Friday, December 14, 2007

The Blessings Keep Rolling In

Have I mentioned lately…God is Good, All the Time! We received a call this week from a family who have become good friends of ours in our community. My friend called me, who works at Delta, and offered us, all of us, buddy passes to travel to Colombia. She issued us 4 for now and said she would give us 2 more when we got the referral (because they have to have the legal names on them of the person traveling). All we have to do is change the tickets with the right travel dates and destinations and pay the international taxes! So each ticket will cost us about $200 instead of $700. She also explained that if something happed we couldn’t use them to travel to Colombia, to use them for a vacation once we have the kids home. Whoohoo! The only negative, which doesn’t worry me at all, is that we will have to fly standby. Now, if God has made prevision for this trip to be funded and to have someone offer us tickets at more than half off, then I can believe that our flights and standby status will be taken care of too.

On a different note, but still positive, mine and Eric’s anniversary is Monday. We will be married for 13 years. Every year Eric says, “Let’s go somewhere for our anniversary” and I always say, “no way, it’s Christmas time and I have so much to do…bad timing.” So this year he got smart! Eric said, “Surprise! I made reservations, you can’t say no!” So we are heading to Niagara Falls this weekend for a nice weekend with just the two of us. He felt we really needed it and we were sure not to go anywhere alone after we bring our Colombians home…smile. So I took a weeks vacation for next week to give me time to prepare for the mass company starting next Friday. Plus the college is closed (I work at a college) the week between Christmas and New Year, so I have 2 ½ weeks off for the holidays! Can you tell I am just a little bit happy?

Now, here is just a bit about Colombia and their Christmas traditions:

Since Colombia is about 90% Roman Catholic, the Christian aspects of Christmas are the most celebrated. The Christmas season in Colombia starts on December 7th when families light candles in honor of the Virgin Mary. The church celebrates the 8th of December as the day of the Immaculate Conception. This is a Colombian National Holiday and a day of Obligation with the church. It is celebrated with a display of lights as each home will light approximately 100 candles on the curb and sidewalk area. City streets and parks are illuminated with large Christmas lights as well.

On December 16th Colombian families typically start setting up the Christmas tree.

From December 16th through December 24th, families usually gather together at night around Nativity scenes to pray and sing carols in the Novena. On Christmas Eve family members and neighbors gather to eat and dance. (Traditional Colombian foods include: Ajiaco - a soup with potatoes, chicken and natilla (like a custard) a dessert and buñuelos (like small elephant ears.) Everyone waits until midnight to wish each other Merry Christmas and to exchange gifts.

I may try to make the natilla for Christmas Eve this year. It depends on how much I get finished throughout the week. Also, there will be two candles in our front windows this season as we await the call to bring our children home.

Many blessings to all of you during this holiday season!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Feliz Navidad

December Already?! How ironic…since time can’t go fast enough for us to receive a referral.

No word for the Hollis’ in November. Upon submitting our dossier we were given two different time lines, one much shorter than the other with hope that we would hear of approval in early November. However, now November has passed and still not a word. As much as I want to hear something from Colombia I can still say that I have great peace that God is orchestrating our adoption, our family.

It is especially difficult to celebrate the holidays knowing how close we are to bringing our family home. I wonder if anyone has told them the meaning of Christmas? Will they have a gift to open? Will they feel the spirit of Christmas? My prayer for them each night as I lay my head on my pillow is to give them a good nights rest, to feel peace and joy in their hearts to keep them strong. For the caregiver(s) to have patience and guidance from above to care for our children as they wait for us. I pray they have a loving hand offered to them when they need comforted or someone to laugh with them when they are being silly. Gee Whiz…I just can’t wait to get a photo of their faces, hear their names and bring them home.

With the holiday season all around us I think daily about what I am thankful for. What a blessed life I have. My list would be much to much to include. However, with this being a site for our adoption I can make mention of things that would relate. Actually, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the goodness and faithfulness that God has shown since we have started our journey. Each and every detail has been so amazing and great testimony for us to be able to give. I still can’t believe our adoption is paid in full, how awesome is He to tell us to adopt and then to pay for the process in full! Think about that. It’s really just that simple…trust and obey and He will take care of the details. It sounds so easy, but yet faith is often times the hardest thing we deal with. His hand in our financial part, really every part, of our adoption process so far, is why I have complete peace that His fingerprints are all over our paperwork in some pile, on some desk in Colombia. He has two children picked out especially for our family and has it all timed out perfectly. How could I doubt that after He has proven Himself bigger than I could have imagined.

Well, Feliz Navidad! Enjoy the holiday season. Don’t take the time you have with your family and friends for granted, soak in every gathering, capitalize on moments placed in front of you and be the Spirit of Christmas for those around you.