Follow us on our journey to our latest blessing from above.

"The word of the Lord is right and true,

He is faithful in all He does." Ps. 33:4

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More pics!

October 27th,2011

Our Girls!

What We've been up to!

October 27,2011

We have been very busy with life at home with 9 children. I wanted to post some pics of what we have been doing. The girls are great. They are picking up some English and yet maintaining their Russian/Ukrainian. They are very happy and doing great in school. Clara can count to 5 and knows most colors, can write her name and is learning her alphabet. Abby is trying very hard to write. She is picking up English and is always happy. They both still love to sing and dance and love their baby dolls. We continue to have many appointments for them as well as the other children so we are so busy but we are making it work. Here are some pics:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Living Each Day one hour at a time.

August 20,2011

Sorry for my lack of posts but as you can imagine I am very busy. With all the appointments, doctor's appointments, school starting and working I don't have much free time. I literally am just functioning to get through each day as I need to minute by minutes. The girls are adjusting well. They have been sick with bad colds and coughs but otherwise fine. They love school. Nothing seems to bother them. We are working on routine and adjustment. Other than school, church and doctor's appointments we havent taken them anywhere. We are dealing with a lot right now and just learning how to get used to our new normal. Right now I am kind of numb from all that happened in the Ukraine and then getting home to all the chaos without a minute to rest. I literally got home that Sunday at 10pm and was at work at 5am Monday morning. I haven't stopped yet so I really haven't had a chance to process any of it. I have a lot to work through in my head right now and just need time. I will be posting pictures soon. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

We're Home!

August 6, 2011

The Girls and I made it home but it was quite the amazing journey. But what did we expect after the month we had in the Ukraine!

I will be posting all about our trip home soon, I promise. We are settling in and the girls are doing great!

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Thank you's

July 29th 2011
I wanted to give a very big thank you to all my financial supporters whom without I could not be here. My biggest contributer and sister in Christ Marcie thank you so much. One day we will meet and I will give you a huge hug. To all those in bloggy land who have commented, prayed and supported me thank you. I loved reading all the comments and feeling the support and prayers coming from all over. To my whole church family and community you are the best!
I love you all.


The first time we met the girls back on May 27th

july 29,2011

Today is a day that will definately live in infamy! My long journey is coming to an end. I have my daughters' visas in my hands and all of their paperwork to give to immigration when I finally land in the good ol USA! I am sitting here crying like a baby, all alone. The Lord has done as he had promised. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done. There were so many mountains and obstacles along the way but our God destroyed them all just as he said he would. This process has taken over 14 months. From the day Tim and I knew we wanted our sweet Anya to tomorrow has been a major rollercoaster ride. No we don't have Anya but Anya is home with her mama--her mama has decided to keep her and not send her back to the orphanage. Anya will go to a regular school--Anya is where she was meant to be all along. Her mama just needed to realize that she loved her daughter so much and seeing that she was going to be adopted and taken far away made her realize that she did not want to lose her daughter. I am so glad the Lord used me to make her realize she could not live without her daughter. Because of that our sweet Vika now has a mama too. So Anya, Vika and Marina are all moving on to new lives with their mamas. God had this planned from the beginning and I was just one of his instruments to help make it happen. I feel privileged to have been able to assist God in this.

So today I am finally realizing that this part of the journey is coming to an end. As I said before my emotions are all over the place. I have been here for so long and have come to love and hate this country. The bureacracy and politics are so very difficult to deal with here but oh the people I have come to love. As I look back over this long journey and think of all I have encountered here and been through. It is very hard to leave this place and the wonderful people who were placed in my life. I have made lifelong friends here. I still have a mission ahead of me and can't wait to get started on that. I will talk more about that later. Anatoly, Irina and Igor have worked so hard to help make all of this a reality. They have gone way beyond the call of duty. I cannot thank them enough. I thank God that these wonderful people were the ones selected to accompany me on my journey. Irina's family welcomed me into their home and treated me like a member of the family for 6 days. From Kristina and Katya their precious daughters to Irina's parents. I felt loved and taken care of. I was able to experience what it was truly like to live daily in the Ukraine. I have gained so much perspective and once again it all leaves me feeling ashamed of all that we have in the USA. We are definately a spoiled country. I will try never to complain about not having something. Just to walk into a house with air conditioning, then to a car with air conditioning and any building with air conditioning is such a privilege. It is a privilege that they just do not have. Riding the crowded buses and smelling the awful smells from the live chickens to the body odor did not discust me it made me respect them even more. They work so hard and their lives are not easy but they go on and they can smile.

