Friday, April 27, 2012

So, I had lunch with a friend (DW) today who is moving out of state.  We were enjoying our last lunch together sitting outside in front of a restaurant where we could see everyone coming and going.  It was enjoyable...the weather was nearly perfect and the company was great!  We talked and talked and I watched people as we were talking.  I love watching people.  (I have about 4 hours in an airport this weekend -- MAJOR people watching opportunities abound at an airport!!)  So, I noticed a friend on the phone and just waved to her.  She waved back.  After she was done on the phone, she came over and said she needed to give me a phone number.  I got my phone out to put it in, but she said she didn't have it with her now, but wanted to give me the story for when she DOES get it to me.  Her dad has been in the hospital for some time and in that time has had a number of nurses.  One of them is from Poland (I'm pretty sure it was Poland...but in the excitement, I may have gotten that detail wrong...) which is not Sam/Yuri's country, but she understands his language quite well!!!  She said she doesn't speak it as well as she understands it, but if that's anything like our exchange students have been, she's nearly mastered the language!! (they always underestimate themselves!)  She had heard through visiting with this friend while she was tending to her dad that Sam/Yuri is coming soon and the nurse wants to help with translating for him!!  My friend said that this nurse is SO EXCITED to meet him!!  This is a woman I've never even met and she's so excited to meet our son and wants to help him adjust to our country!!  How crazy is that?? 

So I thanked that friend and then DW and I finished up lunch.  While we were sitting there chatting more, another friend (DF - this could get confusing!) came up with a friend of hers whom I've seen at my son's gymnastics classes, but had never met.  Adley was in a commercial for the gym yesterday with DF helping tell him what to do & when, etc. and we were talking about that - and then she asked if I'd ever met her friend LJ.  LJ asked "are you Adley's mom?"  I said I was and that I didn't think we'd ever officially met.  She told me that her husband and mine had met with a mutual client in a meeting together the other day and my husband had shared the story of Sam/Yuri with him.  She said that they thought it was so exciting and that they wanted to help in ANY way they could.  She told me that her husband coaches younger boys soccer teams and that they'd love to have Sam/Yuri help with that if that's something he's interested in after he gets here!!!  I'm not sure if I've mentioned before on this blog that one of his passions is soccer.  He told the woman who met him at the orphanage that when he needs to think or blow of steam or almost any other reason, he goes out and plays soccer.  He has been to a soccer camp not all that long ago and he wants to play soccer when he comes here.  (We've already let the soccer coach at the high school here know!!!)  8-)  Anyway...I think it's safe to say that this kid's passionate about soccer.  What a gift it would be for him to be able to be involved in soccer on a regular basis in addition to playing...  Wow.  I thanked her for her kindness and told her we'd definitely be in touch.

Two people in one lunch -- neither of whom I know -- waiting to love on our son -- that I don't know!!  LJ said she was really excited to meet Yuri/Sam and the only answer I could give was "Me too!!!"  I LOVE that our community is SO excited to meet this kid and that he already has people who want to help him adjust and develop his passions!!  God has put SO MUCH in place to make Sam/Yuri's life here full.  We are SO anxious to get him here (have I mentioned that yet on this blog??) to give him all the things he's never had -- not necessarily material things (but that will be fun too -- he'll have his first pair of his OWN shoes, his OWN jeans, and can develop a sense of style, etc...) but love, support, parents, siblings, activities, opportunities, and an introduction to Jesus!!!  I just know that the Lord has big things in store for this young man!!!

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your hearts with me today!!  I am filled to over-flowing!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just a quick note for tonight to let you know that we KNOW that our documents got submitted to the authorities today for approval.  We know that we will be traveling soon...but soon is relative!  We are expecting to hear of our travel date sometime between now and about 6 weeks from now.  Of course, we are praying sooner rather than later...but the Lord knows the perfect time frame.  We have been otherwise distracted this week with some other things...which has been nice, actually.

