Saturday, December 22, 2007

I saw this on a plaque ...
I am going to stencil this on a wall in our house!

Having someone to love is family.
Having somewhere to go is home.
Having both is a blessing.


How true it is! How true it is!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

There are no orphans of God as He is Father of us all!

I came across this video on another blog of a family who left for their Ukrainian SDA appt today. (Kristina's Story). Please keep them and all the other families and adopted children going through the adoption process around the world in your prayers, including the friends, caretakers and possible family members (brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc.) of the adopted children who will be saying goodbye.

">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJmRPdogf7U>

How would God use YOU to care for orphans?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The To Do List that never ends ...

As I read other blogs of families getting ready to leave, it is such a relief to know that I am not the only one frantically trying to get things in order ... and our appt date isn’t until January 29! :o)

So far, I have 5 "to-do" lists. One for Timmy while we're gone - you know, inform the school, POA, med forms. Then there's John's list and my list – for obvious reasons (he being male and my being female!), they are NOT the same. LOL The electronics list to include our adapters, blackberry, chargers, laptop, etc. John will also be ordering a portable printer for us to use while we are there to run off pics for the kids at the orphanage. :o) And then there’s all of John’s camera stuff – lots of camera stuff! Oh, and then there's the adoption paper list of documents we need to take with us … and call the credit card company to let them know we will be traveling out of country … OH! And then there’s the holiday list – Thanksgiving dinner, decorate for Christmas, shop for gifts, wrap gifts, Christmas dinner, New Year’s, take down decorations …

And it's only November!! The fact that I have even started lists is a miracle in itself. As others will attest, it is hard to concentrate on anything but all the things you need to get done before you leave.

A HUGE thank you to all who have posted helpful packing hints on your blogs!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A room fit for a princess ... okay, a lot of princesses!

Last winter, when we decided to host the girls, about 10 guys from our church blessed us with their skills in helping us build two bedrooms for all our girls in as little as 4 weeks! From building the framework for the rooms with a walk-in closet each, cutting and installing the studs, wiring for new outlets and lighting, installing insulation, drywalling, mudding and sanding, painting, doors, pocket door and a drop ceiling. (There is a pocket door between the two rooms ... WAY COOL!) Sammy, Sabrina and Tim helped with mudding, sanding, painting and cleaning. Sammy and Sabrina helped with the decor. John and I started the framework. John installed closet organizers, took pictures and put together not 1 ... not 2 ... but 3 bunk beds! I got the carpet ... and I even got to use a miter saw for the first time! Very cool!

The pictures below are of the finished rooms after many hours of labor of many (to appreciate the extent of the work, you must know that the rooms were built side-by-side on a far wall in our basement that consisted of cinder block foundation and an exposed ceiling):


Friday, November 16, 2007

The Prayer Wall

At our church, there is a Prayer Wall in the Youth Room - grades 7 & 8 - where kids can write prayer requests or praises. John's youngest daughter, Sabrina is in 8th grade. She has such a big heart - just like her Daddy:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Year Anniversary!


Our adoption journey began one year ago today when God laid it on our hearts to host two young ladies from Ukraine ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

WE HAVE OUR DATE!!!!

This past weekend was a total confirmation that we are doing what God has called us to do. On Friday night, we attended a Fall Family Night at our church for our adoption/foster care ministry. John took family photos and has done an awesome job on them!!

On Sunday, our pastor and his wife announced the release of Julie's CD from which 100% of the money taken in will go toward adoption scholarships. How cool is that??? Incidentally, they are in the process of adopting as well!

We got our phone call around 1:53 pm on Monday afternoon. I had e-mailed our agency to ask a couple of questions. My cell phone rang and I saw that it was our agency calling. My heart jumped! "Could it be? Okay, calm down. She is probably just calling about the e-mail," I told myself. I picked up and it was K. She asked me how I was (nervous!) and then told me she had our date!!! I didn't know whether to scream or cry!

OUR DATE IS JANUARY 29!!!
While we know this is a little ways off, we take comfort in knowing that God is in control and knows the perfect timing for us to get our girls. He is preparing the way for us.
A song was sung at service on Sunday that we had not heard before. I was so overcome with emotion that I couldn't sing along -- I could only think of our girls:
God in my living
There in my breathing
God in my waking
God in my sleeping
God in my thinking
God in my speaking
God in my hoping
There in my dreaming
God in my watching
God in my waiting
God in my laughing
There in my weeping
God in my hurting
God in my healing
You are everything
Christ in me the hope of glory
Be my everything
God is in our hope.
God is in our dreams.
God is in our waiting.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What is a picture worth?

