There are so many people (many of you reading this post!) who walked closely beside us during our adoption process. SO MANY PEOPLE played an integral part in helping us bring our son home, and we will never forget your outpouring of love and excitement and involvement. You allowed God to use you to fulfill His plan for our family...it still overwhelms me when I think of how the Lord worked to ensure that Gabriel could be our son, and I never want to take it for granted. One of those families not only walked alongside us though--they were able to walk alongside us on our road while they were walking a very similar yet very different road themselves.
We pretty much started the adoption process at the same time as our friends Kendon, Kursten and their two children, Ian and Kinzlee, only they were doing an international adoption. Kursten is actually the person who told us about Christian Homes and Family Services (the agency we used.) I'll never forget sitting at a table with her in the fellowship hall at our church on New Year's Eve, excitedly discussing what the Lord was calling our families to do. Over the next several months, we would share many conversations--some filled with excitement at completing a new step in our journeys, and others filled with discouragement at another hurdle along the path.
As I struggled through emotions during the adoption process, Kursten allowed me to cry and vent, and when we arrived home with Gabriel, Kursten helped welcome home our family of four, even as she was waiting to be able to welcome home her own child. This entire family blessed us in so many ways, and The Lord truly blessed both our families by allowing us to experience such an amazing journey alongside one another...both that ended with two very precious boys: Gabriel and Parker.
Sweet Parker is just 6 months older than Gabriel, but it was just 6 weeks ago that he finally got to come home to his family. It was a VERY long process for them. The night before they flew home, I found this book and just sobbed in the store as I read it pages.
"Did you ever think that your wish might not come true?...Oh yes...I wished for you through many phone calls...and through mountains of paperwork. I wished for you while I waited and waited...and waited. Sometimes, I didn't hear any news about you for weeks or months. But I held onto my wish tightly, like the string on a balloon."
Here we are at the airport waiting to greet Parker and his family onto American soil!
We went from welcoming Gabriel home, to waiting for Parker to get to come home, to getting to have Gabriel and Parker together!
Our move from our last church to here was particularly difficult, because we had envisioned our boys getting to grow up together. It may not look the way we had all envisioned it, (things rarely do though, right?) but in spite of a little bit of distance, I still am hopeful our boys will get to have a special relationship. We recently got to have a play date together, and it was so sweet to see them playing together, and to get to visit with my precious friend as we are now both on the other end of our journeys.
Parker--you are SO loved and so very wanted! How thankful we are to have been a part of the start of God's amazing plan for your life!