Then, in May of 2005, God closed the door on our journey. It was heart wrenching for us. It was the realization that we "might never have kids" and the end of journey that we had worked so hard for. At that time, our church had set up a special "Russian Adoption" fund that people were contributing to for our family. Because that money was earmarked for Russian adoption, we wanted the remainder to be used for that. There were so many families raising funds to travel that we didn't know where to start. Then, one day, on the discussion group, a precious lady told about their referral of a beautiful little boy and how they were having to raise money ASAP so they could travel to get him.
I showed Dan her message and in that moment, we both knew our remaining money needed to go to them. I emailed her privately to ask if she would be offended if we sent it to her. Over the last year, I had come to know so much about her. She was such a precious lady with an exploding faith. I had read her words with admiration. I watched her faith grow by leaps and bounds. Up until that point, I didn't know why God had taken us on that whirlwind of a journey to just shut the door but I knew that her family factored in somehow.
They went to Russia to get their sweet boy, Jack. Then, a couple of years later, they went to Poland to get Grace. I followed their journeys. I prayed for them. We emailed back and forth on a regular basis. We are friends on Facebook. We follow and comment on each others private and public blogs. We are friends...we have just never met!
Well, it just so happens that last year when we first heard from the church in DeLand, I called her first. She is a Floridian and my Mapquest calculations told me we would be only 1.5 hours apart. We screamed like giddy little girls. While we had never before met, we were such good friends. We cried together over the sickness and death of our mutual friend Karin. We rejoiced over potty training successes. We oogle over each others kids like some kind of strange stalker. Seriously, I love this lady! And, we finally got a chance to meet!!!!!!
Dan did a wedding in her home town of Ponte Vedra, FL a few weeks back. So, we got to hang out Friday night and all day Saturday. Walking into her home was like walking in to the place I had been hundreds of times. Only God can orchestrate a friendship like this. And, just in case you find it odd that all of these words were about Katie and there isn't one single picture of her in this post, then you can chalk that up to my preggo brain. I made sure to get pics of the kiddos playing together but not one of the two of us. Never fear, I see many play dates in our future!!
Jack and Jonah playing in Jack's room