Monday, September 30, 2013

Join us

When we started this process, we began with open eyes, open hearts. We knew it would not be an easy process and I do not want anything that I am about to say to imply otherwise. I also don't want to sound ungrateful for everything that has occurred in the last 13.5 weeks.

We are thrilled to be almost 60% funded with some great options for funding coming in the next weeks.

We are also thrilled and very grateful to have already submitted our dossier to the Ukrainian government.

Now we are waiting.

It is hard to wait.

No one in our generation likes to wait.

The process at this point looks approximately like this:
Submission Sept 24,
3-5 weeks until we hear about our approval
3-4 weeks until we get a travel date which is approximately 3-5 weeks before we actually travel.
THEN 6-8 weeks in country.

That looks like travel time will be around December 3-17 and given the delays in the government around the holidays it will likely have to be two trips (I CANNOT imagine getting on the plane for a trip home and having to leave Lena there for a few more weeks!!!) All this culminates that our process would likely not be complete until early-mid February.

This is all according to the way other people's process is going right now. It is all unofficial and every process is different. Every region, judge and orphanage works a bit different. All kinds of things can speed up or delay the process.

Friday, I was walking with my kids in their stroller and I started praying. I was asking God to have His hands on each person that comes in contact with our paperwork. I know that this doesn't always mean that he will speed things up.... but just that they would hear our story, see our hearts, overlook the possible "t" not crossed or whatever. That they would see Jesus in our paperwork. While I was praying, I just started feeling the urge to ask for more than just a smooth process (for those in this process, you know better than I, that asking for the smooth process can be a miracle in itself!)

I felt in my spirit to ask for more. Verses began to flood my mind along the lines of "Ask and you will receive" Did you know there are many different forms of this, but it is all only contingent on asking within the Will of God. So, seeing as how we fully believe that we are in the Will of God by bringing Lena home. I feel like we can - and even should ask. The thing that I felt led to request was that we get to go to Ukraine in November.

Again, this doesn't make sense according to the timeline that others are experiencing right now.

It also doesn't completely make sense as far as Ronnie's work schedule.... but that is another story.

I started praying for November - and then remembered that Lena birthday is in November.

That evening, among some other miraculous answers that I will not talk about now, I was telling Ronnie about my prayer time that morning. He responded, "oh, I have been praying for that too!"

Basically, we are asking for something that can ONLY happen by God's hand. There is no way we could take credit for this. But November travel would not only be good since Lena regularly asks us to come for her birthday, but also because we could possibly get the process managed in one trip and get most - if not all - of it done before the holiday shut-down.

Many times in Scripture you read of really bad odds - stories where the deck is stacked against God's people and then you read "But God...." and that is basically what this amounts to. God has shown Himself already in this process. We have learned so much about Him in these last months that we otherwise might not have learned.... and now we are asking for a "But God" moment. We are asking for something that doesn't make sense.

So, we want you to join us. The Bible tells us over and over to ask. And also instructs us to ask in one accord (believing together) for BIG things. God enjoys giving to His children. He specializes in giving things that cannot be explained by any other means. He doesn't always answer with Yes - but we will ask regardless.

If He says "no" we will go when we are allowed to go - we will work until the day we bring her home - and we know that the work has just begun. We will work to show her love. We will work to be a family and make sure that she knows she is just as much a part of us as anyone else is. We will make as many trips as we need to make, we will stay as long as we need to stay.

We know that God can move schedules. We know that He specializes in overcoming the odds. We say - with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego  "We know our God is able to save us but if he chooses not to - we will praise him anyway."  We know our God can move these schedules - but if he chooses not to - we will praise Him anyway!

Monday, September 23, 2013


We have some new scarves for sale! Comment, or email me if you are interested (bringinglenahome at gmail dot com)

$8 per scarf - plus $2 for shipping if we don't see you very often.

You can request colors as well!! Let me know what team you want to support - or what colors you need....

EXCELLENT Christmas gifts!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I think it is harder for me to blog when my emotions are crazy. There are so many things I want to write and yet, I don't want it to come across as complicated as I am afraid it will. I back up regularly and ask myself if I am writing because I actually feel something? Or am I responding to an actual situation? Or am I just so full of questions that it seems as if writing something.... anything... might help out.

Lena misses us. She loves us. However, there are so many things that are complicated in translation right now. I think this is a bit of a double-edged sword. I think it is good, in part. She is trying to communicate some more complicated issues with us. The answers to every question aren't "normal," "good," "yes," and "thank you." There are sentences with bad "google translate" explanations. There are questions that we ask and the answer doesn't make sense. We aren't sure then if the question was written badly, or if the answer is crazy. Ronnie at least has an understanding of the language - mainly - the alphabet. He can find words and derivatives in the Russian/English dictionary. I tried that the other day and the first word took 9 minutes. 9 minutes to figure out one word means that by the time I could respond, she was gone. Conversations with her online often end with her just simply disappearing. I am not sure if she is on a time limit, or if her internet just cuts out, or if this is cultural. I write "I love you" often, just in case she disappears before I can write my next sentence.

