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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Waiting For You

I-600A is on its way!

Our home study was done last week once our background checks came back. I received the originals on Saturday and mailed one copy with our I-600A to USCIS on Monday!  Pray for favor with our approval officer.


The deadline for paying hosting fees for D is looming...  if anyone would like to help us out, here is the link to make a donation!  We still need $1700.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Our Fingerprints!

Guess who will have a home study headed to USCIS by the end of the week??? WE WILL.

Phillip's prints came back yesterday and mine came back today!  Yep, Mr. Hole in the finger's prints came back a day before mine.  Maybe because our agency included a super cool letter explaining that he suffered an injury at work...  mine were just perfection as usual.   

Thank you F.B.I. for pushing these non-criminals' prints through like a boss ;-) We had a turnaround time of 3 business days as opposed to the month it usually takes. 

Thanks for the prayers everyone!!

God is the bomb.com.

Yes.  I saw that phrase somewhere and was waiting for a chance to use it.  Hah!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A ride for my posse

Remember a while back on the post I wrote announcing we had decided to adopt our boys?  

I said,

"My one condition in this was to tell God that at 27 years old I am too young to drive a 12 passenger van.  I just cannot drive something that hideous in my 20s, God. 
Seven children?  Ok. 
But please give me something cute or really beast to haul them around in?  Ok? 
You are the God of heaven and earth and I know on top of everything else, you've got this too." 

Was I being a bit picky?  Maybe... but for several reasons, I just really did not want a van despite my husband insisting that "Then we could fit even more in it."  What!?  

Anyways...  we've been looking for a Suburban with 9 seats.  They are expensive and hard to find and we just weren't having any luck.

Then the other day a guy Phillip works with came up to him at work and asked if he could take a look at what was wrong with his Suburban. (Phillip is a mechanic who really can fix anything)  It turns out that what the guy really wanted was to sell it for what he had left to pay on it, which was much less than what it is actually worth and only a fraction more than what we just sold my husband's truck for several weeks ago.

And that is how I became the new owner of a 9 passenger, black beast complete with leather interior and an entertainment package.  

So yeah, God pretty much rocks my socks off.  


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Have you seen!?

Our AdoptTogether Fund is linked to my email.  When people make a donation, it sends me an email.

Today we were sitting in a membership class at church.  You might have guessed from my recent post series that we may have been seeking a new church.  Well we found it, and today we were sitting in the membership class!  During a break, I checked my email.  "Oh sweet, one from AdoptTogether.  Its been almost a week since our last donation."  So, I touched the screen to see what the amount was and...

SUCKED IN A HUGE BREATH OF AIR and exclaimed "HOLY CRAP! LOOK!" to my husband.

Oh yeah... we're in a room full of people that we don't really know well... at church.

Our eyes were about to bug out of our heads as we sat there in shock at the donation amount.


There is a bit of a backstory to this....  a few weeks ago my husband got a call from the HR dept. at work.  They basically told him that 2 years ago when we adopted "M" and they gave us the adoption assistance credit, they shorted us $6500.  Somehow they just figured it out, so they were including it on his next paycheck.  WHAT!?

We just got that amount last week, adjusted the amount needed on our AdoptTogether profile and decided that even though we definitely could use all of the money, we felt that God had a specific plan for us to give away 10% of it.

We prayed about it and waited a few days.  One day it became very clear where the money was to go so we put it there.  I don't know if we've ever just given away $650 like that and certainly not when we were fundraising for our own adoption BUT we both knew it was what God wanted us to do, so we did.

Malachi 3:10
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it."


See?  You canNOT out-give God.

The Costs of Adoption Part 3

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

I've highlighted two areas in my previous post that an adoptive family could potentially lose when they start down the road to adoption.  Part 1 was their church, Part 2 was their family relationships.

This one is about friends.

Everyone has friends.  Some people have many friends and some people have just a few.  I think that with a drastic life change of any sort be it birth or adoption, friendships can become strained.  

