Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yes, we are healthy..... for the second time

More documents are on their way to Ukraine tonight. Though it is a royal pain to have to redo docs, I am grateful that the Secretary of State is only 35 minutes away. I hate to think how painful it would be if we lived hours away from the place that gives our paperwork their magical appeal. What is so special about that golden apostille seal anyway?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ukraine Holidays

Another week is about to start. I'm ready. Bring it on. However, tomorrow I can't expect anything because I guess Ukraine is celebrating Easter this weekend and Monday is an official holiday. I truly hope they have a wonderful weekend celebration and Tuesday brings changed and refreshed hearts about the way current adoptions are happening.

I think of Dennis often and wonder how long if ever it will be until we get to hold him in our arms. I often think about his eye and whether or not it brings him discomfort. From a close-up picture it looks as if he has continual conjunctivitis and I wonder if anyone cares to clean it and ease the irritation.

When I was giving my three youngest boys their baths last night, I realized just how much I am able to care for them and show them my love. I help wash them up in the bath. I clean their ears, cut their nails, comb their hair, help them get dressed. It is a common routine that I can do with my eyes closed. Sure, it can be an inconvenience when I have other things I need to do, but oh what I wouldn't do to have the inconvenience of bathing my little Dennis, and cleaning his ears, and putting on his pajamas.

In case some of you are new to my blog and didn't get the chance to see a picture of our little guy, you can click on the donation link on the right side of our blog. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

100th Post and I've been Tagged!

What do you know, this blog has reached it's 100th post! How cool! I should have baked a cake or something for dessert to celebrate. Ahhh, maybe when I make my 200th post, I 'll throw a party or something. By that time I hope Dennis will be home and then we'll really have something to celebrate.

I'm sure that Joy knew this was my 100th post :) because she tagged me. So here are 6 unusual things about me.

1. I sometimes pretend to be a bus driver when I am driving my 15 passenger van. It is a job I think that I would really enjoy.

2. I dance and sing around my kids all the time. And my songs make no sense. Neither do my dances.

3. I am spoiled by my daughter Sveta. Almost every night, she brushes my hair. As long as I continue to make oooh and ahh sounds to show her how nice it feels when she brushes my hair she will continue to do it until she tells me that her arm is tired. "Mom, I stop brushing your hair now because my arms is tired. Tomorrow I will come and do it again okay?" "Okay, Sveta. Thank you so much. You almost make me want to fall asleep now." "I know Mama, I brush your hair so good."

4. To pass the time when I am in the waiting room at Caleb's orthodontist appointment, I clean my purse out. I pile everything in the chair next to me and sort through my receipts. I always manage to entertain at least a couple of people.

5. I still wear a night gown that I got at my bridal shower over 14 years ago. It isn't even my size, and I don't even really like it very much, but I am too cheap to replace it. I just don't buy things for myself very much. The reason it isn't my size is because the person who bought it for me thought I was still very heavy. She had also gotten me the biggest grandma underwear you have ever seen, but I got rid of those when I could no longer have children. The underwear were quite embarrassing but they made great maternity panties. Little did she know that I went through a crazy partying stage of my life and dropped 50 pounds. I think the nightgown is an extra large and I wear a medium.

6. If I told you about my life 15 years ago, you probably wouldn't believe me. Heck, even I have a hard time believing that I was who I was back then prior to having God in my life.

I tag anybody who wants to play this game. :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Back to Paper Chasing

Our medicals have been redone. Looks like I will be notarizing and apostilling them this coming Tuesday. Let the paperchase begin again!

I wonder if all countries make adoptive families continually update their documents? I know Russia does, but that is after a full year. But what about Haiti, China, Africa, Estonia, or Kazakhstan?

I wonder if I could buy stock in the company that makes the nice shiny apostille seals?

Oh, and please continue praying for Dennis to join our family.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Wow- two posts in one day! I just wanted to post some of my favorite videos about adoption and street children. I can't imagine not having your heart stirred after watching them. My own heart breaks for these children each and every time I watch these videos. Keep them all in your prayers.

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02qeMXm3JD0

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHiUpxix8jA

3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reTJ_28J6K0&feature=related

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg0UOvjbOT0

5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxtL3S2o5sY

6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Cr6Q5zOkYQ

7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YjBMnR1aOk&feature=related

Please leave a comment to share which video touched you most, if any at all.

Time to update

Still waiting. The time has come to start redoing documents so that they don't expire. Ugggghhhh. This part makes no sense to me. Nothing has changed. I guess they want to make sure that adoptive parents don't get bored during our long wait. How thoughtful of them.

