Finally! All the bags are packed. The morning is planned for us to wake, dress, eat and head out to the air port. While most of you are celebrating the ‘Great Day’, as Latvians call it, with friends and family at churches and sunrise services, we will be celebrating with air port security, flight attendants and pilots. While you bask in songs of worship we will insert ear-buds and ignore safety procedure guidelines – you know you do it too! For communion, maybe a bag of dry pretzels with an overfilled cup of ice water, on a wobbly tray. Either way, we are thankful and celebrating that our Redeemer lives! And that redemption is woven into the tapestry of our lives, to be both received and given, in the name of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.
So, today our kids learned their new American names. They like them! We pick names for all of our kids the same way, through prayer and name meaning/ origin research. For these two we had the added benefit of knowing them a bit to add to the mix of why this one or why that one. In the end they have great names and really were excited to learn how to say them.
Now, many people who adopt children who are older choose to keep the children’s names. This is great. However, our children are teens and have strong opinions about these things. Therefore, when you meet our kids and they tell you their names, and the names are very American, know that they are choosing to be called by the new names. We have not forced or convinced them. They are proud of the new names and want to be called by their new names. They were, in fact, very excite to tell the other children at their orphanage their new names!
We love them either way, and respect their decisions to go by their new American names…
Caleb (full of heart) and Katelyn (pure)
(In a few months they may decide to go back to their Latvian names, and if they do we will let them. The main thing we want is to give them our last name anyhow!)
Finally, well almost.
That sums up the life altering journey we are on with international adoption. I have said ‘Were done!’ more times than I can count. I have given up saying it and replaced it with ‘Were closer to being done’, seems appropriate after 8 months of paperwork, interviews, fees paid and finally tickets purchased. But oh no, we are not done, just closer to being done.
Lets take a trip back to 20 years ago into the lives of two people we will call
Mr & Mrs W
Twenty years ago Mr. W was in Eastern Europe helping to renovate an old and beautiful building to be used as a YWAM missions base. He hauled dirt from the basement, he put in glass for the windows and he built a sturdy wooden pic-nick table that would stand the test of time. All the while he prayed for the people of that country, for the people who would love them and for the ministry to be a light in a dark place. Twenty years ago, when he left that country, he thought he was done there.
Twenty years ago Mrs. W was in high school in small town USA. She was struck by the reality of children living all over the world with no mommy, no daddy and no home to be safe in. Then and there she knew the desire of her heart was to give these kids a family, a home and hope. Twenty years ago she began to pray for that day and for all of the precious children who would be waiting.
Flash forward to 1999. Mr & Mrs W. become Mr & Mrs W. Now you have a family a home and a dream. Well, almost a dream she had that dream, he – not so much. You see the two had to get on the same page about a few things, OK a lot of things! So, the work began. After a short time with Mercy Ships the desire to adopt was in both hearts. (though swelling in one and birthing in the other) You also get her, feeling that someday she will have a voice of influence in Eastern Europe, though unsure as to how, when and about what. Oh baby #1 is also born, family growing!
I love watching what the Lord is doing! More than that I really love it when we get to be apart of something he is doing. In a month’s time we will be home with our two kids, from Eastern Europe, 20 years later. Amazing to see the Lord’s way of weaving the threads of our lives together. Introducing new threads with skill and purpose. Removing worn-out threads with gentleness. Filling the spaces left by finished threads with wisdom.