**Our Christmas card list has gotten quite extensive over the years...but, in case I missed you...here is our annual Christmas letter**
Dear friends and family,
As I sit and reflect on the past year the predominant phrase that comes to mind is roller coaster…
We started off 2009 looking forward to welcoming the arrival of our 3rd little blessing…but on January 4th we learned that our little girl had passed away. We also learned that it was a very rare type of pregnancy involving pre-cancerous cells and that Jennifer would have to undergo many (what would eventually amount to 9 months) of weekly and monthly blood work and monitoring. Praise the Lord that as of September she is considered 100% clear of any risk of cancer!
Obviously, we were devastated. But, we weren’t without hope. We were able to experience the Great Comforter like we have never before and found our peace in our relationship with Jesus Christ. He is our hope! With the loss of a child comes the great gift of perspective and reorganization of priorities and we have responded by refocusing on what we really want our lives to be about.
Despite our loss (or maybe because of it) the Lord has worked in our lives over the past year in unbelievable ways…
In August Jeremiah and I were able to lead a team from our church on a missions trip to Port Au Prince, Haiti. We were able to visit and work amongst several orphanages and schools in the city as well as do some construction work. It was an incredibly moving and life changing trip and we look forward to leading future teams returning in June (and possibly August) of 2010 to continue our work with the missionaries there.
Without question the highest high for us this year was our decision to adopt. As most of you know adoption has always been close to our hearts. After our trip to Haiti we knew that the time was now…time for us to begin our own adoption journey. After months of research and prayer we have chosen to adopt from Ethiopia. We are well into the process and pray that we will be home with our new children by this time next year.
And now a little bit about each one of us:
Jeremiah turned the big three zero this year and celebrated by going skydiving with Jennifer. Hey, you only live once! He also reached the three year mark at Grey Stone Baptist Church and is enjoying his new position change as College and Elevation Worship Pastor. He has a growing and thriving ministry to Duke University (and other surrounding schools) and spends much of his time investing in the students lives as well as leading worship for our Elevation service at Grey Stone.
Jennifer (who is still several years away from the big three zero and reminds Jeremiah of this often) is busy keeping up with an active preschooler and even more active toddler as well as keeping on top of all the mountains of adoption paperwork! She keeps the family blog (thehambrickfamily.blogspot.com) updated almost daily with pictures and the latest happenings of our crazy lives.
Ella just turned four and is absolutely as girly as they come. She loves anything princess as well as dancing, singing, art, reading, and being with her little friends. She is incredibly independent, self motivated, and extremely loyal. She is a great big sister and enjoys teaching Ezra all kinds of things he shouldn’t be doing!
Ezra is two and completely all boy. He remains enthralled with cars, trucks, tractors, and trains. He also loves to throw and jump and climb and hit things and come up with new ways to irritate his sister. He loves Ella and will copy everything she does. He is oh so cuddly and affectionate and continues to completely charm all he meets with his sparkling smile and dimple.
We pray this letter finds you happy and healthy and rejoicing in our Savior’s birth this holiday season!
In Christ’s Love,
Jeremiah, Jennifer, Ella, and Ezra Hambrick