Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Remembering & Celebrating!

Five years ago, we were in the final week of our month long stay in the beautiful country of Kazakhstan. It had been a challenging and wonderful adventure and we were navigating our first days of parenting our new sons. We had one son who was terrified, timid, and unsure but slowly emerging from his shell and letting us see his personality and another son who was sick, starving, malnourished, confused and a clown. 

October 4, 2006, the judge had granted our request to adopt Calvin and Patrick; October 5, the boys met for the first time and left their respective baby homes. The first night was a dream, my mommy heart was so full and so in awe. We boarded a plane for Almaty the very next morning - the boys had already been stretched far beyond the walls they had known for the first year plus of their lives.

We spent ten very difficult days in Almaty - new parents, grieving and scared children, no translator (most of the time), no transportation other than quite literally waving down rides (which we did many times - sometimes they were taxis, often they were just kind strangers), and no idea what the boys were used to eating. We lost 10+ pounds a piece as we struggled to be the best parents we could be and used many Nursat cards to connect to family at home for prayers and advice.

It was perhaps the happiest and lowest point of our journey. We were SO glad to be the parents of the sons we knew were ours but we were SO exhausted and overwhelmed. On October 15, We were sad to say goodbye to a country we had grown to love but we were so ready to be home. It was an emotionally draining 27 hour trip home.

We've had our ups and downs over the past five years - isn't that just the way parenting is? :) However, we would not change our journey, our gifts from God, our experience, and our eyes and heart being opened (and stretched) in life-changing ways. Not one bit. We can't imagine life any other way! 

Adoption was always part of our plan - little did we know just how amazing it would be. Our boys, our sons have rocked our world. We love them with all of our hearts. Our lives are full.

We celebrate five years with a little bit of disbelief (where has the time gone?), with a lot of joy, and with more love and happiness then we could ever imagine.

The boys chose (for this momentous family day) to play at a park, go for a short hike, and enjoy an all-american dinner (cheeseburgers, fries, macaroni & cheese, salad, grapes, and blueberry cake with ice cream - all their choice :)). Andrew and I enjoyed reflecting on these blessed years of being their parents, of remembering the journey that brought us all together, and of anticipating the furture. 


Heather L. said...

Wow! Five years already, and yet is somehow seems longer than that! What an event to celebrate!!!! And how much the boys have grown!

Megan said...

What a great post! What a precious trip down memory lane. Your boys are adorable. :)

Margaret said...

I love this! I can't imagine life without these guys. What a great day of celebration!

Amy K said...

Those two boys are a blessing! I loved seeing all the pictures and remembering when your two oldest sons came home. I can't believe it has been that long either. They are growing so fast!!

Marian said...

Isnt is so neat to look back on your journey (even during those difficult days) and see how Almighty God wove your story together!? Thanks for sharing & congratulations on 5 yrs.!

liz nelson said...

this brings tears to my eyes. so glad these guys are part of the family. they make it way more awesome.:)