Our dear friends, Stacie and Forest Benedict, have been on a two-year journey to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. They are part of our small group that meets every other week and definitely part of our "inner circle" of friends who have become like family to us here in Fresno. We have prayed, cried, prayed, encouraged and prayed some more as we have walked alongside them on this journey. What a joy to celebrate with them this month the arrival of their son, Nathanael Gabriel Benedict.
The last few months have been full of exciting phone calls, travel plans, baby showers, fundraiser dinners and more. Stacie and Forest traveled to an orphanage in Ethiopia along with several other families from around the U.S. who were also adopting. They met their sweet son, who happens to be just one month older than our Giada. To think that God had chosen a little boy for them to be born within a few short weeks of our little girl so Stacie and I could be mamas together and our kids could grow up side by side!
I am so proud of Stacie and the way she has weathered this journey with grace and determination. I know it was not easy to wonder when and to wait and to wait some more. And now I see her with Nathanael and she is so natural at mothering, so affectionate and thoughtful and eager to learn and care.
Nathanael is bonding quickly with his mama and Daddy. He is a joyful little boy who loves to smile and clap. He gives open mouth kisses and he's getting ready to launch into a crawl.
Ok, so we're not into the arranged marriage thing but we all four were pretty excited to introduce our two cuties. Right away they were checking each other out and exchanging coos and smiles. When Stacie goes back to work in the winter, we are planning to help care for Nathanael and then he can hang out with Giada more regularly.
If you're interested, you can read more about the Benedict Adoption Journey here. We are rejoicing that another orphan has found a forever family!