Monday, April 26, 2010

2 days!!



We are 2 days away from going to the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Minneapolis, MN!!!! We are so excited for many reasons! For one, we heard about it from my sister-in-law just a few weeks ago...and decided we should GO! We are looking forward to the time we'll get to spend with them. They have a real passion for Orphan ministry and work for The CoMission for Children at Risk, equipping believers to minister to orphans in Russia and Eastern Europe.

We've been wanting to attend a conference on Adoption and Orphan care for awhile and I didn't think we'd get to go before our adoption was complete! But, God made a way for us to fly for free on points and our hotel was on points as well! When we figured it would all be covered...why not go!! We are also looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and contacts. And, we will attend some great sessions!!!

Anyway, our documents are flying to Russia...very very exciting! I am looking forward to getting our travel dates and making another step towards having our girl home, forever... :-)

...Carala

Friday, April 23, 2010

Documents on there way...

Well,

Our document should be on their way today! Pray for speedy but safe travels for them. Soon the ministry will be looking at them....then setting our travel dates. Pray that we will get dates sooner than we think. Not that this ever happens...but God can do anything. So, we wait, patiently.

A new Canadian friend of mine, who has spent time with our little girl....has just spent the last 2 1/2 weeks visiting their own daughter at the same orphanage and is on her way to Moscow today to finalize their adoption before returning home with their girl in 5 days!! I am sooo happy for them. Hopefully everything has gone smoothly! I hope to hear from them now that they are in Moscow where there is internet! We hope and pray they got at least 1 opportunity to spend time with our little girl. Or, at least seen her once. Who knows what they allow or don't allow. I pray that some how, some way they got to see her, so we can know she's doing ok. I hope we'll hear something this weekend...just maybe... :-)

And, I sooo miss my girl today. It's been 2 months since we received our referral...wow, in some ways it feels like it has gone fast! But, I also thought we would have travelled by now. :-( Good thing we don't know the future...cause it would have been hard to hear that it may take 4 months before we get to meet her! You never know though... We are also very thankful that we have a picture of our girl and that we'll get to meet her soon! We are soooo thankful to be in the position we are, don't get me wrong. We are being patient and also remembering where we were just over 2 months ago...wondering how our adoption could have gone so wrong. And now, we are living a dream, a complete miracle.

God is preparing our girl...for the day we get to meet her. I'm not sure what it will be like. Will she like us? I have a feeling though...she will LOVE the bear her brothers made for her! Something about that bear. Ryden hugged it as he went to sleep last night...it was so sweet to see. And the other night Trennon had the bear tucked between his knees. Their smell will be on that bear...and I hope when she meets her brothers she will recognize their smell and feel right at home with them both.

Oh my girl,

I am praying for you today. Knowing there is much change in your near future. I pray God will prepare your heart for this big change. I know you are craving love, the love all of us are dying to give you. So, we can't wait to share our hearts with you...love you like you've never been loved before. It's getting so close now...a few more short months...and the next chapter of your life will start. I am praying you through girl. I love you...more than these words say.

your mama

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dossier going to Russia!

Well,

Good news...our dossier will be done at the Russian Consulate on Thursday and on Friday our Dossier will got to RUSSIA!!!! Wow! Hard to believe we are here! It should take about 5-7 days to get there. The next step is for the Ministry in our region to assign travel dates. But, there could be a slight delay because there is a few holidays back to back in early May. So, the ministry may shut down for a bit, we don't know for sure. So, you can pray we get assigned travel dates before they go on holidays. Once our dossier has been there a week or so, we should get our dates. So, we may not get our dates until the 2nd week in May.

All in all, this is all very exciting. We heard we may not travel until end of June. But, who knows with the state of affairs with Russian adoptions right now. I'd love to go alittle sooner...but we just have to trust that God's timing is perfect!

We are also hoping that our homestudy agency will be able to get their name removed from the Russian 'blacklist'. They are starting to work on that right now. Pray that this will not be an issue. We have to trust that God will work this out. It's hard when it's always, one more hurdle, one more issue, blah blah blah!!! So tired of it!

