Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Still

     Adoption is not for the faint-hearted.  Nope.  It is a heart-wrenching, stomach-twisting process that requires a lot of money, a tremendous amount of prayer, loving support from family and friends.... and a good sense of humor.  Yep - You need a sense of humor.  Too many people pack their clothes, wallets, prayer journals and contact numbers in their bags but forget to pack the laughing gas.  It should be top priority. 
     Traveling to another country where you don't speak the same language, are forced to eat food you wouldn't normally give your dog, where you have to sleep on beds that are NOT posturepedic, have to ride in cars at break-neck speed without seatbelts and have to place yourself at the complete mercy of people who have this warped view that since you are an American, you must be rich requires a healthy dose of hysterical laughing.  So for those getting ready to venture out - pack the laughing gas, please.

     If we wouldn't have had a sense of humor when we arrived in Aaron's country, we would have been in desperate straits.  Our living conditions for most of our stay required a daily dose of chuckling! 

     We laughed the most one Saturday morning.  

     Our dear landlady, Miss Valla, who lovingly gave up her home for two Americans for 6 weeks, had gotten up quite early that day.  She seemed a bit out of the ordinary - jumpy, nervous and very preoccupied.  At one point I almost sent her through the roof when I walked past the bathroom.  She was in there feverishly working over something in the bathtub.  We left to visit Aaron a bit puzzled but not too worried.  The language barrier made it fairly impossible for get us much beyond the basics so asking was out of the question. 
    After a tedious visit with our soon-to-be son, Aaron, we walked back home.  As soon we walked in the door of the apartment, we realized what all her fuss was about.  The fumes knocked us over.


Miss Valla was making her "secret recipe." A recipe that had been handed down for generations.  "The Waltons" in Eastern Europe!  With red cheeks and a very sheepish look on her face, she shushed us and led us into the kitchen to show off her pride and joy!!

Miss Valla's still.

     We cracked up laughing because it SO ILLEGAL and if caught, all three of us would have been in a boatload of trouble.   We spent the rest of the day - whispering, laughing until the tears poured down, and peeking out the windows while she brewed her vodka that was 70% alcohol.  Laughing gas was definitely not needed on that particular Saturday.  No, we didn't partake of her brew, but it was fairly easy to figure out from that time forward when our dear landlady was enjoying her family recipe.

     So for those who are packing to go rescue your kids, pack some laughing gas.  For those wrestling with the decision to get BRADY OR HEATH - I know a great place for you to stay and I know a precious little 80 year old lady, with dyed hair, who knows how to laugh and who would be kind enough to give up her bedroom so that you can have a place to rest.  Who needs fancy apartments and malls and McDonald's down the road when you get Miss Valla and her still?!


  1. I always say adoption is a a test of self and man I hope I pass!

  2. Rob is looking at the camera in that picture!!!


    I don't get to comment on every post, but I'm grateful for all of what you share here and for how God is using you to advance His kingdom.

    Much love to you and all of those men.

  3. Too funny!!!!!!!! She sounds like the salt of the earth :)
    That's what memories are made of ;)

  4. Julia... I'm crying from laughter! Thank you for sharing your special photos with us!!

  5. LOVED this! It's so nice to see her face to put with all the stories!


  6. The rest of us enjoy your sense of humor too! Thanks for the laugh!

  7. Sweet Miss Valla. So glad that you had the chance to get to know her, and her Still. Hoping she gets to meet a few more families soon!!!

  8. May she meet many families and may many boys get sprung out!! Thanks for the parade picture...

  9. What a crack up! That is an experience worth recording, that's for sure. We're leaving in 9 days for EE and I will definately pack a jar of laughing gas. Thanks for the advise!

  10. Hehe!! We just read this post and laughed! We experience those breakneck car rides everyday, those mattresses where I am CERTAIN I got bedbugs from (in Kiev, we didn't even get sheets, just the OLD mattress that stank!), and the nasty food that I've found hair in, undercooked, etc... Wow!! Thanks for the smile! :)

    And, THANK YOU for all of your comments and support. We'll have to visit you if we are ever in your neck of the woods. I've heard Charlottesville is so lovely, and we love the Roanoke area!! :)



Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!