Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Last Thursday God spoke to Jon and I about the same thing. The cool thing is that Jon was away on a leadership retreat and I was at home... and yet, God gave us each the same word. We didn't realize it until later in the day when we were talking on the phone. Jon wrote a really beautiful blog post about it... so instead of you getting to read my words about it, click here to read his!
Friday, January 20, 2012
I know there are many people who have been waiting for me to blog about our month with the girls.
Going into it I thought I would post regular blogs during the month, but then in the midst of it I couldn't do it. It seemed too personal, I wanted to just protect it and enjoy it. But now I think I am ready to share some of it.
The day we picked up the girls from the airport, I was shaking like a leaf! I couldn't believe how nervous I was! How in the world could two 4-year old girls scare me so much! Okay, so there was the language barrier, the unknown of what these girls were like, and so so much more... so, I guess I had a bit of a reason to be nervous! ha! We waited at the airport for hours with lots of other families. The anticipation right at the end was amazing... lots of tears and nervous energy!
The girls came out and we met them. I could tell they were sooo tired! We had to wait awhile until we could talk with one of the chaperones about medicine one of the girls is on. This took longer then I had hoped and the girls started to lose it. Fear had totally taken over them. We ended up carrying these two girls kicking and screaming out of the airport. I couldn't imagine what they were feeling. I couldn't imagine what my own boys would have done at that age to fly around the world and then have to leave with a family they had never met.
We got the girls home and in bed around midnight. Then Jon and I went to bed, we laid there, looked at each other and wondered what we had just gotten ourselves into! This was going to be a long month!
The next few days we dealt with jet lag, the girls were getting up super early (like 3 am!)... but thankfully that didn't last long. We were quickly getting to know them, and they were getting to know us! We realized right away how much they like music. One is always singing and one is always dancing! They were stubborn and independent. I think because they needed to be. I really felt like God was telling me to break some of that independence in them. So, we tried really hard to help them with everything. To let them know it was okay to let someone parent them, and love them! We did see a huge change in this area by the time they went back to Latvia. They were also super guarded when they first came to us, they would let us hug them, but didn't return any affection. But again, by the end of the trip they were all over us! Lots of hugs and kisses for the whole family. English was picked up very quickly by one of them and she would talk for her sister a lot as well. She also would try to teach us Latvian and Russian! Smart girl!
I am leaving so much out... but some of it I just can't put into words. But I will brag on my boys for a minute! They were just as excited as Jon and I to have these girls come live with us. And I wasn't sure if that excitement would end once they got here... I wasn't sure if they would fully engage with the girls or go hide out most of the time. Well, there was some hiding out at times, but they also took the opportunity to really spend time with the girls. There was lots of playing going on in our house! Lots of laughing and snuggling and princess movies! The boys enjoyed it all... there were times I would just be watching them and feeling like I could see Jesus. So many times I dwell on what I do wrong as a parent, I get mad too quickly or yell at them, or criticize... it was so nice to see something we have done right. We have taught these boys to love others and I am so stinking proud of them!
Taking the girls back to the airport was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had a friend traveling back with them and I told her that I just had thoughts of picking up the girls and running! She assured me she has been there and it would be okay. It did help to know she would be traveling with them. She is in Latvia now interviewing kids for the summer hosting program.
She had a chance to go to the orphanage our girls are in. She said it is a clean nice place and how wonderful the directors are. She said she was told that the girls came back much happier and ask about us everyday, when they can see us again. Soon, little ones... soon! I know it won't be easy when they come back... I am sure we will have to reclaim ground with them again, but it will be so worth it! She also told us something else...
The girls have a 2- year old sister at the orphanage. I know... I was in shock as well! She was dropped off a few months ago. Apparently the girls don't really know her and the orphanage is willing to separate them... but I knew right away in my heart that we need to try and bring all three home. Are you shocked? I have known for a few days now and I think I am still in shock! The boys and Jon agree... we can't leave her there. So, this brings up lots of prayer requests for us. First and foremost we need to be able to get approved for three kids. On paper our financial situation is not great. We live completely debt free, but don't make a whole lot. Please be praying that paperwork will go through without any problems. We also do need to raise our monthly support, so please be praying that we will find willing partners to come along side our ministry financially. If you want more information on what that looks like, please contact me!
I had a thought yesterday (well, I had lots of thoughts yesterday, but this one I am going to share!), these girls were born into the family that God had planned for them. But since we live in such a broken world it didn't work out. For whatever reason, God has chosen our family to come along side and raise up these girls, to redeem them and give them a family. To show them the love of God and what family should be. I am amazed that God thinks we can do this... we are certainly not equipped, but we are willing. He has never let me down before, and I know the only way we can do this is with His help and guidance.
So there you have it... we went from a family of four to a family of six to now a family of seven... waiting to be reunited. God is amazing.
And once again like so many other times in my life... I have had a song running constantly through my head. God speaks to me so much through music, so I guess it is no surprise why I married a musician! Here is the song... it is based on Psalm 91 (another theme in my life, Psalm 91!)... Hope you enjoy it!