Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Please pray for our dear son Igor. He is extremely sad that we are leaving for the week. He insists on going to the airport with us at 4AM. He will have a great time with aunt Shawn but he is already missing us and we haven't left!
We have a small travel group-
We cannot wait to meet them!
We will try to blog from Ethiopia but the current travel group has had a hard time getting an Internet connection. They have also dealt with power outages. So, we'll try our best!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Igor has said that he will be jealous of Henry when he comes home. I think that's normal. But Igor has some other thoughts as well. Igor told us that Henry won't be able to listen when he arrives home. Igor says Henry won't be able to understand us. He remembers what that's like and how hard it was. Igor knows it will be hard for Henry too. Last week, Igor told his former speech therapist that he is going to teach Henry how to talk. (I love my son!)
Igor has been very clear- he won't change Henry's diaper, especially if it's "stinky"!
If Henry is scared at night Igor said that he will rub his tummy and say, "It's okay little brother."
When he prays for Henry he says he wants Henry to be a good friend.
I think Igor has started the become a little protective of Henry. At school they had a picture of Henry on the calendar. They were counting the days until Henry arrives. On Dec. 17, Henry's picture was missing (the last day of school was the 18th). Everyone wondered where Henry's pictures was. The teacher asked Igor if he knew where Henry's picture was. Igor looked up and said, I put him in my backpack, it's time for him to go home.
Yep, Igor is correct, it's time for Henry to come home.
I'm planning on blogging from Ethiopia. We are not taking a laptop so we'll be at the mercy of the Hotel computers!
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Igor and I will decorate cookies and put some presents under the tree. We'll have an early dinner and then go to church for the 7PM service. We''ll read the story of the baby Jesus coming into the world and then we'll go to sleep. Does anyone sleep on Christmas Eve? I don't. Igor is excited about Christmas and so am I!
Merry Christmas everyone!
Our travel agent is on the west coast so all I could do was wait until noon when they opened. A few minutes before noon the phone rang. It was our neighbor one block down, she had a FedEx package with our name on it! Yes, she had our plane tickets! Woo-Hoo!
Rob went to the Credit Union this morning. He was able to get clean, crisp bills for our trip. One more item crossed off our list of things to do!
My dad sent me a travel luggage scale. I LOVE it! Using the luggage scale is easier than trying to weigh luggage on a bathroom scale. I highly recommend it to anyone traveling internationally. I will let you know how accurate it is compared to the airline scale.
Igor and I made Christmas cookies this morning. It's the last "Igor and mommy" Christmas event on our things to do list.... well, we still have to decorate the cookies, but we will do that tomorrow!
Please pray for the AWAA families in Ethiopia right now. Several of them are sick. The Stager's little boy is so ill he is being treated at a clinic.
Monday, December 22, 2008
We have a neighbor who occasionally gets our mail and we hers, so I walked up to her house- no package. I have a call into FedEx to see if the package is still on the truck.
We are almost packed. I broke down and packed a forth bag because I could not re-arrange the bags to be all under 43 pounds (we want a little wiggle room for the 50lb requirement).
Today's #1 priority - go to the bank. We will need spending money while in Ethiopia. In order to get the best exchange rate we will need clean, crisp bills printed after 2004. Rob went to the bank this afternoon. Well, he went to four different bank branches because none had clean bills. Each teller said that people have been coming in all month asking for new bills to give as Christmas presents! Who knew??? The result, we don't have any new bills. Rob called a friend at the Credit Union to see if they have new bills. If they do, Rob will head to the credit union tomorrow.
It's time to make dinner- Potato corn soup- Yummy...
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Rob's parents will be here tomorrow. It will be great to have them here to help with Igor while I recuperate. I am feeling better but was up once last night so I am tired this morning.
Yesterday Rob filed our re-adoption paperwork for Igor at the courthouse. I am so grateful that the paperwork is submitted before we leave for Ethiopia. It's one more thing I can cross off on our "Things to do list"!
Thanks to all who commented on space bags. I decided to give them a try. We have 2 1/2 laundry baskets of children's clothing to donate to the Transitional home. All the clothing fit perfectly in 3 space bags! The 3 bags fit in one jumbo suitcase and it weighs 43 pounds! (50 lbs is the limit). After 5 days there are no leaks.
