Monday, February 28, 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane Part 3

WOW - My head is spinning - I am leaving tomorrow...I don't even have time to write about it - so I'm posting the email my sister sent out to all of my praying friends and family. I promise to post more soon! One step closer - this will be my last trip by myself - woo hoo! And I will be 75% done with the travel. E. Should be home by the end of March. Woot! Woot!
Hello all. Kimberly found out this morning that she will be traveling to Russia TOMORROW for her third trip. While this is super exciting, it is also incredibly nerve wracking. Please be in prayer today and throughout the week for Kimberly. Here are a few things to be praying for:
• Peace. Please pray for peace of mind for Kimberly as she prepares for this very short notice travel.
• Health. She is not feeling great today (dang nerves), so please be praying for health and an abundance of strength for her on this journey.
• Safe travels. Kimberly will be traveling from Denver to Chicago, from Chicago to Munich (I think that's right) then from Munich to Russia. Please pray for no delays and safe and timely connections in all connecting airports
• Weather. Since you see how many connections she is going to have to make, please be praying for good weather in all cities so that her flight is not delayed at all
• Visits in Russia. This trip is for Kimberly to be able to get a passport for Emma. There is a good chance that Kimberly will be able to have some visiting time with E. on Thursday. Pray for some sweet bonding time for the two of them and that the orphanage staff allow her an extended visit. Please also pray that the influenza ban (no visiting last time due to influenza outbreak) has been lifted and all is well at the orphanage.

Kimberly covets your prayers. She will be leaving Denver tomorrow afternoon around 2:00 and will return to Denver on Saturday. Thank you so much for your willingness to pray.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Still Waiting...

Still waiting for travel dates. It looks like I will return next week to apply for E's passport in her new name and then two weeks after that, to spring her from the baby house for good :)
Hopefully the orphanage will not be closed again next week (due to flu in Central Russia) and I will be able to visit for more than an hour! It was really painful last time - I didn't even get to see her after court!
I promise to send pictures soon to those who have asked - I have been having laptop drama - oh my!
WOW - the waiting doesn't get any easier - in fact, I think it's getting harder.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

People Say...

the most ridiculous things! I really can't believe some of the things people feel the need to share with me! I mean, really?
I was at a party for a friend (where I knew only the friend and not the others) and she shared with the group about my upcoming homecoming with E. - she is excited for me and would be horrified to know of some of the things others felt the need to say.

I would liken my experience to a mom who is very close to giving birth, whom many feel the need to share horrifying birth experiences with. Again, really? Does a pregnant woman really want to hear about 30 hour labor experiences? Not!

Several women shared adoption horror stories with me....."I knew a woman who described her first year home with her adopted child as the year from hell" Really? You think it's a good idea to share that story with me?
"How much do you know about her family? You know there is a lot of alcoholism in Russia?" Really? Somehow, you think that's something I would want to discuss now?

Here were some of the thoughtless comments to me...
"So, do you know much about her "real mom"? I actually consider myself as her "real Mom"
"What is her name?" When I would answer - "No, I mean what was her real name?"
"Why didn't you adopt domestically" Kind of like asking - why didn't you buy American? There is such a tone of judgment that goes along with a questions like this. Or maybe, I just assume there is criticism behind a questions like this. You know, adoption is NOT an act of patriotism and adopting internationally doesn't mean I have a lack of patriotism, people!

ARGH! People say the most thoughtless things....I tried to be patient and kind in my responses, but I had to vent - hope you all don't mind! I need to work on my response to all of the questions about E's birth mom - I really feel like that is her story to tell - or not tell. Maybe that's my response...

Monday, February 14, 2011

I Left My Heart in Vladimir

I wish I felt comfortable sharing pictures here, but until she's home I just don't. But I will definitely email to those who ask :) just leave me a comment.

BUT I would love to share pictures of E's hometown, Vladimir City...
A local church - I could see it from my hotel room on trip one.

Another view from my hotel room.

Brrrrrrrr Icicles like this hung from every building.

My hotel - it was actually quite cozy.

Another church...unfortunately I never did have a guide with me on my walk so I couldn't find out the names of anything :(

The mall - I did some damage here :)

The snowsuit I bought for E. - isn't it adorable?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's Official!

