Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a mum's pride -- it's a brag day!

my kids are all amazing.  i just have to say that, for the record!  i look at their little hands, their beautiful eyes, and their precious hearts, and i must declare that they truly are "fearfully and wonderfully made!" (ref. psalm 139:14)

one of my favorite ways to smile is to just think about these little munchkins that are the light of my life .... that brighten my day.  i love to wonder what they will do with their lives.  not in a "i need to push them to achieve" way, but just in a .... "where is God going to take you with your goals and dreams" way.  call me silly .... but i reckon in my family, i've got the first aussie filipino who will end up being PM of Australia and President of the Philippines.  okay, okay .... but i believe in my kids!  (and i hope you believe in yours just as passionately!)  i believe, with all my heart, in their abilities to be all that God has called them to be.

i only pray that i nurture and encourage, not nag and push.  fine line sometimes.  but one that must be walked if we are to fulfil the roles that God has given us.  may i understand who they are .... and gently encouraging them to explore their world and develop their skills and abilities in a fun and engaging way.

JJ ... aka "bunso boy".  you know ... he's only 4, but he has the ability to look at the world as if it is all "his oyster" ... not afraid of much (egad!) ... but still enough of a toddler to need and want heaps of hugs and kisses.  he is a very social, verbal child who manages to wrap just about every female around his little finger.  i reckon that he will be a lady killer ... with his personality and charm!  and whether or not it's because he has a big brother and sister that model so much to him, or he is just a natural ... but there is a spark there that seems to be burning brighter and brighter each day.  by the time he starts "big school" in 2013 he will be so ready to take on the world.  i can't help but smile thinking of it.

Raymie ... my "kuya man".  he is one incredible boy.  1.5 terms into kindy and he is already way beyond where his big sister was in year one.  he has maths on the brain!  that is pretty obvious. and he is also very popular with his fellow classmates (he is apparently very funny with his friends! <g>).  i am so proud of my little man.  he is the quiet one of the bunch and has really had to learn to come out of his shell to stay up with his siblings.  but he has managed -- and he is smart enough to know when he just needs some quiet and alone time ... and will go into his room, shut the door and play with his lego.  pretty darn cluey kid.  but i have to say, that right now, my favorite times with him are snuggling on the couch, school readers in hand as he learns new words and cuddles with me .... so proud of what he is achieving and so proud to share it with me.  that makes my heart smile.

and Lea ... aka  "Ate."  my princess, my drama queen!  she has a heart of gold and a will of iron!  i pray that she will continue to grow into the young lady of God that she is already showing she is.  she has skills in the creative arts that are well beyond her years.  each year in school she has received a visual arts award and the teachers regularly comment on her ability to draw and attention to detail.  drawing and writing are the things that calm her down.  it is how she expresses the "vastness" of her emotions in a positive way.  i love the way my daughter prays.  she just "talks" to God.  it really blesses my heart the way she isn't afraid to discuss anything with her Heavenly Father.  already at the ripe age of 8 she talks about going back to the Philippines and sharing Jesus with everyone who doesn't know Him.  I pray that passion and flame will burn bright always.

so yeah .... i'm pretty proud of my kids.  proud of who they are and all that they can be.  and grateful, oh so grateful that God has entrusted them to me.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Filipino Fridays 2011.3

today it's a bit of a filipino history lesson .... both historical and contemporary.  the best way to do this is by introducing you to a few people who stick out in my mind as representative of the filipino way and have made a mark on the world.  the information that i have gathered is nothing special .... it's all readily information through a search on the internet.  there are also many more individuals that you could choose from .... but these are the ones that stuck out to me .... as my own quintessential look at significant people in the filipino culture (not to mention Cory Aquino ... book at right, she deserves a whole blog post to herself!)

