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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, November 24, 2013


Some things don't always go as planned.  Juan David came home from school on Thursday and immediately started laundry and then packed his little bag for the high school retreat on Friday.  He was really beginning to look forward to the weekend away in Oklahoma, we really looked forward to him having the experience, and David really looked forward to a "break". A quiet house with Mom and Dad all to himself. 

Around 8:30 or so, I finally got out my computer to check my e-mail, only to find that they had to cancel the retreat at the last minute due to predictions of severe winter weather coming our way.  Ugh.  Needless to say, though thankful for a church that seriously considered the students' safety, we were all quite bummed. 

So, we decided to make the best of things.  We turned Friday night into family Wii night.  We bowled, we played tennis.  The boys' golfed for awhile, and then we watched two of our favorite shows on TV.  We turned Saturday into a one-on-one day with both boys, which turned out to be quite special.  I woke David up and took him out for breakfast at IHOP with a birthday coupon.  We had some really good conversation, and I learned a ton about his daily life in middle school.  I told him how much I miss spending the mornings with him taking him to school each day, and he told me he really misses that time, too.  When we were leaving, he said he really enjoyed having breakfast with me and said, "You're the best Mommy in the whole world."  Yes, my heart melted. 

Meanwhile, Mike made Juan David a special breakfast at home and spent time with him at home.  When I got home, I asked Juan David if he liked his breakfast, and he said, "Yes, Dad is very good at making breakfasts." He had already figured out where David and I went because he noticed the coupon suddenly went missing from the desk.

Ten minutes later, our friends called and invited him to go to a kick-boxing practice for the afternoon because their daughter also missed out on the retreat for the weekend.  He and Mike went and spent the next three hours there.  Juan David thoroughly enjoyed it, and Mike said he enjoyed watching him actually get tired.  (The boy is in such incredible physical shape that not much seems to challenge him).  While they were gone, David and I went shopping for a couple things, and David came home with a new video game for the Wii.  We played together for a bit, and then he played alone for awhile, enjoying the quiet house.

As soon as Juan David and Mike came home, Juan David and I went out to eat together.  He chose CiCi's Pizza because he knew that's where he could get the most to eat.  He said that after three solid hours of a hard workout, he was very hungry. While he ate to his heart's content, we had some really good conversation.  We talked about his siblings, more parts about his childhood and experiences he's had that I didn't know about, and we remembered specific conversations we'd had via the phone over the last five years.  Once again, another reminder that not a single moment spent on the phone with him and his sister was lost.  Every word, every conversation mattered.  I still remember them all, and so does he.  We also talked about girls--not sure I'm ready for those conversations, but the boy is sixteen.  Mike and I started dating when I was sixteen, and he knows that, so......

As we left, I told him what David told me about being the best mom in the world. :)  He said he couldn't lie to me and tell me that because he doesn't know if there are better moms out there, but he did say that I'm the best mom he's ever had in his life. I'll take that. :)

We got home, he played David's new game with him for about 45 minutes, and then we headed to church.  The high schoolers were going over to the main campus for a special service planned just for them because their retreat had been cancelled.  But right before they left, we heard that Jason Castro was at the church to lead our worship for the evening.  I was disappointed that Juan David wouldn't be in the service to see him because Jason is also Colombian.  So we had someone take us behind the stage so we could let Juan David meet him.  David enjoyed meeting him, too. :)  Jason Castro's dad was back there with him, so he and Juan David got to converse in Spanish for a little bit.  Their family is also from Bogota, so they found a quick connection.  It turned out to be a neat experience.  Juan David didn't get to be there when he led the worship, but I put one of his CD's in the car after church so he could hear him sing.

The high schoolers left and went to the main campus where they got to hear the speaker from the retreat and then just hang out for awhile.  The main campus has a huge building called Pier 419 that was built specifically for the youth, so I knew Juan David would love it.  Sure enough, they came back at 9:30, and his first comment was, "Oooooooh.  I LIKE this church! It's really big!"  He was almost giddy with excitement.  They planned to take the Sunday morning crew over in the morning, so he asked if he could go back in the morning.  I wasn't sure he'd actually get up in time to go since he cherishes his sleep till almost noon on Sunday mornings, but he excitedly got up this morning to go back.  I just dropped him off and am enjoying a quiet house with David and Mike for the morning, now. :)

Considering how bummed we all were on Thursday night when they canceled the retreat, I think the weekend ended up going quite well.  Two more days, and I get to see my parents. :)  So, so, so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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