So Long Overdue
Over the last year, I have often thought, we should share this on the blog. As you can see, I never quite got there. With three kids, things seem to stay on my to-do list a little bit longer than than they used to. The one thing I can say with certainty is God has been faithful. We have seen this in the big things, the small things and everything in between. So here are a few updates on where we have been this last year.
Baby Charlie turned one! We are still in awe of this miracle we were given. He brings our family incredible joy. He loves to smile and laugh. Don’t get me wrong, he also loves to cry and be a baby. He makes us all laugh. He does things on purpose to get a laugh from us all, with two older brothers, he always has an audience.
When Charlie was 6 months old, our pediatrician was concerned because his height had significantly fallen off the growth chart. His soft spot had closed extremely early, and there was a similarly obvious drop off in his head growth. We were referred to CHOP neurosurgery. Our pediatrician prepared us for the possibility of surgery with the combination of the presenting symptoms. While this was obviously a scary thought, Kai’s journey has prepared us to face the unknown of things like this. After the neurosurgeon examined him and reviewed his records, she concluded that he wouldn't need any surgical intervention. She said, “this is something we know is possible from our textbooks, but something we rarely, if ever see." They added some extra check ups and follow ups, but as he grew, he kept hitting his developmental milestones and has grown past the higher risk period.
We have seen God’s faithful hand in Charlie, from the miracle of his very life to the miracle of the protection of his growth and many things in between.
Before he was born, I made a sign for his nursey with Psalm 4:7—You have filled my heart with greater joy than when grain and wine abound. This has proved to be true in the life of this little miracle, whose very life illuminates the great power of God.
Kai turned 5 and we celebrated two years of him being part of our family. I honestly cannot believe that it has only been 2 years. It's hard to remember and impossible to imagine life without him. There were weeks and months where we just kept going through the motions when attachment felt slow and relationships were hard. Those seasons will come up again, I’m sure, but it’s been such a blessing to see the fruit of working through those difficult weeks.
He continues to do well medically. He has his next MRI under sedation and neuro-oncology visit next month to monitor his tumor. He is in pre-school and growing socially and academically. He’s learning and growing to overcome emotional responses he learned from years without the love of a family. He shares a room with his best friend. He adores Charlie. We are seeing more of ourselves in him, which is a beautiful gift I never really anticipated.
He is asking more and more questions about adoption. He talks about the mom who took care of him in China until we could bring him home. He brings up some memories about China. He loves to talk about China. We continue to see the brokenness of his beginnings and are so grateful to be able to be part of the redemptive hope for his future.
Asher is in kindergarten. I can’t believe it. He is growing into such a special little boy. We see his character developing and his mind growing so much in this new journey of school. He’s learning a lot in the challenging areas and the ones he enjoys. He is growing more in his understanding of the Gospel, which is our deepest desire for him.
He is a really a tremendous big brother. Every morning, he wants to get ready in Charlie’s room. Some nights, he asks to sit by Charlie at dinner and takes responsibility for helping him eat. He is not always quite as kind with Kai (typical brothers!), but they continue to grow as brothers and friends. Their relationship is the answer to one of our biggest prayers as we waited to bring Kai home. They have a precious relationship.
Paul and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this summer. The journey God has taken us on in our marriage is a constant reminder of His goodness and faithfulness. We celebrate what God has done in our marriage and look forward to what God will do in the good and the difficult in the years to come.
Our biggest change this year is that we moved! We had been praying about the possibility of a home closer to church and with a little more practical space for ministry purposes and for our family to grow. God provided in so many ways beyond what we expected. In May, we moved into a home that is perfect for our family! We live on a small, quiet cul-de-sac in an older neighborhood. Our boys are loving having a driveway and cul-de-sac to ride scooters and bikes. They spend so much time outside, playing together. We are 1 mile from school and 2 miles from church. Everyday as I drive the kids to school, I thank God for how faithful He has been to us.
We continue to grow and learn as a family and as a family in ministry. We are grateful for God’s nearness to us in the hard days and the easier days. We have seen his hand in all of the seasons of this past year.
As you know, we started an adoption before we were blessed with Charlie. This adoption journey has been full of doors opening and closing over the past two years. Moments of sadness and excitement, yet we can look at Kai and know without a doubt that God has a plan and will use us as long as we continue to be willing to say yes. When we started our process to adopt the second time from China, we lost over $10,000 due to unforeseen circumstances. While that feels like a massive road block, we know that God sees that need and hears our yes and will be faithful, even as we make sacrifices and wait patiently for him. (If you're local and there's any nice weather left and you need updated family photos, all of this year's session have gone towards our next adoption. Just saying, you get in on our next top secret mission :) The same will go for all of my photography for the foreseeable future!) We see God making clear the direction he has for us and we are excited to share that with you in the coming weeks.
Another year full of ups and downs. Joy, chaos, sadness, fun, excitement. Moments worthy of our fear, moments that tempt us to take our eyes off God and onto our circumstances. Yet an always faithful, always present, always near God continues to patiently and faithfully remind us that even when our circumstances are worthy of our fear and sorrow, we have an even greater reason not to be afraid and an even deeper comfort than any of our sadness. Another year down and the only constant, God is faithful. As we face another year and new seasons and journeys, the one thing we can depend on, God will continue to be as faithful as he always has.