Saturday, March 28, 2009

When They Get to Heaven

"When we get to heaven and these little ones that you are with are fully restored in body and mind…we too will testify that Jesus is the light of the world as we see they have been healed. They will have gone through trials in this life so that the work of God might be displayed, and I believe our loving God will reward them for it in heaven.

Take heart that Jesus loves them…He created them…He permitted this to happen so that He might receive glory. The story doesn't end in this lifetime. The story doesn't end in hopelessness. The story doesn't end in dark rooms. The story ends in His light which is full of love and salvation. " Written by Ross.

I read this today and had to share it. Having been asked about my strong faith and how I can believe there is a God that allows Alexsey to suffer, I was thankful to come across this. Personally, I know that I draw nearer to God when I am in great pain and or suffering, and it is often during these times that I see God's bigger picture. When I see God's people working together to help these children, I am filled with hope.

Ross also shared this verse.

John 9:1-5 (NIV)

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

***********************
P.S.
Wow---- what a blessing! $250 more dollars have been donated! I know I sound like a broken record, but really........ thank you. Your prayers, your donations, your encouraging words help to carry me each day when I get caught up in the things of this world. It is a huge reminder to me to focus on what is important because afterall, all of you are too. Everyday that passes, Alexsey is is one day closer to coming home!

By the way, Julia and Dennis have their very own passports so they are set to go! Woo-hooo!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Digest 2

Anonymous said...
thanks for answering all these questions!a couple more...-have you decided what you'll call him? it seems you've kept the names of all your adopted children, but i was wondering if you'd keep it "alexsey" or call him alex or something that sounded more "american" - not that it needs to sound that way, some parents just opt to alter it for their own reasons. :-)-do you know what kind of challenges to expect with his spina bifida? i know it can be a devastating disease, but in the pictures he appeared to be functioning well. obviously once he gets home & has the love, nourishment, attention, and medical care that so benefited Dennis that alone will help, but do you know if he'll be in a wheelchair, etc.?


Undoubtedly, we will keep his name, but we are not sure as to how we will pronounce it or what form of the name we will use since there are so many ways. I wrote this post over a year ago, and have since changed my mind about possibly changing a younger child's name. When we met Dennis our youngest Ukrainian son, he was such a scared little boy...... yet he responded to his name. We couldn't take that away from him.

But as for Alexsey--- we all call him A-lex-sey with the A accented. Yet, my Dad with the same name accents the SEY like Alex-SEY. And then there is Alex and Alec and of course a few of my girls think Lexie is pretty cute and then of course there is Alosha. Hmmmmmm, not sure what we'll do.

Regarding his challenges associated with Spina Bifida--- we really just want to get him home and lavish him with love, attention, and nutrition just like you said. I am sure that what he appears to need today would be incredibly different from what he needs after being home even just one week. Whatever the challenges may be, I trust that the Lord will carry all of us, including Alexsey through.

Mary said...
Here's another question: did you design the blog header yourself or did you get someone else to do it? It looks great!


Thanks! I did do it myself using Scrapblog. Give it a try.... you'll love it!

Jamey & Catherine said...
I wrote this already on your other blog, but when you get a chance check out our blog and read LEMONADE AWARD. You truly deserve it! Super glad to hear you found those papers and love the baby pic of Aleksey! Hope it all happens quickly!Catherine, Jamey and Oksana


Jill said... You've won an award - check out my blog!

Thanks Catherine and Jill.! I appreciate it. Since you have each given me the same award, I am combining this post. Please go check out their blogs for the full details and please check out these blogs who I in turn nominate for this award. Lana, Laurel, Chris, Jill, and Debbie come claim your award! All of you deserve it!

Kristen said...
That's so awesome Julia's a hard worker. I have a couple of questions - a little off topic of your post but 1) is Alexsey supposed to go to a different orphanage at age 4? How close is he to his birthday? Will he still be moved, even if you are in the process of adopting him? and 2) how much, if any, info do you have on your kids' birth parents? Would they, if they chose, be able to go back to the Ukraine and maybe find them at some later date?


