Friday, March 16, 2012

Somewhere in Bangalore . . .

. . . there is a little girl who might be our daughter someday! Yesterday we received some VERY welcome news from Dillon International, our adoption agency. Several Dillon families have been matched with an orphanage, and ours was one of them! It is such a joy to finally see something happening that will bring us closer to our daughter.

This news is by no means a guarantee, though -- the orphanage has the right to refuse our paperwork (if, for example, they have no children meeting the parameters for which we've been approved). So we will be holding our breath for the next few weeks, praying that they accept our dossier and that the next months will bring a referral.

For people who went through the process more than two years ago, this probably all sounds very strange. In the past, Dillon worked with only one orphanage in Kolkata. But with the revised process in India, all families become part of a "pool" of adoptive families under one government authority, and we are assigned to whichever orphanage currently has children with paperwork ready, or who meet the family's criteria. It's designed to be a faster way to place children in families -- and we certainly hope that will be true in the future.

For now, though, we wait for news from Bangalore . . . and pray for a good news for our friends who have not been matched with an orphanage this week.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March creativity

The month of March is very fickle in our state. This week we are having a glimpse of spring, with temperatures close to 60 . . . while last week, we had a storm that dropped five new inches of snow. A few people got creative, despite everyone's longing for spring. With Peter's help, our kids built a fort using 5-gallon bucketfuls of snow. Our lawn was nearly scraped bare of snow by the time they were finished! A few blocks away, some neighbors made a 5-foot-tall replica of the statues on Easter Island. It was a big hit -- while I stood on the sidewalk taking a photo, I saw another driver slowing down to take a picture with his phone.

At home, we were happy to host Anya Rashi's first "friend" party, a belated birthday celebration. Because her birthday is also her homecoming day -- and falls during the week before Christmas -- we have always celebrated her actual birthday just with family. But with her world opening up in Pre-K this year, we decided to host another party for friends after the holidays were over.

The theme was craft activities, and the girls made flower rings, tissue paper carnations, bookmarks, lanterns, and wooden spoon dolls. It was definitely different from the many pirate/snake/space-themed "boy" parties we've thrown over the years, and was a reminder of how much our lives have changed since our sweet daughter joined our family four years ago.

Anya Rashi did very well with all the hubbub, and remembered to thank everyone each time she opened a gift. Even when she opened one gift that was something she already had, she thanked the giver profusely. We were so proud of how gracious she was all afternoon, and thrilled that this "first" was so much fun for her!

* * * * * *

You may have noticed the new "Cupcake Kids" button on our sidebar. If you have some creative, compassionate kids in your family, you may want to get involved with this opportunity. It's a child-driven effort to help raise funds to support children who live in "remand" homes in Uganda. If you click on the button, you can learn about their stories. After I heard about this, I mentioned it to the moms in our Bible study. Our six families have 20 children between us, and each family will be helping with the May 5 Cupcake Day. If you'd like to participate, you can "officially" register on their web site and your kids can be part of changing the lives of children who desperately need help. Drop me a comment if you do participate -- it would make my day!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A season of "yes"

It's March 1 today, which brings us to a season we've never experienced before: being three years "pregnant." We submitted our first sheaf of paperwork to Dillon International back in March 2009, when Anya Rashi was only 2 years old. I've been joking with some other frustrated, sad adoptive moms about how good we look for being in our 12th trimester . . .

Ironically, next month I am emceeing at a women's retreat where the theme will be "Seasons of Life." They will be using the four seasons as a metaphor for our lives with Christ, and for the hardships and joys that this life contains no matter what our age or life stage is.

A question kept occurring to me as we got closer to this three-year mark: if we'd known it would take this long, with no referral in sight, would we still have started this adoption? There are a hundred different angles to this question, but most of them boil down to the question of trust. Do we trust the One who led us to adopt in the first place? Do we trust that we heard His voice whispering that there was another little girl halfway across the world who belongs in our family?

Many times in this life, we are asked to do something without fully knowing what it will entail. So, to you, our as-yet-unknown daughter, we say a resounding, joyful "YES." Our hearts have broken many times thinking of you and all the other children waiting for families, and that makes us say even more strongly, "yes, yes, yes." With tears, with joy, with all our hearts, yes.