Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I've gone mad...

So, I just typed out an entire blog entry and then deleted it.  It just didn't sit right with here I go again - hopefully this time it'll be something worth writing (and reading).

I've been researching like mad.  I think I am mad.  Not angry mad, but crazy mad.  I'm becoming obsessed with finding:
  • grants to apply for to help with adoption costs
  • an International Adoption doctor
  • a pediatrician
  • information about orphanages in Vladimir
  • information about our daughter
That is just the short list.  I'm pretty sure Barry is hoping that someday soon we can talk about other things again - like the weather, or something!  It seems to come in waves - research, cry, peace, research, cry, peace.  My prayer is that I would simply have peace knowing that God is going to bring our family together in His perfect timing...not mine.  I keep wanting to speed up the process...I want to make sure that everyone has our FedEx account number and can send us documents speedily.  I'm ready to drive to Indianapolis or wherever to get something signed so we can get it in the mail and get started on the next step.  Some people would think I'm insane, but it's all in an effort to make sure that I'm doing my part to bring her home as soon as possible. 

Thankfully, my prints came back from the FBI and our homestudy is complete and being reviewed by the placing agency before it is finalized and sent to us to be apostilled with our other documents.  I'm dying for this to be done!!  Then it'll be in the stage before travel! (I just as I was typing this received an email saying that I won't have it until the end of next week most likely...I guess that means I can slow down, and stop watching for it).  God is teaching me so much about just BEING in HIS presence, and not just "doing" all the time.

Also, thankfully we're coming along with funding.  We're blessed beyond measure - and are pleased to have 39 puzzle pieces taken care of!  Only 141 to go.  AMAZING!

Love to all.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

It's currently 5:26am in Russia, where our daughter is living currently with her caregivers.  In just a few hours she will wake up and it will be her third birthday.  I hope that it would be a day full of love and laughter - a day where Sveta is celebrated, and doted on, and showered with presents.  But I only hope this.  Reality sets in, and I realize that most likely she will wake up just as she does every other day and she will go through her mundane day without the joy of celebrating her third birthday.  Because if she got to celebrate her special day, so would the others...and there just isn't the money, nor the man power to do such things.

So, as I sit in my dining room, helplessly wishing that I was halfway around the world - I pray this simple prayer: 

Lord, watch over our daughter today as she wakes up and moves throughout her day.  I pray that you would let her know that she is loved - by you, and by her family.  I pray that you would use someone that is with her today to hug her and love on her a little more today so that she knows she is special.  I ask that you would begin to work in her heart and let her know that You created her and loved her - and that just as you knit her together in her mother's womb, you are knitting our hearts together.  Thank you for loving her more than I ever will, and for being her protector - and mine.  Please bring her home to me before she has to have another birthday without a joyous celebration! Amen.

I must say that I am struggling with the concept of my little girl's birthday passing without a celebration.  I am struggling with the fact that she is on the other side of the world and I am here - waiting.  They said that would be the hardest part - but I didn't want to think about it.  The amazingly wonderful thing is that I can spend this time devoting myself to abiding in Jesus - because without being connected to the vine (John 15) I wouldn't be able to bear the wait.

So, tonight, I'm writing this and listening to Barry sing worship songs to our Gracious God.  Who is providing for us beyond our wildest dreams: 

We are at 19% - that's 35 puzzle pieces - or $8,700.  Which means as soon as the fingerprints clear - we've got the money to submit our Dossier.

Thank you Abba Father.  Thank you family & friends who've listened to His call to take care of the orphan (James 1:27) - He's using you mightily!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Criminals? I think not...

Well, I (Jessi) have to go get refingerprinted today at the police station because the FBI rejected the first set.  Apparently my hands are dry, and I need to use lots of lotion on my fingertips before I least that's what the nice lady at the Indiana State Police Headquarters told me.  Other than the obvious frustration of having to have black ink on every finger and looking like a criminal, it's frustrating because they will now send my prints to West Virginia and it will take longer than the first time to get it back...

I'm going to attempt to explain a little bit about the process for adopting international so you understand what the fingerprint hold up is really holding up!!  :) 

*So the first thing that a couple must do for an adoption is complete a homestudy.  This is when a social worker, or homestudy agency, meets with you at least 3 times to find out basically if you are fit parents.  It also consist of classes that are required for you to be able to adopt.  This is also when you get fingerprinted to make sure you aren't a criminal.  The homestudy agency must have a state and FBI clearance...which is the ONLY thing our homestudy is missing.

*After the homestudy is complete you can do the following things all simultaneously (if you have the money too):
           * Begin working on your Dossier - a bunch of documents that you send to the foreign government
           * Apply for Grants (because it's crazy expensive)
           * Apply to the US Government to be approved to bring an orphan to the US - this involves driving to Indy on specified day to be electronically fingerprinted, among other things...

* Once the Dossier has been completed and sent to Russia (in our case) we will be "matched" with our daughter, and will be able to travel to Russia to complete our first visit. 

* Travel to Russia #1:  We'll meet with the orphanage staff about Sveta's health records, visit with her, and work on a few other documents, etc. 

* Second set of Dossier documents are sent to Russia once we return and we wait for a court date.

*Once we get a court date, we travel then to pick up our daughter, go to court, and finalize paperwork for Russia & the US. 

Hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any questions you have of Barry or I...we are excited and really love talking to people as they get excited too!  It's so incredible to see how much people love and care for us...and our daughter that they have yet to meet. 

We're still being blown away by the generousity of our family and friends!!  We're this far now...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blessings are poured out...

We had our long anticipated dinner this evening and were blessed beyond belief! So many are now praying with us for Sveta's homecoming - and for her safety and protection while we wait.  It's unbelievable to be surrounding by such incredible family & friends. 

Thank you to each one who attended (and those that stayed at home to pray because they were sick...or just couldn't quite make it from their corner of the world).  We love each one of you - and are thrilled that you share in this adventure with us.  Thank you also to those who stayed around to wash dishes, move tables, and generally get the church ready for services tomorrow morning. 

Blessings.  Poured out.  We're overwhelmed. 

Thank you.

Being a Piece of a Larger Puzzle::

We're at 6 puzzle pieces - $1500!  Big thanks to those who've already given, and to Rachel Winters for creating our puzzle piece pictures!