Next Christmas…

December 29, 2008

So, the phrase of the season to us has been…”next Christmas you’ll have your little one running around and opening presents.” It’s so exciting to picture this. I still don’t feel like it’s actually going to happen. It still seems so far away and so “out there”. But, it was really neat because I was able to spend some time talking to my aunt who adopted her daughter. She was told she had a 6 month – 2 year wait and 10 days later they were called with a referral for their little girl.

Over the past week God has been reminding me that I can not, and do not have any control over this situation. So much of me tries to control our adoption with reading other people’s adoption blogs, being a part adoption chat rooms, and trying to search to find “inside information”.

I love to know things. I’m the kind of person who would love for someone to throw me a surprise party, but I would want to know about it ahead of time. ☺ One of the things that God is teaching me is what it looks like to trust Him daily, even though I don’t know what is going to happen in a year, a month, or even a week with our adoption. What does it look like to truly trust Him? That is where I am this week: Learning and relearning what it looks like to trust in God’s plan for our life.

Some days are more difficult than others. Some days I get so frustrated that I just want to give up. But, there are other days where God fills me with such a peace and motivation to keep after Him, after His heart, after His plan for our lives.

As far as what is actually going on. Our agency is closed for the holidays until the first of January and then the Russian facility is closed until the 12th. We’ll hopefully find out some updates on our paperwork and if there have been any changes with the adoption process then. Thanks for waiting with us, encouraging us and praying for us in this journey. We are so grateful and hope that next Christmas we will be able to share our little one with you!

Updates:

  • Our updated paperwork is hopefully in the hands of our facilitators in Russia and will be ready to be processed when the Russian facilitators come back from holiday.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for us as we continue to wait – for patience and for dependence on God alone
  • Pray for our little one – that they would feel loved and touched and nurtured
  • Pray for the facilitators in Russia – for wisdom as they make decisions that could effect adoptive parents

Thank you so much for all of your love and support. Until next Monday…love, Kate & Steve.

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Yay & Pray

December 22, 2008

Well, we are writing from beautiful, sunny North Carolina. The blue skies never get old here! We are spending the next week and a half with family and enjoying some relaxation after a very crazy week!

Last Monday, we found out that we had 2 documents that needed to be updated. Our case worker asked that we get them to her by Friday. So, we had 5 days to get our documents notarized, authenticated, & sent to Columbus, then down to North Carolina. Needless to say, it was a very stress-filled week. But, we are so grateful to our homestudy provider who quickly got the paperwork filled out and we are so blessed to have a notary that works at our church and is willing to notarize whatever we need whenever we need it. And I must say, the US postal service really came through for us. In the busiest mail season of the year, our documents got to where they needed to be right when they needed to get there.

This morning, our case worker was excited to tell us that she had received all of our documents and sent them to Russia this afternoon. They are supposed to get to St. Petersburg on Thursday, December 25. Merry Christmas!

While that is great news, we also know there is much more waiting ahead. The offices in Russia are closed until the 12th of January, so things will be on pause for a few weeks. We also learned this morning, that there are some issues developing in Russia that could potentially affect our adoption with serious delays. I don’t feel comfortable posting the details on the internet, but if you care to know more, feel free to email me. I do ask that you would just pray for us and believe with us that God is bigger than this adoption…He is leading us, guiding us and going before us. He is walking beside us, giving us peace and patience through the journey. He is coming behind us, protecting us and holding us up when we can’t stand on our own.

We are praying for wisdom for the Russian officials and wisdom for us as we walk through the doors that God opens. Thanks for praying with us. We are so unbelievably grateful for the prayers that you bring to God on our behalf. We feel strong, encouraged and ready to face anything knowing the amazing support we have. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Updates:

  • Our latest paperwork updates are on their way to Russia
  • We are continuing to get closer to our financial goal. Praise God!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for patience and wisdom for us as we follow God in this journey
  • Pray for the Russian officials and their decisions with our adoption
  • Pray for our little one – for warmth in the cold and love during this season

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve.

Letter of Love

December 15, 2008

Let’s start with some good news! This past week we received a note from Shaohannah’s Hope (Steven Curtis Chapman’s international adoption organization). They were happy to inform us that they will be giving us a $2500 grant for our adoption. YAY! We were so excited. God has truly been blowing us away with His goodness, His provision and His faithfulness to us. Who would have thought that in 7 months He would give us $34,000 through friends, family, strangers, blog followers :), and grant organizations?? We are unbelievably grateful and overwhelmed. A mountain that we knew from the beginning was only going to be conquered through God alone has now become a little hill 🙂

I’ve been thinking a lot about our little one lately. It’s strange because it comes in waves. Our adoption is always lingering every day in the back of my mind. But, this past week, it seems like it has been very much on the forefront. I go to bed just thinking and praying for our little one with so much anticipation. I thought I would share a little bit of a note that I wrote to our little one this past week…

My sweet little one,
Never did I think I could already love someone the way I love you. I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately and wondering what the future is going to be like for us. What is it going to be like when I see your picture for the first time? Will you be smiling? Will you know why your picture is even being taken?

