Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Build-A-Bear and Ms. Gracie!

For starters I need to apologize for the silence of this page.  We have had quite a crazy and unexpected last few months, and the silence has not been easy.  A lot of crazy and unforseen things have taken place since my last post and a whole lot of God has shown up time and time again.  He is just really, really cool and faithful that way, which is why we all wear our Faith bracelets every day.  It's a great reminder that God's plan is so much bigger than our own. So through the silence we also want to thank you for the prayers and support.  Without all of that we know that this message would be a little different than it is today.  God truly does "Got It"!
I have a whole lot of personality!!
You see, this past November, amidst a whirlwind of uncertainty and whole lot of chaos I took a trip to Haiti to move my baby girl to a new creche(orphanage).  Gracie and one of her friends from her old creche were graciously allowed to move to New Life Link, just outside of Port Au Prince. This made it possible for us   to successfully pursue completing their adoptions.  The old place was not meeting the requirements that we had to follow, and a good friend and I left on a week long mission to transfer our babies.  By the grace of God we got them moved and settled in and our process appears to be back on track.  We pray the next steps go smoothly, and that Haiti will allow us to bring Gracie home sooner than later. The hard part is waiting and realizing that we are starting over in a lot of different areas with the process but in the middle of that we rejoice that God has allowed our match with this little beauty to stay intact! (More details on this to come)
We were even able to bring our two boys to meet Gracie for the first time after she was moved to NLL.  They were the best big brothers ever and are so excited to have her in our home forever someday.  

Now, can I introduce you to someone very special?  Her name is Tabitha.  She is just over a month old and already has quite a story to tell.  She is adorable, furry, extremely Frassy, likes sparkly things and when she shares her message it is always straight to the point.  No we did not get a new pet in our house!!
We went to Build-A-Bear! I had always walked right past this store at our local mall and vowed that with two boys we would not be entering!  As a dad it was my job to protect them from the wild world of building your own stuffed bear and dressing it up in cute clothes!  That was until my heart started to see Pink!  Until my heart started to beat for a little girl in Haiti!
We stood in that Build-A-Bear on our Christmas break.  Picking out the perfect one was not going to be easy.  This bear, whichever one the boys chose, was to make a journey that I am not sure another bear of its kind had made before.  It would pave new paths and bring healing to broken hearts.  This bear would have to be cute, obviously, but also durable and able to handle the love that would be poured into.  So there in the bins of hundreds of bears was the ONE!  Mikah found it after scouring the many different options.  He knew it right away and Isaiah, like his dad was too cool to be there, agreed and the process began. 
We stepped up to the waiting Bear Builder, not sure if that is what they are called, and started to follow her lead.  She was amazing.  She engaged the boys and asked questions.  Why? For Who?... Then it started.  Mom began to cry.  Dad began to cry.  And two little boys answered questions with tears in their eyes.  This bear was being created for our sister/daughter in Haiti.  It would be traveling to Haiti inside of a giant glass vase, another long story! Its name would be Tabitha, the name that Gracie's biological mom gave her. 
As we stood there with tears flowing, and a long line of bear builders waiting, it was time for Tabitha to receive her mission.  Placed ever so gently in her foot was a simple little message - an "I love you" from each one of us.  A quickly recorded message for Tabitha to deliver to Gracie.  
Frassy Shoes!!
Frassy Shoes!!
After that came her hearts.  Each of us picked a little cloth heart out of the basket.  We rubbed it on our noses, so it would have our scent for Gracie.  We placed it over our own hearts so she could always feel our love.  We kissed them ever so gently so that every time Gracie holds her she gets a kiss.  Finally we placed them inside the bear and Tabitha was sealed up tightly, with all of the love in the world! 
We spent some time scouring the shelves of the factory for the perfect outfit.  A nice t-shirt with LOVE across the front, a black TuTu like the one Gracie wears on our visits and finally the same exact shoes that her Aunt Sissy bought her in November.  Tabitha was all Frassied up and ready to make her trip.  
We said some prayers over Tabitha and gave her a little extra loving and then sent her on her way with Aunt Sissy, Uncle Rob and Alex.  They were headed to Haiti for a wedding and at the end of their stay would be visiting Gracie for the first time.  Aunt Sissy would finally get to touch, feel and love on the one that we have fallen head over heals in love with.  Due to the craziness of Haiti and it's traffic Aunt Sissy was able to spend just over an hour with Gracie.  Nothing else in the world mattered at that time and it was all about Gracie and the bond between an Aunt and her niece.  The only way I can describe it, from an outsiders view, is that it became "real" that day!  Aunt Sissy has given me permission to show you a small portion of her visit that she and Tabitha made to Haiti!  To be able to witness this and see Gracie looks around when she hears the message is heart melting.  Our prayer is that she continues to grow, be loved and know that she has a family waiting to spoil her rotten.  Thankfully a little bear from a silly factory was able to close some of the miles between our hearts and hers.  
We don't know when we will be able to go back to Haiti and visit or how long it will take to complete the process from here.  A lot of things were drastically effected this past fall and the resolutions are tedious and costly.  We simply ask for your prayers and support as we wait.  We are so fortunate to be working with NLL and the director, Dr. B right now, and we ask that you pray for all of those that are caring for Gracie and her friends at the Creche.  Now that things have settled down and we are back on track, we hope to keep you more in the know about updates, prayer requests, praises and even some fundraising that we unfortunately will have to take on.  Please know that we are so grateful for each one of you and can't wait for the day that we can share this little beauty with you in person!

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