Sunday, November 28, 2010

Crowded Mantle

We put out the Christmas decorations today. Here's what our mantle looks like. I think we went a bit crazy at the SDA appointments over the last two years! I'd bring them all home if I could!
~ Santa Felix ~

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I am thankful for...

As I have stated before, we are fortunate enough to have family in town from Chicago to share the week long Thanksgiving vacation with us. I issued a challenge to everyone.

Earlier in the week I asked my niece, Shannon, make this statement for me on strips of paper times fourteen: "I am thankful for..." I then handed them out to everyone and asked them to write a simple sentence or two. At Thanksgiving dinner everyone would read to the other what they had written one by one and then pass them to me to post on this blog. Some responses moved more than a few people to tears. Here's what everyone, in order, had to say.

Little Jessica E: "I am thankful for having a warm home to sleep in. I am also thankful for being here in Colorado with my cousins, my aunt and uncle. Plus Laura."

Kole Rogé: "I am thankful for Aunt Sally, Uncle Gary, Drew, Shannon, and Jessica being here in Colorado with us for the Thanksgiving break."

Rimma Rogé: "I am thankful for this big family being together and for having a lot of fun. Also, the most important thing, that God has been in my heart and loved me so much."

Julia Rogé: "I am thankful for home and wonderful family."

Drew E: "I am thankful for a supportive and loving family that aids me with every decision I make. Also, I have an extended family that is welcoming and optimistic, even when things are daunting."

Jessica Rogé: "I am thankful for family, friends, God, snugly kitties, my fabulous church, snow, apple pie and Sal's mashed potatoes!"

Nadia Rogé: "I am thankful for this wonderful family and everything they do for us. Thank you so much."

Laura T: "I am thankful for my family I have in Germany and America and I am thankful that they're all happy and healthy. I am thankful for the chance to have new experiences and to meet new people and that I can enjoy every day."

Shannon E: "I am thankful for FAMILY."

Jordan Rogé: "I really don't know what I am thankful for since I have so much to be thankful about and I merely have this little slip to write it on. Well, I am thankful to have such a huge, loving family. I am thankful to Heidi and Dad for taking me in, even with all the baggage that comes with me. I am thankful to all my little sisters and brother for accepting me. I am thankful for Jessica and Laura for listening to all my troubles. I am thankful for my mother for loving me no matter how far the distance. And I am thankful for God for always being there."

Heidi Rogé: "I am thankful for; Jess and Jordan being with us for Thanksgiving; The Eggers traveling 900+ miles to be here this week; Laura being brave enough to trust us and travel across half the Earth to spend a year with our family; God bringing Dad and my kids into my life and making it richer than I ever imagined."

Sally E: "I am thankful for a God that is forgiving and doesn't expect me to be perfect. I am thankful for such a wonderful family."

Gary E: "I am thankful for being blessed with a wife who has given me three wonderful children and extended family but also has an unparalleled inner strength and capacity to deal with adversity. Her ability to care for the well being of others is amazing."

Felix Rogé: "I am thankful for the decision of Ukraine's legal system to question the legality of the moratorium on international adoption. While not certain, it should halt this ugly process and keep safe the opportunity for orphaned children to realize their dream of family, including our Lizzie. I am thankful for that child waiting for us in Ukraine. I am thankful for the 14 people sitting at this table today and the gift of having them all happy, safe and sound, here with me. I am thankful for God who cares about me and loves me."

~ Felix ~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Friend of a friend's friend

News coming out of Ukraine today is that the second reading of the new adoption law that would have stopped international adoption from Ukraine was being scheduled, but then their legal department rejected it! So it has failed this time!

While not officially confirmed, this news comes from one of our friend's facilitators whose husband was at Ukraine parliament yesterday. The RADA website confirms this news, showing that there was a text comparison on the second reading. This would certainly be great news for us and Lizzie as well as all those waiting orphans in Ukraine whose futures were certainly hanging in the balance.

