End of Year Recap

29 Dec

It’s been a great year full of change and excitement for the Baker family.  We wanted to give a short year end update to share everything that has been going on the past 6 months and year for everyone and share about ways you can continue to partner with our family over the next year.

We have been blessed with the addition of our 3rd daughter, Kayla (CK), as our adoption process was completed October 21st.  As a family, we have enjoyed learning together how to be a family of 5 and incorporating new routines that go along with a child who is blind.  CK is a spunky little girl who is fun and loves to make others laugh.  Her being blind has taught   us so much, especially how to love and engage in new ways.  She goes to a nearby international school 5 mornings a week with an aide.  She loves to learn and is also learning Braille at home from one of our awesome volunteers. IMG_3903

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Maddie and Myra continue to enjoy going to their school where they are able to be with friends and be involved in activities throughout the year.  Maddie made the middle school sports team, so she gets to go to Bangalore in Feb and play soccer and basketball against other schools, which she is pumped about!  The fact that they are able to go to school, get a pretty decent education, but maybe more importantly, get to socialize with other kids, and feel like “normal” kids has been a huge blessing to us.  As many of you know, Maddie and Myra had a pretty rough time the first 1.5 years here, not being able to make any friends, being home schooled, probably the fact that they had a bad math teacher…, but since they have been able to start school, their attitude has changed A LOT!   They of course, still miss America so much and all of their friends and family, but they have been able to thrive here now.  And it is a great reminder for them, we all prayed of them to make friends, to adjust here in India, and now to be able to point them back to the prayers we all prayed, and God answering them as been a huge boost to their confidence and belief in God.  The girls being away at school during the day has also allowed Cynt and myself the time and availability to do the work that we feel God has put us here to do, but has helped about tremendously not having to juggle as much as we originally had to do.

Besides our adoption, we have also had many adoptions in Anchor Navy which has been amazing.  We have seen Addie, Clay, Eli, Mia, Emi, Kiara, Isabelle.  It has been a lot of fun to watch all of these kids meet their forever families!  We have been so fortunate to be able to watch these kids grow over the past 2.5 years and we look forward to seeing all of these kids grow up in their families over the years to come.  Thank goodness for Facebook!

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We were also able to host our church, 3 Circle in October, which was a lot of fun for us.  Being able to see our friends over here is pretty exciting for us!  We were able to spend some time with anchor kids, take our kids on an outing to a play center, build some much needed therapy equipment for anchor navy kids, and visit a slum feeding program. For the first time, we were able to take our church family on a five hour drive to Ongole, Andrha Pradesh where SCH and ICM started and show them a different aspect of India that they hadn’t seen before.  We still have 3 homes in Ongole, and bout 60 kids or so there.  We were also able to show them the ICM property where SCH hopes to build homes in the future for all of our adult kids who are not able to live by themselves.  It was a quick and busy trip, but we value our friends coming over here so much, and look forward to seeing them again next fall!

One of the biggest changes for us is that since we arrived back in India in July, we took over managing all the hyderabad homes here with SCH.  We have 80 kids here in Hyd at Anchor, Courage, Jubilee, and Joy home and it has been great and challenging at the same time!  Along with about 70 local staff, 12 foreigners here in Hyd, plus all the kids, we stay pretty busy!  If you remember when we started this journey of living overseas in 2013, we thought we would end up in Africa starting a family style children’s homes, but evidently we didn’t fully understand God’s plan, or our plan was different than His.  But through every step, it has been amazing to see His Faithfulness and provision along each step.  From us being able to learn so much in Honduras, to us leaving a bit early from there, which was the perfect time for us to be in the states, as a friend’s church had an open parsonage during that time.  Our plans changed dramatically when we felt God saying India, and not Africa, and then because we left Honduras a bit early, we were able to move to India about 5 months before we originally thought.  That timing allowed us to meet an American family who was only in India for a couple of more months, and they were then able to introduce to an organization ABC, which we volunteered with weekly and then who finally introduced us to SCH in May 2015.  If all that had not happened in the timing that it did, I’m not sure what we would be doing right now.  And from volunteering at SCH, and then becoming Foster’s at SCH, helping with their finances, which i learned to do in Honduras, and now managing the 4 homes in Hyd, it has been amazing to watch how God has unfolded everything for us over the years.  I hope that God’s story in our life the past several years is encouraging to you, doesn’t mean the journey God puts you on is easy, or makes sense, or will be without struggle, But He is always with us, He is faithful to where He has placed you, and He does provide!  As Psalm 119:105 says, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”.  That verse has meant so much to us over our journey, and I remember our very old preacher at the time at 3 Circle, Chris Bell, explaining at the first Wed night service he did, that the lamp shows very little in front of us, just the next step, so we def do not know all the steps in front of us, but we do see the end of the path that we are focusing on, Jesus.  We haven’t been able to see much in front of our next steps over the years, but God has always provided just enough info for the next step, and been with us every step of the way.  We are excited about the upcoming new year and the journey ahead of us here in India!

We appreciate all of our partners over the years.  We have so many needs here living overseas, the main need that all of us need in prayer!  Please continue to pray for us here.  Pray that we would continue to follow God grow closer to Him each day.  Pray that our family stays untied with each other, and united with Jesus!  Pray for love to always flow from our hearts and mouths, for wisdom to manage the four homes and kids at SCH, and for continued grace through all our missteps and mistakes.  Please continue to reach out to us through Facebook messages, texts, etc.  It is so encouraging for us here to be able to stay in contact with all of our friends and family back home!  We also have been so appreciative of everyone’s financial partnership over the years!  With the addition of our 3 kids school expenses, our financial needs have grown a lot.  For all 3 children, the total cost of school is close to $20,000 additional to our families living costs.  That is a huge mountain in front of us.  We are so fortunate that our church partners with us for about 25% of their school fee, but still need about 75% to help cover expenses.  We would love for you to continue to partner with us for that!

Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support over 2017, and look forward to a great 2018.

Thanks and God bless!

-Bakers

 

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