Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pull on your heartstrings

Cousins play ring around the rosie
We had an awesome 10 days with Jason's family.  Unfortunately, as all vacations end this one had to come to an end too.  It was so hard for us all to say goodbye.   Aidan struggles with goodbyes terribly.  Just being at the airport brought tears to both Jason and I knowing we are leaving Aidan and Alayna next week.

We knew we would probably get the news of our travel date to EE while they were here but, didn't realize it would be so quickly! 
I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past week trying to get everything organized and ready to go a week from now!

For example, I made a really nice photo book online at Walmart to take with us to show the judge and the orphanage director etc.  We went and picked up a few items and the book and some other pictures we need for the trip and promptly lost them BEFORE getting in the car!  Are you kidding me???

 Jason thought he handed them to me and I couldn't remember having them.  The sweet folks at Walmart I am sure are having a good laugh at the senile, young couple that they watched on video get the pics to the parking lot but never to be heard from again.    UGH, praying the second copy gets here before we travel.

So if you see me this week and I look harried or don't speak please disregard.  My brain is so full it is about to pop!

Here are a few pics of the fun we had with our family while they were here.

Please be praying for us as we organize and get prepared to meet Dariya. 

Please pray for Aidan and Alayna that they will do ok for my parents while we are gone. 

We will continue blogging along our journey to bring Dariya home.  Hope you will be following us and praying for us.

Silly Trudy dresses up like the UPS man!
Barbque Memorial weeekend

We LOVE Aunt Trudy, she showed Alayna how to put on lipgloss!
All smiles with Nannie

Jason's mom, brother and sister

One last picture before they head to the airport

Friday, May 27, 2011

I don't understand...

I have had a lot of questions lately about what the process will be once we are over in EE (Eastern Europe, sorry can't divulge her exact location online until after we are home).   So here is a brief rundown of what life will look life for us.

June 7th we fly out of here and will land in Dariya's country on June 8th (capital city).  June 9th at 11 am (3am central time) we will have our SDA appointment.  This is the State department for adoptions in Dariya's country.  At this appointment will be shown her file, gain a little information about her and officially sign the referral that we are accepting her & hopefully get to trade our picture for a baby picture of her.
On June 10th at 5pm (9 am central) we will pick up our paperwork allowing us to go into Dariya's region and visit her at the orphanage.  As the 10th is a Friday we will probably stay in the capital city until Sunday afternoon./evening and then head the couple hours south to her city. 
Monday morning (more than likely) we will go to the orphanage and meet the director, get information about Dariya (hopefully medical and background info) then meet her for the first time.

 After that we have more paperwork chasing to do.  We will be waiting for a court date in her region (that will officially make us her parents) this court date is taking 2-3 weeks after SDA appointment (prayers for a quick court date).  During the wait for court we will visit Dairya every day as much as the director allows. 
Once we have court Jason is flying home (I might stay or might come home with him), we are weighing our options and prices as the airfare is VERY expensive in the summer (our one way tickets over were $1500).  Jason may return with me or I might stay or return alone to pick her up.

After court there is a 10 day waiting period for Dariya's birth family to object to this adoption.  After the 10 day wait we will be given our "gotcha day" (the day we spring her from the orphanage forever).  We will have to travel to wherever she was born and get her birth certificate and do lots more paperwork chasing while in country. 
Last stop is at the US embassy for a medical for her, getting her visa and passport then once cleared we can fly home.
The overall scenario looks something like this June 9th SDA appointment.
Meet Dariya June 13
Have court in region June 29th (total guess) 10 day wait starts
July 11 gotcha day (total guess)
July 22nd fly home forever! (total guess)

We are praying to have internet over there so we can blog and keep everyone up to date with what is going on.

We ask that you be praying about our travels, transitions for the kids being home with my parents and after Dariya comes home, for court dates to be asap, us to be in country a short amount of time, and for Dariya's transition here.

God has carried us through this adoption in 5 months from the start we should have our girl home.

Thank you for following our journey and holding us up in prayer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
So much to be thankful for...

~Our SDA appointment is JUNE 9TH!!!!  We leave for EE on June 7th!
~The great blessings on EE adoptions this week.  The supreme court overturning the earlier ruling and Kirill Davis getting to come home with his family, Judd Hartman given to his family out of an institution, and Anya is now home!

~Fun times with visiting family.  That Jason and family missed the Joplin tornado by an hour and are safe.
~A great year in 2nd grade for Aidan.  They ended the year with Camp Learned a Lot, had tents instead of desks all week and had a family picnic on the last day.  Half day of school today for Aidan then SUMMER! (You know where to find us....at the pool!)

