Tuesday, November 30, 2010

God's blessings just continue...

So I had an AMAZING conversation with Immigration (USCIS). I called to see how our application was moving and a woman answered the phone. She looked for our case and said that it had not yet been assigned to an officer yet. I was of course disappointed and explained to her how Vlad's country is considering becoming a Hague country and that would mean it would close down on international adoptions for who knows how long. She said she knew about the situation and would speak with her supervisor and call me back on my cell phone. I hung up the phone thinking, "Yeah, right. She'll never call me back."

Boy was I wrong! A few hours later she called and said she opened our file and saw the photo of Vlad I had sent in with our application. She went on and on about adorable he is and said SHE requested to be our assigned officer and her supervisor said yes! She gave me our fingerprinting appointments and said she already looked over our application and homestudy and everything looks good! She needs one minor detail added to our homestudy and then once we have our fingerprints done, she will approve us! How amazing is that! She gave me her name and said to "call if I need anything or if there is anything else she can do to help us adopt this adorable little boy." I was FREAKING OUT!!! I have heard horror stories about immigration but evidently ours will not be one of them. What an incredible blessing!

AND, our sweet homestudy social worker sent me this poem because she said it reminded her of Vlad. She is another example of one of the blessings God has placed on this road to adopt sweet Vlad. I get emotional every time I read this.
I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- Unknown

Friday, November 26, 2010

little syrus

This face. So thankful for this face. My son, Syrus. I am so thankful for him, for his brother Vlad across the ocean, for the new little one arriving in June. And I am so thankful for my sweet husband who has taken care of me over the last three days as I have struggled with major nausea -- it has been rough. Josh has been amazing as usual. The most selfless and generous man I know. I've had a lot of time to think while I have been sick and I have been reminded again and again of how good the Lord has been to me and my family. How He is always there to walk me through the next step or to help me jump the next hurdle or to carry me across the next raging river. And I see it all the time when I look into the eyes of my son. It's like he knows the secrets of who God is and what He is doing way before I do. Syrus crawls up to snuggle with me when I am feeling the worst and makes me laugh when I am feeling particularly cynical. This kid and God are definitely on the same team. And it's good to know they are rooting for me. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

check out these blogs

First is Danil's family -- he is the sweet little boy at Vlad's orphanage who was about to be transferred to an institution, but not anymore. His parents are Jessica and Josh and their blog is

Then there is Angel's family -- she is the little beauty with HIV at Vlad's orphanage who is now going to be adopted. Her parents are Brandy and Michael and their blog is

Lastly, you should really see Julia and Rob's blog. They recently adopted a little boy named Aaron who had been transferred to an institution -- the same institution where little Brady is. If you want any information about Brady, they have so many amazing and heartfelt stories about him. Every time I read their blog, I am moved by their love for Brady and their passion to advocate for him and so many other little ones. Their blog is

Thursday, November 18, 2010

he got his blanket :)

On Monday, Vlad got the blanket we sent him. My friend wasn't allowed to take any photos, but she said when the nanny gave it to him, he put it on his face to feel how soft it is. How sweet is that?! And she showed the nanny photos of our family and told her we are adopting Vlad. The nanny began to cry and hugged and kissed my friend! It's so good to know that someone besides me really loves Vlad. And to know that at night he is snuggled under a blanket from his mom.

Monday, November 15, 2010

first ride at Disney...

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Florida with my students -- so many wonderful moments all packed into five days or so. And yet, in the midst of performances and taking Syrus on his first ride at Disney World, I couldn't get this little boy out of my head. I found myself weeping at night for him. Just weeping. His name is Brady.

"Brady is a tiny six year old who has already been transferred from the relative safety and comfort of his baby house to a mental institute for boys ages 6-18. He is a friendly, active and energetic little fellow. His DS has given him a tongue thrust that makes it difficult for him to swallow, but he manages.

Brady is the youngest boy in his group at his underfunded, understaffed institute. There are only 2 workers to manage all of the needs of the 26 very needy boys in his group. Because of this, the boys are restricted all day, every day. Brady is not free to run, play, jump or climb. There are no swing sets, slides, toys or books for him to enjoy.Brady has reacted to all of these restrictions as any other freedom-loving toddler would: he has become an escape artist. He ducks under the outstretched arms of caretakers to get away from the dull existence they impose upon him. He dodges the grasping hands of the older boys in his group a hundred times a day as he runs for the door.

Why is Brady so intent upon escape? Because he knows that there is a better life for him somewhere. He has not lived at his present institute forever. For five years, he lived at a baby house with children of his own age. He had toys. He had a playground and daily activities. He watched mothers and fathers come to visit. He watched adoptive parents come to gather other children into their homes. Brady knows what a mother is, and he wants and needs one so badly that he will climb from his chair up onto the table, trying to fold himself into the arms of a visiting mother.

The caretakers at Brady’s institute call the Down Syndrome boys their “Sunshine Boys” because they are the only source of joy in that dull, desperate place. Brady is the best possible example of a Sunshine Boy. He will add joy to any home. He has a heart full of love, and he is ready and willing to give that whole heart to the first mama and papa who offer him theirs."

I am hoping and praying and crying out to God that Brady's mom and dad will see this and go get him. He deserves to have his family take him on his first ride at Disney World too.

Monday, November 8, 2010

and we're off!

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow I am taking the Furnace Company (35 high school students who do comedy improv and dance) on a trip to Florida for five days. They have 8 performances in 3 days, and we are stopping at Disney World as well. Syrus is of course coming on this trip. He will get to meet Mickey Mouse -- I can't wait to see his face!

There is one performance I am really looking forward to more than the others on this trip. We are performing at Community Haven for 100 adults with disabilities and then for 4 and 5 year olds with disabilities. My students have never done anything like this. It's about time. It's funny how much your children change you. It's pretty obvious that Syrus and Vlad have their influence all over me. :)

Tomorrow is also the day that all of our immigration documents will finally be sent off. It is about time. Everything is in order. Signed and sealed. Now it just needs to be delivered.

So yes, tomorrow we are off! Off to Florida with Syrus and the Furnace Company and off to the immigration world to get Vlad!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Approved!!" (said in the Target Lady voice from SNL)

Yep! It came in the mail today! We have been approved by DCFS!!! What does that mean? Well, in the state of Illinois, you have to have your homestudy approved in order to submit it to Immigration. There are only two states that require this step in the process, and, of course, Illinois is one of them. Usually it takes 6 weeks to 3 months to get your homestudy approved by DCFS, which is why Illinois is one of the most difficult states in terms of the adoption process. However, we were approved in just TWO WEEKS!!! Now, our homestudy will be off to immigration for the next approval which also takes about 6 weeks to 3 months to receive. But hey, for Illinois, we are ahead of the game. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

miss angel

I am so excited to say that Angel has a family! I posted her and a number of other little ones at Vlad's orphanage who are facing the institution a couple of weeks ago. Then a sweet woman emailed me this weekend and asked about the situation. And now she is going to be Angel's mom! So amazing! As soon as they have a blog, I will post it so you can follow their amazing story. Another one rescued.

Monday, November 1, 2010

um, yes!!!

There he is! In the yellow shirt! In music class! My son, Vlad! Can you believe it? I had to blink a number of times when I found this in my email today from my dear friend. What a relief to see him still at the orphanage hanging out with other kids. He looks teeny but so sweet. Those dark eyes, blond hair, and little hands. I love him. Can't wait to see that face in person, take him in my arms, and whisper in his ear that Mama is here.