A snapshot into what her future held...

A snapshot into what her future held...
Zhukovka, Russia

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Our sweet girl turned 10 today! We have no idea if the orphanage celebrated or not, but we are celebrating and thinking of her all day! Can't wait until next summer when we can have a party with family and friends! The kids did a great job helping with the cake! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET SVETA! WE LOVE YOU!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fair Future

It has been quite a week- -one that I'm sure, I stretched myself a little too thin for. Somehow though, all worked out, and I'm pleased this Sunday and am feeling the relief of rest! Let's see... the kids attended an all-day Church Day Camp, in which I was one of the leaders. I worked the Farm Bureau booth twice at the Warren County Fair, for four hours each shift. And... the kids both participated in the Guys and Gals Lead on Friday night, and Karrigan participated in the Little Miss Warren County contest Saturday morning. Whew! Today, we attended church, and tonight, I must finish some paperwork for my publicist job before we head to the Union County Fair tomorrow! Busy, busy... but life is good!

On the way to church this morning, we were re-living and re-hashing the recent fair events! Both Evan and Karrigan got really excited about the possibility of Sveta participating in the fair next year! Karrigan promised she would teach Sveta how to lead "Diamond" the ewe lamb, and Evan agreed! Of course, that led to a discussion about who Sveta will want to play with more- - will she want to do "girlie" things with KK like playing dolls and doing crafts, or will she want to learn sports and how to play video games with Evan! I assured both kiddos that Sveta will likely enjoy some of the same activities that both of them do. And she will, also, be able to teach them a thing or two!

This morning at church, as I was praying during worship, I felt a peace come over me. God told me, through the Holy Spirit, that next summer, as we look back at all of this we're dealing with now- the stress, the unknown basically... it will all seem like it never really happened, because He was there for us the entire time, taking care of everything. He, also, shared that when the Ministry of Education, in Russia, comes back from vacation in mid-August, the employees will be ready to get to work and will process our papers quickly! I'm going to stay optimistic about this, and go with it! I love it when God puts things into my heart! The biggest thing I heard from God today, is that although we haven't received the "official" letter- we have been granted a loan from one of the companies we applied to!!! God said the financial concerns, regarding this adoption, will be taken care of. I have FAITH, so I declare the messages of the Holy Spirit to be true, this day!!! It's vulnerable of me to put all of this out here on our blog, for everyone to read, but I want everyone to know how God keeps His promises... all we have to do is have faith in Him!

We ask for your prayers this week, dear family and friends.

These are the verses headed for the bathroom mirror... good reminders when the enemy's "doubt" starts to surface.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted. (Psalm 138:3)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Love to you all,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dreams, Disappointments, and Stepping Out

Just a quick update on us... we found out yesterday that we will not be traveling to Russia next month, as we had anticipated. We are now being told it will be more like October! The Ministry of Education, in Russia, is on vacation through mid-August, and unfortunately, we are at their mercy. So of course, this was a "shock to the system" and certainly disappointing! Our dreams of meeting our sweet girl next month went down the tubes. HOWEVER... of course, God has a plan in this and every situation. There is a reason we are not leaving next month, so we must accept that and adjust our way of thinking.

2 Samuel 22:31
As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Before we got this news, I had enjoyed coffee earlier in the day, with my dear friend, Tracy. http://www.ourpromisedson.blogspot.com/ She asked me a really interesting question that completely made me think the rest of the afternoon! She asked if we had bought any clothes yet for Sveta. I explained that no we hadn't, because I suppose we just wanted to make sure this adoption was really going to happen. Immediately, she said with conviction, "You KNOW this adoption is going to happen!" I was speechless for a second. "Yes!" I said, right back with conviction! "Of course I know it's going to happen!" She further explained that buying one's child an outfit is a "step out in faith"... in essence, I would be saying to God and everyone else- -YES, I KNOW this is from you Lord, and I have FAITH that you, Lord, will make it happen.

Well, guess what Karrigan and I did? We made a stop at Old Navy. I'm not really sure why we chose that particular store, but I was hoping they were having a sale, since right now, we are all about SAVING! Sure enough... girls tank tops on sale! I wanted to purchase just one item to hang in Sveta's closet, so that I could "step out in faith". Because it was such a good sale, we ended up getting Sveta two and Karrigan two, and of course, little sister gets to match big sister!

Two bright-colored tank tops now hang in the closet. Not only do they make me smile, they make it a reality that sweet Sveta will be home... by next summer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Initial Paperwork Now in Russia!

