Monday, December 28, 2009

One late, but very important, Christmas gift

It's something so simple, and yet for us, has taken so long. BUT, we finally have mom's FBI clearance!! It came in the mail today! It took 4 tries, but they finally accepted her prints :) Now we can send them off and our homestudy can be finalized!!! This is definitely the best Christmas present, a little late, but I'm okay with that! So, we are really hoping to have our dossier ready for the kid's country for February. That of course will depend on how quickly our 1-600A gets processed, but we are praying for things to move smoothly and quickly. We just can't wait to get our babies home!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We haven't posted much because Christmas kind of snuck up on us this year. Sad, I know, but with all of the paper chasing, we just had trouble getting it all in. We did have a wonderful time with Pumpkin and with family - she was an absolute riot this year, she just looooves presents, or resents, as she says - but it just wasn't the same. Our family was incomplete and we all felt it. Three little people are missing from our lives! Hopefully, not for long though.
So, Christmas was wonderful and yet sad all at the same time. I found myself wandering through the pages of the waiting children section of Reece's Rainbow more than once. The faces kept me up at night. No matter how good these kids are, there are no presents under the tree on Christmas morning, there aren't mommies and daddies to snuggle up with, and there are no Christmas decorations. That is the sad reality of life for these children. And as uncomfortable as it may make us feel, as "un-Christmasy" as it maybe, we must remember them. Please, look at their faces, pray for them, pass on the message. And maybe, next year, some of these beautiful children won't be "waiting", they will be home.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birthday Kisses for Angel

Happy Birthday Angel! Today you turned 3 years old! Little do you know that many miles away there are birthday kisses and prayers being sent to you. You also don't know about the many preparations that are being made for your arrival, God-willing, very soon. Next year, and every year after, there will be real birthday kisses (and I'm pretty sure a few birthday tears from mom - but the good kind!) and of course, cake! You are so very loved and we are so very thankful for you :) What an honor to be on this journey to bring you home!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paper, Paper, and More Paper

This week has been a long one, and boy, am I ever so glad tomorrow is Friday. Poor Peanut and George were battling colds, but are doing much better now (unfortunately poor NayNay is now fighting it off.) But it made for long days and sleepless nights! Which is why, I am going straight to bed after this - no late night blog reading for me (or Christmas card addressing for that matter!)
Even with that, we were able to get some major things accomplished this week on the paperwork front. Our I600-A was mailed out (yay!), we got our passports back (double yay!!), and we got our self-employed letter from the accountant (even though we may have to have her redo it becuz my husband is a jr. and it was left out of his name.) We also mailed out our state police clearance requests and had a bunch of paperwork notarized and faxed over for approval, before it gets sent out for apostilling. Last week, our medicals were finalized (but can you believe our doctor's license is going to expire in January, so we have to go back and get the copy of his "renewed" license when he gets it - which also means another trip for the notary oh well more $.) But that pretty much leaves us with only a few things left on our end, and then the waiting begins, and the fundraising goes into hyper-drive!! So, prayer requests for a quick and easy I600-A approval and for my mom's 3rd try of FBI prints to be accepted - we need it to finalize our homestudy and can you believe we still haven't heard back and the FBI can't tell her anything when she calls! Oh well, off to bed for me, even typing all that paperwork we did makes me sleepy :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Little Kiril

I just wanted to drop a quick note to anyone who hasn't heard about the fundraiser for little Kiril. I thought I'd just share what Christine is doing in her own words. Hopefully she won't mind :)

I’m holding a $1 challenge over at, on the countdown to Christmas. Kiril is a little boy with significant special needs who has been waiting on Reece’s Rainbow for a long time, and has been bedridden in an institution for over 6 months now. My goal is to get as many people as possible to donate just ONE dollar to Kiril’s RR grant, and then pass this message on to just ONE other person of their choice.

Thought Provoking...

Today I read something that really hit home (for all you R.R. Digesters you've already heard this one.) But for the sake of anyone who hasn't heard it, I think it bears repeating. I actually think I may add this as one of my most favorite quotes...

"I'd like to ask God why He lets poverty and injustice exist, why there are so many orphans and why He does nothing about it.....but I am afraid He will ask me the same question".

