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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Appointment Date

Well we got home from church and had an email from our translator. Totally unexpected for a sunday afternoon, but it had our appointment date!!!

I know you wanna know what it is.

Its WAY earlier than we had expected. We were anticipating end of November.

Well guess what!?

Its November 15th!!

We are currently throwing stuff around in our room trying to figure out what we still need to get. Oh my goodness!!! God is so good! Maybe we will be back in time for Christmas after all!!

And for heavens sake! None of my family will answer their darned phones!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I just finished reading the book Radical, by David Platt and W.O.W. Does this guy get it or what? Its not that his ideas are so radical, its the idea that the church and Christians have strayed so far from what Jesus intended that really hits me.

This book is awesome and will leave you feeling a little bit, well, radical! This is Christianity you can get excited about!

One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:

"Some wonder if it is unfair for God to allow so many to have no knowledge of the gospel. But there is no injustice in God. The injustice lies in Christians who possess the gospel and refuse to give their lives to making it known among those who haven't heard. That is unfair."

How many times have you heard the question that starts with "How can a loving God allow ____ to happen?" Well David Platt poses the question, how can we as Christians continue to ignore what God has told us to do? To GO to the nations. We as Christians are the hands and feet of God. Instead of the question starting with "How can a loving God...?" It should start with "How can Christians (the church) allow this ____ to continue?" Puts it in perspective, huh?

Get the book! Click the title at the top of this post to view it on amazon. You can get it for only $5.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


So today marks two weeks since we submitted our dossier. Yay!!

I have been trying to fill any extra time I have (which isn't much) with either doing my Rosetta Stone Russian, or reading. I've been reading The Connected Child, Adopted for Life, and Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream. All three are very good books and I highly recommend them. I was hoping to take some of them with us to Ukraine, but I think I'm going to be done reading all of them before then. I only have Crazy Love left and I am halfway through Radical already.

I've been doing pretty well with Rosetta Stone, but I don't know if learning Russian is SO hard that it literally makes me fall asleep at the computer after 30 minutes of it, or if its just that I never sit down and relax during the day until then and my body is like ohhhh lets go to sleep! I try to do Russian during the boy's naps, but that's also my time to clean and organize anything I don't want them messing with; and recently the cleaning and organizing has been winning out.

So basically we're just pluggin along here doing the same old same old routine and waiting for one little email...

We did get a really cool bit of news though. Phillip's boss decided to move their hours back at work to offset daylight savings time, so now Phillip will be leaving at 3:30pm. So awesome! I don't think he has EVER been able to come home that early in the entire time we've been married. Its great now but will be even better when we get back because that will mean I will have my relief person coming in a lot earlier than I expected. Yay!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Will it be this week?

Today is 10 days since we submitted our dossier. Friday of this week will be 15 days. We were told that we should hear something in about 20 days so it should either be this week or next I think. I'm not sure if that included weekends or not? I'm counting the weekends!

I thought I had the boys' Halloween costumes taken care of for Trunk of Treats this Saturday, but when Wes tried on his dragon, it was WAAAAYYY too small. It says ages 2-4 on it so since he's in that range, I thought it would fit. No. The legs end at his KNEES! He LOVES it though and managed to sqeeze it on and ran around roaring so even though I've tried to talk him into taking it back and finding a new one, I think we're stuck with it. He wanted to sleep with tonight. That's how much he loves it. He is just a huge 4 year old. I was charged school age child admission for him at the football game this Friday and had to convince the lady that no, the kid is not in school yet so he should be free!

The local highschool football games are awesome. They shoot off a cannon, fireworks, and a firebreathing lion everytime the home team scores. Then they shoot off t-shits into the crowd, drive a little car around the track, pull a REAL lion around in front of the crowd, and of course there are lots of cheerleaders. Its a real event and we went to the last homegame of the year this past Friday. The kids think we're at the Fair or something because of the Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dominos Pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, glow lights, and all the EMS vehicles. Oh and I was super happy to see a huge tablefull of Krispy Kreme Donuts for sale as we were leaving. Mmmmm....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

9 Days...

Its been 9 days since we submitted our dossier. Yay!

I got to try my winter attire for Ukraine out at the local football game last night. It was COLD! It actually got down to freezing early this morning and we had our first frost. I walked outside this morning to let the chickens out and scratched ice off of the picnic table on the patio.

We have a very exciting weekend at our church today and tomorrow; and then W will have his Harvest Party at preschool next week, we'll have Trunk of Treats at church and hopefully by the time all of the excitement is over, we'll have our date!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Many Times Have you Read This Verse?

but never really thought about what it meant?

