Last August I announced in a blog the decision to adopt again. In March we were blessed to have my brother Tim and his family visit us for two weeks and it was a double blessing to have them here when I received the call telling me that a girl was waiting for me in the city of Cochabamba.
All I knew was that she was four years old and later found out her name was Zeineth.
It was a roller coaster of emotions, paperwork, finding a new lawyer and finally being able to go to Cochabamba with Pilar. On April 10 we met Zeineth for the first time. She hugged us and buried her face in our laps. She was so excited. Zeineth is a very energetic, joyful and talkative girl. It was hard on all of us as we could only visit her during the day for the first five days but after that she was allowed to live with us at the church building where we were staying. God heard our prayers over the last year to prepare the next member of our family because she was really happy to live with us and never wanted or asked to go back to the orphanage. Three weeks later we had the first court hearing and were given permission to bring her back to Tarija. I have a month of temporary guardianship while the court does home checks and at the end of the month there will be a second hearing when the adoption will be finalized.
It is a transition and sometimes a hard one, especially for Pilar and Zeineth. Pilar is struggling with not being the only child anymore and Zeineth is fighting to be in charge and pushing all limits and feeling overwhelmed and lost as literally her whole wolrd has changed, but these are normal and expected things. Pilar has also been such a compassionate and loving big sister and Zeineth is being brave and connecting. I have a lot of peace that God is in control and that He has a plan for us. I know His Spirit is guiding us and will continue to and will provide everything we need.
In everything I have seen God come through again and again. Not only with paperwork and people but in my own character. It is a blessing and a privilege to adopt. There is beauty in a growing family with all the possibilities that growth implies. The joy of loving someone who has never been a part of a family can not be measured. It's a path of so much hope and laughter, tears and beauty.
Adopting a four year old (she turned four on Feb. 8th) is a different experience than adopting a two year old. Zeineth's world was just the orphanage and she very quickly was pushed into a very big world. But she has been brave and she has found a lot of enjoyment in things. She was scared of getting into a car and then a bus, but now loves it. She was scared of any kind of animal, be it dog, cat or pigeon. She was convinced they were going to eat her. We finally got her to throw some bird seed at the pigeons in the plaza before leaving Cochabamba and she is getting over (tentatively) her fear of dogs and cats. She still repeats every time we pass one on the street "He will not eat me." The airplane was scary and she won't go near an elevator. She'd never been in a kitchen so didn't know what a refrigerator or stove was or any food names except for bread and milk. She had no idea who God was and thought when I spoke of Jesus I was speaking about a little boy in orphanage. She loves ice cream and lasagna, bouncy castles and playing old maid. She gets excited over almost everything. She has experienced so much in this last month it blows my mind to think about.
God is great and He is good. He has provided and will continue to do so.
If you or someone you know is thinking about adopting, pray about it, encourage them and do it. There are no guarantees in this world except God and God has adopted us so following in His footsteps can never be wrong if He is guiding you.
“Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” — Andy Stanley
"Adoption is a redemptive response to tragedy that happens in the broken world.” — Katie J. Davis
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
“In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will . . . " Ephesians 1:5