Tuesday, March 31, 2015

To The Moon

Sveta & Daddy

Once a little girl who was afraid of men,  now a daughter, his little girl. She loves her daddy to the moon...and back. 

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Where It All Began

Our host "daughter" Lucy (in black), summer 2013

In 2011 we adopted our little one, Sveta Josie. In 2013 we were led to host. I had never really understood hosting and wondered if it was unfair to the child to have a them come for summer then send them back. Now I understand that for older kids, hosting can serve as the last hope of a family finding them. Our host girl, now Lucy, has lived a lifetime of harsh reality and heartbreak. She shared with us many things from her life that summer. Most of all, she shared she deeply longed for family. Her own, forever family. 
She is introspective, artistic and expressive through writing.
She expressed how hard it was living as an orphan with no one to cheer her on in life, school, activities. She needed a mom, a dad. 
A family.
That summer was an up and down journey. 
We had never had a teenage daughter and certainly struggled with language.
Our teen son would blast his american music while Lucy would blast her russian. It was like a music war upstairs. 
There were times I hid in my room.
There was a lot of laughter, silliness, tears, misunderstandings, drama, and prayer.
God worked in each of our hearts that summer.
Lucy asked the Lord into her heart that summer, tears streaming down her face, overwhelmed by how much she is loved.
As I rejoice that Lucy is finally home with her family I am reminded that it all began that summer, 2013. I am honored our family played a part in Lucy's family finding her.
We will forever have a connection to this sweet girl.
I was reading an early blog post of Lucy's mom's and am reminded Jesus really IS our Knight in Shining Armor. His plan is perfect.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Faulty Focus?

Struggling here. To find focus, clarity. To even have a positive attitude.

I've been sick for so many weeks and just can't seem to get better.
And you know what? I'm so sick of feeling sick!!!!
Do ever have days when you look around and you can only see the chaos, the dirty floor, the laundry piling up, piles of papers to tend to, kid's projects (seriously, my son had to make a FLYING SQUIRREL while I had the flu, in addition to that timeline thing Sveta had to do!). Realizing there is no toilet paper in the house...again! Or food for dinner! 
I'm going positively stir crazy.My focus is all over the place,  and I'm afraid, in the absolute wrong places right now.
I like to go back to my Calm My Anxious Heart (Linda Dillow) book during these times.
Today I zoned in on "faulty focus" and read "we live in a state of myopic mania that blurs the future. The horizon is never visible in the middle of a dust storm. But we must have a vision that extends beyond tomorrow. Living only from week to week is like a dot-to-dot life. Often women without direction live not only dot to dot but ON HOLD, waiting...their faulty focus makes contentment an impossible dream."
My friends, I do not want to live a dot to dot life.
I want to live a focused life with a purpose.
It's so easy to get swept up in the daily chaos of life - family, kids, illness, jobs, and forget to focus on God as center.To forget I am "rooted and established in love" and focus instead on the wild swaying of the tree limbs in my life, not the trunk - my relationship with God.
Years ago, when Emma was alive and life was a crazy paradox - two wildly typical children and a little one with multiple health issues & therapies, I would begin to unravel after balancing months of doctor appointments, therapy appointments, sick children, multiple activities.
When I began to feel I was losing focus I would imagine my life in the shape of a plate.
And I would carve out pie shapes of each activity or responsibility.
You know what I would find?
There was not one single slice on that plate which was me focusing on my relationship with God!
So, I would begin getting rid of slices on the plate.
We would take a month off from dr and therapy appointments.
I would say No to people (sometimes that is a hard one to do!)
I would find a way to re focus on the things that truly mattered.
As years have worn on you would think I had the faulty focus thing all figured out.
What I have realized is that I am a work in progress.
That book I have sitting in my computer files may never get published, the children's memorial may never get built, there will be things I will always regret. 
But as long as I am focusing on the nourishment of my relationship with God, I'm not failing.
And even in the midst of chaos, at least He is on my side.
I'm not perfect. in fact I'm so very IMPERFECT.
So, as I look around today and see dossier paperwork, homestudy paperwork, dog hair all over the floor & a boy's bathroom that needs to be condemned, I will also see Him.
I will light a candle, turn up the music in my house, grab a broom and find focus.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Meet the Clark Family

This is a picture of some of the kiddos from Sveta's groupa in 2011.
All of the children on the back row have either been adopted or were sent to foster care situations. Sveta is the one wearing the poofs on her head (it was passport pic day).
I don't know what happened to the little chub of love in yellow on the front row.

