Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jaynie's Birthday

Mr. and Mrs. Beaver:

With all the travel we've done recently, we've yet to post about Jaynie's 18th birthday, which was in early May. This birthday was a real milestone, as she is the first of our older adoptees to reach adulthood. And we are grateful to God for the healing He has done as He has grown her into an adult!

When we first met Jaynie at her orphanage in Zhukovka, Russia, she was just eight years old. We met Jaynie and her siblings, Cassandra and Speedy, on the first of two trips required in the Russian adoption process.
It was a hot, hot, hot day, and, of course, there wasn't any air conditioning...

...which made for some hot, sweaty, sticky people getting to know each other.
Incidentally, heat and lollipops made for an interesting combination with these young children.
In a way, our "bonding" began with their first lick.

But we all seemed to manage to have fun and get to know each other anyway. We shared candy and new shoes with them, looked at books together, colored with them, spent time on the play ground and just generally 'hung out' with this precious 8-year-old and her siblings. 

Jaynie and her younger siblings especially loved their new stuffed animals,
which were gifts picked out for them by Anna, Joe and Lissie before we left home.

In some ways it was just a 'normal' family kind of day. But, upon further reflection, it was anything but a 'normal' kind of day.

For Jaynie and her siblings, this was the first time someone had really cared when they fell on the playground. It was the first time someone had really watched with interest as they performed their daring gymnastic tricks. It was the first time someone had gone crazy over their drawing and coloring. It was the first time they had 'parents' in the sense that God meant for children to have parents. It was anything but 'normal' because it was the day that God started a healing process that only He could orchestrate. Jaynie and her siblings had sustained deep wounds of rejection and hardship that only God could heal... but we were blessed to be used by Him as part of that process.

As for us, God has called us over and over through the past 10 years to trust Him through the journey. And, of course, He has been ever-faithful. Don't get us wrong--the journey has had plenty of challenges. But God HAS woven together sweet, easy times with challenging, turbulent experiences to build us up in Christ, both Jaynie and her parents. 

And the result? Parents who have made many mistakes, but, by God's grace, have learned much from those mistakes. More importantly, an 18-year-old young woman who knows God and is ready and willing to be used by Him for His glory. Like the rest of us, Jaynie would not claim to have become conformed yet to the image of Christ, but reaching forward to what lies ahead she presses on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14)
We love you, Jaynie! We're very proud of who you are... and of who Christ is shaping you to be!

Mom and Dad


Essie said...

Happy Birthday Jaynie! :D Your family is soo amazing... this brought tears to my eyes.. ;)

Co-heir With Christ said...

Happy birthday Jaynie!!

It's an honor to say that I know you. May God continue to give you joy as He reveals His will for your life

Spencer said...

Amen Esther, ditto!! :)

Happy birthday Jaynie!!!! it sure was awesome meeting you and I hope you have a tremendous new year pressing on for our great Lord.

Tony and Dawn said...

Please pass on a "Happy Birthday" from us! God Bless -

Rog said...

Happy Birthday, Jaynie! Hope you had a great day. :)

MacMeister said...

Happy Birthday Jaynie! It's been great getting to know you and your family over the past year. May God continue to bless you!

Lacey said...

Happy, happy birthday, Jaynie!! You still have your big, blue eyes! Hope your day is special! Love you!