Monday, November 24, 2008

Preparing to Head Out for the East

Hi everyone!

Just wanted to post a quick update on how things are going with us. Tomorrow morning early we are headed out for the East--yep, we're making the drive out to Buffalo, New York to see Jeremiah (and Sarah and Laurel and Kirt and Bri and Amber, who are also driving out) for Thanksgiving. The plan is to meet up in Buffalo, and then drive into NYC for Thanksgiving morning and the Macy's parade, then come back to Buffalo the next day for "dinner". I'm trying to be not uptight about all this and not giving into the worry (weather, crowds, what to pack, leaving the new kittens in the house all this time, etc.), but instead just praying that this will be an amazing time with my family.

I had hoped that we would have all of our documentation done before Thanksgiving (well, I was seriously trying to get it all done--and stressing about it), but God has other plans. Again, I'm learning to listen to God and His timetable, which is frustrating because I'm just Miss Impatient, (LOL), but is also growing me through this whole experience. I am learning over and over through this whole process that God's time is not my time, and that God's timing is so much better than mine is. We had our physicals on Friday, and because of the time factor for the TB test requirment, we have to wait until after Thanksgiving for those to be finalized. Because we've both been so busy trying to get other stuff finished up to be gone, we still have one online class to complete for our homestudy. And, because the homestudy isn't quite finished (background checks that are new because our new homestudy agency is Hague compliant,along with other stuff), we're waiting on that for some of the paperwork we need to complete. But, on the positive side, so many other things are DONE--and so much more quickly than when we did them the first time for our original agency. Thank you to all of you for your help and encouragement, and to Karyn for the paperwork templates that she shared with me. I am learning that it not only takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to get them home--how amazing is our God that He can use this whole process to bring people from all over the world together who share a heart for these children?!

Please pray that we can finish these things up quickly when we get back next week, since I would really like for all of the paperwork to be "done" and sent off before Christmas. There are also so many people traveling or getting ready to travel, and I send my wish for traveling mercies out to all of you.

I'm not sure if I will be back here before next week, so please know that all of you are in my heart and prayers. A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you--and may God fill you with His grace and peace and joy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On the road today

Hi everybody!

It has been cold and rainy and overcast here. We have definitely turned the corner into fall with winter closer than I would like it to be! My Monday class this week was on the rise of Stalin --what perfect weather to talk about bleakness and struggle.

In an attempt to get more of our paperwork taken care of today, I'm going on the road to the state capital to get new certified copies of our marriage license (the old copies are in our dossier, which we still haven't received back) and a couple of our work letters. I don't think there will be any problems here, but prayers that things go quickly and smoothly would be appreciated.

We've completed one of the classes we need to do online for our homestudy (just 2 more to go), and got word last night that the homestudy update is proceeding, which is great. It would be great to get everything done and to Russia before the holidays begin, so keep your fingers and toes crossed that this all works out as God sees that it should.

Hope that all of you are having a great week!

Friday, November 7, 2008


"Gracie" now has a new and more appropriate name--although it is a bit geeky. We have tried several names for him, but not one of them seemed to fit him. Then one day this week he was playing with his sister, and they were close to Dinah, our older female cat. She has been more and more accepting of them, but not exactly "happy"--especially when they want to play with her. "Gracie" began to show some interest in Dinah's tale, but he sort of stopped himself, and then went out of his way to jump over her tail (jumping about a foot in the air). He then turned and looked at me for approval. I said, without really thinking about it, "Ah, you have chosen wisely, young Padawan." Steve then said, "that's it, that's who he is!" So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you.......Luke Paw-walker, young padawan cat

And his sister, Amelia Cat-heart. They're already into the books, so they should fit right in at our house!

So things are back in motion with us and the paperwork again! It has been so long since anything happened, that I have sort of forgotten how it feels to be making progress. But, we are beginning to actually get things accomplished, and that is such a good feeling--I almost feel as if I had been frozen and I am slowly starting to thaw out again.

Steve and I met Tuesday with Janis, our Social Worker. She did our original home study for the old agency, and we were finally able to get all the legal stuff taken care of so that she can do the new one, too. We have a few more hoops to jump through, but mostly the hard stuff is done. We went this morning and got our fingerprints redone, we have made appointments with the doctor to have our physicals redone in a week or so, and we're working our way through the stack of required paperwork for the homestudy redo. It has been so nice to work with someone that we know from before--much less tension about everything, and we know most of what we need to get done (or redone) this time with the paperwork. Please just pray that everything goes smoothly, and that stuff that we've had to send off for comes back quickly. We requested our old paperwork back from the original agency, but so far--nada. I'm not holding my breath. Unfortunately, that means having to get new official copies of our marriage license, etc. so all that is a work in progress at the present. I had hoped to have it all done by the end of this week...well, hopefully it will almost be all done by the end of NEXT week.

So this is has been a week of getting stuff organized and lists made, phone calls, email contacts, etc. On top of that, I've been trying to prepare for class, and to draw up book order lists for next semester. Throw in some stuff at church, both choirs, playing with new kittens, and family stuff, plus just doing laundry and cleaning, and it has been busy.

Not much else to share that's all that interesting. I DID become sort of domestic this evening and made a pot of soup. It was my attempt to re-create the potato soup at Olive Garden, and I must admit that it turned out better than expected. It was COLD here this evening, and soup sounded really good. Now I'm seriously thinking about putting on snuggly pajamas and curling up with one of the books I have to read for next semester!

Best wishes that you all have a great weekend.