Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Most DIfficult Part

Tomorrow will actually be the most difficult part of our adoption journey.  What is that, you say?  We do not leave for another 5 days?  Correct.  Tomorrow Eric and I drop our oldest boys off at church camp for the week.  It is there that I must say, "See you later" until the beginning of September.  Tonight as I tucked each precious boy into bed I had to hold back my tears; I know that I truly love my boys if the separation already hurts.  This was also the last family night we had as a family of 5.  Again, also very bittersweet.

Our Sunday at church tomorrow will also be very fitting as it is Family Sunday.  The children will be singing and Eric will be preaching for the first time ever on a Sunday morning.  I am not exactly certain as to what Eric will be saying, but I do know that he will be address God's plan for families and even the church family.  So fitting for him since we are about to go off and physically do exactly what God has done for each of us- adopt someone deemed unworthy and redeem him with the love of a family!  It is going to also be difficult to sit through the service without crying because I have so many emotions.

Friday, July 29, 2011

One Week From Today

We land in Dima's country one week from today.  Even though logically I know this, it does not yet seem real.  I am having trouble getting my thoughts together to even get everything packed.  It does not seem possible that we will be with Dima soon!

Last evening we had Carol over for supper to talk more about the trip.  She is packed, ready to roll, and I am thankful that she will be with us.  She is a missionary at heart and experienced in traveling and being in new places.  I have a confession to make.  I've never traveled out of the country before other than our honeymoon to St. Maarten.  That didn't seem like another country really, so I don't count that.  To say that I am really not sure what to expect is an understatement!  Sure, I've personally talked with mommas who have traveled to Dima's country and even his exact orphanage, but that still doesn't give me a solid indication as to how MY experience will be.  Each family has a unique experience.

The one moment that I think about the most is the moment I first lay eyes on Dima.  I've played it over in my mind a million different times and I know that it will be nothing like what I've conjured up in my mind, but I still cannot help myself.  Will he be scared?  Will he be excited?  Who will he take to first?  Eric or me?  Will he give us hugs or will he be cautious?  I cannot even imagine!  What I am certain of, it will be a fabulous moment that will take my breath away just as it was when I would lay eyes on my new babies for the first time.  Words cannot describe that feeling or experience unless you yourself has experienced it.

Another thing that I am certain of is that God will be with us every step of the way.  He ordained Dima to be a part of our family before I even knew what Reece's Rainbow was.  God has watched over this little boy an protected him for 5 or 6 years (we will eventually learn how long Dima lived with his birth family once we are over there) and put people in his life that have been key in our adoption.  People who have taken pictures and videos of Dima, people who have played with him and were able to tell us so much about him, and God gave me the momma bear tenacity to search for any information I could find on this sweet boy and his town.  God is so good and so faithful!

To the skeptics and nay-sayers?  I say examine your hearts.  Pray.  To be perfectly honest I do not think you have taken the time to do so.  If you truly knew God's heart on the matter the scales would be removed from your eyes and you would be rejoicing with us.

On that note,  just six days.....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Week From Today, Two Weeks From Tomorrow

This is going to be brief, but I just had to share.  We leave one week from today.  In fact, our flight to Frankfurt leaves THIS time next week.  WOW!  It is a little overwhelming to think about and sometimes it doesn't seem real to me at all.  Two weeks from tomorrow we meet Dima.  Again, WOW!  SO surreal and amazing.

Please pray for me, though, as I have not been feeling well since Monday.  I'm coughing, sneezing, sore throat, headache, fatigue, etc...  I am also not one to go run to the doctor for an antibiotic as I am only able to take two different ones (I was on antibiotics too much as a child) so I reserve them for when I am super sick.  I am praying that it is just fatigue and allergies.  I need to be WELL before we leave.  Thanks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Single Digits!

We are officially in the single digits in our countdown- 9 days until we leave!  I've been busy getting things together for Jeremiah and Elijah and have had to start getting things together for our trip, too.  The boys, all three of them, are really excited for both camp and the arrival of their new brother.  They have also shared that in two years they would like to have a sister- gracious!

