The LaBatt family welcomes Savina Grace!

The LaBatt family welcomes Savina Grace!

I-797C

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This weekend we received a document that says the US government is working on our document.  That's progress, right?  It was beautiful to see our name linked with Savina's in "official" print.

There are only twenty days left of school.  :)
There are only three weekends left of grading papers.  :)

My good friends at school are throwing me a "baby" shower...which just so happens to fall on May 12th, Savina's birthday!

This is your last birthday as an orphan, little one!  We will be coming soon!

La Semana Pasada

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Dear Savina,
Last week someone came to your orphanage and took your photo...several times.  And she took a video of you. You didn't know her, and they told her you would be shy.  But you weren't shy.  In fact, you were very sweet and funny.  You were very cute.  And she found out that you like to paint, and you like the color purple.  And then she left. And you went to school.
Do you know now how many people have seen your pretty face in the photos?  Do you have any idea of how many people have watched your fifteen second video?  It is the best movie ever made.  Could you even imagine that you saying "hello" in English could make people in another continent cry?  I thought you should know (even though you won't read this until you already know...). 
I can't wait to be a mom to you.  I thought you should know.
You are lovely and we love you.

Savina with Karina (our Peruvian adoption contact)

Video of Savina!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Today I'm thinking about three things...

1- I want to bring Savina home as soon as possible, and I also want to finish out the school year with my lovely 8th graders.  I know they are leaving, to grow up and spread their wings, but this time I'm having trouble letting go.  Graduation will be bittersweet, as it will be my last graduation, too.
We are waiting for the I800 (paperwork from the US Department of Homeland Security) to be finished, and then will begin the period of "travel withing 30 days."  Every day I am carefully opening the mailbox to see if our official approval has arrived.

2- A nice youth pastor (Josh Harper) came and spoke to the students at chapel on Friday about selling what they have and giving to the poor.  I don't know why it affected me as much as it did...I was surprised to find that I didn't think much about how the students received it, or how they will respond to it.  Usually I am so anxious to make them "get" it.  Instead, I was reminded of the gentle words the Lord spoke to me in 2008..."Now I am giving you the privilege of ministering to the least of these- to the most unprivileged of the earth."  What a beautiful privilege.  I realize that right now, in my current profession, teaching in a private school in the middle of a wealthy city, I am not reaching the most unprivileged.  Truly God has used me here, as much as I was willing to respond to Him...but there is more.  There is the calling to bring home an orphan from the Amazon jungle.  There is the calling to feed the poor in Phoenix.  There is the calling to spend Christmas with the families who live in the dump in Nicaragua.  There is the calling to do more.  There is the calling to street children- I feel it calling all through my heart and soul.

3- There is an obligation.  There is an obligation when you take a child away from the jungle village where she was born, to give her a beautiful and peaceful life.

Those are my thoughts today on a warm and sunny Saturday in Chandler, Arizona.

This map shows two places Savina has lived: Lima (ages 4-10), and the jungle village near Satipo (ages 0-4)

These photos are all from 2004.  They are of the outreach of Iglesia Filadelfia to Savina's village Alto Anapati.  It is possible that she could be in one of the photos, or maybe her family.



Asi viene una vida nueva, asi nomas

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Today I gathered up over a hundred pages and mailed them to Chicago.  (hay algo mas para el sobre?...solo mi corazon entero...)  Pages and pages of paperwork needed by the U.S. government to approve our adoption.  So now, on one special day during the next thirty, we will be officially approved.  And then, on one special day during the thirty days after that, we will board the plane for Peru.

As I left Post-Net, my rather fat envelope sat on the corner of their counter.  waiting.  so much waiting, and counting down days
And somehow I made it through the hours of waiting and counting down days that followed. My heart is so far away from keeping unruly ones in line today. 
It's uncomfortable, at times, to follow God's timeline, to know the change is coming, but not knowing quite when.

And I remember these beautiful days of waiting for my babies to arrive.  the days of baby books and tiny clothes...the days of pastels and cute little animals on everything...and today there is a bit of that in my heart.  Today there are beautiful gray clouds in the sky, and a few pastel thoughts.  My baby will be coming soon.  It took her ten years to arrive...ten years of waiting and counting down days, but she will be arriving soon.  And in the jungle there are no baby showers, no cute animal designed baby blankets, and not many pastels.  A new life arrives, just like that.  It strikes me as a bit sad that it's unlikely I will ever see her face, her photo, as a baby.

A new life arrives, just like that.

Savina's "Baby" Book

Grateful!

Monday, April 4, 2011
Sometimes it's easy to be overwhelmed with love.  Today I feel overwhelmed with love.  I love God, who healed my Emily from her headaches.  I love my friend who called last night to tell me that she's paying for one of our tickets to South America.  I love my students (even if I don't always tell them) who gather around my desk and make random comments.  I love my Kerry and my Anna.  I love my tiny Savina who is so very far away.  I love my house and I love living in Arizona.  I love my beautiful church and all of my family there.  It's where friends really do become family!  I love my family and my extended family.  I love that a new adventure is beginning!  I love that all of this paperwork is coming to a close!  I love that we are going out to eat at Grimaldi's tonight.  It is my very favorite!  If this was a seventh grade essay, I would close with:  "And I love you!   the end."
And I love you!
the end

happy older photos...