Friday, December 16, 2011

A Few Wild Days

It's been a whirlwind since Andriy arrived. We spent the first full day all together. Chris and I stayed home from work and we let our daughter skip school (gasp) so we start to help him feel welcome. I knew he would sleep in Wednesday morning and I'm glad he didn't wake up to find only me here.

After breakfast he played outside with Chris and Danielle: riding bikes, skateboarding and on the scooter. They had the soccer ball out too. They had a blast. We had a nice little visit with Chris' parents. Then we went sneaker shopping. After 4 stores we realized they just don't make light up shoes in his size. He had his heart set on them. So we ended up back at the 1st store and he settled on a pair with neon yellow and silver reflective stripes. So at least he will still stand out at night.

The next day he went to work with me. Work for me consists of watching a very active 3 year old so we all went outside and played and played and played some more. Then we piled in my van and drove to my sisters (3 year old in tow) and played some more. Except for about an hour he literally played outside all day from dawn till dusk. Wow it must be nice to have that kind of energy. I ended up with a migraine apparently from having too much fun. But other than that it was a pretty great day.

Today we kept it a little more low key. Andriy and I visited an international market and picked a few items familiar to him including a super yummy chocolate bar which he happily shared with Mama. (BTW - He is calling us Mama and Papa) Then we drove downtown and found Papa so Andriy could see the big truck Papa drives. It's pretty obvious that he really loves his Papa already. Melt!

I'm looking forward to more wildness tomorrow.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We're taking the hosting plunge!!!!!

Yep! That's right! After helping my sister with New Horizons For Children stuff for the last year we ended up becoming an emergency back-up host family.

Andriy will be coming this Tuesday night. All the orphans in this program are from Ukraine and Latvia. Andriy is Ukrainian. He just turned 14 and was scheduled to be hosted by another family. This family had hosted him last summer, but they had a medical emergency come up.

It all happened very fast. We heard about the situation on Sunday afternoon and by the time we went to bed that night we were committed to be his host family.

Here is Andriy.

Isn't he adorable?

We are pretty excited and a bit nervous too. Danielle is on Cloud 9 at the thought that she will finally have a "sibling" even though it's temporary. He may be expecting to be hosted by the same family again and he won't know until shortly before he gets here he is stuck with us. We hope he will accept that he will be with us and not them.

We are trusting in God's sovereign plan. There is a reason he is with us. We are not really sure why since we have no intention of doing an international adoption at this time. We just finished our foster parent classes and will be starting our home study on Monday. We are going forward with our plans to become foster parents in our county. We plan to foster infants and toddlers and were in the process of turning our extra room into a nursery. We were graciously offered a bed to borrow for the month. We only had a crib and dresser/changing table for the room. We also are borrowing a bike.

Here is what we know about Andriy so far. He loves chicken and is not a picky eater. Corn dogs are his new favorite food. He loves to ride a bike, play soccer and play video games. He gets along well with other kids. He was overwhelmed (as you can imagine) with all the choices in stores while he was hosted last summer. He doesn't speak much English (we don't speak any Russian). He is very small for his age. (The Momma Grizzly Bear in me already wonders if he gets picked on.) He really wants to be adopted.

Here are some prayer requests as we get ready for him to come.

That all the kids would have safe travel to the U.S.

That Andriy would accept us as his host family.

That he would feel comfortable and safe in our home.

That he would sleep well while here. He is not used to sleeping alone in a room.

That Andriy would be open and receptive to the Gospel. We are going to ask a Ukrainian pastor for help with this because of the language barrier.

That he would feel loved and a part of our family.

That we will be able to communicate with him well using a translation program and Russian dictionary.

That God would continue to provide what we need to care for him (we were totally not prepared for a guest).

That God would provide just the right family to adopt Andriy.

That he would have the best Christmas ever.

That's it for now. I'm sure once he gets here I will have so much more for you to pray about. We so appreciate all the encouragement and prayers so far.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Shopping for a cause

If you are like me you are overwhelmed with all the gift giving/buying choices we have at Christmas. For the last few years my husband Chris and I have been trying to make sure some of our gift spending money go towards worthy causes that are dear to our hearts. The last few years we have made donations to World Vision on behalf of extended family members and I can tell you that every time that person has told us that they thought it was a great idea and they were glad we didn't spend the money on more stuff they didn't need. So we plan to do that again.

This year we also have several friends and acquaintances that are in the middle of the adoption process. Some of these families are having fundraisers that include really great items that would make great gifts. So we decided to take a look at those fundraisers and see if we can stretch our holiday gift dollars a little further by participating. We also purchased a Christmas tree from one family in our community that is adopting a little girl with special needs. We do not know the family, but know of them through friends.

So why am I bring this up? No - I don't want a pat on the back. I want to share as many of those fundraisers as I can with others so you have the opportunity to participate also as you shop. Some of the fundraisers are also raffles you can win. So I am going to start listing the ones I know of here. If you know of one that you don't see please shoot me an email with the info (web link) and I will add it.

Get ready. There are alot of links here.

The McCoy Family - 25% of sales ending Monday (12/5) go towards their adoption of orphans in Ukraine. This was a home party I attended today, but Amanda is graciously extending it and giving the McCoy's her entire profit. Thirty-One sells beautiful bags, purses and accessories. Way to go Amanda. You may need to put "McCoy adoption" on the online order to make sure Amanda knows you are ordering from the McCoy's party.

Here is the link

The McCoy's also have a gift basket business and all the profits go towards their adoption. The baskets are beautiful and full of great stuff. There is a basket for just about everyone on your list. Check out their website here:

Here is the link to their blog if you want to follow their adoption:

Reece's Rainbow families - Christmas Shopping "Orphan No More" Style.
Check out the Reece's Rainbow blog for a list of families that are adopting. There are parties, raffles, coffee, bread dough, homemade items and even some Kindles and iPads listed here. WOW! Check out the list at . Disclaimer: I do not personally know any of the Reece's Rainbow families but am including them because RR is near and dear to my heart and these families must be super cool since they are willing to adopt a child with special needs.

You can also get involved in Reece's Rainbows Angel Tree program here

The Dewberry Family - The Dewberrys are adopting again! Their first son, Kolya is a very talented artist and he loves to skateboard. He is designing really awesome graphics and Mom & Dad are helping him put them on custom skateboards. All the profits will go towards the adoption of his new brother Sergiy. Here is their website:

Here is the Dewberry's adoption blog. If you click on "How you can help" you will see their other fundraisers which include Survivor Bracelets and Note Cards made by Nicole and Kolya and a beautiful ladies Helzberg Diamond Pearl bracelet they are raffling off.

The Lewis Family - They are adopting 2 boys from Africa. They are also selling Survivor Bracelets and Stationary made by their kids. Here is the link:

#5 The Kochies Family - They are adopting a sweet boy named Ruslan. They have a few fundraisers going on. The first is coffee sales . Then they are selling these really great t-shirts that promote adoption and they are also going to have a day at Monkey Joes in Cary, NC coming up. Here is the info link

That's all I have for now. I really want to add more. If you are fundraising for your adoption or know of a family who is please send me the link to their blog or website that specifically has their fundraising info (what they are selling or raffling) and I will add it to the list. You can email me at