Fernando Amorsolo (1892 - 1972).  he is a filipino artist most well known for his amazing landscapes and portrayals of women.  his paintings portrayed much of the filipino lifestyle, and did it as a bit of a counterpoint to the sense of American colonial rule.  he had a strong desire to see the people (especially women) portrayed as real, genuine filipina's rather than the ideals that were and are seen in magazines.

here are a few samples of his work .... Wikipedia has a great wealth of information about his life and works.

entitled: Antipolo

entitled: Fruit Gatherer

entitled: filipino woman

Jose Rizal (1861 - 1896).  if you don't know who he is .... well, you should.  he is a national hero in the Philippines, and was the leader in the fight for independence from Spain.  he is most notably known for his non-violent perspective, martyrdom and his deep abiding belief in the nobility of character of the filipino people (here! here!).  if and when you go to Manila you must take a trip to Intramuros, ending up with Ft. Santiago, where there is a shrine to Jose Rizal.  you can view the cell that he spent his last days in and read a heap of information about is his life ... it is really moving.

below is what is reckoned to be Jose Rizal's final work, written the night before he was martyred ... a poem entitled, "Ultimo Adios" or translated in english as "My Last Farewell".  i found myself very moved by this poem .... thinking about his love of his home and the people of the filipines and all that he was giving up because of that love.

My Last Farewell

Farewell, dear Fatherland, clime of the sun caress'd
Pearl of the Orient seas, our Eden lost!,
Gladly now I go to give thee this faded life's best,
And were it brighter, fresher, or more blest
Still would I give it thee, nor count the cost.

On the field of battle, 'mid the frenzy of fight, 
Others have given their lives, without doubt or heed;
The place matters not-cypress or laurel or lily white,
Scaffold or open plain, combat or martyrdom's plight,
Tis ever the same, to serve our home and country's need.

I die just when I see the dawn break, 
Through the gloom of night, to herald the day;
And if color is lacking my blood thou shalt take,
Pour'd out at need for thy dear sake
To dye with its crimson the waking ray.
My dreams, when life first opened to me,
My dreams, when the hopes of youth beat high,
Were to see thy lov'd face, O gem of the Orient sea
From gloom and grief, from care and sorrow free;
No blush on thy brow, no tear in thine eye.

Dream of my life, my living and burning desire, 
All hail ! cries the soul that is now to take flight;
All hail ! And sweet it is for thee to expire ;
To die for thy sake, that thou mayst aspire;
And sleep in thy bosom eternity's long night.

If over my grave some day thou seest grow, 
In the grassy sod, a humble flower,
Draw it to thy lips and kiss my soul so,
While I may feel on my brow in the cold tomb below
The touch of thy tenderness, thy breath's warm power.

Let the moon beam over me soft and serene, 
Let the dawn shed over me its radiant flashes,
Let the wind with sad lament over me keen ;
And if on my cross a bird should be seen,
Let it trill there its hymn of peace to my ashes.
Let the sun draw the vapors up to the sky,
And heavenward in purity bear my tardy protest
Let some kind soul o 'er my untimely fate sigh,
And in the still evening a prayer be lifted on high
From thee, 0 my country, that in God I may rest.

Pray for all those that hapless have died,
For all who have suffered the unmeasur'd pain;
For our mothers that bitterly their woes have cried,
For widows and orphans, for captives by torture tried
And then for thyself that redemption thou mayst gain.

And when the dark night wraps the graveyard around
With only the dead in their vigil to see
Break not my repose or the mystery profound
And perchance thou mayst hear a sad hymn resound
'T is I, O my country, raising a song unto thee.

And even my grave is remembered no more
Unmark'd by never a cross nor a stone
Let the plow sweep through it, the spade turn it o'er
That my ashes may carpet earthly floor,
Before into nothingness at last they are blown.

Then will oblivion bring to me no care 
As over thy vales and plains I sweep;
Throbbing and cleansed in thy space and air
With color and light, with song and lament I fare,
Ever repeating the faith that I keep.

My Fatherland ador'd, that sadness to my sorrow lends
Beloved Filipinas, hear now my last good-by!

For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
Where faith can never kill, and God reigns e'er on high!

Farewell to you all, from my soul torn away,
Friends of my childhood in the home dispossessed !
Give thanks that I rest from the wearisome day !
Farewell to thee, too, sweet friend that lightened my way;
Beloved creatures all, farewell! In death there is rest !

Translated by Charles Derbyshire

the Jose Rizal Web Site has a wealth of information.  i like this one simply because it is really personal In Honour of and, well you just can't go wrong with Wikipedia!

and finally ....someone that every young filipina wants to be (well, at least mine does).  star of Miss Siagon and  Le Miserable and the voice of Jasmine from Aladdin and Mulan.  (ok, ok .... i admit that my daughter also loves the fact that she shares her name and her pronunciation with her!)