John 14: 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

This is Jesus talking to his disciples and trying to explain to them about His upcoming crucifixion and His ultimate return to heaven.

Now think about this in the context of you meeting a child in a foreign country. You want to adopt this child and you love this child and in the short time that you have known this child, they have become yours; BUT you have to return home for a little while before you can complete everything.

What do you tell this child to help them understand that you will come back? That its not goodbye forever. You will be back.

That's what God is telling us. He is preparing a place for us and will come back for us. This verse just kind of took on a whole new meaning for me today and I thought it was pretty cool :)

This chapter also has another of my favorite verses:

14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Yeah I've been claiming that one for this past year and I'm happy to report that God keeps His word ;)

7 Days Down...





Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Checking email makes me nervous!

Ok so we've been submitted 6 days already. I am starting to imagine what getting the email that has our appointment date in it is going to really mean. Plane tickets, packing, moving my kids' stuff to their grandparents' house, making sure the bills get paid while we're gone and the mail gets picked up, etc.

So far other than the paperwork and mad dashes around trying to update and FedEx paperwork, we haven't had much of a change in our daily life. Well soon its all going to change! That makes me excited, but its also making me realize what it all entails.

Wes on the other hand has asked me on a nearly daily basis, "Mom, WHEN are you gonna go get my baby girl?" Or he spots a little girl in the grocery store and asks me, "Mom are we gonna get a baby girl like that one?" He is ready for us to go! I hope he doesn't loose his enthusiasm for a sister should we bring one home for him. He seems ready to purchase all things pink and sparkly when we go shopping. He always wants to get something "For our baby girl." And even though we are hoping for a girl, I have prepared my heart to be open for a boy or a girl (or both!), but Wes just seems to know something I don't...

So with all of this weighing on my mind, checking email makes me nervous because one of these days very, very soon, I am going to get the email we've been waiting for and then it will be...


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

5 Days...

Five days since our dossier was submitted. Tick tock, tick tock...

I finally remember to order some long underwear today. I couldn't find any small enough in stores to fit me without making me looking like I had a weird layer of extra skin. Even the small is not actually small! I'm already freezing here now and the temp hasn't gotten down to freezing yet so I figured I should at least get some pants to go under my pants haha. I just hope that the waistline isn't some granny style up around my belly button cause that will look REAL attractive with my skinny jeans. I guess that's what long sweaters are for...

Wes was running around in the yard today and said that its almost time for it to winter here because the leaves are starting to fall off the trees. Silly kid. He loved the two snow storms that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow each time last year. He thinks its going to do that again this year. My hope is that if it does, it won't be when we're trying to fly out or back home. Any other time is fine!

So 5 days... we're just waiting. I have nothing meaningful to post yet. As soon as I know our date, I'll be booking flights with Golden Rule Travel!

Monday, October 18, 2010

7 Years & 4 Days

Today my wonderful husband and I have been married for 7 years! Today also marks 4 days since our dossier was submitted which by my calculations means we have about 16 more days till we receive our appointment date. I am still hoping sooner rather than later...

God has blessed us so much in these past 7 years. We both took classes and worked for several years before I became pregnant with Wes and decided to be a SAHM. We've seen several job changes that came with challanges. We built a house together while I was pregnant with Wyatt and lived with him sleeping in the living room of our old house for 4 months! We've weathered several "family issue" storms together. We also made a really difficult decision to change churches about 3 years ago. We really wanted a church where our kids could grow up surrounded by other children their age and form lifelong Christian friendships. Neither Phillip or I really have that type of friendship with anyone and we felt it was so important for our children to be able to grow up in an environment where that type of support would be available to them.

I would say that decision marks a huge turning point in our lives. We have grown so much as Christians, parents, and a couple since that time. We both have a real desire to serve God wherever and however He calls us and I LOVE that I wake up on Sunday mornings not thinking of ways to get out of going to church, but excited to go!

So here we are. Married for 7 years with 2 little guys and just ready and waiting to add more! :) Its been a great 7 years and I can't wait to see what the next 7 (or 77!) have to offer. It keeps getting better and better!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Stocking up

So I bought what I hope will be 2-3 weeks supply of easy to make food at Sam's Club yesterday. Our chest freezer is now pretty full of kid friendly foods. I hope that along with the soup I've been canning and freezing will get us along after we get back until we establish a routine that inclues me going to the grocery store.

I finally found Phillip 4 pairs of socks that I think will keep his feet warm and be fairly quick drying. His socks of choice now are white tube socks and they take a looong time in the dryer as it is now so we were not going to try to dry those things by hanging them up. It may take days! I also found him a pair of black gloves at Old Navy and b/c they were having their sale, Wyatt got a free pair of fleece booties.

