About Me

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My husband and I, the Dynamic Duo, have been married since 2003. We've weathered the storm of chronic disease (diagnosis 2006), infertility (diagnosis 2007), turning 30 (2006/2007 respectively) a first adoption (2009) of a tender hearted, compassionate Ukrainian BIG boy (born 2006), who has told us he'd like a baby sister, baby brother, big brother, and REALLY big sister. We recently completed our second Ukrainian adoption journey, which brought us a daughter (born 2005). We'll see what else God brings our way!

Monday, May 30, 2011

SDA...the fun zone

Our appointment at the SDA went wellish.  We walked, which was a whopping 10mins or so.  Then we waiting on the "stairs".  A couple came out looking not happy at all!  I knew we might be in trouble.  So the woman at the SDA pulled out several books of single girls available for adoption...the one's that had been waiting for long periods of time and had severe special needs.  She also showed us the two girls that had become available for adoption that day.  We would be the first to visit either of them.  Then she showed us two sibling groups.  We were almost set on the one (a 7 year old girl and a 4 year old boy) when our facilitator told us they have a grandmother that visits them.  And the girl had refused to be adopted by several couples.  And the other sibling group (a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy) weren't speaking yet, but no one knew why.  Several couples had been to visit them, so we decided not to see them.  We went with a girl with some "fixable" physical issues.  She has blue eyes and dark hair and a very sweet look to her face.  She's 5.5, which is closer to Eli's age than I had hoped, but that at least puts her a grade ahead of Eli.  We'll meet her on Wednesday.  We're both hoping that this is our girl, but only time will tell.

Sorry about the lack of pictures.  We really haven't taken many.  The Ukrainians are nuts here! It's 25 degrees C  and I'm passing men with light sweaters on!  That's nuts!

Me and Holly, the sweetest mom around :)  She made the BEST spaghetti sauce Mmmmmm...

Kiev Theological Center.  Andy is the guy on the left, Dave is on the right

I love this entrance.  It's so pretty.

One of the classrooms.  I asked if there's always a guitar jokingly and Andy responded yes.  He said it's a pretty intense 2 week program and they need the music.

Ukrainian Church

Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit a Ukrainian church with missionary friends of ours.  It was on the bottom floor of a high rise apartment building on the "other" side of Keiv (closer to the airport).  The missionaries warned us that at a minimum, the service was 2 hours.  I really wanted to go, even though everything was in Russian.  It was great!  And it lasted 3 hours...We prayed, then a short sermon (about the blessing of children, how appropriate!), then, since it was the last day of Sunday School, the kids showed off some of their verse skills.  After that it was kind of a blur.  I know we did some singing, and there was another sermon.  The preacher found out we were there and about our adoption.  He asked if we would come up and explain the process.  We did.  There were a LOT of questions and I held their attention explaining how we adopt internationally and why.  They were amazed.  Several women blessed me and reminded me that when we take care of the "least" of these, we are taking care of Jesus.  And after all the questions were answered and all the comments were made, they prayed for me.  Later the missionaries told me that they prayed that we would find our daughter and that God would cause her to follow His ways and serve Him always.  Very passionate and sweet prayer and I am awed that they would take the time to pray for strangers.  I love the Church!

I had my picture album, so I stayed after for a little bit and showed Eli off to all the women and answered more questions.  One of the women who stayed was a doctor and she asked about the health of Eli and asked if we wanted a healthy child.  It was explained later that Ukrainians wouldn't adopt special needs because of the stimuli attached to them.  And if you look around Kiev, you really don't see any special needs children.  And the area certainly isn't wheelchair friendly!  So the fact that we don't care, as long as she doesn't have an attachment disorder, was really impressive.

After the fun of the morning (I still feel all fussy when I think about it) we went to the apartment of the missionaries and had a yummy spaghetti lunch with chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream.  Mmmmmmm.

Andy works as a professor at Kiev Theological Seminary before he took us home, he showed us where he teaches and his office.  He told us that churches are popping up without pastors!  So they have no leadership, but the desire to fellowship.  How cool is that?!  So he not only trains new pastors, but some that already have churches.  It is so cool.