Well, that's i for now.

Carala

Friday, April 16, 2010

The end of a chapter....




Yesterday marked a big day for us. We officially closed the door on a 2 1/2 year relationship with our "old" agency that was facilitating our Russian Adoption. They were who we started with when we joined the Taiwan program in the fall of 2008. When the Taiwan program was pulled from this agency, we decided to join the Russia program they had going.

A lot of mixed feelings. But mostly, feelings of relief that we are moving on. We've been wanting to officially close the door for sometime. But, just didn't do it. We really wanted to be ready. I wanted the anger to be dissolved and I wanted to know for sure that we were 100% good with our decision, as it meant throwing a way a lot of money and time spent. It's hard to close that door. Doesn't matter that it wasn't a great situation. So much of our hopes and dreams were in that agency. We had developed relationships and trust that they would help us find our daughter. And when we realized our dreams were getting further and further away, it left us wondering what in the world are we supposed to do now. Find a new agency? Start all over? Kiss good-bye the last 2 1/2 years of our lives? This can't be happening!!!!

Thankfully God had a plan, a great plan! And, now we're with a great agency that presented us with a beautiful little girl less than 2 weeks after our first call to them. It was a miracle. :-) We are happy, and hoping to be travelling in June to see her. So much excitement after a very very long journey. :-) I thank God for giving us the faith to trust Him, to make the scary phone calls, to seek out new agencies, and to actively seek His will for our family, for our girl. One day I plan to tell our "story". It's a long one, I'll warn you now! I'm still writing it, as our story was intricately put together by God and has not been a snap to write. So many feelings and emotions. Every time I think about to the day I phoned our new agency scared out of my mind, I'm just in awe of God's power and greatness! He put this all together in a perfect package. Every detail layed out and every move in place. He gave us the courage to keep fighting for our family. To keep fighting for our daughter. No matter what it took.

And so, we continue to trust Him with the remaining details of our adoption process. At times it feels like the hurdles are never ending and the mountains seem too big to climb. But, God has given me this incredible peace. A peace in my heart that I know He is taking care of all the details. I don't have to worry about it!
Isn't God amazing! I truly believe he'll get us through this!

Anyway, today we close a chapter...but open another. A fresh start, leaving the past behind and looking forward to a beautiful future!

May God bless you for the support you've been to us and for praying us through.

With love,
Carala

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Russia adoptions for US families are they Suspended or not???

There is conflicting information out there this morning. First we hear adoptions are suspended for US families...the next thing we hear is that they are not. Which is it? Here's an article that I just read....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another update about what we are doing these day!

So, It's been a bit of a crazy week. Lots happening and hard to keep up with it all. And, on top of it I want to keep my blog up-to-date. So, here is goes in a nut shell....

We hear there is a back log at the ministry in our region...so looks like we may not travel on Trip #1 until late June. We will not know for sure until we get our travel invitation. We hope to get it sometime early May. I will definitely post when I hear. This is an ever changing program and you just have to go with it! (you're going to be so happy when this crazy ride is through...and so will we!!)

In the news you've heard all about this 7 year old boy from Russia that got sent back on an airplane cause his mama didn't want him. My heart breaks for him. And so we need to pray for the whole situation. So far, we as Canadians are not affected. You can continue to pray about that as well. We are not worried, we just need to trust God. We keep going about our business and will cross each bridge as they come.

We were faced with another obstacle this week. We don't know if it will affect us or not. Our homestudy agency was on Russia's "black list". What does this mean? It means, if Russia doesn't receive every post-placement report (PPR) that you do for 3 years after your adoption is complete...they will black list your homestudy agency until the agency gets the reports done for the family and send them to Russia. These PPRs are basically Russia's way of checking up on these adopted children. These reports are filled out by your social worker about how your child is doing following the adoption. We will have to do these for 3 years after our adoption is complete. Personally, I think it's a good idea. So, we will be doing them, of course!! :-)

