Friday, December 25, 2009


Christmas was a great weekend - spent in 3 towns, with 3 different parts of our families, in two different states, under 30 hours. With kids nearly 3 and 20 months - it's a long weekend.
It was fun - and we got a ton of wonderful gifts (and the usual few odd gifts that make you go hmmm) and were really blessed.
It was a lot easier and a lot harder to not have Olive around than I expected.
It was in one way easier, because had she been home - this might have just been too much for her.
So, in some way - it was probably better that she wasn't put through so much chaos just days after getting home to her new family and life.

But, in others ways, it was harder for me than I expected.
I found my mind wondering off frequently wishing she was here with us, thinking about how she might have been reacting, and wishing she was opening gifts beside our two other kids.
I kept thinking about how she has missed so much in her little life already - and how I really wanted her there to meet her aunts and uncles from out of town. And how she won't meet any of her great grandparents or extended family until the spring now.

I kept wondering about how she looked as a baby, and thinking about if her (birth) momma did anything special for Christmas or holidays before she gave her to the orphanage...

It makes me sad she's missed out on so much.
But, I am so happy that we are just 4 weeks from bringing her home.
I am praying that it is a very fast, and very productive four weeks for us.
I am praying that the 3 weeks we're in Serbia are very pleasant and that our children will do fine with out us...
I am thanking God in advance for the day that "this" is all over, and we can get to being a family.

One of the most special gifts we got this Christmas was a picture of Olive from our facilitator :)
It was SO thoughtful for her to send us one, and I am so thankful.
Olive is getting SO big. I can actually see her growing in every picture, getting a little chubbier and showing more life in every subsequent one...
Especially this one

I've said it before - but it's bittersweet.
Bitter - because we're missing it, and every new picture I get means that she's still not here with us. But, sweet because we can see that she is doing okay. And she is growing, and she is 'in there'. I can't wait to love on her.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Derek Loux - Redemption (excerpt)

A fellow adoptive dad, Derek died due to a car accident this week.
What he wrote during the adoption of his sons was too beautiful not to share...

"Renee' and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novograd Valenski, Ukraine, using wireless internet. We are in the middle of adopting three special needs boys from an orphanage here. Two of the boys have Down Syndrome. Roman is high functioning, energetic and happy. Dimitri has serious mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is the size of a 1 year old. He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him...
Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri's house. The day had been long...
...I was thinking, "Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable,… and it doesn't feel very rewarding right now." What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What if Dimitri doesn't improve at all? What if we get "nothing" out of this?
Ahhh, there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the tree of the knowledge of "good and evil". The love the Greeks called "erao" love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can get out of it. This is unlike "agapeo" love, the God kind of love that treats someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It's when I love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love into my weak heart, and He's using little Dimitri to do it.
On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, "This is Redemption. Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick, damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption. My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can't even really appreciate or comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what is about to happen to him,… but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy, I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly "Papa" feels towards us. Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to "pay Him back". You'll never get close you goofy little kid."

The list never ends ;)

It seems like no matter how many hurdles we jump - they just keep comin'!
I am so thrilled that we are fully funded.
But, now I'm wondering how do we go about getting those funds released...
Our matching grant though Lifesong for Orphans releases funds for qualified adoption expenses, and I believe that we have to give them a receipt first.
Problems is that we have $4,400 in grant money with them, and I don't believe we have that many receipts! Eek.
It seems that the majority of our expenses don't occur until we're in country.
And the expenses we do have before we travel are for things like gifts.... hmm...

And I know it seems like the budget for gifts is exuberant.
But they're not optional.
We did receive an updated list of what to make sure we bring from our facilitator - and there are a TON of gifts for different people on there...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


We have had a WONDERFUL day in the way of adoption progress!
We are booking our flights tomorrow to leave the 22nd of January!
We will hopefully be meeting Olive the 25th!
And we are fully funded!
I am SOOOOO ecstatic!

Monday, December 14, 2009

We have been so blessed!

We were SO blessed the past couple of weeks.
Sarah, adopting Nadja, has spoiled us with little updates about Olive and pictures a couple times!

We have gotten new pictures again today! And she is SO beautiful!

I didn't know that I could fall so in love with a child with out ever meeting them.

To bring, or not to bring?

I am in a serious internal debate on wether or not we should bring our kids with us...


