Friday, April 30, 2010

Final state-side jobs..

We are waiting for the 171h (Golden Ticket) to come in the mail. 

If it comes today then Rob will meet me at the notary and I will run to Richmond to get our last two papers certified.  

 THEN WE GET TO MAIL THE ENTIRE PILE OF PAPERS TO AARON'S COUNTRY! 

That will be a load off my mind!

Will definitely keep you posted...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So much..

So much in my head. 
It's been a wild 24 hours. 
The fear that we would be rejected, followed by the ultimate high of finding out we were approved. 

 The shock of having my computer crash and burn.  Ouch!  Watching my dear Rob jury-rigging it late into the night after a long grueling day at work.  Fortunately, after some tense hours, everything I have been slaving on for the last 3 years saved to Elijah's laptop.  

Off to the local Community College today to register Ben for college classes.  Scary thoughts.  He's too young. I'm not ready.

Last night  someone put on my Facebook that we could be in Aaron's country within six weeks.  Oh my goodness! How overwhelmingly wonderful is that thought?? 

So much to do.  
Aaron's room to paint, a house to clean, a massive amount of writing to do for the new Medieval book, preparations to make. 
The list goes on...and on... and on...
Laying in bed this morning long before I needed to be awake, praying.  Thinking.  Grateful.  Trying to trust.

So much in my head..... 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SCREAMING AND CRYING!

WE HAVE BEEN APPROVED!!!  The quite indifferent lady from our Congressman's office just called to inform me!!  PRAISE GOD!!  I am shaking, weeping, crying and my boys think I am off my rocker and need to be committed!!  WE HAVE BEEN APPROVED!  Thank you for the so many prayers that have gone out on Aaron's behalf!!  We are one MAJOR step closer to getting our son!

Continuing with the no news story

I just got off the phone with the Congressman's office.  I'm convinced his secretary thinks I'm a raving lunatic.  She was totally unfazed by my pleading.  She didn't feel that Aaron's case needed more than what she has already done (made an inquiry a week ago without hearing anything).  She agreed that Virginia is the slowest state and seemed to shrug her shoulders at the thought.  What can I do?  She didn't want to 'bother' the immigration worker too much for fear that our file would be rejected.  Talk about scary!  I'm on my knees.  My fear level has risen ten-fold.   Please pray!

On another note - I have had some fun responses concerning who was praying for Aaron before we found out about him.  One response sent me on a chase.... one of the pictures taken of Aaron was placed in a newsletter back in August 2009.  You can find Aaron sitting in a bumbo seat here on page 4 of the newsletter (it takes a bit to load so be patient).  I totally went nuts.  We have that picture but had no idea when it was taken.  So I am trying to hunt down the photographer.  If anyone has more info... please let me know!!  We would love to talk to a person who has actually seen our little guy!

Please keep the stories coming!  We are saving them - We want to know who was praying for Aaron and why!!  It is such an encouragement as we wait, pray and plead.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reminders...

     This morning in my e-mail I received a letter from one of my blog 'lurkers", the Patterson family.  They had been praying for Aaron BEFORE we knew about him and were thrilled when they found out we had committed to adopting him.  She took the time to share this with me.

      It is so refreshing in my spirit to be reminded that the prayers of the righteous were lifted up for Aaron long before we knew him.  What a mighty God we serve.  What a neat reminder that I can rest in the knowledge that my God has cared for our little guy long before we knew he even existed.  It is so easy to get discouraged in the here and now.  This morning's e-mail reminded me that I serve a God who is orchestrating this adoption.  He moved in hearts long before we had any thought or idea that we were going to adopt.  What a great way to start my day!


So here's my challenge... If you were praying for Aaron before we knew about him (December 29th) - please tell us/remind us who you are.... I want a list to show  Aaron one day!  I want him to know that God has had His loving hand on His life.  I want him to know just how special and precious he is.  I'm going to give it a few weeks and then will post the list on our blog for everyone to see!!

