For years he had been just a dream, a prayer. I would close my eyes and try to picture what he might look like. In my mind was a little body with his face blurred out. That was the image of my child for the 2 years leading up to this day. Then finally, in early October, we received this picture...
My eyes' gaze would look beyond the scratches and bruises on his sweet, little face and I would be drawn into his deep, brown eyes. There was a story in those eyes. There was life in those eyes. This was my son and I knew it immediately.
I carried that picture around everywhere I went. I showed it to anyone who would give me the chance. The paper this picture was printed on became soft and wrinkled from the exchanging of hands and the shedding of tears. Dima's picture went everywhere I did. Then just a few weeks later, we were face to face. The life that started as a dream, then a prayer, then a picture was now standing before us.
October 19-24, 2009 is a week that brings back some great memories. We had such a wonderful time with our son. We connected right away, spending those four days playing and laughing. Then came the goodbye.
For him, he just took the hand of his caregiver and walked out the door, not once looking back. We were left in a quiet orphanage room, taking in the reality of having to say goodbye. We had to have faith that he would be taken care of and fed and kept warm through the winter. We had to have faith that the logistics would continue to work out. We had to have faith that God would make it possible for us to come back for him. That was one of the most difficult days of my life.
And so here we are, three Octobers later. Our home is filled with the beauty and craziness of our son. There are fingerprints on the window as I write, there are Legos strewn about the floor and his book bag hangs on the door knob. Dima's marks are all over this house.
What is missing is any trace of a daughter.
Right now there are only prayers and dreams. What will she will look like? How will she will fit into our family? How will she will get along with her big brother?
Just like the first time around, I close my eyes and try to picture her and I only see a blurred out face. I believe God gives me this picture to protect any sort of expectation. Even when I try hard to imagine what she might look like or be like, I come up with nothing.
And so I pray. I pray that she is safe. I pray that if she is already in the orphanage, that she would be getting special attention and protected from any sort of evil. And I pray that God would be preparing her heart for us.
People often talk about how much Dima looks like us, especially Steve. Sometimes when people say this they follow it up with a statement along the lines of, "doesn't that show you that he was meant to be your child?"
I do think it is crazy how much Dima looks like us. That was never something we requested or even expected. But I don't believe...I can't believe...that this is a sign that he was meant to be our son. What if our daughter doesn't look like us? What if she has red hair? What if she is has dark skin? What does that say about her? Are we left to conclude she is any less meant for our family?
When we first saw Dima's picture three years ago, we knew he was our son... not because of his looks, but because of our peace. God put an indescribable peace and joy in our hearts when we laid eyes on him. It was as if the Spirit within us leapt at the sight of his face. That is how we knew he was meant to be ours. And that is how we believe we are going to know when we see our daughter for the first time. Lord, let our hearts leap!
Happy three year "Meet-ya" day, our sweet little Dima! You were our little boy long before we ever met. Now we wait and pray and wonder what God has in store for our little girl.
- We have a HUGE fundraiser coming up on November 10th from 12pm-3pm. There will truly be something for everyone.
- We have secured multiple vendors who will be selling great, unique products. We are still collecting awesome donations for baskets that will be auctioned off. As of right now, we even have a week long vacation at a Lakeside lakehouse that will be up for auction!
- There will be a fun, fast paced corn hole tournament and the winner will win a custom made corn hole set.
- For the kids, there will be children's activities going on for the whole time with responsible students and adults hanging out with them so you can shop or play!
- Come for lunch and grab a bake sale item on your way out.
- Here is a flyer - feel free to pass it along to everyone you know or print it out and hand them out to your friends, coworkers, or neighbors. It's going to be a great time!! Please RSVP on the FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE as we start planning for food.
- We have our appointment scheduled with the Homeland Security Office in Cleveland for November 1st. I injured by thumb and had to get multiple stitches last week. Please pray my thumb would heal and it would not interfere with the fingerprinting!
- Pray for our little girl - that God would protect her with His loving arms.
- Pray for us as we wait and prepare for our daughter.
Until next Monday, love, Steve, Kate & Dima.