PS - More checks off the list! Medicals notarized! Passports were mailed out to us from the facility today, so hopefully we'll have them Monday! Our CSP arrived in Eastern Europe today too! :) Monday means more checks off the list (God-willing) - hubby meeting with accountant to notarize self-employment stuff! So nice to see lots of checks off the list :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

P.S. to my little rant

See that verse in action here:

Notary News

YAY! We have someone lined up to notarize our medicals! I'm so glad I didn't have to change the appointment because this late in the game, I would have been charged a cancellation fee. The best part is, he is only going to charge us the notary fees, not travel fees! So, a BIG thank you God, and all of those who have been praying for us. Yesterday, when I started looking for a mobile notary, it just seemed like all the doors would shut. I called lots of places, even emailed and called one, and I either got no response, they weren't available, or they were out of business. Every time I started to freak today, God just gave me this weird peace about it. I knew He had it all under control - and He even cared about the traveling notary fees :)

So, that's the BEST part of taking this journey. It's so neat to see how God works. Our prayer has been that we would have His heart, that we would see the world through His eyes. And since we took that first step forward in this adoption, we just keep seeing Him move. We KNOW these children are meant to be here, with us. We also know that God loves "the least of these" and that His heart breaks over the way the world treats His beautiful gifts of life. I love the saying "God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called." We are living, breathing proof of this. We aren't special "saintly" people, FAR from it actually, we aren't Angelina and Brad (although my husband is hot :)) and we don't have huge amounts of money just laying around. But we DO realize that God has a plan for our lives and that it involves mostly Him and not so much of us! And might I add that I just CRINGE inside when people look at us in pity and say what wonderful people we must be to "take on SOOOO much" and somebodies got to do it, so thank you - HELLO we ALL need to do something about it and maybe, just maybe, we ARE supposed to "take on" as much as we can while we are living the life we've been given, after all isn't that the spirit in which our country was founded? Have we all gotten so lazy as to think our legacy should be shopping bags and credit card debit? Whatever happened to changing the world? We recycle and use special bags and drive special cars to save the planet, but what about the people in the planet???? I don't mean to get on my soap box, but I just don't understand the way most people think - this is where I should interject that our social worker classified me as an "idealist!" Trust me, I know we are "taking on a lot", I know there will be sacrifices, we are already making them, and I don't take it lightly AT ALL. But, I just think we have all gotten a little too comfortable in our lifestyles. So, I'll end my rant with this: "I've come to start a fire on this earth - how I wish it were blazing right now!" Luke 12:49 (msg)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First International Mailing :)

Silly to some, I'm sure, but very exciting to us...we mailed out our first envelope to the kiddo's country!! Our CSP, which notifies them of our intent for ALL THREE cuties, was delivered back to our house APOSTILLED at 5:00pm today from our state. Thankfully we were just finishing an early dinner, so I was able to hop right up from the table and fly out the door. I managed to get in the car and rush it down to our UPS store (we consider it ours because recently we are there almost everyday - notarizing, copying, mailing, etc.) The last pick up was at 6pm, so I made it just in time! Our CSP will be there on Friday - not a cheap thing!! In my excitement, however, I totally forgot to make copies. But thankfully, Meredith, our RR coordinator, was able to email me a copy of it! Sooo thankful :) Also, sooo thankful for my mom and George, who watched Pumpkin (and bathed her) and cleaned up dinner, while I was off running, not literally of course - but I would if I had to, down to UPS.

Oh, and on the medical front, I was able to find out today what in the world was going on with our lab results (we had our blood drawn last Tuesday for our physicals - normally takes 2 days tops to get back.) According to the doctor's office, they hadn't received anything. I spoke yesterday to them and they were going to contact the lab, but I didn't hear anymore, so I bugged them again today. Finally, they told me just to call the lab myself. So, I did and the lab told me they electronically sent the results for both of us on Nov. 24th. I asked if they could resend them. I called the doctor's office back, armed with this information, and was told their system was down (why didn't they tell me that before? umm, perhaps that's why they didn't get them the first time!!) But they did receive the second attempt, so our appointment to have the doctor complete and sign our medicals is Friday afternoon. Now I'm desperately trying to find a traveling notary, who can meet us at the doctor's to notarize everything. I didn't think it would be hard, but apparently a lot of traveling notaries in our area are no longer in business, probably due to the housing crunch here. I do have a call out, but no one has returned it yet. So, please pray that I will be able to find someone tomorrow and that they won't charge us an arm and a leg!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane (in my head)

