Sunday, June 27, 2010


The last 48+ hours have gone quickly and have been a flurry of emotions, stress and sleep deprivation by all! We left our home at 8 am Friday, June 25th to head to Chicago to pick up Meggie from O'Hare! Her flight was supposed to land at 6:30 but came in early (although it still took 1 hr 45 mins for customs. When the kids started out the whole crowd was cheering. Even those around us were cheering because they had stood there with us hearing our stories of these incredible Latvian orphans! When Meggie came out she was all smiles and recognized us. I say that part because it has been 5 1/2 months and although she sees our pictures on Frype... well, you just never know. Anyway, she instantly came to me and gave me a hug and I kissed her. The kids surrounded her and loved on her. We got our family picture taken for New Horizons for Children and she was ready to go. As soon as we were leaving the airport, she was taking her NHFC T-shirt off that was over her clothes and her ID tag! When we got to the van she was not in the mood to talk or anything... she wanted to sleep! Before we were out of the parking lot, she was asleep. It was 4 am to her. She had left her foster home early, early in the morning on the 25th and got a plane at 12:25 pm and arrived at 2 am in Chicago! She was exhausted.

We drove for 5 hours until we got close to St. Louis (12:30 am). When we got to the hotel, she was wide awake!!!!! She was talking, laughing, coloring and hungry!!! So, we had a picnic on her bed! The other 3 kiddos were tired but awake because they didn't want to miss a moment. So until 3:00 we were up... but I decided I couldn't function the next day w/o some sleep, so I turned on Disney, turned off the lights and said watch & enjoy! At 4, all of them were asleep! We had to get up at 8am to go to Six Flags in St. Louis! Yeah we are nuts to decide to go to a place like that after the previous day but in hindsight... it was a great decision.

Our trip to Six Flags pushed us to communicate with a non-English speaking child through our actions and facial expressions (oh & a little bit of charades!) When we pulled into the parking lot, her eyes were saucers and she smiled from ear to ear! She loved the waterpark and it was an awesome time for her to rely and trust in Joe. They went into the wave pool and although she can swim, she gets nervous when the water is on her face. She had to hold onto Joe and allow him to protect her! AWESOME!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's off...

Our Dossier has been sent via UPS to Thomasville, GA to our Adoption Agency. It is supposed to arrive at their office by 3 p.m. on Monday, June 21. I'm tracking it but you just never know. There have only been a few times in my life where I was that nervous. The man at the UPS store had to reassure me a few times that it was safe and would arrive to its destination. So, we wait again. As soon as it arrives to the A.A. it will be forwarded to Daina, the Latvian facilitator/lawyer/translator. She will spend the next several weeks translating the entire Dossier into Latvian. That's a lot of paperwork! As soon as we get our USCIS approval we appostille it and send it to the A.A. and the same process will occur. Then all that will head to the orphan court, where a referral will be given and a court date scheduled (soon there after). When will that be? Could be as early as the end of September to Late November.

Life continues to go normal (as normal as it has ever gone). We are trying to mentally, tangibly and emotionally prepare for a 4th child to be in our home. The only things left to get for Miss Meggie is toothbrush/toothpaste, pillow and a swimsuit!

When we pick her up from the airport we will have about a 2+ hour wait while she makes it through customs and then we will head home. Well, sort of.... we are planning on making it all the way to St. Louis (area) to spend the night in a motel. We will rise in the morning and go to Six Flags with our church group. We had originally planned that we would come all the way home and only the boys would be going but figured that she is a kid. Meaning? In spite of being extremely tired, she would want to go to an amusement park.

It is interesting to watch how people respond to our adoption. For example, today while at Hillbilly Days at Bennett Springs Park, Keegan was looking at marionette puppets. He has always wanted something he can control, so what better than this. Anyway, he talks to everyone and was telling the vendor about Meggie & that he wanted to buy one for her as well. The lady said, "Well, since you're being so kind, instead of 2/$12, how about 2/$10." SOLD! Later another vendor heard and while I was buying stuff, he gave me another seasoning packet. Some people are confused why we would choose International Adoption over Domestic. Well, as you know we weren't looking into adoption until God placed Meggie in our lives and why international because that's where she lives. Had she lived in Idaho, I'd have chosen Domestic. I know there are thousands of children here in the United States and that breaks my heart. I also know that there are so many children living in other countries that need a home just as much but instead of being provided for until they are 21 (like our system), they age out at 16. Some children like little Katy, that is handicap, are being put into "Independent Living Skills" at 10 or 11, so that in the following year they will be on their own. Thank God that Katy has been adopted by a family near St. Louis that saw that immediate need and have adopted Katy and are providing for her medically, physically and emotionally. Okay, off my soap box!

