Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God of Provision!

I am so incredibly thankful that the much needed dental work that the girls need is being provided! I finally talked with our wonderful dentist today. She saw Nastya in December but it was so close to her leaving that there was not time to tackle the problems. I have been so concerned about both their teeth - although they do look better in pictures now that they has been following my instructions and brushing! What good girls :) But there are some very serious cavities that must be causing pain although Nastya said they didn't. And we don't know what to expect with Katya's teeth yet, except that Nastya told us that Katya had a few pulled! Not a great sign!

We have been praying about how we might get some of the most pressing things addressed while they come for the hosting trip. The biggest hurdle has been the finances. As my sis and I were discussing today - during the adoption process money is like water through the fingers! So I really felt that I needed to ask our dentist - whom I have seen since I was a teenager. I was worried that because we know her so well that she would feel obligated and that is the last thing I wanted. So, I explained to her the situation and told her to please not feel that she had to say yes and that if she can't (she is semi-retired with lots of grand babies) to just recommend who else I could talk to. She kind of laughed at me and told me I was silly for being nervous to ask her and that she would LOVE to do their dental work at no cost! We set up an appointment for their first cleaning, x-rays, and an exam to plan what needed to be done next.

I am so humbled by her generosity. We have not had to ask for help financially before from outside our family. It is an awesome thing. I am so blessed and humbled to be able to recieve this gift. Granted it is for the girls but since we plan to adopt them - I am asking for help for my children. And I think God is teaching me something here.

You see - this is big. Much bigger than us. We cannot do this ourselves. Of course not. "You can do nothing apart from Me..."

But I mean we cannot adopt these children and raise them without the help of other people as well. God will use and already has used MANY other people to minister to these children. Of course this is so true in the lives of all our children but I guess the enormity of the task right now - finances, length of travel and childcare while we are gone, supporting and loving the girls and us as we walk the ups and down of the road before us, medical care, just feeding and clothing five children in general, etc, etc...just makes it crystal clear that we need help. Even more crystal clear that while the Lord clearly provided the adoption money - times are otherwise a bit tight right now.

God will use others in this journey and it will be their blessing and ours.

Thank you to all you love and support us through this - through prayer, encouragement, advice, physical help, and finances. We are richly blessed.

2 Corinthians 9:8-15

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever." Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Monday, July 28, 2008


I just started reading The Connected Child by Dr. Karyn Purvis. Zach and I are finding it to be a worthwhile read. We are only in the first 25 pages or so, but out of many books that I have ordered - this one just seems to make sense. I agree with many of the views expressed so far and appreciate the compassionate viewpoint that is offered. Anyways, we've ordered several adoption books and most we never read past the first few pages because they've been on the negative side and very technical. At some point maybe we'll find them helpful but not for now.

My favorite have been biographical stories of adoptions but The Connected Child is the first 'helpful' book that I've wanted to recommend. As far as the biographical ones - here is a list of a few faves: The Strength of Mercy by Jan Beazley, Finding Home by Jim Daly, Castaway Kid by R.B. Mitchell(this one is autobiographical by an adoptee - very insightful), and Saving Levi by Lisa Bentley.

Anyways, I'll post another update when we are further through it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting Closer!!

We are counting down to the hosting trip - just three more weeks. Its funny because on one hand we have ton of things going on right now and I feel that I need as much time as possible to get all caught up on everything and prepared for them coming, but on the other, much bigger hand time seems to be dragging so very slowly as we wait to see them.

Last night as Zach I were talking about the girls, I finally allowed myself to get REALLY excited about seeing them :). I realized that I've really been holding back because I've been very concerned with all the changes in plans this summer that the group may not get visas. But as it is so close and the person in charge of the trip assures us that the visas will go through, we are fully in prep mode and high anticipation.

So, I can't wait see them come off that plane and have a much longed for reunion with Nastya and to finally meet Katya, although it seems I know her already. To hold them, to play a slightly different version of UNO with them, to see how Nastya has grown, to tuck them into the beds I am getting ready, to pray for them with them in our home rather than across the world, to feed them as much fruit and veges as they can hold, to see if they really can swim (they say they can :)), to teach Katya to ride a bike, to see if Nastya still remembers how, to cuddle, to ride horses, to see them delight in simple things, to be able to practice my broken Ukrainian and see them crack up at my attempts! I can't wait!

I am making meal plans, lists of fun things we might want to do, installing a program to help them learn English on the computer, and most fun - getting the things together that they will need. Tonight we began setting up a second twin bed in the extra room. I got the box out of the attic with all Allee's clothes from last summer and some even smaller than that. At Christmas Nastya was at best a size 7 so I need a few more things in that size. I don't really know how big Katya is but I am guessing around a 10, which would be perfect because Allee's old clothes is mostly 10s and I have lots of that. If she's bigger she can share with Allee. I think overall we are pretty set! The only thing I'm really not sure of is shoe size.