Yes, children like Alexsey are usually transferred once they turn four, but hopefully with all of our prayers that will not happen. We have done all that we could do to prevent him from being transferred-- the last thing is to hurry over there! We have no info on the birth parents-- and while that would have concerned us years ago, now we just go with the flow and if there is none, there is none. It has been huge on our part to just learn to trust Him. But, He has not let us down yet. We are not against any of our children going back to their birth country to visit and explore whatever it is they want to once they are adults. In fact, I think we would be there right next to them every step of the way.

FayeJ said...
Got my wash cloths today in the mail! Very well made. Thanks!


Thank you so much for your support. I passed this along to Julia. Also, thanks to all who have shown their support one way or another. It has blessed us.

Rachel E. said...
I got my package yesterday and LOVE the bibs and the scarf. Julia is so talented! I took a video of the baby I nanny for wearing the bib and will post it up on my blog soon.


I checked it out! How cute! So glad you like them.

Happy Campers said...
Just went and donated too...it wasn't much, but it was all I had left of my Christmas gift money. Definitely put to better use than buying another pair of Yoga pants. Thank you for sharing the link....


Thank you so much for helping Ashley to bring Grisha home! They are about done with their paperwork and should be traveling very soon. During a stressful and discouraging time, your gift was such an encouragement to her. You may have felt like it wasn't much, but I happen to know that it was just the right amount! God works miracles-- and without your donation she would have been short. Thanks!

Lynn said...
Hi! We live in Israel and adopted from Antoshka 7 years ago and were the family that got Andrea (now RR) interested in helping initially (for the sake of Daniel at Antoshka - see www.gdye.org).I read your blog daily and really enjoy it. I am not religious but believe in adding value to other lives and kindness. Having personally met 2 of the kids that subsequently died at T (after Antoshka) I can only say that whoever posted their snide comment has absolutely no idea of the reality of the situation in the orphanages (and I might add lacks humanity).We cannot adopt more kids but have contributed to several families who have adopted special needs kids - the time, love and lifelong commitment that families who adopt put in is so often overlooked.Aleksey (and Dennis) are blessed to have you and your family.


Lynn, your support is invaluable! Thanks for sharing about your son! It is awesome to meet families who have adopted years before us! Would you like me to take a picture of your son with us to show the director? I would love to!

Anonymous said... Stop begging for money from people. Some people earn it the hard way and don't put DONATE buttons all over their sites.

Your venom cannot break my spirit. I just wish for your own well being that you would stop being so nasty. If I were you, I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I have been so mean and nasty for no reason at all. Why do you read and then go back and read what people have commented after you? Seriously, you are crying out for help--- is there anything I can do? Read the next two comments---- and maybe, just maybe you'll catch on. If not---- I'll see you next digest!

The Monroe 6 said...
I am one of those people that Christine was talking about. We adopted our 4th and last child from Russia last year. As for our family, we are done.But my desire to help other orphans has not gone away.My husband and I are lucky enough to be in the position to be able to help others. I feel a calling in fact to help others who want to adopt.It is a shame so many people feel jaded and negative about giving an orphan a home. I can think of no better way to spend my money.


Amy, you are an amazing example to me! I love your blog and I am so excited about your new house! Your heart and your willingness to give shines so bright! Thank you!

Laurel said... I think it's okay to go to Starbucks when it's a gift from someone ... as long as you don't ask everyone to give you gift cards for every occasion. :)God does see the sacrifices we make ... and I have complete faith with you, that the money will be there when needed.When we adopted 3 children from Ghana last year... we got a gift of $15,000 from an anonymous donor. Wow! God can do AMAZING things, in His time.Laurel mama of 13

Laurel, thank you for sharing this. What a huge blessing! I am so glad to hear that through the generosity of others three more orphaned children are now home!

Anonymous said...
Sweet pictures.Nosey Question: At what point do they tell Alexsey that he is going to come live with you.Given his physical condition are you expecting any mental delays or challenges?Feel free to answer only part or none of this - just wondering.Reader in TX


You're not nosey. You've asked some great questions. As I know it, children do not know that a family is coming for them until the family actually gets to the orphanage. I think this is done to protect them from getting hurt just in case the family doesn't show up.

