Archive for July 2013
I know I said yesterday I wouldn’t be posting here much this week, but I just had to share this news. Yesterday, a medical aid worker from the US visited Shawna’s orphanage, and she was able to spend the afternoon with our future daughter!
It is incredibly rare that families going through adoption get updates about their children’s well-being during the adoption process. Another family going through the Eastern European adoption process with us right now previously adopted another child internationally. In that earlier adoption, all the family had about their daughter before meeting her was a single photo taken a year and a half before they committed to adopt her. That’s pretty much the norm, and we already consider ourselves incredibly lucky and blessed to have as many photos of Shawna as we do. It was beyond our wildest hopes that we would receive these up-to-the-day news items and photos of our precious daughter. I started crying when I saw these photos, and I just couldn’t wait to share them with you. It’s incredible to think that in just a few months, we’ll be able to meet her and call her our own.
Note: I am not allowed to post photos of any child other than Shawna. These have all been cropped to remove the other children’s faces, so the photo dimensions are kind of weird as a result. One photo that couldn’t be cropped easily has the other child’s face blacked out. Sorry for the odd photos, but protecting the children and respecting the regulations of the Eastern European government are paramount!
The aid worker had this to say about Shawna:
“I was told she is a good singer and dancer! We blew up some beach balls, and started playing with them, and then she suggested a cool game where someone says something as they throw a ball, and if you would eat it you catch it… so there is lots of accidentally rejecting pizza, but accepting heads lol. She was talking to Jane [name changed], a volunteer she knows about the camps they are going to, and what if something goes wrong, and Jane was reassuring her she could call her. She is just an all around awesome girl!!!”
God is so good! I can’t wait to bring this “all around awesome girl” home!
My presence on the blog this week may be a bit sparse, but please know it’s for a good cause. Arturo and I are leading the group of 10- to 12-year-olds at our church‘s week-long Vacation Bible School. We won’t have much time for blogging. Last night was the first session, and we had a blast! Before the kids arrived, others asked us what age group we had and, to a person, expressed their pity when we told them. But we had a wonderful time. I love kids that age, and I’m so glad we were able to work with them. We picked this age group because these children are Shawna’s age. Working with the children at VBS, even after only one night, has already increased my excitement about meeting and building a relationship with our daughter. Kids at that age are so fun!
Over the 4th, Arturo and I went on our annual vacation with Rory and Suzanne. These two lovely people are some of our very closest friends, and this was our third year vacationing together. We work together quite well as vacation-mates. Suzanne and I are already planning our joint vacation next year, when we’ll be joined by two precious children. SO exciting!
Rebecca, one of my fellow “in-progress, soon-to-be adoptive mama’s,” posted this status on Facebook on July 4th. I love it so much I just had to share:
“Happy Birthday, America! Thankful for all the men & women who’ve fought so that I might live in a free country. Praying for all those in the world who do not experience the same freedoms. Can’t wait to bring two of them home.”
I hope you all had a great July 4th, and I’m overjoyed with the prospect that, by the time the next July 4th rolls around, the world will be getting by with two fewer orphans.
In the midst of all this vacation and VBS excitement, I’m thick in the planning for our first several official fundraising events. Woohoo!! The Amazing Grace Benefit Concert will take place this Sunday at 3:00 pm at Cheviot United Methodist Church (3820 Westwood Northern Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45211). The program is shaping up, and the performers are ready to go. It’s going to be a GREAT concert! Add to that excitement the fact that the items for our silent auction will be on display at the reception after the concert, and you’ve got yourself a perfect Sunday afternoon activity. I can’t wait! I hope I’ll see you there.
As if the Amazing Grace Benefit Concert this Sunday weren’t enough, we also have another concert quickly approaching. You Are Loved: An Adoption Ministry Concert is scheduled for Sunday, July 28th, at 3:00 pm in the Cincinnati Christian University Chapel. This concert will include incredible musicians from the Cincinnati area, including symphony members and college professors. The performers are top-notch, and it will be a wonderful concert.
But before the second concert on July 28th even comes along, we’ve got a Benefit Square Dance scheduled on July 20th and a yard sale on July 27th. And that’s just in the next 3 weeks! If you’d like more details about any of these fundraising events, visit our Events page, or email me: jenniferjill.araya (at) gmail.com
Thank you all for your support of our adoption, and I hope to see you at one (or more!) of our adoption events. They’ll be great!