Our "initial packet" to the Bryansk region of Russia made it, this past weekend, with no hiccups what-so-ever! Additionally, it has made it into the hands of the regional coordinator there. Hooray!!! I got a brief text from the "deliverer" of our packet, dear Angie, my new friend from Mercer County, Ohio who is also going through the adoption process with the same agency as us- European Children Adoption Services based in Plymouth, Minn. Angie and her husband are presently in Russia, and this time, they will bring home their sweet son, Roman. I have been so blessed to get to know Angie, and I thank God for placing her in my life.

Angie was kind enough to ask the regional coordinator if Sveta was in the same orphanage as Roman. As I suspected (since she is a few years older), she is not. Angie offered to take a couple of photos of Sveta for us while there (if the kids were in the same orphanage). That would have been great, but I accept that it just wasn't meant to be. It's amazing how we as "waiting" adoptive parents just want so badly to have a photo, a video, or even just an observation by a friend, who has seen our child and can give us a nugget of information that we didn't already have. We won't know a lot about Sveta until we actually arrive in Russia, which should be in about 6-8 weeks. Although that's the typical time frame after the "initial packet" is delivered, I think Kevin and I are still in denial almost that it's actually going to happen. We still just haven't wrapped our minds around the idea that we will soon be hopping on a plane to Russia, then a train which will take us 7 hours to see our daughter! I've said in this blog all along, our adoption is a journey... journey indeed. ~Especially since Kevin has only been outside the states to go to Mexico, and for me, I've only stepped across the border to Canada.

As for other happenings... hmmm... well, this weekend, I finally felt at peace for the first time since summer began. I've been so under pressure to fill out the grant and loan applications and fundraise, that I just haven't felt a lot of joy like I normally do in the summer. Also, I believe that the enemy was stealing my joy. This weekend, I chose to get it back! We had an incredibly fun Saturday walking the nature trails of Pine Hill Park, in Mason. Afterwards, the kids had a blast running through the fountains there! We even packed a picnic lunch and just RELAXED. Kevin and I both needed that. We decided to continue the fun at home, camping out in the backyard! Now that was memorable! Although our tent is supposed to sleep 6 persons, our experience is that four persons was tight enough! As we were sipping our coffee on the back porch Sunday morning, Kevin commented, "We'll soon need a larger tent with a third child and all." He was thinking of Sveta in a way I hadn't yet... all FIVE of us camping out, as a family. It's thoughts like that, that bring me joy and put a smile on my face. Having a wonderful family like mine... how could I not smile!

Monday, July 5, 2010

All good things must come to an end

As I wipe the sweat from my brow, I can take pleasure in a job now... done. Our lavendar has all been picked. I'm sure the bees are not especially happy with me; however, as we all know, all good things must come to an end. While those pesty, yet necessary, bees have enjoyed their daily nectar, Kevin and I have enjoyed the fragrant aroma coming through our bedroom window each evening. There is nothing like the delicate smell of lavendar... at least we think so. It does not appeal, however, to dear Evan. I can understand where he's coming from though, because it's hard for me to believe that lavendar is in the same family as mint. I do not care so much for mint, as when it hits my tongue, I almost feel a shock to my system.

The pale, purplish color of lavendar appeals to curious Karrigan, and she enjoys inhaling the goodness of the flowering plant while playing outside. She also enjoys the fact that lavendar draws her very most favorite things on earth... butterflies! Luckily, she has been content seeing only white butterflies zooming through the flower spikes. The colorful butterflies tend to hang out on the cone flowers.

I'm sure our sweet Sveta will enjoy the lavendar, as well, since she will get to partake in the lavendar soap-making process with her brother and sister. That is what we shall do with these glorious flowers and flower buds. Perhaps by the time we get Sveta, we will be set up to make lavendar honey! Now that is something to think about in the coming year.

Sooo many uses for lavendar: Saches, potpourri, soap, honey, in baked goods such as scones, candied for cake decorations, herbal teas, dried flower arrangements, aromatherapy... I could go on...

Reflecting now... it is a bit sad to say goodbye to the lavendar this year. However, time moves on, and for that, we are grateful. That means we are days closer to meeting our "newest"... sweet girl.


Cool fact: Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors and walls. Who would have ever guessed?

Bryansk Home

Bryansk Home
My two favorite colors together seem to be common in Bryansk homes.