I have also had the opportunity to speak with Catherine Ferrone who returned from Dima's orphanage just one month ago with 2 very special little girls.  Speaking with her and hearing in her own words just what it was like for her was very reassuring.  She was very honest with me that at times she was counting down the minutes until she could leave but now at times she misses that country.  I suppose if you spend more than a few days or a week in any one place you leave a part of yourself there.  There is a part of me that hopes that in the future we can return once again (to the orphanage) and make a difference for God's Kingdom.  Who knows what that would look like, but never say never and always be ready to heed God's call.

In the meantime would you please keep the following in prayer for us?

*Please pray that Eric and I would be able to get sufficient sleep at night.  We are just so excited and our minds are reeling with lists, thoughts, prayers, etc...  that we are not getting very much sleep at night.  We want and need to be well-rested for our trip so we stay healthy.

*Please pray for Dima, that he would continue to be excited about our arrival and receive us well.  We already hear that he is so very ready to have his Mama and Papa, but we do not want him to be disappointed.  Also please pray that he would have peace in his heart as he gets to know us.

*Please pray for Jeremiah and Elijah as they prepare to head off to church camp next week.  Please pray for their health, safety, and protection.  Also please pray that they would have a great time and grow in the Lord.

*Please pray for Sammy that he would adjust to us not being here.  He is very attached to us and tends to get homesick after being at his Grammy and Pa's for just one night.  Pray that he would be brave and strong.

*Please pray for Eric's mom and dad (David and Susan) as they watch our boys in our absence.  They have a big responsibility and lots of activity and schooling to get done while we are gone.  Pray for their stamina and strength.

*Please pray for dear Carol who has so graciously offered to travel with us and remain behind with me in Dima's country after Eric heads back to the States.  Pray that she would remain healthy, well-rested, and strong in her faith as she travels with us.

*And finally, please pray that we would be fully funded before we leave.  While my fundraising bar at the top of my page states that we had been needing $4,000, it is probably more than that due to the fact that Carol and I are staying in Dima's country for an extra 2-3 weeks.  But since we do not know EXACTLY how much our rent will be, or exactly how long our stay will be, it is difficult to know exactly how much is needed ahead of time.  Please be aware that we can still accept donations while we are overseas and would still greatly benefit from them as we will need to pay rent.  Our apartment will not be fancy, just efficient and meeting our basic needs.

Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

11 Days

We leave in 11 days to go to a part of the world I never in a million years would have ever expected to.  But we are not going on a luxury vacation or a short-term missions trip.  No, we are traveling all those thousands of miles to rescue a little boy from a grim future.  A little boy who we have never met but have seen in videos and pictures.  A little boy whose smile spoke to me saying, "Mama, please come get me!  I need you!".

Today as I lay quietly during nap time I reflected on our last several months.  God has done so many amazing miracles for Dima and I am in awe of Him.  I reflect upon everyone's initial reaction and how over the months that, too, has changed and in different ways for different people.  For some, their initial reaction was that of shock and now they are thrilled for us and excited, too!  For others, it has been just the complete opposite.  Their initial reaction was positive, but as the months passed they have grown cold towards the idea.

There have been several families inquire about adoption with us and one family in particular is actually stepping out in faith and in the throws of an adoption of a Reece's Rainbw cutie, too!  Other children have been found and I believe many more will be found after Dima comes home.  God has already used this little boy's life to change the lives of others.

My priorities have changed, too.  My children and their well-being has always been my number one concern, but now not only that.  I now have a renewed sense of appreciation for them.  I always knew that being a mom was amazing, but when you really let God take over the controls of being a mom, well, then it gets so much more amazing and wonderful!  He has such wonderful things in store and it is so easy to see that being a mom is indeed my first priority and season in life (but not above my relationship with the Lord).

When I think of actually boarding that plane knowing that I will come back a changed woman and with a new child I get butterflies in my stomach.  Anticipation.  Good anticipation.  Sure, I am not going to lie- I am a little nervous about the long trip and what it will be like after Eric leaves Carol and I behind, but one thing I am absolutely certain of:  God will be with us the entire time and He has got it all planned out and taken care of.  This morning a dear woman from our church left an unsigned note on Eric's desk and on the note was a lovely angel pin.  At first I thought that I would attach the pin to my backpack but then as I read and re-read the note I decided to keep the whole thing, note and all, in my backpack and refer to it when I start to feel homesick or worn out.  It was such a beautiful note written out of a genuine love for our family and it was so very touching.  Both Eric and I were moved to tears.

