Monthly Archives: November 2010

Today’s Events

WOW.  Where do I start?

I’m sitting BACK at the hotel…alone.  Sasha got here later than I had expected.  We went to the courthouse and I waited in the hallway.  He finally called me in and then we left!  We went outside and he called Mayah’s birth region.  They could only see us up until 1pm and it was already 11:30.  It’s about a 2 hour drive.  They are normally open later, but they had a meeting today and would be closed for the duration of business.

We tried and tried but there was simply no way around it.  I have to be in her birth region to get her original birth certificate, I’m not needed for the passport…but that doesn’t do us any good.  So I had to change the embassy appointment.  They couldn’t see us at 3 or 4 tomorrow 11:30 was the latest time they could see us.  That wouldn’t work.

So we took care of all we could today which knocks off things from our to-do list tomorrow.

*Sigh of relief*

Sasha offered me to get Mayah out today…which I declined earlier.  I think she would have been incredibly bored here.  I didn’t get to visit her, which I think was for the better, I probably would have broken down right there.

So…Sasha returns tomorrow at 7 am to pick me up.  We head directly to her birth region to get the original birth certificate and passport and to close out her bank account.

Then we drive all the way back here to get Mayah out and close out her account here.

THEN we can go to Kiev!!

Thursday morning at 9 we have our embassy appt.  Then we go to her medical directly after and then BACK to the embassy to give them the medical info.

On Friday afternoon at 2 we go back to the embassy to pick up her visa!  Then back to our apartment, I imagine until someone comes to get us at crazy early in the morning to get to the airport by 3:30am.

We’re on the same flight route home and will arrive at 5:35pm.  It’s highly doubtful we’ll be going to church on Sunday.  I think that would be just too much on Mayah.

That’s IT.  Tomorrow our new plane tickets will be ordered before we arrive in Kiev so that will be nice.  A tech is coming to the house tomorrow to fix the internet.  Dan is at the end of his rope. 

I’m just happy God is providing.  Today was DIFFICULT to get through to say the least.

Thank you for your prayers!!

Didn’t Sleep

But really, did I expect to?  My nerves are running rampant all over!  I think it’s mostly excitement and thinking of getting Mayah settled tonight in our apartment in Kiev.  I stayed downstairs for as long as possible last night.  I went upstairs, finished my book! yet in the middle of my reading, I put the book over my head and waited on the Lord.  He came through as He always does and helped me to see some pretty cool things!  Instantly I could feel the anxiety creeping away, what a feeling! 

The weather here is terrible!  AND I have no boots for Mayah.  I’ll either have to buy some today or have Sasha pull right up to her groupa house so I can carry her to the car.   Either way, that girl is getting the car!  It’s about 127 miles or so to her birth region so Sasha and I have a lot of miles to cover today and it’s 9am already.  As long as the court decree is right, that should be a quick trip into town.  While he’s doing that, I’m going to the bank to get the money wire completed from Dan. 

Dan is still having internet issues at home.  He called Verizon and they said it could be an outage….but his parents have internet!  I had the same problem a while back and just had to reset the modem and do a new connection.  I tried helping him via text messaging last night, but he had to get ready for work and the boys needed him.  That’s our lifeline to each other and it’s hard on everyone.  He goes back on dayshift tomorrow and Thursday so it’s doubtful Mayah and I will get to see him on Skype anyway. 

All my stuff is packed in my room and it’s ready for Sasha and I to go up and get it OUT!  Once he gets here of course. 

The hotel was a hopping place last night.  It was rather slow and I hadn’t seen the boss lady at all yesterday, so the staff was in rare form!  They were sitting with a group at a table nearby doing shots! 

I have all Mayah’s clothes ready for her in her bag.  All the clothing she has tried on over the past few weeks, having her ask if they were for her and then having me take them back with me she will FINALLY get to wear!  All brand new stuffWinking smile  well, the sweater isn’t, I found it at a second hand shop!  I have a cute pink headband and a bracelet I bought from Marina Bachman’s fundraiser a while back when they were prepping to leave the countryWinking smile.  I packed some juice and a few snacks so that should last us ‘til we get to Kiev and get settled.  I will have to hit up a store for some milk tonight so she can have some cereal for breakfast tomorrow before we hit the ground running!

