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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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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Then and now

What a difference a year makes. A year ago right now, I desperately needed rest. Healing. Rejuvenation. We still hadn't gelled as a family unit. Juan David still didn't speak English. I struggled with health issues that likely came from all the stresses of the previous six years.

Today, I feel good. Thanks to Plexus for curbing my appetite and helping me move away from a sugar addiction, and thanks to the Daniel Plan for teaching me to enjoy the abundance of all the natural foods God has provided us, my body is back on track. Plus I am more mentally alert and alive than I have been in a long time. Who knew how much I would crave broccoli every morning?

Last year, I felt like I'd been running by the seat of my pants and had the life sucked out of me. This year, I felt organized, intentional, and I had an absolutely wonderful year teaching my second batch of four and five-year-olds.

Thanks to a little camper getting dropped into our laps, our first three camping trips last summer really helped us to finally gel together as a new family unit. Thanks to a newer and nicer camper that God upgraded us to, the gelling continues on each trip we take, even if we only drive about 20 minutes down the road. We look forward to taking many random trips together in our house on wheels. It is indeed a blessing.

Thanks to Journey, our church's high school summer camp in Colorado, Juan David finally broke the ice and came home speaking English, all the English he'd learned during the year but refused to apply. His silent period ended, and now he speaks amazing English and continues to improve every day.

Last year, I still felt like the reality of Juan David's adoption hadn't hit me yet. Now it seems to hit me every day, every time I see his smile, look into his eyes, watch him dance around the house, or see him play soccer. He really did come home to us. Wow. I still tear up from time to time when I think about it.

Last year, I wanted nothing more than to stay home (or local). This year, I am rearing to go, go, go! In fact, I originally planned to board a plane to Colombia today with Juan David to spend a week with Julian. Until Julian boarded a plane to Argentina. :(

It's okay, though. I am learning to embrace the present. Like the other day when I prayed for God to guide my day with Juan, to give us an enjoyable, memorable day. We ended up spending good quality time with a friend who is more like family, a friend who happens to be moving away in two weeks. Plus Juan David got to swim, so that made him a happy boy.

I'm so thankful for all we have to celebrate when I look back at all the differences between then . . . and now.

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