Sunday, December 25, 2011

Home for Christmas

I was sitting in bed with Peaches last night reading to her a Facebook comment from a family of a Hannah's Hope adoptee friend of hers.  We had posted the picture shown above on FB and her friend Ujulu left a comment (via his mom).  As I read it to her, Peaches was puzzled.  She said, "Ujulu can speak?"  She was surprised that Ujulu could speak the English words that I was reading to her.  In her mind Ujulu was still in Africa, still at Hannah's Hope, still speaking a language different than English.

I began to explain to her that Ujulu is in America, that he lives with a family, and that he speaks English....just like her.  She replied, "Ujulu is not in Africa?"  I said no and repeated that he is in a loving home in America just like her.  The wheels began to whirl in her mind.  Her life at Hannah's Hope was frozen in her mind with all of her friends still there.  Had things changed?  Had her friends also found homes?

One by one we talked about her friends from Hannah's Hope:  Luma, Mana, Lidya, Tizita, Sophee, Ujulu, Amani, Angesom, Liya, Hiyab.  Yes, they were all in America, all in a home, they had all left Hannah's Hope, they had all left Africa.

As Peaches pondered this, I also pondered this.  What an amazing reminder of where our Peaches came from.  It's easy to forget that she is a former orphan from Africa - she is so normal.  And a reminder of how many kids' lives have changed dramatically in just one year.  Last Christmas all of these kids were either at Hannah's Hope or had not even arrived there yet.  They were orphans, living life without parents.  They were learning to survive on their own, learning to fend for themselves, learning to ignore their internal hurt and pain and loss.  They were internally morphing into what a child becomes apart from a family.  And now a year later, they are opening presents in loving homes, surrounded by a mom and a dad, filled with wonderful foods, enjoying the comfort of their own beds. 

God does an amazing work when he transitions the life of an orphan into a family.  He begins His miraculous healing work and reaches those places in a little heart that only His hand can reach.  He mends the broken-hearted and He heals their wounds (Psalm 147).  We've seen this work in our own little Peaches' life and I'm sure the families of her HH friends have also seen His gentle, yet mighty hand at work.

I'm thankful for these families that have brought these little ones into their homes.  I'm thankful for the many families that have helped us over and over again in the last year as we have brought Peaches into our home.  It has been a joyous year - we stand in awe of God's goodness in our lives - we would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

What a perspective to think of our Savior entering into our world.  So thankful that His healing touch extends beyond the pains of our soul and reaches in to heal us of our sin.  And this healing is complete and forever. 

Yes, we are thankful for the birth of our Savior and we welcome into our lives as our King. 

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Sing-along

Our church has a night of special music each year for Christmas.  Our Family sang the Selah song, "Light of the Stable."  In the video from left to right are Rye Bread, Sunshine, Heather, and T-Bird.  Levi "The Beat" is on drums and I'm on piano.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Celebrating Our One Year Referral-versary

We joyously celebrated the one year anniversary of our referral tonight.  So thankful for our Peaches.  So thankful that she is home.  So thankful for the many, many blessings we've experienced over the past year.

Together as a family we went out to eat and remembered some of the details from 12/2/10.  What fun!  And as we were remembering we were a year ago and what we were doing, it was sobering to think that Peaches was still getting situated at Hannah's Hope in Addis, having been there for only a week.  I can't imagine what that transition was like for her.  I can't imagine how scared she must have been.  I can't imagine how alone she must have felt.  A 4 year-old without family.  Can you imagine?

This scared little girl is now glowing with joy, has a laugh that we all love to hear, and calls us "mom" and "dad" in a way that melts your heart. 

She's home now.  She's comfortable here with us.  She's one of us.  We are so thankful for her!!!  God has been so good to continue to heal her little heart and to pour much grace upon all of us.  What a year to reflect on!!!

Some pics of that amazing day and that amazing phone call!

 The Referral Call!!!  Heather talking to Kiersten getting the amazing news!

 Getting ready to open the email with the details!

Together looking at our beautiful little girl!!!

And please click HERE for the link to the blog post for the amazing Referral Party!