A Journey of Faith: Part 2

Breaking the news to the kids was an incredible moment.  We sat them all down in the living room and asked how they would feel if they were to have a new brother and sister through adoption.  Everett immediately asked if it could please, please be Joseph.

Karson just had a huge grin on his face, Pierce was pretty clueless and Hadlee just had this 'I'm not too sure about this' look on her face.  Rewind a moment to when we first moved to Uganda.  Hadlee was 3.5yrs old and every time someone asked her about the move she answered that we were going to Uganda to get her a baby sister.  We had never mentioned anything about adoption or more kids, but she had it in her heart that she was coming here to get a baby sister.  As we were unboarding the plane in Entebbe, she paused, looked around and asked "Where is she?  Where is my sister?"

Since that time up unto this moment we hadn't really heard much about a sister anymore.  I was expecting her to be so excited about the prospect of a sister though so seeing her speechless really worried me.  I asked her "Hadlee do you want a sister?".  She said "No, I am fine.".  I was shocked and really didn't know what to say.  It just wasn't what I was expecting at all.  Then I asked how she would feel about a BABY sister and I wish I had been able to capture the look on film.  Her face lit up with the biggest smile and she asked "Can I go get my baby today?".  From that moment on her baby sister was about all she talked about.  She knew and loved Joseph too, but there was no separating her from her baby.  In fact, my mom was visiting with us during all of this and she used to have to ask Hadlee for permission to hold Eva Faith.  Hadlee timed everyone and promptly let us know when our time was up.  She, like all of us, were in love.

Let me back up for a moment and fill you in on her name.  As I mentioned, her name was Faith.  Some of you may know, but for those that don't, Jason and I had a daughter named Faith that was born in 2003.  She passed away shortly after her birth.  All the kids know about their big sister Faith and we knew it would be confusing for them to have another sister named Faith.  As we were looking through her file we saw that her birth mother's name was Eva.  I wanted our daughter to have a part of her history with her so we named her Eva Faith. The home also didn't know the exact day of Eva Faith's birthday, but knew she was born in September.  The same month that our daughter Faith was born in.  Jason and I couldn't help but be reminded of our daughter.  It was for her that our ministry was named and it was because of her that our faith in Christ was renewed and we started truly following His will for our lives.  Our renewed faith is what brought us healing through such a hard time in our lives.  We couldn't help but think that God puposely brought us to this little girl.

We immediately started courting the kids which meant that since we lived here in Uganda, we were able to go pick them up from the orphanage in the mornings and return them by dinner or bedtime.  We did this regularly, 3-4x a week.  We were quickly learning to be a family of 8.  It was so difficult to return the kids at the end of the day, anxiously awaiting our foster care orders so we would no longer have to.  Joseph handled going back ok.  With his condition, he seemed to thrive on routine so as long as we were able to make a new routine and stick with it, he seemed to do fine.

At first Eva Faith seemed unaffected one way or the other.  If anything I felt almost like a babysitter for her for the first few weeks, seeing that she would light up when it was time to take her back.  This was so difficult.  The hardest part was one day when I took her back a bit early there was a team visiting the orphanage.  As I walked in one of the team members said "Oh yay!  Another one to hold!" and reached out her hands for Eva Faith.  Everything in me screamed, this isn't just another one to hold, this is my daughter.  But I had no choice but to leave her.  We didn't have the custody orders in place yet.

It didn't take long for both children to form a bond with all of us.  I no longer felt like a babysitter and realized how much Eva Faith responded to me, to my voice.  She was aware if I entered a room and looked around for me when she heard my voice.

On Mother's Day we were able to dedicate both children in church.  My mom was able to be there.  Everything felt so complete and we were just patiently waiting for the process, gathering paperwork and falling in love in the meantime.
The whole family on Mother's Day after the dedication, with my mom.

The girls on Mother's Day!

The boys!

A great friend of ours sent all the kids Aggie gear for football season.

Matthew Ortega2 Comments