Wednesday, April 1, 2009

When Life does not go according to plan

This is a hard note to write but we have put it off for several days, and feel you have the right to know what is going on at this point in our life. Mike and I were hit by the economy last week, his company has given two definitive economic strategies for the next 6 months, either taking a 10% pay cut or 1 week off no pay per quarter for the next two quarters until they can decide if they can make it in this poor economy, if not their will be layoffs. At the same time the boys tuition came in for next year up 4.2%. We are having challenges with our paperwork, we had to have our medicals redone because they were in black ink and need to be done in blue, we are not sure about the future right now and are in need of some deep prayer to find God's direction in all of this at this time. Besides the challenge with our paperwork and DSS. Financially, it would be in normal life decisions, not wise to spend $20,000 plus, when you may not have employment in the fall so we have some hard decisions to make and some major concerns about the increase in our tuition costs for two in college, their senior year for both of them. Mike is also feeling that he needs to be on the job and not leave now, because if they do cut back, he feels him being gone to the Ukraine could cost him our only income. Please pray for us as we need to hear God speak clearly to us at this time. Besides the outlay for the adoption there would be another person to support on a diminishing salary with increasing costs of living, and we want to do the right thing, we want to trust God. If we are to move forward with this process we need peace or clear confirmation, both of which we do not have at this time. We appreciate you standing in the gap in prayer with us. God is and He is good all the time, even when we don't understand what is going on.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Need a little prayer

You know when you are driving down a road or in a parking lot you all of a sudden see a speed bump and have to adjust your speed and approach? We have come to a slight speed bump, please pray for God's intervention in a matter that is small but can become large without God's hand directing the process. I need to write a letter for clarification on a matter, please join us in asking for wisdom and the correct words to convey what needs to be done and that this will be the end of this matter. Then ask God to protect and go before us with this process so that all are satisfied in this situation and that God's will will be seen so clearly in all that we are doing. It has been a week of spring things: sowing seeds, visiting friends and family outside, I am ready for spring. God's greatest miracles of rebirth are seen at this time, new baby 'critters', flowers emerging from their winters sleep, fresh crisp winds waking up and refreshing the world that has been at slumber and the promise of hope, the celebration of our Savior. What a blessing that God's creation gives life anew to all He created, may God bless each of you with renewal and new life this spring and may He bless many children with a new life and a hope in Him.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Time Marches on :)

I cannot believe how fast time seems to go by. We spent two weeks in Connecticut. Mike had a training to go to and I snuck along. I really needed the break. We saw a good many of my family: Aunts and Uncles and cousins. It was a good time for me to reconnect, since we don't know when we will get the opportunity again. We came home to our boys who are on spring break. Our youngest had his wisdom teeth out on Monday and I began to think we will be doing some of this all over again and that was a good feeling for us, not the end of another thing. We have a campout this weekend with our Scout troop and soon we will have another child involved since ours are no longer in. We have been gathering papers and beginning renovations on the room we will be transforming into another bedroom. That has been exciting. Spring is coming in spurts now and my garden is going in. We are excited about the next few months. Please pray for us our hearts desire is to go to Ukraine the end of May through June. We still have funds to gather, we have most of our dossier paperwork together and we have begun the list of what to take. Our trip to Connecticut was a trial run for the what to take and we were able to live for two weeks out of one suitcase a piece :) and a small backpack each, plus my computer. We feel good about that. Our Scouting has really helped us prepare to travel light. We even had food and some cooking items with us, ie can opener, backpack utensils, and water bottles. We did realize we forgot some things like my cell phone charger :( and panty hose :) which I hate to wear anyway lol. I was able to do some more research for homeschooling our new son and getting reunited with educational materials. It has been 5 years since I homeschooled our youngest. I studied Ukrainian history and read some of the poetry from Ukraine's poets, while on our trip. We are STILL working on the Ukrainian alphabet I told Mike maybe if we turn it on and sleep with it going it will stick :)and his southern accent is still hilarious. We are working at rewriting our will and looking at our finances, which we are grateful God has been working on for us. He is so awesome in His plans for us. I am starting to get some anxiety about flying so please pray for that. We thank you all so much for praying for this young man we hope to adopt and for God's provision. We are so amazed how much of what we are doing is similar to when we were expecting our first two. We are now doing nesting things like getting the house ready, and preparing for his future. We are gathering clothing items as best we can, hoping to get some idea of possible sizes before we go. God is so awesome is all we keep saying as we look at another child who will be a miracle to us.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Language Learning and other things

