Thursday, September 30, 2010

Catalyst Article: Tension, Mercy and Orphans

Catalyst Article: Tension, Mercy and Orphans

Day 2--40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care

Today, pray for your Pastor to have guidance and provision as he seeks to follow the Lord's commands to care for the orphans

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Couple Fun Details

Yesterday we sent for Kevin's new passport.
Today we got our local police clearances in the mail--on letterhead, notarized, dates match--and neither of us has a police record. That is sure good news :) :)

40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care--Day 1

1) Today, pray that the Lord would give you a personal sense of responsibility for the next 40 days (and beyond) for praying for orphans, your pastor, your church, and your community. Ask Him to break your heart for the orphans. Ask that He would help you to see orphans with His eyes and His heart. Ask Him to use this 40 days of prayer to change you and your church.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Someone Contributed to our Adoption Page!!

I just wanted to say how excited I was just now to see that some sweet somebody has secretly contributed to our adoption fund through Reece's Rainbow. I hope--whoever you are--that God just blesses your socks off!

If you want to rejoice with me, just click on Abby's picture to the right. It will take you to our personal family sponsorship page. (And don't be confused by the "Iowa" part--we are still here in the Gem State as always.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Exciting News!

We got our official fingerprint appointments from USCIS yesterday and are scheduled for October 7 in Boise

today--yes, on a Saturday--we got a whole pile of documents notarized. Kevin remembered a friend who is a notary and she was so sweet about helping us out on a weekend right in her home.

SOOO . . . if we didn't mess anything up, it looks like the last and only thing left to notarize will be the I-171H--the Golden Ticket from USCIS that gives advanced permission for us to bring an orphan into the USA.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear Friends Need an Adoption Miracle

Dear Christian friends Chris and Mary Malone are adopting again--this time a 6 year old from Eastern Europe who needs to have surgery to survive.

Here is a message from Chris: Ethan is 6 years old, has Down syndrome, Hirschprung's disease and strabismus. Because of the Hirschprung's, he has a colostomy. Basically, there is a problem with the opening for his colostomy and he needs immediate surgery to correct it. He is not gaining weight because of it, and they won't fix it until he gains weight where he is. You can see he is in a desperate cycle. He weighs only 16 pounds and is the size of an average 1-year-old. We were told to do whatever it takes to get him out NOW. So we are asking for you help. We must have our papers in by November 15. And we need to have raised $20,000 by the end of November to be ready to drop everything and go the moment they allow us to go.

Please pray that the paperwork will be completed by the people who need to complete it. Please pray that we can raise the money in an unheard of amount of time.

Please visit their blog at

First Homework/New Family Picture

Friday, Sept 17 both Caleb and Steven came home with their first homework--a packet that needs to be completed by next Thursday. We have chosen to do one page per night. The first assignment was to color squares, rectangles, circles and triangles in assigned colors.
Sunday, Sept 12 we had an all-church picture after service. Since we were all dressed up for the occasion, I had someone grab a picture of our family.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pictures from Here and There

Please go back and check Sept 7, the first day of school. I just added pictures there.

My life is an open book--literally. My lovely journal took a dunking in the bathtub (long story.) And then while the pages were weak and fragile one of my little sweeties ripped SEVERAL of them out. Here they are spread out on my bed trying to dry.


September 4--our last over-nighter at Murtaugh Lake before the start of school.

We celebrated my Dad's birthday while we were out there.

September 6--the night before school started my daughters decided to change their hair color. Teresa chose red; Scheri chose blond frost.

I'm Not Miffed at God Anymore

Can I be honest with you? Ever since Kevin and I traveled to Kiev in December 2008 for our SDA appointment to get the official referral for Steven, I have been kind of miffed at God. We ended up staying clear until Dec 31 and never even got to have court. I have really felt that the sacrifice of giving up Christmas with our family was just too much--when it served no purpose anyway.

Just a few days ago I realized a very intersting 'coincidence' that absolutely brings tears to me eyes. I have copied here part of my blog entry for December 25, 2008. After the entry I'll explain the significance.

Back at Independence Square we went with Nastya to a gallery on the street that heads up toward St. Michaels. She has been telling us since the day we arrived about an up-coming exhibition showcasing children with Down syndrome. This was the coolest thing. If I got the story straight there is a group of families here in Ukraine who have chosen to keep their children with DS and are working on a way to set up education for them since they cannot be admitted to the regular schools. So SEVERAL people who are very famous here in Ukraine--singers, a heavy-weight boxer, radio announcer, rock band, soccer player Schevchenko, etc. had pictures taken with these adorable children in an effort to raise funds for this charitable cause. It is called "Ukrainian Stars for Children with Down Syndrome" and a slogan is "They are just children, only with Down Syndrome." We purchased a calendar that has 12 of the pictures on it. Here is a quote from the calendar: "Every year in Ukraine up to 400 babies are born with Down Syndrome. Only one third of them stay with their families. Parents abandon most of those babies due to a lack of complete and truthful information about their children's potentials. Making a decision to give up one's child with Down Syndrome is often based on erroneous and out-of-date information which continues to be wide spread in our society. The birth of baby with Down Syndrome is a genetic accident. Probability of a birth of such a baby does not depend on the parents' way of life, their health, bad habits, nourishment, prosperity, education, skin color or nationality. In many countries around the world people with Down Syndrome are rightful members of a society: they can attend regular kindergartens, study at school or in college, find a job and get married. Let us together build a happy future for children with Down Syndrome in Ukraine." The calendar also gives two addresses which I haven't checked out but which might be interesting: and Personally I am very excited to hear about this organization. I am delighted that people right here in Ukraine are seeing the value of children with DS and realizing their potential.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I received this message in my comments:

