Saturday, October 30, 2010

the Ewok

For his last Halloween as an only child, Syrus went as an Ewok. He rode a pony at Sonny Acres and spent time with his new friend Ragen who is also getting a new sibling from Reece's Rainbow. Her parents Deanna and Rob are adopting Melanie and we had such a blast getting to know them this morning and sharing our surprisingly similar journeys with our kids and our adoptions.

It is such a joy and relief to find people who are on the same path as you who you really connect with and enjoy. I felt like Deanna and I kept nodding our heads as the other one would share a piece of our stories from finding out our babies had Down Syndrome to discovering Reece's Rainbow. It was such a breath of fresh air to laugh and just enjoy one another's company. Can't wait to hang out with them again -- and hopefully travel together to get Melanie and Vlad! To follow their adoption journey and see pictures of their beautiful daughter Ragen, visit their blog at

And yes, the Ewok will venture forth again, this time to go trick-or-treating! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

to be your mom

I find myself sad tonight, missing Vlad, longing to be his mom. It's funny how you can miss someone, love someone, ache for someone you only know in a photograph. All I know is that he is my son and he still seems so far away. There are only a few days left in October and we have yet to send our application to immigration because our homestudy has yet to be approved by DCFS. Our window of time is about to close. Not forever by any means. It would mean we couldn't submit our documents until February instead of in November. It means we couldn't travel until March instead of in December. And while this seems like only a few months, tonight it feels like an eternity.

I'm not sure why I am feeling all of this tonight. Perhaps it is because Syrus just woke up from a deep sleep with loud sad crying. After holding him and rocking him, kissing his little tousled head and singing to him, he fell back to sleep and I tucked him into his crib. These are the things I am longing to do for Vlad. I just want him here. Don't know how else to say it. But I know these feelings all too well. They are called GRIEF. I am grieving. Grieving for the three and a half years I have missed with Vlad. Grieving for the next few months I will again miss with him. I don't want to miss anymore.

I just want my son. So bad the tears pour down my face and my heart just hurts. In part because I am not the only one waiting. He is too. I don't want him to wait anymore. He has waited long enough. And believe me, I know what it is like to miss your mom and want her there more than anything. In some ways it can't be described unless you have felt it and tasted it and cried it, night after night. Both of us have been missing our moms for three and a half years. And I'm tired of it. I know what it feels like and I don't want him to feel it anymore. I want our lives together to start. I want to know him and what makes him smile and laugh. I want to be there to pick him up from preschool and take him to get new jeans for the first day. I want to watch him go down the slide with little Sy and catch the two of them at the bottom.

So, tonight I want to say to Vlad that we are coming, sweetheart. Not as soon as I had hoped. But we are coming. I promise. And I can't wait to see your face and tell you just how much you are loved and how excited I am that God picked me to be your mom. That's right, YOUR mom.

Monday, October 25, 2010

So exciting -- both of my boys

BIG V update:
Not much to report in terms of the adoption paperwork -- our homestudy is at DCFS waiting to be approved. So we are waiting. Waiting to get Vlad. However, a friend of mine who is adopting from the same orphanage spotted him in a music class with the rest of his group. No pictures of him yet. But she is hoping to give him his blanket this week. So exciting.

LITTLE SY update:
This has been a major week for Syrus. He got his passport in the mail AND he has been standing up on his own without holding on to anything. This is a big deal! Once he gets himself in a standing position, he gets so excited that he topples over. Cutest thing ever! So exciting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

these are the faces of children about to be transferred to an institution

Angel has HIV -- she is three years old

Parker has HIV -- he is four years old

Kirk has HIV -- he is four years old

Lori has HIV -- she is four years old

Irina has Fetal Alchohol Syndrome -- she is five years old and has a lively spirit that will wither in an institution

Preston will be bedridden in an institution for the rest of his life -- he is only four years old and should have a chance for more

Kyle has minimal health issues -- he is almost five years old and won't have the same life he would with a family of his own

Eric will be bedridden in an institution for the rest of his life -- he is four years old and needs the love and care of a family

Tanner has one functioning kidney -- he is only three years old

All of these children are in the same orphanage with Vlad. The orphanage is overcrowded and the institution has room. So these little ones will be sent to the institution in November. Unless....

Unless someone takes a leap of faith.
Unless someone sees their son or daughter in one of these faces.
Unless someone makes a move to save one of these little children from a short life in an institution considered to be one of the worst.

Visit to find out more about these little ones or contact me and I can give you information.

Let's find families for these faces.

Monday, October 18, 2010

life as a supermodel

Ok, this may be a bit shameless, but I really think it would be cool if a kid with Down Syndrome was the gap baby this year. (And I think it should be MY kid!) :)

Vote for Syrus! Who can resist this shot from his passport photo shoot?! You can vote once a day for as many days as you can.