Well, one of the distractions wasn't all that "nice" -- but it has allowed us to be focused on other things.  My sweet friend who was experiencing health issues got an almost positive report today.  They are waiting for the results of a test they did today to find out for certain that it's a good report!  We have had the joy of keeping one of their kids -- a VERY special boy to my he was adopted from Russia and I thought WE were supposed to adopt him...but Shane wasn't sure...but we both knew we needed to find him a home and it all worked out SO BEAUTIFULLY as he is with his amazing forever family IN OUR TOWN!!!!!!!  I am "Aunt Kim" and I LOVE it!!! I've tucked him into bed the past 2 nights -- just like I imagined that one day I would!!!  8-)

Another "distraction" was my foster daughter and her family who came for a visit this weekend.  What a wonderful woman she's turned out to be...and all because the Lord snatched her from a life that was hard and headed down a bad path and "redeemed" it and formed her into a wonderful wife, mother, boss, friend, daughter and a myriad of other roles she fills.  What a privilege I have had to watch her grow into a woman after God's heart as she seeks to be a godly wife & mother.  Funny side bar: one of Cammie's friends asked this weekend as Cammie was telling her about our company "Oh, is this your new exchange student?" "no"  "Oh, is this the one you're adopting?"  "no.  This one's my foster sister"  [puzzled]  "Well how many kids DO you all have???"  It's been such a joy to help raise my foster daughter (now 35) and see her raise her kids and blossom into the roles she's been called to.

One other "distraction" was a very emotional time in our Sunday School department (which, incidentally, is AMAZING!!!!) on Sunday.  After announcements/prayer time, they asked Shane and me to come to the front of the class -- which caught us both completely off guard (even though he's the teacher!!)!!  They told us that they wanted to be a part of bringing Sam/Yuri home and are paying for our plane tickets for our first trip over to EE and bought him his first Bible!!!  We were COMPLETELY overwhelmed, and for once in his life, Shane was speechless!!  8-)  It was a very special gift to us and we will cherish the memories of that time forever.  This group has walked with us and prayed for us and Sam/Yuri for several weeks (almost as long as we've known about him!) and we know that they already love him and are almost as anxious to get him here as we are!!!  8-)  It's a great feeling knowing that he will be so very loved from the beginning of his life here.

We also got to see some pictures of our boy from recent and also the distant past.  He looks happy and is laughing/smiling in most of them.  He is "out" places in the pictures and has been to movies, museums and McDonalds!! It does my "mommy heart" so much good to see that he has not had as difficult a childhood as he could have to this point.  Though he has had no mother or father, he has been well loved by those who have very attentively cared for him for all of his growing up years.  He is a blessed young man and that, in turn, blesses me.  I can't wait to hear all his memories of growing up and of the things he's done. 

I love that we have "family" all over the world -- and it just keeps getting bigger and better!!  I know the Lord has big plans for Sam/Yuri and that He's continuing to prepare the path He has for us all to go.  I'm just ready to get this show on the road!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I got the FedEx confirmation this afternoon that our papers have arrived in EE safely into the hands of the person to whom they were sent!!!  This means that they now have everything they need to file for adoption of Sam/Yuri on our behalf!!  We have no idea yet of the time-frame for travel, etc.  We are continuing to leave that in the Lord's hands and trust that He will provide the right time for it all to happen. 

Today has been a great day, but a tough day.  Great from the adoption standpoint, tough from the standpoint that one of my friends is hurting.  She got a bit of "bad" medical news -- nothing serious yet, just that she is not "fine" though we don't really know what is wrong yet.  More tests to follow.  But I LOVE that even on the "not fine" days, God shows up.  Today in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young part of the devotional read like this (specifically intended for me and my friend and her family, I think!): "Don't let unexpected events throw you off course.  Rather, respond calmly and confidently, remembering that I am with you.  As soon as something grabs your attention, talk with Me about it.  Thus, I share your joys and your problems; I help you cope with whatever is before you.  This is how I live in you and work through you.  This is the way of Peace."  Isn't God good to have inspired Sarah Young to write this 8 years ago to be on this page on this day for my friend (and me)???  How can I doubt for even one second that He has it all under control if He's even planning so far ahead to bring comfort to my friend when she needs it?? 

