Saturday, September 24, 2011

Quick Update on Our Timeline

Things are moving quickly now!  I thought I would give everyone a quick update on the status of the adoption and the probable timeline for things happening...

*All of our paperwork has now been sent overseas!  It was sent out Tuesday and usually takes about 7-10 days to get through customs and to our agency in country.  So, we are hoping it will be there by this Friday (Sept 30) at the latest.

*One the paperwork arrives, one our agency's translators will work steadily for about a week to get the documents ready to submit to the government.  There is a good chance that could be done by about October 7.

*After submission, we can expect to hear from the government in 10-14, around October 20 or so.  Assuming they are happy with the documents, we would be invited to come and meet Kaylee.

*We will try to travel as early as possible.  First, we want to get there and see her.  Second, with some of our commitments here, traveling sooner (end of October) is better than November or later.

*After the first trip, we expect to get a court date in about 2-3 months.  So, we would hope to go back in December-January to try to finalize the adoption.

So, on the completely optimistic side, we could make our first trip to see her by the end of October and back again before the end of the year.  If things end up slower (which we tend to expect),  we would probably travel closer to Thanksgiving and make our second trip in February.  Either way, things are really moving and we should be able to see her in a month or so!  We will start updating the blog more often as we get news.  Thanks for your prayers!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Help Us with Our Matching Grant!

We are getting so close to traveling!  This is both an exhilarating and troubling thought.  We have set our affections on this little girl and we just cannot wait to meet her face to face.  In our hearts, this is our daughter and she is halfway across the world.  Imagine your child living without you, at the age of five, and not knowing what she is eating, how's she sleeping, if she is being cared for, etc.  You'd do whatever it takes to get to your kid and bring them home.  Knowing we could be seeing her in a matter of weeks is unbelievably exciting.  As a father, I want to protect her and it is comforting to know that I am almost in a position to do that.  However, as the adoption express hurtles forward at an increasingly rapid pace, it is scary to look at the finances we are still working on.  It feels like we have fundraised and asked and fundraised and asked some more and we are still looking at $15,000+ to be able to bring Kaylee home.  We are certainly being stretched in our faith and trust as we know we cannot complete this process without this seemingly insurmountable total.

The last month or so has been a difficult time for me.  Nothing has been happening.  The paperwork has been stalled, we haven't fundraised and things are just at a standstill.  As Alyssa can tell you, I thrive on activity...I love to work and be busy and waiting is not my forte.  I have been pretty discouraged over the lack of action, and when we found out we did not receive two grants I was as disappointed as at any other time during this process.  Yet, God knows what we need and at the right time, like the super hero that he is, He swoops in and rescues us from the pit of despair and frustration.  Alyssa came home from her adoptive moms' group with a card that contained a donation of $340 from several families!  It was truly a blessing that lifted my spirit and re-energized me.  The good news did not stop there, however.  Two days later, I received an email from Hand-in-Hand Christian Adoption informing us that they are giving us a matching grant for up to $5000!  Suddenly, my discouragement gave way to a little bit of embarressment that I had ever doubted that God would provide for us.  He has had His hand on every step of this journey and a month of waiting didn't mean that He had abandoned us.  Thank you God for reminding us of your faithfulness.

So, we are praying for $2500 in donations before October 27, 2011.  I get tired of asking everyone to support us, but I remind myself that I am asking God to move on hearts to support His agenda here.  It is God's plan to have His people care for the orphans.  It is His plan to have His people love the broken, the poor and the overlooked.  It is His plan to send His Church to the ends of the earth to make disciples.  This is His plan...we can say with confidence.  So, we are asking you guys to help us walk out God's mandate and to help give a precious little girl a loving home.  Please prayerfully consider giving or at least sharing this need and praying for God's provision. 

So, how can you give?  Please make all donations payable to "Hand in Hand Christian Adoption," postmarked by October 27, 2011.  For tax purposes, please include our name on the envelope only, not on the check.  You can send checks to:

Hand in Hand Christian Adoption
Chirch Family
18524 Juniper Street
Gardner, Kansas 66030-9147

If you do choose to give, please email me at, leave a comment here or send me a message on Facebook.  We need to be able to keep up with the gifts so we know when we have reached the matching amount.

Thank you to our wonderful friends and family who continue to support us and share in our excitement.  We may be traveling in about a month!  We know that this journey is your journey too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Moms Tea Time

Praise God for the Moms God brought in my life.  
My 'family' keeps growing and I thank the Lord for him bringing me 'sisters'.
 We grow up in a family on this earth 
and each day He keeps revealing to us our eternal family. 
 He keeps giving us eternal eyes.  

Lord, keep giving us eyes to see what You see and arms to love as you love.  
May we see You in all the daily tasks and in the big answers. 
May You be our hope each day as we pick up the cross each day.  
May we lay down our own plans and dreams for Your plans and dreams.  
Lord, I no longer! hold onto what I want or what I think I should do.  
Lord, may each day and each moment be surrendered to YOU so You work through me and I can glory in YOU and not in myself.  
May You  be glorified in this life....not MY LIFE, but YOUR LIFE IN ME.  
Use me, use this marriage, use this family.  

Open Hands.
There was a time when God realigned my thinking with His.
He still is, of course.
However, there was a time that I had decided...
'when I adopt, it will be an infant for sure.'
Well, God was patient with my selfish thinking. He was patient with this selfish girl.  He knows our hearts and thoughts.  He knows our motives.  My motive was that the bond would be better this way between the infant and myself. The attachment would be healthy.  And there would be less life experiences --so less chance of the child having 'issues'.  
What ugly thinking.
Praise God for His love and gentleness with me.  
Thankful that He did not think that way toward me.

