Family Pic Nov 2015

Family Pic Nov 2015

Monday, November 29, 2010


Oh my goodness, we have busy.  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my brother near Chicago.  The highlights for the kids were the double decker train ride into the city and going to the top of the Sears tower.   My brother took us around to some great restaurants to experience some authentic Chicago cuisine.  Their hotdogs are awesome!  Thanksgiving day was spent having a traditional turkey feast, watching football and Christmas movies.  One of my favorite movies is Home Alone which was filmed in the Chicago area.  We took a day to drive up to see the house that was used in the movie.  Pretty neat.  Our daughter Kacey and I had our picture taken in front.....typical tourists ; )  All four kids were great as we traveled two days to get there and two days back.  We had some snow falling the morning we left Akron, Ohio.

Even during our trip, the adoption process continued on.  We had our new CSP forms to include both kids notorized and even had them apostilled while we were in downtown Chicago.  We got the forms approved and fed-exed them to Ukraine the morning we left Ohio.  We really don't want to waste any time!

The only other new information we have to share at this time is what we have finally decided to name these two precious children.   First, Julia is going to stay Julia.  We found out this was not her real name, but have decided to make this her first name since so many people have been and continue to follow her journey.  She is known to the world as Julia and it's such a pretty name for her.  And we have chosen Adeye as her middle name.  Most of you know that we found Julia through Adeye and the heartfelt plea she made for her on her blog.  She has seen and played with her while she was in Ukraine adopting her Hailee and Harper.  Her love for her brought her to us and we are so thankful for her heart.  Without her we may never have found Julia.  We will always remember Adeye as the one God used to bring Julia to us.  So it seems so perfect that we make Adeye part of her name.   Julia Adeye Schwenzer.

Sergey is a great name.  We have struggled with whether to keep this his name or change it.  He is almost 6 years old and we're sure he identifies with it.  But we want him also to have an identity with our family and the country he will come to know and live in.  So we came up with the name Aaron.  It means "mountain of strength."  When we look at the pictures and videos of him, we can see the potential this happy, laughing little boy has.  One physical therapist that visited the orphanage even said he has a good chance of learning to walk with assistance.  We trust that God will give him that mountain of strength!  But we also wanted to keep Sergey in his name.  So naturally we thought it would be a good idea to make Sergey his middle name.......except.......Aaron Sergey Schwenzer has a less than desirable set of initials : /  But we really didn't want to abandon the name Aaron.  Finally, we have decided to name him Sergey Aaron Schwenzer and call him by his middle name, Aaron.

Kacey, Ethan, Aaron, Julia, Regan, and Evan.    Love it.

I guess when we get a chance we should update the header, but I'm not sure how to do it yet.....stay tuned : )
Please keep praying that the adoptions in EE continue, especially for all the special needs children.  We are hoping and praying for our dossier to be complete and sent out before Christmas.

Friday, November 19, 2010

This is something we ALL can do!!

As many of you know, we are trying to adopt two children with special needs from Ukraine.  Sweet Julia is diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome (CS) which is characterized by premature aging. Children with CS usually pass away between 4-7 years of age. She is almost 4. She is on borrowed time. Our little boy Sergey has cerebral palsy and will be 6 years old in February. This is when he would be transferred to a mental institution where conditions will be much worse for him. We cannot delay getting these two precious children home to us. Ukraine is trying to pass a law which would stop ALL international adoptions. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use the link from this blog post below to get the form letter that you can send to the Congressmen and Senators in your state. There is even a link for you to contact them easily! PLEASE take a few minutes to help save these precious children!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another little one for us!!!

