Revelation 3:8 (New International Version)
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

The child is the beauty of God present in the world – that greatest gift to a family.” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Slowly catching up on my blog.

With 8 kids off to school and the babies still asleep, I decided to sit down and quickly add more to our blog. My kids look at the blog often and have asked me to add more pictures so that they can show their friends. I know for Elijah and Claudia this has been an awesome experience one that I pray will encourage them when older to do ministry work for children. At this point in our blog we have arrived at our children's city. We went to our new apartment, dropped off our luggage and went to the 2 orphanages where we met the orphanage doctor and they reviewed their medical records with us. The staff was then called to bring the children. The first one we saw was Nicholas (Danylo). He was tiny and so adorable (the nurse was with him). Here he was in person. I can tell you there was not one dry eye in that room. I could not stop looking at him. The staff then gave their input on his feeding and activity. After they left with Nicholas, Oksana(Annie) came in with another staff member. She looked at us and Steven reached out to hold her. She sat on Steven's lap and we could not stop smiling. We did not take any pictures so as not to stress them on the first day. We were told to come visit in the morning everyday 10-11am. We could not wait. We were then off to the second orphanage to meet Noah (Jack).
This was a 30 minute drive and again we sat with a doctor who told us about Noah. We were very welcomed there. Everyone there was so happy since it had only been hours before that his traveling to the institution had been stopped. Many smiled as they recounted the strory through the translator. Noah then came in with a staff member who also told us his developmental milestones. Noah watched us but when we approached him he was scared and scooted on his bottom backwards away from us towards the staff menber. He was 4 so his behavior was very appropiate. We would see him everyday and slowly he would come to know us. We were so happy to see him and it was okay to not get it in return.

In Kiev

After our SDA appointment we waited in this very nice apartment. At this point we were either going on the night train to our children's city or we would leave in the morning. It was about 3pm now so we rested in our apartment until we heard from our facilitator. As soon as the fax arrived to the SDA giving us an "entry pass", Yulia called us and told us they were going to get our night train passes to go to Dnepropetrovsk. At 10pm we were picked by our driver and brought to the train station. It was 11pm when we departed and we arrived at 7am. I wish I had pictures of the inside cabin. It had 2 bunk beds on each side and a small table with a flower, bottled water, and some wafers. It had a large window with a shade. The cabin was approx 8' by 8' in size. The 4 of us were tired so I think we all slept at least 5 hours. The ride was smooth, but when it would come to a stop we would wake up. People were going to work in the morning we could see other people with their lunch boxes also waiting to get on the train. We felt safe on the train. In the morning they served black coffee/tea for 25 cents. When we got off the train our new driver and facilitator were waiting for us. They took us to our new apartment.

Here we are in Kiev- waiting for our SDA appointment.

We were very tired by this point. We had been traveling for over 17 hours and had not slept for a day. We arrived just in time for our scheduled August 3rd appointment. Thank you God. This statue is a from a movie that was filmed here. We were told the name and forgot to write it down. If anyone knows please leave the name on the comments. The SDA appointment was very basic. Yulia translated for us and the lady at the SDA pulled our kids files out and read their history and explained why their parents had chosen to not take them home after birth. Once the parents were given the diagnosis of down syndrome the parents decided that it was not a commitment they could take. They had wanted them to be adopted and had agreed to name change. This was a very emotional time...I think seeing their files in front of us with their 2x2 picture made this very real. These children have no family. Once we accepted the official referral that is when the phone calls where made to the directors of the orphanages in order to give us permission to enter.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

where to start....updates to bring us to today

Elijah and Steven tried out the chair and loved it. Steven said the chair alone helped calm his nerves and could we get one....mmmm No.... beyond our price range..

Our flight there was not bad at all. Once we were actually on the plane I should say. We were to leave earlier but we missed our initial small flight to Charlotte NC and had to wait for the next plane out. The flight to Germany was long but having their own movie screen kept the kids busy.Claudia is 12 and Elijah 11. I wanted to bring them for the experience of another country and to give them the understanding of where their brothers and sister came from. I am hoping it will leave a great impression on them.