This upcoming week is going to be a tough one as I pack and prepare for our trip, I must pack up my oldest two boys for their first week ever at church camp.  One week from today I will be saying goodbye to Jeremiah and Elijah until the beginning of September and that is going to be extremely difficult as Eric and I leave before their return home.  I know that they will miss me and I know I will miss them until it physically hurts.  But the separation is temporary and for a worthy cause.  Jeremiah and Elijah understand this, too.

In the meantime Eric and I are taking every opportunity to make some special memories with the boys before they leave.  We've let them jump into bed with us, give them those extra hugs and kisses, and take more time than normal to listen to them.  It has been good for us to slow down a little since once Dima gets home life will be moving at a slower pace for awhile.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

There Are No Shades of Gray

Life is sacred, something created by a Holy God.  Human lives are invaluable and every person, no matter who that person is, was created for a purpose.  Are there bad humans in the world?  Absolutely.  Those people, unfortunately, made bad choices which in turn led to the decay of their soul.  We live in a fallen world and we have been given a free will to choose.

But what about the humans that are weak, defenseless, left to physically and spiritually decay alone in this world?  What about those humans?  In God's eyes they are the most prized people of all.  Children are especially prized in God's eyes.  How do we know this?  Jesus Himself said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  Matthew 19:14.  I imagine that Jesus feels about children the same way today as he did that day as he rebuked his disciples.

If that is how Jesus feels about children, we, as Christians, should follow our Lord and Savior's lead on this.  We should rejoice when there are little ones in our churches, we should celebrate with families as they welcome new babies into their families, and we should pray for families as they prepare to embark on a journey to bring their child home from the other side of the world; children are a blessing that God bestows upon those that He loves.  We should rejoice even if that child has a disability.

For the first time in our journey I experienced some pure ugliness about our son.  I heard words that were spoken about Dima that were just beyond comprehension to me.  The words were vile, ugly, hateful, sinful, and wrong.  I will be completely honest and say that I felt angry, but not an anger that made me want to yell, or scream, but an ager that caused my heart to grieve for those that spewed their vile words.

After looking around at them with anger, grieved at the hardness of heart, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand."  And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.  Mark 3:5

A righteous anger.  I am grieved by the hardness of hearts, a lack of compassion for the least of these, a refusal to care as God cares.  We are the body of Christ and God expects us to do our parts.  But to say ugly things about God's creation, a precious child whom God loves, well, there are just no shades of gray on this.

This morning when I opened my Facebook account Moody Radio here in Florida posted a video that I have seen thousands of times.  I first saw this video when my friend, Lindy, posted it to her blog back in December.  I saw the video and it revealed a vile ugliness in my heart, too.  You see, I suffered from depraved indifference.  God dealt with me like He never dealt with me before.  God dealt with Eric, too.  Our hearts and our faithfulness to God were tested.  Are we TRUE followers of Jesus or do we just pay Him lip service and put on a good show on Sunday mornings?  What do our Monday mornings look like?  Again, with God, there are no shades of gray.  We are either true followers or Jesus is going to deny He ever knew us.

And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.'
Matthew 7:23

So here we are.  Eric and I are putting ourselves on the line to rescue one of God's helpless little ones.  No, this child is not a genius, he is simple, sweet, loving, and perfect just the way God made him.  But God has a plan for this little one's life.  Believe you me!  In fact, I can already see this plan unfolding in the lives of so many and it is humbling to think that God asked Eric and I to be this child's mother and father.  God has entrusted us with something of high value to Him.  A masterpiece that He created.

With that, I leave you a video that God used to pierce our hearts.  A video that has been posted on the side of my blog since the very beginning.  But today I want to make sure you see it.  God wants others to have their hearts pierced and changed, too.

Do you suffer from depraved indifference?  If you do, I have a remedy for you and His name is Jesus.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

15 Days 'Til Liftoff!

Not including today we have 15 days until we leave.  While it is very exciting for us, it is also very overwhelming to prepare for all of this.  The week we leave our older two boys will be away at church camp which means I must pack for them next week.  This will be their very first time ever going away to camp, too, so no stress there, right?  My babies are big boys now and going off to camp to become little men! Oh my stars!

