Thursday, December 20, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

As many of you may have heard, Russia is once again in a crisis moment around the issue of US adoptions.  It is a difficult thing to completely explain, but it really boils down to some basic facts about how Russia (and most Russians) feel about having their native children adoted by families outside of Russia.  I know many people who think that Russia should be glad to have qualified and vetted people willing to take their orphans out of their orphanages.  But we should also consider the Russian point of view.  These are Russian children, and even though their parents cannot take care of them, the Russians still believe that Russia is the best place for them, in an orphange, foster home, or adopted by Russian parents.  Most Russians would rather that these Russian children stay in their homeland instead of being adopted by foreign parents.  There are other more complicated political issues at hand for the time being as well, but that general sentiment is the major basis for this latest attempt at a ban.

I understand both sides of this issue - I understand wanting to keep Russian children in Russia.  I do.  But I also want every child to have a forever home, and if that cannot happen in his or her home country, then I am all for allowing foreigners to take these children in and make them a part of a family.

So what does this mean for Tanya?  I am, very much, in the final steps of this process.  My home study is complete, my i-600 (the immigration paperwork for Tanya's visa) is finished - including my federal fingerprints (that came back in 3 weeks, not the anticipated 4-12!).  I have some paperwork to complete for my dossier, the agency needs to once again verify Tanya's status, and the referral needs to be completed.  After this, I start to travel (3 trips), go to court, and finally bring her home.  Once I start travelling, it should only take 2-4 months to actually bring her home.  Unless these measures pass the legislatures and the president does not veto them.  Then we have no idea how long this could take.

All we can do now is pray.  And this is not some small thing.  There is hope that Putin will veto anything that passes the legislatures, and up until a few hours ago, it looked like that would happen.  Given this latest news conference, it now looks as though he will support the ban on American adoptions.  Please pray with me that all this political wrangling comes to an end and things can continue moving on .... just pray.

Monday, October 22, 2012


For a little while there, it felt like everything was moving so quickly, I could barely keep up.  It felt that way because things were moving very quickly.  And then, that time came that everyone who has adopted warned me about:  The dreaded unnecessary waiting.  Not the waiting that you were anticipating, the waiting that seems to be just for the sake of waiting, as though every adoptive parent doesn't fully appreciate their process until they've had the waiting and the waiting and maybe even a little more waiting.

The sermon this Sunday was about the Israelite's time in the desert, their time 'in-between,' as the pastor said.  He asked us to examine our own lives and our own in-betweens.  To be honest, the adoption has been so stalled, it did not occur to me until today that this is my in-between.  I have that beautiful little girl just waiting for me, and I'm here just waiting for her.  Waiting in my in-between.

My next step is to send in my I-600A with some accompanying paperwork (after getting new copies with the right name on them ...), wait for an appointment for fingerprinting, and then wait 4-8 weeks for more paperwork.  This is the home stretch, friends, and I cannot tell you how wonderful this feels.  I know that there will still be waiting, but I'm trying to be ready ...  will update more as soon as I know it.

"and when you and your children return to the Lord yourGod and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command today, then the Lord your God will restore you again from all the nations where he scattered you."  Deuteronomy 30: 2-3

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I had a really good day Friday.  As some of you already know, a smaller contingent of my sister's mission trip from last year decided they wanted to go back.  To see the same kids.  So they planned a trip and headed off to Russia.  They were fairly sure that they would visit Tanya's orphanage, so my sister had been in contact with a couple of the group members, sharing all the pictures and information that we have so they could try to find Tanya.

It started with the following promise from Kim: We will bring you back pics and give her lots of lovin while we are there!!!! What a cutie pie!!!

I was hopeful, but not depending on seeing anything in particular.  It has been hard with no contact of any sort since mid-December.  Eight long months of paperwork and waiting.  Eight long months of wondering how she's doing, if she's growing, is she happy?

After being sick this past week, I was up in the middle of the night again early Friday morning and saw this from Kim:  We are heading over to #-- in a few minutes. I have my cameras ready!!!!!

I laid by my computer and prayed.  I prayed that they would recognize Tanya.  I prayed that Tanya would be there that day.  I prayed that somehow, just somehow, Tanya would feel my love through them.  And I prayed for some new pictures, words, video, anything.

