what it looks like to trust in Jesus

she believes! kavita has decided to put her faith in God -- to give all of her past, present, and future, to the One True God!

God, thank You for opening her eyes, for answering our prayers, her prayers, for being her ultimate Rescuer. I praise You! You are good. I love that You have used camp, friends, family, and hard conversations to lead her. 

in coming home june 2015, she was eager and quick to learn english. she took to songs and biblical teaching easy. she loved church, kid classes, camp, bible school. she was reading her Bible and always learning in advance the set list for worship songs each sunday. every time in the van, "mom, can you turn on some church music?"

this spring, tension developed as i believe she was at a crossroads with, "do i believe all of this about Jesus?" she doubted. she questioned how we could hear and talk to God who we can't see. it felt silly to pray. 

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chapter 25 {a special reunion}

it's such a beautiful and miraculous thing when the kids that did life together for years in an indian orphanage

see each other again in their forever families.

for these kids were bunkmates and classmates.

their stories of abandonment are a common thread.

difficult pasts, yet some cheerful memories they hold internally, yet collectively.

for the past few months, these kids have written each other in their new language and shared silly faces over FaceTime.

so seeing each other has been somewhat common, but face to face since orphanage days?

months in the making, we revealed to kavita just an hour before the big moment.

she was so surprised!

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Sneha, Kavita, Asher, Smita, Ajay.

{Smita and Ajay are siblings and have been home 2 years. Sneha came home this fall.}

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these four are chatting with two sisters who came home to their forever families in july. we are grateful to be connected with them as well. these two sisters were a part of the A7 {the 7 kids we were fighting for in court}. they live in the midwest.

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if playing at chick-fil-a wasn't enough, we treated the girls to american girl!

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this is just the beginning.

for they thought they would never see each other again or have this tangible string to their past.

now they have both and it's good for their momma's hearts too.

for we are sharing stories and saying prayers for one another as we seek to raise these precious kids.

chapter 24 {6 months home}

for years she was an exquisite beauty on a flat page. i couldn't even guess her personality or assume characteristics. now here in the flesh, my daughter, is a gift to unwrap every single day.

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and to be quite honest, she didn't know she had a personality deep inside. she didn't have permission to dream or explore or create or imagine outside the four walls she lived inside.

 but that has changed now!

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photographer one day. doctor the next.

always a princess and sometimes a girl at the office.

typically a store clerk and occasionally a college student.

because of her brothers, a 'knock out' basketball player.

because of her moves, a dancer.

because of our church community, a singer and toe tapper.

because of her father, a giggler and tickler.

because of her the woman behind these words, a journalist and planner.

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we have celebrated her roots and will do so always.

sparklers for diwali and mounds of sweets from our friend.

lots of text messages and face time chats and pictures and letters sent to her ashram friends now in the States.

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even though there's a dozen years of parenting in us, which includes lots of 'fly by the seat of our pants' moments and a heaping amount of intentional moments, this is a whole new world!

to see her with a dual lens. to see her with the past that has shaped her and to see the potential to be unlocked as she grasps how loved and valued and safe she is.

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in order to get her caught up to 4th grade for next school year, i've pressed her hard at learning to read English. so much so that she frequently says, "us, pilgreens, do hard things!"

we're tackling together kindergarten through 3rd grade in one calendar year and it's everything you could possibly imagine! we're joining brothers on their school field trips and figuring out how to apply what was learned in the "classroom" to grocery shopping, serving, playing, and every day living.

she's reading. really reading!

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she's holding and releasing a butterfly!

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she's out on the water for the very first time. and under the golden gate bridge no doubt. and this is just a regular ole field trip!

i still sit stunned that she is with us. to hold her hand at the dining table and think that for years elijah and i just held our hands open to the one who would eventually sit between us.

and then to hear these exchanges:

kavita: "i'm sorry."

asher: "but you didn't do anything."

kavita: "but you're hurt."

asher: "but it wasn't your fault."

kavita: "but you're my brother."

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we've covered dozens of parks.

she loves going to the library.

she's growing her hair out and wishes i had a closet of high heels.

she knows where i keep my lip gloss and thinks we're all so cool to have phones that do everything.

she can be anywhere and turn anything into an office for play.

she is now having quite lengthy confident conversations with folks at church.

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chapter 23 {capacity to learn}

home for 2 months. home for forever.

some days it feels short. other days it feels like always.

kavita hope goes non-stop in processing her new world.

some days are heavier than others in learning english, our family and the culture.

those days are filled with lots of questions and touches and curiosities and discoveries.

other days are observation days. taking it all in through a much quieter, contemplative way.

the curious days are definitely the more popular!

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this daughter of ours is adding dozens of new words and concepts per day.

"ocean blue?"

"can be ocean red?"

"some day?"

"after saturday?"

asher says, "oh my!"

kavita replies, "who's Oh My?"

my favorite is "beauty sleeping" for Sleeping Beauty.

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i remember in the first few weeks we would pretend to have a tea party with a plastic tea set. the concept of "pretend" was not there. we looked really strange to her as we "sampled" cookies and drank our "tea!"

now she's leading the tea parties and making construction paper food for tingley and bear.

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in the world of getting caught up, she's had her first dental visit and pediatric appointment.

she's begun to get immunized and loved the watermelon flavor at the dentist.

we've got a plan moving forward as we work with the dentist and endodonist to repair some teeth and clean out cavities.

the first doctor's visit was great...it's just not the last one! we've got blood work to do so we can establish a baseline for her and her health.

so i'm thankful that she's at home with me this year as we do school together, get in all the necessary appointments, and restore what was lost in her childhood.

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she began to pray and  i'm learning all over again that modeling proceeds action.

"thank You God."

"thank you God. gifts. family. mom. dad. elijah. sam. asher. friends."

so we pray and we sing...

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i thank God that while it was a long 3 year journey for us and for her, Kavita's heart was protected and her desire to grow through hardship and beyond an institutionalized way of life is amazing.

she wants more.

she wants all life has to offer.

and she's learning that God is the giver of such.

she's also learning she can talk to Jesus anytime...not just at bedtime.

so while she, myself, and asher were playing the board game, sorry, and she wasn't drawing a 1 or 2 to move her pawn out off start, she prayed, "Jesus, please 1 or 2, please Jesus!"