Saturday, September 2, 2017

We found Roman in pretty much the same way that we found Martina- through Reece's Rainbow's waiting child list.

We know he was born prematurely and he had a shunt placed to treat hydrocephalus.  

We also know Roman is a twin and his (healthy) brother went home with their parents.

That last bit- is some rough information.  It's important to know that Roman is in a different country and children with special needs are often given up for adoption in Eastern Europe.  

We may never know exactly why Roman was placed in an orphanage- but there are many factors in play and I'm sure his birth parents carefully and painfully made the decision. I can't imagine there is a day that passes when they don't look at Roman's brother and wonder...

I can't imagine.

And I am so thankful that my family has access to amazing health and education resources.  

Martina had her first day of pre-K preschool this week.  She is enrolled in a DART classroom- that is conveniently located at South Park Elementary Center-where Dexter and Bea go to school.  

When we made the decision to adopt Roman- one of the things that fell so heavily into the let's do this / it's really not that crazy category- was that we have so much.

Don't get me wrong- we are firmly situated in the middle (probably to lower) class- BUT o my gosh- we have SO much.

All of our kids are well fed and clothed- they all go to school and to the doctor.  Martina has many services provided through the county.  I mean seriously, we take all these things for granted but they are a huge blessing.

Perhaps Disneyland or world or wherever childhood dreams come true- isn't in the cards for our kids.
(Not an attack on Disney goers and lovers!!!  You go- you love!)

But between yesterday and today they rode their bikes, had a late night campfire with the neighborhood kids, visited Mimi and Buppa, played with cousins, had another campfire, had hotdogs, and smores...

And in the past nine months they have seen their sister become part of our family.  They have kissed her and hugged her- pushed her around in wagons and strollers (sometimes big cardboard boxes)- and sometimes they've complained about her therapy sessions and Dr appointments- or been annoyed when we have had to change the way we do things- to include this new sister.

Dexter, Bea, and Simon have made sacrifices- some they recognize- but most they have no idea they're making.

When you have more kids- you don't get more time or more money (although technically you get some nice tax credits- but I wouldn't recommend having a kid for the doesn't break even!).

So there will be school fieldtrips that mom can't go on,  there will be sport commitments/schedules that can't be kept, and there will be trips we can't afford.

As a parent, there is a large part of me that wants to give my kids all of these things.

But there is this other part of me that wants so much more for my kids than the perfect childhood-  My kids will dream of Disney- I have no doubt- and perhaps some day will get to go-

 but will they love full heartedly, sacrificially?  Will they recognize that people should always hold a higher value than things?

I want that for them.  Will they look back on their childhood and remember everything they weren't able to do- or will they remember campfires and bike rides and the magic of bringing a sister and brother home.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hey everyone!  So... here we are adopting again.  I feel a little crazy- so it is perfectly understandable if your reaction to this news is, "O my gosh- are they crazy?!"

We might be. 

We are headed back to Eastern Europe to bring home a little 4(ish) year old boy. 

Yes, this will make five kids for us.  Yes, we know that’s more kids than the average family has.  Again, we think the, “Are they crazy!?” response IS a valid response. 

BUT even though we ourselves have pondered our mental stability- we have come to the conclusion that we are, for the most part, sane. 

We are headed back to Eastern Europe to bring home a little boy.  We are going to bring home a beautifully and wonderfully made little boy.  We will gladly carry the label of crazy- if it means a home, mom and dad, sisters and brothers, for a little boy who has no idea what family is. 

Martina has changed so much since we brought her home.  She is no longer confined to a crib and underfed.  She can crawl- she can walk holding hands- she knows her name- she knows her family- she IS loved unconditionally. 

Martina on pickup trip- 2yrs 3months- couldn't sit up
Teeny 9 months home!

She has come so far and will go further still- but the trauma of her first two and a half years of neglect follow her.  You see it at mealtime in her liquid diet and at bedtime when she rocks.  You see it when she self harms.  She has left the institution but she has not escaped the effects of being institutionalized.  

Nine months ago, I walked out of an orphanage with a child in my arms but I can’t forget the children who are still orphans.  And I don’t think I’m meant to. 

Timmy and I know we can’t be a family  for every orphan but we certainly can be Roman’s family.

We couldn’t have brought Martina home without the love and support of our friends and family- we are hoping you will support us again- as we Race to Roman! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Waiting for court

There hasn't been too much to report.  We are SO close to the finish line (or starting line- depending on how you look at it.)

This lingo may be lost on some, but we have our article 5 signature and have been assigned a judge.

We are waiting (ugh waiting) on a court date.  What's coming next?  Well...

We will be assigned a court date (hopefully assigned this week AND for a date that is within a few weeks!)

Once we pass court we will travel to pick our girl up about 4-6 weeks later.

We are hoping to travel in November- it could possibly be sooner... and of course it could be later.

My mom has a picture of "Marla"  on her fridge- it is the referral picture we were given when we first committed to adopt.  She is about 9 months in the picture.

When we met M she was 23 months and no longer the same baby from her referral picture.

When we pick her up she will be 5 months older than last we saw her.

She turned 2 several months ago.

When we first began the process of adopting M- I knew it would take time to get her home.  But for some reason I never thought about all the time we would miss.

In my mind I hit pause on 9 month old M.  Then a social worker walked in carrying an almost 2 yr old.  It was like someone hit fast forward... and I have missed SO much.

She's growing up- not only that- but she is growing up in a place children shouldn't grow up- and to be perfectly honest children don't grow up there. They die.  Or they get transferred to an adult institution where they live the rest of their lives hungry and alone waiting for relief.   That's not dramatic, that is fact.

M's home right now is dark and quiet. She is lonely and hungry.  And time is not her friend.

As I count the minutes of my day in traffic jams, packing lunches, pushing a swing, reading a book- her days blur and merge in a fog of time spent alone in a crib.

I pray for time to quicken- so that I can get her home sooner...because each day spent in that orphanage will threaten her flame. Will dim her light...Will encourage her to detach herself from the world around her.

And now it feels like I am battling to get to her in time... in time for her to have an easier time attaching, in time for her to learn how to chew, in time for her to have her best chance at corrective medical procedures for her eyes... and the list really does go on.

I just want to get there in time.

Yes, we've been here before on this blog.  If this sounds familiar- it's because it is.  I want to get there in MY time.  And it is super hard for me to trust in God's timing.

I trust in God. Absolutely.  And if He could do this, this, and this by next Tuesday- that would be great. HA.  I'm the worst.  It is really hard to wait.

SO in the middle of writing this blog post... I got an email from our adoption agency.  WE HAVE COURT.  September 27th.

That is "next Tuesday" by the way.  God is good ALL the time.