Tag Archives: Hope

One year ago today…

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One year ago today, after 24+ hours of travel, almost no sleep, and incredible anticipation… we laid eyes on our sweet Ladybug for the very first time.

I will never forget the emotion of that day. I remember feeling this huge shock reverberating throughout my life – this small child that we had committed to love and cherish forever and always was REAL! She actually existed!

It is nearly impossible to chronicle the changes the past year has brought to our family individually and as a whole. We are not who we once were. We have deeper joy and more painful wounds than we could have ever imagined. Ladybug has grown in amazing ways.

One year ago today, she met her family for the first time. One year ago yesterday, we were but strangers. Today we are the only mommy and daddy she has ever known.

One year ago today, she spoke a language that, sadly, she no longer remembers. Today, she makes up silly songs, counts, sings her ABCs, proclaims her love to her family, rambles on, and says, “I’m sorry.”

One year ago today, she met two of her sisters. Today, she is learning that her sisters (now three!) are her best friends and pose no threat to her acceptance, attachment, and survival in our family.

One year ago today, she ignored us as best as her curiosity would allow her. Today, she seeks out our comfort for owies and good morning hugs.

One year ago today, she was an orphan. Today, an orphan no more, she has a mommy, daddy, three sisters, grandparents, great-grandparents, cousins, friends, church family, and the future of more family to come.

One year ago today, she was exactly five months away from coming home for the first time. Today, she has been HOME for exactly seven months.

The past 7.5 months have been inexplicable for our family. Building and growing a family is never easy, and the task can become even more daunting when so much baggage tags along for the ride. The challenge feels ultimate. The reality and complexity of adoption will forever draw me to the cross of Jesus Christ. He alone could complete this great work and knit people from different parts of the world together into one home and one family. One love.

We have so far to go, but I stand in awe at the work God is completing. I so look forward to our future!

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It’s go time

Court is scheduled. Flights are booked.

In a matter of just a few weeks, we will be on our way to Ladybug’s country for a final time as a family of four. We will return as a family of five!

The Lord has blessed us considerably, making a way where there first appeared to be none. Other little blessings spring forth: finances available to take Poppy and Bumblebee along, too; not even needing to miss one of my scheduled prenatal appointments for Gumdrop; more than a few days’ travel notice, and more. It makes the fact that we will leave only one week after her third birthday bearable. God knows why THIS specific timing is necessary, and we rejoice in His goodness!

We’ve known for almost a week and are furiously trying to implement all of the lists and plans that we’ve been building since we returned home the first time. Call this doctor. Buy this item. Prepare this piece. Send this email. Make this decision. All at the same time as swim lessons and Vacation Bible School and bedtimes and visits from family and washing the dishes. Anyone who knows me well knows that my perfectionism can tend to get the better of me, and I’m trying hard to not stress too much. But, I have caught a cold and stopped sleeping as well as normally. 🙂

I plan to write up a little post about our plan for our new family once we’re home. If you interact with us in real life, try to look for that post to come in the next week or two. In the meantime, prayer warriors, here’s how you can help:

*prep work – that preparing to travel will go well; that we’ll stay healthy and be well-rested

*traveling mercies – smooth and comfortable flights; baggage that goes where it’s supposed to; flights that go when their supposed to; Chris and I to have lots of love to help our littles manage the flight again

*transition prep – for Ladybug’s heart to be as prepared as possible; for Chris and I to remember all of our training and wisdom as it comes to making split-second decisions that are best for all 5 of us; that we can enjoy our family time in country

*homecoming – love and laughter and lots of sweet moments; wisdom and grace in the tough moments; for God to grant us support where we need it

Thank you, and stay tuned!

Home Stretch

I woke up at 4:55 AM today.

That’s pretty unusual for me, but the National Visa Center opens at 7:00 AM EST, and I wanted to be one of the first on the phone to them. Getting three important numbers from NVC was the final thing WE had on our to-do list until “book flights.” Calling NVC is not for the faint of heart, especially if you miss pressing “1” fast enough to stay connected to the call after being on hold for 20+ minutes. Like I did. Twice.

