This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Monday, August 31, 2009

What next

During the last several months (OK, years) we've done a lot of wondering about "what's next." At this point, there's just a little bit of paperwork left before we travel to meet our children, and our "what's next" conversations almost always center around what it will be like when our family is finally all together. We have long conversations full of what I now call "mental nesting" where we try to figure out what the details of everyday life will be like, what sorts of expectations we'll have for our children, what will be important to us as a family, and how we'll convey all that to our children.

We're starting to gather the things we'll bring with us to Brazil, including special gifts for the children. We found a special locket for Maynara on Etsy. We want her to be able to hold it in her hands as a symbol of the importance of who she is and where she comes from, as well as our love for and dedication to her from now on. (These usually come with 3 interchangeable fronts, but the artist sent us 8!)  We also got her a nice journal and matching pencil case to be a safe place to record her thoughts and experiences as her whole life changes before her eyes.

We found a lovely, snuggly baby doll for Luana at, where they sell loads of multicultural dolls of all kinds. We hope that when she hugs it tight, it will still any fears or insecurities she may feel while her whole world is changing around her, and we hope it will remind her that her parents are always there to comfort her too.

Girls are easy to shop for, and we're still trying to think of just the right special gifts for our boys. Something that, when they put their hands on it, they can feel and remember who they are as individuals, in God, and as part of our family.

Another "what next" question is what to do with this blog. The purpose from the beginning has been to document the path God marked out for us to follow to our children, so that He can be glorified in the details and so that our children will have a record of all He did to bring us together. It's for them. However, soon we'll be traveling to Brazil and there are probably dozens (or hundreds) of faithful friends and family members who are going to want a front-row ticket to watch our family come together, and develop while we are away. This blog is probably the best way for us to do that, so I think its focus may shift slightly while we are away. But what about when we get back? What will its purpose be? I'd rather it not be a play-by-play mommy blog, because I feel like I'd be tempted to use too much of my energy on narrating our life. It will be more important for me to actively participate in every moment of this new life, but I'm not willing to give up this document--It's the first journal I've ever stuck to in my life, and I believe the recording of God's details has a way of making us notice them and live them more fully.

I know things will have to change here (as in every other corner of our lives), but I'm still not sure how they'll evolve. I've thought about writing letters to our children here. When we see God working in their lives, when we see them growing in special ways, or when we want to commemorate landmarks in their lives, we may write directly to them. I think that would keep me from the temptation of writing mere status-updates.

As with so much of what's next, I know enough to know that I have no idea what life will be like in another 4 or 6 weeks. But I'm planning on savoring every moment of it.

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