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!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Thinking back on the years of our marriage that were marked by the adoption process, it's clear to me that it was a very symbolic journey.  Every milestone or accomplishment or step toward our children was celebrated, shared, documented.  Applying to our adoption agency symbolized our decision to become parents.  Completing and submitting our homestudy and other dossier documents marked the beginning of our "pregnancy."  The hurdles, twists, turns, and delays tested our faith and our resolve and we knew that each painful test would be replaced by joy in God's time.  And it has.  Receiving our children's referral was the beginning of the labor and delivery process, and meeting our children for the first time on November 4, 2009 was for us the fulfillment of God's promise to us and to our children.  

Adopting itself is full of symbolism for Christians--the story of an adopted orphan is perfectly parallel to the story of all who come to Christ.  We were lost without hope or home.  Trapped in our own miserable sin.  And though we had no idea it was coming, and surely did nothing to earn such a gift, God went to great lengths to make us His own.  

But the story doesn't end there--not for adoption and not for Christians.  

I think it's safe to say that we're in a new stage of life and adoption right now, 8 months after first meeting our children.  So much of our focus (for the past 4 years or so) has been on the reality an the symbolism behind adopting.  For us the process of adopting our children officially ended on December 4 when the adoption was finalized.  But adoption (for orphans and for Christians) does not end at finalization.  This is what we're constantly reminded of these days.  

If there was an "adjustment period," we're well beyond it and we're without a doubt in the thick of being parents and raising a family.  That's what Christian theology calls "the process of sanctification."  It isn't easy.  It isn't always pretty.  It isn't always a steady, upward curve, but it is a process for sure.  The thing about sanctification (and family-rearing, as it turns out) is that in order to become more holy, you must first see, understand, learn to loathe, and carefully remove all the ugliness, imperfection and ungodliness that is within you.  Ouch.  It's an all-consuming process that has left us with little energy to do anything but manage day-to-day while investing fully in our children.  That's a catch 22 because right when we are in the thickest part of this process of living adoption (not just adopting), we are basically incapable of reaching out for the kind of support we need most--friendship and conversation.  You know, with real, live grown-ups.

I find myself imagining that it must be the same for biological parents once the newborn haze wears off and the church friends stop bringing meals every other day and having a baby isn't new news more.  Then what?  You've got an infant, so you can't just pick up and go to small group or out to coffee with your closest, most encouraging friends, or even dilly dally after church to catch up with people.  The baby has to eat.  And be changed.  And stay on a regular schedule.  And so the parents must do what is right for the child.  And so it is with our family.  Except that everyone's too big to tote along everywhere in a little carrier, and sometimes they just need mom and dad 100%, and sometimes their energy level is off the charts and they are off the wall,  and sometimes they have hissy fits that would not be at ALL fit for public viewing, and mom and dad end up kind of isolated.

Right there is the difference between adopting and adoption.  Adoption continues to be a reality after the pleasant metaphor of adopting becomes a memory.  And nothing will change the fact that someone has been adopted into your family.  That's the really good news, right?  Once we're adopted, we stay adopted through thick and thin, no matter what.  It's a family... and it sharpens us and improves us and adds more (much-needed) grace into our lives.

I'm including one great snapshot in this post because it is also symbolic.  We removed the training wheels from Brayan's bike last week.  Here is a picture of the first moment when he got it--wobbly and unsure, but moving fairly steadily ahead and getting back up (sometimes in tears) when things didn't go the way he'd planned; and then continuing forward knowing he's loved and supported.    

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Framed Portraits

We're working through a backlog of great kid snapshots and wanted to be sure to remember these beautiful moments in time.

Summer Fun

We got a spectacular deal on an outdoor play set from Costco and the kids are loving having a place to run and climb and jump and slide and hide and play... right outside our door!  We're praying against broken arms and letting them enjoy it as much as possible (though sometimes they still prefer to just dig holes in the dirt).  

Brayan fell asleep on the way home because he carried the WHOLE THING to the van all by himself (or would have if we'd let him).  We bought a floor model that was only partially disassembled, which made it difficult to transport, but a snap to re-assemble at home.


Our Brazil Futbol fans were very disappointed after yesterday's losing World Cup game.  They're already counting the days until the next cup--in Brazil--in 2014.