Molly... don't worry - you are going to be at the TOP of the list!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday...

It's Monday and I have been up for hours.  I'm caught between needing to get a tremendous amount accomplished in the next month before we head off for Aaron's country and feeling frozen in place until we get our immigration paper.  It is SO HARD to press ahead when there is this constant fear hanging over our heads that something is going to go wrong and immigration will reject us.  Until we hold that Golden Ticket in our hands, I know that all the words of comfort I've been given will soothe, but not completely ease my terror. 

I called our Congressman's office on Friday to see if they had heard anything from immigration.  I was told that the Haitian adoptions are taking precedence over anything else.  I didn't know how to respond on the phone.   I didn't want to say anything disparaging about the Haitian adoptions but at the same time my heart gave way.  

I understand that there is a great need to save the Haitian orphans.  I know that things need to move quickly to get those children processed and in homes. 

I also know that my little guy is alone, across the world in a MENTAL INSTITUTE!  He is not in an environment that is nurturing and loving. He is ALONE!  He needs us to get him OUT!  When he was transferred out of his baby house orphanage he left everything that was familiar to him behind.  He was moved into a place of sickness and sadness.  Only a tiny portion of those transferred ever leave.  Many of those institutes do not allow children to be adopted out of them.  Aaron is blessed to be in one that does keep the door cracked open.  But he needs out before the crack closes. 

PLEASE PRAY THAT IMMIGRATION STAMPS 'APPROVED' ON OUR PAPERWORK!
 PLEASE PRAY!  

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekly Puzzle Update...

22 MORE PIECES TO ADD TO OUR PUZZLE

THAT MAKES A TOTAL OF 394 PEOPLE LOVING AARON HOME!!


UNBELIEVABLE!!! 

Our yard sale today didn't generate a lot of money (rain did NOT stay away) but it did provide an opportunity to share with quite a number of people about Aaron and the plight of the orphans in his country! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Counting my Blessingss

It's so easy to focus on what I don't have right now (171h) and forget what I do have....

I have two of the most amazing kids in the world!  My oldest son, who is 15, just took entrance exams to go to the nearby Community College next fall.  He made his Mama proud! 


My younger son... Well, he gets the award for bringing laughter into our house. 


His latest creative adventure was an attempt to make a plastic bag into a hot air balloon.



WAITING....


GIVING UP....


BUT THIS CHILD IS NOT ONE TO QUIT.... Can't get a plastic bag to fly... how about balloons filled with helium....





SUCCESS....

Last night was the first Tech night practice for the Wizard of Oz.  Rob is the Tinman, Ben is the Wizard and Elijah is the Wizard's general.  I do all the backstage managing for the shows.  We've been involved with the Black Box Players and their drama productions for quite a few years now.  Last night as I was working with the little Munchkins on their scenes I was caught between enjoying them and wishing my little Munchkin was a part of the show. 

Dear little Aaron - just wait.... there's a world of fun waiting for you. 

There's No Place Like Home!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Guns...

No the 171h did NOT arrive in the mail today.  When it didn't come yesterday I e-mailed and signed papers to get our U.S. Congressman involved.  I just received an e-mail from his office that they have made an inquiry into our file on our behalf!  Praises!  I am beyond weary in this waiting process!  Maybe we will hear something tomorrow. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sad

Elijah just brought me the mail and the Golden Ticket was not in his hand.  I'm honestly having a hard time right now waiting.  My head tells me it is in God's time and that I need to be patient and all of that but my heart is seeping out.  We are at the mercy of a  back-logged immigration office.  Today a family arrived in Aaron's country to get their little girl.  They began the process AFTER we did.  It hurts.  I rejoice with them.  I can't wait to see the pictures of their little one and I get excited to hear their story but I want to be there with them.  I'm sad.  Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Faith

So much has been going through our heads in these last months as we have moved from our secure life into the unknown.  We are keenly interested in everything we can find out about the adoption process in Aaron's country, what to expect in terms of his behavior and what life is like for him where he is currently living.  Because of this we have been following a large assortment of blogs and take special interest in reading the journey's of those who are currently in Aaron's country and going through the rather difficult process.  The paperwork on this side of the ocean compares little to the stress of the actual journey. 

