Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Forever Family Day!!!

One year ago today... she became ours forever!

And today.... it's hard to imagine there ever was a time she wasn't ours!

There seem to be no words and yet thousands of words to somehow conclude what the last year has been like with Sarah home. I've spent the last week being very nostalgic and emotional as I've thought endlessly about just one year ago.

So much has happened since then... everything's changed so much and yet so much has not.

We went to the Embassy one year ago today to legally commit to caring and providing for Sarah. I would have died for her I loved her so much. The crazy part is we loved her and didn't even know her.

I'm sure that sounds very sweet and romantic... and very true.

However, for all our commitment, our agape love, and romantic notions... you come home with a child from another country that you have pretty much NO relationship with. And day after day, week after week, month after month from that day on you learn about each other. We learned about her and she learned about us. Sometimes it was pure joy... other times it was confusing and hard. And that went for both Sarah and us : )

The relationship is what has changed.

Our relationship with Sarah has changed from committed, agape love with all kinds of romantic fantasies to a relationship based on that same love with the addition of knowledge. That SWEET, FAMILIAR knowledge. Knowledge like where the perfect spot on her belly is that makes her squeal with giggles, or that knowledge that when I pick her up from the nursery, she's going to run to me, nestle her face into my shoulder and take deep breaths, smelling me like I was a flower. That knowledge that when I turn my back, she's going to take a bite out of her sister's arm : ) Or that knowledge when I ask her for a kiss, she'll lean forward with the most adorable puckered lips you've ever seen.

Our relationship with God is what hasn't changed.

He's still there. When things were unfamiliar for all of us, He was familiar. When things seemed confusing and unsettling, He was the same. When fears clouded our hearts, He was perfect peace. He is what stayed constant from that 1st relationship we had with Sarah via pictures on email to the real relationship we had with Sarah as we came to know her in the flesh. (Although I must say how much joy I've found going back through pictures from the orphanage and seeing Sarah's expressions and with confidence being able to say, ah, I finally recognize that expression... looking at them and knowing which pictures showed her sad face, her overwhelmed face, her content face, her scared face...)

Sarah has changed and so have we.

Sarah is exceedingly more confident, happy, physically developed, bold, expressive and loving than 1 year ago. She absolutely loves her daddy, mommy, brothers and sister fiercely and has grown by leaps and bounds in her ability to trust. Until our recent travelling, she hadn't had sleep issues since April, which has been a huge blessing and a tell tale sign of her great adjustment in bonding and attachment.

We are exceedingly more attached and bonded to Sarah as our precious daughter than 1 year ago. I simply cannot fathom life without my Sarah and am daily filled with joy by her sweet, adorable little person. I thank God for completing my love for Sarah with such fond and consuming affection that every mother feels for her children!

So many changes and yet so much the same. Thank you Lord!!

If you'd like to take a peek back in history, click on the link below to see our Adoption video in tribute to our FIRST Forever Family Day!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We miss you Daddy!!

...but boy are we having fun at Grandma and Grandpa's!!

The girls were crazy about the trampoline... you can see they were really getting the hang of it : )

Emily's big cheese

Sarah getting some love from the boys!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adios Papa!

David leaves today for Romania and will be gone for almost 2 weeks : ) We are excited to see what God will do through him and the rest of the team heading off to serve at a youth camp and also visit an orphanage... I'm a little envious : )

If you are interested in following the team while they're there, you can read up on their trip at

These 4 munchkins are sure gonna miss their daddy and so is this espousa!! We'll see you soon Daddy! We love you!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Warriors for Christ

I've always been more concerned with a rebellious heart than a rebellious behavior... which is good considering my youngest son is prone to being rough around the edges : ) I love this picture of my boys at Walt Disney World. Maybe because it makes me smile at how rambunctious they can be .... but I think mostly because I like to think their outward energy will one day be reflected in their fight for their faith.

God has been really teaching me these past few weeks about boldness in our faith. Straight out evangelism! Oh, I thoroughly enjoy the natural relationships in my life and how God uses those to share the Good News in my everyday conversations. But I mean taking EVERY person you encounter during your day and allowing the gospel to be illuminated. Not Bible-beating. But not just "niceties" either. Sometimes I think we Christians think we are being "Salt and Light" just by not acting irritated in the check out lane at Walmart. I'm talking ACTIVELY being sensitive to God's leading in EVERY conversation and EVERY encounter.

I went on a week trip with the Youth this past week where we did street evangelism... it was fun, amazing and pure joy to see God at work. God also has brought a Mormon teen girl into our youth program through one of our high schoolers. This has been incredible too... watching this young girl AND her mother truly seeking TRUTH! But what has made me pause the most at the glory of God lately is one of my two "warriors for Christ".

Our neighbors have a daughter that lives in Hong Kong with her husband and 2 children teaching at a university. The daughter and her family come home each summer to spend time with their families. The boys LOVE having kids to play with next door. Especially Zachary.

Recently, Zach was swinging with Rita(6) on our swingset in the backyard. I was on the deck with the girls while Zach and the neighbor"s daughter and grandchildren played. I heard Zach say out of no where...

ZACH: "Hey, Rita, do believe in God?"
RITA: "no"
ZACH: "You mean you don't even know who God is??"
RITA: "no"
ZACH: "But Rita, You HAVE to believe in God! He is the most Highest God and He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins!"
RITA: giggled(probably because of his over the top zeal : )
ZACH: "What!?! You think it's a joke? It's NOT! It's true! God is real!"

And then the next night, we were headed to bed and Zach says to me with his hands both up for a high 10.....

ZACH: " Touchdown, Mom, I got a touchdown today"
Me: "How did you get a touchdown Zachary?"
ZACH: "I asked Rita today, 'Do you want to go to Heaven or Hell?' And she said, 'Heaven' . Sooo, TOUCHDOWN!!"

Wow.... nothing like being challenged by your own children!! I'm so grateful for my little warriors : )