Monday, April 9, 2007

My turn now...



OK, I guess it's my turn. She insisted I write something on her blog. And I probably won't be doing this often, because let's be honest: most of you see me all the time. However, Katie thought some of you might wanna read a couple quick thoughts from my perspective, so here goes...

Right now I'm sitting on the patio on the roof of Katie's apartment at over 6,000 ft. above sea level, at the foot of an enormous volcano, Agua. We've come to call it Mt. Doom though, because we're nerdy, and it looks like a dragon should live there. It's a sunny day (it's ALWAYS a sunny day here), and Eliot is sitting at my feet talking on his new cell from that Lisa put in his first Easter basket. Although Katie and I are pretty sure he just said, "Hi dada," it's obvious that he's talking to Bob Seibel, because all he's saying into the phone is "bob bob bob." The fajitas from my birthday lunch are still happily sitting in my belly and the sound of busy Latin America is all around. All that to say, pretty stinking cool place to write a blog entry. So what the heck do I write about?

It's my birthday. I'm not saying that because I want a present. I'm saying it because my birthday is April 9, which means Katie has celebrated Christmas, New Year's, her birthday, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and now my birthday, all right here in Antigua. Unbelievable. Many of you often ask me, "so how long has she been down there?" Well, she's missed the entire baseball offseason, college bowl games, the NFL playoffs, Super Bowl and March Madness. She was here for Spring Training and Opening Day. Get it? 4 1/2 months.

Although this may seem like complaining, here's what I'm driving at... you're reading this because you love Katie Mohr and care what's going on in her world. So if I wanted you to read something in her blog right now it would be this: I wish you guys could understand Katie's life down here. And I wish you could see how amazing she is.

Katie estimates that if she came home within the next month that she would probably have about 700 pictures from her trip. And if you looked at every one and heard the story behind it I'm convinced you wouldn't get it. Talk to any of the other 4 women that have visited her here and you'll see. They could talk for hours and still feel like they're at a loss for words, that somehow they just can't explain what it's like. This may give you a glimpse, though: Katie knows this town as well as anyone. She knows dozens of American foster moms down here (and their baby's names). She has a church where they know her and Eliot. Shop owners and waiters know her and Eliot. During the Easter parades we kept running into people who knew her and Eliot. Today in the town square a little merchant girl and her mother came up and she and Katie just started chatting like old friends. Beth said Katie had locals asking her for directions. Her cell phone rings all the time. It's pretty bazarre. She's in a foreign country, a crazy culture, speaking a foreign language, being a first-time mom... a SINGLE mom. And she's amazing at it all. And she just went downstairs to bake me a birthday cake as if we're just chilling at our house. Yup, she's made quite a life down here. This is a tiny, tiny snapshot. I wish I could describe it.

I guess I needed to write this mostly for myself; so I can look at this and remember how proud I am of her. It really is amazing. With all the things that there are to complain about, as difficult as this process has been, with setbacks in the adoption, and having not seen anything or anyone familiar for almost 5 months now, she's embraced this situation and taken it head-on. Yes, it's been very hard. She can't even look at the dogs on web cam without crying. But if you could see the day to day strength that the Lord has graced her with you'd be blown away. I don't think very many people could do this. I really don't think many people could do this and still stand firm in their faith (and yell at their husband for not reading his Bible today). And you should see her with this little guy. Man, does he love her to death (maybe that's for a different blog). I don't even think she realizes it all, but one thing is certain: The Lord is carrying her. I wish you could all see what I see down here.

Sorry I'm so long-winded.

When you pray for Katie Mohr, don't feel sorry for her. Yes, please pray that she and El will come home soon. Pray for continued strength and encouragement. Pray for her heart, which faces hard questions and misses friends, family and church. But also thank God for the way that He has carried her through the toughest season of her life in such a way that myself and the other women who have seen her in action down here just stand in awe. Maybe someday you can all come down with us on a family vacation and Katie can show you around....

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Katie is an amazing person...we are all so lucky to know her. We a very happy for the three of you! Happy birthday, and enjoy your time in Antigua.

Alton, Amanda, Dakota, and Ali

'Aunt Pam' Brannon said...

Happy Birthday, Russ!
What a wonderful blog! I can say, I am not surprised. Katie has always grabbed life by the horns -- with a smile -- since she was a little bitty girl, in that pink Easter dress and matching hat and white patent leather shoes. She has grown into such a beautiful strong woman. And without even seeing her in action, I know she is a wonderful mother, because she has the heart for it! So glad you could spend Easter as a family.

Hugs all round,
Aunt Pam & Uncle Chuck

Sandra Mohr said...

Russ,
Somewhere you have acquired quite a way with pen and pad (or keyboard and blogspot). You did the best job ever of explaining Katie and her experience in Antigua. I found new respect and great admiration for her in the time I was able to spend there. Watching and listening to her bartering with the shop keepers in the market was the best. She was so sure of herself (and so cute). You are certainly right about Eliot's loving her. It is undeniable. And seeing her in the role of "mom" was such a blessing. I am so grateful for the time I was able to be with them, meet so many of her friends and witness just what is happening there. There really aren't words to explain it, though I have not stopped talking since I got home.
Great job on the blog entry. I love hearing thoughts from both of you....
Happy Birthday,
Mom

Mary Alice Janelle Drummond said...

I love you guys so much, everyday that I read this I am encouraged by all of this. I see your joy and passion in the Lord each entry. God is so big. This has been such a great experience for you guys. People here ask about Russ so much from the concerts that he has done here and I get to tell your amazing story. Thank you Katie for taking time out of your days to fill us in on whats going on. I can just see your love and care for others in doing this. You want us to know. I love you guys so much and I just pray that the Lord blesses you more and more each day you are there.

Lance and Heather said...

Mohrs - As difficult as this time is, I wish you could both get a small glance into the effect you are having on those who love you. Every day, we think of you both, anxiously check your blog, and are encouraged. It has helped us minister to other people. Thank you for your ministry. LD

Brad said...

Dude. You guys rock. 'Nuff said.