Our Family 2014

Our Family 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Let's Wrap This Up!


State Your Claim GIVEAWAY to benefit special needs adoption, including OUR FAMILY.

I am headed home with our little guy tomorrow and still need $5,350 to cover the remaining adoption costs.

You can donate directly to our family donation page on A Little Something Extra Foundation to be eligible for the drawing. (We are listed as the H Family under "urgent need")


(If you are on a mobile device you will find it easier to navigate via the desktop view)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

And 'D' Makes 10!

Some [better] late [than never] updates...

Been back with my boy for one week. I am so thankful to be here with him and very thankful for the time I was able to be home with my family. As much as I really love this city (and I have made many new friends here), I have to say that this has been the most complicated adoption in-country. Thankfully there are not roadblocks, nor are there doors we are looking to kick down, just obstacles that slow the process.

Last week we had a scheduled court hearing on Friday. Unfortunately, due to different judges here in this district insisting on different things, my petition for court was not as this judge had wanted. Today we were able to have our hearing (I'd say "again" but the first hearing never actually happened though we all showed up for the hearing and were before the judge in the courtroom), however, the hearing before mine ran late and apparently the judge had somewhere he needed or wanted to be. All went well but we are scheduled to come back in the morning for the final decision...and then the judge was out the door in a flash. *sigh* A bit frustrating to say the least.

My facilitator was congratulating me but I am not ready to celebrate. Honestly, I am not sure how much I will be able to feel like I can truly celebrate tomorrow even with a decision in my favor. While I have always been told that the time to celebrate is when the wheels of the plane lift off the ground, headed for home, I've always felt comfortable enough to celebrate some with the ruling of the court. I am bummed that I will be more hesitant to do so this time.

I am not excited to be away from my family for an additional week due to the delay with the court hearing. I am not excited about the additional costs that were added to the process because of the extra week. I am not excited about the funds that still do not exist or the not knowing what will happen from this very moment forward. However, God has been incredibly good to me. He has surrounded me with American (missionaries and another adoptive family) and Ukrainian followers of Christ who encourage me. I just cannot put into words how grateful I am for the time of worship, bible study, prayer, and fellowship I get to have while I am here. I feel like the Lord is teaching me SO MUCH through this small but mighty church here. They are such an inspiration to me.

Some of you have watched our journey over the past 9 months kind of twist and turn with where we thought the Lord might be leading us (onto the mission field overseas), but the Lord showed me my 1st mission in my home town, lead us overseas for our son, and now has me here learning more about missionaries. Over the past week I even got to befriend some wonderful people here from the States on a short term missions trip. Never having been on one myself, I feel like God has used them to show me some things as well.

It just blows my mind how God uses everything, how He confirms that He has been and still is doing a work in my heart and life to become a true servant of His. It is my greatest desire.

So while the adoption process is somewhat slow going, it IS going, and God is using this time to grow me in ways that I probably haven't truly even been able to process yet.


This update now comes 2 weeks after the above.

I have our son! Our adoption is complete and we are now waiting for the final documents in order to leave the country.

This has been quite the journey. It seems with every victory in this adoption came some lever of disappointment. It has been so frustrating that I can't just enjoy the blessings God has bestowed upon us because some difficulty, delay, or pressure comes coupled with it. At this moment though, I have joy. Our precious boy is sleeping beside me and never has to go back to the orphanage again.

It's been a loooong day. I am praying prayers of peace over my little guy and for a good nights rest for us both. I am hopeful that tomorrow things will be a little easier on him; he had a BIG day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Headed Back For My Boy!

The past week has been anything but boring. We were first assigned a judge that insisted that adoption as a "married single" would not be possible. Of course that is incorrect and we have all of the approvals to support this but it was evident that this particular judge was not going to budge. We then heard that all the judges in this particular district would say the same...thankfully that was incorrect. We have now been assigned a judge who is willing to hold the hearing and has agreed to schedule it quickly, as soon as we have the central approval in hand.

Speaking of the central approval, the law states they have 10 business days to complete this but apparently they have been taking a few days longer. With this knowledge we have planned for me to travel early next week to hopefully have a court date by the end of the week!

God is so awesome! It really was looking like a good possibility that we would have to wait an additional 2-3 weeks for court and that my husband would have to travel for the hearing. I was feeling discouraged knowing that there are so many things I wanted to be home for with our new little guy starting in July. Praise God this now seems very possible again!

However, I do have a friend in-country right now who has been waiting WELL OVER the 10-business days for her central approvals. There is a rumor that this problem may possibly be related to adoptions of older "healthy" children, which our little guy is not, but there is always a possibility that these delays could happen to us as well. We must continue to pray.