My God is SOOO big!  He's working, knitting, weaving, forming, cultivating ALL things together to accomplish His plan in my life, in my family's life, in Sam/Yuri's life, in my friend's life, in the life of our church, in our city, in our state, in our world!!!  It's not just for me He has these devotions. They're not just random "fluffy thoughts" to make us feel good that are in this devotional book (and so many God-inspired others...this just happens to be the one I read on a really regular basis!).  He uses His Word that is "sharper than any sword" to penetrate our hard hearts and then when they're "open" He spreads the balm of His love all over our gaping wounds.  THEN, we can begin to heal...knowing that the Savior is tending our wounds for us. 

My friend isn't the only friend who is hurting from a medical "twist of events."  There are SO many who are walking in unfamiliar territory...territory they wish they never knew about.  (Shane calls it a "million dollar education, one penny at a time.")  Our job for these, as well as the orphans, widows, disabled -- physically and mentally, elderly and young is to stand in the gap and be Jesus with skin on to them.  I pray that the Lord will open my eyes to the hurting and that I will be sensitive to see who/what I need to see every minute of every day.  I pray that for you too.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Well, friends -- IT.  IS.  FINISHED.  Those words have been ringing a lot in my mind these past few days since Easter, etc.  That is probably one of my favorite parts of the Easter story.  Knowing that the work that Jesus had come here to do was complete and that the "glory" (that only He knew about!) was about to begin.  I can't imagine the POWER with which those words were said.  I'm going to take the liberty to take a little side bar here (since you are free to stop reading any time you want!!) and make sure that if YOU are reading this blog and YOU don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, YOU have the opportunity to do so.  YOU can know that you are going to heaven for eternity.  We (my family) will be there.  Most of the people we love will be there.  If you want to KNOW that you will be there, but you don't, I want you to either FIND someone who can tell you how much Jesus loves you OR message me and ask me to tell you.  Briefly, He loves you SO much that He was willing to DIE a horrible, cruel, inhumane death by being nailed to a splintery, wooden cross and left to die so that He could pay the price for YOUR sins and MINE.  We have ALL done at least ONE bad thing and that qualifies us to be labeled "sinner."  For every sin committed, there must be a sacrifice.  Jesus came to be OUR sacrifice so that we didn't have to pay the price for our sins which was eternal separation from Him.  But He didn't STAY dead (which is the part that always gives me chill bumps!)!!!  Three days after He died and was buried in a tomb in the side of a mountain, HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!!  The Lord Jesus conquered death because HE IS GOD.  He gave us victory over death as well with that act because when I die, I will spend eternity with Him in heaven.  It's an amazing story and it's one YOU should know.  So, find someone to share it with you...or contact me!

So, those words come from me to you with substantially LESS authority and power...but with the same amount of truth: It is finished!! The final paperwork is on it's way to EE where it is waiting to be received, approved and appropriately handled (I say this because I have NO idea what's going on with regard to all this over there!!!)  We have a simply AMAZING -- ASTOUNDING even -- team of people who have worked together with us to get all of this completed in such an incredibly short time.  SEVEN weeks ago today is when we found out that Sam/Yuri existed.  When I try to wrap my mind around all that's happened since that time, it's overwhelming.  No wonder we're tired!!!  8-)

Please pray with us now that the people who are making the decisions as to whether we can have Sam/Yuri as a part of our family forever will be moved with compassion for him and will grant us the petition for adoption.  Also, we want the Lord's timing on all this.  We have a long trip overseas planned for July.  It's been in the works for MANY months.  If he's here by the time we're supposed to go, he will go with us.  If not, we will go to get him when we return from that trip.  There are lots of factors involved and ONLY God knows the best timing on all this.  Will you pray with us for the Lord's will on the perfect timing?  The trip will be intense and FULL.  This may not be the best thing for Sam/Yuri to have to do right after leaving the ONE place he's lived his ENTIRE life.  He may need some down time to process everything and get a grip on what his new life with a family will entail.  On the other hand...he may look at it as the biggest adventure of his life and grab at it with gusto!!  We have NO idea what he's going to need as we don't know his personality yet...but GOD does.  We want what's best for him and for our family as a whole.  We trust the Lord to work out those details as HE sees best.

