When we read this post from our friend Kate at One Flesh Marriage we asked if we could share it here. She and her husband, Brad, will be at Hope at Home 2012 sharing on marriage and transracial adoption. Can't wait!!
Today we want to share a little different side of our story! The story of a journey. A journey to find our son!
1 year of waiting, and 16-hours of traveling, and 1/2 way around the world on a plane . . . we were finally here at the start of our Forever Family!
We enter the locked, guarded compound and our eyes were immediately drawn to a group of precious children playing in a circle with a ball.
Was he there? Would we see him for the first time?
It was incredibly over stimulating and made me light-headed. Brad and I looked, hand in hand, searching--and yet no one quite looked like him. Then a nanny called to us and said “Come, your son is inside.”
My heart sped up, tears pooled in my eyes; he was close and we were going to get to see him. Would he be shy? Happy? Or completely confused and upset at these new people wanting to hold and love on him? We were ready to give him the time he needed to warm up to us. His Daddy had a pocket full of race cars for that purpose. What little boy doesn’t love cars?
We followed the nanny down a dark hallway leading to a bunch of rooms lined with bunk beds. The next thing we heard was the nanny saying,
“This is your Mommy and Daddy!”
Around the corner bounded a huge pair of brown eyes and the most brilliant smile--belonging to our son! He leapt from the nanny’s arms into mine, shouting “MOMMY!” and embracing me with all this tiny might! Not all first meetings are this way, but for us this is how it happened and it will forever be a treasured memory.
Words cannot express that moment. Even now as I sit here sharing with you all, tears are running down my face. It was just like the first moment we held our biological son and daughter in our arms. This little boy was our son. He is also the son of a beautiful family in Ethiopia. We don’t take that lightly. We are proud to share this little boy with his biological family. They are a part of our family as well. We have been given this time with our son as a precious gift.
The Real Journey Begins
As we left this beautiful land and embarked on our journey home we knew we would face tough times, but we were overjoyed and on cloud nine. Not long after arriving home and uniting all of our family, difficult times came. Unique challenges of introducing a new member into the family who already has a personality, but doesn't speak a word of English. Not unlike the first night a newborn screams ALL night long, we recognized that as parents we don’t always know what to do. Even with all the books, education and training, we didn't know how to handle these challenges. There has been an immeasurable joy, but also great confusion and frustration.
Many times families going through the journey of adoption feel lost. They don't know where to turn, where to go for help or guidance!
What if there was an adoption conference that sought to share wisdom and experiences with adoptive parents? But what if it didn’t stop there? What if the conference also took time for parents to seek out the Holy Spirit so that He can lead them in their journey? What if there was a place that parents still waiting for children or who already have them home could come together to seek God's will for their families?
Hope at Home 2012 is just that place! An adoption conference where parents can not only find information, but find comfort in time with the Holy Spirit, learning to seek God in new ways as they lay their burdens and troubles on Him, and find His abundant guidance as they make this journey together.
Hope At Home
Good information as well as seeking the Holy Spirit? I don’t know about you, but that sounds awesome to me! Brad and I are so excited to share with you the Hope at Home Conference 2012. We were excited to be attending this conference, and thrilled that they asked us to present two of the break-out sessions.
We are honored to be presenting session on marriage. Adoption Through the Eyes of Marriage, and one on transracial adoption, The Joys of Godly Diversity. Good friends, Scott and Jenni Means from Journey to Surrender ,will be presenting A Marriage Made in Heaven and Helping Your Child Hear and Experience God. These are just 4 of the many awesome seminars planned for October 5th & 6th, 2012. To read more of the details, including the other breakout topics and speakers, click HERE.
God Has A Plan!
God has a plan and a purpose for our time with our kids. We need to remember that God has given us all we need for parenting in His Word and His Spirit! We only need to ask and draw near to Him. Is it always that easy? Well it certainly is the best place to start. Books, experts--we often try them first and then go to God only in desperation. Seeking Him is the place to start!
Children, adopted or biological, are a gift and a product of our marriage relationship. They are to add to it (yes, they add stress too!) and then we allow and encourage them to take flight on their own, pursuing God with all of their hearts. Children are not our hope in life, no matter how much we desire them--God is our hope. Brad and I have learned some of these lessons the hard way. That is why we are so thankful for God’s renewing our hearts.
Watch the conference video below and if you are an adoptive or waiting parent, please consider joining us. I am excited to see what God has in store. When we draw near to God, he draws near to us. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Spread The Word
Would you help us spread the word about Hope at Home 2012 by sharing on your Facebook page, Twitter, email and word of mouth? If you know adoptive parents, please share with them.