She doesn't understand why we can't come in September. We try to explain. I don't think it works. Saying "we are waiting for the Ukrainian government to invite us." seems to never translate well... because her next question is always, "when will you come?"
Yesterday she asked when we would come - I said "hopefully December or January." She responded by reminding me that her birthday is in November.... If she could only know how badly I want to be there for her birthday. For this weekend.... for today.

It is worth it. It is hard already, but it is worth it.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Run for Lena 5k

The Run for Lena 5k was a raving success! Thank you to everyone that volunteered, worked, ran, prayed, donated, etc. Over $2,200 was raised and I simply cannot believe it! Thank you!

Thanks also to the Calera Police Department for keeping us safe during the race and the Calera Fire and Rescue, for being on hand in case of emergency (which we thankfully did NOT have one!) We have some of the finest in the country!!

In other news.....

Lena has now started her English lessons and in the last week we have also been able to talk with her twice with an actual person to translate the conversation. This is SOOOO much better than just using google translate - or other translation apps that are on our phones. We actually know that communication is happening. I also got to shop with her, via telephone photos this week. She asked for some dresses - so we shopped together.... It is seriously just as exciting to shop for her right now as it was to go to the baby stores when I was pregnant.... I LOVE it!

We have now sent all of our dossier docs to the Ukraine and they should be arriving this week. We are [[prayerfully]] going to be able to submit our docs on September 24... which "should" lead to December travel time. This may cause some complications due to the holidays.... but we know that God is in control of the timing - he knows our vacation restraints and well, we just aren't concerned. He has obviously provided so far - He will continue! We know it! I also know that it would be unbelievable for us to be able to be together as a family at Christmas time! I think Christmas in Ukraine would be awesome. Complicated? yes.... but absolutely wonderful!

We got to see a new photo of Lena tonight from some events that her orphanage participated in recently and it was so wonderful to see her smiling face.

Our next event will be another yard sale.... Please be saving whatever extra goods you have that might sale and bring them to us at anytime between now and October 4. Last yard sale made over $1,400..... we would LOVE to match that again!

Thank you for your prayers and support. We love you guys!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who is Lena?

Tonight we had a fundraiser where I talked almost completely to people I don't know. Most of whom I will never meet again. (Some of you may be reading... Hi!) 

I gave our little speech probably 30 times. We are adopting, this girl, from Ukraine (hand photo) she is 12, we love her, she loves us, she loves my kids, they love her. We met her in May and fell in love. We are selling these awesome things to raise money to bring her home! 

One of my presentations caught in my throat. I was asked "who is Lena?" I began my answer:  "We are adopting her to be our daughter.... Ukraine.... 12 years.... Love.... Kids..... I went on autopilot in my speaking. Who is Lena? I wasn't answering that question. Of course, I was truly answering what their question had implied.. But I was not answering "who Is Lena?" 

I guess part of the reason I wasn't answering that question is due to the fact that I feel that there is still so much to learn about her! I know her hair color, eye color, that she burns easily in the sun. I know small bits of her history, and where she lives now. I know that she likes pink, wants shoes, and can hear her smile when she answers her phone and we are on the line. I know she likes English and sports at school and is a great swimmer. 

But who is she? She is a child. Loved by God. A princess. Other than that, there is a lot I need to learn. Who is Lena? I cannot wait to find out! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Josiah and Lydia (our two bios.... as they are called in adoption circles) have painting in their room. My mom, during my pregnancy with each, painted them.

Josiah's has a verse on it from the book of Job -

The Spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

His verse came as I found out I was pregnant. We had just experienced my first miscarriage. After that I really was hoping that I would not be pregnant again unless God would allow me to be able to hold my baby. When I got that little positive stick, I knew that the Spirit of God was crafting and creating that small baby inside of me, I just knew that God would give him life.

When we were first pregnant with Lydia, it was immediately after my second miscarriage. To be honest, I was pretty nervous to even take the test. We weren't intentionally getting pregnant at the time, as a matter of fact, we thought we would wait a while to even consider having another baby... and then... God had another plan. A bundle of joy, wrapped in this tiny little princess. Her verse is from Psalms:

You show me the path of life, in Your presence is fullness of Joy!

My prayer for both of these two, every night as they go to bed is from the old Testament:

The Lord Bless you and Keep you. The Lord make His face to shine on You and give you Peace.

So, when we started this process, I started praying about Lena's verse. What promise had we been given for her? What verse would speak to her in a way that only Scripture can do? We haven't done the painting yet, partly because I am down to about 2 verses that I haven't fully decided on yet, but I know one thing, her promise is peace.

We don't know her whole story. It may be a lifetime before we do. We may never know. But I know that every adoption begins with tragedy. Tragedy deeper than most of us can imagine. Even in deep dark tragedy, we fully believe that Hope can be restored. Her heart can love again. and Peace can rule in her heart. We want our home to be a place of peace for her. Not the kind of peace from cheesy music and candlelight, but Peace that passes understanding. Because I know that for her, peace will HAVE to pass understanding. It will likely not make much sense that she have peace. My prayer is that she will know the Prince of Peace and that He will put peace in her heart.

So, while I am still praying about her actual verse for her wall.... this is my prayer for her every night - from 2 Thessalonians:

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.

Seems all encompassing right now :) peace, at all times, in every way....