Friday, December 3, 2010

A New Name

 A year ago today, a little orphan girl unknown to the world, received a new name. A name that would change her life, her future. Her new name meant that she had a family, that she belonged. It was the day that she became a Stumbo... our daughter.

In the car, as we drove away from the court house  towards the orphanage, our facilitator said, "Congratulations! This must have been easy compared to having your biological children, no pain involved." Maybe no physical pain, but the journey had been hard, and it was not over yet. Andy would be leaving in 2 days, and I had no idea that 4 more weeks would pass before returning home.

We arrived at the orphanage where Andy said good bye to Nina. He tried to hug her, give her a kiss. But Nina wanted nothing to do with him. After all the visits we had had, she still would not allow Andy to hold her. The pictures we were able to capture were the short moments when he was able to hold her for the camera.

Meanwhile, we had 2 little girls, eagerly waiting at home for their daddy to return, embrace them, and pour out his love.

The journey has not been easy, it has been hard. Really hard.

When we added a new Stumbo to our family, little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. Sure we had read all about adoption, and we knew it would be hard. We were pushed, stretched, and tried. We even questioned if it had been a mistake.

It has been a year since Nina joined our family.

God called us to step in faith into the unknown and to trust Him. We did. Nina has changed much after a year... but so have we.

A year ago she knew no love from a father, she was afraid of a man that wanted desperately to love her, but now she calls his name. The little girl that was scared to touch him, now rests her head on his shoulder and whispers, "I love you daddy."

A year ago God began to refine us more and more. He opened up our hearts and began working in the deep, selfish, and forgotten places in our hearts. He has taught us much about compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.

"Search me oh God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

It has not been easy. But it has been good. Really good. It has been life changing. It has been worth it. Worth every tear, every heartache. Worth every smile, every discovery, and simply being able to call her our own. Our daughter, Nina Stumbo.


  1. I'd like to change my sign-in name to "Sobbing in Serbia"! What a beautiful post. I cannot wait to get Axel home to meet his Papa!

  2. what a nice story I am glad she likes her dad now

  3. From now on we can celebrate Dec 3 together - that's the day Dasha landed in America. You helped me more than you will ever know Ellen - love & hugs!


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