As far as Alexsey's physical condition, I just don't think about it too often. I guess this is because I really don't see his Spina Bifida as a major thing. Through our other children, I have learned that life is just too short to dwell on the unknown. If or when things come up, we will deal with them day by day.

Kelly said...
OMG Christine,Those kids are adorable...all of them. To think there are orphanages filled with little kids like these just breaks my heart. I'll take 2. When we adopted Nick, we rarely saw any of the other kids. It is great you got to interact with all of them. They must have had fun!!


My plan is to bring a really big suitcase......

Payne's said...
That's it! She is saying Alosha!


Yes, that is what they call him there!

Amy said...
Hi Christine, I need to introduce myself... my husband Jake and I are adopting Pavel from Ukraine. You are one of the first families who's blog I read from RR (before we ever dreamed of adopting through RR) and were SUCH an inspiration. I still believe God used you (among others) to lead us to adopt through RR.So I just made the connection LAST night that you are the family adopting Alexsey!Just wanted to say congrats and thank you for following the Lord in both of these adoptions. Its an inspiration. :)


Hi Amy! Thank you for your kind words. I look forward to following your journey as do many other people I am sure! Personally, without the Lord to follow, I don't think I would be going down this path.

Annie said...
Yes! Christine - perhaps in this post, more than almost any other, you have hit on a common chord between us. I am always so surprised by people that set out to adopt their children as though to "save" them from their country. To save them from being parentless, yes - or from poverty, but not from their country! That is part of who they are!You also made me realize why I so enjoyed your last adoption blog. You two looked like you were on your second honeymoon! Craig and I were like that, too. I don't know that we've ever felt closer than on our adoption trips. Again, so many people want to stodgily say "It is not a vacation." And make a list of privations. Well....it is not like most vacations, that's true - it is far, far better. Rich, and deep and dense and powerful, joyous and beautiful and funny, too.

Funny how you compare our adoption journeys to a honeymoon. I hadn't thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, our journey to Ukraine was way better than our honeymoon. I am looking forward to falling in love all over again with my husband on our next trip.

Brenda said...
I also have a blog about a little boy I have from Haiti right now, if your interested in looking at it. He had 2 club feet and has been with us for about a year. We are his host family while he has been recovering from surgery.
www.4yourglorylord.blogspot.com

Hi Brenda! Just passing your blog along so that a family may be found for this precious little boy!

Terri-Anne said...
Let me preface this by saying I hope I don't offend. Dennis' life must seem like a whirlwind to him at times. From being adopted into a huge loving family, from the orphanage, also a new culture, and the surgeries he's been through. Although the changes he's been through have all been positive things in his life, they still have a big impact on him. In college we did a sort of questionnaire on the "stress level" in our lives. Even wonderful events such as marriages, births of new children, and new jobs were considered stress-events as they impact so greatly on a life and take time to adjust to. The point I'm so poorly trying to get to is that Dennis has been through a LOT in the last year, and I'm worried that going back to the orphanage may be more than he should bear emotionally? Do you think his young memory will be jarred, about the orphanage being his former home? Will he understand that you are there to welcome another little fellow into your lives, or will he fear somewhere deep down that he will be left behind? He is very young to understand the nature of your trip. This might sound crazy to you, as he is very young and was even younger when he joined your family, and I'm really not trying to be inflammatory! I am just worried for Dennis's emotional well-being during the actual trip to bring Alexsey home. Have you considered what it may do to him to be back at the orphanage?


Hi Terri-Anne,
I am not offended at all by this comment. I think it poses a great question. I realize that going back to an orphanage can scare an adopted child, but I just don't see that happening. I know how I feel about all of my kids, and I know without a doubt that Dennis knows how much we love him and would never ever leave him------ ever! All of my kids know that. And we have talked about what it was like living in the orphanages and we have worked through the very few bad memories, and so I am not concerned with taking back any of my kids for a visit.

