Thursday, June 30, 2011

Some Positive News & Hope

Today we received some news from Dima's country regarding the temporary adoption closure.  Apparently, by law, the new adoption authority must be in place within a three month window.  That means the closure cannot last longer than three months!  This also gives us hope that maybe the closure will not last very long- maybe just several weeks or so.  Regardless, I see a tiny little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

Even though we have no solid timeframe, I am going to pray very specifically that we get to head over to Dima sometime in August.  My birthday is in August and getting Dima would make for the BEST birthday ever!!  It never hurts to ask, right?  in the meantime please continue to pray for Dima as he waits.  In the meantime I rejoice in each day as it comes knowing that sooner rather than later we will get that phone call.  Makes life a little exciting!

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Front Porch Evangelism

This morning a young man knocked on my front door.  He was an articulate, polite, Latvian college student.  He is studying law and on a summer program here in the States selling educational books door to door.  I did not invite him into our home since we have all had the stomach flu, but I happily listened to his pitch on our front porch.  The books were awesome but I did not purchase any since we are saving our extra pennies for our adoption.  So when I politely declined the books this young man asked why.  I then shared with him that Eric and I will soon be visiting a country next to his to adopt a little boy with Down Syndrome.  This visibly made no sense to him and he asked, "Why would you do that?  There are places for people like that".  I smiled and very gently said, "Yes, our home is one of those places".  This nice young man seemed to think that we were nuts but I explained to him that Dima, our son, was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe.  It was very surreal to be sharing this with an Eastern European on my front porch.  I love divine appointments.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yesterday

Yesterday would have most likely been the day that Eric and I would have boarded a plane to a far off land to go meet our little boy.  I will not lie, yesterday was a tough day.  I cried- a lot.  To top it off Elijah, Sammy, and I have all had a nasty case of the stomach flu.  So much of my crying was pure exhaustion.  But there is truly a part of me that cries because of the fact that we were so close to getting to Dima.  Our Dossier was submitted and approved, all we needed was an appointment with the SDA....  I was willing to hop a plane at a moment's notice to go to my son.  Yet that was not God's plan.  We must wait.  I  anxiously await the day that we get that phone call to get on a plane and rescue our little man.

If I could talk to Dima or write a note to him, this is what I would say:

My dear, sweet, Dima,
Mama and Papa are so sorry that we cannot get to you as soon as we had hoped.  Our hearts were broken when we got the news that your country was going to shut down to adoptions, even though it is only temporary.  We cried and prayed that maybe somehow we could get to you in time, but it just was not going to happen.  So we must wait.  Even while we wait, however, you are always in our thoughts and in our hearts.  You have 3 brothers who love you more than you could ever imagine.  They pray for you every evening at the supper table and talk about all the fun they will have with you.  I think it is safe to say that you will never ever be alone or abandoned ever again.  Sammy, your littlest brother, wants to work at Publix with you and live with you forever.  The other night, Elijah, your other little brother, was so sick with the tummy flu and as he sat there feeling miserable he cried.  Not because he felt so awful but because he was afraid that if you got the tummy flu where you are now, I could not be there to take care of you.  Elijah worries about you every day and wants you to be here with us.  Jeremiah is your oldest brother and loves to learn about where you live now.  He asks all kinds of questions about your country and hopes that we can teach you lots about your heritage as you grow up.  You also have grandparents that are eager to meet you.  They love to get pictures of you whenever someone is able to snap a picture of you- they love your smile!  They also are thrilled to hear about when someone contacts us with stories about meeting you.  You even have a Great Gram who shows your picture to anyone and everyone who will sit still long enough.  She thinks you are quite the special little man and is eager to see your smile in person.
There are even more people who know of you and your story.  People I do not even know have been praying for you!  You are loved so much more than you could ever imagine and it breaks my heart that you cannot yet be here to know that love.  Hang in there sweet boy...we will come to you as soon as we are able.  In the meantime I pray that God has given you peace in your heart, that somehow you know that your Mama and Papa are out there somewhere.
All our love,
Mama & Papa xoxoxoxo...  


Friday, June 24, 2011

Now What?

Well, our papers have been submitted and we have a bit of a wait.  What in the world are we going to do to pass the time?  Thankfully we do not lead a boring life and we will have lots to keep us occupied over the next few months.  I also want to continue to advocate for orphans and help educate those around me that still may not fully understand that there is indeed an orphan crisis in the world.

