365 days as Team Barker Party of FOUR!
Our family was created through loss and I will never take for granted the gift of stewarding Frank & Blaise’s story, our story, of tragedy and beauty, loss and finding, brokenness and healing. Adoption is a journey of hard and never ending beauty. What an honor to discover how to walk that tension.
October 19, 2019 changed our world completely. Reid and I are not strangers to our worlds being turned upside down. Our adoption journey would change our lives for the better.
Going from the two of us with no children to overnight becoming parents to 4 & 5 year old boys was a whirlwind. Those early days were full of us trying our best to understand Kirundi (the boys native language) and helping Frank and Blaise adjust to an ENTIRELY new environment halfway across the world. Everything was new and exciting for them. The boys adjusted better than we ever could have imagined. They were showered with so much love from our family and close friends and all of you who have supported and loved us through it all.
January 2020 rolled around and we were so expectant for a year full of so many firsts with our boys: spring break fun, summer trips, the zoo, waterparks, etc. and while COVID-19 changed many of our firsts…it was actually a sweet time for our family. Before Quarantine hit, Frank was able to start Kindergarten in January and have 2 months of full time school. Walking him into school that first day revealed to us just how brave he is. He walked in speaking very little English, having no idea what school in America would be like, and having only a couple of new friends. He.is.SO.brave!!! He rocked Kindergarten and finished strong through the pandemic.
Quarantine was surprisingly a gift for the Barker Household. The first 8 weeks they were home and I was on maternity leave was beautiful but so very difficult at the same time with the language barrier. Fast Forward to March 2020 and the boys were speaking English and were completely bonded to us and trusted us 100%. We had the best time growing our bond even stronger and spending every waking second together. Although their first year has proven to look so different than we EVER imagined…I would not trade it for anything. We received the unexpected gift of time together (a second bonding period) and that is a huge PRAISE!
We had a fabulous summer that included the boys first beach trip and they spent time this summer preparing for starting school. Blaise is in Kindergarten and Frank is in 1st grade. Blaise has Frank’s kinder teacher, Mrs. Fields and she is a complete GOD SEND for Team Barker. She loves and adores our boys and is truly the most perfect first teacher in America for our sweet boys.
We knew from the beginning that our family dynamics and appearance would lead to questions. Reid and I have always been OK with those questions because those questions always point to Jesus!
Friends, as believers, our lives should be a beautiful disruption in this chaotic world. I encourage you to do the things that God has laid on your heart. Do what scares you because if HE has called you to it, He is faithful to see you through it. We cannot shout from the rooftops loud enough just how much beauty comes from obedience.
Is adoption hard? Without.a.doubt!!! Are there hard questions? Difficult discussions? Tears? Yes, of course. However, on the flip side of that, there is so much love, respect, deep joy, laughter, and deep, special bonds that are unexplainable. I cannot imagine if we would have missed out on this calling. Our lives would not be the same without our boys.
Adoption continues to reflect the Gospel in every way and that is a special gift that we have the honor to open every morning.
Frank and Blaise— When we look into your eyes, we will never see a reflection of our own eyes. However, what we do see is just as powerful: A reflection of our complete and unstoppable love for you. A love that was grown in the midst of our tears and laughter.
You two are BRAVE and RESILIENT. Thank you for letting us in. Thank you for opening your hearts and making room for us. Thank you for allowing us to love you. You have changed our lives in the best way possible. We are proud of you and we are beyond proud to be your Mama and Papa. The privilege to be called Mama and Papa by you is never lost on us and are roles we hold with the highest regard. We are so expectant of what year #2 as a family has in store.
I trust the next chapter for our family because I know the author. He writes the best stories. He is faithful. He is kind. He is generous. He lavishes His gifts on us when we are so undeserving. I pray as a family, we will continue to walk in obedience. That we will continue to be strong and courageous because God’s past faithfulness in our lives demands our present trust ALWAYS!
Thank you all for your love, support, prayers, and encouragement to us throughout the last 3 ½ years when we began our adoption journey. You have been with us through so much and we are grateful for everyone’s role in bringing our boys home and loving us since!
ALL our love,
Team Barker Party of FOUR
Reid, Lisa, Frank & Blaise