Thursday, March 31, 2011

SDA appointment

Today we had our SDA appointment, that is when we get our official referral for our child. Our appointment was scheduled for 10:00.  We were told somebody would come pick us up at 8:30, at 9:20 he still wasn't there, I started to get worried, so we called Nico to see when he was coming. He said he would call him, About 5 minutes later our doorbell rings, and Eugene is here, he is our driver today.

We were running late, so Eugene is walking as fast as he can and his legs are long, so we had to run to keep up with him. We get to the SDA building and were told to come right in. Usually Serge is there and maybe Yulia, but today it was just Eugene, he said Serge didn't come because he was nervous. Strange! Anyway, they got out our little girl's file and then asked us a few questions like what our family was like and why we wanted to adopt a child with special needs, then they told us her name and that she has down syndrome and that she has heart problems, all of which we knew. We were shown two baby pictures, one was more recent, she was so beautiful and happy in the picture. The other one was a newborn picture, but she wouldn't let us see it up close. After, I asked if we could trade pictures, because I brought the one I have. She almost gave it to me, but then changed her mind, so I asked if I could take pictures of them and she said no. I was surprised because most other families are allowed to do this. She said we can't have them until we proceed with the adoption, then we could get them. Knowing we wouldn't be coming back to the SDA, I was confused, so asked if we would be coming back, she laughed and said no, so I asked how we could get them. Eugene says he will get them for me, maybe he will, but I think I will never see them again. I was really upset about this, because we are going to be her parents and they belong to her, they will probably just go into some file and get forgotten about. Oh well, what can I do, at least we will have her. 

I am learning that I cannot expect anything, or compare to other people's stories and that we should just go with the flow. It is very difficult to actually live that way. 

Anyway, our appointment went great other than that part, and we will be picking up our referral tomorrow, but because it is the weekend we won't be able to go to dnepropetrovsk until Sunday. :( but, that is only4 days until we can meet her. 

I am feeling very taken advantage of here, like people think we have all kinds of money to spend. Yulia called us this afternoon and said she found an apartment for us that is 10 minutes walking distance from the orphanage and only $30 a night. We were so happy and praising God, then a few minutes later she calls back and says the person who agreed to $30 was talking to other people and changed her mind to $80 a night. That is such a huge difference and way over our budget. Plus from what we were told the amount that would be in a month is more than 4 times what middle class people get paid. Yulia said it is too much. We are still working on it, so please keep praying that wherever we end up is exactly where God wants us and is reasonable.

We did have a great day, despite those things. It really is ver nice here. I love the language and we can tell they truly love their children. It is just very different than our culture, but still fun. We found a park to take the kids, it was the coolest park I have ever been to, very old and kind of dangerous :),but very fun. We had to walk uphill,  about 20 minutes with many stairs to get there. I realized when I got to the top that I had to go to the bathroom, but there was no going back. I did make it though :). The kids had a blast, laughing and having more fun than ever before at a park, until Malika got hurt. Poor thing, she scraped up the entire left side of her face and her nose was bleeding. It will look so pretty tomorrow :). I took lots of pictures, too bad you can't see them. I can't figure out how to upload pictures from our iPad yet (note to all other adoptive families: bring a laptop, not an iPad). I think I can upload one at a time, so if I can I will put the important ones on here.

I know this is getting so long, but this is kind of a journal for me too. 

I just wanted to share with all of those who don't know already, Priscilla is not her real name, it is Irina (ear-ree-na). Priscilla was the name Reece's Rainbow gave her and we didn't know in the beginning, so that is what we put on our blog. We were told not to write it on public things, but now that it is private, I think it is ok. We will keep it Irina. We have to come up with a middle name by Monday. So fun! 

Oh, and thank you to all of you that left kind words and are praying for us, it really means a lot.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We are here

Yay! We finally have Internet. I was worried we wouldn't have access to it, but praise Jesus, it worked out.

