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!