Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Our Adoption Journey



After spending his first 11 months in an orphanage in Ukraine we celebrated Nic's first week home and his 1st birthday on Sunday!

Here is a short video that we put together of our adoption journey.

We began it with nothing but trust in God. He is faithful and provided above and beyond for every detail through your prayers, generosity, love and support!

Thank you for being a part of His amazing plan!



Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



After Luke and Ryann were born we discussed whether we should have more children or "stop while we're ahead." We thought we had two "perfect", healthy children and with each child we run the "risk" of upsetting our "perfect" world with a child who might have a disability or problems or more than we can handle.

As ignorant as we were, at least we knew a few things that allowed us to have the beautiful gifts that we have today: God's grace is sufficient 2 Cor 12:9, Children ...are a gift from the Lord Psalm 127:3, Wonderful are His works Psalm 139, Gods love has been poured into our hearts Romans 5:5, He'll never give us more than we can handle 1 Cor 10:13, love is to lay down our lives for another John 15:13 and to take up our cross daily Matt 16:24, among so many more truths.

So now as I'm watching Colt smiling while getting ready to fly back to Eastern Europe for our 7th child and newest baby boy who shares Colt's same special gift, I can't help but think about what we would have missed out on if we hadn't trusted in the fact that God's word is always true and He is always faithful! We do not expect easy days ahead but we know that they will be filled with a deeper love and faith through it all. ❤️❤️❤️

And so, from our bunch of weak, fearful, sinning failures apart from the strength, grace, courage and love of our Lord, to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and that you may trust the faithfulness of our Saviour through the hard and easy times this year!

Monday, November 28, 2016

HERE WE COME!!


We received the exciting call on Thanksgiving that we will be traveling to Eastern Europe this week to be there in time for our DAP (Department of Adoption) appointment! SO, here we go!!

Here are the steps that we have left:


At the DAP we will hear any medical and background info on Nic. We might not learn much but I am just excited to learn what his birthday is and anything at all! We will accept his referral there. I am hoping we will get to meet Nic for the first time by the next day! AHHHHHH!!!!!! My heart is hurting for this moment!!


Next, we will receive an assigned court date. We are praying this will be very soon because if it is we will stay in Ukraine until court. If it is scheduled for say a week or more away we will fly home and have to fly back for court. Praying that court goes smooth and that we get an adoption friendly judge.
There is a mandatory 10 day waiting period after court. Some regions will waive this 10 day waiting period. Ours is not one of those regions from what I have heard. HOWEVER, we are praying for the judge to waive the 10 days. If the Lord wills it, He can certainly make it happen, so we are asking with strong faith! We will fly home during the 10 day waiting period if we must wait and then fly back to get Nic out of there!

The last step is to get Nic his Visa, passport, medical, etc. and bring him HOME!!

Praise the Lord for this fast DAP date!!!!!! Please pray, all Lord willing, for our DAP appointment, our court date to be immediate, our judge to be for us, waiving of the 10 day waiting period, our travel, Nic, and our children at home and that through all of this whether things go the way WE want or not, that we will bring glory to God and be witnesses for Him through every step.

Thank you all again so much for your support through all of this!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Almost There!


We  have been officially approved by USCIS (US immigration), which was the very last piece of paperwork that we needed!  I don't think I could put into words the emotions, relief, elation, you name it, when I answered my phone and heard our USCIS officer on the other end of the line say that we are approved and that the letter is in the mail!

Thank you all so much for praying and praise the Lord for His hand in this.  We had been told that this step in the process could take days to months depending on the officer that you get.  I am so thankful that we got an incredibly kind and efficient officer who approved our file within a few days of receiving it.  He was so amazing!  It could not have gone any faster! 

As soon as that letter arrives in the mail, I will hustle to get it notarized, then certified at the County clerk's office, then apostilled at the Secretary of State's.  This only takes a few hours and is the process for every document (approximately 40) that has been sent to our facilitator in Eastern Europe. 

This last piece in our process should be submitted in Europe early next week and then all we have to do is WAIT for our travel dates!  Travel dates are all over the place too.  They could be 8 days away or they could be 8 weeks away.  There is no way of knowing. Please pray for fast travel dates, Lord willing, and an adoption friendly judge!

If I could describe for you what this is like, I would say it is sort of like being pregnant in your ninth month and you just cant wait to get that baby out and hold him.  All the excitement, anxiety, running around, waiting, sleepless nights and you feel like you're going to burst if you don't get your baby in your arms at any moment!

One major difference though is that unlike my pregnancies, I can't feel him or see him through an ultrasound, or have a doctor check on him to know he's ok.  We can't talk to him so he hears his mom, dad's, sisters and brother's voices to know he's loved.  He is thousands of miles away laying in an orphanage crib.  His picture on the cover of my phone is as close to him as I can get and that still catches my breath and sends my emotions all over the place at any given moment.  That part is painful. We just continue to pray that our Father in Heaven will wrap Nic in His love so that he might feel how loved he is while we now count down the days until we can get there!!

Thank you again and again for all of your prayers and support!  You are just as much a part of giving Nic a family and love as we are!  We are so grateful for all of you! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Christians and Adoption


Alright, here I go again.  

In my adoption resource room I have before me every single day the faces of children that we are all praying and fighting for, fighting to find families who will trust the Lord and take the leap of faith to save 1, 2,3,4...of these children.  

The orphanages in these Eastern Europe countries and all over the world are not what us here in the United States could ever imagine.  These special needs children are starved, sedated, left alone in cribs for days that turn into years until they can no longer hold on or they are transferred to adult institutions where they rapidly "deteriorate" to die alone.  

