Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today we received an email from the other side of the world. It wasn't really what we wanted to hear. There is a potential decision that I thought was a good thing. That it meant Ianna's file was at least on someone's desk, and her case was being worked on.

Instead I was told no, that is not how it will work. If this decision is made, it would make it possible for those in charge of her case to basically forget that she exists. She'll be taken care of, yet off their hands, so they can get on with doing work for other children more worthy of their time.

This decision will be made sometime in July (we're told close to the middle of July) My stomach is in knots thinking about it.  If this decision is made, it is highly unlikely we or anyone else will ever be able to adopt her. It's not supposed to be that way, but I'm told realistically that's what to expect.

After the death of Moses, in Joshua 1:9 God said to Joshua "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

The only one I can appeal to is God himself. I have to keep reminding myself that just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean it will be *this time*. That when I want to look around at all the things that could get in our way, I need to LOOK UP to GOD, because through Him all things are possible, even when some person here on earth says it is nearly impossible. Because for this one little girl, until someone closes the door, locks it, and throws away the key...until such a time...anything can happen.

That "anything" could be that one thousand people can pray a fire-storm of compassion to burn in the heart of the person or people involved in signing those forms.

Tonight I sent an email to the other side of the world, letting them know we are waiting....

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A bed to call her own

While this pictures is not the best quality, I want you to look at the background. Do you see the beds all pushed together? Then behind the beds is a wall. If memory serves me right, a girl we call Ianna sleeps on the other side of that wall, on an identical bed. I can almost touch her from here. 

Now, look at the beds again. Do you see how they are all pushed together? 10 beds...all pushed together TIGHT! The orphanage is filled with room after room after room of beds pushed together tight, every one of them containing a sleeping child at night. That is a lot of children who don't have mommas or pappas!  

I don't know if the caregivers pull the beds apart at night so the kids are separated for sleeping, or if they stay pushed up against one another. One on hand, I hope that they are separated, so that they have the tiniest bit of privacy. On the other hand, I hope that they're next to each other, so they're not completely alone. But if she is used to someone sleeping r.i.g.h.t. next to her every night, can you imagine how different it will be to come home to her very own bedroom?

To her very. Own. BED?

My girl spent her first 8 years in the most horrendous conditions you can imagine. She has never had a single item to call her own. In pictures and videos I get of her, she is often seen carrying a naked baby doll (apparently naked baby dolls are universal! LOL) but it's never the same baby doll. In videos she is very gentle with her babies. I have my eye on a couple simple baby dolls who's clothes don't have to come off (something that is difficult for her, since she has minimal use of her fingers, and thumbs) and I can't wait to buy a cradle for her baby dolls, which I will put in her room. I will teach her lullabies to sing, and together we will love on those babies.  Ok, sorry, I was having a moment there....Have I mentioned I'm just a *tiny* bit excited about having a girl who likes to play with dolls? It's not that I don't love playing "Dog the Bounty Hunter", its just that there is something about a tea party that I'm sure I'm missing out on. (and don't tell Angela, but when Ianna turns 11, Angela might just have to suffer through a princess party!

Anyway, we are s.l.o.w.l.y. getting things ready around here. No, I don't have the office cleaned out yet, but still I've been watching Craigslist for bedroom sets, and have had a vision in my head of what I can see for Ianna's room. Like the $300 French provincial set that Dean said was out of my price range....sigh...why does he always have to be the voice of reason?

Then a couple weeks ago I saw and add with a picture that said "I've had this set since I was 10 years old!" along with a picture.

Let me take you back in time to...oh...about 1972...

In 1972, I was 5 years old and my parents had built a brand new house in the middle of a corn field in prime horse country in Minnesota.  I know when we first moved in I had my brother and sister's old bunk beds, but around the time when I turned 7 my room was completed. That room came straight out of a Dayton's catalog, I'm pretty sure! The bedding, wallpaper, and curtains were all the exact same pattern (small pink and yellow stripes with tiny little flowers with green stems in there too) Oh, and yellow and white shag carpeting. A few years later, hidden in the corner, under my bed, was about a 3ft square patch of ROCK HARD carpet where I'd spilled a bottle of wood glue and tried to clean it up with water. Oops! 

My actual bedroom furniture was a set that was very popular at the time. In fact, it was so popular that BARBIE had to have it! Here it is, scaled down for the Dreamhouse itself! 


There were lots of pieces available to this set, but only two pieces that I didn't have. One was the wardrobe. I had a big closet in my room, so a wardrobe would have been silly. The other was the canopy bed.  I had always WANTED the canopy bed, only my mom had gotten me the wrought iron headboard/footboard instead. But my best friend? Yeah, SHE had a canopy bed, with a really pretty blue ruffly canopy on it! And her curtains were perfectly matched to the canopy. I loved it. With her blue shag carpeting, and she had these little toy horses lined up in their little barn in the corner of her room. We pretended the blue shag carpeting was their hay, and (don't tell her mom) pulled up the carpet fibers and made little blue bales of hay with it. Cuz, you know, walking outside and using the GRASS would have been messy! 

My friend's room looked like it belonged in a magazine. My room did too, only I wanted to be in her magazine, and I'm pretty sure she wanted to be in mine. I spent the night over there a.l.o.t. Probably way more than her parents cared for, and far more than I reciprocated. 

So yeah, anyway...back to June 2010, and the Craislist ad. So this set had several pieces, and also included the canopy bed.  Even though it wasn't very expensive, it was money we don't we have right now, with money tied up in the adoption process. Dean told me to offer her less, which I felt silly doing, since I know the memories attached to such a set, and she really wasn't asking very much. But Dean is the smart one in this relationship, so I followed his suggestion. I sent an email, explaining that we were adopting, and that it was more than we could spend. I made my offer.

