Wednesday, February 19, 2014

One Year!!!

It constantly amazes me the way my life has unfolded.  As with so many others in this world, a good portion of my days has been spent overcoming adversity.  So often these challenges initially appear insurmountable.  A dark cloud forms over my tiny little, self-centered existence and I look to the heavens demanding answers.  When such cries are met with silence I sometimes wonder if I have been left to fend for myself?
After forty-four years I am only now beginning to more fully understand the great wonders of God's gentle, guiding hand.  If we look to "James" we see some amazing insight:
"Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Grammie & Grampa with the Grandchildren
Only looking back, in hindsight, can I see how incredibly true this promise is.  God has taught me so much more through difficult times than I ever could have learned without these experiences.  I would not have been prepared for the real purpose for which He created me without this adversity.  He has prepared me to be His servant in joy and in hardship and He has prepared me to serve Him daily as a husband and a father to four of His most amazing creations!

Our family is not traditional by any stretch of the imagination.  We are an amalgamation of five distinctly different cultures and fully recognize the challenges that go with such a blended family.  But through adversity and love, God is continually teaching and molding us to become more fully who He intended us to be all along.

Today is the one year anniversary of the day we met our oldest daughter - "Gotcha Day!"  Last year, at this time, our lives were changed forever as our beautiful girl rounded the corner at a cold and dirty government office in China.  She hugged the wall, with fear in her eyes, not fully understanding just how drastically her life was about to change.

Caitlin's First Halloween
In one years time she has experienced her first birthday celebration, her first Halloween, her first Christmas and her first Thanksgiving.  She deeply touched all of us on thanksgiving day when she spoke longer than any other family member explaining what she was truly thankful for.  Her perspective on life has changed how we all view this world.  She now has exceptional study habits and she and her sister are frequently found connected at the hip.   

First Thanksgiving

 Has this experience been all rainbows and unicorns?  Absolutely not!  We have travelled some difficult roads both as parents and as a family but each one of us is, without a doubt, a better person for it.  Our children have grown and matured in ways we could have never foreseen and they have an entirely new perspective on the blessed life they live in America.
Who's The guy in the red suit?

As parents, Song-Ae and I are so grateful for the incredible blessings these children are in our lives but God has also seen fit to grow our hearts and look at life with new insight.  When we live our lives, striving for "eternal significance" instead of "wordly significance" our relationship with the Lord prospers in new and unimaginable ways.  We fully recognize that this is not the end of our journey with Caitlin, but just the beginning.  We have many difficult days ahead but we also know that we will not walk this road alone.
Caitlin has a doggie!

First Christmas

We feel greatly humbled that God has chosen us to guide these amazing children.  I often wonder why He chose us with all our flaws and sins?  Perhaps its like the song says, "Who but you would ever choose to dream your dream in me?  When we fully submit to God we are no longer the sum of our past mistakes - we become so much more!  If God can use a messed up pair of His children like us to make a tiny difference in this world, imagine what He could do with you?

For any of you that are considering adoption or perhaps service in any other capacity I leave you with this one thought.  God does not necessarily call the equipped ......................... but He definitely equips the called. (Tony Evans)

By His grace,

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