Today was one of those days that I just wanted to hop on an airplane and fly half way around the world. It's a completely weird feeling to know that there are children out there that (God-willing) belong in your family! And as time passes, I have to fight off these feelings of urgency and focus on the only thing I can do for them - pray. How simple and yet so strange? How easy and yet so incredibly hard? I can't kiss their boo boos, or tuck them in to bed. I can't bathe them, or sing to them, or feed them. I can't even tell them that there is a mommy and daddy who are doing everything they can to get to them. So I'm left with prayer. And perhaps that is the point. Maybe the most important thing I can ever do, for any of my children, is pray for them. This is hard for me, because I am a "doer". And I must admit that sometimes, all that other "stuff" (bathing, cleaning, feeding, singing, kissing, hugging - which is of course important!) gets in the way of my prayers. I'm not talking about the "everyday" prayers - like prayers for protection and health. But deep prayers, prayers about their passions, their futures, their relationships with friends and family, and more importantly their relationship with God. Sometimes I can't even get half of that out to Him without either getting distracted or falling asleep! So I'm going to try really hard to use this time to learn to wait (ugh! not a word I'm good at) and pray. It's so funny, isn't it? How we're never really in control of anything and yet how much we strive to be?

PS On the paperwork front, we mailed out more paperwork today! This time to be apostilled - our marriage certs to one state, G's birth certs to another state (mine are already apostilled,) and our CSP to our state. The ladies at our UPS store are so sweet and gave us such an appreciated $ break on the notarization. And hopefully, our blood work from last week will get to the doctor's office tomorrow. Then all we have to do is track down a notary to meet us at the doctor's and notarize our medicals. Another check off the list - YAY!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Passports

I am so excited tonight to announce that our passport applications are FINALLY on their way to be processed! Why is it always the little, "easy" things that sometimes seem to take the longest? When we started this journey back in August, we were given a list of things to get done. I remember looking at the list and mentally checking through going "easy, easy, okay, easy." lol And now those so-called "easy" things have taken the longest! Our passport apps were held up by George's birth certificate, but we received that last week. So today we were able to go over and apply for our passports as a family. We did have to pay ALOT more to rush mine and George's (we need them to finalize our homestudy,) but we should have them in 2 weeks. YAY! While there, we went ahead and sent off my mom's and pumpkin's apps. This way we won't have to worry and stress about getting them later. We had the NICEST guy help us, although we did wait in line for quite awhile. He got the cutest pic of pumpkin for her passport on the first try! Which, if you know Pumpkin, is a feat in and of itself! We can't wait to see her little passport :) But sadly, there are no black friday specials when it comes to the government, so the sticker price for 2 rushed and 2 regular passports came pretty darn close to $500 :(

After "passporting" for most of the afternoon, we went to pick out our Christmas tree!! I love this time of the year, so it was great for me to see little Pumpkin help pick out the tree! She was only 9 months old last Christmas, so it was more for us than her. This year she is just so in to it. She looked adorable "helping" daddy pick out the tree and then "helping" him get it all situated. I'm sure daddy looovvved all that "help!" Tomorrow we pull out the ornaments and DECORATE!!! I can't wait to see her little face when we light up the "big" tree. She already has a little pink tree in her room, which she adores. Her Nana brings a new ornament over every time she comes and she already has three. This is such a fun time of year for us as a family! And I can't even imagine how wonderful it will be next year, when we (God-willing) have the best present of all - all the kiddos HOME! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's a BOY!!!