During Sunday's service our Pastor and future adoptive parent, Clay Peck, said something that still rings in my head. He said, "Worry is the opposite of faith!" Certainly, that has been the case with me as of late. I felt guilty for it and I believe God was speaking to me through Clay. I pondered on it all day Sunday and prayed about it several times that day. Later that evening a sweet inner peace came over me as I let happen what should have happened all along. I quit worrying about the vote and if we would get Lizzie home. I gave it all over to God and I slept soundly the next two nights. I have been really relaxed at home and at work, too. A noticeable change. Heidi even commented that I seemed different and happier than I have been in recent weeks.

Today, the awesome power of God was presented to me. I prayed all day Sunday and I awaited His quiet, casual reply. The answer came to us in an e-mail from a reliable, confidential source. Thank you for caring about me, Lord. Thank you for caring about all of us and Lizzie most of all!

~ Felix ~

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cousin Time!

This week has been like a vacation for the kids…what am I talking about? It IS a vacation for them. Heidi took off from work and is home with them. Me, I’m working until Wednesday and then taking the rest of the week off. Added to our family’s fun and excitement is visiting relatives in from the Chicagoland area. That’s right, the Egger family is visiting for a week over the holidays. We are having a blast with them and the kids are enjoying non-stop good times together. Remember when you were a kid and cousins came to visit! Man, we talked, played and laughed all day and then fell into bed exhausted every night. That’s what’s been happening here, too! Living vicariously through your kids’ enjoyment is part of being a parent and is no exception for us. I’m having as good a time watching them as they are having doing the fun stuff! Oh, and I get into the action every now and then as well.

Saturday evening, the cousins arrived and we watched a movie that night on the HDTV.

Sunday was church followed by games of Who-Nu and Apples to Apples. We even got a football game going in the back yard. Rimma and little Jess each caught a pass from me for touchdowns. Kole and the boys still beat us though. That Kole is a fine receiver, hmmmnnnn!! That night we watched another movie. (I just love 14 people curled up on the floor and couch in front of the fireplace, watching a movie and having a good time…should be a Rockwell painting!)

Monday, I went to work and everyone else played more games, video games, and went to the Rec center to the indoor pool. When I arrived I found everyone in the sauna! Afterwards, a few kids and parents went to play basketball and volleyball. At 4pm, we headed out to Fat Cats bowling center, Heidi had bought two Groupon’s for half-price bowling a month earlier in preparation for this. For $70, we had 14 people bowling on two lanes for two hours with three large pizzas and a few pitchers of soda! Wow, you go frugal Heidi! Again, I witnessed much laughter and dancing as everyone cheered on the spares and strikes. We were the loudest group in the place…well, we might have been the only group in the place for the first hour. A couple more groups showed up later.

Today, Tuesday, is always $5 movie day at our local cinema. For five bucks per person you can watch any movie at any showing on Tuesdays. We never go to the movies anymore with our large family. Add five more and the total is 14 folks. So this is a great bargain if you have a group that just HAS to see the new Harry Potter movie. I think mom is going to take the younger three to see Mega Mind instead, just a few minutes apart. Oh, I forgot to mention that little Jess and Kole are enrolled in swim lessons at the Rec center this morning. Not sure what everyone else is doing while I’m at work.

Wednesday, some of the Egger family is going skiing. The adults are having a night-out date!

Thursday is Thanksgiving! Maybe more games, backyard football and movies. I think somebody is playing in the NFL.

Friday is of course, Black Friday. I think Gary and I will find something else to do, not sure yet.

Saturday, the Eggers head back home and the kids get ready for the new week.

~ Felix ~

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Horses by Julia Rogé

When I was in Ukraine I loved animals but caretakers did not let us have pets in Ukraine. But if we had animals we get in big trouble in Ukraine with the principal in my orphanage. When I came to America I asked to ride horses for my sport so they said yes. I started in 2009 Fall horseback riding I really liked so I started try new things like standing up on horse and walking. I'm on standing up on horse with no strings. I want to get jumping. When I started riding horses I got better and better on a horse. So I really like riding horses.

Julia (age 13), resident horse expert & Colorado cowgirl!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Lizzie!

