Friday, June 29, 2012


I know I have been neglecting this blog. It has been really busy here, and yet not.
We are in country now visiting Sydney and Lucien for those of you who did not know already.
We are loving every moment of it, discovering new ways to make them laugh, smile, and learning their personalities.
We have been here since June 6th and so it is coming up on a month now.
This is the longest I have ever been away from my children.

However, we thought it would be a wonderful time for them to have a chance to spend time with their bio dad. He normally has to travel a lot for his work so they only see him maybe once a month for a weekend. With our 15year old having type 1 diabetes, and our 13 year old having severe asthma, we thought it was best to leave them with an adult who could take care of them if there was a medical emergency. Normally, it would not have been possible for their dad to watch them. But, he decided that he should try to find work closer to the kids as he was "missing out on their lives" and he didn't want to miss anything else. So, he up and quit his job and checked into a hotel in our town so he could find work. However, he did not find it as quickly as he had hoped and was running out of money. We thought this would help everyone. Since he could not afford to pay child support since he was not working, and he needed a place to stay, and we needed someone to watch the kids, and after all he IS their bio father, what better than for him to watch them right?
So, that was the deal. We bought several weeks of groceries and told him that if they needed more money for food to let us know and we would make sure they had money for that. He would have free internet, a free place to stay, free cable,  free lodging, and he would have several weeks to be able to spend time with the kids he said he was really missing. We left the insurance cards in case they needed more meds or needed to go to the doctors while we were gone. We kissed the kids goodbye and headed out the door, feeling comfortable with him watching the kids
Two days after we left they had a nice BBQ on the grill out back and everything seemed to be going ok. A week after we left we got a frantic message from our children. Something happened, they were not sure what, but for some reason their dad was upset saying they did not want him there and so he was leaving. WHAT???? He said that they were no longer his children and he walked out.
Ok, WHAT??? This is a guy who was in the Army. Who should know about being responsible. Who was a drill sargent, who was a Green Barret for crying out loud!! I frantically got ahold of one of our good friends who my daughter babysits for and asked her if the kids could stay with her for a few nights and explained what happened all the while trying to figure out what in the world we were going to do. We were beside ourselves with stress, feeling sick, wanting to be by our children's side to comfort them, and wanting to be in the states pressing every single charge you could name against him for leaving them like that. Ok, I Get that Teenagers are not all over you like they are when they are 4, thinking you are the most wonderful thing in the world, I get that teenagers want to spend more time with their friends sometimes than they do with their parents, but that does NOT mean you can say they dont want you there and just LEAVE!!!
Since we had already talked with their dad about watching them, we did not figure we would have any extra childcare costs. But here we were faced with two teenagers who have now had to go stay with our friend because their dad walked out on them. For most people doing an international adoption, if they are going to have extra people fly with them to help them get home with their children, or if they will need to fly someone in to take care of their children at home, that all gets added in to the adoption costs. We did not figure on doing that and in fact had just planned on me staying and flying back with both Sydney and Lucien on my own to save money.
But you can only ask your friend to keep your children for a little while so we had to figure something else out. We did the only thing we could think of and called our second oldest who lives several states away. She was willing to come help out, but we would have to pay for her to fly to get there and get back home, in addition to her lost wages from her job. She is newly married and just starting out so she could not afford to just take time off without pay.
So we agreed, what else could we do? And we flew her on soonest flight we could to get her to watch the kids.
With the extra added costs, we no longer have the money to fly me or Sydney and Lucien home. We had to use that money to make sure our children at home were safe and taken care of. We have been praying a lot and are trusting that the Lord will provide and that by the time we are ready to go home, our FSP will have gone up to cover our flights.
In the mean time, we visited our beautiful little one every day at their orphanages and could not be more in love.
On Wednesday, we had court....
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Mark is now on his way back home, and I will remain here while we finish up some paperwork, work on getting Visas, and Passports and those kinds of things. And then hopefully, in about two weeks(providing the money is in the FSP to cover it) I will be flying home with Veronika and Gavyn.
I will do my best to keep you updated with everything and not be so neglectful of this blog.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gone Private...

For those of you who may not have noticed anything, the blog has gone private. We will take the privacy off after court. Most of my readers on this blog already are invited so it should not change much.
Just wanted to give a heads up as we are asking things that are written hear not leave this blog.

Moment you have been waiting for!!!