Lea Salonga.  she hit the big time with Miss Saigon and she is a star.  she has a voice that speaks for itself ... it needs no explanation except to say .... WOW!  but i suppose the thing that i really like is that she is a young filipina, who takes a stand for girls and women and is a huge activist in world hunger issues.  what an example to set to our daughters!

so here are two examples of her work.  i have been madly trying to find something of her early stuff (before she was the star of Miss Saigon -- age 17!).  but i can't.  so try this on ..... enjoy!

and this is from her international debut in Miss Saigon .... at the tender age of 18! oh my!

she has a lot of stuff on youtube .... check out her wedding video .... it is so sweet!

and you can look at heaps of other stuff about her activism and career at her web site.  she rocks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

i have this great friend who is such a wonderful encourager to me.  whenever i feel like i am failing with my children she always reminds me that i'm doing a great job ... that i love them and am walking with them on this journey to who they are .... as they own their heritage and history.  "you're doing a great job Maggs, really you are."  some of the sweetest words a mum who doubts can hear!

and today i was driving home thinking hmmmm ... haven't posted on my blog lately .... what other deep and meaningful thing can i open up and discuss.  and it occurred to me .... that perhaps i simply need to stop and give thanks.  giving thanks for i have so very many things to be thankful for.

Psalm 13:6 .... i will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me.
  • i give thanks for my redeemed life.  for my God who loves me so much.
  • i give thanks for each of my children.  they may not be born of my body, but they are born of my heart.  i could not have asked for three munchkins more perfectly suited to our family and to our way of life.
  • i give thanks for this good earth .... this place that God made for us.  may my family do our part in redeeming it and honouring the patterns and systems that God created in it to take care of us.
  • i give thanks for saturday morning family snuggles in bed
  • i give thanks for my amazing husbands intuitiveness with regard to issues and needs that our children have
  • i give thanks for my daughters amazing creativity.  for her huge, tender and beautiful heart and the already strong sense of and desire to serve Him.
  • i give thanks for my eldest son's bright eyes and desire to learn.  for his love of life and gentle sensitive heart.
  • for my bunso boy's giggle and laughter.  his desire to hug and be hugged and that wicked little sense of humour.
  • i give thanks for the loud, chaotic noises that run rampant in our house at times
and there are times when i am just in awe that with as abnormal as each of the members of this family are, we work, we are a team.  and in all this we are normal.  from the sibling squabbles, to the defiant disobedience ... my children are normal.  my strengths and weaknesses as a parent are all normal.  the grace that abounds in this house, in this family ... thank you Lord.

call me old fashioned.  but sometimes, the oldie moldies are the best.  the ones that are straight scripture put to a gentle tune of love and adoration.  this .... it's one of my fav's and it's hard for me to not raise my hands when i sing this!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Filipino Fridays 2011.2

it's Biyernes again!  yeah! <g>

did you know that the Philippines is one of the happiest places in the world?  i can't say that i'm surprised.  the people are relaxed, friendly and there is a sense of peace there that you don't see in many western countries.  check out the link above  .... i have deep appreciation for their take on how economic superiority does not translate to inner contentment ..... well said!

take a look at the days of the week ....

     Lunes - Monday 
     Martes - Tuesday
     Miyerkules - Wednesday
     Huwebes - Thursday
     Biyernes - Friday
     Sabado - Saturday
     Linggo - Sunday

and here are the some colours as well ... 

     black / dark - itim (ee-teem)
     white / light - puti
     grey - abo
     red - pula
     blue - bughaw
     yellow - dilaw
     green - luntian
     orange - kahel
     purple - lila (lee-la)
     pink - rosa
     brown - kape
     gold - ginto

and to hear how to pronounce them properly:

but enough language.  have you heard of mikey bustos?  he is a filipino canadian that made it onto the canadian idol show.  the guy is riot .... and he's got a lovely, refreshing way of looking at his heritage.  he is a real example to me of how the filipino's embrace who they are .... unashamedly.

he's got me in the mood to cook filipino!  might be doing some adobo for dinner tonight i think!  yumm!  <g>

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

when is sad good?

my youngest, who turned 4 in February is a parrot.  he mimics at least 80% of what his kuya and ate say .... perhaps slightly less of what we say .... but parrot is a good term for him.  it's a great way for him to learn and i like that.

