About a month or so ago, we came down to Curitiba, Brazil to start the "guardianship period" with our two new sons. We spent a month with them as social workers here in Brazil met with us and evaluated our new family dynamics. Two days ago, the judge approved our adoption and now we are officially a family of SEVEN!
It was definitely one of the most difficult months of our lives, but we are confident we are doing what God has asked us to do and His grace has been abundant in the midst of many challenging days. I've been meditating on Hebrews 12-13 this whole month. Many days when I was drained and tested to my limit, the Holy Spirit would encourage me with words like this:
"Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him... So lift up your hands that are dangling and brace your weakened knees. Make straight paths for your feet..." Hebrews 12:2, 12 NLT
The whole experience has been a huge mixture of emotions. So much joy in obeying God and seeing two boys that had a terrible upbringing finally be a part of a family. So much frustration and feelings of inadequacy as we faced parenting issues we have never faced before.
Adoption is messy, but it's beautiful. Mandy and I are growing so much through this. It's hard to write it all down, but we'll share more details with time. For now, take a look at some of the highlights of our experience here in Brazil.
Watch the joy of these two brothers as they experience "family" in a healthy way for the first time. This is our first day meeting Rafael (10) and Felipe (9):