Crystal and I are notoriously bad for getting Christmas cards out, so each year we end up sending an email with updates, but it is hard to keep up email addresses sometimes, so I decided this year to include it as a post here. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Crystal, Isaiah, and me.
2013 has been a great year for us. There have been a lot of changes for our family, so here is the recap.
Most importantly, we became parents in June. We decided to become foster parents around the beginning of the year and on June 23rd around 1pm we got a call about a little boy named Isaiah. By 3pm we were parents to a very sweet toddler that came to us from a very broken home. He was 18 months old when he came. He recently turned 2 and we absolutely love and adore him. This has been the biggest challenge of our lives, but we’ve weathered the storms and are all doing great! Isaiah faced some tough challenges when he came to us, but he has developed immensely since then. He’s very, very active and loves to hit and throw everything and anything. His best friend is our family dog Ranger, his favorite movie is Nacho Libre (he was even Nacho Libre for Halloween), and he loves cooking with Crystal and making animals sounds with Sean. Although he is not talking much, he has quickly learned some sign language and yells out a lot of almost-words with incredible confidence. We can’t wait to hear what his little voice will sound like when he does start talking more.
Isaiah has a 12-month-old little brother named Ethan who will also be joining our family sometime in January. While we still have no idea whether we will be able to adopt these boys, the court has a final date of June 30th, 2014 to decide everything. Since foster parents are usually the last to know anything, we are learning to accept how unpredictable things are and to be happy with the time we do have.
Crystal also graduated from UT Dallas in May in speech pathology and got a fantastic job working for an architectural firm. Although she doesn’t use her speech pathology degree at work, it has been a real asset in our home with baby Isaiah.
Finally, Sean left his law firm in May after much thought to start a software company with his close friend Jared Iverson. It was very hard for him to leave his firm and friends there, but the opportunity to start a company with a best friend in a brand new market was too much to resist. The name of the company is Healthfundr. They are building an online marketplace to provide more people access to healthcare startup investing. They’ve been making some great progress. Sean was even quoted in the Washington Post and will be presenting to the Harvard Business School Healthcare Alumni Association in January. It has been the most challenging and rewarding time of Sean’s career.
Last but not least is Ranger. Our little dog has endured a lot of abuse from Isaiah these past 6 months, but he’s also received a lot of love. Wherever Isaiah goes, Ranger is there. Ranger has been a huge source of comfort and friendship for Isaiah and we are so thankful for our sweet little pup.
The big theme throughout our year has been how mindful the Lord is of us. As we’ve come to love Isaiah immensely and see him work through so many challenges that he shouldn’t have to face in the first place, we’ve seen the Lord opening our hearts, healing his, and helping us and be the best parents we can. We know better than ever that the Lord does great things through imperfect people.
We are beyond grateful for this year and all of the wonderful changes that have come into our lives. It’s been both our most challenging and our most rewarding. Thank you for all of your support and prayers as we could not do it with the support of our family and friends.
We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014!
All our love,
Sean, Crystal & Isaiah Schantzen