Thursday, March 26, 2015


We are here in Eastern Europe once again. Unlike last time, things are going great. Much better than we could have hoped.

Our new little one is staying with us. She is such a nice little girl. It is obvious that she's been better cared for than Ally was. She's been well fed and at least loved a little. Still, she's spent 3 1/2 years in an orphanage and that is never without consequences.

Everyone we have met on this trip has been kind and positive and supportive. We have one more orphan court and then hopefully we will get to bring her home on a visitor visa.

We are going to name our new little one Sophia Elizabeth.

I won't be able to share her sweet face publicly until our adoption is complete....and that will not be for another 6 months. Unlike having to leave Ally in Bulgaira, which was terrible, this country allows children to travel home with their families while the adoption is completed. That is worth a lot to us...we can wait to share identifying pictures.

Here are a few pictures from her orphanage and our first days together.

We can't wait for the rest of the family to meet her. We feel so blessed to be part of this. It will be amazing to watch her settle in and get comfortable and open up and show us more of her sweet little personality. We're looking forward to watching her grow and learn.

We appreciate prayers as we finish up and wait to travel home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Trusting Him

We leave in a few days to travel across the ocean once more. We know where we're going this time. We were there several weeks ago...feeling discouraged and defeated...feeling sad and homesick.

Where we are now seems so surreal. Going back. Another chance. What we thought was the end of the story wasn't the end. One thing has been made so clear. We're not the ones writing the story. The Bible says that our hearts plan our ways, but God directs our steps.

When we got home we prayed and told the Lord that we really needed things to be clear before we could step out again. He answered our prayers. We have seen the path open up before us. We have seen miracles happen and things fall into place that didn't seem possible.

So, we are going back. Going to meet a little girl who we hope God has planned from the beginning to be our daughter.

A couple months ago, when everything seemed to be falling apart, He whispered to my heart "Do you still trust Me?".

We do still trust Him. We're learning to follow even when things don't seem to make sense, because little by little it will become clear and we will see the whole story. It's an amazing story beyond what we could have imagined. It is a beautiful story, even the sad parts, because He is writing it and He is caring for each one of us.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Going Back Again

When we got back from Latvia, we were asked by our agency if we would consider going back to adopt another child. Back in November the ministry had sent the photo and information for a 3 year old girl with Down syndrome and a heart defect. At that time, we said that we were committed to traveling to meet the older girls.
After our trip, not only were we worn out and discouraged, but we thought it would not be possible because of time and money to go back. However, God began speaking to our hearts and within just a few weeks, every single obstacle was removed and resolved. It was nothing short of miraculous to watch the impossible become possible.
Yesterday, we received a new referral from Latvia and were told by our agency to let them know when we wanted to plan our trip. So, yes...we're going back!
We feel confident that this will be a good fit for everyone. All of this little girl's special needs are things we have experience with and she's just a little older than Ally when we brought her home.
We are still sad about how the first part of our adoption worked out. We are not adopting this little one instead of the older girls. We're adopting this little one instead of adopting no one. We came face to face with what we could not do and we had to decide if we were going to let that keep us from doing what we can do. With God's help, we want to keep going.
We're looking forward to sharing the rest of the story.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sad news

Our current adoption story does not have a happy ending.

We will not be adopting either one of the girls we set out to adopt. Adopting older children is very complex and filled with so many unknowns. So many things that we didn't know...we know now.

Had the choices all been ours, had we had the power to make the outcome what we would not be ending this way.

I will not be going into all of the details here on my blog. It's one thing to be open about struggles you have with your own children, but these are not our children. They deserve to not have their personal issues discussed publicly.

I do understand that there are families considering adopting older children who could benefit from knowing some of the potential issues so they can make prepared decisions. I would be happy to share through e-mail if it could help someone.  My e-mail is

We know that many will not understand this...we don't understand it either. We appreciate the ongoing support and prayers of many of our friends and family. God has held us up these difficult weeks.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An update on us

We are in country and it has proven to be quite a crazy experience. We have had so many difficulties. I know that if I didn't have people dedicated to covering us in prayer, we wouldn't be able to keep moving.

