After my last day of work, packing, 5 days of pre-field orientation at Houghton, 2 full days of driving with 2 weddings in 2 states sandwiched in the middle this past weekend, it's safe to say our transition to our new lives is well underway. We've now hit the point where the girls ask us every evening what the next day will hold. We've started to say goodbyes to U.S. friends who we'll leave behind (though some of the hardest ones are still to come).
Work permits approved, Taiwan visas in process, tickets confirmed for July 22, but still paying the bills for our house full of numbered boxes and disorder that doesn't quite feel like home anymore.
In 2007, Kate and I were working in East Africa. We had heard that our friends had been involved in short-term foster care for special needs kids at a local orphanage and, after much thoughtful consideration, decided that this was something we were equipped to do.
Though I didn't know it at the time, the decision to foster Luka has become a watershed moment in my own life. During the following months, we seriously considered adopting him, but due to several circumstances, did not. At the time it was a painful decision, not knowing our future or his, but the story has a happy ending.
In the following years, we left Tanzania, and our friends decided to foster Luka on a long-term basis, partially resulting from discussions that stemmed from his time with us. This past spring, with all of the documentation finally lined up, Luka was finally adopted. Luka's parents can now tell him with certainty that he is secure as a member of their family.
Since Kate and I left East Africa, we've added two little girls to our family through birth. All of us hope to add to our family in the future through adoption.
We were able to visit with Luka and his new family this past weekend while they are in the US visiting family and friends. He doesn't remember his time with us, but he loved hearing the stories that Kate would tell him about his time with us (check out the blog we kept about his time with us in 2007), and had a wonderful time playing with our daughter, Anna. So there is a happy ending--softened hearts, new friendships, and new families formed, all because of a little boy.
Click the photo above to see more.
Yesterday one of my closest and oldest friends was married. Everything went off really well, and it was wonderful to be able to spend the weekend with him preparing and celebrating. The weekend also brought together many friends whom I haven't seen in years and made me wistful for the nights in college spent around a campfire, or chatting in the kitchen until 3 AM.
You can click on the photo above to see the few photos that I snapped. For more photos, you can check out another college friend, Mary Dougherty's photos from the event.
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