Next we have our upcoming school year.  We homeschool and we somewhat follow our public school calendar.  The first day of school is August 22nd.  More than likely we will still be away so I must get everything prepared now.  My mother-in-law is so graciously going to get the boys off to a solid start for me while I am away and I am so very grateful.  But there is lots of organizing that needs to be done, lesson plans laid out, and did I mention lots of organizing?

And packing for Eric, Dima, and I.  SO much to think about!  Thankfully I have most everything ready to roll for Dima, but I still need to get our assortment of over the counter meds, plug adapters or converters, a stroller, receipt ledger, envelopes, baggies, and on and on and on!  Yikes!  My brain hurts just thinking about it all.

But I am not complaining.  No, I am enjoying the anticipation of adding another boy to our family.  It feels so much like preparing for the birth of a baby only I am not a gazillion pounds and swollen.  But the excitement, the nesting, the emotions, everything feels like being pregnant.

I would like to share a few specific prayer requests if I may, and ask that you keep these items in prayer for us over the next 15 days.

*Prayer for peace in the boys' hearts.
*Good sleep for all of us as we prepare to travel.
*Good health for our family and Carol.
*Wisdom and discernement for Eric and I as we lay out plans with his parents.
*That we would be fully funded by the time we leave.
*For Dima's heart to be prepared to meet us.

I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Waiving To Mama & Papa

Just a quick hello to share a picture that I received today.  This just made me smile and warmed my heart.  My sweet little Dima waiving to his Mama and Papa, waiting for us to come.

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

We Got Our SDA Appointment!!!

This morning at 6:45 our phone rang and Eric jumped out of bed.  It was our Stateside helper with Reece's Rainbow calling to let us know that we have our appointment with the State Department of Adoptions in Dima's country on Wednesday, August 10th at 10:00 a.m.!!  Can I just that was THE best phone call I've ever at 6:45 in the morning?  And I confess that I am a little grateful that we have more than a 5 day notice as we have so much to do to prepare.  We will have to be in the capitol city of Dima's country about 2-3 prior to our SDA appointment, so we leave in about 19 days!!

Without God none of this would have been possible.  Eric and I are just amazed at what the Lord has done in such a short amount of time, but not surprised.

Just a few more weeks, sweet Dima, and you will have your Mama and Papa!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Fantastic News!

I received some good news today that the SDA is back in business and will be issuing appointments at the beginning of next week!  So what does that mean for our family?  It means come next week we could be getting the best phone call ever and our SDA appointment date.  There is some speculation as to how quickly we will be traveling, but it could be very soon like within the next 2-3 weeks!  

So today I gathered all of the clothes and other items I have for Dima and have it all ready to put into a suitcase.  Tomorrow I will do my clothing (Eric will have to do his own clothes!) and then make a major Wal-Mart run and stock up on other items essential to our trip.  It is surreal that we are so close to meeting our son and all I can think about is how Dima has no idea what is about to hit him!  As he lays in his bed tonight he has no idea that he has a family preparing to go and rescue him from a life of being an orphan- wow!  With God, all things are possible!

Here are some shots of our very first travel preparation:

As you can see we are fans of Thomas.

His ironed clothes & some toys.

The first article of clothing I ever bought for Dima- I cried right in the middle of  Wal-Mart.

Peep Peep!

Conductor Dima!

Toys to take to the orphanage to play with him.

This is the quilt that Eric's mom made for her new grandson.

Our last major obstacle is being fully funded.  We are $4,000 short.  Starting tonight and going through July 14th, my friend, Colleen Kudis will be hosting a Cookie Lee jewelry party to raise money for Dima's adoption.  For details click here.  Be a part of Dima's redemption story!!

Whirlwind Days

Every day this past week has been a whirlwind.  The boys have had VBS at our former church home, 2 of the boys have had dental appointments (our youngest has had multiple appointments), I have had a dental appointment (1 of 3), things keep breaking or "busticating" as my Grammy would say, and Eric and I are trying to get our minds around the fact that we leave in a matter of WEEKS to bring our son home!  Eric and I are so excited, actually, that we are not sleeping very well, either, which makes for rough hectic days.

