Sunday, January 27, 2013

I Quit -- But God Didn't

It's hard to believe it's only been two short weeks since we kissed our Latvian sweeties good-bye. It seems so much longer. The days have just crawled by.

This whole experience has been like a dream -- a good dream that I don't want to wake up from. And, yet, I'm sobered by the thought that it almost didn't happen.

Three weeks into our frantic fundraising journey, my faith crumbled. I am ashamed to admit it, but I began looking at the numbers and the dollar signs and became completely overwhelmed. "I can't do it!" I sighed. (My husband wasn't completely on board with the hosting idea at that point, so he wasn't much encouragement either.) It was just a crazy dream I had that was completely devoid of logic. I decided I should be responsible and call New Horizons to tell them we just couldn't do it. I would quit, so someone else could host them. The more I thought about, the more sure I became of my plan.

There was just one problem...

I hadn't prayed about it yet.

All good Christians should pray about things, even if they "know" what to do, so I did my Christian duty and shot a prayer off to God. In the process, I felt impressed to ask for a sign.

I had recently set up the fundraising website that is still in the left column of this blog and had received several donations on it. But nothing had come in in some time. "Father." I prayed, "If I even get a $20 donation before I call New Horizons, I will take it as a sign that we should continue to move forward with hosting these kids." My prayer finished, I hurried off to school determined to make the phone call at the 10:00 recess.

When 10:00 rolled around, I made the sudden discovery that in my haste to leave for school, I had left my phone at home. I borrowed a phone and called my husband, asking him to bring me my phone. For some reason, it took him awhile to get it to me. By the time I could make the call, it was well past lunch.

Phone in hand, I checked our fundraising account for any recent donations. Had a $20 donation come in? Did God want me to stop? What was His will for us?

Tears formed as the donation total showed a $100 increase. ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Five times as much as I had asked for! It was too much. I bowed my head and thanked God for showing me so clearly His will for us regarding these children.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Does God care about orphans?

More than we can imagine!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saying Good-Bye

I can't say I've ever excelled at saying good-bye. There's always an ache in my heart and the dark thoughts that swirl through my mind about whether or not I will ever see them again.

Saying good-bye to our Latvian kids was all of the above times one hundred. In fact it's taken me a whole week to be able to even blog about it without breaking down and crying while I write. Yes, it hurts that much.

We arrived at the airport at 5:00 a.m. The kids were all blurry-eyed as we drove through the dark morning hours. They dozed all the way to the airport, but sprang into action as soon as we hit the bright lights of the airport. We got them checked in (all under the 50 pound limit) and then joined the other families clustered in little groups at the designated waiting place.

The kids were happy and cheerful while they munched on snacks and played a few games on Andie's IPAD that we borrowed for the occasion. At one point Samanta sat next to me and leaned her head on my shoulder. I patted her cheek and told her she would always be my baby. She smiled softly and said, "Yes."

Liga climbed onto my lap for some more last-minute snuggles. She took my face in her hands and said, "You. Me. Latvia." I shook my head sadly. She thought for a moment, then said. "You. Me. Here." Again I had to shake my head. She sighed and went quiet for a little while, content to just be held for the time being.

And then all to soon, the moment we had all dreaded arrived.

The chaperone called out, "Valerija! Samanta! Liga! Eltons!" And something in my heart just snapped. This was it! After one month of loving and giving and giving and loving, how do you just stop?

Elton stiffened. His head dropped down and his arms hung limply at his sides. His sisters tried to get him to hug us, but he was not able to. I kissed his little cheeks and my tears fell on his face. Valerija did not cry nor did she smile. She had a look in her eyes that told of too much hurt and disappointment. She went through the motions of hugging us and saying good-bye because she is so polite and proper. Samanta also stiffened up. She hugged us, but it was not with the usual warmth or enthusiasm as before. And little Liga, clung to Samanta's hand after her good-bye was over.

Shawn and I joined the other host parents at the railing. You would have thought we were at a funeral. The somber silence that hung over our group was interrupted only by more good-byes as subsequent kids parted from their host parents, the flash of last minute photos, and the muffled sniffs of broken-hearted people wiping their eyes and noses. No, it was not easy.

This week the hosting organization asked us what our intent was regarding these four. That was one of the easiest questions I have EVER answered. What is our intent? To get them back home as fast as possible!!!! This broken-hearted mama is on a mission to get her babies back home to stay home FOREVER!!! So help me, God!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One Week Left

It's the story of my life.

Always wondering...

Where time went.

At this time next Sunday our house will be down to six people instead of ten.

Our four Latvian sweeties will be heading home.

Our future with them is,

at best,


In the midst of crossing all our t's and dotting our i's in making sure everything gets done that is supposed to get done for the hosting agency, I find myself wanting to hang on to them a little longer.

I catch myself watching them play,

smiling at their laughter,

hugging them often.

I know they feel it too.

Valerija and Samanta told Shawn the other day, "Seven days and we go home. We no want go home. We like stay here."

Eltons handed Shawn a note yesterday that had three words on it:



Tetis ("Daddy" in Latvian)

I like how he sandwiched himself in between mommy and daddy.

Liga colored a picture for me and wrote, "Latviski mammai no Ligas." (Translation: Latvian mother of Liga). As she handed me the picture she pointed to the words and then pointed to me. I'm not exactly sure what she was trying to tell me with that phrase, but a week prior to that she had hugged me and said, in English, "You my mommy."

We are not allowed to talk about adoption with the kids and we haven't. But it's hard not to act like their parents. Initially, we introduced ourselves as Shawn and Margie. The kids opted for Daddy and Mommy.

For now we will complete our responsibilities with them as host parents. When they leave, we will begin our home study. We are not rich and don't even know if we will qualify with the US government to bring four kids from a foreign country into our home. But, if this is God's will, it will happen -- one way or another.

So, we will pray and walk through every door that opens, trusting that God will work all things out for His honor and glory and for the good of us and our Latvian loves.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Miles of Smiles

I must say that nothing gives me more joy than to see our kids smiling.

Our recent trip to Florida was filled with miles of smiles. I was lucky enough to capture some of the best while the kids were swimming.

And now to endure the grumpy aftermath of too many late nights and sugary treats. Sigh. Glad I have the pictures to carry me through.