Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day of Tears and Prayer

Yesterday was one of the most stressful days in our journey to Katie Aunna. I have been searching high and low for almost two weeks for a doctor of Internal medicine to complete our required Russian medical forms. It had become so discouraging. My guess is that I called maybe thirty doctors between Amarillo, Lubbock, and Albuquerque. Additionally, I called our family doctor a million times trying to get him to refer us to a doctor of Internal medicine. He just did not return any of my calls. It was so disappointing!!!!

So, I continued to search for this one special doctor who would allow us the opportunity to complete these forms. Without the completion of this one last document, there can be no adoption of Katie Aunna. I made so many phone calls yesterday and kept going back and forth to Duane's office to fax our forms off. Then getting calls that they would not do them. After trying all day long, I pulled into our garage, and wept. It seemed so hopeless and I even wondered if we would get our little girl.

Then, I began to pray. I ask God what did he want me to do? I told Him that I had reached the end of my rope and I needed Him to tell me what to do. Maybe I should cancel our flights and give up the battle. Truly, I was so exhausted. I am not accustomed to having prayers immediately and boldly answered. But, yesterday was the exception!!! As I wept and prayed, in my garage, my cell phone rang. A gentleman said his name was Patrick C.

He is the administrator of a clinic with doctors of Internal medicine!!! I had left a return call message for him earlier in the day. Actually, it took me a bit by surprise (isn't that just like our Lord?!?!), as I had hours before lost hope of a return call. Perhaps, it was just that my mind was becoming accustomed to this treatment. No one seemed to care about the future of one little orphan girl in Russia.

Well, he asked if I could fax my forms. I started my vehicle and backed out of the garage. As I drove and talked to this wonderful person, I realized that he was the answer to my prayers!!! God had sent him to us to do our forms. An answer from God right then and there. I was so touched I kept telling Duane's secretaries, as I faxed my forms, that God had sent a man who would bless us with this child. Although I am not sure if this wonderful Christian man knows fully....without this document there will be no court date set for Katie Aunna.

May God bless him and give all good things that life has to offer to him. He is Katie's angel. I read a beautiful statement this morning on the Internet. An adoptive mother said: "I can not change the entire world; However, through adoption, I can change the world of one child." Even for one child to be given the opportunity of having a family it is a blessing for the world. Today's post is in thanksgiving to Katie Aunna's Godsend, Patrick. Thank you and may all your hands touch be blessed!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Count Down

Karissa says: Hi for Katie Aunna;-)
John is so cute and love having his picture take!!!

John and Mary read books together
Christian wanted to get a buzz....and he sure got buzzed!!!! Those blue eyes are so pretty even if he is bald....ha ha.
The terrible trio love Mommy's rocking chair.
This is a picture of our beautiful grown daughter that I found and scanned in. She was in her mid twenties in this photo.
We are in the final stretch now!!! Of course, it was a typical Monday. We do not have our passports with our visas yet and this always makes me a bit nervous. Although, we do have until Friday to wait. I am not very fond of late wake up calls....same with last minute visas. The psychiatrist returned our paperwork and signed his correct block on the medical form, but, the notary signed an entirely incorrect box without a signature in the block for her notary....teeheee. So, I will need to return it to him by FedEx and then have it FedEx shipped back to me. Then I seriously doubt it can make it to Austin for an apostille and back before we leave this Sunday night. Tomorrow is our second doctor's appointment for our "8 doctor" medical exam. Anyway, on a lighter note, I took a few pictures over the weekend of the kids!!! Also, I found a beautiful picture of our daughter Kisty. Keep praying for us as we need those prayers!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Days of Preparation

I just wanted to take a minute to say that our plans for travel are progressing. It is very funny how fast a few weeks fly when you are not making plans. Now it seems to be dragging by as we count each day to our departure. We have both been running errands and trying to get organized. Leaving six children at home is such a tedious job. I went last night to do the dreaded grocery shopping. I am happy to report that it is all taken care of and meal plans are set. Also, I have purchased the airline flights and made hotel reservations. Now, we wait and dream of our little Katie Aunna!!! There will be a few pictures over the weekend of the children. However, I will not post to the blog again until next week....till then...many blessings;-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tentative Plans

We are busting at the seams today with excitement!!! It looks like we will meet our daughter in a few weeks. Duane and I are so ready to see her and give her hugs. Hope she is ready for us, but, that is so unpredictable. I am trying to brush up on my limited Russian so I can ask her if I can hold her. Maybe, I will be able to understand some of her communications with us, since she speaks Russian fairly well. Last night I fell asleep with the Russian instructions going.

