Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Court Date

Last Friday we received an email that our court date in ET has been set for March 17! We weren't expecting the email, nor were we expecting our date to be that early in March. So, PTL, we are moving forward.

So what does all of this mean? It means, PRAY. Approximately 30% of families do not pass court the first time, and for all sorts of reasons that I can't even say! So for the next 2 months, we will continue to pray for Grace. To be safe, to be healthy, to be loved, to be ready for us when we come! And pray for us here, as we do everything we can to prepare for her. And pray for MY NERVES! The date seems so very far away.

The kids love talking about her. Andrew has big plans for her, Haley is ready to teach her all about all the girlie stuff, and Joshua will be an awesome big brother, again, and help care for her the way he did the other two.

So we're trying to think of everything we'll need to take, and eliminate the "unnecessaries" so we don't have a lot of additional bags. Families in our program take gifts to the kids who are waiting. There is a family there RIGHT NOW that took a gift for Grace from us. We sent a touch and feel book, a picture album with lots of pictures of her new family, a sheet of stickers, and a teddy bear. In a couple of weeks another family will be traveling, and they're going to be delivering an outfit to her. Cute pink floral shirt and stretchy pants and socks. I hope they fit her!

The Final Sprint...

I've been thinking a lot lately about my fast-growing kids, and what they would understand about themselves, and what the world would see in them. Our dream for them is that, first and above all else, they recognize and accept that they are God's precious little children, and they belong to Him, and are loved dearly by their Creator. That desire lives far above anything else. Next, they are Bartel's. Each of them. All FOUR of them. And they are completely and thoroughly loved by their family. Each of them is an individual, and they are all vital pieces of the quilt Dan and I started with our marriage more than 13 years ago. (How exciting that this layer of the quilt is nearly complete!) Finally, I hope that we can teach them to strive to be the boys and girls, then men and women, that God created them to be. That they will strive to do their best, and be content with whatever future God has ordained for them. They come from rich histories (all of them) that make up who they are, but the days they are given and what they choose to do with that defines what they will become.

And so begins my first attempt at blogging. We'll try to keep you up to date on what happens with our daughter, Grace, as we begin the final sprint to bring her home. We appreciate your prayers, and we'll give you pictures here as soon as we are safely able to do so! Love you all!