While here I had the privilege of worshiping in the Hillsong church. The presence of the Holy Spirit all around. I had the privilege of taking my sweet friend Irina to this church-who knows maybe a seed was planted- I was able to visit one of her churches here in Kiev and she is so respectful-she will not enter if not properly dressed with a head dress on her head. She bows and prays so respectfully. Though she admits she does not have the kind of relationship with Christ that we have-maybe one day. I will keep praying for that.

What is ahead of me--well first and foremost getting the girls out of the orphanage for the last time and all of the way home to the USA. There are many things that scare me about this. First they do not understand me when I talk most of the time and therefore do not obey as they should. They like to run off and I do not have enough hands to hold tightly to both of them and the luggage. I have to occupy them in Germany for 4 hours. Then getting through customs, immigration, claiming luggage, rechecking luggage, going through security and getting to our next flight in less than 2 hours time without losing the girls in New York!

Irina will be with me tonight when I bring the girls back to the apartment. She will help me bathe them and feed them and get them into bed for a few hours. She will be with me at the airport in Kiev and then I am on my own. Well I know that the Lord will be with me every step of the way--and I hope he will be holding onto the girls hands too so they do not run off.

Once home oh the adjustments! I simply cannot wait to get my hands on my children at home. I have missed them so much! I know they have missed me terribly too. Oh when I see all of their faces and Tim's at the airport I know I will lose it! There will be jealousy I'm sure between the girls and the other kids but I pray they will all come to love each other deeply. We will have many appointments to get to. And with 6 little ones now it will not be easy. The work will be constant and I know I will literally collapse each night. Oh but seeing all of my children securely tucked into their beds at night and sleeping soundly will be the best present this mama could have. All of my treasures together at last! Look out Jordan if you think the house is chaos now wait until these precious girls arrive and are let loose. Jordan I know you will be a great big brother to your new sisters just as you are to all the others. I love you so much. Danielle and Christopher I love you too and can't thank you enough for helping me and supporting me even when you didn't think this was the best idea. Please don't ever doubt how much I love you both. You have both grown up into beautiful young adults and I am so proud of you both!

Well I need to clean the apartment and finish packing to begin the next leg of this journey. I need to stop crying and get working. I just want to thank the Lord once again for choosing me to be the mother to these very special little girls--they were fearfully and wonderfully made just as all my other children were. It was no mistake that they were made with an extra chromosome. They are loved and treasured by our Lord and he has a plan for their wonderful lives and I am privileged to play a part in that.

I may not get a chance to post anything until I am home. I will be packing the computer in the checked luggage so I don't have to take it out going through security. I promise to post pictures of the girls and their journey to the USA as soon as I can.

Thank you to all of my family and friends who have made this all possible. There are so many that have stood by me along the way--First and foremost my dear sweet friend Dianne-you were my angel sent by God to help me get through this. Thank you for being here with me-just seeing your face come through those doors at the airport in Kiev gave me such peace. We laughed, we cried together and we even had some times of tension but I will forever treasure our friendship. Know that I love you so much and you will always be a part of the girls life.

My mom--what can I say--I love you and appreciate you and I know I don't say that enough. I could not have done this without you. You have taken such good care of the kids and Tim for me and for that I consider you a saint. I love you and treasure you.

Tim-my soulmate and companion-who puts up with me and always stands by me and joins me on every journey-I love you and miss you.

Cindy, Terrie, Jenny, Connie, Margie, Trisha, and all my dear friends-Thank you for supporting me and helping me in oh so many ways, from cleaning my house to helping with the kids and loving on them while I am gone. You have all been a huge part of making all of this possible. I love you all.

