What a year! It feels like we were just celebrating Braegan’s 7th birthday in Santo Domingo.
Every holiday that has come and gone, Braegan has asked if we will be in the states or in the DR to celebrate. Initially my response was always, “we will be back in the DR,” but now it is just “I don’t even know”.
Today Braegan is celebrating her Golden Birthday, she is 8 years old on the 8th of February. I organized a card shower for her, and she has received approximately 50 cards in the mail from friends and family. We surprised her throughout the last week by allowing her to open a few cards each night before bed. She has loved reading everyone’s messages and has been encouraged to hear from so many people. One of her cards even contained 400 pesos (Dominican currency) from a dear friend that serves in the DR. She was very surprised by this one!
She was only 7 months when we moved to the Dominican in September of 2013.
This past year is the longest she has been back in the United States and away from the Dominican. She has been writing a lot of stories lately, and she always finds a way to share that her best friend is Nashley, that they both go to Spanish school and speak Spanish. The next picture was taken on our last day in the DR last March. Nashley spent the day with us in the Colonial Zone. The girls had a blast together being goofy. Little did we know this was a very long, temporary “adios”.
She is so proud of her upbringing. As a mom this is hard, and my heart breaks because I can’t even imagine all of the emotions and thoughts she has experienced in the last 11 months. I mean I know what I’ve wrestled with and I’m an adult with more understanding of what is going on.
Braegan’s birthday theme this year was a toss up between the Green Bay Packers and the Dominican. Since the Packers didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, Braegan decided she’d stick with the Dominican theme. For dinner tonight we are having burrito bowls and tostones followed by ice cream cake.
In other news, we are doing well. Brantley will be 18 months on Wednesday. He’s continuing to learn new words every day. His sleep schedule has really improved. Just in the last couple of weeks he has started waking up only once in the night and his nap is 2-3 hours long. This has been a very nice change, especially for me!
It has been very cold here, and Braegan has had a couple E-learning days. The kids have both enjoyed time out in the snow too!
Jeff and I have continued to deliver for Uber Eats around lunch with Brantley. It’s nice to get out of the house and see different parts of Fort Wayne. We’ve really learned our way around town!
Last month Jeff competed in his second pickleball tournament. His partner and him finished in 2nd place. We are very proud of his progress in the sport throughout the past several months. He has another tournament coming up in a couple weekends.
Braegan has started playing tennis again. She has lessons every Saturday morning at the same racket club that Jeff plays at. We brought her racket back with us last spring, and so she is continuing to develop her skills.
I believe that is about all of the updates we have for now!
How you can be praying for us:
-continued health, Jeff and I are hoping to get vaccinated soon
-discernment for the coming months
-our Dominican staff as they continue to serve the surrounding San Juan communities
-our US missionary staff as they continue to wait patiently for God’s timing on returning to the DR