In this case ... priceless! Theresa and Mark were able to send us pictures of Rymma and her best friends! She has grown so much since we last saw her in January. They also included a video of her telling us that she loves us and misses us and can't wait for us to come for her but I can't get it to load to our blog. I will continue to try so check back!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thank you all for your encouragement! I am sure that we will hear soon but it so hard just waiting!

Theresa e-mailed this morning that she and Mark will be giving out gifts to our waiting children and will be visiting Rymma's orphanage today. :o) They planned on taking her with them to get ice cream. It makes me smile to know how delighted she will be to get such a special treat as ice cream!

The reality of actually going to get Rymma and our other daughter is starting to hit home. On Friday, we received a travel kit from our agency so we have the information we need to start preparing.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Still waiting for our phone call ...


Our 20-day approval period is up ...
Our 30-day waiting period is up ...
Our anxiety is up ...

It's A Small World

Over the last couple of days, we have been reminded just how small the world really is. A friend of ours is a sales associate for cell phones and blackberries. He met a young lady the other day (19) and noticed she had an accent. When he asked her where she was from, she said Ukraine. It happens that she was adopted from Donetsk a few years ago. He told her that John and I are adopting two young ladies from Ukraine and he said she grinned from ear to ear. When Brian mentioned Dyetsky Dom (a home that our church helps to sponsor), she was totally surprised that he and John even knew about it - much less have been there and helped to renovate it. Brian is going to ask her to contact us so that perhaps our girls will have a connection at home and she can give them some insight at more of their age level.

Aerosvit Luggage Rules

Yes, I was able to find them! Go to Section 14 for all the details!http://www.aerosvitairlines.se/eng/rules/961/

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dearest Daughters,


As we anxiously await the news of when we travel to bring you home, these are our wishes for you always ...

Smiles when sadness intrudes
Comfort on difficult days
Rainbows to follow the clouds
Sunsets to warm your heart
Hugs when spirits sag
Beauty for your eyes to see
Friendships to brighten your being
Faith so that you can believe
Confidence for when you doubt
Patience to accept the truth
Courage to know yourself
Love to complete your life
(Anonymous)

Our additions:
Sunrises that brighten your day
Dreams to aspire to
Protection and wisdom of a father
Nurturing and teaching of a mother
Strength of sisterhood
Nourishment for your body and soul
Memories to never forget where you come from
Desire to make a difference in someone else's life
Music to dance to
Knowledge that God brought us together
Feeling that you have never been loved more
Trust that Mama & Papa will be always be here for you
A night sky filled with stars to make your own wishes upon

Love,

мама и папа (Mama & Papa)



Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Something Russian


Tuesday night my sister-in-law Paula, Timmy and I attended a local Russian Festival at an Eastern Orthodox church. It was really cool! They had a Russian Dance Company that did several traditional dances. One that was really neat to watch was "The Sailor Dance." It was a story of a sailor and his lady wooing each other. It was nice to see the younger children doing their traditional dance too. The visit was nice but bittersweet as there was one girl in particular who looked like what I imagine Taya would look like when she is a little older. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. She was beautiful and had the most genuine smile.


The food was good too!! They had a huge spread! Timmy had chicken kiev. Paula had a kiev meal (kiev, halushki (noodles with cabbage), green beans, salad). I had pierogis (with butter and onions - YUMMY!), two cabbage rolls and a blini (crepe with sweetened cheese and strawberry sauce). Ok, so this particular food isn't in my diet plan but I saved up my exchanges so I could enjoy it!


They had a lot of Russian/Ukrainian giftware and jewelry. The pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Egg) display was really neat. Very intricate detail. Paula and I want to make some with the girls. Won't that be cool?


I grew up in a very traditional Italian family and know the importance of keeping those traditions. We want the same for our girls. Our dream is that they will one day return to their homeland and give back to other children who are living what they will have overcome. Isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

God is Good!

He is good indeed! Just today I was prepared to post a picture of an hourglass and a clock with "Still waiting ...." I hadn't had the chance to do it before John called me at work around 3:30 and left a message for me to call him back. He asked me if I was sitting down and told me that he had just received an e-mail from our agency that our dossiers were submitted on Monday. We are just so happy that we are yet another step closer!

But ... we are still in need of prayer that the SDA approves them and we get a travel date soon! Thank you, everyone, for your continued support. God is hearing our prayers!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

God's Timing

This sign had been posted at the main intersection near our home for the last couple of weeks as a reminder that God's timing is perfect. While we continue to wait for news about when we will travel to get our girls, it is a reminder that we are not in control. Yes, I have a copy of this picture on my refrigerator!


