Sunday, April 16, 2017
Happy Easter! As we sat down for breakfast at the hotel this morning, Alicia said to me that it did not feel like Easter morning. We are so used to Easter morning being spent with our church family and the afternoon is spent with my side of the family. Today began with breakfast at the hotel followed by a trip to the pool at the other hotel. We only stayed at the pool for a short time this morning, because we had to pack and check out of our room by midday, and we wanted to call home to talk with our family. The WIFI at the hotel was the best we have had so far on this trip, which allowed us to have a great connection with our family. Our daughter took her phone outside to allow Ashton and Alia to experience their first Easter Egg hunt via video. They were excited when Ariana opened the plastic egg to show the candy that Nana hid inside. They were also told that Nana had eggs with their names on them waiting for them at home. Ariana also took them on a video tour of our home outside and inside, so they were able to see their rooms and how everything fits together. The expression on Alia's face as Ariana opened the door to her bedroom and walked in was awesome. Eventually time on our conversation ran out and we had to go, but it was great to be connected to home for a short while. We have been amazed to see both the children taking steps of trust with us and learning new things. The pool is another example of continued trust. Last July, when we went to a pool, Ashton trusted me enough to jump in the pool, but Alia barely allowed me to carry her across the pool. While we were in the Roatan earlier on this trip, they both increased in their levels of trust in the pool. Yesterday, Alia declared that she no longer wanted to use the floaty that we bought her in the Roatan and she wanted to swim. Ashton is now swimming about 10 feet or so on his own. Here is a video of their progress:
We also have had some eye-opening conversations as the children begin to share more with us. Last night, Alia shared an experience that Ashton had faced that must have been incredibly frightening. I talked with him about it and we cried together. It was a reminder to us that there are going to be so many layers of hurt and pain that we will work through over the coming years. There will be behaviors that will not make sense to us or them, and we may never know all of the pain these two children experienced, but we lean on our God who knows all of the pain and hurt and is the great healer. As we read in Psalm 34, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." (Ps. 34:18). We pray that we can be the Lord's ambassadors of grace and healing in their lives.