Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Every year when Lent comes around, I remind everyone that, although I am not Catholic, this is a season of reflection, of meditation. A season to turn inward and outward at the same time...maybe to turn inside out. It's a time to step away from my favorite pastime, the GCM message board, and to see what flows out of spending my time elsewhere. The scraps of spare time I would have spent on the message board become a time to hear my own voice and, more importantly, the voice of the One who leads me. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is a day of confession, a day, perhaps, to start over with a clean slate, to come clean before the Most Holy.

Yesterday I wanted to spend a nice evening with Mango, but I hadn't showered and I'd been cleaning and cooking and doing laundry all day. My head felt heavy. I felt rushed and task-oriented. We were getting ready to walk out the door when I said, "I just need to go take a shower." I needed to get clean, refreshed. I couldn't see myself having one nice conversation feeling so rumpled and oily.

Maybe that's what Ash Wednesday is about. We confess and come clean so that we can sit down and have a real conversation with the One who loves us best.

We are in a unique position here at The Midnight Cafe. As I said in my last post, we're in this peculiar place of reentry. I can't think of a better time to be in this place. Our spirits are ready for Lent, ready to regain focus, to seek new direction, to anticipate spring, the celebration of Easter, the return of the leaves and biking and long afternoons in the sun.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I'm tentatively stepping back into The Midnight Cafe, maybe ready to reenter the blog world after the immigration story.

...and I'm working on reentering life. After nearly two weeks of total exhaustion, I feel rested. I might be ready to take on the rest of know, life after reentering the U.S., life after The Visa Process, the post-really-super-high-stress life. In this new life, different stresses have stepped to the fore but none so intense as immigration.

The reentry has been surreal. So surreal, in fact, that there are more feelings and pictures than words. What's happening here is so very hard to say. Maybe because we don't know what it is yet. Or who we are now. I predicted this would happen, and it still ambushed me.

Now, nobody start worrying. We are well. We're just unfamiliar to ourselves.

On Monday night the guitars came out again. There's something about having everyone in the living room and most of them strumming away on guitars that brings us back to our center, brings us into focus, allows us to "reenter" when life has us all befuddled. We are, after all, still just "us."

I think of the astronauts when the space shuttle reenters the earth's atmosphere and for 4 minutes they can neither send nor receive communication from earth. Or the moments under water right before breaking through the surface. Or the timeless minutes between the crowning of a baby and the birth of its whole body.

The time between here (Consulate of the United States of America):

and here:

Friday, February 13, 2009

A picture worth a thousand words...

On the night before we left for Mexico, I promised Novio that we would bring Vespera home... And we did:


When we got home, there was a big welcome sign in our entry, and these on the kitchen table:

You can see Psalm 94:18-19 on the wall behind the roses. This was one of the last scriptures I posted in an effort to hold the anxiety at bay...

"When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Embassy, The Border, and Home

Thursday was the day of Vespera's appointment at the Embassy. The only trouble was that it wasn't until 1:45 in the afternoon. I don't know why it's easier to wait for something when it's still a month or a week or a day away, but the last hours feel like agony. That is the way it is, though. Vespera volunteered in the first grade classroom at the school until lunch time. Then Mr. & Mrs. Missionary invited us to have lunch in the school lunchroom. We sat with the phy. ed. teacher who comes from Texas once a week to teach at the school. He speaks very little Spanish and commented to me on how great Vespera's Spanish is. I had to chuckle.

After lunch we prayed together. Our car was already packed. There was nothing left to do. So, we drove to the Embassy. We arrived at 12:30pm. They don't let anyone in until half and hour before their appointment time, though. So, we waited in the car until we couldn't stand it any longer, and then we walked the half a block to the Embassy sloooowly. The security guards at the entrance said that one of us could go with Vespera. So, Mango went with her. At that point I was feeling like I wouldn't be good at keeping her spirits us, and, besides, Mango was the petitioner for her visa, and his name was on all the paperwork.

And my parents and I walked back to the car. We stopped to ask people how long we should expect to wait. The security person told us 4 to 6 hours. We asked how long the Embassy is open, and he said they'd be open until the last person left. It appeared from the crowds waiting outside and the people in the parking lot that 1:45pm was actually the last appointment time of the day. After that they just try to finish processing everyone who is already inside.

