Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Russian Adoption: What Was Going Through Her Mind?

When we were blessed to travel to California in April, Daria, age 18, was able to stroll the ocean's edge for the first time. Her beach combing was an experience she most likely never would have had without having been adopted. I wonder what she was thinking as contemplatively sifted the sand with her toes.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Preaching to Myself...

Mrs. Beaver:

Me and 13-year-old Natasha, April 2013

I tape a great many index cards around my bathroom. Some of them have scripture verses on them, while a few hold a sentence or phrase that's caught my attention. Usually these 3"x5" cards will eventually go unnoticed. If I leave them in place too long, I just don't see them after a while.

There is one exception. I have one card posted that has been part of the room's decoration for months and months without fading into the wallpaper. This card I purpose to read several times a day because I need its crucial reminder. I need the words to penetrate my thick head and stubborn heart. I need the words to penetrate my self-absorption. What does the card say? "Every child needs a protector, an advocate and a confidant.*" 

It's a simple message. Just 10 words. Ten very insightful words. The need of every child is as profound as their soul is fragile. Kids need someone to shelter them from the worst the world has to offer. Kids need someone to stand up for them. Finally, kids need adults in their corner who will nurture their dreams. The only way I can function in those roles is to know each of my children. And the only path to knowing my kiddos' is to slow down long enough to listen when they're ready to talk--no matter what time that takes place--day or night. So when I'm tired, I return to the card in my bathroom and read it yet again, "Every child needs a protector, an advocate and a confidant." That 24/7 availability is what differentiates me from an orphanage caretaker. Orphanage workers have their own homes and families. They go home at night. Not me. I'm a mom. 24/7--by God's grace, through His power, in His strength.


*I wish I could give the author credit of the phrase credit for her wisdom. One day while at my computer, I flew past this sentence on a blog when I didn't have time to read the author's post. I just jotted the note and thought I'd return to read the her full explanation later. By the time I made it back to my blog roll, the article was long gone in today's cyber world and couldn't even remember which blog the words had come from. My apologies.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Russian Adoption: A Promise Kept

Mrs. Beaver:

In a Russian courtroom 2-1/2 years ago, then 15-year-old Daria told the judge she really wanted the opportunity to learn how to ride a horse. He looked us squarely in the eye and asked if we'd protect that dream and see that her wish came true. Daria beamed as our words were translated into Russian: we promised we would make sure she got the opportunity. She had hope!

For the past couple of years, Daria has been taking horseback riding lessons. Here she is today, relaxed and exceedingly happy following a family ride near the foothills of Denver. Her joy is our joy! Few things in life feel better than keeping a promise to an orphan!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Eric and Lissie: From Courtship to Marriage Preps

Eric is visiting for a few days as he and Lissie await their October nuptials. This trip is affording the opportunity to attend to a number of the details it takes to plan a wedding. First on the list was securing a marriage license. The couple was at the county recorder's office shortly after it opened this Monday morning.

First Lissie filled out her portion of the form...

...then it was Eric's turn.

I think he might have been a tad bit nervous. He was gripping the pen so hard that his skin was two colors! 

Lissie laid a reassuring hand on his as I'm sure she will many, many times during their years together.

Being downtown provided the opportunity for some interesting backdrops for engagement photos. We took full advantage of the architecture! We had a great deal of fun and a few silly moments together. Mostly, however, I tried to stay out of their way and just make use of my telephoto lens. This allowed them to interact with each other in a more natural, relaxed manner that was full of the happiness of being together.

Friday, July 5, 2013

A Happy Fourth

Mrs. Beaver:

To celebrate our country's Independence Day, we traveled south to Lawrence, Kansas, to have some fun with the kid's Grandma (Mr. Beaver's mom).

We stopped at a popular Tex-Mex restaurant on the college town's main street and order food to go. We then walked 1/2 a block south to the oldest park in town. The park dated back to 1847 and was the site of a Civil War battle. Now the green expanse seems nothing but peaceful.

We enjoyed dinner together and some play on the equipment.

The playground equipment was so much fun--even I got in on the act!

After a stop at a grocery store for some Yoplait Frozen Yogurt (one of Wells' new yummy products), we found another park overlooking a large reservoir as our venue for dessert.

The park was laced with trails. At one point, Amy and her parents went for a long walk, while others played Frisbee or simply strolled and chatted.

The exquisite evening was over before we knew it. All-in-all, the holiday was spendiferous! T.O.G.T.H.E.R continues to be my favorite word! We thank God for making us a family!
Thank You , Lord, for this Fourth of July fellowship!