As I may have mentioned before...waiting is not my forte'.  However, I have COMPLETE peace about where Sam/Yuri is and about the care he is receiving.  He is healthy and strong and happy from all we have heard.  That comes with being well-cared for. much as I want to wrap that boy in his first "Mom" hug and kiss and have him meet his siblings and tuck him into bed for possibly the first time he's ever been tucked...I will wait.  And, I am kind of feeling like it might just be something that resembles "patiently" too!!! (not sure I've ever felt that I can't truly put my finger on it!!!  8-)  )  I feel the Lord's hand so STRONGLY guiding and directing each step of this journey, that I know He's not going to bail on us now just because I can't "see" the progress being made with papers coming in and approvals being granted...Gods got this one bagged.  He already knows the outcome.  He knows the dates, minutes & seconds till we meet our son.  He is working to make sure that all things will come together for all of our good. 

It's a pretty safe place to be....right here firmly in God's hands.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Well, there's not a whole lot to post today about adoption stuff...we have all our paperwork complete.  There are a few things to be apostilled and then they will be sent to our team in EE.  I read lots of information today on what things are like in the country and how it will likely be when we are there.  It's COMPLETELY intriguing and entirely overwhelming.  I believe it will be yet another lesson in relinquishing control (hmmm...wondering if the Lord is trying to teach me something here...I seem to see a recurring pattern...) as we will be totally at the mercy of those who are there who speak the language, know the "rules" of the area and will be telling us where to be and when!!!  It will be so very interesting to "surrender" ourselves to their leadership.  These are people we know about but that we don't know personally yet at all.  They are already working on our behalf to make things happen there now that we know nothing about -- yet. So many are giving of themselves on behalf of these kids who need their forever homes - just because they love kids.  It will be a sheer privilege to meet them and work with them.

I wish Yuri/Sam could know of all the people who are working, all the phone conversations being had, all the texts back and forth, all the time and money being invested, all the prayers being offered, all the excitement by those who have never met him, all the efforts being put forth by so many people -- ALL on his behalf!!!  I wish right now he could know how much he is loved!!!  It fills me to overflowing knowing how many people care about his well-being.  Please don't stop praying for him.  Please pray for us.  Please pray as we are that the Lord will prepare him for us and us for him.  We want this transition to be as smooth as it possibly can for him as he is leaving EVERYTHING familiar to him and coming to an entire world of all things new with almost complete strangers...we will have gotten to spend some time with him in the days while we are there, but there will be LOTS of trust involved on his part to leave all that's comfortable to go to a world of unknowns -- permanently!!  Please pray that his heart will be well-prepared to make the necessary adjustments.  There will be many!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Well, today FEELS like the beginning -- but it's actually the END!!  It feels like the beginning because we JUST became "official" as Yuri/Sam's family on Reece's Rainbow (see our link to the right on this page) -- the site where our FB friend found him and posted a link to his story.  It feels like the end because we got our LAST piece of paper that we needed today and will be sending our last documents to complete our dossier over to EE in just a few days.  They have to be apostilled first and then we'll FedEx them over!!  Then we REALLY wait -- to hear from our team there of the status updates about things which we are almost completely uninvolved in but tremendously affect our lives!!  It's a bit of a surreal situation. 

So, please continue to pray for favor for our documents.  That every hand that touches them will feel an urgency to handle them properly and get them to the next place.  Time is still of the essence.  We continue to trust the Lord -- and I must say He's done a bang-up job of handling things thus far!!!  He is SO good and has been SO "present" in all this.  It just makes me smile.

We have several new fb "friends" as of today...there's a whole network out there of adoptive parents who are in similar situations to where we are.  It's pretty cool!!  I think it will be most beneficial to have the wealth of their experiences and knowledge as we make preparations for what lies ahead. 

We are so very blessed...

Monday, April 9, 2012

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS GOING TO BE LONG! Not because I'm trying for it to be, but there's a big story to tell, and a couple of paragraphs just isn't going to cut it!!

