Monday, February 27, 2012

Slowly, But Surely

Well, this past weekend didn't exactly go like I had envisioned it. (Do they really ever?) I anticipated getting so much done around the house, finishing up all of my shopping for the trip and spending lots of time with the kiddos before we leave on Friday. What actually happened? My 4 yr old ran fever ALL weekend and I ended up at the Minor Emergency Clinic Saturday night with a horrible case of Bronchitis. So, I spent all day yesterday in bed, feeling terrible. I didn't get a single thing done for our trip yesterday. Nothing. However, today I woke up fever-free and feeling A LOT better. I'm still taking it easy because I don't want to get sick again. I'm thinking God knew it would take something like Bronchitis to make me be still and rest (which I know I need before we leave). As a mom, we're not so good at resting. Oh we'd like to, but there's always something going on or something to do that keeps us from it. So, sometimes God MAKES us do it.

Slowly, but surely, things will get done around here before we leave. My house may not be immaculate before we leave and I may not have all of the kids bags' packed with perfectly matching outfits and bows for the girls, and that's ok. They'll all be staying with their amazing grandparents/friends who can handle everything I miss! I have four kids, my house isn't suppose to be clean anyway, right??! In less than four days, we'll be on a plan headed to see our son for the very first time. That makes cleaning seem ridiculous and it makes all the last few difficult days seem like nothing! Just a little bit longer "little man". Mommy and Daddy are headed your way!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Visas Have Arrived

There's something just a little unnerving about sealing your passports up in a FedEx envelope and sending them to a completely different state. However, to get a visa, it's required. So, needless to say, I was more than a little relieved to see the FedEx man standing on my doorstep with our passports and visas in his hand! Yay!

This time next week, we'll be on our way to Moscow! Wow!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Travel Dates

We officially leave for Moscow next Friday, March 2. We will be there for 6 BUSY days! I got our itinerary today and we're barely going to have time to breath. We are on a plane or in a car ALL 6 days! It will be exhausting, but worth every tired moment! I've always considered myself the queen of packing (from when I was a flight attendant), but this is stretching me a bit. I'm not exactly sure what to pack or what to expect (besides extremely COLD). I'm so excited and scared to death all at the same time. Keep us in your prayers as we get everything together to leave in the next 10 days. We're headed your way soon, "little man"!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This Past Week

This past week has been a whirlwind, to say the least! My emotions have been all over the place. I've gone from the top of the mountain one moment, to the bottom of the valley the next. That's how it is with adoption, though. Nothing is really certain, except for uncertainty! How thankful I am that I serve a God that knows exactly what's going to happen next!

So, what's happening (I know that's what you really want to know)? Well, things were a little crazy over the weekend. The media broke the story that a request had been filed by Children's Welfare Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in January to the Supreme Court of Russia, to suspend intercountry adoptions to the U.S. until the Russian Duma passes the implementing legislation to the bilateral agreement. What does all that mean? It means that it is possible that Russia could impose a moratorium on all U.S. adoptions. So, needless to say, we were a little worried over the weekend. However, after speaking to our agency on Monday, things are still proceeding normally in all of the regions that they receive referrals from. Where does that leave us? We are currently still waiting on travel dates. We hoped to get them at the end of last week, but as of today....still nothing.

We will arrive in Russia to see our little man at the exact moment God wants us to. (Not a moment too soon, or a moment too late!) God is orchestrating everything that he needs to in this adoption to bring Him glory! This is where FAITH comes in. I wait, with faith, knowing that God is "working all things together for good, for those that love him and are called according to his purpose". Even though my heart aches every moment of every day to hold our precious "little man", I will wait upon the Lord.

All afternoon, the lyrics to a hymn have been on my mind....

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Where Do I Begin

WOW! I had no idea so many things could happen in a 48 hr period? As I'm writing this, I just checked to make sure it has indeed only been 48 hrs since we got our referral. It seems like a week ago!!! Everyone has been asking me for details (and I want to write down the details so that our "little man" will know exactly how he came to be part of our family). So, here it goes....

