Monday, January 30, 2012

What I'm Doing...

Laundry, making a roast, homeschool, working out, visiting with my sister and niece, making doctor appointments (11!), watching Downton Abbey with Everett, buying car seats , changing diapers, potty training, buying little boy underwear, praying, making green smoothies and eggs, getting my hair done, occupational and physical therapy, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, waiting, waiting, waiting...

We leave to bring them home on Sunday. Until then, being ever so thankful for the time here with my family and friends. I don't deserve this blessing that I am living, but I will never stop being grateful.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ezra and Gustav

I am so happy to announce that as of this morning, we have two new sons!! Court went great, and we are getting a bit of sleep (I hope) before we head home at 3 am! The judge, jury, and prosecutor were quite different than last time. He asked many questions and so did the two people who were the jury. They all seemed to not quite believe that we REALLY wanted 8 children. Was I really sure? He even said I was the mother of the most children that had ever been in their court! He told Everett he did not envy him the weddings (we have never heard that before...) and that it was going to be a very huge responsibility. I actually really respected that, because he is so right. It is a huge responsibility for Everett to provide for all of us, and a huge challenge for us to raise them. This is not something we take lightly and would never do apart from the awesome grace and strength of our God. It was a wonderful and sober time. Our picture book (thank you again, Julie!) was a huge hit and everyone told us how beautiful our daughters were. I think seeing them all happy and well cared for made everyone feel safe sending these boys off to a new home far away to be taken care of by obviously crazy people :)

After all the questions, the judge concluded everything and told us to come back that afternoon. I was shocked. And here I thought it had gone so well! I walked out of the room confused and upset and asked what had happened. Our facilitator assured me several times that it was okay, "you are the parents" and that the judge was joking with me. Really? Ha. Ha. After a bit it really sunk in and oh, such joy! It is hard to believe we really have two sons. (And just so you know, no one here ever gets my jokes either!)

We went back to see the boys right away and held them and told them we would be back in 10 days. They were so sweet and glad! I hope they understand a little how much we love them- I can't wait until we get to start showing them what it means to have a family. They are in for a shock! What? You make everyone drink green-smoothies and we don't eat cookies every day? (hehe...)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heidi Eleta Jacobson

By the awesome grace and kindness of God, we are now the parents of SIX girls!! Yes, today was a wonderful day because Heidi joined our family!

We arrived yesterday and got settled into an apartment, and tried (to little avail) to get some rest. I had pulled a muscle in my neck/shoulder last week, so I was really feeling it and adding in the jet lag did not make for much sleep. We went straight away this morning to visit our girl. We wondered if she would remember us at all- it has been a month since she saw us last. We waited for her in the hallway of her groupa (an area in her orphanage of about 4 rooms where she lives) and they brought her into the hallway and sat her on a stool while they got her shoes. At first, she did not see us - we watched her for a few moments just sitting and wondering what was up. Then she looked our way. As soon as she saw us, her entire face broke into a hug grin and she jumped up and ran right into our arms. It was wonderful.

We played with her on the couch in the hallway (not our favorite place in the world, but where we are required to do our visiting). She was very sweet and interested in us. So many hugs and kisses on that little one! After a while of playing with our things, she climbed up into Everett's lap and clear-as-day said "Papa!". We could not believe it- she has never said a single word in our presence before. I bet you can guess who cried...

We went home for some lunch and to change into some nice clothes. I was so nervous!! But finally the cab arrived and we made it to the court building. (This also took some extra phone calls since the place he took us first was clearly not a court building and we could not communicate!) Once we were all gathered, Everett, myself, our facilitator, the orphanage director, a social worker, and two random people for the jury, we went into the judge's office. A bit of Russian was exchanged and it turned out we were missing a document and had to get it before he would hear our case. BUT the office where you can get that paper was closed today, of course.

Much Russian in the hallway (that looked EXACTLY like the "4th Floor" in Parks and Rec, BTW) and some heartfelt prayer later, we did go in, and for some reason not explained to us, he did hear our case. I am so used to it now. Very few things are explained to us or else just the general idea, no details, which we are now fine with (as long as things keep turning out ok, I guess).

The court itself was really easy. After all the horror stories, I expected drama, and it was more like the judge reading things aloud that he had to say, and everyone saying they wanted us to adopt her, and then he said she was ours. It was, and is, one of the most wonderful moments of my life. To hear them say again that no one wanted her, that no one has ever inquired about her, that she has "conditions" that make her undesirable, made my heart ache. But this is the way God works. He redeems and makes families. We want her, we chose her, we love her exactly like she is. "Eleta" is the name Everett selected for her middle name and it means "chosen". How wonderful it is to be chosen, and I hope someday Heidi will understand that she was chosen, by us, and by God.

We got to go back again and see her this evening, and I must have told her she was mine a thousand times! Oh how we love that girl! While we were there we found out that our court date for the boys has been moved  to Thursday, so another change of plans for us. We had tickets and childcare arranged for a Wednesday homecoming. We trust in God's perfect timing, however, and are thankful for all the chances to be flexible and grow in grace and gratitude :).

Thank you all for your prayers, and continued financial support. Several people have asked how much we are still short for our adoption. We will still owe about $12,000, when all is said and done. It is hard to not have been able to get the tax refund, but we are so thankful for how so many have given to make that number SO MUCH lower!!! We will be hanging out here for a few more days, and I will update again when we finally have court for the boys. Love, and joy, from the proud parents of SIX beautiful and perfect girls.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And You Thought They Were Cute Before...

We will be leaving on Saturday for our court appointments. Court for Heidi is Monday, the boys on Tuesday. Please pray for a favorable outcome. We hope to be on our way home this time next week legally the parents of eight!! Hope you enjoy this video of the boys during their play practice!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Little Update!

I am sorry it has been so long since I updated where things are with our adoption. We came home from Ukraine just before Christmas and are settled in at home waiting for our court dates. It has been so good to come home and be with our girls and our family! We did not find out until after we were home that we did not get the court dates we had hoped for, and currently our dates are set for Jan 23rd and Jan 24th. We will head back on Jan 21st and come home on the 25th. This short trip will be for our court dates only. If we pass court, the 25th begins our 10 day waiting period. When this is over, we will return again to finally bring all the kids home. This trip can be from 1.5- 2 weeks, depending on how quickly we can accomplish the necessary paperwork for them to immigrate.

Our time visiting with the boys, and briefly again with Heidi before we came home was good in so many ways, and hard in others. I do not ever want to be less than candid about our experience, but we are still very much in the middle of this entire process. Nothing is official and until our 10 day wait is over, anything can happen. Because of this, I do not feel free to write much about my impressions or feelings. Many blog posts have come to mind, as the adoption process has stretched me and taught me much about our Rescuer already. I hope to share more when things are more secure.

I do feel confident to say that our God is GOOD, and his plans for these children and for our family will be accomplished. We continue to pray that Ezra, Gustav, and Heidi will be home with us by mid-February. Our time away was very hard for our girls at home, and I continue to ask for prayer for them as we have to leave them two more times! We also know that it is going to be hard for our new children to leave everything they know and enter into this new life. But God is at work, and will be faithful to them and to us as we travel and adjust. The end of this phase is nearly in site, and we move forward this new year with hope and courage. Thank you all for your prayers and for the many people who have supported us financially. It has been awe-inspiring to watch God work in this whole process. We are excited to see what this new year brings for our family!