Sunday, July 28, 2013

It's been awhile!

Haven't posted on here in so long!  I have heard that blogs sometimes get deleted if they go too long without any activity so this is my attempt to prevent that.  I'm hoping this year's project will to be to turn it into a book of sorts so that our family will have these memories...  Maybe I'll even start blogging again someday soon :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Very HOPEFUL News!!!

Have you been praying???

Because it seems that God is at work in Ukraine. We just got some great news that sounds very positive regarding adoptions remaining open!! The Cental Law Administration of the Parliament of Ukraine has released a statement that they are rejecting law to close adoptions. This just happened today.

We are waiting for more details but from what we have been told, Parliament cannot go against this decision and 4313 should be rejected. I will post more when I get more details - I think I might be able to get a translated copy of the decision. We continue to pray and praise God for this very hopeful news!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

HELP Keep Ukrainian Adoptions OPEN!!!

There are always those in the Ukraine government who are working to shut down international adoptions. This movement has recently gained momentum and a bill has already passed once! It will be voted on once more and if passed, it will become law!!!

Our facilitator feels that this will not happen until Spring but that it is a strong possibility at that point. When I think of children that I know, who have families coming for them in the Spring (they aren't available until then), I can't help but do something. Some of these children have been waiting for years and are just about to go home. Oh Lord, please change the hearts of those who will make these decisions.

Please read this link below for the details on what is going on. The only thing that we have heard differently (and from a very reliable source who is Parliament) is that it will definitely not happen before February and maybe even later...) So we have time NOW to make a difference.

Even if you don't feel the call to adopt, you can get involved in orphan care. And here's a simple way to get involved today...

By now, most of you have probably heard about the decision in Ukraine to go forward with a vote to halt international adoption until an inter-country agreement is in place. Please take a moment to write to your senators & congressmen, then encourage your friends and family to contact do the same!

Below you'll find a letter that you can use, or write your own.
To send a letter to your congressman:

To send a letter to your senator just click on the state and follow the link:

Please help us get the word out!!

Dear (name),

I am writing to you today regarding a VERY urgent situation. Many families in the US are currently in the process of adopting children from orphanages in Ukraine. Most of these children are older or disabled. American families adopting these children offer them what may be their only opportunity at a normal and productive life free of crime, prostitution, or institutionalization due to illnesses that are treatable in the United States. I personally know one of these families.

On November 3, 2010, the Ukrainian parliament voted to proceed with voting on legislation that would halt all international adoptions until inter-country adoption agreements are in place (see the State Dept. announcement at . At this point, all that is needed for this to become law is one more vote in Ukrainian parliament and a signature by the Ukrainian president. This could happen any day. If it does, many families and innocent children will be greatly affected. I personally know one of these families.

I am writing to you to urge you to act quickly on this matter by 1. Contacting your Ukrainian cohorts and requesting a consideration of revision of the law to allow adoptions to proceed while the agreement is being drafted (as was done in Russia) and 2. Work with your colleagues in congress to begin drafting this agreement so that it is ready to go in the event the law passes.

Thank you for your timely consideration of this urgent matter!

First and foremost - PRAY!!

And second - please take a few minutes to contact your congressman and senator. Use this letter, or change it to make it fit your situation - whether you have adopted or just know someone who has or who is in process. Thanks guys!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Heavy Heart

My heart is heavy for so many today. But for a few in particular. I could (and will soon) do a post on the incredible miracles that have taken place, resulting in so many new adoptions that have been recently completed or that are in process. We now have a pretty large number of Ukrainian American children living in our community!! I used to dream about this happening and I am so exciting to see it becoming a reality. More on that later!

But today my heart grieves for those left behind. Those who feel that they have no hope. Those who are hurting and aching for comfort and love but have none. Those who still ask, "Why not me? Is there anyone who wants me?" And these are not questions I made up - these are questions that children looked at us asked. Just yesterday my friend was asked these very questions once again by a friend of the child that she is adopting.