Hello Everyone,

I have not written since being in Ukraine. This will take time to back track yikes! Why blog in the first place? The reason being I think it is important for many reasons..testimony to God's work, hope and information for others in the process of adoption, memories for my children, venting and thinking outloud as situations happen and because I know how it feels to read other people's blogs. It is an awesome experience to know you are not alone through the good and the bad. I know in my heart that there are prayer warriors who also read the blogs and it is their simple words of "praying here" that get you going.

I think it will be easier if I post some pictures and explain them as I go along.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The picture below is Jack. He was a half in hour in route to the institution for 4-7 year olds. It would have been to difficult for us to adopt him once he entered those doors. The director called and the bus turned around as soon as she got notice we were in country and accepted his referral. Praise the Lord!

The picture below is Annie, she had fallen and left a bruise on her head. This other picture is Danylo he is 12 pounds and has a chest cold right now.

We Made it Here!

Hi Everyone, We arrived on Monday and today is Friday. Sorry about the long wait. It was tough to get internet and with visiting the 3 children everyday, we have not made it to the cafe. Here are some pictures of our kids.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We have our travel date!!

It was amazing to arrive home yesterday check our emails and see the wonderful news.
Our facilitator said our first appointment with the SDA will be August 3rd!! In the mail was our children's (Claudia and Elijah) passports! They are so excited to be traveling with us. They are the 2 oldest so they will be a great help especially when we travel home. This week 7 of our kids are at Bible Camp. They will be back Saturday for a week prior to leaving again for camp. They are loving camp. We have used the time with the 4 youngest to prepare them for us leaving and to also spend alone time with them.

Friday, July 10, 2009

We are so Thankful. What a beautiful Award.

Hello Everyone,

As I sit here writing to you about accepting this truly wonderful award, my 3 youngest are beside me asking me what I am doing. I explain I am saying "thank you to a wonderful lady who gave mommy a hug". To me this award is a hug. The kids smile and say "I want a hug" and I give them all a hug and they say thank you. They then quickly jumped off the couch and went about playing doing what kids are suppose to do. They are playing and singing with no worries. This is what I hope and pray for with Danylo, Annie and Jack. These children in the orphanage do not know that, they are facing the mental institution. They do not know that it is already set up for them to be transferred if no family comes to pick them up. Even the best mental institutions are just that. These children do not know what lies before them but we do. We know and cannot pretend that we don't. As I look through my blog and many of my friend's blog's I see pictures of families doing simple things together, cooking, playing, laughing and growing together. This is what every child deserves ......a family. These children in these instiitutions will not have the experiences of doing even the basics of a family....the unlimited hugs and kisses, the mom and dad who are with a camera in hand ready to take pictures of their every achievements big and small, the unconditional love, the teaching of who God is and how special they are to Him. Yes, these children will have food and clothes and they will have the smiles from staff who have become close to them but at the end of the day the staff will go home to their own families and the children stay. We are now less than 3 weeks away from meeting our children for the first time. They do not know we even exist. They will probably be distant but that is okay because they will come home. They will have that mom and dad taking pictures of their every achievement. They will be having the unlimited hugs and smiles, the car rides to the store, the visits to the beach, the laughs of their brothers and sisters who just adore them. They will have a family to come to. I accept this award as a hug. It is a hug to remind me that this is not just MY dream but the dream and hopes of our Lord for every one of His children. Our Father adopted us, He sent Jesus to come and get us and save us from our own institutions. God expects and tells us to do the same "unto the least." God Bless You and thank you Ms Lu for the wonderful Hug.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The dossier has arrived to our children's country.

We are patiently waiting to get an invitation to arrive at our children's country. I am praying that our dossier can be submitted soon so that I can buy the plane tickets. Our 11 year old son Elijah has asked us to let him go with us. He has been very excited about this adoption. The cost of his travel ticket made me think No at first but my husband has stated that he would love to have his company back to the US since he will be leaving before me and I will be staying for the 10 day waiting period. I could tell that this was very important to both of them. My 12 year old daughter Claudia will be going along with my best friend also a nurse to meet me towards the end of the adoption trip to help me bring the children home. Claudia is very responsible and I know shhe will be a great help especially when we take our short flight from Boston to NC.

