We have been blessed with two special daughters and two sons from Eastern Europe. We welcome you to follow our journey as a family of five, waiting to travel and pick up #6, with the ins and outs of family, education, farm life, and love!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Papa's Day (day 11)

Happy Father's Day Papa!

We had the chance this morning to attend an English speaking church service. We were invited by Stacy and Devin Braun. Devin is stationed in Serbia, working in the embassy. Stacy's family knows my parents. Though we had never met the Braun family before this morning, they have been nothing but wonderful to us--offering us help how we needed it--a trip to the grocery, borrowing toys or items for Mila during our stay. I must say it has been wonderful knowing there is a "American" contact from home, despite being worlds away from home. Thank you Braun family for inviting us to church and being so willing to help us while in Serbia!

Church was WONDERFUL!! It was so nice to be able to get up on a Sunday morning and be able to praise the Lord with many other people who speak English. The speaker today was a man from Atlanta, Georgia. During his sermon, he referenced the book "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown. I have read the book many times to my students. In the book, a little rabbit wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him; even if he changes into a fish, she will become a fisherman fishing with a carrot. The speaker talked about how we are like the runaway bunny, always running away from God. And as we run, God is always following us, keeping us safe, and never giving up on us, being with us despite how far we run.

After church, Doug decided we could find our way home by foot (we took a taxi to church). Thankfully, there are signs in Belgrade to guide you to attractions/locations--and the signs are written in Cyrillic and English! Our apartment is between two great landmarks-- the Slavia Hotel and the Saint Slava Church. Doug thought McDonald's sounded good for lunch. Since I couldn't fix him a great, homemade dinner (Ohio style--I just don't have the equipment, spices, etc. here to do it), it was his choice.

We took a short nap before heading out on foot in the misty rain to see Mila. We wondered if the gates would be open when we arrived, but we were greeted at the gate as normally (show our visitor pass and handing over my passport while visiting) and went in to see Mila. When we got upstairs the hall was quiet. The kind caretaker who speaks English said "oh, you coming today!" She walked into Mila's room and found she was asleep. When she told me "she is sleeping, you want to wait?" I said we would wait, and maybe with the sound of my voice, her little eyes opened. The lady changed her diaper and handed her to me.

We had a wonderful visit with Mila. She seemed truly happy to see us today. I wonder if she missed us as much as we missed her yesterday. We got to hear many noises and an occasional "Papa", which made Doug's Father's Day a little more special. When we got home, we had the chance to see and talk to Hannah (thanks to skype), so Papa got to see both his girls. I brought a Father's Day card that Hannah had picked out before we left home, so Doug got something a little special from his princess at home.

So tomorrow we will go and visit Mila twice (once morning, once in the afternoon). We need to go to the pharmacy and purchase some items to be ready to have Mila at the apartment. We have plans to have dinner with Devin and Stacy tomorrow evening. We are excited to be able to spend some time with them. Stacy is an OT, I would love for her to look at Mila once we "spring" her!

Happy Father's Day to both our Dads. We are miles away because of your example--to love everyone, regardless of their background, beliefs, nationality, or abilities. We can't wait to get home and introduce you to your newest granddaughter!

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