Eventually I fell back asleep, but got up early for some testing.  I checked facebook and email again, but nothing.  Knowing how spotty internet reception can be, I told myself to just be patient.  So I got in the shower and proceeded to get ready for my day.

And then my phone rang.  It was my mom, telling me to get on facebook right away.  There were pictures and comments and so much fun!  I ran upstairs and hopped on the computer.  Kim had been kind enough to tag my sister in the pictures, so I could see them all.  I'll share some on here temporarily, 'cause they're just so amazing.  As I sat and looked at the pictures over and over again, with my mom still on the phone, I just broke down.  There was my little girl.  So close, and yet so far away.  It was as though I could just touch her through the screen, through these amazing women who had gone so far for their mission and helped me with mine.  This entire day has been filled with more and more pictures - smiling, playing, hugging, kidding around.  What a joy it is to see Tanya happy and loved.  I couldn't ask for much more.  Except for her to be home.

Tanya right after Kim called her name

Playing ball with Kim

What a smile!

The Ellie series - what a treasure

It has been a day beyond my wildest dreams, my hopes against all hopes.  Just look at her!

This verse always reminds me of my mom - it is one of her favorites, "her verse," even.  
It fits for me today:

but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Monday, July 16, 2012

Waiting . . .

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a looooong while.  This has mostly been because not much has happened with the adoption in the last month.  Here are the highlights:

1.  Home study - the home study itself is done, but there was some miscommunication between my home study agency and my adoption agency.  What this really means is that my adoption agency just got my home study from my home study agency on Sunday.  I'm not sure how long it will take, but my adoption agency will need to review the study to be sure it fully complies with Hague regulations given that Russia is a Hague country for adoptions.  Hopefully this will go quickly so I can finally get started on my dossier.

2.  The bilateral adoption agreement was ratified!  This means that things should open up in the region where Tanya lives.  So  . . . I am getting a little anxious to get going on my dossier so that I can get my referral and start traveling!

3.  My job - well, my school district has officially been taken over by a charter school.  I have been offered a position at the charter school, but it is not yet clear what that position will be or what the salary/benefits package will look like.  I am hoping to find something that suits my strengths and will support my new family.  I have also made the decision to quit my part-time job.  As much as I have enjoyed meeting new people, I knew that I would have to quite with a new job in the Fall.  Some things have happened there that made the workplace more than a little hostile, so it's just time to go.

I did want to let you all know that I am working on setting up a profile on a wonderful website where donations can be made to my adoption through a 501c3 (where donations would be tax-deductible).  I understand why people prefer to make donations in this way!  This is not possible until my home study has been fully accepted by my adoption agency, so I'll keep you all updated.

Overall, I still trust that God has a plan for all of this.  I have to trust that my new job will let me take all the time off that I will need.  I have to trust that my finances will support the continuation of this journey.  I have to trust that God will help me get my little girl home.  Thank you all for your prayers and support - they are all appreciated more than I can ever express.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hanging On

I know I've been quiet on here as of late.  I've been a bit quiet in general.  Life has been taking many turns - some good and some bad - and I'm just trying to hang on.  I'll try to break it down here.

My school system has been going through a lot of changes.  As I said earlier, we knew big things were coming due to severe budget problems.  This has taken us all through quite the roller coaster.  First we were all given lay off notices with the promise that the better, qualified teachers would get a call back before the end of the school year.  I, along with many others, did not really worry about the future.  And we went through the next couple of weeks just floating along.  Last Friday, we were given a letter to hand out to the kids, and I read it quickly before I went to pass it along.  I was shocked.  In this letter, the school's new state-appointed leader was announcing that he was going to change the school to a charter school - a public/private, corporation-run school.  This is a completely new school.  No pension, no good insurance (the biggest selling point for the adoption agency), no decent salary.  And this threw me.  I'll admit that I'm still thrown, but I'm also applying like crazy and hopefully interviewing soon.

I am happy to relate that my home study is almost complete.  It has been quite frustrating to have delay after delay with the home study due to vacations in the small office of my home study agency.  But we finally got through the visits, and now I am waiting for the formal written study.  I did find out through out this process that I will have to file some paperwork with Homeland Security that can take up to two months to come back before my dossier can be submitted.  Given the current state of adoption in Tanya's region, this is not too terrible, but we're still hoping and praying that her region will open up to adoption again.

