Emily wrote this letter to Don in August, 1979. He was working and living in Saudi Arabia, and the kids and I were waiting for housing and visas so we could join him. We finally got there in January, 1980, and were so happy to be a family again.
August 13, 1979
I colored this picture. Mommy did the letter for me. I wish you were here. Mark is getting bigger. I think we’ll bring our bikes. Daddy, I hope that you’re safe. I say my prayers some nights, but not every night. I hope that you have choosed us a nice home. My mom bought me some gum and Nate is getting four pieces of his. Daddy, I hope this is a nice letter. Markie is not being good, but he’s being good. On Saturday night we picked up our legos and straightened our room. This is the end of my letter.
I went to Mr. Steak tonight. I had big French fries – bigger than McDonald’s. I had shrimp and I gave my mom one piece, but I ate half and she ate the rest of it all gone.
I had to write a little more, but I said this is the end of my letter.
When we made plans to go to Saudi Arabia in 1980, it was with the understanding that we would not be adding to our family while in that country. I figured once was enough in the foreign birth department, and since we were only going to be there for two years we could easily have another child upon our return to the States. But after five years in the sandy desert, Plan A had become a little outdated, and we decided that we didn’t want any more space between child #3 and #4.
On November 25, 1984 we got our first look at the newest member of the family, but with ultrasound technology being what it was at that time and in that country, that look wasn’t a very good one. The doctor told me that if he had to make a guess about the sex of the baby, he’d say it looked like it was a boy. But he cautioned me against buying a lot of boy things, because it was too early (26 weeks) to be very sure
March 13, 1985 found me looking like this
but March 16, 1985 found me looking like this:
The hospital experience in Saudi Arabia was much different from that in Iran. Abdullah Fouad Hospital in Dammam was quite new, modern, and clean; but best of all the labor and delivery department was supervised by a British midwife. She was attentive and competent and spoke English! So when Peter decided to make his appearance a little sooner than the doctor had anticipated, the midwife and I joined forces, and I had a baby before the doctor could arrive – and before Don got back from lunch!
Baby’s Name : Ibn Rynette Butler = son of Lynnette Butler
We brought Peter home to an adoring family, and he slipped into place almost seamlessly. How could we not get along well when he slept through the night from about day six. I still think that was my reward for having #4!
Or maybe it was this Crib Cuddle he slept in. Suspended against his crib mattress in the soft “sheepskin” and lulled to sleep by the sound of a heartbeat that was provided by the red heart, he slept like a champ. (Read here about the recall of this product . . .)
Our first Family Home Evening after Peter’s birth was spent writing welcome notes to the new baby brother.
Mark spoke for the entire family with this concise summary as a school assignment: