Saturday, December 29, 2007

Blessed Memories and a Bright Future

December 28, 2005 - Andreas and I landed in Kathmandu at 10:30 in the morning, went to sign papers declaring that we are his parents there to pick him up, and then on to the orphanage to actually see him, touch him, and take him to the hotel with us (more tired and more happy than we had ever been). Never more to be in seperate countries, living seperate lives. This day, two years ago, we became a family of three. Praise be to God!!!

I have posted pictures below. In the first one Samuel is with his Uncle Johan. Today, December 28, 2007 - Johan and Emma had there first child, a son, Olof Viktor Kjernald. Andreas and Johan became pappas on the same day two years apart. Very cool, praise be to God!!!

Below the pictures we have posted the video of Samuel's pick up in Nepal. Enjoy! Thank you for all of your support through these years. We are now anticipating the beginning of another adoption. Please pray for us and the child that the Lord has for our family.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

The Kjernald family of three

When we picked him up

Monday, December 24, 2007

God Jul (Merry Christmas in Swedish)

We wish we could post a nice, post-card type picture here with the three of us in a winter-wonderland, but alas, there is no snow. But, don't blame global-warming for that. It is quite common, all rumors aside, not to have snow for Christmas here.

As a very unfrequent contributor on this blog I just wanted to share this beautiful prayer I read in my devotional concerning Christmas:

"Dearly beloved, today our Savior is born; Let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up. Life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness. No one (who so desires) is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no one free from sin, came to free us all."
- Leo the Great


Saturday, December 22, 2007

On This Day In History

Two years ago today I received an amazing phone call. My social worker, Don Smith, was on the other line. I was confused for a minute, but he quickly said the words, "you have been approved to go and pick up your son". Those words were amazing, and scary, and exhilarating all at once. For Christmas the Lord was giving us a son. How appropriate and how it taught me about the miracle of Christmas. Of course for the next few minutes, hours, and days Andreas and I would be scrambling to get all manner of things done just to be able to get on that plane and pick up our first child. However, I will pause on this day 2 years later to remember the incredible gift that the Lord granted us. The pictures below represent that day and this day two years later. Praise God!!!

On a slightly lighter side of things, tonight I finally finished watching the Gilmore Girl series. Yes ladies it is true. For years I have been wanting to see it all. I cried, Andreas laughed (at me, of course). But I felt a moment was needed for the true wit of the show. So happy and sad and well ...fiction, but that's okay, like a good book they will be old friends (she says, trying to be very philosophical and Gilmoreish). So all who have also liked this show, share a moment with me.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

St. Lucia singing

Celebration of Light

My mother and father-in-law. They have a great sense of humor.

The Lucia train in my in-laws home. Notice the girl with the lights in her hair. She is cheating, normally it should be real candles not electric lights.

Yesterday was St. Lucia day. This originally comes from Italy, but if you were here you would know why the Swedes want to celebrate light. Yes, it is incredibly dark. The sun rises between 8:30 and 9:00 (that is if you can actually see it that day through the gray dark clouds) and sets at 3:30. So in other words by 4:00 p.m. it is totally dark and by 6:00 p.m. you feel like you should be in bed fast asleep.

So on the 13th of every December, St. Lucia concerts and trains are carried out all over this dark land. It began for me at 7:15 a.m. I was spending the night at my in-laws home with Samuel. They knew that I had not seen a Lucia festival before (we missed it last time we lived here). So Mom and Dad came into my dark room wearing white robes, garland in their hair, carrying candles and singing songs. It was great! Now usually the girl is suppose to have 5 candles lit on her head, but mom decided against that this particular morning. The best thing about it is that they let me take their picture. So above you can see the wonder that I woke up to.

Thursday evening Andreas and I went to a Lucia concert (I was able to see the girl with the candles on her head) and then as we were coming back to mom and dad's home a Lucia train was on its way to their front door. A Lucia train is the "crowned" Lucia with all of her helpers. The funniest of them all is the male in the back with the dunce hat on. They carry candles and sing about light. You can view the video above and see Samuel's reaction to it all. It was nice to view a large part of the Swedish Christmas festivities. Hope you enjoy them.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First of Advent

The beginning of a Sunday School class. We made two hearts, on one we wrote the things that we needed Jesus to forgive us for. Then on the second we started to wrap our clean hearts for Jesus's birthday gift. I know it's simple, but it all has to be translated by that wonderful woman in the picture (Anneli). These are her children, Elsa in the sofa, Eric in front of Anneli, and Emma behind Anneli. Then of course Samuel.

