Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Monday, August 30, 2010

Official notice and sad news

When I got home this evening, I picked up the mail... started sorting through it. There was an official looking letter from the Department of Homeland Security (Adoptions), confirming that our application is now in process and that they will be sending us a letter with our appointment to get fingerprinted. Don't know how long that will take, but at least it is a step in the right direction!

On a VERY sad note, Mark found out that one of his flying buddies was killed in a car accident this morning. 44 years old, married, kids, grandkids. We just saw him yesterday at the fly-in. He was such a nice guy. Praying for his family...

last week

I was setting up for the anual cherry grove fly-in. I spent all day wed.-sat. there getting set. lots of work. 
we had a small turnout due to wind. but no crash ao it was a good day

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Long week and the first purchase

I don't think LONG is the right word to do justice to this past week. Things were absolutely a zoo at work. Now, admittedly, I have a ways to go in being efficient. I'm still learning. I had been at my previous job long enough to know where to take shortcuts when necessary to get the job done. No, I don't mean ones that would compromise safety, but time savers. I haven't get enough experience to know those things for my new job. Add to that double to the number of new admissions, some very sick people, it all added up to some long days. My shortest work day this week was 11 hours, longest 13 - by Friday evening, I was exhausted - mentally and physically. I went into work for a while yesterday to try and catch up. Hopefully, next week will be a little bit quieter. I truly love my job, but wow... I don't want to repeat a week like that again for a while - I need a little time to recuperate - lol!

Today was the fly-in at the small airpark/farm where Mark keeps his airplane. It's also where we got married. It was a small crowd this year, not sure if it was wind, heat, a combination, or what that kept people away. I spent a few hours out there and decided to head home to catch up on laundry and a few things around the house.

On my way home, I stopped at a little shop here in town. They had advertised 75% of most of their precious moments figurines. And those of you who have been at our house, know that I collect PM - so... of course, I had to stop to see what the shop had. I picked up one sweet figurine, but that's not the purchase I'm talking about.

I haven't bought anything for our little one yet. Mark and I have talked about it. Although we have an idea of the type of child(ren) we hope to bring home, we are keeping an open mind because anything can happen on this journey of ours. It's tough to buy anything for a specific gender, age, size, etc because we just don't know. Today I found something that isn't gender specific. It is a little bit age and size specific, but I'm not too concerned about that. We won't take it on our first trip, but when the time comes to bring our little one home - it will be in the suitcase.  Here it is!

Isn't he cute? He's a little neck pillow and oh, so soft! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm on vacation

I am on vacation. Every year I help with a fly-in at Wanamingo. We expect about 500 people. It takes about a week to get set for it.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday's news

Starting off today's post with some sad news. The little boy I blogged about last week, asking for your prayers... he's in a better place now. I ask for your prayers for his parents, other family, and friends. It's hard to comprehend how something like this could happen. Pray for the person who made the error, too. His/her pain must be unbelievable as well. Although things like this don't make any sense to us, God can see that bigger picture - it makes sense to Him. I don't say that as a platitude. Losing a child is a pain that I won't pretend to understand. I don't believe that my miscarriage was the same thing. Losing my spouse was not the same thing. But... I've lived through some pretty dark days. Times when I begged God to give me a miracle, begged Him to undo what had been done. Or begged Him to take me, too. And although it doesn't take away the pain, I can look back and see how God created beauty from ashes. I am grateful every day for His blessings in my life - He has given me opportunities and treasures that I would never have experienced if I hadn't went through the pain. So... pray that there will be beauty that comes from the loss that we can't understand.

I verified that our immigration application has been received by the USCIS in Texas. We are hearing that they are very "backed up" in the approval process. I'm praying for the impossible - that things will move quickly for us - even though it seems like there is no hope for that.

Amanda has reviewed what we have of our dossier documents so far. We will probably need to have our employment letters re-done if our immigration application isn't approved quickly. I am missing some information on my medical clearance. I think there was maybe one or two other things. As much of a perfectionist as I am, I was hoping we wouldn't need any revisions. Oh, well. Gives me something to do, right?

Enjoyed a few hours with Tasha today - a little shopping, lunch, and a movie. And my sweet hubby is off work for the rest of the week, getting ready for the annual Fly-In at Cherry Grove Airpark. So, I get a little extra time with him as well. It's a BUSY week at work so I'm sure that will keep me out of trouble! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

On it's way!

