Yesterday was the 4th of July…our nation’s birthday. Like many others across the USA, my family and I celebrated the day together enjoying fun in the sun, a cookout and then ended the day by attending a spectacular fireworks display. The 4th of July is my favorite holiday, because in my family it is not only the celebration of America; it is the celebration and anniversary of an answered prayer.
On July 4th, 1997, a long journey came to an end with the arrival of our daughter Anya (then 4 years old) and our son Alex (then 6 months old) from Russia. As my husband Mark and I, along with our new children, made our way from our Delta flight into the Atlanta airport terminal, we were greeted by a welcoming committee consisting of our daughter Kailey, our parents, siblings and spouses, nieces, nephews and cousins, who had gathered to meet their newest family members. It was a beautiful sight to see my mother and Mark’s mother cradling their new grandson in their arms and beaming at the sight of their new granddaughter. It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed and it is with the fondest of memories that I recall that day as if it were yesterday. After our airport celebration ended, we drove home to the sights and sounds of fireworks exploding in the night sky. It was as if they too were welcoming our new family home. The celebration continued when we arrived home where we were greeted by a crowd of our wonderful neighbors and friends who had been waiting anxiously for our return. They had even made a banner to welcome Anya and Alex to America (see photo at top). We spent the night catching up and basking in the glow of a newly formed family.
The 4th of July is a wonderful day of celebration and thanksgiving for my family. For me, there is something very heavenly about two Americans returning home to America on the 4th of July from a foreign land with two tiny Russians in tow as the answer to a dream, a wish, a prayer and the end of a long journey…the start of a new forever family. I am truly blessed and grateful for this answered prayer in 1997 and another one 18 months later with the arrival of our son Nicholas and one 23 years ago with the birth of our daughter Kailey. All are proof positive, to me, that God does answer prayers and sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith in order to grab onto them.
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