Thursday, April 30, 2009

3 blossoming flowers

Heidi and I are extremely thankful for the three angels entrusted to our care. I can't wait to get home everyday from work to see them and hear about their day. Each always has a story to tell. All three, for quite awhile now, have become quite affectionate, as a family should. Kole told me the other night that I am a good daddy and that he is very happy to have a mom and dad.

Kolya routinely comes up with an American colloquialism and cracks us up, too. Last Saturday, after working in the yard mowing grass, trimming the shrubs, and planting new flowers, he asked me to go to Chipotle. In his words, "We deserve it!". They all worked hard and yes they did deserve it. After I quit laughing, we got cleaned up and headed out for some burritos. Here's Kole posing, in typical Kolya style, below his artwork at the St. Vrain school district art show. His is the red scarf he knitted in art class at Rocky Mountain Elementary.

Julia had a piece at the art show, too. However, I decided to post this cute picture of her at last weeks 5th grade choir concert. Julia practiced for weeks and did a great job singing in both Spanish and English. An episode of "lost in translation" became apparent when the music teacher explained to the students that they would have a dress rehearsal the morning of the concert. I remember her heading off to the bus with a plastic bag, but elected to ignore it as usual Julia quirkiness. Well, she had wadded up that nice dress you see her wearing in said bag because, as her little mind deduced, she was off to her "Dress" rehearsal! An ironing job later that day was in order. Another great laugh!

Julia continues to amaze us with her vocabulary. She is getting more confident and learning new words all the time. Her OT is paying off too and "things" are taking off for Julia! It s great to see her, and all of our children, blossom in their new family!

Nadia is a sweet young lady as she settles into teen-hood. She and I have grown quite close and she matter-of-factly tells us that she is a daddy's girl. I'm loving it and I hope it never stops, but I know that one day she will be too cool to hang on dad's arm. Oh well, they always come back around after the teen years are done, right? Nadia and Ashley's soccer team has advanced to the championship game. Nadia is ecstatic and talks about it with me all the time. She likes to kick the ball around the backyard with me, mom or Kolya to keep in practice. Here she is on Easter Sunday after she dyed her first two eggs. I told her that it matched her dress and she proceeded to make more colored eggs, except the white an black, of course. Since this picture, she talked me into letting her get her hair cut. You can see a picture of it on the Volf's blog. I haven't gotten around to snapping a recent picture of her yet. Sorry.

There's one last youngster in the family to report on, Buddy. He's doing fine and fitting in well with the family. The kids are taking good care of him. So far, he's only chewed up a pair of Easter dress sandals that Julia left on the living room floor. They were promptly replaced with his tug-rope. How can you get mad at a face like that? Julia was able to salvage the shoes, albeit a bit mangled!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

No wind in my sails

I've really struggled this week with whatever plan is in store for us. I pray and pray, but I'm frustrated and struggling all the same. And then, the news that R & Z won't be coming this summer. The director has once again gone back on his word and he demands an unconquerable obstacles for us and Frontier Horizons. I'm really tired of this guy and his bait-and-switch routine. The best option is to just move forward on the adoption of the girls and get them out of there as soon as possible.

Heidi will most probably fly over in August or September to see the girls for a few days or a week. I would be most grateful if anyone wanted to accompany her as I will have to stay behind and look after our kidos. This would be an excellent opportunity to travel to Ukraine on a min-mission trip. For any of our friends who are uncertain about going there alone, not knowing your way around, the customs, the food, the transportation, etc, Heidi is well educated on all these subjects and we have an established network of friends you will meet. The cost wouldn't be much more than your airfare. Let us know.

Thank you all who provided input about the one vs two trip adoption. Your comments made all the sense in the world. We have chosen to ride out the next few months and start the dossier near the end of summer. Our rationale is that Z will hopefully be registered by the end of summer, thus eligible summer 2010. If so, we can slow the dossier and facilitator to include both girls. If no Z registration this summer, we will move on R and bring her home first. We may ask for an additional child, probably a boy, with R. This would round us off to six children total, we definitely have the room in the new house. Yes, the money would come for a third adoption trip.

That's all I got folks. I'm a little down about the news. I've got nothing more for you. I may blog once more this week if the inspiration returns. The kids are doing fine and the routine is the same. My days are made joyful by the sounds and laughter of our three. I am certainly grateful to the Lord for giving them to us and quite happy in this regard. My lovely wife Heidi is the icing on the cake! So, yes, I am happy and content and by no means full of gloom and doom. We will look back and realize God's plan he had for us when we have the girls safe and sound at home, in their forever family.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Praying for a miracle!

Photos courtesy of the Jones family & Karen Springs

Last weekend, we talked to Zina again. Rimma is once again in the sanatorium, this time for a shorter stay and as a follow up to her TB test issue from last summer. Since we could not find a translator and we had promised Zina a call that day, Nadia served as translator after a little coaxing. Initially she was nervous and afraid, but before too long, Nadia and Zina were talking and giggling like the sisters that they will be one day. It was a sweet phone call and a big relief to hear these two accepting of one another. Rimma, Julia, and Kolya will follow if the two "big sisters" get along.

We continue to pray for a miracle in Z's registration. We have learned that her paperwork is in the hands of social workers in the area and that once their work is completed, a court date will be established for her and a few other kids in the same situation at the orphanage. We have been told by our contact that these social workers "are very efficient and law-abiding...they will not take longer time than it is provided by the law". This is very good news! Consistently pushing and bringing Z's plight to the forefront has brought her a few steps closer to her and our dream of adoption. As of late, Heidi and I have been a little panicky and worried about the apparent stalemate we all were in, but I have to remind myself constantly that this is God’s timing and plan, not Felix’s! His will be done according to his purpose.

So, the next step will be to hear about Z’s court date and her registration at the local level as being an orphan deprived of parental care. Hopefully this will occur sometime this summer. From there it will take about 2 months for her to get into the SDA system where she will be adoptable exclusively by her countrymen for a period of one year. (Rimma is in this stage now). The girls, being of age, will have to give consent for adoption. Both have consistently stated their desire to be in our family. If the girls change their minds and want to go with a Ukrainian family, we would be very happy for them, of course. After this year is up, Zina will be available for international adoption. At present ‘guess-ti-mation” this would be Summer-Fall 2010. Please pray for Z’s process!

Rimma, on the other hand, will be eligible for international adoption sometime around the December-January time frame. She was successfully registered this past Fall 2008. Here-in lays another source of angst. We will have the funds to go again for another adoption, but not two. Do we start our dossier and go after Rimma and borrow/save for a third trip to get Zina? Or do we leave Rimma in place and bring them both home at the same time?

Prudent minds would suggest the latter and get more “bang for the buck” and only one more trip. Vacation time is strained and there are children at home to care for. However, there are (but there has always been) indications that Ukraine may change the laws or cease international adoption in the near future. Experts say that this is illegal and cannot be done overnight, but those who know Ukrainian parliamentary whims will attest to the volatile nature that is Ukrainian adoption. Therefore, should we “for-sure” rescue one while hoping for the best circumstances for the other? A few Ukrainian contacts feel that we should get Rimma out; Zina included who told us that “…we should get Rimma home before it is too late, even if her (Zina’s) paperwork isn’t ready”.

I don't know if I could do this...leave without Zina. I would feel horrible and it would kill me to see her in tears as we drive away from the orphanage without her. More importantly, what about Z's feelings as she is yet again, left behind? For these tumultuous questions, I pray for and seek guidance from you our friends and from our Lord and Savior. Again, please pray for Rimma and Zina.


About Us

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Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.