Hi it has been a very busy two weeks. I have continued to gather our dossier papers, to make plans for our redecorating project, which we have decided to do the paint and such when we bring our son home, and our most interesting activity to date. I realize why they send young people to school, my memory ain't what it used to be. We are seeking to learn Russian and it is an interesting task to say the least. Their alphabet is familiar and not at the same time. For example M=M, but N=H, or S=C. They have similar letters, I would say about half and half of those make a sound we associate with another letter. Mike laughs because I have a favorite letter it is pronounced to me, this is sounded out e-kratka. I think my alphabet is starting to sound like theirs and it is becoming more familiar each day. I so want to understand our son he will probably surpass us because he will have the necessity to speak English here in the states, I hope to pick up much while we are in Ukraine.
I want to cover a topic I have not seen on another web, but feel every potential adoptive family goes through it. And that is doubt or fear. Fear of the unknown, doubt of the capability to parent, and for me fear of an airplane flight. I get claustrophobic and 8-14 hours trapped in a metal tube overwhelms me at times. To me that is the worst part of the adoption process, flying. We have had our fears of how will this change our life, how will we discipline, how do we make up for 16 years of having no parent to full family. And we think this young man has to face the same type of fear and doubt. We will take him home with us to another culture and country, away from home. How would we feel? God keeps giving us total peace after one of these episodes. I cannot leave him to be put out on the street, I cannot forget about him and the impact he has already had in our life. There are so many unknowns, but this much I know, there were many unknowns with both of our children and for that matter with our marriage as we walked down the aisle, the factor that superceded all of these doubts and fears was peace and love. Knowing God loves us enough to be there through the trials and challenges any path in life takes us, peace that God in His glorious Word keeps affirming within us. Fear of telling my in-laws, who have a negative attitude towards adoption, fear of how overwhelmed he will be when he gets to the US and we have such a materialistic society compared to the shoebox of treasures he may have from his whole life. How do we begin the healing process for him. God has opened every door and we have willingly walked through. How can we not, We feel His presence and see His hand touching us and our sons all three of them. Will it be a struggle you bet, it was with our natural children, will we embrace another culture, yes, for when we cease to see all God's people where they are and to understand their experiences we cease to grow. We are on a little 2 week trip right now, for several reasons, I have returned to where I grew up and it has helped me see how well God blessed me from the culture I grew up in to the one in which I now live, two to do some genealogy research for my melting pot family, Mike is here for his company doing training, and I am refreshing myself from the frantic pace we had and realigning our plans and goals for the next month or so. It has given me a chance to see how God has never left us in this process and how He has worked for us as we walk day by day in the plan He has for us. We are blessed. Is it easy? No it hasn't been from the start, we stepped out in faith knowing there was no way possible to afford this at this stage in our life and yet He has met every financial need as we need it. We still have the brunt of that need ahead but we are faithful that we will not only see God working for us but we will see Him abundantly bless us and our new son. We set out on this path with the realistic knowledge that their would be trials and challenges in our travels much like a peak bagger that seeks to climb to a new mountains pinnacle. We will face storms, rocky trails, uphill climbs, but when we finish the race at the mountain top we will be at one of God's high places. A breathtaking view of His magnificent creation and more mountains to climb and more trails to take. We put one foot in front of the other and walk into an uncertain future, but all future is uncertain here on earth, the only consolation at times is who we are traveling with and the fact that Jesus our guide