I have to keep reminding myself that God is in control. "God, I'm waiting for you to please move that mountain."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another week

We had a good weekend. How about you? Tomorrow is Monday and unlike most people I look forward to it for one reason. I look forward to the new week because then it is possible for us to get adoption news. Nothing happens on the weekend. Now we have the next five days available to receive good news! I am so ready! Aren't you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

6 Months Along

I am almost six months along. I have only gained 10 pounds so far (pretty good, huh?) I crave anything chocolate. We are having a boy!

I hope God remembers that I am a human, not an elephant. :)

How far along are you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Have faith, have hope

Remember, the Lord is faithful. If he can move mountains, he can make things move in Ukraine. :)

For all of those that are waiting to submit your dossier or receive an appointment, don't lose hope. For all those that are adopting from other countries, I will also continue to pray that your children come home soon.

Good night my sweet Dennis.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dennis is 18 months old

I have faith that things are happening in Ukraine. I am hopeful that we will hear some good news soon. I am holding on to God's promises still.

Dennis is now a little over eighteen months old. What an awesome age, and we are missing it. On one hand, I hope that he is walking and talking and doing all that toddlers do at this age, but on the other hand, I don't mind if he isn't because then that means that we may get the chance to watch him do these things for the very first time.

Either way, we want to get over to him as soon as we can!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Friends and Family

When John and I announced that we were adopting again, we knew that we wouldn't get as much enthusiasm from friends and family than if we were announcing our first child. Sad, but true...... the novelty wears off for most people after the first couple of kids and the news of an 11th child can certainly catch anyone off guard. John and I expected that, and so we were pleasantly surprised when friends and family expressed their support or at least refrained from saying anything negative.

I bring this up because I know that other people have dealt with the same issues with their family and friends. It can be very tough to get out your initial adoption news. Figuring out how you are going to tell people and how you are going to respond to their negative comments can be more stressful than the adoption itself. I know......I've been there.

But, I wanted to encourage you that your loved ones can and may just surprise you. I know my Mom did. Bless her heart. Of all people, I thought that she would have the hardest time with our decision to adopt another child, and yet she has ceased to amaze me with her genuine concern for how things are going. A week doesn't go by without her asking how things are going and if we are any closer to traveling. And to top it all off, my mom goes and does something absolutely crazy yet wonderful and selfless. She gave us a big donation to help us bring home Dennis.

Thank you Mom, from the bottom of my heart. Your act of giving us money to help cover the adoption expenses means so much to me. Not because of the money, but more because of what the money represents. To me, the money is a tangible representation of your support for us and our family. To me, it shows that you are investing in your future grandchild, my son, even before you have met him. To me, it means that you are willing to do without something so that one of God's children can have. That is so powerful Mom, and I appreciate it so much. It means so much to me to know that you fully support what I am doing. Now as a grown woman, it has also helped me to recognize the love you had for me even when you let me know that you didn't fully support what I was doing (when I was younger).

The support that we have received ever since we committed to adopt Dennis has confirmed over and over that this is God's plan for our family. Friends and Family please feel our deepest gratitude for all of your prayers, donations, and encouraging words.

Also, thank you to a certain blog friend who sent us the nicest card. Inside was a very gracious donation. You are so right---- the Lord provides. Hopefully, we will be able to show our support for the two of you someday soon in your own adoption journey.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pray Continually

GOD IS IN CONTROL! I believe this to be true. I have faith. My hope is stronger than ever. I read this somewhere (not sure where) and was so encouraged by it that I wanted to share with you guys.

Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.

And I know that God is going to be faithful to me, and to Dennis as we wait patiently for our time to come to travel to meet our son for the first time.

Today I apostilled two more documents---- a petition to adopt Denis and a letter from the doctor that we are hoping will do all of Dennis' surgeries once he is home. In the beginning I was certain that I would be very bitter if I was asked to do more documents, but I know that is not what God wants from me. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

So I excitedly ran all of my errands, imagining how much closer we were getting to the day that we will travel.

Lord, I am faithful that you will unite Dennis with us. I am not sure sure when, but I will sit here patiently and expectantly unless I am told to do something different by You.

I will continue to pray and abide in you daily. Please let the day that I meet Dennis face to face be very soon.

I am also very thankful that we have been blesed with $780.00 in donations. Thank you for taking part in making Dennis a part of our family.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

God's Promises

At this moment in our adoption, all I can do is pray. Pray, pray, pray. And what do you know, my small women's group has been doing a book study on how to pray. What perfect timing. Praise God.

In a time with so much uncertainty, all I can do is turn to my Heavenly Father for support, encouragement, and comfort. And I have seeked Him out through His word more times in these past two weeks than I have probably done in the last year. And I am more at peace with our adoption right now because I know His promises.

In my small group I have been learning what it means to abide in God. It means to spend time with him, quality time, and by abiding in Him, I will learn what it is that He wants for my life. I have been using my concordance to find verses that declare God's promises for our lives and I have been so encouraged by His love for me that I have faith that he will answer my prayers.