We got home pretty exhausted, but in a good way.  We paid for our apartment and then our facilitator called. He is flippin' awesome!  More on that later...we're headed to Friday's to celebrate what we hope to be a successful SDA appointment.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Trip in a nutshell

I'm almost adjusted to the time change...almost.  Friday was kind of a blur.  The flights were great, but I was kind of nervous about getting in the Kiev airport.  I had a few "Is this real?" moments as we got off the plane and headed to the bus that took us to the new terminal.  I was freaking out a little because I was by myself, and because we didn't get any type of customs paperwork.  Two years ago, we had to keep track of that piece of paper otherwise we wouldn't be allowed to leave the country!  I have to tell you the new terminal is so much better than the old one...WAY easier.  As I was standing in the passport line, I listened for English.  And I heard a very familiar southern accent.  "Hey!  English!  Were we supposed to get a customs form?  I haven't been here in a couple years."  Turns out the three men were from an organization called Manna.  They are in the country to build a transition house for orphans.  One of the men, from Dallas, kind of took me under his wing.  I think he saw that I was a little nervous.  We talked about the adoption, the ministry and how much we love this country.  I got my bag, followed the green line past the luggage x-ray and my driver was waiting for me outside the gate.  Bing, bang, boom.  And the next thing I knew, I was driving to our apartment in Kiev.  For most of Friday and some of Saturday I kind of had this "Am I really here?"  feeling.  We stayed in Friday and decided to get a good nights rest before venturing out in to the wild East.

We weren't sure if the banks would be open on Saturday, but I found some grivna from a few years back so we weren't too worried.  But we found an exchange and that eased my mind.  Then we walked the Kreshadic, which was closed to cars, and headed to a grocery store.  Our apartment is top notch.  We have a great sized bedroom, a living room with an air conditioner!!!, a nice sized kitchen (complete with fridge, oven, and microwave), and an all in one bathroom (toilet and shower are in one room...and we have a washer).  We bought some groceries, found the pizza place, the TGIFridays and got more minutes for our phone.  All of this with no facilitator!  I had an interesting conversation with a, well, unique guy at the phone store.  He was obviously intoxicated...the only words he knew in English were "I love you"  and he said them repeatedly.  Apparently he loves NYC, Amsterdam and weed.  Niiiiiice.  I just laughed, shook my finger at him and "Tsk, tsk, tsk".  He laughed and I high tailed it out of there!

I'll have another post about today in a little while.  It was a great day with great people and prayer.  I'm still processing everything that happened today.  I can't believe tomorrow is the big day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ready, Set, GO!

My trip was uneventful, yet eventful at the same time.  It's about 5am and I can't sleep.  Our internet wasn't working well last night (probably due to the massive party at the Square!) so I didn't post.  More later...just wanted to let you know we're here...Man, I love this country!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Are you ready to pray?

I'm packed and surprised at how little I packed.  I did so much better this time!  I leave in less than 24 hours, and I already need prayer!!!

Can you believe it?  Massive storms have come through the area flooding most major highways and causing lots and lots of chaos.  Fortunately we don't live in a flood zone, so our basement never floods.  However, more rain is on the way, more thunder and lightning.  Which means more flooding.  Add to that the Iceland volcano eruption, which halted Europe travel a few weeks ago, but isn't supposed to affect my flight, and you've got one crazed woman!

I know, I know.  God is in control, but it feels like this adoption is getting off on the wrong foot.  But God knows what He's doing...right?!  Will you comment your favorite comfort Bible verse?  I think I could use it right now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our last days together

I took lots of pictures of Eli on our last weekend together.  That kid LOVES his Papa!

Chillin' on the deck

Look at those sweet shades!  He puts them on so he can be like me and Papa, who both wear glasses.

Eli's last day of school was Friday.  He picked out brownies as his last snack to bring to class and share with his friends.  Like the outfit?  And yes, those are two different style socks.

