He Is Risen! and…another visit

happy Easter to all!

is it appropriate to write about the Resurrection and our second visit with our kids in the same post? i believe it is. i am celebrating the Resurrection of His life and the new life that it gives me. so, here goes.

in Christ alone

in Christ alone my hope is found

He is my light, my strength, my song

this Cornerstone, this solid ground

firm through the fiercest drought and storm

what heights of love, what depths of peace

when fears are stilled, when strivings cease

my Comforter, my All in All

here in the love of Christ i stand

in Christ alone, who took on flesh

fullness of God in helpless babe

this gift of love and righteousness

scorned by the ones He came to save

‘til on that cross as Jesus died

the wrath of God was satisfied

for every sin on Him was laid

here in the death of Christ i live

there in the ground His body lay

light of the world by darkness slain

then bursting forth in glorious day

up from the grave He rose again

and as He stands in victory

sin’s curse has lost its grip on me

for i am His and He is mine

bought with the precious blood of Christ

no guilt in life, no fear in death

this is the power of Christ in me

from life’s first cry to final breath

Jesus commands my destiny

no power of hell, no scheme of man

can ever pluck me from His hand

‘til He returns or calls me home

here in the power of Christ i’ll stand

____________________________________________________________________

we had a great second visit with our children yesterday. the ride down was filled with a different kind of anticipation. this time we wondered if they would remember us, if they would be happy to see us. the ride down also felt different because we rode down in this.

i am officially a mini-van mama. we found it last monday night at don sitts. a 2003 mazda MPV. only 20,000 miles. you can’t beat that! well, maybe you can, but we didn’t have months to figure that out. josh worked on the financing throughout the week. we signed the papers saturday morning. came home, grabbed a snack, and headed out to see the kids.

when we arrived at the foster home, the kids were looking out the window for us. we waved. they waved back. “do you think that means they remember us?” i asked josh. we went to the door. it was open so we went in. there they were. two little smiling faces(child #3 was getting a diaper change). they said hi. they rememberd us! we were thrilled. we gave hugs and talked about what we were going to do for the day. an Easter egg hunt!

we all piled in the foster mom’s minivan and made our way to their church. it’s about 40 minutes from the foster home. yes, that’s a 50 minute drive down for us. then another 40 minutes to church. i rode in the front with foster mom so we could talk about our plan for future visits and so i could ask more questions about the kids. josh rode in the middle next to the baby. he found a story in the car, how many sheep, and read it to the kids. it was so cute. and so neat that he did it on his own. he already knows so many of those dad things to do.

when we arrived at their church, we weren’t surprised to see that it’s much smaller than our church, the chapel. it’s in amish country, right down the street from the amish door restaurant & inn. the church property holds a swing set for the kids and a cemetary for church members who have passed on.

we got to take a little tour of the church. we saw the sanctuary, the kitchen, the fellowship hall, the nursery, and the kids classrooms. the kids were very excited to show us where they have Sunday school. we got to meet their teachers, the pastor, and many other members. most of them are very involved with our kids and are very thankful that a permanent home has been found for them. some of them thanked us for what we are doing. we are thankful they have been in church. and, that they have had so many people in their lives who love them and have been praying for them.

the egg hunt started with the reading of a children’s book about the real meaning of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus. all of the kids gathered around in the grass, holding their Easter baskets, anxiously listening and waiting for the hunt to begin. after the story, josh helped our daughter and i helped our middle son look for hidden eggs. they only found a couple each, but they were so excited anyway. some of the older kids found too many eggs so they shared with ours and the other younger children.

after the hunt, there was time for cookies and punch. our middle son got ahold of a chocolate, chocolate chip cookie and he had it all over his face, hands, and clothes. he really enjoyed it. josh, again just knowing the daddy things to do, grabbed a napkin to wipe him up a little. we enjoyed playing on the swingset in the yard of the church. the two oldest kids were both a little afraid of the slide. josh helped them out and after the first run down, they were fine on their own.

on our way back to the foster home, the kids foster mom put on a scooby doo dvd. yes, they have a dvd player in their mini-van. no, we do not. we are enough entertainment on our own. aren’t we? we have decided no on the built in dvd player because we can just take josh’s laptop with us for vacation, etc. so, the kids are watching scooby doo. josh included. the middle one fell asleep and josh and the baby held hands and played little games. it was so precious.

back at the foster home, we spent sometime playing outside. they have a nice swing set and playhouse. we played kitchen and mcdonald’s drive thru. we rolled a ball and kicked a ball. we did some swinging and dandelion picking. we played with bubbles, blew them and chased them around.

we had been with the kids for a little more than four hours. we made plans to get together again this week. when we were leaving, the kids were saying they wanted us to come back tomorrow , which would be today. we explained we couldn’t, but we’d be back in a few days, and they’d say, “okay, see you tomorrow.” they were being very silly! and we were glad they wanted to see us so soon. we would have loved to have seen them today, but now we have a few days to spend really looking forward to our visit this week. we’ll update you on how that goes.

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