|Oh dear! I keep forgetting I'm not in Kansas! ~ Dorothy|
Sterling has been home now for two weeks. We have settled into sleep patterns, meal times, and even nap times. For our family... plans are on a flex schedule. We adapt to the day, and the kids learn to go with the flow. Having said that... we also understand that Dorothy is far from Kansas, and loving patience goes a long way. Our time invested in her is rewarded with smiles and love. Our days are amazing.
Kellie and I used to have discussions about how so many folks insist that they are "too busy" to take another thing on. We used this as perspective for our own lives, often saying to each other, "we aren't really that busy... we can make time." These past few weeks, I won't tell you that we've been busy, but I will tell you that we have made incredible use of our time.
We: gained approval from Commission To Every Nation (CTEN), I applied for my ordination with Ohio Church of God, we refinanced our home, found a renter for our home, completed our tax returns, travelled to China & adopted Sterling, hosted folks in our home for 4 days straight, Caleb had a band concert, a piano recital, piano Federations, a chess tournament, both Caleb & Aleksandra tested for the next level in Taekwondo, both Caleb & Aleksandra achieved straight A's (whoop-whoop!), we had a state social worker visit, we have had 3 dental appointments, combated a stomach virus, participated in Missions Sunday at a major church congregation, hosted a Missions Dinner for a group of 40 traveling to Mimi's House in June, and of course helped Sterling adjust to new food, water, formula, daylight hours, people, surroundings, clothes, and well... everything.
It has been an amazing couple of weeks! We joke that maybe we have had a taste of what it will be like living with the Greene's at Mimi's House with all the girls (and Kevin). Maybe a taste? Well... I haven't cooked for 50 or washed clothes for 20 yet, so probably not!
However, it has been a relief to learn that my daddy skills are still intact. I can mix formula, change a diaper, make goofy faces, give a bath, and calm for sleep as good as any papa! And it is an incredibly enjoyable experience. Sterling is number 3, and I am able to experience her with the perspective that age brings. I joke with Kellie that folks will think she is our grand-daughter (wink-wink). She did not appreciate the joke.
Even so, none of this has been the most frequent activity of my week. Let me tell you... I am getting good at answering questions!
Top Ten anyone?
#9 What was the orphanage like?
#8 What weird foods did you eat?
#7 How long was the flight?
#6 What do your other kids think of Sterling?
#5 Why did you adopt?
#4 Why did you adopt from China and not from here?
#3 Wasn't it really expensive?
#2 Are you really going to move to Guatemala?
#1 Does Sterling speak Chinese?
Answer Key: Great, overwhelming, unknown, eternity, love her, because we believe God asks us to, over 100 thousand baby girls are abandoned each year there, it was worth every penny, yes, no, she speaks baby...duh!
By the way... she is amazing! Check this out...
Sterling at Panera Bread, dancing to classical music with her mother. It is such a perspective shifter to see how this child embraces and celebrates life! When was the last time you danced while having lunch? Is there anything better than being with the people you love? Is there anything more incredible than sharing that experience with a darling that once had no hope... who now brings the promise of life into your days?
Sterling feeling the crunch of grass under her feet for the very first time. Do you know how unbelievably incredible it is to share these moments with her? There is so much wisdom in the perspective of an infant. How we miss the wonder that is each day... the smell of spring, the buzz of the first bees, and the feeling of walking outside on a spring day! This is a child who had no hope, and now she greets each day with a smile and an eagerness to explore. How is it that I am allowed to share this life with her?
Folks... it is no sacrifice what we do. Selling all we have, taking our family, and moving to Guatemala is the longing of our hearts. We simply pursue what we want. I do not understand how we could do anything else. When you see life embraced and God pursued by those who once had no hope... it is life changing. All I can tell you is that Kellie and I are sure of our walk. There is peace on this path.
So... adopting a baby girl, and then moving the whole family out of our home and then out of the country may sound a bit wreckless? How about adopting a child from poverty and then moving into the midst of poverty? Have you heard the story about three Americans, a Russian, and a Chinese girl moving to Guatemala?
Here is what I can tell you. The Ruby Slippers were on your feet all along Dorothy. Just click those heels and believe. Home is where your family holds you in your arms.
We are not leaving home... we simply are enlarging our embrace.