Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recently our little lady's best friend was moved to the "my family found me" page on reece's rainbow.  We were thrilled to see her there and celebrated as if she was coming into our own home.  At the time we thought she would be welcomed home by our friends who had considered adoption for years but never found "the one".  They'd gone through with the initial paperwork and commitment forms but as life would have it, another family was also being considered for sweet Pollyanna.  This other family has now also been preapproved to adopt her and they will be the ones welcoming her into their home.  I have no idea who this other family is.  I'm sure they are kind and wonderful people deserving of such a fantastic spirit like Pollyanna but it does sting to know we could have kept these two girls together for the transition to life as a sister, daughter and American. 
I do still hope to be able to maintain some contact between our daughter and Pollyanna once they are both stateside.  It appears as though this how things were meant to turn out and anytime an orphan finds a family a success is obvious but possibility was real and it stings now.  We wish all the best to Pollyanna and her new family and we will of course look forward to meeting her when we travel to meet our gal. 
The new family for Pollyanna hasn't made it to the "new commitments" page yet but I imagine that is next on their to do list. 
I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday.  We certainly felt incomplete as a family and we look forward to next Christmas when we can celebrate together with our daughters.  My husband's parents gave us a VERY generous gift this year in the form of a donation and others have recently followed in their footsteps.  Thank you all for your kindness especially during this time of year.  We hope to be Eastern Europe bound early in 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This has been a roller coaster of a week with so many ups and downs.  I can't really get into the downs but I suppose that is better for you, the reader.  The up side is that I actually got to read our homestudy and it is now being sent to the international agency for approval.  Once she gives the okay I'll get my official copies and we can hopefully prepare all the documents and have it ready to submit by the end of the month.  Chris has off the week after Christmas and we don't have any family/travel plans.  For christmas I asked for a five year old daughter so we'll spend that week getting everything ready to submit with double the man power. 
Huge magnificent thank you to whomever donated recently.  We can't see who it was (yet) but know that you are an answer to prayer.  We just found out that we need to pay for two of the post placement reports up front prior to picking up our completed homestudy.  Those run 250 a pop so that was a bit of a costly surprise.  Luckily Chris and I have sworn off gifts for the holiday and we will keep things at a serious minimum for the boys.  With only dental school Christmases in their past that shouldn't be much of a surprise for them.  As much as we're meant to enjoy the holidays I will be thrilled once January is here and we are that much closer to having one baby out and a little lady in (our family).  No one has ever looked forward to January as much as I am this year. 
If you are the praying type please speak a word for our daughter and her dear friend "Pollyanna" this week.  Their lasting friendship is weighing heavy on our hearts.  Just pray that the Lord will do what is best for both of them. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

So much goodness.
These past few days have been successful in my eyes.  Our SW is completing our homestudy write up and says we ought to have it in our hands by Monday.  As soon as we're palming that we can submit our petition to adopt an orphan to the US government.  That process usually takes 4-6 weeks but I recently learned how to expedite it with the help of a pediatrician's note.  Then today we attended a christmas party for the kiddos on base and while there I met two pediatricians!  Both of which are options for our family. 
It feels like we're finally getting the ball back in our court for a change.  Also this past week I had my first dream with our little lady in it.  She was here in our home but it still had that sense of surreality to it.  Like I couldn't believe she was here and real.  The dream consisted of our home life as usual until finally I realized she was she and she was ours and I was able to sit with her on my lap and put hershoes on.  It sounds lame but it meant so much to me.  The dream emotions were quite powerful and really reflect how untouchable your children feel while you're going through the adoption process. 
 Speaking of adoption, there have been a number of children who are older like our little lady who have recently found their way onto the "My Family Found Me" page of Reece's Rainbow.  That's the adoption ministry organization where we found our gal.  Some of these children have been listed there for years.  Two of these "lifers" are being adopted by the same family!  How wonderful and courageous these families are.  There is still one gal who we would love to see listed on the my family found me page.  She is our little lady's best friend.   They've lived in the same group since birth and both girls have the same disability.  I so wish we could bring them both home and keep them together but the country doesn't allow simultaneous adoption of unrelated children.  I'd rather her find a family asap than have to wait for us to come back around at some future date.