Our facilitator seems to strongly suggest that we leave the kids at home.
I obviously greatly respect her input - and we are taking her opinion under serious consideration.
It's looking like we are going to try and make arrangements to leave them at home.
It is a stressful process according to our facilitator for both her, and us - and we want to make things as easy and smooth as possible for all of us.


We have been able to make arrangements for the kids to stay back with my parents.
I am very sad to not bring them with - but with so many people advising against it - and our facilitator strongly suggesting that we not bring them due to H1N1 - we are going to opt to leave them home.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First sledding adventure...

My parents have a pretty good size hill on the side of their house (which happens to be next door to us)...
And so we decided the kids were big enough to try and sled for the first time.
It went pretty well.
Ethan went two times, and then was too scared afterwards.
And Evelyn went quite a few times... until she fell in the snow on her face..
She then proceeded to warm up at grandma's house, and eat... her favorite thing to do!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Some days are up and some are down..

I am having sort of a down day.
Probably because I'm exhausted from painting a dining room table, sealing it, and painting our dining room all by myself in 24 hours!
Talk about nesting. LOL.
And not to mention we're just shy of hitting the 9 month mark - and I'm feeling that 'ready to be done' feeling I felt with both my pregnancies.

But, I'm going to combat my longing with gratitude.

I am SO thankful people who have chosen to support the Kingdom and our daughter with their finances and prayers.
We are SO thankful for the people who have given us encouragement.
We are SO especially thankful to Shelley, our coordinator, and Jasmina, our facilitator - who put in many, many hours and a lot of patience and work to make our adoption happen.
And thankful to God for his provision for our lives.

OH and for Sarah and Jon who have so gracefully included us in their adoption trip by thinking of us and giving us little tid-bits about Olive through out the week. It means SO much to know little bits about her day while we're waiting.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Funding Progress :)

We now have a good amount of our funding done due to the wonderful matching grant with Life Song for Orphans and Families of Promise Orphan and Adoption Ministry!

We have less than $2,000 to go! and with the matching grant - that's only $900!!!

(of course this is all an estimate as we won't be sure on the costs until we get a date, and confirm apartments, and flights, etc.)


I admit I have been a total spaz about checking my email every hour or so starting around 2AM our time (8AM Olives time) for the last few weeks - praying that I would wake up to a miracle.

Well this morning I got a very good email!

Olive's paperwork is done - and she's free and clear for adoption!

All we have left is to wait for a date!

Thank you LORD!

Monday, December 7, 2009

This made me laugh today

Olive had a friend in her crib with her this morning. Little M and Olive were together. Of course they weren't interacting but they were together. In fact, M's feet were on Olive's head and Olive looked at me like "get me outta here"

From Sarah, adopting Nadja

She is soooo her mother's child. I HATE feet, and am not too much a 'touchy' person. I would be thinking the same thing... LOL.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

7-8 Weeks is just too long!

Time is strange.
The 8 weeks before when we were hoping to travel (which would have been this week) went by so fast...
I remember feeling like every day was slipping by too quickly, and there was no way I'd be able to get everything I wanted to get done, done.
But, this past week has been going by like molasses...
I can't imagine 7 or 8 more weeks of this waiting!
Especially since this week has been better than most - getting little tid bits about Olive this week from Sarah...
7-8 weeks back to not knowing how she's doing, or what she's doing, or when we're leaving is going to be very hard...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Many thanks to Sarah! New pictures!

We got the most precious picture we've ever received of Olive from Sarah (adopting Nadja) this morning.
Olive is actually showing emotion! And a smile at that!

It's so bitter sweet - because I want to be there.
I want to be the one snuggling my girl.
I wanted to be there to see her sit up for the first time.
But, I am so over joyed that she was snuggled today.
I am so blessed to know that she is "in there" and she does smile!
I am so thrilled that she is growing, and starting to achieve mile-stones.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Growing Girl.

I'm sad for Olive that it's been one year between the first pictures we got that were taken of her (around this time last year) and the newest ones we were blessed with recently.
You have to have "mama's eyes" to see all the differences I see, I'm sure.
But when I put the pictures side-by-side, you can really see she's losing some of that baby-look and she's put on a 1/2" and a couple pounds.
She still has a pretty distant look, which we've been praying over... I pray that when we get her home she'll light up like a christmas tree!