To my family-Paula, Jim, Toni, Geoff, Joy and Kelly and Lou and Rose-thank you for all you have done-you will always be loved and treasured by me.

Now I must thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for taking me on the most amazing journey of my life. I cannot even imagine what lays ahead. I am feeling so blessed.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More of Getting The Runaround!

July 28th, 2011
The day began at 3:30 am when I woke Dianne to get ready to leave for the airport. The cab arrived as scheduled at 4am. It was very sad to see her go. We had come so far together and now to say goodbye before it was over just didn't seem right. We hugged and off she went. I went back up to the apartment alone. It felt so weird. I felt so alone. I had a big day ahead of me so I tried to lay back down. I did finally fall asleep. The alarm went off about 7am. I woke and got ready for the big day. My appointment was at 930. It was very crowded outside with hundreds of people waiting to get in for visas. I was allowed to go right in as an American citizen. Tola and Igor had to wait outside. I took everything in and a Kind lady named Lilia went through all of the paperwork with me. She helped me fill in the places I wasn't sure of. We then discovered that Tola had forgotten to give me pictures of the girls. So I still needed to bring these back as well as the medicals and passports. She tole me to return at 2pm with the girls. So we left there and went to the passport place to pick up the passports. But guess what - they were not ready. So we left there after nearly an hour and went to the orphanage to get the girls and take them to their medicals. When we arrived at the orphanage at approx 1145 they came running out in the same pretty dresses from yesterday. They were very excited to go in the "beep beep" again. We got in the car and headed out. They were very excited as you can see by the pictures below.

So we arrive for the medicals and have to wait in a waiting room with several other people. They are so excited and try talking to everyone. Then Marina needs to use the "tualet". So I take Marina to the bathroom and discover she has a diaper on. This was a first. But I take it off and she goes like a big girl. I put the diaper back on just in case and pull her panties back up. Vika then comes in but says she can't go. We go back out and they weigh them and measure them. Back out to the waiting room. They are acting out very badly and will not listen to Igor or myself. Then a woman in the waiting room(another family's facilitator) started talking to Marina in Ukranian and Marina obeyed. Vika continued to do just what she wanted. She can be very stubborn. We are finally called in to see the Doctor. At first Vika did not want to take her dress down for the doctor to listen to her chest. Marina jumped right up and he listened to her lungs and heart. Then used a flashlight to look at their eyes, and mouth and ears-no otoscope-it was really a joke. Vika then allowed him to do the same to her. We walked out and it cost me $120 a piece. But they won't give us the paperwork until we bring back the passports. So we leave there and head to the passport place. But it is now lunch time. So we wait there in the parking lot for them to return. We wait over a half an hour and Tola finally goes in. We wait some more. The girls and I sing songs-The itsy bitsy spider, Twinkle twinkle little star and Head and shoulders knees and toes over and over. Tola finally returns and gets in the car. He talks to Igor in Ukranian and neither say anything to me but I can tell there are no passports therefore no medical papers. We head back to the embassy for our 2:00 appt for which we are late. But we still need their pictures--I thought Tola already had them but no we have to go get their pictures taken and wait for them to print. We wait and wait and finally Tola comes back. Now I need to go inside the embassy. Igor will ask if he can go in with me to help with the girls. We asked the guards and they saw how active the girls were and allowed him to go in with me. They took Marina's toy phone from her and she was not happy about it. Anyway upstairs we go. We turn in the paperwork and explain that we still don't have the passports or medicals. Again the girls caused chaos in the waiting room. One of the same families from the medicals was again with us. They were very nice to the girls. We finally meet with the counselor and I am sworn in and I sign some papers and they tell us to come back first thing in the morning with the passports and medicals. We leave there and try once again for the passports but no such luck. We finally take the girls back to the orphanage and it is after 4pm. They have not had lunch and missed their naps. They are hot and tired and hungry. I kissed them both and promised to be back tomorrow to take them home. Now once again I am in the dark about the passports but once in the car one of the caretakers from the orphanage joins us and Igor explains that in order to get the passports the orphanage needs to sign some paper releasing them. It is just another crazy step. We go to some office which is crowded and hot. We wait and wait and wait again. After an hour of waiting I am realizing we are not going to get the passports and medicals before 6pm. Finally Tola comes out and tells us to go ahead and leave on the subway and he will finish there and go get passports. On the subway Tola calls and says he got the passports but we will have to pick the medicals up in the morning on the way to the Embassy.

