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40 days and counting

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I've never been good at waiting. During every adoption process I complained about waiting. We waited for homestudies, federal government approvals, tax refunds, apostilles, dossier translations, doctor's appointments, SDA meetings, late trains, even later taxis...

Ellie's adoption was no different, but I've recently discovered it was nothing compared to waiting for 2012 to arrive. I've been waiting for it FOR. EVER.

Finally, in a few weeks, the waiting will be over. As the last sounds of Auld Lang Syne fade away, I will honestly be able to say I've been Ellie's mom most of her life. On Jan. 5, 2012, she will have been a part of our family longer than she was not.

WOOOHOOO! I can't wait.

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anyone need a chauffer...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

...or a taxi driver...or perhaps a shuttle driver?

I'm thinking about hiring myself out. Really. At least that way I could make a buck or two.

It should come as no surprise that life in the Cowboy State requires driving...lots and lots of driving. I am not exaggerating when I tell you a Jr. High basketball game could easily run 100 miles round trip. Twice that isn't uncommon.

But I haven't driven to any ballgames in awhile and I'm still racking up the miles in no time.

Don't believe me? Well consider this! Yesterday I logged 102.1 miles on Blue Mama. That was one day, ladies! And I. DIDN'T. EVEN. LEAVE. THE. CITY. LIMITS.

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a shot in the dark

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crisis averted! I finally figured out what happened to Ellie's shot record.

First a little bit of history...

When we moved to Wyoming, the school district didn't get her shot record. It simply wasn't there. I transferred all of her medical records to her new doctor and they couldn't find it either.

For the life of me I couldn't figure out what happened to it. All of our kids have always been up-to-date on their shots. Ellie was no different. I had made sure the doctor's office all of the necessary information about her background and all the medical stuff we had brought back with us from Ukraine. We had even run titers - which we had NEVER done with the other three kids...and the doctor was convinced we were all caught up.

Years went by and then we moved.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I wanted to share Vova's story today. It's a story of a boy who's been looking for a family for a long time...and he's running out of time.

My friend, Rachel has been instrumental in helping bring some much needed exposure to the needs of older orphans. I first met her online just after they brought their youngest daughter, Katya, home from Russia. We were just getting started on Ellie's adoption and I was intrigued by this woman who was willing to open her heart to a child I considered 'older'. (Katya was six at the time and I THOUGHT we were adopting a toddler. ;)

Last year, Rachel was asked to help with a hosting program. She was part of a team that went to Ukraine to visit orphans, interview them and then make the heart-wrenching decision on who to recommend for hosting. While she was there she fell in love with the kids and has become an incredible advocate for them...especially the older boys. Her family ended up hosting and falling in love with their host son, Sergei. They are now in the process of adopting him and hope to travel sometime in the next month or so.

The kids who were hosted during the summer are eligible for a Christmas hosting trip and Rachel's heart is breaking for a boy named Vova. Her parents hosted him this summer and while they adore the boy, they just aren't in a position to host him again.

Unfortunately, no one has stepped up to host Vova for Christmas.

This where we come in. TODAY is the hosting deadline. Because of his age, this will be Vova's last opportunity to be hosted...and undoubtedly his last opportunity to find a family.

PLEASE read Rachel's post below and then consider this question...What can I do to help?



There are less than 48 hours left. The hosting deadline is looming, and Vova remains unchosen. I just don't get it: why some kids are chosen and others passed over. He is a GREAT kid AND he has a $1250 scholarship! (Will be $1325 in the a.m.) I have spent time with him - he is FUN and easy to be around. I KNOW that any family that chose to share their holidays with him would be BLESSED by the experience (as much as he would be). At 15 1/2, this is his LAST CHANCE to participate in the host program, and I know that he wants to return to spend Christmas in America. I hope that this will not be just another in a series of disappointments for him. PLEASE*, if you are considering hosting, would you consider Vova?

In a last ditch effort to advocate for this kid before hosting closes, I am asking if any of you reading who are able might consider chipping in to bolster his scholarship. Any amount, large or small, is so greatly appreciated! Even $5...it all adds up, and hopefully could tip the scales in his favor and make the difference.

You can use this link below to make a tax-deductible donation. Please write "Vova, U-10" in the comment line when donating.

If you are wondering about the state of our adoption...well, the next 48 hours are big for us as well. As evidenced by the lack of posts, Nov. 1 came and went with no news from Ukraine. I had just about resigned myself to rehosting at Christmas when we got an email on Friday that our facilitators feel very confident that appointment dates for a few families (including ours) will be given out this coming week. If it turns out to be true, we will likely be traveling to Ukraine in early December. (And would break it into two trips, returning to bring him home in January.) However, having promised Sergiy that if everything was still in limbo, we would rehost him at Christmas, and the rehost deadline looming on Tuesday, the 15th, this is all cutting it a little too close for my comfort. We probably will not hear anything tomorrow (Monday), but Tuesday is hopeful.

Although Monday is my birthday. Hearing news would be the best gift I could hope for. Wouldn't that be awesome?!

Sergiy broke the charger to his cell phone last week. I had just put more money on his phone, only to receive a text from him that I decoded to read "Mama, my charger is broken. Will have to buy a new one. Battery almost dead." My reply back, "Do you have money to buy a new one?" went unanswered. My friend is going to help me call him at the school tomorrow so we can figure out how to remedy the charger situation. Otherwise, when I DO get news, I will have no way to share it with him. And, he is getting anxious for news too, as the days go by, which makes it hard.