Merry Christmas! I'm a member of that Ukrainian Charity Down Syndrome Organization. We're just a group of parents trying to give our special kids a chance for a future life which looks rather gloomy at the moment. We're doing our best here and are looking for any cooperation. I'm particularly glad to read your comments as I was the one to insist on having our Calendar of Love printed in two languages and translated the text into English. You may see it at A December boy with the World Boxing Champion is my son.
Good luck with the adoption, it's much needed here

This comment led to phone contact and Kevin and I had the amazing opportunity to meet this mama AND her son AND a couple other parents AND their kiddos with DS there in Kiev before returning to the states. I told them about the ministry of Reece's Rainbow.

Fast forward to September 2010 when two very special representatives from Reece's Rainbow are in Ukraine right now visiting orphanages, a maternity hospital, therapy centers and attending a DownsEdconference all in hopes of encouraging mamas and papas who are already parenting their children with special needs, educating workers and professionals about the potential of children with DS and building relationships and partnerships with Reece's Rainbow. And guess who picked them up at the airport: YEPPERS- that very mama that contacted us on Christmas Day 2008. I'm not miffed at God anymore. I am totally humbled.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another paper for our dossier

Today I finally took the opportunity to pick up our mail. And I had the notarized copy of our home study agency's license. Yippee skippee!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Please DON'T WAIT too long

While we wait for the perfect timing...

they hope they can wait another day.

While we wait for more money...

they wait with nothing.

While we wait for a bigger home with enough room...

they wait for room in our hearts.

While we wait for others approval...

they wait with any dignity they can find.

While we wait for the ideal child....

they wait knowing they are not.

While we wait trying to decide if we can manage another...

they wait trying to manage on their own.

While we wait to see how much we have to give to them...

They are waiting to give us even more.
While we wait for God to provide...

He waits for us to take the first step so He can.

We must NEVER use 'waiting to hear from Him' as an excuse for not doing what He has ALREADY commanded in the bible for us to do... proclaim the truth, care for orphans, serve others, be His hands of justice for the poor, and show compassion.
(James 1v27)

So, what are you waiting for??

Written by and please visit Building the Blocks blog

Shared here with permission

Give and it shall be given unto you

I'm ashamed to say that during this adoption process I have had several times when I've felt very miserly. I think that's the right word. Because I see the huge expense still ahead I have pictured myself as tightly clinging to the dollars we have instead of having a generous and liberal heart. (Reminds me of Buzzle Billy in a children's book we used to own: "Mine! Mine! Mine! I will not share! Mine! Mine! Mine! I won't play fair!") I don't like this.

Just a few minutes ago as I was writing checks for some ministries we support, I was reminded of a couple Bible verses.

My God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19


GIVE and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over shall men pour into your bosom.

Please forgive if the 'quotes' aren't exactly word for word. I don't have a KJV Bible in front of me right this second and I'm too lazy to go down the hall and grab one. But it is so encouraging to be reminded that GOD--our Daddy-- is our source.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Good News

I received 3 beautiful copies of our notarized home study in the mail today. The dossier is coming right along!

Kevin didn't have to be at work until 10 this morning so we decided to take the opportunity to go to City Hall when it opened at 9:00 am to get the rest of our stuff notarized. Would you believe there was a note on the door saying it would only be open from 1:00 to 5:00 pm today. Like I told Carla, after awhile of dealing with all these goofy little delays and hassles you just have to roll your eyes and laugh.

And most of you know that I truly believe that adoption is something that the devil hates with a passion. But his passion is no match for the PASSION of our Heavenly Father--Abba, Daddy--who loves children dearly, who is a defender of the fatherless, who puts the lonely in families, who calls us as his children to care for the orphan in their distress. It shouldn't be surprising that anyone who attempts to follow the example of Jesus would meet up with opposition.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Along the Adoption Path

I called USCIS today and found out that our I800A was logged into the building today (where this building is, I do not know) so it is in pre-processing. No adjudicator has yet been assigned. The officer I spoke with thought that it would be reviewed by the end of this month or first of October but I think I understood that we might receive our fingerprinting appointment in the meantime.