July will be our last full summer month.  Elijah will be celebrating his 7th birthday and I know that he is thrilled that we will be here with him.  I am pretty thrilled, too!  Hopefully our little family can take some day trips to the beach and I would even love to have a night of camping out, too.  I know that Eric's mom and dad have some plans to take the boys camping in their camper at some point and that will be lots of fun for them.

August winds up summer for us but not before Jeremiah and Elijah spend a week at church camp.  This will be their first year and Eric and I are so excited for them!  They get to stay in cabins and everything!  Not too long after that school starts up once again.  This year we have enrolled the boys in Classical Conversations.  It is homeschooling but you also have one day a week where you meet with other students have a day of "school" all together.  It will be meeting at our church this year and we are very excited to begin a new homeschooling adventure.

September brings about more school and church activities and maybe, just maybe we will get some good news.  We can hope, right?  If not, October will be the earliest that we hear.

Please keep Dima and his country in your prayers.  Please pray that the government would not keep things closed for too long.  I am hopeful because of something I read in another adoptive family's blog this morning.  They are adopting from the same region as us and they had their court date today.  The family shared that, "The judge praised the USA for allowing it's citizens to adopt special needs children".  That is very good news!  That indeed gives me hope.

Finally, please keep our family in prayer.  While we do have peace about this wait, that doesn't mean that we will not have our moments of "I want him home now".  Each time we sit down for a meal I see that empty spot at the table and I feel a twinge in my heart.  When I tuck Sammy in bed for the night I look at the empty bed and wish I had another little face to kiss.  Waiting can be tough sometimes.

Eric and I are also grateful to those of you that have been so supportive in so many ways.  We would not be able to do this without any of you.  This adoption is not really about just us or Dima, it is about each and every person that will come in contact with Dima.  He will impact so many lives!  God has a great plan for his life!

On that note I must get back to waiting (ha ha!).  Lots to do.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

It is safe to say that with our family there is never a dull moment.  Yesterday was one of those days that I would just assume forget ever happened.  Did you ever read the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?  Well, that title keep swirling through my brain as the day just kept getting worse and worse.  Allow me to recap my day for you:

*Received email from Embassy- no more SDA appointments until after the closure.
*The AC in the house died.  That was really awful as the heat index was 106 yesterday!
*The AC in the van died.
*Sammy started to spike fevers of over 102.
*Elijah came home from VBS with a broken heart.

But my God is bigger than all of that and I am so glad that He is!

I had lots of time to think last night since I was up and down with Sammy keeping his fever down.  At about 2:30 this morning I had a sense of peace wash over me.  I suddenly felt no sadness, no anxiety, no worries.  God is taking care of my worries and burdens one by one, all in His time.

The email from the Embassy?  Well, that was a bummer, but Dima is not my child, he ultimately belongs to God.  God cares for and loves Dima so much more than Eric and I.  We need to trust His timing with Dima's adoption and we know that regardless of the outcome we will be blessed.  I did, however, wake up to a fantastic phone call my from Stateside helper telling me some very good news- OUR DOSSIER WAS SUBMITTED TO THE SDA!!!  Eric and I do not expect a travel date any time soon, but we can pray that the closure of adoptions in Dima's country is shorter than 3 months.  We can take this time to prepare our hearts even more for Dima, get Sammy and Dima's bedroom perfected, be here to celebrate Elijah's 7th birthday, etc...  I have peace!

The AC in our house?  That was fixed last evening by a friend of ours and he did not even charge us.  He said that it was one way he could serve Dima now.  How thoughtful and touching.  We are so grateful, especially Sammy who was spiking fevers over 102!  I was ready to pack that little love up and head to the Holiday Inn Express for the night!

The AC in our van? Is still dead, but at least the van runs, right?  One thing at a time.

Sammy's high fevers?  They broke this morning and we had no major hallucinations.  Sammy is famous for hallucinating with high fevers.

And Elijah's broken heart?  A tough lesson learned and I think, maybe a confidence builder (a momma can hope, right?)

So today I can rest in my Lord and know that He has got it all under control.  Part of me is looking back on yesterday with a little bit of a laugh because it was just nuts how awful it was.  God's mercies are new every morning.