Still no specific date, and at this point I do not expect to hear until next week or the week after.  If I hear sooner, I will be majorly surprised.  Surprises can be good, though. Today I actually do not have to be anywhere other than picking the boys up from VBS so I will work on packing Dima's bag.  Amazingly I know his size now (5T for anyone interested) and can easily pick through Nathan's clothing and the clothing I have set aside for Dima and get some outfits together.  I just need to get him a pair of shoes and I am not going to buy pair there as shoes are expensive over there.  I am also looking for a stroller to use to get him through 2 airports.  It feels a little odd to be looking at strollers again.

In fundraising news, we just became much closer to our goal since we are doing something unique with our travels.  A dear couple from our church has offered us the use of their Buddy Passes for the airline that the husband used to work for!  It is like flying standby, but if we follow the route that was suggested by the wife who has been watching a few different routes for the past few months, we should not have any problems.  This sweet woman has been watching flights for months for us and has been super helpful!  She even went to the church yesterday to sit down with Eric and explain how it all works.  We are so grateful and touched by our church family's desire to be a part of bringing Dima home!  Anyway,  apparently this particular route starts in Atlanta, goes to Frankfurt, and then to the capital city of Dima's country.  We only live 6 hours from Atlanta so Eric has no issue with driving the three of us (our friend, Carol is still accompanying us!) to Atlanta, spend the night in a hotel, and the fly out the next morning at an obscene hour to Frankfurt.  Before we agreed to use the Buddy Passes, flights were going to run us upwards of $7,000!  Now our flights, at most, for all 4 of us, will be $2,800 round trip!  HUGE difference!  That now means that our fundraising goal has changed and I need to sit down and carefully refigure everything.  We have had some more donations come in and I need to recount everything.  But if my estimates are correct, we are down to only needing $4,000 to be fully funded.  Totally doable, right?  I think so.

On that note I must get back to work.  So much to do, so little time!  Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and donations.  Dima is beyond blessed to have not only a family that cares about him, but so many other friends and family, too!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Sooooo much to do, so little time!  I received an email from Reece's Rainbow last night stating that there is a very good possibility that our family will be traveling at the end of THIS MONTH!  WOW!  I can hardly believe it.  It all seems surreal at the moment.  We do not have a specific date at this point, but we were warned that once we get the phone call, it will be short notice.  In other words, we are to prepare NOW to travel soon!  Please pray for us as we begin to pack and gather everything that we need for our trip.  Also, please pray that we raise the last few thousand dollars.  Eric and I would really rather not go into debt.  We will not be having any more giveaways as our Nook Color only yielded us $75 and at this point we need every penny we raise.  That being said, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible donation to our grant with Reece's Rainbow?  A mere $10 would be most appreciated.  So many of you have been so generous already and we thank you.  Eric and I also know that some of you cannot give any more, and that's totally understandable- we will take your prayers instead!!  This is not about us buying a child, this about rescuing a little boy whose fate is death in a very unpleasant place.

That being said, this Scripture keeps coming to mind:

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adoptive Mommas Nest, Too & We Saw Dima Today

Today Eric and I were in nesting mode.  You would have thought that I was about ready to give birth to a baby at the rate we were cleaning and organizing, but no.  Instead we are preparing to embark on a journey to the other side of the world to welcome our new son.  A journey that is completely different from a jaunt to the local hospital to give birth.  And thankfully, this time no surgery required!

Eric and I were also treated to a glimpse of Dima today.  Another adoptive family is currently in Dima's region adopting 3 little ones from the same orphanage.  For the past few days my fellow adoptive momma had attempted to see Dima but to no avail.  I had resigned to the fact that the next time I would see Dima's sweet face would be when we actually meet him for the first time.  Instead I was taken back when I logged into my Facebook account and saw a picture of Dima that had been taken today!  There he was in all of his glory! Dima had been playing outside and there was dirt all over his little face.  He was wearing a camo shirt and was playing with a toy gun. Our first thought was that he will fit right in with his brothers.  My boys love to play outside with the Nerf guns and dig in the dirt/sand.  There are some days that when the boys come in from playing all you can see are the whites of their eyes because they are covered with dirt!  When I showed the pictures to the boys they were very excited and Elijah said, "I think Dima is going to be soooooo much fun!".  You know what?  I totally agree!  My fellow adoptive momma took nearly 50 pictures of sweet Dima but I will only share my 3 favorite pictures.  You can see that Dima is ALL boy and loves to play.

