Update from Matthew and Rachel
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour...for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name." - Luke 1:46-49
Matthew: We are thrilled to announce that 7-month old Anna Miracle Panaisha Harley, joined our family on 4th October! (The last month has been one of the craziest that we can remember, which is why we're only just getting round to sending this announcement now.)
A bit of background: Miracle Panaisha Sunday (her birth name) was born on 10th April 2016 in the village of Dan Asabe, near Tegina, Niger State. Her father, Jeremiah, is one of the translators for the Kamuku language project. Sadly, Jeremiah's wife, Rebecca, died shortly after giving birth, and there was no obvious person in the family who could take in baby Miracle. Some mutual friends mentioned to Jeremiah that they knew some people who might be willing to adopt Miracle if they were interested. After Jeremiah discussed this with his wider family (including the village chief), they all agreed that they would indeed like us to adopt her. So at the beginning of October, we made the hot, bumpy 2-day journey to Niger State (an adventure in itself) to meet with the family, and a few days later returned to Jos with a lovely little sister for David!
Us with Jeremiah (far right) and his family.
We have given her the name Anna (meaning 'full of grace'), but also kept the name Miracle, given to her by her birth mother. She is indeed a miracle for us! Her other middle name, Panaisha, is a Kamuku name given to her at her naming ceremony soon after she was born. It means 'let's see what God will do', or literally 'to put eyes on'. Harley won’t officially be her surname until we have been able to adopt her but we are hoping that we will be allowed to have this on her passport like we have for David. (Harley means 'a clearing in the woods where hares frolic around'; and with David around, there is usually a fair amount of frolicking going on in the Harley household.)
Rachel: Anna is such a sweet girl, almost always smiling, cooing or blowing raspberries and very content. We are really thankful that she has settled in so well, especially with the huge changes that she's experienced. David is very proud of his big brother status. His first prayer after we brought her home was, "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that we have a baby and that daddy is going to be the daddy, mummy is going to be the mummy and I am going to be the big brother, Amen!" Since then however, his general behaviour has become much more challenging as he adjusts to sharing mummy and daddy's attention - prayers for knowing how to deal wisely and lovingly with this would be much appreciated. Even though David is rather boistrous with Anna at times, he just loves playing with her, cuddling her and singing to her as he does the actions with her arms. He is also quite protective of her and when somebody new approaches Anna, he often yells, ‘Don't touch her, that’s MY baby!’ Anna, in turn, adores his attention (most of the time). Today I heard him say to her, "I love you so much, baby." I never could have imagined quite how wonderful it would be to see David and Anna interact with each other. Yet another great joy.
Points for prayer:
  • Our hearts are full, but our sleep tanks are almost empty! Anna regularly wakes up all through the night and we're not sure why. Matthew's vey good at sharing the night duty and I've no idea how he keeps being able to go in to work. Some days it's hard to function. I frequently do things like wearing clothes back to front and forgetting where I'm going when driving. [Matthew: no change there then.] I haven't yet tried to feed David with Anna's milk bottle but I can imagine that will be next! So please pray that Anna will sleep better at night.
  • Pray for creativity and energy in our continued adventure into parenting.
  • Pray for the lengthy adoption process - we're hoping to process both David's and Anna's adoptions at the same time. I'm visiting the Ministry of Women's Affairs today to hand in some more paperwork. Something really handy is that this particular office, which we need to visit reguarly, has moved from a busy area of town to just around the corner from our house, so we can even walk there!
With our love and thanks for your continued support and prayers,
Matthew, Rachel, David and Anna
Copyright © 2016 Matthew & Rachel Harley, All rights reserved.

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