So I totally stole this idea off of MckMama's blog http://www.mycharmingkids.net and really liked it. So I'm doing a post very similar to it. I thought it'd be fun to go back and reminiscence- though I admit I feel slightly narcissistic devoting this entire post to me. Who knows how many times I'll use the word "I" in this. But doing this is always a great time to be reminded of God's faithfulness!
In mid-fall of 1991, I was born, the first child in my family.
In Summer of 1995, after playing with my poor mom on the couch for 3 months while she was on bedrest, my 2 always-obedient, sweet-as-can-be, ever-loving twin brothers were born. Suffice it to say, my life was changed forever. But I love them both them so incredibly much. Even with the years of toy guns, running, war cries (for serious, you should've been present during the many battles that took place at our home with my brothers and their friends lol).
In 1996 my Dad went to Guatemala for a week. He brought back a native blouse and skirt. I wore it to church and our good family friend started calling me Guatemolly. Who would have thought?!
In 2000, my life-long dream (at least for the 9 years I'd been alive) was fulfilled when my aunt and uncle took me to swim with the dolphins in Florida. I also adopted a little dark-skinned baby doll from this toy store in town. I wrote a story about how her parents had been killed in a mudslide in Guatemala and I was chosen to adopt her. That summer, I pushed her around in a life-size stroller, dressed her in baby clothes I bought at garage sales, and carried her in a baby carrier at the grocery store.
In 2002, we made the big jump from homeschooling to private Christian school. It was probably the best decision my parents ever made for me. I had a fantastic year there and absolutely loved it.
In 2005, my best friend's family adopted from Guatemala. I remember the day they announced their plans for adoption like it was yesterday. That was the first time that I remember my heart breaking for the orphans. If only I'd known how broken one's heart can actually be for something. The next 3 years I begged my parents to adopt or have a baby. God had other plans.
In 2006, after much prayer and consideration, we decided for me to continue going to the same Christian school for high school. I joined the worship team, dissected a pig, and grew in my faith (not because of dissecting a pig. Just had to clarify that).
Summer of 2007 was a big one. God dropped a job at the dermatologist's office right in my lap. I wasn't looking for a job. And I didn't think I needed one. But He gave one to me anyway. Turns out, I started homeschooling that fall, and had I not taken that job I would have been terribly lonely and bored sitting at home all day.
Fall of 2007 I woke up one night and realized that I'd had this crazy dream. I'd dreamt that for my birthday, I'd received all of these nice presents- none of which I wanted. In my dream I was upset over getting these gifts because I just wanted to go to Guatemala. After telling my parents about it, they decided maybe they could work out a way for my Dad and I to go. I had NO IDEA this dream was of any significance- but this is EXACTLY what God had planned.
March of 2007 my Dad and I boarded a plane to Guatemala City. Desperate for my parents to adopt and desperate to give a child a home I was determined to find my sister (and convince my parents of it as well). I had been out of the country besides seeing the Bahamas on a cruise, had never been to an orphanage, and was utterly unprepared for what I was to see. But is there anyway to prepare yourself for that? I walked into the orphanage and was immediately greeted by a little girl with a swollen, tender growth on her pinkie finger. My very elementary Spanish prevented me from carrying any full conversation, so she and I communicated with hugs, smiles, laughter, and facial expressions. Later on that week my Dad removed the lesion on her finger, and we discovered she had taken a piece of both my Dad and my heart. Her name was Claudia.
April of 2007 I realize that you never fully recover from a missions trip. Your heart is just changed forever. I struggled with terrible guilt at the life I led here. I experienced intense longing to return. I felt a passion and burden like never before to change and help the children I had fallen in love with. I prayed night and day for my parents to adopt and talked about it incessantly. Oh how much I had to learn.
In August of that year, I joined 18 people on a plane to go again to Guatemala. This trip was quite different, as it was with a team, but God did just as much work in my heart. I was greeted again by the same sights, sounds, and children. My heart was broken again and my passion again ignited for the orphans. I vividly remember my quiet time one night in which the Lord brought (or dragged) me to a new level of surrender. I sobbed and cried out to the Lord. I did not understand why these kids could not be my siblings. I did not understand why they should live there and not in my home. I did not understand why Claudia could not be my sister. But that night I chose to place my desire for my family to adopt and the future of these children into God's hands. It was a night that definitely stands out in my spiritual walk.
2008- Funny how I can't think of anything to write as I approach the present lol. Let's see... I started my online homeschool program, got more involved with youth group, and grew some fantastic friendships. I started college trips, thinking that I would be graduating that spring. God had other plans for me, and though it was a big disappointment His plan was good. Also that year we sold our house after having it on the market for 18 months and moved into our existing house. It was overall a great but hard year, fillled with lots of lessons.
Spring of 2009- After nearly 18 months away from the country of my heart, I traveled with my brother and my dad to go back to Eagle's Nest. It was a precious trip, made even sweeter sharing it with my brother. I came back more in love than ever with the country, the language, and the people.
May of 2009- We started actively pursuing my Claudia girl. After much emailing, praying, and investigating I received the email that the judge had declared her unadoptable and was transferring her to another orphanage. I was devastated, but kept trusting that our God is mighty to save this little girl.
June of 2009- My most recent trip to Guatemala was probably the most bittersweet of them all. One of the most emotional, heartwrenching days of my life was leaving that little girl behind. I came home an absolute mess. But I found HOPE in that country, learned that I positively love Spanish, and was brought to a greater trust in the Father than I have ever had. It was a really really good trip.
As for Fall of 2009- God has already made the past few weeks an adventure. A few times I have felt a bit like I'm on a rollercoaster that is missing the stop button. Sometimes I handle it quite well, and other times I fail miserably. So I'm learning lots about the grace and mercy of God, and that He is good even in the desert or in the middle of a storm. I am getting SO excited about our family doing foster care!! There will be more on that to come in the next few months.
And now, reading through this, I'm amazed at God's faithfulness!! We serve an incredible God!