She answered back a few minutes later saying the set was still available, and that adoption is close to her heart, since she has several friends adopting. My offer would be fine.

We exchanged a few more emails, and somewhere along the way I sent her a link to this blog, along with some other details from our story. It wasn't long before one of her emails said, "By the way, now that I'm 1/2 way through reading your blog, no charge on the bedroom set!" 

We picked up the bedroom set this week, and it's given me a new motivation to get the bedroom done. (ahem, the bed has to stay in my car until I have an empty bedroom to put it in!)  I can't thank Jen enough for this amazing gift she's given to Ianna, who has no idea what is waiting for her a few months down the road. A bed to call her own, and also something I can share with her from my own childhood thanks to my new friend Jen. And I'm pretty sure that Jen and I have just formed a friendship that will last a very long time. And who knows? Maybe someday a face like this will find his way into her household?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


2 months, 2 weeks 2 days, that's what the counter at the top of the page says today. That's how long it's been since I held her. Only at the time, I didn't know why I was holding her, so I wasn't paying attention to the details, and now every day I have different questions! 

Some days I'm able to have some questions answered, like what size clothes she wears. (thanks to another adoptive family who just returned home with their newest family member!) or a new favorite toy, and I get other details in bits and pieces. 

If only I could have a do-over of those 15 minutes so I could soak up the information I didn't know I was going to want and need two months later! LOL But God  had a reason for that, I know! If my minutes had been spent looking at other details, I would have missed the most important ones! 

You see, in those minutes I got to spend with her, I was seeing HER, and the beauty of her spirit. I was able to see the glory that is her life, and wonder how anyone of us could walk away from her, knowing the future she faced, without doing whatever we could to find her a family. In those minutes, I vowed to get her out of there, to find her a family NO MATTER WHAT! God heard that promise, and he in turn kept his, and performed miracles here at home in Dean's heart. 

So, no more wishing for a "do over"! Instead I want another trip! LOL Wouldn't that be fun? To go spend time at the orphanage, just loving on the kids like I did last spring? Surely some money could fall out of the sky for that! LOL

Sunday, June 20, 2010



Our girl needs prayer RIGHT NOW and for the next couple of weeks. There are several decisions being made for her over the course of the next couple of weeks, and I cannot give details about any of them. Oh, how I hate writing in code, but because we are not legally committed to her, (and cannot be until the the small legal hurdle is fixed in her country) it is the only way I know how to beg for your prayers.

Will you be a prayer warrior for us this week?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meet Srecko

Because we are not formally committed to adopting Ianna, we are not allowed to talk about what country she is in, nor where I met her. That said, after reading the following post and clicking around a bit, please DO NOT feel compelled to point out the obvious in your comments, ok?

Check out this little guy! This is Srecko, and I met him when I was traveling in April. He's the second favorite child I met while I was there. >wink< 

Srecko is in the same group as the little girl we're adopting, and they've been raised as brother and sister for the nearly 3 years. They're almost always together. When I was taking this picture, I learned that he was going to a family here in Minnesota, and I was so excited to be able to send his new mom SEVERAL neat pictures of him! When you're adopting, getting these pictures is a lot like getting an email filled with gold. This one was especially fun because Srecko has got to be one of the neatest kids in the orphanage, next to my girl, of course! 

In the last several weeks, his new mom Tammy and I have gotten to be great phone friends. They live not too far away, and this will be their third adoption from this country. Their first child, Christina, was adopted in 2007, and Jovan just came home in October 2009. In December they committed to adopting Srecko and are really trying hard to come up with the funds to do just that. I'm so excited that they are, not only for them, and for Srecko, but because it means my girl won't loose everyone who is important to her because her best friend will be living right here in the Twin City area. Tammy has taken me under her adoptive mother wing, and has been helping me understand particulars of adopting from this country. 

Maybe you're not adopt a child into your own family, but could spare a few dollars for a family who is. If you're feeling led to sponsor the Severson family, you can click on his button below to do so, and you can also add his button to your blog! (I can't wait until we have a button for Ianna. Soon...very very soon.)

Grab This Button

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Heart

Last night we received new pictures of a certain little girl in a certain country far away! Oh man, it's like Christmas in June! The best part was to see her OUTSIDE, with her hair in ponies, in the sunshine, playing with the other kids. Oh, and last week we got a short video clip, which Dean and I have each watched about 100 times, and there is another video clip coming soon.

I cannot wait for the day I can share pictures of her here on the blog. We actually have quite a few since I had a *slight* advantage over some of the other adoptive parents. And, there is another family who will be traveling to that country before too long (maybe even around the same time as us, if we're lucky!) so I will probably get more.

As another mom has said, these pictures are like little doses of vitamins to help us stay strong to get to our goal!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Do you see that ticker at the top of the page? Today it says "1 month, 3 weeks and 4 days since I met Ianna".

That ticker is going to be there awhile. Ianna's country is entering their summer break, where NOTHING gets done for the entire summer. Today I received an email that it is going to be "months" before Ianna will be available for adoption.

That said, it is also a country that has a relatively quick process for a child who is legally available, so once her legal status changes, things can move pretty quickly. In the mean time we'll continue to get all of our ducks in a row and the US side of an international adoption completed, and when the day comes we're notified that she's ready, we'll be ready for her.

Adoptions take months, and we're prepared to wait out those months. Things will probably be pretty quiet on this blog until we know more. I'm still praying for a miracle, and I'm holding on to the vision I saw last night. God didn't have me travel all the way around the world for grins and giggles! God is bigger than all of this. He is also methodical, with each step placed at just the right distance from the one before. Skipping steps means not following His direction, and often results in nasty falls, so we'll be treading carefully!