Woo Hoo! Yahoo! Yippeee! Yay! Hallelujah! Wow! I can't think of enough celebratory words to express my excitement. As of 4pm Moscow time on Friday, February 11th, E. is my daughter!
It was a grueling two hours of being questioned and listening to testimony about whether or not I should be allowed to adopt E., but at the end the Judge said yes.
Actually, I'm not certain whether I have ever experienced a more intense two hours in my life. I wasn't scared, I was a bit nervous, mostly I was peaceful, but aware of the intensity in the room. I was acutely aware that the decision being made that day was completely up to God - if He had in mind for E. to be my daughter then there would be no negative opinion in that room that could interfere with this. If He had other plans for E. and for me then the outcome would be a "no". I trusted His Sovereignty and decision. During the two hours in court, I felt really uncertain of which way it would go - but I trusted the One who would decide. The prosecutor and judge were clearly not positive toward international adoption and, judging by the questions they both asked me, were clearly not positive about single mothers adopting, but in the end E. is my daughter.
I wrote in my journal few different times on the trip and a common phrase in each entry was "my heart is so full". I can think of no better way to describe heart is so full!
I promise to update more soon, but for sleep :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

From Russia With Love!

I am here and had a wonderful visit with my sweet E. today but boy was it a long 30 hours to get there. I hear mom's say all the time that the memories of labor fade quickly when you put your love goggles on with your new infant. Today I experienced something similar. Getting to Moscow this time was nothing short of a miracle. I woke up on Tuesday morning to about 5 inches of snow and it was coming down fierce. My dear friend Lesa braved the roads and the frigid temperature to pick me up and take me to the airport. One hurdle crossed! Made it through security and boarded the plane no problem. We even left the gate on time. We headed out to wait in line to be de-iced and then sat there for the longest time after being de-iced. The captain finally came on told us that some de-icing fluid had leaked into the plane. Huh? I'veer never heard of that before. So we had to wait for authorization to head back to the gate to have maintenance look at it. I only had a one hour connection in DC so I quickly got on the phone with United to see what could be done. They worked out an alternate plan for me to route from DC to Frankfurt and then Moscow but the couldn't confirm anything for me :( So I tried to stay calm and wait...and wait....about an hour later we were told to take our seats the problem was fixed....and so we headed out to wait in line to de-ice again. After de-icing we waited - I thought we were waiting for our turn to take off - nope. It turns out some fluid leaked in through the door - again! By this time the peace I had been feeling had vanished - I was close to tears and spent most of the next 24 hours in that state. I am giving the Reader's Digest version here - United re-booked me and my agency called the region to see what we would do about my new later arrival time. The region said no problem we will be there and will take you to the region that night. Original plan - leave Denver at 10:30am arrive Moscow 11am next day - God's plan - hang out at DIA all day leave Denver at 5:40pm fly to Frankfurt connect to Moscow and arrive at 6:40pm the next day - file a lost baggage report and leave the airport with my driver at 8pm to head for E.s region. Arrive at my hotel at midnight. Whew - what a long day! And what a harrowing 4 hour drive on snowy, icy roads in a Camry - with my driver who spoke no English and kept passing folks on a two lane highway in said Camry on the snowy, icy roads - YIKES! We had some tough angels surrounding us! Spending an hour with E. today makes it all worth it! She was shy and tentative with me again, but she had the pictures I left last time and we looked at those together. Dear Ann printed multiple copies of pictures of my first visit with E. and I brought those with me. She loved looking at those and we added them to her photo album. One of the caregivers told me that whenever they look at the album or the toys I left E. says "Mama, Mama Mama, My Mama!" Isn't that the sweetest? Warms my heart. By the end of the visit she was willing to sit on my lap and we colored together (getting to that point included some screaming and crying when the caregivers kept trying to leave her alone with me - she wanted none of that!) But I was thrilled that the journey of tears led to a content little girl sitting on my lap, letting me rub her back and stroke her hair and kiss her cheek.....bliss! I can,t think of anyplace I''d rather be! And 30 hours to get there to arrive without luggage? Oh well - it's no matter!
We have court tomorrow at 2pm...and then she will be officially my daughter. Simply amazing.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane - Part 2

