Okay, okay, I know I JUST said that "our next update *could* mean that we've seen his face"....so if that's the only reason you're here, you can go back to what you were doing before and know that I'm truly sorry for getting your hopes up. BUT we celebrated our first Indian holiday last week, and I wanted to document it on our blog because it is all part of our son's story and our family's story. So if you're curious about our celebration (or just want to see some photos of some cute kids) keep reading.
Now that we are in the midst of pursuing an adoption from India, we want to incorporate some of our future son's culture and traditions into our family. So, we (sort of) celebrated Diwali on October 19. Diwali is "The Festival of Lights" and is a very popular holiday in India and other parts of Asia. It is a Hindu holiday so there are certain aspects of Diwali (like the worship of various gods) that we will never celebrate or embrace- hence the "sort of" celebrated disclaimer. The whole premise of Diwali, though, is the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. We know the only One who is truly good and the only Way to overcome the darkness of sin. We know who made the light, whose Word lights our path, and that we should reflect the light of the Son. Because of these things, we can totally get on board with the overall theme of Diwali.
The girls and I used sidewalk chalk to make rangoli. These are traditionally made with dyed rice, colored sand or even flower petals. Rangoli sometimes has other purposes, but we just wanted to decorate for the occasion with bright colors and geometric designs. Okay, maybe my 1.5 & 3 year old didn't care about geometric designs, but I still tried!
We had dinner at an Indian restaurant near our house with some friends that have walked with us through this long adoption journey. (They also happen to be the same sweet friends we celebrated Ethiopian New Year with the past 3 years.) Our Diwali dinner was complete with butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, basmati rice, nan, and chai tea. It was also a bit of a party with 3 three year olds and a 1.5 year old. I think we definitely left an impression at the restaurant...if you know what I mean.
Diwali is typically celebrated with lights, lamps, candles, and fireworks. We chose to release some floating lanterns. (Eliza spent the whole day asking if it was time to set off the Tangled lanterns yet. I'm honestly surprised she didn't wear her Rapunzel costume for the occasion.) We wrote prayers and Bible verses on the lanterns, praying that the people of India would see the true light of Jesus Christ. (Some scripture to check out about the Light is Genesis 1:3-5, Psalm 36:9, Psalm 119:105, John 1:9, John 8:12, Matthew 5:14-16, Rev. 21:23.) We recently learned that India is #1 on the list of "Top 10 Countries with the Most Unreached Peoples. As they celebrate The Festival of Lights, they are really in such spiritual darkness. Pray with us for the unreached people of India.
As it turned out, the lanterns DID NOT float up into the sky like in Tangled, no matter how many times we tried! But the lanterns were REALLY good at catching on fire before they ever took off! (We blame manufacturer error rather than user error, haha.) BUT, hey, they did still give off plenty of light as they incinerated....and the whole scene provided us with a lot of laughs...so we will still call it a success.
We wrapped up the night by finishing our immigration paperwork, which will allow us to bring a child into the US. God put it on our hearts almost 5 years ago to adopt a little boy, and we know that our son is out there somewhere. We know that God knows exactly where he is at this exact moment, and we are hopeful that we will know where he is (and what he looks like!) within the next few months. We pray that we can celebrate next Diwali as a family of 5...and hopefully the girls and I will have some authentic saris to wear too - swoon!
For real guys, our next update really *could* mean that we've seen his face! It's getting closer!!