he also parrots when it comes to his birth mum.  both ate and kuya have much more cognitive memories and thots about their birth mums ... but JJ was less than a year when he was admitted to the orphanage and really has no cognitive memory of his and raymie's birth mum.  so, when the others have been expressing thoughts or emotions about their history that way .... he does too ... parroting in every way!

today.  <sigh>

siblings are at school .... one of our days together.  we get home from running errands and he just flies off the handle ... disagreeing with everything!   being rude and refusing to be polite.  huh?  what tha?   where did that come from. well, as with any poor behavior, ok .... out comes the stool.  (the stool resides in our dinning room / kitchen area so that they can be in punishment without being away from us) he understand and he pouts and goes and sits on it, turning his back on me and pouting with his arms crossed.

ah well.  two can do this.  i just potter away in the kitchen for a few minutes.  he can take as long as he needs to get his act together .... doesn't matter to me!

and then ..... sniffle, sniffle ... with a bit of sob starting ..... "mummy ......"

"yes sweetheart"  i turn around to see him facing me on the stool.  tears pouring out of his eyes ....

"mummy .... i miss my m***** (birth mum)."  and the sobbing escalates.

oh man!  i put everything down, wrap my arms around him and hug him.  this is the first time, of his own accord that he has acknowledged the importance of his birth mother.  and yes, while there is heaps about it that a 4 year old mind can't get their head around .... what is obvious is that he is starting to come to terms with the loss in that very simple, basic way .... for the first time.

i ask him if he is feeling sad.
i bet you really miss her.
well you know what?  i am sure she misses you to and thinks of you a lot.  and i know that she loves you.  would you like to pray for her?
          "yes mummy ..... please pray for her."

dear father ... i pray for m**** right now.  i pray that you will protect her and take care of her and that you will bring people into her life so that she will come to know you.  i pray for JJ too Lord, that he would know it's ok to feel sad and that it is great to talk about it.  help him to know that m**** loves him and i pray that one day, they might get to see each other and give each other a big and wonderful hug.

i hug my son.  "hey JJ ... you know what?"

"what mummy?"

"i am so glad that you told me why you were sad.  you can always talk to daddy and i when you are feeling sad or just want to talk about m****.  we will always want to do that with you.  and you can always know that you are loved .... by mummy and daddy, by m**** and especially that you are loved by God."

"thanks mummy."

and off he tootles ... picking up his toy and off to play.

hmmmm  .... when sad is good.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Filipino Fridays 2011.1

**** apologies for this being a day late .... blogger had their admin area down for maintenance and i was unable to post on friday .... when it should've gone up!*****

have been mulling over a few things and have come to the conclusion it might be interesting to dive into a little Filipino culture and language from time to time (hence the Filipino Fridays post label!).  i am far from even remotely versed in tagalog .... but this is a learning journey for me as well .... care to come along?

btw.  what wonderful language or cultural things do you know about the Philippines or the province your child comes from?  Let me know!  I would love for folks to start sharing some of their own wonderful experiences!

To get things started, just a taste of a few basics in Tagalog.

Ang Dios Aye Mabuti!  This means God is good!  I like this one! (ironically learned it from an Aussie friend while in the PI!)

Now how about counting from one to ten.

     One - Isa
     Two - Dalawa
     Three -  Tatlo
     Four - Apat
     Five - Lima
     Six - Anim
     Seven - Pito
     Eight - Walo
     Nine - Siyam
     Ten - Sampu

and here is a sweet you tube video showing the right pronunciation.

there you go! hope you enjoyed the first offering for our Filipino Fridays!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


i'm terrible about celebrations .... i admit it. probably one of the worst things i do.

having children has helped with that .... let's face it .... they won't LET you forget their birthdays! for which i am very grateful.  doesn't mean i don't groan because of it .... but i am grateful.  and the joy on their faces at these special times is really precious.

as adoptive parents, we have heaps of other precious anniversaries and celebrations.
  • the day we got the call
  • the day we met our child
  • the day we brought them home
  • JJ gets a scooter on
    his 4th birthday.
  • the day that the courts "legally" make us their parents
and this is where i fall down ... and must admit, often feel guilty.  these dates just fade into the background  and don't mean that much to me.  i apologise in advance to my american readers, but i can't stand the term "gotcha day" .... it really just strikes the wrong chord for me and says to me, "i've stolen you and taken you .... gotcha!" .... ugh.  that one sends shivers through me.

