Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to cute pictures

This is how she fell asleep on the way home from a dinner meeting. Natrually, she sat at the head of the table.
If you look closely at the upper right hand corner, Hanna was squeezing into the picture. I didn't know that, she is supposed to be sitting back in her seatbelt! Silly girl.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A little off my usual topic

You know how cute Dasha is. As you may well guess, she is still the most amazing cutie. Seeing as that is not going to change any time soon, I thought I'd venture off onto a topic that has been on my heart for a little while. I hope this is recieved in the spirit it is written, and it is just my opinion. As much as I like to believe I am always right, I know that is not the case.
So this is just what has been rankling around in my head. What do you think? Am I off, or what?

Here goes:
During our Church service, my church prayed for my family before we left. I was and am very grateful for all the sustaining prayers then and while we were away. However, one aspect of the prayer left me bristling a little. It took me a bit to figure out what is was that didn't sit right with me. they prayed for our trip as we embarked on our ministry of adoption. So what's wrong with that?

Well, I guess I don't view the fact that we have adopted 6 children as my "ministry".

Adoption is simply how God has chosen to fill my quiver.
They are my children.
I parent them.
They are not a ministry.

Maybe I am wrong here, but here's how I see it.

I mean, do families with only birth children view their children as their ministry?
Does the husband come downstairs and say, "Honey, I've been going over the numbers, reviewing our ministry, and I think it's time we expand. Take a look at these projections and let me know what you think."

"OOOOh, this does look good. You're right. Come on, let's go and PUT A BABY IN ME!"

I am being purposefully silly here, but I think you get my point. Your children aren't a ministry.
They are family. My friends have always told me that they kind of got the itch for another child and went for it. Sometimes it was a bit of a suprise, but no one has ever said that as a ministry, they were deciding to have another child. Even within our own adoption dicisions, we never chose to adopt because it was a ministry move. Definately the Holy Spirit moved within us, showing us that there were children who needed a family and we were to be that family, but it was us saying yes to the blessing the Lord had for us. In acting in obedience to the Holy Spirit's guidance, we met the needs of orphans and our need to obey, but we didn't take on more ministry. While we all definately minister to our children, they aren't a ministry.

I am rambling, but continuing on:

There are aspects of adoption that fall under orphan care, no doubt. In fact, everything up until the judge says they are yours IS orphan care. After that, it is parenting the kids God blessed you with. I have 6 children by adoption in my home, but there aren't any orphans here.

Adoption agencies are ministries. Orphan advocacy groups are ministries. Adoption grant funds are ministries.
Me parenting my children is not a ministry.

I have issues about thinking that way. Ministries are not forever. You can scale back on your ministry. You can quit a ministry. You can turn it over to someone else. You can't do that with a family. If I were to view my children as a ministry it would imply that it was not quite permanent. That if I got tired, or sick or felt under appreciated, I could step out. With family, that is not an option.

I do have an adoption related ministry. Whenever I am asked to share our family's story and it inspires someone to action, every time someone asks me how to go about starting the adoption process, or asks for a referral of an agency, or asks for support or advice once their child is home, or I prepare a meal for when they get home, or get their mail, mow their lawn, watch their other children while they are gone, that's my ministry.

As for us and our 2 Russian, 3 Ethiopian, and 1 Ukrainian born children, well, they are my family.

Psalms 113:9 (new century version)
He gives children to the woman who has none and makes her a happy mother.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Heim family finally united

The Heim Family

All the friends who met us at the air port. All adoptive families ( in case you couldn't tell) and all helped out while I was away. Don't I have beautiful friends?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's time, it's time. Did she just say it's time?

(shout out to Vegie Tales)

Well, like the title says, IT'S TIME!!!!

I can harldy believe it. I have been here for 2 full months. It feels like a life time and also just a blink of an eye.

I miss my kids, my home, my husband. I spent half of this time with him, but I still miss him most. I miss my friends, sharing everyday life with them.

I am eager to experience this new family that God has forged. To watch Dasha grow into her new family, to be loved and to grow.

Oh Lord, that you would think of me so much that you would bless me with these trials and challenges and blessings.