Waiting feels like agony when you can't even see what's going on. Mango & Vespera were not allowed to have cell phones inside the building. So, we had no way to contact them, and they had no way to let us know how everything was going. I was grateful we'd had lunch right before we left, but it looked like everyone was going to be pretty hungry by the time we finally left.

Novio called Vespera's phone while we were waiting, and I answered because I knew it was him. I told him that Vespera and Mango were in the Embassy and that we'd call when we had news. Then I said, "I'll sit here & bite my nails in Mexico and you bite your nails there in MN. Hopefully we'll have good news tonight." He said he didn't have any nails left to bite. He already bit them all off. When I told Vespera about it later she said, "He bit them all before we even left." He has a quiet anxiety, whereas I felt like I was talking all the time and spilling anxiety all over the place.

...except there in the car in the parking lot outside the Embassy in Mexico. Then I was quiet. There was nothing left to say. We'd done all we could do, and the rest was up to God. I read Isaiah 43. I prayed. I called Mango's parents and asked them to pray. Minutes ticked by ever so slowly.

After 2.5 hours we decided to go for a walk to stretch our legs and get out of the dusty parking lot. We walked back past the Embassy. Just as we were peering through the doors and noting that the crowd waiting outside had dwindled considerably, Vespera and Mango came walking out. They were wearing strained smiles.

They had fingerprinted Vespera and made her sign some documents about her identity and marital status. Then they rescheduled her interview for Friday morning at 9:15am.

Immediately I felt that we'd be having a long night. This last wait would be interminable. We called our missionary friends, and they told us to go on back to the school for the night. We stopped at Monchis for dinner. I called Tesha and Vespera called Novio. We hung out in the car while my parents and Mango put in our orders. I joked that I had wanted one of the hamburgers from Monchis and this was my chance.

Strangely, there were no tears. In fact, Vespera and I hit the dorm showers when we got back to the school. Clean and warm, we settled in to watch a movie with Mango on his little ipod screen. We watched "Love's Abiding Joy," a movie based on a Jeanette Oke novel I read back in high school. It was a sweet and simple story, something like what we needed at the moment. Then Vespera and I spent some time journaling, and she did some sketching. Mango was next to me praying while I wrote. Once we turned out the lights, Mango talked and talked with Vespera telling her about God's love and faithfulness and how he believed she would be approved in the morning.

Honestly, one of the biggest reasons we had for believing that God would send us back to Minnesota was Novio. It's strange and definitely a work of God that two children, born not far from each other in Mexico, had to come all the way to Minnesota to find each other. And even then, they would not have developed a relationship at all if Vespera hadn't been adopted into our family, where she had the time and space to nurture a relationship. We have watched them grow together, watched their hearts knit into each other, watched them work through tough misunderstandings and support each other through real difficulties. We have stood by as they have laughed and played and cried. They've camped and snowboarded and made dinner together. They are God's gift to each other. And that gift was enough to make us believe that God had enough reason to send us back to Minnesota. The miracle of this trip to Mexico would be a foundational miracle in their lives together, in their understanding God together, in their recognition that God has a plan for them.

Mango recited the 23rd Psalm to Vespera, and she fell asleep clutching his hand.

And we all slept peacefully for about 7 hours...probably the most peaceful and sound sleep any of us had had all week.

I was still worried in the morning, unsure what kind of experience they had at the Embassy, but Mango's confidence shored up my own emotions. I walked them to the door, kissed Vespera on the forehead and blessed her, and then I watched them walk into the Embassy together.

An hour and a half later Mango came running out, needing some of my cash money. He told me she was approved, but he needed to pay something or other. I sent him off with my purse and then sat down, weak-kneed in the car. I felt all the blood drain from my head and, for a moment, wondered if I would faint. So this is what it feels like to release all of one's anxiety at once.

They both came walking out to the car some little bit of time later, happy but somewhat subdued. They don't actually stamp visas at the Embassy. They sent the packet through a courier service (DHL) where we had to pick it up between 4 and 6 that evening OR, if it wasn't in then, we'd have to pick it up Saturday. Our hearts sank at the possibility of another night in Mexico. We were overjoyed that she was approved, but with that joy came an overwhelming desire to be back home.

