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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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Saturday, July 29, 2017

A day to relax and have fun

Our last day in Guatemala, after a day of training and then four days of hard work, we slept in a bit and then headed to Antigua as a team to enjoy the day together. (These pictures are in no particular order.)

 Juan sporting his purchase from the market earlier in the day.
 The street leading into the marketplace. Juan and I both agreed that it looked a lot like Villa de Leyva in Colombia. 
 Cute little Guatemalan nativities. I usually buy one in every country I visit, but I ran out of money this time. Much to my surprise, one of the girls I worked with all week ended up finding one for me in the airport and buying it for me as a gift. I was very deeply touched by her gesture. :) 
 Typical Guatemalan clothing. 
 One particular place near the market that had about anything you could want. It's not where we ended up shopping, though.

 Nothing better than an afternoon coffee break at a real coffee plantation (and a break from teenagers! LOL.)

 Hanging out under the birds.
 My favorite picture from the whole trip in Guatemala. Yes, I will be framing this one. We have matching shirts and all! This leg of the trip was very bonding, an experience I will never regret sharing with my son.
 Lunch at a really cool restaurant.

 Best dessert ever!
 Amazing tacos!

 My amazing homekit team.
 We didn't even know we'd all ordered the same shirt (we had several to choose from for the trip).
 There we are again. Mom and son. We both had a lot of fun throughout the week as we met new people, telling them that he was my son and I was his mom. Kinda threw everyone for a loop!
 Right in front of the marketplace.

 More pics from the coffee plantation.

 The restaurant we ate at that night, and the nachos we attempted to share.

 And the soccer game broadcast on the television in the restaurant--straight from Frisco, Texas. Small world.

Going to Guatemala with my son was an unforgettable experience. I absolutely loved serving alongside him and watching him assume a very natural role of leadership, stepping up to the plate to use his bilingual and bicultural skills so naturally. I am thankful that we will always have these memories to share. 

We also got to celebrate his 4th Adoption Day anniversary during the week, where Shane arranged for him to be sung "Happy Birthday" to at a pizza place that evening. It was the "joke" of the week--that Juan turned four. :)

At the beginning of the week, Shane shared that the church had been praying for FIVE years for a door to open for us to work with Guatemala. It hit me that God had chosen Juan to be part of that first team before we even knew we'd have another chance to adopt him. God really does have big plans for that young man. I look forward to watching those plans continue to unfold in the years to come. 

Thank you to those of you who prayed and who gave. This trip should have cost us $3400 plus $200 in typhoid shots. When we ended up making plans to travel to Spain, we only needed a one way ticket to Guatemala, which brought the price down almost a thousand dollars. I paid the first $500 deposit. Within a very short amount of time, we got word that we didn't owe a penny more. I then paid $200 for our typhoid shots, and before we left, two people gave us gifts that covered the shots, too. So, for $500 out of our pockets, we got to serve together, make new friends together, experience another country together, bond in a new way, and make memories that will last a lifetime. I am truly grateful.  

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