Once a family is home with their newly adopted child, their lifestyle may take a drastic turn from what it once was, at least for a while.  Friendships that were dependent on their ability to attend events, parties, and church functions might become strained.  Your friends may not understand why you are suddenly unavailable... after all, you didn't have a baby!  You brought home a child! 

Your priorities might also change.  If you saw things when you were adopting that broke your heart and changed how you view the world, then things that used to be important to you and your friends are suddenly only important to your friends.  

You might find yourself stuck in your house with a child that needs their world kept small for longer than what seems "normal" to everyone else.  You may have a laundry list of things you need to do for this child that had nothing done for them for many years.  It may seem overwhelming and just the thought of even trying to add a playdate to your week may make you crumple up and cry so you try to explain why you cannot... but it ends up just sounding like a lame excuse.  

Your friends are probably just like you were.  They have "normal" kids whom they have loved since birth.  They do not understand how it could be a bad thing that your new child wants to crawl in their lap and hug them.  They might think its endearing that your new child is "so sweet" and "social" and think your requests of resisting and not returning affection are crazy.  They have probably never dealt with control issues and don't recognize sly requests for other food items at mealtimes or refusal to eat as manipulative behaviors and try to accommodate your new child after you already gave an answer thereby undermining you and completely stressing you out on what was supposed to be a "fun" afternoon out of the house.

Some friends, the rare and valuable ones, will listen as you explain.  They will not think you are insane.  They will respect your wishes and stick by you even when you act a little nuts as you figure this new life out.

Many though, just will no longer "get" you.  At a time when you are having a hard time getting yourself, they will decide that you have gone off the deep end and they will move on.  When you excitedly mention that you are thinking of doing this again sometime, they will ask you things like, "Are you are a glutton for punishment?"  And you will realize as you stand open mouthed with no words coming out, that this friendship that you once deemed so valuable is just another "cost" of adoption.

You have found something precious and valuable in fighting for the life of a child, and you realize that the life that you once had is no longer yours nor is it where you really want to be anymore.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

FBI Background Checks

Our FBI clearances didn't come back yesterday.  Please pray with us that they will come in Monday so our social worker can sign off on our home study and we can get it to USCIS!

The Costs of Adoption Part 2

Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

This is part 2 of a series of posts I am writing on the costs of adoption.  After walking this path once, I feel like I should write about some of the struggles we faced.  Reading other people's blogs who didn't sugar coat things has been a great source of comfort for me. I figured it was time to return the favor.  Click here to read Part 1.

When people first feel that call to adopt, they are excited and apprehensive at the same time.  "Can we do this?"  "Isn't adoption something only people with lots of money do?"  Those are things I thought, but after doing some fairly extensive research, I realize that most often the people who adopt are not rich, rather far from it.  They are not specially equipped.  They are just people who see children without families and realize they have room for more.

After reading about the stigma that children with special needs are viewed with in Eastern Europe, we felt very strongly led to adopt a child that would not otherwise be chosen in their own country.  We did not have experience with special needs, but when looking at the mental institutions these children are shipped off to as young as age 4, we knew we could certainly provide a life better than that.  We not only knew we could do it, once realizing the fate these precious children faced, we felt a responsibility.  How could we live the rest of our life in comfort when children DIE simply because no one cares?

These were the thoughts and realizations we had when we decided to tell our families that we were adopting.  We were tingling with excitement.  We were scared to death.  This was a huge leap of faith for us.  We had to wait for a paycheck to clear the bank so we could pay the first installment of our home study.  We had no extra money!  Eeeeek!  But we were sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was what God wanted us to do.

So, we told our families, our friends, and our church family.  Now, if we expected people to be jumping up and down excited for us, we were surely disappointed.  Some of them took the news like we had just announced we would be painting our bathroom blue.  

We also got a few comments of, "I don't understand why you don't just adopt one from here."  

A few people begged us to please research how damaged these children in orphanages were.  "There is something wrong with them! There is a reason they are there."  

The one I heard the most was, "Will you be able to get medical information before you bring them home?"  "I sure hope you get a healthy one."  