It rocks my boat.  The stories scare me, make me want to do whatever I can to just drop everything and go and at the same time question our ability to navigate those strange and everchanging waters.  Each time I read about another family entering the unknown, I laugh with them, cry with them and rejoice on the day when they are able to carry their child out of the orphanage or institute forever. 

One dear lady has been in Aaron's country for quite a few weeks trying to adopt her two sweet dear babies.  Actually one of those babies is five years old (Aaron's age) but is the size of a 12 month old.   Her story and struggle as she waits for her court date is tough.  The workers at the orphanage question why she would want to adopt two special needs children.  The babies are in rough condition, especially the five year old.  Twice a day she makes the trek to the orphanage to visit them, alone, tired, scared and completely dependent upon God's Grace to see her through.  Because her husband is beyond the allowed age to adopt, she has to navigate the waters alone.  Her story makes my heart ache.  It scares me.  When I see pictures of her little ones and the condition they are in, it makes me want to climb the walls.

We are waiting, navigating the waters here, working on getting all of our affairs in order.  We are clinging to the Lord like never before and realize that in just a little bit of time, we will be holding on for dear life as we enter the unknown. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Please pray with us that our 171h arrives this week.  As we wait, our desire to see our son increases by the day!  Waiting is hard. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

372 and counting...

SUNDAY UPDATE....
We get to add 30 more puzzle pieces to our puzzle!!


THAT MAKES A TOTAL OF 372 PIECES CLAIMED...

Look at all the people who are LOVING AARON HOME!!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Fairs and Conventions...

Elijah and I are off to a Homeschooling Fair in Maryland to sell our wares!!  Not only are we selling the History curriculum that you can find here but I am also selling Hands on History Craft buckets, Hands on History Craft booklets and Used Books.  All the money from the buckets, booklets and used books are going to Aaron's adoption.  The rest of the money goes to paying our bills.  So this is an important weekend.  We will attend two more Convention in May and June, although I so hope I will be in Aaron's country and will NOT be attending those Conventions.  Rob and Ben are staying home to hold down the fort!

P.S. We have more puzzle pieces to put up and will do that when I return.  If you donated to Reece's Rainbow and do not see your name on a puzzle piece... it is because I have not received the list of names of those who recently gave through Reece's Rainbow.  Please let me know who you are so I can put your name on the puzzle. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WAITING FOR THE 171h.... WAITING FOR THE 171h.... WAITING FOR THE 171h....

WAITING... WAITING...WAITING.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

More puzzle news...

LAST NIGHT WE ADDED 29 PIECES TO OUR PUZZLE


THAT MAKES 342 PUZZLE PIECES CLAIMED....


ONLY 158 PIECES LEFT ON OUR PUZZLE!!! 

HOW AWESOME IS THAT???

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nerves

This week immigration should be reviewing our file.  I spent some sleepless hours last night doing my usual needless worry.  I will be so relieved when we are through with this phase!  It's going to be a long week or two of waiting and wondering.

For all those following the writing of our homeschooling history curriculum... yesterday the final edits were done on Ancients!!  It is getting put up on the website in the next week or so and is already available to purchase!!  PRAISE THE LORD! 

This week we are going to our first Homeschooling convention.  I made these awesome Craft Buckets filled with a year's worth of Hands on History activities to sell and also made History craft books for three of the four years of our history program. 

ALL THE MONEY FOR THE BOOKS AND THE BUCKETS IS GOING TOWARDS AARON'S FUND!! 