~Sweet photography friends who capture pics like this...and one very sweet little girl who loves her daddy to the moon. 
At church loving on daddy!  Thanks Kerry

What are you thankful for this week?  Share!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Enjoying the British Invasion

Val (Mum)
Garry and Trudy

Jason's mother, brother, Garry and sister in law, Trudy flew in from England this weekend to stay until Memorial day.  They are spoiling the kids rotten and Aidan and Alayna are loving every minute of it.  Trudy has outdone herself with bringing Star Wars Legos and assembling them with Aidan.  Bringing toys for Alayna and playing on the trampoline with the kids.  She will need a holiday when she gets home just to recover!

Jason took Garry and Trudy down to the Buffalo River to go on a rafting trip.  Hoping they don't run into any bad weather!
Aunt Trudy makes Alayna giggle!  And we finally got our safety net up!
Alayna showing off her pretty dress Nannie brought her!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday

A grateful heart is one that finds the countless blessings of God in the seemingly mundane everyday life.

~Our All for Dariya golf tournament and dinner and silent auction being such a HUGE success.  We are fully funded, meaning between our savings and the donations from our iPad giveaway and All for Dariya day we pray that we have enough to cover Dariya's adoption, (as long as gas prices don't keep rising! =)

~The people that surrounded us and helped us pull off the All for Dariya day!  People we didn't even know came and served dinner!  The people that attended the golf, and/or dinner, our prayer warriors and those that donated to Dairya's fund have blessed us beyond measure.  Thank you hardly seems enough for all the people who have helped us bring Dariya home.

~Aidan was such a trooper all day on Saturday, it was a LONG day for an 8 year old (and this 42 year old LOL) being out at the golf course all day (in 50 degree weather) and then going straight to the dinner and auction until late evening.  He was a blessing and didn't complain once.  He helped where needed and was a delight.

~Alayna's giggle and silliness!

Do you like my hat?

~Beautifully sunny, spring days where we can play at the park and meet daddy for lunch.

~Alayna had her final transition meeting with her early education team that comes to the house, as she only has 6 months left in early intervention before going on to preschool in the fall.  Her report that will be shared with the school was awesome.   

What are you thankful for this week?  Please share one or two things...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sunny spring day suprises...

Today is a beautiful spring day so Alayna and I packed our lunch to head off to the park. 

As I went upstairs to drop a load of laundry off I came down to find this...
she decided to unpack the lunch and dig in... Pack the lunch take 2, then off to the park.

We chased our shadows for a while until we gave up trying to catch it!
Went up and down the slide, went on the swings, and watched all the other kids running around.  The best part of the day was...
meeting the cutest UPS man ever!   Oh how we love our lunch dates with daddy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

All for Dariya - OH MY WOW!!!!!

Words can't even describe the fabulous day we had yesterday and how God blessed us.  The golf tournament and dinner/silent auction were a BLAST!  I hope everyone had as good a time as our family had.  I only slept a couple hours last night because I was in shock, awe and humbled by the outpouring of love that was poured on our family last night.

We say a heartfelt thanks to Kelly Heaton, Heather England, Bruce Rist and Ann Klockau for their leadership on planning and organizing this awesome event over the past few months.  They were like a well oiled machine and ran the day with absolute precision!  Chris and Emily get the prize for staying out in the cold and keeping our golfers on time and involved in the on course competitions.

We had so many volunteers working, praying, donating, serving, playing, cleaning, running sound/lights, taking photos that I can't begin to name them all or I would surely leave someone out (especially the sweet ladies that I didn't even know from another church in the city serving the pasta dinner, hands and feet of Christ right there).  I am humbled.

The golf tournament started at noon.  We had 9 teams of 36 players.  It was a cool day but the rain held off and it was really fun to watch everyone play.  The scores were amazing!  These people weren't kidding. Thanks to Phil and Sally for donating the golf prizes.  Unfortunately, nobody got a hole in one so we couldn't award the $25,000 cash prize but plenty of fun was had anyway.

Jason, Aidan and I left the golf tournament at 2:45 to get to the church to set up for the dinner and silent auction.  Everyone was primed and ready, had their positions and did their jobs. Amazing teamwork, amazing evening. 

The auction opened at 5pm with dinner at 6pm we had 120+ folks attend the evening.  Jon Hobbs took photos on the golf course and ran a video of it during the auction so everyone could see that part of the day.  Several musicians volunteered their time for the evening to play background music while people shopped, ate and celebrated our Dariya.  