We were completely shocked. What are we talking about here?  Children?  Or animals?

To be honest, I'd rather the questioning comments.  At least they gave us a chance to explain a little bit more about WHY we choosing to adopt.  It was the people who said nothing that hurt the most.  They didn't ask how our process was going.  They didn't show any interest.  They never congratulated us on our decision, offered to pray for us, or asked how they could help.  They would look away and pretend we didn't say anything when we tried to talk about it because lets face it -- we were excited but it was all new and a bit scary!  We wanted to talk about it and share our joy.  As time went on though, we became afraid to share any of the hard.  We wanted them to understand why we were adopting, not give them a reason why we should not.

It took us about 14 months from the time we made our decision to the time we brought Mariah home.  If we thought the paper chase and fundraising was difficult without the support of our family coming alongside us, the adjustment once home was pure hell.  

I drove myself and my boys to the airport when Phillip and M finally arrived from Ukraine, bringing only one of my brothers with me to help me navigate the GPS.  Not one person came to greet us at the airport.  Phillip had been awake for 3 days straight traveling in Ukraine, up at night with a screaming M and flying for nearly a full day.  He had to drive us home because I got lost in the dark and started crying.  My cousin and his wife brought us dinner that first night home and I remember them as being the only people to even offer us a meal.  They hold a special place in my heart for caring enough to drive an hour to deliver it.  M wouldn't eat anything though and screamed herself to sleep that night.  I wanted to cry.  My vision of being greeted at the airport by those who loved us most and coming home to put M in her adorable pink crib for the first time was gone.  

That was how our first night as family went, and that pretty much set the tone for the next year.  To our surprise, people expected us to bring our newly adopted, non-mobile, attachment compromised child to their house to visit them.  Yes, people got offended that we did not.      

M cried hourly at night for several months.  It was like having a newborn only we had no bond with her yet.  We were not a comfort to her and she was not a sweet cuddly baby to us.  It was HARD.  We had held off on having Christmas with our kids until New Years Day because we had been on two different continents on December 25th.  We had hoped to have family come over and celebrate with us as a family of 5 while the kids opened presents.  One grandparent came.  Owch.  No one else could be bothered to come see the newest member of our family.  

I have never felt so isolated and abandoned in all of my life as I did after we brought M home.  There were days when she would have vomited her food all over the table or peed in the floor for the 7th time that I just wanted to scream.  And then someone would call and ask why we hadn't brought her to see them yet?  "When are you going to come over?"  When am I going to come over!??  I can't even make it to the store!    

I had to carry her everywhere because she could not walk and we couldn't get her into the CP clinic for months.  Just a simple trip to the grocery store was like running a marathon.  I had a 2 year old and two 4 year olds, one who could run and did!  And one who had to be carried but still tried to grab people to hug or kiss them every chance she got.  She would scream if I got out of the van to pump gas or check the mail and she seemed petrified of the building where W attended preschool.  

I began to realize that no one in my family was ever going to help me.  They didn't understand why we had adopted a child "like that" to begin with and they felt that we got what we asked for so we should be happy about it.  To be honest, I was so stressed out from the unexpected difficulties of bonding, attachment, and control issues that I didn't even know how to ask for help without making M sound horrible.  She was driving me crazy, but I didn't want anyone to know that.  I didn't want to be the one to give adoption and "those children" a bad name because deep down inside of me, I didn't regret adopting her one little bit.  I regretted my feelings and some of my actions in response to her behaviors; I felt like a failure, but I didn't regret her.

As time went on and I found a support group online of adoptive mama's who had also adopted kiddos from hard places, we began to have good days.  And then good days in a row.  Then we even had long stretches of good days without bad days!  We started therapy, and got M a walker and AFOs.  I began to feel like I had just stuck my head up out of the water after being held down for a very long time.  I was able to breath.  Sometimes.  

What I realized when I was able to look around was that no one had changed.  I HAD.  I just spent a year walking through hell and come out the other side, but no one knew.  Everyone expected us to just go on with life as normal, but how could we?  

