Saturday, March 16, 2013

When One Door Closes, Another Opens...

One of our very first RODS Orphans was Megan.  We have had her on our mind and our prayers for quite some time now.  Things started slow with Megan.  Our first glimmer of hope was an updated picture and a health update stating that she was doing well.  Then an even better picture came in about a month later.  She looked so beautiful!  Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months as we waited for the news that a family had chosen Megan to adopt.

Finally after several months my Facebook page lit up with notifications from friends telling me that Megan had a family!  I jumped on this family's blog and saw that it appeared to be a perfect home for our little princess.  This was right before the challenges arose in Russia. 

At first, there was hope that this was a temporary issue and that adoptions would return to normal quickly.  The original bad news turned worse as political strife continued as politicians dug their hills in even deeper on the adoption ban.  Finally, after trying to wait it out, adoption agencies started pulling out of Russia and the dozens of families in the process of adopting sadly had to back out as well.  It was hard to hear this knowing that Megan had nearly a full adoption grant for almost a year before a family came forward to adopt her.  The thoughts of "what if she would have had a family commit earlier" came to mind.  I dismissed these thoughts because I have better over the years.  I've learned that there is a bigger plan that many times we don't completely understand and that everything happens for a reason. 

I also learned that Megan is in good hands right now.  Here is a part of an email that I received from the family that was in the process of adopting Megan. 

We did receive some peace in releasing her, and I wanted to share that comfort with you now. Through the adoption agency we found out she is NOT in an institution but a very nice boarding school with kids her age. She is completely healthy with none of the health issues she had to begin with for they have all been treated. She is only with kids her age. AND she is one of the favorites. Not only is she receiving education, and health care but it seems she is also receiving love. It does not compare to the love of a family, but it is something.  We will continue to pray for her OFTEN.

We've all heard that when one door closes another door opens.  That is definitely the case here.  This wonderful family that had committed to adopting Megan did not let this set back knock them completely out of blessing the life of an individual.  Through prayer and much thought, their hearts were touched.  They have decided to move forward with the adoption of another child, a little girl named Andrea.

Here is a paragraph from the email they had just sent me talking about this:

I also wanted you to know your hard work on that grant is not going to sit idly but is going to rescue another child who is in imminent danger of being transferred to an institution. We are moving forward with our adoption by adopting Andrea. You can read about her on our blog (ANDREA'S BLOG) We would not have been able to do it without your hard work and we are still so very grateful! I know it was intended for Megan, but I hope you will understand that it is still saving a life.

What a blessing for Andrea.  I've seen her on the Reece's Rainbow site before.  Disappointed to learn about Megan, I feel so good to know that this has created an opportunity for Andrea to have a forever family.  This little girl I hope to meet someday soon when she gets home.  I feel the same way I did when a new child is born into our family.  The love for the other children is not diluted but our capacity to love at an even greater degree increases.  Andrea is a special little girl and I'm so happy to know that I played a small part in helping her.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Proud to be a Dad...and a Son

This video was recently shared with me.  I've watched it probably close to a dozen times the last few days and each time I watch it I feel like I learn a new insight.  The overwhelming feeling I get each time I watch it is that I'm so thankful to be a dad.  Right now is such a special time of life.  My children's ages are 7, 5, and 3.  They are filled with a pure innocence.  When I get home from work I love to watch them interact with each other.  They have their own little world that they live in.  They could care less whether the stock market went up that day or if the Braves will win the World Series this year.  Their priorities are my priorities.

There is nothing I wouldn't do for them.  I believe most parents feel the same for their kids.  Yet despite our willingness to run through a wall for our children, most of the time all they want from us is to spend time with them reading a book or telling a story about when we were a kid.  I constantly have to remind myself of this. 

I have such peace knowing that while I'm away in the grown up world working as a CFP, my beautiful wife and mother to our children is home tending to their needs.  I feel so blessed that the woman my children call "mom" is Andrea.  I have such confidence and trust that our little ones are getting all the love and attention that they need and deserve with Andrea as our caretaker. 

Each Monday night we reserve that evening for a night together as a family.  We call it "Family Night".  Usually family night is started formally with Brynlee or Andrea playing a song on the piano that we sing along to and then we have a prayer. After the prayer we say our family mission statement together.

 "We are a family that loves each other.  We protect each other.  We work hard on our responsibilities.  We play together. We pray together and ultimately we strive to follow the Saviors example in all that we do."

This last family night was a little bit different.  Rather than stick to the formal stuff, we played.  I was attacked by all 3 kids and Andrea in an attempt to wrestle and pin dad.  Luckily they are still to little to pull this off but I know that my time isn't too far down the road.  Then I started chasing them all throughout the house trying to catch them.  They would always end up hiding in the pantry so I would patiently wait by the kitchen table for them to gain enough confidence to try and sneak away.  As soon as they would come around the table I would jump out and scare them.  Brynlee and Nash caught on after a time or two but Ridge (my 3 year old) was as surprised as the first time to see dad jump out and scare them.  It was among the most fun I've had in years. 

Similarly to the way I feel about my children, I know there is a loving Heavenly Father who cares even more deeply for me as his son.  We are all his children.  He loves each and every one of us as his children.  I know I comprehend the things of creation and eternity about as much as my children understand world economics.  This does not matter though.  What is most important for us to know is that we are loved and that our needs will always be met.  We will all fall down and skin our knees at times but He will always be there to pick us back up, brush us off and get us back on our way.  For this I am and will always be thankful.