I continue to write about and post about these children, not to tug on your heart strings, but to open eyes to what is going on.  I know that I had no idea.  Ignorance is bliss.  It is painful knowing what's going on and wondering, praying every day about what MORE can I do?! How many can we bring home? Who can I "get" to bring "this one" home?! 

Visit Reecesrainbow.org to see hundreds of children with special needs of all ages that need to see the love of the Lord through you! We don't know why we are led to certain children that you will know the Lord is telling you to pray for, give money for or to bring home, but isn't that like our own adoption by our Father?

Here are a few children that were posted about in my resource room recently that need you...
Jayce, beautiful 14 year old boy with Down syndrome.  Where does he get the energy to smile as he is clearly starving to death?

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And...
"This beautiful boy, Carter, with cerebral palsy, turns 5 next month.

That's 5 years of no one celebrating his birthday. 5 years of laying in a crib. 5 years without love.

Can we make this birthday the last one he spends alone?"
Above is an old picture but Click here to see a recent video of Carter.

And...
Sean, precious 3 year old boy with Down syndrome.


There are babies up through teenagers (until they are transferred), that need us! 

Just since we have begun our adoption process, we have received news of four children in Eastern Europe that have been added to Reece's Rainbow's "In Loving Memory" page.   They couldn't hold on any longer waiting for their family.  We know that they are healed and in the arms of our perfect loving father now and we rejoice in this but can't help but weep over the fact that these children never knew the love of family on this earth.  We have been commanded to care for these children who died alone in pain and starvation and we as Christians are failing them.  

Adoption is not charity.  It is gospel. It is missional. It is spiritual warfare. 

 As gospel it "tells us about our identity, our inheritance, and our mission as sons of God...Adoption tells us our purpose in this age as the people of Christ.  Missional adoption spurs us to join Christ in advocating for the helpless and the abandoned... Adoption is about an entire culture within our churches, a culture that sees adoption as part of our Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself." (Russell Moore, Adopted for Life) And as a picture of the gospel and a missional fulfillment of the great commission it is extreme spiritual warfare.  The Prince of this earth, the demonic powers, hate adoption, hate babies, hate "the least of these", the most vulnerable among us and want nothing more than to destroy this picture of Jesus.    

I know that many Christians cannot adopt for whatever reason but we ALL need to be serving them!  We have all been called to serve "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40).

I have posted this quote before but it is one that stays with me: 
"Kids in crisis can't afford to wait until it's most convenient for you to care for them. They don't have that luxury. They need you to stop rationalizing what you know God is calling you to do - and just do it. Your "no" is a lot more difficult on them than your "yes" will ever be on you. Perhaps these kids needs your family as much as your family needs these kids. One is given comfort and security for likely the first time in their life while the other is freed from comfort and security, and as a result, actually finds life. Jesus Himself said, "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:25) In perhaps one of the most counterintuitive and countercultural statements He ever made, we find what life is all about - losing ourselves for the sake of someone else's gain. Hard? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely. What you stand to lose pales in comparison to what everyone, including yourself, stands to gain. There's never really a perfect time to foster or adopt; just a lot of opportunities to say yes to losing yourself despite the many reasons you have to say no.” –Jason Johnson B

I had the intention of writing a quick message with a couple of pics of children- oops.  
If you're still reading, then thanks for hangin' in there! 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Waiting and Praying

If I could sum up where we are in our adoption process right now in two words it would be "waiting" and "praying".  We have submitted every single paper possible to Eastern Europe and to US immigration and now we are just praying that they land in the hands of men and women that will see them through as quickly as possible. 

Because we have submitted all of our dossier (lots and lots of notarized, certified and apostilled documents)  to Eastern Europe in anticipation of moving the process along as fast as possible, we just have to wait for US immigration approval to go through for the final paperwork to be submitted in order to receive our court and travel dates.

Because of Nic's Down syndrome and other potential special needs, all of this has been done with a requested medical expedite.  However, whether it receives the medical expedite and the speed at which it goes through is completely out of our control.  So, we are PRAYING and requesting all of our wonderful family in Christ who has loved and supported Nic and our family through this, to pray as well. 

If it takes two days or two months we know that the Lord is in control and it is all part of His plan so we can't worry.  But Lord willing, it will move at record speed with the power of prayer to His glory. 

We continue to pray for Nic to feel the Lord's love while he is waiting for us and for his health and strength as he is growing.  We are also praying for the other orphans and how the Lord can use us in their lives as well.  

Thank you for your love, prayers and support! 



Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fully Funded!

YES, you read the title right.  Praise the Lord, we are FULLY FUNDED!!!!  

AAHHHHHH!!!!!!!! 

That is me squealing with excitement!!!  I am still walking around in a state of awe and giddiness!

I wish you all could witness just how amazing the Lord has provided and how He has worked through so many showing love to Domenic!

We not only received our most recent check that fulfilled our adoption needs, but have had others who have wanted to still give to help with medical needs! 

This verse just keeps going through my head:
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
-Ephesians 3:20-21
We cannot thank you all enough for your prayers, sharing and generosity to help make this happen!

When we first made the commitment to adopt Domenic we almost let the expense stop us from moving forward, but we knew that if we were just obedient we could trust in God for every detail.  He is faithful! We are still in complete awe at the amazing way the funds came in!   

We are so incredibly grateful to every single one of you who have supported us through this process!  It means so much to us!  You all are apart in saving Domenic and bringing him home.  I can't wait for him to see just how loved he is!!

We will keep you updated as we continue through the process.  Our paperwork is waiting approval in the US and will then be sent to Eastern Europe for approval.  At that point we will receive our travel and court dates.  We are praying for all of these steps to move rapidly, Lord willing, so that we can get him home!!  Please continue to keep Domenic and speed in the processing of each step in your prayers. 

Our sincere thanks!!!!!!!  All glory to our amazing Father in Heaven!