We have had a big day around here. First of all, our fingerprints are taken and submitted, and we should hear back from USCIS soon and have our final paperwork submitted hopefully by the end of the week/beginning of next week. This is truly incredible, as I mentioned last night! SIDE NOTE: This fingerprint place was the Taj Mahal of fingerprint places!!! It was like the extreme opposite of the last place we went! And I praised the Lord for it!!! 8-)

This is the LONG part: Most of you do not know that there has been another side to our story. One that we weren't at liberty to tell – until now. When we first “found” Yuri on fb a little over 6 weeks ago, we called to inquire about him. At that same time, a couple of other families had inquired as well. Eventually, another family was given the “go-ahead” by Reece's Rainbow (a ministry that helps connect families to orphans in foreign countries) to pursue adoption of “Sam” (that's the name given him on the Reece's Rainbow website – We were given the “go-ahead” to act as a “backup” in the event things fell through with the other family due to the incredibly short time line that everyone was working against. The team felt that if there were 2 families working toward the same goal, the odds of Sam “falling through the cracks” would be substantially reduced.

From the minute we saw Sam's face on the website, both Shane and I felt like we were to be his parents. Apparently, this was happening in the other family as well. We each have a deep concern for this child, and each wanted to see him find his forever family – both believing his forever family was our own. However, our only “race” was the race against Sam's time-clock that has been steadily ticking -- as when he turns 16, if there are no prospective parents with paperwork ready and the process started in his country by that time, he's given a small amount of money and turned onto the streets to try to make his own way after living in an orphanage his entire life and being labeled “unemployable” by his country because of his hand differences.

As we have sought the Lord's guidance in all this, we have prayed all along that He would “slam the door closed” if we were to stop pursuing this. Instead of any doors slamming shut, they have been thrust WIDE OPEN and we have felt very strongly that we were to continue moving forward. So we have. The other family began their paperwork at about the same time we began ours. We have completed our paperwork in a practically unprecedented time-frame and the other family came up against some snags. This morning, we got notice from Reece's Rainbow that the other family has decided that because of the snags and delays that have come up, they needed to terminate their adoption pursuit so that we can pursue him fully and bring him home as soon as possible. It was a completely selfless act for them to step back and let us move forward. Their hearts are hurting as they will need to grieve this loss – which would be very hard to understand if you've never been through this process. Yuri/Sam is already deeply embedded in our hearts – as he is in theirs. When something is already in your heart, and it gets “taken away” it's a definite loss -- the loss of their dream for this boy they thought would be their son.

I am so impressed by their love for this child that they have never met, and I am truly grateful to them for listening to the Lord's leading in their lives. Please pray for their hearts to heal quickly. I feel confident that this time in their lives was to prepare them for something that the Lord has for them in the future, and I hope someday I'll hear what that is. But for now, we are sad with them -- but at the same time, thrilled for our family as we can embark full speed ahead on this crazy journey!!

We have been simply awed at the Lord working in and through the people in our world who have been put in place “for such a time as this” to walk with us through pursuing this child for our family. He has orchestrated a beautiful story that I hope will be used to encourage people who are wondering if the Lord is telling them to do the same thing He's pointed us to. I know that the Lord has promised that “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) and there have been many times that I've just had to cling to that as I don't understand how something could possibly work for good (as the other family is feeling right now, I'm sure).

As Shane and I drove the 2 hours to our fingerprint appointment this morning, I told him how extremely cool it is when you KNOW that you're right where the Lord wants you at that minute. The confirmations that we have received over and over and over through this process have just helped us feel SO SAFE about where we are headed. It doesn't make sense to us that the Lord would guide us to do this right now – with Shane's work schedule being SO busy, a three-week trip planned for the summer to see our exchange student kids and their families, and some other commitments, but once again we fall back on the fact that “'My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD.” (Is. 55:8) and in that we rest, as we have many times before.

