Sunday, October 30, 2011

We have plane tickets!

We are so excited to be traveling in November! Please pray that our dossier is accepted because our visas expire at the end of November. This past week was incredibly stressful trying to get everything done in time. At one point, I was rushing to get to the agency office to get necessary signatures before the director had to leave for the day. I was exactly half an hour away, and she was leaving in half an hour. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest, and I did a lot of praying, begging, and pleading to God that I would get there in time. I was so thankful to make it there just in time!

The reason for our urgency is our little girl is severely malnourished, and we're very concerned about her health and emotional well being. Also, if we don't travel by the end of November, our visas will expire. The sooner we can get to Russia, the better.

We have been blessed to have family visiting for the past few days - Ryan's mom and his grandma Selma. They have been a welcome diversion from the stress of last week. We had a fun trip to a local pumpkin patch yesterday. At one point I thought they'd have to send in a search party to get us and the kids out of the corn maze, but we eventually made it out with both children accounted for.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to post pics of us at the pumpkin patch. I've never posted pics on my blog before, so hopefully I can figure it out!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Pity Party of One

Lately I've been having a pity party of one. We originally hoped to fly out to meet Elvira the first week in November, but due to circumstances outside our control, it's going to be at least a week later. I realize a week's difference may not seem like much, but it is to me. It means we will miss Elvira's second birthday.

When we got our initial travel date, I was sooo excited that we would get be there for her birthday. I wanted to bring her a cake, presents, and stickers for her friends at the orphanage. So when I realized we would miss her big day, I couldn't help but be disappointed. So I threw myself a pity party and cried it out.

As my sweet sister pointed out, there's no reason why we can't do the cake and presents a week later, and Elvira is probably too young to notice the difference. So I'm just going to trust in God that we will be there when the time is right and not one minute sooner or later.

A note on our fundraising: No, we have not received over $10,000 in contributions. I'm including $10,000 in tax credit money that we hope to receive. It depends on whether Congress changes the adoption tax laws for 2012, so it is not guaranteed.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why international adoption?

We have had a few people ask us why we are not adopting domestically, so I thought I would address that with this post. The simplest answer is we fell in love with this particular little girl and feel like she is ours and that God is telling us to go get her. But there are other, more complicated reasons as well. Most of the children available for adoption in the U.S. right now are older children. These children deserve families just as much as the younger ones, but since our children are both small, we did not want to disrupt the birth order by adopting a child older than our oldest child (3).

In the U.S. there is a 2-3 year wait to adopt a baby, so we just do not see as much of a need for babies and toddlers. We are so thankful to live in a country with a waiting list for babies who need homes! How amazing is that? We thought about doing foster to adopt because toddlers will frequently become available, but we were concerned about the emotional impact on our children of possibly having a 'sibling' go back to their birth parents.

So for us, at this time in our lives, we decided that international adoption was the best fit.

I have to say that it does hurt my heart when people ask me this question. I know they don't mean any harm and are genuinely curious. But because I already consider this little girl to be my daughter, it feels as if they are questioning whether she deserves a family, as if any child could be more deserving of love than another. And this brings out my mama bear instinct. I'm trying hard to reign that instinct in because I realize people don't know how this question makes me feel. Hopefully this explanation will head off a few of those questions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Newly committed

Our family just committed to adopt Elvira from Reece's Rainbow, a non-profit that finds homes for special needs orphans. Our story about how we made the decision to adopt her is posted on our Reece's Rainbow profile. You can view it by going to this URL:
The past 2 weeks we have been frantically running around trying to get our home study and visas done so we can make our first visit in the beginning of November. Please pray that everything gets done in time. We are feeling a lot of urgency about getting to "Elvira" (not her real name) soon.

When I think about the word 'committed', I can't help but think of its multiple meanings. We are making a commitment that many people feel we should be committed for. After all, we will have 3 children 3 and under. And many of the Reece's Rainbow children, if not adopted, will be committed to an adult mental hospital and bedbound for the rest of their lives simply for being different. Many of them have conditions that could be cured here or easily worked with. Many of the children with Down's could lead productive lives here if they were nurtured by a family. So if some people think we need to be committed for making this commitment, then we will gladly pay that price because we know that Christ paid a much higher price for us and these children.