Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Day 16... Merry Christmas Eve

Hello there friends... Today is December 24th here in China.  I will admit it is the strangest Christmas Eve I have ever had.  Usually I am running around like a crazy person trying to get everything ready, but it feels quite different this year.  I have the majority of our Christmas traditions finished at home ready to do as a family when we return, but as far as feeling the "Spirit of Christmas", it is very different.  I am typing here in a quiet hotel room with no tree or music.. no hot tea (with Tang..of course) while watching It's A Wonderful Life.  Everyone is asleep... No one is putting up their stocking or putting out the traditional Santa cookies......Quite different indeed.... But as I look over into the Pack and Play bed and see a little black haired baby boy in his Christmas Pajamas sleeping soundly,  I feel a peace.  I guess I have a new perspective on things this year.  Adoption has been on the forefront of my brain this entire year and here on Christmas Eve , our family took an oath at the United States Consulate that everything that we have done up until this point has been true and that we promise to take care of this child that God has placed into our lives.   We swore that we would indeed do this on this day...  It was such a surreal moment to handover our papers to this officer and for her to say "Ok, you can pick up your child's visa on Thursday and then you are free to go home"  All that hard paperwork was over and now the real hard work begins....  molding a child into a happy, healthy, God fearing, law abiding citizen.   I guess the paperwork seems like a cinch after thinking about this challenge, but we know that God brought Toby into our lives.  He never promised it would be easy, but He did promise that He would always be with us through the process before the adoption and now after.  

What a night to reflect on how God himself sent His Son, Jesus, to this earth to be born so that He would grow up to die ...for us....and because of His death on the cross, he took the punishment for our sin that we so deserved.  We can freely accept Him into our lives and be ADOPTED by our Heavenly Father to belong to His family forever.  Such an awesome thought to think about THIS Christmas Eve.   I am in awe at this wonderful opportunity to love a child that did not come out of me and to train him and teach him what God says in His Holy Word.   I know he will be difficult to train at times, but thats ok.   God will be my role model in this process.  He adopted me into His family when I accepted Him as my Savior way back in 1980.  I have not always been easy to teach and train, but He has loved me unconditionally and had provided for my every need.  I will do the same for our sweet Toby with God's help.  Merry Christmas to all of you and may you also find the true meaning of this Christmas season.

Several families in our adoption group got together for a Christmas Eve gathering.  We sang songs together and heard a wonderful devotional from another Pastor that was in our group.  I attempted to sign for Toby, but he only lasted 5 minutes.   David has had a cold and he decided to keep Toby occupied in playland during our time.   It is going to take time to get Toby to understand what is going on but it will be ok!

Bethany, Luke and Cassidy and I went on a river cruise ride with several people from our group.  We ate Papa Johns pizza  (YUMMY)  while looking at the beautiful lights of Guangzhou... So beautiful and impressive.   David and Toby stayed at the hotel so their colds would not get worse.

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