That is the way this journey has gone all along. Nothing has been easy. Something that should take a minutes takes days. Oh and by the way I had to pay extra to get the passports expedited--Well I finally did get them today--But if we don't get to the Embassy early they will leave--they are actually closed and are only coming in to pass out Visas and then they are leaving. Please pray we don't have any trouble getting the medicals. Pray that the final embassy appt is good and we get the visas. Pray as I take the girls out of the orphanage for the last time and take them to the apartment to get cleaned up and eat and sleep. Pray as we wake them at 3am and take them to the airport. Pray that they obey me and don't try to run away from me during the trip home. Pray that I have some control over them. Pray they don't get sick on the plane. Pray they sleep. Pray that when I finally make it to New york that I can get through customs, immigration, claim luggage, recheck luggage and go through security and not lose the girls in less than 2 hrs before out next flight leaves. Please just pray, pray, pray!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Day of Disappointments

July 27th 2011

Today I awoke to an email from our travel agent stating that there was a problem with Dianne's ticket. He said that when he went to confirm our reservations he noticed that Dianne's ticket reservation had been cancelled by United Airlines for no apparent reason. When he tried to rebook it the flight was full and he couldn't get her on. The only options were for her to fly out on another flight alone and me to stay on Saturday and fly alone with the girls or to reschedule all of us together for next Tuesday. Well, waiting to leave next Tuesday just was not an option. Number 1 if I had to change my tickets again for Tuesday it would cost me anothe $175 to change my ticket (though they said they wouldn't charge to change the girls' tickets), there would be 3 extra nights of apartment costs and then food and whatever else I may spend for transportation etc. Also I am scheduled to work on Monday, Tim is going crazy and the kids miss me like mad so really Tuesday was the last option. I will see Dianne off at 4am here-her flight leaves at 6:07 then tomorrow I have my Embassy appointment at 9:30, we go pick up the passports then pick up the girls and take them for their physicals. We will take them back to the orphanage tonight. Tomorrow morning we pick up their visas and we will pick up the girls for the last time on Friday afternoon-they will walk through those big gates for the last time and walk toward a new life. They will walk away from the only home they can remember and walk into a loving family. It is all so bittersweet. I have been here for nearly 1 month and I have grown to love this country in so many ways. I have made some dear friends and have adapted to a whole different lifestyle and culture. It will be very difficult saying goodbye to all of this though I am so ready to go home and hug all those I have missed so much. My emotions are very raw right now. Only by the strength of the Lord will I get through these next few days. Please be in prayer for Dianne as she travels home tomorrow and be in prayer for me over the next few days and especially as I travel home with the girls on Saturday. I know the Lord is with me and he will never leave me or forsake me. I will be home on Saturday night! God is Good.

(no new pics today, I didn't get to spend any time with the girls today-spent most of the day trying to resolve the ticket issue, signing the final papers at the orphanage and getting my paperwork ready for the appointment tomorrow and getting Tim's paperwork from him through email--it has been an extremely stressful day!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More pics from passport day!

Dianne and Marina playing train

Vika waiting almost patiently

Marina not so patiently waiting

Marina asking for her "Hello"

Passport pictures today!

July 26th, 2011
Well today Dianne and I braved the subway (metro) alone. I had been riding it long enough-nearly a month to know the stops now and we did fine. We met Anatoly at the gate to the orphanage and walked to the building. When we walked in we were met by the girls greetings-"mama, mama!" They came running but today they were all dressed up for their pictures in pretty little dresses and the big Ukranian hair bow. They looked absolutely precious. They were so excited to be going for a ride in the machina (car), beep beep.

Once in the car with Dianne in the front and the girls and I in the back we were off. Vika was a little nervous but Marina just thought it was fun. Well they were all hands. Puling everything out of the pockets of the seats-newspapers, empty water bottles, a toy etc. Marina asked for the hellos (toy phones) so I got them out and they each had one. They talked and talked and tried to continuously get into everything.

