About Sarah

This blog is dusty. I know I have been such a slack in updating it but life has been hectic to say the least. I am updating this now because it is unbearable watching the Germany vs Italian Euro 2012 semi-finals. Germany down by 2-0. Not much hope against the Italian romeos by the way they are playing tonight. My tummy is doing the stomach lunges and it is bad for my heart, so I turn to blogging. That is better than seeing Özil continuously missing his chances. The Germans never win against Italy in any international game. Tonight it looks like this jinx won’t be broken any time soon. Not that I believe in jinx but Loew, your line up tonight is crappy.

Let’s write about Sarah then. Suddenly, we are getting a teenager in our house for the next one year. This was how it all happened..

We went to Bootcamp- myself, Dianah, Alubah and Masturah. 4 out of the 6 of us. The other two, Rahmah and Melati chose not to. The 6 of us, bound by the 2 things we have in common- our Singaporean passports and our Tanjong Katong Girls School badges; are inseparable here in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Despite being from different batches in TKGS, we found each other here in KL, home away from home and simply made a family out of one another. Our support network here is rock solid. And that was how this Sarah issue got solved, I think.

(*Ok, Germany lost 2-1. That’s it, end of the competition for me. Time to catch up on lost sleep.)

After Bootcamp, we were just resting by the pool at Mas’s house when Diana brought up the story of Sarah, a German-Malay girl from Bremen who is under the AFS student exchange program. She needed a host family from here. We all said yes, we can do it, especially Alubah and myself, who are without children of our own. I have been a teacher for a good 15 years already and my own husband is a half German half Minangkabau man. How easily we could have taken Sarah in. Or so we all thought.

Dianah got to work, introducing us online via her email. I saw Sarah’s father’s reply and the first thing that struck me was that, he has been away for 31 years from Singapore and he wrote in good Malay. That on its own was somewhat heartwarming, to me at least. AND, what makes me smile each time I read his Malay emails, the tone and syntax of his Malay brought me back to the 80s. It’s like reading something preserved because seriously, who speaks like that now in Singapore?Seriously lovely. I told my husband about Sarah. He had his initial reservations, as always–typical engineer who needs to look at every single angle and beyond. Thankfully he agreed. He also reminded me of the time we actually tried to be a host family to a student in exchange program, but was rejected because he was a full time Masters student then. So probably, the time is finally ripe for us.

However, it was not so straight forward as we thought it would be. AFS Malaysia had already booked the foster family for Sarah, an Indian family in Ipoh. On top of that, we are not even registered to be an AFS foster family so to them, we are a no-go. Emails ping-pong back and forth between several parties. In the end, it was a final no. I accepted it but something tells me that I could do more.

Never undermine the power of du’a, so my ustazah always tells us. In the midst of all the email exchanges and the reluctance of AFS Malaysia to withdraw their decision, all I did was to simply take my wudu’ and did my sunnah Dhuha prayer. It was at around 10 ish am on Wednesday morning, after the Dhuha prayer that I prayed to HIM that if it is of Sarah’s benefit and for the good of everyone involved that she stays with us, please make it easy for us to get her as our foster kid. And that was it. I left it all to HIM.

And He decided what HE thinks is best. So after further appeals to the officer in charge, we finally got the agreement that Sarah would stay with us for a year. Alhamdulillah.

I have no idea what we are getting ourselves into, really. We have been carefree and easy for the last 7ish years of our marriage. Now comes a teenager and the word RESPONSIBILITY hangs precariously above our heads. And if the timing could not have been more on the edge, we are supposed to leave for our 38 days Umrah trip on the 13th of July…

But as always, we put our trust in HIM and pray that the best of anything would come out of it. And we are both Budokas, no? Nothing should fazzle us. Should. I hope. Insya Allah.

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