Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Confessions of a Writer's Failure

I l.o.v.e. to write.  Not poetry, not fiction, but just write.  I love great pens (I'm kind of a sucker for a great pen) and I love to get a new journal.  I love the feel of cardstock when I write on a card.  I love even typing my thoughts as I think them, and writing out prayers or letters (some of which I never even give).  But, here's my confession...as much as I want to be really good at writing a handwritten note, putting it in an envelope, addressing it, making sure it has correct postage, and getting it in the mailbox, I'm not good at it at all.  I write notes all the time to find them months later without a stamp. 

Let me start by saying I'm sorry.  I'm sorry that you gave, and you did not receive a thank you note.  I even had Sveta color pictures to send as notes once.  They are no longer able to be found.  I really want to express my appreciation for each individual gift and gesture, but now have no memory able to keep track of it all.  Sadly, I have failed.  Failed at writing thank you notes diligently.  Failed at thank you each properly for all of the sacrifices you have made to bring Sveta home.

So, here's my attempt to say thank you for being part of our lives for the last 19 months (or more):

Thank you. 
Thank you,
for praying,
for encouraging,
for bringing meals,
for buying toys, clothes, food, etc.
for sharing in the cost of our adoption,
for donating items to help ofset the cost of the adoption,
for loving us,
for loving Sveta,
for loving Jesus,
and orphans.

There have been so many who have shared the financial burden of adoption with us, and we cannot thank you enough.  I've not got the complete total figured, but it was well over what we anticipated spending to begin with...and yet, GOD has provided so many to join with us and bring Sveta home.

There have been so many who've brought a meal over, given a gift card, or treated us to ice cream right when we needed it.

There are many who've sent encouraging notes, emails, comments, texts, etc...and without those we would have been so discouraged.

There are many who respected our need to protect Sveta when she first came home...and it's paid off.  She's bonding well, and has a place in our family and knows it.  She's amazing...and she's already learning about who Jesus is (thanks to many of you).

We are so grateful for all that you sacrificed to help Sveta come home.  She is a joy to us everyday and we are so thankful that you were willing to be part of Sveta's story.

Are you willing to be part of another orphan's story?  (No, we're not planning to adopt again...yet)
I am so thankful that many took part in bringing Sveta home, now I wonder how many other orphans could have a home if we were willing to sacrifice again.  Let me know if you'd be interested in helping Greensburg as a community to be more aware of the needs of the fatherless in our community and world.  Let me know if you'd be willing to give some of your time to educate some, advocate for some, or even adopt some.

Check these websites out, and stay tuned for ways to get involved::

Let me know what you believe you need to do in response to Micah 6:8 and James 1:27.  I would LOVE to hear!!

And, thanks again for taking this journey with us!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

6 months...

So, in my last post I talked about how Barry and I have felt that we need to live radically, and how both houses are now on the market (Greensburg and Greenwood/Indianapolis).  Well, we have an accepted offer on the Greensburg house and the "Sale Pending" sign is now in our yard.  Incredible.

The first two people that saw the house made offers.  The first was GREAT.  The second we rejected because it was way off from what we wanted to get out of it.  God is working in huge ways just on this.  Unreal.  And, yet, it is real.

This week I started preschool with Sveta.  So far, so good.  She and I are both enjoying it...and she's learning so quickly!!

Yesterday was our "6 months home" day!  We ate potato soup to celebrate.  :)

She's been home 6 months:  Things she knows/does/has said/eats, etc...

1. Can count to 30 (except most days she skips 15 and 22)
2. Can count back from 10 to 1.
3.  Knows all of her letters.
4.  Knows all letter sounds (except she sometimes only remembers one of the sounds G and I make).
5. She knows the following shapes:  circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, star, heart.
6. She knows her colors:  white, black, gray, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink
7. She knows lots of direction words and gets right and left correct most of the time.
8. She will eat/drink burgers, pork, chicken, turkey, fish (salmon and tilapia), noodles, rice, cheese, milk, smoothies, green beans, carrots, potatoes, peppers (if you force her), tomatoes, fruit of all kinds (but she's not a big berry fan).
9. She uses full sentences and repeats whole stories.  She will have you read a book until she's got it memorized...and then she "reads" it.  She wants you to read at least 10 books a day. LOVE it.
10. She answers my cell phone if it rings even though she knows she isn't supposed to.
11. She still likes to pretend to be a baby and to be held and rocked (which I'm happy about).
12. She asks for moloko instead of milk to drink.  Simply because she can't really say milk and she is sick of me asking her to repeat it.  I like that she uses the Russian.  She also uses the word for "don't" and "and."
13.  She's super imaginative!!  She always has a different imaginative game to play: the newest is that we are sisters. 
14. She loves to play with her friends, but she's pretty bossy.  I guess being the oldest at the orphanage is partially to blame.
15. She constantly wants to go somewhere.  Anywhere.  She doesn't even care if it's just to the store.  She doesn't like to just be at home.
16. New phrases:  "check this out," "I got an idea," "how 'bout," "are you sure?" "are you kiddin' me?"
17. She loves to pray.  She sometimes just opens her eyes and thanks God for the fork, spoon, plate, and cup...but sometimes, like last night she said, "Thank you for God and for Jesus, and for everybody, and for life." 
18. She likes to use the churchy answers.  Jesus, and God are common answers when they don't make sense as the answer at all!

That's all I can think of for now.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl.  So blessed that God has put her in our lives!!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

3 blogs in one??

Sometimes I feel like I have tons and tons and tons of stuff that I want to share, and then life happens and I don't get to do it.  So, today, while Sveta is resting I'm going to try to share three thoughts:

1. Radical living:  It's really messing with me, this thought of living for Jesus.  When you become a beliver, people wrongfully give you the idea that it's all roses after that.  No one tells you that carrying your cross is difficult...I just thought it meant wearing it on my neck.  Jesus says you will be persecuted, He says that your reward will be in Heaven...which means we don't get it here.  But, He says it will be worth it...and I believe Him.  I'm looking at Jesus, and He's calling me...and our family...to live for Him in everyway: to sacrifice what we want to grow His Kingdom.  It's all that matters anyway. To live radically our family has decided that God is asking us to get out of debt.  So, here's our RADICAL plan:  sell our house in Indianapolis, sell our house in Greensburg, move in with Barry's parents, and spend WAY less and pay off our debts as fast as we can.  People think we are crazy, they don't understand, they think we're somehow "off."  I'm ok with that...because I don't want to be like the majority of American Christians who live no differently than the rest of America.  I don't want to go with the cultural norm, I want to go with the Biblical Command.  I'm shaken by the fact that we are more wealthy than 99% of ALL people.  ALL.  Me. Wealthy.  I don't see myself as that...and that's wrong.  So, we're trying to follow Jesus and live as He calls.

2. God is faithful.  All the time.  We listed our houses this week after painting, cleaning, and moving clutter around.  I'm thankful it's done.  Now just to keep it clean.  WOW. Hard.  But so so good.

3. I am not eating Dairy Queen.  Why?  Well, Barry and I had a brilliant plan to help us lose a little bit of weight.  Except I did eat OrangeLeaf earlier this week.  And, today after Sveta's 1st soccer game we went to Dairy Queen:  I ordered a water.  A water.  I was successful today.  Thank goodness!!