Well we made it there without too much damage to the car. We got the girls out--carefully, again vika was afraid to step out. Once in the building Marina was very anxious and just wanted to leave. She would go up to total strangers and pull on them and say things. I'm not sure if she was asking to leave or what. They took us to a room or rather 2 connecting rooms where once we were alone in there they calmed down but once again were trying to get into everything. We had to correct them a few times and they knew we meant it. Marina needed to go to the tualet (toilet) of course. We waited and waited and were told that the government men were getting their pictures taken so it would still be a few minutes. We are here with Anatoly and no Irina so no interpreter. Luckily one of the ladies spoke a little English. Both of the ladies were very nice. I went into the picture taking room with Vika first and Dianne took Marina to the bathroom again. They had to t0 put several thick books on a chair to get Vika high enough and she was afraid to sit up there. She would only let "mama" lift her up and I had to hold her hand the whole time. She cooperated nicely and they took 2 pictures and we picked the best one. I then signed papers and told them their names. Next Vika went out and Marina came in. Once again Marina was nervous and would only let "mama" lift her up to the chair and I had to hold her hand. They took a couple pictures but asked if I wanted them to try again. So one last time and they actually got a smile. We were finally done and off we went back to the car. We had to wait a while in the sun for Anatoly but we were finally on our way. We were driving along and Irina called so I had to talk with her. While I was talking to her I suddenly heard the door and looked over and Marina had opened the door. I grabbed onto her and screamed that the door was open and then I told Marina "no No!" I scared her and she grabbed on to me and cried. She does not like it when I am angry with her. We pulled over and Dianne got out and shut the door and then Anatoly locked it. A little scary. We got the girls back to the orphanage and took them in to get their clothes changed and then outside we went to play. We played for almost 1 1/2 hrs and were sure to hand them right over to the caregivers. (they claimed we hadn't done this the day before but we had). Anatoly said not to worry about it.

Anyway we made it back on the subway without any problems. Once back at the apartment we cooled off and decided to go to lunch. We went to Fridays and had appetizers. We then went to the store for a few things and back to the apartment. I called the embassy to ask about how to fill out some of the paperwork and found out we were missing one of the forms for each girl. So they said they would email it and Tim needed to fill it out and sign it and email it back. I skyped with Tim and the kids. They are getting bigger I'm sure. They are so excited that I will be home on Saturday. Talked with Irina again about paperwork and discussed that her husband Igor will be here tomorrow to translate when we sign the papers to take the kids out of the orphanage. He will also be with us Thursday for our embassy appointment. He will also help with some of the paperwork.

So I think everything is falling into place. Just a few more days and we will be on a plane with 2 precious little girls who can't keep their hands off anything and can't sit still for 2 minutes. Please pray that they are not anxious, that they stay calm, that they don't try to run off and that they sleep. Pray for the embassy appointment to go without any problems.

Pray for Irina's safe return on Friday. It is almost over--I have so many emotions and feelings and I will talk about them in another post.

Monday, July 25, 2011

More running around

Irina teeter tottering with one of the other orphans

Sweet Vika

mischievous Marina

Dianne doing stickers with Vika while Marina amuses herself

oh that sweet angelic face

July 25,2011

We started the day off by visiting with the girls. They were in rare form again today. Marina was as active and as happy as ever as long as I was spending time with her but when I give attention to Vika she acts out to get attention. At one point she picked up Dianne's bag and threw it and laughed and ran away. I yelled at her and Irina told her in Ukranian to apologize and ask for forgiveness. She went to Dianne and bowed in front of her and hugged her then came to me and did the same and the same to Irina but then she took Dianne by the arm and pulled her up to the wall and pushed her to turn her to face the wall and pulled her arms up-she now wanted to punish Dianne by making her stand against the wall. Irina again scolded her in ukranian and once again Marina apologized but just not so sure how sincere she was. I did spend some quality time with Vika singing songs. She now loves Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes too. We looked at pictures on the camera of Papa and she kissed him on the camera and waved to him. She misses him so.