In the meantime, Eric and I are about to really learn the meaning of patience.  I am not sure how long that will take, but we will be obedient.  I think the following will be our new theme song:



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

If You Heard A Heart Breaking It Was Mine

I just heard from the US Embassy located in Dima's country.  No more SDA appointments until after the "temporary" closure.  Deep down I knew that this was the case, but I had hope.  A very small part of me was hoping that we could be submitted and travel in time.  But that is not going to happen.  I was not given a timeframe, though Reece's Rainbow is saying 3 months (not sure where they got that information).  I do not think anyone truly knows.  I am too numb to write anymore at the moment.  Please pray.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Up And Down

Since last Wednesday my emotions have been all over the place.  Despite what I wrote in my previous entry about fully trusting the Lord with our situation, it does not negate the fact that I do have emotions.  That is how He created us- to feel, to emote.  Eric and I are in a season where our emotions are intense and can be happy one moment and sad the next.

For Eric when he is upset or stressed he gets stomach aches and then tends to get sick.  The poor man has been sick more than once in the past several days.  He is not ill with a virus or anything, it is stress.  It is concern for his son.  Just this morning he went to pick up a gallon of milk from the store and he saw a father with his grown son.  What grabbed Eric's attention was that the grown son had Down Syndrome.  Eric said he watched the father and son interact and it was so obvious that the father loves his son so very much.  I know that it caused Eric to think about Dima and long for him.

Me?  I get to where I have no appetite, a forced fast of sorts.  I cry a lot and it usually just comes about suddenly.  I would liken my emotions to that of a pregnant woman.  To clarify, I am not expecting!  I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon looking for relevant news articles about the closure in Dima's country.  It was my hope that maybe I would get some concrete answers.  Sadly, there was nothing new.  I did, however, contact the US Embassy in the capital of Dima's country to see if they could maybe provide some answers.  This morning I received a response to my email and it was very general and most likely a formatted email since they are inundated with frantic parents trying to get answers.  Since they did not answer the question I asked I wrote them once again.  That is what a mother does.  She fights for her children, will hound whomever she must, she will cry out to God for protection over her children, she will weep in despair.....  A mother's love is probably one of the most powerful forces on this planet (after the power of God, of course!).

So what do we do in the meantime?  Pray.  Pray some more.  Pray as though a little boy's life depends upon it; because it does.  That and we must continue to trust.  Even though this momma would move heaven and earth to get to Dima and bring him home, I cannot do that.  If I did not know the Lord I cannot imagine getting through this without feeling utterly hopeless.  But I DO know my Lord and I know that when I am crying he is counting the tears and holding me close.  He is also with Dima, watching over him and protecting him.  God knows the outcome of our uncertain situation and that is what allows me to be able to move on after a good cry.

On a positive note I am super grateful that this week is our church's Vacation Bible School.  Last night was the first night and I had so much fun with everyone.  I also received some wonderful encouragement from a special momma who adopted her daughter from China 11 years ago.  Her love, encouragement, and support gave me hope that God can work a miracle for Dima.

Please keep praying for Dima and his country's government.  Pray that they move quickly while making the necessary changes to the branch of government that will be overseeing adoptions in the future.  Please pray that somehow we are able to get to our son before July 11th....God is able!  

Monday, June 20, 2011

What If?

We have had some more updates regarding our situation since yesterday morning.  While the information we received is still not 100% concrete, we were basically told to not be surprised if we had to wait through the closure.  It was not the information I wanted to hear.  It felt as though I was being punched in the stomach all over again.  Since I received that email as we were leaving for church I had a tough time sitting through Sunday School and church without tearing up.  At one point I did have to go into the ladies room for a good cry.

But I had a choice to make.  I could choose to wallow in self-pity and cry because it's not fair or I can choose to allow God to glorify Himself through this situation.  After some quiet time yesterday afternoon I can say that I am choosing to allow God to glorify Himself.  Who am I to dictate to the Creator of the universe how He should lay out His plans?  How do I know that for some reason this is a blessing in disguise?  There are also some positives to not traveling in just a week or so, too.  If we wait through the closure I will be here for Elijah's 7th birthday, Eric and I will be able to spend good, quality time with the boys through the rest of the summer, Eric can concentrate on getting through the summer with his work at church (summer is the craziest time for him with VBS and camp), we get to enjoy a few more game nights with our friends, our airfare will be significantly cheaper (a huge plus!), and we have a little more time to raise the rest of the money that we need to even finish this adoption.  All good and positive things to enjoy over the coming months.

