plant the seed-some water it along the way-and some of us are lucky enough to watch it bloom.  I'm hoping we get to watch Miduk bloom!   :)

Please keep Miduk in your prayers, not only for safe travels as he returns home, but for his family to extend a warm and heartfelt welcome.


This is a photo we took at bible study on Wednesday morning.  Our group had a sendoff for Miduk, which included his favorite sausage rolls, lots of cards, hugs, and well wishes-not to mention a Texas Rangers baseball hat that Miduk is wearing (backwards) in this photo!  We brought his prayer shawl today, the shawl that was given to him when he went in for his surgery, and prayed over it for a safe journey for Miduk, and that he would always feel God's love and ours.

This is Connie (and Soldier the Beagle!) who came over on Miduk's last night to say goodbye.

Crazy Tim with his crazy hat/hair always makes us laugh!!!  Miduk is gonna miss bowling with Tim.

Miduk had his final appointment with Dr. Birch at Scottish Rite Hospital this week. Kartika met us there and gave Miduk a University of Dallas t-shirt and hat, a Scottish Rite t-shirt, and some beautiful rosary beads to take back home with him. She is so sweet and told Miduk he could email her any time.  I am so glad we met Kartika, she has been such a huge help with translations and is so sweet to Miduk.  We had not seen her in a while, and I think she was very surprised at how well he is speaking English!  A couple of weeks ago, I asked friends and family to write a short note of encouragement to Miduk.  Kartika willingly took on the task of translating all of those letters into Bahasa so that Miduk could read them more easily.  I collected them all in a folder and gave them to Miduk so that he could read them on the flight home, and read them again and again in the years to come. 

The x-rays and appointment went well, and the good news is that Dr. Birch told Miduk that he has probably three more years of growing to do!  Not to mention, he weighs ALMOST 89 pounds!  He arrived weighing 75 lbs in early November.  What a noticeable change!  He is also approximately 3/4 of an inch taller and looks so healthy.  I wish I could be there to see his family's reaction when they set eyes on him for the first time!!!  His voice has also changed since he has been here.  :)

Miduk had a great week-fishing, playing basketball, and go-karting with Ben.  He swam in the pool a lot too.  :)  And gave Sugar lots of love.....

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Last week Miduk was invited by Austen and Peggy Fritz to go to Founders Plaza in Grapevine and watch the planes take off and land from DFW Int'l Airport. This week, Austen came over to play video games and to go fishing with Miduk.  Austen is a great kid, easy going and laid back, and I know that is what Miduk likes about him.  :)

This is the Hammonds family, aka Best Neighbors Ever!  They live across the street and have spent a great deal of time with Miduk the past six months.  In fact, Pamela, Brian, Ben and Mia came over the first night Miduk arrived to welcome him to the neighborhood.   When I can't find Miduk (ok I really do keep pretty close tabs on him!), he is always at the Hammonds house, playing basketball or hanging out with Ben, or climbing trees with Mia, or playing with their new dog Kermit.  Brian and Pamela have taken Miduk to a lot of soccer games, and Miduk has enjoyed eating lots of Pamela's yummy homemade cupcakes!  I know Miduk is going to have a hard time saying goodbye to the Hammonds, especially to Ben. 


Tonight was Kasey's prom night, which made for a very special night for Miduk as well!  He got his photo made lots of times with "his ladies",
Kasey, Kaitlyn and Sam.  You couldn't wipe the smile off his face if you tried!


I told Miduk that I would take him to another movie before he goes back home, and he picked The Three Stooges.  Woop woop woop!  I personally am not a big fan of Curly, Mo and Larry, and was anticipating a great nap in the dark movie theater.....but Miduk, on the other hand, LOVES the three Stooges and laughed hysterically.  He told me I might have to take him to the hospital because his stomach hurt so much from laughing!  :)

Got one last haircut at SuperCuts with his favorite stylist Ashley.  She is so nice and has been great to Miduk.  His hair was getting long and he was wanting a mohawk, but I told him not on my watch!  He can do the mohawk thing when he gets back home if his mother allows it.....

We went to a concert with Aunt Kelly at her church in Coppell on Saturday night.  Check out http://www.emilyelbert.com/; she is amazing!

Another one of Miduk's favorite places, Blockbuster Video!  We go here on a weekly basis (sometimes more often) to rent games and movies.

Our last Sunday morning church service at Creekwood Christian Church.  Everyone at our church has been so friendly to Miduk and really really made him feel at home.  That's one of the things that makes our church so special.  There's no doubt in my mind that Miduk will remember Sunday mornings at Creekwood when he returns home.  Today we lifted Miduk up in prayer as he returns home this week, which was bittersweet.