We arrived yesterday afternoon. The kids did pretty well, not great, but good, considering how tired they were. They did wonderful until we got on the plane from D.C. To Munich. That flight was about 8 hours. We left about 5 pm and arrived at about 12:30 our time. Malika did really well, she slept about 4 hours. Justus didn't do so great. He tried to sleep, but was so uncomfortable and tired. He woke about 3 times and screamed, and it wasn't just a little scream, it was very embarrassing, but there wasn't anything I could do. He slept only about 2 hours. When he was awake he was great though, so it wasn't too bad. When we arrived in Munich, it was morning their time, so that threw all of us off. The kids did good and played. Our layover was about 6 hours there. I think they did better than us adults :). The last flight was to Kyiv, it was about 2hours, so not so bad, but none of us did good, we were all crying by the end. 

So, after we get here, we were on our way to our apartment and Serge, one of the facilitators calls and says he has bad news, we can't stay in the house we were planning on staying in where the orphanage is. He says we have too many people and we should have told them we were bringing so many people. It must have been mis-communication, because the lady who emailed about the house said it was fine. Anyway, he wasn't very nice on the phone and made it seem all my fault and that he couldn't find anything. I was pretty upset, but was trying really hard to trust in the Lord, because He did after all bring us this far. 

So, later he calls back and says there isn't much they could find, and how much were we expecting to pay, I said since I thought we were getting the house, we brought enough to pay about$30 to $40 a night. He said he couldn't do that and found something for $80 a night and it is a drive to the orphanage and would cost us $37 one way for a taxi. We would have to do that 4 times a day, so that would be around $260 a day in just rent and transportation. He said they would keep looking but he doesn't expect to find anything else. He said I could look myself. I have no idea how to look or where to look. Anyway, I was so upset and just cried. We can't afford that, plus that would make a very long day everyday and really hard on the kids. 

Gary and Lindsay Hagler came over right when I was crying so hard. They are adopting also. We were planning on sharing the house with them. Anyway, I'm So glad they came, they were very encouraging. Lindsay gave me a hug that was very much needed, and Gary encouraged me not to give up (at this point I seriously thought we made a mistake and was really thinking of going home). He said for them if they left they wouldn't be obeying God. I realized it would be the same for us. They got to Dnepropetrovsk today and said they would talk to Marina (our facilitator in region) and see what they could do for us.

Anyway, long story short, I cried most of the night, but morning did come :). When I got up, I prayed and read my bible and the Lord really encouraged me. I know God will provide, it may not look like what I think it will, it may be better! And whatever situation we are in, we trust in the Lord. He has gotten us this far through un-imaginable difficulties, He won't leave us stranded, and my hope is in that. 

Ok, this was way too long, I probably lost half of you:)

I will post pictures of our adventures so far in another post.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

2 days

We are leaving in 2 days. I have mixed feelings about all of this. One moment, I am extremely excited and can't wait, and then the next moment is a very overwhelmed feeling. I would say a feeling of dread, but it is not quite that. I can't explain it. I am so so happy to be finally meeting our little girl, and I absolutely cannot wait to see her, hug her, kiss her and just let her know how much I love her, so it isn't that.

We are taking our kids with us, so part of the reason that I think I have mixed feelings about all of this, is that part. Maybe it is the unknown. Not knowing how they will handle any of it. Not knowing if they will be allowed to go to the orphanage, or if they will just be bored while we are there.

My plan is to just stay the whole time, until we can bring our little girl home, but Josh won't be able to stay the whole time. So, I'm not looking forward to being there without him. We are taking a friend with us to help with the kids, so I won't be totally alone.

And then there are all the negative comments, or people "warning" me about taking the children. I know most are in good heart. But, it still makes me re-think our decision. In the beginning of our adoption process, we prayed about taking them, and decided that for our family, this was best. I would rather take the children and it be hard and make the best of it, than to leave them and it be emotionally hard. Besides, children are so adaptable, I don't think this will even phase them much, as long as they are with us. And I have been talking to other families who have taken their young children and they were grateful they took them.