Today has been a very exciting day for our family!!! There is a little boy in the girl's orphanage who stole our hearts away from the moment we laid eyes on him. We have been doing some serious praying about the matter because let's face it, adopting two children is HUGE, and adopting three children is HUGE, HUGE, HUGE!
But this has been laid on our hearts since we chose the girls and we've been mulling over the details. At first, we said "We can't. We want to, but it's just too much." There have been quite a few nights of laying in bed for hours, telling God how it was "just too much" and "how in the world?" But arguing with God always leaves me with an acute knowledge of just how self-centered and small minded I am. God began to change our hearts, our minds, and more importantly our PERSPECTIVE.
Is it going to be easy? NO. But maybe, just maybe, it's not supposed to be. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure He has promised us it won't be. Is it going to be worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Would we regret this? The ONLY thing we would regret is leaving this precious little boy behind. And that is something neither of us can live with. I can't imagine how our hearts would break if we ever learned this precious little boy had been sent to an institution (I recently heard that most children die after a year of being institutionalized.) Maybe another family would step up, but maybe we ARE that family. So, here he is...the little guy who stole away our hearts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


G's birth certificate has ARRIVED!!! Sadly, it was not apostilled but that's okay. So back out to the state it goes for $40 more bucks (just 3 certified copies cost $60.) But at least we can cross that of the checklist. And at least we can proceed with all the paperwork that one item was holding up...SO YAY!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brownies and Babble

Tonight I was going to blog about how bummed I am that the Fed Ex truck has still not reached our house with George's precious birth certificate in it (although all day today I kept hearing it drive up...wishful thinking I guess.) Then I was going to justify the three brownies I just inhaled with being bummed about this. But first I decided to read a blog that I just recently started following. You can check it out for yourself here kissesfromkatie. Her post today really got to me. And this coming from a young lady who just turned 21! Suddenly, I don't feel so great about my own heart, it seems rather ugly and well, my priorities seem rather a mess. I can't bring myself to go on complaining about how long this paper or that paper is taking, or how we just want to get these girls home. Angel and Sweetie are God's children and this is His journey for our family, not mine. How many times a day do I forget this! And they are not His only children. I should be just as concerned and focused for all His children (young and old) out there as I am right now for our girls. They all need love, and food, and clothing, and medical attention. Is my heart where His is? Are my priorities? And here I am shoveling brownies in my mouth and complaining about how things are not moving along on "my" timetable. I'm just so very glad that I am a work in progress! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh and Special THANKS...

to George's NANA!!! You rock! Thanks to her, and fed-ex, we are soon to be back on track with our paper quest. Tomorrow we should be the proud owners of George's birth certificate, certified and apostilled! Until recently, we had never heard of apostilling (except those guys in the Bible..ha!) It's the Secretary of States seal and it is required in other countries to certify your documentation. Of course, this costs more $ and more time. But as we are quickly learning, the whole adoption process is lots of time and lots of $ for paper, all kinds of paper :) It is, of course, very much worth it! But back to George's birth certificate, we are so happy about this because we have been trying for MONTHS to get it. We started gathering our papers in August, when we really felt like God wanted us to get ready. Yes, that's right, AUGUST. And it is mid-November. We used a very reputable company, recommended by the state, because the state is months out on returning requests. We then had to fax a picture id with our request. Easy stuff, right? WRONG!! I can't tell you how many times it was returned, of course days later. The copy was either too large, too small, too light, too dark...ARG! We even scanned it a bunch of times. Very frustrating stuff. We finally gave up and sent George's poor Nana down to city hall where he was born, to get it for us. I can't tell you how bad I felt asking her to do this. But we are all doing it for the girls and she was happy to help. SO THANK YOU NANA!!!


Every night I sing my sweet pumpkin a lullaby. It's something I started just a few months ago, but I wish I'd started a whole lot earlier. We take a music class together and the teacher told us about how music and love are registered in the brain in similar locations, or something along those lines. I don't have a spectacular voice or anything, but I give it my best. Some nights, I'm in tune and some nights it's a complete mess. Tonight though, for the first time, my little girl chimed in and started singing with me. It was soooo cute! She doesn't know all the words, but she did have some of the tune. Maybe she was just trying to drown me out (she is almost 2 and I wouldn't put it past her) but I wish it could have gone on forever. It was one of those moments I will always remember. And I just can't wait to hold all my girls and sing to them - Although, I'm sure pumpkin will have them all singing along too :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Minivan Madness!

