Sunday, February 28, 2010


Aaron has Arthrogryposis.  So what exactly is Arthrogryposis??  Good question!  We are just learning the answer ourselves.  From the Arthrogryposis Education page:

Arthrogryposis (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita) is a non-progressive physical disability
characterized by the presence of multiple fixed joints throughout the body at birth. Limited movement of
the fetus in the womb results in the formation of extra connective tissue, which becomes fixed around the
joints. The tendons, which enable motion, either do not form or do not stretch out completely. This
disrupts normal muscle development and limits the range of motion around the affected joints.
Arthrogryposis typically affects joints of the hands, feet, shoulders, hips, knees, wrists and elbows and in
some cases various muscles throughout the body.

     We have three pictures of Aaron and a small description about his condition.  That is about it!    We know arthrogryposis doesn't get worse with age ... and can be helped.  We know that when he was at the orphanage he was walking.  We can see in the pictures that his hands and elbows are affected.  We believe that he has some issues with his feet.  The rest we will discover when we meet him.  Will he have surgery... we have no idea... will he need therapy... most likely.  Are we clueless.. absolutely!

This weekend it hit us again how little we know about Aaron and how big a leap of faith we are taking.  We are committed to bringing him home and dealing with the issues one day at a time. Right now we are just dealing with waiting for our federal fingerprint appointment.  The one day at a time started on January 9, 2009 when we e-mailed Reece's Rainbow about Aaron!  It is a daily walk, trusting that God has and will continue to guide us down this road. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010


The stomach flu that has been going around the area.... I got it!! Praying that it passes over my boys and Rob. 

Last night while I was laying in bed feeling totally miserable I was forced to wonder who cares for, holds and loves on Aaron in his times of sickness.    Dear little Aaron.  We're coming as fast as we can!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hurrah's and Sighs!

Today we received our finalized copy of our Homestudy in the mail.  Hurrah!!  Of course I found things that need to be fixed... that seems to be par for the course!  The notary's license can't expire within 6 months of filing our papers and 2 of the 3 notaries used on the Homestudy do not meet this standard.  So... Those papers must be re-done. Sigh!

On another front.... We mailed our Child Specific Papers and Power of Attorney Papers to Aaron's country a while back and unfortunately THEY HAVE NOT ARRIVED!  If they are not there by next Wednesday then I will be redoing all those papers... this includes a mad dash to Richmond to get them Apostillized so we can mail them EXPRESS MAIL WITH TRACKING.  If I had done that in the first place then we wouldn't have this mess but the 100.00 difference in price made me chose the more frugal method.  I'm afraid it wasn't a wise decision.  We would definitely appreciate prayers in the GET OUR PAPERS TO AARON'S COUNTRY quick department so we won't have to fork over more money! Sigh!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blessings overflowing...

The past few days we have been remided that God provides.

BLESSING ONE - Yesterday little Lily (6) brought me the money she and her brother Jackson (3) have been saving for Aaron.  She had a little tennis ball container with Aaron's picture pasted on the front.  Inside was filled with all of the change they had gathered for Aaron.  I wish I had taken a picture of the container but she took it home to fill it up again. 

BLESSING TWO - I teach at a Homeschool Co-op that meets every Tuesday.  It is a huge program with 450 students that come each week.  Today, several current and former families and their precious kids gave us money for Aaron.  The gifts totaled $450.00.  The really cool part is that I sat down this morning and figured out how much we have spent and how much we have been given.  With the money donated today, we have been given almost exactly what we have spent with some left over.  Wow!

BLESSING THREE - One of my dear students, Christopher, hasn't been in my class since before Christmas as his mom has been sick and his father is deployed in Iraq.  I've missed him terribly and pray often for him and his family.  He came today.  I was so glad to see him and to talk to his dear mom who has struggled with a sickness that leaves her exhausted.  After school was over and I was cleaning my classroom, I looked up to see Christopher coming back into my class.  "Mrs Nalle," he said,  "I just want you to know that I have been praying for Aaron."  Rip my heart out.  Precious prayers from precious people. 

