Saturday, October 31, 2009

In honor of a beautiful little girl. . .

We received word from our agency that the adoption committee met yesterday and ruled on the fate of Miss "D." Unfortunately it was not in our favor. Fortunately, we know that she WILL be going home and there is no doubt that she will be deeply loved by the family who is working to bring her home. Obviously we are disappointed that we will not have the privilege of seeing her sweet smile each and every day, but I feel peace knowing that she will be smiling with her new family wherever she is.

Earlier this year, I was inspired by a beautiful little girl to open a shop on Etsy. I wanted to do everything in my power to raise the money necessary to see that little girl's smile each and every day and so I got to work! Although I will never realize that initial dream, I will be forever grateful for the "presence" of that little girl in my life. It was her radiant smile that has kept me focused for the past 8+ months. It was her smile that kept me from giving up, from switching to another country, from throwing in the towel altogether. It was her smile that led me to the two children that we WILL be bring home. And so, in her honor, I am proud to announce the grand opening of Desi's Delights, inspired by a beautiful little girl who will soon know the love of a forever family. In Desi's honor, we will be donating 50% of all proceeds to the grant fund of another waiting child. From now until December 31st that 50% will go to Svetlana who is waiting in Ukraine.


Svetlana is a beautiful little girl who was born with arthrogryposis. She will be six years-old on Christmas day. Earlier this year, a wonderful family from Ireland (who we had the privilege of meeting in December 2007 while we were both in Ukraine adopting) committed to adopt Svetlana. Unfortunately, their social worker refused to approve them to adopt her due to her age and special need and so this family had to release her. They were devastated and we were heartbroken for them.

Svetlana is still waiting for her forever family and she is running out of time. She is blessed to have been able to remain at her baby house, but she will soon be transferred to an institution where her life will change dramatically.

If you are interested in donating to Svetlana's grant fund, please visit Reece's Rainbow today to make a donation (please be sure to indicate that your donation is for Older "Other Angel," Svetlana in Orphanage 20) and remember that 50% of all proceeds from Desi's Delights will also be donated to her grant fund.

Although we will not have the privilege of bringing Desi home, there is no doubt that the Lord brought her into our lives for a purpose and we are grateful for the 8+ months that her beautiful smile, even if only in a picture, has blessed our lives and our home. We also received word that the adoption committee approved our application to place "Sofia" and "LB" on hold for our family, so, while not all the news we received brought with it joy and rejoicing, we are absolutely rejoicing that these two beautiful "babies" will soon be joining our family!

In other news, we are very excited to announce that our Adoption Silent Auction will officially begin tomorrow, November 1st and will run through November 15th, so please don't forget to check in and browse through (and bid on!) all of the wonderful items that will be up for auction!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silent Auction 1

As the time nears for us to submit our dossier and travel to Bulgaria to meet our children, we are working hard to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete our adoption. In an effort to raise these funds, we will be holding a silent auction on our adoption blog.

The auction will begin a week from today on Sunday, November 1st and will run through Sunday, November 15th. We have been working hard to gather and create a wide variety of items to auction and we are grateful to many of our family and friends for donating items as well.

As a sneak preview, the following photo's represent a taste of the items that will be available for bidding:

Children's Aprons and Baking Sets

Ragged Baby Quilts

Knit Hats

Boutique Hair Accessories

Custom Barn Stars

Felt Design T-shirts

And MUCH more! There is still one week left before the auction begins. If you are interested in donating an item to be auctioned, please contact me as soon as possible (you can contact me at If you run an Etsy shop or a business and would like to donate an item from your shop/business, I will include a link to your site in the auction listing in order to help promote your business.

Bidding will begin one week from today, so stay tuned!

Moving forward. . .

After months of standing still, words cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it feels to finally be moving forward! Just over a week ago, as I was packing to leave for North Carolina to visit my sister and her husband for the weekend, I received an e-mail from our facilitator in Bulgaria and it went something like this:

"Ready to scream again!? I have "little boy's" file in my hands!"

And boy did I scream . . .and cry and dance and drop to my knees to thank my Heavenly Father! It was quite a sight I am sure (and no, in order to preserve my dignity, I will not be posting a video of what this "happy dance" looked like!). In addition to "Sofia," "Little Boy's" (let's call him LB) file is now officially on hold for our family and it is nothing short of a miracle!

When Richard told me that he felt that we should inquire about whether or not "LB" was still available, I had very little hope that he would be and, after our experience with the girls, even less hope that, if he was, we would be able to obtain his file. At the same time, I knew that, if he was meant to be a part of our family, the Lord would prepare a way for us to bring him home. Now as I stand back and marvel at the miracles that have been worked to bring us to this little boy, I am reminded of a scripture in Isaiah (45:2), "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron." There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord HAS gone before us and prepared a way for us to bring each of our children home. From the first moment I saw "LB's" face I knew that he was meant to be our son. I was devastated when, initially, the answer was "no," but what I didn't realize at the time was that, my impression was right, but the timing was not.