i have heaps of friends here in Australia that make a really big deal about the court date .... go in and appear before the judge, get a picture, etc., etc.  and that's great .... but for me it seems really unimportant.  these kids have always been ours in our hearts.  what's the big deal over the state determining that they can legally be ours?  not to mention the confusing message it sends to our kids when they think they are already ours, have been using our names .... huh?  who's this person who thinks that they can say it's ok?

all that being said .... that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty.  i wonder if i am wrong and not honouring my child the way i should.   i try to balance it out .... it's so easy to feel guilt as a parent.   by celebrating all these special moments am i actually watering down the value of our relationship and the story that brought us together?  

Raymie's 6th ... growing up
way too fast!

in the same way, by only celebrating or focusing on those moments that make these children "ours" am i distancing myself and them from the heritage and history that is a main undercurrent of their existence? what does that say about how i value or appreciate the things that make them preciously pinoy?  if i am making a big deal over these celebrations, then shouldn't i be making a bigger deal about homeland visits, engaging in the local filipino community, eating filipino food and embracing the filipino way?

i don't think there is any right answer .... i know what is right for us.  each of us has a unique set of life experiences ... and all our interactions get filtered through a particular pair of rose coloured glasses to see if they fit in our lives and families.  and we have to follow that ... gleaning what works for us and letting the rest go.

Lea's 8th birthday

in our family, we acknowledge the day that we met our children ... usually by a prayer of thanksgiving for our family at the dinner table and a discussion of how cool our family is and blessed we are to have each other.  but more importantly, i rejoice when my son who struggles to share his heart and emotions comes up and says he wants a mummy cuddle and just silently snuggles in my lap.  my heart smiles when my darling daughter happily talks to me about her birth mum and the struggles that she has with that.  and when my baby bunso boy just walks up to me and smiles in his ever so "i'm hot" way and says, "you are one cool mum" my heart sings.  these are the things that make us a family.  not a first meeting (when quite frankly they would have been terrified of the white people talking funny).  not when some person behind a bench says that we deserve to be a family (that rejoicing is more that we are done with the system than with any stamp that the state might put on our ability to parent).

we are a family because we grow together, learn together, love together.  we are a family because of the experiences that bond us together.  may i treasure those .... and celebrate those.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

mothers day today ....

woke up this morning .... three children and a husband around my bed with lovely homemade cards, a gorgeous pink plant .... happy mothers day to me!

happy mothers day to all my friends who have children!  may you reflect on your lives with them today and treasure each moment you have and each hug and kiss you can eek out of them.

happy mothers day to all my friends who have mothers!  i pray that you show your mum just how much you love her and tell her thank you for everything she did for you growing up.

happy mothers day to all my friends who have adopted children!  God has given us a precious path to walk that is full of amazing moments of joy, laughter and tears.  may we value and treasure all of those.

and happy mothers day to the two amazing women who gave life to my children!  the selfless, sacrificial love that you have for your child ... you amaze me.  know that your children will never forget you and the things that you have done for them.  you are part of our mothers day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

is it ever enuf?

as an adoptive parent i wonder if i am doing enuf for my children to help them own their culture and heritage.  sometimes i think it is something i am lotted with struggling through for the rest of my life .... and other times i think .... MAN!  enuf already!!!!!

but is that the right thing to think?

as a parent period .... isn't it our mission in life to ensure that our kids feel secure in who they are; comfortable to grow and explore and just "be" who they were made to be?  if that applies to ALL parenting .... then shouldn't it also apply to me as an adoptive parent?  it illicits so many questions in my head that have to be answered.

when it comes to culture.  are they australia or are they filipino?  are they both?  where is the balance between knowing they are home with us .... forever .... in their new home called Australia and owning the, quite frankly, beautiful and amazing history that is the Philippines.  if they forget their first home will they hate me?  if we focus too much on their filipino history will they not feel secure in this as their new home?  should i have them in filipino dance classes?  there are so many things i could do .... but what will build in them a sense of ownership of the fact that their lives will forever be multicultural?  and what is the balance?