We have been blown away at the times that the Lord has directed us to HIS plan for us and it's been so much better than the plan we thought we wanted for our lives. Even when it looked like the plan might fail...He's still in control and still working – even though we might not see how it can all work out for “good.” There are probably things that we won't see how “good” came of them in each of our lives (and THAT list I'm compiling for the Lord when I see him in glory), but that's where trusting comes in. This story is one where the good can definitely be seen – right now and hopefully for a LONG time to come! Though Yuri doesn't become “officially” ours until ALL the paperwork is approved by ALL the right people (and that number is large!), Yuri says “yes” to us becoming his family, and the judge signs the Decree of Adoption, we feel like those things will fall into place as the rest of this process has been so seemingly anointed by the Lord.

Thank you friends, for walking it with us. Please continue to pray as the Lord leads, for His hand to work out the PERFECT timing for us to travel, etc. Leaving our other kids is going to be rough. I'm a very over-protective Momma Bear. But, I know that the Lord is going before us, and I actually even have peace about being gone from them for so long, knowing that the Lord's hand of protection will be on each of us as we're apart. That might be a couple of months from now, or it very well might be sooner. Only God knows. And we rest in that.

P.S. We have NO idea what we're going to call Yuri/Sam when he gets here, but we doubt it will be either of those names. He has two other names – his given name and one that he goes by!!! We are going to let him help us make that decision and will keep everyone posted on that. 8-)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Well, I took the Easter weekend off as we were spending time with Shane's family who came into town as is our Easter tradition.  It was a delightful weekend...I am so proud of our nieces and nephews who have grown and matured into amazing young people.  God has been so good to our family -- even through some EXTREMELY tough days.  He is good -- ALL the time!!

We got home last night to some exciting news!!!  We had our letter in the mail from USCIS giving us our fingerprint appointment!!!  We will go tomorrow to get that done and hopefully get our final clearance ASAP so that we can get the final few papers apostilled and sent to EE for them to complete the paperwork/application process for us!!!  This is just an AMAZING answer to prayer -- our "team" is completely awed each time we talk about how quickly this process has moved.  We are watching the Lord just plow through anything that would be a "road block" and clear the path for us.  It will be very interesting to see how quickly we end up getting over there.  Typically, this process we're completing can last anywhere from 4 - 9 months...we've been at it 5 weeks now.  The fact that we are this close cannot be chalked up to anything other than a serious MIRACLE.  We have said from the beginning that we are on the "miracle timeline" and that is exactly what has happened.  We are SO POSITIVE that "Yuri" belongs in our family as the Lord just seems to be confirming it over and over as His hand seems to be all over this. 

We had a talk over the weekend with a family member who expressed some concerns about all of this and how much it's going to require of us as individuals, as a couple and as a family.  We TOTALLY agreed with them and it led us into a conversation in which we delved into how funny/interesting it is of God's call on our lives when things like this come up.  Neither Shane nor I were looking to adopt a teenage boy.  This is probably among the most inconvenient times in our entire lives for us to do this. (well, when Adley was having heart surgery might have been somewhat less convenient...)  We don't really know how it's all going to play out -- sure, we have our ideas, but we are well aware that those can be blown to smithereens in a second!!  But we KNOW that this is from the Lord as we each have such peace about it and have watched the pieces fall into place so miraculously.  We talked about how if the Lord called us to do something and then immediately showed us exactly how it was going to happen along the way, as well as how it will all turn out, where is the faith in that??  If we can be obedient and truly TRUST that the Lord is working it all out even when it may look like it's a little crazy to others, that's where real faith takes shape. 

Believe me, sometimes this all looks crazy to us, as well, but there are lots of stories in the Bible about things that looked crazy to everyone other than the one God called.  Don't get me wrong, we've received overwhelming support from our family and friends, but we also recognize that all this carries with it a lot of concern for us and our current children.  We understand the concern and appreciate it and the many prayers being offered on our behalf, as well as for "Yuri."  We cannot help but be excited to see what God has in store for him, as all these miracles point to something really special.  For all of us. . . .

