Thursday, December 31, 2009

So Long 2009

I am tempted to say "good riddance" and well, I guess I just did! 2009 was a very tough year - quite the roller coaster filled with lots of disappointments. I am trying to remember the good as well. I know there were some wonderful moments, but in my current state I just can't seem to put my finger on any of those memories - I need to read back through some old blog posts and my journal and dig some up!

My dear friend who also happens to be my pastor, Mike feels that 2010 will be a "banner year". I am hopeful that he has "heard correctly" and this will be the case!

In any case, Happy New Year! May 2010 be a year of reunification and reconciliation!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Blogging Friends

I just want to wish all of my blogging friends a very Merry Christmas! Your comments and support through this long journey mean so very much to me! Your support holds me up when I feel like I am sinking in the sadness of this wait.

May the Prince of Peace fill you with the peace that only He can bring during this Season of Advent.

Isaiah 9:6

For a child is born to us. A Son is given to us. And the government will rest on His shoulders. These will be His royal titles:

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

The Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas Moonbeam!

Dear Sweet Moonbeam ~

Merry Christmas sweetie. I am thinking of you today and missing you terribly. I wish you were here to join in on all the fun of Christmas morning. Opening lots of Santa presents and looking through your stocking to see what goodies you might find there. Enjoying the yummy french toast that Uncle Denny made especially for us. I wish you could play with your cousin Aleah. I know Syd wishes she could play with you too.

Mama loves you and is praying for you all the time. And praying for the officials that they will get a move on and let you come home soon!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Advent and I.A.*

Advent is a season of waiting. A season of joyful anticipation of the birth of our Savior. There were more than 400 years of relative silence between Malachi and Matthew...400 years of waiting for the Messiah promised over and over by the prophets, finally fulfilled by a tiny baby's cry.

He was the answer everyone was waiting for.

And no one expected.

A warrior, yes!

A King - definitely!

A statesman - to be sure!

But a baby? Completely unexpected.

And yet, He was and still is, the perfect answer to a world in need of reconciliation, forgiveness, restoration, healing.

I.A. has turned out to be a season of waiting for me. Completely unexpected. As I anticipate the joyful homecoming of Moonbeam. As the wait drags on maintaining a sense of hopefulness is tricky. And yet hope I must. In light of who I know God to be - a God of reconciliation, a God whose heart is for the orphan. A God of mercy and compassion. My hope is in Him. In the one who will provide for Hannah and for me in unexpected ways. I don't want to be so caught up in my frustration that things don't look like I would have liked or expected that I miss His plan. And so I wait - sometimes in joyful expectation, other times in self - pity, but I wait nonetheless. I won't give up Moonbeam - I am still waiting, and hoping and praying that one day we will be reunited!

*I.A. = International Adoption

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog posts I've thought about, but haven't written yet

I've been quiet for awhile, but posts have been floating around in my head all month. Just can't seem to get the thoughts out of my head and onto the blog.

Here are some post titles I've been thinking about....

Life is Messy
Advent and IA
There are no Fairy Tales
Living with Loss
Waiting and Weight
Crazy or Committed?

Sounds cheerful huh? Maybe that's why they haven't actually made it to the blogosphere.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving - even though my sweet Moonbeam isn't home yet and that would be the ultimate in happy thanksgivings - I still have so much to be grateful for. Friends, family, a warm house, two furry children that I just adore. People that are praying like crazy for all of the children still living in the orphanages in Kyrgyzstan. New found friends who are also enduring this wait and understand completely what it is like to be powerless to move things along. And of course, what is Thanksgiving without turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Yum! Overall, it was a very good day.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What's a Bigger Number Than Cajillion????

I cannot freaking believe it, but yes indeed, I need to get more fingerprints! Unbelievable! To update my homestudy I needed new fingerprints and now to extend my I-600A I need new biometric fingerprints....ummmmmm because? I just had to get new fingerprints for my I-600A because the fingerprints expire in 12 months. However, when you request an extension you must get brand spanking new fingerprints...even if your last fingerprints are less than six months old. GRRRRRRRR!!!!!!
News reports out of Kyrgyz today seem to point to yet another new date...February 15th this time. Again, unbelievable!
I won't give up Moonbeam...I miss you.....I love you! I'm still fighting for you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I had something to share, but alas, I do not. Still praying like crazy for sweet Moonbeam's health and well being and for movement in the government. Trying to hold on to hope that one day this will all be a distant memory and she will be home - healthy and happy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fingerprinting Times 50 Cajillion!

OK, maybe not 50 cajillion - but it sure feels that way. And remind me again why USCIS cannot share the biometric prints I've given more than once with the FBI? ARGH!
So frustrating!
Funny story, while I was waiting to be called for my turn to be fingerprinted a man comes in and I hear him tell the lady at the counter that he is there to update his address for his concealed weapons permit (not the funny part :), she gives him a form and he comes over and sits next to me, notices me, makes eye contact and says "Are you here for your permit?"
I'm not sure what it might be about me that would say "needs a permit to carry a concealed weapon!" Very strange.
Well, this will all be worth it if Moonbeam gets to come home someday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This, I Know...