I am not going to lie, however, and still admit that I have a sliver of hope that somehow we are able to get to Dima before the closure.  There are also a few incidents that have happened in the recent weeks that I cannot shake.  For instance, Eric and I felt an urgency with getting our Dossier over to Dima's country.  We kind of jumped the gun a little on getting it over there.  God gave us that urgency.  Could it be because He knew that there was a chance of us still getting over there in time?  Our fingerprinting was the same way.  Our actual appointments were not until June 7th but we walked in on May 17th without any issue.  And a mere one week went by and we had been assigned an Immigration Officer.  That is unheard of!  Most people had been waiting for weeks (some more than one month!).  By June 2nd we had our approval, just 9 days after being assigned an Officer!  Again, lightning speed.  We can only hope, though, right?

Regardless, I trust my Lord.  He has Dima in His hands and loves Dima so much more than Eric and I.  I trust that He has this all planned out, we just need to wait and listen.  A friend jokingly told me this past week that God loves drama- no kidding!  Regardless of how this all plays out Eric and I will be pleasantly surprised and know that when we get the call to book tickets to Dima's country it will be a short notice.  I also think it is safe to say that we will have an amazing adventure to our son no matter how soon we get there.

Please pray for our family and Dima as we walk this uncertain path.  Please pray for Dima's health, safety, happiness, and that he remains in the orphanage until we can get to him.  Please pray that Eric and I would have calm hearts and unwavering trust in our Lord.

In the meantime I have had this song stuck in my head since yesterday afternoon.  It was shared with me by my friend, Lindy, back when we first caught wind of the closure.  I confess that I only listened to the song once and then forgot about it.  Then yesterday afternoon as I was driving home from the grocery store I actually really listened to the song for the first time;  I mean really listened.  It spoke right to my heart.  I hope that it blesses you, too.




Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day Eric!

I dedicate this entry to my awesome husband and father to my boys- Eric!  He has a great sense of humor so I know that he will appreciate the following videos.  Happy Fathers Day!




Friday, June 17, 2011

Now That The Dust Has Settled

Amazingly I was able to sleep last night.  But I dreamed of Dima.  I dreamed of meeting him for the first time.  In another dream I received an email saying that we were submitted today (June 17th) which is impossible because they only do submissions to the SDA on Thursdays.  And I dreamed of having Dima here at home.  At least I got some sleep.

As of now we really do not know what is going to happen.  My Stateside facilitator told me that we might be submitted next Thursday (June 23rd) but that is still no guarantee that we will make the cutoff.  Please pray that God would move this mountain standing in our way.  This mountain is standing in a 7 year old little boy's way, too.  Dima has waited for a family for so very long and it must be heartbreaking to see others be adopted and yet there he remains.  In the meantime Eric and I will just take each day as it comes and just trust in the Lord.

On a really positive note, Jeremiah and Elijah come home today from a 2 week trip up to Pittsburgh, PA!  They went to visit my mom, dad, brother, and grandmother.  From everything that I have heard it was a fantastic trip and everyone had a great time.  I sure did miss my boys, though.  I am not one of those mommas that likes to dump her kids off with anyone who will take them- I love being around my kids!  I am also excited to see my mom and dad and celebrate my mom's birthday, Father's Day, and the boys' homecoming in one fell swoop.  I also know of a little someone who is eager to have his big brothers home.  Oh how Sammy Wammy (Nathan) loves his brothers!  He is also excited to see his Mimi and Pappy.  Today will be a good day!

In other positive news my friends Lindy and Guy House arrived home to FL last night with their two new sons, Gabe and Levi.  Their trip was an amazing adventure though their sons' stories are just beginning.  I cannot wait to meet those little loves and see them in person!  Another Reece's Rainbow momma, Catherine, sprung her two little girls out of the same orphanage that Dima is in.  Sweet Nastya and little Moira (now called Francesca and Victoria!).  It has been fun and enlightening to read her blog over the past month, giving me a very realistic view of what it will be like for Eric, Carol, and I while we are over there.  Catherine had spotted Dima twice and was able to give me little updates.  But now that her little ones are busted out of that orphanage I will be at another family's mercy to get updates until Eric and I can get there.  Jen Johnson and her husband, Wayne, were just there to meet their three new little ones, Elliot (Seth), Gloria, and Samuel.  At the moment they are back in the States awaiting their court date and once they receive their court date they will head back over to that unnamed country and stay through the 10 day waiting period.  I will eagerly follow their journey, too.  Better yet, I hope to be over there at the same time!  Oh and a little shout out to Jen- I just now realized this morning that you and Wayne had your wristbands on!  Oh how that did this momma's heart good!!  For as silly as this may sound, it was as if a little piece of our family was there with you, in the very same building as Dima!  Thanks for wearing them!

