Thursday, May 17, 2012

Consulate. Post Placement. Etc.

So, I thought I'd be done chasing paperwork and dealing with adoption stuff for a while since we're home.  I was wrong.

Things that have been on the to do list for approximately 3 months:

1. Sveta's US Passport
2. Sveta's Social Security Number
3. Figure out this whole pension fund thing.  Wish involves waiting on hold for FOREVER before getting hung up on.  Way to go Consulate.  Strange.
4. Call to schedule Post placement appointment.  Which, apparently is due to our placing agency in 2 weeks.  Someone please help me with the math.  Our 6 month post placement?  It's been just over 3...right??

So, some great things I've accomplished since being home:

1. Sveta's had 3 meals a day.
2. She's always had clean-ish clothes to wear.
3. She's always had a Mama and Papa tuck her in at night (or on 3 occasions in 3 months...just one of us).
4. She's had play dates with friends, stayed in a hotel in Louisville with Aunt Jill, visited grandparents, attended an NHS induction (at sat quietly), gone fishing, watched a movie in a movie theatre, visited farm animals, gone swimming, attended a minor league baseball game, visited an aquarium, attended her first Walk for Orphans (The Boaz Project), etc.

I think we're doing pretty good around here.  Even if we don't have it all figured out just yet.

This weekend she'll help us with a yard sale.  Next weekend she'll get to enjoy swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool (hopefully), and attend her first wedding.  The following week will be zoo time and meeting some cousins that look like they could be her sisters.  Then a summer full of play dates with other children adopted from Russia, a mini-vacation (potentially), and a week of CAMP with the youth.  She doesn't know that part yet, but I guarantee she'll be thrilled.

Random thoughts and info:
1. I was always frustrated when my favorite blog family got their child and then stopped updating.  I'm sorry.  I'm now that family.
2. Sveta didn't want to sleep in her room for rest time earlier this week...when I asked why she said, "because Jesus says no."
3. At night she says, "Mama, I scared uh...."  And pauses for a long period of time before she says "shadows."  But she plays with her shadows during the day.
4. She's been asking us to feed her more recently.  Not sure what that's about.
5. We're starting a job chart.  Her chores: make bed (well, kinda), brush teeth (2x a day), help set table, and clean up toys.
6.  She loves to play soccer, help in the kitchen, dance, sing, be silly...and yesterday as we were watching Barry mow the grass (and painting our fingernails) she said, "I like my daddy."  Amazing.

She's growing and learning and is beautiful.  We can't imagine life without her...and we look back on the frustrations of paperwork as times that seem so long ago.  She's ours.  We're hers.  And we couldn't be more thankful to our Creator who knit us all together.  Nor could we be more thankful to those that supported our journey, and continue to do so. 

All of our adoption costs thus far are taken care of...the only thing left to pay is $1,000 total for our post-placement reports.  $250 on May 30.  $250 at 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.  Then, maybe we'll be done.  Or maybe we will be filing more paperwork.  Who knows.

Only God.  He's good.  And we'll continue to follow Him.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Romans 12:1-2

Sveta's growing like crazy...I'll just list crazy things she's said or done recently to show you how much she's learning!!

1. I got off the phone after apologizing to the lady on the other end for forgetting to do something.  Sveta said, "Who's that?"  I answered. "What she says?" I again answered. "Mama forgot?" Yes, yes, I forgot.  "It's ok, mama, I'll help you."

2. Today, she took her own shoes off in the house, after I asked her to leave them on.  Now, she didn't really understand that we were leaving really soon again...but she WANTED to be barefoot.  This from the girl who says the grass hurts her feet to walk on it.

3. We went to a National Day of Prayer service today on the square downtown, and all of these pastors were praying for different things allowed (including her Papa).  We got almost to the end and she whispered to me, "Sveta's turn. I pray now." 

4. She reads her little "a" book to us each night...and LOVES to point out letters.  She still is convinced that "STAPLES" says "SVETA", but whatever. :)

5. She's adjusting really well to having people over, going different places, and not needing a nap everyday.  She's a joy and it's so so exciting to see her grow and learn.  I'd post more pictures, but the computer I have doesn't really work well, and Barry's won't use our internet card anymore.  We're working on it.

On a different note:  Romans 12:1-2 says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I have been thinking about how I conform to the pattern of the world.  I want the American dream some days...and I'm not convinced that's what I need to be living for.  Why do I strive to make more money, to have a bigger house, with prettier things, to have 2.5 kids and a dog, to drive the nicest cars (ok, this one isn't big for me...I drive a honda that currently has a muffler that's hanging on my a thread), to go on big vacations, to be comfortable?

I am so consumed with myself, my wants, my desires, my's truly revolting.  So I care about the orphans in I really care about my Jesus and what HE is about?  Do I care that many of the products I buy come to me because lives are being exploited and people are working in inhumane factories to create what I desire. 

Is my need for a latte really more important than a person's life and dignity? 
It's not.  Even when sometimes I behave as if my latte is more important, it isn't...and I PRAY that I begin to live out that conviction.  Found some websites today I'm going to check out about major corporations that operate sweatshops in other countries.  And, I know, I'm back to other countries...I'm just of the belief that a human life is a life created by matter what country that human life is in.  So, yes, I will fight for God's children in Russia, India, Cambodia, China, and...right here in my backyard.  No one should go one should be treated inhumanely. Jesus knows all about being treated inhumanely...he was put to death on a cross, and was buried in a borrowed tomb.  I need to stop worrying so much about my own dignity, and start thinking about the dignity of others.

Oh, Lord, how far I am from where I'd like to be.  Teach me, show me, grow me, use me.