I laughed at myself, out loud last night in the dark, because I woke up with headphones on and dead silence. When I took them off I heard the CD called "Rainstorm" with raindrops and thunder. Of course, no lightening included. Duane cracked up laughing this morning and said he will really worry if I report lightening. Considering, we live in an area where it rains very little and seldom.

The CD is quite nice, if I don't fall asleep, with my sound proof Boise headphones on....HA HA!!!!! So, when I say silent, I mean really silent. Funny part is when I first woke up, I did not realize..."Gee I have my headphones on"!!! Duane snored right through it and did not hear my giggling. Well, that's about it for today. I will report more as the time moves toward our initial goal of meeting our daughter.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gifts for the Orphanage and Katie's Clothes

The three pictures above are orphanage donations and
Katie Aunna's clothes are the following three.

Yesterday, I went out to the mall and began the tedious process of finding, great sales for children's clothes. It is so helpful to take clothes for the children in the orphanages. They like getting pretty dresses for the girls as these are used for special occasions. I found the most beautiful dresses for maybe one tenth the original price. I am hoping the boys will enjoy superhero clothing like Spiderman shirts and such. I decided to take the girls clothes on the first trip and take boy items on the next trip.

Then Duane stepped into the room and gasp. He told me he was NOT going to be a luggage mule on both trips. So, I am going to attempt to pack everything in one big rolling suitcase to take all the donations on the first trip. Well, there goes my "pack lightly" attempt.....ha ha. Also, the orphanages really need shoes and vitamins.

I think I will go to Sam's in Lubbock and buy the generic bottles of vitamins with the 240 vitamins in a bottle. They don't actually give them vitamins every day and so these will last a very long time. I will take 6 or 8 bottles of children's chewable vitamins. I may not be able to take the vitamins on our first trip as it will all depend on the weight of things. Perhaps I can then hit Payless Shoes and pick up some shoes for the children. We are so excited and looking forward to meeting our daughter.

Duane has began to plan which movies he wants to take for our long flight. It really is amazing to me that we will watch three or four movies and still not be to our destination. Once we arrive in Moscow we will still have a domestic flight to catch to get to the region where Katie Aunna is living. I am ready with the clothes that I am wearing, but, Duane has not given me a clue as to what I should pack for him.

I would imagine he will have me make all the packing decisions and then will get to be the luggage mule anyway...ha ha. I will post more in the next few days as we plan our travels. Tuesday will be the "BIGGIE" day that our plans will be a little more firm. The dossier will be reviewed in Russia. Prayers for our dossier to be approved will be greatly appreciated!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dossier Complete and A Tentative Travel Date

This is a picture of our hotel and similar to the buildings in Santa Fe. Then my camera ran out of internal memory...urg. I did not bring my computer to upload and make available space. But, this is the one picture I had left. I love how beautifully blue the sky is in New Mexico. No pollution here.

It has been a whirlwind of days since my last blog post!!!! We will be traveling the first week of March to meet our sweet little Katie Aunna. I am so excited that I can't stand it. I hope the next few weeks pass very quickly. But, at least we know we will travel on our first trip. We are praising God with great appreciation that He has seen to our needs in regard to visiting our little girl. I will try to fill you in on the last few days.

We got our travel date on Tuesday morning and I went into panic mode. So I began to fill in all the forms needed for the dossier. First we were told we would travel the last week of February. However, we were tentatively rescheduled for the following week. I called our home study agency and told our social worker, Heidi, when we were traveling. Next, the notary was contacted and our family doctor. All day Tuesday the notary and I went from one place to another gathering documents and signatures.

Tuesday night I did not sleep at all. I worked on the dossier. It was about to drive me nuts trying to fill in forms, get the order of the documents correct, and I had computer printer problems. Duane and I went to his office to print from the computer there at 2:00am. It was so crazy.
Wednesday morning we went and had passport pictures made for the visa in our passport. Then I FedEx shipped our passports and the pictures so they could get our Russian visas in place. I went to pick up and finish all the documents from our home study agency on
Wednesday afternoon. I am happy to say we have also received our I171H form. It is that precious document that we need to get Katie an American visa.