Finally, if you are local to our area, my friend, Cris, will be having a huge yard sale at her home tomorrow (June 18th) to benefit our adoption.  I am beyond blessed that she is so willing to do this for our family and for Dima.  This will be our third yard sale and I pray that is just as successful if not more so than the other two.  There will be lots of super nice items there and the donations keep coming!  If you want directions and times, please send me a private message and I will happily share that information with you.

Thanks for reading our blog and riding this roller coaster with us.  Please keep praying!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not Submitted

I just found out that we were not submitted today.  We do not know just yet where that leaves us, but please pray.  It is in God's hands now....

Update

It sure has been an emotional 12 hours.  I couldn't sleep last night and was up until 2:00 a.m. just thinking and praying about everything.  So much information to digest in such a short amount of time.

First, I am waiting on word word about our Dossier.  Dima's country is 7 hours ahead of us so as of right now it is almost 4:00 p.m. there and I assume their offices close at 5:00 p.m. like here.  So any time now I should have word.  Please keep praying, however.

Second, I had an opportunity to speak with my Stateside facilitator last evening.  I am not going to go into too much detail, but suffice to say that it was a relatively positive conversation and things look very hopeful for us and for Dima.  So I am not feeling as frantic as I was when I last posted here.

Third, if we do get submitted, chances are we will not have much notice on our travel date.  There was a family that was submitted and got their travel assigned to them on Tuesday- they leave MONDAY!  Most likely we will have a short notice.  But like I told my Stateside facilitator, Eric and I work well under pressure and can handle it.  Secretly Eric has always wanted to be on the Amazing Race (ha ha!).

Finally, my heart hurts for the families that are going to be stuck in limbo.  I cannot imagine the pain and anguish that must cause.  On the up side this temporary closure is supposed to bring about some wonderful changes to the adoption program with Dima's country.  So we can rejoice in that information for sure.

As soon as I hear anything I will be sure to let everyone know!  Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

HUGE Prayer Request - Urgent!!! *Update*

Well, the news I had been dreading for months now has finally arrived.  Dima's country will be shutting down temporarily for 3 months starting July 11th.  This came out of nowhere as I had been reassured by one of the facilitators that this was not going to happen.  Our Dossier is over in Dima's country, and that is a good thing, but I have a  feeling that if we are not submitted tomorrow that we could be delayed in bringing our Dima home by months. Chances are that if we are not over there for an SDA appointment by the end of June we will probably have to wait at least 3 months as well as redo most of our paper work.  I am beyond sick at the moment and ask that you all intercede on our behalf and Dima's.  PLEASE pray that we are submitted tomorrow and that we are able to get to Dima by the end of the month.  It would be very short notice, but I do not care.  I would drop everything and leave this moment if I could.  Please please please pray!!!!!

I do need to say, however, that the changes are supposed to be for the better.  While that is all well and good, I do not want Dima to be transferred to the "other place" while there is a change made.

**UPDATE**

I spoke with my Stateside helper and things look positive for us.  It is possible that we could be traveling in the next 2-3 weeks.  Now more than ever we need to become fully funded!!

Oh and I should clarify that Dima's country is not shutting down to visitors, just adoptions, and just temporarily.  I had some very frantic questions about that- ha ha!  So please keep praying and please pray for the families that will be put on "hold".  

On Dima: Why He Is Worthy & Deserving

First, I want to point out that Eric and I had decided back in April to retain his birth name.  We were blessed to see videos of Dima and in the videos we could hear people call him Dima.  When we committed to him we had been told that the name Dima was merely a "code name" to protect his identity.  Eric and I truly did not know what his name was for quite awhile!  When we finally received his official birth name and realized that the nickname Dima was an actual nickname for his birth name, we decided to stick with it.  Unfortunately that has caused some confusion for many since so much of our material has the name Daniel David, a name that we had chosen before we found out what his name really was.  It was only last night that our FSP button (link to our Family Sponsorship Page) was updated to reflect the fact that we are not changing Dima's name.  So to be perfectly clear:  We are NOT changing Dima's name to Daniel!!!  He will retain his awesome birth name!!!  I am, however, withholding the full birth name until after Dima is officially and legally ours.


O.K., so now onto the good stuff!  I am going to share parts of emails that have been from people that have met Dima in person and have spent time with him.  I cannot openly share the name of the country or city in which Dima lives so that information will be censored.  I also cannot openly share who these emails are from, I can only give "general specifics".  Enjoy!