In case you haven't seen enough of our sweet boy Henry, here's another picture
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We took Igor to a Christmas parade in a neighboring town. It was a wonderful parade but we had no idea the parade members pelted the parade watchers with candy, pencils and all sorts of other items. We had to use Igor's chair as a holding area for all the goodies.
Santa visited our neighborhood. Igor was not afraid to sit on Santa's lap.
Friday night we met the Schmidt's for dinner. I forgot the camera so I don't have any pictures.
Saturday I came down with a stomach virus. Yesterday I went to the doctor's office because I was still sick. They set me up with an IV to get me re-hydrated and provided me with anti-nausea medication. The doctor thinks I'll be well enough to travel on the 26th! UGH!!
This has caused a complete halt in packing and preparing for Ethiopia. I hope to re-start the effort by the end of the week.
This morning I'm weak and dizzy. I "enjoyed" some Jello this morning for breakfast.
My adoption pal Karin is now pain free in heaven. Please keep her family in your prayers.
We may have the option to leave Ethiopia on Dec 31 instead of Jan 2! I will keep you posted on our travel plans.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
My sister will be taking care of Igor while we are gone. Igor is excited because he will be able to sleep in his own bed.
Igor's teachers are awesome. His kindergarten teacher has a picture of Henry on the class calendar. They are counting down our departure to Ethiopia. The resource teacher sent home a calendar with all the days we will be gone. They included a Velcro mommy, daddy and Henry. Every morning Igor will move "us" to that day. It's a great way for him to know exactly when we come home.
The Schmidts bought a telephone card from http://www.callingcardplus.com so their kiddos could call them in Ethiopia. We will buy a phone card through the same website so Igor and aunt Shawn can call us daily.
Tomorrow I will start packing the orphanage donations so we can use our dining room during Christmas. Has anyone used space bags? Do they work? I'd like to use space bags for all the children's clothing we are taking but I don't want to invest in the bags if they are worthless. Any feedback would be appreciated!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
So we wait, hoping and praying we will hear goods news tomorrow!
I have been listening to Andrew Peterson. His song -Faith To Be Strong -seems to be a perfect way to end this post.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Please pray for the judge, our family and the other 10 families who share our court date. We appreciate all your prayers! We are filled with hope. We should hear something from our agency on Tuesday or Wednesday. We'll let you know as soon as we hear something.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- I am thankful for my dear husband who loves me no matter what. He is a terrific friend, encourager, father and husband.
- We are so thankful for our son Igor. We cannot imagine life without you dear one.
- We are thankful for the opportunity to adopt Henry! We cannot wait for you to be part of our family!
- We are thankful that we live in a country where Christians may worship freely and do not face persecution.
- Thankfully we will know in a few days if we passed court!
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Monday, November 24, 2008
If you go to this web site http://www.letssaythanks.com/
you can pick out a thank you card. Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.
You can also pick out a "pre-written" note to include with the card.
You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! This is a great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these cards? Whether you are for or against the war, the men and woman serving in Iraq need to know we are behind them.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This activity gave us time to talk about Henry being part of our family while doing something fun. We had a sweet talk about what a family is and what our family will look like when Henry arrives!
Please pray for our paperwork to be correct and on Judge's desk on time!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Notes from the terminal ward
Yellow black and brown
If everything goes as planned, in one month we will be in Ethiopia to pick up Henry!!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Imagine my surprise at Odark:30 - Igor walked into our bedroom with his night vision goggles on saying, "Mom, I can see you!" Once I woke up enough to realize what was happening I said, "Igor that's awesome. Now please, you and your night vision goggles must go back to bed. See you in the morning." Tonight I am taking the goggles out of his room after he falls asleep!
On the adoption front, it finally feels as though Henry will be coming home. I think we've been living in some weird alternative universe where we knew that we were adopting a child but it did not feel real. We have returned to this universe and the adoption feels VERY real now. We FINALLY purchased Henry a winter wardrobe. All he needs is a winter coat, shoes, mittens and we'll be done!
We received some more pictures of Henry from families who were in Ethiopia last week! He is such a cute little boy! I cannot wait to show you his picture.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
The Ethiopian process is different. Our agency will go to court on our behalf. If/when the court approves our adoption, we will travel 10-14 days after the court date to pick up Henry.
Our court date is rumored to be Dec 2. I say rumored because our agency does not tell us our specific court date but we are somewhat certain court will be Dec. 2. If we pass, we will travel on Dec 12 or 13 to pick up Henry and return home Dec 20!
