Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 5 - America

Yesterday was a great day. Equipped with a good night's sleep I woke up ready for whatever the day would bring and as it turned out, it was pretty laid back anyway. We hung around the house all day and finally that afternoon I had to run the grocery store. Vika wanted to go so she and Kayla piled in the van with me and we headed to Publix. I just didn't think I wanted to introduce Vika to Walmart in Phenix City on the 4th of July. (Its still a little overwhelming for me, folks.) 

She was very excited to go and really wanted to push the cart. We walked through the store and she was rather quiet except for the few times she saw something she recognized. The she would say "Mama! Sausage!" as if to show off her English. I decided to get some soda, which is a treat at our house since I don't want the kids drinking it in a regular basis. I picked it up and showed her and said "soda" and she smiled and said "Coca-cola". Yes, coca cola is another one of those universal things! She didn't ask for anything while we were there so I pulled out my handy dandy Google translator to ask if there was something special she would like to try. She smiled and shrugged. She didn't even know what to ask for. I already had a few treats planned over the next week so we headed out and she finally asked for a pack of gum at the register. This girl loves her gum. 

We came home and I made dinner before we headed to the 4th of July celebration downtown. We joined up with some friends and watched some people performing before the fireworks show. It amazes me the little things that bring such awe for Vika. Of course she was extremely excited to see the crowds, the vendors, and all of the excitement. But she showed genuine awe and excitement when people would lose their balloons and they flew up in the sky. I mean the girl still expresses awe over ice cubes. Yes, ice cubes. She puts them in her cup and pushes them down a few times to watch them float back up. 

Sorry about the picture quality- I was taking them with my phone!
So, we had been looking forward to her experiencing the fireworks. And she was excited as we had predicted. It is such a rewarding thing. When Brian and I had all the kids in bed last night he compared it to all those special moments you get to experience as your child grows up- and you witness all their firsts and the wonder and excitement that comes along with it. When you host a child who comes from hard places where they have nothing, you get the honor of witnessing all those firsts wrapped up in one week. He commented, "Its a strange thing to be able to check off someone's entire bucket list in a week". I agree. It's an odd feeling. 

I don't recommend taking firework pictures with a phone. But whatev. 


I spent 11 years as a military wife so I suppose I will always feel pride when I hear the national anthem and always get a little teary when they raise a flag. I have had a glimpse of the sacrifice behind that flag. But to watch these celebrations with someone who knows nothing of our abundant blessings.... makes me more aware than ever how much we have. Brian spent three years in Iraq and has witnessed so much that gives him some frame of reference to understand what it might be like for her to have nothing and come here and suddenly have everything. I have never known anything but American abundance so it's hard to wrap my mind around. 

It is overwhelming because as great as it is it begs the question... what then? Are we making a long term impact? We felt called to live out Isaiah 1:17 and bring justice to the orphan but I keep praying "Lord, what does justice for Vika look like"? But I know I tend to rush ahead. So I remind myself that it is only Day 5. And I remember how excited she was and how tight she squeezed me before bed. And I have to be thankful for that and rest in something I heard in a song yesterday at that celebration. 

"No one knows what tomorrow holds except the One who holds tomorrow." 
                        - Jonathan and Lisa Moore

God bless America. 

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