Monday, June 27, 2011

Paperwork is Finished--for now :)

Wonderful note from Toni: All of Abby's paperwork is done and ready :)! Doesn't that sound truly wonderful after 14 months.

Never fear, however, Carla from About A Child, sent me the list of paperwork that we'll be doing AFTER the adoption!!! It sounds like a pretty do-able list so Yippee Skippee for that!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Little Busy Here

Last day of school: Steven with his teacher, Mrs. Shroeder- June 3
Caleb and his teacher, Miss Waterman- June 3
About a week after Memorial Day, Steven, Caleb and I went to pick up our flowers from the graves of Kevin's Dad and his Grandma Bryson. My Uncle Earl and cousin Dan are between.


I attended Ladies' Retreat June 10-12. On the Saturday afternoon, ladies could choose to ride the zip line for $10. Two ladies from our group decided to give it a try. (No, I was not one of them.)
Here's our group: Carol, Julie, Pat, Marlene, Shelly, Annie, Virginia, Ruth in back; Linda, myself, Anne in front.
We stopped at Red Robin on the way home
Here we are back at the church after unloading ourselves and all of our stuff out of the 15 passenger van.

The Wild West rides again: Caleb, Billy and Steven
Guests at James' birthday on June 8.

Here they are eating Little Caesar's pizza out on the trampoline.

James turned 13 this year!!
The guests competed in decorating James' cakes for him. Trust me, there was no shortage of frosting :)

We celebrated both Billy and Caleb's birthdays on June 17 and decorated in red, white and blue.

Unbelievable that Billy could possibly be 17!!

And Mr. Caleb is 7.

Billy, seated beside Grandma, showing off his Star Wars puzzle.
Billy is a huge Boise Bronco fan and was pretty happy with his new shirt and cap.
He thought new shoes were a terribly silly gift.
Unfortunately, the coupe was too small for Caleb and we had to take it back.
Caleb, seated beside Papa, was very tickled with his Toy Story movie. He also got squirt guns, a Toy Story puzzle, a shirt and Candyland game.

Caleb was happy to share his guns with Steven as long and he still had one for each hand.
Billy and Caleb.
The birthday boys with their guests: brothers, Steven and James, and Grandma and Papa who are such good sports and attend so many of our family 'things.'

Getting ready to blow out the candles.
Billy was absolutely tickled with his Action Bible. (He'd wanted one ever since James got one for HIS birthday.)
I'm so sorry for being so behind on this blog.

Good grief!! Here we've had Orphan Summit, Caleb and Steven's graduation from kindergarten, found out my niece and her family are going to Moldova as missionaries, celebrated James' birthday, attended Ladies' Retreat and tomorrow we're celebrating both Caleb's and Billy's birthdays. I've bought clothes for Abby and we have a travel itinerary. Today I made a bunch of phone calls and set up appointments for the kids' well-child checks, eye doc, dentist and some therapies. I have applied to Shriner's to check Abby over after she gets here. It's not like we haven't done anything around here--it's just that I don't have time to write about it.

And please don't forget we fly out on July 8 for Bulgaria. Prices on flights have doubled since February--from $900-plus to $1900-plus!! Sometimes I feel rather over-whelmed. I would so appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Introducing . . .

Toni gave me permission to say publicly WHERE we will be traveling!! DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!!!

Introducing Abigail Stefka McClain, the daughter of our hearts, who is still living on the other side of the world in the historic country of Bulgaria. For those of you who are newer to our journey, everything about that sentence has significance.

Abigail means "the Father is my source of joy." Early in 2010 Kevin and I had been very seriously contemplating another adoption from Ukraine, when he suddenly lost his job. Two months later he was reinstated but, as you can imagine, our finances and our confidence in the job's stability were quite shaken. God spoke to Kevin's heart through the Men's Bible Study he was leading on David and Abigail, particularly the phrase "the FATHER is my source" -- not people, not UPS Freight, but the FATHER. Indeed God has shown Himself to be the source for this adoption.

Stefka: When we visited Abby in February, we discovered that she truly loves her given name and her nick-name "Steffie." Though we plan to call her Abby, we felt it was important to give her the gift of her own name, though in Roman letters rather than Cyrillic (smile)

McClain: Abby is no longer an orphan; she has a family--and a family name--of her very own.

Bulgaria: represented by the red, green and white ribbon along the right side of this blog. Red, green and white are the colors of the Bulgarian flag while yellow and blue are the colors of Ukraine's flag. As we were privately seeking God's will concerning adoption, our pastor was speaking at church about the Apostle Paul who in Acts 16:6-10 was seeking God's specific direction for his missionary travels. He'd thought to preach in the province of Asia but the Holy Spirit kept him from it. At the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So Paul and his companions just kept traveling until they got to the end of the road at Troas. Then Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia. I could really relate to Paul as we looked into Ukraine, looked into adopting two girls, one girl--and just kept hitting roadblocks. For me, it was very exciting as I began to look into adoption from Bulgaria to discover that at one time (though not at the time of Paul) it had been part of the province of Macedonia! Just a confirmation that we were finally on the right track. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Travel Dates!!

We have dates to travel back to get Abby--July 8 to July 16!

I am dying to post more but that's all I have time for right now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A delay

I started this post on June 7, the date our court decree was to come into effect. But I never heard from Toni so I thought maybe something had gone wrong. As it turned out, she had indeed sent an email but for some reason I never received it.

She had written: "Hi Joy,

Sorry for the not so good news but we couldn't pick up the court decree today. Since the judge who granted the adoption is on a vacation, there is another one who is substituting her. The substitute was supposed to sign and certify the copies of the court decree so that we are able to pick them up today but she has hearings today and the court secretary said to go tomorrow to pick up the decree. Please, pray they will be ready tomorrow.

Toni "

The message on the 8th was:
"The court decree IS in effect now. I just called the court and they said the decree is ready for pick up. I am sending my mom who is also my attorney-assistant to pick it up later today and as soon as I have it in my hands, I will e-mail you with the travel dates."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Court Decree Signed

We got word this morning from Toni that the judge did indeed sign the court decree yesterday. It will be ready to pick up on June 7. Immediately after that, the procedure for obtaining Abby's new birth certificate will begin--I think that is approximately a two-week process. And THEN about a week later the visa process at the embassy can start--and that's where we come into the picture. Adopting couples typically fly into AbbyLand on a Saturday, travel to the child's city on Sunday, and drive back with their child on Monday in time to get paperwork filed with the embassy before it closes for the day. If I remember correctly the embassy "stuff" is completed by Friday and the new family flies home the next day.

So of course, I am asking WHEN can we expect to head back over the Big Water to get our daughter???? I think many people have made their 2nd trip approximately one month after court. However, I also know that Toni is one VERY busy lady and last I heard was booked until something like July 9. And honestly that next week looks like about the worst time for Kevin and I to be gone because he has that week scheduled for family vacation. Please just keep praying with us for God's perfect timing.