Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ordered Rosetta Stone Today

Well I finally just bit the bullet and bought all three levels of Rosetta Stone Russian. Its not so bad when you spread the payments out over 5 months and it will be worth it if we REALLY are able to learn Russian! I think something got lost in translation because I had spoken to another sales rep earlier this week just to get some info on how it worked, how many levels we needed, how much it was, and their payment plan. Well when I dialed her extension, she wasn't there, but a man named "Raj" answered when I called back. He had a hard time understanding me (As I did him!) and when I told him how much the other sales rep had said I would pay a month (she said I was getting a deal) he must have thought I said something else because I ended up getting it even cheaper than the "deal." LOL Still nearly $500 bucks! Can we say it BETTER WORK!? LOL I really don't want to be stuck in Ukraine and not even able to read roads signs, menus, price tags, or ask where a bathroom is! Not to mention that we don't want our child to lose their native language once we come home, which will happen if we don't speak it as well. So here's hoping we can successfully become bilingual!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Homestudy -- check!!!

So our social worker has to figure out how to narrow it down from 10 pages to the 7 that Ukraine wants, but the important thing is WE'RE APPROVED!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last Visit with our social worker tomorrow!

Whoop Whoop! Last visit is tomorrow (please snow stay away!) and then we're dooooone!!! Once we get our hands on the actual homestudy we'll send it to our paperwork checker to make sure it has everything Ukraine requires and then... finally... it will be off to the SDA for approval :)

I will testify to love

Wow, so I really had all of my questions about whether its irresponsibility or faith to just throw financial caution to the wind and say, God called us to do this, we're doing it now and we are trusting him to provide us with the means! I had the mindset that it was all about US. Could WE afford this? What could WE do so that we could WE afford this. What could WE do to make this happen. Well I had a little wake up call... its not about US. Its about God seeing a child without a family, being an advocate for that orphan and placing a desire on our hearts half a world away to adopt. God already has a plan for how He will bring this child home and we are just a part of it. So this revelation I had (while reading another adoptive mom's blog) really made me realize how silly I was being with all the fretting I've been doing over how we could afford to adopt. God already had a plan for us and THAT is why we felt the call to adopt. I think I always had this idea that people who adopted were "rich" but now I realize that most of them were probably just like us, stepping out in faith and later being able to testify to the love that God has for the orphan. When you feel that call on your heart, its God using you to meet needs that you cannot even see.

External religious worship that is pure and unblemished in the sigh of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated by the world.
James 1:27 Amplified

Psalm 68:5 “A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Candle Fundraiser

Phillip's mom is helping me out with a really cool fundraiser. I'm going to be selling candles until March 12th, and have fliers with order forms if anyone is interested. They are 12 oz canning jar size and come in several different "Homey" scents with inspirational Bible verses on them. They are $12 each with 50% of the proceeds going to our adoption fund. If you're like me, you burned up all of your candles during the recent power outages!

Because that is where my child is!

One of the first questions that people ask when they hear that we're adopting from Ukraine is "Why?" Sometimes I feel like I should have this great answer to just pop off because in my heart and in my head, it all makes sense, but when I start trying to tell someone why we chose to have a third child through not only adoption, but adoption from Ukraine, it doesn't come out quite right! The answer I always want to give is, "Because that is where my child is!"

God blessed us with two wonderful little boys and I believe that He used our love for them to open our eyes to the plight of children around the world that do not have a family. When I look into my children's eyes, I see everything that they can be and the greatest desire of my heart is to help them fulfill their dreams. One night while rocking Wyatt to sleep, it just hit me that there are children in the world who have no one that dreams of what they can be. No one looks at them and sees their potential and loves them unconditionally. No one sits with them, holding them even after they are asleep just so they can watch their sweet little face. There are children that were born on the same days as my sons but because of the circumstances surrounding their birth, they have no one. The unjustness of that really broke my heart. Why in this world where we spend millions of dollars on sporting events, campaign fundraisers, inauguration parties, and opening ceremonies, are there children who no one helps? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with those things, but when the most expensive adoption tops out at around $50K, it seems that there should be more attention drawn to what we value as a society.
So as Phillip and I came to the conclusion that yes we did want to adopt, the next question was, "From where?" We researched agencies online and looked at country comparison charts and even decided on another country only to find out that the program was not doing well at all. During this whole process we felt this tug at our hearts for Ukraine, but the agency fees were expensive! So we continued looking around and trying to figure out why God would place such a burden and a call on our hearts if we couldn't afford to do what He was asking! This was particularly painful for me and really made me question exactly what faith is. Is it doing what God calls you to do even if it means taking a step that you cannot financially afford to make? Is that irresponsible or is that trusting God to provide your needs? I have always believed that God would provide our needs, but wondered if that included adopting? All the while I was questioning, the desire to adopt never left or wavered and in fact became so strong that it really was painful and frustrating to not know how we were going to do this. So we continued searching for an agency that might be able to make our adoption more affordable, and then we had our "Ah hah! moment!"

Through all of my reading of blogs from people who had adopted from Ukraine, there were many of them that had one common denominator. A woman named Cathy Harris. She has adopted 7 children from Simferpol, Ukraine and she had done the majority of those adoptions independently. Now she helps other adoptive parents do the same thing. About 50% of adoptions in Ukraine are done independently because Ukraine does not allow agencies to operate in the country. However independent is a scary word, especially when you have never adopted before! That's where Cathy comes in. She has done it herself and she has helped over 1000 other families adopt as well, and her fees are a tiny fraction of the cost that an agency charges. When Phillip and I found her site and read through it and even saw an endorsement from our Congressman on there, we were finally excited! Maybe we COULD do this after all!

After talking with Cathy and having her explain how the process worked to us, we contacted an agency to begin our homestudy process. That was back in October and now here we are in February nearly ready to send our completed homestudy to Ukraine and wait for the dossier submission date!

Throughout this process God has continued to show us that He will provide exactly what we need, exactly when we need it. There are still obstacles ahead that I sit here and wonder how we are going to be able to handle them, but its like that song by Kutless says "That's What Faith Can Do." So I'll just keep believing :)

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson