Friday, December 26, 2008

More Christmas Day Pictures

More Christmas Day Pictures

Notice that Maraya had a little too much festivities

Christmas Day

Our Christmas was a little different this year. Generally we all get up, open stockings while Daddy wakes up and comes down stairs. Then we all open presents, one at a time. We eat breakfast and Daddy plays with the kids (or with the kid's toys) until company starts to arrive - all the while I am making a big Christmas meal - I so love to do that.

Well, Oregon is having the worst snow it has seen in 30 years. Due to road conditions, company could not come over - so dinner will be delayed until the weekend. We spent the day together as a family, opened presents, ate breakfast, played with toys, baked a "Happy Birthday Jesus" cake, played games, etc - just us - it was nice.

After breakfast, Bill used his new family devotional Bible to read about the meaning of Christmas to all of us. Something hit me in a new way as he read it - besides the actual story of Jesus. In the Bible they track the heritage of the men - but not the women - Joseph was in the blood line of David - not Mary. However, Jesus was not born of Joseph. God does not look at a blood line as important, as many of us do. It is the spirit that is important to him - family has a very different meaning - it is a group of people connected by the heart, not by blood. The most important baby born to this world was, infact, adopted. Now, I knew that before, but I hadn't put together the heritage - of Joseph vs Mary - it has so much more of an impact on me, now that I have that understanding.

Another miracle revealed

It just dawned on me the other day that God answered my specific prayer - 4 1/2 years later.

If you read previous posts, you will remember that I had cancer while pregnant with Jackson. Well, that very nearly cost us our adoption of Zoe. Infact, we sent off our initial paperwork in May of 2004. I received a phone call, while away on business, that we could not continue the adoption due to my cancer status and would need to wait at least one more year before we could begin again. Ugh! My heart sank - but if any of you know me, I do not take no very well - there is generally always a way to do something. I talked with Bill and we began to pray about a little boy from Africa, as I continued to also pursue our adoption for Zoe. The doctor was able to write a very specific letter tha allowed us to continue with our China adoption.

Now - what dawned on me is - Zoe was born - likely - in the month of May in 2004, Carter, was born the following month in June of 2004. We prayed hard for both of these babies - one was being born as we prayed, and joined us a little more than a year later. The other one was getting ready to be born and would join us four and a half years later. I prayed for these children long before we were married, long before I knew what country they would come from and continued to pray for Carter - even after Zoe was home - not knowing when we would start that adoption. (a previous post explains how God told me about Maraya)

More snow pictures

Our First Snow

It was our first snow of the year, and Carter and Maraya's first snow of their life.

Madelyn was so excited! Maddy, Jack and Zoe were jumping up and down - Carter and Maraya followed suit - although I don't think they really understood why - they just saw the others so excited - they felt they should be too.

I took Maraya to the window, pointed and asked her "Snow in Ethiopia?" She looked at me with the strangest look, held out her pointer finger and waved it back and forth as she said "Noooo!"

They had a great time, all of them. They took turns pulling each other on the sled, throwing snow and just running around.

One Month Update

Well, Carter and Maraya have been home just over a month now and things are going great.

As an adoptive parent of older children there are quite a few things you miss out on - first steps, first words, etc. However, there is so much joy in watching them as they rediscover joy through their new family. Watching them get on an escalator or elevator is still so fun to watch! Everytime they use and understand a new English word - you can see so much pride and accomplishment in their eyes!

When we first met them, they called me "Mom" because that is what they were taught to do by their nannies. The last three weeks - they call me "Mom" because that is now how they think of me - and it is such a wonderful feeling.

It was about 2-3 weeks ago that I was taking Maraya to the doctor, the rest of the kids stayed home with Bill. Carter cried as I left because he wanted to be with me - that was the first time he cried for me - the bonding and attachment are very strong - what a wonderful miracle.

All five kids are playing and getting along very well - aside from the typical sibling stuff - some things are just universal.

Please don't misunderstand - of course there are some issues that come up - there always are, and should be expected. We did deal with terrible lice, I was sick for three weeks (not related to Ethiopia), and language is somewhat of an issue. However, these children have been taken from the only country, food, language, people, smells, etc that they have ever known - in my opinion, they are all adjusting amazingly well - they are doing far better than I would if I were in their situation.

Here are some pictures.