Friday, December 13, 2013

Our family letter--December 2013

Our family letter—December 2013

Well, Friends, a lot has happened since we last sent out a family letter in the fall of 2011!!!  I will try to recap the last 2 years in a relatively short letter.  I’ll leave you to decide whether or not I was successful. :-)

You may recall that we made an unfruitful trip to Ohio around Thanksgiving 2011 for the purpose of adopting a little boy that was to be born shortly.  We came home empty handed and broken hearted.  A month later, our adoption agency in PA suggested we broaden our search because their birthmother clientele was in a slump, and they figured it may be a while till we would get matched. So I (Judi) went back to our trusty computer and spent more hours seeking further opportunities for us to get connected with a child.

At that point—the end of February 2012—we contacted A Rainbow’s End Adoption Services, a facilitator in California. On April 3rd, we were matched with a sweet birth couple who were making an adoption plan for their baby girl, due to be born in July.  Something felt “right” about it, and, in spite of the knowledge that it could fall through (ANY adoption can fail until finalization), we felt an uninhibited joy. 

That joy was brought to fruition when our precious daughter, **K,  was born and placed in our arms.  We were there for the birth (K’s birthparents requested that we be there), and felt the incredible emotions that surround the placement of an adopted child… the agony of the birthparent, placing their much-loved child in your arms… and on the other hand, experiencing an unmatched joy in the wonder and ecstasy of being Mommy & Daddy to this priceless bundle!!!  Without a doubt, K’s birthparents loved her dearly but were unable to provide for her financially, etc., and thus made an adoption plan.  It was our privilege to get to know them prior to K’s birth.  During the three intervening months between matching with them and K’s birth, Birthmom and I texted a lot.  I have saved those texts and will give them to K when she is old enough to understand and appreciate them.  We also spent some time with Birthparents after we arrived in California, both before and after the birth.  K’s birthparents are not just two regular people to us.  We treasure them as individuals and also because of the way they gave us a child.  It is an awesome and emotional thing to have two people place their own flesh and blood child in your arms and then introduce you to their friends as “our baby’s parents”.  Makes you want to smile and cry at the same time.  I don’t think it’s possible to capture in words the thoughts and emotions that accompany the placement of a child for adoption. 

K’s adoption is not final yet, which is very unusual and quite a trial to us.  We want her to be an official part of our family!  The attorney that we started out with was not aggressive at all and let things go at their own slow pace.  Finally, after a year of waiting around for some serious action, we hired a different attorney who is pushing things through.  There are some aspects of her adoption that has stretched out the adoption much longer than normal, in addition to the original slow attorney. Please pray with us that things may soon be wrapped up for good!

Whatever the case, we dearly love our precious little girlie and have THOROUGHLY enjoyed being parents!!! She is human like the rest of us, but we don’t think there’s another sweeter girl on planet earth.  Of course, we might be just a wee bit prejudice (I suppose most parents are).  J  She has a very lively personality that is almost always on the go.  K is not a noisy child, but is moving ceaselessly from one activity to the next, most often with smiles and chatter.  At nap time and especially night time she seems to feel the need to rehash her day, and can be heard “talking” and sometimes even chuckling to herself.  SO sweet!

God has continued to give Reuben with steady work, for which we praise God!  We realize that many are not so blessed.  This is especially important to us for the past and present adoption expenses. 

My life consists of nothing outstanding, except that I LOVE being a wife, mother, and homemaker.  I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing!  I feel such a fulfillment in my role.  It is also a great pleasure to me to watch K and her Daddy.  She LOVES him (and visa versa, of course!), and one of her favorite times of the day is when “Daddy” or “Dee-dee” comes home.  When it starts getting dark outside, she goes to the outside door, looks out the window, and starts saying something to herself, no doubt about Daddy coming in.  And when Daddy DOES come home…. wow! she lights up like a little fire cracker.  Of course, Mommy has taught her (by example) to be very, very happy about Daddy’s home-coming, so it’s little mystery why she acts like that.

In looking back over the last 2 years, we have one thing to say: God has been so good, so faithful, so PRESENT.  This last year (2013) included several heartaches with regard to the enlarging of our family, but even in that we experienced God’s grace. The winds of change have also blown strongly over our church.  Our dear bishop, Dale Kulp, went Home forever on March 19th after a brave battle with cancer.  Three weeks after his death our church held an ordination that Dale had planned before he got sick.  God chose Reuben’s brother—Joel—as the new pastor, serving alongside Steve Graber and Marlin Good.  Again we would say—in spite of these losses and changes—that God has been CHANGELESS, and so PRESENT in every moment.  We didn’t always FEEL Him, but that made Him no less near. 

Our heart’s cry is to draw nearer to God moment by moment… to WAIT, to TRUST, to HOPE, to MOVE FORWARD with God.

He is WORTHY!!!

~Reuben, Judi, and K

**I have not included K’s full name, nor our last name, for security purposes.  Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December already!!!

Winter has come to our "neck of the woods", but there's no measurable snow to prove it.  Maybe next time I'll have some pictures of K enjoying the white stuff for the first time.  But for now, here are some other pictures...