Precious Dima.  If you look closely at his mouth you can see some food.
Dima was showing his visitor his gun.  He was very proud of it!
He shot at his visitor and she played dead for him.  Apparently he got quite a  kick out of that.
I can hardly wait to get the call that it is time to go but I am also relishing the feeling of anticipation.  For the past few weeks I had felt somewhat helpless and upset with the news of the temporary closure.  Now I am extremely grateful and going to savor every moment of our journey.

The past few weeks have also strengthened our faith.  If anyone doubts the power of prayer I would love to share with them the amazing ways in which God has been faithful to us and so many other families.  God truly loves these children and has wonderful plans for their lives.  Our family is looking forward to watching how God uses Dima for His glory.  Then again, I have already seen evidence of this.

Hold on sweet Dima!  Just a few more weeks and you will be able to play in the dirt with your very own Mama and Papa!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fantastic News - An Answer to Many Prayers!!!

I just received a phone call from my amazing Stateside facilitator- Dima's country will remain open for special needs adoptions!!  At this point in time Eric and I do not have any more details other than that. We should hear in the next few weeks when we will be traveling, and more than likely we will be in Dima's country sometime next month (maybe sooner?).  I am so grateful to the government in Dima's country that they saw the need for these children be adopted sooner rather than later.  What a blessing for so many little ones that have families waiting to get their children!!

Stay tuned for more happy news!!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Honest Emotions

With Eric and I, what you see is what you get.  We do not try to pretend that we are anything other than what you see.  That being said I will be very honest and open about my feelings and emotions regarding our adoption.  For me to simply gloss over what I am feeling, to smile, and say, "All is well" would be an outright lie.

First, I want to share that I know God is in control.  I trust Him without a doubt.  I have peace and comfort in knowing that He is with Dima and watching over Him each and every moment of each and every day.  I know that Dima is totally bathed in prayer by so many of you and even so many more that I do not know.  I can trust that God has got everything all planned and knows when we will be with Dima which gives me so much hope.  Truly, deep down, I know that all will be well.

Second, I am a mother and I do have feelings.  There is the "momma bear" side of me that at times feels frantic inside not knowing how soon I can get to my son.  I try to turn that off, but it has not been successful.  God gave mothers instincts and emotions for a reason.  Neither Eric nor I have been sleeping much and we spend a good part of the night silently crying out to our Father on our son's behalf.  We pray for his health, his safety, and his happiness.  That does leave me feeling tired and weary during the day and I feel badly that my boys are having to deal with me not being my upbeat self.  They have been so considerate, however, and even tender with their momma knowing that her heart hurts.  The boys have also been praying in earnest for their brother knowing full well that prayer makes all the difference.

Third, this has probably been one of the most difficult seasons in motherhood for me thus far.  The first most difficult time was right after Nathan was born and we almost lost him.  The second was the loss of our fourth baby during that pregnancy.  But this is difficult in a most different way.  There is this little boy thousands of miles away that we have never met yet we love him so very much and would do just about anything to get to him.  The emotions of this adoption are unlike anything Eric and I have ever experienced before.  I simply cannot find the words to describe exactly how I feel at the moment.  I can say with conviction, however, that I would not change a thing.  This process is bringing our family closer to God and we are seeing just how amazing God truly is.  Through this adoption we are also seeing how much God loves not only Dima, but us, too.  I praise Him for this opportunity!

Fourth, the prayers and encouragement of our friends and family have been a HUGE help to us during this time.  Without prayer and encouragement Eric, the boys, and I would feel pretty lost and helpless.  It is so nice to get hugs from our friends at church and words of encouragement.  It also does this momma's heart good to see Dima's name on the prayer list in the church bulletin.  Receiving notes of encouragement here on this blog and in the mail have been a blessing, too.  Thank you all and know that we are grateful.