This baby crying picture is so me right now! Balled up fists, crying my eyes out!

As this wait drags on, I am finding myself frequently in tears as I think about sweet Moonbeam still living in an orphanage, without a family.

I am in tears thinking about her going through another winter there. It's cold!

And to be honest, I am in tears thinking about another holiday season without children of my own to enjoy it with.

I just can't make sense of this at all....and so I cry...often.

Don't get me wrong, I am not hopeless. I still firmly believe that Moonbeam and all of the waiting children will come home. I am just grieving the loss of this time with her. During these formative and crucial years for attachment and development, it breaks my heart that she is not with me. I grieve for both of us. I grieve for all the orphans.

So, in this mess of tears I am finding I have to be really vigilant about my thoughts. The words of Peter speak to me...

1Peter 5:8-11

8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

When I am alert, this, I know for sure: God is not powerless. He has not forgotten me, Moonbeam or any of the other waiting children. He is not sleeping on the job, He is at work. His plan will prevail! God is mighty to save. He is protecting Moonbeam's heart. His heart breaks with mine for the sweet children.

Joel 2:25 (King James Version)
25And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

I know I am totally taking this verse out of context, but the words keep coming back to me. I will restore to you the years the the locust hath eaten. I really believe that the Lord will restore these years of living in an orphanage to Hannah and me. This, I know....

Friday, October 9, 2009

From Butterflies to Disappointment

The wait continues and, in fact, looms larger. Our conference call today was hopeful from the standpoint that there is lots of advocating for the children happening at very high levels. BUT - well from the title you knew there had to be a but - once again there is absolutely no sense that anything will happen anytime soon. In fact, it's pretty clear that the wait is really nowhere close to over! ARGHHHHH!!!

I still feel very hopeful that this will eventually work out - and the officials on the call seemed to communicate that as well.

Even though I was trying to manage my expectations, I think I let myself hope that we might have some indication of a time frame.

Living with uncertainty is exhausting. I'm just ready to bring Moonbeam home. She needs to be with her family.


Today holds the possibility for good news! The butterflies are flying!
Lord - breakthrough!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


that pretty much sums it up....anticipation! With the renewal of hope there is also an anticipation of news, not just news, but good news. I wish I was free to share more, but suffice it to say that movement is occurring. Nothing definite, but movement nonetheless.

Over this past week the waiting 65 families have been supporting each other in ways that are hard to describe. One way that I wanted to share with you, was a post started by one of the dear moms called, "Thread for encouraging verses" - what a fabulous idea - by the end of the day there must have been over 50 verses posted - and encouraging is an understatement for sure!

It is inspiring and contagious to be a part of a group of families who are clinging to the Lord during this prolonged wait.

I especially like this post from one of the moms...
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
~ Romans 12:12, NLT

And so, in anticipation of our confident hope being fulfilled, I will leave you with this picture of Moonbeam and I strolling the grounds of the BBH. Hopeful that someday soon, you will be seeing pictures - including our faces - of us strolling the grounds of home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Renewed Hope, but a Breaking Heart, Nonetheless

It's funny, my hope continues to grow that Moonbeam will come home someday, but my heart is breaking in new pieces, knowing that I still have no concrete idea of when. In fact, I really don't know that we are anywhere near closer to a date than we have been in months. As November looms closer (October starts in two days, after all), I am reminded of just how little news or movement happened in November and December last year - so many holidays and days off.
We need a breakthrough, Lord.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Updating Paperwork

So, with a heart full of hope, I finally had it in me to write the two paragraph letter to USCIS to request the one time free extension of my I171-H*. Whew - takes a lot out of you. :-)

But seriously, I've just been putting it off because I've felt like nothing was happening so why bother? It's good to have some hope again. I know that we still have no idea when it will happen, but I have to say, I once I again feel like it's not if, it's when will Moonbeam come home?

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

*For those unfamiliar this is the approval one needs for immigration purposes - once we get Moonbeam the heck out of the BBH!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Friday Full of Hope

What a difference a couple of weeks make! My last post on 9/4 was a bit on the hopeless side.
Solomon was right when he wrote, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12).

While I don't have anything concrete to share in terms of a date to leave for the Gotcha Trip, we have had a flurry of news this week! A letter drafted by members of congress, including Ken Salazar from Colorado - (go Ken!) was sent to the Kyrgyz Embassy in DC and to Kyrgyzstan, requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister when he is in the States next week!

Along with the news of this letter, we also heard that a paper in Bishkek published an article specifically about International Adoption and stating that the Parliament is of the mind to lift the moratorium and process the adoptions of the 65 families while they overhaul the whole adoption process. Rather than making us wait until they finish re-writing the family code - which I applaud the Kyrgyz for doing. We want things to be transparent, ethical, legal and most importantly, in the best interest of the children!

