Monday, April 11, 2016

Room at the Table For One More?'s been over one year since the last blog post....that is evidence of the whirlwind that the last year has been! Here are a few photos from our last year in Charleston:

The highlights included a wonderful visit from friends back home, visits to the beach, Disney World, all three kids entering school FULL TIME, becoming Awana Commanders at our church, a new job for me, and filling a seat at our table, which is the most exciting news (in my opinion :)

We are currently wrapping up the last 9 weeks of school. The kids are doing great, and seem to have really settled in pretty well this year. They are growing faster than I would like, and I am truly reminded that each day as their mother is one that I shouldn't take for granted. This year has been a sort of "trial by fire" for me, as I began working as a 9th grade guidance counselor last August. I never, ever, ever, could have imagined learning all that I have learned in such a short amount of time. I am extremely grateful for the experience, for the friends I have made, the students I have met, and hopefully the difference I have made in a few lives of students. Zack's job is going well, and he also have been given some wonderful opportunities to expand his skills and knowledge. We have much to be thankful for. 

Now, back to filling the empty spot at the table. Just before moving to Charleston (going on two years now!) we bought a table and chairs from close friends. I had always loved this table. We spent many hours having dinner and playing cards on this table back in Kentucky. I was so thrilled when Julie told me they were going to sell it....I knew I wanted to buy it! Just for fun, here is a picture of the table...

When we moved the table into our new home, it fit perfectly, and even matched the color of our cabinets. At every meal, 5 of the 6 big, strong chairs are always filled with our's kind of nice because there is room to spread out the kiddos if one is determined they can't sit by know how that goes. But, as useful as it may be, there is always one empty chair.

 A little over a year ago, I started pondering what it would be like if that last empty chair was filled. Emmie had also been asking Zack and I about having a sister every now and then.  She recognized that the boys had each other, and though they do a great job of including her, they are getting older and like to do things on their own, without any girls around. Emmie desired a companion other than me, someone to share her dolls with, to play dress up with, all that fun girl stuff.  We agreed with her- the boys have each other, and they have someone to share their cultural heritage, and all that entails. We knew it would be a wonderful thing for Emmie to have a sister to share her cultural heritage with as well.

On the other hand.... we certainly already had a full life and a full family. Our kids keep us plenty busy, laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes crazy, but always feeling blessed. We don't have many free nights or much free time. There is plenty of laundry, dirty dishes, and messy rooms to go around.  Why in the world would we think that last chair needed to be filled? 

After much praying and lots of late night conversation, here is the answer we came up with: We have room at our table, we have room in our hearts, we have room in our home, and most importantly, we serve a mighty God. Do we have it all together?  No. Does it scare the pants off me to think about taking four kids to the grocery...yes!  Are we a sometimes crazy and dysfunctional family?...yes! But what defines our family isn't the craziness, the mistakes, the fear of the unknown, or the imperfections.  It is the grace and mercy that we rely on every day from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is only through his strength that we are able to even fathom being a family of 6! But with Christ as the head of our family, we know that there is room at our table. 

So, it is with much thankfulness and joy that we introduce to you our new daughter, 

Eden Elizabeth Caldwell 

We received a call to review her file in early March, and we were officially approved by China to adopt her a few weeks later. She will be 3 years old in September. She lives in Guiyang City, which is in the province of Guizhou. Our agency has told us we could travel in late May or early June to bring her home! Our entire family is excited to meet sweet Eden. She seems to have such a quiet and calm spirit. We are praying for God to prepare our hearts, as well as hers, for the big changes we all have in store! 

Please pray with us that Eden will know the love that we have for her already! Pray for her little heart as she will soon be leaving the only life she has ever known. Emmie had a strong grief response when we met her, so we feel prepared and know that God will meet our every need if Eden has the same response. We feel so thankful for the opportunity to be the family God has chosen for her. 

The next few weeks will be very exciting and a little anxious for our family as we anticipate our travel and Eden's arrival. We wait with great anticipation for all God has in store for #4! 


Michael Atkinson said... heart is happy for you. She looks previous..and I know will fill the empty spot at the table and in all of your hearts.

Michael Atkinson said... heart is happy for you. She looks previous..and I know will fill the empty spot at the table and in all of your hearts.

BarbieT said...

How exciting!!! Welcome to the "Family of 6 Club!" We miss you guys! Give Emmie a big hug for me.

Mary Sayetta said...

Welcome little Eden!! What a precious gift you are and we all cannot wait to meet you!

GWill said...

Awesome! So proud of you and your willingness to accept the special call God placed in your hearts ! Your little family is amazing and such a blessing!

Kerri said...

Awesome!!! God Bless you all!!!

Bettina said...

God bless your family and be with you and and Eden! I can't wait to follow this new journey. Rebecca I look up to you guys! God is good! Love you and miss you!