Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Family

We often confuse people when we speak about our family. We might be talking about the three (Randy - Sue - Ana) of us who are at home together. Or we may be talking about our grown children and their children. We could even be talking about our close friends or the kids of Global Hope who live in Romania. It gets confusing. Most of the time it just means the three of us who live under the same roof. Even that is a bit of a story.

Our daughter Ana came to us when she was five and a half years old. She has been and will be with us forever and forever. Amen. She was born in western Romania to a family of impoverished gypsies. As an infant, she was abandoned into the state orphanage system. Things went on that way until her little sister was born and abandoned at the maternity hospital. As the Lord would have it, Sue and our daughter (Cheri) just happened to be in Romania looking for a child to adopt when Ana's sister was born. She (Loredana) was just five days old when they saw her for the first time.

One thing led to another and before long our already confused family became the ultimate blended family unit. While our daughter adopted Loredana, we adopted Ana. That all seems just fine until you try to sort out the relationships. You see, our granddaughter (Loredana) is our daughter's (Ana's) sister. Don't worry, it get better. Since that time our daughter (Cheri) and our son-in-law (John) adopted two more Romanian kids who are also full siblings to Ana and Loredana. I told you it was confusing!

For now, let me focus on Ana. She was twenty years old on March 8th of this year. She is tall, beautiful and funny. The photo to the right was taken within the first week of her arrival here in the United States. Since that time she has exceeded all expectations and surpassed every benchmark that was ever set. She is a gem! Check out this video link on YouTube to learn about her equestrian gold medal from the Special Olympics.

Ana reminds us each day that our God loves to do miracles. Most of the time those miracles take place right in front of our eyes. Sometimes we see them and sometimes we miss they all together. Have you found that to be true in your life? I know it is true for me. That's why I am thankful for Ana's daily reminder.

You see, when Ana was just an infant, she received an injection of a small amount of whole blood. As it turned out, that blood was contaminated with a number of life threatening infections. The most significant was HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

I like to think of it this way...Genesis 50:20 speaks about the life of Joseph. His brothers sought to do him harm but Joseph saw God. He saw a situation where certain behavior was intended for evil but God used it for good. The same thought is echoed in Romans 8:28 where we learn that all things work together for good. Even difficult health situations can work for good! The key is to have 50:20 vision so we can see God in action.

Today, Ana is healthy, strong, and filled with a wonderful sense of humor. She is also quiet, shy, and takes some time to feel fully comfortable with new people. She loves to watch from the sideline, take it all in, and then talk about it when everyone is gone. I think you will love her.

That's our family, confusing, unusual, unique, but centered in Christ and committed to faith.

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