"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands."--- Kristi Larson
We we signed with CSS back in '07 to begin our Russian adoption. I joined their agency yahoo group green and eager for knowledge of international adoption. We got in line with all of the other families waiting on referrals. The lines were split between those waiting for a boy and those waiting for a girl. Along the way God had sent me two angels, Ondrea and Michelle. No kidding, they paved the way for me and become my support system . We shared the ups and downs that adoption can bring. These friendships were created via long distance emails and phone calls.We were all in the girl line. All mothers of boys and each of us shared a deep desire to have a daughter of our very own.
On Monday , Michelle and I finally got to met face to face! . With this visit the little girls that we had dreamed about for so long finally got to giggle and relish in each others company. I am so amazed at how far these little girls have come in their short little lives. Watching them play they have no idea that they both came from Russia and had shared sad beginnings. They were totally unaware of the countless hours of planning , sharing and dreaming that went on between their mommas.( And do not forget shopping! Retail therapy is a must during the long wait of adoption!) Seeing Michelle was like seeing an old friend I have known for years. We are planning another reunion soon! So this time we will schedule it when Ondrea , Meg and Peyton will be able to join in!
This visit could not have come at a better time . We are still waiting on our LOA and we are now on day 62 since our LID. This line of waiting has been the most difficult yet. So this visit was a much needed break from stalking the computer of news. We are approaching our 6 month mark of first seeing our daughters face and I am ready to be done with this emotional roller coaster .
Ready to get her home where she belongs.
I will leave you with some photos of our beautiful Russian girls , Ariana and Ava. Lots of giggling went on during the past two days but I bet you can not tell by these photos!!!!
I love the innocence of a child. Ava will be three on her next birthday and has been through a lot in her very short life. Yet she possesses the ability to see things through a different looking glass.
When you ask her about her sister she will proudly show you a photo and tell you that it is Peyton. Her sister. Ava's looking glass does not allow her to see the physical differences that they each outwardly display. In fact, they are polar opposites in their physical appearance to the average Joe. But when you look at them closer they have so much in common. They even have started to take on physical similarities to me.
Despite the fact that the girls are clearly not biological sisters , I know that there is no doubt that they will be closer than any two could ever be. I already know this in my heart. They are sisters that share a common history , a similar life story. I think this common thread that links them could in fact create a bond that will never be broken. Maybe even link them together so closely that sharing the same DNA could not even touch this.
There is a bit of irony as I look at their "Bitty Twin" dolls .You see the obvious reflection of differences between the two girls "twin" baby dolls. But just like their dolls they are like twin sisters in every way that really counts.
Okay, another lesson learned! I am not a newbie at this and totally get that this journey is not on my timeline it is on his!
(Because if it was on my timeline I would already be home with my sweet girl!)
It seems I needed to be reminded of that yet again as I pass up day 55 since my LID! (Sigh) But I have been blessed with dreams about her.With each pregnancy, paper or home grown, I had dreams about the kids. Some strange and some sweet. I just started dreaming about Pei so I know his timeline is getting shorter :)
In the meanwhile ,we received word that Pei got her care package last night. I am really hoping for some updates to help get us through this lull. In the meantime, my mind is full of images of my beautiful little girl curled up in her bed tonight snuggling with a soft little bunny that smells of her big sister :) And a heart that hopes that her dreams are filled with sweet chocolate bunnies and knowledge that her forever family loves her so much.
We sent our third and hopefully final care package to Pei this past week. This is the first package where I shopped and sent my own package via Ann @ Red Thread. I have to say it was really fun to shop for her but it snowballed into a monster! It started out as an Easter/Spring theme and grew from there! And of course we had to include a really soft bunny after hearing that Pei has a thing for bunnies! ( Sorry Pei ,Ava loved on your bunny a bit before she went into the box!)
There was not an inch left in that box for one more item! I know that Pei and her foster family will enjoy the sweet goodies that we sent!
We also sent a care package of PJ's , socks and books for the kiddos at the orphanage. Hopefully, all will enjoy their goodies !
I really hope this will be our last care package and the next bit of goodies will be delivered in person :)
Pei's second birthday is in July and I am praying that we are together before or on this date!
Now, Come on LOA! We are ready for some really good news!
It seems that the media swarms around controversy. I often turn on the news to only hear the most disturbing events that have taken place around the world. As we all know in the adoption community , the headlines over the past week told of an adoptive mother placing her Russian son on a unescorted flight to Moscow . Her simple actions has sent ripples through the adoption world and has jeopardized future Russian orphans finding their forever families. This event has once again highlighted every negative event that has occurred between Russian adoptees and their American families. We have been asked today to tell our story . The true story about how wonderful international adoption can be.
Back in December of 2002, I entered the hospital for a scheduled induction. I was scared but excited to finally meet our son ,Jacob. After delivery things unexpectedly went in the wrong direction. I had to have an emergency hysterectomy and numerous blood transfusions. I really should not be here today. I never once struggled with not being able to have anymore children. I was just so thankful to be alive. As time went on I searched to make sense of why this had happened and why am I still here. God had a plan for me and I was so ready to know what it was.