Anyway, I'm not complaining about it, I'm just pouring out my heart. So, please be praying for us. Pray for safety on all of us and that the children will be happy and adapt well to all the differences and the time change.

And please, please, only leave positive comments. We have the plane tickets bought, our minds are made up and our bags our packed, we won't be changing our minds, we are ALL definitely leaving in 2 days. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank you

I just want to say thank you to all of our wonderful family and friends who have donated their time or money to help us. We are completely blessed by everyone's generosity. It has been amazing to see how God has provided for us since we began this journey. When God said $25,000 is like 25 cents to Him, I really did believe and have faith, but I still laid awake at night thinking of all kinds of fundraisers. I learned very quickly that when God says He will provide, He means it. The wonderful thing is, we didn't have to do all kinds of crazy things for the money, though I would have stood on the street corner and begged if it were the only way to bring our little girl home. But, I didn't have to. I am completely humbled by this too, because I know that many families are struggling to raise the money they need.

Once again, thank you. I have seen so many of our friends seflessly give, when I know they could use the money themselves. We are honored to have so many friends who stand behind us. you are just as much apart of this mission to save an orphan as we are.

If you wonder how much we have saved, it is a little over $30,000. This is combined what was given to us plus what we saved. I think it is a little more than what we need, but that is great, I would really like to get some things for the orphanage, and we would also like to bless another family, as we have been so greatly blessed.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My heart is broken...

for this poor sweet little girl. Her name is Carrington, she was recently adopted and brought home.

She is the same age as Malika, but she only weighs 11 pounds! I sit here with tears running down my face thinking of this sweet little angel. She is in the hospital right now, because of malnutrition. This poor little girl has suffered so much, because she was thought of as worthless. How in the world can somebody look at a little child as worthless? It is so beyond me. Animals are treated better than this.

Here are some posts about her if you would like to read more about her story and see pictures of this little baby.

Please, please pray for sweet little Carrington. Pray that she will hold on longer and that she will start to gain strength. Pray that she will know what it is to be in a family that truly cares for her. Pray that her memories will be of kisses and laughter, not of hate and loneliness.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our waiting for you book

This is the photo book that I made to take with us.

If you are adopting and unsure what kind of photo album to take, maybe this will give you an idea. I don't know what others have done, but I think ours is pretty nice. It only costs $13 too, so it was pretty cheap.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I love Malika

This morning Malika was looking at my blog and saw two pictures of our little girl. She said "Look there are two "Priscillas", I'm going to have two "Priscillas", and Justus is going to have two "priscillas", and mommy is going to have two "priscillas" and Lilly(this is her baby doll) is going to have two "priscillas"

I love it, she is so sweet. She talks about her all the time. I think they really will be the best of friends. I can't wait for them to meet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Going private

Since we will be traveling soon, I will be making my blog private while we are gone. If you want an invite to our blog, please send me an email or put your email address in the comments section. I will probably make it private in about a week or so.

I am going to delete the replies after I get your email address, just to prevent you from being spammed. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Received our SDA appt!!!

We received our SDA appt for later in the month. We will be leaving in a couple weeks. I still have to book our plane tickets and so much more to do before we leave.

I am so very excited, we will be meeting our little girl soon.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I was trying to think of a title, and that is how I feel right now.

We are waiting to receive our travel dates and they still haven't come. I was expecting them sometime this week, like by yesterday, just going by other adoptive family's timelines. Well, I guess I should not have been doing all that expecting, because it is just a huge let down.

Please pray they will come soon. We are so ready to go and meet our baby girl.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I have been thinking of nothing but our little girl. All day, all night. When I am awake at night, I think and pray for her. I have even been dreaming about her.

I had the strangest dream the other night. I went to pick her up at the orphanage, but since they weren't supposed to know that I know about her, it was all hush hush. I wasn't even supposed to be there. They wouldn't tell me which room she was in. And they asked me all kinds of questions about her, like her hair color, name, eye color. After that, I had to go search for her. I was afraid I wouldn't know which child she was, since the picture I have is old.

