Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The first giveaway ends

Hello friends,
It seems only fitting that my first giveaway end the day before I have my first scheduled home study visit! That's right, March 1st we meet with our social worker and we begin getting all the paper and classes and preparation going.  if you still want a chance to win the Lladro, don't hesitate to click on the donate button to the right->
While that kind of stuff is what I normally handle, Scott has been busy as well.
When I told him that I thought these 4 children were ours, my precious husband smiled and quietly said, "I'll build another room."
He had already begun building a room for Hanna and Sveta to share, in fact he was close to done, but he set out to select the best place to put another bedroom in the basement.  It turned out that the best solution meant that he had to reposition the door of the room that was nearly done.  With the help of his buddy Kiel, they removed the door, studded the opening, and laid plans for the next bedroom.
The addition of 4 more children will put a strain on the 2 bathrooms we have in the house, especially since the 2nd bathroom in the basement had significant damage from a flood the previous owners suffered.  They waterproofed the basement but failed to remove the water damaged walls.  They simply left them covered by the dark paneling.  We discovered the deception and Scott had already removed most of the damaged materials.  This was better for our health, but left the user of the bathroom feeling somewhat exposed, since the back wall was missing.  So, in addition to the 2 bedrooms, he has expanded the size of the bathroom and made it a double room.  One half of the bathroom has a double bowl sink, and then there will be a pocket door to a 3/4 bath complete with shower and another double bowl sink.  4 kids will be able to brush their teeth at the same time!  Thank you IKEA for being inexpensive and targeted toward maximizing small spaces.  When the project is finished, I will share photos.
Why am I boring you with such details?  Mostly because I am so proud of Scott.  He always has a willing heart and he works so hard.  Also to show how having a large family in a smaller home can be done.  We live in a Chicago-style bungalow.  It is about 2000 sq ft including the basement.  I won't deny that a basement with above grade windows and a walkout makes basement bedrooms count, but there is plenty of room here.  The upstairs only consists of 2 bedrooms.  The boys all sleep there.  The main floor has the most rooms to include my bedroom and the room Dasha and Vika will share, the main bathroom, along with the kitchen, dining room, living room, the front porch/my office, and the school room (a 4 season addition that has windows all the way around.)  Downstairs in the basement is the laundry room, a family room, the 2nd bathroom, and the 2 new bedrooms where the older girls will sleep.  It works out to 2 people per bedroom, 4 people per floor. Unless we are all in the dining room, it's not that loud at our house.  Of course we are always in the dining room...you should come visit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hiding my feelings from myself

Have you ever been so calm and serene about something that normally would have all your senses on edge?  You know, something so important that there is no way anyone other than you understands the urgency, cares so deeply, acutely knows how monumental the situation really is more than you?

Usually when I am undertaking a new adoption process, (as I write that it makes me laugh.  Adoption has become common routine for me.  Awesome!) I become what I call hyper Type A.  I micromanage every aspect of every piece of paperwork, both the paper I am responsible for as well as those items that are not my duty: think home study, fingerprinting, background checks, visa approval, etc.)
I become hyper-aware of every minute passing that could be used to complete some vital part of the adoption process. 

This time has been very different.  There are some big unknowns around this adoption.  I am going with a new home study agency.  It is not so common to adopt a sibling group of this size in Illinois.  I have absolutely no idea about how the time frame is going to unfold.  All things that would send me reeling into "figure out every facet of every possible scenario" mode, but oddly not happening.

Foolish, foolish me to think that I had really matured that much. 

A dear friend asked me to send her an email about the kids.  She wants to help raise awareness of our adoption to encourage prayers and financial support.  I was excited for her support and set out to write to her about the kids.

I shared what Eastern European Outreach had written about them and then I included personal details about the afternoon I spent with them along with observations from college students who had spent the last three weeks with them.

I thought I would be sharing basic details about their ages, looks and personalities, and I did that.  But I learned something as I wrote to her.

Here is a picture of Masha along with what I wrote about her.

Masha (Maria) had a shy hope about her.  She was one of the oldest children at the orphanage.  There was a group of American college students finishing up a 3 week visit doing VBS type activities, and it was obvious that most of it was geared for the younger kids.  I think Masha's life has been spent on younger kids.  She definitely felt responsible for her younger siblings.  She was embarrassed by some of their behavior while they were talking to me, it was actually great to see that dynamic.  It seemed more like an older sister than a mom.  I was glad to see her being able to relate on an age appropriate level.  She asked to see her picture after I took it, and just like most teen girls, she didn't think she looked right.  Her hair was troubling her.  She blushed and made a face after looking at it.  I asked her what hopes she had for the future.  She told me she would like to be a travel agent.   I pressed her if there wasn't anything else?  
She looked in my eyes and quietly breathed, "I would like a mom and a dad."  
And there it was.  At nearly 16 she still hoped, believed that maybe she could still be cherished and loved by a mom and a dad.  That someone would come and tell her that they loved her and would take care of her. 
 And she trusted me with that wish.  
She is the one I can't get out of my head.  She is the reason for our urgency.  She doesn't have much time and she deserves to know she is loved, cherished, prayed for, valued.  She needs to know that 16 is still just a baby and that I long for her to be my baby.  
16 is so very young to be so old and alone.  
It's not right, and God help us we are trying to change that.

As I finished writing this I found that tears were streaming down my face.  I learned something I hadn't told myself:
I learned how very much I love them.  
I felt how much I ache for them.
I realized how incomplete our family now is without them.  
I had not shared that with anyone before.  
I hadn't even told myself those things.  

I still have peace about not knowing when and how their adoption will come together.  I know without a doubt that God's hand is guiding and directing us.  There is nothing else I need to know.  

I know that all of us have needs and that money is tight for everyone.  I also know that God moves his people to provide and if you are so inclined to be a part of our adoption you can donate here.  Every $10 still enters you into the give-away for the Lladro figurine.
Above all else I value your prayers for my children both already here in my home as well as these precious children yet to be called Heims.  Please pray for their hearts to keep hope alive, pray blessings upon all those who handle our paperwork.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would move within the hearts of His church to take up the cause of the orphan.  To volunteer their own homes as the ones where God sets the lonely.

Thank you, dear friends.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Here goes...

You remember these precious children, right?
I told you they need a family, and there was some joking in the comments section about all we would need to do was build another bedroom and fix the bathroom?

I imagine you also remember this lovely item that I wished to find a new use for?

Well, the two have collided.

We are their family, at least we hope to be, but we need your help.
I am doing a giveaway.  for every $10 donation, you will be entered in this Lladro give away.  
It has an $830 price tag.  I need $2400 for my home study.  Do you have any birthdays coming up, need something wonderful to give your mother this Mother's Day?  
This would really knock her socks off!
It's February 1st.  I will close the giveaway on March 1st.
Please share this.

I will be keeping you posted on our progress!