My partner is not taking any cuts from either product!  We are praying hard that the buckets and books sell.  The craft booklets will be on-line in a few weeks to buy!  They each have about 30 very fun, easy history activities to do!  They are generic and can go with ANY history program....

http://www.biblioplan.net/ is our website!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday...

I'm going out to yard sales this morning... Yipee!! 

  Yesterday I was at Walmart and found a $1.00 rack!  I bought Aaron his first clothes off the rack.  It is hard to know what size he is so I have hesitated to buy him anything but who can resist a $1.00 rack?  He now owns a cute little zip up jacket (hoodie), sweatshirt, sweatpants, long sleeve shirt and black pants.  All hanging in his closet just waiting for him (most likely it will all be too big)!

 I'm BIG on yard sales and buying clothes used etc. etc.  BUT.. my little guy is going to leave the institute wearing brand new clothes, shoes, socks, underwear - everything!  He gets to dress in style for a while!  I'm waiting to buy his first real outfits until I have a better idea of his size but I can't wait to pick them out. 

I also forgot to mention that all of our papers came back from Richmond with the golden seal on them authenticating them!   We are DONE with the paperwork except for the immigration paper (our golden ticket), unless someone decides that more needs to be done (not out of the ordinary).

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shock..

     Those who are reading this need to pray.  This week a little boy who had been adopted from Russia in September was placed on an airplane by himself and sent back to Russia.  The child showed up in Russia with a note saying that his adoptive mother no longer wanted him.  The little boy's name is Artem and the furor over this act has major implications.  You can read the story here.

All the families who are hoping to adopt from Russia are now on pins and needles terrified that the Russian government will close down all American adoptions.  Many of the Reece's Rainbow families are in process to adopt special needs orphans in Russia and I know that the panic in their hearts must be unbearable right now.  Please pray.  Though Aaron is not in Russia, we are still on edge because his country can just as easily decide to no longer trust that the orphans being adopted will be cared for in loving families.  All it takes is a stroke of a pen.  Please pray. 

     We are well aware that Aaron's not going to walk into our house and display angelic qualities.  He is five years old and has spent his lifetime in an institutional environment.  The child from Russia exhibited behaviors that shocked the adoptive mother.  We are not naive enough to think that we will be spared those same behaviors.  We were given a list of some of those behaviors.  To remind ourselves what we are getting into, we have read and re-read it over and over.  Here it is for your reading pleasure:
  • severe malnutrition
  • rickets
  • other vitamin deficiencies
  • lack of mobility or loss of mobility
  • self injury behaviors
  • possibly other diseases such as Hepatitis
  • LOTS of 'stimming'- rocking, scratching, spitting, teeth grinding, hitting, punching, 'droning', dislocating 'clicking' joints, banging head, chewing/sucking on tongue
  • possible heart defects which are past the point of repair due to further damage to lungs
  • Lack of 'connection' with people and surroundings
  • little or no eye contact
  • non-verbal, grunts and groans
  • Bursts of screams for good and bad emotions
  • inappropriate response to pain (laughing often)
  • considerable difficulty expressing or processing emotions
  • additional developmental delay
  • lack of exposure to anything
  • inability to eat solid foods
  • often on bottle even at advanced ages
  • fear of food
  • may not have developed an appropriate sense of hunger vs. fullness
  • (failure to thrive or gorging)
  • oral fixations- licking everything, putting everything into mouth
  • enlarged tonsils from lack of treatment
  • ear canals and drums packed with fluid/secretions - often needing professional sedated clearing
  • possible hearing loss from untreated infections
  • unaware of how to 'play'
  • throws everything
  • doesn't know what to do with toys
  • vision issues from lack of stimulation during development
  • sensitivity to sound
  • may be frightened by loud sounds or seek everything that makes noise (or both!)
  • institutional autism

Despite this list - we forge forward.  We want Aaron.    No matter what, he's ours. 

