Friday, June 27, 2008

Elizabeth Brings Stolpes to Wisconsin

Candy and I were able to gather with all three of our sons, our two daughters-in-law, and our grandchildren to welcome Elizabeth Rose into the Stolpe family and into the community of Christ’s Church. Though Candy had met Elizabeth when she arrived from China, I first saw her on Wednesday, June 11. What a thrill and joy!

Elizabeth has gained weight, overall health and socializing since coming from China. We are thankful that with the use of casts for a little over a month, her club foot responded so well that she did not need surgery. She is now adjusting to the brace she will wear all the time for a couple of months and at night after that.

Having all three of our sons and their families together for the first time since my Dad’s funeral in February 2007 was important affirmation of our family bond. We got enough time with each one individually to have some conversations of significant depth, and we had plenty of time all together to just have fun. Especially great was seeing the connecting between the grandchildren. Sam and Isaac singing around the campfire was a scream, and Hannah loved being the babysitter for Elizabeth. I enjoyed my first Fathers' Day with all four grandchildren.

We worshipped twice with Milwaukee Mennonite Church, Rachel and David’s congregation. Many of them were also part of the service of dedicating Elizabeth to Christ on Saturday, June 21. This congregation has played a major role of encouragement and practical support to Rachel and David through the whole adoption process. I was honored to share in Elizabeth’s dedication along with her other Grandpa, Kent Hadley. We both got pretty emotional.

Candy and Erik and I also drove down to Batavia, Illinois to see my Mom in the Michaelsen Health Center of the Holmstad retirement community. She has a new room and seems to be feeling a lot better. Making this visit was an important affirmation of our family bond as well. We are thankful for the chance we had to just chat with her at a time she seems to be doing pretty well physically and mentally.

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