Besides, I know that Dennis was loved at his old orphanage, and frankly, I am more concerned with how Dennis would deal with us leaving him behind when we travel. Because he is so young and has been through so much in his short life, I think he needs to be with us. I also think that Alexsey will remember us and Dennis and will actually bond to us quicker seeing how well Dennis is taken care of. Alexsey is older and will hopefully understand with the help of a translator all that we want to tell him. I know that some worry that bringing Dennis will take time away from Alexsey--- but believe me---- spreading yourself between a couple of children is a piece of cake compared to spreading yourself among eleven of them-- yet we somehow manage that too!

With all that said----- I guess it is possible for Dennis to totally freak out when he sees the orphanage and Alexsey to start having tantrums anytime we turn our attention to Dennis. If that happens we will draw strength, wisdom, and understanding from our Lord and we will get through it. I am just not worried.

Sar said...
wow love this post, it's got me even more pumped up for my trip to Ukraine in 2 weeks time!!!!


I am so excited for you! I can't wait to follow you on your trip via your blog! Everyone go check out Sar's blog---- she is about to go on a mission trip to Ukraine to help out at an orphanage!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just Watch!

video

I can't believe it has been three days since I last posted. Wow-- time flies! Not much has happened on the adoption front--- but because of videos like this that I am finally sharing, I don't feel in such a panicky rush to get things done because I know that Alexsey is doing well. In His perfect timing, we will travel.

We are working on finishing up our documents for our dossier, and I am busy going through clothes for the three youngest boys including Alexsey! It is so much fun imagining how Alexsey will look in certain clothes--- clothes that will eventually fit Dennis too! Julia and I have gathered a bag of gently used clothes that we will be taking to the orphanage. They were very appreciative when we gave them a bunch of winter coats last time we were there.

The Lord has provided us with so many hand me downs that I do not think it is necessary to go out and buy Alexsey lots of new stuff...... but I did buy him one, very cute, new outfit. :)

Thank you for all of the new donations! I was amazed to see $144 this week! The Lord continues to provide through his people, and I have complete trust that we will have exactly the amount needed for his adoption. Personally, in an act of sacrifice to save for this adoption, I have decided to not pay to have my hair cut, not have my car washed, and not pay for one single Starbucks until we travel. This is small I know, but God knows my heart, and I believe that this small act of sacrifice makes Him smile.

But I have to ask, does letting my daughter who has offered to treat me with her giftcard that she got from her brother count? :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Land that I Love!

Ukraine is a place that I will forever yearn to visit....... soak in..... Not only did I fall in love with every single thing about it when we were there last summer adopting our son Dennis, but praying for this country, praying for their orphans, praying for the little boy that we are working towards adopting, has made Ukraine even more special.

I have the deepest respect for the country where two and God-willing three of my children were born.

Last trip I tried to take note of everything--- even the smallest of things.

We didn't watch DVD's--- we didn't even bring any. Instead we watched from our apartment window, the children playing down below us.

We never used a driver unless our facilitator asked us to. Instead we walked everywhere and risked getting lost. It was adventurous......because afterall, weren't we on an adventure of a lifetime?

Last trip, I actually packed some oatmeal packets, granola bars, and peanut butter. This trip, I want to eat everything Ukrainian. Last trip, I even brought a role of toilet paper from home. I am a bit embarrassed to even admit that. Outside of bringing a few things for Dennis and Julia, I want to say that I was a 100% Ukrainian in everything I did!

I noticed the unique purple flower in the field next to the path we walked everyday to the orphanage. I noticed the sweet smell when a light rain would sprinkle down on us.

No paper plates, no dishwashers, no fenced in backyards. No lawns to cut, crosswalk buttons to push, or coffee pots to rinse out.

This trip will be even more memorable--- I promise. This trip, I will enjoy it through the eyes of two of my children--- a special treat that I cannot wait for.

I love Ukraine, and will make sure to not waste a single moment there. I am looking forward to re-introducing all who helped us to adopt Dennis so that they could see what an amazing boy he is! Hopefully seeing how far Dennis has come will help them to feel a little more comfortable with Americans adopting their children. I feel that this is the least that we could do. I want them to know without a doubt that we have cared for and loved our Ukrainian born son with all of our hearts---- and will do the same for Alexsey.

