Ups and Downs

The roller coaster of emotions continues as we press forward on the adoption path on which God has placed us.  A couple weeks ago, we learned that two of the children that were hosted by another one of the families who participated in the same orphan hosting program that we did, were in the process of being adopted by a different family in Ukraine.  We were somewhat shocked and saddened to hear this as the hosting family is in the process of getting their paperwork ready to be submitted to Ukraine.  They were expecting to be traveling in the spring to carry out the adoption of these two children and another sibling.  While the host family and we sincerely desire God’s best for these children, it is hard to understand why they would come this far in the process only to have it interrupted by an alternate ending.  This family believed that they were carrying out God’s plan for their family and these kids, so it is difficult to sort through all of the emotions and facts of what has happened and make sense of it.  A few things that we are sure of:  God’s love for them, his ability to provide for their every need, and that his plans for us are for our good – but from God’s perspective, which can differ greatly from our own.  So we must continue to trust in Him and ask him to guide us as we move forward.

Another family, who is pursuing the adoption of one of our boy’s good friends, has received THE phone call that us prospective adoptive parents all anxiously await.  They will be leaving on March 14.  Since our paperwork was submitted 15 days after theirs, we are anticipating a phone call by the end of next week or so and hope to be traveling the last week in March.  So this is the good news and we are greatly anticipating the day when we will see our boy again.

What else has been on my heart lately?  Well, I’ve been thinking a lot about how deeply I desire for Ilya to truly feel part of our family once we are back home.  Every member of our family totally embraces him and loves him and we so want him to feel like the rest of us do about being a part of this family.  We don’t want him to feel like he is just living with a family who cares about him.  God is grafting him into our family and we desire that he feels as securely attached to the trunk as the rest of us do.  Please join us in praying that God will continue to prepare Ilya’s heart and mind to become a permanent part of our family.

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Documents Submitted to SDA

This was written on March 15, 2011

For organizational purposes and archival accuracy, I am posting this now (in March).  I realized that I didn’t have a post dedicated to reporting the submssion of our documents to the SDA in Ukraine.  So this did happen on February 23.  There’s more to the story with what happened after that, but that will come in another post soon…

Submission Date

We were very pleased to receive news a couple days ago that we have a submission appointment with the SDA!  Our documents will be brought to the SDA by the facilitator on February 23, the day after my birthday and our 14th wedding anniversary!  So we are excited and nervous all at the same time.  We are closely following in the footsteps of another family who hosted our boy’s good friend last summer. Their documents were submitted on February 8th, so we’ll see what their referral appointment date ends up being.  We should be able to come up with a pretty good travel prediction from there.

We need to start getting serious about plans of what to bring and what not to bring.  I’ve been reading the adoption forum and writing down advice and ideas that I think are helpful.  I’m trying to figure out how I will do laundry for 6 without a clothes dryer. : (  Do you suppose I will have a 100 foot clothesline available to me?  We have plans to get together with a family of 8 who adopted 3 children from our orphanage last year.  We also hope to make plans to get together with another family who adopted last year who has already shared lots of helpful things with us, but would like to chat with them again now that we are in this stage of the process.  I’m also very concerned about keeping up with our kids’ schooling while we are over there.  I also need to figure out what to bring and what to leave home in terms of school supplies.  I want to have along what we need, but I don’t want to overpack.

On Wednesday night, Bruce and I attended an open house for the school Ilya will be attending.  We had a wonderful conversation with the ELL coordinator and the principal.  They have a very focused mission with their ESL program as they have seen a 40% increase in their ELL student population in the last 3 years.  We were very pleased to hear what they have in place and the flexibility that is offered in meeting the individual academic needs of each child.  We were very encouraged by talking with them and have a good picture of what to expect once we enroll Ilya in school.  We also look forward to sharing with him what we learned and feel confident in reassuring him that he will be well cared for.  We have a school tour scheduled next week and look forward to seeing their facility.  Our next step will be to contact the principal and set up a meeting once we are all back home.

Our prayer concerns at the moment lie in making all the appropriate and necessary preparations to travel.  We both have some anxiety at this point and we don’t want to become overwhelmed and paralyzed.  We would appreciate prayers for clarity as we think through many details and wisdom from God for many decisions that we need to make.  We need some time together where we can just talk and plan and think.  Thank you again for all those who have committed to praying for us.  Our pathway would not be the same without you and we appreciate you so much!

We’re in wait mode for the moment

Guest-poster husband of Motorcyclemama to 5 is sneaking in a post while the Lovely Motorcyclemama is out to lunch with some of the ladies from church. I wish I had exciting news to share, but, unfortunately we’re only in wait mode. The only thing we can be sure of is that our documents are (feverishly?) being translated into Ukrainian for submission to the SDA. We don’t have a confirmation of our submission appointment yet, but we will pass that along as soon as we know. In the meantime, we’re keeping on keeping on. Since I am taking a break from grad school for this semester for adoption reasons, we switched our regular Sunday morning call to our new son to Saturday. We had a good conversation with him again despite a few foibles. A couple of weeks ago I had realized that female orphanage worker who normally answers the phone spoke Ukrainian, not Russian. Duh. So, trying to prepare to be a good visitor to Ukraine, I gave my best Ukrainian “please” to the man who answered instead. Bless him, he replied, “One minute.” I guess it is not possible to disguise this American voice. In any case, we learned that our new son’s favorite subject in school is mathematics. This may or may not be helpful when we visit with school officials on Wednesday to talk about ESL and enrollment. We’re so happy that he takes our calls every time. We tore him away from watching television yesterday, by his own report, but it blesses us all to hear his voice every week.