The Hum of Bees

The hum of bees is the voice of the garden. – Elizabeth Lawrence

Kenya Top Bar Hives

We’re looking forward to hearing that voice again.  We lost 800 ornamental cherry trees in a killing freeze this winter.  These hives will get a spruce-up and possibly a rebuild to make them easier to ‘heat’ for the bees.  And we’ll get building some more later this summer.  Here’s hoping that the farm will be abuzz with honeybees again this time next year.

One Year Ago

One year ago today, we met Olivia and Nicholas for the first time.  The drive to the orphanage seemed to take forever from our hotel in Silistra.  I remember rounding the corner in the village of Malak Preslavets and waiting there on the road for a flock of sheep to cross.  It was a beautiful memory and helped to break the tension of anticipation.  A few moments later, we pulled up outside the door of the orphanage and out they ran.  They had been waiting for us.  Waiting for their new parents.

We spent the afternoon walking in a park along the Danube and taking lunch at a pretty café in the town where they were born.  Across the river, Romania. 

We walked the social worker back to her office.  As we said goodbye, she took my face in both her hands, and smiling warmly, looked straight into my eyes and said, “Blagodarya “, “Thank you”.  She wasn’t thanking me for lunch.  She knew all too well how desperate the situation is for older kids… MUCH older kids. 

Sometimes it seems a lifetime ago, sometimes it feels like yesterday. 

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

 

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

 

 

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

Tutrakan Bulgaria ©Nissa Gadbois

God willing, we will return to Bulgaria within a few months to meet two new daughters – two girls for whom the future is grim without us to rescue them.  If you feel moved to help bring them home, we would be so blessed.  Follow this link to read more, to share, or to make a gift.  We treasure your prayers!

School of Love

When your almost-13-year-old son, adopted just six months ago, is heard whispering to himself a heartfelt “I love this family”. You reply, “We love you, too. And we’re so glad that you are here” and have to make up some stupid excuse to leave the room. Because all the feels.

Nicholas has blossomed here.  Here, he is cherished and special.  His intelligence is celebrated and nurtured.  Food is varied and plentiful.  He has a space all his own.  Life is joyful. 

When we met him, almost a year ago, he was so painfully shy.  Withdrawn.  He hardly spoke, wouldn’t make eye contact, would stiffly accept hugs without returning them.  The only thing he said the whole week was to Brian, “Naistina li si bashta mi ?” – “Are you really my father?”.  He answered, “Da” – “Yes”.  That exchange produced the only smile we saw from him during that trip.

When we came home, Nicholas was that same withdrawn boy.  On top of that, he was insecure and frightened.  He had left everything he’d  known.  But slowly, he opened up.  He began to relax and to play without poising himself to run.  He joined in the other kids’ games, he sang, he danced.  He acquired English very quickly.  Joséphine hugged him faithfully – every day.  She told him “I love you”. 

And one morning, he hugged back.  He said, “I love you, too”.

It was like watching your baby take his first steps, or say his first word.  That day, he was born anew.  Every day since then, he has become more and more steady on his feet.  And now he can run. 

nickrunningwithboys
Our fondest hope was that our adopted children would come to be grateful to God for the gift they’d been given.  A second chance.  A new life.  Let me be clear: we weren’t seeking gratitude for ourselves.  But to God.  For in being grateful to God, there is a spring of joy.  Pierce through the hardness, get beyond the pain, and joy will flood in.  “I love this family.” was more than an affirmation.  It was a prayer of thanksgiving.

We have taught him love.  To love, and to be loved, and what love is. 

This is the highest goal of adoption – at least for us.  To instruct a child in love.  The family is a school of love.  He can not learn love anywhere else.  It is why children need families of their own.  All children.  Babies, toddlers, and teens


 

There are 150 million children waiting to enter the School of Love. Most will never be given the chance. Nearly all of them will be homeless at age 16.  60% of girls will be sold into the sex trade to be trafficked throughout Europe and the Middle East. 70% of boys will become criminals. Up to 15% will be dead from suicide by age 18.  This is a pro-life issue.  You can quite literally save a life, preserve future generations, make the world a better place.  Not everyone is called to adopt, but we ALL are exhorted by Holy Scripture to help widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27).  You can do that by supporting a family who is adopting – with your prayers, sharing their need, and by giving materially from your time, talent and treasure.

Brian and I are returning to Eastern Europe for two teen girls.  We would be blessed if you would share our current fundraiser.  You can click through from the link in the sidebar or click here.  If you would like to post our fundraiser in your own blog sidebar, here is the code:

<iframe frameBorder=”0″ scrolling=”no” src=”http://renaissance-family.com/?ig_embed_widget=1&product_no=1″ width=”214″ height=”366″></iframe>

 

Born Naturalist

Every child is born a naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life.  –  Anonymous

geogarden1

geogarden2

Renewal

Our oldest son came home for the week to help around the farm.  He rebuilt our milkhouse door from an original, painted it, cleaned up the beautiful hardware, and hung it up with a self-closing spring.  The finishing touch will be a sign in the window that says “OPEN” once we’ve been approved by the inspector.

Milkhouse Door

Milkhouse Door

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