Ah, just sitting here blogging about the events is settling my nerves.  How nice!

I even picked her up a pair of pink jammies at the 2nd hand shop earlier in the week.  I washed them in the sink so they’re ready to go!!

I simply can’t wait!  Hopefully I’ll be able to blog again tonight after getting settled in Kiev!!!

The End of Life As We Know it…

But if’s all for the better, of course!

I can’t even begin to explain how I’m feeling right now.  My stomach is in knots.  There is so much of the unknown tomorrow.

Sasha came today to pick up the court decree and see if we could get all of the running around done today.

While we got nothing done like he had planned, I’m so thankful he came!  He had to check the court decree, which indeed had errors.  Unfortunately there was no judge in today to have it fixed immediately.  So she told him we could come back tomorrow.  Had he not went today we would have been delayed a day!  Praise the Lord!!

Our visa card wasn’t working today, Dan got that issued resolved this morning, his time.  So I was left with just the money I had and need more to get everything paid for!  He wired me the rest of the needed funds, I’ll pick it up tomorrow when Sasha and I head into town.

Satan is trying to wreak havoc on me here and Dan at home.  The kids are sick, and the internet stopped working!  I’ve had crazy internet since Friday and haven’t been able to skype with the kids.  I never know when I’m getting kicked off of how long ‘til I get connected again.  I’m trying to help Dan in between shut offs via text messaging.  Frustrating!

I want to go home. 

Tomorrow Sasha and I have a pretty long day.  He’s coming back here which is a 2 hour drive for him.  Then we’re heading to town to do the money transfer and check on the new court decree.  Then we have to go to the orphanage to get a birth certificate.  Then we have to head to her birth region to get her original birth certificate which is about 200 kilometers away.  While there, he said it’s possible we could get the same day passport!  This is the only way Mayah and I can head home on Friday!!  He can’t call to see if they’ll even see us in her birth region until we have the original documents from this end.  After we get the passport, then we have to close her bank account from her birth region, come back here to secret location and close out her account here.  THEN we can get her out!!  After that, we’re on our way to Kiev.  She’ll probably be stressed and tired, so we’ll see how that goes.

On Wednesday, the embassy got us in at 10am to start the visa process.  I have the majority of the paperwork filled out.  The rest will have to wait until Wednesday.  But BEFORE we can go to the embassy, we have to get her medical done.  They open at 9!  I suppose we’ll have to be up and at their door well before 9 to ensure we get in asap!!

Thursday we will head back to the embassy to pick up her visa!  Once I have her visa IN MY HANDS we can take a huge deep breath for a few hours.  We will need to be at Kiev airport at 330am to catch our early morning flight.

I have all the suitcases packed and ready to go.  The last of my laundry is drying in the window sill.  I shouldn’t have to wash anymore until we’re HOME!

I can’t believe HOPEFULLY at this time tomorrow (it’s 8:52pm) Mayah and I will at least be on our way to Kiev!!

Once we’re there, I’m done with Sasha.  I’ll be working with the rest of the team all of whom I’ve never met before.  New driver (maybe Nico?) new workers, so we’ll see how it all works out!  I’ll miss Sasha he works really hard.

Please if you’re reading this pray for everything to work out so Mayah and I will be out of here on Friday!  That will put us at HOME on Friday evening!!!  Please keep Dan and his homefront struggles on your prayer list as well.  All are appreciated!!

I’d love to post pictures, but for some reason my memory card is STUCK in my camera!!  I won’t be able to upload any of the pics I’ve taken recently until I get home and find the USB cable.  I’ll have to use my cell phone tomorrow for pics.  I have the cords for thatWinking smile

Distance Decreasing

I’ve made reference to the jumble on GodTV a few times in previous postings.  Dan and I would laugh at some of the people…really.  It was all we could do at the time.  There were even some times when Dan would want the volume turned down in case anyone walking by our room (even though we’re the last room) would hear (or understand English) because he was so embarassed.  How often, friends, do we have an environment around us we think we can just block out?  Pretend we’re not hearing the things we do, and move about our daily lives striving to be one with the Holy Spirit?  Up until today, I’ve always thought I did a pretty good job at blocking certain things out. 