Not every family passes court the first time. There are numerous legal documents and official papers the judge must have on the court date to approve the case. Sometimes there is a mistake in the paperwork or some of the paperwork does not arrive in time for the judge to rule favorably. If we do not pass on Dec 2, our court date will be rescheduled and the earliest we could travel would be the third week in January.
We are so excited to have tentative travel dates, but we are still guarding our hearts because we know that we may not pass court the first, second or third time.
At this point we have two options regarding our airline travel. We can book our travel now believing we will pass court OR wait until Dec 2. Both options have a list of pros and cons.
Please pray we make the correct decision for our family regarding airline travel.
Igor will not be going with us to Ethiopia. He will stay at our house with Papa and Babushka. He will go to school and stay on his regular routine. Igor is excited about staying home. He likes to tell people- I'm staying with Babushka while mommy and daddy go to Africa to pick up my little brother!
That's our big news! If we pass court on Dec 2 we will be able to post Henry's picture on our blog. We are looking forward to that day.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Jam & Cheese
The Lusse adoption journey
Yellow, Black and White
Now that courts are open our agency has several groups traveling the next 5 weeks!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
At school they are learning the sounds of each letter and how to read. The other day Igor came home very excited about the "E" sound. He said, "Evan, Ethan, Igor! We all start with an E". Now, Igor knows how to spell his name and he knows it starts with an "I". He is confused- why does the "I" in his name sounds like an "E". Oh honey, there are so many exceptions in the English language and your name is Russian!
Igor loves rules. His name being an exception doesn't sit well with him. On his latest painting he signed his name IGORE. Why the E? So people would know to say EEE-gore. Of course, why didn't I think of that?? As soon as we replace our digital camera I'll post his signature on the painting.
Here's Igor's fish in watercolors.
Here is Igor's acrylic painting completed in September. Thanks for the picture Cindy!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
There are a couple ways you can help an orphan in the month of November.
Our adoption agency, AWAA, is hosting a Gala called "Orphan's Ticket home in
San Antonio, Texas on Friday, November 21st
Beaufort, South Carolina Saturday, November 8th, 2008.
Please consider attending one of these events. All proceeds raised will help:
- provide the necessary legal services and documentation to help orphaned children become eligible for adoption.
- open America World Adoption programs in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Rwanda, and Vietnam
- rebuild a children's home in rural Ethiopia that receives abandoned children from the government.
- develop an Older Children's Cultural Exchange Program in Ukraine and Russia
Are you interested in adoption but don't know where to start?
If you live in the Metro DC area Come Celebrate National Adoption Day on Saturday, Nov. 15th from 6-8pm at Grace Covenant Church, Chantilly VA (http://www.gracecov.org/). Free Christian Concert, featuring Jericho, with a Hip Hop Team, a parade of Nations kids adopted from all over the world and a free fair- featuring adoption agencies, adoption attorney and department of family services to answer all your questions regarding adoption.
We are not planning to move in the future but we were not planning to move south two years ago! If we ever move to a state that does not recognize Igor's foreign adoption decree we'll need to re-adopt him so he has all the legal rights as a biological child. At our last Russia post placement meeting we agreed to start the paperwork to re-adopt Igor in our state. Thursday we meet with our social worker for another post placement visit required by our state. Our state does not require an attorney to submit the adoption paperwork so we'll complete the paperwork ourselves.
We have decided on a name for BOC . His name will be Henry. When we asked Igor what he thought of the name he said, "It's a cool name." Excellent! We no longer have to call him BOC!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
- I would love to visit Uruguay some day.
- I love Skittles, Smarties and Sour Patch Kids. They are not allowed in the house because I have no self control!
- I wish I were more creative.
- I still have all my report cards.
- I love to garden but not weed.
- I enjoy watching Monk and Lost with my husband
- I cannot read without my glasses unless I'm standing under a VERY bright light!
- I often wonder who reads our blog.
I have not decided who I will tag next... so stay tuned, you could be "it".
Monday, October 13, 2008
We have tentative travel dates. We could go to Ethiopia the week before Christmas or the second week of January.
On a sad note, please keep the Forrest Family in your prayers. In August they received a referral for an infant girl and toddler boy. Last week their baby was hospitalized. Their sweet baby died on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from complications due to pneumonia.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Igor has finally fallen in love with bike riding. Every day after school he rides his bike through the neighborhood. He likes me to run along side of him so I can give him a push at the steep hill. I am getting a great workout while he rides.