Speaking of sale. I saved $74 at Old Navy. I got Wes a free "down" vest and Wyatt a free pair of fleece lined jeans. They are still having the "Kids shop free" sale so I recommend going if you need to stock up on some kids clothes.

While I was at Sams Club I spotted their Halloween costumes and got each of the boys one. Wes is going to be a dragon and Wyatt will be a cow. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun at Trunk of Treats at our church this year as they are both old enough to get really excited about getting candy in their bag.

Well, my closet is a royal mess of luggage, clothes, and "stuff" that we've been throwing together. I will be glad to get our travel date so I can pack for real!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My plans for a bargain

So I have a $10 coupon for Old Navy and they are also doing an in store special where when you buy an adult item, you get a kid item FREE.

I have a $10 off a $20 purchase at Sears and I have a pair of LandsEnd pants that I bought online but need to exchange there b/c their idea of a size 4 is not MY idea of a 4. I need a size 2 AND the color I got is more like "white" instead of "stone" so I want to get a darker color since I had planned on wearing these to Ukraine.

I also have a $15 off a $75 purchase of LandsEnd items and I want to use that for the remaining cold weather items Phillip and I need. So I'm hoping to make a run to town today and get it done.

I also need to go to Sams Club and stock Wyatt up on diapers for the next two months or so. I think he's about ready to potty train though b/c he woke me up last night by hollaring at me from his crib that he was "met"(wet). When I went into his room, he was standing in his crib with his "met" diaper in his hand and no jammies.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Just a little email I received from our translator...

Hello Erin,

Your dossier was submitted yesterday.

About in 20 days the SDA will give us appointment day.

I hope they will not find any mistakes in it :))




I'll be the one walking around with a big goofy grin on my face all day today! :)

Isn't he a funny guy though? "Hope they don't find any mistakes in it" Hilarious.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hours away...

Since Ukraine is 7 hours ahead of us, we are only hours away from having our dossier submitted! Please pray with us that all of our documents will be accepted and then continue to pray with us that we will receive an appointment date in a timely manner. We are really hoping to get an appointment close to Thanksgiving for several reasons but we know its all in God's time.

I am so excited that we are this close, but I am also getting more than a little anxious about being away from my boys for a month. I feel kind of guilty, honestly because any mom would probably tell you that they KNOW that no one can take care of, love on, and protect their child the way they do. I know my kiddos will be well taken care of and probably spoiled silly, but I'll miss them like crazy.

But I have been thinking... the child or children that God has called us to adopt has been alone their entire life. What is one month compared to a lifetime without love? Yeah, so that kind of put it into perspective for me. I have another child that needs me to come bring them home so that we can start making up for that lost time.

On a lighter note, I hit the jackpot at Sams Club yesterday. We had been looking at buying Underarmor ColdGear b/c according to my ROTC Cadet brothers, Underarmor is the best thermal underwear out there. But it is also $50 for each piece. Well, I found a knockoff brand of it at Sams Club for $8 a piece. I'm certin its not "quite" as good, but its darn close and will definitely work for what we need. I also found myself a pack of wool socks. I am a sock snob for sure but these were a great price and I'm now set for warm feet in Ukraine. I also got each of my boys an 8 pair pack of socks for like $6. Sweeet! It was like everything I had been looking for just all stuck in one spot so I could grap it and go.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Win an iPad!

THIS FAMILY is raising funds to complete their adoption of a little boy and girl from Russia. Click here to see their picture! Their goal is to have them home by Christmas, but they need to raise enough money by the end of this month to do so because Russia doesn't process adoptions in December. Everyone who donates to their fund via this widget:

will be entered to win a FREE iPad. No minimum amount is required. Please help these kids make it home for Christmas.

Please take a moment and repost this family's chipin info on your blog. There is NO reason that you cannot do that. Not everyone can financially contribute but spreading the word only takes a few minutes and could make a world of difference!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ahh Its SO close!

Tomorrow will be THREE days till our dossier submission. THREE little itty bitty days! I wanted to do something the night of the 14th to celebrate, but Phillip found out that he has to go to a meeting late that night for work. He does get overtime for it though so I'm not complaining.