Fifth, we are grateful to have more than one picture of our son.  We have been blessed with a cache of pictures and even videos!  People who have met Dima have contacted us out of the blue to tell us how amazing Dima is and what a wonderful addition he will be to our family.  I cherish those words, pictures, and videos.  Not many adoptive parents get videos of their children before they meet, so I know that we have been blessed with a most wonderful gift.  I can honestly say that if I were put in a room full of children and Dima was one of them, I could pick out his laugh and voice out of the crowd with my eyes shut!  I KNOW my boy!  Eric and I are encouraged by seeing him laugh and smile- he knows how to find happiness even in the orphanage.  But I long for the day when he is here and knows the joys of playing with his brothers, swimming in our pool, playing with the dog, getting rocked to sleep by a mama that loves him so very much, wrestling with a papa that wants to raise him to be a mighty little man of God....  Oh sweet Dima you do not even know the half of what joy truly is!!!

Finally, we have no new news.  I am trying to find out some information on my own via Google and various contacts that I have overseas, but nothing is concrete.  I pray that come July 11th, which is the official start to the closure, we will learn some concrete information and maybe even get a timeframe as to when we can travel to Dima.  In the meantime I will continue to pray for my son and know just how blessed I truly am with the three boy I have now.  Sooner, rather than later, we will hear Dima's laugh in our home and we will continue to praise God for His faithfulness.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Happy 7th Birthday Elijah!!!

Yesterday was Elijah's 7th birthday.  A few weeks back Eric and I thought that we might miss our sweet boy's birthday due to our travels but we were thrilled to be here to celebrate a most special day.  Birthdays are a big deal in our family.  Whoever's birthday it is gets to run the day and pick out something fun to do, what we eat for supper, and gets to have whatever kind of dessert they want (we do not limit it to birthday cake).  Our dear Elijah asked to go to Jervey Gannt, our local public pool which is on the other side of town.  We have a swimming pool but ours does not have a water slide or splash park and we swim in it just about every day.  So Jervey Gannt it was!  Elijah also chose to invite his Grammy and Pa Monier to join us which made the afternoon all the more special.  The boys (and Momma) had a great time going down the water slide, splashing in the waterfalls, and we had a celebratory lunch of concession stand hot dogs and slushies- a good time had by all.

We all continued the celebration once Eric got home from work and we had Chinese take out (we were too tired to go out anywhere from being out in the sun all afternoon!) and then opened gifts.  And as for dessert?  Elijah had chosen a cheesecake sampler with one large candle.  He asked to have sparklers instead of a candle but we were all out.  One of Elijah's gift was a criminal profiling kit so the boys asked if they could fingerprint each other and then dust for fingerprints.  Why not, right?  Elijah then surmised that if he had Nathan's prints on file he could dust for prints in his bedroom to see if Nathan broke in to play with their toys!  Smart boy.

There was other excitement last evening while we were eating cake.  Our little Nathan lost his very first tooth!  He was rather surprised as were Eric and I, but it was exciting.  The sweet little love cried when he saw the blood, but soon settled when he realized that Daddy was going to purchase the tooth back.  The Tooth Fairy does not visit our home as our boys were a little too clever to believe that.  So instead Momma and Daddy buy the teeth back at a very fair price ($1.00 per tooth is the going rate these days!).

All in all it was a fantastic day and Elijah's birth was celebrated.  We could not imagine our lives without him.  Elijah is one of the most caring, thoughtful, compassionate, and creative little boys I know.  We love him so very much and are so grateful that God gave him to us- we are blessed!

As for any adoption news, we did receive a message from one of our overseas facilitators.  He was essentially telling us that he had no news, and anything he had heard over in that country at this point would be pure speculation or rumor.  We should, however, have more news sometime after July 11th.  That information was better than nothing at all and we continue to pray that the temporary closure is short and sweet.  Will you please join us in prayer on that matter?

For now we will continue to enjoy each day as it comes.  Celebrate what deserves to be celebrated, enjoy the slower pace of summer, prepare for the upcoming school year, and look forward to the day we receive the call to go rescue our little boy across the sea.

It is safe to say that we are incredibly blessed with 3 wonderful boys and know that sooner rather than later we will be blessed with another.