As I begin this post we are on the first leg of our journey home from Sofia, Bulgaria to Munich, Germany. Hope is in the middle seat between Robert and I. She has her child size head phones on, listening to worship music. She loves music, loves being sung to. It’s one of the best ways to get her to calm down and relax. She will wiggle her feet and sway her shoulders, sometimes dancing along and waving her arms. I believe that God has been singing over her from the beginning, surrounding her with His love. With song she is at peace. I am so grateful for this.
As we took off and flew away from Bulgaria my heart had a mix of emotions. Mostly, I am relieved and ready to be home again. To be reunited with our other children, to begin the journey as a family of seven now. Yet there is a part of me that grieves. I grieve for Hope and all she is leaving behind. I grieve for all that was lost and all that will never be. For Hope’s birth mother and father. For her biological family. For the beautiful culture and country that she will not have the opportunity to fully know and be a part of. Yes, we will do our best but it will not be the same.
My heart is also so grateful. Grateful for our time in Bulgaria. For our in-county agency and how well they have cared for and tireless served us and so many children and adoptive families. We will always hold a place for them in our hearts as they have played a vital role in uniting us with Hope. They are the hands and feet of God, doing His work to care for the orphan.
I will be ever grateful to Hope’s birth mother. There is a tender place for her in my heart. I can only imagine the pain she felt and the heartache she must carry and always will. I will strive to express to Hope over the years, how courageous I believe her birth mother was for choosing life and how much she must have loved her and wanted more for her.
My heart is full, brimming over, for all who have walked this journey with us. For your countless prayers and words of encouragement. For the many who have supported us in our long wait and for all who so generously donated financially.
We look forward to each of you personally meeting Hope at some point and for the journey ahead. A new chapter is beginning and we are so grateful for the support of so many friends and family members. You are our village and we need you now more than ever.
More than anything, we thank God. To Him be ALL the glory. He has made a way and He has provided immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. Our faith has grown immensely during this journey, experiencing in miraculous ways the work of His hand.
As I concluded this post, we have been home now for a week. I am grateful for the ways our four older children have opened their hearts and so generously poured out love on their baby sister. They have such pure and sweet intentions yet at times this love is almost too big and wide for Hope to fully take in. (We’ve had lots of talks on personal space and boundaries)
We are hunkering down at home and learning to live and love with our newest addition. Hope has had lots of laughs and smiles yet some pretty significant meltdowns too. With the ten hour time change, lots of new stimulation and all the changes, she is having to adjust on many levels.
Thankfully, she sleeps well and is beginning to eat a ton more, her expanding belly is proof. We are taking joy in seeing a little more of her personality each day which is a little feisty but also so sweet and joyful. Over time, we pray that she will begin to settle in and grow more and more comfortable and at peace with all the palpable love and energy that surrounds and covers her. That Hope will begin to understand deep down that she is safe, she is loved beyond measure and she is home.
We thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We can sense His hand of grace upon our family, surrounding and caring for us in very tangible ways. We are ever grateful for you, our village.