I’ve also made mention how I’ve felt spiritually distant.  Thankfully, oh so thankfully, we serve a God who is ALWAYS with us.  Even when we don’t “feel” Him.  Somehow I’ve let some of this poison on television cloud my judgment.  I’ve let the invisble gases seep into the crevaces of my brain and I allowed them to work.  Without even knowing it.  If you’ve seen Christian television I’m sure you know the whats I’m talking about.  If you haven’t seen the majority of what’s on Christian television, for the love of God PLEASE don’t start now.  I mean that.  I don’t mean it in  sarcastic way by any means.  It takes work to grow in the Lord.  Not for the Lord to love you more…but work on our  fleshly sides to want to hear the Holy Spirit.  To know what the Holy Spirit sounds like.  How quickly, with the poison on television all that work dissentegrates.  It’s a shame really.  How quickly it all can dissolve.  So I’m taking my personal much needed stand against it today.  I’ve been able to pray again.  I enjoy reading my book about the Holy Spirit.  The book has been a wonderful antectote against what I’ve allowed myself to watch on television.  And thank the LORD for that.  You see, at home I have a stack of wonderful Bible studies exactly for me.  Each morning, whether I’m given an hour or five minutes, I get to start my day in the Word of God.  The most perfect place I can be on this Earth.  In my last minute hurriedness to pack and leave the country, I left every single one of them at home.  Collecting dust.  It’s not those Bible studies I needed to press on.  It was the devotion, my daily guardrails, and without them I’ve felt lost.  In the beginning I didn’t feel too bad because, after all, we had Christian television!  Not a perfect stubstitute, but a decent one, you know…to keep me “on track”.  WOW.  How incredibly wrong I was. 

And so now, here I sit.  With a few powerful books in which I intend to devote my time.  The television is off.  Where it will likely remain for the majority of the rest of my stay here. 

Thank you for your prayers.

Lackluster

Well, here I sit.  Again.  Just waiting for Joyce Meyer to come on GodTV so I can go to bed.  I’m not asking for pity.  I’m trying to be real.  I got the blessing to talk to a wonderful, wonderful friend tonight (before my computer died).  She expressed how my blogs have lacked feeling.  It’s true.

The other truth is, I’m not sure why.

I’ve got a few ideas.  And in an effort to get down to business I’ll  begin my list.

Every single day here is exactly the same.  Almost down to the meal I eat.  Since Dan and I couldn’t read the menu, we only ordered one thing.  Steak and fries.  Pork steak, that is.  Many days, it’s so delicous we really couldn’t get enough.  Other days, the recipe was lacking something.  And by delicious, I mean the best ever.  So good, in fact, we ate it daily.  Willingly. 

I want Mayah out.  Money is growing short, so much so, we are completely relying on the spaghetti dinner our friends’ church is hosting for us this coming Sunday.  Just when you think God is done stretching you in a journey, he continues to pull.  Since down at the heart of it all, I ultimately want to follow HIS HEART, I have no choice but to continue praying for a financial miracle. 

Again.

If you feel led, please donate to our chip-in on the right side of the blog.  We’re looking at about another $1,000 to bring Mayah HOME.  Where she belongs.  Thank you, friends.

The people here are overall grumpy.  Not at the hotel, mind you.  The workers here are wonderful.  I’m truly going to miss them.  They are always smiling at me, and willing to help.  When I walk in the door in the early afternoon after my visit, they even yell “the american!”  to let the front desk worker to know I’m there to pay for another day on my way back upstairs to my room.  It’s the rest of the people.  I smile at everyone I walk past.  Two, yes two people have returned the smile.  I still keep at it!!  One of the few and I emphasize few worthwhile things I’ve heard on GodTV (isn’t that a shame, really?)  is that you may be the only Bible people get to read.  So I keep smiling. 

I watch, read, or talk to people who have been on missions to countries like Africa and India, and children who have nothing know how to raise their hands and worship the Lord.  I’ve been off my “game” but I’m raising my hands these days.  In this week of Thanksgiving celebration, I really have so much to be thankful for. 

These people here NEED JESUS.  Oh they need Him and to have the power of the Holy Spirit living in them so badly it nearly brings me to tears thinking about it.  I’m not talking about just the orphaned children…that part is obvious (and most certainly top on my prayer list) but the regular-working-bus-or –bike-riding people going about their everyday business just as I am NEED JESUS. 

