Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm sitting here thinking about the new year. Tonight my newest baby is far away. He doesn't understand that his mama and papa are moving mountains (of paperwork) to get him home. He doesn't know that he has a sister and two brothers that are excited to meet him. He has no way was comprehending the how his life will change in just a few short months. He will be loved and cared for in ways that are not open to him in Russia. He will have educational opportunities, friends, a chance to become a productive member of society, and a chance to live and never be considered "less than."

There are children all over the world who will never have that chance unless we do something about it. Children who will be shamed and abused. Children who will be abandoned to mental institutions instead of nurtured to their best ability. They will not have the medical treatments they so desperately need to make their live productive-- things like hearing aids, prosthetic limbs and education for the blind. Some kids will make it and some will be scarred . Some will die due to lack of love and care.

Tonight I'm asking everyone to think about what they can do.

Can you open you heart and home to one of God's forgotten children? We are so much stronger that we think. You don't have to be Super man or Mother Teresa to adopt a child with special needs. I'm sure not. If you had asked me two years ago if I though I would be adopting a child from Russia with life long medical needs, I wouldn't have believed it. And yet looking back, I can see how God prepared me for it through the people we met and the circumstances we've encountered.

Can you financially support another family's adoption? Did you know that there are adoption grants to help families pay for their adoptions. Brittany's Hope and Reece's Rainbow are organizations that help defray the initial adoption costs.

Finally, if those options are not open to you, consider "spiritually adopting" a child. Pick a child and pray for him. Pray that he has enough to eat. Someone to comfort him in the night. Good doctors to care for him. A family to love him forever. No prayer is wasted. Ever.

(All of these kids need a home and your prayers)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Everyone! May the peace of Jesus Christ be with you throughout this year.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. We did. I am always torn around holidays. Our families live so far away and traveling is a HUGE pain, but staying home just doesn't feel like a holiday. There is no hustle and bustle and a thousand kids and hugs and kisses.

Anyway, we stayed home this year and it was lovely (even though we were by ourselves). The present opening lasted all day. Of course, first thing in the morning the children got up to see what Santa got them. All of his offering were well received. Pookie got a doll strolled and some big girl panties. (I'm not sure what she will do with them since she refuses to sit on the potty right now. GRRRR) Jophus was offered a really great sled and a Scooby Doo board game. Wonder Boy also received a nice new sleeping bag for his scouting adventures and a book. Charlie and I received items that we really needed, mostly for reenacting-- not like socks and underwear, and would have had to buy anyway. It's so nice when Santa get you that kind of stuff.

After church the kids had a big snack and a rest while Charlie and I began to cook Christmas dinner. The kids did a great job helping us plan the meal and even preparing it. On the menu was duck, a roasted beet and goat cheese salad (their choice, honestly) wild rice stuffing and candies sweet potato wedges. We had a creme brule and roasted pear tart for dessert. Yum!

Christmas dinner was about three o'clock and after that we opened the rest of the gifts. Jophus loved his puzzle from his god parents and then came the big gift from their grandparents. They each opened a big box and . . .
(I was expecting screaming and shouting)
. . . what i got was stunned confusion.
"Wii? This won't work," says WB. "We don't have a Wii system."
"This is the system." I say smiling. It took a while for them to understand that they were really going to get to have a Wii, I think because I am not a huge computer or video game person and thus far had declined to let them have anything. They have had a blast the past two days playing around on it.

Now for the very best. I got a new sewing machine. My old one was worn out and not really up for the kind of sewing I'm starting to do. the new one is so pretty and has a case to keep it safe in. Yippee!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wonder Boy's best friend is in the paper

Two years ago Wonder Boy met a lovely little girl that we all adore. They quickly became best friends. (My diabolical plan is to keep her around until they are old enough to date. Shh, don't tell Wonder Boy. Seriously, we don't tease him because we don't want to him to not have a friend who is a girl.) Her family made to Detroit paper in an article that highlighted the religious importance of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tales from Wonder Boy

G and me were fishing when suddenly we both felt a tug on our rods. We both reeled in our rods. To our surprise, we had the same fish. So we had had our picture taken.