I'm trying to manage my expectations, but I feel a surge of hopefulness. There is more potential for movement than we've had in months!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Fridays should be happy occasions - and the Friday before a three day weekend should be joyful! Right?
I realize that as this wait to bring Moonbeam home continues, I find myself very melancholy on Fridays.
Another week over.
Another week without news.
Another week older.
Another week of milestones missed.
Another week spent living in an orphanage.
Another weekend to wait through, knowing the next possible news will be Monday.

It just makes me so sad.....sigh

Monday, August 24, 2009

Defending the cause

Sadly, I've no news to share on the adoption front.
I've been spending time looking for Scripture that speaks to God's heart for orphans. Here are some wonderful pictures of this very heart:

In Isaiah 1:17, He commands us to
Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.

Proverbs 31:8 tells us to
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

Who would be more speechless, more powerless, more oppressed, than orphans living in institutions?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

On the plane to Maui....

about 10 minutes in to the movie, my sister leans over and says to me, "why is this movie in Spanish?"
I only had to look at her arm rest to discover the why:
Me: "Uh, that's because you're listening to it on the Spanish channel - English is on channel 1"
As Syd would say, "Duh!"
Sorry, sis, this story was just too funny not to tell! :-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Week "Off the Grid"

Much to Lucy's

and Cleo's

dismay, the humans of our family, spent last week here...
enjoying views like this...
and this....
not to be outdone by this...
in fact much of the week, my view looked like this...
and while we shan't speak of how this evening ended, we enjoyed such things as a dinner cruise
and a delicious meal here...

A grand time was had by all! I feel so relaxed and refreshed. It's good to be "off the grid" for a time. I didn't check email, voicemail, my blog or any of the yahoo groups I belong to - it was actually quite a relief! I sure wish my sweet Moonbeam could have joined us! I thought about her every day and I continue to pray without ceasing for her and all of the waiting children. Lord, bring them home!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hannah's 3rd Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Moonbeam's third birthday - although it was bittersweet without her there. Next year for sure! Sadly, Syd and Kristi had a previous commitment and couldn't join us. Do I have some amazing friends, or what? All willing to celebrate my sweet girl even before she is home. I hope someday she will see these pictures of all the friends that loved her long before they even met her, and feel incredibly special!

The princesses eagerly awaiting the cake!

The queens awaiting the cake :-)

The lovely Kristen (on the far right in the picture above) made this delicious cake - complete with Skittles for decoration. It was divine! Yum!

Ready to blow out the candles.

Waiting for the cutting of the cake.

The girls generously opened Hannah's presents :-)

Having fun.

Being silly.

The rest of the crew.

We love you Hannah!

Monday, August 3, 2009

One Year Ago Today, Part Two

One year ago today, I was boarding a plane for London and then transferring to a flight for Bishkek, to meet Moonbeam for the first time! I boarded that plane feeling nervous, excited and a bit overwhelmed. I remember thinking, what does one wear to meet their daughter? (this became a non-issue when my luggage was delayed for four days :-) What an amazing trip! I had such a wonderful time and over the course of that week of visits I bonded with Hannah in a way I never expected. She became my daughter that week. And no matter how long it takes....I will wait to bring her home forever!
Part One here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Moonbeam!

Dearest Moonbeam,
I cannot believe you are three today! Happy birthday sweetie! Even though you are so far away, I think of you everyday! I am praying for you constantly. I cannot wait to hold you in my arms again and whisper how much I love you!
I am thinking of your birth mom today and praying for her as well. I am so grateful to her for giving you life. I know she must ache to be far away from you as I do.
I am praying that you have lots of smiles, hugs and happiness to celebrate this day!
You are precious to me and more importantly to God who takes great delight in you!
We are having a party for you tonight! We will have birthday cake made by Auntie Kristen, and ice cream and decorations from Auntie Lesa. You are so very loved! I cannot wait until you are home forever.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank you for your ideas

Thank you so much to those of you who left comments and sent me emails. I really appreciate all of your ideas! I will definitely be throwing a party for Hannah tomorrow evening as a part of our Bible Study gathering!
My dear friend Beulah is baking a cake. Lesa is getting decorations and ice cream. I'll be bringing a few little gifts. Now, if I can just get through the evening without spending the whole thing crying! It's a celebration of Moonbeam's life, after all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Celebrate?

Well, Hannah's 3rd birthday is less than a week away. Sadly, she is far too many miles away, still living in an orphanage.
So, I'm wondering, how to celebrate? Luckily the evening of her birthday I will be at a Bible Study with a group of dear friends - so I'm half tempted to plan a bit of a party? Any ideas out there? Any families who have had to celebrate a birthday without their child being physically present?
Please leave a comment - I am feeling really blue and could use some input....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Call to Pray, Part 3

On July 23rd (which is during the night tonight, for us) Kyrgyzstan will hold presidential elections.
Please be praying that the election will go smoothly, that there will be peace while the people vote, and that the election would be uncontested.
Please pray that in the days following the elections any other remaining "obstacles" to completing adoptions are removed - swiftly!
Please pray that God would move on the hearts of those who stand in the way of completing the adoptions. Pray that He would break their hearts for the children and compel them to act - again I say, swiftly!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quotable Quotes

I absolutely love this quote from Richard Baxter. He was a 17th century English theologian.

