Wednesday, August 29, 2012


How do I capture the most amazing, life-changing 72 hours of my life in a blog? By remembering this is just the beginning of an incredible life together as a family...
Breakfast right before
leaving to meet  R &  E

Here's a snapshot from Monday, the day we finally got to hug each other after seven months of waiting:

Barak and I (along with our rep and two people from the government office) walked up to their house...holding hands, hearts pounding and so, so happy. I'll forever have a clear snapshot in my memory of Ruth running out of the door and straight into my arms. She wrapped her arms around me and buried her head in my chest....we both cried and I kept kissing her and telling her we loved her. I heard Barak say, "Emma!" and looked up to see him all smiles and holding a huge bouquet of flowers. He ran over too, and all four of us hugged together. Ruth held on tight until she turned to Papi (Barak) and latched on just as tight. That part broke me. She simply didn't want to let go. We captured that part on video, and it's precious. We didn't even see her face for at least five full minutes. Their house tios were there along with a few other people, and everyone smiled and cried. Emma gave me this huge hug and said, I love you Mami, and I swear life was absolutely perfect. They took us on a tour of their house, and it was incredible. Emma and B left to play for a bit, and Ruth and I spent about 20 minutes just talking. She showered me with handmade jewlerey (including a bracelet with the initials of all four of us), pictures, a poem, etc. She showed me the album B and I had made her, and I told her some of the special stories behind the pictures. Then Emma appeared in the room and we all started playing...B came...and let's just say we were a normal family with our son hiding under the bed, us trying to tackle him, our daughter as a "spy" sneaking into the room...simply normal and incredibly happy. It truly was like we'd been together forever.  
That began an incredible first day together. Emma had a small breakdown when we didn't go to his restaurant of choice (McDonald's)...but we all enjoyed spending lunch together...talking, taking pictures and videos...B and Emma covering a napkin with drawings...just living life together. Then our rep took us back to the apartment to enjoy an afternoon together. We made playdough, danced and sang, watched a few minutes of Barbie in Spanish together, showed them their rooms, etc. We all curled up on the bed together (our living room is actually B's and my bedroom)...started Ruth's scrapbook...did I mention the karaoke in Spanish? :)
Then we went to a photo place to take pics for their visas. Emma refused--for a while--to get his picture taken. It was in this moment that we realized we were truly the parents and will desperately need God to be with us each and every moment. This is all so new to us...learning how to love by setting limits and and when to give the good and the hard consequences. We will take it one day at a time...just one day at a time.
On the way back to their house, Ruth curled up in my lap and tried to fall asleep. Emma grabbed my arm and wrapped it around him. I remember how he put my hand in his and held on tight. These are the moments that make a simple day beyond incredible. Neither one wanted to go back, but we'd already kept them out way past their normal bedtime. Hopefully they'll get to come home with us tomorrow for good.
We experienced the father's love today so purely. We are committed to giving all that we can of him to these precious kids, to loving them in the easy and the hard asking God to stay with us through every part of the journey.
When B and I got back to our apartment, we fell asleep quickly, happily exhausted...and it was only 9:30!

On Tuesday, we took them for their medical examination, and I held Ruth close during her vaccine. Both of them were extremely brave, and we're grateful for the kind doctor. Then we spent some time at the Consulate, another family adventure complete with a shut down from Emma. I had told him we would be taking them back to the group home afterward, and he asked why we had to leave them there. many moments where we continue to know we absolutely cannot do this without having God with us every minute. Then today was a super tranquilo (relaxed) day, everyone together. All three days have been incredible...a few highlights include Ruth's infectious laugh when she scared me, our family tickling wars, Barak reading with Emma, sharing and praying together, cooking our first meal in the apartment, playing frisbee in the park, lots of hugs, kisses, cuddling, and hand-holding, and an entire lifetime together to look forward to. Oh! And, of course, finding out that tonight is our last night apart. Tomorrow we officially bring them back to the apartment to stay with us permanently. !!!! 

Now that is living. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pura Vida

We're here!!!!

Yesterday our representative Emilia picked us up at the airport and took us around San Jose. She has a sweet, bubbly personality and obviously didn't want to be anywhere but with us and helping us bring our family together. 
When we received the call 10 days ago, they gave us the option to come next week because there was no guarantee we'd get to meet the kids right away. But we came by faith, asking and expecting God to make a way. He absolutely has....Tomorrow morning at 9:00 we are meeting Ruth and Emmanuel! Our agenda says, "9:00 Family Meeting." We love that. :)
It feels like we haven't stopped smiling...or asking God to stay with us & thanking him for all he has done--so above and and beyond. It is so good to be here...such a special place. We spent most of the day walking around San Jose...drinking the world's best cafe and fresh mango smoothies, eating gallo pinto (our favorite), buying bilingual books and a few games, getting poster board to make welcome signs, and enjoying every minute simply being together in every sense of the word. 

