Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Yellow Butterfly

This will be the first Christmas without my dad.
 My sisters, my mom and I have all been experiencing a range of emotions these past few weeks as we lead up to a holiday where we not only celebrate Christ's birth, but also cherish many memories of times with our family. 

My Dad liked to keep the focus on Jesus at Christmas, but he did buy each of us 4 girls a gift just from him. I can't remember each and every one but it was usually a practical gift like an alarm clock or a tool set but it was obvious he had put some time and thought into picking out just the right gift.

The emotions of missing someone who is no longer here to celebrate holidays or just live everyday life with, are at times overpowering and unpredictable.  Such was the case today when my mom and I took Nadia and the dogs for a walk.

  It is still warm for December 23rd, but certainly not the time of year to expect to see a butterfly flying around.  Sure enough, there it was, gracefully flying around ahead of us...a beautiful yellow butterfly. 

I pointed it out to my mom and then I burst into tears. My dad's favorite color is yellow, so when I saw that butterfly I KNEW that God sent this butterfly as a thoughtful gift to remind us that while we may not have our dad here in person this year, we still have the many memories of Christmases with him as well as the other times spent together as a family.

These bittersweet moments are to be expected as we walk down the path of grief, and even though seeing that butterfly brought out a lot of emotions that had been simmering under the surface, I am thankful that we serve a God who is willing to take the time to send a sign to remind us how much He cares. He loves us more than we will ever begin to imagine.

Some will say that the yellow butterfly was just a coincidence, but I know in my heart that the God who could part the Red Sea and feed the 5,000 with just a few fish and some bread, can most certainly send a butterfly to spiritually "hug" those who are hurting.

We miss you so very much Dad!
It just won't be the same without you.

For all of you who are also spending your first Christmas missing a loved one, our prayers are with you!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Birthday Girl(s)

The evening before Nadia's birthday I spent time rocking her and looking into her sweet little face. I was overcome with emotion as I thought of her birth mother thousands of miles away, undoubtedly experiencing a range of emotions as she too remembers that Nadia will be turning 4 on Dec. 7th.

 I prayed for her and asked God that He would give her a peace and a knowing that her precious daughter is being lovingly cared for. I hope that she somehow knows that Nadia has indeed been adopted and will not be 'celebrating' her 4th birthday by being transferred to a mental institution, as I'm sure her birth mother knows well this inevitable step for orphans with special needs in her country.

As you look at the pictures of how Nadia got to celebrate her birthday with her forever family, will you please join me in praying for the millions of orphans who have yet to know the kind of love only a family can bring.  And especially pray for those 4yr. old orphans in Nadia's home country who, without being adopted, will face transfer to a place where NO CHILD should ever have to experience. Then take an extra moment to ponder how God might use you to remedy this ongoing travesty.
Thank you.

Nadia's been climbing out of her crib these days so when I returned home from the gym, this is where I found Nadia beginning her birthday...on the couch with her big sister!
When you ask Nadia how old she is, she tries her best to get the right number of fingers up, but still needs a little help.

Excited and ready to start her day! (Actually, her expression has nothing to do with it being her birthday...she just noticed Daddy coming down the steps!  Too sweet!)

And this is Daddy's reward for picking up the birthday girl!

Girlfriend's rockin' it out with her birthday dress and new pink boots!!!

Time to get on the bus! 

Strapped in and ready to go.

A surprise visit from Nonna with a yummy birthday cookie to share with her school friends!

Josi joins in the fun at Nadia's preschool.

The birthday girls. (Mine is the day after so now we get to 'share' our celebrations.)

A little birthday hat 'signed' by all her school friends.

Time to prepare the birthday dinner!
Nonna and Allen are making Italian meatballs...yummy!

Michael helped Nonna make this incredible chocolate cake!

Flowers from hubby for the older birthday girl.

Josi supervising and wondering what's taking so long!

It was a wonderful dinner and a great way to celebrate our 4yr. old's big day!!!

I just had to put Nadia's referral picture in here so you could see what we get to see on a daily basis...

...the AMAZING difference having a family can make!

We love you Nadia Irina Ferguson!!!