"Anyway, I adopted from this orphanage in 2003...I went back in 2009 to see the changes many families have made there...many of us started a charity to help he kids left behind..anyway, on my visit, I met Dima and got a lot of pictures from him.  You can view pictures from this orphanage at ********  The place has come a long, long way since 2003.  Dima is loved there...the caregivers brought him to me and told me how smart he was...he lived with his bio family for a while...he seemed quiet, maybe shy, and has a good attention span...while many of the other kids were kind of wild, he was building with blocks.  He was in a group w/ 2 other DS kids that were adopted last year...Anna and Tanner.  Enjoy the pictures...I am SO thrilled to see that Dima finally has a family!"

"Anyway, onto Dima!  By the way what is his real name?  So, how I saw him was we were sitting in a little covered area near a play area and all these non-special needs kids came running out to play.  I was standing by a toy cupboard and Dima ran up to me and said something in Russian.  I think he was asking me to give him a ball, so I did.  He said thank you in Russian and paka (bye).  He is super cute and very, very hi high functioing!  He is with a group of typical kids.  The caregiver didn't like that I took his picture, so she had all the kids move to another area.  He is really a cutie!  He must be favored because when the caregivers....  He seems well-liked by the other kids, too.  Several of them were joking with him.  If I see him again I will take more pictures.  T'm not sure they will let me hug him, but I will try!"


"I saw Dima again today.  Sorry I wasn't able to get a picture.  He was walking in line with his group.  I yelled out, "Hello Dima!" and he turned and smiled at me and pointed to himself and said, "Dima!".  He is precious!"


"We are ....  We saw our videos on your blog and we were really happy.  We want to check some other videos on our PC concerning Dima and if it is we need time to process them and then we upload everything on Youtube.  We are absolutely glad thinking about little Dima having a new family!!  In Italy at the moment it's 2:00 a.m....little bit late!  So tomorrow we're gonna take time to write you and tell something more about Dima...."


"Hi there!  Last night I could not sleep for the happiness of the news, Dima is going to have his family....his mom and dad!!  WOW!!  ....came up in the bedroom and woke me up just to give me the good news....it was 2:00 in the morning!  I have to tell you the truth- all children in orphanage was lovely but I give a little more attention to Dima...do not know why...but he touched my heart.  I have a cousin who suffers from Down Syndrome and I know what it means and I though the little boy would never have a family of his own.  I brought candy for everyone...but I gave him some more!"


"I'm so thrilled to hear the news!  Oh my goodness you have no idea how happy I am...well I know you are happy, too!  But oh you are going to be so much happier when you meet this sweet, wonderful, beautiful little boy!  He is a doll!  His workers are going to be so happy to know he's going home, finally.  They tried their darndest to get us to adopt him, too, and if we'd been approved for thee we would have.  He would run up and hug me and call me Mama- melt my heart!  He will also be able to do what my kids could, and that is always so helpful.  The workers potty train them, made them dress themselves, feed themselves, and they were a decent weight.  Dima seems healthy.  My kids came home parasite free, and Dima was in the same groupa with my kids....  Oh I forgot to add that Dima is a hugger and he's waiting for his Mama, really and truly waiting with plenty of affection!".


So you see, my sweet Dima has been waiting and waiting for his Mama and Papa.  He is a real little boy with lots of love to give and Eric and I are a Mama and a Papa with lots of love to give to him in return!


Below are a bunch of videos taken by the family from Italy last July.  You will see Dima with his groupa laughing and playing with his friends.  I do not think that there is a need for an explanation, just watch and see what a wonderful little boy he is!  Dima is real, not just an abstract idea or mere picture on our blog....




























Winner of the Nook Color Giveaway!

And the winner is.........

Jenn Menges of Limerick, PA!!!!!!!!  Congrats to Jenn!!!!!!!!!

And thank you to each of you who contributed (some several times over!).  Eric and I are so grateful and it is our hope that you are blessed in return for your generosity.

This was our last giveaway though we are still working on gathering the remainder of our funds needed.  Keep watching the thermometer on the left-hand side of our blog grow!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Nook Color Giveaway Ends at Midnight Tonight!

This is our last giveaway for our adoption.  If you are interested in participating, this Nook Color giveaway ends at midnight!  Eric and I have been super grateful for all that have participated in our giveaways and pleased that those that have won have been super blessed in return.

To learn more about our final giveaway, click here.

Best wishes to all who enter!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

If You Ordered a T-Shirt Or Wristband...

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the delay.  We ship stuff out on Mondays and last Monday our Dossier took priority.  Today we resume our regularly scheduled program.  I just want to double check, however, on who has yet to receive their items.  Please leave me a note to let me know if you are still waiting.  I have a list, but I'm checking it twice.  Thanks so much!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dossier Has Arrived!