Monday afternoon, at 1:46 pm, my phone rang. I had actually just laid down because I had a splitting headache. I rolled over to look at the phone and recognized the area code. I held my breath, hoping it was our adoption agency. I answered the phone and on the other end I heard, "Stephanie, I'm calling because I have your referral." I screamed (yes, you heard me right...I screamed)! It's sort of embarrassing to think about it now, but at the time I could do nothing else but scream and cry. We then conference called Troy and told him the news as well. I ran upstairs to the computer and we all went over the information that they had for our "little man". My eyes instantly focused on those huge, beautiful brown eyes staring at me across the screen. The actual content of our referral call is now a complete blur. I remember hearing that I needed to contact our international pediatrician right away, but other than that....nothing. All I could think of was, "Oh my word, that's my son!" You go over and over and over in your head what you think it's going to be like when you get "the call". As I'm typing this, I think I'm still in shock. Talk about a life-altering phone call!

I'll pause a moment here and give you the details about our precious boy (at least the details I can share). He's 18 months old and has the chubbiest cheeks you've ever seen. All things considered, he actually seems relatively healthy. We'll know more when we see him for the first time.

Now back to the story....after we hung up, I immediately called Troy back. We could hardly even speak to each other we were in such shock. I couldn't speak because all I could do was cry. I called our family members and then began filling out the forms I needed for our international pediatrician. I headed right up to the church so that I could fax the information and then wait to hear from the Dr. The rest of Monday evening was a complete blur. I was seriously walking around like a zombie not knowing what to do. We went to dinner with my parents (which was great because otherwise we might not have eaten...HA!). That evening we talked through everything with the kids and we each took turns praying for their new brother. I didn't think I was ever going to fall asleep that night, but I finally did. My poor brain stopped spinning at least long enough for me to sleep a little bit!

Where are we today? Well, I spoke to our caseworker this afternoon to tell her officially that we want to travel to see "little man". So, we should know in the next couple of days when we will leave. Once we have our travel dates, we can apply for our visa. Hopefully, we'll be headed that direction in the next 3-4 weeks!

How can you help? Please, please pray for us.
Please pray that everything falls into place for us to be able to get all of our travel arrangements made.
Pray that we can find affordable flights (we have to travel over there 3 times, so the airlines tickets alone can seriously ADD up).
Pray that we are able to get our visas easily and quickly.

Thank you so much for following us on this journey! You have no idea what your support means to us!

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's A Boy!

We got the call that every adoptive parents dreams of today......we have a referral. It's a boy!!!! We should be traveling to meet our 5th child in the next 3-4 weeks. I am a blubbering idiot right now! I am feeling every emotion known to man! (Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited?) I'll post more later (when I can put together a coherent thought). Please pray for us as we begin the preparations to meet our adorable son!

Friday, February 3, 2012

This and That

The kiddos are finally all feeling better (I hope!), but now Troy and I both feel like our heads are going to explode! Yay!

On the adoption front, we did get an e-mail from our caseworker this week making sure we had everything in place to get our 2nd dossier paperwork done. For those not adopting from Russia, we have to submit a 2nd dossier after we travel to Russia and accept our referral. We don't have a referral yet (if we did, y'all would have heard me matter how far away you live), but she said we've approached the quoted waiting time so she wants us to be ready. Not that I didn't know that, but it just makes you feel good for someone at your adoption agency to tell you that you're near the quoted waiting time. I guess it makes it official, sort of!

Today was Rodeo Day for our older two kiddos at their school. My kindergartner has been so excited all week that she could hardly stand it!! I think she's had her outfit planned for weeks. (If you're not from Texas, I know this all seems crazy. It probably is, but we love Rodeo time down here!!)

Have a great weekend everyone!!