Having thought I would end up having to wait a few more weeks, I have been very chill about preparing to leave again, as far as making and freezing up meals for my family in my absence. That takes a LOT of work. Somehow I need to figure this out again, though I do not see a full uninterrupted day ahead of me before I fly. :(

Tomorrow I will head to the Secretary of State Office for apostilles. I never enjoy doing this 1.5 hour trek to the state capitol, hanging for 15-30 mins, then making the 1.5 trek back, and then rushing to the DHL office. There are 2 documents that need to get a head start to my little guy's country for the adoption process.

So my flights are booked and I am continuing to move forward in faith...but we still need 12K to do this. What is left in our adoption bank account will last me no more than 2 days! Of course 10K of that needs to be ordered from the bank in advance in clean, crisp bills; this means that we need the money NOW. I wish I could say that I am joyfully, skipping forward in faith, totally trusting, but it's not so easy. I have anxiety that is currently causing me a throbbing headache. Please pray for God's complete provision!

God willing, by this time next week I will be sleeping peacefully (I hope) in my little guy's hometown; perhaps just a few hours later I will head over to see my little guy and hug & kiss him like we've been apart for year! And maybe, just maybe, by the end of the week, he will officially be my son!! Please God, make the way!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Miss Him

I miss him. I cannot spend much time thinking about him or looking at pictures because it brings me to tears. I want my baby boy home. For now we are still waiting to hear about a court date. Earlier in the week my in-region facilitator let me know that he had met with the judge and that she indicated we would hear of a court date in a few days. I am hoping that tomorrow will finally be that day.

Airfare is up for my one way there (hoping to fly the first week of June) but it seems ticket prices go up even higher by the end of the month. I've decided I will just purchase a one way ticket there then when we are more certain of our return date, I will book us both one way tickets home.

It feels so good to be home. It's nice to be surrounded by my family and taking care of my own kids rather than having my teens and husband fill in for me while I miss out. I just wish my little guy was here too.

I am hoping and praying that I will hear of a court date soon and will travel in less than 2 weeks but the thought gives me anxiety. We still need $12,000. God has provided thus far and has always provided in the past but I could really stand a phone call or a check in the mail that says, "I got the rest of it covered for you." I really could use that peace right now.

Next week will consist of me making 3 weeks of meals to freeze for the family once again. I hope some play dates and things will happen for my little girls because school let's out after next week (with the exception of 3 half days) and that is going to be rough on my teen girls (the boys work full time). It really bothers me they will need to fill in so much but I am also hopeful my husband will be able to take some time off. Maybe the big girls will have the opportunity to spend the night with my parents a time or two to go shopping, watch a movie, and just chill. It really upsets me that I have to leave everyone for so long. :(

Please pray with me that we will hear of a court date very soon, that it will be for the first week of June (so much my family needs me home for in the beginning of July), and that God provides the remaining funds...oh, and peace! I really could use some peace ;)

Thank you SO much to each and every person who has given to us in any way and for each and every prayer said. Without you all, I would not have even met our precious boy. So, thank you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Leaving My Heart in Ukraine

We are waiting on the signature of the Mayor and I will then be able to head home to wait for a court date. Praying we will receive this signature today!

My flights are booked, my bags are packed, my heart is heavy. I know I need to get home to care for my husband and other children, and I am aching to get back to them but at the same time my heart is breaking as I am preparing to leave my little guy here. I pray my court date will be in 3 wks from now and no later.

I love this little one so much already. He is such a sweet and precious child who loves getting kisses from his mama. I pray the caregivers will encourage him in my absence and help him to understand, as best as possible, that I have not left him and will be back. My heart hurts so much.

God has been so good to us. I will update the funds tracker once I am home but believe we are down to needing approximately $10,500 more to complete this adoption! Praying for God to continue to chip away at that mountain!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Met my handsome boy!

Met my handsome boy!

To say that I am head over heals for one precious little boy would be an understatement. He has stolen my heart and keeps it safely in his pocket ;)

On Monday I was finally able to meet my new son (prayerfully, he will be our son legally and officially before too long). He is absolutely precious. I am truly impressed with how he seems to grasp the concept of getting a mama and being taken home. I assume he has seen this happen for others and had many questions. He is quite inquisitive.

I am surprised how much he really does seem to be his age (he is 5). I am sure he is delayed in multiple areas but overall he seems like a typical 5 year old. He is very sweet, silly, and so far, only slightly insistent at times, but is quick to obey when redirected.  I have him say "please" and "thank you" (in Russian) and he does it. No manners, no reward but that's not been an issue. Just establishing proper behavior from the beginning because it will only make things harder for him later if I wait until I bring him home then change things up on him.

His Cerebral Palsy is pretty mild and appears to only affect his feet and ankles. He will need some forearm crutches and AFOs (braces), I'm pretty sure but I think the forearm crutches will not be for a long time. He walks on his tippy toes and not completely stable...sweet baby boy's nose is all scuffed up from falling. I just want him to be safe.