As of yesterday our Dossier had arrived in the capital city of Dima's country.  It was delivered into the hands of a sweet woman who will translate everything and then submit it to the State Department of Adoptions.  We are simply waiting now.  We could get the call in as little as 4 weeks!  But we are still short on funds.  I could make this entry all about begging for money, but I will not.  God has the funds, He just needs to move it our way, just what we need.  This is the time for God to show off and show that He does indeed provide.  Just like God has provided a family that is willing to adopt Dima, He will provide the  means to get there.  He has an amazing plan for Dima's life!  This is your chance to be a part of that....
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.  God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.  But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Psalm 68:5-6  New Living Translation (NLT)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hello, My Name Is Jenny and I Stalk Fed Ex Packages

First things first.  We did not meet our $200 goal yesterday (we made about $145) so I will not be sharing a long Dima story with you.  But I CAN share a little snippet that Catherine sent to me recently (just because I am nice like that):

"I saw Dima again today. Sorry I wasn't able to get a picture. He was walking in line with his group. I yelled out, "Hello Dima" and he turned and smiled at me and pointed to himself and said, "Dima". He is precious! I will try hard to get more pictures for you."

You see?  Dima is a super sweet little guy in desperate need of getting home!

Which brings me to my next point.  I've been stalking our Dossier like mad since Tuesday morning.  As of this morning our Dossier has arrived in the capital of Dima's country which is exactly where it needs to be! I am hoping that it will be delivered sometime today even though it is scheduled to arrive to its destination tomorrow evening.  We are down to the wire my friends!  In just a few short weeks Eric, Carol, and I will be boarding a plane to go on a rescue mission.  Yes, this IS a rescue mission!  If you want to see some little ones in Dima's orphanage visit Catherine's blog.  You will see that even though Dima seems to be well taken care of it is still not a pretty place to be.  Dima has already been there for at least 5 years. Can you imagine?  But life can change for him.  Dima can be redeemed and rescued!  He can know a life of love and happiness.  He can have a full life that shows the glory of God!  But we need your help.  Will you help us rescue Dima from a bleak and sorrowful future?

Adoption affects all of us.  Even if you do not agree with what we are doing and you are a believer in Christ, adoption DOES affect you.  How?  YOU were adopted!  Christ came into the spiritual orphanage and sought you out!  You and I were no prettier than any of the orphans I've shared with you on Facebook or that are in Catherine's blog.  You and I were "the least of these" at one point and we were chosen.  There we sat in a corner, in our own filth (sin), wretched and unworthy.  But Christ changed all of that for us.  Each and every one of us.  Adopting Dima is merely mirroring what Jesus has done for us.  Are we not supposed to be like Christ?  We are his body!  We are His hands and feet!

Not everyone is in a position to adopt, but everyone can do something.  Eric and I are willing and able, we just do not have $10,000 laying around (I do not know many people who do, actually).  We need the body of Christ to come together and help us do a task that the Lord has set before us.  If you cannot give you can pray.  If you are not the praying type you can simply encourage us.  But now is the time to rally.  Our time is growing near.

If you want to participate in our Nook Color giveaway it ends on the 14th.  Click here to be taken directly to the blog entry that explains it all.

In the meantime I saw this video on another adoption blog yesterday.  Just wanted to share.



I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Stalking Our Dossier & Holding Dima Info Hostage

I've been dutifully stalking our Dossier since we sent it out.  As of this moment it has left Paris, France several hours ago and is heading somewhere else, hopefully Dima's country.  It is so very exciting to think that in just a few short weeks we will be meeting sweet Dima; I cannot even imagine what it will be like!

I've been getting some updates from a Mama, Catherine, who is currently at Dima's orphanage getting her 2 sweet girls, Nastya and Moira.  She has seen Dima a few times and even managed to snap that one picture that I shared awhile back.  While I am itching to share the information, I think I will hold it hostage for awhile.  Our Nook (a NOOK COLOR, by the way!) giveaway is not doing too well and at this point we are barely making enough to cover the cost of the Nook itself.  SOOOOOO.......if you want to hear some really sweet Dima stories we need to get this Nook giveaway going!  If we make $200 today I will share the most recent email I received about Dima.  Click here to get to the original post about the giveaway.

