Friday, April 4, 2014

Success & Victory

I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who participated in our Bonfire Funds t-shirt fundraiser.  We exceeded our goal and we raised $683!!  That amount will be applied towards our next agency fee that will come due when we receive our LOA.  T-shirts will be sent out within the next two weeks and I hope to see pictures of y'all sporting your shirts!!  Thank you once again for your generous support!!

In the meantime we continue our LOA wait and this seems to be the most difficult part.  We have almost been in process for a year now as it was this time last year that we were seriously trying to get our ducks in a row to even begin the adoption process.  By the time we get this precious girl home she will be almost 12 years old.  Her childhood ended.  It makes my heart sad to think of that, but I know that there have been times of happiness for her.  From what I am hearing about her, she tends to look for the joy and usually finds it.  In that respect she and Dima are so alike.  They are survivors.  Strong.  Determined.  Yun has an amazing future ahead of her, of that I am certain.  Yesterday I received a picture of her from a family that had seen her back in January.  While the picture is blurry, you can see that she is happy and goofing off with her friends.  She is in the green jacket next to the gal in the pink.



Dima's adoption seemed to take forever, too, yet in retrospect it took all of seven months.  He has been with us now for 31 months and has blossomed into an amazing little boy.  He LOVES school, especially now that he is at the school for special needs kiddos, and he is learning.  Not too long ago I had to take Dima to school and I decided to tag along with him to breakfast.  When he walked into the cafeteria everyone turned and said, "DIMA!".  Even the high school students were hugging him, giving him high fives, and I could see that Dima is truly loved and well-liked by his schoolmates.  Despite Dima's difficult and painful past he chooses joy and loves to bring joy to others.  I witnessed it firsthand and it brought tears to my eyes.  Sometimes I wish that those who were in his life before us could see him now...

This past week our county had it's annual field day sponsored by the Kiwanis club.  Dima's school and The Key Training Center were the participants and it was a fantastic day.  Elijah wanted to be there, too, to cheer his "twin" brother on as he raced.  I was able to receive special permission for Elijah to miss school for field day and it was so nice to be able to share it with Elijah.



Dima participated in the 50-yard run and received first place!  It was so exciting to watch him run and see the joy on his face as he ran as fast as he could.  As he crossed the finish line the photographer from the local paper was there to capture the moment and Dima made the papers yesterday:


More pictures from our day:

Elijah holding Dima on his lap.  There is such love between these two.
Dima and the school's therapy dog.
Momma and Elijah waiting for the day to begin.  This young man will be my travel buddy to China.  I am very much looking forward to experiencing China and all that the trip entails with this fellow.  His love for others is amazing and I am blessed to be his mother.
Elijah was so proud of his "twin's" success!

What a fantastic day.  It was just such a blessing to watch not only Dima, but his classmates and our friends from the Key have fun, too.  Our family is certainly fortunate to live in a town where individuals like Dima have an opportunity to live life to the fullest:  an education, a job, an active social life, chances to compete in sports, and even travel!  

I have shared on this blog time and time again that adopting a child with special needs is not about "saving the world", "being trendy", "trying to be holier than thou", and we are not ruining our biological children.  No.  Our family has chosen to adopt Dima and Yun with the desire to help two children have an opportunity.  An opportunity to have a life, be loved, know what love is.  As you can see our biological children have not been ruined, are not traumatized, and if anything, have learned far more important life lessons than the average American child.  Our family loves a God who sacrificed His one and only son for us.  A God who has set a proper example on how we are to love our fellow humans.  With a God like that how could we not love so abundantly in return?  

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."  Matthew 22:34-37

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