“In necessary things - Unity;
in doubtful things - Liberty;
in all things - Charity.”

I would like my life to reflect this.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

All Quiet on the Adoption Front

As we count down the days to the Kyrgyz presidential election, news on the adoptions has become even quieter (if that's possible - what could be quieter than deafening silence?). We aren't likely to hear much until September at the earliest, as many Kyrgyz government offices vacation in August.
Hang on, Moonbeam and friends, you are not forgotten, you are loved and being prayed for daily by so many.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4 Days Without Luggage

Have you been wondering why I'm wearing the same thing in every picture posted from my visit trip to Kyrgz? Sadly, I've been feeling a bit self-conscious because I haven't really explained why. The story is that both my and Elisabeth's suitcases were delayed. I mean really delayed! We arrived very early Monday am into Bishkek and our luggage finally caught up with us late on Thursday night.

Have I mentioned what the weather is like in Bishkek in August? Well let me just say scorching hot! And not an air conditioner to be found - except for the one in our driver's car. And with five people packed into a Jetta - well - you can imagine!

You know, when you're without the comforts of home and you're visiting your daughter in an orphanage - you begin to realize what is really important. And clean clothes and air conditioning just aren't at the top of the list.

Each day when we arrived at the orphanage I wondered how much clothing Moonbeam would be wearing? On some visits she had nothing more than panties on. Which I don't think she minded too much since it was brutally hot, but still, it just really emphasized for me just how much stuff I own. It was a really humbling experience. And a very good life lesson to be learned - again and again.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we should all sell everything and live in poverty. However, I find that I am focused on living from a more grateful space and I continually try to be generous with what I have.

Back to the story, when Elisabeth and I arrived in London on Saturday, for our vacation time there, it was so exciting to need a sweater (London seems to be cool, wet and rainy all year long) and to find our luggage made it with us this time! Not sure I've been happier to greet a suitcase!

Do we look a little giddy? :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Lately I've been wishing I could post some adorable pictures of Moonbeam here on my blog! But, alas, until she has her feet firmly on US soil I cannot. So, I was thinking - why couldn't I post some pictures of my visit trip last year that show you all (well, at least those of you that aren't also adopting from Kyrgyzstan - you will already know this) what an amazing country Moonbeam is from!

A beautiful ballet/opera house:

A park in the city....I never did figure out why they paint all of the bases of the tree trunks white? Anyone?

Our driver took us up into the mountains one evening - it was a gorgeous drive. We followed this river through the mountains.

A summer Yurt along the river. There were some amazing horses grazing alongside. Syd adores horses so I had to get a few pictures of them.

We drove all the way to this little restaurant called 12 Chimneys. They have these outdoor tables - each with a little fireplace - and thus, 12 Chimneys.

Great memories....I cannot wait to make new ones with Moonbeam!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Faithfulness, Part Two

Sometimes God reminds us of His faithfulness through the stories of others. Today was one of those days for me.

I had the opportunity to go to Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church this am. I went to hear my friend Tami speak about her adoption journey in Kyrgyzstan. Cherry Creek Pres is hosting Tami's "Red Card" program. It's an eight week Sunday School program designed to teach families about advocating for Children at Risk around the world. Find out more about this amazing program here.

Anyhow, I digress, Tami shared about God's faithfulness to her both during the adoption journey and since. It was so encouraging to hear the many ways that God answered prayer for her daughter and others. As I listened, with tears in my eyes, I felt a surge of hope! As if God was reminding me, I haven't forgotten, I am at work, I do have a plan.

After she shared her story, Tami passed out pictures and prayer requests from six of the waiting families (including me). She asked each of the tables to pray over the child and the requests from the waiting family. She also asked them to write notes of encouragement to the family. It was such a blessing to know that over 100 people were praying for the waiting 65 families. I stuck around at the end and helped Tami collect the cards from the tables - I was so excited to see how many cards there were! At least 5 per family and some even more than that (some of the tables were fuller than others)! It will be so fun to get these in the mail and will be yet another reminder of how God is touching lives through this wait.

At the very end of the time, as people were leaving, this little old man came up to me, with tears in his eyes, to tell me he was praying for me and for my daughter. He gave me a hug and had to turn away - he told me "you know, I just don't cry". OK, now I'm crying.