With all this in mind, I went to get their passports and they had expired a year ago!! So off we went to the post office and went to get them their passports. I am hoping they arrive on time. I am thinking it will be easy since I sent back their old ones. We all went to the post office and then we all went to Kmart ...I hadn't been there in years. The kids favorite part was the mini merry-go-round . I remember those as a child. It was worth the 50 cents just to see their smiling faces.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We have been approved and our sending in the paperwork.

Hi Everyone,

We just arrived from Claudia's 5th grade graduation how sweet it was to see these kids so proud. They had the graduates baby/toddler pictures put into a slide show. I could not help but tear up. It was so adorable to see how much these kids have grown . We then came home to a message from our social worker. How awesome was this. She said the INS has also approved us for the adoption of our 3 children in Eastern Europe!! We are so excited. I listened to the message 2 times but still had to call and speak to our social worker and hear from her directly. She told us that they will send our letter and off we will go to get it apostilled. I will post some pictures later tonight.

Now I am on my way to get the kitchen decorated for our last day of school/promotion to new grade party. Today is the last day of school for all 8 of them. I am actually happy to have them home. Everyday now will feel like the weekend.

I wanted to also say thankyou for the donation to our adoption our FSP went up from 350 to 425!! Yahoo. Thank you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The warm weather is here and the Bees are buzzing Happy Birthday Emma!.

She did it !! She blew out her 3 candles!! The other young ones where great in not blowing it out for her. We had to explain it to Andrew and Angelina and they understood.
Emma celebrated her 3rd Birthday this month. We had a party before my parents left. Here are the kids singing Happy Birthday for the 3rd time because Emma kept saying "Do it again!" Some kids were done and wanted the cake instead. Happy Birthday Sweety!! I love you!

Here is our Drake named Daffy. He is going to be a daddy soon. Steven did not expect this !! It was so funny I said, Sweepy do you like Daddy's sign? The answer .....yes, maybe a little to much!!

Here is Sweepy. She walks around freely sometimes and she came around from the back of the house to see what sign Daddy was putting up. She loves being around the family. It looks like she likes the sign and approves.

This is a duplicate. I was trying to delete it but I am not very good at this part yet. I will let you know having Sweepy is like having a family dog.

This flag was perfect for our house!! I just love diary cows. This is one of our Roosters. My husband named him Flavor Flave. Hmmm. OK then. Anyways, he comes to the back porch ....eats the cat food and crows. He is actually good, we did have to get rid of one turkey who chased any visitors who got out of their car. He would usually walk not run around the car but with his feathers open he was very intimidating. He was like a watch dog but became a little to dangerous when we could not predict what he would do if he did catch up to the person running around their cars trying to avoid him. Many learned to call or beep to get Steven to go outside and shoo him away. Sometimes he was stubborn with Steven also. It did bring lots of laughs even from those being chased. We have a new Tom Turkey now but Flaver Flav here keeps him in check. The kids love reading the blog and especially love the music. Here they are in the kitchen looking at it. Hi Kids!!

The kids love taking the bus and it took them some work on convincing us that they would behave on the bus and listen to their bus driver. I can tell you with 7 siblings on the cannot get away with much because one will usually come through the door and tell on you. There are so many times I wish parents could ride on the bus so that the bus drivers would not have to drive and watch a bus load of kids but someone must have spoiled it for the rest of us because they do not allow it except for pre-elementary. Early morning hours we have a visitor in the pond. My husband has named him George. He loves to go fishing and usually is by himself.

Hello Everyone,
Hope everyone is doing great. It has been so wonderful reading all of our families' (Reeces Rainbow) journeys towards bringing all these wonderful children home. If you are not familiar with RR please click on some of the blogs on the right or go to the RR site and go under "sponsor adopting families" to read these stories. If you are moved to donate please do so whether it is for our adoption or any of our ( RR families') adoption. Right now, I do want to thank 2 beautiful woman who I have never met/or talked to but have donated to our FSP. Thank you so so much!! I have your names and pray for you often. One day not expecting to see a change I looked at our FSP..... it went from 0 to 300 dollars. Wow! I started to cry thinking maybe it was a mistake so I inquired about it and we were not familiar at all with the names but it was no mistake it was a gift for Danylo and Annie. We did not know them but they donated...we are so grateful to you and we hope that you are reading this. We also thank my brother Stephen who sent us 50.00 (Thank you Steven, I know you are reading this love you).