This may sound a little strange to some, but for me, it is a humbling experience that I know will make me even more appreciative of what I have here at home. It will also hopefully embed in my heart an even deeper desire to return to Ukraine and help the orphans that I already dread leaving behind. I have no doubt that through this God will open my eyes to see things I may have otherwise been too absorbed in my own comfort to notice.

With Godspeed, I cannot wait to return to the land that I love!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Prayerfully Consider

"Believe it or not, some people find a real blessing in partnering with adoptive parents to help bring an orphan home. God commands us to be one body of Christ and while some are not able to raise an orphan by adopting them, they feel blessed to be able to contribute something financially."

Well I've officially been quoted. I wrote this on an adoption forum, and someone thought it was enough said on the topic of receiving donations to help bring your child home.

I have certainly found this to be true, and it is people like this that play a vital role in helping an orphan to come home to their family. So thank you....... it is deeply appreciated.

Even in the midst of our own adoption, I feel that I should still help others adopting too. It may sound like alot of donation passing around, but it is much more than that. Above and beyond what we have saved for this adoption and what we give away as our normal tithe, my husband and I feel very passionate about helping others. After all, it really all belongs to Him, and I trust without a doubt the He will make our money go further than what John and I could do on our own.

We have been incredibly blessed to have so much support this adoption---- and one day Alexsey will know how many people went out of their way to be able to be a part of bringing him home! Thank you so much!

So I feel compelled to write that if you were thinking of donating to our adoption anytime this week that you please donate it to Amy who is going to travel this Wednesday on her second trip to adopt her little boy with Down Syndrome. She sure can use a little help. She already has three wonderful boys at home, two of them with Down Syndrome, and she is fixing to add one more precious boy to her bunch! She is doing this as a single Mom and I must say she is a great one at that! Some unexpected things have come up recently that have made finances an issue, so I am asking you to prayerfully consider donating towards her adoption.

Thanks!

Mr Blue Eyes!


Thanks for all your help!



Friday, March 20, 2009

Too Adorable!


What a blessing! Today, I opened up a package from a woman who spent alot of time with Alexsey last week. In it was a disk with lots and lots of pictures of Alexsey! This is such a thoughtful and meaningful gift--- I don't think that a hundred thank-yous would suffice. I even got to see video of Alexsey walking with a walker, playing, and talking. Some of my kids watched over my shoulder and commented how much fun it would be once Alexsey was home! Thank you Kate for such a selfless gift..... your contribution to Alexsey's adoption is a testimony to your love for Christ. Thank you.

P.S. For the fun of it I looked online for a free photo editor to see if I could make his eyes *pop* with blue. Any suggestions?

Trickling In

I was happy to receive our other marriage certificate yesterday along with our police clearance letters. I also received our homestudy! Three more things I can check off my list. As always, the last thing that is holding us up is our orphan petition letter from immigration. I hope that it comes soon!

Thank you for all that have helped Julia to raise money for her plane ticket to travel with us. Hopefully a handful of you guys got your orders this week. What do you think? :) She has been working diligently on her orders every evening. If you have committed to ordering something, Julia will begin to work on your order after we receive the check. This just ensures that people who have already paid get their order in a timely manner.

Thank you for ordering the adoption window decals too. I think eight have already been spoken for. I have fifteen left so please spread the word! I have already gotten three comments about the one on my van...... it is such a powerful way to declare adoption advocacy and give people something to think about.

Blessings!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SPREAD THE WORD!

I am so excited! Check this out.


I bet you want one on your car, hunh? What better way to spread the word about adoption?

I went ahead and prebought a few dozen in hopes that I would have people kncoking down my door to buy one. :)

The suggested donation is $20.00--- it cost me half of that just to make them and get them shipped. I ordered many because if I just ordered one it would cost three times that. Just leave me a comment if you would like one, and which one you would like.

Thanks ahead of time!

I Think He Will Be Walking!!!!


My heart just warms up when I look at this picture! Someone asked if I thought Alexsey would be able to walk. My heart always felt that once he was home he would indeed learn to walk. Looks like it might be earlier than that! And look at his smile! When I look at Alexsey I don't see a disability......... I see a child that is so contagiously inspirational that I can't wait to be around him!