God is so faithful! I love the 3rd chapter of the book of Lamentations. It lists all the reasons for hopelessness, and there are many of them in this case, but then a turning point in verse 21 and following:

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

Yes, great is Your faithfulness, dear Lord!
Read the whole chapter here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I love fireworks, but generally hate the crowds associated with a fireworks display. I'm just not all that interested in joining the masses to wait around for a few hours to enjoy 15-30 minutes of beauty! Tonight we had friends over for a BBQ. When they all left to find fireworks to watch, I tuned in to PBS to watch A Capitol Fourth. :-) Am I getting old or what?
I was reminiscing today about 4th of July's gone by and remembered one of my favorite years - 1989 - I was in Greece - on the beach in Ios - a smaller Greek Isle. I had the wonderful opportunity to travel throughout Greece and Cyprus for 5 weeks that summer with a bunch of college friends. Ahhhhh :-)
Hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating the freedom we enjoy as citizens of this grand country. In spite of her many faults, I still count myself incredibly privileged to live here in the good ole' US of A!
Fireworks image found here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Home Study Update

Today was my home study update visit. It was rather bittersweet for me. I cannot believe that I have to go through all of this paperwork and visits etc yet again and sweet Moonbeam still isn't home. (Insert big, heavy sigh here) I've been feeling rather blue lately. OK - I just re-read what I wrote and I'm thinking "wah, wah! Get over yourself, many families have gone before you and have had to update many times! And someday, this will all be worth it!"

On the sweet side, while here, my social worker and I discussed the domestic waiting child program and how the process will unfold. That is exciting and something to look forward to. She even said that it is possible I may have a child at home by the Fall! Wow! To borrow a line from Pamela, I may be having the longest and the shortest pregnancies simultaneously! ACK!

Funny story, Syd told the social worker that she cannot wait for Hannah 1 and Hannah 2 to come home. :-) Even though I have told her they will not both be named Hannah, she tells me, "well, we don't know what the 2nd little girl's name will be so I'm just going to call her Hannah 2 for now." Ahhh, laughter, it's good for the soul.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Long June

I cannot believe June is over. Another July is here and it's Moonbeam's birthday month! In fact, a month from today she will be three years old.
It's so hard to know that she will spend her 3rd birthday in the orphanage. I never dreamed that a year later I would still be waiting to bring her home. But I do feel hopeful that this will be her very last birthday spent in the orphanage!
So, so long June! May July be a month with lots of good news!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fabulous Friday

I was in Washington DC for business over the past few days. OK - that's not the fabulous part, it's coming - be patient.

One of the things I have been noticing lately is how there are many blessings associated with this dismal wait! I've always loved how God can take something that seemed incredibly horrendous and turn it into the most amazing blessing one could imagine! (Think Joseph and the way his brothers sold him into slavery - that had a wonderfully happy ending. Or, on a lighter note, turning lemons into lemonade.)

What the enemy means for our destruction God can redeem and use for good purposes! (my paraphrase of Gen. 50:20)

All that said, here's the FABULOUS part. I had the opportunity to meet another amazing PAP and, until now, virtual friend - Pamela. She is adopting the lovely miss Tulla Belle from the BBH where Hannah also resides. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Pamela online and on the phone so it was just wonderful to meet in person. She is an amazing woman, with a heart for God and to top it off she is passionate about the welfare of children.

And, if all this weren't enough, Pamela invited Tom and Rebecca from Joint Council on International Children's Services to join us. JCICS is working tirelessly to cut through the red tape and help the waiting families bring our children home! Tom and Rebecca are both passionate about children's issues and are committed to connecting them with loving families. I got to know each of them better over drinks and dinner. We had such a great time. We laughed and talked and sippped a few drinks. Before we knew it over three hours had passed. Not only are Tom and Rebecca amazing advocates for children, they are a ton of fun! It truly was a Fabulous Friday! One I wouldn't have missed for anything!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Faithfulness, Part One

Note: I started this post earlier this month and am just now getting back to posting's such a poignant reminder of what a roller coaster this adoption journey is. I am not deflated today at all, but who knows what this week will bring....sigh.

As I sit here feeling completely deflated, I am filled with the sense that I need to remember His faithfulness to me. One of the things I love about reading the Old Testament are the many places where the Israelites take time to remember, aloud, the many ways that God has been faithful to them. There are literally dozens of passages where the people recount all that God has done for them.

I feel like I need to do that - I need to recount the many ways that I have seen God's faithfulness to me on this adoption journey and I know there are many! I need to remember and choose not to lose hope!

I remember...during my wait for a referral I prayed that You would not send me to Kyrgyz on my visit trip by myself. There was a VERY small window of time that my dear friend Elisabeth would be able to accompany me. And You worked that out down to the very day! Thank You Lord!

I nervous I was about meeting the other family that would be sharing this experience with me. I was concerned how the details would work themselves out - sharing a driver, translator, 5 people in a Jetta in over one hundred degree weather! Thank You Lord for Jeff and Lisa - what a blessing it was to get to know them! How privileged I feel to have shared my visit trip with them. They will definitely be friends for life! :-)

Lord, You are faithful!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today I said yes, I will be your mama Moonbeam. I will never stop feeling like your mama! I pray for you everyday. I miss and love you!

I Think He likes Me Better

I just came back from a very brief business trip to Orlando. I left yesterday at 3pm and I'm already home. Here's an excerpt from my conversation with Syd when I got home tonight...

Syd....Did you go to Disney World?
Syd....Awww. Was it a business trip?
Syd.....Awwww. I was hoping you'd get me a present from Disney.
Me.......Oh, well, I didn't make it to Disney
Syd......Well, I'm going to buy my own present when we go on vacation.
Me.......Says who?
Syd......Says me. With money from Papa
Me.......(cracking up) You are one lucky little girl. You know Papa never gave me money when I was a little girl
Syd.......Well, I think he likes me better!