Anyway, on Wednesday afternoon (late), I left for Santa Fe. Of course, all the children wanted to go. I put the older children's names into a bag and drew a name. Karissa was the lucky winner of a trip to our state capital. So off she and I went to Santa Fe with our precious bundle of papers. That city is like a foreign country within our own state. Lots of very narrow one way streets and one wrong turn could mean lots of wandering. It also has a city ordinance that all homes and commercial buildings must be old Santa Fe style adobe flat tops. So, it is a very uniformly beautiful city nestled in the mountains and has a very unique flare.

I did not go to bed in our hotel room until 2:00am as I went over and over the dossier to make sure I had all the documents correct. Our appointment with the state notary was at 8:00am. Karissa and I arrived with dossier in hand and we were told it would take a couple of hours to complete. I took Karissa on a tour of the capital building. It was very cool. She enjoyed herself very much. The only problem we encounter was with my camera. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Santa Fe to post. I did not have any internal memory left and so could only take one picture!!!

Any way, we left the capital building about 11:30 and went to an Office Max to make a copy of the dossier and FedEx it off to, Frank adoption Center, our agency. It was such a huge relief to get it off to them and know it was finished. The dossier weighed 3.8 pounds!!! lots of paperwork and it is difficult to get it all done. Thank God ours is finished!!!
Then Karissa got into the back seat and fell asleep for a nap. I did the wrong turn thing and wandered for hours trying to find my way back. I was screaming at my windshield and prayed for help many times when I kept making wrong turn after another. Finally, I found my way out of the city and onto the right highway to home. It was about that time that Karissa woke up....innocent to all my turmoil....ha ha.

After I located the right highway, I noticed my gas tank was low. This is so funny. I have been married to Duane for almost 35 years and during that time I have NEVER; mowed the lawn, washed my car, or FILLED it with gasoline. I had no idea how a gas pump even worked. I don't know if he has done me a favor or an injustice...ha ha. He has spoiled me like a child and pampered me like a princess. I would have come home on empty if I had not wandered for hours.

So, what to do about the gas issue??? I pulled up to the pump and I thought "Gee, all I have to do is read the direction, which are surely on a gas pump. Well, the directions were on the pump. However, my fingernails were too long to slide the card in and out rapidly. There was a young man (maybe twenties) who was watching me with a huge grin on his face. I thought, what to heck, he already thinks I'm hilarious. So I asked him if he could help me pump my gas. then this other young man who was also amused by my plight, walked over to join the guy helping me.

I explained to the men that I had never pumped a tank of gas. They thought that was the funniest thing they had ever heard before. They were quite amused with my plight, but, helped to fill up my van with gas. I left red faced, but, on full. Dare I say that I have survived Ukraine and am a world traveler who can not pump a tank of gas?!?!? We arrived home late in the evening last night. Thanks to two twenty year old kids....I still have not pumped a tank of gas!!!! Our dossier is done, the travel date is tentatively set, and we will now prepare to travel. BTW, my camera is now ready for action!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel

The kids opening Christmas presents the morning of December 2007
I am so happy as I can see the end in sight. Karissa and I felt like we had just opened a huge Christmas present to get our dossier so close to finished today. Little Karissa said to me :Mommy we are going to get her, really get her home, aren't we Mommy?" I told her "yes, Karissa, this is real". She just smiled and her smile reminded me of Christmas morning a little over a month ago. Karissa and I are exhausted tonight. Karissa went with me to our home study agency this afternoon. We stayed and helped Heidi organize and staple papers, figure out what we still needed to put together, and such. I am happy to announce that our agency part of things is complete. Some documents need signatures and notaries. But, I can pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

Our medicals will be done as well tomorrow. The psychiatric report is on it's way to me by FedEx and so I should have it tomorrow also. This is pretty much all I needed for the dossier and so I am in high hopes we can get it to K2A/FF by the beginning of next week!!!!! alleluia...praise to God...when He moves this world, it really moves.

I am thinking we will be on a big bird to see our daughter within the next thirty days or less. I just can't wait to tell her I love her and she is safe with a mom and papa of her own. She is just the most beautiful little blond girl with pretty big blue eyes. such a petite little girl. I hope so much my family and friends make her feel welcome as she will be so much more aware of her circumstances than our other babies since she is almost 6.5 years old.

