This is what I'm calling Chapter 2 and I still love the title because before 2009 there was so much our eyes were NOT open to, but now let's talk about WHAT WE'VE SEEN! God has taken us places we never wanted to go, but would go back again. Whatever it is, I desire to be authentic and transparent so that my readers really do know that NOW WE SEE!
~The Pyle Family
It has been over 2 years since I have put pen to paper so to speak, on this blog. The reason: fear! Fear that bearing my soul the way I had the year before would leave others with the question “when will she ever think about something else?”. Fear that telling our story could complicate our efforts as we continued to work in the country that held the keys of freedom for our children. Fear that I had run out of anything to say that could ease the pain of this path our family had taken.
Before I started this entry, I took a good, long look at all of my previous posts and what a roll of emotions had been captured, but I was mostly struck by the intensity of love God has for his children. He has carried me through, by far, the hardest years of my life and is bringing my family and me to a whole new chapter!
One of the posts I was reading about was called “Scattered” and it’s hard to believe now, but at that time, Fran had moved to Texas and the kids and I were still in Missouri waiting for our house to sell so we could all be together in Texas. We had put our house on the market just weeks after we decided to adopt and so at that time it had been for sell for over a year. So here we are, IN LOUISVILLE KY….what??? Yes, Louisville KY and the incredible news is our house just sold a few weeks ago (more than 3 years after putting in on the market…three years is becoming a theme)! Oh God’s timing! Fran and I have said several times, “Why Louisville? We had never considered living here and I don’t think I had ever even been to Louisville before we decided to move here.” Just so you know as you are reading this, there were 2 very important things we learned quickly once we got here and number one was to decide right away if we are “blue” or “red” (UK or U of L) and the other is to learn how to say "Looavull” as if we had lived here our entire life. As of 3:00pm yesterday (December 29th, 2012), I looked at Fran and said “I think I know why we moved to Louisville” and without my explanation he responded “I think you’re right”.
We have lived here a year and ½ and just as I haven’t blogged much about our story, I haven’t talked about it much either. With our whole story beginning in Springfield Mo., we had friends and family who had walked this road with us from the very beginning and when they saw me out in public, they knew what questions to ask because they knew the whole story. Here, we sat at our kid’s soccer games, Lacrosse games, football games, wrestling tournaments and no one around us knew the heavy burden we carried. The days when we got incredible news about the adoption ban lifting or scary news about our immigration paperwork getting ready to expire were some of the hardest days because as we sat at those games we didn’t have a clue how to talk about what was really going on in our lives. Unfortunately, we totally underestimated the people of Louisville.
Malachi started a new adventure this year in wrestling and has opened the door for us to start this dialogue about our lives. Anissa and Kyle Goldsmith are two people who will forever hold a very special place in our hearts. Anissa has been like my personal cheerleader as well as the organizer of a fundraiser to buy the plane tickets to get our kids home and Kyle is a strong presence of “this is how you get things done”. Kyle and Anissa not only believe in us and our cause, but they believe in the community we live in to step up and walk along side us from this day forward.
With our adoption being full and final as of August 2, 2012, our greatest need-to-date is purchasing plane tickets( $8,000-$10,000) once the visas are issued. Anissa’s words were “we have to do something about this”. My first thoughts were “YES” we do, but then I quickly remembered “wait, why is this her responsibility, she just learned about this”. Again I have underestimated and failed to remember that this entire story is not just about me. I am reminded that from the very beginning, we have been blown away by people stepping up to help us. Thinking back to years ago when we had Todd Arbeitman (from the FM stores) basically donating material for the blankets and tons of people in the community of Springfield to help us make the blankets. There are people who have taken a more silent role in this process, but please don’t think we have forgotten my parents or Dr. McCauley. Remember the “163 Event” where we were able to help several people raise money for travel to The Covering? There was another need at that event where again the people in the community rose up to sponsor around 50 new children who had come into The Covering after the horrifying Shenge ferry accident in Sierra Leone. The Raining Season had no idea how they would feed or clothe all of these new children who had just lost everything, but the community of people in Springfield MO bridged a gap to start sponsoring them and to walk along with TRS in caring for the orphan. To the most recent events where one of my very favorite people in the world (Chrissie Woodruff) put out a plea on our behalf asking for donations to buy items for a raffle we were having and again people giving enough money to purchase an iPad mini and a 32” LCD TV along with a dear family (the Clarks) who donated the Blackberry playbook for this raffle. Wow…I am truly humbled by God’s way of showing me this is not at all about me, but about His children being given the opportunity to do great things so that He can get the glory deserved. Remember what it feels like when your kids do something great, whether it is pinning a kid on the wrestling mat or making 86 blankets for orphans in Africa, it makes us proud as a parent. Our Heavenly Father is proud!
On December 19th, 28th and 29th, North Oldham Middle School wrestling team hosted a tournament for area teams. Prior to the tournament, Anissa had contacted the local newspaper and WDRB news to cover the story. Well it didn’t take long for our quiet story to be on the hearts of many people in Oldham County. After 3 days of sharing our story to crowds of people, an article in the paper, and a TV news report, we have raised $5,400 for the purchase of plane tickets for Sam, Betty, and Fallah with more people asking how to make donations after seeing the news report last night! Overwhelmed by that number….YES! More overwhelmed by a community of people who are standing beside us, behind us, and all around us as we go through the final stages of the visa process AND prepare for these children to live here in Oldham County…ABSOLUTELY! The past few days, people have verbalized their willingness to be there for us as we open this next chapter…to pray for us…to support us. WOW!
Some of my memories of the past few days:
-An anonymous donation of $220 for 1 ticket per child who lost their young life in the Sandy Hook tragedy.
-Julie with a $50 donation stating with tears: “Today is my birthday and this is how I want to spend my birthday money”.
-Logan about age 9 “Can I ask you a question?” “Can I just give you money because I don’t have $10 for a ticket.”
-A student from OC Middle school who was on the way to the concession stand to buy a drink, but instead turned around to our table and threw the dollar on the table when he thought I wasn’t looking. He didn’t get his drink, but I pray he will be rewarded far greater.
-A generous donation from a family who knew us when we first moved here and just remembered us when they saw the article in the paper. You never know what impact you have on people, but they may never know the true impact they just had on us far beyond the money!
-Another generous donation from a dad who wrote a check, and knowing I wasn’t expecting the amount, stated as he walked away “I don’t need a raffle ticket, you are doing a great thing”.
-An Oldham County Mom who couldn’t even speak because of the tears as she handed me $100 and didn’t even want a raffle ticket.
I know there were more moments just like these, but this is just a small glimpse of our last few days, but a large view of why we moved to Louisville. As I am typing these last few lines, I can barely see the computer screen through the tears. We are the Pyle family (all 8 of us). We live in Oldham County. We are truly blessed!
If you feel called and would like to donate to help get our kids home, we would be honored for you to walk beside us: you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org