Our I-600A application is on it's way to Texas - yippee!!  What else to do right now? I have ordered some DVDs to help us learn Russian. Yes, we ARE traveling to Ukraine. But some of the regions speak Russian more commonly than Ukrainian. So, we have been advised to learn Russian. I've heard that it is a difficult language to learn. The DVDs that I ordered are specifically to help adoptive parents learn to communicate with their children. I would also like to learn enough that we can function adequately while traveling.

I've been thinking about things around the house. Should we start toddler proofing? Maybe we should paint the bedroom - yes, Mark... I know you are NOT excited about doing that! Yesterday I went to a garage sale that was advertised as a day care going out of business. Thought that would be a great place to pick up a few things cheaply. Even if they weren't age appropriate, I wouldn't spend a lot of money. Not to be mean... but if the items that were being sold was all they had for the day care kids, it's no wonder they were going out of business. I got there about 5 minutes before it officially opened, but maybe they had people who cleaned them out earlier.

Mark and I still have some educational modules to complete for our agency. Learning about specific issues related to kids who have spent their lives (so far) in an institutional setting. Sometimes, it's a little scary. We've heard the horror stories. We know it won't be easy. I want to be as prepared as possible. That being said, is anyone EVER fully ready to be a parent? I doubt it. But, I want to at least have a tentative plan for bonding/attachment issues.

Have you looked at the link I posted a couple days ago about the little boy fighting for his life? Things are not looking good, please keep this family in your prayers!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I shed some happy tears this afternoon. I received an email from Diane. Our letter has been given to Olga (one of the Ukrainian facilitators who works with our agency). She will see that it is translated and delivered to the SDA in Kiev.

Our home study packet came in the mail today.  So... with Mark's signature added, I will be able to put our I-600A application in tomorrow's mail. I've decided I am going to send it overnight delivery. Maybe it won't make any difference in the long run, but I will feel better knowing that it will be in USCIS hands first thing Monday morning.

A few more steps forward in our journey - YAY! 

Non-adoption related, I am very thankful for the beautiful kitty who is currently parked on my lap - helping me type, purring loudly, and reminding me that I should be paying attention to her! She turns 17 years old this month and she is still my "baby kitten."

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Asking for your prayers

I was going to do a post called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," but after reading my friends Sarah's blog my issues seem so minor. Please pray for this little guy and his family!

Our good news is that our request for information letter left for Ukraine with Jon and Diane. So... it should be there right now and hopefully soon making it's way into the right hands.

I was hoping our home study and I-600A application would be on their way to Texas. Unfortunately when our agency reviewed the paperwork, they noticed that Mark hadn't signed the application. UGH!!! So, it is being sent to us for Mark to sign and then I will send it on it's way. I guess it's good that it was caught now instead of by USCIS.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A delivery to Ukraine (and other happenings)

Gosh... the weekend has flown by! Mark had an extra run for work on Friday - it was a LONG one. Normally if he has an extra run it is about 12-18 hours. This one was 36 hours long. He and Tom (driving partner) went to St. Louis, MO. They got home about 6am Saturday morning.

We had friends and family coming over Saturday evening so my exhausted hubby slept for about 3 hours, then got up to get the lawn mowed and help me get ready. We had about 25 people at our place for a cook-out. I think the Jucy Lucy's were the biggest hit. Do you know what they are? Yummy, yummy cheese stuffed hamburgers. The only downside was that I was so busy with making sure that food was available, I didn't have a chance to visit with people. Kind of the point of having them over, isn't it?? Oh, well... people seemed to have a good time anyway. I had planned to get some pictures, but didn't happen.

Today, Mark has been busy helping with security for the parade - it is our little town's annual "festival in the park." In previous years, Mark has entered the annual belly flop contest - even winning the crowd favorite award. He had hoped to "flop" again this year, but the contest was at the same time our guests were arriving. Next year, we won't make any plans for this weekend. And we're planning to have a little one (or two) cheering daddy on in the competition!!

That brings me to our delivery to Ukraine. About a week ago, Amanda (our program coordinator) emailed me. There are 2 families who are working with our agency traveling to Ukraine soon for their SDA appointments. Amanda said that we could send a letter with one of these families. I believe it goes to the director of the SDA and asks for information about a specific child. I got the letter typed up, Mark and I signed it, my friend Dolores notarized it. Last Tuesday, I took it to get aspostilled. Friday evening, I got the mailing address for one of the couples who is travelling. Yesterday, I sent our "request for information letter" to them overnight delivery. They leave on Tuesday.  So... a HUGE THANKS to Jon and Diane who will be carrying this precious cargo for us. Safe travels to you - can't wait to hear about your journey and your new little one!

