Dean sprained his ankle. I know that's not a good thing..but the good news is we had him home and he delayed his work schedule til next week. (It was playing basketball...tsk, tsk). :)
Yesterday we took the kids to play baseball. So cute. So funny. And I ran as much as they did. You know...because when you are 4 and 5...and 7...you get distracted easily...and well it's so easy to run from second base all the way home... :) So I would grab Izrael in my arms and run with the child that was 'off base' and get them where they needed to be. Honestly...it was fun and we have some decent little hitters! Chazano has a very strong arm and can really throw a ball!
There was a big playground nearby so we all went there and played. Izrael climbs everything with the 'big kids' and is so cute when one of them surprises her around the corner. We watched them play Robin Hood (Walker-kid-version) and all sorts of fun, energy-burning, silly games :)
Today was our 12th anniversary. That's a pretty big deal and we treat it that way. When most marriages are crumbling by year 4 and 5...(and ours was no exception) every year is a celebration. Where we are today is a "Joseph story". God has taken our brokenness...something I wasn't sure could ever survive and not only saved it...but made something extraordinarily beautiful with it. That...is redeeming love. We have both learned what love really is and what it really takes to make a marriage work. Yes...12 years ago today I vowed "no matter what". We had no idea where that would take us. Never ever would we have believed you had you told us 12 years later we would be waiting for baby number 8 and 9 to come home from China. I thought I loved him that day 12 years ago...I know I do today.
Today after church and Izrael's very long nap...we went to the soccer field to fly a kite. It was so windy and so beautiful. The kids just ran and ran and ran. Dean and I sat on the grass with Izrael and took lots of pictures. These are the moments where memories are made. You know...we took our family to Disney in 2009. Tirzah was 6, Zion was 4 and Azlan was 3. I don't know if I've ever heard it mentioned from them since. Not even once. But I still hear lots of stories about the day before we went to Disney and we played in the ocean for hours. We still hear about our summer Saturdays in the "jungle" (aka park). We hear lots about summer swim parties at friends' houses. And we definitely hear about when we took them a few blocks away to fly a kite. Oh...I love Disney and the big trips as much as anyone. But it has struck me as a parent...how it's the every day moments that make a lifetime of memories. Don't let a day slip.
Just as we were ready to leave the fields we decided to take a few more pictures of the kids. I love when their personalities shine. The pictures of our 4 boys are beautiful. All are very close friends. We go to a birthday party and they stick together. They like each other. They comfort each other. They are friends. More importantly...they are brothers. They see no difference. I don't hear color mentioned very often. Every now and then Chazano will say he wishes God made him the same color as me. We quickly remind him that God created him just the way he wanted him. With beautiful black skin. Perfect. This time next year...we will have photos of our 6 little boys.
Today we had pizza for lunch. Chazano came up to me in the kitchen and said "Mama, the pizza was great today. I loved it. The only thing I love more...is...guess...." I looked at him and said "I'm not sure...what do you love more than pizza?" he smile and said "you, Mama. I love you more.".
Oh I'd do it all again.
Anything...Any...thing...worth having is going to be a lot of work. Marriage. Parenting. Adoption.
Somewhere in my life I decided that whatever I was going to do in life...I was going to do it all-in. "whatever your hand finds to do...do it with all your might". (Ecc. 9:10.)
I'm so excited to post new pictures of Zihao! I received an email this morning from Jenny with a few pictures of him with his birthday cake. (They received his gift, he just hasn't opened it yet). We can't wait to scoop him into our arms and welcome him home...yet are so aware of the reality of all he will be saying good bye to. His foster family. His life. We were struck by the love between them in these photos.