Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Last week Sveta asked me why we hang Emma's stocking if she's not here. Her innocent question gave me an opportunity to explain how we can still love and remember someone even if they aren't with us, and that Emma's stocking is a reminder that she's always with us in our hearts. We have great hope in the Lord and we will see Emma again. 
What hope, what truth.
Isn't that the true message of this season?
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."
The peace Emma has now is as incomprehensible to me as the peace I have with her being apart from me. How can I be at peace when she's no longer alive here with me?
God alone has done this in my heart.

But the wandering, the wondering, the crying out to God for clarity on other things in our lives - this is a blog post for the future. 
Perhaps, the most difficult post to come.

In the valley is where we have been for a very long time - searching, waiting.

Hope must lie in the valleys of life, I am learning this is where the most profound spiritual growth happens.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Sveta Update

I've been looking back at photos from before Sveta came home. 
She's grown so much in so many ways - physically, emotionally, developmentally. 
As we enter the 5th (wow!) Christmas season with our Sveta, I am so thankful that she is a part of our family.

 It is an honor to get to be her mommy. 
This photo is of Sveta and one of the precious volunteers who visited the orphanage weekly and played with the children in Sveta's groupa. Her name is Lilya. She adored Sveta. We still have contact with some of the volunteers we were blessed to meet that summer while adopting Sveta and they have been able to keep updated on her life, as well as pass on updates to her orphanage. 

Sweet, sweet baby girl. 

This is Sveta now, picture taken a few weeks ago. I have no idea why one arm/hand looks so large when propped up on the rail! She is one of the bravest children I know, she will try anything (even zip-lining!) and was so excited to try ice skating again. 

I haven't updated much about Sveta's progress or things we are doing. I suppose when you've been home four years everything is so routine you forget that readers may want to know how things are really going. 
I homeschool Sveta and she's now in the 2nd grade, she is making huge leaps in her reading and math skills. Her confidence in learning is growing. We have been using Right Start math and Abeka. She takes other classes at a local business dedicated to home schoolers. It's like a little school and she even participated in a science fair last month. There is a Christmas program where she will be singing and lots of opportunities for field trips. It's been a very good decision to home school and I love having my little one home every day and getting to watch her progress. She finished speech therapy last year and her language has greatly improved. She will soon be starting musical theater classes. She is so excited about this but also wants to take karate. Have I mentioned she loves watching wrestling?? She even has a little wrestling ring and wrestlers she likes to play with. Yes, her interests are diverse. Barbies, wrestling, singing, drama. 
I'm just glad she loves to explore different things and loves to learn. 
She's still a tiny little girl, finally growing into a size 8. But she has a huge heart and is filled with compassion for people and animals. 
We are blessed to have our little Sveta. 
Adoption changed our lives.