Friday, February 22, 2013

Lessons learned through the journey

As we prepare to gaze upon our precious daughter in just two days, I can't help but reflect on what this journey to adopt her has taught me. About two years ago, I was dreaming of having a daughter to "complete" our family, and fit it into the mold that I had always dreamed our family would look like. When Kris decided we should adopt in November of 2011, that mold changed. As I shared in one of my first posts, he said "I want to fill up a whole van load of kids!" He felt called to adopt, not simply to add one daughter to our family. As time has passed, as home study, immigration, dossier, logging in, finding Anna Faith, being approved, and going through two more months of immigration and approvals again, I've seen things in a different light. I see Anna Faith not just as "My Girl" that I'm finally getting, but a child, an orphan in a desperate state without hope or a future, with little or no chance to ever hear the Gospel, a precious creation made in the image of God who has no concept of family, belonging, or purpose, a human being who was chosen by God to be a beacon to those around us in our corner of the world to be a living display of the Gospel of Christ. She is more than my first daughter in all of theses ways. If she had been a boy, would I have been this excited? I have to say that at the beginning of this journey, my answer would have been no. I couldn't wait to have a daughter! But now, after all God has brought us through, in all the ways He's displayed His provision, sovereignty, and mercy towards my child, I can honestly say it wouldn't matter. The Gospel is shining forth through my daughter's adoption story, a picture of God's redemption, rescue, and grafting into His family with an abundant inheritance. What a future we believers in Christ have as adopted sons and daughters in God's family! Boy or girl, the joy of fulfilling this calling to adopt and demonstrate that wonderful adoption life picture fills my heart!

Monday, January 11, 2010

December 2009

December was a very busy, fun month for us! We started out with Kris' Grandad's birthday party. Here is Josiah with Gran and Grandad with a cake Tonya made for him.

We got away for a couple nights to a cabin we stayed at last year, near Kentucky lake. It was so nice to finally get out of the house, away from farm work, and spend time as a family. It was very cold, but we did have fun indoors, like eating smores , going shopping at the mall in Paducah, and eating at Patti's, a very popular one of a kind restaurant!

Josiah and Micah loved their smores, even if they weren't made over a fire! Microwaves have to do in the winter!

Josiah sang in the preschool choir program for the first time this Christmas. He was very good and also brave since he had to sing in front of several hundred people! We were very proud of him.

Josiah smiling at us from the bleachers.

Nathanael has become quite the ham. He loves to respond to peoples voices and give a big grin!

Every night Kris would hold Nathanael after coming in from work so Tonya could clean up the house for the night and get things situated so everyone could go to bed. Often, they would both fall asleep together!

We had the opportunity to get together with friends to make Christmas cookies at our house this year. It was lots of fun, but quite a mess! Josiah and Micah enjoyed spending time with other kids and Tonya enjoyed the time with their mom!

The boys with their friends and their finished products!

We had a big time making eight different Christmas goodies this year for friends, teachers, and relatives. Josiah and Micah had a part in making all of them and got help package and label each box for Christmas gifts.

All three boys made handprint stepping stones to give to their grandmothers this year. Josiah and Micah got to paint theirs as well, and really enjoyed it!

Micah really enjoying his painting experience too!

Tonya got to participate in our church's Christmas choir presentation this year. It was such a privilege to be a part of a 95 voice choir and sing in front of over a thousand people!

Nathanael was baby Jesus this year in not only the preschool choir's concert but the adult one as well. He behaved very well and there weren't many dry eyes during the song he preformed in!

A picture of the choir from the entrance into the sanctuary

A close up view of Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus (our little man!)

Nathanael was also dedicated to the Lord this month. It was a proud time for us as parents to present him to the church and vow to train him up in the admonition of the Lord.

Nathanael smiling in his swing after breakfast. He is definatly a morning baby!

On the 23rd we opened gifts with Kris' parents and then at our home. It was a very busy day of packing and visiting since we left the next day for a two month trip to see family and then Canada. Here is Josiah giving Micah a hug after opening his Christmas present Micah worked to buy for him: a fire truck!

Josiah worked to buy gifts for everyone in the family, including Nathanael. Here he is showing Nathanael his Christmas present from him- a truck of course!

We gave Nathanael a play place for babies to take with us on our travels, since we didn't have one for the other boys. It was worth every penny, because he loves to play in it!

Merry Christmas! On Christmas morning we woke up in South Carolina, after a long trip on Christmas Eve from Kentucky. Nathanael is smiling in greeting after his first meal of the day!

Grandpa reading with Josiah

Grandpa with Nathanael, feeding him his daily bottle at night.

Nathanael wearing the Dixon boy traditional "My very first Christmas" hat and bib! He's the third one to wear them!

On the 26th we went to Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia with Tonya's parents. Josiah had been to a zoo in Nepal as a baby, but didn't remember it of course, so this was an exciting time.

Grandma and Grandpa with the bigger boys in front of the monkeys

Josiah feeding a girraffe.

Micah with Grandpa feeding a girraffe. What fun!

Riding an elephant statue

watching the gorillas eat.

Our family in front of the flamingoes. Nathanael slept the whole time under a blanket, strapped in an infant carrier to Kris.

Looking at fish in the aquarium

The night of the 26th we opened gifts and had a meal with all of Tonya's immediate family. Nathanael got to meet his cousins Sydney and Alex and Aunt Cathy, Uncle Myron, and Uncle Randy for the first time. He immediately took to Sydney and smiled a lot at her!

Uncle Randy holding Nathanael

The VanKampen Grandkids. It was a long night with several hours of gift opening, so some of the boys weren't exactly game for picture taking!

Aunt Cathy holding Nathanael.

Grandma and Nathanael

Grandpa with Josiah and Micah, goofing around

The kids playing at Great Grandma VanKampen's house. Lots of toys for everyone!

Grandma with Nathanael at the Breuker Christmas party

The Breuker great-grandkids, minus Cooper, who was born early in December

Going sledding outside Great Grandma and Grandpa Breuker's condo in Michigan.

Grandpa with the big boys, fixing to go down a hill

Micah and Josiah love the snow and don't mind the cold at all.

Josiah trying to find packed snow to make a snowman

At Great Grandma VanKampen's Christmas party, Josiah ate everything on his plate, so was rewarded with a Daddy sized piece of chocolate cake! Life is good!

This was Sydney and Josiah's last night playing together for another year. It was sad to see them say bye. They make good buddies!

Josiah and Great Grandpa Breuker doing a puzzle together, just like Tonya used to do when she was his age!

Great Grandma Breuker and Nathanael. She loved holding him and made him promise to not let Mommy and Daddy cut his hair for a long time!

Great Grandma VanKampen and Nathanael

Great Grandma VanKampen with all of our boys

Josiah and Micah napping on Great Grandma VanKampen's bed. They adapted everywhere we went and learned to sleep in a bed together.

Playing Chutes and Ladders with Great Grandpa, Josiah and Kris.

Great Grandpa and Grandma Breuker with the boys. We had a memorable, fun time in Michigan before leaving for Canada on Jan. 2nd. Stories and pictures are soon to come!