I am amazed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Exciting times

So, a lot has happened since my last post.
Tuesday was the day I got to pick up the princess. But first, we had a lot of running to do.
We left the apartment at 8am and started by going to the court and picking up the court decree. Then we went to the baby house to get her original birth certificate. Then we dropped off the paperwork needed for the adoption certificate. Next, we went to the office where they issue the new birth certificate listing Scott and I as parents. There was a minor problem here. The person in charge was on vacation and the underlings were reluctant to issue anything in her absence for fear of doing something wrong. I can appreciate that, but as it is a fairly self explanatory document, let’s get moving, ladies. Numerous stalls and calls later, this document was finally secured. Victory! As it was now the national lunch time, 1:00pm – 2:00 pm, we could not go pick up the adoption certificate, so we went to the HIV hospital to pick up enough medicine to last Dasha until we go to the doctor. As none of these offices are anywhere near each other, in fact, they are in 2 different vast towns, we were able to go back to the office to pick up the adoption certificate.
Back to the baby house we went, not to pick up Dasha yet, but to pick up a representative so I could close Dasha’s bank account and donate it to the baby house. It was now 4:00pm. At the bank we hit another snag. The bank wanted one of the documents notarized. Sprinkled amongst all the earlier stops were a number of notary visits. (Notary offices are EVERYWHERE!) Sasha looks a little stricken. “Wait right here!” she yells over her shoulder as she literally sprints out of the bank. At this point I have no idea what is wrong, but the baby house rep and I take a seat and wait. 15 minutes later, a winded Sasha dashes back in waiving a paper over her head. We reaproach the counter and the transaction proceeds as planned.
Now we could finally go back and pick up Dasha. The proper papers are signed, meds are quickly explained, and we are OUTTA THERE! It is 4:55pm.
Provided we could secure tickets, our train would depart at 7:20pm. Sasha turned to me and said, “Ok, now we pray.” I told her I had been praying all day. We were able to secure tickets and bolted back to the apartment to pick up the luggage and pay the landlord.
It was 6:30, I still needed to buy some food for dinner and Dasha’s meds were scheduled for 7:00pm with milk, and 8:00pm with food.
Again, the train was leaving at 7:20.
I bought 3 baked potatoes with garlic butter and cheese, 2 bananas and a big bottle of water. It was the best I could do. In my possession I already had a bag of shortbread cookies and 4 slices of cheese. This was dinner and breakfast.
We arrived in Kiev at 7:00am on the button, and the driver was waiting for us. He was supposed to take us to Sherry White’s apartment. She was leaving in the morning and I planned to take over where she left off. It is more centrally located, and the price was right. We verified that this was ok ahead of time.
Niko was definitely not taking me to Sherry’s apartment. Maybe we are going directly to the Embassy medical? He parked the car and popped the trunk. Nope. It was an apartment located up a steep and winding road, buried where no Tinley Park girl would ever find it. I quickly told him that I was not staying here, please take me to Sherry’s, and he did.
That night there were 3 adult women, an 11 year old boy, and 4 freshly adopted children in this small apartment. 2 women and 3 children vacated the premises at 3:00am, and now it’s just Andy, Dasha and I.
Yesterday we had her medical exam and today we had the first of 2 embassy appointments. I get her Visa tomorrow and I have seats on a flight leaving Monday.
Why am I not leaving on Saturday, you ask? Because there are no seats available Monday, that’s why!
Interestingly enough, even though we were back at square one on July 14th, a month after we left, August 9th is the day I had a ticket to come home from the start.

Here is where I planned to show you darling pictures of Dasha on the train, but as I am paying for internet access by the minute now, I will wait until I have access to someone else's wifi.
PLease forgive me.

Monday, August 2, 2010


It is interesting to live for a time in a different country. As much as people are the same, they are also very very different.
For example:

A fifteen passenger bus/van can easily hold thirty-one people if they are willing to sardine a little.

While sitting on said sardined bus/van you become intimately acquainted with women who don't shave their pits, and occasionally, men that do. I found that last bit refreshing.

A man, wearing white pants and tight white tanktop, holding a white man-bag (think bowling bag), and bleached cornrows can still be rather masculine.

As much dirt as is here on the roads (you've seen my feet), people wear a lot of white and manage to keep it clean. Meanwhile, I am wearing dirt-brown capris most of the time and stain them regularly.

Final observation:

Dasha sure is one cute girlie!