celebrating 4 years of becoming a family with David and Julia

In a world where 70% of father’s won’t receive a father’s day gift, my husband will never have to worry about that. This week we are celebrating 4 years of becoming a family with David and Julia and every father’s day his heart gets full remembering the reason we celebrate.

And this year is time for the soccer world cup again! The first world cup soccer we watched together as a family was 4 years ago in Moscow. Brian, who was born in Brazil, loves soccer and we were left in the hotel waiting for David and Julia’s immigration papers of to be able to come back home as a family, so we watched lots of soccer games together at the restaurant in the hotel in Moscow. David, who was almost two years old at the time, did not speak a word of Russian or English yet. We were too ignorant to think there was anything wrong with it and too hopeful (in God) to actually worry about it.

When watching the games on Brian’s lap, David said his first word: “Gooool” and he would raise his arms with papi. We think he actually tried to say “Shuta” (Portuguese word for kicking a ball)
Here is a picture of the kids in bed with Papi Brian that first day:
Yesterday, my brother and his wife Tracy invited us to watch the premiere for Toy Story. When we got to the movie theater she gave each child two for the characters of the movie. Their 3 children and ours are best friends and love to be together. We watched this 3D movie that talks about toys left behind in a place where they cannot accomplished their purpose for why they exist: to be played with nicely by children that cherished them. I was crying so hard remembering that there are so many real children left behind orphanages with no real parents to help them become … but, I won’t talk about that today.

Once we got out of the movie theater, around 5pm, we went to the beach (we live in south Florida and is summer time) and then my brother treated us for dinner at a small Italian restaurant Brian and I had discover 10 years ago the day we decided to get back together after a separation. The small restaurant has survived many economic storms, so has our marriage. It was close to 10PM when we told Mosh and tracy that we were celebrating this week the fact of becoming a family, and they were happy to know that they were inviting us for dinner to actually commemorate this moment with us. The 5 kids were in a separate table having fun and I was just like always amazed on how much happiness a heart can be when recognizing how precious is to have a family to cherish and to share life with.
Happy Father’s day.

I give you this video for Mother's Day

I give you this video for Mother's Day.
Watch & tell me where you started crying :) "I'll Love you forever"
This is my version of it!
This is my facebook account:
If you have questions about adoption.

Poems to our kids

I wrote these poems to our kids today April 13, 2006. I apologize to my blogger friends these poems came to me in Spanish. I am publishing them now that I feel more comfortable with my feelings.

To Yulia:

De lejos viniste mi alma alegrar
Con ojos de ensueño y voz celestial

Que Linda la noche cuando estrellas hay
Que bella la vida, la luz Dios nos da
Regalo precioso de Dios eres tu
Regazo bendito por El que te envió.

Todo fue orquestado por un Dios de amor

A ti una madre, a mi una flor
Una vez esperanza hoy la rosa eres tu
Primavera de vida, vigor, juventud.

Pledge to my children

Viniste de lejos, mi alma ganaste: Con ojos de ensueño

De Dios el tesoro, Que vino a su tiempo: A mami alegrar

Tan cerca te tengo, Muy dentro, muy fuerte: En el Corazón

Con Dios de testigo prometo quererte, Por siempre un montón!

A song to David (way before)

Tú eres el niñito de mi Corazón
Perfecto regalo que vino de Dios
Arrurú mi niño ya durmiendo estas
Mami va arrullarte el alba despertar.

Cautivada por tu sonrisa que muestras al hablar

Adorno de tu boquita; es de mami el panal

Papi ya esta conquistado; ansias de ver tu faz

Que ya sea de mañana! tu dulce miel contemplar.

How God used a little dog to teach me the basic first lesson on adoption.

Some of you might think I am crazy and some of you that have a psychology degree might have even more insight than me over my experience and still others will feel relief to know they are not the only weird people in this world.

The story goes like this: it was December 2001 the year the world turned upside down for the people in the USA. For Brian and I, this was the year that God provided for us our new home. We were to move in Late December 2001 and it seemed at that time that this was not going to be easy. Brian might lose his job right after Christmas, his company asked him to take forced Christmas vacation with no pay and the rumor was, he would not have a job when he came back.

Still it was Christmas time and I was shopping for gifts at the mall. I went by a very popular store and saw that they were giving a gift with purchase, so I stopped and thought, I could buy some creams and toiletries for a friend and the little stuff animal could be a gift for a child. I went in and purchased enough to get my free gift, a little stuffed animal. It was a dog, a white Maltese dresses for winter and in one of her paws it was her name, and her name was Lola.
This is the only kind of dog I was not afraid of, I have had a long history of being terrified by dogs and the stuffed animal became mine instantly. It was like the beginning of a healing.

There was so much going on that Christmas; we thought we were not going to be able to purchase our home, which meant we would lose our 10% deposit and we would be houseless after Christmas. We decided to go to other cheaper state and started looking at houses opportunities there. Finally we spoke to our mortgage broker and she helped us to get in to our home without requiring any more money down. This was actually a better alternative that moving some other place.