I’m burdened by an incredible responsibility I feel I have to bring it.  I just simply don’t know how.  I watch Joyce Meyer and her awesome Dream Center she has in their home-town in St. Louis, Missouri.  That is exactly what I would LOVE to see here.  Heck, Dan and I have talked about moving our family here!  No lie, it’s true.  Not immediately, but possibly in the long-term future.  God knows. 

It’s then I also realize that we are looking into and praying about another adoption (not Ukraine!) but the needs of Mayah (which we believe are overall minimal) and another child (we’re thinking Down Syndrome) would so not be welcomed here.  Not at all.  And THEN,  I read postings from Meredith Cornish http://www.cornishadoptionjourney.blogspot.com and she has been blessed with meeting real-life actual parents who chose to PARENT their biological Down Syndrome child right here.  And I’m letting fear run spreading the Love of Christ. 

And of course, let’s not forget the obvious.  I have three beautiful sons at home.  All of which I long to hold so much.  The pain of missing them is so incredibly overwhelming I’ve chosen not to think about it.  However, for the sake of bringing feeling back to my blog I’ll address it.  Gage’s speech at  a ripe young age at 20 months is so incredible!!  I’ve missed, so far, 1 month and  2 days of his precious life.  If you have young children, you know how quickly they grow each month.  I’ve missed it.  And David, my sweet, funny David.  David who comes to sneak in my bed to be “snoozy” with Mama,  doesn’t cry at preschool.  He stopped before I left, but I expected him to cry afterwards.  Thank God he didn’t though!  Unlike Gage, David has barely spoken to me since I left.  He is my snuggle buddy.  His lips get the absolute cutest shape when he comes to kiss me.  Then there’s my first boy.  My Alexander.  His heart has been stretched and stretched with the length of time away from Mommy and Daddy.  He spoke to me even less than David.  I missed his first ever (and probably only) parent-teacher conference.  Does he still wave when his bus is coming to drop him off?  Will he still let me hold him the way only I can do?  How is he really doing in gymnastics?  Do Mimi and Pappy encourage him the same ways I do?

This has been so incredibly difficult.   However, up until now I try not to think about it.  If I do, I’m miserable and heartbroken, and angry.  The minutes go by slower. 

Yet, when it comes down to it, we’d do it all over again to bring Mayah home.  She never had a Mama to wonder about her in the few ways I’ve listed above.  She’s deserving.  She too, like the boys, is a child of God.  HE promised NOT to leave HER fatherless.  He came to her through us.

The hurt each one of our children faced or will continue to face until Mayah and I are home will be minimal as life continues.  A great and powerful seed was planted into 4 precious hearts during this journey.  Maybe they all four won’t grow their families through adoption, that’s not my business.  My prayer is that they all four grow their hearts to be after God’s heart. 

Can’t go wrong there.  Thank you for the prayers, friends.  Please keep them coming. 

On The Homefront

We’re finally getting down to the last of things here in region.  Tomorrow, will be the first last.  Tomorrow will be the last Tuesday where I only visit with my daughter.  Next Tuesday that princess is out of her high tower!!

And we can’t wait.

First off, Dan had a great day with the boys yesterday.  Many of you, if you’ve been following, know Alexander our oldest  son (he’s no longer our oldest)  had the hardest time of all three boys with us being away.  Yesterday all he wanted was Daddy’s attention.  Even last night, when I tried Skyping again he later told Dan he didn’t want him talking to me because he wanted his attention.  Honestly, I didn’t call to talk to Dan;)  I called to talk to the kids.  HOWEVER, I snuck outside because of the noise inside, and a drunk guy came out.  Of ALL the available gazebos with no one else in them…he choose mine.  I really hoped he would hear I was speaking English and give up…NOPE, not him.  He just kept talking and talking.  So I got up to move to talk with the kids and HE FOLLOWED ME!  He was carrying on his own conversation.  He even whistled at Dan and flicked his face on the screen because Dan wasn’t paying attention to him!  Thankfully, this man’s brother came out and took him back inside;)  By then the kids were over talking to me.  I was a little down yesterday, so I went to bed and prayed and prayed to the Lord.  As I said yesterday, I’ve had trouble feeling distant.  I’ve devoted more quiet time to the Lord today.  Working to commune with the Holy Spirit in me.  How often do we all forget Christ died to live in us?   I love this book I’m reading,  I’m wondering if I had started reading it sooner if I would have felt this way.  God knows.  I’m just glad I’m reading it nowThanks, Billie for loving me so much you’re willing to part with some books for my trip.  I love you!!