My sweet Allee helped me with the room and was so excited to imagine them enjoying the new bedspreads and clothes and had to bring in a purse for each of them filled with some lip glosses and a few pieces of jewelry that she wanted them to have. She also insisted that Nastya have one of her Breyer horses, since she was so in love with horses at Christmas. She has such a giving, thoughtful spirit - it is fun to plan together!

And to make things even more exciting, my sis just recently got news that she is traveling to Ethiopia just a few days before the girls arrive to bring home her baby boy!!! They have been waiting quite awhile and we can't wait to meet him. So while she and her husband are gone for 11 days, I get to care for my three year old neice.

So that's right - I'll have SIX children for a while - three that I'm not all that familiar with! And honestly - I can't wait!!! Not too bad for a girl who babysat once in high school and decided she wasn't all that much of a kid person. Who would've thunk it?!? Only God could have changed all that :) And I'm so glad!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Private Blog

Sorry about the confusion with the private blog. I got a little paranoid about the agency that we first hosted with trying to find our blog. It's a long story but I have been assured that they have no power to do anything to cause us any problems and I honestly can't imagine why they would.

I don't mind if tons of people that I don't know read our blog because if it can be an encouragement to anyone as so many of your blogs have been to me, then I am humbled. God used blogs of others - especially Kristina's story (thanks Leslie!) - during the time that He first began to move our hearts toward older child adoption/hosting.

So for many reasons (to share with others who desire to share this journey and because it is a huge source of encouragment for us to have all of you readers sharing with us and praying for us and the girls) I am leaving it open.

As I've mentioned before, we were with an agency at first (when we first hosted) who proved to be quite dishonest to us and mostly to several friends who hosted with us. It's a long story but we are somewhat concerned that they are not very happy that we decided not to use them to adopt. Now, for the record, just because you host with an agency you are in no way obligated to use them for your adoption. But, a few things lately have made us concerned that they could try to cause problems for us either by trying to take us off the list at the SDA to submit our dossier or even by directly causing difficulties through the people at the girls' orphanage.

Our facilitator, whom we completely trust and are so thankful to have, assures us that this cannot be done. And it seems unlikely that they would waste their time with nothing to gain. And even more unlikely that they would come looking for my blog. And even if they did, we are not hiding anything.

If you are reading this, please pray for protection from any who would seek to cause problems. It is beyond my comprehension to imagine why anyone would want to cause problems. They stand to gain nothing but yet seem vindictive - and when they were the ones who were in the wrong. If these people had a reputation of honesty we would have gladly utilized their services to adopt.

I do know that despite my concerns and the anxiety that sometimes grips me regarding the possiblities, God is so much bigger than any of this. I am trusting that He can overcome any evil plans that may or may not exist. I think sometimes I may be overly imaginative to think that these are possiblities, but whether these are real concerns or not, I must lay it before the Lord.

I read and prayed about the verses below this morning and know that worry only causes harm. These verse gave me great peace. Pray that I will remain in that place of resting and trusting in Him. Pray that I will only allow these concerns to push me to pray more and trust more but that I will truly rest in the Lord.

Psalm 37

Do not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

3Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
6He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret--it only causes harm.

Monday, July 7, 2008

August 7th, 2008

I knew it was going to happen soon. I've been almost obsessive about checking my email, as my family can attest to. But we'll get back to the good news...

I knew at any moment I could have an email with a date. A date we've been hoping and praying for since Christmas. And although we have had reason to hope it would be soon, in the back of my mind, I worried. I thought that maybe there would be a mistake and it wouldn't happen at all or at least not right now.

Well today as I checked my email for the hundredth time since I knew that the August list had been posted, I finally saw what I had been waiting for - an email titled "dossier submission"! We got the date that our dossier will be submitted to the SDA! We can't believe it is so soon - August 7th is amazing! And to make things even more amazing it is likely that we could receive an SDA appointment relatively quickly. My most optimistic guess WAS that we could be in Ukraine by November but it seems entirely possible that we could be there by October or maybe even September. I would LOVE to travel in September - I think the weather would be really nice and of course the sooner the better. The girls are still scheduled to be here for hosting from Aug 8th until Aug 31st, so it could be a short time for them to go home before we are there to adopt them. Of course whether we can be ready to travel and settle the things that need to be settled first could be another issue. The timing seems a little crazy with lots of things going on in our family and extended family, but clearly it is out of our control and we trust that God will provide what we all need.

Okay and if that wasn't enough good news, my dossier also arrived in Kiev today and my facilitator told me it looked really good! I'm so proud of all those papers!

So now it is time to finish a few thousand things we need to do before we go and get prepared for traveling for so long!!!

What an amazing day :)