Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!
Dear Family and Friends,
In light of recent events I’m taking a moment to pause and recognize what a tremendous blessing family is. My heart is full of gratitude for the children sitting around our breakfast table, the family that I will decorate our tree with this afternoon, the love that lives in our home. My hope is that you will do the same this Christmas season! How much we have to be thankful for!
As many of you know, last Christmas we had the privilege of welcoming a 4 year old from Latvia into our home and advocating for her adoption, she now is in her forever family celebrating Christmas! I love the journal entry one of our children made a few days before we’d be sending her back to Latvia, “God has a good plan for Raimonda.” Indeed He did! We were blessed to share in her journey to her forever family.
God also had wonderful plans for increasing our family with the addition of a kind and beautiful teenage daughter in January. Meti Joy joined our family the end of January, and Joshua and I had the opportunity of flying to Montana and enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains to bring her home. As you can see in the slideshow, Meti dove into life in the Taylor household with grace and passion. She enjoyed participating in the Track and Field team this past Spring with the local middle school, and now contributes to the school chorus. We all enjoyed the Christmas concert they performed a week ago! Meti, who’s now 15, has a love for children, completed the Red Cross babysitting course this summer, and is hoping to pick up more babysitting jobs in the near future. She’s active in our church youth group and putting so much effort into her schoolwork.
I’ve considered shrinking formulas for our oldest son Enoch in the last year. He’s growing up before our eyes! Enoch turned 10 this past April and has truly grown in stature and wisdom. I am thrilled to watch him become such a joyful and responsible young man. Enoch seems to be good at almost anything he sets his mind to. He enjoyed playing sweeper for the 1st half of games and goalie for the 2nd half on his soccer team this past fall. His games on the 4th-6th grade team were loads of fun to watch! He also continues to excel in school and has a love for the sciences. He still asks hundreds of questions a day and was the mastermind behind an elaborate fort the kids built in the woods. He dreams of engineering and inventing personal flying devices.
Tigist, age 9 also continues to sprout before our eyes! This past year she has developed a love for art and is doing quite well with it. Her eye for detail, colors, and design provide weekly refrigerator artwork, and often impress her artistic father! Tigist has made many friends in Maine and continues to grow in her compassion for those around her. She’s passionate about life and fills our home with many giggles and is usually the instigator of family dance parties.
I find it unfathomable that our youngest son Justice celebrated his second year as a member of the Taylor family in September. He just fits so perfectly with our crew that its hard to imagine life without his funny antics and spirited demeanor. Justice turned 8 in February and celebrated with a basketball themed party. This kid has some serious athletic ability. Whether he’s on the basketball court and dribbling a ball or running down the soccer field he just seems to know where to be and what to do! Justice also has a love for music and has made up a bunch of songs with his sister Tigist to perform for our family.
Three year old Erbeka is certainly establishing her place as the youngest child in our family. What a ham she has become! As the only child to arrive in the Taylor family under the age of five it has been delightful to watch her develop over the past year. The changes that take place between the ages of two and three are humongous and its been a blast (most days) to watch her determination to keep up with the rest of the gang. She received glasses in July that have aided her vision and allowed her to discover more of the world around her. She will undergo eye surgery in January to hopefully straighten her left eye. Nothing seems to slow this child down!
Joshua and I seem to be aging appropriately with gray hair sprouting up and work-outs becoming fewer and farther between! Where has our youth gone?!?! Keeping up with five life-loving children definitely keeps us on our toes! In all seriousness we would not choose life any other way. The grace we find available to us and the adventure we live together is a blessing. Family. . . its what we have become and what we will choose again and again. Much love from our family to yours this Christmas and New Year! I hope you enjoy the slideshow of our year in review.