Oh how much we have been blessed.  To Lily and Jackson, Christopher and Alex, Elizabeth and Will and Ben, Jack, Kate and Drew and to your parents - thank you for pooling your money, your prayers, your love for our family and for Aaron.

We are so blessed!

So Proud

My boys and my husband ROCKED last night!  I love listening to them sing and I love watching them on stage.  Having all three of them in the same show is going to be so much fun! 

We got our Apostillized marriage certificates from the state of PA yesterday which is one more piece of this thousand piece puzzle...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quick updates...

    A quick update on the Adoption front... Our HOMESTUDY will be put in final form today which means that we can then send it to the USCIS and then we wait for the fingerprint appointment.  Virginia is the SLOWEST state so we know that it will take several months to get through this next stage.... Sigh! 

On the family front... the boys and Rob are auditioning tonight for The Wizard of Oz.  I will again do all the backstage stuff!  This is the first show Rob will be in with the boys.  He usually is the chaeuffer and helps set up and break down but this time he decided he wanted to be IN the show.  We weren't sure that it would work with the adoption but realizing that the fingerprint process is going to move at a snails pace we figured that the timing would work out fine!

So tonight Elijah is going to sing "Yesterday" and Ben is going to sing "Blackbird" (go Beatles) and Rob is going to sing... well, he hasn't decided yet!!  I'm going to sit and enjoy my family!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lost and Found

A mix-up on paperwork put my little Aaron in the wrong city.  We found out something was wrong on Tuesday when a friend of a friend tried to locate him.  Needless to say I have been a bit stressed out this week worrying about why my son was not where we thought he was.  By last night I was a bit of a basket-case worrying.  I lay in bed in the early morning hours praying for him and wrestling with the old issue of trust.  Will I let God carry the burden or will I lay and worry through the night?  This child is halfway across the world and I have absolutely no control over where he is, what he is doing, who is caring for him or anything.  It exhausts me.  It forces me to my knees again and again. Having him 'disappear' for a few days has been a trial by fire.  I'm SO GRATEFUL for the e-mail this afternoon that stated that he had been 'found.'   We may have to re-do some paperwork and it may delay things a bit but I don't care at this point.  I am so thankful for the Reese's Rainbow ladies who are working around the clock for these kids!  I'm thankful they figured out where he is and I am thankful that He is loved by a God who knew where he was all the time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hidden Blessings

As I was driving home yesterday from the Commissioner of Revenue's office for the third time in two weeks I realized that the inconvenience of three trips to one office for one silly form was worth the trouble.  I made friends with people I had never met before though we live in a small, rural community.  I had the awesome privilege to share Aaron's story to some great people in that office.  That means we gain more people to pray for our little guy.  We also gained a connection with a local family who adopted a special needs child several years ago... from Aaron's country.. Wow!  We discovered that they make a yearly trip back with a group of people to minister in the orphanages... double Wow!  Hidden blessings within the hassles of the adoption paperwork.  None of that would have happened if the paperwork had passed inspection the first time.  When Aaron comes home, I'm going to take him in to visit the dear people in that office who so kindly and patiently re-worked those silly papers for us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Federal Digital Fingerprints

     Please pray.  One of the big pieces left for us to do for our part is to get our biometric fingerprints taken.  It is a MAJOR part of the adoption process and from all that we have learned... a rather complicated one.  Some states are quick and some are slow when it comes to these fingerprints.  I found out yesterday that since we live in Virginia, we are one of the slowest states!  UGH!  We received a form saying that they received our application.  The next step is for us to receive an appointment to go to Alexandria and get our fingerprints taken.   It's been over two weeks and no appointment.  Once we get the fingerprint appointment (usually scheduled several weeks after we get the notice in the mail), it can take Virginia up to 9 weeks or more to process those fingerprints.   Please pray.  Everything comes to grinding halt until the fingerprints are completed!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why Aaron....

