Almost 4 weeks home

Warning: Picture-heavy post ahead. It has been nearly a month since I’ve posted. I’ve gotta make up for lost time somehow. ;)

I can hardly believe that this coming Monday we will have been home in the US, as a family of three, for four weeks. In some respects, it seems like we just got home yesterday, but at other times, it seems like we’ve always been together. We are still figuring out a schedule that works for all of us. We definitely haven’t yet settled into the new rhythm of our life, but we’re getting there. Grief still rules our daily life in many ways. (For a good description of how grief and pain manifest themselves in the life of an adoptive family, read this article.) But we’re also finding joyous ways to grow together, to love together, to be happy together. Life is certainly not easy for us right now, but it definitely is good.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5 (NIV)

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The last four weeks in photos:

At the airport in Chicago, before passing through customs. Our first photo on American soil

At the airport in Chicago, before passing through customs. Our first photo on American soil!

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Opening gifts on Christmas day. This was a blanket made by Monica, Arturo's mother.

Opening gifts on Christmas day. This is a blanket made by Monica, Arturo’s mother.

Shanti LOVES her Legos!

Shanti LOVES her Legos!

Christmas silliness :)

Christmas silliness :)

Taking a carriage ride in downtown Cincinnati. It was our first carriage ride, too!

Taking a carriage ride in downtown Cincinnati. It was our first carriage ride, too!

Shanti was captivated by the kiddy buggies ... until she realized she was too big to actually ride in one!

Shanti was captivated by the kiddy buggies at the grocery store … until she realized she was too big to actually ride in one. lol

Four generations in one photo (although I'm missing) -- my grandmother, my mom, and Shanti

Four generations in one photo (minus one of the middle generations – I took the photo): my mom, Shanti, and my grandmother

Belated birthday/Christmas gift from Grams -- more Legos! Hooray!

Belated birthday/Christmas gift from Grams — more Legos! Hooray!

Shanti's pride and joy, her hamster Gus Gus (named after one of the mice in Cinderella)

Shanti’s pride and joy: her hamster Gus Gus (named after one of the mice in Cinderella)

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Monica, Arturo's mom, and her granddaughter, who is sporting her glamorous shades!

Monica (Arturo’s mom) and her granddaughter, who is sporting her glamorous shades!

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Testing out my cello. She's decided she wants to try violin instead, but giving our cellos a try is still fun!

Testing out my cello. She’s decided she wants to learn violin instead, but giving our cellos a try is still fun!

Shanti LOVES bubbles, and one of her Christmas gifts from us was a huge bubble set with tons of unusual wands. It may have been cold, but it wasn't too cold to play with bubbles!

Shanti LOVES bubbles, and one of her Christmas gifts from us was a huge bubble set with tons of unusual bubble wands. It may have been cold outside, but it wasn’t too cold to play with bubbles!

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Shanti is a Daddy’s girl, through and through

Playing in the snow is a favorite pastime. If there's snow on the ground (or falling from the sky), we're outside enjoying it!

Playing in the snow is a favorite pastime. If there’s snow on the ground (or snow falling from the sky), we’re outside enjoying it!

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New friends! Natalie, Deborah, Shanti, me, and Suzanne -- it's so good to be home. :)

New friends! Natalie, Deborah, Shanti, me, and Suzanne — it’s so good to be home. :)

If you are considering adoption of an older child, I encourage you to go for it. I’m not saying that you should go into this process expecting rainbows and unicorns, for nothing could be further from the reality you will face. You have to know what you’re getting into, and what you’re getting into isn’t easy stuff. But all the same, I hope and pray you will take that leap and pursue that child that God is telling you is yours. Oh yes, there will be moments of intense pain, not just for your child but for you as well. There will be boulders in your road, not just bumps, for the word “bumps” doesn’t even begin to cover it. You will have moments when the potholes in your path just seem too deep to allow passage. But you can pass. You can make it. You will find ways around and through every trial. And when you overcome that hurdle, when you reach that peak, the joys and the laughs and the smiles are only made more incredible by the pain that was overcome to get there.

It is worth it. I promise you: it is worth it.

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5 comments

  1. Jamie Ivey says:

    Congrats on your family of 3!!! She’s beautiful!

  2. Vicki Mazza says:

    I sure was missing your blog posts! Thanks for this newest post..loved the pictures. Good article too about either feeling their hurt or being angry for the hurt they bring into the home. Very honest and true. I keep you three in my prayers. Shanti is a beautiful girl with a beautiful spirit!

  3. Tonya says:

    Such sweet pictures!:)

  4. Phyllis Brown says:

    Great pics. Love Shanti’s new bangs.

    Love, Mom

  5. debbie hauser says:

    Great pictures! That was a really good and realistic article that you attached. Take time to be kind to yourself Jennifer. I am very impressed with your family- Prayers continue!

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