After church we have what is called Fika. This is a time to get together and fellowship and have some nice cookies and cake. Here are some of the pics from fika of our wonderful church members.

Samuel has found a friend in John, Anneli's husband. He will feed Samuel as much cookies and cake as he wants (John doesn't have to take Sam home afterwords).

The very handsome pastor, that's kind of fun to say!!!

Well I have finally caught up on my posts (there are 3 this time). You would think that I would just do this more often instead of adding them all at once. To be honest I have tried, but the blogger site doesn't always work for me. So I do it when I can. Right now it is morning on Tuesday, December 4th. I usually don't do this in the morning because Samuel wants my attention. All this to say, he is continually asking me to play with him, so I must hurry up! He is a persistant little guy.

This past Sunday was the first of Advent. The pictures above are from the Alingsas Church. Here in Sweden Advent is celebrated much more than I have ever seen it in the US. Andreas preached on "Why we need the Savior". Our thoughts are on how best to prepare for what was needed, what is wanted, and what is. I pray that you to are preparing your hearts for the upcoming celebration of our Savior's birth. Sometimes things are so focused on the presents and decorations that we forget why we are truly celebrating the season. Now as Samuel is starting to be aware of gifts and such, I want to try to teach him of why. Not so easy with a three year old, but worth it.

I am also reflecting on how thankful I am for our son and well as God's Son. It is almost two years now that we were able to go to Nepal and pick up our beautiful son. It was on December 25, 2005 that our final adoption decree was signed in Kathmandu and December 28, 2005 when I finally touched and saw Samuel for the first time. My Lord and Savior gave me the gift of a little boy on His birthday. How humbled and thankful I am for that gift.

May all those who have ears... hear the whisperings of our God's love and ultimate gift during this season. May the celebration of the Messiah coming in the form of a baby be as relevant to us today as it was over 2000 years ago. We are waiting for our friend, our comfortor, our King, and our Savior.


Samuel at Play

Just a few pics of Samuel at play. I know that his Nonna will appreciate them. Please notice the monkey hanging from his ladder (you will understand after you read the next post). The first pics are in his room. He loves the little stool that Nonna gave him for his third birthday, and it helps him get up in his bunk bed (which he refers to as "sleeping in the sky").

Then there is Samuel all bundled up in his rain suit riding his bike. Here in Sweden nothing stops for rain. If it did, nothing would get done. So out we go into the drizzle for a little fresh air.
God Bless,

Thanksgiving/Children's Gift Exchange

I know these are a little late, but the pictures below are of the gift exchange that we had at the American Thanksgiving dinner. Samuel seemed to enjoy having a lot of children to play with. The girl to the right of him is Abby McGowan. Samuel attached himself to her and made sure that she played with him. She was a great sport about it, she even let him play with her little Polly Pockets that she received at the exchange.

There is a bit of a funny and embarrassing story that goes with this exchange. I knew who we were suppose to buy a gift for, but did not realize it was for the Thanksgiving meeting (I thought it was for one of the meetings in December). So I had not yet been out to buy the gift. I know, brilliant! So when I realized that we were suppose to have a toy, I was not so happy. We were giving a toy to a two year old named Mia. So the women got together to ponder what we could do. I came up with the solution (to forever be mocked for it). Samuel had brought a stuffed monkey that we had been saving for his jungle room. It was bought years ago when Pier One actually had cute stuffed animals (but was still brand new). So we wrapped that. Of course throughout the evening I heard, "mommy I want my monkey" . Yes, I know, horrible mommy to give away his toys! My husband is finding it funny to mock me about that, but you should see all the jungle animals that he has (and he does have another monkey). Plus, he received a wonderful hot wheels carrying case and a few hot wheels to go in it, much better than a monkey, and Sam was happy. He has finally stopped asking me for his monkey :).

Lessoned learned, go buy gifts as soon as you get the email and carry it with you just in case!!!