Today, if you ask me what that plan was I can sum it up in two simple words: Ava and Peyton.
They are my daughters. My broken road in December of 2002 has lead me to two of the greatest blessings that I have ever received.
For every tragic adoption story there are countless successes. Where these children exceed every obstacle they have faced. Where they are treasured beyond measure by their adoptive parents.
When we traveled to Russia in July '08 to met our little girl, we had no idea how much our lives were going to change.I had no idea I was going to meet one of the greatest loves of my life on that day. Ava came to us with a long list of health issues. Some common and some not so common issues that a child living in an institution will have. Since being home with us for two years ,this approaching September, she has overcome obstacles that were stacked against her.I am amazed at her determination and strength in her accomplishments.She has taught us many life lessons at the mere age of two and continues to be a daily reminder of all that is good in our lives. When we arrived home with Ava it reminded me of a cake walk.Everyone is looking for their place in the new family set up. When the music stops everyone scrambles for their seat. When it was all said and done everyone found their place . Funny thing is Ava's seat was right in the middle of all of our chairs.Daily she is encircled by a mom,dad brothers and countless extended family members. Each member of our family protects , loves and cherishes this child .
Things are as they should be.
Every child deserves the chance to have a life where they feel cherished,loved and wanted. My hope is that the horrific events that have occurred do not overshadow all of the good stories of wonderful families that have been created through Russian adoption.The real tragedy would be if these Russian children miss the opportunity to be part of a loving family . A family to call their own. That is the real tragedy in this.
Well, the sugery letter has been somewhat of a double edge sword!
My agency called to check to make sure that the letter was sufficient and the CC** said yes it was! In fact, they said we have official been approved and are moving from the review room to the matching room where the LOA's are issued! WAHOOO!!!!
So , I am over the moon until I feel the sting of the other side of the sword...
You can stay in the matching room for one month!!!!!!! OUCH!
So, here are a few words to live by brought to you by a waiting momma that is so ready to hold her baby:
"Patience is the greatest of all virtues." Cato the Elder (234 BC - 149 BC)
"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Victor Hugo (1802 - 1885)
"I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end." Margaret Thatcher (1925 - )
Unfortunately , I am stuck some where quoute two and three!!!!!
Well , the CCAA finally has my letter in hand! What an ordeal but it is over and I am moving away from this monkey that has been on my back!
So, we are now in the month of April. It seems like time has been moving at a snails pace but hopefully it will be smooth (and swift) sailing from here! I am sending Peyton another care package and a few things for the kids at the orphanage.
I am off to finish my LOA paperwork! We are on day 39 since our LID!
LID – Log in Date DTC – Dossier to China TA – Travel Approval (called other things in other countries, this is the Notice of Coming to China) CA – Consulate Appointment SN – special needs NSN – non special needs PA – Pre-approval (part of the SN process) PAP – Potential Adoptive Parent LOA – Letter of Acceptance – used in both NSN and SN process. In NSN program it is the document that allows you to officially accept a referral. In SN program the CCAA sends it after the LOI and before TA. LOI – Letter of Intent SWI / CWI – Social/Children’s Welfare Institute, what orphanages are called in China
The Starfish Thrower
Once upon a time there was a man
who used to go to the ocean
to do his writing.
He had a habit
of walking on the beach
before he began his work.
One day he was walking
along the shore.
As he looked down the beach
he saw a human figure
moving like a dancer.
He smiled to himself
to think of someone
who would dance to the day.
So he began to walk faster
to catch up.
As he got closer,
he saw that it was an
older man and the man
Instead he was reaching
down to the shore,
picking up something
and very gently
throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer he called out,
"Good morning! What are you doing?"
The older man paused,
looked up and replied,
"Throwing starfish into the ocean."
The man noticed
there were hundreds of starfish
all washed up on the beach
from a storm the night before.
He watched as the man carefully
continued to pick up the starfish
one by one.
"I guess I should have asked,
‘Why are you throwing starfish
into the ocean?’"
"The sun is up
and the tide is going out.
If I don't throw them in
"But don't you realize
there are miles and miles of beach
and starfish all along it.
You can't possibly make a difference!"
The older man listened politely.
He bent down, picked up another starfish
He looked at the starfish
as he prepared to
throw it into the ocean,
past the breaking waves and said –
"I will make a difference to this one!"
On my way from Heaven,
God delayed my trip that day.
He said that I was special,
and then sent me on my way.
But not before he kissed me,
Right upon my ear
He left his blessed mark
to carry with me here.
He whispered in my ear right then,
that He loved me without doubt,
and then He closed my ear up tight,
so the whisper won't get out.
He told me both my legs were strong
and would help me stand up tall.
He told me both my arms would work
to catch me if I fall.
My eyes would catch my memories
to store within the pages of my mind,
My heart would fill with all the things I would love,
so many things, I would find.
He told me I could fall asleep
to my Daddy's bedtime tales,
and listen while my Mother sings
of seas and boats with sails.
One ear, He told me, could hear the sounds
that little birdies make.
The other ear was His gift to me,
a blessing for my sake.
For when I'm feeling sad, He said,
my other ear would hear,
His whispered words of eternal love,
left waiting for me there.