So, cast your vote by clicking on the link below!


Well, ladies and gentlemen, we have NY!!!! It is about time! That means that tomorrow our homestudy will be sent to DCFS for approval. Now, we're moving. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

no pressure...

Out-of-state clearances, how I despise thee! However, I have warmed up to a few. Yesterday we received PA, MA, and CA which is pretty sweet. We have five of the six states done.
And thus we wait on the dreaded NY....

On a way cooler note, my good friend Mel is in the Ukraine this week. She will be going to Vlad's orphanage with his blanket. I can't wait! Maybe she will even get a photo of Vlad with his blanket. No pressure or anything, Mel. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's about time

Guess who has a family!!!!! I know. Not hard to guess when his photo is right here. But I'll say it anyway. DANIL HAS A FAMILY!!!! This is such a huge answer to prayer. Josh and I have been praying and weeping for this little boy for the past couple of months, knowing he would be transferred to an institution in November. Yet, all along God knew that his family was coming for him. And they are such an amazing family -- we have been emailing all weekend and I can't wait for you to meet them.

It's funny. Part of my agonizing over Danil dealt with the fact that I couldn't bear that his story would end in an institution. I couldn't accept that God would allow that to be how his little life would end. I didn't want to believe in a God like that. I have wrestled with God over this and cried out to him every day for this little boy. The problem was that I wanted to write Danil's story. I didn't trust that God could handle it because He wasn't taking the plot in a direction I liked. And here God is showing me who He is and that Danil's story is even more powerful because at the eleventh hour, his family found him. God is a much better storyteller than me. He has reminded me of that a lot over the past three years. This little boy is helping that to really sink in for me. It's about time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Vlad, I'm coming too!

Guess who is going to the Ukraine with us? That's right, Little Sy got his passport photos taken today and turned in his application so that he can go with us to get his big brother. He was pretty excited, and looking pretty fly in his shirt and tie -- very Justin Timberlake. We had such a great experience at the post office with the woman who processed his application.

I wish I could say the same for all the people we have talked to this week about the out-of-state clearances, but unfortunately it has been quite rough. We need clearances from six different states, and as of today, we have them from only two states -- Indiana and Texas. We are still waiting on California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and the dreaded New York. Please pray that those will come this week. It has been very defeating to say the least. So, it was nice to have such an easy time applying for Sy's passport today. And great to see this smile -- I can't wait for the brothers to finally meet.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


We had our last homestudy appointment on Monday -- it was great. We have had such a great experience with our social worker and the whole agency. I can't believe it is done. Well.... done except for the out-of-state clearances. We are STILL waiting on those. Every day is precious and we need each one. I just keep praying that God will hand deliver them to us so our homestudy can be officially done and on its way to DCFS.

Ugh. I hate waiting.

I hated it when my dad was sick. I hated it when my mom was on the transplant list. I hated it when Syrus was getting tested for Down Syndrome. I just hate it. And yet, I know that there is something mysteriously good in the midst of the waiting. I know it provides me with an undeniable opportunity to do what I am told -- to wait on the Lord. Not wait on state governments or immigration or Ukrainian bureaucracy, but wait on the Lord.

My focus always seems to go straight to my obstacle to try to solve the problem and climb over it myself. I am the classic control freak after all. Yet, I knew when I got into this adoption process that there would be a built-in waiting time. There was no way around that. So, rather than trying to change my waiting time, I am going to USE my waiting time. I am not going to stress out every day by running to the mail box, making five million phone calls for updates, pacing around my home worrying. I will not direct my waiting at these things. I will direct my waiting to the Lord.

(Not sure what that's going to look like yet, but it sure feels good.)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

let it snow...

October is finally here and we are closer to bringing Vlad home. Our last homestudy appointment is on Monday. We are praying that all of the documentation and paperwork has arrived so that it will be ready to send off to DCFS by Tuesday. Please pray that all of the state police clearances come in -- we need them for EVERY adult that lives in our home, for EVERY state they have ever lived in. As many of you know, we have six adults living in our house -- Josh's parents, my sister and her husband, Josh and me. And though it does mean extra paperwork, we wouldn't change the fact that they all share our home for anything. They are each so dear. And on a cold Saturday night, all of us are curled up watching the Notre Dame game together and listening to the wind howling outside.

I love that there is a chill in the air -- this year more than ever I am looking forward to snow. Snow will be a sign that Vlad will soon be home. A friend of mine shared that she had a dream about Vlad the other night. She saw him smiling and laughing while snow fell around him. Such an innocent and sweet dream.
So, yeah. I'm really looking forward to snow. :)