Tuesday, July 8, 2014

.Thoughts on her.

It's quiet outside.  
The sun set a long time ago,
Gabe is asleep upstairs,
the neighborhood kids are all inside for the night
and I am sitting on our comfy little seat on the porch as I wait for the overwhelming thoughts to pass.  
Even though I have one darling boy sleeping upstairs and two others waiting for me half a world away, 
sometimes it's impossible for my thoughts not to go to her.  
Especially when it's quiet.  
Especially at night.

As her first birthday approaches, I think of her more frequently.
Instead of just every morning, her sweet face graces my thoughts through out the day.

How big is she?
Is she walking?
Does she sleep well? 
What does her laugh sound like?

Surely she's much bigger than the 7lbs I can still feel in my arms when I think of her.

Is she safe?
Is her tummy full? 
Is she loved well?

Those are the thoughts that are even harder to think about...  

The little boy sleeping upstairs hasn't asked about her in months yet he always stills when he hears her name on one of the shows he watches.  Thankfully his heart has recovered from her loss and now just patiently waits for his brothers to come home.  

Hearts are resilient like that; healing is hard but with time, faith and grace it happens.  
Time for your heart to heal, for the pain to ebb and life to slowly move forward.
Faith to remember you're not in this alone and when you feel like your stumbling the blindest is when God is shining the brightest. 
And grace, well that's the funny one.  
Grace from your family and friends to grieve a loss they don't really understand.
Grace for yourself to wallow when needed, to fake it until you make it and to live fully even if something is missing. 
Grace from our Father to fully heal, to fully redeem the loss and to be our constant reminder that love wins.  

Love always wins. 

Love wins.  Redemption comes.
It sometimes just looks differently than expected.

For us; it's in the extraordinary privilege to be the parents of three amazing little boys and have part of our heart always with the little girl God asked us to love.  
To love deeply and fully no matter the outcome.

For reasons I'll never fully understand we were asked to love our sweet girl; to love her and not keep her.  It's a precarious position to be in; to be called to love and let go; to love and not know the outcome. But to have our little girl would mean we wouldn't have Thomas and Samsel and that is unfathomable.

So tomorrow like everyday since we drove away from Atlanta last July 15,
we will think of our girl.
We will think of her with love...
with joy mixed with sorrow...
with wonder...

Birthdays are days to celebrate the beauty of life and tomorrow we celebrate her.
Her life, her future and the beautiful blessing that she was for us. 

"Children are a blessing from the Lord" Psalm 127:3

No matter how long you hold them,
no matter where the Lord takes them,
no matter how hard it is to let them go...
She is a blessing from the Lord.
To us. To her family.  To the world. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

June in Rewind.

Seriously!  Where did June go?  I can't believe we've already turned the calendar over and moseyed our way through the first few days of July.  June was a great month over here!  The sun came out, the rain slowed down and we've spent many lazy days enjoying the slowness summertime brings.
Gabe started baseball, we celebrated birthdays, enjoyed friends and family and learned we are one single signature away from traveling to meet our sweet sons. So what did we fill our days with?
Finally meeting a soul sister face to face.

Enjoying the splash pad in the bright sunshine.

Bubble fun on the front porch.
 Trips to the zoo to pet goats, ride trains, see animals... and ride a camel!


Played many games of Snakes and Ladders... even by candle light.
 Celebrating Gabe's awesome Daddy on Father's Day

Front yard baseball.  Representing our friends in El Salvador

More time at the splash pad... and sometimes it leads to ice cream! 

 Trips to the $1 Regal Summer Shows.  Gabe sat through his first of many feature films to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Two.

Afternoon Indians game with Nonny.  10 innings.  Indians won.  Gabe sat through the whole game with rapt attention.  He is obviously loving baseball this summer!

 Gabe loved clapping along to the drummer at the Indians game. 
He was so much fun to watch.
 Welcoming home our friend K from Ethiopia was a HUGE highlight for us. There really is nothing better than seeing an orphan become a son, a family welcome their brother home. K and our sweet Thomas are best buddies!  We can't wait to get them back together here in Ohio once our boys are home.
Celebrating Samsel's birthday with ice cream sundae's.  And hot dogs because
Gabe doesn't like ice cream!

Enjoying visits from friends

 The arduous process of stripping and painting Samsel's crib began.  It is certainly a labor of love but it is turning out beautiful.  I can't wait to tuck him in it and watch him fall asleep.
 A little dancing in the rain.  Gabe gets his love of storms from his Daddy.

And there was always time for watching the clouds, airplanes and birds fly above us.  Gabe has certainly taught us to take it all in and appreciate what's around us; like sunshine, cool green grass and planes over head.

The official June wrap-up.  It was a good month.  I can't wait to see what's to come in July.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Baseball Super Star

Gabe loves sports; basketball, football, soccer, baseball... you name it, he loves it!  This summer he's had the opportunity to play for the first time in an organized sport.  Baseball.  He absolutely loves it.  His Daddy is the director of the league so even though he's not quite 5 years old, he was allowed to play. 

Watching Gabe play baseball is truly the highlight of my week.  He is so excited to get to the field to play with his friends and he looks adorable in his jersey and hat. 

He's in a league for children with special needs and oh my, if you need some inspiration or want to see some of the biggest, brightest smiles you've ever seen; Friday night baseball is the place to be.  Everyone hits.  Everyone runs (or wheels).  Everyone wins.

But here's the thing; in regular little league you see kids get frustrated when they miss a ball or don't get a 'good' hit, but here these sweet ones are so excited to play, to be a part of the team and not be left out that the little things like winning or losing, tagging third base or sliding in at home don't really matter.  Countless times each game tears prick my eyes as I marvel at all the beautiful children playing baseball, having fun and doing their best.

I am so thankful that Gabe gets to play baseball with friends...
run the bases like a champ...
feel the quiver of the bat in his hands when he gets a hit...
and have family and friends cheer for him from the stands.

Gabe's friend Gabe was his special buddy to help him on the field at his last game.