A snapshot into what her future held...

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School

Wow. Wow. Wow.
Blink... summer is over! It certainly was a good one, but I do have to say, I'm actually glad that school is back in session. I have NEVER said that before! I'm not happy that our kids are gone more, rather, I'm glad that we're all back into a routine. I fully believe routines are healthy, not only for Kevin and I but the kiddos, as well. I did a little research to help explain what I mean... the source is: http://hubpages.com/hub/Children_and_Routines__Why_there_Important

How do routines help a child?
The most important thing is routines help a child build confidence in themselves. When a child has a routine established and knows what is expected out of them and how long they have to get the job done, it will help them to manage their time and behavior. Children thrive on pleasing their parents and work hard to do so.

This explains the great attitude Evan has come home with the past two nights! He is really enjoying being back in school and can't wait to show us his school work each night!

Don't get me wrong, the lazy days of summer were welcomed and much needed after a long, yet productive school year. The summer allowed us a break to filter and refresh. Now that we have all re-booted our systems, we are looking forward to great new school year... a fresh start... and lots of fun and memories.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Peace... at last!

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Why did it take all summer to find peace?! What I mean is, I certainly haven't been myself this summer... just ask my dear husband! I've been more stressed, consumed, frazzled... FRANTIC all, because I can't bear to think of our child in an orphanage
-and- have just been wanting so badly to get things moving! This weekend however, it finally came to me! Break-through! Although I've been saying and know in my heart that God is in control, now I really FEEL it. He's letting me feel it. And this too, is part of the journey!

Kevin and I are so excited... our paperwork will be reviewed in Russia today! (Actually, tonight while we are sleeping!) This is a huge step, because this is what needs to happen for us to get the referral of Sveta! I ask you all to pray that the Ministry of Education finds the information in our paperwork to be a perfect match for sweet Svetlana! Ahhh... God has it. No worries here. Kevin is already asleep and now, I will turn in. Just as the song goes that our precious children sing... "He's got the whole world in His hands!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sveta is... Everywhere.

When I think we are totally crazy for pursuing this adoption... crazy, because we absolutely can't afford it, I look around, and there's Sveta! I turn on TV... there she is. I talk with friends... there she is. I go to a concert... there she is! I don't mean in a literal sense, I mean, God talking through others, confirming in my heart, that we're on the right path by adopting. So why this afternoon, after leaving my prayer group, where we had just prayed (deeply) that funding would come through, to pursue this adoption, did I get a phone call from a grant company telling me, we didn't receive the grant?! Ugh... I wasn't going to blog about this, because I didn't want you to have to endure my "downer" thoughts, but I guess I should be honest, too, and quite honestly, today stunk! God- where on earth were you? What do you want us to do? Where is this funding going to come from, that you promised? Ok- - there... it's all out there, the questions that I was asking as my head was spinning! The reason for the concern is that we applied for three grants/loans, and this was the one, I felt the most confident in. I worked really hard on it, and this particular one offers grants to families who are adopting older children (like Sveta) and children with disabilities. I am disappointed, to say the least, but I am NOT losing faith... the enemy would like me to lose faith, but he can just GO AWAY! My God WILL provide, and my God is never late, so the funding will come, some way, some how.

After I got the news, I took Evan to football practice, where I tried not to think about it. Then, we came home and had dinner, and while watching one of our favorite shows, Cake Boss on TLC, what kind of cake was Buddy making in that episode??? A cake for ADOPTIVE families!!! Of all of the shows we could have chosen from our DVR list, we just happened to turn on Cake Boss, and that particular episode just happened to be first on the list! Thank you, God! Yes, I know you're here, and yes, I know you want us to adopt! I will keep on track even though we didn't receive the grant... this IS from YOU!!!

For my birthday, my dear mother got me a Vera Bradley purse and concert tickets to Rascal Flatts! The show was this past Sunday, and.... there was Sveta! What I mean is, before the concert was about to start, and as a friend was asking me questions about how the adoption was going, an interview was happening on the big over-head screen. It was an interview with some concert-goers who were leaving the next day to take over an orphanage! Mom and I looked at each other, our eyes both big! Wow- -what are the odds that those people would be stopped and interviewed! Yes, God, I know you're here, and yes, I know that you are confirming that we are on the right path of adopting a little girl who waits in an orphanage!

