Home Study Complete

It’s time for another long-overdue update.  Our Home Study is now officially complete and we are awaiting one signature to move onto the next step in our adoption process.  Lots of thoughts lately, but have had trouble focusing.  I want to use my time wisely in the coming months before we leave the country, knowing that it will be rather chaotic for quite some time when we all get back here.  But I’ve been kind of paralyzed and have had a difficult time motivating myself.  I hate the pressure of having deadlines, but it makes you focus.

I am trying to read several books (evidence of my lack of focus) because I believe they are all equally important.  However, I’m not making good progress in any of them, which would indicate that I need to choose one and go from there.  Here’s what I’ve started:  Adopted For Life by Russell D. Moore, Parenting with Love & Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay, The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis, Oh, Be Careful Little Ears by Kimberly Smith, and She’s Gonna Blow! by Julie Ann Barnhill.  I also really need to be working on Russian (Russian in 10 minutes a day by Kristine Kershul) to prepare for traveling to Ukraine and communicating with our son-to-be.  I guess there is reason to be overwhelmed and consequently a little frozen with the tasks that lie ahead.  But I can’t afford to get stuck here!  I have made some progress lately with getting all of our adoption-related papers and documents in order.  I am also working on getting my desk top cleaned off which will help clear my head!

We managed to get a package in the mail for Ilya!  We sent him a fun puzzle (kind of iconic-America) and each of the kids wrote him a note and some drew pictures for him.  Bruce and I wrote him a letter and translated it into Russian using Google translator.  It would be so fun to hear back from him, but we aren’t 100% convinced that he will receive the package for sure.  We have not been able to speak to him on the phone yet, which is complicated by several factors.  The orphanage has given us a tiny window of time in which to try to call and it is a very bad time for our family with the time difference involved, so we are frustrated by that.  It would be fun to hear his voice and I think it would be good for him to hear our voices.

Our next step is federal background checks and finger-printing (again) at the federal level.  I wonder if they do evening appointments??  : )

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Encouragement from others

Today I share with you part of a blog post from a family that I have been following.  They are currently in the midst of adopting two girls from Ukraine.  I was very encouraged by their post and it was such a good reminder to me that this whole thing belongs to God.  It is indeed HIS plan, HIS mission, HIS timing, HIS sheep.  We are merely the vessels through which he carries out His plans.  I take great comfort in knowing that it is not my responsibility to figure out every detail of how our journey is going to unfold.  It is my responsibility to give it up to the Lord and trust him with all that lies ahead.

From Ezekiel 34:

“I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.  As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness…I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…”

“Today we go back to finish the process.  It’s ironic that early on, we were excited about the lost sheep passage in Luke.  We’d left the 99 (the comfort of home, family, and friends) to go after the 1 (two actually, but we didn’t know it yet).  We searched high and low.  We waited and wondered if we would find the lost sheep that the Lord had called us to go after.  It’s so beautiful that we would come back to that place today, but with an even more healthy perspective.  Though it was us going hard after the sheep, we couldn’t make it happen.  The Lord is their shepherd.  He’s a better searcher than we are.  He alone can rescue them.  He alone can save them.  In the past two weeks of being at home, we have come to a a place of truly understanding that unless the Lord builds the house, its laborers labor in vain.  This is His rescue.  These are His girls.  This is what He does.  He brings light to the dark places.  He brings redemption to injustice.  He places the orphans in homes.  We’re excited to be able to be eyewitnesses to the work of God in this adoption, and we’re beyond ready to be back in Ukraine.”

Making a Connection

Ok, so far my blog has been very serious, talking about important matters, but it’s time to have a little fun.   A rather professional blogger (you know who you are) who was gracious enough to read my blog, pointed out that my blog name seems to have nothing to do with who I am.  Not true, but I haven’t shared the connection yet. 

Since I was about three, I’ve had a fascination with all things wheeled and motorized.  I know, maybe not so typical for a girl, but I liked dollies and girlie things too.  When I was 3, I decided I wanted to be a truck driver and truck oranges back to ND (my home state) from Florida.  No, that dream was never realized, but I believe it was manifested in several other ways.  When I was in grade school, it meant taping playing cards to my spokes to add a motor sound to my banana seat bike.  By the time I was in junior high, it meant putting on many miles snowmobiling across the frozen tundra in the heart of North Dakota’s farmland.  I couldn’t wait to drive a real car, so as I was approaching 14, I had a plan.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a having a good time tooling around on the garden tractor doing any imaginable task that my Dad might have for me, but quite frankly, I was ready for more.  You see, in North Dakota, because of the small population and prevalence of farm families, you can get a full-fledged driver’s license at the age of 14!  So it was definitely the place for a girl like me to grow up.  I went through driver’s ed in 8th grade, got my permit immediately and I was armed and ready with my driver’s license in hand by June.

Two years earlier, when I was 12, my Dad had purchased a brand new, shiny, red, 1979 Yamaha SR500F motorcycle.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that bike.  I don’t remember when it was that he finally let me drive it, but it quickly became my highly sought-after past-time.  Eventually, my Dad cut me off and said “You can’t ride anymore unless you get your motorcycle endorsement.”  And so I did, when I was 18 years old.  All those years ago and I still remember that day.  I was rather terrified, riding by myself out on the open road to a neighboring town 24 miles away to take my test to get the endorsement.  But I passed…  the first time around.  After I had left home, I never had my own bike.  So when I would come home and visit my parents, I would always take the bike out for a spin, secretly hoping that someday it would be mine.

A few years back, my Dad moved on to a Harley and the poor Yamaha didn’t get much attention anymore.  I offered to buy it from my Dad, and he said that if I had room for it in my garage, he would give it to me.  Well, I was out there the next day making room for my future bike.  Earlier this year, my dad trailered it to the Fargo area so my brother-in-law could work on it a bit and get it running again.  My big plan was to ride it back to the Cities from Fargo, but we had some fluid leaking out and a little smoke, so we decided to trailer it back to the Cities.  And so it goes…  all these years later, I’m a wife, a mom of four, in the process of adopting another child, and I’m a motorcycle owner and rider.  And that’s how I became Motorcycle Mama, according to my kids.