Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sterling Mei: (9) Sky Lanterns, Orchids, & Pandas

Cupcakes to die for!
Dreams, Beauty, & Life

We find ourselves tonight sorting through gifts through grateful eyes of mist. Thank you so much to those of you who reached out to us in support. We will need you all as these days move forward, so please continue to hold us close to your heart. Our passion for adoption leads us naturally to these steps we take. You are all amazing... and your generosity absolutely blows us away. Car-seat crew... BOO-YAH!!!!!!! (translation: exclamation of excitement, appreciation, and your general characteristic of you-rockedness).

Kayci & Shawn Roh Working their MAGIC!
Today was a celebration of the addition of our newest daughter, Sterling Mei Shepherd. With final travel arrangements ongoing, a few friends and relatives gathered today after our Sunday church service to blanket us with their love and support. It was an amazing day. Kellie shared with me that she fought back tears all day long. Tonight as we reflected on the day... those tears of thankfulness and humility were free to flow.  

These seemed kind of perfect for this moment.
Kellie and I spent some time with both Caleb & Aleksandra tonight as the day calmed down to bedtime. With our adoption to China, our transition to Guatemala, and all the stuff of earth in between... we know it is vital that we protect the hearts of our children. We are keenly aware that the characters of their soul are being formed by the daily actions we take and words we speak. We want them to see... and to share... and to help shape this journey that we take as family.

The lanterns that hung over the tables at the shower for Sterling now hang from the ceilings of the rooms of Caleb & Aleksandra. They serve as a reminder each day that this family is on a mission for something special. Every decision we make, every word we speak... how we treat each other... it all shapes who we will be as we walk this path. Ultimately, it will greatly determine whether or not we reach our destination.

I am convinced that God will take care of the big things in life, all we have to do is have tiny faith that He will provide. 

That however, is not the hard part.

Here's where it gets critical. We are accountable for our words and actions. How well we listen. How we share our beliefs. How we spend our time during those waiting days. If I am to be a good father and a good husband... then I must live out every day things such as: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, patience, gentleness, and self-control. I must show that I walk by faith. Evidence of my walk will be the legacy I leave behind. 

Kel absolutely squealed as she showed me these treasures!
My mom bought an incredible dress for Sterling. Our life-long friend Connie also gave her an amazing dress. I am so thrilled to see my daughter wear each of them. I look forward to the day... the close day... that she sits (probably square-mouth screaming with a loaded diaper) in my arms and I look into her eyes.  

But you need to know that will I do so knowing... that my accountability is infinitely increased by this blessing that is given to my care. This miracle that I can give to another... this amazing gift that the God of the Universe has given to me.

For you see... we are the same, Sterling & I.

Once we were without hope, and now we have a new beginning.

The most amazing gift we received today.
"Before me, my family had a hole. Now we're whole."
And so... this day gave us Sky Lanterns to float our dreams, orchids to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us, and pandas to remind us that life is precious and our days count!

Thank you everyone. This day has lifted our spirits and strengthened our souls. Love.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so excited and happy for you guys. Looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing your stories as the future unfolds for you.