I've heard so many pieces of advice from friends, family, and strangers over the last few weeks, some helpful and some not.  The most comforting conversations have been with those who know me well and understand how much I love my child and teaching.  These people have offered words that give me hope, words that comfort me by saying that God's timing will be right.  That maybe this is just the opportunity for me to work more and save more money while the region is closed, that the delays with the home study are not too bad because the region is closed, that maybe my current job is too stressful to keep with a child who needs my full attention - and this is just God pushing me toward something new and better.

I do trust in God's timing, as difficult as that can be.

"For the revelation awaits an appointed time; 
    it speaks of the end 
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay."

Habakkuk 2:3 NIV

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Like the widow

Growing up, I was virtually inundated with amazing stories from the Bible - waters parting, bringing the dead to life, food appearing, water into wine, and more.  I loved it all -- the mystery and wonder of God's power are limitless.  One story that always appealed to me was in 1 Kings 17:  10-16.

10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”  12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”  13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of  oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

This is not just a story of God increasing a person's food.  This is God making sure that a widow - a woman who was, to a certain extent, a victim of her circumstances - could take care of herself and her child.  This is God showing that this woman should not just be a part of the rhetoric, she should be truly taken care of for as long as she needed.  This is God never giving too much, but always giving enough.  

These days, sometimes I feel just like the widow.  Not in the victim of her circumstances way - but in the somehow things are always just enough way.  I have now cried twice after visiting the bank.  The first time was when I needed to pay the $2300 in Home Study fees.  I went to the bank to deposit a check from extra work at school and had just transferred the money from the online donations.  When I asked for the balance, the teller said - $2,324.  I walked to the car, sat down, and fell apart.  Somehow, all the extra hours at work, the kindness of friends and family, and the new job had just covered what I had to send out that day.

Friday, I finally had time during the banking day to deposit the money from the benefit - and another check from extra work at school.  After it was in the account, the teller asked if I'd like the balance.  $3,964 she said, and I barely kept it together until I got in the car.  You see, I had just made that $4,000 payment to the adoption agency by credit card with faith that I could cover it by the due date somehow - knowing that I might have to borrow some money to do so.  Sometimes this working ALL THE TIME thing is starting to get to me.  I'm exhausted, my house is a mess, and I just want an hour to myself.  But then I have moments like this, I look at my pictures of Tanya, and I remember why it's all worth it.  I never thought I'd make it this far in the process without a loan.  And yet still, by the grace of God, here I am.

That's right ... just like the widow.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Virtual Benefit Concert

This powerpoint will play during the intermission - I'm happy to post it on here as well, but only for today due to the pictures (yay pictures!) included.  We all hope that those of you who could not attend today will consider donating here on the website.  The link is on the right side of the blog.  Thank you all for your support!

The powerpoint is now down, but you are all still welcome to donate online through the link to the right.

The concert today was amazing!  We had a wonderful turn out and raised over $2000.  That is just God.  I cannot possibly thank everyone involved enough, but I would like to especially thank my mom for taking this on and putting it all together - she did an amazing job.  I would also like to thank all the women of Sweet Harmony - my sisters.  You are wonderful people .... just wonderful.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Would you like the good news or the bad news first?

I officially hate it when people ask that question.  As though there is some relief in getting bad news because there is some good news to go with it.  But people say it all the time ... and here I am, asking you!  I'll just make the decision and give you the good news first - because why should good news wait?

Good:  My final home study application has been approved, so now we just have a couple of home visits and then we put together my dossier and wait for the official referral.  This has been a lot of paperwork, time, doctor visits, and even one psychologist evaluation, but so so worth it.  I cannot thank you all enough for your support through this all. 

Bad:  After my dossier is finished, nothing else can happen.  At least not for now.  I have received official word that all adoptions are completely frozen in the region where Tanya lives until the bilateral agreement is signed.  This is something that the US signed last July, but Russia has yet to ratify.  What this means is that instead of submitting my dossier, we will have to wait to move in the process until this is done.  I'll be honest and tell you that when I first got this news, I just thought that everything would be okay - the timing would work and everything would just fall into place (denial).  Then I moved to the crying phase, knowing that there is absolutely nothing I can do about this.  And then I came back to God - where I should have started in the first place.  The only thing that we can do for now is pray.  We can pray that hearts will be softened.  We can pray that processes will move along.  We can pray for ratification - soon.  God has the power to move mountains, so this is peanuts, right?