We had seen little faces, little legs in tattered clothes, little feet with too small shoes, and been asked if we were mama and papa?  We had brought a child back that had longed for a family but had no idea how to behave in one.  We had taken a child so long neglected and struggled through how to help her and while for many many months we thought we were failing, we finally won.  

But who was there to see?  Who knew how hard we had fought for her?  Who knew how many nights I sat and cried after the kids were in bed because I felt like the worst mother and biggest failure?  Who was there to tell me that its OK!  "Bad moments don't make bad mama's." 

No one.

What we realized as we emerged from the trenches of post adoptive "warfare" was that we could do it again.  Isn't that crazy?  We just walked through the toughest time in our lives and all we could think about was the children who still had no one.  Maybe it was the struggle to love that made us realize how deep the pain of being abandoned really is and it broke our hearts.  Maybe it was the image of how we ourselves act yet Christ never gives up on loving us.    

What we also realized though was that some people just did not care what we were doing.  They viewed our adoption as our way to get a girl.  Just by simply choosing a path that didn't line up with what our families viewed as important, we lost their support.  Sure they still loved us, but they didn't want their lives to be inconvenienced by our decision so when our needs were inconvenient, they didn't want to hear about it and didn't want to accommodate us.  We went outside of "normal" and comfortable and just by doing that, left them behind.  They were very happy in their middle class American lifestyle and couldn't understand why we hadn't been.

If they didn't understand why we did it once, they certainly weren't supportive when we decided to host.  Its the silence that comes when you tell someone you love that God has called you to step out again that cuts the deepest.  There is a quote that says, "The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference."  That is the honest truth.   

So, if you are preparing to adopt, are in the midst of the process, or have already come home and are fighting back tears in the trenches by yourself; know that you are not alone!  

God tells us in Luke 14:16 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

I used to wonder what that verse meant.  How can God expect you hate your father and mother?  But now, I think what He means is that if you love God and step out to do what He has called you to, you may find that the love He has placed in your heart for Him will make the feelings you had for your family seem insignificant in comparison.  Perhaps you thought you needed their approval to be happy and succeed.  Perhaps you were deeply hurt by their lack of support but realized somewhere in the middle of it that God IS enough for you.  Perhaps the rejection you felt from your own family made you realize even more the rejection that orphans feel.  At some point you may have realized that the very people who's opinions used to mean everything to you just don't "get it" and you are able to walk away and continue on knowing that you have God's approval and that is all that truly matters in this life.  

So, with all of that said, adoption can cost you many of your family relationships. 

What that REALLY means is it costs you what you thought was important.  Finding something more important than trying to find favor in the eyes of others is not a bad thing.  What we should truly be striving for in this world is to obey God because if we do, then we will surely walk in His favor.

One thing we have found is that support will come to those who love God and walk according to His purpose.  It may not come from those you assumed it would, but it will come from people you do not expect.  It will come in the form of a dental hygienist who offers to pay for your host son's cleaning.  It will come in the form of extended family who don't really see you much but unexpectedly send a card with a large check or donate to your fundraiser.  It will come in the form of people you have never met just calling you out of the blue asking if they can finish paying your home study fees for you.  Adoption might cost you your immediate family in the sense that you once knew, but it will give you a deeper appreciation for the heart of God.

You cannot stay where you are and go with God. You cannot continue doing things your way and accomplish God’s purpose in His ways. Your thinking cannot come close to God’sthoughts. For you to do the will of God, you must adjust your life to Him, His purposes and His ways. – Henry Blackaby

Next in this series will be a post titled "The Costs of Adoption Part 3 - Friends."         


Friday, April 19, 2013

The last visit is in the books!

We had our 3rd and final social worker visit yesterday evening and it went great!  This means we won't see our social worker again until after our boys are all home and she comes to do our post placement visits.  She briefly chatted with the kids.  "W" and "Wy" wouldn't talk to her much at all, but "M" more than made up for it.  I think she would have talked all day!

