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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Continuing to Enjoy Life...


video



This is pretty cool. Apparently, we can now load video directly to Blogger. That makes life a lot easier. Before, I had to burn my videos to a DVD, rip it back to my computer using the right application, and then load it to You Tube - AND THEN connect it to this blog. Loading direct saves me at least 15 minutes. Whew! 15 minutes all to myself..... Now I can watch the sunset tonight.... yea right.


These videos were taken with our camera that we had to buy in Russia (our video camera was packed in the bags that never showed up.... yea, I still like bringing that up from time to time just to remind you how fun it was traveling without luggage). But I'd say the video qualities are pretty good, wouldn't you? The only bad part about buying a camera in Russia (other than spending an extra 10,000 Rubles) is that the charger has a European style plug in. Therefore, we still have to use our adapter everytime we want to charge the battery.


Oh well, at least we're getting our money's worth from the adapter.


Anyway, the video is of us yesterday at Vala's Pumkin Patch. For those of you outside Omaha, Vala's is our version of Disneyland. (Nebraska-farmsyle) It's huge, full of fun, full of pumkins, and (of course) full of people. It's a great place to go during the month of October. This year's new addition was the jumper pillows. Fun stuff!

I would like to piggy back on Katie's last post. We're actually getting to the point where we are THANKFUL for this wait. (Was that a typo?!?! Did I just say thankful?) Believe it or not, yes. We've been through a lot these past few months. A lot of emotion. A lot of tears. A lot of confusion. But we've finally come to terms with who is in charge as well as what WE can control. And I'm not sure I would have come to that realization had we not been through this wait. I also feel as if I'm more thankful for the little moments than I was a few months ago. Whatever happens, I'm OK with it. Afterall, I have SO MUCH. It's pretty ridiculous how wonderful my life is really.... Afterall, I got to jump on a big pillow yesterday. It doesn't get much better than that.






Friday, September 28, 2007

This Moment

Another post from Katie

My heart is slowly, day by day becoming more grateful for this long wait. I can hardly believe I am writing this. This week so much has happened inside my heart that is shaping me and making me into what I hope will make me a better mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, friend, PA...

This week, while at work, I happened to be the only health care provider present when a young man passed out in the hallway in front of our office. I was called to the scene and realized quickly he was unresponsive, had a weak pulse and labored breathing. It wasn't long before I had to start chest compressions. The paramedics arrived shortly but were unable to revive him.

I was left feeling numb, confused and desperate for an answer to all the why questions I have had lately. Why did this young man die? Why was I the one there? Why are we not getting our call to return to Russia? Why, Why, Why?

Last night, like a wave coming over me, I was compelled to submit and humble myself to God like I have never done before. It's not for me to understand. I am not in control. Instead I was compelled to recognize and express thanks for every moment and gift that is right in front of me every single day. The breath that I just effortlessly breathed, a warm shower in the morning, Hallie's sweet voice on the phone today, the kiss my husband gave me as I left for work this morning, Jake's voice saying, "Mommy" when I came home, my dear friends encouraging phone call and the list could go on and on and on.

Today, this moment is what I have been given so I need to constantly remind myself to be grateful for it and live in it.

Without this wait, I would not have experienced this week's events and for all the deep heartache that was a part of that moment, a lesson was learned in my life that I will treasure and pass on to my children for as many days as I am given. I am grateful that this wait is changing me, growing me and drawing me closer and closer to God.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

This time, we're talking about Katie. Today is Katie's birthday. Wouldn't it have been great to get the call today? Talk about a great birthday present..... yea.... we thought so.... but that didn't happen..... so here we sit.

Yesterday, Katie went down to Lincoln again to update our medical forms. (yes, we're all still healthy) For as much of a nightmare as the first appostille experience was, we're starting to get pretty good at it. Of course, it was a little sad, b/c about 2 months ago we went in there for our "last document" to be sealed. It was this big emotional moment that we were finally at the end of the paperwork.... And yet....

But I'm actually in pretty good spirits. Katie and I have fully surrended to the fact that we're just going to have to wait.

Wait, wait, wait.

Yup.... still waiting....

And I'm OK with it....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Still Waiting. . .






A Post from Katie

Well, as you all know we are still waiting for news that Zac has been released from the databank of orphans in Moscow. Ryan talked to our agency today and they did say that Moscow had requested more information about our paperwork, along with four others, from our region. I guess what goes on in the Ministrty of Education is very hush, hush, so the fact they we found this out is actually good news. It means that Moscow does have our paperwork and that someone there has looked at it and is acting on it. We were told not to worry about whatever they requested because it involved all four families from the same region and this sort of thing has happened before. It reminds me of when many agenices were trying to get accredited earlier this year. Moscow had set a timeline, but when the timeline ran out they ended up requesting more documents and forms from agencies. Ultimately, some were accredited and hopefully more will be soon.

I will tell you that we had a great weekend with Hallie and Jacob and the level of anxiety and despair about the situation seems to have lessened. This is very obviously a result of lots of prayer and God working in me to comfort me with the knowledge that in His time He will work this out and bring Zac home. Until then (and forever)he is caring for His children; Zac, Katie, Ryan, Hallie, Jacob etc...I am grateful for that inner sense of peace while hoping that this will be the week we hear news!