We resigned ourselves to a lunch at Burger King because it was near the DHL office, and we settled in to stay a few hours since we didn't have anywhere else to go. Mango and Vespera told us the story of the interview. The woman who interviewed them was from our home state, here, Minnesota. She was actually from Duluth. AND she was a Christian. She told Mango & Vespera that she prays over her job every morning before she goes to work because she knows she's making important decisions that really affect people's lives. She expressed genuine interest in our story, and she kept a tissue box nearby for all those people overcome with emotion while they're telling their story. Vespera smiled while she told me that Mango cried and needed some tissues to get through the interview, and the interviewer got all teary while they talked.

Of all the things we prayed for on this journey, one thing we asked over and over was for God to send a compassionate interviewer. The answer was beyond our wildest hopes.

The whole DHL thing was a huge fiasco. We called every half hour, as instructed, to find out if her packet had arrived. At 6pm we lined up at the door with everyone else, knowing the last shipment came in from the Embassy at 6pm. The DHL workers told us that if the packet didn't come Friday, we actually wouldn't get it until Monday. Oh, the agony. So, once we were inside the doors of the DHL office, we stood in a circle and prayed. Vespera suggested that we pray. Then we stepped up to the counter, almost positive that her packet wouldn't be there. We did not dare to hope, and somehow, it just didn't seem possible. But, there it was. They needed ID to give her the packet, though, and her passport was in the packet. So, she couldn't use her passport. The people at the Embassy told her she could use her birth certificate, but DHL said no. Then she remembered that she had brought her Mexican ID card on the trip, at Novio's suggestion, though I'd told her she probably wouldn't need it. She asked if that card would work, and it did. Mango & Vespera ran back to the car to get it while I remained at the counter smiling myself silly and giving my parents a thumbs-up through the window.

I have to say that of all the experiences we had in Mexico, this one at the DHL seemed somehow the most extraordinary, and we all feel sure there's a miracle buried in there somewhere. I seemed almost as though the packet was not really there at the DHL office until we prayed. We felt a certain confidence that it wouldn't be. Then we prayed, and there it was. Mango said he almost felt like it had been forgotten in the truck, but when we prayed the driver brought it in. We will never know that part of the story, except through the impressions and feelings we had while we were there.

We thought the story would end here, but it didn't. My dad wanted to buy us a celebration dinner in El Paso. We figured we could cross the border and then eat somewhere. So, we headed for the border. Our packet said we had to cross the Cordova bridge. So, that's where we went. And the line was surprisingly short. We felt exhilarated by such a quick crossing, BUT then we had to go into the Immigration building to turn in Vespera's packet and have her passport stamped. This was the least expected part of the whole trip. We waited THREE hours, through 2 more fingerprintings and another picture-taking to get her passport/visa back in hand and stamped.

While we were waiting, we met a young boy & girl who were approved at the Embassy that day, but their mother was denied. We met a little girl whose grandmother was sponsoring her visa to bring her to the States. She'd had two heart surgeries in her little life already. They were still waiting when we left. The grandmother said the wait didn't seem too long, though. When she immigrated in 1995 it took her 9 hours at the border to get her visa stamped. We gave the little girl our snack of nuts and raisins, as we felt beyond hunger and that point, and she was so small and tired and bored. Then there was the woman we'd seen in the DHL office earlier that day. When she was handed her packet at DHL she broke into uncontrollable sobbing. Tears ran down her face when they handed her visa to her at the border.

Sometimes around 11pm we walked back through customs inside the immigration building. The security guy congratulated Vespera with the words, "Welcome to the United States...legally." We smiled and walked to the car.

By the time we got into El Paso the only restaurant left open was Denny's, but we had our celebration dinner anyway. At midnight we stared driving home. At 2:15am Sunday we pulled up to our house. Never has there been a sweeter sight.

We woke Vespera when we got to the house and said, "Here we are!" Her response? A very sleepy, "Where? Where are we?" Gotta laugh at that one.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The working out of Faith & Theology

I'm not the kind of person who believes that faith is believing that God will take care of everything and it will all be fine. The truth is I think that much of the time everything is not fine, even for people who put their faith in God. I think the faith is in the not-knowing and trusting God anyway. Anne Lamott once said in a radio interview I heard, "The opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty." In other words, if you are certain of something, you have no need of faith. It's when we have doubts in our circumstances but we believe God anyway that we have faith.