And the ironic thing ... I took this picture last night on the way to a meeting ... they changed it today while I was at work!! I just smiled when I saw the changed marquee. God's timing or coincidence???

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spiritual Warfare

Last night at our diet class, the subject of stress was discussed. And then today, during our staff meeting, we were reminded of the spiritual warfare that is cast upon us daily as we serve within the church.

Wow! What impeccable timing! Spiritual warfare is everywhere. Have you ever had one of those days where Satan just seems to seep into your every thought or emotion? Yesterday was one of those days for me. I feel like he is hard at work to create more and more chaos in my life - home, work, ministry, finances, the adoptions, school schedules, hurriedness, the interweavings of all of them ... you name it. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and scream "ENOUGH!!!!"

Our lives are on fast-forward, puree, turbo-charged, hamster-in-the-wheel crazy!

Please join me in praying that negative thinking, stress, being overwhelmed, the ways of the world, being overcommitted, over busyness, hurriedness, fatigue, compromise, pressures, overworked, underappreciated, misunderstandings, and stress to not get in our Spiritual Homes and take over (Matthew 6:34; John 14:1).

ENOUGH, SATAN!! ENOUGH!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Update!


We received word last evening from our agency that our papers have been sent to Kiev! YES!!! There are some difficulties at the SDA in processing dossiers as they are backlogged. They anticipate us getting an appt date in September to arrive in Ukraine some time in Oct/Nov. We are another step closer to bringing our daughters home! :o) We thank you all for your continued prayers and ask that you join us in praying that the process goes smoothly and quickly at the SDA.

Blessings,

Lucia

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monkeying Around with My Boys

Sunday was Derek's 21st Birthday! Funny, I don't feel like the mother of a 21-year old. Come to think of it ... I think look pretty good to be the mother of a 21-year old! :o)

Anyway, the boys and I spent the day in Columbus going shopping and to the zoo. Here are a couple pics. Derek wouldn't let me take but a couple of him.



Friday, July 6, 2007

Flutter By

On my drive home from work today on Tuesday, I was in the car listening to Mark Schultz's Broken & Beautiful CD, listening to Precious Child. I was thinking of Rymma and Taya when 2 butterflies fluttered passed my windshield. One of John's favorite songs for the girls is Butterfly Kisses and I immediately thought of Rymma and Taya when I saw the butterflies. I thanked God for that moment right there and then! While I know we are not getting Taya, I couldn't help but think that God was letting me know that they were thinking of me too.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day


This is a picture of John and the girls in 1999 with Grandma Norma.

John is an awesome dad! He teases them; he hugs them; he tells them that he loves them! He is an awesome provider and a great example of a Christ-follower to our kids and other kids in our church congregation - many of whom endearingly call him "dad." :o) I am proud to call him my husband and love that we work together in the parenting of our children.

This Father's Day, the kids and I went together to get him a new chair for his office! Something he would NEVER get for himself! :o) Timmy made him a card on Aunt Connie's computer that says "I love you so much it hurts" - a saying that John has told him since he was born. It put a smile on his face that just melted my heart.

Since I was not feeling up-to-par and not much on roller coasters and Timmy is just 6, John took the girls to Geauga Lake for the day. It was a present from me to him and the girls to be able to spend the day just "daddy & his girls." They had an awesome time! :o) (I just LOVE Sabrina in this picture! :o)

Yesterday at service, Kasey O'Connor sang Watching You by Rodney Atkins. As with the Mother's Day song, it hit the very core of me as I imagine Timmy saying those words to John:

Drivin’ through town just my boy and me
With a “Happy Meal” in his booster seat
Knowin’ that he couldn’t have the toy ‘til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath.
His fries went a flyin’, and his orange drink covered his lap
Well, then my 4 year old said a 4-letter word
It started with “S” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

He said, I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that kool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you.

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self.”
Just this side of bedtime later that night
Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-doo nightlight
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.
And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?"

He said, "I've been watching you, dad ain’t that kool?
I’m your buckaroo; I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding moma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do;
so I’ve been watching you.

I LOVE YOU, JOHN!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Our Beautiful Rymma!

Since I got up this morning, Rymma has been on my mind. Maybe it's because I am home today and have time to think about her and see all the reminders of her in our home.

Rymma is such a beautiful young lady! She has a HUGE heart and has such compassion for others. A couple of things that truly touched my heart when she was here with us in December began when we first met her. She and Taya did not know each other. Yet, when we left the airport together that first time, she took Taya by the hand and was the big sister that Taya needed. Rymma LOVES animals! She made sure that the cats and dog were fed - REALLY fed! She went through a 20 lb. bag of cat food in two weeks! LOL

On the day that we took them back to JKF, we stopped at a mall for a bit with several of the other hosting families. I had gone to get a cappuccino at Starbuck's and John took the girls to get something to eat at Wendy's. John had ordered the wrong sandwich and went back to get the right one for Rymma. She waited for him to return and bowed her head for him to say grace before she ate. WOW! Even in a different language, she understands.

