In He Proposed With a Frisbee, Part 1, I shared a couple of the reasons that I have struggled to write this post about the day Josh and Zhenya got engaged. Since that time, I've realized that there is yet another reason for my prolonged writer's block, and it's this: I've never witnessed a proposal before. How does one describe a moment that carries such emotion? How does one attach words to an event that will affect generations to come? How does one even begin to plumb the depths of the delicate drama associated with this particular turning point in two young lives? How does one convey the engagement of another when that 'other' is your very own daughter. I fear that my ability as a writer my fail me here.
However, despite whatever inadequacies my storytelling my demonstrate, I'm going to give this a try. So as the trite expression goes, let me begin at the beginning.
Josh and Zhenya first met in the summer of 2013 at the wedding of Josh's brother, Sean. Zhenya was already fast friends with Rachel, Josh and Sean's younger sister. Then last summer, the entire Castille family came to stay with us for nearly a week. During those days of fellowship and fun, a strong bond grew between the two families. We found we had much in common, starting with adoptions of Russian children on both sides! Friendship blossomed between the Reynolds and Castille families. And a few days after the Castilles returned to Tennessee, Josh called Mr. R, asking if he could court Zhenya.
Since then, numerous visits back and forth have taken place, as well as emails and phone calls. Josh has sought the Lord's wisdom through the courtship, as has Zhenya. They've grown together in the Lord. They're love of God has grown stronger as their love for one another slowly began to bud and then blossom. Eventually, Josh knew what he wanted. He longed to spend the rest of his life with Zhenya at his side.
Josh sought Mr. R's permission to propose, and Zhenya's daddy was happy to give his, "Yes!" Mr. R had spent months getting to know Josh through his own phone calls and emails. After Josh received a hearty endorsement, he revealed that the desire of his heart was for both families to be able to witness his proposal to Zhenya. Since the Reynolds were soon due to visit the Castilles, the time was ripe! And, friends, Josh developed a plan for his proposal that fit Zhenya to a tee!
Josh had been studying Zhenya (as we pray he always will). The oldest of our Russian adoptees enjoys all things athletic, and she loves playing Ultimate Frisbee. Josh took this knowledge of Zhenya and got very creative. He had a Frisbee custom made with words, "Will You Marry Me?" emblazoned on the top. He even chose her favorite color, purple. for this special message-carrying disk. Josh shared with both sets of parents that his plan was to get the numerous siblings from both families playing Ultimate Frisbee. Then he would grab his custom Frisbee and toss it to the woman he loved. His hope was she would realize that the Frisbee was new and READ IT!
And his prayer? That she would say YES, of course!!!
On Saturday during the week of our visit, the two families made our way back to the quaint, historic town of Bell Buckle. This time, instead of antiquing, as we'd done the day before we laid out the making of a delicious picnic. The meal was leisurely. As I watched, I could only wonder at Josh's thoughts as he did his best to keep calm!
Rachel was also in on Josh's secret plan, but she gave no sign of it to Zhenya.
No one seemed in any particular hurry. We just sat around and chatted. Poor Josh! To carry out his plan he needed this large group of friends up and active, eager for a game.
Then came an unexpected twist for the Southern gent. The Northerners discovered something they'd never seen before ~ a Crawfish.
Eeeeek!!! OOOooouuuuHHH!!! And to think... southerners consider these things a delicacy? They actually eat these things?
And all of a sudden...
...the woman Josh longed to propose to was racing across the enormous park with Josh's brother to hunt for the creatures so enticing to little boys. Now what was Josh to do???
Stay tuned for: "He Proposed with a Frisbee, Part 3"!