And I don't believe that faith means believing that God will do such & such, though we may ask. Faith, I think, is believing that God is and that God can.

This is a really tough place to be. It means I went to Mexico not knowing whether or not everything would be fine. I knew simply that I would never leave Vespera and that I would fight for her admission to the United States. I believed that sooner or later we'd be able to bring her home to MN, but I didn't know if it would be a fight or how long it would take. I could not believe that God was going to take care of it all because I hadn't had some divine word from God that it was all going to go as planned, and I know that "bad things happen to good people" all the time. I went believing that whatever happened, God would work it our for good, as this is the promise we find in the Bible. I desperately wanted to bring her home, quickly, easily & safely. I begged for God's miraculous intervention. I cautiously assured Vespera that it would be ok. Somehow, it would be ok. Whatever happened, I wouldn't leave her, and we'd find a way, with God, to work it all out.

Feeling as I do about faith and the ability of people to mess with God's ideal plan (since people have free will & all), it was disconcerting to see a way opening up for us to continue on in Mexico. It felt a little like God was making a way for us to stay if we needed God was already "working all things together for good," even though it wasn't going to go our way. We saw how we could be useful at the school. Vespera was already volunteering in the classroom, and she was totally enjoying learning Spanish grammar, spelling & history. Mango is already a teacher, and I've taught in a few different capacities. Mango and I were getting some good practice with our Spanish. And, not least of all, the school had an empty apartment above the store that we had been offered if need should keep us in Mexico.

I was sick with the feeling that God might have a plan for us in Mexico at the same time that I took comfort in the same feeling. It's amazing to see parallel plans unfold, and I honestly believe that's what we were seeing. We were seeing the way the possibilities were laid out. And, in many ways, I think we saw the way that prayer changes things. I know God hears our prayers, and I know God has the power to intervene. I think there's power in numbers, and I know we had a "great cloud of witnesses" offering prayers on our behalf.

Mango saw these same things, and he really wrestled with these thoughts and with God in prayer on Thursday night after we were delayed at the Embassy Thursday and had to return Friday morning (more on that later). He told me that what it really came down to was asking God for "Plan A," to return to MN swiftly because of the witness it would be to other people, the testimony of God's love it would be for Vespera and for Novio, the way it would speak to the people at Mango's school and to Vespera's friends of God's sovereignty. We want nothing more than for this story to be a testimony of God's love and grace and power. Interestingly, Mango told me none of this until we got home, but while we were in Mexico the prayer I repeated more that once was, "God, please do this for your own glory, not because it's what we want but because of the glory it will bring to You...because it will show people Your heart."

We felt strongly the pull of the plans we felt like God had for us in MN...Vespera finishing high school, going to college, being home in time to apply for financial aid, Vespera & Novio getting to continue building and nurturing their gift of a relationship, Mane continuing her homeschooling in Minneapolis with all the resources we have available here... Though we knew the school in Juarez could make good use of us and that we would grow a tremendous amount if we stayed, it would also be the more difficult and painful journey. We begged God for the merciful journey...the journey home. Late Thursday night Mango felt the freedom from God to speak "in faith" that Vespera would be approved Friday, and we would get to go home.

This faith thing is so stormy, and it's on such a need-to-know basis. I was never convinced that things would go one way or the other until I heard the words that Vespera was approved on Friday, but I do believe that God can totally speak to people and let them know that it's going to be alright ahead of time. I think that's what happened with Mango. He said it was scary to speak such confident assurances out loud, but he felt like it was time to do so on Friday morning. I suppose it could be either that God spoke to him or that God honored his words and granted us mercy...grace...abundance... Either way, I was grateful for Mango's confidence, as it gave me hope. Mango said it must have been something like how Noah felt, building that ark for all those years believing that the rains would come.

What I learned for me is that I don't need to feel guilty about not knowing. It isn't a lack of faith to wonder if it's going to be OK. Faith is stepping out and doing something when you don't know. And that's what all of the last almost-3-yrs have been for me - just doing and being without knowing how it's going to work out or where we'll end up.

As a curious side note, I've found that this way of thinking can make anxiety worse or release me from know that God will work things together for good but the adventure might not be the one we'd hoped for is both disconcerting and exciting.

