Family Pic Nov 2015

Family Pic Nov 2015

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One less more blessing

In the winter of 2005 we met the Robbins family who had recently started worshiping at our church.  Ruth and I very quickly became great friends. In a short time, it seemed like we had known each other forever.  Ruth's husband, Chris was in the Marine Corp and they had just moved to Virginia from Hawaii.   At the time, they had one little boy Ty, who was the same age as our son Ethan.  Both were born in September of 2004 and so we had an instant connection having 4 month old baby boys.  Ethan and Ty would grow up together from this time on and are best buddies to this day.

Ruth and Chris Robbins

This was the beginning of a strong friendship between our families.  It is a friendship that I believe is an immense blessing for both of our families as we have intimately been there for each other through the trials and tribulations of child rearing, the painful experiences of multiple miscarriages for both Ruth and I, the uncertainties that come with being a military family, the tragedy of the loss of a close family member, and many other everyday struggles and joys in marriage, family, and life.

Today, Ruth and Chris have three adorable boys.  Ty is 7, Levi is 3, and little Seth is 1.  Our children have spent so much time together.  We have many sleepovers, often swapping children around between our two households.  We have included each other on family vacations and many birthdays and holidays are sure to involve our families being together.

Ty, Seth, and Levi

While some thought we were crazy when we initially committed to adopt Julia and shortly thereafter, Aaron, the Robbins family were one of our first and biggest supporters.  I remember the morning after I had read this post where I first learned about Julia, I could not stop crying.  Everything in me ached to go get this little girl.  I had never experienced anything like this before.  I was overwhelmed in reading about Julia's conditions and completely convicted that this little girl needed to be rescued by us.  And my husband was just as quickly moved that this was something we had to do.

It was a very scary experience and it happened so fast.  Instantly we knew our lives were never going to be the same.  I was on the phone with Ruth, sobbing, trying to make sense of it all.  Were we crazy?  How were we going to do this?  What was everyone else going to think and say?  Should we care?  Were we really supposed to do this?  Were we being rational?  Were we hearing God right?  I was all over the map.  But Ruth is a mighty prayer warrior and my rock of sanity and truth, God's truth.  I always know I can rely on words of wisdom from her.  And on this day, she cried with me, prayed with me, and gave me the hope and strength to know that THIS WAS GOD!

Now today, I am thrilled to announce that they are embarking on their own adoption journey.  We rejoice and praise God that He has led them to a beautiful boy named "Walter, " listed on Reece's Rainbow.  They have recently learned that their church is hosting a fellowship dinner event on Monday, October 22 to help raise funds for this adoption.  To learn more about this event, how their journey led them to Walter, and follow their adoption story, I encourage you to visit their blog here.  So far they have raised $2629!  At this point, they anticipate needing $6000 before traveling, which should be sometime before the end of the year.  They need $3371 more.  Please prayerfully consider joining their church family in reaching this goal and bringing little Walter home to his forever family!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Last Day Before Heading Home

Today we had a pretty relaxing day.  Avery is doing much better.  She is learning our routines, our expectations, and disappovals.  She has also learned about how to use toilet paper when using the bathroom!  This is a big one.  She is also getting better at not using her shirt to wipe her mouth while eating.

I gave her a bath this morning.  She loves playing in the tub and this helps keep her occupied for quite some time.  I don't think she had her teeth brushed in the orphanage.  She has a considerable amount of plaque build up and when I brush her teeth, her gums bleed.  I already have a dentist appointment scheduled at home.  After her bath, I did two lessons of school with Ethan.  One of my reasons for bringing him was to get two weeks of school started with him.  We were able to complete 10 lessons.

We had lunch around noon and then a taxi driver named Denis, took us souvenier shopping and sightseeing.  Many of the pictures I took while driving around.  A few times, we stopped and got to take better pictures of more significant landmarks.

We got back to our apartment around 4pm.  For the rest of the evening, we are packing, finishing up leftovers for dinner, and hopefully getting to bed early.  We are being picked up at 4am for a 6:40 am flight.  We are scheduled to arrive at Dulles in Washington at 3pm.   Please keep us in prayer for safe travels and a cooperative Avery!!  Btw, she has totally acclimated to her new name : )

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tough day yesterday

Yesterday was a very tough day.  I didn't sleep much on the train here to Kiev.  And we spent most of the day running around to embassy appointment and medical appointment, not getting to our apartment until 3 in the afternoon.  No shower, not even able to brush our teeth.  While driving around, I buckled her up in the seatbelt and she did not like this.  She cried every time.  We even showed her that Ethan and I were buckled right next to her.  By the third time, she must have gotten used to the fact that I was not going to budge on this issue and she did not cry.  

Once we got back to our apartment, we had to keep our eye on her every second.  She is testing every limit.  We have dealt succussfully with a few temper tantrums.  She is learning to obey what we say.  I want to be home so much!   But one thing we learned with Aaron is that these days one on one are crucial to things running smoother once home.

Here are two pictures from dinner last night.  You can see she has stuffed her cheeks full of food in the second one.  She finishes every meal, even before Ethan.  And after she's finished, if one of us steps away from our food for just a second, she is after it!  She loved my spaghetti sauce.  There is only one food that she has turned down and that is a can of pineapples we had in Kharkov.  We didn't like them either, but we thought they must be really bad if she didn't want them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

We're Outta Here!

Hello all!  I can't write much, as I need to keep an eye on Avery.  Today is "gotcha day!"  We busted her out this morning, had lunch, Facetimed with family, and will be packing, having dinner and heading to the train this evening.  We are pretty much going though the same thing we did with Aaron....she is constantly touching everything, exploring everywhere, and never stops moving!  Only she can walk and therefore much quicker in some ways.

We decided to take the overnight train instead of express train so that I can contain her better in an individual sleeping compartment.  If she has one of her "fits" I can manage her better than in a train car full of people.  Since we have been back here on this second trip she has not had one episode of screaming.  Yay : )  We will be in Kiev for the rest of the week, taking care of her medical appointment, finishing paperwork at embassy, and acquiring her visa.  We travel home on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The blogger app on my ipad does not allow me to arrange the pictures in order, but I'm sure you all get the idea.....