     The question has come up from different people over the last few weeks why we decided to adopt Aaron.  Why not adopt a child from our country?  My honest answer has been that it wasn't in our planbook at all to adopt Aaron.  Since before we were married we talked about doing foster care.  Over the years we have considered it and yet never felt it was the right time in our lives.  We were waiting for the boys to get older and our lives to get less hectic.  I traveled three years ago with a friend to help her adopt Nithya from India.  It was an incredible experience but I didn't come back excited to adopt from India.  Over the last years as we have watched quite a number of families adopting, both internationally and through the foster system here, we did not feel any strong prompting to do it ourselves at this time in our lives.  I have bookmarked the children who are available in the foster system in our country and though I am saddened when I see them, I've never felt a strong calling to act on my sorrow.  Adoption was something we were going to do in the future. 
     But over the last few months, before I saw Aaron, God was beginning to move in my heart, opening me up for the possibility.  I remember walking around on Christmas day feeling like something was missing.  It was a bizarre, surreal feeling.  I had not even seen Aaron yet.  Our lives were way too busy to even consider adding one more thing. 
     On December 29 I saw Aaron for the first time.  His picture was featured and below his name were the words:  "HELP,  I HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRANSFERRED." I was blown away.  I stared at his picture.  All day I kept coming back to it.  I couldn't walk away.  I tried.  When Rob came home I showed him the picture and we discovered he was from an Eastern European country.  No way!  Not for us.  We said thanks but no thanks.  I prayed fervently for someone else to adopt Aaron.  I checked morning, afternoon and night to see if someone had adopted him.  I couldn't sleep and found myself crying at the drop of a hat.   Finally one night I reached my limit and in the still of the night, felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to go to my dear patient husband and tell him what was happening inside of me.  For a long, agonizing 30 minutes I lay there and cried and argued but finally I woke Rob up.   We talked the rest of the night.
     What I saw happen to Rob in the next few days was just as shocking to me as seeing Aaron's face that first time.  I never told my husband we should adopt Aaron.  I didn't ask him to consider adopting Aaron.  All I did was share that something snapped in me when I saw Aaron and I could no longer handle it alone.  He not only carried my burden, he stepped first.   Three days after I dumped the whole thing in his lap he said "I'm ready to follow your heart."
     It wasn't my heart.  It never was.  It was God moving in me and then in Rob.  Why Aaron... because God picked that little boy for us, over there and all we can do is be faithful to that call. 

On this Valentine's Day, my Valentines go to my husband first and then my boys... Ben, Elijah and my dear little guy halfway across the world who doesn't even know we are doing everything in our power to come get him!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today is a good day.  We have accomplished a whole pile of things this week and I need to stop and be thankful.... Here's my list..

  • My dear notary traveled with me to get Rob's medical forms re-done and THEY PASSED!
  • The Commissioner of Revenues office worked really hard yesterday to write up our house papers and though there is one small error on them... they are easily fixable so tomorrow they will be finished!
  • My dear notary works for a lawyer and does house closing so SHE got our deed for us!  What would we do without her???
  • Our CPA is writing up our financial papers and they are almost finished!!
  • I received the POA's in the mail today and tomorrow I get to send them to Aaron's country along with the most important CHILD PETITION that states we want Aaron!
  • Our last homestudy meeting is tomorrow.... here... so I will be doing some last minute cleaning.... Yikes!
  • Rob and I have ONE MORE class to do to complete our 10 hours required for the Homestudy.  We tried to do it last night but we couldn't connect to the class so we will try again tonight!
I've been following too many adoption blogs to know that roadblocks are coming but it is exciting to see progress!  Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another storm coming...

We got up this morning ready to batten down the hatches again as we are anticipating ANOTHER storm. 


