If you’re new here, check out a few of Rachael’s favorite posts, and then read on to learn more about our site, Nothing if Not Intentional!
Why We Travel with Kids: Taking Kids to an Embera Indian Village in Panama
How We Travel on a Budget: 17 FREE Things to Do in Vegas with Kids
What We Learned from Getting Attacked and Held at Knife Point: Travel Safety Precautions
Ideas from Our 500 Married Dates: 35 New Date Ideas
How Travel Influences Life at Home: Airplane Bunk Beds from Ikea Loft
Why We Skipped the Training Wheels: The EASIEST Way to Teach Your Child How to Ride a Bike!
Our Year in Review: How ISIS, cardiologists, criminals, C.S. Lewis, and Bicycles Changed Our Family
The Story of Nothing if Not Intentional
2007—We take our first trip to Guatemala. With our church, we start a sponsorship program called Foreign Exchange that connects families at our church to individual boys at the orphanage we visit (Eliza Martinez). These families send sunglasses, school supplies, pictures, money for a pizza party, letters, and other personalized mementos for “their” boy each time we travel to Guate. We want each boy know there is at least one person who is absolutely crazy about him.
2008—The blog is born and given the name “The Pipeline.” “The Pipeline” is kind of like a personal mission. Ever since we got married (June 2005), we’ve been trying to figure out how our seemingly contradictory desires fit together. You can read a bit about that journey here.
2009-A lot is changing in Guatemala. “Our” orphanage, Eliza Martinez, is combined with several other orphanages in “La Ciudad de los Ninos” or “The City of the Children.” Instead of 75 teenage boys, there are now 400 or 500 babies, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers (boys and girls) all living together in one giant complex. It’s even more difficult to carry out our Foreign Exchange goals of making each boy feel incredibly loved.
Along with Eliza Martinez, each visit to Guate includes time with the babies and toddlers at the Buckner Baby Home. When the Buckner home closes unexpectedly, Nate and I track down two of the children, Alejandra and Daniel, and meet up with them in their new homes.
Alejandra was six when she moved to New Life Children’s Home. She is now far away from her abusive family (she has scars on her legs from where her father boiled her). She’s healing. She’s happy. We continue to sponsor her through NLCH, pray for her, and visit.
Daniel, our sweet Daniel. Daniel was moved to another fantastic orphanage, Casa Bernabe.Some of you may know that adoptions from the U.S. to Guatemala are closed. But if they reopen, we want to adopt Daniel. Supposedly, the new system will only allow for older children or children with special needs to be adopted. Daniel is both. He’ll be thirteen in April 2015. And he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He desperately wants a family. He desperately wants us to be his family. We desperately want him.
2010—Our first baby girl (“Miss A”) arrives and changes everything.Kind of.While serving as a family is different from serving as a couple, our personalities and life goals haven’t changed. God continues to allow us to stay connected to Guatemala. We traveled there three times while I am pregnant. We continue to pray about living overseas but want to make the most of our time here in the Midwest.
2011—After a court hearing to have Daniel declared officially adoptable (in preparation for us one day adopting him!), his birth mother reappears. His family thought he was dead. Custody is granted to his aunt. He moves from Guatemala City to a town about four hours away, Xela.In November, we take our tenth (TENTH!) trip to Guatemala. This is our oldest daughter’s second trip. Our primary goal is to visit Daniel in Xela. We meet his aunt; she’s amazing. We help enroll him in school and try to find a way to stay in his life and support his family. Several months later, we hear he has moved back with his mom. This arrangement isn’t as good.News from Guate is scarce. We love Daniel and miss him like crazy.
2012—Our second baby girl (“Baby Z”) is born in July. Again, our world is rocked. We’re now adjusting to life with two girls. We continue to desire to serve God both here and overseas.In need of an outlet for writing, the blog begins to include more posts about family life in the Midwest. My favorite things to blog about are family travel, baby play, and activities for toddlers.
2013-The blog is renamed “Nothing if Not Intentional” to reflect our bigger focus. Read about the new name here.