Trying out his new rod and reel that he will be taking back to Indonesia.  Shelby surprised him with two rods/reels, saying it's always more fun when you have a friend to fish with.  Can you see Sugar in the water swimming after the lure?  haha

OK well our intentions were good but our follow-through not so good..... remember the fleece blankets we made this winter?  Well we finished almost a dozen of them and put them in a closet and forgot about them.  Now that summer is almost here, I remembered that we never gave them away!  My bad, as the teenagers always say.  But it's never too late, so Miduk and I drove to Garland and delivered our blankets to the children at Jonathans Place.  I know they will love a warm blanket when the weather turns cold again!

Miduk is holding the crucifix that he received from Orbie

You are looking at a Catholic crucifix that was given to Miduk by my friend Orbie.  This particular crucifix has been in her family for over 100 years!  Orbie and Miduk have a special bond, and Orbie generously gave her crucifix to Miduk to take back with him to Indonesia.  He will hang it on his wall at home, and it will go wherever he goes and be passed down to his children and grandchildren in the future.  What a neat story that will be, for him to tell his children and grandchildren someday about his trip to America and the special lady in his bible study class who felt compelled to give him one of her family treasures.  I am in awe of Orbie's generous and thoughtful gift, and have never met anyone with a heart as big as hers. 

Miduk and Orbie

Miduk has had a busy week.  We are trying to do all the things he likes to do, and eat all his favorite foods.  This week he has requested lasagna and chili and a double meat/double cheeseburger at Whataburger!  He is fishing every chance he gets and we have even driven to some different ponds so that he can fish. 

This week in bible study we had some new ladies join our group, so we all went around the circle to introduce ourselves and tell a little about ourselves - name, children/grandchildren, etc.  I wasn't sure Miduk was going to do it by himself, but once again he surprised me!  When it was his turn, he said "Hi I'm Miduk and I'm from Indonesia.  I stay with Mom Tracy and Dad Shelby and go to  doctor.  I don't have any kids yet because I am not married yet!" hahaha

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Last night we took Miduk to the rodeo in Ft. Worth.  I wasn't so sure he would like it, but I was wrong!  When we arrived, there was a longhorn that you could sit on and have your picture made, but he refused to have any part of that!  He liked the bull riding the best.  And the barbecue before the rodeo!  And of course, hanging out with "his ladies", as he calls Kasey and her friends Sam and Kaitlyn.  This past week he was busy making necklaces to give to the girls to remember him by.  :)


Miduk and I went bowling with Tim again!  This time I was able to redeem myself, ha!  Miduk is able to throw an 8 lb ball pretty easily and scored a 91 today using the bumpers.  :)

Every Wednesday morning we stop by the donut shop before bible study.  Miduk loves sausage rolls!  This is our friend who owns the donut shop and is always so sweet and encouraging to Miduk.

Miduk with our dentist, Dr. McClellan.  He is actually all smiles today, as this was the last of three appointments to fill a mouthful of cavities.

Miduk has been fishing every single day.  Several times a day in fact!  On Friday afternoon Miduk and Ben went to a couple of ponds in our neighborhood and caught some bass and sunfish.  Shelby and Miduk love to go to Bass Pro Shop together!  They have put together a tackle box for Miduk to take back to Indonesia, along with a fishing pole that we hope will fit into his suitcase!

This is Justin and Sam, two very sweet and thoughtful boys who came over to wish Miduk well.  They brought him some car magazines to read on his return flight home, and some beef jerky to enjoy along the way.  My friend Lori is their nanny and is an amazing person!  Justin and Sam are so lucky to have her.  :) 

Miduk getting (or giving?) his daily love from Sugar.  Sugar is sure going to miss Miduk, and Miduk has grown so attached to Sugar too.

Long time no write!  Just keeping busy keeping busy!  We went to Mooyahs for burgers and bowling again with Tim, which is always fun.  Miduk enjoys the friendly competition with Tim.  He doesn't even mind wearing the attractive bowling shoes!  This time Miduk kissed the bowling ball for good luck (he sometimes kisses things he likes). 

There was an 8.6 earthquake off the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, which is Miduk's island.  It struck off the west coast, and Miduk's village of Aek Popo is north central. This is the same place where the tragic tsunami occured in December 2004. Fortunately it was not a disaster this time!

Miduk talked with his mother and brother on the phone again.  He gets so excited talking with his brother and all I could understand was "Lamborghini, Ferrari", and many other car names.