Yesterday my van got stuck in our driveway (2 feet out of the garage) and so I had to borrow my Dear Dad's very hard to drive truck so I could get our financial forms to the CPA office.  For those who don't know, two years ago our rather stupid, very active and frisky golden retriever slammed into the back of my legs while I was walking to the mailbox.  I fell.. hard.. and my right arm (humerus bone) snapped completely in two.  I also broke my hand.  Three surgeries later, my arm is still a bit gimpy.  I don't have a lot of strength in it so driving my dad's truck yesterday was quite the experience.  After driving for about 15 minutes in the truck, my arm gave out.  Any strength I started with died after wrestling with that steering wheel.  So Ben (my 15 year old), who was in the passenger seat had to help me steer!  It was quite comical!!  The papers were delivered though so we are one step closer to Aaron!!

We have our last homestudy appointment on Friday and so I am going to be paperchasing all week if the snow isn't too bad!  We still have Rob's medical to re-do (just the forms) and the home ownership papers.  The county offices keep closing because of the snow so I may never get those forms completed!!  Sigh!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The blessing of the snow...

     We have been stuck inside since Friday from this snow storm.  It is no longer snowing but the trees are completely covered, icicles are hanging off everything, most of our friends are without power and the roads are covered in sheets of ice.
      We have been blessed in our house in the woods.  No power outages, the chance to catch up and get ahead on our history curriculum, plus fun times making breakfast and watching movies!  Ben's been battling a fever for the last few days so the chance to rest has been good for him.  Even so, they have had fun times pelting each other with snow balls, digging out a path for Dad to come through the woods for dinner and just overall enjoying the adventure.  This evening we will enjoy the superbowl with grandparents... Oh what fun.

Friday, February 5, 2010


We live in Virginia.  We usually have maybe one big storm a year and it never really amounts to much, mostly a lot of ice and sleet.  This year we are being hit every weekend!  This weekend we are expected to get anywhere from 12-24" of snow... depending upon who is doing the forecast.  Our ground is already covered with snow from the last 12" snow.  The snow is softly falling out the window... it looks so pretty but I am a bit tired of it all.

The good part of all these snowstorms is that it gives me extra time to work on the computer. 

The bad part is that I am stuck working on the computer all day!

On the adoption front... we completed our Child Specific Petition (the one that has Aaron's real name and states that WE WANT HIM) and it was notarized and apostillized (the golden sticker from the state of Virginia that says the notary is legitimate) and I was so excited to get to send that form off to Aaron's country... only to be told that the rules just changed and NOW we have to have 3 other forms notarized and apostillized and sent WITH the Child Specific Petition.  So I wait another week to send off the precious piece of paper that tells his government that we want Aaron!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


The paperwork is moving at a snail's pace (in my mind's eye) but yesterday we made progress.  Rob and I have to make this process difficult by having separate doctors... We both had medicals, both passed with flying colors (gray hair doesn't eliminate you from adoption) and yet we haven't been able to fill out the crazy paperwork in a way that will pass Eastern European scrutiny!  We keep crossing t's when the i's are supposed to be dotted!  FINALLY we have one set of medicals that passed yesterday, but not without a lot of trouble.  We couldn't use the notary in the Dr's office because their license will expire in August and THAT is a no-no.  So I had to hike around to nearby offices to find a notary willing to help us out.  I finally found one but she wouldn't go across the parking lot to notarize the documents so I had to hike back to the Dr's office and arrange for the Dr. to hike across the parking lot.  But ALL IS WELL!  My paperwork passed!  One crazy step closer to Aaron.
My youngest son is feeling a bit neglected through this process.  I think both my kids are a bit sick of the stress and the focus on all of these papers, the meetings and the overall shock of this whole thing.  The honeymoon is over.  I realized last night that I can't neglect my precious kids at home as we race to rescue another son across the ocean.  This is a hard process on all of us.  Prayers are greatly appreciated.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Encouraging Verses...

I was sent these verses today from my favorite professor... For our dear little Aaron...

Psalm 68: 4-6 -
Sing to God, sing praise to His name,

extol Him who rides on the clouds
His name is the LORD—
and rejoice before Him.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in His holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
He leads forth the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.