In the meantime, we continue to wait for our home study to be sent to our agency. Until Amanda has a chance to review the draft, it won't be sent to immigration services asking for our fingerprinting appointment and approval to bring home a child. I'm trying to be patient, but I want this to be on it's way. Every day that this is delayed is a day without our little one. I keep reminding myself that none of this is a surprise to God - that HE knew there would be frustrations along the way, that He is in control of the situation, He knows everything about our child, and the exact moment we will meet him/her/them for the first time as well as every moment of our lives. And I am glad of that. But, this hopeful soon-to-be mama is impatient!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I ran home at lunch today to see if the letter from our county court had arrived. YIPPEE! It was in the mail so I got that faxed to our home study agency this afternoon. They will be able to get our home study to Amanda (the Ukraine coordinator with our adoption agency) so that she can review it. I'm saying prayers that will happen tomorrow. The original copy of the letter is in overnight mail so they will have it tomorrow. Amanda said that she will make every effort to review our home study the day she receives it. When she gives the ok, our I-600A application asking for approval to bring home a child(ren) can be mailed along with my request asking them to expedite our application. So... if all goes well, it should be on it's way to Dallas early next week!! Then, we wait for our fingerprinting appointment and official letter of approval.

As of about 4:30pm today, I'm pretty sure that I have gathered all the documents needed for our dossier. There are still some to be signed and notarized. Depending on how quickly we get our USCIS approval, we may have to request new employment verification letters - but hopefully not! I scanned everything I have so far and will be emailing that to Amanda for review tonight.

I am thankful that we are making progress! I suppose in some ways, it's similar to being pregnant. This is a time of preparation. There is training that we need to complete for our agency. The needs of a child who have been institutionalized are different than most children. It's important that we understand some of those issues - bonding, trust, attachment, developmental delays. So... I am thankful for this time of preparation. Will we be fully prepared? No. But, that's no different than parenthood the old fashioned way.

On a non-adoption related note, the weather is not so enjoyable. Heat, humidity, not my favorite things! Central air conditioning is definitely a blessing these days!

And I'm thankful for a nice day at work. I was able to leave at the end of the day feeling like I had accomplished everything that was vital. The rest can wait until tomorrow (or next week). I'm going to relax this evening for a few hours - what a treat - maybe catch up on a few emails.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What's going on?

I know... I haven't updated things in a little while. I've been trying to spend some time away from the computer when I'm home. Seems like I get on-line and so much time passes before I realize it. Time that I could spend doing other things, time that I can't get back. But... I also want to keep everyone in the loop.

I spend Sunday freezing sweet corn - I'll have to post a few pics. I LOVE to have frozen sweet corn during the winter. The stuff you buy at the store just doesn't cut it. We bought 5 bags of corn after church on Sunday and that was my afternoon. Not much fun at the time, but it will be worth it later!

We needed to get some documents notarized for our dossier. We also are going to be sending a letter to Ukraine with a family who will be traveling soon. This needed to be notarized as well, then apostilled (authenticated with the secretary of state). One of my friends - Dolores - happens to be a notary. Last night, she was kind enough to spend part of her dinner break from work notarizing a huge pile of documents for Mark and me. What a blessing that was!

Today, I was off and running. After working out this morning, I headed to pick up my employment verification letter from work. It had 2 errors so while the secretary was typing a new letter, I ran to get my bloodwork drawn so that my doctor can write my medical clearance letter. Then, off to Mark's doctor to have his letter stamped (they missed that when it was completed). Home to write a quick letter to the immigration services asking if they can expedite our application for approval to bring home a child. After that, a trip to St. Paul. Dropped off documents at our home study agency as well as our final payment to them. We are still waiting for the county's letter (mentioned last week) to arrive - then, we will be able to finalize our home study. Anyway... then had lunch with my friend Kari before heading to the secretary of state's office to have some of our dossier documents apostilled. Still a few more to go, but we are making progress. Home again, whew!

It stormed this evening - it's been so hot and humid that I left my car windows cracked. NOT a good thing, my car is not meant to be one of those aquamobiles - lol! Hope it dries out ok.

