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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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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our thirteen greatest blessings of 2013

Here are our lists of our thirteen greatest blessings of 2013--from four different perspectives:

Mike:  Repeat the list of our greatest challenges.  Each challenge turned into a blessing in the end.

  1. Receiving our approval from Colombia.
  2. David had the best 5th grade teacher ever, who proved to be an incredible role model for him, someone he will always look up to and have fond memories of.
  3. Traveling to new parts of Colombia and being able to see and reconnect with friends and family there. (Zayde and her family, Mercedes, Julian, and other teachers we had worked with)
  4. COMPLETING Juan David's adoption on July 11th.
  5. The moment the nurse told us that David did NOT have appendicitis.
  6. Making it back from Colombia just in time for David to make it to camp!
  7. David becoming bilingual.
  8. Switching from teaching second grade to teaching PreK.  What an incredible blessing. Plus I developed a really neat relationship with my new aide, a friendship I didn't know I was missing.  
  9. My boys' soccer teams and soccer coaches.  I love watching both of them play.
  10. Building trust and connection as a new family.  It's a challenge, but it's great to look back and see how much we've gained and how far we've come in just five months.   
  11. The newcomer high school for Juan David.  It has its pros and cons, but I think the pros outweigh the cons.  He loves school, has a great group of friends, and his teachers all adore him and speak highly of his abilities. The situation could be so much different.
  12. The Net--our youth/student ministry program at church.  Both boys get to go together every Wednesday evening, and they both love it.  They also have gotten to know the new youth pastor pretty well because of the small atmosphere on Saturday nights, so that's been neat to watch their respect for him grow.  
  13. All of the financial help/blessings that came through right before we left for Colombia and all of the amazing support we received from our Life Group. 
  1. Family
  2. My new Play Station
  3. My school 
  4. My school friends
  5. My soccer team
  6. My bedroom
  7. My house
  8. My Snowflake (the cat)
  9. Mom's Snowball (the other cat)
  10. Dad's Minnie (the dog)
  11. Juan's Mickey (the other dog)
  12. Dad's F-350 
  13. Dad cutting down Mom's tree after the ice storm (it was ugly)     
I'm still grieving the loss of my tree that bloomed pretty white flowers for me once a year on the first day of spring. :(

Juan David:
  1. The adoption and my new family
  2. My new friends
  3. My new church
  4. My school where I am learning English
  5. My soccer team
  6. Winning the soccer tournament
  7. My job that I had in Colombia
  8. Traveling to the United States
  9. The support I have all around me
  10. My new video game
  11. Having a pet
  12. Having a good year
And with that, I guess we'll bring 2013 to a close.  Tomorrow I will see about setting some new goals as a family so we have something specific to strive for in 2014!  

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