But back to Alexander…Dan said he just wanted time with just HIM AND DADDY.  Obviously Dan can’t ignore the other boys.  He said Alexander had a meltdown but Dan went in and explained to him the reason he was gone for so long.  And that it wasn’t his fault (Alexander).  Alexander let Dan pick him up and rock him for a while.  After that he was okay.  He needed to express himself, and I’m so glad he got the chance.  I’m even more glad Daddy was there to comfort my (big) baby boy.

**Gage and Dan got up early this morning then Gage fell asleep in Dan’s arms while he was Skyping with me**Isn’t he just the sweetest thing?

My heart seems, like many others who have been here, incredibly burdened for the ones left behind.  There is one particular little boy (not here in this region) who has been on my heart for quite some time.  For many many reasons I’ve tried to forget about him.  I don’t want to come back to Ukraine to adopt again.  Dan doesn’t.  Our kids certainly don’t.  Yet more certain than the things  I just listed:  We DO NOT want this boy to be sent away.  Facts are facts and kids just don’t make it in there.  If you want to read about there  go to http://www.covenantbuilders.blogspot.com  just scroll down, Julia has a powerful, powerful post about there.  While you’re there, please consider making a $1 donation to sweet Gavin’s grant fund.  Julia is a Christmas Warrior for Gavin.  She has many “lost boys” as she refers to on her page.  Alexander on her page (not my son) has a $7105 grant!!  He’s already been sent there.  PLEASE please pray for him.  Let God lead.

Mayah’s visit was pretty much the same as always.  But here are a few cute updates: 

1.)     She gives me random kisses

2.)    She gives me random hugs

(isn’t God amazing?)

Dan and I have seen these toys in the stores called “kinder joy” eggs.  It seemed like there were surprises in them.  So we bought 3 and Dan took them home.  I bought one for Mayah yesterday.  After she was done with her snack and we played for a bit, I gave her the egg.  Her face was full of excitement and surprise.  She motioned if it was for her and I nodded.  She opened the egg and LOVED the tiny toy inside.  I put the toy together while she ate the egg.

She was just happy it was candy! She didn't know the candy would have a PRESENT in it!!

Oh, and of course! I took her a new juice box today...

Mama, there's something IN my candy!!

it had this little doll toy thing in it. She was beside herself!

She made Alexander a necklace a while ago, which Dan took home..but he asked why she didn't make one for Mimi and Nana...this is MIMI's!!

I took her some cheese today to add to her crackers and ham...i think she liked it!!

I really just can’t get enough! She’ll be glad she has a huge mirror on her dresser at home…she loves herself! *With good reason*

What I was happy to realize on my way home (er, hotel..guess I’ve been here a while) was that our sons back home acted the exact same way as their older sister when they received their eggs.  I’m so happy the Lord blessed us with children who are excited in the “small” things.  Our four blessings never cease to amaze me. 

Thank you Lord.

Dogs Are Orphans Too

Before I begin, I left out one important part of Mayah’s name.

When Dan and I first started the adoption journey on Thanksgiving Day last year, there was a little girl named Maya.  It was then we were introduced to special needs and how quickly they get labeled.  So, months ago, we named Mayah Mayah to bring us back where we started.

And Elizabeth is after Dan’s sister.  It’s her middle name.  Mary is simply the best aunt in the entire world.  She loves all four of our children so dearly, and they adore her! 

So the week we left, after having dinner at Mary’s house, we announced we were naming our daughter after her.  Dan and I both have Elizabeth’s in our family history, but it’s Mary and Mary alone that Mayah gets her middle name;)

And now for the rest….

Day 2 without Dan.

I woke up this morning and hurried downstairs to check facebook and see Dan’s update that he was on his way home;)  What a wonderful way to wake up!!