I want to share with you these amazing verses that I have turned to every morning for the past two weeks. And the constant reminder of His word has driven out the doubt and the nonsense that has caused me to worry and fear that our child may never come home.

Two weeks ago I was led to this verse when I first really started to have doubts.
Psalms 6:9 says, "The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer."
When I read and claimed it, I was comforted to know that God not only hears my prayers about Dennis, our dossier, our appointment...... but He also accepts my prayers. So my prayers for little Dennis to come home have been heard.

I was further encouraged to find this verse from Lamentations 3:25 "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him; to the one who seeks Him." And not only am I a seeker, but I am a hopeful seeker who I know God is good too. Though I already knew this, I found great comfort in being able to find this verse that helps remind me of it day in and day out.

What is so awesome about God is that He speaks to people differently, through different verses, and what verses He may lead me to today may be different than where He leads you. I am certain that you will find comfort in the verses that He leads you to. Though this may seem like a strange verse to find comfort in, it brings me confirmation that when I believe that God can do
something, He will do it. Matthew 9:27 -30 says, "As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him and he asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" "Yes, Lord," they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will it be done to you," and their sight was restored."

Hallelujah! How comforting is that? I keep reading this verse over and over. If these guys believed that He could heal their blindness so that they can see, I can surely believe that God can get our dossier submitted soon.

I was lead to another powerful verse that spoke straight to me as I tried to find verses about God's answer to prayer. I was lead to verse Mark 11:22- 24. "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

This is His promise. Did you hear me? This is God's promises to us. How can I doubt, how can I not have faith? If God can move mountains, how can I not trust that he can move a couple of papers from one person's hands to another?

Today I found this verse. I think it is appropriate that I end with it.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him , so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Please join me in prayer this week for adoptions all over the world.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

No timeline

It is so wonderful now that we can now put a name and a face to the little boy that we hope to adopt, but I have to say it makes waiting so much harder. Before we knew, we were just waiting to adopt what ever little boy we were referred once we got over there. I didn't know the name, the age, the story, or the face of our little boy to be, and the unknown seemed to make it easier to tolerate the wait. But now the waiting is driving me crazy. Actually, it is not knowing when we are going to travel that is driving me crazy.

If I was told that we would not travel until July, I could live with that because though it is a long way out, I would at least have that day to look forward to and plan for. The days of having a baby through pregnancy were so much easier in many ways because you always have a due date to look forward to and you know that your child will come around that time give or take a couple of weeks. But with adoption, there is no specific timeline. There never is. You can try and plan but the truth is that your child will come when you least expect it and you just have to be ready. Well, I am so ready! And I bet all of you parents waiting to adopt are ready too!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A doctor to help

Again, I am in awe at how helpful you all have been. I know you are concerned about Dennis and the medical care available to him once he is here. Don't worry, I think he will be in good hands once he is home. I have been in contact with a pediatric plastic surgeon here in our area and he has been very helpful so far. He is willing to squeeze Dennis into his busy schedule as soon as he gets back from doing mission work in North Korea. How awesome is that? The fact that I have found a doctor that emailed me back the very same day to answer my millions of questions and he does mission work is just awesome in my book. Plus, he is extremely optimistic yet realistic about what Dennis will need to have done.

He knows that regardless of whether or not Dennis could be helped, we will love him no matter what, but this doctor is pretty certain that he can improve Dennis' quality of life.....which is all that John and I want for him. The doctor is concerned that the damaged eye is still connected to Dennis' brain and wants to remove it first thing. Later he will replace it with a glass eye. We are assuming that Dennis' left eye is perfectly fine. Secondly, he wants to see if there is cranial damage or if the damage is mainly superficial. He knows that there is some damage done to Dennis' mouth because his teeth are growing upward but that doesn't necessarily mean that the rest of his skull was punctured. Some of you have asked what to pray for specifically, and I would love for you guys to pray that his facial bone has not been damaged.

Naturally, his surgeries will be less invasive if there is no cranial damage, and so of course I hope that his scarring is only skin deep. I know that the less damage there is, the less pain he will have to go through with surgeries to correct it. We are very happy that we found out about Dennis while he is still so young. Not only can he get the love and attention that every child deserves all the sooner, but he can have corrected, the further damage done just through growing. There is evidence that his nose is beginning to pull to one side, but since he is still so young it is safe to assume that this can be fully corrected and his face will not become deformed.

Besides just wanting to wrap my arms around him and love him as my son, I am so happy to think that with us adopting him he will now have the opportunity to get the medical attention he needs to improve his life.... The way he sees, the way he feels, the way he eats, the way people look at him, and just the way that he lives his life. He will finally have the chance to live the life that all of my other children live. Nothing more, nothing less.