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The other night, we were lying in bed and Shane was looking at his computer at a great email that I get every day from  They send a list of "special deals" for the day.  We've bought a TV from there, a few pieces of running wear, etc.  They had some Underarmor shirts for men advertised that day and Shane said "I'm gonna order one for me and one for 'Yuri'."  So, in the mail today we got a package that held our first piece of clothing for our new son!!!  I can just see him in it!!  In talking with one of our team members the other day, she told me that we'd have to have something for him to wear -- top to bottom for our "gotcha" day (the day he comes to live with us) as he won't be able to bring ANYTHING with him (unless he'd received it as a gift at some point) from the orphanage.  He won't have his own pajamas.  His own toothbrush.  His own jacket.  His own favorite pair of jeans.  No pictures of family to bring with him.  The fact that his ENTIRE past has been lived within the "same 4 walls" seems unfathomable to me.  Oh the things he's missed out on!!  How much there is for him to learn about!!

My name's Kim and I am a shopaholic...I admit it.  But the thought of beginning to accumulate all the "stuff" that a 16 yr. old needs is quite daunting!!!  I'm gonna have to get busy REALLY quick!!  The hardest part is that we don't have ANY idea what his sizes are!!!  I want to shower him with ALL the things he not only needs, but wants...

Just like God.  His desire is to shower us with all the things that we not only need, but also want.  He WANTS to bless us.  He has GOOD things in store for us...but like I was telling one of our girls the other night, He CAN'T bless us unless we're being obedient to Him.  That's not to say that good things aren't going to happen to people who aren't obedient to God and that bad things are going to happen to those who are disobedient...we all know that's not true.  But I often wonder how many blessings I've missed out on during rebellious times in my life.  What did God have for me that I missed?  I'm so glad He doesn't show me the blessings I DIDN'T receive and doesn't hold a grudge so that I continue to miss them.  He has been so amazingly generous with me even though I've had lots and lots of times that I know that He was just shaking His head at me wondering when I would come to my senses and turn back to a right relationship with my Savior. 

I want to bless "Yuri."  God wants to bless me.  This is my prayer for us both.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Today is mostly a waiting game (and from past posts, you ALL know how I so ROCK this game!).  I waited at the cardiologist for Adley's appointment  first thing this morning for almost an hour till the doctor got there. (sigh).  I am waiting for notice from the USCIS to go to a fingerprint appt.  We are waiting for the last few documents to come in so we can have them apostilled & sent on their way.  I am waiting to make some plans for the kids to see when we're going to be here and when we'll be traveling...and the list goes on and on.  Have I mentioned that I am NOT GOOD AT WAITING???? 

By nature, I am a "doer" and though those people often are the ones who get things done, there is a LOT to be said for waiting...and the Lord reminded me again that He's calling the shots and I just need to sit tight (one of these days, I'm gonna catch on...) In Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, a portion of today's devo reads: "It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet.  After all, I created you and everything that is.  The world is still at My beck and call, though it often appears otherwise."  When I want a "plan" the Lord reminds me that I am TOO SMALL to grasp His plan.  If He told it to me, I'd just be overwhelmed.  I know me.  So does He.  There's too much to take in for me to be "in on it" -- He just calmly works everything together for good.  Because He loves me.

So, we keep waiting.  But in the meantime...I can do a lot of the other things that have been put on hold while we were "busy" with paperwork and errands!!  ;-)

Please continue to pray with us for the Lord to keep working as He has been and that the papers will all go exactly where they're supposed to go when they're supposed to go there!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ok...I must confess.  I got frustrated today.  It was with the lady on the phone at the place that sends us our state fingerprint results.  She wasn't very understanding of my plight that we NEEDED these results NOW so that we can get them to EE so we can get our boy!!!  She said they won't re-send them until it's been at least 10 business days.  It's only been 7 today.  Those of you who know me well, know that patience is not a virtue I possess much of.  I don't even really pray for it anymore.  I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that, like Paul, I will have a thorn in my flesh and mine just happens to be "lacking patience".  So, my phone conversation with her did not end as chipperly, chippily, pleasantly as it could have.  I was a little ticked. 