And you know what, I think she's right :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Snoopy Dance

Just in case you weren't too sure what Snoopy dance I might have been referring to in my last post....

Image found here

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Call to Pray, Part 2

I don't feel at liberty to share the details, but God is on the move! I truly believe that we are seeing some positive signs that progress is being made to bring the kiddos home. I still have no idea of the when or the how soon, but I feel confident that we are "trending positive", and that is something to celebrate!
I think I'll be doing my happy dance tonight - picture Snoopy!
Thank You, Lord for Your presence and peace! Thank You for Your unending mercy and patience with me as I have, of late, tended to assume the worst and not the best. Thank You that You have not forgotten these orphans and that You are on the move to place them in families!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Bit of an Anniversary

I realized that this time last year I was in the midst of considering the referral of my sweet little Moonbeam. I received her picture and information for the first time on June 11, 2008! I remember staring at the picture, wondering are you my daughter? Oh, how I wish I could post that sweet little picture here, but not until you are home forever! I went back and looked at my journal from those days and it was so fun to remember the things that God did to confirm in my heart that yes indeed you were/are my sweet little Hannah!

I looked at the notes I took from my conversation with Dr. Ochs - a Pediatrician who is also an adoption specialist. I emailed him Moonbeam's medical information and her picture. The first thing he said to me on the phone was, "the picture says it all, I think you have to go and pick her up". He told me that "you just can't fake a smile like that, she must be being well cared for".

It's hard to believe that an entire year has passed and she is still living in an orphanage. I don't understand this at all, but I will wait. And perhaps the three Kyrgyz women who have begun to champion our cause will have great success in their upcoming meetings with parliament! I know they have many people praying for this to be true!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Crazy Eights...tagged

We interrupt the waiting for a game of ....

It's true; I've been tagged by the dear Maria in a game of Crazy Eights.

8 Things I'm looking forward to...
1. Bringing home Hannah
2. Meeting Jesus face to face
3. Asking Him lots of questions - like what's up with this wait? (in a most respectful way!)
4. Maternity Leave which leads me to my next dream...
5. No more travel for work :-)
6. Leading worship in Breckenridge this Fall with my band peeps.
7. Watching Syd and Hannah get to know each other
8. Watching Hannah get to know Lucy and Cleo - now that should be a hoot!

8 Things I did Yesterday
1. Presented all day long at a user group meeting for my sales job
2. Watched the Nuggets lose - it was a great series though.
3. Updated my blog with great news of answered prayer!
4. Got the scoop from Ann about the day in DC by phone :-)
5. Enjoyed a Drumstick (of the ice cream variety)
6. Got up way too early, in my opinion! (6am)
7. Caught up with an old friend, Marcy (she was at the user group meeting). She was one of the first to convince me that, of course, I could figure out how to pay for an international adoption! She's a single AP of two adorable girls from Guatemala.
8. Went to bed way too late (Midnight)

8 Things I wish I could do
1. Be a stay at home Mom
2. Bring my mom back.
3. Adopt at least one more child internationally
4. Speak Spanish Fluently
5. Learn Russian
6. Spend a month in Europe - especially Italy
7. Keep Cleo and Lucy alive forever!
8. Sing in a Broadway Musical

8 Shows I watch (sadly, I probably can fill this list!)
1. Lost
2. The Closer
3. Ugly Betty
4. Barefoot Contessa (LOVE her!)
5. Will & Grace
6. Giada at Home
7. Anything with Ice Skating
8. Battlestar Galactica (I'm a scifi geek!)

8 Fellow Bloggers tagged:
2. Lisa at Ladybug Baby
7. Jackie at Me Plus One
8. Suzanne at Steeper Than Expected

Friday, May 29, 2009

God Is On the Move!

I'm too exhausted to write much, but I must share that God is moving hearts. One of my prayers requests was that God would break the hearts of the officials for the children! This morning at about 11am MDT I received a text from dear Ann that simply stated "not a dry eye in the room".

Keep praying people! :-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Call to Pray!

This evening I sat down to compose an email prayer request to friends and family. I decided to send that same prayer request out to the blogosphere! Oh, and a big shout out to JCICS and the US DoS - Office of Children's Issues for all their hard work in making this meeting a reality! I appreciate them so very much!

Dear Friends and Family –

I know I've been sending lots of email requests and I truly don’t want to overload you - so feel free to delete this if you’re getting tired of hearing about all of the adoption drama – I know I’m sick to death of the whole mess! But I won’t stop praying and I cannot stop trying advocate in whatever way I can to bring my girl home! She needs to be here, in a family, out of the orphanage! And so do the 64 other waiting children! Hannah turns 3 on July 30th – a third birthday in an orphanage - it just about breaks my heart!

