It happened today! The proper grammarian in me says to only use one exclaimation point, but I don’t know if holding the button down for fifteen minutes would properly communicate my excitement! We should be bringing them home within a week’s time!
They are our children. No more dress rehersal. No more going through the motions. They are officially in our family! It feels like a huge weight has been lifted, and to God be the glory! As if salvation wasn´t enough, today He blessed us with five beautiful children. Allow me to introduce the family:
Big brother… This is the oldest boy who turned seven about a week and a half ago. He likes the color blue, loves to help (as long as it is on his terms), and is super creative. He is the one that created a habitat for the butterflies, and his imagination has fueled some creative ideas with Play-do and watercolors. He enjoys being the older brother and setting the tone for the other kids. He is also a soccer fan, and likes Barcalona. Also, I think he might be a car guy. We talk about them a lot, and I think, given that he loves to help, he may become my oil-changing buddy.
Big brother on his birthday… Proud to be a Texan in a few days!
Big sister… Our oldest daughter who turned six a week before we met her. She is all girl. She loves dresses and clothes in general, her favorite movie is “Tangled”, and she can be a bit of a drama queen at times. She´s also a talker… and at times, a singer. All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth. On a side note, she has got a thick head of hair, and the lice love her, but not as much as we do. She also loves climbing on the monkey bars, and she’s gotten pretty good at it since we have been here. We may have a future gymnist/drill team/cheer leader… Since she is all girl, I’m sure it will be one of those “lady sports” (Just kidding – How many people did I just offend?).
Big sister… Beth had fun doing her hair on this particular day.
Middle brother – The middle child who turned five a day after we met them. Middle brother is a people pleaser. He really doesn´t like conflict, and he is always reminding the others to say please and thank you. Along the same lines, he is always lobbying for things to be fair. It is interesting to me because he seems to be the kid that all the others have no problem playing with… maybe because he is in the middle. He is a daddy´s boy too, which makes Beth a little jealous. He is always wanting to sit in my lap, hold my hand, be on my team, etc… He is also a soccer fan and the best at that memory game where you turn all the cards upside down, and draw two at a time trying to find a match.
Middle brother. On his birthday, he got to pick out the bread he wanted at Pan Pa’ Ya, so he got the most gynormous piece of bread he could find.
Little brother – The youngest son who will be turning four in about two weeks. Beth likes to say he is too cute for his own good. He has eyelashes that go on for miles, dimples, and a “I´m totally sweet and innocent” smile. On top of that, he is a bit of a “yes man”. I get tons of “Si, Papi’s” and he has no idea what he is saying yes to. He loves playing with his older brothers, even if they don’t want to, and he is a bit of a hoarder and a thief. We are working on this, but it is best to keep him in clothes with as few pockets as possible. Also, he likes things neat and clean. Beth also thinks he is a bit vain because he likes to comb his hair in the mirror for hours.
Little brother… I think he was up to something when I took this picture.
Darth- The youngest. Other aliases include “Turd Furgeson” and “Little Toot”. She is a mess. She is by far the funniest of our children, and can entertain herself for hours. She loves dogs and might actually be one. She growls at them in the park, sometimes barks, and has her tongue out a lot of the time. She also likes being the youngest and taken care of by all members of her family (on her own terms). She is one of the most strong willed of the kids, and doesn’t like being restrained. Also her volume knob is broken. She has no clue how loud to talk or when to be quiet. When I tell her to be quiet, she still moves her mouth but doesn´t make a sound because that´s clearly what I wanted.
Darth. Many a napkin have suffered the fate of cleaning her face, and this one is no exception.
Reading the Bible before bed.
The girls watching a movie. For some reason, I’m the adult, but I’m the one sitting on the floor?!?
Papi and the boys. We underestimated the size our fort needed to be when we built it, so my butt had to stay outside.
This was story-time with Mami before church yesterday. When I took the picture, I thought, “Awe… look how they are all so sweet and paying attention”. Then I saw what the camera caught. Darn you, Darth!
This morning as I was riding back from the court after having signed the sentencia, I thought a little about the journey we have been on.
A year ago yesterday, (September 9), we sent in an information sheet, photo, and $50 to learn a little bit about the adoption process.
September 20, Beth and I, after learning about the programs that were available, both felt called to international adoption from Colombia.
December 26, I began demolition on the breezeway to convert it into an office to make room (on faith that someday we might have a family).
February 2, Beth at Gladney informs us that five siblings are available for adoption and asked if we were interested, even though we put down on our form that we were interested in a group of two to four children.
February 20, after much prayer and discussion, we signed a letter of intent to La Casa claiming these five. That same day, we got to see a picture of our future children for the first time.
On March 24, we had the most amazing garage sale in the history of the world, and raised over four times what we thought we would for our adoption expences.
April 13, we bought a huge Ford van for our new family.
June 21, we were approved by La Casa to be the parents of our five kids.
June 22, we got to talk to our children for the first time on Skype.
July 25, I got to sing Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter for the first time on Skype and tell her that we would be coming in a little over a week.
August 1, HR from work told me that my coworkers had donated enough vacation time that I could be gone for the entire 9 weeks I needed, a few hours before we got on a plane to fly to Colombia.
August 3, I got to hug my children for the first time.
September 10, we are officially a family!
As an added blessing, our pastor’s wife informed us earlier today that our church took up a love offering yesterday evening to help us pay for some of the unexpected expenses. We did not ask for or expect this, and humbled does not even begin to describe how we feel. God has blessed us above and beyond not just what we deserve but also beyond anything we ever thought was possible.
Thank you to all that have prayed, encouraged, sacrificed time or money, and rallied around us. You have reminded me of the love of Christ – Before our kids ever knew you, you loved them enough to help us be their parents. This line is cliche, but it is so true. You all will never know how much you have blessed our family, and while it seems so trite, all I can say is “Thank you.”
We are still praying for a lot of our Gladney friends that are still waiting for there children as well as our church friends who have fought so hard for their little boy in Uganda. Please keep them in your prayers as well.
At the dinnermesa,