Family of 5….Enceuntro day

Here is a little recap of the day we met our girls!

As you can imagine we woke up incredibly nervous and full of anticipation to meet our girls! We started the morning with a relaxing breakfast at what would become our favorite spot for coffee, Pan Pa Ya! Then, we found some beautiful flowers to give the girls when we met them. Because girls love to be given flowers ….right! Then we were ready to head to the orphanage with our bag of tricks and clothes for them to wear. Our agency gave us great ideas on what we should have with us to make the visit go smoothly. We had Skyped with the girls three times before this day, so they had seen our faces and interacted with us.

When we arrived, the staff took the clothes we brought and got the girls ready to meet us. They entered the room with smiles but very cautious. As we have told many people before, this day was exciting but it also came with deep sadness. I can’t imagine what was going through their little minds.

As they were standing inside the doorway we handed the girls their flowers and hugged them. We invited them over to a circle table to start making connections with them. This was easy since we  had:

 Cookies…..Games….Coloring….Stickers

My husband speaking Spanish helped them feel so comfortable. He played with the oldest and I colored with the youngest. They LOVED the cookies and put stickers on all of the papers! After about 30 min. we asked if they were ready to go and the oldest grabbed my husbands hand and was ready to leave. This was truly a blessing! We had read and been told about a variety of responses children have when leaving their home. We were ready for anything but were overjoyed when the departure was so natural.

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After we left, not very long into our trip the littlest leaned over and fell asleep on me. This momma was loving every minute of it! Our first stop as a family was the mall. Yes, I said the mall. You see, this trip was filled with appointments and one of the things we had to get was a family photo. Our driver took us to the place she recommended and went in with us to help get the exact photos we needed. We were surprised to find out we would be taking our first family photo inside of a photo booth. Instead of a normal photo booth with an automated camera a man stuck his head through a curtain and snapped our picture.

After one more stop for documents,  we were ready to go home. We enjoyed dinner at home and had fun talking with the girls. The entertainment at the dinner table was the ice in the glasses. We had filled the glasses with ice like we normally do for guests however, we didn’t know that this was a new concept to them. They giggled and made crazy faces all evening with the ice.

After our first dinner together, we got out the stickers and this kept us busy until bedtime! As you can see there were stickers EVERYWHERE!!!

We started our bedtime routine and our oldest was excited to read the Bible. We were all exhausted and slept great! We had originally planned on staying up after the girls went to bed so we could discuss our game plan, however we just fell asleep instead.

The day was a whirlwind but simply beautiful.

Denial is just a river in Egypt

So, here is much needed update….

We were waiting for many weeks for an approval letter from the orphanage we wanted to adopt from.(accepting our family to adopt from their orphanage) It was taking much longer that we expected. And to be honest I knew that we were going to get bad news. I felt it deep in my heart and let it get the best of me. Then I realized that being focused on something I thought was going to happen wasn’t going to change anything. So, I just started to pray and embrace what might happen. Again I went back to the question, “why are we adopting?” It was the same answer we have had the whole time. To show God’s love to his children. To inspire, teach, comfort, encourage, build hope, heal, overcome obstacles, share dreams, and embrace that we all have fallen short but there is a future that is beyond our dreams. So, I started getting involved in things around the community that would allow me to show God’s love. This helped me focus on the big vision God has for me  instead of the typical worldly plan I have . I can still show God’s perfect love even if my plan isn’t going the way I want it. So, April 30th came with a very disappointing letter…….we were denied (meaning our adoption from Colombia would not happen)…..but we could appeal the decision.

