Tag Archives: update

it’s good to remember

Hey people, anyone who happens to still be checking this. We are going to try our best to get back up and running with posting and updating. We’ve thought a lot about all the family blogs out there and how they are used and viewed, and decided to try to get on this again. A lot of what we post will hopefully have a focus of how Sam is adjusting, what we are learning, and how adoption is affecting and has affected our lives and his. We’ll see what happens.

I received a video today from a family who met Sam back in 2008. It was cool and prompted me to look back through some old blogs and pictures. I didn’t have a lot of time, but in ten minutes or so, it really took me back. I remembered some of the feelings we had and the things we went through together. I remembered many of the people. I just remembered. It’s good to remember. It’s good to reflect.

I quickly forget how profoundly we changed in the three months we lived in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Our lives were so impacted by a people in general, specific people, experiences, a baby house filled with children, and so many other things. The rooms we spent time in came back to me. The parks and the snow followed by the sun. So many things came back to me, even if just for a few minutes, and it was good.

Brining all this back with us has surely changed us, and we are so much beter for it. God has been so incredibly real to us, and we have had some challenging moments in our 6 or so weeks here, but our lives are richer, both by adding Sam abd by carrying all the “luggage” that we now carry, both good and bad. It’s weird to say that in some ways we miss our time in Kazakhstan. It might sound surprising, and honestly it’s surprising to me, but our lives were so significantly affected by so many things there, that it’s hard to just return. Things will never be the same. And if I’m being completely honest, I am not sure I want to completely “return.” I’m not sure I want things to ever be the same again.

Where it goes from here I have no idea, and I’m not sure what our future looks like, but I am glad to have experienced something so deeply that is has affected my spirit, my actions, my loves, my character, my motivations.  I’m glad to have lived and experienced and be still experiencing. Walking on roads like this, only starting to understand faith, has become to me a very rich and priceless thing.


a short update

Hey friends. We have gotten a little slower in updates lately because of laziness, but also beause Charity’s brother Davy is here with us. He came in for some much needed refreshment and encouragement, and it has been great. Sam loves him already, and I think the rest of our family is jealous that he got to meet Sam first. We have attached a picture of Davy with Sam.

We also got some news recently of a possible return date coming up real soon. We are waiting to hear back about a couple of document details, and we will hold back exact dates until we can know more concretely, just because we know it might create a small swirling buzz, but we think that word will come on Monday. And we are really hopeful for a quick return date.  So more details to come soon on that.

We have really seen some things happen in our own personal lives in the last week or week and a half that have been sort of refining but very good, so we can see at least some of the goodness in being here longer. These are all things that could only have happened in us being here for longer. We have seen some things growing in us and God working some things in our spirits and our hearts that wil be good. One of our prayers about all of those things in the last 2 years is that they will stick. We don’t want to return to “life as usual” or try to make things back the way they were. We want to know that things have changed and that it’s just a good kind of different. And we want to learn to integrate what God has done in us. We don’t want things to go back to how they were for us personally and as a family.

So there  is our latest update. Hopefully there will be a little more detail to share in our next update. Thanks for walking with us. Now, on to the pictures.

Zoo…and Sam is growing up

This week we got out for an adventure at the zoo with some local friends who were very good to us. We weren’t quite sure what animals to expect, and they did have chickens, rabbits, foxes, horses, donkeys. But they also had bears, lions, pumas, tigers, and a hippo. It was pretty cool and made for a good day out for the family. We get pretty cooped up, so that was a good day.

Sam even shared a banana with a hippo. Charity was giving Sam a snack as we walked away form the hippo when he started out of the water and slowly right toward us. You can get pretty close to most of the animals, so he came right up to us and opened his mouth wide. We looked at each other, and Charity threw in a piece of banana. Turns out that was exactly what he wanted. He did it again and then again and he knew as soon as he got that little piece of banana in his huge mouth every time. Crazy sucker!

Sam has also semi learned to drink and feed himself. He can get some pretty good bites when there is something pretty sticky in his bowl. Once we were talking and just looked over and he was holding up his glass taking a drink all by himself. We were surprised and just laughed at how the little dude keeps surprising us. He is growing and changing so fast already.

We have been reading and telling Sam the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and how big of a deal it was that they would not bow to any god other than the real God. At the end of the story we asked Sam if he would bow and he shook his head no while mom yelled, “no!” That’s our thing with him now. We posted a video for our college students on our youtube page youtube.com/igoac called Hillcrest Video May 17. You can see Sam saying “no, he will not bow” in it. It’s about 5:20 long and shows a little bit of what we do during the day here, which ain’t much.

And here’s a bonus today for anyone who wants to see the journey in video form. We have been poasting videos of Sam since day one for grandparents, doctors, and such that we are no longer keeping a secret. The page is youtube.com/kazbaby09 and has about 45 videos of Sam from the first day we spent with him until now. If you are into that, enjoy.