We are hurrying as fast as we can little boy! Don't grow up too fast!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Alosha's Angel

Now that our fingerprinting has been done, I feel like this week is the week to get our dossier completed. Homestudy is in the mail. John's employment verification letter has been signed. I'm working on the house verification letter, and I've ordered another marriage certificate. As I went back and read through our dossier requirements, I realized that I only had one, not two marriage certificates. Argh! Thankfully, I was able to order another one through VitalChek, and it should be here at the end of this week!

I got an email yesterday from a beautiful sister in Christ, and though I won't go into what it said, I will say that she is an amazing woman who has blessed us in ways that can only be described as "angelic." She got to know Alexsey this past week and what she shared with me has filled me with such an immense appreciation for not only God's body of believers, but also for the knowledge that our "hopefully" soon to be son Alexsey is in good hands. Unless you have been through it, it is so hard to understand what it feels like to be connected to a child-- that is out of your reach. I last saw Alexsey in July of last year--- but ever since I have wondered how he is doing. Is he alright? Has he been adopted? Is he ill? Has he been transferred to Torez? Does anyone love on him? Is he talking? Is he crawling? Is he walking? Is he growing? Does he know that he just turned four years old? Does he know that the very first time I saw his precious smile, he stole a piece of my heart?

This friend answered all my questions and then some, and so for that I am so thankful. To me, she has been a huge answer to prayer. You know who you are---- and yes, I consider you an angel---- Alosha's angel.

I have been nesting like crazy. Actually got out the carpet cleaner, and dared to look under the couch cushions. That's where all of those missing socks went! I am sorting through clothes. From recent pictures that I have seen, I bet alot of the stuff I thought Alexsey would wear won't fit him by this summer. I guess that means, that I get to go out and buy him a few things. <>

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Moving Along Quickly

Even though today was a Saturday, John and I got a lot accomplished for Alexsey's adoption. We went down and not only got fingerprinted for immigration approval, but we also got fingerprinted for our police clearance letter. Then when we got home, we found a copy of our marriage certificate in the mail.

Wooo-hooo!

Friday, March 13, 2009

God Wants Me to Shout it From the Rooftop!

I am just in awe how God is showing Himself over and over and over.

First, I got a surprise update yesterday to let us know that Alexsey is doing well!

Second, I found out last night that $6000.00 was donated to our family for Alexsey's adoption! Praise the Lord!

Third, our invitation to be fingerprinted for our I-600 came today! They barely got our homestudy on Monday. What took five weeks last time we adopted took less than a week this adoption!

God is moving mountains and the people He is using to work through are such an encouragement that I can't help but want to shout it from the rooftops! Thank You for confirming to us over and over that we were always supposed to go get Alexsey!

If you are reading for the first time, I encourage you to go back and read from the beginning because there has been some pretty amazing things that have happened on this journey so far. Not only have many people rallied around my daughter to help her raise money for her plane ticket to travel with us, but others have done fundraisers on their blog on our behalf, and fellow readers have rallied around other adoptive parents in time of need. So many prayers have been said that I feel they are paving our path to Ukraine. We have been blessed with pictures of Alexsey that we never expected, and we have met some pretty amazing people that have helped us with adoption paperwork.

I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. Thank you. You are all partnering to help bring Alexsey home! I hope I am not the only one to shout this from my rooftop!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a Blessing!

Fellow blogger Jennifer emailed me this morning with the greatest gift! Recent pictures of Alexsey! And here they are!





A group of American medical professionals are over in Ukraine right now working with orphans. Please go check out their blog to read all about it! I am so thankful that they spent time with Alexsey and showed him some attention! I am also so jealous of them--- how I wish I could be there doing what they are doing! Maybe once my kids are all grown up! Anyone care to join me?

" He's somewhat shy with the camera, but has the cutest voice and personality." Awwwww.... how precious.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hmmmmm, maybe next week

I am so different this adoption. I'm not sure why. Maybe because we have done it so many times before..... maybe because I finally learned from Dennis' adoption not to hurry up and wait..... or maybe it is just that I am realizing that I really can't do anything because God's in control and things are going to go according to His plan not mine.

I am patiently waiting for our fingerprint appointment and our notarized copy of our homestudy before I rush to do all of the other documents. I hope to make appointments for our police clearance this week or early next week.