As if that news alone was not fantastic enough, we received our I-800A approval in the mail yesterday, which means we are just a few documents (FBI clearances), notarizations, certifications and apostilles away from sending our dossier to Bulgaria! We are hoping to have our dossier in the mail by my birthday (November 10th). Could you think of a better birthday present!? Me either!

The Adoption Committee in Bulgaria has resumed their weekly meetings. They have met twice now, so we are hoping that we will have news about "D" very soon. We do not want to submit our dossier until we have received the adoption committee's ruling because we cannot add children to our commitment application once the dossier has been submitted, so please pray that we will have a ruling by the time our dossier is complete.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1 down, 2 to go. . .

Guess what we did today?!?!

For those of you who have been immersed in the international adoption world, you may understand from the above pictures that our day was spent notarizing, certifying, apostilling and mailing our COMMITMENT APPLICATION for "Sofia!" After 7+ months of waiting we have FINALLY received her file and, at this very moment, the documents that will place her on hold for us are on their way to Bulgaria! Can you say HALLELUJAH!! We all threw up our hands and cheered today as we walked out of the UPS store, victorious!

I have not shared much about "Sofia" other than to say that we were waiting for her file, but she is a beautiful 7 year-old girl with lower limb differences (she is missing her right fibula and has a shortened right femur (she was also born with her left foot clubbed, but it has been surgically corrected) and scoliosis (all issues that we are very familiar with). She is very independent, smart and social and she is able to get around well with the use of a wheelchair. Her doctors in Bulgaria feel that she should be able to walk with the help of prosthetics and/or forearm crutches if that is her desire (and we think that our doctors here will likely concur). She shares a birthday with my mom. Some may feel that is a coincidence, but we would argue that it is not! You see, Joshua shares a birthday with Richard (something that we did not know until after we had commited to adopt him) and Evan's birthname (Valera) is the male form of my name, so, when we learned that "Sofia" shared a birthday with my mom (after requesting her file), we knew it was just another confirmation that she was meant to be a part of our family! She is a beautiful little girl and we cannot wait to bring her home!

As some of you may have noticed from the title of this post, our news about "Sofia" isn't the only thing that we have been holding back (yes, we have been sitting on this news for over a week. .I know, I know!). Some of you may recall the little boy with arthrogyposis that we were considering earlier this year. I had felt so strongly that this little boy was meant to be a part of our family, but Richard did not feel the same way. His file was returned to the Ministry of Justice and given to the next agency on the list and I knew that that door was closed.

Two weeks ago, as Richard and I were enjoying lunch together for our Anniversary, Richard asked me about this little boy and then asked if I could inquire about whether he was still available. I will admit, my first thoughts were not positive. It has been months since this little boy's file had been returned to the Ministry and I knew that it had already been sent on to another agency because I had seen him listed elsewhere. I just knew that the chance that he was still available or that we would be able to obtain his file was probably very slim, but I also trusted my husband's impression that we should inquire about this little boy again. Imagine my surprise when my facilitator contacted me a few days later to let me know that, not only was this little boy still available, but his file was scheduled to be returned to the Ministry just a few days later and she would be the next to receive it. We decided then and there that, if she was able to obtain the file, we would make the commitment to bring him home!

I had been devastated when we made the decision not to bring him home earlier this year, but I knew it was the right decision. I now realize that, if we had commited to him earlier this year, we would not have been able to adopt "Sofia" (we would not have received her file). The Lord's timing is PERFECT!

We are still waiting to learn if his file was returned on time and if it is ready to be given to our agency, but we are hopeful that we will be able to bring him home. We are also still waiting to learn the ruling of the Adoption Committee in the case of "D" (they will be resuming their weekly meetings in the next week are two so we are hopeful that we will hear something by the end of the month).

After we had our homestudy update interview earlier this year, I felt prompted to ask our social worker if she would approve us for three children. At the time, I just assumed that it would be good to be approved for one more "just in case" (you can always adopt fewer children than you are approved for, but you cannot adopt more than you are approved for, so it is better to play it safe). I was sure that there were two more children waiting to join our family, but I also trusted the feeling that prompted me to request approval for three. We are firmly committed to "Sofia" and, if we are fortunate enough to receive the file of the little boy and the adoption committee rules in our favor for "D," we have decided that we will bring all three children home! Can I just say, the Lord works in mysterious and wonderful ways!

So, there you have it! Finally some AMAZING adoption news to share!