I’m writing to ask you to be praying this Friday. Five waiting families and one family who completed their adoption will be meeting with Kyrgyz officials in Washington DC. These officials were invited by the US Dept of State as a part of their International Visitor’s Program. One small part of their time in DC will be this 90 minute meeting with these families and adoption officials.
Please be praying that
· God will break their hearts for the children.
· The truth about why Americans adopt will be made crystal CLEAR to each of these officials – there is such a negative impression about why we adopt (some believe we adopt for body parts) The Kyrgyz seem to have no cultural frame of reference for International Adoption or domestic adoption for that matter. I think this leads to some fear about why people would adopt.
· Pray for Ann, Lisa, Pamela, Suzanne, Shannon and Cyndi that they will be able to communicate clearly with the officials all that is on their heart – this is such an emotional time for all of us that I know it won’t be easy for them.
· Pray for Cyndi’s son Kenny who was adopted from Kyrgyzstan and is now 11 years old – he wants to address the officials and tell them how wonderful it is to be adopted and what life has been like since leaving the orphanage a few years ago. A quote from Cyndi’s blog “Kenny and I are both pretty scared. Kenny said "I want to help those babies come home, Mommy...but what if I say the wrong thing?". I reassured him there was nothing he could say that would be wrong, that he simply needed to share his story.” If you’d like to read more about this family check out their blog:
· Pray that these officials will leave this meeting with changed hearts and minds about allowing their children to be adopted by foreigners.
· Pray that the officials will return to Kyrgyzstan and be bold in sharing what they heard and learned and most especially their changed beliefs about international adoption!
I could go on and on – so pray as the Holy Spirit leads!
Thank you so much for all the ways you are each supporting me on this roller coaster journey! It’s not a journey I would have picked, but I will tell you this, my relationship with Jesus is deeper than it’s ever been and that’s something I wouldn't trade for anything!
Love to each of you!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Go Nuggets!

I just love me some Basketball - it's really the only sport I enjoy watching. And I need a break from the "WAIT"!
It's hard not to catch the Nuggets Fever here in Denver! And, even though I grew up in LA cheering for the Lakers, ya just gotta love the underdog! There's no way anyone would have believed the Nuggets would have made it this far! I'm just sayin'

So here's a shout out to the local heroes of the hour! Go Nuggets! Woot!
Image found here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Big Decision

About a week ago I made the decision to pursue a concurrent adoption. I am in no way giving up on bringing Hannah home - I will wait as LONG as it takes! I believe that God has called me to be her mama. I also have always wanted to have two children and the longer this wait becomes the more I feel I should begin the process of daughter number two. It's been a really hard process. I have been thinking and praying about this for months. I haven 't acted until now, because I didn't feel I had clear direction and couldn't get any peace about it. The peace finally settled on me about a week ago and I decided to "go until I get a NO!" (gotta love that Erwin McManus - see a great video about this topic here.) Everything feels so out of control and part of me is just so ANGRY that this path has become so rocky! Even angry at God - thankfully, He is big enough to handle it and I believe, wants me to be honest about my feelings - don't believe me? Just read some of the Psalms of David - there's a man after God's own heart who also failed miserably (remember Bathsheba?) and vented his anger at God a time or two.
Anywho, I digress, I met with my agency, collected all of the necessary paperwork and left feeling pretty excited about going forward with adopting a waiting child from the foster care system. These feelings of excitement quickly faded as I began filling out the paperwork....ugh! This is round three of the arduous task of applying to adopt! (Guatemala - closed, Kyrgyzstan - on seemingly interminable delay and now domestic) Seriously, I must be a lunatic! Nobody signs up for this much punishment! Sigh....
But, I will move forward - feelings change all of the time and I don't feel lack of excitement about the paperwork is the "No" that would lead me to stop. And overall I am still excited about the other side of the paperwork...a sister for Hannah!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Very Long Week

Never a dull moment in the world of International Adoption - a conference call with my agency on Tuesday this week left me completely shaken and totally discouraged. Somehow I had to pull myself together enough to see clients and finish the work week. By last night I was exhausted and on the verge of tears. Somehow I made it through a church meeting and then my dear friend Lesa sat down next to me to ask how I was doing - well the dam burst and the tears started flowing - she led me down the hall to her youngest daughter's room where she barricaded the door with the toy box, propped me up on some pillows on the twin bed and let me ball my eyes out, blow my nose into the piglet towel (no tissues and there would be no getting back into the room sans children if she left to retrieve some), and then prayed for me. About 40 minutes later we emerged and I fumbled my way home and into bed.
We had lunch plans today and when I picked her up, Lesa asked if I was available for the rest of the afternoon - well? why not? Surely work can wait! So we had lunch, went to see a great flick - Angels & Demons - have you read the book? Loved it! After the movie we went to Sprouts and bought some yummy fruit and produce. When we got back to her place she invited me in to sit in the hot tub. She made me a pomegranate vodka concoction (YUM!), a fabulous dinner and we hung out with the kids, played some cards (Canasta! I know, I'm an old lady at heart!) and forgot all about all the things that really stink in my world right now!
Thank you Lesa! I feel so loved and you are such a blessing! Special thanks also go out to my equally dear friend, and Lesa's husband Mike for getting the kiddos to bed last night and then watching the kids all afternoon today so that Lesa could love on me!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Queen.....Of This Post