Where are we? I often ask myself OK what's next. It seems that the simple things such as getting our birth certificates ordered have had its hurdles. We were wondering why it seemed to be taking so long but after calling the vital stats agency there ad of getting our certificates in 3 business days where "misunderstood" it was actually 30 Business days and they blamed it on "Massachusetts". I did ask them to please modify their ad so that people would not be misled and did ask to have the manager call but still have not heard from them. It cost us 240.00 and still did not have the extra certified copies of our marriage and birth certificates. Anyways, the good news we had our family ( thank you mom and dad )back in Massachusetts obtain them for us. I guess we will have lots of copies!! So if you are even thinking of adopting please Lesson #1 make sure you have 2 certified copies of marriage and birth certificates before you even start. This had also held us back with getting our passports so we had to expedite them in other words double that cost. It cost us 400.00 but again waiting six-eight weeks would just be to long for us since we needed the numbers for our dossier. I hope this helps anyone who is new to international adoption. Lesson #2 Please get your passports way ahead of time before moving on to the next step.

In regards to our dossier we have been blessed with this wonderful woman named Phyllis. I feel that the day I walked in that office to notarize my first paper it was a blessing from God. I then hesitantly told her that "there were lots of papers that would have to be notarized and would she mind us coming to her?" without any rolling of eyes of bad karma she so angel like said sure "I will be here". I know she doesn't know about my blog and for sure does not know that I have written about her...but I have a favor to ask from you....could you please say a prayer that God blesses her because it is people like this that I believe God has placed along our journey to help us keep going on. Her smile alone gives us hope. By the way, she did not accept any money for her services but I told Steven that at the end of all this I will bring the children in to see her and bring her a gift card from them.

We have a goal that all our paperwork will be sent in by June 1st please pray for this also. I know God wants us to be very specific in our prayers.( Thank you God love you!) We have a wonderful social worker who has given us the hope and always makes me feel better after only talking to her for a short time. I know that my fears come out but she with her upbeat, hopeful, professionalism attitude eases my anxiety. Lesson # 3 pray to find good people who you can "vent to" without being criticized.

All of the children are doing well. They are very glad to not have to wear winter jackets to school. They are having a hard time in getting their homework done first THEN going outside. The weather is getting warmer so I don't blame them.... but what happens is they go outside ....then they are to tired to do any required reading or studying . Some have started doing their homework on the bus and I don't mind as long as their writing is neat. I know I would get sick but they're kids. I have included some pictures of the farm and kids. By the way we had a wonderful Easter. I misplaced the cable to my camera so cannot download the pictures from Easter other then the ones Steven took on his phone.
This month in April was not only Emma's 3rd Birthday but also Thomas 3rd year anniversary of his passing to be with Jesus. Thomas was a very special boy who lived with us for almost a year. He was in foster care not because he was neglected/abused but because of his complexity in his medical care. His parents wanted him to live in a family environment with the short life he had left. They felt that he was blessed having us but oh...... if only they knew how much Thomas blessed our family. He will forever be engraved in our hearts. He taught us to be better people and to love simple life and the gift that is given to us everyday LIFE. His parents and family will never be forgotten.
Families who are interested in doing Foster care must realize that the number one goal is reunification of the parents and child. We become caretakers of the children and become their parents until they can go back home. If a plan cannot be established or if the parents relinquish their rights .... we then are first in line to adopt them if it is our choice and the child's choice. I do suggest wholeheartedly to never put their biological parents down. As adoptive and foster parents we must be very careful in our words especially when talking about their biological parents. We must instead let these kids know that "they made bad choices" and encourage these children to forgive so that they do not harbor anger. I know that this could be a blog post in itself but I just felt it was so important to mention.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday's funny pictures.