This is living, people. Tomorrow the Gibson family officially doubles in size--para siempre. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Family Day

This morning I received an email from our social worker that our edict has been released in the national publication (buletin nacional), the last step before our case goes to a judge and we get a date. But then she called and said the court decided to do something very different in our case. Instead of waiting for everything to finish, they've decided to have us come to Costa Rica first. Once again, God has changed the rules--just for us.

We leave for Costa Rica next Saturday, August 25, and will get to meet Ruth and Emmanuel on August 27, exactly six months after "meeting" them on paper. Unbelievable. !!!!!

Last night I wrote Barak and told him that I was asking God by faith to make a way for us to be there soon, even sooner than the system said was possible. God did exactly that--and more. Today is a national holiday in Costa Rica. It's Mother's Day....even better, we're going to call it Family Day.

Ten days!!!! :)

Also, I just got done Skyping with them. They don't know yet that we have a travel date (their social worker and/or psychologist is going to tell them first), so I did my very best not to give anything away. I really can't think of anything better than hearing them say, "Feliz dia de las madres, te quiero" on such an incredibly special day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Small Things

It’s the small things that can change your life.  It’s the small things that can remind you just how big love is.

This happened Saturday in an unexpected way for Barak. Just a short time before, he had sent his favorite hat to Emma. When Emma appeared on the screen sporting his new hat, it really touched both of us. B told him that he’d just been wearing it a few weeks earlier, and he loved seeing it on Emma.
Later that night in the midst of an unrelated conversation, B  turned to me and said, “Maaan! It’s crazy that I was just wearing that hat and now our son has it.” He was all smiles.

We can’t hold them yet, but we can share our love and receive theirs.  Sometimes it’s through a hat. Or a favorite scarf. Or a big smile. Or a heart we make with our hands and share via Skype. Or an email every day for six months. Or a “Los quiero mucho.” Or not ever wanting to hang up the phone. Or laughing together.  
God is giving us a lifetime of love—together.  

Monday, July 9, 2012


Parenthood is when you consider someone else far more than yourself. When you love with a fierce protection. When you can't fall asleep because you're smiling too much, from the inside out. When only a picture or a simple word can make your whole day. When you pray for someone with all your heart, all your faith. When you know your love is never based on their love for you.

Parenthood is a commitment. A decision to love another life with all you are. A life-changing promise to give your best, even on the hard days. A reminder that we need someone to model God's love to us.

We are living proof that parenthood is not based on a physical closeness. Nor is it determined by a physical birth. Instead, parenthood is from the heart. And it is from the heart that Barak and I are absolutely in love, happier than ever before.... Committed to parenting these two beautiful children God chose just for us.

We are parents.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Transition

Several weeks ago, Ruth and Emmanuel were moved from their foster family to a group home on the other side of San Jose. It was a really hard transition at first, especially the day the kids found out they were leaving. That night Ruth asked to speak to her parents, and only a few minutes into the conversation with us, she broke into tears. She cried and she cried. Gosh, that breaks a parent's heart. But it turned into a special time to be together as a family and to love her. She assured us that she is really happy about coming with us soon and how much she loves us, and we assured her that we completely understand why she is sad and hurting. God gave her such an incredible family to love her and Emmanuel for two years, and they'll always be a part of her life.

They've been in their new place for a few weeks and are doing really well. Their foster tia and tio (they reserve Mom and Dad for us) are wonderful people and truly care about them. Their tia is American, as are the directors of the entire program, so they are not only practicing English but also learning about new American traditions--such as a Fourth of July celebration this week. Most importantly, they're happy. They're surrounded by people who love the Lord and truly love them. And in the last week, we've noticed a great change with them since when they first left the only stable world they've known to begin this transition. They're extra playful and seem to really enjoy being together. We laugh, play games, and entertain each other as if we've been together forever.

In some ways, we have. God has known all along. And that is forever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


“Por quĂ© no vienen?” Why aren’t you coming?

After 20 minutes of looking sad and avoiding eye contact, Emmanuel finally--and reluctantly--asked us this heartbreaking question Sunday.  For an instant I glanced at B and knew we were thinking the same thing: reassure him, remind him this long wait isn’t the same as other losses he has experienced in the past. We both longed to be able to reach through the screen and hug Emma, to show him how much we love him and are doing everything possible to come quickly. One day that moment will come.

For now, we’ll continue to pray for God’s timing—and we’ll enjoy each minute on Skype, each email, each text, each picture.

We are coming, Emma. Te lo prometemos. We promise.