I was looking through the documents we have already collected for the dossier and started freaking out a bit because I couldn't find one of Kevin's medicals. No, it was not still in the envelope. No, it wasn't on the counter or table or by the computer. Yes, I had made a photo copy. Do you think I could have left it in the copy machine back on the 9th :( when I made copies and faxed to Carla. I called and YES that is exactly what I had done and the lady at Harvey's Office Supply had so nicely set it aside for me. Praise God! I left shortly after to go retrieve my little lost sheep.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Adoption Paperwork Circles

Well, I did get the letter needed for our dossier on Thursday. It was nicely notarized even with correct notary date but unfortunately it was not on company letterhead so I sent it out once again yesterday (after completely re-typing it because the file I'd typed before and saved was damaged somehow and could not be opened)

And I think it was Wednesday that Kevin was getting off work early--during actual business hours. So I grabbed our adoption folder and we headed with our documents down to City Hall to get them notarized--and would you believe the City Clerk had gone home for the day (she'd been there just a few minutes earlier when Kevin had driven by on the way to our house.)

I would so appreciate prayer for our adoption process-- both the paperwork and the necessary finances.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Please Vote for one of my heros--Andrea Roberts

Back in February, PEOPLE Magazine highlighted the work and ministry of Andrea Roberts. This lady is such an inspiration to me. She was just a mom, devastated by the news that her newborn son-- Reece-- had Down syndrome. Now she is a tireless advocate for kids with Down syndrome and other special needs around the world. She is the founder of the amazing ministry called Reece's Rainbow through which we found Caleb, Steven and now, Abby. In just 4 years hundreds of children have found forever homes and many thousands of dollars have been raised in grants to help fund adoptions. Amazing lady working in synchrony with the Daddy heart of a great big God.

Now PEOPLE Magazine is giving a chance to vote for the Hero of the Year. The winner will receive $10,000 and Andrea has already said if she wins, the money will be put right back into Reece's Rainbow.

I know my blog kind of truncates the message about Andrea but you can still click on VOTE NOW to read more about Andrea and to cast your ballot.

(And if you'd like to read more about the ministry of Reece's Rainbow you can follow this link
VOTE NOW for Reece's Rainbow! - People Magazine Hero of the YEAR Contest

From Sep 10 - Oct 8, 2010,


can help Reece's Rainbow WIN the Hero of the Year Award and $10,000 from People Magazine!

Featured in Feb 2010 as a "Hero Among Us", Reece's Rainbow has now been chosen as a finalist in the 2010 People Magazine

Hero of the YEAR Contest!


No restrictions, vote as often as you can

(but please, only legitimate votes)

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Little Update

Our case worker Dixie just emailed me and said another dossier document is on its way to me and our corrected home study is on its way to Boise for another signature and notarization. YES!

First Day of School

WHEW! All my freaking out was unnecessary :)

I was very concerned that maybe our I800A hadn't actually made it to USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) after all. BUT I stopped at the bank and got a print-out of our account and it showed that the check I'd written them was clearing today and when I checked the mail this afternoon there was a Form 797-C, Notice of Action from the USCIS Department of Home land Security saying that our I-800A was indeed received by them on August 31 as scheduled and is in process. That is a relief! The next thing we should receive from them is a biometrics (fingerprint) appointment.

I don't remember receiving this form when we sent paperwork for either Caleb and Steven's adoptions--maybe because Ukraine was not a Hague country? I am impressed that it even includes a phone number and email address for questions.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Criminies! The Computer umbilical cord

Days when nothing seems to be happening on our adoption front really drive me crazy. (Yes, I do totally realize that it's a shorter drive for me than for many. Smile.) I come to the computer and check emails--is there ANYTHING that pertains to our adoption from our case worker? from our agency? from friends? Nope, none today. Then I read through all the Reece's Rainbow messages. There are LOTS of those and it's fun to hear the good news of fellow-adopters and to share experiences. Then to our blog to see if anyone has commented on any posts. No, none today. Then back to email to see if anything has come in since I last checked. Another digest from Reece's Rainbow but no personal messages. Then walk down to the mail box to see if any more documents for our dossier have come in. Surely this time there will be SOMETHING in there. Nope--disappointing, frustrating, irritating. Back home and check email messages again. Nothing new there. It seems like I cling to the computer keys and the mouse because they are the closest ties I have to my daughter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In the tough times, God is working for our good

Awesome!! We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize
it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can't.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,

there will always be sunshine, after the rain....

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;
But God's always ready, to answer your call.....

He knows every heartache, sees every tear,

a word from His lips, can calm every fear...

Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,

But suddenly vanish, dawn's early light...

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,

to give you His grace, and send you His love...

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

USCIS update

Just got a phone call from a very sweet SLC postal worker named Diane. She said our envelope to USCIS was placed in a larger envelope with other stuff headed for USCIS and that's why it wasn't individually scanned upon arrival. She said these items are forwarded to Dallas???? She said they deliver these packages twice daily.