Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Well. Sometimes awesome stuff happens. 

We have been praying for a couple of weeks that we would be able to go to be with Lena on her birthday in November. Remember how I said it would be a miracle? I was praying for our date to be on, or before her birthday.... Which doesn't seem to be happening. 

Ok, well, when God works, it doesn't usually look like we expect it to, but it is always so clear it is still him. 

Someone has very generously given me a ticket to Ukraine from the day before Lena's birthday, until about 8 days after to go over to see Lena. This will not be our official appointment date, but an extra bonus visit. I will be flying by myself (Julia) and get to spend some time specifically with Lena for a little while. 

You can only imagine how excited I am!! Not only for the chance to see her and be able to finally tell her in person how much we love her.... But also to celebrate her birthday.... It will also just be so awesome to be able to kinda get a preview of the big trip to help me know how to better prepare to take our whole family over there! It's just amazing all the way around! 

She doesn't know about this yet.... So for those of you with vk accounts, I haven't decided yet it if will be a full surprise for her, or if we want her to have something to look forward to. The one thing I want to be clear about when she does find out, is that this is just an extra visit. I would never want her to end up disappointed because She misunderstands and thinks this is the big official trip. So, I am going to make sure that I have a good translator when we tell her..... Whenever that is! 

For the official update: We are still awaiting notification on our dossier approval. (Maybe this week?) And then our travel date assignment for the official trip.... My prayer now is that we will know our official travel date by the time I get to go over there so that by the time I leave, we might be able to tell her when we will be returning! How awesome will it be to be able to hug her when I have to back to the airport and be able to promise a a specific return timeline! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

... "Peace, Be still!"

.... and the winds were calm.

We just talked with our facilitator. He went back to the SDA today to check on our status, and while we are still not fully approved, the SDA worker basically told him that in this case, this would not be a problem, but that documents with this error would likely not be accepted again.

I have heard awful stories of minor details being the reason for rejection. I was afraid of that..... but in this case, our prayers have been answered. Jesus calmed this storm. He worked in the heart of an SDA officer. This will not hold us up for now.

As I said, we are still not officially - fully - approved.... but our potential problem that we learned about yesterday, is no longer a potential problem. AND we didn't have to wait two weeks to find out!!!!

Praise The Lord! Thanks be to God. Keep praying!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Urgent prayer needed:::possible delay

Urgent prayer.

There is a possible delay in our paperwork. It isn't definite yet, but a small detail (almost unbelievable, really) has been found in our dossier. We were made aware of it, our facilitator was questioned, but we were told that it didn't mean a rejection, yet. 

We may know something later this week, or a couple weeks from now. 

It could be a big deal. Delaying us as much as a month. 

It could be no big deal at all.

The waiting and not knowing is complicated.




When we got the email today, we panicked. I cried. I was angry and didn't know who to be angry at. 

After a series of emails and a phone call, Ronnie suggested we pray. 

His prayer included the disciples in the boat with Jesus. How they panicked, ran around, and woke Jesus up when the storm raged.... Jesus looked at them (possibly a bit exasperated?) asked if they still didn't know who He was, and then calmed the storm. 

We were the disciples today..... But for now, we go to bed knowing Who it is that is in charge of this small (possible) storm. 

We covet your prayers as much today, if not more, than since this began. We are praying for peace to rule in our home, for guidance through this crazy navigation system, for those whose hands touch our paperwork.... We want Christ to shine in us, through us, and through our paperwork to those who see it. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall basket raffle!

A beautiful basket with coffee! Chocolate! Popcorn! Mugs and more! Also a $25 gift card to TJMaxx, Home Goods, or Marshall's. The basket is valued at app. $95. 

You can purchase opportunities to win this basket from now until Saturday Oct. 26 at 12:00, midnight (central time.) we will announce the winner on Sunday October 27. 

Each entry will be assigned a number when the donation is given and The winner will be chosen using random.org.

You can send us checks, we can take credit/debit cards, we take cash, or you can give to our youcaring.com site.


With any of these, make sure you let us know that you are purchasing chances to win. 

Each chance to win is $10, or you can buy 3 chances for $25. 

Only two weeks! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

While we wait....

There is so much about this process that is fast.... getting documents together, running to the post office, running to the notary (three times after 9pm for us over the course of this so far!) and hurrying to raise a ton of money.

But the largest percentage of time is waiting.

We waited for our home study

We waited for our fingerprints

We waited for our USCIS approval

We waited for our dossier to make it to Ukraine

We are now waiting for our approval, so that we can turn around and wait for our travel date.

So, while we wait. We pray. We prepare a pink room for a beautiful girl. We raise money (only about $8,500 to go!). We try to build a relationship via text message, facebook chat, and rough phone conversations.

The other thing we are doing is trying to prepare ourselves (and anyone else who cares and will listen) for the reality. For, you see, adoption is a beautiful picture of redemption. It is how we are moved from sin into the family of God. It is the picture of salvation. But do you know who needs to be saved? Lost people. People who cannot help themselves. People who are without hope and in need of saving.... those are the people who are adopted into God's family.

Adoption, similarly, while beautiful, represents some of the most painful portions of life. Adoption never happens without first having severe pain.

I am reading a book now that will hopefully help us be able to help Lena process the unfathomable pain that happened at some point in her history. I am constantly on blogs, articles, FB pages. I have said before that we may never know her full story, and the story may come out in parts but whatever it is, I want to be sure that we are as prepared as possible to assist her in processing it. The grief of losing a mother - whether through adoption or death - must be addressed. The love of our family cannot fully be understood or even accepted until she is able to process her past - and that may take a lifetime. I read that to say to an adoptee  something like "You are so lucky" is similar to saying to an amputee "You are so lucky to have that prosthetic leg" They my want to respond with "yes, that is a good thing... ya know what would have been awesome? Keeping my leg to begin with!" And, while I realize that many people mean this in a very good way, it can be interpreted to the adoptee very complex.

There are multiple locations and information sites that I can help you find if you are interested in helping your family be prepared for our family's adoption, or another adoptive family. Just comment.

There are days that my tears just seem on the edge of overflow. Today is one of those. I am a simple basket of emotions and just really want to hold her, hug her, tell her that I love her and promise that we will be there for her forever. Knowing that she has homework and someone else is helping her, that she may cry and someone else is comforting, she may be cold and someone else has to give her clothes or blankets to keep warm. We understand that she is in an excellent orphanage.... but you know what an orphanage is not? It is not home. I am ready to bring her home. I am 15 weeks into this process and I am ready to go get my daughter and her princess smile, her awesome sense of humor, her conviction about what is right and her strong opinions. I am ready to learn her language and have Josiah and Lydia teaching her English. I am ready for complicated conversations, charades for primary communication and the whole world being a giant game of Taboo. I am ready for emotions, questions, laughter, dinners, and games. I am ready to be outnumbered children/adults in my home and have them all using language skills that confuse me and Ronnie. I am ready for her to have friends here that love her, along with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Not that I am ready to replace her heritage, but I am ready for her to add to that heritage. We do not want to remove any part of her history that she wants to keep.... we just want to give her some new promises of hope!