And life is sweet.
|wishes come true|
|Thank you to our friends and family for making these travel weary people feel so loved and welcome
After we tucked our babies into warm beds after our 13 hour flight, and fell into a deep sleep, we woke up and piled all our happy, sleepy, sweet kids onto our bed. Oh my goodness, what a sight!
They just couldn’t get enough of each other. Oh, how we have waited for this moment.
We made a big breakfast with lots of food for little tummies, and our halls and rooms filling with laughter and joy. We couldn’t believe how blessed we felt, looking at these sweet smiles, filling our hearts, as yellow morning light filled the windows. Maria is the dancing, little caretaker of the boys, my sweet helper, Finley and Elijah love playing together, and Finley asks for Maria every 5 minutes, “Mawea?? Mawea?” looking for her. “Yes, Fill-ey?” Today, she tried to pick him up, but couldn’t lift that hefty boy!
Our entire day felt so full, so blessed. Simple tasks have so much more joy to them, even silly things like laundry. Even cooking food because it is for children who hadn’t been able to eat like that ever before.
We showed Maria the outside, and she threw her arms up in the air, “woooow!” she said, delighted–joy is contagious. And when she discovered we had a cat…it was love. Out little cat has never had so much love in her life. Maria is incredible with animals, and can get Piper to do anything she pleases, which baffles Andrew and I. 🙂
She ran the palm of her hand along the edges of the clothes hanging in her closet, and looked at me solemly, and pointed at herself, a question.
“Yes, honey, they are all yours.”
She looked back at them, and smiled softly, stopping on the dresses. She picked out a red, flowy dress and asked me if she could wear if, “Of course, baby!”
Our little Russian never thought this could be possible in November, welcome to California!
Now I know why God gave us this garden house, the first thing she did was ask if she could water the plants and the flowers. She danced around the yard, giving water to thirsty plants. Sometimes she would spray Finley’s bare feet and he would double over in laughter, he is her little shadow.
|If those orphanage workers saw Elijah with bare feet in grass, they would think we were the worst…. hehe|
|Our joy girl|
|“Mama, please?” “Haha, go for it girl”|
What’s in this box at the very top of Maria’s desk, you ask? Well, the contents may surprise you as they did me 🙂
|What they heck? Our unfriendly cat, totally at her will.|
Our house is so full, full of joy and laughter, we are having so much fun in each minute. Andrew chasing a cat under a bed, two kids eagerly on his back, one more peeking under as well.
Today we went to the park to go feed the fishies. Maria was shocked when she saw their shiny little bodies make their way to the surface to pop the crumbs in their mouths, “Riba!” she said, pointing excitedly.
|Maria and Finley fed the fish to their hearts content, but sometimes Finley would sneak bites of his bread 😉 Elijah just watched–sweet boy still taking it all in, a world outside his crib.|
Family hike, my handsome boys.
I feel so happy when I see Elijah exploring, free from his old crib, getting some sunlight on his translucent skin, working his little leggies.
When Elijah bonks his head, or tips over and gets hurt, he has absolutely no reaction whatsoever, which is typical of children raised in orphanages because they don’t know how to, or have never received comfort from adults, and they shut off that reaction. I saw a baby dropped into a crib, bounce around and not make a peep. But for the first time today, when he tipped, he reached his little arms up to me, looking into my eyes, with a look on his face like, “Maybe?” So I scooped him up and made a big deal about him falling, and kissing him, and he was all smiles. I have seen so much change in this tiny soul, it’s so encouraging, it’s such an incredible honor to have him in our home learning so much. I love making his bottles these days which I shove full of scoops of all sorts of goodness; pure coconut oil (pure fat ;), fish oil, chia seeds, formula and other fun things. His skin is looking so much healthier.
|My three babies making music together|
Sometimes we find tiny piles of food in little places around our house, especially in Maria’s room, which is also typical of orphanage children, who have suffered from hunger throughout their lives. We are parenting them differently than a bio child, and offering food freely, even if she asks for a snack right before dinner, we say, “Of course honey,” and let her have it and even hold it during dinner as she is learning that she is safe.
|Picking her first avocado, which are $10 each in Russia, by the way.|
Maria is learning English quickly, but I am careful not to put any pressure on her, I want her to enjoy learning. I am also careful to show her that I am trying hard to learn Russian. We were doing a wooden alphabet puzzle, and she taught me each of the letters in Russian, and even though I wanted to teach her the English names, I just waited, and actually learned a lot! Then at the end, she recited all the English words for the letters as well! It was really so fun. Tonight after dinner, she walked up to me and said, “Mama, I love you!” She was so proud, so was I. And as we tucked her in, and I snuggled with her reading, “A Bad Case of the Stripes,” we laughed together at all the funny parts, she is able to follow along.
Tonight, our awesome friends dropped off dinner, we made a fire and the children played. I am not going to lie, it’s pretty magical. Andrew and I were talking about how much more we enjoy things that in the past we may have considered mundane, and how much we love our little family. And when we look to the future, we feel excited for more as each of our children grow into the person God intended them to be.
ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers,
fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden.
Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields,
soak the dirt clods
With rainfall as harrow and rake
bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor,
scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing,
Dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!
Ok, but seriously, thank you for your prayers, your support and for each person who has made these last 2 days possible, all our children under one roof. Thank you for helping us bring our children home.
Please donate to Maria’s best friend KATE! or adopt her? 🙂 It’ll be fun
Thanks again, our family is so appreciative of the kind and generous people in our lives.
**Sorry, I haven’t gotten back to any emails or texts or anything, but I will make it my goal this week to make it happen! Love you all so, so much!