"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

From String Quartet to Piano Trio

With Tessa setting up house (or apartment) in Ohio with her husband, our string quartet has dwindled to a piano trio-i.e. piano, cello, and violin. We miss our first violinist so much! However, Joe, Jaynie and I have decided to do our best as a trio, and we've already managed to learn and have fun together.

Our first piece is Beethoven's Piano Trio op. 1, no. 3 in C minor. The below video is an excellent example of the dramatic piece (the first minute consists of clapping and tuning, and can be skipped through.).

Keep practicing, Tessa! We'd love to have a string-quartet-jamming-session next time we see you...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

She's Home!!!

Welcoming home Meddie Grace Nordstrom!

There is no doubt Mrs. Nordstrom understands adoption; her love and  tenderness and love for her baby girl is unconditional and deep. Meddie loves her new mommy and clung to her while she took in the 80+ people who were at the airport to greet her. They all spoke funny and stuck their white faces in hers and took lots of pictures! 

Mr. Nordstrom has waded through stacks of paperwork, stayed up late praying, endured roller coasters of emotion, made dozens of phone calls, written hundreds of emails and blog posts, traveled halfway around the world (twice!) and in short, has let nothing get in between him and his new daughter. 

I have been blessed with Katie's friendship for eight years now, and can never get enough of her bubbly cheerful personality. It has been a joy and honor to get to watch Katie grow spiritually through this adoption process. I see her becoming more like Christ every day!

Katie used to be the only girl in her family. Meddie used to be an only child. Guess what Meddie's name means? "I have a sister". Now they both do. Wow is God good! Meddie also has four new brothers, but (sorry guys!) I didn't manage to get any good pictures of them. 

Praise God for his goodness in knitting a family together from across two continents, languages, and cultures.

Gifts for Meddie from her new brothers and sister.

         Human adoption is a lovely but dim illustration of God's adoption of his children. Ephesians 1:5 says, "In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will." 

         This was not because we reached out to God or deserved to be His children-quite the opposite! As sinners, Ephesians 2 says were dead in our sins and unable to reach out to God, and Titus 3:3 adds that we were "hateful, hating one another." And because God is entirely holy, the penalty for even one sin must be death.

          Thankfully, that's not the end of the story. God is merciful and good beyond our wildest imagination. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, utterly perfect life on earth, and willingly suffered a horrible death on a cross, bearing our sin before God as a substitute. He rose again on the third day and now reigns at the right hand of God.

          In John 14:6, Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." And Acts 16:31 says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." Christ has made a way for us to be adopted, to be the children of God. Praise Him!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

Daria fighting back tears on Aaron and Tessa's wedding day. 
"This is the best day of my life!" Daria exclaimed at dinner tonight. Today was her sixteenth birthday, her first birthday in America, her first birthday with a family.

          Last year, Daria was in an orphanage, and across the world our hearts ached to have her here, to know what she was feeling and thinking and doing. We struggled to trust God as we waited, knowing that the day she turned sixteen, our chance to adopt her would be over and Daria would have to leave the orphanage and start a vulnerable and hopeless life on the streets. Time seemed short and the adoption process long.

          But God is good, the Father of the fatherless and the Defender of the weak. Daria has been part of our family for four months now and will never face a lonely life on her own. We know what she is thinking, feeling, and doing. We know her character and her drama and her sense of humor. When asked what she wanted to do on her special day, she said, "I want to spend time with my mom, the very best mom in the world for me."  And over and over she said emphatically (in her beautiful Russian accent), "I love you people! I love my family! I like being in this family."

         I like her being in our family too. I'm glad she's my sister. I'm grateful to God for making her transition into our family so smooth, for weaving our hearts together.
Thank you God, for my new sister.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some Wedding Pictures

A sneak preview at Tessa and Aaron's beautiful wedding day...I was so honored to be a part of it! Thank you, Therese and Lauren for your amazing work. You captured Tessa's sparkle and Aaron's deep love for his new wife perfectly. :)

Wedding Photography 101

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just A Few More Days

In four short days, Anna will walk down the aisle and become a "Mrs." Hence, the lack of posts lately; it's been even busier than normal in our household, and the number of residents has grown from a mere fourteen to twenty-four (don't tell our local fire department!).

So watch for pictures...and once the new Mr. and Mrs. are off on their honeymoon, I will take a deep breath, (shed a few quiet tears for the partial loss of my best friend and sister), help clean up the mess, and conjure up some good blog posts.

P.S. Once the bride is settled, she has promised to continue blogging as well. So please keep reading!

Video: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go