Lately Miduk has been wanting to change the gears for me when I drive!  He asks if he can put it in Reverse or Drive.  Then he "drives" with his imaginary steering wheel.  :)

Miduk is anticipating his return to Indonesia with mixed emotions, as we are too.  He told me his heart hurts to think about leaving.  We talk A LOT, all day, every day, about going home and about his future.  My heart hurts too.

Miduk was telling us one night about playing football with some boys down at the pond.  He said he made a touchdown and Shelby said "That's my boy!", to which Miduk replied, "Dad you making me cry".  He has been very close to Shelby these days, mostly fishing together and also going to Shelby's church softball games.  They do their secret handshake which looks something like a fish flopping out of water.  :)

Monday, April 9, 2012


Fishing at Lake Lewisville with Darin

Wes and Miduk at the car show checking out a Lamborghini.
(uh yes, Wes broke his arm last week)

Easter Weekend with the whole family at home!!!

Don't get that cast wet, Wes!  :)

Catch of the day!  A catfish!

Shelby and Miduk with the hybrid that Miduk caught

Checking out a Porsche

Miduk with his favorite - a black Lamborghini!
(lambor-genie says Miduk)

Last Thursday Shelby took the day off, and he and Miduk went fishing with Darin on Lake Lewisville.  Miduk loves to fish and caught a big catfish and a hybrid.  He also discovered that he loves beef jerky ("jerky beef") and pistachios!  He has been fishing down at the neighborhood pond nearly every day, sometimes going down there 4 or 5 times a day.  Luckily he doesn't throw the fish into my swimming pool anymore!  Wes came home Friday for the Easter holiday and it was so great having him home.  Miduk and Wes spent some time at the pond, watching TV (Wes can't play XBOX since he dislocated his elbow), went to a car show.  On Friday night Miduk got a real treat, as he was invited by Ben to go to the Manchester United/Everton soccer exhibition match that was in town.  He was SO excited about seeing a professional team play on a BIG field!  And he enjoyed hanging out with Ben's soccer teammates that he has come to know - Mitchell, Alex, and Jackson.  Thanks, guys, for making Miduk's day!  Week!  Month!  

Miduk weighed 87 lbs on Easter Sunday.  When he arrived, he weighed in at 75 lbs.  He is definitely bigger and stronger!  He has been doing pushups and situps.  He can even do "handstand" pushups against the bedroom wall! I'm impressed!

Kasey has been helping Miduk to set up an email account so that we can all email him when he returns home.  He doesn't have a computer, but can use one at the internet cafe occasionally.  His email address is:  thenankman@gmail.com.  Please feel free to email him!  He could use the practice opening and responding to emails!  :)

Got some Axe Body Spray (deodorant) for Miduk to use.  All this time I just assumed he knew how to use it.  But then I saw him spraying his armpit AFTER he put on his shirt!  :)

We got a ball pumper (that sounds weird but I don't know what else to call it) for Miduk to take home with him, to keep his soccer ball inflated.  In Indonesia he does not have a soccer ball, but someone in the village does.  He said that when their ball gets deflated and needs more air, they take it to some kid who charges them $2 for air!  So Shelby told Miduk, now YOU can charge that kid $2 when he needs air!  And Miduk said no, Dad, not $2 - I charge him $5!  :)

Miduk told me that at mealtime in his home, they fill their plates in a certain order:  first Dad, then Mom, then the boys in the family by age, then last his little sister.  You do not go out of order!

When we went to Tulsa last weekend we stayed at my in-laws house.  Marlene had a pot of shamrocks setting on her back porch for St. Patrick's Day.  It was evening when we arrived, so the shamrocks were closed up for the night.  I saw Miduk lean over and I thought he was smelling them, but next thing I knew, he was eating them!  Yep he just took a bite and started chewing!  I questioned did he even know what that plant was, and he assured me they have those in his village (really?) and just to prove his point, he ate another mouthful.  You should have seen the look on mine and Marlene's face!  I promise we do feed him!  Just check the scales!!!

Miduk told us that when he was sick, his hair fell out.  In order to get his hair to grow, his mother made him some worm soup which he drank (says it tastes like coffee!) and then his hair grew back. 

Last week Miduk had a very exhausting trip to the dentist to fill four cavities on the left side of his mouth, one of which was very deep and we are praying will not give him any more trouble. 

Lately Miduk has been saying "I am American now!" when he sleeps in (8:00 to 8:30ish), and when he takes long showers.