knows the path we are on and the Holy Spirit nourishes us and gives us strength and the God of the universe created this for us to take journeys on to be sojourners in foreign lands or better yet lands of the unknown. Do we know what the future has?, not here on this earth, but we know who holds our future and who we hope will one day hold our son's future. He heals, He teaches, He comforts, He returns what the locusts have eaten, He blesses, He upholds us with His righteous right hand, He gives wisdom, He directs our paths, He leads us, He sees us, He provides for us, He loves us, He gives grace and mercy... He is our all in all our sure foundation in the things of this life. So we walk on and climb this mountain knowing we will reach the pinnacle only to find the next mountain. What have I learned, I have learned that if we never take the journey we never grow and learn. We choose to step out in faith. On this trail there have been tears, laughter, abundant joy, lessons learned, doubt, growing faith, belief and unbelief, there has been hopes and realitiy, life is like that but as we follow the servant leader we learn that in the sacrifice of leaving the status quo, the comfortable and the known, He takes us and expands us, all He asks is that we walk day by day with Him. When I take each day as it comes it is amazing how much we have accomplished because someone authored these steps, He is our all in all and if we never leave our safe haven we never see how He can and will use us for His will, in His time, for His glory, how humbling that is and how joyfully we step out in faith, knowing all is uncertain for us but is sure and true in His scheme of things. So if God lays adoption on your heart step out in faith knowing He has a plan, will it be perfect no because after all look who He has to deal with, but will He bless us most certainly, He loves us so very much. There can be no regrets for the paths already traveled, but we cannot stay where we are we must move on which will you do in your own Pilgrimage of life. God has a plan and it is one of new directions and journeys He feels we must take for Him to achieve His kingdom goals. If you feel a call to adopt and you in fear or doubt back out, how do you feel when God reveals what his purpose was. For instance this is an uncertain world, economic hardships, greed, anger and malice, lust, and selfishness, wars and rumors of wars. If in a year He calls us home and you get to see who is coming through the gate, is one of the least of these that we could have impacted among the lines that are entering the kingdom. The orphan that was killed on the street of Ukraine by skin heads, was someone's heart tugged at some point and they abandoned him. How would you feel if on your way to your adoption into the heirship of the most high, He changed His mind or decided the challenges of raising us as His children was not the most attractive and He gave up. Not all are called to adoption, some are called to missions, some even to both, but all are called, what is your calling, will you step out in faith and follow Him so far this journey had left us totally exposed, out of our comfort zone, filled with fears about raising another child while we are already empty nesters and, by the way, we love this time in our life even though it is bittersweet that our first two sons are grown. But He has never forsaken us, when we faced some unbelievable obstacles and overwhelming odds in some situations in life, He has always blessed us even when He has said no to our deepest desires.He loves us and calls us to take up the cross and follow Him. What is your cross, carry it into the world and you will never regret following and loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Pray for the families with doubts and fears, that they will see God's will so clearly and feel His presence so acutely, and will know the path they must take. On a personal note please pray for me for clarity of the paperwork for the dossier and for our finances. We are nearing what we hope amounts to our travel time. I cannot believe how far up this mountain journey we have already come, and yet we still don't see the landscapes for the rocky trail and trees that lie before us the turns in the trail and the provisions that lie ahead, but He is waiting with open arms to bless us at the top as we look back over the trail we traveled to get there. I plan to "peak bag" this climb :) Dos Vedanyah! and I know that's not spelled correctly, but soon real soon :)

