What a year can bring

Sorry it’s been ages since I have written! So much has happened in the last 4 months, I need to make time to sit down and share all of our adventures to Africa and back. That will have to wait until another time…

I do want to share that today it has been a year since we first saw the wonderful email with the subject “Referral of Marie,” and it happens to be the 4 month mark since we boarded a plane to go meet our new daughter! Wow, has time flown! I remember both days like they were yesterday. I remember running errands, hearing that lovely ting of my phone saying there as an email, having a gut feeling I needed to check this one right away (who am I kidding…during the adoption process most mamas become incessant email checkers). When I saw the word “Marie” my heart was beating out of my chest and I had a feeling this was our daughter before even seeing her picture. M was just over 2 at the time and all of her dolls were named baby, except for one, who for some reason she had named Marie. It was like a smile from God saying from the beginning, “I’ve got this, my child. My plans are SO much bigger than yours!” And needless to say, seeing her picture made us fall in love with her!

I remember four months ago feeling like my heart was torn in two. My sister in law had gone into premature labor the night before, and had my handsome nephew, Camdyn, in the wee hours of the morning in Bismarck… 6 1/2 weeks early. My parents, who had lovingly offered to watch O and M, were about to be thrown into some absolute craziness. My dad is a photographer, and had school pictures scheduled for that day, my mom had drove the 2 hours to Bismarck the night before to be with my brother as they waited to see when precious little Cam would be born. Of ALL days, that day was not the best to leave my kids who were already nervous and scared for mommy and daddy to be gone. It all worked out okay, thanks to some pretty cool friends who stepped up to help! Needless to say, I was a wreck thinking of all the ‘what ifs,” with us flying thousands of miles away to a different continent. When we had gotten to the Rapid City airport, I had given the ticket agent my yellow fever card inside my passport, and not until I was ready to board did I notice that my yellow fever card did not make it back inside my passport…not a good thing when it is required to enter DRC!! That didn’t settle my nerves any! I now was thinking that maybe my lovely husband should finish the trip to Africa and get our daughter by himself…He wasn’t sold on that idea! Thankfully our great state of ND health department was able to fax a copy of the information and vital stamp needed to Chicago (with less than an hour to spare)! God was hard at work putting the right people at the right time to figure it all out! When we were going through customs in DRC, the lady in front of me was getting hassled from the people checking the yellow fever cards, and when it was my turn, the gentleman who had come to check my paperwork didn’t flinch and just let me go through…another God moment!

There has been so much that has happened this past year. Some great ups (best was bringing Bella home), and some major “downs”. I do know that through both the ups and the downs, God taught us incredible lessons. He has been so faithful to provide, so faithful to show us through good and bad that He hasn’t left us! Even though I would love to take away those months of excruciating waiting to bring Bella home, I know God used every difficult moment to teach us to cling to and to completely trust Him. Some days it wasn’t so easy, but now that I get to hold this beautiful blessing, I know only a wonderful God could have orchestrated it. I mean, it was all HIM that planted the seed of international adoption in our hearts, it was HIM who lead us to our agency, it was HIM that through grief and sadness and horrible losses took a beautiful child and lead her to us. I know that He knew every one of her days before even one came to be…the thought overwhelms me and I can’t help but be humbled that He chose us to be her parents.

Thank you GOD for this last year full of blessings!!

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