We aren't sure why our agency was blacklisted. It would mean a family that did a homestudy through them, didn't complete all their PPRs. Interesting since our homestudy agency doesn't do many Russia homestudies. So, hopefully we can get to the bottom of this as soon as possible! :-) Could you please pray about this? It's just another hurdle we have to get over and it does get a little tiresome! :-)

I think that's it for the adoption stuff. Of course we are disapointed that we may not travel until the end of June. I had hoped for May. But, once again we trust that God has a great plan. So, we wait and see. No need to panic or be frustrated. God is in control. We truly trust Him and are thankful that we are where we are in this process! I'm still so amazed that I can look at a picture of this little darling girl every day!!! To have a picture of her is truly the most amazing thing! And so, we are thankful!

Another amazing thing! We are going to the Christian Alliance for Orphans 'Summit VI' in Minneapolis, MN on April 28th!!!! We are so excited to be able to go. God really moved some "financial" mountains so we both can attend! You should check out the website ...it is going to be an amazing conference where we'll be able to take some sessions such as "Understanding Childhood Development of Overseas Orphans", Adoptions and Orphans: Attachment and Trauma, Adoption and Orphans: Grief and Loss" As well as sessions on deveoping a church-based orphan, adoption or foster care ministry! We also very excited about these last sessions as we'd love to pursue something like this one day. It will be so amazing to be able to sit in on some classes where they will share their experience in this area and how sucessful churches have been!

God's heart is for the fatherless, for the Orphan. It say this in James 1:27 "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrup you."

We have a resonsibility to take care of God's children, where they are at. Be it orphans, widows, the abused, the sick, the poor. Are you helping?

Our church is fundraising and raising awareness in a Compassion in Action 2 campaign called Stop The Traffic! Stop the Traffic is about Trafficing of Humans in the modern day world. It's shocking to see it happening in our own city, not far from our every day lives. Have a look at the website!

We hope that this is only the beginning of what God is going to show us and where he's going to lead us in the next number of years. We just want to be open to hearing God's plan for our lives and we want to go where He needs us most! We both desire to impact our world and share God's love, and help those that can not defend or help themselves.

God bless you all, as you think about how you can impact your world around you. How you can help the fatherless, the homeless, the defenseless?

With love,
Carala

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Update on our progress...

I wanted to let you I updated my blog on what the next steps are in our adoption process. On the right hand side is: "Our adoption Process - the abbreviated version!" This is what I updated tonight. It gives estimated dates for the next steps in our adoption. If all goes well...and I mean...if a miracle happens! Then, we hope to be home mid August. But, it would take another miracle for this to happen...of course! :-) So many things take a lot longer than they state. Soooooo....please pray that we will indeed be home with our daughter mid August. We would ideally like a few weeks at home just the 5 of us before the boys head off to school. Terence is planning on taking 1 month off once we get home (so 2 months in total) so we will all get to just chill and get used to each other during that time. This is why we pray pray pray this will all happen! :-) And, if God has a different plan...then we will be fine with that. His plans usually ROCK...so, I won't complain if I don't get my way! :-)

So, there you go for all you curious ones. You know our "plan"! Since, if you know us...we always have a plan! LOL! We had a summer plan for camping...which was on a spread sheet all ready to go...and then our adoption happened. So, as much as we LOVED our plan...God's was much MUCH better! :-)

Have a good night everyone!

Carala

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A sad story in Russian News... please pray.

Please pray. This is top news in Russia right now. You begin to wonder how long until Russia won't allow international adoptions any longer. :-(

a warm heart...

I just got off the phone with a family that just adopted from our region and the same orphanage. I just got this really happy feeling as we spoke about the orphanage, the caregivers, and how well behaved and happy their son is. It's like God is continually reminding me of his ultimate plan for us. That He is going to finally bring our girl into our lives, forever. And that she has been loved by those that care for her now. And, that all along He was taking care of her. I didn't have to worry about that. And when I hear that she's loved, my heart just wants to reach out and love her too. My love for her is growing, each day. I just want to put my arms around her and never let her go. I want her to know how much we all long to be with her. And that God picked her before she was even born, to be in our family. He has a special place in our hearts, for her. In his perfect timing, we will be a family.

