Field Day @NCCSEagles for my favorite two little Eagles. What a fun day! #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily#7000days
5.5.14 5 years ago today the Strange kids met for the first time. In Emma’s eyes, it was love at first sight for the brother she had prayed so diligently for over the course of three and a half years. For Eli, it took a few minutes to warm up…but he’s been enjoying giving Emma the side eye ever since! @clintstrange32 and I prayed for that moment and are so grateful for the way the Lord IMMEDIATELY knit their hearts together. Tomorrow is the actual day of Eli’s adoption. Today is the celebration of a sister and brother who are God’s treasured gifts to us and to each other. #StrangeStripesForTheFirstFamilyPic#Adoption#TheGospelSaysWeAreAllChosen#7000days
5 Years Ago Today: We woke up early Tuesday morning and were all super excited about going to pick up Eli. Tuesday, May 6, 2014 was Eli’s official GOTCHA DAY! When we arrived at the Hilawe Children’s home, you could definitely tell that it was a big day. There was a film crew and a photographer taking pictures of us exiting the van and they continued videoing and shooting photos the entire time we were there. The farewell ceremony at the children’s home was truly a treasure. The people at Hilawe were so happy for Eli and they pulled out all the stops for the celebration. One of the social workers was so thoughtful to video the whole thing with our camera so we will be able to show Eli what a special ceremony this was.
They started by having a time of prayer over all of us. The director of the children’s home prayed in Amaric and then Clint prayed in English. They put some fingerprint on Eli’s right hand to make a handprint so that people at the children’s home could remember him and pray for him. After that, they presented us a huge loaf of bread for us to cut together. It was similar to cutting a wedding cake and everyone was served a piece. The next item was a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony complete with popcorn. They also served us cokes and brought little chocolates…which totally thrilled Emma! Emma was wonderful throughout the ceremony as she realized this was a very special time for her brother. She kept herself busy giving Eli kisses and making sure he was having a good time.
After the Embassy that afternoon we headed back to the hotel and got ready for naps. Emma insisted on climbing in the crib to sleep by Eli so he wouldn’t be scared. We got some precious pictures of the two of them snuggling together. We pray that they will always be very close and that Emma will always look out for her baby brother. Once naps were over, we played on the playground at the hotel and then ate dinner at the gazebo restaurant by the pool. Eli ate a ton of rice and some chicken. He is a great eater and did a great job at dinner! Emma could hardly eat anything she was so excited to finally have her brother! #7000days#Adoption #Grace
I had the best time today on the @NCCSEagles 4th grade field trip to the @tellusmuseum! The NCCS Class of 2027 and their teachers are an awesome group and we learned a lot! What a privilege to spend the day with my girl and her friends on their last Lower School field trip! ?? #7000days
I had the honor of attending Eli’s Mother’s Day Tea @NCCSEagles this afternoon. What a treat to have that precious time with my son! If he only remembers me always saying “I love you”, I’m good with that. I was a little worried that part might say “My Mom always says…did you brush your teeth?” ?? Grateful for these moments! What a gift! #7000days#GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily
“Her children rise up and call her blessed”- Proverbs 31:28 Happy Mother’s Day to the best there is! My mom was a single mom starting when I was 4 and my siblings were 2 and 6 months old. Somehow she managed to meet all of our needs and most of our wants. She is the epitome of sacrifice while instilling in us an appreciation for being committed to excellence in all things. Mom, you are a blessing to all who know you. I can’t wait to celebrate at the beach in just a few weeks. I love you and am so blessed that God chose you to be my mom!
My people. Our church. So grateful for the privilege of being Emma and Eli’s mom. Such a treasure! I’m mindful today of Eli’s first mom as well. So grateful for the choice she made to have him and to put him in a Christian children’s home when she was unable to take care of him. Each night when I kiss him goodnight and rub his hair, I think of her and her deep love and courage. God has special plans for Emma and Eli and it’s such a treasure to get to be a part of pointing them towards His perfect plans! #Grateful #7000days ? @taylorsphotographyyy (our favorite family photographer)
Last night: Mom, can we lay down with you for a few minutes just to talk? 3 minutes later…precious moments! @clintstrange32 and I are so blessed by these two. They are growing up way too fast. Treasuring these days! #7000days
In the midst of the crazy, I am SO GRATEFUL to work with some of the most fun and joy-filled people on the planet! Well done! Note to Self: Close the sunroof. My kids LOVED this! #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS#NCCSFamily
Last night @clintstrange32 walked back in the door after a week away on a business trip. I don’t know how people do it who have a spouse that travels all the time. We need our man home. Our family works much better with him here! We are grateful he usually only travels twice a year for work, but these times he is away remind us of how much God blessed our family with Clint. The special time with Emma and Eli is always a treasure. The Strange party of four is back together again and more grateful than ever! #7000days
Lots of fun at Emma’s piano recital yesterday. I’m so grateful for Mr. Brink and the way he invests in all of his students. Emma always looks forward to her lesson! She spent Saturday on the softball field all day and then Sunday afternoon on the piano. I hope she always loves learning a variety of things!
This spring when it was time to select her piece for recital, Emma asked Mr. Brink if she could play “Summer Breeze” because it’s a song that she and her Dad love to listen to. She has worked very hard these last several weeks to learn this song and keep it a surprise from @clintstrange32. She’s practiced while he was not home or with headphones when he was home. She played this piece yesterday and it sounded great! Clint was so touched that he seemed to have something in his eyes. Such a treasure! #7000days#WeLoveOurGirl
When our @NCCSEagles Upper School Team and their families get together just to hang out….I feel like I get a glimpse of what heaven will be like. We definitely missed those that couldn’t join us this evening…it’s always the most fun when everyone is there…but tonight was a blessing. What an absolute joy to be able to serve with these brothers and sisters in Christ and their precious families as we live out our calling to invest in students for the sake of the kingdom. God is faithful! And we had a blast surprising @alyson.epp to celebrate her graduation! I think we got her ? Happy Summer! #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily
Tonight our precious son graduates from Kindergarten @NCCSEagles. Being the Upper School Principal gives me a glimpse of how fast the days are between kindergarten graduation and high school graduation and college graduation. Today we dedicate Eli again to God’s plan and purpose for his life. Eli is such a joy to our family and the Lord has gifted him in many ways. I am so thankful for the teachers Eli has had at NCCS these past three years who have partnered with @clintstrange32 and me to invest in his heart and mind. God is faithful! This has been a year of lots of growth that has brought encouragement and enthusiasm for the days ahead. We love you Eli! God truly blessed us when he chose us to be your family! These pictures simultaneously bring smiles and tears…what a treat to see his personality in all of them! Thanks to our friend @karen.rainwater7 for taking them! #7000days #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily Colossians 1:17
Congratulations Eli and the @NCCSEagles Class of 2031 on your Kindergarten Graduation! What a special celebration! #GoEagles#WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily#7000days
First night of summer vacation proved to be a great night for us to cheer on @clintstrange32 and the Acworth Red Team as they brought home the Cobb County softball championship in their division. Way to go guys! End of an era with both Jim Croft and Joe Croft retiring after the game. Clint’s been on the team for almost 20 years. Lots of long balls! Tonight it was a series of base hits and RBI’s that did the job for these guys. We love #32! #VisitAcworth #RedTeam#Champs