By the way, in order to help with our funding I have become a consultant for Creative Memories, I love their digital storybooking (scrapbooking) products. If you scrap or want to do digital scrapbooking you can go to my website and find out more and the money we earn from this venture goes for our adoption expenses my website is I did not plan to get into this line but I love it and it all started because we heard the young man we love and want to adopt wants a scrapbook of pictures that are his. So we are working with a friend to have his own storybook. They are really so neat, easy to do, and take far less time than traditional scrapbooking. So in this digital world I have become a digital girl and I have finished two storybooks that I will publish soon and the best one will be the one we hand to our son when we meet him :) They are far less expensive then traditional, a twenty page 8x8 storybook can be done for around $40 which includes the predesigned pages and the printing and hand sewn binding. Digital is our future and what will you do with all your digital pictures, this is a way to get them off the place you have them stored and tell your life - your story- your way :). I would invest in this product line even if we weren't adopting but we believe God will use this to help with ourr funding of the adoption and to save money for our son's higher education since we are paying for two others to be in college right now :) Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two Posts in One Day :)

Our presentation was amazing for us and we are so humbled by God's grace and mercy. We were so blessed by God's miracles to us. First a contact with the State Dept. of Social Services who hooked us up with info about a tax credit and then told us he works with post placement adoption issues and offered his support and help when we return from Ukraine. Then a young lady who speaks Russian is in our congregation, we have been praying for her for years while she had been on the mission field, and then a wonderful friend who said they knew no less then 8 people in Kyiv, who she can hook us up with. We at least knew one or two in Odessa, but no one in Kyiv so we are so grateful to God for opening more doors and we plan to walk through all that He opens for us.

Our presentation...

Today at church we will formally introduce our plans. One of our elders and close family friend is the speaker today and he has planned for us to be part of his message. He feels what we are doing is so important, that we were moved from the announcement time to the main message. He is an awesome speaker and teacher we are so huumble by he and many others in our congregation who are coming alongside of us. We are so humbled by the wonderful people we have met virtually and who are fast becoming such an important part of our lives. Mike laughs because I wake, turn on the computer and pull up our blogspot and check on everyone who we are or have been following. What a blessing God gives to us to send us with very special pilgrims to a land He has called us to, so we may love one of His own. Having studied a lot of Ukrainian history recently I realize their geography has caused their country and peoples great pain over their history. They are in the center of Europe and their land has been used as a war zone for many battles amongst European powers almost since their beginning. Right now Russia is playing with their energy sources and who knows how long it will be before they are involved in another conflict. Ukrainians are a hearty people who love laughter, and love their heritage, they have withstood many hardships under foreign rule losing some 1.5 million of their Jewish population and 6.5 million countrymen in WWII alone. Communism is still lurking near and it is a constant threat to this people group who seek to farm and enjoy their own diverse culture. They are not Russian though they have been called 'little Russia'. We wish with our adoption to allow our new child to draw strength from the heritage of this hardworking fun loving group who have withstood famine, war, suppression and many hardships. We have learned so much so far. I love their flag, when I first saw it, it was plain to me sky blue top and golden yellow bottom; that is all that their flag is made up of, but as I did the research their flag stands for their clear blue skies and golden wheat fields, for in their rich soil they produce the wheat for many, they are the bread basket for much of Europe. Bread, the sustinence for life. We hope to share our bread with at least one young Ukrainian man, the bread that comes from our Father in heaven, the bread of life. and at the same time we hope this young man will bring to our family the seasoning from his rich heritage to add more flavor to our life and to allow us to develop a God like compassion for another people group. What a blessing it is to add flavoring to our meal so much more so is it to add flavor to our lives. For meeting, knowing and sharing this journey with as many of God's people as possible is the best banquet this side of heaven. Taste and see for our Mighty Savior and Lord is GOOD. If you have a desire to serve reach out and grab a new spice in your life, God has an unbelievable banquet prepared when we seek to embrace His orphans and widows, His children that are lost or in need, step out in faith and open you hearts to the rich bounty He lays before you, you will never regret the experience if you draw close to Him for the journey He has planned for you.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Homestudy is....

FINISHED!!!!!! Oh what a feeling and what a surprise, we were told Wednesday at the earliest, but God had other plans and we were ecstatic to get it after I returned from my Digital Scrapbooking convention this afternoon. On to the dossier as this gets sent to its next destination hopefully on Monday :) Keep praying for our little paper trail. By the way Happy Valentines Day