I just can't wait to see her. I am also trying to think of a creative way to photograph her so that I do not violate Russian law and yet to give you a hint of her beauty. She is truly gorgeous. Well. I am going to bed now and will write more tomorrow evening. Many Blessings!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Quick Update

Mary at bedtime

Karissa at bedtime

Annie at bedtime...No protests tonight!!!
John-John watches Mary hang in the swing on her tummy.

John-John is having fun outside today...he is so blond!!!!

Little Mary Beth enjoys playing

John-John sings a song;-)

Handsome Christian

Christian and Karissa Jump on the Trampoline
Annie Loves Her Baby Brother John-John
Annie Kate is always so happy!!!!

Well, the weekend has just flown by. I am glad it has gone so fast as I am looking forward to this week. Many of the documents for Katie Aunna's dossier will be due to us and I may even get to send it off for apostilles. Praise God for all his love and kindness to help us complete our dream of bringing our Katie home to her family where she belongs. The weather was so beautiful both Saturday and Sunday so the children were able to play outside.
This evening I filled out paperwork for about two and a half hours nonstop to complete the needed forms for our dossier. My thumb is sore and my wrist hurts from writing so much. Part of the pain of paper pregnancy. I am guessing that I filled out maybe 100 documents. I'll count them when we are ready to apostille and will tell you the exact number of documents. This is definitely the largest dossier I have had to do.
But, Katie has been an adoption that has had so many speed bumps that have slowed us down. Guess the good Lord just wants me to follow His timing. I really am not stressing out with Katie like I have for most of our adoptions in the past. I have a peace that God's Will shall be done. So as He cares for the little sparrow, He will so much more care for me.
It does look like we can take our notary and go to pick up the doctors documents and get his signature on our medicals. He will hopefully call me tomorrow to let me know what time to meet with him. Then on Wednesday our paperwork from our home study agency should be ready. The psychiatric evaluation for our adoption has also been completed and the doctor is suppose to FedEx ship it. I expect to have it Monday as well.
We are praying for our dossier to be completed and sent to Santa Fe for apostilles by the end of the week. God willing, we will see how it goes!!! This could mean that the completed dossier could be sent to our agency by the following Monday and then on to the foreign agency for translations and off to Russia. We should be traveling within two to four weeks from this point if no errors exist in these multiple documents!!!! We hope you will keep us and Katie in your prayers this week.

Friday, February 8, 2008

John-John Is Home One Year Today

John (with his beads on), Mary, and Mama in the airport.
Belgrade, Serbia

The Cat who ate the mouse grin in the airport.

Airport in Belgrade
Washington Dulles International Airport February 7th 2007
Duane was sitting in the airport looking like the CAT who just ate the MOUSE!!!! He was very satisfied with his son;-). We left Serbia and flew to Dulles as our port of entry. The flight home with two babies was difficult, to say the least. So, John-John became a USA Citizen on the 7th, and after an overnight layover in Denver, Colorado, walked into his new life on the 8th.
God ruled again and His control included all those involved in His Will.
On February 6th I finished packing our bags for the long journey home. I just could not stop admiring his new American visa. Soon he would become an American Citizen. Dr. J and her friend ("V") met us in the lobby that next morning of February 7th. We rode quietly, for the most part, to the airport. Dr. J., like Duane and I, had many emotional feelings. The "little blond boy with blue eyes" (as she referred to him) was leaving her country and she would likely only see pictures of him from here. She had attended to his care for two years of his life. Now it was my turn.
Both the babies were exhausted and were running on "go bye-bye" power....ha ha. We checked in our bags and said our goodbyes before we went to our gate. Funny little thing that happened before we flew out..... Duane and I had taken the elevator up to our gate. We both thought Dr. J and V had left the airport as we had separated and said goodbye on the first floor. As we strolled along I said to Duane..."Oh honey, he belongs to us after this flight to Washington!!!"
Duane looked at me and smiled so happily. We turned the corner where the security point was and when I glanced behind me I saw Dr. J and V. They were smiling from ear to ear. I guess, we were so excited to leave Serbia and come home, we failed to realize that the security point to our gate lay ahead. Dr. J and V had come up the escalator to say one last farewell and make sure we found our gate;-). Duane and I, turned in surprise, and we all giggled at each other. We stood there and visited just a few more moments before entering the restricted area. That would be the last time I would see our friend Dr. J.
Duane went into the gate area and sat in a chair. I strolled with John and Mary until our plane was ready to board. Once we were in the plane where the babies could stretch out, they fell fast asleep. Throughout, the long haul home, they mostly slept and ate. At one point, I got a couple of plane blankets and spread them on the floor. I let them sleep here for a few hours under our feet. The attendants did not like it very much, but, I didn't care. It was so crowded in coach!!!
Our cheapo tickets charged us for two adults and two children. However, we were assigned three seats together and the third seat was two rows ahead of us. No way!!! We were all so exhausted both physically and mentally. I had no intention of sitting alone with the babies or without them. So the four of us stuck it out in three seats transatlantic.
It was around noon when we landed in Dulles (Washington) and John's port of entry. Since, Serbia is eight hours ahead of the USA, it was still the 7th of February when we landed. I think instead of "The Longest Yard" these transatlantic adoption flights should be called "The Longest Day"....ha ha. Duane did his usual as we landed....He sang "America The Beautiful" to John-John and I had to wipe off a tear or two that ran silently down my cheek. Wonderful feeling when you get your child on home turf!!!! It just seals the deal and makes it all secure. From there the time flies!!!

