We Are Ready to Travel for Home!!!

Hello, friends!

We finished up our final paperwork and got Elliott’s travel visa for our return trip home!  All of our requirements are finished.  We are so ready to begin our long flights home.  We are going to head to one final trip to the Ukrainian cafeteria after Elliott finishes his morning nap:)  We are prepareing our suitcases and are going to head to bed early since our driver will be picking us up at 3am to head to the airport.  We are still praying we will not be delayed due to heavy snow in Munich.  We are trusting that God has allowed the weather and He is guiding our steps, so we will certainly be where we need to be tomorrow ( we just pray we are on a plane).  Thinking through logisitics of flying such a long distance with Elliott has been challenging, but we are prepared as we can be with what we have available!

When we touch down in Washington, D.C. we will hand our sealed packet of information to the USCIS officer at the airport, and at that moment, Elliott will officially become a U.S. citizen.  I am sure there won’t be a big fanfare, but we will make our own big fanfare!

Elliott has been a real trouper since we got him Tuesday.  he has had so many “firsts” and has handled it far better than we expected.  I am ready to get back to our home where things are better equipped for a curious, fast crawling little boy!  I will really appreciate so many things when we get home that I had previously taken for granted.  One of those will be a “child-proofed” home!

We do not expect to have any internet access once we leave our apartment in Kiev to go to the airport.  We will have computer access again once we are home.  Please join us in prayer for God to open the door wide for our flights to be on time and for us to arrive home quickly.

Thanks for the prayers for Jon’s eye.  He got to speak with his eye doctor yesterday.  We were able to google the russian alphabet and translate the name of his eye drops ( thank goodness for Proper nouns!) and find the eye drops on a Google search so Jon could tell his eye doctor the name of the drops.  After some back and forth , his doctor was able to let him know he could both drops together.  He also has an eye appointment for Monday afternoon!  He has had some relief from the pain.  His eye is far from healed, but the relief from the extreme discomfort has been a blessing for him today.  We both pray the lengthy time in an airplane does not agitiate again beyond what he can ease with his drops.

With our very late arrival on Saturday night combined with jet lag and logistics for Elliott to sleep, etc…we will not actually see Anna and Ryan until Sunday.  Please be considerate if you happen to see either of them before Sunday and don’t mention our exact arrival day!  We will let them know we are getting in late Saturday, but we will finally get to see them on Sunday! We are ready to begin the process of bonding and adjusting as a family of five.  We have some reconnecting and connecting to do between all of us:)

We are overwhlemed by the connectedness we have felt while here.  We spoke with a few more families today at the Embassy.  One mom thought she would be here for 5-6 weeks and she has been here for a little over 3 months due to various glitches.  She and her three new children fly out for Paris tonight.  It was amazing to hear her story.  We have so much additional insights and blessings from God to share with everyone when we return.  There are so many things that are just too numerous to record each day.  I can say that I feel VERY privileged to have been on this adoption journey and feel so humbled as I have seen our awesome God more this trip than I could ever have imagined.

In our second trimester … of adoption!

You don’t have to get too far into adoption to find there is no shortage of analogies for the adoption process!  One of the best analogies I have encountered during my adoption reading, preparation, and training is the analogy of a typical pregnancy.  Having been through two typical pregnancies (if you can consider any pregnancy typical!), I found myself instantly connecting with this analogy for the adoption process.  As with any new pregnancy, the initial phase of adoption is chocked full of emotion, excitement, head spinning “what if’s”, and even a bit of a weak stomach. 

The initial phase also includes sharing the news with family and friends and wanting to tell the entire world about your growing family.  For me, the initial phase will usually also include devouring multiple books offering some insight into my growing family (by the way I highly recommend Adopted for Life by Russell Moore for anyone to read-whether or not you are considering adoption–click here to read a great review of this book from my friend, Melissa).  After you get past the first trimester of newness and become more familiar with the idea and reality of your growing family, the second trimester begins.

In our adoption process, we are in the second trimester.  We have about 4-5 months until our family is together and our adoption “pregnancy” is over.  During this second trimester, we are lovingly bombarded with questions about how things are moving along.  I long to be able to offer detailed insight each time I am asked this caring question.  The reality, however, is that we are still waiting and completing some paperwork.  We still do not know yet whether we are having boys or girls or a boy and a girl, we still do not know anymore about our travel plans, and we still have no certainty about the health of our children right now.  Much like with both of my pregnancies, life has a way of continuing with day to day happenings.  Other than a little less sleep and a few more dr. visits, my life has not been dramatically changed in my day to day world…yet. 

Yet…that is my word of hope.  I know the plans God has for my family.  He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us.  I know God has adoption plans for us.  He has plans for our family to grow in a way I still cannot fully imagine.  In the case of adoption, I do not have the constant reminder of a growing belly and a little heartburn, instead I have the burning desire to hold my children, and the faithful trust that God is in control and will allow exactly what He wants to allow as we undergo this process.  Much like with pregnancy, however, I am encouraged by knowing so many have gone this path before and have weathered the process. 

The second trimester is pretty good…feeling energetic…excited about the unknown..nothing new to share…

In my second trimester,  I will continue to get some sleep each night I can, since I hear the plane ride over to Kiev is quite an intensive “labor” without the option of the epidural!