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Beach Day in October, and 3 Amazing Things

Sometimes our favorite beach days are in the fall.  
The shore has cleared out of so many people, the sun is still warm and bright for little ones to soak into their hair, and the break is strong, keeping toddlers from rushing in except to their ankles.

Elijah is convinced he was meant to be a California boy from the beginning. 

 His happiest moments are coated in sand after he has flung off his suit, feeling fine grains between his fingers and toes.  The fresh saltiness on his tongue, up in daddy’s strong arms above the waves.

Maria loves the beach, still enchanted with the warmth, the extent of the horizon.  I think she could come daily and be just as excited, marveling at the leaping dolphins, diggable sand.   Her skin was made for the beach as it turns dark and golden, not the white, transparent skin we saw in Russia.

She and Finley worked for close to an hour making a deep ‘jacuzzi,’ proud of their efforts.  
They traded off running to the loud water’s edge with the pink, flimsy bucket to scoop up the water, mixed with golden flecked sand, two arms straining to hold their prize, half sloshing out down their sand clad feet as they marched up to their creation, proud,  dumping the remainder into the basin, their team effort.
11 and 2, and best of friends

Yogurt Break.  The surf was huge

We rinsed off sandy feet and caked hair.  We dressed in warm, dry clothes and tucked three little ones into bed for a nice, big afternoon nap smelling of salt and sun.  They slept for hours.

Our sweet little beach babes

Three amazing things:


-Our friends Mary and Steve hosted Alex over the summer and in doing so decided to adopt him.  They made the hard decision not to host him over Christmas to focus on finishing the adoption, hard but good decision.
Then last week they found out there was an anonymous donor paying his way to be with his family this Christmas and that he could come home.  They were shocked, amazed.  His first Christmas with a mom and dad, his mom and dad.
-Our friends John and Ally hosted Vlad, but knew he couldn’t be adopted, he wasn’t even listed to be available, “too old.”  A fact that became very painful towards the end of their hosting as this boy opened up to them and became their son with each passing day.  Their family grieved his goodbye, his younger siblings crying through prayers for him, but he was just ‘too old’ to be made available for adoption, plus one more big block standing in the way.
“But whatever, we’re just going to try, he’s our boy!” they said.  They got a no, and a no.
But then, this week.  They got two yeses.  And against real odds, that even I wasn’t sure they could get past, they can proceed and bring Vlad home.  When they told him, he said he just couldn’t believe it and his heart couldn’t be happier.  He knows he can come home to his mom and dad and siblings who love him more than he’s ever been loved, cause you are never ‘too old’ to be loved and wanted.

-Our niece Katya is coming home, and as of yesterday….I got a text from Ashley…
because they are fully funded.  I feel like my heart is soaring because of this.  It has been a big answer to pray for so many reasons….
Congrats mama and papa!  We love you guys SO MUCH!   We can’t wait until Katya is home for good!
You just never know what God is going to do, right?  I think God puts out one stepping stone at a time, not the whole picture of how.  It’s up to us to take those first, scary steps, and it’s then that God steps in.  I think fear of the unknown is natural, but it’s also a door to some of the best things.  I don’t think fear is the opposite of faith, but an opportunity to actually use faith, to actually trust Him.
What is God’s most valued treasure?  Its you.  And us, and these kids, and every one of them.  His most valued treasure.  And it’s his serious business to help them, and when you say yes and get to be a part of it, it’ll change everything.  And then everyone is healed.  I am not saying it’s easy, but it’s worth it.  And there are far better things in life than easy.  
-We have three close friends hosting for Christmas, we are so excited and eager to support them.  There are also over 100 orphans who have not been chosen.  The deadline is soon, many kids have large grants.

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  • Carla October 22, 2013, 10:26 pm

    Beautiful beach pics. The kiddos look so incredibly healthy and happy.

    I’m convinced I was meant to be a California girl too, instead I was born, raised, and still life on the cold Canadian prairie. I’m prepared to live vicariously through your beach pics for the next several months.

  • Crystal Kupper October 23, 2013, 5:34 pm

    I love hearing about adoption miracles! Keep ’em coming! 🙂

  • Kate Deals October 26, 2013, 5:48 pm

    The adoption stories gave me goosebumps. I love your day at the beach. I live on the East Coast but not close enough for a day at the beach.

  • Katie October 27, 2013, 9:21 pm

    WOW – boy is Elijah THRIVING! what a darling glowing burgeoning little boy he is! my heart is overflowing! thank you thank you thank you for sharing these precious kids of yours! 🙂