A couple of months ago we asked for prayer that we would be allowed to visit the four siblings we're adopting in Russia on our way to help Lissie get settled in her new home in Central Asia.
To those of you who lifted up this request to God, thank you! He has graciously granted the desire of our hearts! After an intense three weeks of preparation for the multi-leg trip, we're on our way. We get to spend the last day in August and the first in September with the Fab Four.
The first stop on our two-and-a-half-week journey is the home of our friends, Gary and Amanda. They're hosting a five-day CollegePlus! gathering for about 30 students and a number of their siblings. Our family made plans about a year ago to help our dear friends with the enormous undertaking of hosting such a crowd, and our ever-faithful God orchestrated the timing perfectly. Mr. Beaver, Lissie and I will be able to leave from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport next week. In addition, Gary and Amanda have kindly and generously offered to watch our youngest nine children while we're gone. Our oldest son, John, will be holding down the fort at home. Since graduating through CollegePlus! with a business degree, he's been hired for a marketing position by Wells Enterprises (maker of Blue Bunny Ice Cream).
One of the sweet benefits of starting our adoption trip at this gathering of young adults and older teens is that our daughter, Anna, and her husband, Aaron, are among those gathered. Aaron and Anna met through CollegePlus! and many of their dear friends are CollegePlus! students or alumni. Aaron and Anna's attendance has offered us the opportunity to see our granddaughter, Brielle, again. Our whole family has been counting the days to seeing this baby who is so precious to us!
The blue-eyed wonder was remarkably patient yesterday about being passed from person to person on her first day with the crowd.
|Brielle in the arms of Gary and Amanda's oldest daughter, Elizabeth|
I couldn't resist trying to capture the beautiful lashes of both Brielle and Elizabeth.
Studying the world from the vantage point of Mommy's shoulder...
...and getting a bonus kiss as well.
Held by friend Kali--kissed by her Auntie Lissie
Yesterday when the group gathered to pray before eating lunch when I saw this embrace. Each of these friends are adoptive siblings. Although they live 1,000 miles apart, modern technology has made it possible for them to offer one another empathy, support and encouragement as each family has ridden the roller coaster that adoption often is, trying the emotions and testing one's faith.
I have many more photos to share but want to get these few posted for those who weren't able to join us in Minnesota.