Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We're back!

It's been a long time since my last post...more than a month, in fact!

It has been an event-filled month. Unlike when we adopted Anand, and stayed in Bangalore for more than two months while the process of adoption got underway, this time I have not been able to get away from work for such a long time.

And so, Arpita and the kids had to stay in Bangalore, while I returned to Vellore. That was a difficult period of time for all of us. Finally on the 30th, they were all able to come to Vellore.

Let me also quickly say a big Thank You to all at 69, Hutchins Road, who have done so much, and put up with so much, and rearranged their own lives around ours, so that this time could be more pleasant and easy for us.

Namrata is growing well and it is such a joy to watch her. She is one of the most cheerful kids I have ever met, and has the cutest smile. She is now beginning to sit up, and pivot around to reach out for objects. She makes loud conversation, and laughs out aloud when amused. She does not require much entertainment, and can keep herself occupied, even just by staring at her toes! She has got over her initial respiratory infection, and is now eating well and putting on some weight.

Anand has taken the changes very well. He had been praying for many months that God would give him a 'smiling sister' and is relieved that God answered his prayers! He tells us often how much he loves his sister, and is very sure that she loves him too. There have hardly been any of the 'elder-sibling' problems we had heard so much about.

He also seems to have grown up an awful lot over the past one month. He has now entered the "Why?' phase, and we are often scrambling to answer his 'whys'. While reading a book to him, he now stops us if he does not understand something, and makes us explain what we just read, and the meaning of difficult words. When he has been satisfactorily answered, we are told, "Okay, read!", and meekly continue reading to him.

We have uploaded more photos at Flickr.

Arpita is now recovering from a bad viral infection that left her quite drained. Since I am so busy at work, she has been managing the children and the house all by herself, and always amazes me at how she manages to find the resources to keep things going so smoothly. Both of us are struggling to find a new rhythm and routine, and to juggle all our various responsibilities without missing out on what is most important.

Our papers have now been filed in court, and the adoption process moves slowly along. This is our most recent family photo that we have submitted with our papers. Unfortunately, the photographer could not get the kids to smile...

Thank you, each one of you, for your love, and care and concern for us, expressed so frequently, and wonderfully, and in so many ways. We are so blessed!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Namrata Hepsibah Ninan

This morning, we welcomed Namrata Hepsibah Ninan into our family.

We had begun to hear last week about this little girl who had been matched to our family, and came to Bangalore yesterday to meet her.

I am now blogging well after has been an action packed day!

Namrata is almost six months old. This is the first picture we saw of her.

She is small for her age, weighing only about 5 kgs, (we do not know exactly how much yet) but looks a lot like Anand. She seems to be much quieter. We have hardly heard a squeak from her all day, except when she is hungry. She does not seem to eat as much as Anand used that because she is a girl? She also seems to have a respiratory infection right now, with some fever.

As the day progressed, she began to seem more at ease, and we were treated to her beautiful smile from time to time.

I've tried to upload some of our first pictures onto Flickr. You will have to click on the photo to see a larger view, and then click on a small magnifying glass that appears above the photo, to view an even larger view. Another option is to sign in to view these photos with your Yahoo account.

Anand meets Namrata

The two beautiful women in our family now

The rest of the day went by in an excited blur. Phone calls from friends and family. A steady stream of visitors. Philosophical discussions. A health scare, and a couple of urgent Xrays (which were normal). A Homecoming Cake-cutting party with a fabulous cake baked by Joanne. Video chatting with family in Delhi. Trying to set up new routines (feeding bottles, milk and boiled water, nappies, etc, etc) and so on.

Anand has taken the changes exceptionally well. He brought a gift with him from Vellore to give to his baby sister, and has been excited and happy all day. He also seems to be trying to do his bit to make his sister feel comfortable and happy, and to help his mother.