More on Tuesday & Wednesday in Juarez

I've said this to a few people already. So, forgive the repetition if you've heard it already.

While we were in MN it seemed relatively easy for people to tell us everything would be fine with immigration, and that, of course, we'd come back to MN safe and sound and there wouldn't be any trouble. Unfortunately, once we were in Mexico, the opposite seemed to be true. It was relatively easy to believe that everything would NOT be fine, that immigration could and often did turn people down or, at least, make them remain in Mexico for a period of time before allowing them to enter the states. Within hours of our arrival at the school, Mr. Missionary was telling us stories of people who thought for sure they'd be approved, only to find that they weren't.

He told us he just wanted us to be prepared for the possibility.

I have a lot to say about the way people try to be helpful by preparing you for the worst. I felt, for all the world, like a pregnant woman hearing horror stories of labor and birth. Yes, every pregnant woman knows they could die, that the baby could die, that labor could be REALLY long, and that a whole host of other difficult outcomes exist. The time to tell those stories is not when birth is imminent.

And, here's the other thing: How does it really prepare us for the worst to hear those stories anyway? I mean, of course, we knew that the Embassy could deny Vespera's visa. Having someone tell us so wouldn't lessen our grief if it really did happen that way. Knowing that a baby could die during childbirth doesn't really ameliorate the anguish if it does happen.

In any case, once we were in Mexico any confidence that we might have felt that, of course, everything would be fine quickly fled, leaving the heavy possibility of being turned away at the Embassy in its place. And I had no idea how mentally exhausting the waiting would be.

Each day we went to bed early & got up early. Vespera volunteered a few hours at the school on both Tuesday and Wednesday. We called home each night. If we stood on the roof of the school we got cell phone reception from El Paso. This was one of those blessings that we couldn't measure. It was such a comfort to hear voices from home, to know they were praying, to hear their encouragement.

The school had a little store where we bought candy/dulces and soda. We took a walk around the block the first night, and all the children followed us with their dogs. We were advised to not walk any further, as drugs are a problem almost everywhere in Juarez. People are desperate for money, and we certainly looked like we might have more money than many others in the neighborhood.

And we played soccer and basketball in the school courtyard, trying to burn off the stress and keep ourselves from going stir crazy with the wait.

The school:

Making phone calls from the roof:

The courtyard:

The dorm:

On Tuesday night we discovered Monchis (pronounced much like "munchies"), and we returned there a few times over the next few days, satisfying our craving for authentic Mexican food and some time not spent just wandering around waiting.

Monchis had a bunch of birds, and Vespera was especially fond of this loving pair:

She spent some time sketching the birds in her journal for art class:

We had moments here and there to visit with Mr. & Mrs. Missionary and hear about how their school has grown over time. They started with an empty lot 4 years ago. Now they have a K-6th grade school with 150 students. School is completely free for the students and includes lunch. The school is looking for an English teacher and is planning to expand to include the older grades over time. The missionary couple offered us the apartment over the store if we ended up needing to stay in Mexico for a while before Vespera's immigration could be approved. There would certainly be plenty we could do. We began to see how God placed us somewhere where there were possibilities for us. It almost seemed like a parallel plan in case things didn't work out with the Embassy. It was frightening to think there might be another plan for us. I'll write more about that later. My whole life seems to be a working out of theology, and there was a fair amount of spiritual work going on in all of our lives in that long, long week.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 09, 2009

To the Embassy: Saturday-Tuesday

We left in the dark at 5am. We passed through Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. I distinctly remember being jealous of anyone whose license plate indicated that they were going home. Throughout the hours of driving and on every night this trip we were all just longing for home. After all, that was the purpose of this be able to come home for good. We felt sharply the love and prayers of those we left behind. Mane. Novio. Mango's parents. And many, many friends. Not knowing how or when you'll be getting home has a way of bringing things into focus...sharply.

The drive to Mexico was fairly uneventful. We spent the night in Amarillo on Saturday. Vespera took pictures of sunrises and sunsets, cows and abandoned houses. She kept a journal and sketchbook of the trip for her art class back at school.