During the day today, I often thought of how he is so different now, than that first day that I saw him last year. It was overwhelming back then and I thought he would be too much for me to handle. I must always consider that I have other special needs kids at home. So, having the faith to let God take me one step further, does not always come easily. But, God always makes sure I can handle what He entrusts to me. John-John is doing so much better than I predicted that first day. He just amazes me as he peels off the layers of his first two years of life in an institution. I just adore him. Happy first anniversary home....son!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Standing in Faith

The above photo was taken the night before our departure from Serbia. Papa had a long walk this day through the city (2-06-07).

Well, today is a quiet day for us and a little down time. The kids did their school for me with a lot more enthusiasm. We have all had a terrible cold spreading from one child to another. I just went to the doctor Monday for myself and two of the kids. Last night Duane took three of the children to the doctor and included himself in the line up!!!! Those of you who know Duane realize for him to seek a doctor is shocking. Now most of us are on antibiotics in the house.

I have dossier paper work that I needed to do today. But, I keep trying to cut myself a little slack so I am not mentally exhausted when we travel to meet Katie Aunna. There is still much work ahead of us in the preparation of our dossier. I have prayed about her all day today and for another couple (paper-chasing today) who will be going into the same region where our daughter lives. My life over the last year has been on my mind today. It is such a blessing that we will be able to go back to Russia.

At this time last year I was stressing in a hotel suite in Belgrade, Serbia. Pacing the floor with two little kids watching me. I know they were wondering why Mommy was so upset. The innocent trust of children. How I wish I always had the trust in the Lord like a little child. I heard a sermon that being a Christian means a lifelong repetition of messing up and asking for forgiveness. That would be me. At times, for reasons I can not fully discuss, I have lagged on trusting my Father. However, He has almost physically proven his strength to me, even over the power of our government.

God is in control and Jesus reigns over all men!!!

One year ago today.....We had custody of John-John and we were in the final phase of processing out. Duane had left for the American Embassy all by himself in Belgrade. He was suppose to pick up John's passport with that beautiful American Visa in place at 2:00pm. I laid down with the kids when he left at 1:30. No, I did not sleep!!! As I tip-toed around, to allow the babies to sleep, I packed for home. I was trying to figure out a way to pack Mary's new European style potty!!! I have not been able to find one in the USA and she was getting good about going on the "wittle pink pooh pot" (her words). Now the hustle of the city was picking up and Duane had not returned. In fact, it was getting dark outside!!! Have I mentioned that I am sick of diapers?.......ha ha.

I should know by now that God has made Duane into a very strong man with a sweet personality. He's just so cool that he can go into any big foreign city and I always feel safe with him. Duane has been my best friend and my spouse for almost 35 years now. The fear kept creeping into my mind as several hours had past since he left our hotel. True that we are to "fear not"...but gee, this was a huge city in a foreign country and we were in downtown Belgrade. So, I just could not handle anymore waiting. I had to try and call Duane on the international cell phone we were using and NO answer.

It was 7:00pm and I knew very good and well that the American Embassy would have closed HOURS ago!!! I tried so hard not to let bad images flash into my mind. The kids were getting hungry and beginning to feel my high stress level. I decided to call room service and get them some food. About 7:30 the food came and still no Duane. I got on the phone to Dr. J. She was talking to me in a very nervous voice as she too could not imagine. Just when we were trying to decide what to do, I heard the key go into our door.

