As the leaves have mostly changed colors and begun to fall and summer slips away, it’s a reminder of how drastically our lives have changed since last year when Autumn came our way. A year ago today we took our comfortable life style, free evenings to ourselves and typical schedule and threw it out the window as we jumped on a plane from Columbus, OH headed to Ukraine into the world of the unknown. Back then we didn’t know the exact outcome of our trip. Although we now know Jackson was destined to be with us (who is now 3 years old and full of life), at the time we didn’t know if we would end up with a boy or girl as we had just days before been informed that our agency upped our age limit from 3 and under to 5 and under!
But everything worked out and here we are a year later and a lot has changed. A lot of unexpected things have happened and some surprises down the road but it’s safe to say I think we’ve been following God’s word and will the best we know. I’ll speak for myself, but it hasn’t all been easy and has been stressful at times. We are settled into our new life in Indiana, but Lindsey has been very busy at work these last few months which have turned into long evenings with Jackson and I alone holding down the fort until 8 PM or later. So as I’ve been a little exhausted from it all, I’ve took some time away from here and have tried to spend my free time utilizing every minute I have to myself efficiently.
There’s a lot of good to report though – we have indeed found our church home and forever grateful for being around great new friends and influences. The church we attend is very biblical based with no if, ands or buts, and it’s been encouraging to hear our pastor Kirk get so enthusiastic in teaching the Word. Though we started attending in June, they’ve been hitting the Book of Mark since we’ve been here and I think we are on chapter 9. The associate pastor mentioned the other day that they started Mark well over a year ago, so it gives you some context just how detailed the teaching really is!
One of the biggest things we missed when we moved to Indiana was being part of a life group, and within the last month they started up at our church. We are in a great group which meets Friday nights with lots of kids and a manageable amount of families where the discussion is intense and fun at the same time. We are reading a book right now called “Radical” by David Platt and it really encourages you to pick up your cross and stop living a watered down version of American Christianity that is very prevalent in today’s society.
Something different we do that we didn’t at our last church is that the men and women meet separately once a week for coffee to just catch up on each others lives intermixed with Bible reading and prayer. It’s a real intentional way to encourage one another and keep ourselves accountable during the week and I think our new friendships have grown stronger because of it as well. I really like the men in our group and am so happy to have met them! It makes all the difference in the world being surrounding by other men in Faith.
On a personal level I feel God working in my heart and growing in me. In the past few months I’ve really come to appreciate my relationship with Him and with my own son, Jackson. Staying at home has been great, some small hardships aside. As I watch Jackson grow it’s becoming so much fun to raise him and be such an important part of his life. The kid is on the go all the time now and is full of words now and always singing, dancing and laughing. It’s hard to believe just a year ago we were starting our adventure to bring him home. It seems like he’s been with us longer than that. Earlier this month we submitted our first post-adoption report and it was a lot of fun to look back at all of the memories and photos from that time as we prepared it!
As we approach the year anniversary of meeting Jackson a week from today, it’s become a constant reminder of how great our God is. I ask that you pray that in the next week that God can reveal a way for me to explain just how incredible this adoption really was. For those reading that don’t know us personally there were some “details” we left out of our adoption blog journey last year while we were in Ukraine. After a year I think and hope it is the right time to share with everyone how mysterious, yet perfect God’s will is.
Jackson isn’t with us by chance (even with the coincidence we met him our second wedding anniversary!). The story is personal and I just want to be careful when I explain it that it doesn’t come off as prideful. I pray that God would humble my heart as I try to find a simple and short way to explain how God touched the lives of not just our family, but another American family we never had the chance to meet in person, but whose lives we will be intermixed forever in a very special way. Without out a doubt, we serve an Amazing God!