Freedom & Pain

March 16, 2010

It’s hard to believe that it has been less than 2 weeks since we have come home as a family of 3. In so many ways it feels like Dima has always been a part of our family. The way he will run up and give me a hug randomly in the middle of playing or the way he will sheepishly cling to my leg when meeting new people makes me feel like I have been his mommy his whole life.

There are times when he holds his finger up to me and says, “mah-ne”, which in his little language means, “kiss my booboo” and I kiss his booboo and he goes about his little business.  Or the times when I look outside the window after Steve gets home from work and I see the “two peas in a pod” walking around outside, collecting sticks and looking for “woof woofs”. This is our new normal, filled with simple excitements and new joys.

discovering the joys of outdoor play

And with the new freedom of family, also comes tantrums and bruises. Dima is learning that he has a voice, an opinion in the Garcia family…something he has never had before. In his life before, you eat what is in front of you or you don’t eat. You go to the bathroom when you are told. You sleep when you are told. Life in the orphanage was a monotanous routine. Now, he is beginning to learn that there are many different kinds of things he can eat and his taste buds have been given freedom.

This freedom has also given bruises. Like a few days ago, when Dima decided to enjoy his freedom by sitting in his chair on his knees to look out the window. In his excitement, he fell off the chair and got 2 scratches on his face. He came running for kisses and I held him close to me and comforted him. There is part of me that wants to just hold him in my arms and not let him go. (that is if he wouldn’t squirm away :)) But, I so just want to protect him from the bruises…but would he really get to experience true freedom that way?

Curious George discovering the downstairs steps (which he would later tumble down)

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom and how freedom invites risk. The joy and adventure that comes with freedom also brings with it uncertainty and even sometimes pain. But, without the pain, there would be no looking out windows and no comfort in kisses.

I was thinking about the expression that people often use, especially before a big missions trip, “the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” And I’ve been questioning that phrase. Is it really? Is God’s will really the safest place? Ask John the Baptist, who was beheaded. Ask the martyr Stephen who was stoned to death. Center of God’s will. I actually think that if we are truly in the center of God’s will, there will bound to be risks and even pain.

With the pain of the journey, brings the freedom of our relationship with Christ. And so I wonder…what is my ultimate goal in life? Safety? Or freedom? What is my goal for Dima? Do I want him to be protected all of the time? Of course, I want him to be safe and I want to him to live a long, healthy life. But, I also want him to experience the fullness of living a life in the center of God’s will…to enjoy freedom. To look out windows. To run and jump and play. To explore. To learn. To grow. And so I look at the little scratches on his face and I smile as I am reminded of what those scratches represent. Freedom.

On another note, I am beginning to pray about what this blog will look like from here on out. It was originally written to keep people updated on the journey of our adoption. Now that we have our little man home, we want to be careful in protecting his life. We know that as a pastor’s kid, he is already going to grow up in a “fishbowl” and so we want to make sure that we honor his privacy even in this blog. Thank you so much for journeying with us. It truly has been an adventure and looking back, one that I can not believe we did. God led me to places to face fears that I never thought I could face and He brought me to a new place of dependance and rest in Him. He brought me to freedom.


  • every day Dmitri grows more and more at home
  • it’s still so hard to believe he is actually home!
  • we hope to have our latest video up soon. Finding time to edit lately has been a challenge!

Prayer Requests:

  • that Dima would continue to bond with his mommy and daddy
  • for our new friend Sarah who is headed to Pskov next week to adopt a little boy from the same orphanage Dima lived in just 2 weeks ago

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

8 Responses to “Freedom & Pain”

  1. Mom said

    Oh, I miss that little guy (and you and Steve) so much already. Selfishly perhaps, I hope you will reconsider ending the blog- you have taught me so much through your journey. It will be missed.
    I love you.

  2. Wendi said

    He’s getting cuter by the day!! Dima is so lucky to have such wonderful parents. I can’t tell you how much joy I get from reading your blog – it helps keep me grounded and sheds some light on the journey ahead of us. For that I am forever thankful!!

  3. Angie F said

    I have always loved this song by Sara Groves; it speaks to the feelings you are having…

    I do not know how I am to pray for this child

    as a mother I don’t want my baby denied

    but in the waiting in the waiting

    I learned

    every instinct in me wants to shield him from pain

    take the arrows of misery heartache and blame

    but in the sorrow in the sorrow

    I learned to hold on

    I only have two eyes – be all seeing

    I only have two hands – be everywhere

    I do not know enough – to be all knowing

    I give this baby up into your care

    I do not know how, how to pray for this child

    I want to guard her from everything wicked and wild

    but in the trial in the trial

    I learned to hold on

    And in the trial, in the trial

    I learned to hold on to the heart of God

  4. april said

    he is so precious! I am so happy for you guys! I know I only got to read your journey towards the end…but oh what a happy end!

  5. Phyllis Knowles said

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey of adoption.You’re an amazing writer, Katie. It is evident that God has used every incident to reveal Himself more clearly to you and Steve. What a beautiful little boy, we can’t wait to see him in person!
    Much love from all the Knowles

  6. Don’t stop writing! The lessons of being mom and dad are just beginning, and so many are learning from what God is teaching you both. You’ve got a great story and you use it so well to point to Him.

    Thanks for letting us laugh and cry with you. We love and miss you guys!

  7. jodi tucker said

    Kate, you are a gifted writer…..please keep the blog…..maybe every month update or whenever works for you. You can have Dima-stories as you see fit….those that will lift and encourage others or even those that are just raw and honest. I think you are also a wise woman… will know with the still small voice of God what is blog-worthy or not.
    As Rich pointed out, your stories point to the Him and that is always a good thing! Can’t wait to meet Dima soon!…..:)

  8. Liz said

    Kate, God has given you such a gift to be able to express your feelings and emotions in a way that people can totally relate to. You have made me cry and be on mt face in prayer for all of you. I would encourage you to continue to blog- even if it’s not about Dima. You are so good at it! We will be praying for the three of you. We would love to meet Dima this summer as we drive through Ohio. We’ll have to find out what your schedule is going to be. He is so stinken cute I can’t get over it!!!

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