I will be going back to Vellore on Monday, but Arpita, Anand and Namrata will stay on in Bangalore till it is possible to take the baby to Vellore. Please do pray for the adoption process.....especially that all the legal paperwork will be completed speedily, and without any unexpected complications.

Just a short explanation about why we have chosen this name for our baby daughter.

Namrata Hepsibah Ninan.....doesn't it sound like a mouthful for such a tiny person!

Namrata : We took this name from Matt 11:29 ("I am gentle (नम्र ) and humble in heart") and from 1 Pet 3:4 ("let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle (नम्र ) and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.)

Hepsibah from another verse (Isaiah 62:4) which seemed precious and especially appropriate for us and for this precious child...."You shall no more be termed Forsaken.....but you shall be called (Hepsibah) My Delight Is in Her"

Please do continue to keep us in prayer, especially as we are going to be in two different places for some time....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Anand's dedication ceremony

(Held in Bangalore, at home on 1/1/2010)

Our Father,
What a joyful privilege it is to come to you and call you “Our Father”!

We thank You because You have loved us with an everlasting love. You have lavished your love freely on us, loving us while we were still sinners, undeserving, helpless and hopeless in every way.

We thank You because You have welcomed us (who were formerly children of wrath) into Your family. You have given us Your spirit of adoption so that we can now call You, O Holy God, our Abba, our Father.

We thank You because You have brought peace, making us who were formerly separate and far away, members together in Your Body through the cross. We thank You that we have become fellow citizens with all the saints, and members together of Your family.

We thank You because You have made us heirs of God, and fellow-heirs with Christ. We thank You that through Jesus’ death on the cross, He has become for us wisdom from God, our righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.

We thank You that You have given us, who were hopeless, the hope of glory- Abundant Life, now and in the world to come.

See what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!

We come before You today, Our Father, acknowledging that every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. What have we got that we have not received from You? Compassionate Father, You have dealt with us kindly, and not as we deserve!

(Jacob Ninan)
We acknowledge that children are a gift from You. Today, we want to especially thank you for the gift of Anand David Ninan.

We thank You for the opportunity to come together as his extended family, O Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

Our Father,
Thank you for this precious gift in Anand! How wonderful are Your dealings with us! How perfect in every way!

We accept this gift, Our Father, with trembling and joyous hope. We dedicate ourselves to be faithful stewards of this treasure you have entrusted to us. Yours he is, and to You he will belong.

Give us the grace, Our Father, to be good parents to him. Help us to love him, and yet hold on to him lightly, as though not possessing him.

Give us the grace to be good examples to him. We know that he will see our sins, weaknesses and inconsistencies clearer than anybody else. Work Your purposes in our lives and family, so that Your Name is glorified even through our own earthen vessels.

Give us the grace to build our home on You, so that Anand may be surrounded with an atmosphere of unconditional love, selflessness and sacrificial giving, filled with the resources he will need in order to be drawn to You.

Give us the grace, today and every day, to dedicate Anand to You.

We pray that You will cause him to be born again early in life, that he may come to know You, fall in love with You, and live his life passionately for You.

We pray that he may find love, security and purpose in You.

We pray that when the time comes, You will give us the grace to release him to be used by You, O Master of the Vineyard. We pray that he may be used as an arrow, released to accomplish the specific purpose that he has been prepared for.

(Nalini Abraham)
Our Father,
You have heard the desires of these Your children. Give us the grace, as Anand’s extended family to support and bless them on the way.

(Susan Ninan)
Give us the grace to be examples to this little child You have placed among us. Help us to provide this family the encouragement, support and help they need to find and accomplish Your purposes in, through and around them.

(Jacob Ninan)
Pradeep, Arpita and Anand, we bless you In Jesus’ Name. We dedicate ourselves to walk with you as you continue on this exciting journey.

We thank You, Father, because You have filled us with hope. We thank You that through Jesus, You have given us all things pertaining to life and godliness. We thank You that You provide the resources needed to live the life You require of us.

(Continues and closes with prayer)