Anyone who knows my husband, George, knows that he absolutely loves cars. Not just a little, but a lot (almost as he much as he loves bread, but that's a whole other matter!) Knowing this you can imagine my amusement to see him suddenly hyper-focused on minivans. Now for George, this is HUGE! He has pretty much told me repeatedly since we met that there are 2 things in life he would never do 1) own a minivan and 2) own a small fluffy dog (please no offense intended if you have either or both of these things.) As I have learned repeatedly, and now George has too, you should never, ever say you will NEVER do something! So, anyway I know that George is 150% committed to these girls, not so much by what he tells me, but because he is scouring the Internet looking for all things MINIVAN!!! Now I just have to buy him a chihuahua ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I'd have to say the number one question we've been getting from people is why? Why adopt? Why not just have another baby? Why adopt children with "special needs"? First of all, I would just like to state that we make one beautiful baby, and we may, one day, do that again!!! But now to answer this question, I'm going to be rather personal, and in the interest of being completely honest and allowing people to share in our journey, I will risk sounding preachy, which is not something I normally feel comfortable doing. The answer is because God told us to. He has repeatedly laid this on our hearts for quite some time now. We could easily pretend not to listen, because I will be very honest and tell you that we have done that before. We could put boundaries and limitations on it, because we did that at first (okay we'll adopt, but only if this and I can only handle this, this and this...) But this would just not go away. These children don't just go away. We've been reminded, again, and again, and again, that this is what He has for us. And He has changed us and our hearts so much. He has opened our eyes. And most importantly He has shared His heart with us; these are His children. So here we are, ready to travel the globe, go wherever we have to go, to hopefully bring these beautiful girls home! We are not naive about the realities, about the financial, mental, and emotional lifelong commitment we are making. We know we may have health conditions, therapies, doctor's appointments, "institutional behaviours", but we also know that anything worthwhile costs something. And these girls are more than worth it to us! You never know what you are getting into when you pee on that pregnancy test and it turns out positive :) You just know that you will do whatever it takes for your children - we have that same feeling about these girls!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reece's Rainbow

I thought I'd take a moment tonight to explain a little about Reece's Rainbow to those of you who have never heard of it, or the work they do. Reece's Rainbow advocates for international orphans, like Sweetie and Angel, with Down Syndrome. They also now have a growing list of "other angels" with various special needs and HIV+. I urge anyone who has not visited their website to please do so. George and I were shocked to see the number of children who are truly living on "borrowed" time. We were unaware that orphaned children with Down Syndrome, in many other countries, had no place in their societies and were often institutionalized at the age of 5 with no hope of being adopted (there is literally no other place for these children to go.) Orphaned children living with HIV, often age out of the system, are unable to find work and many times end up on the streets. Even if you cannot adopt, please take the time to educate yourself and your families and friends about what the reality is for these precious children. There are so many ways we can all make a difference if we will just take the time!

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Precious little Sweetie is 2 years old today! It's so exciting to know that this will hopefully be her last birthday spent away from home! Next year she will hopefully be surrounded by a family that loves her unconditionally and celebrates her life. So, these words of affirmation are for Sweetie, half a world away, on her birthday:
"Happy Birthday little girl! You are loved. You are perfect just the way you are! You are not a mistake but a wonderful gift to the world. You possess qualities and traits that no one else does now or could ever. You are here for a reason and we are so happy you are! We are honored to go through this journey to hopefully bring you to our family."
She may not hear them physically now, but God willing she will soon and these words are our prayer for little Miss Sweetie on her birthday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

First Post!!

Yay! So, we are so excited to post our first official blog! I'll let you all know that the purpose of this blog is to let our friends and family share in our latest adventure...It is the official beginning of our journey to hopefully bring little Sweetie and Angel home from Eastern Europe! We also thought it would be a great way for our family, and for our girls, to document all the little details along the way. In case you haven't heard the details, we have known for a little while that our next child would be adopted, but now we know just who, what, where, and maybe, hopefully when. All the details will be forthcoming. Just need to figure out a little more about how this whole "blogging" thing works! Stay tuned :)

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