It is so incredible how God hand picks each person in our family, whether by birth or adoption. He really seems to be the perfect match for us. His personality and his special needs.

He likes to take things apart and then to try and put them pack together again over and over. He saw one of the groundskeepers sitting in the grass fixing the weed wacker (sp?) and he was oh so interested. He wanted to watch him and ask questions. I think Papa is going to have a little buddy following him around :)

He has taken such an interest in my iPhone that I decided to bring the toy phone I brought over, from my apartment to him to play with. I had bought a variety of toys since I had no idea how old the child or children we would be adopting were. The toy phone is probably advertised for babies 6-8 months old but he loves pressing the buttons and listening to the music. I tried tossing the beach ball with him today for a little bit but he kept stopping to push the buttons on the toy phone to keep the music playing. So I put music on my iPhone and he thought it was so cool how it kept playing music. I decided during our break (I am allowed to visit twice a day during specific hours) To download some Wee Worship music. I think he will really enjoy that.

Well, my stay has been extended another week but thankfully God has provided the funds for me to be able to do that and make the necessary changes to my return ticket home. I miss being with my family at home but also know it will be hard leaving my baby boy as I return home to wait for court. I'm not sure anything will feel completely right until we are all home together.

Can't wait to be able to post pictures; his precious little face will melt your heart.

I am blessed!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Update From Abroad

So sorry that I have not taken the time to update.

I am here and made it but not without delays. My first flight was late leaving me to miss my second and third flights. Many hours later I successfully made it my destination. I really can't complain, God really did give me peace even when those long flights typically feel like torture. I consider myself blessed.

My time in Kyiv was enjoyable. I spent time out an about with new friends (American families here adopting as well) and old (friends that live here in Ukraine).

My appointment at the SDA was very different than I ever remember. This is the second time I have adopted "blind" (not requesting a child I knew ahead of time) but the first time I had to blow through 7 binders of children to find a few prospective children to have the social worker call about (she checks to make sure the child is still available, no bio family coming around or Ukrainian family adopted). I'm not going to lie, it was hard. It was stressful and the hour (you only get one hour) almost seemed too short.

First of all, it is absolutely horrible to have basically just one lousy picture and a diagnosis to go by. The binders are sorted by birth year, and there is a separate binder for children who are HIV+. So looking for a sibling group for 2 boys could not be the main objective. I needed to find a boy who had a diagnosis we were approved for, in a region not currently under attack (actually I didn't rule out whole regions but did a specific town), that did not have multiple siblings available for adoption. I would not consider splitting a sibling group.

I was quickly disappointed to not be finding 2 brothers. Even the brothers I hoped to find were not in those binders. Not sure of the situation with that but trust God allowed that to be so because they were not meant for us. In order to have options I had to pull and set aside profiles of children I would consider even though I felt no initial connection to (I know, how does anyone have a connection in a situation like that? ...and that's what I was telling myself so I would remain open). Several of the files put to the side were babies. I'm not opposed to adopting a baby, as a matter of fact I would like to adopt a baby BUT not if we are only adopting one child this time. I just feel like a baby would be a disconnect from our current family setup. Although, it is funny that N did ask me on the phone last night, "What about my baby brother?" We'll see, maybe there is another child at the same orphanage that God is calling us to adopt as well.

Time began to run out and my facilitator said we needed to have the social worker start calling on some of the kids; I think she was getting impatient. There was ONE profile that I immediately said, "oh!" in an "Oh my goodness, he is so precious!" kind of way. Again, I felt guilty because it shouldn't be about a picture but his diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy and that was at the top of my list...and he wasn't a baby but still young.

My facilitator had the social worker call on him first. The news came back that all was good and his CP was pretty mild (not that it would have mattered to us). He asked me to prioritize the other profiles. I asked if there was any reason to call on any others if I wanted him...he said, "no."

Short of crying at the sight of his picture, I felt very much the way I did when I first saw A's picture. There just felt like a connection. A tug. Something different from the others. I believe because he is our son.

I traveled to the region and as I had been warned might happen ahead of time, the administration told me they would not approve me to begin my visits to the orphanage until Monday. Thursday and friday are holidays here, and on Wednesday they decided to make it a half day and only serve Ukrainian families, not those adopting internationally. So I have not yet met out son.

I was incredibly disappointed at first. Of course I am dying to meet him but I see God's hand throughout everyday. God is stretching me in so many ways and providing for me in each of those ways as well.

I have 3 more days of alone time. Time to spend caring only for myself (when does this ever happen?) and time pressing in to Jesus without distractions. I really don't like to think of having 3 more days alone even after just 1.5, it truly is taking me out of my comfort zone and causes me anxiety even to type it, but I am focusing on one moment at a time and trusting God to give me peace with every minute that passes.

On Monday I should get a better idea of what kind of timeline we will be looking at. At this point I believe I will remain here for an additional week. Time will tell.