As 2007 draws to a close I can't help but think about what an incredible year it has been for our family. It is hard to believe that, this time last year, we had not even started our international adoption journey. That adventure began in February when our hearts were turned from the domestic adoption of an infant to international adoption. We signed with our agency, About A Child, in early March and found our sweet Joshua a few weeks later. We spent the next few months in a flurry of paperwork and finally submitted our dossier for Uzbekistan at the beginning of June. Just a few short weeks later, we found Evan at Reece's Rainbow and knew that he was meant to be a Rieben too! We completed our dossier for Ukraine at the end of August and it was submitted to the SDA in mid September. At the beginning of October, we received word that we would be traveling to Uzbekistan to finalize Josh's adoption and on October 23, 2007, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Joshua Steve Ortyk Rieben became the newest member of our family.
While in Uzbekistan, I received word that we had gotten an appointment date for Ukraine. . .November 9th. Thankfully we were able to swap dates with another family and that appointment date was changed to November 21st. I spent 2 weeks at home before Richard and I left for Ukraine. On December 6, 2007, Evan Valera Rieben joined our family. After spending a week at home, I headed back to Ukraine to finalize Evan's adoption and we arrived back home just 2 days before Christmas!
Although we have only been home for a week, it has been amazing to have everyone together! Obviously I have oversimplified the events of the past year in the above summary. . .in between the lines have been many ups and downs, many joys, many heartaches and many, many, miracles. I have learned a lot of things this year and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me these experiences. When it comes right down to it, there just are not words to express my gratitude for all of the blessings that we have experienced and received. My cup runneth over! My joy is full!
I can only imagine what the Lord has in store for us in 2008. . . .