Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vacation, Day 7, Part 2 (long, but go on, stick it out!)

Here's the thing. Remember that short trip up north that Lee and I did at the end of June? That was going to be our vacation this year. Our LAST trip before kids. Then, when I found out about my training in Las Vegas, my wheels started turning. Hmm....if we did this on a budget...maybe...with all the adoption expenses, it would have to be cheap. We constantly feel like we can’t do something, eat somewhere, spend any money, because we are adopting. Can any of you relate?

So any way, I decided to post on our Haiti adoption YAHOO group and ask if anyone lived in NV or AZ area, thinking, well, let’s just see. OH! Yeah…and I PRAYED about it. Then I got an email…it said, “We live in Boulder City, NV (Hoover Dam) =) Can we help?” I felt so instantly blessed when I read this. In one of my emails, though, I decided to give them an “out” just in case. Then I got this email…“I know how fingerprinted, TB tested, signatured, homestudied, filed, questionaired, and dossiered you have been. So, we are happy to have you and it will be a blessing to visit with another adoptive family. =) I look forward to your visit.. =) Jennifer”

And so, we were going to stay with them for two nights. When Lee and I were about five minutes away from their house, we started talkin' smack. “Oh my word, Lee! I am getting nervous. I met this chick online – what if they're weird?” Lee said, “What if they hate us?” I was like, “What if it’s awkward?” and so on until all of a sudden, “This is it. On the left.” Then, we saw people outside joyously waving us in. Instant love. Instant welcome. Instant connection. YAY! So my RISK of asking near strangers to house us, and their RISK of saying, “YES, we will do that” paid off with rich REWARDS of wonderful friendship! We were so blessed by them and in fact they say they were blessed by us! We sat in their kitchen and talked about what if we had missed out on this??

This is an amazing family. They have two bio kids, three domestically adopted kids and are waiting for a boy from Haiti who was born with no legs. They raise desert turtles. They homeschool. They have a dog. They are musical, singing and playing multiple instruments. They make it all look EASY and they have SO MUCH FUN. They are wonderful, loving Christians and we are soooo glad that we met them. They are truly grateful for every blessing they have.There nearly hasn't been a day since we got home that Jennifer and I haven't emailed, chatted, IMed or texted. As I write this I am so sorry that all of you don't know them!!!!

Here are 11 of the 12 turtles all piled up in one corner. There was one little anti-social turtle hanging out by his lonesome self on the other side of the cage. They were a hoot to watch. These turtles have all since been adopted out to homes. You know me, I wanted one! But they are DESERT turtles and our climate would kill them (it pratically kills US!).

This is sweet Miss Mattie. She is TRULY a miracle baby. Her birth mother was a meth addict and Miss M was born with a hole in her heart, her intestines on the outside of her body and more. She has scars down the entire front of her body. She endured three intense surgeries and was so sick she was on a ventilator for 21 days. What a little fighter she is. And what a SWEET girl.

Here is Buddy. We loved him, too!

Here we are with Sammy, who was recently diagnosed with autism, Mattie and Sully. Sammy and Sully are half brothers. Their birth mother is a prostitute. What an amazing testament this family was to us by living Matthew 25:40. Their oldest two boys were either sleeping or working so we missed them in this shot, but we had a wonderful time seeing this whole family operate as a cohesive unit.

Me and the precious Miss M giving each other "squeezies". We had a dear connection and I miss her terribly.

This is Jennifer and her "hub-a-lubs". He works with the hotels and often receives meal vouchers as a perk - thus we were treated to a FABULOUS steak dinner - another blessing! We also got a fun and quirky tour of the strip, too! We had a WONDERFUL time. Thanks AGAIN, guys!!


Too pretty to eat!? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaah......

Yummy Creme Brulee'

The beautiful glass-blown ceiling at the Bellagio.

Last morning...driving away... waaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!

I had a co-worker who once told me (yelled it at me, actually) how annoying I was because I always had to get a deal or save money on things. Call me annoying then. We try to be frugal and to spend our money wisely. This trip was something that would not have occurred without the kindness of our friend John, and without this family. I was feeling so guilty about it at first, going back to, "We are adopting! We have so many expenses!" But seeing God's handiwork in so many ways - through the beauty of His creation to how He has worked and is working in our lives and the lives of others, and how we saw so many testaments of His grace and sovereignty, I have NO REGRETS. Thank you friends and praise God you live this: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.

P.S. Jennifer! You made the blog!! YAY!


Jennifer said...

I am beyond humbled by this.. Oh my golly gal. You are so eloquent and it is really an honor to have met you and now be so blessed to be in your lives. To Him be the glory for knowing what His children need.. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Until I can give you those in person.. =) Love you sooooooooo much my BFF..

kayder1996 said...

It would have never occurred to me to post online to see if someone might be willing to share their home with my family. What a totally awesome experience, orchestrated by an amazing God, and executed by two families who were willing to step out in faith and do something unconventional! Really made me smile!

Dawn S. said...

One thing to know is that Lee and I are both pastor's kids who have hosted countless people over the years and we have traveled with singing groups so staying with strangers on tours was something familiar to us, so I may not have thought of it either had we not had those (sometimes WONDERFUL!)experiences.

Denise said...

LOVE IT!!!!! GREAT STORY! I'm all about deals too :)

Katy said...

What a truly amazing family! I'd seen J's pics on the COTP website, and he is such an angel.They have some beautiful kiddos, and seem like a family that is SO led by the Lord. What a huge blessing to have adoption friends that can share in the journey...I too have met several wonderful families close by. I don't think she posts much in our group, so I wasn't aware of her you think she'd mind if I am a regular visitor? Thanks for sharing Dawn!

Jinglebritches said...

Cool beans Hunny Bunny!!!! What a total blessing!

Love you to pieces

Vivian M said...

It's so amazing how fast we form bonds with other adoptive families. It's like we are part of a family, and we all have shared the struggles of going through all the paperwork and what not in order to be blessed with our children. I met one of my BFF online too, and she also took a risk (after all we had not been through all the fingerprints, etc yet). And that family are now Kerri's godparents and their daughter is Kerri's BFF.
As for being frugal, go for it! Nothing wrong with that and who cares what anyone else thinks. The money you saved will make a difference in children's lives in Haiti!

Jenna said...

oh my goodness. my eyes are filled to the brim with tears. this is such a beautiful display of the body of Christ bein' the body of Christ. I needed to read that today.

Alyson and Ford said...

What a wonderful story. We all need to step out of our comfort zone and reach out to others. You are all blessed by it!


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