P1000964.jpg
Dima with another Mama, Raffaella, last July. This sweet Mama adopted Dima's friend, Anja and they live in Italy.  See how Dima is hugging Raffaella?  He so desperately wants a Mama of his own!!  
   So what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Dossier Is On Its Way!

I am over the moon excited to share that our Dossier is on its way to Dima's country!  We committed to Dima on February 7 and today is June 7.  Five months of tedious paper work is now behind us- I am amazed.  The ETA of our Dossier is Friday, June 10, but I am praying that it gets there sooner.  If all is well once our Dossier is reviewed we could be submitted to the SDA (State Department of Adoptions) within the next 2 weeks or so!  It is safe to say that come next month, I will see my precious Dima and be able to tell him that his Mama and Papa are here to love him forever.

So what was our "Dossier Day" like?  Well, I will not lie, it was a little stressful.  We had to drive to Tallahassee, FL from our home in Ocala to get all of our documents apostilled or "authenticated".  Basically it is a notary of a notary, but super fancy and official.  It took about 4 hours to even get there and then we had to wait about 45 minutes to have our documents authenticated.  Nathan was with us, too, which added a fun element.  He was so well behaved and excited to be along for the ride.  While we waited for our documents the three of us played with his Mighty Beans- we know how to have just about anywhere!  From there we went directly to a pack and ship place to ship everything off.  We did not want to risk loosing all of those important papers!  Once Eric checked everything, and rechecked everything, it was done.  We prayed over the package, shed a tear or two, and that was it.  All of our hard work was done.

This is what an apostille looks like.

Our stacks of 37 documents!

Eric carefully goes over the check list just one more time.

I teased Nathan that I could just ship him to Dima and then he and Dima could be shipped back together.  Nathan was not sure about that.

O.K., ONE MORE look over the check list....you can never be too careful!

Eric prayed over the package- goodbye Dossier!  Or should I say PAKA Dossier!


That was our super fun, adventurous, and exciting day!  So what is the next step in our journey to Dima?  Well, wait.  Now we wait for our Dossier to be submitted and once that is submitted and the powers that be over in Dima's country like what they see, we will be invited over for our meeting with the SDA.  That meeting is simply a petition to adopt Dima and at that time we will hopefully receive permission to meet Dima and spend time with him.  During that period of time we will be assigned an actual court date in Dima's region where we will officially become his Mama and Papa forever!

All of that sounds so exciting, right?

There is one minor catch at this time, however.  We are about $9,000 short on our funds.  Eric and I are working hard to add to our funds, but unfortunately, yes, we still need to do some fundraising.  Please do not forget our Nook giveaway!!  In celebration of our Dossier being sent, I will QUADRUPLE your entries today!!!  Yes, a mere $5 will get you FOUR entries, $10 will get you EIGHT, $15 will get you TWELVE, $20 will get you FORTY, etc... . This will end at midnight tonight even though we still have a week to go for this giveaway.  To see our giveaway click HERE.  We have other fundraisers in the works, but this will probably be our last giveaway.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, encouragement, support (both financial and emotional!), and patience with us as we have embarked on this journey to Dima.  Without you all we would not have been able to do this.  To rescue a child who is so very deserving of a forever family.  Thank you.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Approved!!

I JUST received the email from our Immigration Officer that we have been APPROVED to adopt Dima (at least Stateside)!!!!!  This means we can now send our Dossier off to Dima's country so we can get our SDA appointment!!!!  WOW!!!!  Just WOW!!!!

To celebrate our approval I am going to TRIPLE the entries for our Nook giveaway for today only.  So for instance, a $5.00 donation gets you THREE entries for our giveaway.  Will you join us in celebrating this major milestone in our journey?  Now that we are able to send our Dossier, that means we will be traveling in about a month or so- we need to raise the money now more than ever!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prayer Request!! *Update*

Today I got a letter from our family doctor that was to be faxed to our Immigration Officer in hopes that our case will be expedited.  After the fax went through I called our Officer directly to let her know that we sent a fax.  I asked her if this will help our case and while yes, it could, it needs to be approved by her supervisor. So will you please pray that her supervisor has mercy on our Dima?  Our sweet boy has been in that orphanage long enough and it is time that he comes HOME!!

Also, please be sure to enter our Nook Color giveaway!  It doesn't take much to enter and you help save a child's life!!!

*UPDATE*

Immigration needs just one more piece of paper and we should be approved TOMORROW!  Please pray that this one last piece of paper fulfills their requirements.  It is exciting and maddening all at the same time. Exciting to be THIS close and maddening that they need one more piece of paper.  Please keep praying!!!