This was very upsetting news….however, I really truly believe God let me know this was going to happen. You see if I hadn’t already had time to mourn this decision, I definitely couldn’t have charged ahead with confidence to appeal the decision. Because I had already had time to sulk and cry, I was able to pick up the phone immediately and make things happen. Don’t get me wrong….there were tears involved but that deep sadness that just makes you want to stay in bed….that was not there. With the help of my AMAZING (like so amazing that this appeal happened because of her) case worker we got the letters ready for the appeal and mailed them off. So, again we WAITED……

I felt such peace in this process. It was like nothing I have ever experienced in such a time of disappointment. My husband and I were not worried or anxious about the result we would hear from the orphanage. We knew that we had put our best effort forward and if the approval didn’t happen then that was a way God was showing us to move a different direction. However, we felt in our heart that there was too much evidence that God wanted us here. As I think back or go back through our blog there is time and time again that God provided a way. So here we are again waiting to see God work. I can’t express enough how amazing this abundant peace was we had when we were waiting on this decision. The waiting did not come with anxiety…we waited by moving on with our daily life, making sure we were still holding on  to our vision of showing God’s love to the ones already around us.

Then you guessed it……May 28th  came with an exciting letter!!!! We are approved through a private orphanage in Colombia!! We are able to adopt a sibling group of two  ages 9  and under.

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This is a story that I just can’t keep quiet….God is so good! His plan will never fail! There is always hope and sometimes a plan or path that you don’t see coming.

International Farewell

So, I bought this 1963 International Scout about 10 years ago. For those of you who don’t know what that is, think old Bronco. I put a lot of work into it and had dreams of taking Rebekah for a ride, and someday, my kids. But between living on a teacher’s salary and getting married, I found less and less time to work on it, and honestly, I was losing the desire to finish it. My new passion: the Honda Ruckus! Yes, I now want to be a nerdy scooter guy with a scooter gang. Yes, I said scooter gang. So surely I can find someone with a Honda Ruckus who wants to trade for a 50 year old truck that doesn’t run with no title, right?

Well, after listing it a few times unsuccessfully, I got the title sorted out and I started to think that the trade wasn’t going to happen. This kind of bothered me because I had to have a trade if I wanted a Ruckus. I mean, with all the money we need I just couldn’t justify selling it and then buying what was really just a toy. If I sold it, the money had to go to the adoption. But I reeeeeeaaaaalllllly want a Ruckus. But I got to this place where I realized that, like so many other things in life, it’s not about what I want. It’s not about how I can spin the whole thing to make getting what I want feel okay. It’s really all about what will help accomplish the mission that God has entrusted to me. That mission is to give some kids a good home.

So I listed it again for trade or cash. I decided that whatever came to me was what God had for me.  I couple of days later, I got a call from a guy who wanted to buy it. I wasn’t holding my breath. It was, after all, a Craigslist deal, and those usually are no-shows. But this kid wasn’t. He and his brother came to look at it. They were serious about buying it and wanted to give it to their mother for Christmas. She had been talking for years about how she wanted one just like this and they wanted to surprise her. I was asking $2000 and they offered $1800. How could I say no. SOLD AMERICAN!

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The next day they showed up with cash and as I watched my friend of 10 years roll out of the drive on a tow truck, I was filled with lots of emotions. There was a little sadness, a feeling of humbleness that I was open to God’s will above my own desires. Overall I was grateful that God had brought such a great amount of money for the Scout (about $1000 more than I paid for it) and that, while I wouldn’t be able to give my kids a ride, the Scout helped bring them home. Hopefully, there is a lady in Mounds, Oklahoma who will derive a great amount of joy from taking that thing for a spin. Who knows? Maybe someday I can take the kids around the block on a scooter.

Rhees

What is your bridge?

I believe that ALL people have been specifically chosen from our Heavenly Father for an amazing purpose. We don’t always stay on track but you can always find your way back to where you need to be. It may be hard or painful and your journey back is sometimes what is so inspirational to others. Don’t let your past hold you back….burn those bridges and be FREE!

Welcome!

Welcome to our blog. We will be sharing our journey through the adoption process. Here you will be able to see what is going on in our story and find opportunities to help. We also hope that when our children come home, that we can be a blessing and a help to those who are starting out their journey down the road of adoption.