I am so eager to go get her and her new sister! I can't stand it! I know that all happens in God's timing but I do wish that He'd hurry it up just a bit! :0) I can't wait to be Rymma's and our other daughter's mom! (We did receive word on Tuesday that Angelina is fervently looking for another little girl for us around Taya's age. Please continue to pray for Taya and that God leads Angelina to that one little girl that God has waiting for us!)


Saturday, June 9, 2007

YES!!!!

Good Morning! I just checked this morning on the blog of the family who took our dossiers. Our dossiers are now in the hands of our facilitator! YES!!!! (The picture is of Angelina (our facilitator) and Natasha at Natasha's final court date in May. We met her in December when we had Rymma and Taya with us.)

Now it is just a matter of time for us to hear when our appt is set. This can take up to 2 months or more. We pray that it comes sooner rather than later!!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Doing the Dossier-Doe!

We just received word tonight that the family carrying our dossiers arrived safely in Kiev yesterday. Won't you join us in prayer for this family as they finalize their adoption of two children as well? If I am not mistaken, they are adopting a brother/sister pair.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of Rymma and Taya. On Friday, Taya was on my mind all day ... and I mean ALL day! I think God wanted me to pray for her for whatever reason. God placed her on John's heart on Friday too. It was the weirdest thing but the coolest at the same time!

John and I want to thank all of you for your prayers and encouragement! We are truly blessed!
Lucia

Posting Comments

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John & Lucia

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Congratulations, Timmy!



I know this is our adoption blog but I just had to congratulate our Timmy!!!!

Tomorrow is Timmy's last day of kindergarten! He has done such a great job at learning his ABC's, letters, numbers, the clock, colors, shapes, how to tie his shoes, our phone number. The most impressive things he has learned this year are how to read and our address!!! Those of you who know our address know that the written version is longer than the actual road!

We want to thank the RiverTree Christian School staff and all the teachers, assistants and volunteers - especially Timmy's teachers over the past 3 years, Ms. Nancy, Miss Jenny, Ms. Connie, Ms. Nicole and Ms. Laura - for their precious time and pouring of their hearts into our children. Thank you for loving on our children, consoling the boo-boos, wiping the tears, giving the hugs, doling out the discipline, sharing the laughs, endlessly tying shoes and retying shoes, reading to our kids, playing with our kids, teaching our kids about God and being an example of compassion and God's light to our children. You have won the hearts of the kids and us parents!

We are so proud of you, Timmy!!!

You have a heart for God and for people - you can't say that about too many 6-year olds. We hope that we set an example of what kind of person we want you to be - a Christ-follower.



WE LOVE YOU!!!


Daddy and Mommy


*KISS*

Monday, May 21, 2007

Until I See You Again

I dedicate this song to my precious, Taya ...

Until I See You Again
Mark Schultz

Oh child, precious one
Let your life shine like the sun
But you say “How long ‘til I can come home
‘Til I can rest in your arms again”
And I say “Not long but don’t miss this life and I’ll be
Waiting ‘til then”

Live with the wonder of a child
Pray with your arms thrown open wide
Love with a love that has no end
Until I see you again

Oh child, precious one
With each breath know you are loved
But you say “How long ‘til I can come home
‘Til I can rest in your arms again”
And I say “Not long but don’t miss this life and I’ll be
Waiting ‘til then"

I love you, Taya!
Mama




http://play.rhapsody.com/markschultz/brokenbeautiful/untiliseeyouagainballadversion


On Their Way!

They are finally on their way! We mailed our dossiers to our adoption agency this afternoon. They will get them tomorrow and start reviewing them. Once they are approved stateside, they will be sent to Ukraine for translation and processing. There is a family leaving for Ukraine on June 4 and will hand-deliver them to the facilitator. This will cut down on the time it takes to get it delivered to Ukraine via FedEx or other courier service.

Once the dossiers are received in Ukraine, the facilitator will submit for a number in the lineup. The translation process will begin and then the waiting begins again. The government will have 20 days within which to approve or deny our requests to adopt.

Once the approval is made, a number is issued (kinda like a docket number in our court system) and a date is set for us to arrive in Kiev. Our arrival date could be as long as 3 months or longer. Ugh!