Lizzie, today at the orphanage, celebrating her Birthday

Happy Birthday to our Lizzie! She turns 15 today and we/she missed another one without her family. Lizzie had just turned 12 when we first met her back in 2007. We celebrated one birthday with her, her 13th back in 2008 when we traveled there to adopt our first three. It was her first birthday party ever with a family. We all had a party for her while she was here this summer and she got a few gifts, one being her new skateboard that she left behind. But the real gift, everyone including her will tell you, is the family she has here and the time she has spent with us. Moratorium vote aside, she will get to live that gift forever come January! Please continue to pray for her and other orphans like her whose new life could be threatened by those who wish to impede international adoption.

Friday, November 5, 2010

State Department Notice

The official press release from the U.S. Department of State can be seen here and below...

Ukraine Adoption Notice

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

November 3, 2010

The Ukrainian legislature is in the process of voting on a bill that would suspend all intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements with Ukraine, including adoptions from the United States. The bill passed a first reading and vote, but must still pass a second reading and be signed into law by the president. The second reading could take place in the next few weeks. If the bill passes the second reading, it may be signed into law as early as the end of 2010. The draft bill appears to include suspension of all adoptions in progress.

The Department is will post updates as information becomes available.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dossier Submitted!

Our facilitator notified us today that our dossier was submitted, yesterday. It will only be a little time now before we know if 1.) the SDA accepts it as complete, and 2.) they notify us of our referral date. We expect that date to be in mid-January, which is what we have been told is Lizzie's availability date. We would eagerly travel before then to get her should some time be waived, but alas, this is never the case with the SDA.

Our hearts are happy and troubled all at the same time due to the recent vote on international adoption in Ukraine. It seems that the moratorium would actually be a halt to adoptions for countries do not have a signed bilateral agreement on adoption with Ukraine. I know of only two countries, Israel and Spain, that have signed such an agreement and even those agreements are in question now as new language is being requested. Didn't the Hague convention on international adoption hammer all this out years ago?

Right now there are two schools of thought.

On one hand, facilitators of friends are writing and saying that the second vote (they will need three) is only a political move and is a rumor at this point as to it's time and occurrence. They speak of the process of adoptions currently ongoing as routine and nothing out of the ordinary happening and this process could take months. Everyone agrees that we as a collective should call and write our representatives and urge them to write and pass a bilateral agreement (who's language is not known and could change at the whim of Ukrainian law and not required at this time). Good luck getting a US politician/government entity to do something that isn't required yet. I pray that these people are right. If Ukraine follows Russia's example, adoptions will continue as this "magical" bilateral agreement is worked could take years.

On the other hand, I sense a bit of concern in our facilitator's e-mail today. While he/she wishes us good tidings in our process and encourages us to keep pushing along, I also get the sense that he/she is certainly preparing us should the adoption stall. Our facilitator has always been terrific in telling us the news, both good and bad, promptly and accurately. It is why we hired them a second time. It may not be the news you want to hear, but you will hear it from them and you will be the second person they e-mail or call. Also, they just "get things done" and that's true value with your adoption dollar...that's worth something.

Your prayers for the children of Ukraine and ALL prospective adoptive parents are appreciated! Pray for those who sponsor this law and for those who will vote for it. At the least, pray for continued adoptions while agreements are made should this law pass. Amen.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Moratorium Vote!

I heard through the grapevine today that Ukraine's parliament finally voted on putting a moratorium on international adoptions, and the vote passed.

From a friend in Ukraine:

Yesterday Ukrainian Parliament voted for the bill which, once it comes in force, will stop adoptions in Ukraine. That was the first reading of the bill that our deputies voted for yesterday. According to the Ukrainian legislation there will need to be the second and then the third reading, after that the bill needs to be signed by the president and only then it will come in force. All this might take half a year, but might take less time, depends on the schedule of the Parliament.

If this bill goes through all four stages it will still not close the adoptions completely, but only families from countries with which Ukraine has signed a declaration on mutual cooperation concerning adoptions will be able to adopt in our country.

So, we all need to pray that the corresponding authorities of USA and Ukraine sign such declaration before this bill, which registration number is 4313, comes in force, and children who are waiting for their parents to come and take them home don't loose their maybe last chance to have a loving family and happy future.God bless everybody!

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.