We have had problems with the orphanage from the beginning. They do not understand why anyone would adopt an older child with DS and we have been set up to fail.

And in part, it has worked. We will not be adopting "Geneva". We are not sure what is going on with her, but our family is not the family who is able to adopt her.

The director has made things difficult for us and we have had challenges with the court. We have tried to be cooperative and do everything they ask, and at this point, I think, with the exception of the director, we have won everyone over.

We have been visiting "Dixie" in the orphanage to get to to know her better. She has learned some signs and yesterday, much to the surprise of the social worker, who said she could only say yes and no, she signed and said "dog" in English when she saw a dog.

This is so different from any other experience we have ever had, but God is teaching us to trust Him. It really is a minute by minute leading. It has been difficult that it hasn't all been positive with happy results, but we're doing the best we can and the Lord stays with us.

Here is a picture of us with "Dixie" on a walk that we took around the city with her. It was our first time seeing her somewhere other than the orphanage.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Travel Dates!

We're making plans to leave January 4th! We get to spend Christmas together at home and then we'll have a whole week to finish getting everything ready.

We can't wait to meet the girls and tell everyone all about them!

We appreciate prayers.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Finally Something to Update

Right before Thanksgiving, we received our referall for the girls. Now, we're just waiting for travel dates!

It's been a whirlwind fall...which is quickly slipping into winter. Waiting for a trip like this is crazy! I feel like our whole fall was busy getting ready for our trip. Preparations...waiting...more preparations...more waiting.

At this point, we don't know if we'll be home for Christmas. We had to quickly get our shopping done so we're ready for however things turn out.

Unlike Ally's adoption, we plan to bring our new girls home on this trip. That has added a lot to the preparations. We have to bring all of their things because we hope we'll have them during the trip and then they'll travel home with us.

Even though they'll be home, we still won't be able to share their pictures publicly until the adoption is complete. We'll be able to share what they're like and how they're doing, but their identity will still be private until everything is complete next year.

We appreciate those who still pray for us and our adoption. Being lifted up when things get crazy, is so helpful. The Lord is really the one getting us through each step and we're just doing our best to prayers are definitely needed.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Adoption/Ally update

Super busy lately, but I thought I'd drop in and give a little update.

I got an e-mail today that our dossier has been registered in our girls' country and that their files are being prepared. Yay! Progress! Our next step is getting referrals and then travel dates.

We're preparing for travel, and for our new's a little crazy. Since it seems our adoption trip will quickly be followed by the holidays...we're Christimas shopping and planning an early Thanksgiving with family. Crazy becomes crazier.

Ally's doing great. She had a wonderful summer and is enjoying fall. She's getting big and learning new things. She's still easy-going and super sweet...we can't imagine life without her.

Rachel took a couple of cute pictures of Ally-girl collecting leaves on the deck. So cute.

I'll update again soon if we any news. We appreciate those who continue to pray for us!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Update

I received an e-mail from our agency that our dossier has been mailed to our new girls' country!

We'll be waiting for it to be translated, and submitted, then wait for referrals and travel dates!

We appreciate your prayers!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Slowly But Surely

This adoption seems slow, although in reality it's going well so far.

We got the best news this week. Jeff called USCIS yesterday and talked to the officer assigned to our case. She told him that she approved us for 2 last Friday! We should get our approval letter any day and then we can get our dossier sent!

Great news and so happy for a little progress!

We had our busiest summer yet, but the weather was great and we're still enjoying summer temps while they're still here. We had our annual Lake Michigan visit and that was wonderful. I'll see if I have a picture or two to post soon.

Thanks for checking in and praying along with us!

Update: Our approval notice came in the mail today! Hopefully we can announce that our dossier is on it's way to EE soon!