I am so thankful for the donations that came in the other day---- I think it was around $200.00! Praise the Lord! Thank you so much!

I have another fundraiser that I am sure will be a hit----- at least I hope it will be because I have worked hard on it. I'll let you know beginning of next week.

Julia is continuing to work on her orders----- I hope all of you are enjoying your scarves, dishcloths, and bibs! If you haven't touched bases with us in a while to verify your order, please do so. It would be incredibly helpful to us.

A good friend of mine is helping to organize a silent auction type event at our church which I am really excited about. She is brainstorming some really creative ideas that I hope to share in the near future.

Some of you have asked when you think we wil travel----- I hope it is this summer!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good News

This came from Immigration today! I emailed them yesterday morning to see if they got our homestudy.

Christine,

Yes, good to hear from you. We received your home study today. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,

Stephen D. Hull
Adjudication Officer

This is good don't ya think? ((smiling))

Monday, March 9, 2009

What a Gift!

Lucie, you made my day. Thank you for pointing out that we had pictures of Alexsey from when we adopted Dennis that I forgot we had. You have given us a great gift--- thanks again. I even found a few I didn't post before.

Alexsey is in the background holding the red bucket. Can you see how happy he is to be watching John?

Looking at these pictures bring me such joy....... mixed with sadness. I'm overjoyed because I have yet another picture of our soon to be little boy that I didn't even realize we had. I am overjoyed because seeing his smile reminds me of why he touched my heart so. My sadness comes because he should be right there with all the other children--- not stuck in some crib. I have sadness because all of those other children also deserve a family that is going to love them forever but we cannot bring home.

All of the kids thrived on the little attention we gave them. I especially saw it in Alexsey because he doesn't get as much as the other kids. Oh, I can't wait to go get him!

Dear Lord, Please give Alexsey a hug for me today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Partnering Together

I must first start out by saying thank you to all of you who have faithfully supported our decision to adopt Alexsey. Your encouragement has blessed us in ways you will never know. Thanks.
With that, for the first time on this blog, I have received my first negative comment. One of you found the perfect word to describe the comment---- snarky. How fitting. The comment wasn't even directed at me, but to the family that I was helping to raise money to adopt their "older" son Grisha. I apologize Ashley for their insensitive comment made on my blog.

Though it wasn't directed at me, I was reminded of how mean and defeating and purposeless people can be. It really is sad.

I personally think that it takes all kinds of people to make this world go round. Adoption is a good thing. Yet not all people are able to adopt, but they have money that they can give. And those that are able to open up their home to a child aren't always rich and can barely afford a fraction of the cost of an adoption which is always more than $20,000. I think it is wonderful that these two kinds of people can get together for the sake of bringing home a child. It is a special thing to see many families come together in an outpouring of support to make one more orphan a child...... a child who will get to tell everyone that they have a family. It isn't begging for money. It is asking..... inviting others to partner with the adopting family to help bring their child home. And long after the child is home and the adoption costs are forgotten, the adopting family is still committed to the lifelong endeavor of raising that child.

Who ever wants to try to argue that this is a bad thing probably won't get very far on this blog because I believe that the majority of people who read this blog have helped out an adoptive family in some way or another. I think they have been blessed by it too. I know I have been on both sides--- we have given and we have received and it has been a blessing for us to be a part of each.

With that, I have to say wooo-hooo to today! Officially Julia has now fundraised $861.00 towards her trip! Thank you so much for all that have helped to make this possible. Thanks Mary, Julie, Kelly, Baboonya, Penny, Sally, Karen, Faye, Julie N., Denise, Rachel E., Christine R., Kim, Christy, Allison, Christi, Carol, Jessica, Cindy, and Shari! We have received all of your checks and are working hard to get your orders out. You guys rock!

And thank you for the continued donations on the Reece's Rainbow site. And I know that Alexsey would thank you too if he knew that all of you were helping to bring him home.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Lord is so Good

Thank you so much faithful blog readers! Ashley, the mother of the family I previously blogged about has seen $779.00 come in since I first posted about her desperate adoption situation. I don't know who all of these generous donors were or if they even came from this blog, but I am praising the Lord anyway. God is so good......... Ashley's spirits have been lifted, and Grisha is going to come home!