Such a beautiful husband was home. I told Dr. J that Duane just walked into the door!!! He got this huge hug and a little whimpering out of me. He told me that the American Embassy was so nice to him. He had waited until it was time for them to close and they did not have John's passport/Visa ready. They stayed LATE and completed John's paperwork, as we had nonrefundable tickets, to fly home on February 7, 2007!!!!

Then he walked home through the streets of Belgrade as he could not get a taxi to stop for him!!!!! Wow...what a brave soldier of God. He acted as though "Honey, why are you fearful???" Oh my goodness, my hero, we were flying out to home. In my hands was what appears like US currency....John's American Visa and my best friend safe by my side. Praise to God for his faithful servant who had such courage. Tomorrow, I will work on our dossier, which will bring a new life, into our family.

From Russia with Love

I call this photo of the girls (Karissa)(Annie)(Mary) "Hear no evil, See no evil, and Speak no evil"
Karissa is actually covering her ears because Annie is mad and screaming into her hands, Mary has her hands on her mouth because she is saying for Annie to hush and how unbelievable that Annie is screaming so loud....LOL!!!!!

That's right....we want one more;-)

I wanted young babies with Kisty, Weldon, Casey, Christian, Karissa, and Annie. However, when it came to Mary and John, we wanted an older child. But, we are delighted with them one and all. Praise be to the Lord for giving us babies and for saving my desired gift as our final adoption. There will be no more unless we by some miracle strike it rich;-). We felt God was leading us in the desire of an older child because He has a special one in His mind and plan for us. He has been faithful in giving us perfect babies. I could not explain why an older child after having such sweet babies, I just believed God wants us to do this older child adoption. I kept getting confused when He would show me these babies and I would know they were my children. I am thankfully blessed as God knows when to bless me even if I might not know to expect it. We feel drawn to find our older girl.

I will admit one thing.......It's those DIAPERS, that after potty training eight children, I am ready to get away from......ha ha!!!

Today is exciting!!! I have given you the background information needed. so that you may know who we are and how we have been blessed, to have eight children and one on her way. I will attempt to post every day and include pictures of the children. When progress moves forward, to our travels to Russia, I will post it. I will also be posting while I am Russia so you can closely follow our trip. So check back often for Katie Aunna updates!!!

Events last week really got us closer to finishing our dossier. Our home study agent came out to the house and had the forms completed for her part of the dossier ready to be signed and notarized. Much to our delight we received the document which allows us to get our little girl a visa and come to America. We also had our adoptive psychiatric evaluation done and it went very well. We are now waiting on his report.

This dossier is very tough and has a lot of paperwork to it. But, if all goes well (please pray for us) we will have gathered all the needed documents by next week. Then the dossier (two originals for Russia and one original for us) can be notarized and FedEx shipped to Santa Fe for those beautiful apostilles. I will take pictures of my dossiers when we finish. Then they are shipped out to our agency, sent to Russia, translated into Russian, and presented to the appropriate officials.
Then the wait begins for a travel date for the first trip. While in Russia on our first trip we will do what is called the 8 doctor medical form. It is unbelievable what kind of doctors they want you to see.
They are:
1. Theraputist or Physician
3.Specialist in skin and venereal diseases
4.Tuberculosis specialist
9.Bloodwork and chest x-rays

So we may have lots of fun with this...ha ha. I will fill you in with the details when we have this exam. But, for now I am still in the paperwork part. I want to tell you that our little girl is beautiful with blond hair and blue eyes. Her name will be Katie Aunna Gartner and she is six years old. I am thrilled that we have finally found our older child adoption. I am a little nervous about it though.

The thoughts run through my mind like....will she think her new mama is pretty? Will I be able to appropriately be able to communicate with her in Russian? I know some Russian, but, I could not call myself fluent by any means. I worry about her history and how might it affect her adjustment with us.

But, we are going to not just accept a blessing from God and not give Him praise and glory. We are going to surrender to Him so he can show us what to do in Katie's best interest. She is one of my precious pearls and a diamond to the Lord. I will care for my daughter tenderly and with patience during her adjustment. I LOVE HER!!!!! We will post some more thoughts tomorrow.