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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Perfect

Ezequiel continues to thrive and bond with his dad and two siblings. They have taken him here, there and everywhere and are completely smitten with him, as he is with them.
I am living vicariously through pictures and skype until they bring him home to me.
We are preparing to embark upon a brand new chapter in our lives. We are now parents of a toddler with Down Syndrome. We are now a family of seven. We are now officially "out of our minds" according to some well meaning friends - ha ha! What we really are, most of all, is blessed. Who am I that God should see fit to reward me with this most precious little being? I pray that I will parent this little angel in a way that points others to Jesus. That's really all this crazy life of adoption, homeschooling, parenting and being is all about - making a mark for Him. My soul desire is that He is honored by something that we do while on this Earth. Jesus, be glorified in the life of a sinner like me? It seems impossible but He is in the business of doing the impossible. Thank you, Father!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Beginning of the Beginning

My family met Ezequiel for the first time just a few hours ago! He is, in the words of my 13 year old daughter "so adorable". I called the orphanage just about the time my family arrived and I could hear Ezequiel crying in the background. He is, as all his paperwork indicates, a shy child. He is keenly aware of everyone around him and he is steadfastly devoted to one particular caregiver, Thelma. There were tears all around yesterday and I imagine not all of them happy. Thelma has cared for Ezequiel his whole life. The orphanage has a low staff to child ratio and certainly the bonds of motherhood were already firmly in place between Ezequiel and Thelma. I can not thank God enough for her. I am sure that, because of Thelma, our risk of attachment problems are minimal. I am certain that Ezequiel's physical and emotional health are far beyond what they would be due to her loving care. I am praying that God fills her heart with peace in the midst of her sadness. I have always said that in adoption, someone has to lose before anyone can win. Birthmom lost her son, Thelma lost her baby, and Ezequiel lost all that is familiar. I am ready for all of us to move on to the "winning" phase in which new family bonds are forged forever and those who loved him first can heal completely. God does not promise that obedience is easy or painless but it is always best. I realize that's easy for me to say. I get Ezequiel for life. My highest respect is reserved for those who know they are bound for sadness and heartache but do what they are called to do anyway.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

D-E-L-A-Y

I have learned that spelling a word often lessens it's impact. I'm hoping that treating that word with a little respect will make it go away!!!!
My family flew to Detroit en route to Ezequiel yesterday. The crummy weather in Detroit caused them arrive late and miss their connection to Japan. The only available flight was today at 4pm so, they will arrive in Manila a day later than projected.
I am very, VERY proud of my husband in this situation. He is normally not the most patient person with travel delays but as he called me to report the status, he actually sounded chipper, happy even. He let me know that the new route is 4 hours less air travel AND they get to fly on KLM with nicer planes and individual TVs in the seat backs in front of them. I'm sure the kids will be thrilled with 19 hours of cartoon watching! We will have to step up the homeschooling after this trip to help them recover from the brain drain of endless TV but, in all truth, I am happy for them.
Anything to help the trip go by with less tedium is a blessing.
I hope my next blog post features a picture of my husband and two children finally holding our newest family member! Keep those prayers coming! Even in the midst of
"the D word", God is still in control.

Monday, February 22, 2010

This Is It!

In just half an hour, I drop some of my family members off at the airport to fly to The Philippines. I have so many mixed feelings about today that there's no way for me to articulate them. I won't even try. I'll just sum up this morning by saying that I am leaning on God's sovereignty in all things. I trust Him to do His perfect will in the lives of each of my family members. I will wait and pray and anticipate the abundance that comes from trusting God wherever He leads.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's All Over But The Flyin'

Well, it's done! Airline tickets are purchased, the hotel is booked and a couple of suitcases are even packed. It's so exhilarating!
After much prayer, we have decided that the "travelers" will be my husband, our only daughter and our 11 year old son (adopted from The Philippines when he was 8). I will not be going. Believe it or not, I have a deep peace about this arrangement that I know only the Lord can give. We have specific reasons why each person traveling was chosen and I won't belabor this entry by spelling them out but suffice it to say, we are at peace with our decision. Would I like to be the first Esquivel to meet our new son? Certainly! But there are others who need this trip more than I. I will be at home making his doctor appointments, preparing meals in advance to freeze so I can focus on Ezequiel rather than the cooking and I will be praying and waiting - two things I have developed proficiency in during this adoption process!
I have to pinch myself when I realize that in a few short weeks, Ezequiel will be walking around in this very kitchen where I sit and type this entry!
I have to say as one who has become a mother through natural birth and through adoption, one is no less a miracle than the other. The hand of God is evident equally in both and my feeling of being favored by God remains consistent.
Thank you, Jesus, for lavishing your love on us by giving us another child!
God is so good.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya Tomorrow . . .

Tomorrow I buy the tickets for the trip to bring our spectacular little wonder home!!!
We will leave on February 22nd and return home March 8th. All six of us will not be able to travel for financial and practical reasons. I am perfectly fine with this arrangement but tonight we sit down, have prayer and make the final call regarding who will travel. Anthony is an obvious choice as he speaks Tagalog and has family right in Manila, I am the mom so I should go, our 13 year old daughter has talked of going on this trip since we committed to Zeke and would be pretty sad to stay home. Lemuel has a 19 year old brother still living in The Philippines and being cared for by a ministry for street kids. The boys have stayed in touch and Lemuel would love to see him. Our two other sons are fine with going or staying (so, they're staying home - ha ha). Honestly, I am trying not to be like the bride who puts so much pressure on herself regarding the "wedding" that she forgets to prepare for the "marriage".
The traveling is important, sure, but the raising and bonding and lifelong commitment trump "gotcha day" hands down.
The photo with the green background here at the top is brand new. I am dazzled by the cuteness of this little one. I remember long ago thinking that all people with Down Syndrome "look the same". I see now the error of my ways. Ezequiel is different, special and a little cuter than the rest (ha ha). It reminds of how I thought my newborn children were simply beautiful. I clearly recall telling visitors
"they don't look like newborns at all. Newborns are usually red and wrinkly and lizard like. MY babies are already gorgeous." I'm sure those visitors didn't see them through my mother's eyes and that's okay. I am thankful that God has given me "a mother's eyes" for Ezequiel. It's just one more way I know that His hand is knitting us together.

Monday, February 1, 2010

WE HAVE A DATE!!!!!

It appears we have a tentative date for Ezequiel's visa and passport interview! The visa interview should be February 16th and the passport appointment February 23rd. These dates are not official but are probably reliable. Until our agency gets a confirmation email or letter, the appointments could change. Yes, I would LOVE to be leaving tomorrow but just having a target date helps us to hold on a little longer.
Since today is February 1st, it is a huge blessing to know that Ezequiel will be in our home, right here in North Carolina THIS MONTH! Even with the delays, slow downs, uncertainties and pitfalls, I would do this again in a heartbeat! Adoption is an amazing picture of God's love for us. Experiencing it first hand, even for the third time, renews my faith and draws me closer to Him.