As I was walking down the hall trying to find her, they turned out all the lights. It was so dark, and I couldn't see where I was going. They were telling me they were going to call the police, so I knew I had to find her fast.

I went into this room. It was so bright in there. And there were two children in cribs. The first child looked more like her, with blond hair, but I knew it wasn't her. It was the other child. She looked so different though. She had very dark hair. And the funny thing was, she had hair all over her face. But, I still wanted her. I picked her up and fell instantly in love with her.

Then I woke up. Very strange. Not sure why I had that dream, probably what I ate the night before. :)

I just can not wait to go meet her. I think we will be leaving in about 3 weeks! I cannot believe it. I hope we are ready. But, of course, if we aren't, it won't matter. We are still going.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still here

We are still here. We have all been sick for the last 2 weeks, so I haven't been on here much.  We are still waiting on our travel dates. I am expecting them to come sometime next week. It won't be long and we will be going to get our little girl. I am both excited and nervous about it. Mostly excited, but just a little nervous because we are taking our children with us and I don't know how they will do on the flight. And I just learned that the town we are going to only has a grocery store, nothing else. Hmmm, it may be a very long trip, but we will make the best of it and enjoy it.

This week I have been working on going through all of Malika's old clothes to see what I have for Priscilla and what I need. I am very surprised at how many clothes have stains on it. Now, why in the world would I have saved all those stained clothes?

I wrote that yesterday, if it takes me this long to write one post, I wonder how long it will take me when I have more children. :)

Yesterday, I was reading a blog about an 11 year old little girl who raised $30,000 in ONE WEEK! to bring home an orphan. Can you believe it? Just one week! And she was only 11. Now she is raising money again for another child. I just think this is so amazing. She wrote a blog post about it on her mom's site and said she cries when she thinks of this little girl, who is 5 and will be sent to a mental institution. Her sister is 5 ( who was also adopted) and she can't imagine her being in a mental institution. I just can't believe all that she has done at only 11 years old. Most children I know at that age are more consumed with their own life than those around them. I'm not judging those kids, I was that way too. I just know that I want my children to be like this little girl. I want them to know there is a whole other world out there, and it isn't all about the here and the now.

I laid awake in bed last night just thinking about our little girl. I am just so excited we will be bringing her home soon. I also was thinking about the awfulness of a child going to a mental institution. I read this excerpt from another blog about what it is like when a child leaves their baby orphanage for the mental institution :

 One morning a child wakes up in the only home they have ever known, a baby house, or orphanage for children from birth to age four or five. The child is dressed by their caregivers for the last time, put on a bus and driven out in the countryside to a hidden mental institution for children and adults. I have heard that sometimes they shave their heads when they arrive so that they do not have to deal with their hair. The child is placed in a room with lots of other kids all the way up to teenagers and even adults. There are no toys, no books, no baby dolls, no toy trucks or trains, no TV, NOTHING. There is probably one caregiver for every 20-30 children. Sometimes the children are tied to their beds so that no one has to supervise them. No one really talks to them and no one shows them any affection at all. Their only interaction is usually with the other special needs children who have varying degrees of needs from very mild CP to profound mental delays. Whatever they knew when they arrived at the institution they quickly lose. They begin to rock back and forth to give themselves some sort of stimulation. Some children claw at their own skin and eyes. Many will die from a lack of nutrition, medical care, neglect, human touch and love.

I have just been haunted with these images in my head. I imagined my children having to go. It would have been a very real thing for Priscilla in two years. I am so grateful that they won't have to go. I am so glad that we are able to rescue her before this would have become a reality. But, it is still a very real future and daily life for many other children. There are 163 million orphans in the world! 163 MILLION!! We are saving one, but what of the others. 

What can you do? Don't just sit there and do nothing. There is so much to be done. Pray that God will show you.