I think the thing that struck me most about Charissa was that she did not have a biological child with Down syndrome. And at first... things were not how she imagined they would be when she first met Ava. I remember sitting in front of my computer and just crying over her words and her fear... just praying that she could see past the orphan. And did she ever... she embraced Ava and loved her and brought her home.
Last week... I finally got to meet Charissa, Ava and the rest of their family... which now includes two additional children that they adopted. They rock.
Some of the crew... it was hard to wrangle 10 kids at once.
I will never forget reading these words from Charissa's husband... John... with regard to their adoption of Ava...
When Charissa came to me and asked me, "Can we adopt a little girl with Down Syndrome?" I didn't say anything. I just thought.
Then she said, "... there is a little girl in Ukraine that needs a family." I didn't say anything except.. mmmm.
I began to go over and over in my mind how MY life would change. How would this affect ME. What if this happened what if that happened. How would this little girl integrate into our family?
So, here is a list of questions I asked, prayed over and meditated on for several days:
- This is a huge commitment
- Will she talk, eat, walk
- What will Word of Faith folks think of me having a child with a disability
- How will my life change with this little girl
- Will my kids accept her
- Will my kids rebel
- Will my kids be safe while I am half way across the world
- Can I afford this
- and many other thoughts
Then I had this thought.. What is this little girl thinking:
- When is my daddy going to come kiss my neck and throw me in the air?
- When is my daddy going to come help me get my eyes fixed?
- When is my daddy going to help me learn how to eat, walk, talk?
- When is my daddy going to take me out of this crib and put me on his shoulders?
- When is my daddy going to hold me close at night before he puts me to bed?
- When is my daddy going to tell me he loves me?
- When is my daddy coming to get me? Why's he taking so long? I'm ready!
God defends the orphan! He will defend me and my family..
What a blessing little Ava has been in my life! I just cannot imagine life without that little girl. Jesus will increase your ability to love every child you bring into your home. He'll work miracles in your heart and in the hearts of a whole lot of other folks too.
Don't be afraid to LOVE! Love heals.
Speaking of people I have met over the past several years... and when I say met... I often mean met online... as um, weird as that sounds. Ha. Anyway... I just got home from the Juice Plus+ conference in California... and while I was there... I was able to meet up with some amazing mommas.
After conference... Linda and I got to crash Ella's birthday party and meet some more awesome mommas... Cheri, Heather, Stephanie, Cammie and so many more. I forgot my camera, so I got nothing to show. Boo.
Then... Linda and I drove to Los Angeles for a couple days. That was interesting... and so much fun. We toured the city in the torrential downpour like teenagers... sadly we did not see anyone famous, which of course was our main goal. Yes... teenagers, I know. Ha... but it was so fun.
Kodak Theater, Hollywood sign
behind the fog, Rodeo Drive
We were able to meet up with Darlena for lunch at Universal Studios City Walk in the torrential downpour... love her. Seriously... what up with the massive storms slamming SoCal the one time in my life I am there?
The shadows in this place were not nice to me.
And then... we got to have dinner at this little French bistro that Linda
I really hate traveling without my babies... the older I get, the worse it gets. It seriously makes me anxious. I was so happy to see them when I got home.
Love me some lip puckers.
Nika is getting it down... sideways and all.
Hmm... what is that bubble doing hanging on there?
I could kiss those little lips all.day.long.
Sisters = Love.