So... that's the latest! I have been horrible about answering emails lately so if you are waiting for me to respond to you, I am trying to catch up. Thanks for your patience!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vent and prayer request

I should start out this post by saying maybe the prayers should be directed towards me and a request that I not be quite so self-centered. I'm struggling to remember that not everyone has our sense of urgency with this adoption and I probably need to be more understanding of that.

We have one last document to obtain to finalize our home study. Mark headed to the courthouse today to pick it up. Apparently, it's not something that you can just walk in, request, and they will give it to you. He had to fill out a form making the request for the document official and was told it would be mailed to him. No estimate of when we can expect to recieve this. He gave them the instructions for how we need it completed (certified on their letterhead). Now we have to wait for this to come in the mail QUICKLY and pray that it will be correct the first time.

You guessed it... I'm a little emotional about this. Ever since reading our home study draft yesterday and finally feeling like we are getting closer, I've been teary-eyed. There's a little one who knows he/she/they are waiting for a mommy and daddy - don't know it's us, but I have been praying that God will just place a picture of us in their minds so that they KNOW when they see us that we are their forever family. Yesterday, it started to feel closer and more real - hopefully soon, we will get to travel and meet that precious little one. So, yep - at this point, I'm upset about anything that might delay that process.

I know there are procedures to be followed, but I still want it done NOW! Good reminder that it is not all about me.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Things are crazy busy, but it's important to take a moment to stop and be thankful. Today, we received an email with our home study draft for review. Only a couple of changes to be made and one more document to retrieve. It's on Mark's "honey do" list for tomorrow. We'll get that faxed in to our home study agency and they will make the addition to our home study. It will then be ready for AAC to review and hopefully, we will have a finalized home study early next week. A copy of it will be sent with our I-600A application asking immigration services for approval to bring our child in to the US.

Diane, the administrative person at our home study agency, responded to one of my emails today saying "Something tells me you're excited." Ya think??? 

Yep, I'm thankful that the home study is almost complete and we will be able to cross that off our list.

What are you thankful for today? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Making a list... Checking it twice

No, it's not Christmas quite yet. Really the only thing I want for Christmas this year is to have our little one(s) home. But, that's not the list I'm talking about.

I like to be organized. I often fail miserably, but I prefer to be on top of things. Yes... as previously noted in my posts about control issues - lol! We are starting to compile the documents needed for our dossier. This is the paperwork that is presented to the Ukraine government in support of our request for referral of a child. I decided that I needed a checklist of the required documents. So today, I updated our checklist. Although things aren't moving quite as quickly as I would like, we are making progress.

We should have the draft of our home study tomorrow so that we can make any corrections and get it finalized. About A Child will review it as well to make sure that it looks good for our dossier. A copy will get sent with our application to the USCIS asking for approval to bring a child into the US. Please pray that this process goes quickly. We would like to get our dossier sent by the middle of September asking for an appointment in October.

Only waiting on a couple of other items. We need employment verification letters from both of our companies. Got those requests in today. Mark's doctor is working on his medical clearance letter. I will be talking to my doctor tomorrow about mine.

We also have to grant authority to a facilitator who will work in Ukraine on our behalf. And write a formal request for an appointment with the SDA (the adoption authority within the Ukraine government). Once we have all of those documents completed, we will get each item notarized. Then, will have to take them to the department of state for "apostille." It's basically the secretary of state verifying that they are legitimate. After that is finished, they will be on their way to Ukraine.

Little one - we ARE coming!!


“...orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names.

They are easier to ignore before you see their faces.

It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms...

.... but once you do, everything changes.

So when you & I hear staggering numbers & statistics about the poor & needy around us & around the world, we have a choice.

We can switch the channels on our mega T.V’s and continue our comfortable, untroubled, ordinary, church-going lives as if the global poor don’t exist.

We can let these numbers remain cold, distant, and almost imaginary....

Or we can open our eyes and our lives to the realities that surround us and begin considering the faces that are represented by these numbers.”

-David Platt

Monday, August 2, 2010


 I did my DOT physical on Friday, that went well. Then I went to see my finacial advisor. Some how we need to make more money so we can retire. The best thing was going to st.paul to get some of our adoption stuff done.

Saturday we went to the cabin but the lawnmower didn't work so we did some 4-wheeling and came home.

Sunday was the best, We went to look at the motorhome and found the transmision poblem was ok, it stoped leaking and works just fine.