December 1, 2009

Tomorrow is Steve’s birthday and to celebrate, we went out to lunch today to spend the day together. Every year on our birthdays we ask the person celebrating the same few questions. One of them is, “what is a ‘snapshot’ you have that would define the past year in ministry, in your personal life, and in our family?”

This question was an easy one for Steve. He described in detail the very moment that he saw his son for the first time. How we were sitting in the office of a Russian orphanage doctor when all of a sudden, the door opened and in walked the most precious little boy in the world…dressed in Mickey Mouse denim overalls with a blue and white sweater underneath and the cutest red shoes.

His hair was combed forward and he timidly walked towards us. He looked at me first, as I knelt down to be eye to eye with him. I stroked his little face, and in the background, we could hear our translator telling us that he is “very smart, very calm, very quiet.” Those words have become the soundtrack of my thoughts lately. I can’t get her beautiful Russian-accented words out of my mind when thinking about our little guy.

But, the snapshot for Steve was when our son took his eyes off of me and lifted his head up to make his first eye contact with Steve. You can see in the video that his eyes widen and a look of curiosity and wonderment spread across his face. The moment is indescribable. It is a moment we will always cherish. It is the snapshot of Steve’s 32nd year of life.

And with a new year of life on it’s way, it brought questions of what this coming year will bring. Lord willing, it will be a year where we no longer have to wonder what our little one is doing, since we will be a part of what he is doing.

We will no longer have to wonder what he is wearing, since we will dress him.

We will no longer have to wonder who is taking care of him, since we will be kissing his booboos and singing him to sleep.

We will no longer have to wonder if he feels loved, since we will be telling him we love him every day.

Memories of him will be replaced by experiences with him.

Although our snapshot is one of breathtaking joy, this year has also been characterized by some of the most difficult times of our lives. We reflected back on how this past February we thought we would be getting our referral phone call, only to get another phone call letting us know that our region had changed and our wait basically started over.

We remembered back on those days and weeks where it felt like things were never going to happen. We remembered back to the fears of hearing about slow-downs in adoptions, wondering if we were just caught in a never ending system of waiting. It’s amazing how much can change in one day. And now when I think of our little man, I can’t imagine any other child for us.

I have to believe that as God moved the pieces and parts of our story, the twists and the turns, the waiting and more waiting, it was to line us up with the son He has prepared for us. If we hadn’t changed regions, we would never have known our little man. If it was any earlier, our little one wouldn’t have been available.

One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot lately is the verse in Psalm 113:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before any of them came to be.”

I wrote a letter to our little man about the first day that I met him and I included this verse from Psalm 113. And then I said to him,

“Everyone says you have your dad’s eyes. I don’t know how that works. How someone on the other side of the planet could look so much like their forever father. Our translator told us that it’s not like they sit around and try to match children to parents based on their looks. She pointed to the sky and said, “God. He knows.”

And I have to agree with our translator. That as God was creating you in your mother’s womb, He was creating you to be our child. He knew what your first couple of years of life would be. He knew that your dad and I were praying for a child of our own. And so He created you – to be our son; us to be your parents. And He knew that at just the right moment, He would bring us together. Forever. Isn’t that amazing? I wish it had been sooner and we may never understand why it had to take so long. But, after seeing you for the first time, we knew that you were the one we have been waiting for. You are our son.”

We are so grateful to have this snapshot for the year. We have so much to be thankful for. God has given us far more than we could have ever asked or imagined. Thank you for walking this journey with us. Through the good, the bad and the ugly parts. Without all of those parts, a story is just a collection of random experiences, not really a story.

Our prayer is that our lives would communicate a story of God’s amazing love – through the good times, and the bad.


  • last night 3 of our high school girls shared their story of how God burdened their hearts to raise money for the orphanage where our son is living right now. So cool.
  • We continue to wait for the call informing us of our court date

Prayer Requests:

  • that our son would look at his picture book and somehow know “mama” and “papa” are coming back for him
  • for strength as we approach a holiday season without him

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve.