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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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Monday, May 8, 2017

Naaman Forest Soccer Banquet

Thursday night we celebrated another great year for the Naaman Forest Soccer team. This year's banquet was rather bittersweet, knowing it officially brought Juan's last three years of high school soccer to a close.

About a week or so before the banquet, we got an e-mail asking for baby pictures of any seniors, or at least a few soccer pictures of them in their younger years. This is always one of those requests that make an adoptive parent nervous, and I told Juan I was sad that I didn't have any baby pictures or even younger soccer pics of him. But Juan quickly reminded me that I did indeed have a picture, and he insisted that I send the picture of him and his sister together holding a soccer ball. A picture taken of them when they came to the United States with KidSave. The picture I used to advertise our adoption plans. The picture I held close while I waited to bring them home. The picture that brought such incredible pain and heartache when the adoption failed. The picture I've held onto with longing to know more about that little girl, with hope to see her again and reuinite her with her brother some day. Seeing that picture so huge up on the screen could not have touched my heart any deeper.

Juan received the Defensive MVP award the last two years in a row when he played for the JV team, but this year he didn't get anywhere near the playing time as a varsity player, so we didn't expect for him to go home with any specific awards. His coach surprised us, though, by calling Juan up last to give him the Coach's Award, meanwhile speaking so incredibly highly of Juan's character and dedication not only to soccer and to his team, but to his Coach. He talked about Juan's determination and hard work to chase after what he wants, stating that one day he will be "the boss". After the banquet, Juan said to him, "Maybe I'll be back at Naaman someday." His coach said he'd be more than happy to see Juan come back and take his job. :)

Never underestimate the value of a coach in a boy's (or young man's) life. This man has had a very deep impact on my son, and I will always have great respect for him. We are grateful, thankful, and blessed that Juan had him in his life.

Now we look forward to things ahead. Graduation will be here before we know it. This weekend we worked on getting all the graduation announcements ready to send out next week, along with invitations to his graduation celebration here at the house. We also invited a few special people to attend the ceremony with us.

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