We are still waiting to hear back about our fingerprints at the FBI...  praying... waiting... 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Picture day outfits. Adorable kid alert!

My kids like to choose their own outfits for picture day. They take it super serious.  I had to laugh... these outfits will make for some great fridge magnets!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Costs of Adoption - Part 1

I wrote a post in February detailing why international adoption is so expensive.  I laid out our entire fee schedule so people could understand just why we have to raise forty thousand dollars.

I've felt like I should write about this for some time now, but I haven't.  This may not be a popular post but I have come to realize that there are many others out there who have experienced similar situations and I feel like they need to hear it.

Today I want to write to those considering adoption, those in the first stages of adoption, those already home in the trenches of adjustment, and those who have been there, done that and are doing it again!

I want to write about what adoption can cost in terms of your comfort zone, your support system, your family, and your life, in relation to your church.

When we set out to adopt M in 2009, most people didn't understand why.

To be honest, we didn't really know "Why" either other than we very clearly felt God telling us to do it shortly after our second son was born.  The Bible very clearly says in James 1:27 that we are called to care for orphans.  Well, there are lots of orphans!  Our question was "Why are more people NOT?"  Clearly we are TOLD to do it!  I have never said that everyone should adopt, but anyone can read James 1:27 and see there is no qualifying clause.  It says "Pure and faultless religion before God the father is this, to care for orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself unspotted from the world."

There are many ways to care.  

People can honestly act like you have stuck them in the eye with something when you show them that verse.  Christian people.  They do not want to believe they too have been commanded to do something as crazy as caring for orphans because most are not.

In our experience, most people (within the church) don't really want to hear why you are adopting if you start talking about it being something that is not really a calling, but a step of obedience.  They want to tell you that you are "special" and that they could never do it because its "your calling."  They are happy in the belief that their "equally as important calling" is to make sure the styrofoam cups at church are kept in stock for those who want coffee on Sunday morning. (In my humble opinion, there is a huge difference between service, which is essential IN a church, and stepping out in faith in obedience when God calls you to a lifestyle that others view as extreme--but that is another post.I'm not in any way knocking those who serve.)

This is just Eastern Europe.
What will the church tell God they did about it?

Church is supposed to be so much more than Sunday morning.  Jesus came to save a dying world; He redeemed us; yet for some reason the church thinks they are following his example by showing up on Sunday and trying not to do anything "bad" during the week while children are dying on the other side of the world.

 The American church has been lied to about what is important in this life and due to our own lack of studying the Bible and truly seeking God's heart, we have believed that lie.

When you start expressing opinions like that, people can get offended.  You can get labeled as "Passionate" about your "Pet Project" and deemed a leech to the budget in your own church because your ideas for orphan care go outside the nice tidy box of "important church programs."  Oftentimes these sentiments come directly from those in leadership within the church.  The very people you thought would be offering support and coming alongside your family as you stepped out are the ones tearing you down.

They just don't know what they will do if people decide to give their money towards caring for and bringing orphans into families and not towards painting the scuff marks on the walls or landscaping the lawn?  The day people wake up and realize that new playground equipment and flashing lawn signs are not things Jesus demands of a church is a day that they will find themselves swimming against the tide in the American church.

The long and short of it is, adoption can cost you your church.  

Take heart though, because God didn't promise it would be easy.  He said that in this world we would have trouble.  The quandary most church going Christian families find themselves in though when they take that first timid step is that they expected the trouble from OUTSIDE of the church not in it.

Do not lose faith.  Perhaps God is using the indifferent or even hostile attitude at your current church to move you to a place where your family can more fully realize God's calling on your life.  Perhaps He has even better plans for you.  Perhaps He knew all along that you would not have what you needed to do what He has called you to in your current location so He used painful situations to move you.

The one thing I have learned as we have struggled with some of the costs of adoption over the past 2 years is that God never leaves us.  People may leave us.  Family may forget us.  Friends may abandon us.  Our church may reject us.  God promises to do what is best for us. 

Adoption may be costly, but we do not need to look very far in our Bibles to remember just how much Jesus thought we were worth.

