We have finally received official dates for our first trip to meet Levi!!!
We will be heading to Russia September 29th....we were hoping for sooner, but this is what they've chosen.
There is so much I want to share, but again, I can't be too specific.
So, yes...we have decided to name our little boy Levi. His current name will become his middle name. We had gone back and forth many times about this....whether we would keep his name, what we would name him if we did change it, etc. etc., and figured we would just have to wait until we met him. When we saw his first picture (a photo of him at 3 months old) my first thought was Levi. We had discussed the name even prior to knowing about adopting a boy and had decided against it, but for some reason it just seemed right. Luke agreed, but we still weren't 100% positive. I decided to look up the meaning. His current name means "God is gracious" (there's a blog on this I wish I could share!!), so when I found out that Levi meant "joined," "joined in harmony", "attached" I felt certain that this was his name. God has been so "gracious" to" join/attach" him to our family, it just seemed to fit.
There are, of course, tons of things to pack, but two things are of greatest importance to me as we prepare to leave. The pictures above shows a book we made of our family to give to Levi. It is written both in Russian and in English, and I am on my way to learning how to read it in Russian as well (I finally broke down and am learning the Russian alphabet so that I can at least read this book to him!). I cannot wait to read it to him and especially can't wait to add photos of us with him when we travel back the second time!
The second most important thing is one of the bunnies pictured above. Caleb, around Levi's current age, became very attached to his "beary" and it is still incredibly special and comforting to him. We learned the hard way and only had one, which has been sewed back together several times and is quite.......gross. By the time we found another duplicate, it was too late....he knew the difference and the new one didn't cut it. So we smartened up and bought two identical bunnies, with plans to use them both at once. We will leave one in Russia with Levi and one at home for now.
I cannot contain my excitement and joy at being able to finally meet this little one that we have been praying for since just about this same time last year when we first felt God calling us to adopt. It's amazing to think it has been a year (9 months since we officially started the process).....God has brought us so far, taught us so much, blessed us beyond measure....and now we get to meet this precious boy.
PLEASEEEEE pray for us as we travel...that everything would go smooth, that we would have good interaction and experiences with the officials, orphanage staff and others, that our time with Levi would be blessed and that I will be able to hold it together! I've truly tried to block out thoughts of being in an orphanage full of children in need of a family, as well as the thought of holding our boy in my arms and then leaving him.....as it gets closer to our trip, I can't help but think about it more and it is already breaking my heart. I don't want to be an emotional mess, so I will definitley need your prayers! We love you all and can't thank you enough for your prayers and support!