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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.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in a family


Everything about Christmas changed this year.  Even David's reactions changed now that he has a sibling.  I will have to say that with all the changes, I felt rather disconnected, almost like I was on the outside just watching.  Maybe that's because I'm constantly observing both of my sons, wondering just what is going on in their minds.
I like simplicity, so we started with the stockings, the "little things", so they, too, could be appreciated.  I wrote a card for both of my boys (and for Mike) and stuck it in their stockings, so it warmed my heart to start off the night seeing them carefully read what I had written to them.  I also tucked in little coupons for them to redeem for some one-on-one time with Mom throughout the next year.
Back in the early summer of 2009, I found two beautiful blue and white stockings at a local garage sale and purchased them for Juan David and his sister.  I so looked forward to putting them up that Christmas for them.   Though that didn't happen that year, I did get to put Juan David's up and fill it for him this year.  That stocking waited four years for him.  To me, that was a pretty big deal.

Photo: The dogs like their Christmas gifts! 
The other blue stocking held treats for the dogs this year, which you can see they enjoyed and devoured quickly.  By the time the last present was opened, the rawhide candy canes were completely gone!

The boys were very thankful and happy with all of their gifts.  Juan David found a black cross necklace in his stocking that he proudly wore the following day.  They have played their new video game system together non-stop, and so far it's been a good bonding tool for them.  Last night I heard them just giggling away while they played one of the games together.  It warmed my heart.

Mike made the comment back in October that all he wanted for his birthday was to go bowling together as a family.  Then David broke his arm, so we couldn't go.  One night I took David shopping for Mike's Christmas present, and we decided that we'd put our money together to take the family bowling this coming weekend.

Juan David got Mike and David matching shirts that say, "I'm kind of a BIG deal". :)  The boys went together with their allowance money to get me a beautiful silver heart necklace.  David got Juan David a CD with some of his favorite music that he's constantly asking to listen to on You Tube, and we got him a little CD player for his room.  Mike got me a new purple jacket and four fiction books that are all set in Lancaster County, PA.  I finished the first one in a day and am halfway through the second one.  

I've spent more time in the kitchen than I normally do, trying to give Juan David that cozy, "family" feel for Christmas.  I often wonder what's going through his mind, finally being at home rather than just one of a hundred plus kids.  Everything changed for him, too.  He's talked a lot about Christmas traditions in Colombia, but when we got invited to someone's home to practice one of those Colombian traditions, he said he didn't want to go.  He wants to experience and learn the U.S. traditions this year. We don't do and have never done Santa in our home, but the whole concept of Santa in the U.S. has been very interesting to him.  He said that in Colombia, everyone knows that Santa is not real, even the kids.  No one believes that there is really a Santa.  Plus they celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th, not the 25th.  So, it looks like he's in the right family since we never do Santa and we always celebrate together on Christmas Eve.  

I wish I could say that God gave me all I could have wanted this year by letting Juan David be at home with us finally.  However, we didn't get to talk to Julian on Christmas this year, so I still felt like something was missing.  He and I exchanged some sentimental e-mails, but his phone did not work or his personal computer, so we didn't get to talk at all.  I do miss him and wish he could have connected with his brother.  He finally finished up all his classes and will be starting an "internship" in February to work for six months in his field of study.  I pray that completing these studies will open up a whole new world to him, rather than keeping him trapped in a cycle of poverty.  Though he didn't get to come here with his brother, God has definitely taken care of him and has a unique plan for him.

Today will be another day of rest and reflection, then we will probably attempt to be more active in the coming week.  David could sit at home every day and be happy, but Juan David is not the type of kid that can stay idle for long.  That issue is for another post, another day.

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