Could we really be satisfied with doing less for others than He did for us?

My advice for those of you struggling with a situation like I have described here?  Seek God.  Pray that He will show you what to do.  If you truly are not finding the support that you need when you first go against the status quo, you can be sure that you will not find it once home when you may really need it.  Pray that God will show you what He wants you to do, and don't be afraid if His answer is move.

There is not only a church out there somewhere that you will want to attend, but that will see as valuable the gifts God has given you and the calling on your life to live out the gospel.  Somewhere out there is a church that is truly seeking the heart of God and sees valuable those who do the same.

Find it.   



Monday, April 15, 2013

FBI Fingerprint Drama

We have been trying to have our home study finished by this week.  We have our last social worker visit, and we were counting on our background clearances coming in so our social worker could wrap everything up and sign off on it and ship that bad boy off to USCIS.

Well, we got a call today from our agency and it was not good news.  The FBI sent our fingerprint cards back as unreadable.  I'm not sure what the deal was, but our local PD that has always done our fingerprints with a digital scanner called in a deputy who on that day, decided to use ink.  And he had us ink our own fingers and roll our own prints while he watched.  I was worried when we did it, but they looked ok to me...  turns out they weren't.  So after a month of waiting for our clearances we are back to square one.

I called at least 5 people trying to find someone to watch my kids so I could at least run out and get my prints re-done.  Nothing.  No one answered their phones.  No one called me back in time.  I cried...  this whole paper-chase is the equivalent of being pumped up on pregnancy hormones, let me tell ya.  Its even more heart wrenching this time around because we have MET our boys.  We have held them and loved them and sent them back.  Every teeny tiny little thing that costs us time just hurts my heart and causes alarms to start going off in my head, "If we can't finish this on time then we can't do *this* *this* or *this* on time either."  I was walking around the house talking myself out of sitting down to cry and might have kept muttering under my breath "Deal with it now and freak out later, Erin." over and over...

Sooo...we called the Police Department after my husband got home from work begging them to please let us come up there after normal fingerprinting hours so we could get our cards done and overnight them to our agency tomorrow.  Thankfully after waiting a little while, an officer was willing to do that for us so we jumped up from dinner and took all 3 kids to the police department to get our prints done.

They used the digital scanner again this time and printed the prints off on the cards so I am hopeful the FBI can use these!  The one thing I am worried about is that my husband actually tore a small piece of skin out of the pad of one of his fingertips at work today so his prints show a hole in that finger.  Ack!  Surely they can work around that, right?

Please pray with us that somehow our prints can be expedited.  We really don't have another month to spend waiting on them to come back...

We know that all things work together for good and that all things happen in God's time, BUT we also believe and have personally felt how strongly the devil will throw things at a family stepping out in faith.  We know God has this, but please pray for us.  We've been very blessed with some things like fundraising and a wonderful social worker, but really beaten down and discouraged in other ways at the same time.  Maybe in another post I will elaborate more on what adoption can cost a family and I'm not talking about the money.

We plan to overnight the cards in the morning to our agency and they will overnight them to the FBI.  Pray Pray Pray



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dossier checklist and grant applications! Oh my!

A glimpse into the paper-chase!

The Dossier Checklist

Applying for adoption grants is like completing a mini dossier each time.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An unexpected announcement

Adopting from Ukraine is well... unpredictable.

Due to some information we found out about one of our boys, it was very quickly deemed in everyone's best interest that we host D again this summer.  We weren't planning on hosting because we are planning to be in Ukraine shortly after summer ends... however life doesn't always go according to plan.

Other than the cost involved, we are very happy we will get to see our oldest boy again sooner than we thought.  This will probably end up being a good thing all the way around.  D will be able to learn more English and bond with us over the longer summer hosting period without having any extra competition for attention from his younger brothers.

We have already been fundraising for our adoption fees so there won't be any big fundraiser for this, but if you feel led to donate towards our (unexpected) hosting fee you can make a Paypal donation to PJOHNSON05@msn.com.  The amount we need to raise for hosting is currently $2100  $1855.

