Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Visiting Stephen

Wow, what a surprise it was when we saw Stephen for the first time on Monday!  He has been living in a foster home for 8 months and has experienced significant improvement in his ability to walk on his own and has gained significant weight.  He has also shown some clear signs of ability to communicate. This is not what we expected, in fact, it was almost opposite what we thought we would find.  We have enjoyed two long visits with him each of the last three days. We play with him at the playground and we have taken several walks in the area near the American University.

 He has warmed up to us quite well and is a great hugger and he gave Tiffany a kiss today.  His two favorite things to do are riding a small carousel in the area and enjoying a swing we have done with all of our kids when they were young while walking and holding our hands.  We also were able to visit the orphanage today where he spent most of his little life to this point.  While we were there, we met a Therapist who had worked with him to teach him to walk.
We are very optimistic about his future and believe he can be strong one day both physically and mentally.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

We are here!

It is 4:47 am, we are working on very little sleep.  Our 18 hour journey to our boys country actually took about 27 hours.  I believe that was all God's timing.  Several wonderful things happened on our trip.
Right now I am very sleepy, but can't sleep.  I am too excited, my heart is pounding. We have worked for 7 months for this day.  The day we get to meet our son Stephen.  I am nervous, anxious, scared, but mostly just excited.  I can't wait to hug him and tell him that we love him.  We don't have to be ready until 7:30, but there is no way I can sleep!  I have slept about 6 hours out of the last 40, so I am hoping tomorrow night will bring needed rest.
The first interesting part of our trip was we met a orthopedic surgeon who said he would see Colton.  He could already tell me some of the things that Colton needed. God's perfect timing, Colton had just told me hours before how he could no longer straighten his leg in he morning,
There was a book I had been wanting to read for months, but had been too busy.  The Boy From Baby House Ten- I was able to read this book and Troy also started it.  If anyone questions why we choose international adoption, you should read this book.  It was perfect timing to really remind me why we started this journey and also to show me some of the situations that Stephen might have been exposed to.  I believe that adoption is God's plan.  We are adopted children of him and he commands us to care for the orphans.  There are many ways this can be done, but our journey here was the way God called Troy and I to follow him.  I do not believe our journey to care for the orphans will end after this adoption.  I do not know what this will look like, but I am feeling that this is only the beginning of our journey to follow him.
The last neat part of our trip happened in Frankfurt.  We sat there for about 8 hours. During this time we were able to meet a couple who was here to pick up their little girl!
Tiffany just passed her iPad to me to read this blog entry...and now I need to pipe in...she is dead on with the way God has already worked in his own timing on this trip.  The travel over was already grueling enough without hearing the news that after a night on an airplane, our two hour layover in Germany was now eight.  Our worst fear was falling asleep and missing the new flight.  We made it though and what little brain power I had yesterday was spent reading the book she mentioned above and listening to God confirm what Tiffany mentioned above..we are just getting started on our main purpose as a team in this life....what it will look like in the end, God only knows but he has put us on a mission and the additional 6 hours to our trip was well worth it for the "eye-opening" heart preparation he gave us both.
We are now two hours from starting the drive to meet Stephen.  I haven't been this exited/nervous since Caitlin was born.  I don't know what to expect but I know that I have high hopes for the life our family can give to two boys who currently have little hope.
To understand our hearts, please read the book Tiffany mentioned above, written by Alan Phillips and John Lahutsky.  We are all called to pure religion in the book of care for the widows and orphans.  In our own culture in America, kids are many times viewed as a curse...even Christians don't acknowledge the blessing they can be in our lives...but they are our future, and we need to learn to love them and raise them up to live Godly lives.
I thank God for the courage he has given Tiffany in all this....most women might be looking for a life of leisure following the raising of five children...somehow I don't see either of us going down that road.  It's obvious after yesterday that we are being prepared for more.
So where is God taking us on this journey? Stay tuned....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Week Left

It is early Saturday morning...our house is quiet (which is very unusual).  This time next Saturday I will be on my way to meet our boys!  I am so excited.  It has taken about 6 months for us to reach this point.  Six long months of paperwork and frustration!

My trip will be two weeks long.  I get to spend the first week with Steven.  I will be at his orphanage with another adoptive mom who has become a dear friend during this process.  I am looking forward to spending time with her!  Over the weekend, I will stay in the capital city.  The next week I will be with Brayden.  I think I will be alone that week.  I am hoping that there will be someone there, because a week alone with no one that speaks English could be rough on me!

We have been totally overwhelmed by the love from some sweet friends!  We have received all kinds of offers for help with our kids while I am gone.  It has brought me to tears.  I am so thankful for these sweet friends.

Now, to get through this next week!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Travel Dates

We got travel dates!!  I will be in country from May 26-June8.  I can not wait to meet our little guys.  We have worked for about 6 months...I am ready to hold them!

Of course this is all happening during the busiest weeks possible.  Between now and the time I leave, 2 kids are in a play, which I have to be at all week and next weekend.  Caitlin then has finals, we have end of year stuff for school, I have to get 2 kids ready for camp.  Plus, our renovation on our house will finally we will be relocating lots of stuff.  Tonight we moved Troy's office.

I had a great Mother's Day.  We had a great day together!  I am blessed to have 5 great kids and 2 more on the way!