Wednesday, Igor informed me that he was going to ride his bike to church. It's just under a mile one way so I knew he could make it. Of course, I was jogging along side. After dinner I thought Igor might complain about the bike ride home. To my surprise, he rode all the way home without complaint.
This morning Rob had to go to the church for a couple hours so Igor went with him. Igor rode his bike while dad jogged. I will be checking Craigslist for adult bikes. Pretty soon a bike ride to the church won't be a very long ride.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
So, let's celebrate with some music
I love the words to this song- especially:
So Just Remember,
The Next Time You Feel Like December
Remember That Night In September,
When God Wiped All your Tears Away
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Days of the week (snap, snap)
days of the week (snap, snap)
days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
there’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
there’s Thursday and there’s Friday
and then there’s Saturday!
Days of the week (snap, snap)
days of the week (snap, snap)
days of the week, days of the week, days of the week
It's a very catchy tune and Igor loves singing it but I hope to replace the song in my head with something else soon. Is it stuck in your head now??
Igor's kindergarten teacher, Ms. Molly, is awesome. She reminds me of Ms. Joya (Igor's nursery school teacher). Ms. Molly is calm, creative, very organized and connects with the children in a very special way. The transition to Ms. Molly from Ms. Joya has been an easy one. YAHHH!!
While I have some free time I am volunteering in Igor's science class. Last week we went on a nature walk. We all carried picture cards to help us identify poison oak and ivy! Luckily we did not spot any. The kids were great and Igor seemed excited to see me in his class.
Our church body has had some very difficult days. A lot of different things are going on and I've lost track of so many things. (which is very unlike me) Yesterday Rob had a funeral at 2PM and I was going to Susan's baby shower. For some reason, I got confused, I thought the baby shower was at 2PM. Imagine my horror when I realized that I had arrived ONE HOUR LATE! Ugh... I have no idea what I was thinking. The good news, I made it for the last hour of the shower.
I hope to have an update this week on a referral!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
- we are going to have a party and invite so and so over
- we are going to have cake and cookies
- we'll have decorations
- we'll play cars, games, take a nap and play some more (ahhh, nap?)
Friday after school we had a back to school party. We had cake, ice cream and cookies. I did not have decorations up so I was quizzed by my son (the party planner) - "Why don't you have decorations MOM?" Really, I didn't think decorations were that important... Everyone had a great time. Igor is talking about his next party.
I don't have any pictures of the party because the shutter of my camera won't open. The electronics shop wants $50 to tell me what is wrong.... ugh. For now I am using Rob's old
"film" camera. I have had a roll of film in my purse for a week. This is a total bummer.
Tomorrow is "Picture Day" at school. After school Igor is getting his hair cut. His bangs are finally growing out and they are uneven. Now, I need to figure what he will wear tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I went to the dentist today. I saw my new favorite dentist who I really like and have a lot of confidence in. We were finishing up the appointment, the dentist said everything looked great and then he said (insert foreboding music here), "Let me take look at that X-ray again." My internal monologue went something like this- must we look at the X-ray again, really, everything is fine, my teeth are happy, it's time for me to go. But instead, I said nothing. The dentist and the hygienist were discussing a back molar, he flipped to an X-ray that was taken when I was having a terrible tooth pain. The dentist had me look at the x-rays taken over the last few months. he showed me a dark spot on one of my teeth. He said, "Candy, I think I can save the tooth and avoid a root canal and crown."
I thought- What? save the tooth, avoid a root canal? I'm here for a cleaning, we haven't finished dealing with the tooth that was pulled- ugh... how much is this going to cost? Of course, I did not say any of that, I smiled and nodded my head.
So, after I paid for the visit I pleaded with my teeth- Stop it! We are adopting!! Why are you causing trouble?? Alas, they are teeth not people so I was talking to myself. heavy sigh. On the 24th the dentist will try to spare me from a root canal.
The conference call was jam packed with information. I won't post everything because it's too much to post. Here are some of the highlights from the call-
- The Transitional Home (TH) is full. Children who have been recently referred will remain in the orphanage until the next travel group picks up their children.
- The TH's lease is up in October. They may renew the lease because they have been unable to find another suitable building.
- AWAA has signed on with another orphanage- Espansia(?). It is located about 4 hrs from Addis
- Duni has hired two staff people in ET, an adoption director and an assistant to the director. They continue to hire more nannies and are looking to hire another nurse.