Will you know something big is getting ready to take place in your life? What is it going to be like when I see you in person for the first time? Will you know there is something special about this “strange man and woman”? Will you let me hug you or will you be unsure? I understand either way.

Will you like the toys we bring you? Will the “strange man” make you laugh with his funny facial expressions? Will you know that my smile is different from the ones you’ve seen before? Will you know it is the smile of someone who has been waiting for you and thinking of you for so long? What will it be like when we have to leave you for a little while? Will you know that we’re coming back? I sure hope you do.

I hope you know that if it were up to us, we never would have left you. Oh little one, I can’t wait for the day to see you face to face. I am praying that you know somehow in your little heart that there is a mommy and daddy trying to get to you. I’m so thankful for those that are taking care of you right now. I know they have lots of little ones to take care of, but I’m praying that they give you lots of hugs and kisses for me.
I love you little one, mommy.

Updates:

  • We received a grant from Shaohannahs Hope. Praise God! We are still waiting to hear back from one final grant organization to see if we will receive any more assistance.
  • We are working on some paperwork that needs to be updated and sent back out to Russia.
  • Between our Christmas break and their holidays, our adoption process will be on a “pause” for the next few weeks.

Prayer Requests:

  • Thank God for His amazing provision in our lives. We are so grateful for how He is stirring in hearts of people to give.
  • Pray for our little one during these cold months (if they are born) to be loved and touched
  • Pray for wisdom and speed for all of those who are involved with our registration and referral of our baby – pray that God would lead the faciliators to the baby God has for us

Until next Monday, love, Kate & Steve

Unexpected Blessings…

December 8, 2008

Well, there really is not much to tell regarding the progree of our adoption. With the holidays coming up, things in Russia slow down quite a bit from December through January, so we don’t expect to hear much. We did find out that we now have 2 more paperwork updates to complete – but that is to be expected from now up until we actually travel to Russia.

This adoption journey have given us much “more” than we ever expected. There is more anxiety and anticipation over wanting to hold my baby in my arms than I ever imagined. There is more love that continues to widen and deepen for our little one. There is more understanding of who God is and what His heart is for me – His adopted one. And more unexpected blessings than I ever would have been able to dream up. One of those blessings has been meeting families who have adopted.

We met so many at our event a few weeks ago. One of the families invited us over for dinner this past Monday night. They have 2 precious children. Their oldest daughter is adopted from Russia and their son they had biologically just a few months after bringing their daughter home. It was so fun to sit with them as a family at dinner – to see that they laugh together and tell stories and share great memories.

Adoption is a proud part of their story as a family. Their daughter showed us her “life book” – which is a scrapbook filled with pictures and stories of the entire adoption process. It was so fun to sit with her and her brother (and Steve) on the couch and look through the book. This family has encouraged us deeply and we have only known them a few weeks.

Another family we met at our fundraiser has an adopted daughter from China. She is about 10 years old now. Her parents told us a little bit of their story and how long they had to wait. But as they look back now, it is so obvious that God was orchestrating them to be connected with their baby at just the right time. It is so cute because she and the daughter of the other family are the best of friends. And they both share the beautiful story of adoption.

Their families tell a funny story of how the girls were making fun of their brother (who wasn’t adopted) saying he was “just” born in the hospital. We have been so encouraged by these families – God has blessed us so much more than we could have asked or imagined, He has given us hope in the waiting through those that have gone before us. He has given us love and kind words through all of our amazing friends and family. God is so good.

I was thinking of the line of a song that we sang last night at church with our students…. “When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory…and I realize just how beautiful You are and how great Your affections are for me.” Through the waiting and the frustrations, God is showing us His glory and His love for us by giving us comfort, love and encouragement through His people and creation.

Hopefully next week, we’ll be able to update with more “news”. Our prayers continue to be that even with the slow down of the holidays, our paperwork would continue to process and that God would be orchestrating the connection of us to our baby.

Updates:

  • No updates on where we are with process, except that we have 2 more documents to complete, notarize, and get authenticated.
  • People are continuing to give financially and we are so incredibly grateful and blown away!

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray for patience for “mommy and daddy” as we wait for our little one
  • Pray for speed with the processing of our paperwork and wisdom for those who connect the parents to the children
  • Pray for our little one. If they are born, pray for warmth, love and touch
  • Pray for the caregivers who work so hard – that they would be filled with love, patience and compassion.

Thanks for following our blog. We have lots of waiting ahead of us but we are so thankful you are journeying with us. We’ll update again next Monday. Love, Kate & Steve