Monday, December 22, 2014

God IS With Us!

Today we celebrate one year that Henry has been on American soil with his forever family. I will never forget the anticipation in the airport after landing for the older brothers to arrive on their plane and reunite with us, meeting Henry for the first time. It was an emotional time as our family was truly made complete. Little did Henry know what life would be like with us, nor we with him, but we truly are blessed and thankful for all that God has done.

As we remember our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a family this Christmas, we are very mindful of how God Himself came down in the form of a tiny baby, was entrusted to earthly parents to help fulfill a huge divine plan, and the depth of love and grace that bound them all together. Henry has a good bit in common with Jesus in that they both left the homes they knew to become part of a new family to experience many changes and hardships, all with God's best in mind to accomplish a beautiful plan. Both Jesus and Henry, and indeed, all of us, shine bright in a dark world as we accept and fulfill God's will for our lives.

As we muddle along some days still to adjust to life together, we are growing in so many ways...forgiveness, mercy, understanding, surrender, humility, unconditional love, patience, and on and on. Jesus was God in all His fullness, so this Christmas, we are incredibly thankful that He came into our darkness to shine His light, into our brokenness to make us whole, and into our dying to give us life. Without Him we can do nothing, but with Him, all things are possible. Herein lies our hope on the good days, but especially the harder ones when we wonder why this process has to be so messy. And while we know God has great things in store for our Henry and family, we are learning to embrace the ordinary of each day as a valuable part of His plan, to see God in the flesh as He lives and moves within and through us to do His will.

"The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" John 1:14 (NIV).

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20 (ESV).

Merry Christmas for God IS with us!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

One Year!

We just had Henry's one-year adoption anniversary on the 10th!!! It is hard to believe it's been that long, but in some ways, it seems longer than that. In celebration, our family enjoyed some delicious and authentic Chinese food family-style at a local restaurant, then had our own little party at home with cake and ice cream. Henry was extra excited that his cake was a Paw Patrol cake with Marshall the fire dog on it. We have been so blessed with this small but huge addition to our family. Henry has grown in leaps and bounds over the year, and through all the ups and downs of adjustment and attachment for all of us, we have grown so much personally and with each other. The physical formation of a family may happen quickly, but the actual making of a family in heart, soul, and mind can take much longer. We are truly not just the Brown's in name but in every other way, so we truly celebrate all that God has done!

We have enjoyed some special Christmas activities already: our yearly tradition of picking out our Christmas tree at a local farm and Henry singing in a huge Christmas program last night with his Portland preschool. He was so handsome and did wonderfully. We are attending the local Little People of America chapter's Christmas party this evening and excited to meet other families similar to ours. The network of support and opportunities in this big city is much larger in a number of ways...special needs, adoption, dwarfism, Chinese culture, etc. We have become a multi-cultural family with a number of needs and challenges, as well as blessings, so the support and sense of identification is really important!

Please continue to pray for us as we adjust to life together in our new city and ministry. All the boys are doing great at their new schools and making friends. Our new church is able to offer age-appropriate classes for each of us, and I am able to focus on caring for my family without all the extra responsibilities I had before. We do feel at home but still have some big areas to work out, like insurance, doctors, registrations, etc. However, so much has been taken care of already and we are so thankful to have a cozy home to stay warm in. Please pray for Henry's continued health and needs. He has a surgery follow-up visit on the 18th at Shriner's. Please also pray for my own health as I embark on a year of corrective chiropractic care to help reverse some structural problems that have become quite painful and increased my stress level, especially with all the carrying, lifting, and lowering I do with Henry.

We love and appreciate you all. Thanks so much for keeping up with Henry and our family. Happy one year to us all!!!