But I am thrilled to announce the moppet in the red and white dress finally has a family coming for her! 

This particular little girl always stood out to Eli and I. She always had a smile and was forever trying to crawl into our arms. She has been on my heart for years, and I have prayed for the day she too would have a family of her own.

The Clark family has a precious little boy they adopted around the same time we adopted Sveta. He is thriving and is looking forward to having two new siblings. Bobbie and Grant Clark have once again said yes to adoption and are bringing home two beautiful girls, and I couldn't be more happy to support them. It takes a village of prayer, support and rallying around a family to bring a child out of darkness, something the enemy does not want to happen.
I am sharing this family with you because the little girl they are adopting has always been very special to our family and was a part of Sveta's life. 
I feel it is important to help other people when God lays something on your heart. 
Even if you are not led to donate would you consider sharing their story and praying for their journey? 
Whatever you do, it makes a tremendous impact.
To offer the Clark family financial support or a note of encouragement go to their 
Adopt Together Site HERE or Here through reece's rainbow.

To follow the Clark's journey check out their blog HERE.

Many blessings Clark family on this journey and I am keeping you in my prayers!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Gap

For the past week 1/2 I have had the flu. Of course for the first week I tried to convince myself it was just a nasty cold I couldn't shake. By the time I finally went to the doctor over the weekend I had developed secondary infections and have honestly never felt so bad in my life.
Flu as an adult is evil.
The combination of feeling overwhelmingly ill and inability to do absolutely nothing in regards to paperwork for the adoption or planning for fundraisers has left me in a pit. 
A pit of heightened emotions that explode in a waterfall of tears over any little thing.
I've been reminded over and over of the "contentment" in any situation post.
I've found that while it is difficult to feel content while suffering from the flu, unable to do anything for my family, it is possible to accept that I have no control over certain things.
Letting this settle into my heart leaves a sense of calm.

Over the weekend I managed to dig through Sveta's backpack and found this:

It's a social studies assignment, actually due today, Monday (not Thursday). 
The due date isn't really important.
The subject matter is what threw me into a tailspin.
I love Sveta's teacher. She's not just my daughter's teacher but she's also a friend, someone who our family has known for many years. She prayed, rallied and supported our family while we were adopting and has reveled in watching Sveta grow and develop since coming home. 

The assignment, to draw or tape four pictures with significant events from your life is not a huge feat to accomplish. We do actually have one tiny copy of a photo of Sveta on the day she was born. This was a unexpected gift, something we never thought was possible to have. The original will forever remain in Ukraine with someone who obviously thinks enough of that tiny photo to have held onto it for seven years. That's another story. But significant.
It's the four year gap after that baby photo which caused me to start feeling emotional and ridiculous crocodile tears began flowing. 
I called my mom and blubbered out all the things going through my mind,
"I don't know when she walked, talked, got her first tooth, what her first food was, first word." and on and on.
Sometimes you have to get all those emotions out to gain perspective.
After my pity party, I realized "Wait a minute, quit being a big blubbering goofball!!! I'm NOT going to focus on the FOUR YEAR GAP of details I don't know about my daughter's life!!"
I'm going to revel in the fact that for the REST of her life she knows there are people who will know the details, the accomplishments, the joy, and any sadness in her life.
And that while we don't know the details from those first few years, God does!
Her story is always going to be uniquely hers.
So, her assignment began in 2007 with her birth and what followed was a four year gap.
And it was okay.
Sveta's own unique timeline:
Her first day of pre school, her first birthday at age five, her first tooth to fall out. 

She was so very proud of her project.
Uniquely Sveta.