I think I may be going through some major nesting.  I've cleaned out sister's room and put up a few decorations.  And I tackled the bathroom next.  I went to bed at 2am.  Today I've tacked Eli's room.  It took 4 hours and three trash bags, but his room is clean and orderly!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ukraine law changes, and Travel

I can't believe everything I have to do before Thursday...including finding a ride to the airport!  This weekend has been NUTS!

Friday night I packed Dave up with all the stuff he'd need for Germany.  And, since I was the one packing, I stuck my shirts for the trip in with his :)  And some other miscellaneous stuff, too.  Then I packed up Eli with all the stuff he'd need to live with Grandma Karl for a month.  Saturday we took off in the Jeep and I first dropped Dave off at the airport (an hour out of the way) and then headed to Buffalo with Eli and our dog, Jack.  This weekend is a Canadian holiday, so I was expecting the borders to be insane, but it wasn't bad at all!  I think tomorrow is Victoria Day and everyone has a vacation day so tomorrow might be the insane day.

I came home to an empty house on a warm sunny day.  Ah, quiet.  Maybe I'll put on Eli's CD do drown out the quiet...

I've only been home for 4ish hours or so and I'm in MAJOR nesting mode.  I cleaned out sister's room, dusted and mopped.  Now it's all ready for sister to sleep in.  There's so much to do still!

In other news, the Ukraine has changed it's adoption law effective in June, but I'm not sure what date exactly. Basically, a child has to be in the orphanage for a year and must be 5 years old or older to be eligible for international adoption.  Check out the US Dept of State site here.  So if you're in adoption for a younger child, don't go to Ukraine!  The two exceptions are for special needs and siblings.  Hmmm.  Our appointment is in May, so hopefully we will find favor with the SDA.

God has changed my heart...instead of wanting to bring home two more beauties, I really think one more is enough!  But I must leave it in God's hands and pray He will guide us to the family He wants for us.

Over and over again I have to pray that God would keep my focus because it's so easy to go astray and worry.  All I have to do is look at my son (who I won't see for a flippin' month!) to be reminded that God has everything under control and that if He takes care of the robin's food and the lilie's clothes, how much more will He provide for His precious children, especially the orphaned.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What is going on?

I finally booked my flight and had a conversation with our agency to make sure we were on the same page with our needs once we arrive.  Flights were SO expensive!  There are still a lot of things up in the air, like if I'm going to stay the entire trip or come back.  Or if we're coming home with one or two children.  Or if we're taking enough money.

In the meantime, Eli has been keeping us busy.

We are still eating Easter eggs - we decorated some time after Easter, so don't get too grossed out :)

A missionary friend sent us some Ukrainian decorations for our eggs.  Thanks Andy and Holly!

He graduated from Cubbies:

Don't you love the "guns"?

And then he had a Special Person Day at preschool.  I love those days!  He was so cute.

I think he gets tired of smiling so much!

He's a little Tea Pot :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

SDA Date and Fashion Faux Pas...

We finally have an appointment with the SDA...May 30th!  Phew...now that we have a date, let the planning and organizing begin!

I've been silent for a while now because we've been so busy.  BSF is wrapping up next Monday and Tuesday, tonight is the last night of AWANA, two first communions (one is coming up next weekend!) and now the gathering of stuff for the trip.  Yikes!

My son...what can I do about that boy?  Ever since he started dressing himself I've been letting him choose his outfits.  Good idea?  Not really, but hey, he's only 5.  I laugh constantly at his complete disregard for anything fashionable.  I supposed I ought to start teaching him about matching outfits, but that may be a problem since I have NO fashion sense myself!  I still have my mom dress me sometimes :)  Hopefully one day he'll get it, but for now, he adds no end of smiles with his fashion choices:

Who isn't a fan of the stickers on the face look?

What outfit is complete without Papa shoes?

Then there's the racing attire...

Stripes with plaid...my Grandpa Stobie would be proud!

Short shorts with a turtle neck...Hmmmm

White Papa shirt, plaid shorts and snowboots!