Friday, November 11, 2011

10 Years Ago...

November 9th marked 10 years since Eric and I become a mommy and daddy for the first time. Ten years ago we got a call from our caseworker that changed our lives forever. "I have a referral for you. And it's a girl!" A girl! 9 to 1 odds that we would NOT receive a girl referral, but the Lord saw fit to match us with a beautiful 1 month old little girl. In today's world of international adoption it's hard to conceive the possibility of being matched with such a young child, but back then it wasn't such an oddity. We thought that we had missed SO MUCH of her young life. She came home at 5 months and 3 weeks old. =-)

We could have *never* *ever* *EVER* imagined that the next 10 years would have us experience all of the things the Lord brought to us. Here's a partial list....
  • Adopting again 10 months after Taevy came home.
  • Adopting from Vietnam.
  • Feeling a call and a passion to begin assisting others with international adoption.
  • Resign from the teaching career I had planned since I was in 7th grade.
  • Learning all about attachment issues.
  • Sensory Integration Disorder.
  • ADHD
  • Failure to Thrive
  • Auto-Immune Enteropathy
  • NG tubes; G-tubes; Mickey Buttons
  • pre-digested formual (and the cost!)
  • Amazing, humbling, incredible, miraculous HEALING of Autu-Immune Enterpathy
  • Healing of warts (hey--ANY healing is worthy of praise!)
  • Introduction to Fibromyalgia
  • Deciding to homeschool.
  • A dream that told me we had two more children, in Africa. Would have NEVER dreamed we would have children in Africa.
  • A new home, perfectly suited to four children.
  • 3 lay-offs, and 3 new jobs that provided for our family even better than the jobs Eric was laid off from!
  • Direction that took us to Ghana to adopt Bright.
  • Adopting an "older" child. Not really, but to us at the start of this 10 years, 20 and 27 months was "old!" I remember my friend T adopting a 17 month old and me thinking, "Oh, I could never adopt a child that old." Ha!
  • Dialysis. Ugh.
  • The provision of a job working in Ghana adoption.
  • Learning that HIV/AIDS is NOT a death sentence and that people actually adopt positive children. NEVER would have guessed that one in 2001!
  • Adopting our 4th blessing, an HIV+ child.
  • Kidney Transplant.
  • A niece that was brought into our family when my sister and her husband adopted internationally. Never saw that one coming!
  • Riding on a bus for 19 hours in Africa. Africa! I went to Africa (10 times)!!!
  • Kidney transplant, post-surgery doctor's appointments (so not fun).
  • Childhood trauma, and what it can do to a little one's heart.
  • Malnutrition, and what it can do to a little one's mind.
  • [Eric's contribution] A church where we watch the Sunday sermon on a video screen. Couldn't imagine such a thing (or that we would be part of it) in 2001! LifeChurch.TV
  • Hope. So VERY much hope for the future!

I've sat here for the last 5 minutes thinking about what to write next, and instead, smiling to myself as I go through all of the images in my mind. What a life. If I died tomorrow, I would have had an amazing life. The Lord has blessed us. Lots of the things on that list don't look so fun, but each of them prepared us for the next thing or in some other way grew us in a way that was beneficial to our family. I wouldn't remove a single thing from the list. Without all of those things, I wouldn't have the family I have today. I have a feeling that the next 10 years won't be quite as full of "new" as the last, but never say never!




whenpigsfly 11:19 PM  

YAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God for where He leads, and how He does it!! I love your family so much and I am so thankful for each of you!!1

Mary Ellyn 8:44 AM  

Anita -- your life sounds pretty boring over the last decade - NOT!!!! What a ride and you've only just begun. Continued blessings on your family.

Arnold family 6:58 PM  

Wow, many blessings and trials over the last 10 years. I appreciate your words of wisdom and heart for adoption .