We are so excited to share our Ethiopian adoption adventure, and our CRAZY lives with all of you! Our hope is that it will encourage you to step out in faith to do what God has called you to do! There are FIELDS of fatherless children waiting for someone to care for them, to love them, to tell them of JESUS' love for them...will YOU be the one??

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6 Weeks

It's been 6 weeks since I last saw my sweet baby girl:(. And I'm starting to stress. Our paperwork is still at the Embassy and they have requested a phone interview with the police officer in our daughter's birth town...he will NOT call them back:(...that was a week ago...annnnnndd we still wait. It's not uncommon for the police to be less than cooperative...but our daughter is WAITING while we sit and wait for the embassy to play phone tag with this guy. You just never know where it's going to go from here....will they just keep trying for weeks/months? Will they clear us without the police interview? Will they send us on to Nairobi? And the biggest question....WHEN? There is no timeframe....they can take as long as they want. PLEASE pray for us as we wait. For peace and for patience. Pray for our daughter...that she is safe and healthy. Pray that the LORD will soften the heart of the officer at the embassy who is in charge of our case, and that he will clear us or send us on to USCIS THIS WEEK!

Cause I can't stand to miss one more minute of this little girl's life!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blogging for Orphans-Lifesong Update

"I was looking for someone to understand me, to love sincerely...I received all this!"  
 -­‐Natasha, 22

As you heard Natasha share in the video, the orphanage took care of her basic needs -­‐-­‐ food, shelter, clothing.  

But she longed for more. 

Belonging. Commitment. Love from a family. Hope for a future.

Because we believe kids like Natasha need much more than their 'basic needs', the staff of Lifesong Ukraine are building relationships inside the orphanage walls to create what we call Constant Christian Presence (CCP). 

The CCP provides mentorship and discipleship, improved living conditions, one-­‐on-­‐ one counseling, group Bible study, job skills training, music lessons, and computer skills training.

Instead of the common trend of orphans creating orphans, Natasha, because of her support through CCP, now desires to help other children who are in orphanages to give them the support she received. Orphans mentoring orphans...a cycle worth striving for!

Child Sponsorship
We are excited to announce that Lifesong Ukraine has recently launched a new child sponsorship program. If you are interested in helping build Constant Christian Presence by sponsoring a child like Natasha, please contact us.

"...He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." Isaiah 61:3

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kindergarten For Ava

It's official!! Ava is now in Kindergarten!  We decided that she needed WAY more than I could offer her in homeschooling....and retain my sanity in the process;)...so we talked to the principle of our local public school, and we stepped out in faith! 

She has an AMAZING teacher, who, in the first week of school, has already had her evaluated by the school psychologist, and the occupational therapist...WITHOUT my prodding:)!  They are on the ball!!  Love Mrs. Blount!

I've talked with the psychologist, and I'm just so impressed...such a gentle and caring man...and we are all on the same page.  And YAY, I wasn't crazy!!;)  Ava is having trouble with memory, copying basic shapes(i.e. writing), and reasoning skills, etc...  We don't know if it is a "language issue", or delay because of living in an orphanage, or something physically going on in her brain.  The bottom line is, ALL that time we spent last year doing preschool activities has only slightly helped...and she NEEDS intervention to succeed in school.  They are also going to check into ESL services of some sort..haven't heard back about that yet.  And I'm sure an IEP is in her future.

She DOES really like it, and LOVES riding the bus(against my better judgement)...but I can tell she's trying to find a "new normal".  She asks every night if "Daddy's going to wake her up...", and she has be up at 6:00am:(!  She goes to school from 7:30 till 2:30, and then she has to take a nap.  We learned the hard way that this is going to be necessary.  She began to have accidents in the middle of the night because she just couldn't wake up.  She was TOTALLY exhausted!  She doesn't understand why she doesn't go on Saturdays or Sundays...and she gets a little mad about it!

We all would appreciate your prayers as we get used to our new schedule, and for Ava as she adjusts.  We want her to get the help she needs, and at this point feel she is getting that.  I know that our relationship as mother and daughter is going to be much better, because now I can just be "mommy" and she doesn't need to perform for me as a "teacher".  Now I can just support her.  Different, but good for us:).

In other news,  all the other kiddos are going strong in homeschool, and now I have Caleb doing Kindergarten this year as well!  He's a challenge!!  VERY KINESTHETIC learner....having to come up with games daily to keep his interest!;)  He's also going to a local preschool in the afternoon for speech therapy.

So, that's our crazy life....in a not so small nutshell...would again appreciate any and all prayers for great strides to be made this school year for ALL our kiddos!!

God Bless!:)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Case Received by the US Embassy!

 All of our paperwork is now at the US Embassy!  WOO-HOO!  We SHOULD HAVE received the email last week, but they had the WRONG email address for us at the embassy, and our agency thought we received it, etc....but it's ALL GOOD!  We're filed, and that's all that matters!:)

This is where it could get ugly.....

Right now they are in the process of reviewing the paperwork and determining her orphan status.  If the embassy doesn't like what they see in the paperwork(seriously..there are no set rules here, unfortunately), and they decide they want to further investigate whether or not she is truly an orphan, then her case will be sent to Nairobi, Kenya for USCIS(Immigration) to investigate.....sigh.

Because she was found abandoned, we were told upfront that there is a 99% chance they will send it on to Nairobi....

Our prayer right now is that they will QUICKLY determine whether or not to send it on...this first part could take weeks or MONTHS!!  BUT GOD!:)

Once in Nairobi...they usually clear cases in about 2 weeks!:)  YIPPPEEE!

Obviously, we are praying that it is NOT sent to Nairobi....that everything they need is already there and SATISFACTORY to them in order to clear her case quickly, and we ask(plead, beg) for you to pray as well!!!:)

In the mean time, I will be stressing and eating LARGE amounts of chocolate:)!!

In other news, our application to the Abba Fund has been accepted, and we will have all the funds for Trip 2 paid through a no-interest loan!  If you still would like to donate, that's great, as that is less we have to borrow, but we're SO thankful to NOT have to worry about that!

Also, it looks like I will be traveling ALONE to pick up Naomi:(.  It's just been too hard to find someone to watch our children, and now with school(Kindergarten) for Ava, driving Caleb to preschool in the afternoons, and homeschooling, it would just be easier for one of us to stay home with the kids.

I'm EXTREMELY nervous about this...mainly because of just the logistics of getting a baby through the airports and LONG flights with possible giardia...just concerned how I'm going to do that.  Just pray...I'm sure I'll be fine, and my prayer is that there are OTHER adoptive families traveling the same route with us who can help if needed;)!

SO much going on, and appreciate you all so much!