We received this unexpected gift on New Year’s Day!
A fresh new picture of our baby boy. This is really special since we did not get an updated picture of Mila until a few weeks before we met her.
Hudson is the litte guy on the left in Mama Josephine’s arms. He is sporting what looks like a mini fro. I think some of it is shadow, but Mommy may have a whole new hair dilemma on her hands when he gets home. 😉 I am actually figuring out Mila’s, and am proud to say she has a pretty nice set of puffs as we speak. More on her hair later. Isn’t he too stinkin’ cute!
A friend from work who knew the ups and downs of my life leading up to 2011, kept telling me, “This is gone be your year”, and I guess it kinda was.
God walked with us through many difficulties, hurts and disappointments the past few years. I’ve heard that as a believer, you are either in the middle of suffering, just coming out of a period of suffering, or you are about to walk through some kind of suffering. 2011, for us, was one of the coming out periods. And don’t get me wrong, there were still many difficulties.
The first few months we were healing from the loss of a pregnancy and waiting to hear about Mila, the 2nd quarter, we knew who Mila was, but were unable to hold her and protect her. And the last half was full of this whole parenting thing, and anyone who’s done it knows that it’s no joke either. But looking back at all the ups, all the joys, all the growth, we are just so thankful to God for all the blessings poured out on our family this past year. We don’t know what the road ahead will hold, but we thank God for the prior trials, and triumphs, that grew us and prepared us for our current situation, as parents…twice in one year.
Here are just a few of the ways God overwhelmed this family in 2011:
- To start the year off, He gave us the people and the grace to start co-leading a small group.
- He gave us friends with hearts for adoption who we got to watch do this whole ‘travel to Africa and bring home a baby thing’ before we did. We got to rejoice together and bear burdens together through the ups and downs. It’s truly amazing to see how he knitted together this group of like-minded folks in very similar situations.
- He gave us our referral for Mila in March. Our initial thoughts: Who is this little girl? What is she like? Does she smile? (yeah, that was actually something we wondered about then, but look at her now). ……………………………………………(This photo taken by Allison Lewis Photography)
- He gave us generous family and friends that overwhelmed us with the gifts of their time and money to help fund our adoption. Thank you to everyone who went through their closets and homes, and donated items for our yard sale. Thank you to everyone who gave sacrificially of their time to help get these items organized, priced and sold. Thank you to all who stroked checks to help make this first adoption happen, debt free. Words can’t express our gratitude. 🙂
- He provided for a much needed first vacay just Daddy and me, since our honeymoon. I totally blame myself for this not happening sooner. I’ve gotta just plan it and make it happen more often. We’d just recently gotten our referral here, and life was beginning to move pretty fast. We needed a little getaway.
- God gave us a great group of friends, family and coworkers who showered us with much love, and many gifts for the long-awaited Mila Mae.
- He gave us another nephew. Br………eck.
- On July 17th, He allowed us to meet this little girl for the first time. Many people ask what this was like, and the only way I can explain this day is strange, honestly. If you’ve ever adopted before, you know what I mean. Being handed your 20 month old daughter for the first time, and then just being responsible for this little person, who can communicate, but not in your language. We were like, “OK, this is what we’ve been waiting for, so what do we do now???”. We’d been waiting forever to hold and love her, but would she love us back? It was a day of celebration, but a little awkward at first.
- He led us to a kind and gentle doctor, in the middle of DRC, who was on top of his game and spoke English, which is always a bonus. Thank you Dr. Sharieff for all you did to help heal the gaping hole in my leg. You and Pulse Africa kicked donkey in 2011. (I will spare everyone another look at that nastiness.)
- He blessed me with a precious husband who came back on his faithful steed, (or 747 to keep this accurate), to save the day. Mommy’s hip was a hurtin’, and she needed a little assistance from Daddy.
- He provided even more generous folks who helped us get home on time so Daddy could keep his job.
- He gave us an airport full of family and friends to welcome our new little family home, on that much anticipated day. (again, Allison Lewis Photography)
- He gave us pups who seem to have known this little one was coming and were glad to see her.
- He provided a seamless integration of a little brown girl into a stark white family.
- He gave us a child who gets our humor, and gives us knee-slappin’ laughs, literally.
(and more A Lewis photos-do you think I like her stuff?)
- He continues to bring people into our lives to love, and to love us.
- He gave lots of grace in all directions as I learn to be a Mommy, Dylan learns to be a Daddy, and Mila learns to be our daughter.
- He provided answers to fertility questions, and more over-the-top generosity from near strangers that will help bring baby #2 home.
- He healed wounds that were deep, and I’m not talking about my leg, though that healing was pretty amazing too! Lots of healing, and lots more learning about our God.
- He quickly provided another referral, and a shocking one at that. Not what we expected, or ever thought we could or would get.
- He provided a special gift of a New Year’s pic of the child we did not get to spend it with. See the next post for that one.