The biggest prayer requests we have right now are for Sam’s passport to some on Monday and for his visa to be approved by Friday. The passport is supposed to be here on Monday, but you never know. And the visa could take up to 10 business days, but we are praying that it will be this week so we can get moving. Once those two things happen we will be able to start making some tentative plans to head back toward home. We would also appreciate prayer for our continued perseverance and patience. We are doing well, but days get long here without much to do. We have really seen the blessing of this amount of time together before returning to the craziness that will be the summer, but we are getting a little stir crazy. So we are praying for speed in the process, but also grace, perseveranc, and patience in the waiting.

Thank you for loving us and walking with us. We love you guys.

24-hour Sam, day 1

Sam is at the apartment, and he is loving it. He threw up and pooped in the first three hours, and he slept 11 hours last night. He has eaten everything we have given him, and even took a bath, although the bath was like torture. Things have gone really smoothly so far. It’s very surreal right now, but so cool. It’s sort of hard to put into words. This is what we have been working 2 years to get to, now he’s in the apartment with us. Mom and Sam are playing in the floor right now.

Here are a few pictures captured by iPhone technology.

So things are good, and we are back to another waiting game. We are praying and trusting our coordinators all we can because we have very little clue what is going on right now. Hopefully we will be headed home very soon.

We met a lady in the baby house who is from the Dallas area. She is adopting one of the little girls in Sam’s class. How crazy is that?! Not only a little Kazakh person, but one of the girls who grew up in Sam’s class with him will be living in the DFW area soon. We were very excited to meet her.  And what an answer to our prayers already. The day after we posted the blog about praying deeply for moms and dads for these little kids a mom shows up for one of them. We will continue praying, but it’s cool to see answers like that.

This is Aaron, and I want to make a clarifying statement, as well. On another one of our posts we had a comment from some friends here about other children and their situation in the baby house. While we are pleading for parents for these guys, person to person and in prayer, the reality is that some of them are not available for adoption at this point. There are different reasons for that, and some will join the available ranks sometime in the future, but things are not as simple as we might make them sound. I think most of our readers have gotten that message of complication and difficulty as you’ve followed us. It’s just a reality and an acceptable side effect.

Part of the heart that father has grown in us during the last two years is to be advocates for these little people, not just here but in general. We want to be ambassadors for their cause, and we really hope that people who have followed our story will consider adoption because of the great life-giving picture that it is. We hope that we can walk through the process with families in the future, and our appeal here, along with any pictures, are to illustrate the need and the mass of little faces and lives out there. These kids are by no means the end of the story, and a total of 4 from Sam’s class have been adopted or are in process during our time here, so good things are happening. We’ve done our best to share our hearts, and these are some of the people who have impacted our hearts on this journey, both big and little people.

Thank you guys for reading and walking so consistently. We love you.

t-minus 3 days…

Hey everybody. The last few days with Sam have been really good. We have definitely noticed a difference in the way he is acting toward us. He seems very confident when he is with us, and we see him light up every day when we walk into the room. He has changed so much in these 7 weeks. It is almost impossible to believe the actual physical change that has taken place, along with so many other things. We just can’t overstate how much love and attention, not to mention so much prayer, has influenced little Sam’s life already. Thank you guys for being such a big part of it.

We uploaded a new video on our youtube page, youtube.com/igoac. It’s called Sam Clip 39 Great Walking. We titled it Great Walking because we are so excited at how much he can walk now. In our first few days with him he could only take 2-3 steps at a time, and they were usually falling toward whoever he was walking to. Now he can walk decently on his own, and he will go pick things up, walk to the couch, and even walk all the way across the room. He doesn’t just lean and fall toward people anymore. Such a change.

The video has some funny, cute stuff, but it’s also just some moms and pops giddy, proud stuff, too. It’s a little over 4 minutes. Take a gander if you have a few minutes and are dying to catch an active glimpse of Sam.

Today we went to a small town just outside of our city where Sam was born. We went to see the maternity home and the hospital where he was for the first few months of his life. It was cool. It’s weird to think about where we were and what we were doing the day Sam was born in this little place in a small town in Kazakhstan. They didn’t want us to come inside (something about being stinky Americans), but we did get some pictures of the building. It was a cool day.

I talk about this in almost every post, but we cannot get past seeing it almost everyday in our son and our whole process. The gospel is so deep and so changing. Sam is being changed by it and its effects even though he does not realize it. If you have not recently or maybe even ever considered the gospel, considered Jesus, look intently into the eyes of a little boy who is being changed by it, and consider it. It has changed us and motivated us to all of this. We’re not talking about rituals or routines or traditions. We are talking about the raw, real, overcoming gospel of Jesus. It’s good to have Jesus. And there are so many kids in the baby house that need it, too.

Our “gotcha” day is this Wednesday. That means only two more days with no Sam. Then it’s all Sam all the time, and we are very excited about it. Please pray that all of the paperwork after that will go smooth and quickly, and that we will be home soon. We love every one of you guys, and we cherish your thoughts, prayers, and comments. We read every single one of them. We don’t respond to most of them because there are a lot, but we do read every one, and they encourage us so much.

We’re glad to be walking this road with you guys. It is a privilege to have you there. Thank you.

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