I've been pretty busy since we returned home, so I haven't had much time to think, let alone write for the blog. Is it revealing too much if I say that my carry-on bag is still packed and sitting in my bedroom?
Ok... I won't say that then.
Upon our return to the USA, my dad and my husband have both written entries worth sharing.
In other words, they haven't been as ridiculously busy as I have...
Time to put some people to work.
I'm taking this opportunity to share the writings of a couple of my favorite guys. Enjoy!
Chance Newingham [This was written as an article for our church's weekly publication.]
As many of you know, Ginger and I recently went to Bulgaria to meet our son, N. It was a F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C trip! Not only did we get to see a beautiful country, meet interesting people, and encounter an entirely new culture, we also met the most wonderful (and devilish) boy on the planet!
Thank you so much to all of you for your prayers, thoughts, and support. We were on the other side of the globe, but we could feel your presence. It was so encouraging to know that we had a church family praying continually for us. We are so blessed to have you all! If you would like to read about our trip or see photos and videos, visit G’s blog: http://momentsdefined.wordpress.com/ [I pay him to promote me. Kinda like his mom pays me to put up with him. It all works out! :)]
As I entered fatherhood in another country, I became keenly aware of something: I realized that the Bible was going to speak to me in ways that weren’t possible before. How so? What do I mean? Much of the imagery in the Bible is founded on father/son concepts, and while I have a father and I am a son, I have thus far been unable to relate to being a father and having a son.
As I was laying in bed only hours after seeing N. for the last time on our trip, I was thinking about going home and getting things ready for his arrival. I made a mental list, noting that I needed safety locks for doors, race car room decorations, and a lot of food! As I finished my list, God spoke a passage into my heart; in John 14:2 Jesus said, “There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?”
In this text, Jesus was speaking on behalf of the Father and He let His listeners know that He would soon be leaving them to go and prepare a new home for them. The disciples were being promised a heavenly home, but they hardly recognized what was happening. Jesus was assuring them that His words were completely trustworthy and letting them know that they could have confidence and hope in what was said.
Never before had the magnitude and depth of this passage sunk in until I was a father. What do I mean? As I held N. on the last day in Bulgaria, I wanted him to know that I loved him, that I would miss him, that I was going to prepare a place for him, and that I was coming back to get him.
N. could trust my words. I have been and will continue to do everything within my power to prepare his new home for his arrival. Not a moment will go by when I do not think of him and wish he were here.
Similarly, we can trust Jesus’ words. He has been and will continue to do everything within His sovereign power to prepare our new home for our arrival. Not a moment will go by when He does not think of us and wish we were with Him.
On this day, I am thankful for two things: one, the fact that different stages in life bring about new understanding and insight in God’s Word. Two, that heaven awaits me because of Jesus‘ promise. Just a thought.
Roger Malcolm [My dad! This was written during our trip back home. My dad's life is forever changed by a sweet little Bulgarian boy.]
You can put your tissues away.
This is diado Roger writing from the perspective of baba Merry Ann and me of the events of the past week.
Let me start by stating that we found the Bulgarian people to be extremely helpful and courteous, and the country very interesting. We were concerned about a language problem, but that was not the case. Varna is a resort city and as such, the people there are versed in many languages.
As we were not at the orphanage every day, we were able to do more sightseeing than Ginger and Chance. We did give them the highlights of the day and even showed them the Reader’s Digest version whenever we could.
Our hosts and interpreters, Svet and his son, Tony, were wonderful. No one at the orphanage was comfortable in speaking English, so we relied on them whenever we were at that location. On our final day at Varna, Ginger and Chance did not go to the orphanage, so our hosts took us all to the Black Sea beaches and the Mall.
Obviously the most important time was being with N. at the orphanage. As mentioned above, Merry Ann and I did not go every day, and the days we went, we tried to stay in the background as much as possible. It was a delight watching Ginger and Chance interact with this precious little boy. The director was impressed with the accomplishments that were made. With Ginger’s training, she was able to break through the shell that N. had put around himself, and they made great strides in language development, something N. has been lacking. The director indicated that Ginger, with Chance’s help, was going to do much more in N.’s development than they could do at the orphanage. We all feel that God is leading this little boy to this family that wants him so badly.
N.’s caregivers from birth have been almost, if not completely, all female. Thus, he has been hesitant around males. He has been taught to be courteous to all adults, but you can tell he is not as comfortable with the males. Chance’s acceptance was very quick as N. has found him to be a grown up playmate. (Ginger is going to have her hands full handling two energetic males!)
Accepting me, on the other hand, has been slower. As I stated, Merry Ann and I have tried to keep in the background as much as possible whenever we were at the orphanage. The last day there, Ginger and Chance were going through a photo album that they put together containing pictures of the first few days of working with N. This was left with him so he could look at it and remember the good times they all had and to help him understand there is more to come. While they were going through the album, N. had his back to us. In one of the pictures, you could see Merry Ann and me in the background. When N. looked at this picture, he said “diado” and “baba,” then turned around and looked at us! Our hearts melted.
As I said, I tried to stay in the background, but Ginger wanted lots of photos! That meant I was up and moving around a lot during their activities. At one point, when N. appeared to be getting a little tired, he stopped at my feet and put his arms up as if he wanted me to pick him up. Don’t you think for one minute that I turned him down! I am warning those of you who are going to be his grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, and aunts, the little thief is going to steal your hearts! As Merry Ann and I were able to be a small part of this adventure, consider us as having paved the way for the rest of you. Due to the environment he grew up in, where the only adults he has known are his mostly female caregivers, he may be a little hesitant, but be patient! He will warm up to you.
As we were getting ready to leave the orphanage for the last time, I told the director through our interpreter that very soon Ginger and Chance were going to come and take N. away from her. She smiled at me and gave me a big “thumbs up.”
I thank God that Merry Ann and I were able to be a part of this adventure and that N. is on his way to becoming a part of Ginger and Chance’s family. We can hardly wait for that day to come.......
Isn't N. going to have some of the best male role models around?!
Ok... back to work...
Maybe I should start by unpacking that stinkin' carry on...
Or by preparing for the 25+ people who are coming to our house for dinner tonight...
Is that Joel waking up from his nap?! AHHH!
It's never-ending! :)