PLEASE PRAY THAT AARON'S COUNTRY AND RUSSIA CONTINUE TO ALLOW ADOPTIONS!!  PLEASE PRAY!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Words of Comfort...

Psalm 91: 1,2 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wow!

     After sitting here and just feeling stuck in all of this - praying and trying so valiantly to give it all to the Lord I stopped dwelling on it and went back to working on getting my ducks in a row for a Homeschooling Convention I am attending next week to sell our History curriculum.  I checked my e-mail  after being away from the computer for a while and ta da... an e-mail from my dear lady at the immigration office had arrived. She agreed that my file should have been moved up and our paperwork WILL BE PROCESSED IN 1-2 WEEKS!! 
GOD IS ABLE WHEN I AM NOT!

Bummer...

The good news - the lady at the immigration office DID respond to my e-mail. 

The bad news - though SHE gave us an earlier date for our fingerprint appointment... this was NOT communicated to whomever pulls files..
       So... our file sat, waiting for the original fingerprint appointment date (March 29) and THEN it was pulled.  This means that we lost what we were supposed to have gained by an earlier appointment!  In my e-mail back, I told my dear immigration lady that I would be PRAYING for her to process our paperwork faster (move it up the line).  Please pray that God will move her heart.  If she doesn't move it up the line our paperwork will not even be reviewed for another 3 weeks.  It could be another several weeks after that before we are issued the 171h and if they want more documents... it could take longer still ... I'm definitely bummed! Please Pray! 

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE..
Please pray that we can get to Aaron soon!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Begging... Praying....

It's Tuesday morning and I just sent my first e-mail off to the lady in the USCIS office.  The begging begins.  From now until we receive our Golden Ticket, the adoption officer in that office isn't going to know what hit her! 

Please pray for this poor lady.  She is not only getting e-mails from me but several other Reece's Rainbow families in Virginia are badgering her.  Virginia is the slowest state in the country and for the adopting parents in this state - She is the one we contact!  So pray that she is able to easily wade through her mountain of paperwork and get all of our papers moving in the right direction.  Our little ones are waiting!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

313 PUZZLE PIECES CLAIMED!!

54 MORE PIECES TO ADD TO OUR PUZZLE.....


THIS MAKES OUR TOTAL...313 PUZZLE PIECES CLAIMED!!

187 MORE PUZZLE PIECES TO GO....

Wow!!  We have raised over $12,000.00...

 In light of our longing for Aaron and on a day of Celebration that our Savior is Alive, it is good and right to focus on how blessed we have been with so many who have sacrificed to help us bring him home!

THANK YOU!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Missing Aaron

I'm missing Aaron this morning.  How bizarre is that?  I've never seen him, never held him, never kissed his cute little dimples but I miss him.  It's Easter and he is not here with us.  Oh, how I long to tell him about Easter, about Jesus, about hope.  I want to dress him up for church and have him sitting next to me (or on my lap).  I want to see him tomorrow afternoon running around the backyard looking for his Easter eggs with his brothers (a Nalle family tradition).  I want to help him open up his eggs and enjoy all the treasures inside.  I want him with us.  I miss him.  The waiting is SO HARD. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

SUNDAY'S COMING

Thanks to the 'Special K's' for putting this on your blog...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PUZZLE UPDATE AGAIN....

PUZZLE TIME....

Last count .... 184 pieces...

BUT....We are not adding one, two or three pieces...

WE GET TO ADD 75 PIECES!!!!!!


THAT MAKES 259 PIECES TOTAL... WE ARE OVER HALF-WAY!!!! 

259 people are "LOVING AARON HOME!!"

SO NOW OUR PUZZLE LOOKS LIKE THIS:




HOW FUN IS THAT???? 

P.S. - I have already gotten both my boys this morning - I love April Fool's Day!!

THE BIGGEST HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM OF THE YEAR!

Save up to 95% on Homeschool Curriculum at the 2018 Build Your Bundle Sale