I do understand that adopting an infant is an amazing blessing! 
I DO understand that could even be in our future at some point.  However, God had to show me that He is first in my life.  
He had me sacrifice my 'Isaac'.  
He had to realign my thinking to HIS.  
He asked me to surrender my desire.

 Any child that has had a 'break' in their parent attachment between the ages of 0-3 years is going to experience grief and possibly have difficulty attaching in a healthy way to an adoptive parent(s). 
The GOOD NEWS is that this attachment can be formed yet.  
The child can HEAL! 
God is a God of HOPE remember?
The younger the child given the opportunity for healing the better, even though, it can happen at any age!

God is bringing all the right people in my life at just the right time.
He has brought a friend and therapist in my life that specifically works with attachment.  Amazing.

Packing for the trip:
baby powder
noisy touch

Playing games with your child builds bonds.
Take time to play.  
As busy parents with three children already sometimes I have often found it difficult to slow down and just play.
Tell yourself, you will sit down and play with your child for at least 15 minutes a day. You can even break that time up in several sessions, but it will bless you and your child.  It will give your child what he/she needs, fill his/her love bank and help you relax.  It will also build that healthy bond that the child needs to have healthy relationships when he/she grows up.

So, even though----MORE BIG NEWS---God has provided another sweet friend that speaks fluent 'her country' language that Lord willing will be available to help us assimilate her when she arrives.......Yes!
There will not only be a break in caregivers for her and a change in countries, but there will also be a language barrier.  
Given this and the attachment that will need special nurturing----here are a few games we will use to communicate our love and affection! :)

  • Blow bubbles and pop them together, try to catch them, etc.
  • Rub lotion on her arms, hands, etc. and let her rub some on my hands, etc.
  • Play in the baby powder--after a bath or whenever, put some on your hands and pat them on a towel to make handprints. 
  • Noisy touch--touch her nose and make a honk noise, pull the earlobe and blow air out of your mouth with a noise, etc. Then do the same on your own nose, earlobe, etc.
This group is also for those just 'interested' in adoption, we welcome you.
"Everyone misses out that doesn't get to adopt." ~ One of my sisters
Blessings, Alyssa

Monday, September 5, 2011

We had fun!

We finished some 'Nesting Doll's' that we are ready to reveal!  We bought a rough wood set of nesting dolls recently when we visited a Russian store in Chicago thinking we would try to paint picture of each member in our family on them.  We found a set of 7, headed home and got straight to work.  We were thinking that Kaylee would feel a part of the family seeing us all together in this 'toy' treasure.  Derek drew the pictures of each of us on them one afternoon and then I set to work painting them.  It was quite fun as I have always loved doing art projects but have not done so much lately just due to a busy schedule.  I was so grateful to have Derek draw the pictures first and the painting just kind of flowed. Thank you Jesus!  Derek jumped in and painted some too! :)  
We have considered making some for other families if they are interested!  They would be custom ordered and the price would depend on the number of nesting dolls in a set.  It would obviously take at least 30 days to complete as well.  If you know someone who would like a set whether they are adopting (from Russia or anywhere!) or not---send them a link!! :) Enjoy.  They have kind of a 'cartoon-ey feel' to them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Well, we are a little bit closer to seeing Kaylee.  We have sent the paperwork off to be sealed and sent to EE, however we keep getting little 'ding's' that need to be fixed before they can be sealed.  At this point we are waiting on some paperwork being sent back to our home study agency to be altered and then hopefully--that will be it! And we will have them sealed to go overseas!  This is quite a process and definitely feeling the 'labor' of this 'paper pregnancy'.  Once this is ready to go (hopefully by the beginning of next week), the dossier will be off to our Adoption Coordinator to add more papers and THEN off to EE!!!  So at this point, if all goes well.....we could possibly hear about her and schedule our flights in 30 days.
30 days is not a long time!
We will also hear about a matching grant in approx. 12 days. That is exciting! We would love to be able to get this grant! This would mean they will match amounts that we raise.   If we raise $2500, they will match that and grant us $2500 more.  $5,000, $5,000 more!
We have raised about $11,000 so far! We have used about $6,000 for paperwork so far and have about $5,000 for our first trip.  As it gets closer the need gets greater!  For this first trip we need roughly $10,000.   Wow. With God all things are possible!  As Derek and I were sharing about the Lord the other day we were talking about how God asked the Israelites if His arm is too short to save, to ransom you....(Isaiah 50:2).  We continue to trust His provision in this adventure.  His arm is NOT too short to save!
He is helping us be more frugal than we have ever been...that is for sure.  It hurts.  I do not like cutting back on certain things and this has definitely been a sacrifice that I am learning how to be happy about! lol!!  There were many things like vacations, clothes, trips, fun activities, etc. that did not happen this summer and that is not to get any glory or say YAY Me, but to let you know this has been hard. This has been very difficult for me, Alyssa.  Maybe not so much for my sweet, sacrificial husband...but I have to say I have not always been the 'happy camper' so to speak.  We are also [praise God! and with His help!] are getting debt paid off and putting a good amount towards this adoption each month ourselves.  This is not easy.  So often I am reminding myself of what we are doing and asking for God's strength.  I praise Him that we are close to one of our goals and am trusting Him for the rest of the funds to actually travel! Thank you Jesus.