I am still trying to process all that happened last week. When my agency called on Monday to say I had a court date this week, I have to admit I never believed I would be able to keep that date - it seemed impossible with all the documents required by Wednesday, the need to get a Visa more quickly than the Russian embassy says is possible. It was a God sized job and I watched it unfold! God took care of everything and I am so blessed and humbled.
This weekend I did a ton of shopping - buying gifts for my driver and coordinator and social worker the caregivers in the orphanage - and of all things the judge (what does one buy as a thank you gift for a Russian judge?) It was a bit overwhelming, but also exciting.
I leave tomorrow am and arrive in Russia on Wednesday am. My driver will pick me up at the airport and we will make the three hour drive to region, where my little darling is. On Thursday I will get to spend time with E. - yippeee! On Friday I head to court and then back to Moscow. I fly home on Saturday - I think my head will be spinning by then.
More than anything, I am writing to ask you all to keep praying. God has really put it on my heart that there is a spiritual battle for the lives of orphans - think about it - something dear to God's heart - He makes it so clear that He loves orphans (including us) the enemy would just love to tear that apart - satan is all about attacking what God loves. In addition to that, I tend to struggle with being anxious - especially when I have no control over anything (which, I know, is ALWAYS, but sometimes it's more obvious than others :) So would you please be praying...
• For travel mercies - on time flights, connections made :)
• Safety in the Moscow airport - I am flying in and out of the one that had the bombing a couple of weeks ago - pray that I will be able to find my driver and get out of there quickly
• My health - that He would keep me from getting sick and for strength and energy - I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed - the 3 1/2 years of pursuing adoption are catching up to me! I have to admit there's part of me in quiet moments that thinks - how in the world will I make it through these next three trips? I'm clinging to Isaiah 40:28-31, Gal. 6:9 and Phil. 4:13
• For a sweet time of bonding with E. on Thursday :)
• That God would continue to prepare E.'s heart to leave the orphanage - that He would prepare both of our hearts to bond.
• For court on Friday. That the judge would find favor with me and be more than willing to approve the adoption. That God would give me the right words in answering the questions from the judge and even more importantly that my translator would translate the words the judge wants to hear :) My friend Ann told me it doesn't really matter what you say the translator will translate what the judge wants to hear - that takes the pressure of :)
• Ok this is a long shot and would have to be an act of God - but my request is that the judge would allow just one final trip and not require the usual two additional trips this region requires after court - God may have other plans or reasons He needs me to make a total of 4 trips - but wow would I be thrilled to only make one more trip after this one.

Thank you all so much - not sure what I would do without your love, support and friendship!

Friday, February 4, 2011


This was me about 1pm this afternoon :) Dancing around my room, like Snoopy would, singing and celebrating the good news that my visa was completed and on its way back to me - should arrive tomorrow am.
I am so relieved and excited and just amazed at the Lord's goodness and sovereignty. This is so clearly His court date - He made it happen and He is the one worthy of a Snoopy dance.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Oh my goodness - I am so excited to report that I have a court date! My adoption agency called me on Monday to let me know that I have court next Friday - February 11th. Amazing.
I cannot believe it but, I will be leaving for Russia on Tuesday! I have a court date on Friday - and when the Judge says yes and signs the documents, E. will officially be my daughter. Woo Hoo!
It was a crazy day - spent ALL day chasing documents, but at 4pm I left them with the DHL shipper and they are ALL on their way to Moscow. Truly an answer to prayer - I will have to post more of the details, because only He could move the mountain of paperwork to make this happen - for now let me just say God is so good.
My coordinator told me over and over that I wouldn't get a court date until everything was in country - BUT God intervened and I have a court date. I never thought I would be able to get all of the paperwork by today (the deadline they gave me or they would cancel court) BUT God intervened and it is all on its way.
So - one big prayer request - I need God to intervene at the Russian embassy in Houston tomorrow - they have a new "rule" that they require three business days from the date they receive your visa request to process the visa - I don't have three business days - I only have two - I am praying that God would burden the heart of whichever official receives the request from the visa company and they would release my visa on Friday so that I will receive it back on Monday. I know He can do it - would you pray with and for me?
Oh my.....E. could be home by mid-March