We will see Meggie in 6 days! Keep praying for her young heart and her ability to understand all these changes taking place in her 10 year old life. Please also pray for Meggie's 11 year old foster sister Inessa. She too is coming to the US on the hosting trip. Her hosting (soon to be adoptive) family has hosted her before and they continue to pray for her to be able to accept her situation and move past some of the emotional scars her biological mom has given her. She is becoming more and more open to being adopted. Please pray for Yuri. He is a 10 year old boy from Latvia that will also be coming to Lebanon this summer with some friends of ours. This is his first trip to the US and I can only imagine how scary that is to this young man. Please also pray for the other 177 children coming to the states. Some of these children are as young as 4 or 5. Pray for the chaperones that will travel with them and their abilities to understand and meet the needs of these children.

Thank you for your support and prayers. We need them daily! May God bless you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

We continue waiting...

Something that happens everytime I say we are going to do something is that it doesn't happen or circumstances change and we have to wait or change another piece of paper or document.

We originally sent off our USCIS paperwork in early May. On May 23 we recieved it back with a rejection letter because I apparently can't add and sent in too much money. (the gov't rejected us for too much $$$~Go figure!) Anyway, so that got re-sent out a couple days later and now we are waiting for our approval letter, which will probably be in 4 weeks or more! We also didn't send in our Dossier because we didn't have all the paperwork needed. We have gotten all the stuff we do have Apostilled and are waiting (as patiently as possible) for 3 original, notarized copies of our Home Study Agency's License. As soon as that is ready, we will pick it up and Apostille it and send in all our paperwork.

We did get word that Latvia is behind in their referrals so we made a quick decision to host Meggie over the summer. The last day to commit to hosting was May 14th. We called in on May 22 and they said okay. We have overnighted, emailed and faxed paperwork to be able to do this but we are super excited to have her with us from June 25th ~ August 1! We will be picking her up in Chicago on the June 25th @ 6:30 p.m. We haven't decided whether we will stay in a hotel or just drive through the night.

Our decision to host was quick but we had already thought about it earlier in the process. The bonus with hosting is that our 1st Trip time will be cut down from 18-21 days to 10-14 days. That's about a $175/day savings. Plus, since there is the delay, we won't be traveling with summer airline rates. We will run into the fall/winter rates, which by the way are like $300-$500/ticket cheaper. That's huge! So in the end, although we are spending the money now, it will even out somewhere in the end and there is the bonus that we get to spend this 6 weeks with her and have a blast while doing it. I'm anxiously waiting for her to be here.

Every time we go to Wal-mart we pick up a few items that will be needed for her. New bedding, clothes, shoes, flip-flops, backpack and bathroom essentials have all been added to her belongings. We have also set up all of her appts. ~ Dr., Eye Dr., Dentist and Hair. We have been blessed by the Dr.'s and companies in Lebanon, MO that are willing to provide their services free of charge because she is a part of this hosting program. We have made it known that we will be adopting her but at this time she is here on the hosting program and we will not have insurance on her. (They come with a major medical ins. in the event that are hurt and have to go to the ER but...)

We also received a grant a few weeks ago. We had applied for their maximum amount of $10,000 but were fortunate to receive $3,000. We are have gotten one letter stating that we didn't get the grant. But... we still have several out there and a few more that we will be applying to. We had another garage sale and did okay. We will be trying to have one more to get rid of the remaining items that we still have that are good quality and would sell for a good price if we were at a good location (which our house is not, we live 15 miles in the country).

That's all for now! We still covet your prayers. Specific prayers would be for the grant foundations and their decisions; safety for Meggie getting here and until she returns; Bonding that will take place while she is here; God's will in all circumstances!

May God bless you until next time!