It all started earlier in the day when we got to celebrate with our new friends the Newsomes. We have become close companions with them, so when they had a successful court appointment, and the judge made official their adoption of Vika and Yana, we all went to a nearby bakery/ restaurant to celebrate over some desert. Thank you for your prayers on their behalf. 2 orphaned girls now have a family to call their own.
Then the great day continued as we eventually landed back at the orphanage. We were greeted by a HUGE smile on Anya's face! She said, "My director asked me if I want to go to school or spend the day with my family!" So today we will celebrate Vika and Yana's new family by all being together and having fun. The kids are very excited. Hopefully, they got some sleep last night!
We got to play and interact with many of the children last night. Jaden and Kellen played "hide and seek" with Vitalik. Vitalik is an eight or nine year old normal boy who loves to do the rough-and-tumble. At the orphanage, however, there is precious little rough-and-tumble allowed! Each worker at the orphanage has their own way of keeping order. For some, they give the kids some freedom to explore and enjoy the "Americans". For others, they make the kids sit and be quiet as if they were being a nuisance. On this day, however, Vitalik was full of joy that his care-giver let him run around with our boys. When we left, he was handing out hugs and kisses to everyone, and making sure that we were headed back this evening for more! It is so good to see these kids smile, and get the kind of love that they crave. May all of these children be given a family that loves them!
Always a refreshing and enjoyable part of our day is dinner with the Newsomes. It has been so good to reflect and process all that we're experiencing with them, and celebrate the victories together. They've encouraged us. We've encouraged them. Last night we talked about adoption, and the reality that between our two families, there will soon be 10 less orphans in the world! None of us see it as a special thing we're doing. Many folks say things like, "what an amazing thing you're doing" or "what a gift you are giving to these children". We appreciate the encouraging comments, but we all feel like WE are the greatest beneficiaries of adoption. That we, of all people, get to be the one's that they finally call Mama and Papa is an overwhelming blessing. For our families, that is overwhelming blessing times 10!
The highlight of the night for Todd, however, was hearing little Tanya say,
"I love you, Daddy."for the first time in her life! She's never before had a daddy to say that to. She has never had the securing love of a daddy's embrace. That is all different for her now! This beautiful little girl now will now have a daddy of her own!
This morning we are preparing to join up with the Newsomes, go to the orphanage to pick up all of our children, and then head back to the Newsomes for lunch together. It should be a very cozy gathering. There really are not a whole lot of activities to do here this time of year...or almost anywhere in this country for that matter, so we'll be going back to the trampoline park for the afternoon. I'm sure the kids will love burning off some steam, and just being kids. Too much of Vika & Anya's lives have been spent as "mama's" to their younger siblings, so it's always freeing for them to remember what it's like to just be a kid!
Today will be about the kids having fun, and we will get the joy of gazing across the indoor park, catching their glance, and knowing..."those are my kids!" [insert big satisfying smile here] And they will get the security of catching our gaze and knowing, "that's MY Mama & Papa!"
Thank you for your prayers.
Please keep praying for:
-Our papers to all be ready by Feb. 6th and make it here, so that we may keep our court appointment
on Feb. 7th.
-Continued favor with all of those whom we are working with to complete the adoption.
-Purpose for each day.