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Davao Day 3 - Our Forever Family!!!

We would like to announce our newest son to the world!
Christopher Andrew 

Christopher, aka Tope (Toe-pay), is a delight to behold. We are incredibly blessed to have him in our lives. If his smile doesn't melt your heart, then his big dark brown eyes will. 
He is a five year old that has a Great sense of humor and is already quickly melding into the family.
His laugh takes my breath away.
His hugs are like a warm blanket.
And we are so thankful to call him our son.

We hadn't even made it into the opening of the gate before Tope ran over to meet us. He quickly jumped into Jon's lap and there he stayed, looking almost shocked and yet content to be with his Daddy. He almost looked like he was going to cry. He clung to Jon for a very long time. What a blessing!

One of the caretakers had him put on his shoes, of which he tied himself! He is already such a big boy! 

We made our way to the office to sign papers and receive papers. Tope talked through the photobook we had sent him. He was excited to point out Mama and Daddy! He also yelled "snow, snow!" when he got to the winter pages.

Here are the boys with Pastor Ken, the president of the orphanage. He and his wife, Cris, took over the orphanage a few years ago and do all of the fundraising to make sure it stays running.

The staff were all thrilled with donations they received! They especially thought these little stuffed animals were the cutest things. And they were so excited about Great Grandma Eben's quilt. Jon's Grandma, age 91, made an alphabet quilt. Cris gave direct orders to the staff that it was to be hung in the nursery, NOT used in a crib!!!  :)

The boys busted open one of the donations and started playing with the legos. First time playing together as brothers.

This is Jon by the "graduation wall". All of these children have found forever homes since Cris and Pastor Ken took over the orphanage. Tope will go on the wall now too!!!

Found this on the white board in the office. We were very much expected! 

These are two of the older boys and good friends with Tope. They looked envious that we were there as well as happy to see the new toys. Both of these boys will be going home soon as well! One to America and one to Italy! Pray for safe travels for these families as well!

Caleb was enjoying helping the boys get out the legos.

One of the little boys was very curious to know what what going on. Look at those eyes...
Here are some pictures of the orphanage. They have a very nice home for the children. At most they ever have is 25 kids. Currently they only have 12, but expect to have more coming soon.

Look at all this rice! This will last 4-5 months.

Here is the baby room. Tope spent a couple years sleeping in this room. It was simple with four cribs. If they have more children, then they set up more cribs. Both boys were eating out of the same bowl of rice and squash. I've seen pictures of about 8 kids sharing a bowl. The caretaker was feeding them with such love. She looked like she was awesome with the kids!!! Thank you to these amazing women and men!!!!!!

Here is the older bedroom for the boys. Although there are a handful of beds, they prefer to all sleep together in the biggest bed. They sleep like sardines almost in the bed. Just think how warm that must get in the heat of the Philippines!  :)

They call this a "dirty kitchen" I believe just because it is outside on the dirt. It definitely wasn't dirty! They do all of their cooking out here.

Tope was showing Daddy around.

Wish we could have stayed a little longer. Loved watching Caleb play with all the boys. 

Tope with Ruby (social worker) and Jenny (nurse). Thank you thank you thank you ladies!

Pastor Dan! 

Tope got a lot of goodbye hugs. I can only imagine what it is like for all of his caretakers. It must be so bittersweet for them all to see a child leaving for their forever family. Especially when it is a child like Tope who has been at the orphanage for a very long time.

A picture of Tope with his picture blown up on a sign at the orphanage.

Stealing Daddy's hat.

We prayed together before leaving the orphanage, then took off to grab some lunch before going to the hotel. Keeping Tope sitting down in a car is very difficult. He is used to roaming around and seeing out the front window. This will be very interesting when he Must sit in his booster seat!

We made it to the hotel! Time to explore, then explore more, and explore a little more. It was actually past his normal nap time, so we let him explore just a little and then laid down for a nap, and miraculously he fell asleep!

After naps we took a short dip in the pool before supper. We are learning that Tope has very little fear! After this trip to the pool, I also think Tope is going to be a strong independent swimmer very soon! The boys had fun splashing and joking around in the pool. 

Jon decided to cool down with some water after our swim. Lol!!! We bought this HUGE thing of water to refill our smaller bottles.

A little night fun before bedtime.

And we ended our first night together with some books. Here I am trying to read one of our tagalog books. Notice the bandaid?  :(  He ran into the corner of one of the counters in the hotel and gave himself a good scrape on the forehead. Blood on our first day! oy!

Goodnight our sweet boys! Here's to our new adventure as a family!!!!


  1. I LOVE this! And I have to say, that is not what I expected an orphanage to look like. Those folks are doing a wonderful thing for those children until they can be with their forever families. Thanks so much for sharing this Mara!

  2. This made me cry!!!! It all seems so real to me - can't wait until we can travel to get our daughter. I love love love your post and pictures - perfect match!!!! Love love love....

  3. Love it! ALL of it. And all of you! Pure joy.

  4. Thanks for giving that little boy a new home and family to call his own. God bless your heart! :)



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