Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

We will be starting adoption preperations tomorrow 1.1.07 . The things we will be working on this week are submitting Melissa's application for her passport, setting up meetings with the agency who will be doing our homestudy, and beginning to make the improvements necessary to our home.

I found this site, Home For Good, the other day, and like this pamphlet.

Makes you think about the fact we are the adopted sons of God. Jesus went to prepare a place for us not an orphanage, and we can cry Abba, Father to God and we won't be St. Peter's foster children. This site really makes the argument that adoption is a true mission field.

Thanks,

Steve


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I can't wait!

Christmas is over and we are getting ready now for the New Year's celebration. My brothers and sister and their families will be in town for the occasion and we are hoping to get a family picture taken of all of us together. Maybe next year we'll be needing a new one!

Steve got gifts for our waiting children. He bought them a soccer ball because they will probably prefer soccer to some of our American sports. He also bought three more ice cream bowls to match the five we have making enough to have one for each family member after the children arrive. Such small things but I think they are the first tangible things we have gotten specifically for these new childen. Soon we will be shopping garage sales for a bunk bed and another twin sized mattress. We'll need sheets and pillows and another dresser. Of course we will need a new vehicle, too. That will be our biggest expense but it will be for us all. These are things we can get now without knowing the gender and ages of the children.

If we do adopt from Ukraine, we won't know anything about the children untill we are there to pick them up! Scary, in a way, not knowing what we will come home with; hoping that we will be able to come home with three like we went for, ideally, two boys and a girl or three girls or three boys. That will make it easiest for dividing up the bedrooms. Such a petty criteria for such a big, important decision. Of course, if what we find is two girls and a boy (poor boy; all these girls!) , then we will still rejoice that we have found our children!

I guess I did buy something a little while back that is sort of for the children. I found three two-photo picture frames and put three pictures of our girls in them, one picture in each frame. the empty spaces are a frequent reminder to us that someday we will be able to fill those vacant spaces with our three new children's smiling faces. I can't wait!--Hmm, I say that a lot lately.

Happy New Year to all of you!

Melissa

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

It is 9:35 pm and it is Christmas in Ukraine. We were sitting in church this evening and I had to catch myself from breaking down. Annette, my 4-year-old daughter, was running her fingers through my hair.

When I was in Moldova, I wanted to absorb every last experience. I wanted to be first out and last in the van and I am sure at times I got on some nerves. I didn't want to spend one second less than I could with the kids. There was one young girl in an orphanage outside Cahul, Moldova who just grabbed my heart. She kept running her fingers through my hair and just sat and held my hand for the longest time.

One of the things I heard at this orphanage was that the kids were "special needs" and nobody would want one like these. They were right, I want three!

We started this with mostly altruistic intentions but I don't know how now to express the consuming desire to meet my children, to protect my children, and to love my children whoever, wherever and whatever they are. I feel I understand God's desire for a relationship with us, His adopted children, better now. I long for a relationship with desperate, pitiful, and in the eyes of most men, worthless children. I am willing to sacrifice my time, my treasure, and whatever else necessary to complete the passion God has given us.

Tonight has been more difficult than I expected knowing our kids are somewhere in Eastern Europe facing desperate odds and an unpredictable future.

Please pray specifically for the children God has planned for us that they will be safe and protected until we can assume responsibility for them. That the paperwork and process will be completed in a timely and efficient manner. That the "ransom" will be provided. That our children will bond with our family and be able to cope with their losses.

I keep being drawn to the words of two great theologians: Garth Brooks and Martin Luther. The first being "Life is not tried, it's just merely survived if you are standing outside the fire" and the second, "God help me, here I stand, I can do no other."

Steve

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Decision

Well, we have decided not to do the Moldovan adoption. There are various reasons for this decision but it is good to be back on track again instead of feeling like things were up in the air, so to speak.

Christmas is almost here and we told the girls we were not going to have as many gifts this year so we could save our money for our adoption. Hannah said that if she could only get one gift, it would be to get the orphans. That's how we all feel here. That will truly be a gift!

Merry Christmas to all of you and please remember that this season is not about giving , it's about a gift. May the gift of forgiveness from Jesus Christ fill your hearts this year!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Something to Pray About

We have been thinking hard since Steve got back from Moldova (He had a good experience there and will likely post about it on his website, www.StephenEimers.com ). What has given us so much to consider? Well, for starters, we were holding out on our final decision regarding country until after he got back in case he met some kids there that he just knew he had to have. That didn't happen but what did happen is the issue. It seems there is a group of five children over there; a fifteen year old boy, 11 and 13 year-old girls, an eight-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. A family in Texas is wanting to adopt them, well, not all of them; they especially want the littlest girl and will take the two boys. Here's our dilemma, These girls are much older than we are looking for. Also, it would mean only getting two when we were looking for three. The thing that makes us at all inclined to consider is that the people in Texas are willing to pretty much pay for the whole thing so that they can get their kids. Oh, I forgot to mention that a Moldovan judge told them that they could not adopt only part of these children unless the others were adopted as well, not necessarily by them, just that they must get a home too.

We don't like the idea of separating these children at all but it looks as though they will be separated regardless of what we do. Another big concern for us is that this REALLY usurps Hannah's place as oldest. This is something very important to her and because she and the others are already willing to give up so much I hate to ask for something so huge from her. She is reluctantly okay with someone older who is close to her age but this would be four years at least in difference and when you are seven, it's a big deal. It also seems a little too good to be true, which makes us suspicious, and while we recognize that this could be God providing, since money is one of our biggest hurdles in this endeavor (Okay, our biggest!), It may just be a distraction from our original plans. This is our prayer, that we will have wisdom and discernment in this regard.

In talking with my parents and Grandfather about this, something my Grandpa said is what sticks in my mind. He said, "It occurs to me that thirty-three thousand dollars is not that much over a lifetime." He's right, of course, and we don't want it to be about the money but it does make us have to consider the possibility.

I think we are leaning away from this but will pursue it just a bit farther to make sure. We will let you know. In the mean time, keep us in your prayers . This is the first "loop" in this emotional roller coaster ride of a process.

Melissa

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Moldova Mission Project

Well I leave this Saturday to go to Moldova. Moldova is just beside Ukraine. I will be helping place new boots on every orphan in State custody. Just picked up several artificial hand warmers to give to the kids. Looks like temps should be in the high 30's to low 40's. I am sure seeing these kids in this situation will be very difficult knowing the journey we have just started. Please pray that all goes well.

Thanks,

Steve

Monday, November 27, 2006

Loved Already

I just want to say at the outset how excited I am to be "expecting"! I have had three children naturally and am so surprised to find the same indescribable emotions rising in my heart for these three that are out there not knowing that we love them like crazy and are willing to go to the end of the earth to get them!

I think this is teaching me more about God; about how he loved us before we ever were born. We didn't know ANYTHING, let alone that there was an infinite all-powerful, personal God out there who loved us completely and uncondidtionally. They say you will never know how much your parents love you until you have your own children. I guess in a way this gives me a tiny glimpse further into the nature of the God I love. Amazing.

Melissa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Here we go

Welcome to the temporary site we will be using to chronicle our adoption journey.

Thanks,

Steve and Melissa