Photo credits: Sugga Plum Photography by Tracy Hilton 

Please keep us and our boys in your prayers.
We know God has this too. 

You can make a donation to our PayPal account if you feel led to help us raise the host fees!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Can't Hurry Love

We found this video tonight.  My husband had taken it and totally forgotten about it. "D" and I are dancing with the Wii.  Its pretty darn hilarious... really.  You should watch it.  "M" makes a surprise appearance that reminds me of Rizzo the Rat in Muppets Christmas Carol.

Just on a whim I googled the lyrics to the song.  I know it was not written about orphans, but it surely seems fitting to our situation right now.

You Can't Hurry Love

I need love, love
To ease my mind
I need to find, find someone to call mine
But mama said

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said love don't come easy
Its a game of give and take

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
You got to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

But how many heartaches
Must I stand before I find a love
To let me live again
Right now the only thing
That keeps me hangin on
When I feel my strength, yeah
Its almost gone
I remember mama said:

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said love don't come easy
Its a game of give and take

How long must I wait
How much more can I take
Before loneliness will cause my heart
Heart to break? 

No I can't bear to live my life alone
I grow impatient for a love to call my own
But when I feel that i, I can't go on
These precious words keeps me hangin on
I remember mama said:

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said love don't come easy
Its a game of give and take

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

No, love, love, don't come easy
But I keep on waiting
Anticipating for that soft voice
To talk to me at night
For some tender arms
To hold me tight
I keep waiting
I keep on waiting
But it aint easy
It aint easy
But mama said:

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Matching $500 Grant

Someone has offered our family a matching $500 grant HERE.

We are one of several families on the Mulligan Stew Giveaway but every dollar donated to us up to $500 is worth $2 right now AND you can still enter to win one of the $5000 worth of prizes that were donated to the giveaway!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Faith makes the impossible, possible.

According to my blog timeline (over there on the right) we sent in our home study application with the $300 fee on the 23rd of January.  One week and 2 days after our boys went back to Ukraine.

And that was the last fee we paid out of pocket.  We saw the $40,000 price tag that is made up of all the fees and travel expenses it takes to adopt four boys and we said, "Hey that's IMPOSSIBLE for us to do and God knows that.  He sees our bank account.  Yet, He asked us to do it anyways, so that means HE will provide the money for us to do it."  And yes, that was that.  We sent the application in on FAITH, knowing full well we did not have the money to even pay for the home study.

After fundraising for a few weeks and raising about half of the fees, someone called me a few weeks later wanting to give us $1000 towards it.  I cried.  BAM it was paid for.

  We have continued to fundraise with a Facebook auction and have been featured in the Mulligan Stew post (linked in the post below this).  Amazingly people have donated $5,650.  That is AWESOME!  We are so thankful and in awe of the people who have donated so graciously to us.


Our home study was $300+ $1900.

Our agency fee is $5,900.

We had only sent in $2000 with the agency agreement.  We just didn't have anymore and it was supposed to all be paid as one lump sum when we sent in the agreement.

I was worrying a little.  I try not to, but ya know its human nature.  So, I prayed about it.  A lot.  And I felt peace.  There is no sense worrying about something I cannot do, right?

Phillip texted me yesterday afternoon and said, "You are not going to believe the call I got from work." I was thinking uuuh ohhhh...

When he got home, he told me that the HR department had called him, asking questions about our adoption credit they gave us after we adopted Mariah.

It turns out that SOMEHOW they shorted us $6,500.  And they are including it on his next paycheck.


So from the 23rd of January to the 4th of April, God has brought in $12,150.  In TEN WEEKS.

I adjusted our Adopt Together Fund to reflect the lesser amount of money we now need to raise to $33,500.  We have raised $5,650 of that so the total we now need to raise is $27,850.

That's still a big chunk of change, but...


I know some people think we are absolutely CRAZY for jumping into this without knowing where the money will come from.  I can't think of any other way I'd rather do it!  We serve an AWESOME God.

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