Goodness gracious! It has been much longer since our last update than I remembered! Seeing as how our family of five stays busy, and there are no additional members planned (but I will never say never..), I think this entry could be the last for a very long while. I would like to keep the site active as the most visited page is the Grants page, which I think has helped a large number of prospective families find grants they otherwise would not have seen. But, as for our family, we’re more focused on the here and now these days, as opposed to the future of the next Haffling.
To update on Celine: she is doing amazing. What a huge change from the stable and predictable life she knew in Hong Kong, to this crazy life! Her membership into our family is also stable and fairly predictable, but it came with a completely new country, new language, new food, new everything. And though we all had struggles with her addition, I think we can express with confidence that she is flourishing and we are humbled and honored to help her do so in her forever home.
Celine has some medical remnants from her past that could make her life more difficult than most other kids’. She will have uphill battles even most adopted children won’t experience, but even now- in her early adolescence- we have seen the power of God work through her physically. What a testament to His goodness in her life before she even knows Him as her Savior. We are so grateful!
We couldn’t have possibly known how perfect her middle name of “Joy” would be, but again, God did: and that is precisely what she has been to our family. Her laugh is contagious, and she will go out of her way to hear yours. She is devoted to her brother and sister- as if she knew them before they knew her! She will tell her daddy and I, “I luh you mommy/daddy!” unprompted and repeat it often followed by a kiss- smack!- anywhere she can reach. She is a blessing to us, just as our family is to her.
Ruth has basically grown into a little lady. Gone is her tiny, round head with chubby cheeks and baby voice. Gone is her adorable Nigerian accent and love for all things mega-spicy. But still prominent is her heart for people, which has grown considerably. The deep-seated love of dance that permeates Nigerian culture is alive and well in her body. I absolutely L O V E to watch her dance- it’s just amazing. She has grown so much- physically and otherwise- and it is an unspeakable honor to be one of her mothers. She is intelligent, she is thoughtful, she is witty and she is magical. Our Ruthie-girl brings immeasurable happiness to all our days- and I can’t help but think she was born to be the oldest. What an amazing big sister she has been!
Allen wouldn’t trade his sisters for the world- even if they always mess up his lego creations and pick his stories at bedtime instead of their own! And he already detests waiting on them for the bathroom- I see a lot of arguments over bathroom time in their future! But he doesn’t remember a life without at least one sister to pester and play with. Honestly, I barely do, myself. Adoption is complicated. Born from tragedy and loss, but then beautiful redemption. Our girls have been through what God never intended His children to endure: but He is doing a work in their life that will culminate in His glory. And for that, I am thankful.
The kids are growing up faster than we care to admit. I joke about them being old enough for chores and how I can’t wait to have them clean the bathrooms and do the dishes… but the truth is, I would freeze time at this age, if I could. All the mess, all the m-a-n-y requests for snacks- even in the middle of dinner! All the funny questions and imaginative play… I’ll miss it someday all too soon. So though it’s not easy to treasure this season at every turn, I have been taking these little “snapshots” to capture the things I’ll treasure most.
If you are reading this from your little corner of the world that doesn’t touch ours, I hope you know God loves you and has such wonderful plans for you. If you do know us “in real life,” I hope you feel that love sent through us to you from our good Father. This site has always been about me being able to share His work in my life and my family, and now that our family feels complete (you know, for the foreseeable future), I just wanted to give a formal, “farewell.”
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”