Just recently I put her picture up on the fridge so we could all look at it throughout our day. Just yesterday at supper Trennon said, "I am beginning to love her mama." It's hard to get used to her brown eyes, since we all have blue. But I know I am beginning to love her." It just warmed my heart. Yes, it will be an adjustment for all of us to have a 5th member...but I know she will fit right in! I can't wait for the boys to meet her and find out for themselves that they will be able to love her. It's really hard, especially for 5 and 7 year olds, to love a picture. We don't expect them to love her now. It will come in time. But, it's great to hear that they think about her, and look at her picture...and begin to start the process of allowing her into their hearts. God is good. He is making a way for her to come into our hearts and our lives, in His way and His time. So much about this process has been about trust. Trust in our facilitators, our social workers, our governments, the foreign governments, etc etc. But also, it's been about trusting God with our family. We know we are doing what God wants us to do. We know that He has great plans for us. There's been a lot of learning though for us. We weren't always willing and open to trust God on everything. But, in the last year we've learned to just let God lead our adoption and let Him worry about the details. When we trust Him the most, I feel most at peace. It's pretty cool. Most people would think we're anxious about our travel dates. We're not. God has it in his control. He has a plan. As much as I'd like to go right away. He knows what's best for us and for her. We don't know what he's doing "behind the scenes". We look at the last few months and are in awe at what He's pulled off. I can do nothing, to make this adoption go faster. God really is the only one that controls our lives. So, we patiently wait for Him. And, I have peace. A peace that is so overwhelming really. It lets me enjoy the time I have with my boys. Cause soon our lives will change. For the good I know, but also will be different than it is now. So, we need to enjoy and not be anxious.

So, thank you everyone for praying. We are at peace. And we will continue to trust God with the plans he has laid out for us. I know we wouldn't be at this peaceful place if it wasn't for all our friends and family praying us through. So, thank you!

With love,

Carala

Monday, April 5, 2010

No dates yet...

I'm sure you've been wondering if we have dates yet. No, not yet. Our dossier is back from Ottawa soon and by Thursday it should be going to Toronto to the Russian Consulate. Wahoooo! Another step complete! It will be at the consulate between 10-15 days we are told. So, hopefully by the 22nd it will be done there. Then, the dossier is off to Russia. We are suppose to get dates to travel as soon as it gets to the ministry in Bashkortostan. BUT, the problem is....Russia has holidays starting on the 1st, until the 9th. So, looks like we most likely won't travel until mid May. Which is fine. I'm really still in shock that any of this is even happening, so the fact that we're travelling to see our potential daughter is still just mind blowing! It just doesn't want to set in! I'm still in shock. Is this really happening?!

So many have asked if we're just soooo excited. I am, we both are....but at the same time I am in shock. It just doesn't seem real. I look at her picture....and melt...but, is this just a joke? Is she the girl I dreamed about for sooooo long? The one I prayed for? The one I cryed for? I am finding it hard to believe this is really all going to happen. I'm scared. We're both cautious. We need to protect our boys, until we know for sure if she's going to be ours or not. So, the first trip will be big. It is our big moment. Once we know that she's ours...we will be able to let more guards down. And, I will get to hold and love my girl for real. Not just a picture. I know that will help, a lot. And, I can't wait!

So, keep praying folks! It's been quite the ride. But, good things are to come...very very soon.

With much love,

Carala

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Remembering...





1 year ago today...my grandma passed away. She was just short of 90 years old. What an amazing lady she was. She had a great big smile and such love for all of us. I miss her and think of her quite a bit. But, we know she is in a wonderful place with her husband. So, we are happy! :-)

With this being Easter weekend, we have a lot to think about. Because of Jesus dying on the cross, we have life, eternal life with Him in heaven. What an amazing gift God gave us, when he sent His only son, Jesus, to earth to live and then to die for all our sins. So, this weekend, we need to be thankful, truly thankful for all Jesus did for us on that cross. I hope you will take some time and really think about what this means for you, in your life.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Carala