We are in country and we have meet our baby girl!! We will get to meet Lucien next week.
We are really enjoying it here, it is beautiful! There is so much culture and history to take in. We are making a book for Sydney and Lucien so they can see where they came from.
Anyway, I know you must be dieing for pictures so here they are!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 1-4

DAY 1 
  We arrived in country on Wednesday after flying for nearly 20 hours. The city where our journey begins is rich in history. We were blessed with a driver who is as big of a history buff as I am and he was able to take us around the city and tell us about the area. Our apartment was a studio type apartment. While the outside of the apartment was a bit dark and scary the inside was lovely. We have felt very safe here. One just has to remember these are OLD buildings.  We met up with another Reese's Rainbow family for dinner and walked around a bit before crashing for the night.
We had our first (of two) appointments today! This is where we get to hear about Sydney and Lucien. Because our two are in the same area and region we were told about both of them at the same time but we were told we would have to choose who we would see first. We will have to go back for a second appointment later on in the month. While this seems a bit redundant it is all for the safety of the children. Until we have had court and a ten day wait is over, we have no legal rights to either of these children. It was very hard to choose, we want to see them both so badly, but we tried to think reasonably and decided that since Sydney is older, she has been waiting longer. We will see her first. Then we will see Lucien starting later in the month. We found out that Sydney has some issues with her tear ducts, but we will find out more when we get to her orphanage and listen to the doctor there. Once we get her home we can take her to our doctor and we will take whatever steps are necessary to get her any help that she needs.  We learned that Lucien has a heart murmur.  We will get as much info from his orphanage doctor as we can and will be sending all that information back to our doctor so he can start to set up appointments  for when they get home.  We also got to hear their real names. We had planned on calling them Olivia Anne and Antonio James, but have decided to keep their names as part of what they will be called. We will reveal that later after court.  After our appointment, our driver too us and another family to see the area. It is so alive and rich with history. I have been taking so many pictures and I will be putting a book together for Sydney and Lucien so they can see where they came from. The team has been amazing and we are in awe of the beauty of the city. Yes we do notice that there is some graffiti on some of the buildings, yes we do notice that some of the buildings are very run down. BUT it is so alive with people and history. I mean, the USA is a very young country, we have nothing like this! The detailing on the buildings, the meaning behind things, very well done. We have really been loving the atmosphere here. We ate with a few Reece's Rainbow couples at the TGI Fridays here. While it isn't nearly as good as the borsch it was nice to get together with others.
Today we went walking around the town for a while and then we met a family who has finished up their adoption and is about to head back home.  We ended up having a nice visit and then we headed back to our apartment. Our driver was waiting for us and we collected all of our things from the apartment and loaded into the car. We went back to where we had our appointment so we could pick up a paper that let the orphanage know we have permission to visit the child.  After we finished, we headed to the train station. We had a bit of extra time so we stopped off at an amazingly beautiful church. I took pictures of the outside but was not allowed to take pictures inside. I was blow away at how beautiful it was. The murals all over the wall told so many different stories about God and Jesus. It certainly made me feel closer to God in that moment. It made me think of a question we had been asked a while back in church. Does the decoration in a church really matter. At the time, I said no.  I reasoned that it would be distracting to have a lot of decorations. But, with these murals, it made you remember all the different stories that you learned growing up, all those wonderful bible stories. While I am not sure I would be as engrossed in a sermon with a church like that, I would certain feel closer to God.
When we left, we went over to the train station and waited a while. We ended up getting on an express train that took only 4 hours. It was able to get us to Sydney and Lucien's region where we were met with our facilitator here.  I will say this for the Reece's Rainbow team both stateside and internationally. We have been very well taken care of and have never had any problems! Everyone has been so friendly and helpful. Our apartment is beautiful!! Love it!!
We woke up around 7am. We have been blessed with not having jet lag since we have been here. I washed two loads of laundry, how do I have that much already? Well the washer is very small and Mark is very sensitive to heat and sweats REALLY bad, he needed his shirts washed or they would start to stink up the place. There is no dryer, but there is a drying rack on the back porch area and the sun is shining today and its a lovely day, they are drying quickly.
We plan to walk around this beautiful area and see as much of it as we can. We are so excited for Monday when we get to meet Sydney!!!
We did have one surprise, the cost of the place we are staying at is $20 more per day than we expected. Other families stayed here for $20 less, in this same apartment even, but there are a lot of big events going on in the area and it is hard to find any place to rent, which drives up supply and demand. It is every where, even in the USA, so while it was not something we had budgeted for or planned for,  we are here, and that is all that matters.
Hopefully, we will be able to cut expenses somewhere else, otherwise we will run short. Will keep everyone posted on that.
Talk to you soon!!!
(view from our window)

Monday, June 4, 2012


Not long from now, we will be boarding a plane to our children's country. This week has been a lot of running around picking up things we need for our travels. I don't think we stopped much today at all. We woke up and started running around at warp speed. If this is how much running around is done in country, I know I will be sleeping good on those nights!

I think it is finally starting to hit our daughter that we will be leaving soon. It is going to be so hard to leave the kids. This will be the longest I have ever been away from them. Hopefully, Skype will keep us up to speed on how everyone is doing and keep us going until we can be together again.

 Right now, we are just looking to God, asking for his guidance and love. Trusting that it will come together exactly as it is meant to.  Please keep us in your prayers while we are in country.

We will continue to blog as often as internet and jet lag allow.
We are looking forward to sharing our children with you in pictures and videos.

God Bless!!