As we were driving to Marysville yesterday to visit a cousin and aunt who were in town from Alabama, my mind started to drift, and I began thinking about Sveta's birth mom. I got this really bizarre thought. What if Sveta's mom (who we know has passed)... what if she is in heaven watching down on me?! Perhaps she's now Sveta's guardian angel? What if she knows that God has chosen Kevin and I to be Sveta's parents? What if every time I start to get worried or negative, she is up in heaven thinking - Please don't give up on my little girl! That sort of freaks me out! I would want her to know though, that my heart is in this 100 percent, and I already love (by the Grace of God) her little girl, and I am so thankful that she had her, and that we will be able to raise her, to know Jesus.

Finally, God played a song for me yesterday, and it couldn't be more perfect. I'm going to paste the lyrics; however, I encourage you to take a listen for yourself, because it will translate much better. Before you read, keep in mind, this adoption process is not always easy on us... but the reward will be great! Also, when the song says, "Hold on, you've got to wait for the light" it just so happens that "Svetlana" means "light" and we are waiting for the LIGHT! - Cool, huh?

Ok friends, here are the lyrics and the link to listen!



Before the Morning
By Josh Wilson

Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning
yeah, yeah,
before the morning,
yeah, yeah

Once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
once you feel the way of glory,
all your pain will fade to memory
memory, memory, yeah

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming

com'n, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the hurt before the healing
the pain you've been feeling,
just the dark before the morning
before the morning, yeah, yeah
before the morning


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shoes - It's a Girl Thing!

Each time we receive a call from our adoption agency, it's very exciting. That means that something is happening in the process... we're on the radar!

We are presently working on our dossier. If you don't know what that is, dictionary.com gives this definition:

a collection or file of documents on the same subject, esp. a complete file containing detailed information about a person or topic.

We will need to take the dossier with us to Russia, and it will be reviewed by the court. Anyhow, while talking with the agency, I asked what gifts we should bring to the orphanage, when we go in October. I was told to bring... shoes! Shoes for girls ages 10-16. Well, it's never a problem to shop for shoes! (It's a girl thing, I suppose!) Anyhow, while out picking up some groceries at Wal Mart, I noticed a huge bin of clearanced girls tennis shoes. Of course, this peeked my interest after just getting off the phone with the agency. Let's just say... SCORE! All sizes of tennis shoes at huge, clearanced prices! Again, I think God was looking out for us!

Deuteronomy 33:25
Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

So, of course, the soles of our shoes, these days, aren't plated with iron or brass. I'm sure it's more like rubber and plastic. None the less, may these shoes that I am blessing, right at this very moment, help provide STRENGTH... to all of the orphans in need.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Gift of Friendship

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

How blessed I am to have some really fabulous friends. And "fabulous" quite frankly, just doesn't do them justice!

My friends let me see things in a new light. My friends support and encourage me. My friends won't let me fall, when they know I'm about to. My friends pray with me and for me. My friends make me smile... laugh... and a couple of days ago... they made me cry! (Good tears though!) My friends knew exactly how to bless me on that particular day... and they will be there, without a doubt, when it's time to bless our new daughter.

It was a complete surprise when Julie and Marisa showed up (Carrie couldn't make it), at our coffee date, with a cake, telling me cheerfully, "Happy Birthday to Sveta!" They are so amazingly thoughtful! How could I not have tears when they went out in faith to celebrate our daughter's birthday!

These girlfriends have already blessed Sveta through much prayer; however, on this day, besides the cake, they got her a birthday present that I got to open... it was a Bible, perfect for her. It's an English-Russian Parallel Bible. On the left column, it reads the English translation. On the right, it's the Russian translation. Perfect for Sveta when she comes home!

There are so many blessings that will come from this Bible. As we present it to Sveta as part of the new "things" in her room, she will understand the value that her new family places on God. It will allow her to keep something of her heritage, close to her heart, so that she may always remember where it was she came from. It will be a tool to help her, as she grieves. It will help her understand her value, how much we love her, and most importantly, how much her Father in Heaven loves her. It will bring comfort beyond measure. It truly is the perfect gift.

Thanks to my gals... Carrie, Julie, and Marisa. May you know what a gift YOU are, to me!

Bryansk Home

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