Sunday, April 7, 2013

The New Us

Pip update:
We've been home about 10 days and can we just say...We ADORE her!  Every one of us can't get enough.  Call it the honeymoon maybe, but I'll call it God's perfect fit in God's perfect time.  Although we are still keeping her world very small, and we are still employing all of the attachment strategies we have learned, her adjustment and transition has been nothing short of supernatural

 Her concept of family is strong and she showers "biiiiig" and "small" kisses. She is an animal lover, book lover and a foody.  She revels in her morning bath time and rough play with dad. 

Her giggle will melt your heart...and let me just tell you, this girl can crack herself up!

Here are some pictures of our spring shenanigans as a family of 5!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Truth be Told

Spirit houses are found on just about every property here in Thailand: public, private, or business.  These little shrines are meant to house any spirits that might be misplaced and wandering about, a combination of Buddhism and animism.

Every morning or sometime during the day they will burn incense and give offerings to the spirits, praying specifically to two of the most important:  the Guardian of the House and the Guardian of the Land.  Here is a picture of some offerings:

Offerings could be anything, usually including: trinkets, drinks, snacks, candles, flower garlands.  The gaudier the better! This one apparently is appeased by strawberry Fanta.

Taxi drivers turn their dashes into miniature shrines like this...
In every taxi or bus we have ridden in we have been accompanied by a miniture Buddha figurine watching out the windshield from the dashboard and flower garlands draped over the rearview mirror.  Some have had painted symbols on the ceiling...for good luck?
A beautiful country with beautiful people!  We have been struck by their friendliness, kindness, and gentle demeanors.  I love Thailand--it has stolen a piece of my heart! But this dark shroud of lies makes me ache for a nation that is far from the truth. 
Can I say that?  I must. 
If I believe that Jesus is the Way and the Truth, all others who claim the same are lies. 
I must proclaim this loudly because of our daughter.  This is her heritage but this is not her heritage. Here orphans and disabled are seen as less, ostrisized by community because they are a result of someone's bad karma. 
The truth is that Pip was on God's heart before she was conceived.  And though because of sin, she was left orphaned, God has redeemed, restored, and ransomed her life through Jesus' blood.  She is a result of God's handiwork, crafted by the master, and highly valued by her maker.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. 1 Peter 1:3-4

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Can We Go Home Yet? And other helter-skelter updates

Thailand has been great but...we are sooo ready to blow this banana stand!  Or go home you might say.  Skype has helped a lot but we are a little heart sick for our kids and just ready to settle into our new normal.

This last week has been busy but also a lot of boring.  We travelled (I should say Micah travelled) to the doctor again on Tuesday to get Pip's TB test, for real this time.  On Wednesday we had the big deal that we came for meeting, getting the last go-ahead on the adoption.  Thursday we had the TB test read--PTL, it was negative (I guess TB is a real problem here and we certainly wouldn't be able to leave the country if the test had shown exposure). Yesterday, we made our way to the U.S. Embassy for our visa interview.  We waited for what seemed forever, had a crying fit in the waiting room, but overall had an easy interview and should be able to pick up Pip's visa right in time for our flight home next Tuesday night.  

**BTW, taxi rides have gotten much better!  Our first two were a very bad sampling of what is really a safe and cheap way of transportation.  It turns out they don't all take unknowing tourists around extra blocks to rack up meter miles, have extremely dilated eyes, try to pick up women for your husband, and make loud noises at your newly adopted daughter.

Other than our obligations, we have ventured out only a little to get groceries.  The walls of our hotel room are closing in a bit.  I have finished three books this week and read plenty of social media--however, my FB is pretty dead at 3:30 in the afternoon while you all sleep.

Attachment so far has really been great, she is showing all of the signs of a healthy transfer. She certainly is grieving but that is healthy too.  This is so different from our last adoption in so many ways.  She understands the concept of family, has been attached to one, and knew who we were far ahead of our first meeting.

My parenting of a 4 year old is; however, a little rusty. It is a difficult thing to become someone's mom all of a sudden --starting from ground zero with someone who has an established personality and will.  Sizing one another up, recognizing expectations, all while emphasizing unconditional love is a delicate process. What I have clearly figured out, is that she is a strong-willed little girlfriend!  I know that this will serve her well in the life challenges she will face; but it does cause some "Lord, help me!" moments in this season of our relationship.

Thank you for petitioning heaven on our behalf.  We daily see the fruit of your prayers.  We will be going to worship at the international church again tomorrow morning--a little taste of heaven!