We'll be continuing to work the process as far as we can here, and we only ask that you join us in praying for a swift solution to this road block.

Don't forget the benefit concert is coming up soon!  Sunday, April 22, 3:00pm at First Presbyterian Church in Muskegon on the corner of Sherman and Wickham.  Hope to see a lot of you there!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Home Studying

So much has been happening over the past couple of weeks that I don't even know where to begin.  After finding out I was a bit behind in the home study process, I was able to quickly put together all the application materials (very similar to Application Part 2 for the adoption agency).  The home study agency emailed me today to let me know they have received everything and should have me in touch with my social worker by Monday.  After that, we meet a couple of times, and the home study is complete.  Whew!  Of course, it is not that simple, and I've been working hard to get things ready around the house - pulling up old carpet, painting, putting down play room flooring (super cute!), having carpets cleaned, getting a fence put up, having a new railing put in (Thanks, Jeff!!!), and working on some other minor home improvement items that should have been addressed long ago.  I have moments where I can't keep it all straight.

Here are the current prayer requests:

Please pray that the home study and referral processes go quickly.  We are still hoping to get Tanya home this summer with time to settle in before school starts.

This is a big one.  Because the waiting period has been extended from 10 to 30 days, we will be applying for a waiver based on medical need.  Tanya has some health concerns including an immune disorder that may make this possible.  This would mean getting her home an entire month early.  This would mean one less trip (and a lot less money).  This would mean my little girl gets 30 more days to play and be a free child before school starts in the Fall.  Please pray that the judge can see how good this would be for her.

And of course, please continue to pray for Tanya and her caregivers.  They are still on the front line of this whole story, and will still be there taking care of these kids long after Tanya gets to come home.

I cannot thank you all enough for your support - between donations of money, pictures (Thanks, Kendra!), ice cream (those cousins at Country Dairy are pretty wonderful), time on an amazing benefit concert (all those sweet, sweet ladies), and prayers, we are a little overwhelmed.

We are still collecting donations here .... and do have some upcoming deadlines.  I've sent out the home study money, but that means that I no longer have enough to cover the adoption agency fees.  Please consider coming to the benefit concert on Sunday, April 22 at 3:00 at First Presbyterian here in Muskegon on the corner of Sherman and Wickham.  We still appreciate any and all help - no donation is too small!

Thank you all so much.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sort of like a freight train - in a good way

Something that I hadn't expected happened yesterday.  Something amazing and wonderful.  Something truly God-given.

When I finally got home from work and helping a friend, I picked up my Saturday mail.  From the car I could see a large envelope and wondered . . . and then saw that it was from my adoption agency.  My first reaction was that this would be a list of things they needed me to redo for my second application, so when I first saw the letter, I was a little confused.  It was not a list of things from application part two, it was full of immigration documents and a letter that said my application had been approved!  So instead of 4-6 weeks to process, it was done in two.

This means a few things.

First, I have to send $4,000 to my adoption agency . . . as they say, DUE NOW.  I have almost this much from the fundraising we have done, my earnings from my second job, and the extra money I've earned from being on an extra team at work.  Luckily, I have amazing family who will be able to help me cover the rest for now.  This will take away all I had saved and raised for the home study, so the upcoming concert and other fundraising efforts become even that much more important.

Second, it means that I only have the home study (initial paperwork started) and the referral left.  Wow.

Third, we could still possibly have this finished this summer.  This has been my hope all along, but I wasn't sure it could really happen for a while there.

Fourth, seeing God so very present in this process has been amazing.  If it isn't you guys supporting and praying, it's my agency speeding through paperwork or my friends putting on a benefit concert.

The big prayer requests for now are that my home study goes well and is done quickly and for the entire Russian side of the adoption.  The adoption process is a little shaky in Russia right now, so we need all the prayer we can get.

Thank you all so much!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sweet, Sweet Event - 4/22/12 3:00pm

Sweet Harmony in Concert

Sunday, April 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Muskegon
corner of Sherman and Wickham

Singing, Dancing, 6-hand Piano Trios
Free-will Offering

Benefit Concert for the
Bringing Tanya Home Adoption Fund


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Save the Date!

