Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It's been one YEAR...

...since we met this "confident, brave, happy, perceptive, organized, independent, fun, smart, observant, adorable little guy" (you can read all about our "gotcha day" 2008 here).

I wrote those words on the very first day we met Brock Ji Hao, and after getting to know him for a whole year, they were right on! By the way...I can NOT believe it has been one year...seems utterly impossible.

Brock was so excited for his "Happy Adoption Day!". He had just experienced Brielle's special day in May, so he knew what this whole thing was about. Yesterday, he kept asking if I was going to decorate, make a cake, etc. Today, he repeatedly asked, "What are we going to do on Happy Adoption Day?", and when Max walked through the door after work, the first thing Brock said was, "Happy Adoption Day, Brock!" He certainly did not want any of us to miss or in any way slight his day.

Brock picked out lemon cake with lemon frosting - yummy!

A gift from China...

We know that God has great things in store for you, Brock Ji Hao,
and we are so blessed to be a part of your life's story!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On a Mission!

Guatemala, here I come...

Waiting at the airport...

Brittany is already half-way into her 20 day GET Global mission's trip! Thank you sooooo much for your prayers...she is doing wonderfully, and so are we here at home :o).

For the first five days of her trip, Brittany participated in Wycliffe's TOTAL It Up! translation program. Because she was in Orlando, she was able to call home every night. It was so comforting to hear how excited she was each time we talked to her. She has so many stories and has already learned so many things! She said she is writing in her journal every night (thank, Aunt Michele!), so I'm sure she'll be updating her blog with all of the details once she returns.

Last Saturday, the team flew to Guatemala, where communication will be much less frequent. As a matter of fact, she called us early Saturday morning during their layover in Atlanta, and then I did not hear anything from her until today (Tuesday). Surprisingly, I have been completely at peace the entire time she has been gone. Just hearing the enthusiasm in her voice about the things she is learning and experiencing sets my heart in complete trust that this is exactly where she is supposed to be right now. I am so thankful for this experience for Brittany, and I thank each of you who helped her get here, and who are praying for her everyday.

Today she called from her team leader's cell phone and had ten minutes to talk. She was in the middle of a five hour bus trip from Guatemala City to Huehuetenango. The team had been in Guatemala City since arriving in Guatemala on Saturday. During their stay, they visited a National Anthropology Museum, where they saw numerous Mayan artifacts and learned more about the Mayans in general as well as about the minority group to which they'll be visiting. They also had sessions with Wycliffe language translators who are in Guatemala working with several other Mayan minority groups. She said Guatemala is beautiful and mountainous, and that they'd seen several volcanoes -- one of which had smoke coming from its top! Again, she sounded enthusiastic and bursting with things to tell us!

The rest of their schedule is as follows (click here to get to a map of Guatemala which can be blown-up):

June 16: Culture learning in Huehuetenango
June 17: Culture learning in San Miguel Acatan
June 18-20: Village stay (this is when they actually stay with a Mayan family)
June 21: Attend church in San Miguel Acatan
June 22: Travel back to Huehuetenango
June 23: Day at Lake Atitlan
June 24: Day in Antigua
June 25: Travel back to Guatemala City
June 26: Travel back to the U.S.
June 27: Home!

Your continued prayers are priceless!

Missions....before missions!

The day before Brittany left for her mission's trip was deemed "Family Day", with Brittany choosing the day's activities. Even though we have seen them oodles of times, Brittany chose to once again visit the local Missions. None of us complained....we all love the Missions!

Mission San Jose

It was a beautiful afternoon spent with our little family. My heart is the most content when all six of us are spending time together in the quietude of nature or the beauty of an old, historic setting such as the Missions. Brittany further delighted my heart when, as we were strolling the quaint grounds of Mission San Francisco de la Espada, she grabbed my hand and said, "Thank you for homeschooling us, Mom, and for giving us a love of history and cultures." Ahhhhhhh! In that moment, all of the late night planning, late afternoon Chemistry correcting, all of the not-so-fun homeschooling moments -- they all disappeared. This journey is not always easy, but it can, and often does, yield precious rewards and memories.
Mission San Francisco de la Espada

Another sweet moment of our Family Day was when we were taking pictures at Mission San Jose. Something clicked in Brock's head, and he got all excited. He said, "Now Brock is in the picture!" He was remembering this picture we had sent to him while he was still in China...

Yes, Brock, now YOU are in the Goodrich Family Picture!!