RJ Jubber was our emcee for the evening and did a fantastic job of keeping us on schedule, focusing everyone one in our mission for adoption and helping others, keeping the auction rolling and making the evening a fun night.  During dinner RJ showed the Reece's Rainbow ministry video and interviewed Jason and I a little about adoption, costs, Reece's Rainbow etc.

After dinner the auction wrapped up around 7:30 and the team worked like little mice clearing, cleaning, checking people out, making sure all was done and accounted for.

Now what you have really been waiting for....the outcome.
As of yesterday we were $7,000 from being fully funded.  After counting all the profits from the golf tournament and dinner and silent auction we made....

We thank God for the sweet blessings that he continues to provide us.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us along this journey, every prayer, every volunteer, every business or individual who donated we are deeply grateful and now as our journey is just beginning with our soon travels to meet and bring Dariya home it is our prayer that we can pay it forward to other families who are following God's call to adopt.

Here are a few pictures from the evening, I will have the golf ones up soon. 

Thanks to Courtney for taking pics while RJ interviewed us!

With 50+ auction items there was lots of shopping and bidding wars!

Alayna happily greeting her buddies, LC & Jace

These two sweeties shopped with their own money and bought items to help us bring Dariya home.

Daddy and Alayna enjoy the music during the auction

Hannah and friends win the cupcake wars, they decorated cupcakes and the dessert table for the night!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

All for Dariya day!

Please lift us up in prayer today as we have our final fundraiser to help us bring Dariya home this summer.
Golf tournament starts at noon followed by a dinner and silent auction at 5pm.  Thanks

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thankul Thursday

In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.
Brother David Steindl-Rast
(Blogger ate my first post before it auto posted so here  is a redo to the best of my recollection! If you haven't backed up your blog I would highly suggest it)

~We were SUBMITTED to court in Dariya's country!  We will hear in a couple weeks when our SDA appointment is (should be mid-late June).

~Alayna's endocrinology appointment went very well.  We both like the doctor.  She is now taking a synthetic thyroid replacement tablet daily.

A smile everytime she sees the camera come out - HAM!
~All the awesome people who are working overtime to help us bring Dariya home.

~The sweet friends I have made along this adoption journey.  How I love my RR friends, some aren't even traveling to the same country as us but God has brought us together, and I am very thankful! (oh,toffee girl you are top of the list)... May the Lord reward you for your kindness ... Ruth 1:8

Working hard on the stairs with her PT, Ms Erin
~My sweet hubby who has been working like a dog around the house to get the honey do list cleared off. (Ok maybe it is because his family is coming in from England next week but, I will take it all the same!)

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Adoption is easy right?

If anyone tells you adoption is an easy road, I would freely call them a fabricator.  Even me who tries to always see the positive in things sometimes gets halted in my tracks.
The rush to get things done then the waiting for court dates, travel dates, submission dates, the mountains of paperwork, the enormous amounts of money, the stress, the questions. 

I sit here today and wait for news on whether we will be submitted to court tomorrow. I see all our plans for our final, huge fundraiser golf tournament and dinner/silent auction this Saturday.   We lack about $7500 to be fully funded.

I see the chance of rain being pushed from the middle of the week to closer to the weekend when we have our golf tournament scheduled.  I see friends that were coming to our dinner now have other plans and have canceled their rsvp.  I see other friends that think we are completely nuts (who deserted us after we had Alayna or have dwindled along the road in the past 2 years). I see an rsvp  list for our dinner much smaller than those who "said" they were coming.

My heart is saddened, I could continue to look at the negative but, if you have known me long you know I choose otherwise. 

I choose to rely on God, I choose to have faith that He DID call us to adopt Dariya and that he will provide the way.  The negatives are from satan and I will not let him have any power over me.

So instead, I see God's hand completely guiding this adoption. I choose to see awesome people who have volunteered, met, planned and are carrying out this fundraiser seamlessly.  I see many people (some I have never met) coming to serve at our dinner for our daughter and I am humbled. 

I see nearly 50 silent auction items that have been donated because of the awesome work our team has done on the graphics (Heather you are amazing) and talking to businesses Kelly (you are unstoppable).  I see 36 golfers who are going to hang out with us on Saturday afternoon not just to enjoy a round of golf but, to help us bring our daughter home. 

I see musicians who are giving their time and talent to come and entertain during the dinner, I see people give deep not out of need for thank you from us but, out of their sheer love for us and desire to be the hands of Christ on our mission.

I see am amazing community of Christ followers via Reece's Rainbow and have made friends that will last a lifetime.

