Mr. & Mrs. Beaver:
In the top photo, our twelve kids are standing on a bridge in the exclusive shopping mall, GUM, which sits beside Red Square in Moscow. This particular bridge connects the two sides of the third floor in the mall. There are a number of these bridges on the second and third floors of this remarkably-engineered building (see the second photo for another example).
If the bridge on which our family is standing were to collapse for some reason, disaster could be the only result for our family.
The health of our family as it weathers the stress of our newest adoption, is in many ways like this bridge. What supports the GUM bridges must be trustworthy. What supports our effort to add another three orphaned children to our family--while remaining healthy as a family--must be trustworthy.
We've had a difficult day. This doesn't surprise us given how recent our adoption is. Adoption requires many adjustments for everyone involved. Even so, what I am preaching to myself tonight is that it is the Lord God Almighty who is the trustworthy support for our adoption, for the three precious children we've just added to our number, and for the other eleven of us who ALL strongly believe that the rescue of orphaned children is worth going through the incredibly stretching adjustment that will take the next two years. (Yes...I did just write "two years." Having done this before, we know that it is about two years before the family is through all aspects of becoming a fully integrated family. However, there are many, many wonderful moments in the midst of this two year adjustment process, so don't let that number scare you if you're contemplating adoption.)
Yet, even though we know that the Lord God Almighty is our trustworthy support through this process, we would still be grateful for your prayers. Our God is a prayer-hearing God! Your precious prayers help under-gird us with His grace!
- That the two of us would be gentle, humble and wise like Jesus as we interact with all our children.
- For our children who share bedrooms with the newbies: Tessa and Lissie with Daria; Joe and Speedy with Alexander; Jaynie and Cassandra with Oksana. They very much wanted to have these new children share their rooms, and they continue to be glad for the privilege. However, it means they're on the "front line" all the time. When I'm growing weary of what this new situation requires, I can retire to my bedroom. They can't. Please pray for extra grace for them, especially Tessa and Lissie. Fifteen-year-olds like Daria can ask some very deep spiritual questions! Also, she's a night owl, and they're very early risers. They are getting worn down by getting less sleep.
- That the Lord God Almighty would move in the hearts of our new children to accept that our love of Christ means that we don't always make the same choices that others would in books, music, movies, etc. Again, please pray that the eleven of us would be so winsome in how we live out our love of Jesus that we would make purity of heart and mind attractive to them.
- That our very orderly six-year-old Oksana would be willing to cooperate and obey when the way we want to or need to do something varies from her strong sense of "rightness." We have absolutely no doubt that her deep love of particular routines comes from the importance placed on doing things the same way every time in the preschool area of her orphanage. We want to be sensitive to her long-standing habits, and yet we have to begin to work her into our family's habits. We also don't want to lose her love of a tidy house. Wow! What a blessing to have a six-year-old working hard to keep order in the home!
- That I (Mrs. Beaver) would rise on time to get a good long "soaking" in God's word before I face the parenting of 12. This means I must go to bed earlier. Please pray the Lord God Almighty will make that possible. I am a deep "morning sleeper," and I'm really have trougle getting up as early as a good quiet time requires.
- That the Lord God Almighty would quickly teach Daria, Alexander, and Oksana English. That He would, in fact, teach them to love Rosetta Stone, the primary means we're using to teach them. I don't want their Russian to disappear. It's a beautiful melody to my ears! Plus, we long to become a bilingual family. However, the sooner they know English, the sooner some of the more difficult hurdles (like the ones we faced today) can at least be adressed in one language--instead of two with the help of an Internet translator.