Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If a tree falls in the woods and there's no one around to hear it fall, does it make a sound?

I went for my physical and bloodwork today. Robert goes in on Thursday. We do a little bit of the mountain of paperwork everyday. Our philosophy is, eventually we should get to the end of the process. Last week we gathered notarized copies of the house deed, letters of recommendation from friends, and completed the history section of the home study. This week we will attempt to file the I-600A petition to adopt form with Homeland Security. They want a completed homestudy to accompany the form, but we're going to try to get the paperwork in so we can be scheduled for the biometrics testing. We need to touch base with Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement and submit a more recent criminal history check, but first we have to get to the police dept. and have our fingerprints done. Eventually this should all get done.

Sending for notarized copies of our marriage certificate proved to be the most humorous point of the process thus far. We attempted to use a vital statistics service to get copies of our marriage license initially. A few days went by and I received a voice message on my cell phone from the company indicating that they were unable to process vital statistic requests from the state of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina. Apparently, many of the records stored in Orleans Parish were unavailable. Unavailble? As in no longer existed??? For a moment, just a brief moment, a look passed beetween Robert and I. So if there's no record . . .? As a bright new future stretched out before us, I realized that our marriage technically took place in Franklinton Parish and the records would be there. Sigh. We quickly reaffirmed our love and commitment to one another. Who needs a piece of paper anyway? I located the contact info for the Franklington court house and now have the certified copies in hand to prove that Robert and I are indeed stuck together . . . legally.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Who?

God is amazing. I am seeing Him move in so many places. If you haven't checked the total on the adoption lately, those numbers went up a little more today. Stephanie, one of our students, had a birthday party this weekend. This morning she showed up in my classroom to tell me about it. It sounded like the usual fun silliness that comes with these type of parties: ice skating, friends, etc.

One element was missing from this party though. In lieu of gifts, Stephanie asked her friends to bring donations for a charity. I was impressed. As I was thinking about how "outside of the box" that decision was, she handed me an envelope. It was one of those moments where you have to choose to compose yourself or resign to looking like a racoon for the rest of the day. She had taken a poster board and made a giant card out of it. On the front were pictures of my sweet girl, inside were messages from many of the students who had donated money. How much money?


Yeah, I was stunned too. It's as though I can hear God joyfully whispering to me, "Just wait. See what I will do!"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Mystery Solved

Thanks to Kelly B who reminded me how dull I truly am. Flip flops are the official footwear of Florida. How could I not see that??? That's a rhetorical question, people.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Rubber Slippers Through the Big Toe?

So here is our most recent letter from our sweet daughter:
hello dear Leslie and Robert!
I was very happy to recieve a letter form you. Please send a big hello to grandmother and a grandfather and many thanks for a gameboy. I was very happy to get your presents. I wrote to them as well. You asked me what I need, so i can tell you. Could you please give me some rubber slippers through the big toe. I miss you all very much. I would like to ask you are you coming in April?. Do you remember when you took me to America in summer I asked you whether you will come in April because I have Birthday in April. I also am waiting to play with Katelin. Karina is sending you a big hello as well. and she misses you a lot too. If to be honest that were you who thought me English. I didn't know it before, but only after I was with you I had begun to understand something.
I am praying for you and will be praying always.

Have a good day.

What are rubber slippers through the big toe??? Talk about lost in translation! If you have any clue what she's describing, please let me know! I am so proud that she has been practicing her English. I thought she would have lost so much of what she learned while here in the States, but according to her caretakers she has been working very hard to maintain her new language.

Six months apart is a long time for both of us , so it pains me to hear her ask me to come in April. I desperately want to be with her on her birthday. So how do I explain the logical reason behind not being able to come to her? I would have to use adoption money to afford a trip to Ukraine. Robert (always the voice of reason) reminds me that we have to push towards the goal of having enough to see the adoption through. I can't tell you how excited I am to have half the funds necessary to complete the adoption. But compassion doesn't think in terms of finances and reason. So how do I explain this to her?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Scenic Route

I can't believe that almost a year has gone by since I considered traveling to Ukraine and began blogging. I do believe that 6 months have gone by since my precious child walked away from me at an airport. We feel her absence everyday. Robert and I were in a store the other day and I kept picking up little items that I thought Kristina would love and showing them to him. Strangely enough, each item was small enough to fit in a 10x13 mailing envelope, our primary form of connection with the girl. Last week I sent an envelope with a set of Disney princess pajamas, valentine candy, a few books and letters from the family. I have three more envelopes in my closet already packed with gifts of love, but they don't fill the gap that time and distance have created in our hearts. Its a heavy burden to carry; I've seen what she has gone back to. We can't go for her soon enough.

This, coupled with so many other changes, has put me out of sorts. I feel as though God is truely testing my faith. I desperately want clarity for several situations and God has not seen fit to provide me with that at this time. I am pained as I wander in uncertainty over the direction that my life is taking. I know that God is a big picture worker, but I am geared to dwell on the details. I have a hard time stepping back and seeing the larger workings.

Blogger recently changed over to a new format. I resisted changing to the new format until recently. Tonight when I logged in to post, I accidentally clicked on the "Moderate Comments" tab. To my surprise, there were over 25 comments from past posts that had not made it onto the blog. I scrolled through and read them one by one. They were messages of encouragement and love from friends and strangers. It was a much needed boost of support. It was a reminder that I don't walk this path alone. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the view.

Friday, February 16, 2007

What Can I Give?

A handful of orphans, boys and girls ages 6-13, have the opportunity to travel to the US for Spring hosting near the end of March, but they are in need of families who will share their homes and hearts for two weeks. If you are interested in learning about the children or about hosting, please contact KT Bronson with Frontier Horizon at kt.bronson@frontierhorizon.org She will answer any questions you have and provide you with pictures of the children.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Letter from Kristina

We were blessed to get a letter from our sweet girl this week. Please continue to pray for her! She is getting restless!

Dear mama and papa!!!
How are you? I am doing good. How are your children?I miss you all very much and love you bunches and bunches! Please, say hello to Katlene and her mama. Also please, say hello to all my classmates. I cannot wait to see you here. Thank you very much for the package. I haven't had those kind of things in my life!!! I hope you will get a packege from me soon too. I want to see you so very much. When do you think you will come after me? I cannoot wait anymore. I will be looking forward to your letter every day. I miss you evry much.
Thank you very much for your kindness and love for me. Please say a big hello to my Aunt and uncle and the teacher and give her a big kiss for me too.

I love you bunches and bunches,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Shame on me!

I know. I dropped the ball on keeping the blog updated. Things have been in a downward swing since learning that the girl wasn't going to be coming for Christmas. Christmas was bittersweet, but we were thankful nonetheless. The new year began with some issues that we hadn't anticipated, but we are waiting on God to provide guidence and wisdom. Our goal is still the same though; we press on as we look for her homecoming. On a positive note, we are just at $9000! Its hard to believe it. That's a huge number to us, but it is confirmation that God has not forgotten us or a little girl. We are working through the details of paperwork and the tedious process involved, but many have gone before us with great sucess. So we are hopeful!

I received an email from a friend who adoption became official today. We were so excited for her and her new daughter. There is no way to express the peace that comes from knowing that an orphan has found a home. Praise God!