Christmas went by that year without much activity and by the time March came, I found myself finally installed on our new house, sitting at the window of our library still worried for the financial situation, my husband now had a new job, and the little stuffed dog was now on my lap.
In a split second I was able to see myself, and thought how pathetic to be sitting down in my house petting a stuff animal. It was then, that I pray to God and said, Lord, I want the real thing; I would like a little Lola. Brian was game immediately! He loves dogs, I do too, but I was just afraid of them.

We went to this sad pet store and there we found a little Maltese, she was sweet and loved to be cuddled on Brian’s arms but we were not sure, so we went home to our normal business. I thought about this little dog all week, but “you cannot just purchase the first dog you ever see”, I thought, so the next weekend, we went to other pet stores and met other Maltese dogs. None was like that first one. My heart was feeling horrible, I thought, I found my little dog last week and I did not adopt her! I wondered if she was still there. We rushed at the dirty pet store we have been the week before and there she still was, our little Lola. We filled out all the adoption papers, the owner of the shop gave us some instructions and I asked her date of birth. December 24, 2001 he told us. God had a little dog for me for Christmas and this man had taken care of her for me for the first 3 months of her life. I was thankful to God for such a precious gift.

There is something special when you find meaningful dates associated with the most adventurous chapters of your life. There was another date when adopting my children that God used to show me His hand on the matter. The day my father died, my son David was being delivered by his birth mother. While I was crying the death of my father, the Lord was someplace far away, delivering a baby for me. Two years later we found each other. The only Russian boy I ever laid my eyes on was also the child that God prepared for me to adopt as my son. No medical report, or distance, no fears of the unknown, could make me scared enough to let him go. I laid my eyes on his picture and I knew he was my son, a gift from God.

Lola was with us for over 4 years before we came home with our adopted children. Lola taught me that adoption works. Your heart can leap for a little creature you did not delivered, or nurtured at birth and you can create bonds that are worth pursuing and enjoy. What I know about adoption, God started to teach me in a very small scale with Lola.

He knew that it would take a stuffed animal to let my heart open for a real little dog. And it would take a little dog to open my heart to the idea of adoption. That’s why Lola is so special to my heart.
God used her to prepare me to accept His miracle of Adoption in my heart.

Weekend activities with Mami and Papi

David, Julia, mami and papi had a very busy weekend around town. Saturday we spent all day at the art institute celebrating earth day.
Then, Sunday afternoon, we went to the Botanical gardens in Miami beach to run some. Some of the children expressions were so cute! You can see the whole album in facebook, you have to be my friend to be able to see them.

Spring cleaning starts with stirring some dirt

Julia and David went to Home Depot today and chose some herbs and went for a ride in a “big truck”. David tried all the herbs before buying “delicious mami” This is their side of the story: “We helped mami and papi to make the garden and then we dug and put the plants on the pots and then put water on it, and took more sand and then we prayed for the plants to grow”.

That was an easy recipe for family filled fun. We might adventure to tomatoes or vegetables next time.

Click here if you want to see the album at www.scrapblog.com I just created. Or if you are my friend en facebook you will see it on my profile (Rebeca Segebre Knowles)

Afterwards, papi prepared some water with limes and mint ... after so much work and sweat, it just tasted delicious!

Julia and David went outside after eating dinner and went right to the herb garden “Look Julia, amazing its growing!” now they are playing with the dirt – that’s going to be the challenge now.
We are proud to tell you we just planted an herb garden. Invitation pending for meal prepared fresher.

Growing fast

Yesterday in church they showed us the end of the movie Schindler's list – it spoke to me about the impact of adoption. “To save one human soul is to save the world”. It amazes me the Divine in adoption. Anyone touched by adoption cannot stay the same. It is like redemption. You go from point A to point B and it does not make sense unless something happen in the middle. David and Julia are sleeping in the room next to mine and 3 years ago they were sleeping in an orphanage across the ocean … how do you explain that? Well, it took a process, steps, money, sacrifice, lot of people helping, but really the work is called redemption.
They grow up too fast. My little ones are learning to write and read and I am loving it.

Things of Everyday Life

"Mami, sit down here": David and Julia ask me to sit down and watch them sing a concert with guitars and drums o just watch them play baseball. "Oh my goodness!!!" That's what David says when he is surprised - just like Granma Berenice would say it.

Julia loves her dolls, she plays to be a caring mother that goes to the “office” and comes back with food(num – nums) for the family and the baby.

David looked at me from across the dinning room table and smiled and said, “mami is beautiful” well, he actually said “Mami is Linda” which goes deeper into my heart since he chose my native tongue to give me a complement.
I have been giving him lots of descriptive names, such as David is helpful, obedient, careful, truthful, etc but he chose to call me beautiful!