Thanks again! Partnering together for the sake of bringing an orphan home so that they can grow up as a child is part of an amazing thing. I appreciate all of you who are helping to do this.

Blessings!

Please, please help

My heart is breaking for this family. I can't even begin to think of a more deserving family than Ashley's who is in the process of adopting a boy named Grisha. Their story is so inspiring and today they hit a huge roadblock. She is very discouraged. Basically they are in need of immediate donations to cover the $830 they need to redo their I-600A because of circumstances they had no control over. This family has been fundraising to bring their older son home for quite sometime and this roadblock is one they are not sure they can even overcome.

Please consider donating even a few dollars to them to help them continue the adoption process they have already started. They are in constant communication with their boy and they even managed to raise the money so that Ashley could go over and spend time with Grisha because the process was taking so long. This would be devastating to this boy if this family could not end up adopting him.

Please uplift this family in prayer------ they need so much encouragement right now. And if you could financially support them in any way------ you would be doing an amazing thing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Little update!

I've been quite busy because our son Dennis whom we adopted from Ukraine back in July, 2008 had major reconstructive surgery yesterday. Alexsey is at the same orphanage....... I wonder if he will recognize Dennis?

Anyway, I found out that our homestudy was mailed to immigration yesterday! Praise the Lord! This is the longest part of gathering the adoption paperwork and so this is a huge step towards getting our I-600 approval!

I also saw that our check for Julia's and Dennis' passports cleared.

Tomorrow I will be sending off our request for our marriage certificate.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Alexsey!

This month Alexsey will celebrate his 4th birthday! How I wish we could be there with him to help him blow out the candles on the his birthday cake. Oh wait! He probably won't have any birthday candles, nor will he have a cake. My heart aches for him and all of the other children who will have yet another birthday that goes unnoticed. This is the case for most children in orphanages.

But the bright side is that, God is good! And hopefully this means that this will be Alexsey's last birthday without a birthday cake and candles. This will be the last time that his life isn't celebrated when it is his birthday! Heck, we will celebrate each and everyday once he is home!

And to think that all of you will be able to celebrate with us through blogland! I can't wait to see his adorable smile as he enjoys his first bite of real birthday cake and opens his first present!

And we are one step closer! Today I found out that our adoption petition was submitted at the SDA! Wooo-hooo!

And Alexsey's adoption fund has $295 more dollars today! So much to praise! So much to be thankful for! Our tax-return was processed and deposited into our bank account the other day and now we know that we can count on that money too!

God is so good. All of you who continue to email me and leave me comments play such a vital role in Alexsey's adoption. You are all such an encouragement.... especially when we hit an obstacle! Thank you so much!

You are a blessing to me and to my whole family!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

$600 raised!

Thanks to all who bought a raffle ticket for the IPOD. This fundraiser hosted by Sally brought in $600! Praise the Lord! And her idea of applying it forward is catching on. Not only has Kelly offered to do a fundraiser, but I will also announce another woman who has offered to do the same thing! And once we bring Alexsey home, I plan to pay it forward myself! What a huge blessing this is! To understand how much $600 actually means in this adoption, let me put it to you this way. Our train tickets to and from Kiev to the region where Alexsey is are now covered. How exciting!

Julia has been busy this weekend. Here is the beautiful scarf she made for someone.

She also made this neat headband. Since they take a little less time than a dishcloth, we thought $5 would be a good price. If anyone would like to place an order, please specify color.


This is another order completed this weekend. Some of the colors are just beautiful. Thanks to those that donated yarn!


Julia has inspired Rachel to start knitting.

Rachel knitted a scarf for Julia.
Rachel knitted a scarf for her friend at school.
And Rachel knitted a scarf for the mother of her previous family. I am so proud of her for deciding to do this!
And now she wants all of you to know that she is also taking orders for scarfs only to raise money that will go directly to cover Alexsey's adoption costs! So please, if you were thinking of ordering a scarf, please have Rachel make you one....... it will allow Julia to catch up on all of her orders!