when it comes to language.  should they be speaking tagalog at home or at least learning and re-engaging with it?  i really struggle with this one.  we have a few things we say around the house .... but they are completely out of context and don't necessarily represent how those phrases or words would be used in the Philippines.  i have friends who immerse their children in language classes, some who have posters up around the house of different things and what they mean.  but surely the fact that they live in an english speaking country should take the priority? 

when it comes to identity.  how much about their birth family and origins do i share and when?  tricky!  they need to and have a right to know.  as parents we have a responsibility to hold this information sacred and ensure that they know and own it. BUT .... WHEN?  when is it age appropriate to share?  how much and what age?  and what may be right for one will probably not be right for another!  and what about birth family contact?  and homeland visits?  how often?  when?  what age?

what about relationships.  should i be seeking out more filipino families?  we don't have very many filipino's in our lives .... is this going to be detrimental to our kids?  we live in a very monocultural area of suburban Australia .... and there just aren't many around!  would that natural engagement with their culture in the context of filipino families make a difference and be what is right?  should we make a dramatic shift in our ethnic cultural groups?

these are the questions that i wrestle with in my head and heart.  at the end of the day, the truth is that if i let them get to me i'd probably be one of the most wound up and uptight parents around.  i could constantly compare myself to other parents, wonder if i am doing "enuf" .... or i could simply rest in knowing that i am trying my best to engage my kids .... teaching them about the amazing culture and heritage they come from.  i have to remember that each family (including ours!), has to do what is best and right for them ... in the context of the day to day lives that we all live.

... and i must remember too, or perhaps most importantly, that my children are loved beyond all measure by their Heavenly Father .... who will provide them more security and identity than we as parents could ever do.  that their sense of identity as a child of God transcends any attachment to being Pinoy or Aussie.  and it doesnt' rest on me .... but our ever faithful God.  it doesn't mean that i shouldn't be diligent about answering these questions for our family .... but that i can rest in God at the end of the day and trust His wisdom in it all.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
I John 3:1

Monday, May 2, 2011

looking in a mirror ....

when i went back to the Philippines this past march with Lea it was with the deliberate choice for her to engage with the orphanage and home as i indicated in my post, welcome back to where you are.

but another very special thing happened.  Lea spent some extended time with her birth mum and family.  this was not the first time that we had shared time together.  the first time was when we were picking up the boys and it meant that we had our focus a bit divided and while it was a cherished time ... we couldn't give the relationship the time and energy that it deserved.

so this trip .... while i had stuff that i wanted to accomplish .... from Lea's perspective it was all about re-engaging with heritage and spending some special time with her birth mum.  we found out a few days before going that she was going to be bringing along her younger brother and sister too .... so lea was gonna meet her Tito (uncle) and Tita (auntie)!  very precious indeed.
lea's birth mum, lea and her tita

you could see how much this time meant to Lea.  she was shy at first .... of course.  but they had some great moments as well.  we went out and took them for ice cream .... just to talk and hang out.  i love that language is never a barrier for a child ... Lea was able to talk and share.  but the best images i have are of them sitting side-by-side .... with arms around each other.    it made my heart happy to see both of them healing .... Lea beginning that journey of owning her history.  and her birth mum, starting to heal from the loss.

as adoptive parents, we cannot under estimate how precious this gift of allowing these lives to reconnect is.  it is not always an option, so i count us very lucky and blessed to be able to do this.  what a gift we are able to give our daughter! 

there is no doubt for me that when Lea looks in the mirror, she sees her birth mum.  i do wonder what that stirs in her heart.  she does talk regularly about her birth mum and openly asks about what she might be doing.  i am sure there is sadness ... but great sense of identity is there too.  there is a sense of stability beginning to build in her little heart as she owns, more and more each day, the journey of discovery of who and why she is.

as an adoptive mum, there is no jealousy in my heart for this strong, wonderful and courageous young woman who gave our daughter life.  i am deeply touched by her depth of character and ability to continue to be a part of Lea's life. 

i do not know what the future holds .... how the relationship will grow and change as time and lives move on.  but i can say that here and now, our daughter is blessed to have her birth mum as a real and tangible part of her life .... we are blessed and so thankful and will take nothing for granted.

grace and peace.  selah!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11