I got through and learned our numbers had been issued; and after an hour of being on hold (partially due to the aforementioned issue of slow fingers), I had the numbers!

Anyway, so now, our lawyer in Ladybug’s country can use those numbers to file another form, which triggers the last few steps. Hopefully, in about two weeks, we’ll receive our ultimate paperwork known as Article 5. Any time from immediately after that to indefinitely after that, court will be scheduled, and we’ll be on our way. We’re talking single digit weeks, folks! (Lord willing!)

Thanks for all the prayer warriors who have stormed heaven’s gates on Ladybug’s behalf! We love you all.

5/5/5 for Families

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We have received our first grant!

5/5/5 for Families is a really cool program established by adoptive parents who understand how a small commitment goes a long way!

The premise is simple: On the 5th of each month, 5 new families are announced to be recipients of all giving for the rest of the month. At the end of the monthly period, the grant amount is divided equally among the five selected families. So, if many supporters commit to give $5.00 or more, many children help get home to their forever families!

We are blessed to be recipients this month, and we have a challenge for our friends, family members, and supporters:

Would at least 10 of you consider a one-time or recurring monthly donation of at least $5.00 to help children into their forever homes?

We would be honored to know that our story and our sweet Ladybug has raised awareness of the immense need that exists and has motivated our loved ones into action. It is said that our hearts follow our money and visa versa. Would you give a piece of your heart and your income in this way?

If you are willing to join in on this opportunity to help other adoptive families follow God’s call on their lives, would you please leave a comment on this blog post or contact us at forgoodblog @ hotmail.com?

Follow this link to donate or learn more!

We can’t wait to see what a good few can do!

Ladybug Turns TWO!

Our little lady is now a two-year-old!

We celebrated her special day casually, with her ever on our hearts and minds. We raised our voices to the Lord as we do so very often on her behalf – that she would know she is loved and special.

A dear friend invited the girls and I over for a little birthday party play date. We had so much fun living and enjoying fellowship in honor of a sweet little one thousands of miles away.

My friend had prepped ladybug paintings for the big girls…

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While the little ones did what little ones do 🙂

 

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After a yummy lunch, we sang Happy Birthday to Ladybug so loud I’m sure she could’ve heard us!

 

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And we all got to blow out a candle in her honor.

 

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Lastly, our friends got Ladybug her first very own book!

 

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It was a simple and beautiful way to celebrate. I can’t wait for Ladybug to learn of our great love for her one day.

Sweet girl, our prayer for you:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
      The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
      The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26

(To be continued…)

Glimpses

We are so blessed that our agency is able and willing to provide relatively frequent updates of our Ladybug as we work to bring her home. Sometimes, we receive photos of and anecdotal information about our sweetie from other families who see her while visiting their own children in the orphanage. Other times, our agency’s in-country contacts are able to visit and take a snapshot or a quick video and maybe updated height and weight measurements.

Ever since we first saw a photo of our Ladybug in July 2013, we have been given small glimpses into her little life so far. Through photos and videos, we have watched her beautiful brown hair grow and curl up. We have heard her sweet voice and her beautiful laugh. We see her shy smile in one video and her pensive looks in other photos.

It’s not much, but we’re extremely grateful for what we’re given, both now and as we look toward Ladybug’s future. We are grateful that she will have some baby photos – that at least some pieces of her history are being preserved for all time. We are grateful for the chance to watch her grow in small glimpses from afar; but we are even more grateful for her sake, that she will be able to see glimpses of her story, her story that began long before she comes home.

Letters to Ladybug

Dear Ladybug,

I dreamed of you last night. It was so amazing to see you and hold you in my arms. And now that I’ve heard your sweet voice through a video update, I also was able to dream that we talked.

I remember my sweet German host sisters excitedly announcing the first night they dreamed in English. It was such a big achievement in their English language development that English was so “in” their minds that they could take that with them into dreamland. Maybe that’s why it feels so amazing to have been able to dream about you, sweet girl. You’ve been in my heart for a very long time now, but now my mind knows how to take me to you while I sleep.

I know it’s a little silly – I mean, we also dream pretty ridiculous dreams sometimes! – but I cherished that dream!

Hugs, sweet one.

xoxo

Love, Mommy