On January 19, 2005, our baby, Benjamin Eric Ruben Pitts, was born in Guatemala. We learned of him on March 8th, 2005, at 10:30pm. He came home to be with us on February 14th, 2006 after three years, three plane rides, and we then became a family of three humans and two loveys.
We began our adoption of Benjamin almost 3 years before he was born, so it seems appropriate that I write this about him today, on our 3 year anniversary of his homecoming.
Benjamin has been absolutely one of the best gifts God has given us. We weren't looking for Benjamin, but from the minute we met him, we knew that he had stolen our hearts forever. He knew us and we knew him that moment in the lobby of the Westin Camino Real in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He was so little! Just 21 lbs--but already walking and he already knew so much! Our little munchkin, as we called him, especially back then.
God places extra responsibility on those who are called by His plan and His purpose to build their families through international adoption. Our baby Benjamin was such a presence in our lives from the moment we first laid eyes on him. It was also in that moment that we had to begin fighting for his very life; to bring him home from Guatemala.
It took us almost a year to get him home, and even when we did finally go to Guatemala on February 2, 2006, we lived at the Westin with him for 2 weeks, trying to get him out of the US Embassy and home with us. We faced a lot of corruption through our agency, our attorney, and a few other people, but we knew that we had this little baby boy and we were not leaving the country without him.
God was so faithful to our prayers and the prayers of so many around the world who supported and surrounded us during that time! We would email as often as we could from the business center in the hotel as to our status updates. That was when we learned we had sold our Iowa home and were going to have to find a place to live in Georgia almost immediately upon returning to the United States! Amazing, God's grace and timing.
From February 14th, in which we took 3 planes to leave 80 degree weather and return to 20 below degree weather, to March 20th, when we slept on the floor of our home in Suwanee, GA for the first time, we crossed many milestones.
We became insta-parents! Two weeks in a hotel, and then off to figure out a place to live and get moved! From Guatemala City to Dallas--we took Benjamin through airport security and arrived in customs with a top-to-bottom blow-out diaper. As the guy in customs argued with us about his citizenship status, we finally offered to let him change the diaper. When he refused and then let us through, we had 20 minutes to make it to our Chicago gate!! We flew from Chicago to Cedar Rapids, where everyone on board welcomed Benjamin home. He loved the airplanes...still does!
Then, we spent 3 days in Iowa, 4 days in Indy, and then flew to Georgia to meet with our wonderful realtor, Barbara, who helped me through 20 + houses with a "new" (to me) baby! We bought one of the very last houses we saw...nothing like a little "homeless" pressure to get you to choose a place to live!
Then it was back to Iowa to clean out, back to Indy for another short visit, then the very long car ride with Benjamin, Molly, and Sammy in the back. We had a little travel DVD player, and played Lady and the Tramp the entire 12 hour ride from Indy to Suwanee!! When we finally settled in the house, we had no furniture, so while our scared little Benjamin slept, we watched Lady and the Tramp on our laptop!
And so our journey as Benjamin's parents began. Benjamin is my very special boy. I have loved him my whole life, and as I am often quoted as saying--I could never love him more than if I had given birth to him myself. He is an extension of me. He is my very pride and my utmost joy. I love him with my whole heart, and I love to see how God will use him someday.
Now, if we could get him to quit eating his blankets...
Thank you, Jesus, for knowing better for us than we do. Thank you for the Benjamin gift we have enjoyed for 3 years. We look forward to a lifetime of Benjamin joy.
The Azhderian Family still owe alot from the adoption of Josi. They just sent the last payment for Josi a few weeks ago of $12,800. This horrible tradgedy should never have to happen to any family and then have to end up paying for an adoption when their child will never come home to them.
If you are like me and want to do something for this sweet family and do not know what to do, here is a wonderful way to honor precious Josi. They have a chip in button on their blog you can donate any amount to in Josi's name. I am praying that God will help them not have to worry about the financial end of this with all that they are going through right now.
If you want to help me with the memorial fund for Josi please post this on your blog, or spread the word to all your adoption friends. I think together we all can show our love to Azhderian family in their time of crisis. Click on here to go to there blog. They have a chip in button on their side bar of their blog where you can give your donation.
Benjamin decides to take a stab at being Santa...or at least an elf!
And, for those of you who wondered, yes, Julie and Steve CAN dress up. Please don't adjust your monitors, this is not a photoshopped picture--it is real (Ask Laura Reavis--she was our photographer!) This is us before Steve's corporate Christmas party. I have decided that I need much more comfortable shoes after last night!!! UGH! (And, thanks to my friend Becky, I purchased a top I would not have looked at twice, and Steve loved it. Thanks, Becky!)
Benjamin prays very hard for his meal before they are dismissed to go EAT!