Saturday, January 26, 2013


Mrs. Beaver:

The day following Aunt Jean's death there were, of course, countless details to be taken care of by Mr. Beaver, his brothers and uncle. The rest of us spent a great deal of time in the hotel. Ideal afternoon light in our room allowed me an impromptu photo shoot of our oldest daughter, Anna, and her baby, Brielle, who'd come in from Ohio.

At seven months, Brielle's tongue is an important tool in learning about her world. Here her tongue came in handy for exploring the zipper of her vest.

When her fascination with her vest nearly brought the photo shoot to an end, we removed it. Which led to more exploration...

...and the temporary loss of her foot.

Not being a baby to be easily frustrated...

...she just checked in with her mom for reassurance.

Then she was back to exploring. this time her hand was her target...

...and then her wrist.

But it wasn't long before her attention was captured by a foot again.

After a while, Anna changed Brielle's position. This gave the little one the chance to run her finger's through her mama's long locks.

This bit of "research" became painful!

When Anna was able to free herself from the tiny fingers, the ends of her hair still held fascination, but by now Brielle had her feet up in the air again--one of her favorite positions when on her back.

Now it was time for Brielle's mama to explore. She thoroughly investigated the bottom of Brielle's feet with kisses.

And finally, my favorite two photos that day--my first baby tenderly exploring the face of her first baby:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

In the Blink of An Eye

Mrs. Beaver:

This week our family experienced the reality of "Yet you do not know what what your life will be like tomorrow" (James 4:14 NASB).

We went to bed on Monday night thinking all was well in our little corner of the world. We were awakened by a phone call about 11:30 with the news that my husband's Aunt Jean had fallen down the basement stairs in her home. This tumble didn't result in a broken hip or arm for the 80-year-old. Aunt Jean had suffered such a serve brain injury that death was imminent.

We hurriedly packed and drove through the night to be at her bedside. Other family also hastily made their way to Denver from across the country. By Wednesday morning all the extended family who was able to come had arrived. Aunt Jean's trauma doctor was consulted. With compassion, he confirmed that her situation was without hope. Prolonging her life would only result in slowing the inevitable--her death. We prayed fervently and made the decision you never hope to have to make for a loved one. We asked that life support be removed; Aunt Jean then died peacefully about two hours later.

Aunt Jean has been exceptionally close to each of us Beavers, and I hope to post again to share more about her remarkable life of Christ-like servant hood. (That will take more concentration than I have tonight at the end of very stretching week.) For now, suffice it to say that Mr. Beaver's father died in an airplane accident when he was seven, and Aunt Jean, who always remained single, helped his widowed mother raise my husband and his two brothers. As these three grew into manhood and began having their own children, the next generation has been bathed in Aunt Jean's unconditional, unwavering love. Then seven months ago our daughter, Anna, gave birth to Brielle, and Aunt Jean's love spread to a third generation.

We finish this week grateful to God for Aunt Jean. The photos in this post were taken just two weeks ago when Aunt Jean and Mr. Beaver's mom, Jane, visited over the New Year's holiday weekend.

Brielle, Aunt Jean, and Mr. Beaver's mom, Jane

Monday, January 14, 2013

Twice as Nice

Mrs. Beaver:

On our blog we often tout the blessings of adoption. Truthfully, I think our reason for this frequent focus is to get our readers to consider the role they can play in the world-wide need for orphan care.

Today, however, I'm reveling in the other miracles in the make up of our family--the twins to which I gave birth, John and Lissie. What a blessing this duo has been to a couple that was told they would never conceive! God does do the impossible!

This photo was taken on Christmas day. On New Year's Day, John and Lissie turned twenty-one. I look forward to watching what our great God has in store for our precious twins as they each navigate their way through their twenties with the Lord as their ever-faithful guide.

Thank you, Lord, for giving this very infertile woman the desire of her heart. Gratitude wells up in me today for the gift of twins. You are so good, God. You are so kind, Lord. I thank You and praise You with all my heart for John and Lissie. Thank You for the miracle of multiples!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eric and Lissie's Courtship: Her Small Hand in His Gentle Grip

Mrs. Beaver:

My computer is seriously under the weather and that has kept me from posting photos for several days.

However, tonight I'm going to try to trick my ill machine into allowing me to share a picture. Today was just too special in our family to not get at least one photo posted to mark the day. This was Lissie and Eric's first day to hold hands! Their expressions say it all.

Photo credit to Lissie's sister Cassandra

Friday, January 4, 2013

Eric and Lissie's Courtship: The Art of Studying

Mrs. Beaver:
It might surprise you that the first photo I'm posting since Eric arrived to visit soon after we announced Eric and Lissie's courtship is this one. But to this mom, the picture speaks volumes. 
After Lissie's dad gave Eric his permission to court Lissie with the intent to see if the Lord would have the two of them marry, Eric wrote to us. As part of the grateful email, he mentioned his desire to "study" Lissie. The words delighted me. The sentiment has the sweet fragrance of romance about it. What mother wouldn't love to have her daughter blessed in that thoughtful way? But, the concept Eric touched on also carries the weight of wisdom.
Eric and Lissie face the biggest decision of their lives. And they must navigate these waters of choice carefully because both of them are utterly committed to the concept of "until death do we part." God said, "And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate" (Mark 10:8,9 NASB). Divorce will never be an option for either of them, no matter who they marry. And if they end up marrying one another, they're so young that they need to be prepared to go "dancing in the mine fields" for 60, maybe even 70 years. Whew!
On top of all that, this is a decision that will have a multi-generational impact. Thus, Eric and Lissie must both be about the business of studying each other. They must study each other now--before they stand at an altar and say, "I do." They have a great deal of intentional interacting to do, whether in person or over Skype while 6,300 miles apart.
The idea of Eric studying Lissie made this mama's heart happy for an additional reason. A really good, multi-decade union worthy of the title "marriage" is made up of a lifetime of spouse-studying by both the husband and wife. When the other person's likes, dislikes, fears, dreams, hopes, and even idiosyncrasies are watched and mentally recorded, the husband or wife has the information necessary to delight in, support and encourage the God-given uniquenesses and strengths of their best friend. Both spouses also have what they need to be their life-partner's greatest prayer warrior at those places of personal weakness which we all have. Each can call down God's grace in a way that allows the other to grow and change and be more than they ever would have been alone.
So, Eric's determination to study our second-oldest daughter is wise beyond his years. What was he watching so thoughtfully in the photo above? You've got the picture now--Eric was carefully observing Lissie as she played a Bach concerto on her violin with her long-time duet partner and sister, Anna. By laying aside whatever he was doing at the time and coming to the door of our music room, Eric got an important glimpse into who Lissie is and what's important to her. I am certain that God will bless his willingness to be selfless as he puts forth this ongoing effort to be studious as he courts our daughter.