Sunday, August 29, 2010

Headed out west

Tomorrow morning the boys and I are leaving.  Such a bittersweet time!  They are going to have so much fun...Disneyland, camping, Angels baseball game, swimming at Grandpa and Grandma's house....and we are going to finally see Darya!!   Please pray for me as I say goodbye to my sidekicks on Wednesday!  Joel's last moments with them will be as he drops us off at the airport in the morning so he can use some prayer as well.

I probably won't post until later in the week right before we leave on Saturday.  It's so soon!!

Oh, and I'm thinking about not going private on here.  In all honesty, it will probably just take too much time to send invites to everyone and I'm just too lazy busy to do that. :-)  I'll just find out what specifics I should be careful about posting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

4 days and 7 days

I have 4 days left with my precious boys.  In 2 days we fly to California.  2 days after that I say goodbye to them for over a month.  I won't even see them for the whole month of September, missing Sam's 9th birthday.  *sigh* But that also means I'm so close to meeting our baby girl!  I couldn't hold it in any longer, but told them that we're going to Disneyland on Tuesday.  What a fun last "hoorah" with them :-)  Of course they are super excited!

In 7 days from today Joel and I will be in the air, bound for Eastern Europe.  My mind is racing a mile a minute with a million little things swirling around in it.  I know that all the details that I worry about are all known and cared for by God. There are no surprises to Him and I know He'll care for us all!

Tomorrow is my last Sunday with my church family for a while and I will greatly miss them.  It will be an oasis when I get home and can't wait to introduce Darya to her church family here (and other friends in the area)!  So many people already love and pray for her and I know can't wait to love on her and welcome her home.  I am so thankful for that!   Hopefully in a few months, we'll get to take her to California to meet our family and friends there who will do the same!

Oh, and another thing, I'm debating whether or not I should go private on this blog while I'm there. I think I'd be able to more freely share our experience there if I do.  I can invite 100 people, so I doubt I would exclude anyone who wants to follow along!  Any thoughts or opinions?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mad Lib

Okay, I got some excellent and hilarious responses and it's hard to choose my favorite - you all had me rolling! :-)   So, there were 6 replies and I asked my 5 year old to "randomly" pick a number between 1 and 6.  He chose 6, so here are TUC's words plugged into the paragraph I wrote yesterday, (and of course you can plug in the words from the replies in the post below for some more laughs):

On August 4,2010 Joel and Marianne boarded on a camel's back headed to Kiev, Ukraine to finally meet their baby girl Darya.  It was such long journey and took 1 hour to get there!  When they finally got to her orphanage, they were graciously greeted by the head orphanage bouncer.  The moment finally came to meet Darya.  When the workers brought her in, she was absolutely foolish! She stole their hearts with her big gold eyes and bittersweet smile.  It was a twitterpated moment for all.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mad Libs for fun

Since I was a kid, I've enjoyed Mad Libs and making my own.  So, I figured for fun on this blog I'd give you all a short one to do.  For this post, you'll comment with your words (be creative and have fun!), then the next post I'll plug my favorite one into the mad libs story.  I know, it's a bit cheesy, but among the busy-ness of these days a little comic relief is appreciated :-)  So, here goes:

  1. mode of transportation
  2. place
  3. number
  4. adverb (if you're a bit rusty, these are words that describe a verb and usually end in -ly, ex: slowly)
  5. occupation
  6. adjective
  7. color
  8. adjective
  9. emotion

Monday, August 23, 2010

"We have so much time, so little to do....

...........strike that, reverse it." - Willy Wonka

Such are these days!!   We just had a wonderful visit with some friends of ours from California this weekend and it was so great to see them. The Armes Family spends their summers at a camp in PA and they made an East Coast trip road trip to visit family and friends before heading back.  They are a family from our old church where Joel was the associate pastor in Burbank.  Sam and their son Brayden were best friends since they were about 3 and picked up where they left off.  Here's a pic taken of the kids taken this morning in age order (kinda hard to tell them apart, huh?):

Well, now it's time to really get things going and I've got to take care of all the little stuff.  I cannot believe we are almost there!! What God laid on our hearts last year ago is coming to fruition!!  Yesterday and next week, Joel is teaching in Sunday school on the topic of adoption and redemption.  What a timely doctrine to be learning.  Our church is called "Redemption OPC" as we are adopted as children of God!  I believe Darya's adoption is a beautiful picture of God's redeeming us and calling us His own.  :-)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tickets bought!

Wow.  We are really going!  We will be flying out of our regional airport (10 minutes from our house!) on Saturday, September 4.  Even though the layovers are less than ideal (two 3-hour layovers on the way there, and one that's 5 hours on the return flight), the convenience of flying in/out of our local airport and how the ticket prices were significantly cheaper than Jacksonville will hopefully be worth it!  I'm pretty sure most RR families use Golden Rule, and Eldon seems to be the "agent of choice" and he's been great so far :-)   I priced the exact same flights online and they were about $200 more elsewhere!

