Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome Home!

Today we welcomed GRACE ANNAMARIE into our family!

GRACE - God has been gracious to her in giving her a family and gracious to us in giving her to us. (and I have always liked the name)
ANNAMARIE- My dear grandmother that just passed away was named Anna. Marie is my mother's middle name ( who I love even more!).

We had 3 different offices to go to today and pick up papers have them sign off on them and give us a file. As each time went smoothly and relatively easily we thanked the Lord for answering prayer!
The first office today was the Magistrate Court to pick up the Commital order allowing us to bring her into our home and foster her to adopt her. As we drove away I read through the papers and was struck by a statement. The social worker stated that she is a child in dire need of care.

After lunch we left to go to the Social workers office and get the letter to take to the Orphanage.
We all waited in the car while James ran in to get the handwritten letter stating that we could take her home.

We dropped the letter off at the main orphanage and they called over to Grace's orphanage. They were told we were coming and to prepare her for leaving. When we arrived ( only about 10 minutes later) Most of the workers or the day were in the Living Room and Grace was sitting there on the directors lap in a cute skirt, shirt, socks that matched and shoes. I didn't know they provided her going home outfit and had never seen her or any of the other kids dressed that nicely. I had anticipated going into her classroom, finding her all runny nosed, wet and mismatched and taking her into the room and cleaning her up and dressing her in a new outfit.
By the time we arrived everything was done and we were only there about 15 minutes.
I had also bought cookies and candy for the other kids and so I gave that to the Director. I didn't see the other kids, they were in the back in one of the rooms.

They welcomed us in and told us to sit down. Saying what a happy day this was and that we had come to bring her home!

We both had to sign a paper stating that we were taking her and then that was pretty much it.
I am assuming a few more papers to sign in a few months when the adoption is finalized, but that was all for today.

They wanted to pray for her before she left. Two of the women prayed for her and the second one prayed in the vernacular language and very passionately. My heart was full and I cried.
One worker said this was her "baby". I found her in the bedroom sitting on the bed alone. Grace went in there to see her and I followed. I told her it was very happy but probably sad for them too because they do love her. Then she told me of the special attachment and affection she had for "Carol". She held her a minute and then walked out to the kitchen and closed the door behind her. Grace started crying for her. She came back out and said she was sorry and I told her no that is fine.
She held her again while we prayed and then the director took her from her, Grcae started crying and she said, "Come. Today we go". and walked her outside to the car to say goodbye.

As soon as we got to the car I pulled out the books for her to be familiar with them.

Then I picked her up and we put her in the car seat. I sat right next to her and waited a few minutes to see how she was going to do before I buckled her in.

We waved goodbye and drove away slowly

For most of the trip she stared out the window looking a little afraid and holding onto her cup.

We got home and I carried her in to the Living Room. Then the kids brought out things for her to play with and give to her.
They were so excited today!

Giving something to daddy

We gave her a special teddy bear. We told her we made it for her two years ago before we even knew her, but that it was for her. The kids also made her a crown with her name on it and put it on her head.

Caleb following her around

She was very happy to be eating. We put her in the high chair and gave her her food right away. She smiled and laughed the whole meal. When I thought she was done and asked her I took the plate off the tray and started to get her out and she started crying. She was not done. So I gave her the plate back and waited a few more minutes and then tried again and this time it was ok, but she took her cup with her and a piece of bread.

After dinner we gave her a toothbrush that she started chewing on and brushing her teeth with and then gave her a quick bath. She was hesitant to sit down in the water but after a few minutes she did and did great.

Then about 7pm I took her to her room to try and put her to bed. I held her awhile, sang, walked around ( don't have a rocking chair) and tried to get her to fall asleep. After about 15-20 minutes she fell asleep. I laid her down and she woke up crying. So I picked her back up and then I held her again. Then I laid down on Emma's bed holding her and she stayed asleep. I left her there for a little bit and then moved her to her crib. Success! She is now sleeping sweetly in her crib.

Wow. She really is here!


  1. Oh, my!! Rejoicing with you all! The picture of her sleeping in the crib did me in! What a blessing she is -- and you are!! How hard is it to adopt from that orphanage? :-)

  2. Such an amazing narrative makes me want to comment with something profound but emotional confusion has left me searching for words. There are so many things going on in my heart and head ... joy, memories of our own experience, amazement over God's gracious dealings with and for his creatures, anticipated challenges ...

    We will be praying for all of you as your hearts expand to love one so in dire need of care!

  3. Dear Friends,

    We are rejoicing with you! This old burly pastor had tears in his eyes as I read your post and looked at the pics.
    I have had James 1:27 on my mind as Jen have been doing foster care of younger children in recent months.
    Praise the Lord!
    Curt Arend