Thursday, January 17, 2008

Gotcha Day, 2008

On January 15 we celebrated Lily's Gotcha Day. Although Chad is usually the "blogger" in the family, I feel like I should share a bit about this day. I cannot believe that we have had Lily home with us for a year now. Part of me feels like she has always been in our family. On the other hand, the pain of waiting for her is still very fresh in my mind and the frusterations of all that was involved in the process still tear me apart.
I spent the day thinking back to those amazing moments one year ago. I remember so clearly seeing her in her foster mother's arms from way across the hotel lobby. I did everything I could to keep from sprinting toward them. Although I wanted to grab her out of Dora's arms, I waited an eternity for her to hand her over to me (it must have been about 10-15 seconds!) I remember thinking I can't believe that I never have to give her back. I remember the tearful goodbye's to Dora and Ruben. I could go on and on with the memories of that wonderful day and that first special week bonding with her while we were in Guatemala. I spent the day reflecting back, much like I do on the birthdays of my other children. It was such a great day!
As I look back over the past year that Lily has been home, I have spent a great deal of time wrestling with issues such as why do I deserve this beautiful little girl? Why are we so blessed to live such a great life? How much pain is her birthmother feeling? Will her pain ever fade? Is removing these beautiful children from their beautiful country helping to solve the problems in Guatemala? Adopting our daughter has become so much bigger than just adding another child to our family. (If you know me well, you have heard me say this so many times and I'm not sure how else to say this). We have fallen in love with her country. We have a new awareness of poverty (unlike any sort of poverty we had seen in the U.S.). We have a sense of urgency to try to give back to Guatemala because of what we were able to take away from there. We want our daughter to know and love her birth country. We are asking the Lord what all of this means and what His plans are for our family. So, our celebration of Lily's Gotcha Day was a time to look back, and a time to look forward. God has been so amazing to us!
Carrie made this shadow box to show off some of our great memories from our trips to Guatemala.

We had a great meal at San Chez to celebrate the occasion.

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Extra! Extra!

Look who made the news. Sure, it is hidden in a yahoo news slideshow and our names are not mentioned. But we feel like celebrities anyway.
As long as I am doing some "blogging", Chad asked me to tell this story. I like to think of it as Homeschooling at its finest! I decided to take the kids to see John McCain this week. Not because we are great fans of his, but because there was a rally that was less than two miles from our house. I love election years for many reasons, one of them is that it is a really fun time to teach the kids about politics, elections, our freedom, and why America is so great! Chad didn't have to work on Monday afternoon, so we invited him to come along on our little fieldtrip.
We got to the rally about an hour early and when we went into the warehouse, there were already about 350 people there. It started filling up quickly. We stood and "people watched" for awhile. Pretty soon, a lady appeared on stage and she started hand picking people out of the crowd and asking them if they would like to come on stage. I suggested to Chad that he hold Will up just a bit because he has a great face! Who wouldn't want a cute kid up on stage??? So, about 10 seconds later, the lady was pointing to us, and asked us to come up. To make a long story short, we had a lot of fun cheering at the rally from the best seats in the house. My kids thought this was so great. But, here is my favorite part of the story. As soon as the rally was over, a man that was in charge of running this event (I'm sure he has a more official title, but I'm not sure what it was) said to me "hey, you and your family should jump off of this side of the stage quick, head through that curtain and go and meet McCain. I quickly jumped off, the rest of my family followed, and you can see what happened in the picture. What a great day!! Will and Chad both got to shake his hand as I tried to snap some pics. (My pics were not nearly as good as what the big time news guys got). So, if McCain does become president, this will be an even better story someday. But, as we told our kids, John McCain is already a hero because of how he has served our country. Anyway, like I said, this is what I call homeschooling at its finest.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Time to catch up

Here is a slide show to let you in on some of the great times we had this Christmas holiday. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. ( and by "all" I mean the two of you who check this blog from time to time)