John is planning on going to Ukraine in June with Dan from our adoption agency to visit Rymma and to meet some little girls that we could potentially adopt from her orphanage. I just love John's heart!! Plus, I know he is eager to see Rymma! :0) I would LOVE to go too but I am scheduled for surgery in mid-June and will be unable to travel.

Thank you all for your sentiments and continued prayers as we continue to trust God with what His plans are for our family.

Blessings,
Lucia

Sunday, May 20, 2007

To My Little Mouse...

To my Little Mouse...

I write this letter and know that you may never receive this letter but it's something I need to do.

We received the news today that you can't join our family. I first was sad, but then I thought about you and it made me smile.

I never got the chance to hold you as a baby. I never got a chance to watch you grow. I never got to watch you go to the prom. I never got to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day. So many things I never got to do. But this isn't about me. It's about you!

My dearest Taya, how much I love and will always love you as my own. It was awesome to have you visit us for the 3 weeks and see some of the USA. I am so glad to hear that you have Guardians! I am a better person for knowing you and loving you. And if loving you is what set you free, then it is worth every tear of joy I shed for you, my little daughter. I hope your guardians love you more than I can ever dream.

I wish I got you to know Jesus as your personal Savior so that I may once again see you in heaven and get to hold you again.

My wish for you is to grow up and become an awesome young lady. To know that the heavenly Father loves you and that a father here on earth loves you very much and is so proud of you. Always keep your beautiful smile and never lose your spirit.

I will always love you.

Daddy

God's Will

Life is never as we plan, is it?

Just minutes ago, we received word that Taya is no longer available for us to adopt. The only information we were told is that she has a guardian and is no longer at the orphanage. Of course, with confidentiality laws they were not able to tell us if she is with family.

John and I are heartbroken over the news. We feel like a part of us has been taken away and we are deeply saddened by the news.

We will forever miss our "Little Mouse" and pray that God will protect her and provide for her. We hope and pray that she is exactly where God wants her to be and that she will have the opportunity to become all that God wants her to be. We hope to see her in Heaven when we leave this earth and to give her all the hugs and kisses that we have saved up for her.
We went into the hosting/adoption process with the intent of doing God's Will or to be a vessel in His plan. We can only hope that His plan was for her to be reunited with her family in Ukraine and that through our hosting Taya, it was a wake-up call for her family to welcome her back into their arms.

We are thankful for the time that we got to spend with Taya and hope that she carries memories of us with her as we will of our time with her. We will miss her laugh, "PLEEAASE, John," "Mama Mia" and "Mario" when playing GameBoy, her little "Natasha?" when she wanted to call her, her "mm-hm" when she understood what we typed in our pocket translator, her mannerisms and her playful spirit. Most of all, we will miss her smile and her beautiful little face!! I am thankful that I got to spend time creating a scrapbook with her that she can look back on and remember the family in America that loves her very much.

We have asked our adoption agency to gather bios of other little girls around Taya's age and who are at Rymma's orphanage for us to consider. God has laid it on our hearts to bring two young ladies into our family and we want to honor Him. Please keep us in prayer as we discern our options.

Praises for Bob, Gail and Natasha returning home safely from Ukraine last night! After 9 months in the hosting/adoption process and 22 hours of travel from Ukraine, Natasha is finally at home with her new forever family! We are excited for all of them!! (The picture below is of Bob, Gail and Natasha before heading into court to finalize the adoption.)
Many blessings upon you and yours,
Lucia

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Thrill of Victory (over Satan) and the Agony of Da' Feet

HALLELUJAH! Our papers are notarized and apostilled! We ended up getting to go to Columbus yesterday to get our papers apostilled. Satan was on the prowl the entire time. But WITH OUR GOD, WE WON!!!

It started out that we got to the Secretary of State's Office around 3:30. We headed to the offices after checking in with security and getting badges. Kathy (who apostilled everything) questioned my divorce papers because of the county signature - the Clerk is no longer in office and a deputy signed it and didn't date it. UGH!! She went to her supervisor who said they could attach a True & Accurate Form to it and then we would have to take it to the County Courthouse to get the notary's signature authenticated. I told them that we have to use the Ukraine form and offered to type a copy myself but they would not allow me to use a computer. DOUBLE UGH!! So, we decided to go ahead and do what they suggested on the offchance that it would fly. (We have e-mailed the document to the adoption agency and are awaiting their response/approval of the forms.) ** As I got ready to post this, we got word that the forms and my re-dos of the photos are acceptable! PRAISE GOD!!!