Then we met up with this blessed missionary couple in El Paso. They took us to the little school they run in Juarez and invited us to use the kitchen, the bathrooms, the beds, sleeping bags and whatever else we might need. The dorms were empty, as they are typically used for volunteers helping with the school. The children who attend the school all live in the neighborhood. There are 150 students in grades k-6. They are all provided with uniforms and lunch when they attend the school, things no children receive for free in the public schools in Mexico. Parents all volunteer 5 hours per week cooking, cleaning, or helping in the office and classrooms. The school is well-run, and it is evident that God is at work in this tiny school.

The neighborhood was jarringly impoverished. Vespera struggled to wrap her mind around the poverty and how we should respond. We spent a long time talking about how none of us can do everything but each of us needs to do our part. We need to heed the calling of God in our lives and do whatever it is that God calls us to do. There is no really good answer to how we should respond to world poverty. Maybe it's because there isn't just one answer.

On Monday we went to the medical clinic for Vespera's exam. We called at 6am to be sure they were open since it was a holiday. They were open, and we arrived at 6:30am. A long line greeted us when we arrived. The clinic had an enclosed, secure courtyard for waiting. They didn't allow anyone inside, except the people who were there for exams. I wasn't prepared for that and nearly started crying in the middle of the crowd. Over and over I had told Vespera I wouldn't leave her. She was very nervous about the exam, and I didn't want to leave her alone. I've never heard of people not being allowed to bring whoever they want to a medical appointment. So, it was unexpected and frustrating. I watched Vespera put on that look of resignation and determination that she wears when she has to tackle things beyond her years and experience. It broke my heart. She's spent so much of her life being too grown-up, having to take care of people and business. And Mango and I have tried so hard to give her the chance to be a kid, to not have to be the grown-up, to be cared for instead of caring for everyone else.

With a voice ragged with unshed tears, I rejoined Mango and my parents outside the clinic to wait out the hours until Vespera returned to us. There was a huge tent in the courtyard with chairs and some of those outdoor heaters. It was cold anyway, though...much colder than we expected for Mexico. We tried to stand out in the sun, but the security guards kept herding everyone back under the tent. At 11am Vespera finally reappeared. They gave her 4 vaccines, one of which was for chicken pox, which she's already had. Another was for tetanus, which she didn't need. A third was for HPV, which was not on the list of vaccines that she needed for her visa. The fourth was pnuemoccocal (or however you spell that), and it's possible that she actually was due for a booster on that one. *sigh* If only they'd let her mother in with her. We took her back to the dorm and tried to get some rest.

At 4pm we had to return to the clinic for the results of the tests (blood test & chest x-ray). The line was long, but she was in and out in about half an hour. She got the medical exam & blood test report in a black sealed envelop, which she was required to bring to the Embassy unopened.

Tuesday and Wednesday were free days. Mr. Missionary (sorry, I still won't be giving out real names here) took us on a drive to see part of the city of Juarez on Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon we went shopping in the city. We went to the less "tourist-y" shopping area. It was still full of people and vendors. We found some small presents for the people back home and then ducked into the huge cathedral on our way back to the car.

When we entered the cathedral, Vespera handed me her shopping bags and told me she was just going to say a quick prayer. She knelt down at the back pew and began to pray. Mango and I followed her and laid hands on her shoulders as we prayed also. She cried quietly, and when she got up I held her tight. My fingers wrapped in her coarse black hair, my forehead leaned close to hers. I told her it was going to be alright. Oh, please, God. Let it be alright.

...more later...

French Toast

On the night before we left for Mexico we made French Toast for dinner, one of Vespera's favorite meals. She requested it, and it sounded so nourishing and sweet that we all agreed.

When I broke open the eggs, the last 3 had double yolks. I smiled quietly to myself. In July of 2006, a few months after she was placed with us, I made breakfast one morning and every single egg I broke open had a double yolk. (I posted about it here: New Meaning.) I don't know that it has any special meaning. And, yet, it brought me comfort on the night before our departure.

In retrospect, I see how every bit of our journey was doubled blessed, and we were cared for abundantly...double yolks, double nourishing for our minds, our spirits, our souls. The eggs were a reminder.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


That's where we are...home. We arrived back in MN in the wee morning hours today. Mango & I were awake while my parents and Vespera slept in the back seat as we crossed the Minnesota border. Minnesota feels like holy ground. We are standing here because of the love and grace of God, nothing more, nothing less.