I don't have all the details yet - but I wanted to let everyone know that we are having a benefit concert on April 22 at 3:00pm.  We will feature Sweet Harmony, piano, dance, and more!  This concert will be at First Presbyterian Church in Glenside (across from the Plums on Sherman).

More information to follow . . .  so save the date!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Part Two

Well, it's done. The next big step in the process for me is done, and now our fate rests in others' hands. I thought I would be so excited to send in the application part 2. I thought I would feel so relieved to have it done. But something about knowing that this is so very final (and discovering that I still have negative net worth . . . stupid student loans) is more disconcerting to me than I thought it would be. What if they don't like my answers? What if my house isn't good enough, big enough, fancy enough? What if I don't make enough money? What if, what if, what if??? I will admit that after I mailed out the packet today, I got to my second job early, sat in the parking lot, and cried. I'm still not sure why I cried. I think it was a combination of relief, fear, and total exhaustion (I figured out the other day that I'm working 80 hours a week, taking 6 graduate credit hours, and still trying to find time to run). I am so afraid that something will go terribly awry at this point and I will lose her. Most of me understands that I don't really have her yet, that she isn't officially mine yet, but my heart doesn't see it that way.

So I pray. I pray and I pray and I pray. I pray that the processing will go quickly and all will be well. But mostly I pray for peace and comfort for me and for Tanya. She doesn't even know about any of this! I do know that she feels our prayers, so I will continue to pray. Only God knows the right timing for these things, and I have to let go and trust that all will happen as it should.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tanya!!

Children should have cake, candles to blow out, and people to sing to them on their birthdays. This was and still is how it works in my family. Some of my favorite (and still saved) voicemails are those songs from the Southern niece and nephews or sisters far away.

Today Tanya turns 5. My baby is 5! Thousands of miles away. I hope someone is singing to her. I hope someone is celebrating with cake. But I know that this is most likely not true. So my family and I will celebrate her birthday here with cake, candles to blow out, and singing. We will take pictures, save her presents, and make her another cake when she gets here, but somehow it has just become so very important to me that at least someone is celebrating Tanya's birthday. The more the merrier, right?

So that brings me to my birthday wish on behalf of my daughter. Would you help us ensure that Tanya will not spend another birthday without cake, candles, singing, and her forever family? In honor of Tanya's 5th birthday, we are asking that people donate $5. Just $5. It's not much if one person gives, but with the power of numbers, we can give Tanya the best birthday present of all - her home.

I know we don't get a lot of comments on here, but would you please also post your birthday wishes along with your donation? I'll save them for Tanya to show her just how much she was loved even before she got here.

Happy Birthday, Tanya!

I just wanted to personally thank and acknowledge all of you who gave in honor of Tanya's birthday.

Thank you so much to:
Jerry and Kelly
Cherri and Pete

And also to those of you who helped before Tanya's birthday:

Thank you all so much for your financial and spiritual support!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Learning Curve

Things I have figured out in the past couple of weeks:

1. Working a full time job, a part time job, and taking two grad classes leaves almost no time in your schedule for anything else
2. You can't cut T-shirts with a dull scissors
3. You can't shop for sharp scissors if you don't have time
4. You can't fill out adoption paperwork and 1040's if you don't have time
5. It's hard to keep up with a blog when working two jobs and taking classes
6. It's hard to organize fundraisers without time
7. Working in an 80+ degree classroom all day will start to scramble your brain
8. Running is a great stress reliever
9. Shin splints really hurt!

All that said, I am starting to get into the swing of things here . . . as much as can be considered. I did apply for the one school job I could find in the area, so prayers would be appreciated about this. I also actually had today off work (what?? a day off?!?), so I'll be getting a lot done, including tax and adoption forms and T-shirts.

I've heard a few other good fundraising ideas from some people that I'll be getting in the works. The goal thermometer to the right has been reset - with one goal down, we're on to the goal of raising the home study money. Thank you so much for helping us reach our first goal!!!

So -- please share the current information with friends, family, churches, etc. Scarves are officially available now - send requests for colors/styles by clicking the email me link to the right. See currently available scarves on the T-shirt Scarves for Tanya tab. The other option is to send payment with instructions - how ever is best for you!