Instead of driving (which in retrospect would have been a LOT easier and worth losing our meter fee!!!), Lucia goes walking through Columbus in her black heels and hose trying to trek "3-4" blocks to the courthouse and get back before 5:00 - it was 4:15 when I left the SOS Office. (John stayed back in case they had other questions.) About a 1/3 of the way there, I had to take off my shoes. By the time I reached the courthouse - which I might add was more like 12-14 blocks!!, my hose were in shreds, I couldn't get my shoes on and I had blisters on the bottom of both feet. I could hardly walk. The only thing keeping me going was picturing Rymma's and Taya's faces and being reunited with them at the end of this journey!

Before getting the papers authenticated, I asked for a number to call a cab to pick me up. I got the authentication done in about 2 minutes! Who knew?? I went down to the street to wait for the cab who finally showed up about 10 minutes later. He sandwiched himself between two city busses and as he went around the front one, he did not see me and kept going. I thought he would circle the building and after 5 minutes, I realized he didn't. In the meantime, John calls me to see where I am - by this time, it is 4:50 - the SOS Office closes at 5:00! I try to hail a cab and ask a police officer in a cruiser for a ride and both have people in the car. I even went so far as to ask a lady who was being picked up for a ride - I was desperate - but no luck. TRIPLE UGH!! By this time, I am in tears. John calls me and asks me where I put the keys to the car and he was coming to get me. My heart sank! I had the key in my purse --- with me!! He then tells me that there is a cruiser and a tow truck waiting to tow our car as we had parked in a tow away zone! NO!!! We had put in enough money for 2 hours but we didn't see the notification on the meter. By this time, we are both frantic! As John is waiting for me to come back, the receptionist at the SOS Office calls and says she is on the way to get me. God bless her! I was back at the SOS Office in about 10 minutes and got in their offices at 5:28. Kathy had waited for me! I gave her a big hug before I left! With our apostilled papers in-hand, a few bruises and a $40 parking fine, we are back in good ol' Magnolia and but one step away from getting our papers in the mail to the adoption agency on Friday.

Needless to say, da feet are very sore today and I am in sneakers. As I was driving into work today, I couldn't help but think about the pain that Christ went through for God's sons and daughters. The pain that I went through yesterday is no comparison ... and yet, He endured the pain of lifetime in just a few short hours. And much like the pain of being separated from His Father at the end (when He bore all our sins), John and I suffer from the separation from Rymma and Taya. We only pray that we will soon be united with them as Christ is with His Father.

Thank you for the prayers! We are blessed to have the friends and family that we have!
Lucia

Are there hidden camera's somewhere???

This is for Tuesday but we got home too late and were too tired to post...

Have you ever had a day where you should have stayed in bed??? I think that should have been yesterday - for at least me - for the way it started out. It's got to be on Candid Camera or something!

Tuesday morning- Got to work and was waiting for Lucia to finish checking all the documents to be sure we are ready to get them authenticated. So I picked up Hope Mobile for brakes being done around 10:30am and headed to RiverTee to pick up the docs from Lucia to take to courthouse. So far, so good! I parked in the newly renovated parking garage downtown that has a unmanned payment machine to pay your parking cost. Got to courthouse at 11:40am and, of course, it was a half crew due to lunch. Came back to garage and that's where the fun began.
It took my ticket gladly AND it readily accepted my credit card. Then the !@#$% machine said "out of service!" So I WAS TRAPPED IN THE GARAGE! I placed a called to the owner and finally found a way to get out. So I flew over and got Lucia and we headed to Columbus.

We got to Columbus around 3:30 and found a parking spot .... more to add later tonight.... Ok- So I see Lucia filled in some of what went on. It was a lesson for me and a blessing in disguise. For had Lucia not gotten stuck, I wouldn't have gone outside to see that our car was potentially being towed! I can't imagine the grief we would have gone through coming out to find our car gone. When I finally got to move the car out of the way, Lucia went upstairs to pick up the final apostilled papers. I found an alley behind the building and just parked there. I was so overcome by emotions that I cannot begin to describe. I simply just sat in the car and cried because I couldn't believe that we had finally finished this HUGE hurdle in getting the girls.

I spoke with Dan this afternoon and, at this point, he has no information about Taya possibly having a guardian. So we are praying that this still works out for both Rymma and Taya to join our family. S0 we ask for your continued prayers!

Agape,

John

Monday, May 14, 2007

Paperwork, pictures and surprises!

Last night after John and the kids went to bed was spent going over the adoption paperwork and getting it in order to get them notarized today. What a task! This form for this; that form for that. Signed by one of you; signed by both of you. This needs notarized; this doesn't. CRAZY!

