Wednesday, November 27, 2019

One last trip

One more trip.  Just one more and this time we get to bring them home.

I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  I know God's got this but I've never traveled with one of your children.  This time Gavin will got with me and Jode will stay home.

Gavin is our nine year old who is the size of a medium adult. That's what size clothing he wears.  His feet are bigger than mine.  He's strong and kind and loves to play with his little siblings, especially Leza and Nico.  It will be adorable to watch him and his new siblings bond while in country.  Especially Hunter who, although he is four, is about the size of an 18-24 month child.  Gavin is going to carry Hunter in an Ergo during our travels. 

In our family we have a tradition of not putting a child down, like in a stroller or carrier, until they have been home for at least five months, thus the Ergo and not a stroller.  Although we do get down in the floor with them to play, and we encourage them to play a lot, we do not leave them alone.  We find that this helps with security, building trust and therefore bonding.  I've done this with pretty much every child. Gavin's going to help me do it this time.  I'm good, but carrying two at once is not my forte!  =)  Besides, Hunter is pretty excited to have a big брат (pronounced brat and means brother) and been expressing that since he first saw Gavin's picture. I'm so excited to see their relationship unfold!

We leave Dec 4th in the evening. Please pray us through on this one last trip!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Second trip in the books!

We flew into Kiev after flying for abut 18 hours. We immediately ran to the grocery and then to our train for Hunter's region. We had to have groceries, cheese, hard salami and bread, along with water and juice to carry us through the nine hour overnight, very hot, train ride. Time was so short that by the time we got there they had already retracted the stairs to our train car, but we made it.
We settle in, put on our Georgia summer clothes (did I mention the trains are HOT), made our bunks into beds, ate a bite and tried to sleep. I'm not sure how many times that train stopped during our trip to his region, but it felt like every 15 minutes. There were times when the train made such horrific noises that I was sure our car was coming off its wheels. After a very long, restless night, the porter woke us up prior to our stop and in broken English told us that our stop was coming up.
We got up, washed up, ate a bite, changed back into our street clothes and waited for the call "Krivoy Rog." Bags in hand we departed the train and immediately realized something was not right.
As we walked down the ramp, the train station did not look at all familiar. We also notice our driver, Igor, who is always prompt was not there. We had no way of contacting the team since in our haste the night before we had failed to obtain an in-country phone - our fault for not asking and our drivers for not offering. We also had no wifi or mobile data in this region. We're talking country side. So, being resourceful, we contacted our friends back in Idaho, who then contacted the team in Ukraine. We found out that they had already spoken with the porter from the train who told them where we had gotten off. She also told them she tried to stop us . . . not true. I don't blame them though. If you knew our facilitator, Irina, you'd know she is one formidable, albeit little, individual. We call her the little bull dog. I can understand why they would try to lie their way out of loosing her family! 😱
We were actually in Krivoy Rog; however, there are four stop in Krivoy Rog and we had gotten off at the first one when we should have gotten off at the last one. By the time the team heard from our friends in the US, they were already on their way to.
Meantime, a precious woman who worked at the train station tried her best to figure out how she could help us. Between her broken English, Jode's broken Russian and the help of his Duo-lingo translator we realized we all needed to study the other's language much more! She did try . . . she was precious.
We made it to our hotel with enough time to eat quickly, shower and get to court which of course was successful! We then visited with Hunter for about 2 hours while our facilitator ran around doing what facilitators do. We ate dinner and then jumped another very long (12 hour), very HOT train ride to Katie's region.
I'm truly glad it was us and not a new, first time adopting family. We were calm. Experience has taught us we can trust our facilitation team to find us and rectify the situation. We also trust God to work all things together for our good. We are thankful to both of them.

Adoption isn't glamorous. It's exhausting, it's rewarding and it's worth it.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Whirlwind trip and Amazing babies!

Hi all, we are back from our whirlwind trip to Eastern Europe and met our two babies!  Oh wow, they are amazing, funny, adorable and we are so excited to make them a part of our family. We will return to their country in early Nov for court and then again in early Dec to bring them home.

In the meantime we are still about $12,000 short of that which we need to raise in order to be fully funded.  While we were there, a precious friend of mine and the ministry she and her husband founded, The Shepherd's Crook, decided to come along side of us and began fund raising on our behalf.  In less than a week, over $8,000 was donated to the children's account!  We were overwhelmed with God's goodness and everyone with us that night was in tears. 

We had the blessing of being with another couple who could have been nothing less than a God ordained appointment.  Their lifestyle, beliefs and plans for the future are very much like ours.  It was wonderful to spend time with them and talk about the mighty hand of God and the amazing journeys we call life!

The children are in two different regions/orphanages about 6 hours apart and we could only pick up one referral at a time.  We when to Katie's orphanage first, visited her, heard all about her medical needs and how she is delayed.  (She is, but mostly because of her being in an orphanage.  She'll catch up quickly once home.)  She's about the right size for a one year old which is good. Now we just need to get her some cute little girly clothes!