Thanks again for your continued prayers and support. I could never fully express how much this means to me.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Busy, busy, busy . . . .

Well - big news here! You guys are amazing - can I just say that first? We raised enough to get the initial application in, and I'm almost finished getting things filled out. I'll still need to wait on the doctor's letter, recommendation letters, and a couple of other things, but it's close.

Fundraising has been a good topic of conversation around here, and thanks to my awesome sister, we'll be selling T-shirt scarves starting sometime next week. Many more details will follow. We're also hoping to organize other fundraisers - all information can be found in the Fundraising Events tab.

I've also started my second job. It's not much, but we are still getting paid at my teaching job (for now), so every extra bit I can get is one step closer to getting Tanya home.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'm going to be quite the busy bee for the next five months or so between my teaching job, two graduate classes, my second job, and trying to get more fundraising going. Believe me, this is not something I could keep up indefinitely, but for now, and for Tanya? No problem.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I could never fully express what it means to have people who are as awesome as you are in my life. God is truly amazing, right?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Changes and Challenges

I've had to make some tough decisions in the past few weeks. Life is getting a little more complicated than I'd like. But that's life, right?

Part of what is happening is an almost certain and significant pay cut for me - at least until I can find a new job. Those of you who live near me know how much trouble my school has been in, both financially and academically. The finances are finally catching up to the district, and it looks like it will be up to us teachers to make up that difference. So . . . my fundraising has to take a little vamp up so that I can come out of this with as little debt as possible. Supporting a child costs money, too!

What does this really mean? Well, for starters, I know now that I need to open this blog up as much as possible in the hopes that a larger network of people might be able to help get Tanya home. This means no more pictures ..... sad, I know .... and as little specific information as possible. It's a tradeoff, but for now I feel like it's the right thing to do. So - share the website with your friends, churches, groups, everyone! We need all the help we can get.

Our current goal is to just raise enough to get the second Application submitted - around $785. This seems a little more doable than the whole adoption cost, doesn't it?? Please keep us in your prayers as this process continues.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I know I've been told - repeatedly- that this is really a hurry up and wait sort of process . . . and I have believed every word. Waiting to find Tanya was hard - it felt like it took forever. Thankfully, my application part one was quickly processed and was approved on January 3rd!! The next step is to received application part two and then to, of course, complete said application. I have been told that this part is much more intensive and time-consuming. It also takes around 30-45 days to process unlike the quick week or two of application part one. This all makes sense and is quite a logical sequencing of events. But then here I sit, waiting for application part two. I so badly just want to get started, to get going on the more time-consuming parts of the application, but I won't know what those are until it gets here. This is killing me . . . I am not naturally a very patient person. This does not bode well, I know. I like to make lists of tasks and check them off, one by one (see my added checklist: The Process and Where We Stand tab). But I won't have the checklist until I get the second application. Humph. In some ways, I'm convinced God has led me down this path to teach me many lessons - but importantly the lesson of patience. I just keep hearing that childhood song, played on our record player in the play room over the garage, "Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry. Remember, remember, that God is patient, too. Just think of all the times that others have to wait for you." I'm pretty sure I remember a snail singing those words. Wise words.

Lessons are hard.

Part of the reason the waiting is soooo hard at this point is that I have learned that Russia has recently changed their adoption laws increasing the waiting period from 10 to 30 days. It's unclear at this point if this will stay in place, but for now it is what it is. That's three more weeks before she can get home. That's a third trip to Russia instead of the former two. That's 20 more days to wait. Just wait.

Lessons are hard.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ways to Help

I have decided that I need to let people help - a few friends have been asking, and it is time. This is not always easy for me, but I must acknowledge that I cannot do this on my own. The total cost for getting Tanya home will surpass $40,000, but because of some sizable tax credits and hopefully some grant sources, I only (only!?!) need to raise around $20,000. Let's pray that those tax credits remain during these uncertain times. $20,000 seems insurmountable in so many ways, but I believe in the power of God, the power of prayer, and the power of people. That would be a miracle, but I believe that we can get this done.

I am not asking you to give money unless you feel called to do so. Please remember that every penny counts - Tanya and I appreciate even the smallest donations. If you feel as though God is asking you to help with this, we hope that you will help us with this journey. The button is available on the right-hand side of the blog and will remain there - and I will give periodic updates.

Thank you.