Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Carter Family New Year letter

Carter Family New Year Letter

Jan. 12, 2008
I am going to attempt to write a synopsis of the year 2007. If you have read this blog, you pretty much know what has gone on. 2007 was probably one of the best years we have experienced. It has been the most peaceful and joyful one to date in recent years.
Our year started off with a 2 week trip to China to claim Eli as our newest family member. It was an awesome trip and despite him not liking me at all the first two weeks, we get along incredibly well now. He is an awesome kid and was medicine to our family. Seora and Maggie had been on a long journey for some years healing from their past traumas and we were seeing a lot of progress being made in their lives. When Eli entered our home, it was like putting icing on the cake for those girls. I had not realized their grieving of losing younger siblings back in Romania. What an awesome gift from God in bringing Eli to them as their brother. Graham suffered some in being removed as the baby in the family but it was soon overcome once he realized that there was time for him too. He had prayed for many years for a "baby brother" and not one older than him. Now Eli copies everything Graham does and says, "Graham teach me bad things!" He says this when he gets into trouble for things. LOL
Eli is a bundle of joy and everywhere he goes, he receives favor. He had his surgery in June and did miraculously wonderful. The docs are still amazed at his progress. He goes for another MRI in Feb.
Settling back into our routine was a welcome thing for us and Eli fit right in. He loved our dogs too.
In March, God led us to another church unexpectedly and we became involved quite a bit. One of the greatest things that happened in March is that Seora became a Christian!!! We were so thrilled about this. Then in July, Maggie accepted Christ and this was a long awaited answer to prayer. We have seen both girls grow dramatically in their spiritual life. We have seen their healing and attachment to us accelerate quickly. We can only thank our God for this gift to us this year. Seora loves youth group and loves to dress up. Most of the time you will find her buried in a book or writing. She absolutely loves her dog Boosy and would dress him in clothes everyday if she could afford it. Maggie can't stand to sit still so you will find her either taking long walks or doing something around the house. She loves shopping and finding a good bargain. She has made a lot of friends in youth group as well. Nathaniel and Ben are doing great and are the same as ever! They are growing into young men. Ben STILL loves the weather, maps and the radio. We always know about the weather, whether it concerns us or not, :) where we are going and about the latest story or song on the radio. Nathaniel loves football stats and we are ALWAYS hearing about teams. They really enjoy youth group at church and have made many new friends. I look at them and stand in awe at how far along they have come since that day 11 years ago when they became our sons. There is always some activity going on with the youth at church and I love seeing them being really involved.
Graham is growing up too. I can't believe he is 11! He of course loves soccer and this year he played Club Soccer locally. He loved it as his team was all his best soccer buddies and the team rocked! We had awesome coaches and the first time team came in second in the state!!! Go Strikers!!! They played teams that had been together for years.
Duane has stayed busy with his practice and is doing well. I have seen him grow spiritually as well this year. He went on a mission trip with a group from our church to Carriacou, Grenda, Petite Martinique, and Trinadad right after Thanksgiving. Of course he came back with lots of pictures!!! Duane is a reading maniac, so spends his free time reading and writing (hoping he will have a book coming out soon) and going to play golf.
As for me, I have been busy with the children and other duties at home. We are still homeschooling and had an easier year this year as we are getting more used to it. There are still hard days but we get through them!
I had a painting streak and finished several paintings this spring but then didn't get the chance to paint again until October! It just didn't work out to go to my workshops that are every month either. That was way too long to not paint!!!! I sold several paintings in December so was thrilled with that. I am planning this year to get my painting going on a regular basis. I already have several projects lined up in my head. Now all I have to do is get them on paper! Besides running the household, this past year has been good for me too. God has grown me spiritually as well. I have loved seeing God work in our family. He has brought all of us together in ways, I would have never thought possible. Since coming to our new church, I have been involved in a small group of older and younger women that has richly blessed me with spiritual mothers and sisters. I also have been on the design team for our church as we build a new children's wing. That has kept my creative juices flowing.
Another thing I love to do is blog and though I haven't kept up as well since Eli has been home, I love writing and posting pictures. I enjoy working on my website too and hope to have a complete shop up and going where you can purchase my things right off the website.
This pretty much sums up the news about the family and we are looking forward to an even greater 2008.
We are in the process of starting a ministry along with two other couples in our church and are excited about what God is doing. There will be more news later.
We are headed to Uganda in 10 days to bring home our two newest children, Allen age 5 and Andrew age 7. That will make our family 10!!!!
I am looking forward to going back to Africa where I spent many years of my childhood.
Eli will have a playmate when Allen gets here. He gets bored with all of us and complains he has nobody to play with! I am sure we will have plenty of stories to tell in this new year.
Thanks to all of you who have prayed with us in Eli's adoption and throughout this year. We appreciate your support and love hearing from you!
Love, Melissa, Duane, Seora, Maggie,Ben, Nathaniel,Graham, and Eli
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