Category Archives: Adoption

In God’s Hands

It shows itself at such unexpected times, this matter of trauma. When life is good, and we are happy, laughing, talking about all of life’s hopes and possibilities, suddenly tears stream down his face and he asks, “Why did I get this life? Why didn’t I die?”

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Sometimes I forget how close to the surface those thoughts will always be for him. Experiencing starvation, and orphaned by disease, those traumas never completely fade. I wish I had all the answers for him when he wrestles with this mixture of gain and loss.

I hold him close and whisper, “It wasn’t your time, Sweetheart. All the days ordained for you were written in God’s book before one of them came to be.(Psalm 139:16) He has plans for your life. Plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)”

He wonders aloud what his life’s purpose will be, and I remind him, “There is plenty of time.”, and I thank God for every ounce of time that He has granted me, to be these sweet boys’ Momma.

Teddy Indy for blog

dzintars for blog

Time is in God’s hands.

 Time

Family Is Forever

cropped-cropped-photo-9-e1444610074436.jpgHip surgery is quite the ordeal, but family has certainly made it easier on me! I rest, while my mom makes everyone lunch and my dad teaches my kids about history as they watch a documentary together. I’m so thankful they are able to be here with me during my recovery. 

 
Yesterday my sweet Aunt sent a text to encourage me from God’s Word, to persevere in the midst of trial, knowing that God will use all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. Then she asked me what He has been teaching me through it. 
 
So much! 
 
But I believe He has also used my trial to teach my kids, and that blesses me in a way I can’t fully describe. They have grown in compassion and servanthood over the last two years as they’ve seen me literally limp through my days. My 11 year old, Teddy, recently asked an older woman, a stranger to him, if he could help her lift a heavy item. She was surprised a young boy had even noticed she was struggling. It blessed her. It blessed me. My pain has opened their eyes of compassion a little wider, and that makes the trial worth walking through.

My sister came to visit me today. She brought 7 meals for my family, to tuck away in the freezer and make dinner easier on me after my parents leave. Such a sweet gift… my sister is to me! I know God loves me because He blessed me so, with family. Family is the sweetest gift. 
 
Dzintars is still learning what family means. He was told in L@tvi@ that his adoption was only until he turned 18, then he would be an adult and need to take care of himself. I’ve told him time and again that family will always be here for him. It doesn’t change at any age. Today I believe he finally understood. He and Indy came in to chat with me while I rested on my bed. We talked about how wonderful it has been having Nana and Papa here to help while Dad is at work, and how nice it was for Aunt Shawna and their cousins to visit and bring us food. A perfect opportunity… I said, “You see boys, I’m 40 years old and my Mom and Dad still come to help me when I need them. The love of a Mom and Dad never ends. There’s never an age when parents stop helping. My sister also still cares about me and wants to help. Siblings are your best friends for the rest of your life. That’s family.” 
 
Indy’s thoughtful reply… “family is forever”. 
 
Yes, family is forever! 
 
Dzintars sat quietly on the edge of the bed just nodding his head gently, then reached up to wipe a tear away. 
 
Thanking God for my family and the living example they’ve been, as it speaks to my children’s  hearts.
 
“Give thanks to The Lord for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”

The One Where I (Finally) Share Photos…

Dzintars Michael is finally and forever our son…
It felt impossible to narrow down which photos to share. But now that his adoption is final, I have the entire future to keep adding more, so here is just a small sample for now…
First hosting trip Winter 2012/13
With his Dad and 5 brothers in San Francisco

 

Second hosting trip Summer 2013
Fourth of July with cousins at Lake Tahoe
Smores on the beach in Northern California
And he loved summer fishing…
Ocean fishing was by far his favorite day!
You all know how long and emotionally turbulent the wait was, but Adam and I finally got to go to L@tvi@ to bring him home in October. A picture of each of us with Dzintars…
in his childhood home-country…
And in his childhood home…
(The bed behind us was his)
A few pictures since he’s been home with us…
New Year’s Eve with four of his brothers, Indy, Teddy, Nate, and Nick…
 Family game night with Nana and Papa too

 

Watching his brother’s lacrosse game
But even with all the fun family time, he still held on to a bit of anxiety over the fact that his adoption was not yet final. Our second and third trips to L@tvi@ were not until April for our formal adoption court date, and June for our Embassy interview. He kept asking… “What if they say no?”
But they didn’t! This is a picture I like to call exhausted elation, taken right after our court hearing where the judge said YES!
 Officially his Dad…

 

Officially his Mom…
FOREVER!
And this one was taken today…
Do you see the peace in that smile?
Thank you to each and every one of you who continued to uphold us in prayer! God is faithful!

Guess How Much I Love You

It’s good to be home. It’s SO good to have Dz home with us! Our time in L@tvi@ was a blessed-struggle, and a difficult-joy. I haven’t been able to find the words.

Later perhaps.

But today I want to share… today… a moment now tucked into my heart forever.

A few weeks ago…
We celebrated Dz’s 16th birthday with him in L@tvi@. In my mind our day was simple, but it started with a birthday banner hung near his bed and a candle in his breakfast cinnamon roll brought to him as we sang. And even before the gifts were given, he told me, “I’ve never had such a good birthday”. (Yes, that kind of difficult joy.)

We gave him this book as a gift. When he held the book in his hand he just looked at me with a smile and said “English”. Yes. But I assured him he would understand it soon and I would read it to him. “Thank you”. Now don’t worry friends, this simple book was also appropriately balanced with a technological teenage boy kind of gift, which got a much more exuberant thank you… As I expected. I have 3 more teenage sons after all. 😉 But he did recognize the words “I Love You”, and that was my hope.

 

Then today…

The birthday book was brought out again. His understanding of English is growing quickly and he’s determined to know it upside down and backwards before we can blink. So at one week home, I read to him, this favorite story that I’ve read time and again to all of my kids…

 

Using simple synonyms and familiar explanations, pointing to pictures and motioning with my hands, he understood the whole story. Even more, he understood the message… that he could never guess high enough.
As we finished the book, with his sweet smile he pointed to himself, then to me, saying “I love you. To moon. And back.” The sweetest words. Praising God for another precious moment.

And praising God for the blessing of your prayers. Thank you friends! His faithfulness to answer is far beyond my ability to write of it.