We'll roll our anniversary and dossier submission celebration into one night since they're only 4 days apart and I'll order desert twice or something. Once for our anniversary and once for our dossier submission! Hah - I'm just kidding because usually its all I can do to even finish dinner.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Canning Soup

So in my endeavor to have healthy, kid friendly, easy to prepare meals on hand when we arrive back from Ukraine this winter I have decided to make loads of soup for dinner at night and then can the extras. I have 4 quarts of Chicken Soup simmering away under 10 lbs of pressure right now. I have canned tomatoes, beans, pickles, relish, jelly, jam, and various other fruits and veggies; but I've never canned soup. I had to call my grandmother and ask her a question about how full the canner is supposed to be with water and that resulted in a quick run to the kitchen to dump off half of the water. Whoops.

I hope this goes well. If it does, I plan to can several other kinds of soup and then I am going to work on making quiches, rolls, and bread and freezing them so I'll have that to go along with the soup.

I really do not like feeding my kids or hubby processed foods. The amount of sodium per serving is ridiculous, not to mention the calories so I am hoping that I can get enough food put away for at least the first two weeks home.

I largely underestimate how much food my two kids eat now though so if we come back with two more... Yipe!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Changing Perspective

I've been reading back over my posts the last few days and I've kind of realized something that I already knew. My tone has kind of gone a bit towards focussing on what has gone wrong, and not so much on what has gone right. I know why.

There is a situation between some of my family members that is a source of pretty much constant fighting. I have distanced myself as much as possible, but still I care about these people and when word of what they are doing gets back to me, it makes me upset. Very recently I heard about the latest stuff going on and there is even a very significant date where important issues will be ruled upon, that is within ONE day of our submission date. I heard that and was just like SERIOUSLY? I can't even just have that one day to be happy without this drama interferring??

I don't ask that people be as excited as I am about our adoption. It is really nice when other people ask about it and show enthusiasm because it is something to be excited about! But what is really upsetting me is that I feel like not only are the people that I love and desire support from are not only not excited for us, but are putting all of their efforts into something else that has a very negative impact so I am not even able to be excited about our adoption by myself because I now have this "thing" looming over us and I'm wondering what the outcome will be instead of focussing on how HAPPY I am for our adoption process progress.

How was that for a run on sentence??

Anyways, I realized that having this thing hanging over my head is making me feel rather negative and grumpy about everything. I have rapidly developed the "Well of course it went wrong. EVERYTHING goes wrong because everyone is a jerk!"

And that is not true.

So much has gone right for us in this process and many people have helped us in ways that I never expected.

So I have decided that even if its not easy, I will quit focussing on the negative things I cannot change. I will focuss on what an awesome God we have and all of the amazing ways He has comfirmed with us that we are on the right path and He will continue to provide for us thoughout this process. I will remember how blessed we are and how happy I am to be a mommy and what a wonderful family we have and how much we love each other. THAT is why we are doing this after all, because we wanted to share our family with children who have none.

Yes, there have been comments and suggestions that hurt. Telling a family member that you are adopting from Ukraine and having them respond with a "I wish you'd adopt one from here instead" still hurts. Having people email you about children they've "heard" about needing to be domestically adopted and telling you to email "this person here" and inquire about them, and then a few hours later emailing back and telling you that those kids already found a family really sucks. REALLY SUCKS. I cannot even go into how upset that made me. I take it as a lesson to always really THINK about how what I am saying to someone will make them feel, because it really really sucks to not be given that same consideration.

I think many comments originate from ignorance. Christians are called to orphan care. James 1:27 TELLS Christians to care for orphans and widows. Not everyone is called to adopt, but if you call yourself a Christian and you want to live out pure and undefiled religion, that verse is directed at YOU. There are so many more ways to care for orphans than to adopt. In fact I've seen the statistic that says that if only 7% of people who say they are Christians adopted just ONE orphan, there wouldn't be anymore. That is less than 1 in 10 so the other 9 in 10 Christians can be caring for orphans in other ways besides adopting. So if someone tells me that they are adopting from Liberia, or Bulgaria, or adopting domestically; I will be happy for them! A child without a family is a child in need of a family no matter where they are. God calls each of us where WE are most needed. Not where John or Sue or Dave are needed. Where WE are needed.

We have been called to Ukraine.

So with all of that off my chest, maybe now I can concentrate on tomorrow being only ONE WEEK from our submission day!! Phillip and I are so excited to think that we might be in Ukraine by late next month :) We have seen God prepare the way for us to go and we have complete faith that God has not brought us this far to fail. There is a child (or children) in Ukraine that He has chosen us to be parents for and we are SO excited to find them!

Oh and our 7 year anniversary is the 18th, just 4 days after we submit so ya know what would be the BEST anniversary present EVER. I know, I know... 4 days is way too soon to hear anything but it would be nice... We are really hoping for an appointment date by Thanksgiving just because we really want to be home by Christmas but its all in God's time so we'll wait and see what we get.