The marvelous Queen Shannon has given me the great honor of being Queen of All Things Awe...summm! And since I am dying for a distraction from the depressing adoption news of late, I've decided to take on the challenge of this post.
I am to list 7 awe-summm things about myself! It's funny I work with my clients on making lists like this all the time, but this is gonna be hard. Perhaps the best reason for doing this! If I'm gonna make my clients do this, surely, I should be able to!
1. I am loyal to the core! Friends, family, co-workers - I always try to assume the best about people.
2. I am a darn good public speaker. Whether it's teaching class, leading a Bible study, leading worship, presenting the software I sell, or my favorite, sharing at church (notice I didn't say preaching - that's too scary a word!) - I think I do an fantabulous job.
3. I am an excellent listener - I guess it goes along with the being a therapist thing!
4. I am an encourager. I love giving people positive feedback and noticing the good in others.
5. In most areas of my life, I am determined! I don't give up, hence the two year wait, thus far, to bring home my girl!
6. I am great with kids - I hope this translates to great mom! We shall see...
7. I strive to focus on the positive - I'm not always successful, but it is always a goal I am pursuing! I have so much to be grateful for!
Speaking of things I'm grateful for...I am to tag 7 fellow bloggers as Queen! And I am so grateful for each of them:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

It would be so easy to spend the day thinking of the sadness that is in my heart without sweet Moonbeam home, and believe me I've already had a good cry, BUT instead I would like to focus on the many women who have had an impact on my life.
My beautiful mom who was such an amazing woman. She was selfless, patient, kind, strong and a whole bunch of fun! I miss her and pray that I can be half the mom to Moonbeam that she was to me.
My sister, Kristi, is an amazing mom - she is patient and kind with Syd. Being a single mom is a ton of work, but Kristi handles it with grace and an incredible amount of strength!
My mom's twin sister, Auntie Jan. I have so many wonderful memories of time spent with her and I can't wait for her to meet sweet Hannah - I know she will be the grandma that Mom won't get to be. I always feel so loved and accepted by her! She is full of life and fun and lots of ways to make you feel special!
Oh, the list could go on and on - I have been blessed by so many women. And I feel grateful for their presence and influence on my life. I am hopeful that I will be able to follow in their footsteps as a mom!
Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! May you enjoy your families and feel loved and appreciated!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Two Years Later....

Two years ago today I made the decision to pursue adoption. I cannot believe that two years have gone by! I also cannot believe that my sweet Hannah is not home! ARGHH! I can't help but wonder, would I have signed up for this if I'd known it would take more than two years? Yes, I believe my answer is a resounding yes!

It's been quite the journey. I know it will be worth every moment of waiting. I believe with all of my heart that she will come home.

A good friend gave me an article once that was titled "Don't Waste Your Cancer" - bottom line the message was that no matter what the trial, there can be infinite value in living through whatever the "cancer". I'm truly trying not to "waste this wait". I'm listening Lord - whatever you need to say to me I want to hear, whatever you need to teach me Lord, I'm open to learn, however you'd like to use me Lord, I'm willing. But Lord if I could hear, learn and be used quickly so Hannah could come home that would be
GREAT! :-) Note: Just to clarify, I am not in any way saying that I believe that God is causing Hannah to wait and live longer in an orphanage because He has things to say, teach or do with me. I don't believe that for a minute. However, I do believe that if I let Him, He has much to say, teach and do in and through me while I wait. Make sense?

Not my will, but Yours Lord.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

He Knows My Tangled Ways

My dear friend and fellow Adoptive Mom, Loretta, recently gave me a devotional book - Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman - find it here. I have really been enjoying the entries. I discovered this poem and it brings me great comfort to know that He knows my tangled ways! What a tangled mess they are lately!

Be quiet! Why this anxious heed
About your tangled ways?
God knows them all.
He gives you speed
And He allows delays.
It's good for you to walk by faith
And not by sight.
Take it on trust a little while.
Soon will you read the mystery aright
In the full sunshine of His smile.

(L.B. Cowman. Streams in the Desert. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1997. p. 162.)

What a good reminder of His sovereignty! And while I have no idea why He would allow these delays, there is comfort in knowing He is still in control!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day!

In honor of the first day of one of my favorite months, I thought I'd post some photos taken by the delightful Miss Syd! This photo shoot occurred on a very snowy day a couple of weeks ago and she had such a blast taking all of these. I know she'll be thrilled to see them on my blog :-)

Yeah, Lucy's not a very big fan of the snow. Considering her belly is only about 2 inches off the ground and there's more than 6 inches of snow on our deck who can blame her?

The marvelous Cleo.

Lucy is happiest on some one's lap!

OK, so they're both happiest on my lap.
The only trouble is where will there be room for my two furry girls when Hannah gets home?
Now, there's a problem I'd like to have a need to solve!