Before Kris shares his thoughts we wanted to send a message to our girls back home:
On the home front:
We are SO sad we are missing our girls big dance recital tonight! It sounds like they are finally feeling better and hopefully up to dancing tonight. Adrie has had walking pneumonia all week and Bree got croup.....lovely. We are so thankful to our families and friends for taking care of our girls so we could be here getting our other little girl. It is absolutely killing us to be away from Kyra, Adrie and Bree. Talking on skype is fun until we have to say goodbye. If only we could reach through the computer and hug and kiss them! They are being so sweet watching out for eachother. My mother in law has had them this week and she said that the other night it was a really bad thunder and lightning storm in the night and the next morning she asked Kyra if she had woken up to it. Kyra said "yes but I just turned the other way away from the window but before I fell back asleep I got up and checked on Adrie and Bree to make sure they were ok" We were in tears listening to this! What a sweetheart to be so concerned about her sisters for us! Thank you Kyra for doing this and for being a good helper! Grandma says you have been amazing! Adrie-I am glad you finally lost that tooth of yours and glad you didn't choke when you swallowed it! I know you are sad you missed kindergarten mall because you were sick so we will have our own when we get home! Bree- we are glad to see you talking so much and smiling and of course playing grandma's ipad! We wish you all the best of luck tonight at the dance concert and we can't wait to see the video so smile big! We love you all SO much and can't wait for you to meet your new sister! You are going to love her and she is going to LOVE you!
Now for thoughts from Mia's Daddy:
Meeting Kareen for the first time was... PERFECT! This day had been in the works for months now and I had gone through every scenario in my head how it would go down; would she look at us and turn around and run, would she bawl her eyes out because she didn't know us or want us near her, would she run up to us and give us a huge hug and a kiss and completely understand what was happening, would she not be able to comprehend at all what was going on and would just sit there quietly, or what would this day be like. In addition to the fear of how she would react to us as a couple, I had the additional fear of how she would react to me as a man. I always assumed (correctly) that most of the caretakers would be female and that she wouldn't have had much interaction with males. Because of that I feared that she would not bond well to me and that our relationship would take a long time to develop before she was accepting of me as a father figure in her life.
Well, going into this with all that fear, concern, and uneasiness, all it took was 10 minutes from this little angel to melt her new daddy's heart and assure me that everything was going to work out just fine. The moment that she walked through those doors and our eyes met all fear and concern just went away and I knew that this moment was something I'd remember for the rest of my life, just as the moment when each of my daughters were born. After only a few minutes of interacting with her, she came over to me and gave me the biggest hug. Again I just melted. The next day, and after only a 10 minute visit on day 1, we picked her up and started walking outside to play with her on the swing set and she pointed to me and said papa, which is dad in Russian, and I just melted. That same evening when we had to take her back inside and leave for the night, and after a couple of her big hugs we handed her off to the care taker and she turned around and tried to get out of the caretaker's arms and reach for us. I melted once again.
It actually almost seems like an understatement to say that the past few days of this journey were Perfect, because they were so much more than that. I feel that each and every moment has been blessed with a spirit of love, which has made them eternally perfect. We have felt the love and support of all our family and friends through each step of the process and especially the past week as we have been here. It has been overwhelming to read the comments and words of encouragement from everyone through blogs, email and other means. It has truly blessed our journey and we are eternally grateful for each and everyone of you.
Looking back at a few thoughts I had written down at the first of this journey I see that the Lord has provided in so many ways and has made this journey possible. A lot of people have asked why we decided to adopt and what led us to this decision. I have often wondered the same thing and asked myself the same question. The answer that I have been able to come up with is that we really never had thought about adopting. To us it wasn't really ever in our cards. We had 3 beautiful girls and were doing just fine as a family. Sure we have wanted to have more kids and it has been a struggle for the past few years but we weren't to the point of discussing adoption yet, as we felt that we had a lot of different options still to pursue. But somewhere along the way there was a different plan for our family.
My wife received a very strong impression and feeling that we should adopt this little girl. When she approached me about it I was very taken back and concerned about what it would mean for our family. I was concerned about how we could afford to do something like this. I was concerned what it would mean to our daughters and how they would react and accept this new challenge in our lives. I worried about if I could love another child that wasn't my biological child. I guess you could say I wasn't all hands on deck at first. But after weeks of thoughtful discussion and prayer I received my own confirmation that this was right for our family and that we should go forward. And at that point the only question now was whether we would choose to listen.
Well we did choose to listen, and it has probably been the most exciting and at the same time humbling experience of our lives. Exciting, because did you see my wife's last few posts? Enough said. Humbling because we have been on the receiving end of countless donations in all forms. And also been the beneficiaries of countless and endless prayers that have reached the heavens on behalf of our family and this little angel half way around the world.
I am so grateful for my wife and her ability to listen to the spirit of the Lord when it calls. If not for her we would not be on this journey, and I hate to even think of what fate used to await this little angel, this daughter of God.
We know that the challenges of adoption are not over and that there awaits a lifetime of new challenges and experiences for our family but for now we are living in the moment and enjoying these experiences and feelings as they come. And knowing the support that we have around us, that we have felt so overwhelmingly the past week, we aren't scared about the future because we know that it will work out as the Lord has planned for us. Thank you all again for all your love and support. It has been such a blessing!
This video is when we were waiting to pick her up for our visit this morning (visit # 3-but she also did this on visit #2 but we didn't record it.)