I confessed it to the Lord shortly after I abruptly hung up the phone (I did NOT hang up on her, I just hung up quickly after saying goodbye) (and muttering "thanks for nothing" under my breath - AFTER I had pressed "end"!!!)  He reminded me of the devotional I read last night that said (in part) "Talk with me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings.  Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me...Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life.  Instead, ask My Spirit to guide you moment by moment.  He will keep you close to Me."  Ouch.  My "to do" list is long and pretty much on my time-table.  Relinquish.  Relinquish.  Relinquish. 

So, I relinquished.  Went to run some errands, picked Adley up from school early to do his therapy and while he was doing the part he does by himself, I checked the mail.  Guess what?  BIG mail day.  HUGE!! 
We got: 3 passports (the kids'), our State fingerprint clearance and the letter from the USCIS saying they'd received our paperwork/application and they would be sending us a letter soon to tell us to go get fingerprints!  (oh, and 2 cute tank-tops that I'd ordered for workouts!  BONUS!!!)  Did I mention that I got an email from FedEx this afternoon saying that our paperwork had been delivered to EE and into the hands of the person it was intended to go to?  Did I also mention that our wire went through with the initial money?  Did I mention that we could be going to meet our son VERY soon?? (like within the next 6 weeks or sooner...) 

When I relinquish, the Lord is able to work His plan AND get the glory!!!  When I intervene...sometimes I might be tempted to take some of the credit for the cool stuff HE wants to do/is doing.  I do NOT want to get in His way, b/c He wants to do so much more than I could ever get done and to do it FOR me!!!!!!  WHY OH WHY do I continue to have to learn this lesson?  Please, Lord, make me a FAST learner!!  It's the prayer I pray for my kids...guess I need to include myself in that one too.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

So here are the prayer requests as they stand now:

1)  We need a "worker angel" to get our paperwork for USCIS and expedite it as quickly as can be done.  It should get to the main office on Tues. of this week and we need our "order" for FBI fingerprints ASAP as that is one of the last steps to getting everything done.
2)  We need our state fingerprint results to arrive.  Austin says they were mailed either Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.  We have yet to see them.  It shouldn't take 5 days to get mail from Austin.
3)  We need our documents to get to EE as quickly as possible and for there to be NO GLITCHES in getting them translated and our adoption applied for there.
4)  Please pray for the timing on all this to be perfect.  We NEVER take a BIG HONKIN' vacation (like, in 16 yrs. of marriage, we've never been gone for more than a week!), but THIS year, before we even knew "Yuri" existed, we planned a 3 week trip to Scandanavia in July to see our foreign exchange student kids & their families.  Because we will be spending 2 1/2 weeks in EE the first time and 10 days the second time, we don't know how this is all going to work out...but God already does.  We just want it all to be in HIS timing, and I need to stop trying to work it all out -- at least until we have an actual court date (which could happen as quickly as 3 - 6 weeks from now!)!!!  Our preference would definitely be to NOT miss the end of the school year here as that is always a super busy time.  However, there's not really a GOOD time we can think of for us to be gone, so...we're back to the Lord's timing on it all!!!  8-)  Not easy for this control freak!!!
5)  Continue to pray for our family and the adjustment that having a permanent big brother will be for the kids and what having another teenager in the house will be for Shane and me.  We were talking the other day about hearing a "man voice" say "Mom" or "Dad"...our exchange students called us by our first names...this will be quite a switch -- for us ALL!!!  But how that warms my heart each time I think of hearing it!

We are so thankful for each one of you who is walking through this with us.  So many of you mention regularly that you are praying for us and I am positive that this is why/how it's all fallen into place so incredibly quickly.  Having never been through this process before, I guess we didn't realize just how fast it's gone.  I was talking to our social worker the other day and she asked me "When did you agree to adopt?" and I told her it was like March 5 or 6...she said "Um, yeah, a home study usually takes around 6 weeks or so to complete.  Yours took less than 2."  Everything has happened so amazingly fast.  The Lord placed people in our lives, and in the lives of others on our "team" who have helped expedite this process in a MIRACULOUS way.  It truly is a Miracle Timeline we're on and I'm LOVING watching the Lord work!!

Ephesians 3:20-21 says: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  This is definitely more than I could have ever imagined!!!!