Monday, May 30, 2016

One Year With Caleb Ts'epo

The 28th of April marked our first year with Caleb!  It's been a special year, so we had a special celebration.  Besides our neighbors, missionary friends from Hope International Missions, Mission Aviation Fellowship, and Beautiful Gate (the home where Caleb spent his first nine months) joined us for the evening.

We had grilled chicken and hot dogs, rice, beans, and friends
brought in several yummy salads.
Stephanie shared this with everyone that night:

Caleb Ts'epo, tonight we want to celebrate the gift that God gave us in you. We prayed for you and wondered if and when God would answer those prayers. Then one year ago you became part of our family forever.

In that year, you have changed in so many ways. When you first came to us, you were quiet and unsure of your surroundings. Now you're extremely vocal—talking, singing, yelling “No way!” when you don't like something and “Amen” almost every time someone finishes praying (or when you think we should be finished!) . You are confident of your place in your family and are always ready to demand your turn in activities around our home.

You've learned to be quiet (most of the time) in church services, and you're even able to sit in one place although you may wiggle the whole time in that spot! You love people, and you love greeting them with “hello” and “bye” as they leave. Of course you're a fan of trucks and cars, especially big lorries (semis) that make interesting noises to imitate. Food is a biggie in your life, and you're always in a hurry to get in your high chair when you think it's meal time. Giving mbas (kisses) to everyone, including animals, stuffed and real, is a daily part of your life.

You are a busy little boy--climbing, running, playing, and making messes wherever you go. You are also a determined little boy, but God is giving us wisdom to train you in obedience to your parents. You love your parents, and you adore your sisters.

As for any little boy, this last year has been a time of learning for you—learning your family, sign language and words, new skills, and so many more things. But this is only the beginning of your life, and you have so much more to learn—about who you are, about God and His love, and what God's plan is for your life. These are some of the biggies, with all kinds of learning opportunities thrown into the mix.

One thing that we hope you will not have to learn, but will always know, is that you were wished for, longed for, prayed for, and wanted.

One year ago you became part of our family forever. God chose you and gave us YOU! You, along with your two beautiful sisters, are precious gifts from God. We love you, Caleb Tsepo, and we always will!

Here are a few highlights from the first year:
Meeting Caleb Ts'epo for the first time
Getting acquainted with Kaitlyn
The day we took Caleb home

My first day in my "forever home"
A special adoption ceremony at Beautiful Gate two weeks
after we adopted Caleb Ts'epo
Besides our family (from left to right) is 'Me Makatleho
(Beautiful Gate's social worker), Anita (Beautiful Gate's
assistant director), and 'Me Ntebo (the Government social
worker who helped us with every step of the adoption.)

Brrrr!  It's cold in our house in the winter!
First birthday

Quality time with Kaitlyn
Playing with Kristell

Sometimes I get so tired I can't stay awake through lunch!