Showing posts from 2016

One year HOME with Toby!

Today is Christmas - the day we celebrate Christ's birth!

It will also forever be the day we celebrate Toby's homecoming to America.

Toby has been home with his forever family for one year.  It has not been an easy year.  It has been a year full of transitions and adjusting and tears and questions.  But it has been a year in which God has shown Himself to us in even clearer ways.  It has been a year where we have all learned to rest and trust that His ways are higher than our ways.

And we are grateful.

We put together a video to commemorate his first year - and many of his first "firsts" riding a bike, eating a taco, climbing a tree, going bowling, swimming in a lake....and so much more.

Thank you to all of you who have prayed so faithfully for our family over this last year and a half!

Merry Christmas and God bless you!

The LORD provides...exceedingly and abundantly!

Our family is praising the Lord on this first Sunday of Advent!

We prayed about how we could best share about our Miracle of Adoption child - Joey.  We prayed about what we could do to raise money for his adoption grant.  We've been praying for a family to see him and choose him.

We had planned to do a bake sale in front of our house this weekend when our town celebrated the kick off for the Christmas season and lots of people from out of town would be traveling through.  But our dear pastor heard about our plans and told us to bring it all to church on Sunday instead.  He had asked my husband and I to share our testimonies this Sunday as well.  Josh shared about how he came to the Lord 12 years ago when a rocket exploded just feet away from him in Iraq.  I was asked to share some of our adoption story.

I didn't think I was ready.  I was nervous.  I wasn't sure how to share something that we are still so deep in the middle of.  This isn't a story that has reached a be…

Happy "Metcha Day" to our Toby!

Toby has been in our lives for one year as of today!  He's come a long way in a year!

Miracle of Adoption

It has been a while since I posted anything on this blog.  It does NOT mean that nothing has been happening!  God is doing great things in our family and in Toby's life, and I will update on that soon.

But tonight I don't want to focus on our own miracles of adoption...the things we keep seeing and experiencing that have grown us and shown us what a marvelous thing adoption is even in the midst of challenges.

I want to introduce you to one little boy who was left behind in Toby's city.

One little sweetheart that I got to hold and hug and whisper in his ear in Russian, "You are loved!"

His Reece's Rainbow name is Joey.
And he is my "angel" - the child I've chosen to advocate for during the annual Christmas campaign, now named "Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign."

Last year as Christmas was drawing near, we busted our boy out of the orphanage forever.  But not before Toby made his rounds to say goodbye to those he was leaving behind…

Home for Six Months

Today marks our six month anniversary of bringing Toby home. I'm not going to lie.  It has been a rough six months.  I think it takes courage - something I haven't quite had up until now - to be real and honest and put some of the ponderings of your heart into words that can be read by so many.  In all actuality, as one sweet friend so aptly put it, "It is as if God had silenced my words."
I'm a pretty wordy person...and it was such a joy to keep up with this blog and write about all that God was doing as we committed to Toby, saw miracle after miracle in the fundraising and paperwork process, and took the adventure across the world to bring home our son.
But once we got home, my words have failed me.  Of course Josh and I have talked...and talked...and talked until we are exhausted about it all.  About how we didn't expect this.  How we thought it would be different.  How we are tired.  How sometimes we are just plain sad to see how our family has been alte…

Four months home

Yesterday marked four months.  Four months since we brought Toby home to America.  We've been told many times by other adoptive families that the four month mark is often an important turning point in the adapting process.  It usually means the end of the "honeymoon period" - if there ever was one!  It means reaching a new normal.  We've looked forward to reaching the four month marker!

Well....the transitioning process continues.  There has definitely been progress made in these past months, but often it is more like taking two steps forward and three steps back.  The days when we think, "Yes!  We are getting this!  He is really becoming part of the family!"  are often followed by days when we wonder how long it will be until things feel normal again.

But overall, Toby is doing really well.  His English is exploding! He is responding to our love and attention and a family environment.  He still clings hard to many of the survival instincts he honed over 11…

New Life

One week ago we celebrated the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ!  It has taken me just about this entire week to process all that God did on that wonderful weekend.  I'm praying that by sharing this part of our story, someone will be encouraged.

I've learned that as an adoptive mom, it is hard to know what to share with others and what information to keep to ourselves as we figure out how to adjust with this new person in our family.  We knew that adoption would not be easy.  We knew there would be challenges.  We read books to prepare ourselves - we talked to other adoptive families.  We thought we knew.

But we didn't.  Not truly.  We didn't know how hard it would be.  I feel guilty even writing those words, because we have seen so many other wonderful families take on children with MUCH more severe needs (medical, emotional, mental) than we've had to handle with our Toby.  And so many of them do it with such utter grace and love.  Those families amaze me and…

On the eve of my son's birthday

Dear I. V. S. -

I do not know much about you and you know nothing about me.  I know your name.  I know that we share the same birth year.  And I know that eleven years ago tonight, your body began to go into labor.  Your baby came four weeks early and you delivered him at home.  Maybe he took you by surprise, eagerly wanting to come into this world, not knowing how hard life would be for him for the next decade.

I don't know what you thought when you saw that tiny, five pound baby boy.  I often think about it all.  Did you hold him?  Did you whisper to him that even though you couldn't take care of him, you would always love him?  Did you even feel love for him?

I don't know.  We will never know.  You chose to give him up and turn him over to the hospital, where he was in the NICU for several weeks before being taken to the orphanage.  A premature baby with no mother to hold his hand or nurse him or give him her body' warmth.  Our boy had a rough start, indeed.

I don…