Sunday, June 24, 2012

Comforter vs. Comfortable

     In the past year, I have been pondering the idea of comfort.  As Americans, we crave comfort.  And as Western Christians, we are no different.  We want to be comfortable.  We gauge decisions by how "comfortable" they make us.  We buy things because they are comfortable.

      Recently, I came to realize that comfort has become my idol.  Not this kind, of course...

but nonetheless, an idol is anything that you seek after, search for, desire, more than God.  And comfort is like that.  Comfort often becomes the object of my desire.
     I also have been reflecting on God's promise for His Comfort.  In fact, Jesus said that He had to go to heaven so that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, could come.  And this was for our benefit (John 16:7).
    God wants us to seek our comfort in Him and Him alone.  Not in our comfy clothes, our padded bank accounts, or our safe lifestyle.  
    God is not calling me to a life of comfort, but to engage in the world, sometimes in uncomfortable ways--like in adopting a teenager.
    God wants me to be comforted, but not necessarily comfortable.  I just need to remember to seek Him for comfort.  Not my circumstances.  He is my Comforter.  


Sunday, June 17, 2012


We just got back from a cruise.  It was awesome and we had a great time.  However, we were headed home we discovered that we lost one of our bags.  We left it at the port.  Not on purpose.  Bummer.  More on that in a minute...

We had a party of 12:  our family of six, both sets of grandparents, and two friends.  Audrey wished for the cruise as a graduation present about the time that she started high school, so we have been saving for this--and it was wonderful!!

As we prepared for the trip, we talked a lot to the two little girls about what to expect.  We know that all of our kids do better if they know what will be happening.  Yuly was especially nervous about going to another country, but we talked about it extensively and by the time the cruise came, everyone was very excited.

The whole crew!!
 Here are the "big girls" of the adventure.

 My beautiful daughters in Cozumel.
 Headed off to our first adventure... Grand Cayman Islands
The girls loved catching and holding the turtles.

There were many, many happy memories made on this trip.  We ate dinner together every night.  We snorkeled (twice!).  We ate ice cream late at night and even for breakfast (at least some of us did!)

But, our lost baggage was not our only experience with a baggage issue.  We had another one during the trip.  One that was an even bigger bummer.

During lunch one day, Yuly said she wasn't very hungry so I ordered her a bowl of lentil soup.  When it arrived, her whole demeanor changed.  Something about the soup reminded her of a terrible experience in Colombia.  It took her awhile to process through it.  During the off time, she expressed fear and anger in ways that we haven't seen for a long time.  It is heartbreaking to watch my child deal with a horrible memory.  And for Yuly, what she needs when these situations arise is time.  Time to grieve, time to think, time to process.  And then time to reconnect.

This part of the trip was only a small fraction of our time.  For 99% of our trip, we were making happy memories, not dealing with past hurtful ones.  But these reminders of the ghost of her past show us how far she has come, but that she still has past events that she must deal with.  And we don't know when something will trigger those memories.  Unlike our lost luggage, we wish her baggage would be lost forever.  However, like our lost luggage, we must deal with the problem and figure out a way to correct it.  To help her heal.  We thank God, the Great Physician, for the healing she has already experienced and we are grateful for how far she has come.

We also thank God, our Provider, for providing positive memories for our times for all of us and for an opportunity for Yuly to build good memories to help replace some of the bad ones.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Starting the home study...

Tomorrow (Thurs) we officially start our home study process with a visit from our amazing social worker.  Although this is our first visit from her in our home, we have not been sitting idly by.  We have been fingerprinted (including, this time, our 18 year old daughter), had our physicals, had our local background checks, harassed friends and family for letters of recommendation, and filled out about a million different pieces of paper that include everything from a checklist of special needs we would consider, a financial statement, and personal questions like "what does security mean to you and how do you achieve it?"

We have also started fundraising:  a garage sale and a storefront at Just Love Coffee.

We are also currently looking for a nickname for our daughter.  We did that for Yuly so that in the wait we could talk about her and pray for her in a more personal way.  Right now, Yuly has dubbed her nickname to be "China girl."  We have a friend whose parents are Chinese immigrants and we are hoping that she will be able to help us come up with something a little more affectionate.  However, having said that, Yuly drew our first new family photo with the initials "Ch G" above the new sister.  And since we know the age we are requesting, she is drawn in the correct order in the line of sisters.  So sweet.

But of course, our life isn't all about this adoption.  We have four girls who keep us pretty busy.  In May we:

  • celebrated Yuly's 10th birthday, Audrey's 18th birthday and my mom's birthday.  
  • attended Audrey's ballet recital and Yuly and Savanna's Irish dance recitals.  
  • Riza and Yuly sang in a musical production at church.  
  • Riza graduated from Celebration Kinderschool
  • Audrey graduated from Chiles High School. 
  • Yuly and I completed our first year of homeschool and celebrated by going to a homeschool convention in Orlando 
  • Mother's Day was celebrated properly.  
May is a very busy time around our home!!  In fact, we were talking about our new addition and decided that one characteristic we will require is for her to not have a May birthday!