I'm not so nervous to fly (though I hate the take-offs, turbulence, and flying over vast areas of water like any normal person), I am nervous to be away from my boys for so long and so far away.  This is so out of my comfort zone!  I am taking them to the opposite coast of the country which means they'll be that much farther away from me!!  I know God is in control and I know that we are in His hands, but I still let that human nature get the best of me at times.  I know they'll be totally fine and have a great time, so I'm not really worried about them, I'm worried how I'll do without my daily doses of snuggles and "I love yous" from my boys!  But I remind myself that Darya has been away from her family for over 2 years!  I cannot wait to hold my baby girl!! **sigh**

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Boys

We still have not booked our flights, but just need to review some that Golden Rule emailed us. The nice thing is that it's significantly cheaper to fly in/out of our regional airport that's only 10 minutes from our house.  But the bad thing is that there are like 3 connections with some decent (3+ hour) layovers.  We just need to sit down and look them over one more time before booking them.

But today I did book the boys' flights to California!  I'll be flying out with them and they'll be staying with Joel's parents.  Joel's dad will fly back with them on their return flight.  The boys are soooo excited!  I have been working on a last minute surprise for them, too! My sister and I are planning to take our kids to Disneyland for a day (our friend from high school works there and she may be able to score free tickets for all of us!)  It will be a nice last excursion with the boys before I leave them to travel across the world for over a month!!  The Franciscos are planning to meet up with us, too, but this is all a surprise!  I'm so thankful that this little trip is falling into place, especially since I'll be gone for Sam's 9th birthday.  I'll just tell him this is a special early-birthday trip.  :-)

Yay!!!  I'm so excited (and terrified at the same time)!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

September 7!!!

In three weeks from today we will be in Kiev, Ukraine at the State Department of Adoptions getting our referral for Darya! Then on Thursday September 9 is probably when we'll get to meet her at her orphanage in Odessa!!!  To say we are excited is an understatement!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

11 years ago today...

....I married the man I so don't deserve.  I love you Joel!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Yes, I'm a procrastinator.  Always have been.  Hopefully I always won't be, but that's for another day :-).  Anyway, so I've started packing Darya's things.  I realized I didn't have a blanket for her. Well, I do have about a dozen blankets that my mom has made for the boys, but I didn't think something with trucks or baseball is what our girl needs. So rather than doing the quick thing and picking one up for her at Walmart or Target I decided to make one.  Yep, as if I should be sewing rather than the million other things I should be doing. But anyway, I found this tutorial for a minky blanket.  I also made two for some friends who are having boys, along with some tie applique onesies that I saw on this blog.  Here they are:

Pink minky with brown flannel - cozy!!
For my friend (there's another identical set for another friend)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Philippians 4:6

This is the verse that has come to mind countless times during this adoption process:

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Phil. 4:6 (ESV)

Any day now we should receive an email with our SDA appointment.  I am anxious and excited, and a whole bunch of other feelings.  I am having a hard time focusing on other tasks (I intended to get a jump start on homeschooling the boys last week, but alas they've only done one math lesson).  I need to make a list.  I think I work better off of lists. Number 1 on list: Get off the computer and write out a list.  :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Birds and baseball

The wall decals we ordered for Darya's room came in yesterday.  So last night Joel and I put it up and think it turned out really cute!  The fabric my mom will be making a bedspread/quilt for Darya will have some birds in it (using some of these fabrics: Valori Wells Nest Fabric) so thought the decal would go well with it.  It's fun to decorate girly!  Oh, and that cute soft pink teddy bear came from our dear friends, the McNeills who have 3 of the sweetest girls ever!  We are getting so close to our girl.  I am glowing with excitement that our dossier was submitted yesterday!

It was such a beautiful evening last night so I sat outside and watched the boys (including Joel), play their daily round of front-yard-baseball.  Here are some post-game shots:

The winners!
The tired first baseman

The teams (can't wait to get the "cheerleader" soon!!)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

And exhale

Now I can breathe!  Our dossier was submitted to the SDA today!  Hopefully we'll get our travel date soon.  We will likely hear within 1-3 weeks with an appointment for anywhere from 10-30 days out.  So, at the absolute soonest (very unlikely) would be at the end of this month, but most likely it will be September.  Yay!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To clarify things about paperwork

Well, from my previous post (2 down from here) I thought I needed copies of our social worker's licence that was effective during our home visit.  Well, the SDA (or our facilitator) requires a copy of the license that was effective at the completion of the home study.  So, we had our home visit on April 26, her license was renewed on June 10, and the completed home study is dated June 30. So apparently since they are planning on submitting our dossier on Thursday that means that everything is okay!  I'm still holding my breath until we get an email saying it was submitted!

Monday, August 2, 2010

This Thursday!

I JUST got an email from Chris (our stateside helper), that we are scheduled to have our dossier submitted THIS THURSDAY!! That means within a couple of weeks from then we should receive our travel date!!  WOOHOOO!!!!

Now we're off to take the boys to Seaworld this afternoon. We'll call it a celebration trip :-)  What good news to get before we leave. (We got annual passes for Christmas and want to go one more time before Darya comes. We plan to take her too.  I think she'll like all the ocean critters!)