We then went back to the countries capital, picked up Dalton's referral, who we are going to name Hunter, and then took the over night train to his regions.  Nine sweaty hours later with very little sleep we arrived, went to our hotel to freshen up and then off to the social workers office and then to the orphanage.  We heard all about his medical needs, visited with him and then ran around doing his paperwork.  His needs are nothing that we hadn't already figured out from pictures we had received.  He's doing well though.  Wears about a size 2T.  We'll have to buy a few things for him, but with lots of good food and lovin' he should be in the size 3t things we've been saving for him.  After filing for a court date and doing some more paper running around, we had dinner at the hotel restaurant. A short night's rest later we were up very early and back on the train to the capital.  One last night there and then we flew home.

It was one fast, exhausting but productive trip!  The food was great, the team was exception, the kids are beyond words and our God reigns! I'm glad we're home with our little ones here, but we sure miss our little ones there. Soon, soon we will all be together.

Here are a couple picture from our first meetings. 

They are amazing and we are very blessed!

Thursday, September 26, 2019


We received travel dates this past Tuesday.  We are to be in country on the 30th for our appointment which means we leave Saturday morning.  It's not much time to prepare, but thankfully this isn't our first adoption and we know how to prepare.

Once we have our appointment, we will board a train for Katarina's region.  We will meet her, accept her referral, visit with her and then head back to the capital.  At that point we will receive Dalton's referral and then travel to his region, meet him, accept his referral, visit with him, head back to the capital and then fly home.

After the "meet and greet", there is a committee which must review our children's file to insure that our home study and our children's files agree i.e. the ages, gender and special needs for which we are approved.  This process can take about 30 days.  Once we receive their approval a court date will be scheduled and I will return to go to court and spend some time with the kids.  Usually there is a 30 day waiting period after court; HOWEVER, that 30 days can be waived for medical reasons.  We are hoping that will be the case.  If so, I will stay until I can bring them home.  If not waived, I will come home again and wait for the 30 day period then return to bring them home.

We've not talked much about our children's special needs because we are a family which emphasizes our capabilities rather than disabilities.  But it's true that they both have significant needs and we're praying that we can get them home ASAP.  We've already spoken with our specialists and they are aware and ready to begin treatments in whatever manner that presents.

Pray for us while we are away.  Pray for those who have come along side us and are supporting us with their time and efforts.  It's been wonderful to once again see the Hand of God work miracles on our behalf.  And please pray for the financial support we need.  Adoption is very expensive.  You'd be gobsmacked if you know how much we had spent on adoption in the past 9 years.  Really though, it's not our money any more than they are our kids!  It's His money and these are His precious babies.  He entrusts us with both to do His good pleasure.  We just get to come along for the ride!

Monday, September 2, 2019


We have a fun Color Street Nails adoption fundraising going on right now! 
 Friends and family, if you love getting your nails done, and love to have fun with color, or just your basics, this is an amazing, fun way to do it!
You can find the link to shop HERE


Monday, August 19, 2019

Christmas in August UPDATED!

By now you know that we have completed our paperwork, are waiting on submission in Ukraine and an invitation to travel.  In the meantime we are doing our best to amass the funds needed to complete our first trip which should be within the next few weeks.

Inasmuch we are holding some sales which will also allow you, our wonderful journey mates, to start your Christmas shopping.  We have two sales going on right now.  They are Norwex and Loving Cup Tea and now COFFEE!!

I'm a coffee lover so I'm so excited to add that we have a fund raiser for coffee with 100%, yes that 100% of the purchase price going toward our matching grant!  You can find the sale HERE

Norwex is committed to providing educational resources and supporting charitable projects that address growing concerns about harmful chemicals, plastic pollution and environmental issues. Their environmentally friendly products are microfiber cleaning, household, personal care, pet and auto products. You can find a link to the sale HERE, and 35% of each sale goes toward our adoption.  We all use these products in some form on a daily basis.  Stocking up on them through our party allows you to replenish that which you need and support our adoption.  Now if you are a tea lover, like me, you'll enjoy stocking up on this next sale.  

Loving Cup Tea sells loose leaf tea that is created from the highest quality leaves, ingredients and natural flavorings. As a mother I know what it's like to be pulled in all directions and everything seems to need your immediate attention.  I know what it's like to need just a few minutes of time to regroup one's thoughts and refresh one's soul.  Tea does that for me.  If you don't find tea soothing as I do, perhaps your loved one does.  This would make a lovely gift during the holidays for yourself or someone else.  You can find a link to this sale HERE and 30% of each sale will go toward our adoption. 

Thank you once again for supporting us during this journey to bring home our little ones.  Your prayers and financial support are invaluable.  We could not do this without you.

With love,

Thursday, August 15, 2019

And just like that . . .

. . . we are Done!  With the paper work that is. 

All of our remaining documents are winging their way over the Atlantic via UPS to arrive in Eastern Europe this coming Wed. 

Next step is to be submitted to their equivalent of social services.  Once submitted, we will be invited over to meet the children.  We're really looking forward to that day!

One last trip

One more trip.  Just one more and this time we get to bring them home. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  I know God's...