Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear family and friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  This has been a really emotional roller-coaster year for us, and yet even in the downs, we have had much cause to give thanks to God for His grace and love and for teaching us greater dependence on Him.  I will try to recap the highlights of this year:
The spring brought us the very exciting news that a second child was on the way!  Having had difficulty conceiving our first child, Timothy, we were particularly surprised and grateful to God for this fast second conception, and we learned it is to be a girl!  Rachel is due in just two weeks: January 10th!
As we have been seeking to weigh the financial needs of raising two children, coupled with our desire to give them a Christian education, we spent a good half of the year seeking out a place to live with a lower cost of living and suitable to our Christian-education goals.  In the summer, Michael was offered a job in northern MD.  The location seemed to fit what we were seeking and we started making preparations for a move.  This was very emotional because of the realities of leaving family and all our roots here while Rachel was pregnant.  We also learned very quickly that preparing a house to sell is no walk in the park, and it was going to take much longer than the new job could wait for us.  Hence, we ended up having to decline the MD job.  The entire experience was very overwhelming and humbling but educational.  We learned a lot about how we needed to prioritize our plans, and some important factors we needed to put into the equation as we planned for and prayed toward our future.  The psychological upheaval has also elevated our priority of prayer and has been a work toward patience as we wait on the Lord, His timing, and His direction.

In October, Timothy, being 15 months at the time, was severely burned from a pot of scalding coffee spilling on him.  He received multiple second-degree burns on the right side of his body starting on his face and running down his arm, chest, back, and side.  We are thankful that the deeper burns did not reach third-degree, as some were close to third-degree.  This would have required surgery.  In the midst of this extremely traumatic trial, God was so gracious to give us much-needed physical and emotional strength, many friends who prayed for us, cards to cheer us, some special friends to bring us meals and other helpful gifts, and a very supportive family (particularly Mom and Dad Adamus)—all of which really got us through nearly a week of hospital time.  Timothy was remarkably brave and patient through the whole ordeal and through the trial of rooming with another burn patient (another little child), making it difficult for him to sleep well.  God’s grace was evident to the hospital staff, and there were opportunities for us to witness to our heavenly Father’s faithfulness.  The experience of rooming with another family also gave me a perspective of another world of trials that I had never really entered into before.  I now have a very new sympathy for those who are hospitalized, especially children.  We were very blessed by God to have a minimal stay in the hospital compared to others.  Even the child with whom we roomed had more severe burns that required surgery and a much longer hospital term.  Once we were home, much time and energy went into caring for the burns, helping Timothy recover his rest, and healing from the emotional scars (both Mom and Timothy).  We were very thankful for the support of Rachel’s Mom at that time, who traveled from Indiana to help with the home transition.  God is faithful, and time does heal!  We are very grateful for a highly successful recovery and for Timothy’s continued development in many other ways such as many more teeth, the ability to walk, and now his newest favorite pastimes—reading books, pushing buttons on electronics, and climbing couches!

In spite of the many events of this year that required great time commitments, we still found time for a great deal of travel!  Rachel’s youngest brother Jonathan was married to Cristilynn in May, and we traveled to California for that wedding while using the opportunity on the West coast to stop in Denver, CO to visit Michael’s sister Betsy and family.  Rachel and Timothy took a flight to Indiana in early August to surprise her mom for her birthday, and in October, we all traveled to Indiana for early holiday festivities and for Rachel’s cousin Jeanette’s wedding.  In late August, we traveled to MA to visit friends.

Needless to say, we were relieved to get a traveling reprieve in not having to go far from home for the holidays, especially as we busily prepare for the birth of our daughter any time now!  Rachel is in nesting mode and seeking to organize baby girl’s room, which is being helped along by the generous gifts of friends and family who have donated furniture and clothes.
As we have remembered in this season the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preparing for our own baby has brought the reality close to home that God Himself took on the form of a helpless baby and needy man just so that He could die as the one perfect human substitute to be found for the helplessly sinful human race.  Praise God for His gift to bring us back to Himself, to show us the present and eternal joy of knowing God and living for and with Him!  Praise Him also for the seal of promise He has given us to break the power of death, showing us His final plan of resurrection through Jesus when God raised Him from the dead 2000 years ago, and this same Jesus will return to raise up all people to Himself, some to eternal condemnation and some to eternal life!  We pray that in this season, God will show you the true miracle of Christmas: knowing God through Jesus Christ in whom your sins can be covered and you can be assured of eternal life!

Much love,

The Adamus Family: Michael, Rachel, Timothy, and baby girl