Don't worry, I will let YOU know too. You will probably hear me scream for joy, wherever you are. But I will post too. ;)

*Apologies for the ALL-CAPS...makes me feel like I am shouting. But this is seriously important, people! =)

P.S. My parents truly enjoyed their time with Vova. However, they have grandkids older than he is! They are just not in a life stage where they feel called to adopt. They would love to rehost him, but initally stepped back to give him a chance to find a forever family situation. Now, they are not able to rehost him because of the timing of our adoption, and needing to be available to help me with our kids. I just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone is wondering why they have chosen not to rehost him. It has nothing to do with him!!!



ever wonder?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

When people think of international adoption, they think of the cute little kids. The babies lying in orphanage cribs, the toddlers playing on the playground and maybe even the elementary age kids who tug on their heart.

But no one thinks of the teenagers, who are stuck in the orphanage and only because of their age have little hope of ever finding a family to love and care for them.

A blog friend, Karen, works with the orphanage children in Ukriane. She met Illya a few years ago and never forgot the hope he had for a family of his own. I thought I would share the post she shared about how, at the age of 16 and against all odds, this fall Illya's dream finally came true.



Coming full circle

I've known Illya for a couple years through various ministry we have done in Kherson (Illya grew up in the main Kherson orphanage). However I didn't get to know him better until this past summer at camp, when he was in my English group. I always make kids sing silly songs in English and it seems to make us connect!  He went along with it anyway-- good sport that he is.  We had a lot of good laughs in the process.

Illya is just the sweetest most polite kid! He was one of my 'best' students and I quickly learned it was because he had spent the Christmas holidays in the US, with an American family. I also soon learned that this family was amidst the paperwork process and would soon be traveling to adopt him! I was so excited when I found this out!  A 16-year-old boy-- on the verge of aging out, would be given a family-- just in time.

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what's your part?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It's Orphan Sunday - a day for Christians world-wide to consider what God would have them do for orphans, no matter where they live. Will they help others raise money, will they pray for these children or perhaps, will they provide themselves - as mothers and fathers to these children who have nothing..

I want to encourage you to watch this video, produced by an international church in Kiev, Ukraine. It not only talks about the plight of orphans...it share how Christians can truly make a difference in the lives of these children.

I have no doubt that as you watch this, your heart will be moved...and that you will seriously consider - 'What is MY part?'

I'd love to hear what your answer to that question will be! :)


*Want to keep up to date with my ministry? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


a punky kind of birthday

Friday, November 4, 2011

My not-so-baby girl turns 11 tomorrow.

Wow...eleven. How did that happen?

It seems like just yesterday we met a shy, tiny toddler in a babyhouse in Russia. She was sitting across the room on a worn, wooden bench, picking dolls, horses and blocks out of a white fabric bag. Her face scrunched in concentration as she listened to what her speech teacher was saying.

Every so often she would glance our way, and then quickly go back to what she was doing...too frightened to come anywhere near us.

We slowly worked our way across the room...taking our time. Trying not to scare her...hoping she'd let us into her world. Slowly, she opened up to us. Letting us talk to her, play with her and eventually hold her.

Right then, we knew she was the one.

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leaps and bounds

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I don't know that it's so much that I've dreaded this day. I just knew when it arrived I would find myself torn between embracing the joy and mourning the loss of a childhood gone too quickly.

Quinn is now taller than me.

I know, I know...you're thinking 'Seriously? All this drama for that?!" And I agree.

Who doesn't want their son to grow up to be a tall, strong, handsome man? Seriously?! And he is quickly doing that.

But at the same time I feel like we just brought him home from Russia yesterday...how am I supposed to even begin thinking about releasing him out in to the big, bad world?

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finding maddie

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ellie - AKA Maddie and originally named Nastya
plays Hide and Seek on the orphanage playground. :)
Let's start off National Adoption Month with a look back at our youngest daughter's adoption journey.

The journey was a long and difficult one to say the least. We had so many hurdles and roadblocks, but God was faithful...even when we weren't. He eventually and miraculously lead us to our little girl...in HIS time. This video is full of images of our journey to Ukraine to find Ellie and bring her home.

If you would like to read Ellie's story I suggest you visit our adoption blog, 'Finding Maddie' and start with this post. I called the blog 'Finding Maddie' because while we hadn't met her yet, I just knew she would be a 'Maddie.' Shad wasn't convinced and when it came to naming her we eventually agreed on Ellie. I still find myself calling her Maddie sometimes when I've had a long day. She just laughs and looks at me like I've lost my mind. ;)

Enjoy! ;)

*Want to keep up to date with my ministry? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. That way you can keep up with what the fam and I are up to...cute pictures, captivating blogs, pithy twitter feeds...you, my friend, can have it all. ;)


many, many reasons

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My four very handsome, beautiful, smart,
funny, generous, kind-hearted, amazing reasons
 for celebrating National Adoption Month
Is it really November? Really?!

I know it's cliche, but honestly I have no idea where this year went to. It seems like just yesterday we were cuddled up on the couch watching the snow fall and wondering if the kids would have school the next day...

Oh wait! That WAS yesterday. ;)

Winter has come a bit early to the Cowboy State. We've had four storms already...at this rate it is going to be a long winter indeed.

But enough of the weather. That's not why I'm writing. Today marks the beginning of National Adoption Month and anyone who has read this blog, heard me speak or known us for any length of time at all knows our family has been blessed by adoption.

Throughout the month of November I will share what God has put on my heart about adoption. I'll be giving much-needed updates, sharing our story, taking a look at the Bible's perspective of adoption and hopefully moving a few of you to take a closer look at what you can do to help these children find their forever families.

Happy National Adoption Month! :)

*Want to keep up to date with my ministry? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. That way you can keep up with what the fam and I are up to...cute pictures, captivating blogs, pithy twitter feeds...you, my friend, can have it all. ;)


joy of adoption

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