It sure was a whole lot easier when I didn't know these kids names, hobbies, person
alities, strengths, weaknesses, fears, hopes, and dreams. It was easier when they were more removed from me personally.

But it wasn't easier for them.

So I will rejoice with every one that finds his or her way home. And I will continue to pray and advocate for those still waiting. And perhaps there is more that God is calling us to do to love these children. I am quite certain that our work is not done just because we have adopted.

Please read this very powerful post and consider what else God might have for you to do in ministering to those who desperately need hope.

It is Orphan Awareness Month - my prayer is that we would all be not only more 'aware' of the crisis that surrounds us, but also be increasingly active and involved in offering hope and love.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Potts Academy

Okay so I really can't believe that it is already November!!! My last post summarized school last year and now we are almost to Christmas break of this one!! How time flies...

This year the Potts Academy has added to it's numbers :) I couldn't be more excited about my sweet new student! Galina joined our homeschool just before the year started and she has been a true delight to teach. I sometimes just catch myself staring at the three of them sitting at my kitchen table in disbelief. I can barely fathom that just over two years ago they were all three in a classroom in Ukraine together and now they are in a small town in Texas learning together in English. I can't help but continually be in awe of God's incredible tapestry in weaving our lives together. It may appear messy at time, but is sure is breathtaking when we get glimpses like this.

Although Galina has known English for a year less than my girls, she has caught right up and even skipped a grade level of math so that she could be in the same math book that they are doing. The first month took some extra work, but now it is me that is being blessed by her presence and participation in our learning. The four of us have the greatest discussions and sometimes the giggles get a little out of hand, but most rewarding is to see how much they are learning and how quickly they are all progressing now. And their precious prayers during our Bible and prayer time often bring me near to tears. Their hearts are so tender for those who remain orphans and for those who are hurting and they are so filled with thanksgiving and awareness of what God has done in their lives. They get it, and it is beautiful.

Equally miraculous - I am truly loving teaching. I thought that I couldn't wait for this season of my life to be over and that I would just push through until I could put them in school. And who knows - that may be what we end up doing. But somehow in fighting to learn how to teach and what to teach, I have come to find so much joy in it!! God really does have a sense of humor :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

WooHooo!! Survived another year of Potts Homeschool!

This is a bit of a delayed post but I am trying to catch up on some posting that I've meant to do - so much I want to document so that I don't forget... We shall see how well that happens - great intentions but I get too busy to post!

Actually it was a great year for us and I just wanted to post about what Katya and Nastya have learned this year. I am always pretty shocked when I look at how far they have come. And I am always surprised when I realize that I have actually taught them some stuff!! Who would've thought that I could teach?

Seriously, it was hard and a lot of days I just wanted to quit. I was exhausted many times this year, but we kept pushing forward toward the goals we had set for school, and it is very satisfying to not only reach them but exceed them. And the girls - they are just about the hardest workers I have ever seen. They pushed themselves and me even more than I would have planned. Because of their diligence, they are getting closer and closer to truly being on grade level, which is something that I wasn't sure we would ever reach.

Here is a short summary of their accomplishments this year!! We celebrated on our last day by going over this list and then I awarded them certificates of excellence, character awards, and gave them the medals that they had earned for completing Memory Master through Classical Conversations (an incredible task of memorizing a TON of stuff - see below)!!

Look At What You Have Accomplished this Year!!!