After our visit we headed to lunch and had coffee and walked around a mall and sat and people watched while we waited for Anatoly to call. The plan was to go pick up the ID numbers and then pick up the girls and go get their passport pictures taken --well that was the plan but you know how the saying goes about best layed plans. It took too long to get the ID numbers to apply for the passports today but they did say as long as we arrived early tomorrow morning that the passports would be ready Thursday afternoon--. So now we needed to contact the embassy to see if they were open on Friday and if so can we do everything we need to do on Thursday before getting the passports. I called the embassy and got the recording and left a message. We then decided to go there directly and for me to go in and talk to them so that's what we did. I talked to a very nice person in the adoption department at the embassy who did inform me that they were indeed closed this Friday but we could come early Thursday for our appointment and have the girls medical exams and then bring the passports in when we get them later in the day. The Visas will not be ready until Friday and they will come in Friday morning to issue the visas to us! We can leave on Saturday! Now flights have been scheduled and we will be home Saturday evening around 6pm! I just can't wait to unite my family together and hug them all! praising the Lord for his Goodness.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Silly faces!

Marina trying not to be outdone by Vika

Vika has an amazingly long tongue

So Proud of her new trick!

Worship, Cruising, Time with the Girls and Skyping with Family

July 24, 2011
We started our day by Worshiping at Hillsong Kiev Church. Irina came with us to interpret for us. We were so excited to have her there with us. Dianne and I took a cab and Irina met us there. Well we started with worship music which is always in English and Russian on the screen so we are able to sing along and worship. It was absolutely wonderful to be in church praising the Lord. When the speaking started Irina interpreted for us but then they introduced the guest pastor named Kyle somebody from "the USA". He spoke English it was great and he was awesome. He preached in English and someone interpreted in Russian for everyone else there. Anyway he talked about Esther being called for "such a time as this" and how we have to be like Esther and not miss the "Now" moment. When you are called to do something or you have the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus don't miss it or you and everyone involved will miss the blessing. Well Esther was the study we were doing when I was in the paperwork process and facing a lot of negativity from some people but I knew that I was being called for such a time as this and here I am in Kiev Ukraine for such a time as this. To bring my daughters home to a better life, where they will know the love of a family and the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have already been blessed immensely and oh how these girls are going to be a blessing to everyone they meet. I am so thankful I have been obedient to his calling, that I didnt miss out on the now moment. He never said it would be an easy journey but then it usually isn't. But if we trust in his promises he is faithful to fullfill them.

Ok anyway after worship we went on a one hour riverboat cruise. It was a beautiful day, high only in the high 70's low 80's and breezy. It was quiet and enjoyable. We then did a cable car ride up th hill and had lunch then it was off to play with the girls. We had another great visit. They were so funny. We played with plastic dishes, kicked the beach ball and again sang songs and did hand motions. We had Vika touching her nose with her tongue-she has the longest tongue. Marina tried but she didn't quite do it. We were laughing so hard. Soon it was time to go. They helped clean up their mess and they wanted to be carried. But let me tell you they are not light. Vika is very heavy. Anyway we said our goodbyes and Marina instructed us to be sure to come back tomorrow and we promised we would.

Tomorrow we are going to play with them in the morning then get something to eat and go back to take them for a car ride to the passport place for pictures and to apply. We will know Monday when the passports will be ready and therefore be able to determine when we can come home. We know it won't be Wednesday and will have to change our return tickets but not sure if it will be Saturday or the following Tuesday. Too hard to explain right now. But just pray it is sooner rather than later. Skyped with the kids and tim today and all the kids seem so sad. They miss me so much and I miss them. I just want to get this finished and get my girls home to join our family. I want to cuddle up with all of my babies and just hold them all day long! Pray we are home quickly please. We serve an amazing awesome God and I am trusting in his perfect timing.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Day of Sightseeing

More of our time with the Girls

Mama and Vika blowing bubbles and Marina being Marina

Vika Loves playing with the stickers now

Alittle of Mama and Vika Bonding time

Vika making Mama beautiful

Mama and Marina time


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