June 30, 2013

Met them!!!

What a day!

We met our boys for the first time and instantly, Chris and I fell in love with their sweet spirits!!!  We can't share pictures or names on the blog, but here's a bit of what the day looked like.

We drove out to the orphanage around 2:00 and spent about 2 hours talking and getting to know our sons. It was a very special moment, one that we will remember...ALWAYS.  It felt like eternity until they brought them into the waiting room where we were, but then...the door opened.  M and A walked straight up to us and shook our hands, and M knelt down before Chris to show respect. They were shy, and reserved at first, but we asked if we could hug them and they said yes.  After we hugged them, we had a chance to sit down and have our translator ask each of them questions. 

We told the boys that we have been praying for them for a long time and have come so far to meet them.  We didn't tell them that we were coming to adopt them because we wanted to allow some time to have them warm up to us, but one of the aunties said "These are your mommy and daddy!"  M smiled so big...and even little A smiled and grinned at us. A smiles with his eyes and it lights up a room!  We asked them to invite all of their friends to come into the room to talk with us. So then about 10 children poured into the room, eager to say hello and shake our hands. The children were sweet and were interested to hear our conversation. And they even sang 2 songs for us.

We found out a little bit about what they liked to eat and do. M loves cake and soda (Chris says he's just like his momma) and A loves chapati and juice!  They also shared that A LOVES cars so we were so excited to hear that because we have a few things that have the "Cars" movie logo on it!!

We asked the kids if they wanted to ask us any questions and M asked if there would be toys in America. :) And then another friend asked a question which brought tears to my eyes. He said, "Will M be okay in America?" Just thinking back on that brought me to tears as we drove away. They are cared about, especially by their friends. We asked our driver what he thought about the visit and he said he could tell how thrilled the boys were that we came there just for them.  I know that they can't comprehend how long or how far we have traveled this journey to finally be in this moment of time, but one day they may. I hope and pray that they realize we pursued them, just like our God pursues us.

Our take away from this day was such a reminder that our God goes to great lengths for our love and affection...what a perfect example of what it means to be a loving father.

Tomorrow's plans:  We are going to meet with the orphanage director and hang out with the boys. We'll let you know how it goes. Thank you for the prayers!! We still need them.

Leaving on a jetplane...

...don't know when we'll be back again (really)!

Hey we are an hour away from meeting our boys...but wanted to post our thoughts from our trip.  We arrive late last night around 1:00am. We had the worst time getting internet access even at JFK so I am posting our blog from yesterday.  Please pray for our meeting with the kids today.

Yesterday's post:


- Left Thursday for Alexandria to update our USCIS fingerprints – and we were able to get in and out in an hour with no problems.

- Went to Target to get last minute items and ran into Leslie Scally, my coworker and friend – what a blessing from God to have someone familiar especially when we are embarking in something so unfamiliar.

- Slept at Lynn & Rob Dow’s house (Christa’s parents) – Rob took good care of us! Thanks so much!

- Left Dulles at 12:00 – arrived in JFK at 2:00

- Left JFK at 5:15 – arrived safely in Belgium at 6:40 am.

-Left Belgium at 11:35 - arrived in Kigali for a quick layover, and then Entebbe by 11:00pm.

I woke up this morning in a panic that I had overslept, only to realize that I still had 20 minutes before my alarm was to go off. I laid in bed and began to feel overwhelmed. It hit me like a ton of bricks. This was the last morning in the U.S. that my life would be so called “normal”. For anyone that knows me, I hate “change”. Yeah, I know. You are probably thinking that if I hate change so much why in the world would we be adopting from Uganda, and two older boys no less. Chris loves change and is always pushing me to embrace it. But I have to be nudged along and even then, will go kicking and screaming. This is a huge “change”, and to me, one that I am fearful of. It’s the unknown that paralyzes my inner being. Yet, if I think rationally, I know that every time I have experienced change, I have grown and been stretched beyond what I thought I could do.

Before I even got out of bed, I reached for my phone and opened my bible app…this was the verse of the day…

“why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. “ (Psalm 42:11)

Ahhh…that gave me the extra dose of hope I needed this morning. I know that God is doing a work in me at this very moment, as I wait, as I anticipate.

When I reflect on how difficult this feels to me, I think about our boys and what they may be feeling, and my emotions pale in comparison. I wonder how hard it is going to be for them throughout this transition. My heart is already breaking for their grief and loss, and through all we’ve heard and learned, we know that there is a grieving stage in this process – a necessary one, which will hopefully lead to healing. My heart already aches to heal and bind up their wounds and I haven’t even met them yet. I guess these are the emotions of a soon-to-be-mother. And as I reflect, I realize that this is what Jesus felt when he gave up his life to wipe away our transgressions. Our God yearned to bind up our wounds.

we can’t do this on our own strength, but with God filling us with courage and endurance.

I’ve shared that throughout this process, God has been placing the word “endure” on my heart. There is so much unknown ahead, but I’m trusting that no matter what, if we endure, if we push on, if we don’t give up, that God will bless us more than we know.

I feel so vulnerable and yet so guarded. I’ve been telling people throughout this process that there are no guarantees in this process, that there is still a chance that we may not come home with the boys. Perhaps I’ve done this to protect my own heart. I told Chris that I’ve realized that in trying to go forward in this adoption with “eyes wide open”, that I have built a castle around my heart…but that is all from fear – fear that is not from God, but from Satan. So as I pray through this fear, I feel God’s presence, I feel His peace. I know he is with Chris and I. I know that he will see this through.

As a dear friend said to me the other day…

God only gives us a footlight at times, not always a floodlight.

We may not know what the next few steps are going to be like, but just as our blog title reads, we are jumping in FEET FIRST, knowing that our Lord will see us through. We know the road ahead will still have bumps – we know that there may be obstacles, but just like our pastor Dan Magan prayed, we ask that God will move all obstacles to the side so we don’t have to jump over them.

We feel your prayers.