Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Our two countries are celebrating He Is Risen, Indeed on this morning.  In our country, Addy and Austin are dressing in their Sunday best.  Addy's wearing her white sandals, as Easter is the beginning season of white shoes:)  They'll go to church, and the message will center on the Salvation, Resurrection, and Redemption story.   Our Contemporary Worship Band will be singing, Thank You For The Cross, which brings chills every time I play it.  Then, our family will gather for a meal, eating chocolate and the marshmallow peeps, that are only good if left out to harden into a crisp, gooey dessert.
 Sarah's country recognizes Easter, in similar ways.  We've seen luscious chocolates, stuffed animals and trinkets, and decorative Psyanky eggs.
  There are unique and beautiful traditions, as well.
Willow Sunday
 Sarah's orphanage is on the same street as a monastery and church.  Last Sunday, the street was blocked and so we walked, fascinated  by the sights.  People were making their way to church or coming from church, carrying Pussy Willow branches.   On both sides of the street, up and down, tables were selling these branches.  We were in awe, feeling the significance of the moment.  Walking up the street carrying the willow branches, resembling Jesus' path into the city on his last week.   I was humbled and needed to know more about this tradition.
Palms were difficult to come by, so the church began using willow branches.  On Palm, also known as, Willow Sunday,  willow branches are tapped on one another, repeating a blessing. " 'Be as tall as the willow, as healthy as the  water, and as rich as the earth."  These branches are placed on vases on restaurant tables, also.
Paska Bread
Friday afternoon waiting on our cab, many were carrying what looked to be giant cupcakes.  At the grocery, they were all shapes and sizes and we bought one.  It's tradition to have one at Easter to welcome springtime, and to carry these in baskets to church.  While there, a candle is placed in bread and a blessing is said.  The bread tasted sweet, with raisins, and icing on top.

Today, our family will also celebrate the redemption of four little girls.  
Alina, Zoya, Sofia, and Nadia
their stories brought us to the beginning of adoption.
Their families traveled the ocean last year to give redemption to their daughters.  These girls were given a new life, a family, and everlasting love.  A special place will remain forever in our hearts for these cherubs.
Remember Carrington?
The little girl who was brought to the U.S and immediately placed in the hospital because of her malnourishment?  A little girl who brought doctors and nurses to their knees in tears.  She was released this weekend, and was able to join her family for the first time.  
 All the family is together under one roof. 
A salvation story like no other.

How Great is our God!
Our celebration of Easter will take place on the orphanage playground.  Basking in the laughter and smiles of another little girl, who will soon have her own salvation story to share.
The secret to redemption lies in the remembering. 
Richard von Weizsaecker
Happy Easter, Addy and Austin.  We miss you very much.  Love and Hugs to you, and waiting until we are a family of five together!

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