We e-mailed our photos to the agency last evening and got a return e-mail today that while they were nice, it was not what the government wants. I - of course - did my usual "over-the-top" scrapbooking. They simply want a FEW pictures with captions - nothing fancy. Grrr! So, tonight I will stay up and revamp all our pictures. The good thing about the scrapbooks is that I can give them to the girls as gifts! :o)

Another piece of good news is that all our documents are notarized and ready to be authenticated by the county court tomorrow. MANY THANKS to Linda for putting up with us and all this stuff!! I told Linda to send us her bill for her carpal tunnel aggravation! LOL (If you have ever purchased a home, the amount of paperwork and signatures is about the same!) We are planning our trip to Columbus on Thursday to get everything apostilled and then in the mail on Friday to our adoption agency! YES!!!

I had forgotten a Mother's Day gift from Timmy in the car from Friday when I picked him up from school. I opened it this morning when I got to work. It was a picture of him made into a magnet - REALLY CUTE! Then a little book "About Mom" with an awesome picture of him on the front. Inside it had little blurbs about mom. "My mom is 'Luchea.' She is 30 years old. (I WISH!!! LOL) My mom likes to help me build train tracks. (He LOVES trains!) I love my mom because she helps me." Gotta love him!

Tonight is going to be a long night as well but well worth it. I will catch you up on things once we get all our paperwork signed, sealed and sent!
In His Name,
Lucia

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mamachia's AWESOME Mother's Day

Today, was an extraordinary day in my life! Never before has a Mother's Day been so meaningful to me. John, Sammy, Sabrina and Timmy gave me a beautiful card that looked like it had been scrapbooked! I told John he did a great job in picking it out! :o) Yes, he picked it out all by himself!!

We got up this morning and attended church as a family at RiverTree. The service was excellent - as usual. You can go to www.rivertreechristian.com and listen to the sermons online. At the end of service, Pastor Greg's wife, Julie, shared some gifts that their daughter, Tabitha, had made her for Mother's Day and a letter that she had written when Pastor Greg was away for a few days. Then Julie sang a song that melted my heart - "In My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride. I don't know how she kept a straight face through it - even Tabitha was singing along with her. It was all I could do to not cry uncontrollably.

My reaction to the song is bittersweet. You see, with the news about Taya (see previous post), it hit me hard that I may not see myself in her sparkling eyes again - the bitter. Just after we got the news about Taya, we FINALLY received a letter from Rymma - we have been waiting since January!! The sweet. She starts out, "Dear Mom and Dad." Music to our ears! She goes on to say that she can't wait to come and be with us again and that her birthday would have been better had we been able to celebrate together. We did not know her thoughts until receiving this letter and we are so happy to hear that she wants to be with us!!

The rest of the day was fun too with John and the kids! They has asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day and I told them that I wanted them to cook for me! LOL John grilled steaks while Sammy made salad and Sabrina cut strawberries for shortcake. Timmy set the table. Shauna showed up LOL - but she also brought me flowers (they are beautiful!) and a card. The card didn't have any writing on it but she wrote "Happy Mother's Day, Mamachia! I could never ask for a better (step) mom! I love you! Shauna" This is the most sentimental gift I have gotten from her in 7 years and I will cherish it forever!!! Sabrina stayed up last night and scrapbooked me a beautiful card, tag and all! She helped Timmy make me a card too and he made two of them for me at church!! Even Derek (my 21 year-old) called to wish me Happy Mother's Day and invite me to lunch one day this week! I am the luckiest wife, mom and stepmom!!!

We are still working on our dossiers. John is scanning our photos as I type to send to the adoption agency to get their "approval." I put a lot of love into them and hope that they "pass." We are hoping to get our papers notarized and certified tomorrow, heading to Columbus on Tuesday or Thursday and mailing out our papers by the end of this week!! YES!!!! Wish us luck!! Then, it's another waiting game! Ugh!

In closing, I want to say THANK YOU to John and the girls and Timmy for giving me an AWESOME Mother's Day! And another thank you to the kids for helping us this weekend to get our old house ready to sell!! You guys rock!!! I LOVE YOU!
Mamachia

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wishing Upon A Star ...

Thank you, Honey, for the beautiful words. (I hate when you make me cry!) I LOVE YOU more than you will ever know. You are the husband I prayed for and I am blessed to share our lives and love with you and our children ...

I don't know how much I can add to John's earlier comments, really. He eloquently spoke words from both our hearts. We want only what is best for Taya should our adoption of her not come to pass. I am praying HARD that whatever happens, it is in her best interest and that God will bless her with the family that she is meant to have - whether that family is ours or another.

I often tell people that God has a sense of humor - I grew up as an only child. I now have 2 sons, three stepdaughters and a possible two more daughters "on the way." I am a mother, a stepmother, an adoptive mother-to-be, a wife, a daughter, a sister-in-law, a daughter-in-law, an aunt - and I wouldn't change a thing!