Above are some pictures from our family hike through the Botanical Gardens. Hallie and Jacob were troopers. This adventure was after we picked apples at an apple orchard in the morning! I think we might need to slow down just a bit when Zac arrives home!!

For those of you reading that pray, we would ask you to keep up the prayers for us, Zac and that his homecoming would be VERY soon!

By the way, I just love hearing from all of you so post comments if you know how!

Friday, September 21, 2007

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Nothing to report. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Things I'm thankful for:

1. A wife that I genuinely like and love. And she digs me too.
2. A wonderful daughter who crawls into bed with us several times a week.
3. An incredible son that can hit a baseball like a champ.
4. 2 Parents who live in the same city that I do and who I am able to see 2 or 3 times a week.
5. In-laws that I love like my own family.
6. A sister that I've always had a good relationship with.
7. I have a job that I enjoy going to each morning.
8. I own a Fender Stratocaster
9. I only have 1 car payment
10. I'm physically able to run a mile
11. I've been to Hawaii
12. I'm forgiven....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday... month

Today, Zac turned 23 months old. (His birthday is October 16th) This means that his 2nd birthday is exactly 1 month from today. Talk about putting on the pressure to get our courtdate...

Happy Birthday little Pasha!

(Note: For those of you who don't know, Zac's given Russian name is Pavel and if your from Russia, it's not uncommon to be called Pasha. All of the caretakers were calling Zac, Pasha. It's really quite catchy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

While we wait


Star in Your Own JibJab! It's Free!
What else is a person to do on a Friday night while we sulk that we didn't get a call this week?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Update

Yesterday, I was seriously depressed. I've mentioned a few times that 3 of the 7 seven couples (from our agency) have received their court date. I thought this was encouraging until I found out that all 3 of these couples took their first trip a MONTH AFTER we took ours!!!

For the first time on this adventure, I lost a lot of sleep last night. What if our "stuff" was somehow lost? What if we never finalize this adoption? What if?

Well, I called our agency again today and found out some more details. First, we think that Russia chooses to let the forms pile up on a desk and when it comes to time to work on it, they start on the top of the pile (which was the last form to be added) and then work down from there.

Second, we did find out that the agency has confirmed that Zac's paperwork is where it need to be and has not been lost. They also have a fairly reliable confirmation that we'll get our letter before the end of next week.

This is good news, but at this point I am VERY guarded. I hate to set another made up deadline of next Friday only to be disappointed again.

This is killing me....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Olga - part 3

We got another email from Olga:

Thanks much! Your boy is doing fine. I have really much to do. I am waiting for you...Your friend!

Short and sweet, I guess... But obviously any news is great news. Zac is still alive, healthy and in the orphanage. All of these things are very good to verify. After 12 weeks, your mind begins to play tricks on you. Honestly, if it weren't for our pictures, I'm not sure I would believe that we were ever there. It's as if the first trip was nothing more than a dream.

Thanks Olga!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Save Darfur

As we wait, I want to focus on some more "Voiceless" people out there.

I just got done Reading A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah. It opened my narrow eyes as to a problem that I've never really even paid much attention to in the past. There is a huge problem scattered throughout Africa. It seems that starvation and desparation mixed with bad politics and drugs have caused many millions of Africans to rise up against each other and wage wars that have no resolution. The result is mayhem and death.

I've added a link to a movement known as Save Darfur.

As I've said before, I'm only one small voice, but I'll do what I can. We need to get the word out. The site will direct you as to how you can get involved. You can donate money, buy shirts and arm bands (procedes go to the cause) or even send a petition to President Bush and UN Secretary General Ki-Moon Ban.

Friday, September 7, 2007

grumble, grumble

Well, still nothing - BUT we did hear from a lady that traveled to Russia during the same time as us and she got her courtdate yesterday. So we're continuing to hear the good news that there is activity going on. I'm thinking we're getting down to "days" and not "weeks or months".

In the meantime, I wanted to share the following passage: (taken from Romans 8 - "The Message" translation. I haven't posted too many sermons on this blog, so I figure I'm allowed one or two from time to time. Read it a couple of times if you have to. It's really insightful!

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arounsing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Ryan's take:

I've thought for sometime that the whole "institution" of parenthood was to give us a better understanding as to how God feels about each of us.

Even more, I have come to understand that the institution of adoption is a God ordained one and gives us even a deeper understanding as to how God feels about us. (He frequently calls us his "adopted" kids. No one is simply born into heaven.)

Although this waiting thing really sucks, I think that this passage gives me a little more insight as to what it's all about.

(OK - there! I've learned my lesson, now can we get our courtdate?)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some good news

We got rumors that a 3rd couple from our agency got their letter today! This is increasing our hope and excitement. It seems like the beginning of the week is filled with anticipation and excitement.

Unfortunately, we've also discovered that the end of the week (Friday) comes with a pretty depressing let down that says, "No call this week. Try again later".

I'm really hoping that I don't have another let down.

(Which means we need to get the call tomorrow.... or maybe Thursday)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Quote of the Day

Still waiting....

Afterall,

"there's no Rush in Russia"