I just have to say that I could never have imagined things going as well as they have. I expected them to go good…but “great” is a blessing I never would have let myself consider! I had so many things I was trying to control and that I worried about…food, sleep, jetlag, shyness, culture shock…well, again I am reminded that God is in control. She has eaten EVERYTHING I have made, slept like a champ (better than Chad and I), met a million people with a smile, and has taken everything in stride. Don’t hear me say we are settled….we have a long way to go, and I am sure she will experience culture shock at some point, and we have had a few bouts of homesickness that have been short-lived, but AT THIS POINT I am amazed! She even sat on the porch the other night and told Lizzie, two neighbors, and I all the stories of her adoption from her end. How I have waited to hear it all from her point of view. All about how she and the other girls talked and made plans…when she first knew it was us….so precious. So many times I have dreamed of knowing how she was feeling, and here she was, telling it all.
We have a crazy week this week, with sports practices kicking off, Thomas gets braces tomorrow, Vanessa goes back to the dentist on Friday, school starts on Thursday for the other three and she and I begin homeschooling…YIKES. Chad and I are also speaking at a nearby church on Sunday. We are looking forward to it, as their theme for the month is “Adopted by God”. We can’t wait to see how God is going to use our story to bring others closer to Him and maybe even to touch someone else’s heart about adoption.
In other news, we heard on Friday that we had to submit her “official” name for her birth certificate by today…so we ended up talking to her about it long before I thought we would have to. I thought we had 6 months 🙂 ANYWAY…she had been thinking about the SAME NAME we had!!!! So, even though it will not be FINAL or LEGAL for 6 months, her new name is…… Vanessa Hope Baluyot Martin. I think she is relieved she has a monogram now…we are big on monogramming in our house 🙂 Hers will be VHM…I am thrilled beyond words. We also all agreed that it is so cool that she and Lizzie’s middle names are Hope and Grace. What a testimony to who we desire to be as a family and as individuals.