My oh my the children are already transforming!  I skyped home and much to my surprise, there was my husband on the other end!  Alexander RAN over to talk to me.  His voice melted me.  It was happy.  He was happy.  He was back.  Just like that.  It was so magnificent to watch, I couldn’t help but tear up.  He loved sharing with me this morning.  Alexander was already wearing the necklace Mayah made for him a few weeks ago.  Dan took 3 small gifts home for the kids and Alexander and Gage, being the only two awake, showed me what they got and also shared they had some candy in the morning.  This never happens in our home.  They enjoyed it to say the least.  The orphanage dentist had given us a package to mail to her children in the U.S.  As a gift to us, she gave us shelled walnuts and fresh apples from her tree.  Under the bag of nuts, was tons of candy.  I had sent the whole bag home with Dan.  He informed me I made a mistake and should have kept some for myself.  He is hiding some so I may also partake.

Last night, I enjoyed myself by sitting in the hotel restaurant and read for quite some time.  It was so wonderful;)  I’m currently reading a book about the Spirit-Filled Life.  What I read last night touched me exactly where I needed in my heart.  Am I the only one who, while on a mission from God Himself, feels almost distant from Him?  Am I so wrapped up in Mayah, and my family back home I’m forgetting to give Him time?  Thankfully last night I was gently reminded no matter how hard WE try, WE will fail.  We have to surrender to the Holy Spirit and die to ourselves daily.  How refreshing!  So without saying, “I’ll start again tomorrow…I started again while at my table, reading my book.  I continued slowly worshipping God again even when I got back to my room and as I fell asleep.  While I know there is nothing I can DO in the flesh, I need to surrender.  Daily, hourly, I (we all) need to make that commitment. 

Thankfully, I only have 8 more sleeps ‘til I can get Mayah OUT of the orphanage!  I have enjoyed my last 2 days alone with her.  Today was equally fun.  I told her yesterday I would bring the lipgloss for her, and I remembered! 

One of her caretakers gave me a bow and a comb, she had some mad bed-head going on.

I really sort of felt bad for Mayah that no one there did her hair.  They do such a better job than I.  I really REALLY need to start learning how to do her hair.  At least she likes sitting there while I brush it, so she should be willing to let me practice once we get home.

She enjoyed listening to my MP3player yet again…she was even dancing today.  I encourage you to check out the link on YouTube at this link

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-zXeLGQyZ0&feature=youtube_gdata

it should work.  Having some internet issues so I’ll check on it

It’s only 8 seconds long and there’s no sound because it was on my digital camera and there’s no mic on it. 

I haven’t done much today, but I did get to sit downstairs for a while, and came back to my room to watch some television, I tried reading but couldn’t get into it, and I prayed.  Very relaxing. 

Dancing her heart out

she just LOVES music;)

She found a clip in my bag and attached it to her hair, she loves being silly

She has a scab on her elbow and she bumped it open, looked through my bag, found the tissues and wanted me to wipe it

She had a mouthful of food, but still wanted a pic with Mama

I try to change up the juice boxes I bring her because she loves what's on the front of them. Today were superheroes, she insisted I take a pic with the juicebox;)

Today I brought her a piece of ham and she had little crackers in there, I taught her how to tear up the ham to fit on the cracker, she thought it was amazing!! And of course, insisted I take a pic

 

On a side note, I went to the store again today to pick up some food to eat in the room and some things for Mayah for the next 2 days.  I ended up getting more sausages than I wanted so I set out to find some dogs on the way home;)

I was almost at the hotel when I spotted 3 dogs!  We were on the same side of the highway, even better.  Then 2 crossed the road.  Ugh. Then the other crossed.   So I did the same thing.  I stepped up the pace and 2 of the 3 crossed again.  I was on the same side as my hotel so I started to go even faster after the 1 dog left.  Finally I met up with him, he was shy at first, but once I gave him a piece of food he was very happy.  So I gave him more!  I started walking towards the hotel and after a few minutes I looked back and he was following.   I had decided if he caught up to me, I’d give him more.  By the time I reached the parking lot, one of his buddies decided to join him.  I turned around and started tearing up some sausages for these cuties.  They were so happy!  They wagged their tails in excitement.  Food!  I shared a few pieces with them and started walking in.  I was so happy.  Dogs around here are orphans too you know.