I see this face and I know with all my heart that I am her momma.  I WILL obey God's call for our lives with a joyful heart.
You see nowhere in the Bible does God say,"I will make your life easy" or "I will take care of everything, you will have no troubles"  instead he burdens our hearts for what burdens his and then he provides us the means to accomplish His mission and grow closer to him as we walk with him.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

And the test results reveal....

Alayna had her annual blood work completed this week.  Nothing popped up out of the ordinary besides her TSH levels (thyroid stimulating hormone). They were very high, which is indicative of hypothyroidism.  1 out of  4,000 people have hypothyroidism.  People with down syndrome have a higher incidence of hypothyroidism than the typical population.  Alayna also is at higher risk of hypothyroidism because of my thyroid cancer and history of thyroid issues with other females in my family. 

Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by having too little thyroid hormone in the bloodstream. When someone is diagnosed with hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland is said to be “under active” - it is not producing enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include decreased growth rate, constipation, lethargy or tiredness, decreased muscle tone and dry skin and hair.

I have been noticing Alayna is a little more lethargic than normal and her skin is dry.

Next step is to visit a pediatric endocrinologist.  Unfortunately, my awesome endocrinologist doesn't take pediatrics. But, we have a referral to well known pediatric endocrinologist on Thursday.  He will look at Alayna's blood work, order any other blood work necessary and make the decision whether to diagnosis her as hypothyroid.

If she does get this diagnosis the treatment is very easy.  A tiny pill (or liquid for the littles) everyday before breakfast.    Simple!

Happy Mother's Day!!!
It will be a really nice day here celebrating with my mom, dad, sister and her girls but, I sure wish Dariya could be home to enjoy the family fun.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
1 Thessalonians 5:18

~Our dossier was successfully delivered to EE last Friday and has been translated.  We are just waiting for the SDA (court) to approve our petition for Dariya then our dossier can be submitted to the SDA then they will issue us a court date!  Did you hear that? We are ALMOST THERE! Had hopes that we would be submitted today but, looks like it will be next Thursday!  (God's timing, not mine!)

~So very thankful for the year we had at Bible Study Fellowship.  Studying Isaiah with 330,000 other folks around the world was awesome and made me think and grow in my relationship with Christ so much.  If you are looking for a great study check them out.  There are classes all over the world, daytime and evening.  It is non denominational, they stick to the Bible, have a great program for kids, and runs during the school year only.

~Continued blessings pouring in to help us bring Dariya home.  If you haven't seen the list of auction items donated check out the All for Dairya tab at the top. 

~Alayna went for her yearly bloodwork and didn't shed a tear!  AND her bottom I teeth have broken through!  YAHOO!  She is so much happier and is almost back to her normal happy go lucky self (the past couple weeks she decided to hit, guessing she wanted everyone in on the pain!)  Seriously, these teeth were SO much worse than molars for her.  She would walk around pointing to both of them at the same time and say, "ow"!!!!

~Thankful to celebrate Jason's birthday this week! A funfetti birthday cake and I have a happy hubby, such an easy guy!  Love you, xoxo

If you missed last week's post with the cute video of Alayna rolling on the trampoline click here to see the video...

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Just a garage sale?

Saturday morning I enjoyed the beautiful day hanging out in our garage selling off anything that wasn't tied down and we weren't using at the time to make a little more money for Dariya's fund. 

I quickly realized that this wasn't just a garage sale but a ministry opportunity.  God truly gave me the words to use to talk to people about Dariya, Reece's Rainbow, the plight of orphans in the world, etc. 
Not one single person left our garage sale without hearing at least a little piece of how God is moving in our lives.  Ok, there was that one lady that only spoke spanish, but trust me I did my best to let her know what we were doing.  One lady and I had a long conversation about the Boy from Baby House 10 documentary that was on dateline a few weeks ago, other people asked how they could donate to the silent auction or sign up for our golf tournament.

By the end of the day I was tired and ready to start packing up the remaining items when a group of neighborhood kids surrounded me and presented me with a Rubbermaid container full of money.  They had been around the corner from our house selling lemonade all day and wanted to donate the money to Dariya.  Just typing the words now still brings me to tears.  I was beside myself and couldn't even gather myself to get out a complete sentence (I totally think I am in the hormonal part of this pregnancy, very weepy these days).  These kids had worked hard all day not to buy themselves a new toy, not to buy some candy but instead to bring our princess home.

Talk about seeing the face of Jesus right here in these sweet kids.  Thank you kids for blessing us beyond measure.  One more orphan will soon be home with her family and you helped to make that happen.