Sunday, March 30, 2008

What is Dennis like?

As promised, here is more about Dennis. Meredith, another adoptive mom, was at Dennis' same orphanage adopting her two children just last month and so I have had the privilege of hearing all about Dennis.

Here is what Meredith had to say.

"As some of you know, I had the privilege of meeting other children with special needs while I was in Ukraine. A few of these children were in Emma's and Micah's area and some were in other parts of the orphanage. One little boy that Mike and I always were glad to see up and around was little Denis. He is a very sweet little boy that is 18 months old and is learning to walk. He would go down the halls of the little infirmary area with just the fingers of a nurse as he learned to walk. He would cry his soft longing cry as Emma was changed into clothes to come visit with us (they were roommates). He is a typical kid, a sweet little boy. A baby, really."

When I read this, I welled up with tears at the thought of this perfectly healthy little boy sitting in a hospital just because he has some scarring on his face. He is not sick. He is not delayed. He is not contagious. He has so much potential....I'm sure almost all of these children have lots of potential. Why can't he be with the other normal children?

Meredith shares more.

"I will give you lots of details about the caretakers/orphanage/city in the next few days, but I wanted to tell you now that yes, the caretakers took good care of him and did not seem to stray away because of his face. They did, on the other hand, tend to keep him away from us. They were afraid he would be scary. I saw him on several occasions during my month there but usually in passing. They were holding his hands walking him down the short hallway once. Other times he was sitting up on a changing table and they were feeding him. And then the time I saw him when I went to take his photo. He stood up in his crib when we all came in and was interested in what was happening.

He cries... oh my he cries... Poor little guy. He would sit back there looking for someone to pay him attention and while we were waiting for our kids to be 'ready' for us we'd listen to his soft almost moaning. We wondered, a few times, if it was Emma, but they'd bring her to us and it continued.

He's really a CUTE kid. Take that picture and cover up the eye that's been damaged. Look at that sweet face! I think he will do well with the love and attention of a family. He's surpassed all odds in just being alive and the fact that he's trying to live when he spends all his days in a crib is amazing. Other children at the same orphanage just a few months older that have been out playing and crawling, etc. are just learning to walk (I've seen two in the playroom that were being adopted at 20 and 22 months and still unsteady)."

You don't have to sell him to me! We'll take him!

She continues,

"I don't know if he crawls but he can pull to standing in the crib and he walked with very little assistance about once a day through the hallway in the infirmary area :) His cry is longing. Not really loud, but just looking for someone to come. Sometimes almost a moan, if that makes sense. What's interesting is that NONE of the other kids in that area really cried (other than my Micah I'm guessing since he sure cries up a storm for me, but he always was being 'prepped' (put in clean clothes and a disposable diaper) when I was there so he always had someones attention).

Denis seems to still have a hope that his cries will be answered and I do think that the orphanage staff (they are nurses in that area) answer his cries. It's a very low staff to child ratio and I think, for lack of a better way to put it, that they feel sorry for him because there is nothing "wrong" with him- as they see with the other kids. He just has an injury. The other two kids in his room are completely non-responsive (and Emma-Daria was in there too). He really is a sweetheart! I can't wait to see him flourish in your family!!"

Neither can I. Thank you Meredith, for sharing about Dennis. It fills my heart with hope.


Wow! All I can is wow! You guys are all so terrific. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments on my last post. Thank you for all of the personal emails. Even though there are no guarantees until we actually travel to Ukraine and receive Dennis's referral, I feel that with all of your prayers, it is certain. How can it not be?

Our donations are up to $620 now. Isn't that just amazing? I think that covers the cost of his plane ticket home. People we don't even know have stepped forward to help out financially, and I can't even begin to express how thankful John and I are. You guys have such big hearts and I want to say thanks for investing in Dennis's future. As I am sure you already know, you are investing in a little boy that is so deserving....... if he only knew how many people were working towards getting him home. I am sure he would say Spaciba if he could talk. :)

I look forward to sharing more about our journey.

Later when I have time, I will share some wonderful things about Dennis. Another family who traveled to his orphanage earlier this month to adopt two children has shared some very special things about him. What a blessing to be able to learn all about little Dennis through this other family.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A humble thank you

I am humbled beyond words right now. I don't know who, and I don't quite know when, but we have received $410 in donations so that we can adopt and bring home Dennis. I am in complete shock. I really didn't think anyone would help us.

It was very hard for me to even put up the donation links. I really feared being judged for having the audacity to even suggest that we are open to donations. We had opened ourselves up to comments the very first time we adopted our two girls from Russia back in 2005 by asking for donations. Even though the cost of adopting a child is tens of thousands of dollars, a few people made me feel that because we were choosing to adopt another child with our already large family, we were somehow wrong to ask for any kind of financial help because it was obvious that by us asking for donations it meant that we couldn't afford to raise another child once they were home.

Like the answer is to not adopt a child just because we can use a little help coming up with all of the upfront adoption related costs of just getting our child home. I just couldn't make sense of the hurtful thoughts and comments that people had about us and it seemed easier to just not put up the donation link. I struggled with my pride and felt the easier way out would have been to just scrimp and save, take all of our money out of savings....basically do whatever it takes to bring him home. With the falling dollar, we are still probably going to have to do that, but it is so worth it when I think about our little guy languishing in his orphanage because no one can see past his scarring. At this point we have committed to bringing our little guy home and we know that through God we will raise all of the necessary funds to adopt Dennis.