I know this is new news to many of you and that it has been a while since we have posted.  A lot has been going on and we wanted to wait until it was official.  We are going to adopt another child from the same orphanage that Julia is in.  His name is Sergey (not sure if this is his real name yet) and he is 5 years old with cerebral palsy.  God has placed it on our hearts to bring him home too.  With all the paperwork, travel and money, I asked Andrea from Reece's Rainbow how much it would cost to adopt another child from the same orphanage.  Less than $5000 is the ransom for this little boy!!!  One child is around $24K, so this was incredible to us.  Most of the paperwork is the same and already done....a few more to duplicate.  Anyways, before even asking Andrea this, I had searched her site to look at the children who are in this same place.  I found this little boy and his happy smile captured my heart.  He will be 6 this Feb. 12 and would be moved to a mental institution at this point.  An American PT who visited him wrote he is well-behaved, patient, bonded well with caregivers, has good potential to walk with assistance, and was joking with everyone.  This kid has potential!!!  I will post pictures of him soon.  He's adorable! Some of you may think Steve and I have completely lost our minds, but truly....the God we serve is way bigger than all of this.  This is His plan as He has placed this on our hearts.  He is another soul that will come to know Jesus.  We are only a little nervous, but faithful that God will provide us with all that we need to accomplish this adoption and love and care for both of these children as well as our first four ; )  Please continue to keep us all in your prayers.  Thanks so much!!

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Monday, November 8, 2010

Please Pray...

I can't describe what I am feeling right now. We learned this past weekend that the EE country we are trying to adopt from is attempting to put on hold all foreign adoptions. I can't understand how those in charge see this as helping those poor kids. It's already killing me inside that we can't get over there now to get Julia, that we will have to wait until February or March. If this law passes, it's completely up in the air as to when we would be able to get her, if we would be able to get her. Please, pray without ceasing on this one.

Adoption Notice

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

November 3, 2010

The Ukrainian legislature is in the process of voting on a bill that would suspend all intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements with Ukraine, including adoptions from the United States. The bill passed a first reading and vote, but must still pass a second reading and be signed into law by the president. The second reading could take place in the next few weeks. If the bill passes the second reading, it may be signed into law as early as the end of 2010. The draft bill appears to include suspension of all adoptions in progress.

The Department is will post updates as information becomes available.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Sunday Blessings

Sunday was amazing. We got the chance to introduce our church family to our new little girl, Julia. And, we got to meet the most amazing woman and her family. The woman who introduced us to sweet Julia, Adeye, brought her whole family from the Richmond area up to Fredericksburg. When the Salems walked into the church, I truly felt like family had just arrived. We exchanged hugs and were introduced to all the kids. What a good looking family! Kacey fell in love with Hailee and Harper the second she got her hands on them. She was a little upset because she only had about 10 minutes to love on them before she had to leave to go to Nutcracker practice. Hopefully, she will get to see them again this Saturday when we head over to a mutual friend's house in Richmond.

After the introductions, a light lunch was served. Once people sat back down, it was my turn. I hate speaking in front of people. I know, how unusual. I decided to introduce our church family to Julia the same way we had learned of reading the amazing words put forth by Adeye. I figured enough time had passed since I first read those words that I could get through it without crying. Not so much. I lost it, there up in front of everyone. It took a good long time and a lot of tears before I finished. I think people got a good idea of how much we love Julia and how passionate we are to get her home. It didn't escape me that most of the gathering had tears in their eyes. I then explained the high costs involved in adoption and how Thrivent Financial for Lutherans had set up a matching fund to match up to $1600. What a blessing!

Our Thrivent representative, Wayne Sprick, then came up to say a few words. It was very touching to hear him verbalize how he saw our passion and our love. I am so appreciative of his words and what he has done for us. Once he was done, I asked if anyone had any questions. The pastor's wife asked if Adeye could come up and speak a little about the whole adoption process. Poor Adeye...I totally put her on the spot and asked her to come up. She was a champ. She speaks as well as she writes! She did a great job.

We ended by all joining hands in a big circle around the fellowship hall and one of our good friends Ruth led us all in a beautiful prayer for us and Julia.

I want to thank everyone who came out to the lunch and who shared God's blessings with us. After the free will offering and the matching, we raised $4400 towards bringing Julia home. Thank you, Lord. And, I want to especially thank all those who are praying for us and Julia. My heart aches to have that beautiful little girl in my arms.

The Schwenzer family is going to take a short break from the world as we are heading down to Pocahontas State Park for a quiet weekend of camping. I can't wait for the quiet serenity. It will be much appreciated.

We will hold you soon, Julia. Stay strong...we love you!