The End.
--Written by Wonder Boy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Smiles and Trials

Sunday was our 11th wedding anniversary. Sometimes I think "Wow! That's a long time. I can't have been married that long." Other times I can remember not being married. We had a great day and had a special lunch with the kids at the Eagle Tavern at Greenfield Village. The I had a great time learning about Christmas traditions from the oldest homes in the village through to the most modern. The rest of the family put up with me and we had a lovely day. After that we took in the sight of the Wayne County Lightfest. It is a huge light display that you can drive through. After that the plan was to have a small romantic dinner or dessert after the children went to bed.

You know what they say about the best laid plan?

I am fine, but on my way to the grocery store the was an accident in front of me. As I slowed in the road to see what had happened and how best to get around it, a car struck me from behind. Cop car and fire rescue come flying to us. Sadly all four vehicles had to be towed and now my car in smooshed in the back. Hopefully today we will have an estimate and see what it will take to get it back on the road. For now we have a low cost loaner and all is well.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Preparing for Court

We got our list of documents that have to be updated for court. It looks like court will be in February. Here's hoping that we'll be able to get the packet done ASAP so we can get this finalized!

Little Bit

We are going to have to find a new blog name for Little Bit. He's a big boy. I missed his current weight during the medical report, but he defiantly weights more than Pookie. (That's not really saying much since she's pretty tiny, but still.)

Suggestions are welcome!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back from Russia

On Monday we returned home from Russia, well we returned from Houston. We stayed a few extra days to visit with family. It was so great!

The trip was really long. Charlie calculated that he and I took 10 flights in two weeks. The day before Thanksgiving we flew with the three kids to Houston for the holiday and to visit my sister. On Saturday we flew from Houston to Amsterdam (9 hours) and then from Amsterdam to Moscow(three 1/2 hours). From there we changed airports and then flew to Stavropol (2 hours). All told we traveled about 20 hours.

We stayed in the Eurohotel, which I thought was really nice. Even better, the coordinator made all the arrangements and breakfast was included. There was also a nice shower and a hairdryer in the room. While these things were not mandatory, it was really nice not to have to worry with the details.

Our agency is affiliated with Frank and the Frank staff took suck great care of us. We were met by a translator in Moscow and put on the plane to Staropol. In Stavropol we were met by our regional translator. Baulina was there for everything we needed.

On Monday (day #1 in Russia) we met Little Bit and then met with the orphanage director to go over his medical information. We went back for a second visit in the afternoon. On Tuesday (day #2) we visited with Little bit once in the morning and once in the afternoon. That evening we had a meeting with our coordinator to let us know what to expect on trip two/ court. Wednesday (Day #3) we were not able to meet with Little Bit because we went to notary's office to sign the Petition to Adopt. In the evening we went for our last visit. We had to arrive late so it was shorted that usual.

Thursday we spent getting back to Moscow and we let early on Friday morning.

Little Bit seems emotionally normal and health. It took him a while to warm up to us, but was progressing. It was also comforting to see that when is caregivers came into the room he would light up. He clearly is attached to them. The speech therapist also took time to talk to us and let us know that although little Bit has some delays, she believes that they will be resolved once he is at home.

I was really impressed with the orphanage. The playroom we saw was very nice and the children also had music lessons once while we were there. At the end of the lesson a group of children about Little Bit's age came the the playroom. They were all well groomed and dressed.

We almost got to go into the area where Little Bit slept, but the caregivers nixed the idea. Too bad! It would have been great to see where he spent most of his time.

I have a new neice and nephew

The day before Thanksgiving our family was blessed with two beautiful babies. My sister delivered Thumbelina and Chill with no complications. Even though they are twins they were just over and just under 6 pounds and perfectly healthy.

God is good!

Jophus lost his first tooth

Wednesday was very exciting for us. Jophus lost his first tooth at the skating rink. His front two teeth we soooooooo ready to fall out. And finally he wiggled it right out. Later that evening he was showing he the gap me had and I noticed the other one was sitting crooked.
Mom: You know you can just pull that out?
J: How?
Mom: Just pull it out.
J: Like this?

And out it came. My boy looks so big.