But then I was reminded of something. I was reminded that by taking this route, I was not trusting God to provide anything for this adoption. I was also assuming that everyone who knew us felt this way. I was also reminded that I was taking away the blessing from another person who may want to help out financially so that we could bring our precious son home. I was essentially being my own God, trusting only myself to provide for Dennis to come home.

Well when I checked out our donation page and saw that $410 had already been donated, I knew that the person who reminded me was right and I was terribly wrong.

I am so very thankful that someone has felt led to donate money to help out with the adoption related costs. I think we already have enough to cover Dennis's visa. That is one less expense. I wish I knew your names so that I could personally thank each and everyone of you.

Someone mentioned to us that they would like to donate something but felt more comfortable giving directly to us. Thank you so much. I may put up a fundraising tracker that includes all donations not just those given through the adoption ministry we are using. I just wanted to share with you a verse that brings me great comfort for I trust His word.

I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you. John 14:18

Lastly, please please please keep us in your prayers. Prayer for our paperwork to be submitted without any snags, prayer for a travel date, prayer for Dennis to make it through these next few weeks or months without us, prayer for childcare for our other children while we travel to get Dennis, prayer that our SDA appt. goes well, prayer for safe travels, prayer that our trip is quick and that our 10 days our waived. I know people doubt that the last one is possible, but with God all things are possible.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Introducing Dennis

Dennis is already in my heart. John's too. God can work amazingly fast like that. I can't explain how.... I can only share how I feel.

Let me tell you a bit about him. Dennis is an incredible little boy. He is about this tall, with light blue eyes and sandy brown hair. He has amazing strength and a desire to live the life that God gave him to the fullest. I'm sure he has a tender heart, and I'm pretty sure that his smile lights up a room. He is learning to walk and probably talk, and despite the scarring that he has, he is one beautiful little boy.

He shares the same birthday as our daughter Anna. That means two birthday cakes, one vanilla and one chocolate, unless he prefers a banana cake. Because Dennis is so young, we will be able to say that we celebrated all but one birthday with him. That in itself, is so exciting to me.

Dennis most likely has sweet smelling breath, just like any baby and will probably love taking baths with his brother Jonny. Once home, Dennis will have to get used to being cuddled, and rocked, and held, and kissed. I hope he can't wait!

He will have a tough time deciding whether he is an Elmo or Wiggles fan, whether he prefers to climb the stairs or slide down, and whether he prefers raspberry kisses on his tummy or nibbles on his ear.

This little boy that will soon be joining our family is a perfectly healthy baby that is perfect in God's eyes.

If you would like to donate towards his adoption please email me privately for the link. Beyond money, please keep us in your prayers, specifically that we get a travel date to go and bring him home!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

We know his name

I have some exciting news! We have found the little boy that we would like to adopt. God willing, we will be traveling to Ukraine to adopt a little boy named Dennis.

I would like to share how we we came to this decision.

Even though I hadn't yet mentioned this on our blog publicly, John and I went into this adoption open to a child with special needs. We wanted to specifically help a child that most people would not set out to adopt. Whether that be a child with a cleft palette, or a missing hand, or another child with FAS.... that would be left up to God to choose the right son for us. All we know is that we have total trust that God will lay on our hearts, our son to be.... and he did.

Yesterday, God laid that precious little boy on our hearts and we committed to adopting him this morning.

It all started with another family who met a wonderful little boy. As this adoptive mom shared more and more I felt that Dennis was the one. Once I saw his picture and it called out to me, I knew that I had to talk to John. When I called him, he was very open to finding out more about this little boy. Later when he got home, I showed John his picture and we both decided to commit to adopt him. It was nothing short of amazing how we both felt peace about adopting Dennis without even really having to discuss it.

As we went to bed last night we prayed (I am finding out that many prayed last night for little Dennis) about our decision to adopt Dennis and asked God to work out all the details of his adoption.

Well so far, so good. This little eighteen month old boy is well on his way to joining our family and we couldn't be more thrilled.

I am very encouraged how everything is playing out at this point and I ask for your continued prayers in this adoption of a very sweet little boy that I already like to think of as my son.

I will share more about him soon. Hop on, the train is moving. Whoo! Whoo!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I wish

You don't know how tempted I was to write something for the title like, "We got our appointment!" I bet it would have caused some excitement. Instead I have nothing to report.... still...... and so I will keep it short and sweet until I do have something more exciting to share with all of you.

Still, no news.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A miracle

I can't believe all the different things that I have heard about Ukraine right now. No two families seem to be having the same experience. Many families have been having successful SDA appointments while others are coming home empty handed because they weren't shown healthy children. Even amongst all of this uncertainty, I know that God has our child picked out for us. I just know it. And though I can't stand all of this uncertainty, it is kind of exciting because whatever happens next to get our adoption moving will be nothing short of a miracle. And who doesn't want to witness a miracle?

Monday, March 10, 2008

A small update

We're still here and dossier has been translated.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Waiting. Waiting. Waiting is so very hard. It takes a great deal of patience. I'm a get er' done kind of girl, so when something is put in the hands of another person, it is hard to not expect them to just get er' done too!

Of course, I am talking about our dossier. Don't get me wrong, I know it is in good hands, but just like any family waiting to adopt, I want to know every detail and why things can't be done ten times faster than the rate they are getting done.

And then before I know it, he will be here, and our adoption will be a thing of the past. And there will be no more waiting because he will be here.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A child's angel

My mom sent me this poem. Since we are waiting for our "newborn" it touched me to think that I will be able to help our new child with all of these things.

A newborn's conversation with God

A baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"

God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to behappy."

God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?"

God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweetest words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"

God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

''Who will protect me?"

God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."

God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."

God said, "You will simply call her, Mom."