Here is her link:

Please if you can advocate for her or if your heart is there consider making her your own.  She sure sounds angelic and hopefully the girls will be able to maintain their friendship post placement.

As far as our day to day goes, we're doing well.  The boys are loving school and settling into their classrooms the roles they play there.  For Thanksgiving we were able to take a trip south and visit friends in San Diego.  While there we got some updated family pictures for the court documents.  Here are a few of the many:

Monday, December 5, 2011

We're creeping into the holidays now with one thing on our minds.  Adoption.  This process is so unbelievably slow and difficult to withstand.  I want nothing more than to just hop a plane, see her face to face and say "we're coming".  I just wish she knew that our hearts and minds are on her and that she can relish these last few months as an orphan because the end is in sight.
Who relishes time spent as an orphan?  One thing I learned while working in Ecuador serving orphans was that up until a certain age, they really don't know their orphans.  Our little lady is past that stage of course and being the sharp cookie that she is, she knows she belongs in and deserves a family.
I've felt a bunch of doubt from people lately; doubt that I can handle all this,  even some doubt that she'll want us as a family.  I can't say I know full well how things will be when she gets here but I can say that we are committed as a family to being her family however that needs to happen, it will.  People have suggested that I will in some way neglect the needs of the littlest lady (due 2.9) while meeting the needs of the rest of the family.  I'm not sure what to think when I hear this.
a. who neglects an infant? or a baby?  or any child for that matter?
b. is the better option that our little lady remain an orphan?
These dubious thoughts and comments eat at me and they motivate me.  We'll do this, we'll do it well and when all is said and done these "nay sayers" will have to find some juicer gossip to stew about because we'll just be us, still here, doing what we do.
So to all you doubty mustafas here's a glimpse into what started us down this path.  The little lady's original profile.

Marissa 15H

All these kids are suffering by not being with Mom and Dad, but Marissa is literally heartbroken and is crying to be taken home.
Girl, born August 2006
Lower extremities paraparesis
What a beautiful girl, with such soulful eyes!
Volunteers found Marissa when she was three years old. She could barely move and didn't speak. With the help of our volunteers, Marissa was treated at an orthopedic clinic where she was cared for by a wonderful nanny. After just a couple of months, you wouldn't have recognized this child!  She started speaking (and not just speaking, but speaking in phrases!) The treatment also gave hope that Marissa will be able to walk. Marissa has learned a lot since we first met her. Most orphans are somewhat behind the children their age that are raised in families, and even more so if they have certain disabilities. Marissa would definitely blend in with kids that are raised at home; she is ahead of her peers at the orphanage. She has a wonderful memory, she loves seeing her new friends and telling them about her life.

What our volunteers said about Marissa, October 2010   "Our efforts brought amazing results. Marissa's legs are a lot stronger now, she can move them when she is sitting in a stroller and even lift them up above her head when she is lying down! Just to think that, not long ago, Marissa's legs wouldn't move at all, like the legs of a rag doll." "Marissa loves car rides. She is used to me driving her to the doctor and back to the orphanage. Recently, she has been asking me to take her "home". It breaks my heart. I am hoping that very soon it will be her MAMA, not a volunteer, who will come to hug and kiss her, and take her home." 
More Medical Information Available

Update, August 2011:  As you know, Marissa was a forgotten child until she was 3 years old and since that time the volunteers are dedicating themselves to spend time with her individually. Marissa has started to blossom: she feels her legs now, she can control bowel movements, and hold urine for longer periods than before. Now her mental development is corresponding her age group. The doctors believe that Marissa will walk with the help of braces or some kind of support. Even though she is still in a recovery period, she already has weak movements in her legs. She did not feel her legs before.
Her suspected hip dislocation was not operated on yet. The child needs an operation.
She has some speech and developmental delays, but is described as 'active and inquisitive.'

That's our gal.  Patiently waiting to be surrounded by parents and brothers and a tiny little sister who love her dearly.   One huge difference between care takers and parents: Parents never leave.  Orphanage staff go home each night and that is where their life, their family is.  Then in the morning they return to the building, their place of employment, and that is where you (the orphan) remain, waiting for a life beyond the walls a life where you too get to leave.
We're coming little lady.  We'll take you home.