Baptism Sunday at Willow Creek Community Church. My sister Amy, my mom, and my niece all chose to be baptized today.
It was a great day.
Only Love can leave such a mark
But only Love can heal such a scar.
Our lives have turned some major corners in the past year. After deciding to discontinue home schooling, we sent our three big boys to the local public elementary school for the first time. What a very big change all around for us, but we all agree that it was a good choice.
Kenyon left the company he had worked for for his entire 15 years of post-college life. He took a chance at a new opportunity with a more local company. Always thinking of
his hunting season our family, he had the goal in mind that we wouldn't have to move geographically in order for him to move up in his career.
I couldn't be more proud of him.
As a result, we had say good bye to his company car and purchase a newer family truckster. This is the first time in our marriage that we've owned (and insured, and repaired, and gassed up) two cars.
I know, poor us.
Shortly after his new job started, my Beloved revived a conversation that I had thought was dead some time ago.
You see, from the time we had a few years of parenting under our belts, the subject of orphans had caught our attention and our hearts. Kenyon was the one who pushed me to go to Russia in 2006 to spend a week loving on precious children who are without families of their own.
That trip changed me. I brought home with me faces and names, personalities and memories that defined the word "orphans". There are an estimated 145 million + orphans globally, and I could not run from them or ignore it anymore. I hugged them, sang with them, played with them, and said goodbye to them.
Then I came home to my loving family. When I kissed my kids goodnight, I thought of the rooms with 30 beds filled with kids who don't get stories or snuggles or kisses at bedtime.
When my family was laughing and re-living our day at dinner time, I remembered looking into the rooms where those 30 children ate together - in silence.
My little boys love bubbles and stickers and puppets. But now those things triggered memories of children who had never seen those things and when the Americans left, would likely not see them again until another group returned.
My kids go to the doctor for simple things like ear infections and yearly check ups. I spent time with many children with easily correctable medical conditions that will spend their lives labeled and institutionalized. There is no one advocating for their medical care.
You get the picture now, I'm sure.
For years now, our family has supported orphan care organizations and contributed to adoption funds of several families. We had considered adoption, but various factors always added up to it not being the right time.
Personally, I didn't know if adoption would ever be written into our family's story. And I had come to a point of complete peace with that. If my husband did not want to adopt, then I knew it was not for us. I shut my mouth and prayed that God would show me where I would fit in to this puzzle.
I am sure you can imagine my surprise when exactly one week into his new job, my man came to me and said, " I really think we should move forward with adopting."
Have you ever wanted something so badly for so long and when you finally have the opportunity to get it you question if you really want it? Yup, that was me.
After about a week of heavy discussion and constant prayer, we filled out the application to adopt a child from China.
That was March 18th.
Last night was a big milestone in the process. After months of paper chasing background checks, birth certificates, marriage certificates, writing 20 page autobiographies, and visiting doctors to sign off on our health status and our children's as well, our social worker came to do our official home visit.
After two and a half hours of individual and group interviews, she promised us our precious home study report within the next week or so and with that in hand, we will be moving forward toward our ....
We are all so very excited to start on this journey. We hope you will join us with your prayers and support. We hope that by this time next year we will be settled home as a family of seven.
I know, the poor girl will never go on a date with four big brothers and a dad - all with weapons.
More to come soon. And, needless to say, I'm taking suggestions for new blog names.
I often think about the fact that my kids have no concept of how exceptional their surroundings are. They climb mountains, ski down them, visit national parks (often), and have been exposed to some of the most unique back country wilderness that I have seen in my life - all before my eldest even finishes elementary school.
Heck, our views on our walk to the bus stop would stop any flat-landers in their tracks.
Our visit to southern Utah this spring was no exception. Amidst all the hiking memories we have created as a family, Little Wild Horse Canyon stands out easily as my favorite.
As much as I really enjoy writing stories, this time the pictures are really worth a thousand words.
My men are already talking about hiking this one again.