• Finished MATH Level 3, Finished Saxon 5/4, Halfway Finished Saxon 6/5
• Learned all 8 parts of speech and how to diagram sentences with noun, verb, adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases, and article adjectives
• Learned over 300 spelling words
• Improved Speech through daily Speech Practice
• Completed over 100 daily grams learning lots of grammar rules/alphabetization/etc along the way
• Improved Reading Levels; completing McCall Crabbs A&B and half of Book C
• Developed Beautiful Cursive Handwriting and learned verses at the same time!
• Read lots and lots of books in English and Ukrainian
• Rosetta Stone Practice for writing/typing/spelling in English

Also learned a great deal of science and social studies through Paces curriculum and through science experiments at Classical Conversations

• Classical Conversations:
• Memorized: (all of this to earn memory master)
o 160 Timeline Cards
o 100 Science Facts
o 100 Geography Locations
o 24 History Sentences
o All Math Facts and important formulas
o English Grammar including parts of speech, prepositions, helping verbs, and more
o Latin Noun Endings
All US Presidents
• Gave over 20 presentations and learned how to organize information and to speak clearly in front of a group of people

Kayta earned the character award for Diligence and Nastya earned the character award for Compassion.

Way to go girls - I am one proud mom!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Twice Adopted

Last weekend, the most beautiful thing took place. Katya and Nastya were baptized. The fullness of what has happened in their lives is really the most incredible thing ever. And you know what? We are not responsible for it. Not even a little bit. It is NOT because of us that our daughters now have eternal hope, joy, love, and peace in their lives. Nope - we could never have accomplished something like that because it is outside of our abilities to do so. Instead, we have been privileged to be a part of the wonderful story of their adoption into our family and into God's family forever. We followed God on this crazy adventure of adoption that He called us to and gave Him the little we had to offer (and believe me, it was only a little), and He has truly done big things in it.

Eighteen months ago God made them our children forever. Zach and I, with much fear of doing it all wrong, began to teach them about God's love for them. Sometimes it made them furious at first. When I would tell them that He saw them as beautiful girls whom He had created and loved since before they were born, tears would stream down their faces as they shook their heads in disbelief that they could be so lovable. When I would tell them that God had been with them even when their lives were literally hell on earth, they slowly began to see how even in the midst of abandonment, severe hunger, verbal and sometimes physical abuse, God protected them in so many ways. He sent caring people who were angels to them to care for them. A young teenage girl took them under her wing and would feed them, bathe them, house them, and just be a friend when their Ukraine family would not or could not do these things. And eventually they were removed from this terrible situation and placed into an orphanage with some truly caring people who helped them to begin healing from all that and preparing them for what was next in their lives. When I would tell them that He loved them so much that He didn't want them to do things that would hurt their bodies or minds or spirits, it often resulted in anger or rebellion at first. When I would tell them that certain videos, music, magazines, immodest clothes, etc, was hurtful for them, there was major resistance to my authority or God's authority in their lives.

We could tell them all these truths about His love, but it was with a heart of fervent prayer. Prayer that God would reveal Himself to them. We could say the words but it was only God who could really open their eyes of understanding.

But then, the truth of God's love and grace began to take root in their lives. The resistance that we had seen (more in one than the other) began to melt away, and they began to see God's incredible love for them and that He had always loved them. They began to see that this world is hopeless and broken and that the only hope that any of us has is in His power in our lives to turn our ashes into beauty and our darkness into light. They began to know and experience, deep down inside, that His love is real and complete and they began to experience the healing that can only come from our Lord. And He more than answered our prayers. They began to seek Him on their own and to receive the truth that He began to reveal to them. We began to see their lives transformed as they surrendered to His love.

And so, it was with great joy that on this past Sunday, Zach had the incredible honor to baptize Katya and Nastya in the San Marcos River. It was a beautiful symbol of the new life that they now have in Him and how it is their desire now to share His love with others and to live their lives for His glory. They are not only our daughters but now our sisters in Christ.

I just stand in awe of how God has fulfilled the vision that He first gave us of what He would do in their lives. Thank you Lord. To You alone be the glory!!

He has done and is doing what is impossible. But nothing is impossible with Him.

Isaiah 61:3 To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified."

And as if this day wasn't sweet enough as it was, it gets even better! Their sweet friend Galina who was adopted recently into the family of our dear friends (see previous blog post for this
amazing story), was baptized by her father on the same day. She has the sweetest faith in the Lord and we are so thankful that she too has been 'twice adopted'.