Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Secret handshakes and treasured friends.

Last week, Jacob and I were so busy with paperwork.  We stayed up till midnight four nights in a row filling out adoption forms so that we could send them off to the states with our neighbors.  This week we can breathe a little more and enjoy normal things like meal planning, fewer sandwiches, and take out.  We are also enjoying lots of family time with our kids, as goodbyes are beginning.  Our teammate Erica took me and the kids bowling Monday, yesterday Jacob and the kids had dinner with students while I had dinner with friends after Jacob and I had an afternoon date, today we have team time, tomorrow I have coffee with another friend while we discuss a book about being moms, Friday is family movie night with our friends who are visiting us for the weekend from Harbin.  We are planning a fun full weekend with them, then a teaparty for me and Eden with some girls, and Jacob and the boys are having guy time with a friend.  Can you tell we miss people.  So many of our evenings have been devoted to paperwork, and we are thrilled to have a little breather while we wait on another approval.  Though those evenings filled with paperwork seem tedious, they are an investment in our kids, another way we can show them how precious they are to us, our paper labor.

 This week, my kids said their first goodbyes to their friends.  Thankfully, this particular family plans to be back in 7 months, while the rest are moving elsewhere.  The last few days, they played their little hearts out together outside, eating popsicles, being on teams, taking pictures.  Monday, we had Eden and Ephraim's little friends, Jacob and Rachel, over for the last morning that they were here.  My kids have been anticipating these goodbyes, and grieving over them.  There have been many chats, tears, and hugs.  When 11:30 came, and it was time to say goodbye, I stood quietly in the room and witnessed the precious moment.  They said goodbye and gave hugs, then Eden grabbed Rachel's hand and said, "Promise me no matter where we are that we will always be friends."  She agreed, and then came the secret handshake between all the friends.  It broke my heart.  They later got to play outside with them again, but that goodby didn't end on as good of a note since Eden and Ephraim came up to resolve an argument, and their friends were gone when they were ready to go back.  I grabbed Xavier with no shoes, and we ran out the door and down the stairs to say goodbye again.  Later as we were on our way to go bowling, while sitting in the backseat of a taxi with my kids, Eden said, "Mom, I already miss Rachel more than my friends in America."  I comforted her, and, as hard as it was to see her hurt, I was thankful.  "She's getting it," I thought.  She's starting to love China for the people it's brought into her life.  She's learning the value of deep, and meaningful, and good, true friendships that impress your heart for years to come.  Father sees her tears, He has heard how hard it is for her to be away from America, He sees her sadness, but none of it is wasted.  What a loving Father we have.  

Showers of Blessing:
Breather from paperwork
Meal planning again
Thoughtful friends who spend their last bowling coupons on us
Husband who takes all three kids to dinner with students
Mom friend who I can be real about motherhood with
Family movie night
Friends from Harbin
Guy time and tea parties
Friends who teach us what a good friend is
New pics and videos of Theo this week!
Secret handshakes :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Daughter's Journal

"Mom, I want to write a book about orphans to encourage people who are adopting." Eden

Recently, Eden has been a lot more thoughtful of her actions, to the point of constant confession of her thoughts and actions.  I had been concerned about anxiety, but Jacob felt that her heart was becoming more tender like we had been asking Father for.  Perhaps it's a little of both.  Aware that all our plans for the next year had changed, that all of her friends from Changchun are leaving, that she was gaining a new brother and sister, and that we are moving is a lot for a seven year old girl to bear, I have been making an effort to talk more about her feelings, give extra hugs, and spend more one-on-one time together.  Father has given Eden a tender heart for orphans.   Of her own accord, she started a journal on our adoption adventure called, "Meaningful Lifes."  She said she wants to have it published.  Wouldn't that be something!  Adoption from the perspective of a seven year old.  I'd read it, and I am.  What a gift.  Last week, we went to The coffee shop together after I had given her an actual journal to keep her record in.  I stopped and grabbed her a peanut milk and some chocolate before getting there.  She was given a free chocolate muffin just for being her sweet self.  We had our quiet times across from each other, and I snapped this picture of her writing in her journal.  

I felt the sweetness of Father in this moment as I looked down at my reading to see a picture of the world from Eden as my bookmark.  Father, orphans, encouragement, and the world on her heart.  May it always be so.

Showers of Blessing:
Father who impresses things on my daughter's heart that I can't even imagine
Tender heart
Father teaching her how to cope with loss and change
Friends worthy of grieving
Love for her new brother and sister
Finding wall stickers, and kids getting excited about new rooms
A record of my young daughter's heart for orphans
Free muffin and sweet girl who gave it
Time to share our hearts with Him and each other