Thursday, September 22, 2011

Update Already!

I am so excited to share that our USCIS officer called this morning!!!

I put off the last post for so long, not sure how much to say.
Not wanting to show my anxious heart.
I wanted to wait till it was all good news.

God has much different plans than I.
Last night when editing the last post it published.
This has happened before, but it seems He had bigger plans.

He knew you all would be praying and He wants us to share our burdens with each other.
As my good friend reminded me this morning, this way you can all be part of this journey with us.

After waiting for over a month to get an answer about paper work we got exactly what we needed/wanted.

We do need to fill out an I-600a and mail in our home study, but our officer said we do not need to send in any more paperwork. What we have is sufficient!

I know God is good all the time, but man it sure feels good to see Him working things out in this process and giving us hope that this really is His plan.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Over the last year God has begun to break my heart for older children waiting for families.
Just before we left for Africa I had my heart broken by a 15 year old in Haiti.
Instead of laughing on her 15th birthday she cried.
She cried because she knows she is one year away from never having a family.
While in Africa God showed me how even 35 year old women with children
still long for a mother.


When I got home from Africa we pursued a few adoption avenues.
Nothing came through and we didn't feel led to pursue it any more.


Then we got a call about a child in foster care.
I didn't even give it a thought I just said "No".
Anyone that knows me probably just fell off their chair, but it is true,
I didn't even give the social worker a chance to finish.
I called Jeromy and he was like "what".
Honestly he was a little bummed that I had said no.
I just thought we weren't ready, but then I cried the rest of the day.

This brought us to a place where we really had the talk and came to the
conclusion that we were both ready to do whatever God had for us.


On July 4th, after a busy couple of days we had a day to just stay home.
I checked Google Reader and watched a video posted on a blog I follow.

The video was about institutions in Serbia.
It was horrible and again I cried all day.
That evening Kaly said, Mom why do you keep crying?
I told her a little about the video, but told her she couldn't watch it.
She said what do we do?
I said we pray, we pray that God will show us how we can help
so people do not have to go into institutions like that.


July 5th
I checked Google Reader again. (darn blogging :)
This time there was a post from an arthrogryposis blog I follow.
It was about a girl turning 16.
She has arthrogryposis and needs a family in like a week,
otherwise her future is most likely going to be spent in an institution.
I followed the link to the post on the other blog.

I saw:
A beautiful, smiling teenage girl that just wants a family.
She wants a life outside of an institution.

I called Jeromy and he was instantly on the same page.
He came home and read the blog.
We emailed the family that was advocating for her.
They emailed us back and have been by our sides the whole journey.


Every step of the way we have seen God prepare the way.
We have seen Him put the right person in the right place to help us out.

We got our I-600 turned in.
It took one week from the first moment we started to the moment it landed at USCIS.
It arrived the day before her birthday.

USCIS told me U was closing adoption the next week.
I said "I know".
U hasn't closed yet.
They decided to wait until it could be a quicker transition.


We did all of our home study paper work and home visit.
We should have the final copy in our hands this week.
If you haven't done a home study I just have to say,
it is a lot of paperwork and training to get done in less than 2 months.
It was a bit stressful but God made a way
even with us being gone for almost 2 weeks of that time.

We have been putting together the paperwork for the U side of things.
Getting paper work notarized, Jeromy's passport, dr. appointments,
new copies of our marriage license and on and on.

I have to be honest, at times it gets very overwhelming.
I look at the list of to do's and I wait for USCIS to call back concerning some paperwork they want that doesn't exist.
Usually I am at peace knowing that if this is God's will it will be fine.

Sometimes I get sick to my stomach, see we have fallen in love with a girl,
she is no longer just an orphan. She is our daughter.
I get sick thinking that paperwork could stand in the way of us bringing her home.

I know God has brought us here.
I know God can do all things.
I just do not know what His plan is.
Is His plan to bring her to our home or does he have a plan I cannot see?

I trust he has a plan for our girl.
I know he is working in her life and he is working in ours.
Our desire is that she is here with us, but
We pray for God's will.


We have been so blessed by the family that was advocating for her.

1st they hosted her and gave her a chance to see what being in a family was like.
She wants that, she wants a family like theirs. She wants to come to America.
They showed her a loving family and made her feel so comfortable that she didn't want to leave.

Then they prayed and advocated for her.

They answered many of our questions, got the documents translated, connected us with a facilitator, encouraged us and then they came and stayed with us over Labor Day weekend.

They have a beautiful family and a daughter and son from the same orphanage.
The daughter translated for us when we made a video of our family and houses.
She speaks Russian and I know she will be invaluable to help us make a more comfortable transition for our girl.

Oh they even brought KVAS , Eggplant paste and candy for us to try.
They brought videos of the weeks they hosted the kids and a video from the orphanage.
They brought a cd : "Hillsong's Kiev".
Christian music in Russian.

We love all of it and both Jeromy and I cried
as we watch our girl playing games at Chucky Cheese.

Her smile is contagious.

Jeromy looked up Russian churches and stores in Spokane.
There are a couple of good options.
We want to help her stay connected to her culture and
we want to learn more about Ukraine before we go there, but mostly it just helps to feel like we are getting to know her.

Jeromy is such a proud daddy, he took the videos to work to show off to his fellow workers.
He said," I am a proud daddy, hopefully permanently".

Our kids pray for their sister every day.
Gavin talks about her a lot. He is so inspired that she walks on her knees.
We have the girls' room all figured out for 3 girls and just realized a couple of days ago the connection that their window over looks the "Three Sisters" mountain.

It all amazes me.
It is amazing that God led me to Uganda to prepare my heart for a girl in U.

It amazes me that I can still doubt and worry after all He has done.
Not always but it does creep in.

It amazes me that God has prepared the way ahead of us in so many ways.
Our girl even went back to the orphanage with Christian music in Russian.
We pray that if she doesn't know Christ as her Savior that God is working in her heart that she would very soon.


Please pray that God will make a way when there seems to be no way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Our Big 6 Year Old!

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Gavin's Obsessions:

Monster Trucks
Thomas the train and friends

Gavin we are so proud of you big boy!
You always amaze us with how you find joy in life despite the challenges you face.
You are intriguing to almost everyone that meets you.
You're new thing is noticing that everyone is looking at you.
You are a star everywhere we go and we are so proud of you for learning to embrace this.

Most importantly this year you have learned to pray and are learning to pray for others.
You sit through family devotions and are part of learning about Jesus.

This year we began a new tradition which I pray will always be a joy for you.
I told you your birth story and you said "say it again",
then "again" and "again" and you wanted me to tell everyone about your story.

We love your story and how God brought you to us
and how God is using you to mold us to be more like Him.

We Love You Gavin
and we pray you continue to grow in faith in Jesus Christ.