- Travel will be different, families will stay in a guest house instead of the Hilton
I am trying to get clarification on the toddler boy wait time. We are well beyond the wait time quoted of 5-7 months. I know our situation is unique, so I have asked our family coordinator to provide us with a wait time specific to our family. I will let you know when I hear something!
One last thing- I miss placed my reading glasses. The school sent home a form to review and I cannot read it! Now where is the magnifying glass??
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Igor is enjoying Kindergarten. His favorite part of the day is riding the school bus. Last week he survived the monthly fire drill. The teacher's aide allowed Igor to call home after the fire drill so he could tell me how brave he was. I love his teachers and aides!
Last week out of the blue, Igor said that his little brother won't be able to listen when he comes home. We asked Igor why he thinks this. Igor said, "Remember when I was 3 and 4 years old and I didn't understand?" (translation- remember when I was 3 and 4 years old, I didn't understand English?) Oh, my sweet boy... we do remember. I have no idea how that feels but perhaps you can help little brother when he cannot communicate with us.
Tomorrow is our monthly conference call with our agency. I don't know that we will learn anything new but if we do, I will post it.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Last week the remnants of Hurricane Fay dumped 5 inches of rain on us in 24 hours. Igor was fine with all the rain! He thought the mushroom in the yard was very cool. He wanted to bring it inside so we could cook it... hmmmm... no thanks.
Igor is doing great at school. His favorite part of the day is riding the school bus!
We finally opened the pickles I canned in June. They are so yummy we've eaten 2 jars! I canned more garlic dills this morning so we'll have some this winter.
Have you rented Martian Child yet? On Friday night Rob and I finally watched it. The first half hour is very slow but it gets better! We really enjoyed the movie which focuses on adoption.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
On Monday, Igor and I were playing outside when it started to sprinkle. I didn't say anything, I continued to play. When Igor noticed it was sprinkling he said, "Mom I'm not afraid of rain anymore!" Yippee!
Yesterday after dinner Igor said he wanted to ride his bike to the school bus stop. Rob and I looked at each other... we were both thinking- you want to ride your bike outside in the rain? Then he said he wanted to ride his bike to the bus stop on Wednesday morning and mommy could push the bike home. No comment from mom on this... So after dinner we put on Igor's raincoat and helmet, he got on his bike and rode to the bus stop. My heart was full, my little boy is growing up right before my eyes.
This morning was Igor's first day riding the school bus. Rain was poring down but Igor was not scared. He marched out of the house with his backpack and lunch. He was ready to ride the bus.
This morning the house is quiet.... I have a long list of things to do while Igor is at school. I have accomplished my first task which is adoption related- write a letter to USCIS requesting a fingerprint appointment! One item down, many to go.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
WARNING- the next paragraph contains self-pity and whining....
While yesterday was a time of joy it also brought sadness. We sent our dossier to AWAA the last week of September 2007. Yesterday was the first day I was sooo tired of the wait. I know in my heart that our referral will come at the perfect time. I know that we are waiting for a reason. However, yesterday I was ready to say I'm done. The words, "Let's stay a 3 person family and move on" flashed through my mind. I thought it for a minute then I came to my senses.
Rob and I are reading Your God Is Too Safe as a devotion. Last night Rob read the following paragraph:
The Psalms are the prayers that God's covenant people have birthed out of their celebration and anguish, their hope and hopelessness, their anger and forgiveness, their captivity and exile and conquest through triumph. They track a path through the vastness of human emotion, its tundras and its jungles, and direct all of it Godward. What do you do with you hatred, bitterness, ecstasy, weariness, heaviness, longings, disappointments, despair, and desires? To whom can you entrust all that? Centuries of wisdom tell us that the Psalms give form to and language for the fullness and undiluted, to God. They are gathering places, repositories, where the mundaneness and tragedy and glory of being human can be sorted out and given back as worship. As prayer.
I really needed to hear those words, it was an "ah ha" moment for me. I was reminded of
Psalm 5: 1-3
O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
I prayed this Psalm as we waited for Igor's court date. I will now pray it as we wait for our referral. Today, I feel much better about our adoption and the wait.
Another contributor to yesterday's sadness was an agency update on the referral we lost. Please continue to pray for this little boy.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The highlight of Igor's vacation was flying with Papa in a bi-plane! Yep, our little boy LOVED his plane ride.