As Mother's Day approaches, I am reminded of the relationships between mothers and their children. I am envious of mothers who have a special bond with her daughter; I miss doing things and laughing with my mother - I want with my daughter what I had with my mother; I celebrate in the relationships I have with my stepdaughters, and I rejoice in the relationships that I have with my sons. I am truly blessed!

I read a poem this morning while preparing our photos for our dossiers. It read: You are what I wished for when I wished upon a star. John, Derek, Shauna, Sammy, Rymma, Sabrina, Taya, & Timmy - YOU are my wishes come true! Thank you for letting me be your wife, your mom and your stepmom! I LOVE YOU!!

Lucia a.k.a. Mamachia

Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

It's amazing what happens in 6 months in our short lives. Yesterday, we have received unconfirmed reports from the Ukraine that it might not be possible to adopt Taya now. We have been told that a Ukraine family is interested in becoming or has become her Guardian. This news has been very shocking to Lucia and I , thus the reason I titled this post an emotional roller coaster.

When I first received the news I was upset to be quite honest. Then I reflected back the the beginning of the journey where Lucia and I decided to take this journey, together. Our main goal was to honor and bring glory to God first and change two young ladies life's as forever family in the process. Our pray from day one was that God's will be done and for him to get the glory. So reflecting back on that if Taya is with a family that loves her, then its a win-win. It's hard to conceive that we might have to let her go but letting go of someone you love has the best positive effect on everyone in the situation.

So we ask that you stand with Lucia and I in agreement in prayer that God's will be done with this adoption of Taya ( and Rymma). That blessed are the peacemakers. That Lucia and I are following God and our hearts in this journey and want to see it to the end. To run the race and endure this together and with all our family in friends as we simply rejoice that we got to have Taya here for 3 weeks. My only wish at this point is that she will be saved so that no matter what we can be a family together in heaven if this doesn't work out for whatever reason.

Lucia and I cannot begin to express the appreciation of all the support and prayers we are receiving from all over the world concerning this adoption(s). We humbly thank you all and we love you all.

Lastly, with Mother's Day soon approaching I dedicate this post to Lucia and my mother, Sue. These 2 incredible woman have supported me and loved me unconditionally. I would not be who I am today without great women in my life! Thanks Lucia and Mom!

Agape,

John n Lucia

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Tears of Joy!

Greetings All!

Lucia and I started this blog to track our progress of the adoption of our daughters, Rymma and Taya. As of this post, we are about a week away of submitting our dossier to the Ukraine Government.

I have just finished being away camping with Sabrina this weekend for Indian Princesses and received AWESOME news from Lucia. But first let me step back and bring you all up to speed...

Lucia and I hosted 2 beautiful girls (just as beautiful as our other 3 girls) from the Ukraine back around Christmas time for 3 weeks. At that time, Rymma was 12 and Taya was 10. We had a wonderful 3 weeks with the girls and it was soon apparent that Lucia and I wished to add them to the rest of the family. On New Years Eve, we asked Rymma (Taya had already fallen asleep). Rymma was SO NERVOUS (like we weren't too!) She responded with an I'm not sure yet reply. A short time later, we asked our friends Val and Julie over for dinner. (Val speaks Russian and he and I went to Ukraine together last Oct on missions trip). We had Val ask the girls again at dinner that evening if they wanted to be a part of our family and both of them said, "I don't know." Which I'm ok with because of the shock of just coming over here was overload. Before we knew it we were at JFK airport telling the girls goodbye. It was a VERY emotional experience for all 4 of us. It was then Lucia and I knew we had bonded very much more than we realized with Rymma and Taya.

Poof! Ok, that kinda brings you up to speed a little. Well, about a month and half after the girls got back, we got a letter from our little mouse (Taya) that her answer was yes! That she wanted to be with us and not to forget her!

So I'm at Camp Tippecanoe this weekend and Sabrina was on the horseback ride and out on the trail when I checked my voicemail on my cell. Lucia said she had talked to Dan and that Angelina had a letter from Rymma and that Rymma has said yes too! The emotions just overcame me as sat in my truck and just cried tears of Joy. I don't think I could have received the news at a more appropriate place than Camp Tippecanoe because I have taken all 3 of my girls there since they were little girls and is the place I would love to take Rymma and Taya too once they are here. So it has been a very emotional weekend for Lucia and I as we race to submit the paperwork in time before the deadline of 558 dossiers.

So PLEASE continue to pray for Rymma, Taya and ourselves that we can finish this race and become a forever family.

Agape,
John-n-Lucia