Poor Elijah he (well his behind) was stuck in the bucket. All the kids and Steven were feeding the animals when we heard Elijah scream "Dad, help I am stuck" Everyone burst out laughing!! It was just so funny because the look on his face. Well, let's just say it was a "got to have it picture" before dad saved him. We love you Elijah.
Angelina isn't that crazy about the trampoline she will jump for about 5 minutes and then want out. The younger two can stay in there for an hour. I bought it used and can tell you it was worth every penny. The net does fall off a few times but Steven fixes it quickly. That net has saved lives.

Andrew and that static..The kids love his hair.

Somehow the trampoline had static that day. Here is Emma and her hair.

Hello Everyone,

I hope all of you are doing well today. I actually have my apron on and am in between cleaning rooms....I wanted to take a quick break and post these pictures. My husband has his camera phone with him at all times and he will catch these pictures of the kids/and or animals and then email them to me. I wanted too share them with you in hopes it will make you smile.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hello Everyone. I went to bed late reviewing all the stuff (paperwork) that still has to be done before our deadline. As with many adopting parents your initial list is overwhelming never mind the anxiety to raise the funds. I can only look at one to two things on that list and focus on them until done. Somehow it is never easy. Sometimes you feel that something will only take you an hour at the most but ends up taking you 2 days because of the snags along the way.
Yesterday, we also worked on touching base with our family and securing our children's placement during our travel.....we needed to make sure that each child would be safe and very well taken care of while we are gone. Our children are actually very excited about bringing home the children.
I have decided to place a few "waiting children" Pictures on the side in hopes that someone reading my blog might get that feeling....Many of the readers are already adopting and I understand that but I am thinking some of you may have come upon the blog by accident and who knows God works in mysterious way :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We will not be able to adopt Josh....

I wanted to let you know that Josh will not be the child that we bring home with Danylo and Annie. It was a misunderstanding in regards to what region he was located in. We needed to find a child who would be in the same house as our other 2 or at least very close by. This is important for travel times, court dates and cost. I pray that if Josh has touched your heart...please contact Reeces Rainbow asap so you may adopt him. We were given a picture of a few other children and it was very hard to "choose" They are all very beautiful but we wanted one who was older. As mentioned earlier, it was important to us because these children are getting closer to being transferred out of the baby house. We picked a little boy named "Jack". Again, we leave this all in God's hands. After adopting 9 kids....I never ask God why because He knows . I trust Him just as these children trust us . We say to them :

"Hi, We are going to be your new Mommy and Daddy" they smile, accept and trust us. How can we as adults not trust God?

I wanted you to know that Russellt the boy who I have had as "child of the Month" (by the way that was January... He now has a forever family!!! Yahoo!! One child at a time.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Long overdue blog!

Hi Everyone,

First I need to say that we have decided (after much prayer and talking it over) that we will be adding an older child to our adoption plans!! His name will be "Noah Thomas".

It was Russell (little boy pictured on the left...listed as Child of the month by the way that was January) who touched us and made me realize that I cannot leave that orphanage with 2 babies and leave behind an older child who may never be adopted. You may be wondering..well, why didn't you adopt Russell then? We did not adopt Russell because of cost and longer travel time since he is not close to Danylo and Annie's ophanage. We wanted to do best for all the children involved including those who will be here while we travel to bring home the children. We could not stay any longer and knew that would be the case with Russell.
The little boy we chose is 5 now his American name given is "Josh" real names are not given to protect the child's privacy. Danylo and Annie will both be 2 by July. Our children are very excited about the children but I have to admit the girl's are excited about the toddlers and the boy's are excited about Josh.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Looking out the front door...

Dad put the Christmas lights up!!

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any donations are greatly appreciated. All are tax deductable when made to Reeces Rainbow. Please place Danylo and Annie's names under comment if donating through paypal.
Claudia and Nideya
Our trip to Boston Quincy Market Place

Angelina in line to ride the cars.

Taking a break while feeding the cats? Madeline, Daddy and Elijah
Our Family day at the Aquarium: Franklin, Elijah, Claudia and Emma.