I can't believe it's been six months since we walked through these doors with our little angel. WOW! If I look back on the last six months, we have come a very long way in such a short time. I know all of you newly home feel like six months is an eternity away, but it will really fly by. Six months is such a great milestone in an adoption because it's the time when you start to see real rewards for all the hard work. At six months, most kids have truly settled into their homes and you don't feel like you're swimming your way upstream any more. Meg is no different, she is completely at ease here and knows her boundaries and our limits. I think she is pretty secure in our love for her at this point and she adores both of her parents, her brothers, one of our neighbors, and our dog. Meg still gets a little shaken up when she is out of her routine. When we were home this weekend for my grandmother's funeral, she was passed around from one relative to another, slept in two strange beds, and was off her schedule. She was definitely more clingy with me the past two days and I know this is most likely a direct result of her insecurity with new situations. But, it's also a good sign because it means that she is attached to us and "cares" if we leave her with others, etc. To have seen her at the funeral home on Saturday night with my cousin, Archie, you wouldn't know she ever met a stranger. She drug him all over the funeral home and had him singing every song he knew. This is a totally different child from the one we met in May of last year and certainly shows that she is far more secure than she was even three months ago. The little "set-backs" in emotion don't bother me when I see her able to come out of her shell and fear and know that she can run all over the place with my crazy cousin and we will still be right where she left us when she gets back. This is the sign of a child who is gaining security and comfort with the permanence of those she loves.
I looked back at all our referral information and realized that when Meg was born, she weighed over 8 pounds. When Connor was born he weighed less than 7. That's quite a difference in someone so little. It makes me happy to know that she had such a good start in life from a health perspective. She hasn't slowed down either, her growth is still on the high side with her height topping 85th percentile.
Today is also known as the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the day that Russian Orthodox celebrate Christmas. The Epiphany is also a really special day in the Christmas season for Catholics so it fit very nicely for us to make a big celebration out of the holy day. Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to decorate our boxes that we will be using each year going forward to put our "rememberance" memorabilia into. Today, in honor of the three birth mother's who gave life to three of my children, we hosted Katie Davis to share her story. 26 beautiful women (and one awesome man) showed up at my house. We were a little packed in (believe it or not, I don't have seating for 26 for a meal or any other activity.) But I truly believe that everyone who came received a blessing. I don't know how many children were sponsored as a result of Katie's testimony, but I do know that at least 7 children will be educated, fed, clothed and given medical attention this year because these amazing friends of mine were moved to action. What a beautiful way to celebrate these birth mothers, by giving to orphans! Like Karyn, I won't be counting this money on my taxes because I did it to honor the 2 Galinas and Aziza. Yes, two of my children's birth mother's have the same name, but they are NOT the same person, even though my kids do look alike. I always get asked, "Are you sure they aren't related?" But I know they are not, it's just a "red thread" between the two of them and us.
As I sat here today, surrounded by these awesome women of faith, listening to Katie talk about her ministry to orphans, I was awed by the power of it. It was not lost on me that the Spirit was strong and moving in our presence. You see, I was careful to invite people that I knew had a strong faith and who would hear Katie's story and not only receive a blessing from it, but would also "get it." It occurred to me during the video presentation that God could take that group of 25 of my friends and change the whole world with the amount of faith that was in that one room. If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, then faith the size contained in these special women can surely move the entire world! It was really a palpable presence of God here today. I wasn't the only one to notice it either, my sweet friend Amie said she felt it too. And when everyone left, I just sat down on my couch and wept. I wept mostly because of the power of the presence of God. The Spirit lingered here after everyone was gone. My children were both out of the house and it was quiet, it was just me and the Holy Spirit and I could feel His presence so strongly that I was overcome with emotion. I also wept for how abundantly God has blessed me. Not only with material blessings that far exceed that of 90% of the world population, but with something more priceless, which was all of these fabulous women who came out on this nasty, rainy day, to hear what God would say to them. Really, as I looked around the room, each and every one here meant something special to me and I just realize how blessed I am to know one person that amazing, much less 25! I wept for the Mays family, who lost their son today. He was 4 1/2. I don't know them and I didn't know their beautiful son, but Katie knows them and loves them and I know they must be a special family. And no one should ever have to suffer the loss of a child. I saw my dad go through that when my sister died and I cannot imagine living on after that. I cried for my sweet friend Melanie, who's baby, Hope Hollis, needs open heart surgery. She is only three years old. Melanie and her family have an AMAZING story and I wish it was mine to tell because that alone is enough to drop you to your knees. I won't tell her story, but I will ask you to pray for the Mays family AND for the Hollis family as they are facing two difficult struggles in the months ahead. And last, but not least, I of course mostly wept for the orphans of Uganda, Russia, China, and the world. I wept for every child I couldn't adopt. I wept for the injustice of the fact that there is even a need for someone like Katie or for an orphanage anywhere in the world. I wept for the birth mothers who have died or who have been dealt a life with so few choices that an orphanage was the kinder, safer place for their baby.
I am so thankful for the life God has given me in every aspect and detail of it. There is nothing I want more than to serve Him and follow Him every single day of my life. I came away from today with a renewed spirit, energy, and committment to make the choice each and every day to follow Him, wherever that path may lead.
"He whose soul is deeply grieved, who walks bowed and feeble, with failing eyes and famished soul, will declare your glory and justice, Lord."