One more thing: Travel insurance. Anyone want to share what kind they purchased? We've been told that it would be a good idea to purchase medical evacuation insurance. Yep.

Second thing (hah) I have noticed that I am getting a lot more traffic to my blog. Exciting! So please feel free to leave me comments and share your blogs. I love reading other people's blogs!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I survived...barely

So the Dr. office visit was just jixed from the start. They had nothing right. The wrong Dr. and the wrong time for Phillip just made for a bad combo. The kids were SO loud but they were good. Loud, but good. The nurse fussed at them for being too loud, but hey that's why their daddy was supposed to be scheduled WITH me not an hour later! Long frustrating story short, I got the prescriptions we needed and I also got a printout from the CDC on what not to eat and drink in Ukraine. I really don't know why they even made me wait 15 minutes (with loud children) so they could print that out since I am the one that requested the appointment to get prescriptions for our trip but now I have a complete write up on what "Travelers Diarrhea" is.

I also went ahead and got a Flu Shot along with my last Hepititis A shot so I am finally done being poked. I think my arms are too skinny or something b/c the last time I had an incredibly sore arm for two weeks after I got my Hep B shot and this time my other arm that I got the Flu Shot in is hurting really bad. Not just sore, but like pain all the way down my arm when I move it. I mentioned it to the nurse when she asked if I had any reaction to the last shots and her suggestion was to give me a shot in my leg. I told her that I'd rather have an sore arm than a sore leg. I mean I don't use my arm to walk around.

So after a harrowing experience at the Drs, I decided to take the kids to the mall. I had a FREE panty coupon for Victoria's Secret so I marched in there and got a pair. Whoo Hoo free undies!

Then the kids and I went to Sbarro's for lunch and had pizza. We managed to leave there with both of them covered in chocolate milk and pizza sauce but it was nice. I don't go out to eat with the two of them often(ever).

I must have been feeling crazy or something because then I decided to take them to Sears and while I was looking at shoes on sale, they ran around and played chase.

We did find Wes some size 5 footie jamies because his jamies from last year looked rather funny when he put them on the other night. The feet were much too small and the neck was choking him but he refused to take them off. In the morning he told me that he didn't know what was wrong with them but he had to unzip them halfway down his belly to make them fit. Goofball! We also got him some new socks. He has grown out of everything! I need to find him a new winter coat as well so he can pass down last year's to Wyatt who has also outgrown everything.

Oh and tonight, after making cheesecake and finding moldy cream cheese, I decided to clean out the fridge. Just the thought of being gone for a month makes me want to remove things that have probably been in there since we moved here 2 years ago. Its now very empty because I haven't been grocery shopping in two weeks either.

Well I probably should go. I've had to stop and clean markers off the walls and doors and Elmers glue off the floor, train table, and drum while I have been trying to write this post. I think its time for two little darlings to take a bath and go to bed. This mama has had a full day and now I have glue under all of my rings which is making for sticky typing!

9 Days

I have tried at least 5 times to write an update, even just a little one; but I am so nervous that I can't seem to think of anything meaningful to say! We are 9 days from our dossier submission and I am so excited and a bit anxious as well that I am about to pop!

Today I have a Dr. appointment for a "Travel Workup." I think its kind of pointless as our Dr. has known for 6+ months where we are going and when, but I still have to come in today and have a UA specific appointment to get prescriptions to take with us LOL I have a list of medicine that I want to take with us and a list of suggestions to take for our new little one. I have to take my two little guys with me today because I couldn't find anyone to watch them while I went. I'm pretty used to taking them in places but I hate taking them to the DR. office b/c in general, we never get sick except for the week after we've been to the Dr. Why? Because my kids want to crawl on the floor, touch all of the surfaces, play with all of the toys in the waiting room and we always get stuck waiting at least 20 minutes with NOTHING for them to do but attempt to take the exam room apart, one piece at a time. SO, this is not a trip I am looking forward to! I am going to bribe them, shamelessly, with a promise of a milkshake if they can sit down for 5 whole minutes w/o touching the other or sqealing :-P

I am supposed to text Phillip once I arrive and figure out how far behind they are running and give him an estimate of what would be the most productive 30 minutes for him to use his lunch break and come help out with the kiddos. He is also supposed to get 2 shots today and I THINK I am getting one... We have had so many appointments that I have lost track, hah!

Well I am off to get ready and I am hopeful that since we have a morning appointment that MAYBE just maybe we can get in and out in less than an hour.

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