Monday, March 31, 2008

Waiting and Growing

My beautiful girls...DeeDee (grand child), Kisty (eldest daughter), and little Trisha (grand child)!!!!
DeeDee at soccer.
Karissa in the green uniform and not feeling well that day before her surgery. Little Mary is entertained with a bug in the grass...ha ha.
Karissa gets a hug from her team mate and friend;-).
Karissa ready to play some ball!!!

Happy John!!!

one of our home schooling projects was bird watching and then using our encyclopedia to find out all about the bird or other animal we photograph. Here was a beautiful pheasant walking across our property!!!

Karissa is much better today. I am giving her a great deal of my time and attention. We are focused on her recovery right now. She was able to work a few hours on her school work today. Casey, Christian, and Annie worked diligently from their desks and Karissa worked while relaxing on the couch. I don't think I have mentioned home schooling.

We all love it so very much. The twins learned to read with good old Mom as their teacher and Casey has amazed me with how swiftly he has advanced. I can't possibly describe the inner satisfaction I have found in home schooling the children. It is so wonderful not to expose them to others who may not share my views and beliefs. I should have done this long ago. It is a huge blessing to have so much time with them. Mary and John-John just love playing together while the other kids do their classwork each day. What a toy mess they can make together...ha ha.

I think the most wonderful part about home school for the kids is that they choose which subject to work on and there are so many ways to teach them outside of the conventional lessons. We have made some wonderful field trips to places. Plus, there are so many educational programs for them to watch for social studies, discovery, and history. These also provide us with note taking skills, report subjects, listening and discussion skills. Pretty cool;-).

So now we are enjoying the idea that summer is near and all learning will occur outside the classroom. But, school will be year round. They have made their own learning plan for this summer, except Annie, whom I am preparing for kindergarten this Fall. We are planning several museum trips to Lubbock and a Wonderland Park Visit in Amarillo, plus several other places the children would like to visit. Annie will still have some book work, but, she just loves doing it anyway. Certainly, she will play outside for the most part!!!

Time is going by so fast in the larger scheme of things. My beautiful children are growing quickly and are getting so healthy. Christian is a very healthy child and has not been ill in a very long time. John-John is extremely happy and really getting the hang of potty training. He is taller than Mary Beth now and weights a ton!!! He has began talking in short sentences and can express himself quite well now. John-John has done remarkably well since coming home from Serbia a little over a year ago. Dr. Jasmina knew just the family he needed;-). She is a wise and compassionate lady.

Annie is playing soccer like her older siblings and just loves it. She is doing excellent with her CP. It is so mild that I really am not worrying about her. Her neuromuscular massage therapist and her chiropractor keep her normalized. And well, Mary is still "Mary"....our little TNT in a tiny package. She has such an amazing personality!!! She is so ornery..she can't help but to make me laugh at her naughty stunts;-). Such a "big" girl in such a petite little body. We call her liquid Nitro. She is amazingly strong and can scale anything. Mary is also very healthy and has not a smidgen of weakness in any aspect of her being. She is what all us "girls" would like to be...tiny, strong, and healthy....ha ha.

We have done bone age studies on her though and also have placed her in the care of a pediatric endocrinologist at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. He believes she may be younger than we thought. Guess we will see with further testing in June. It is not too uncommon in IA kids. Her growth rate has been normal over the last year according to the doctor who has been monitoring her in Lubbock and her hormone testing is normal. So we will see what her specialist says about her age. It takes about a year or so to decide upon an age change.

The final good news with my precious Ukrainian Princess, Karissa, is that she may be able to proceed with her reconstructive surgery on her ear this Fall at Baylor in Dallas. It will be quite an amazing experience for her as she will hear in that ear for the first time. What a miracle and we feel so blessed to have this opportunity for her. It is a pleasure to be a part of such an important event for her. We give God the glory for His generosity in our life with our very special little children.

It is always a part of our prayer circle before we begin school each morning that the tumor does not return as it has on three surgeries in the past. This time she had polyps on her new eardrum and I understand from Dr. Neal that this is common. The doctor was very upbeat for her. God is good and we have much to look forward to in the future.

Please, continue your prayers for little Katie Aunna. We do not know anything at this time and can not say how long before we do. We waited four months for a court date for Annie, though we hope it will be sooner. Court is only held on certain days in Murmansk. So we are now on God's timing. In fact, it is in God's hands and on His timing. Many blessings to all and your continued prayers are gratefully received by our family!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Great News For Kids To Adopt

We have received wonderful news that Kids To Adopt has now been Hague accredited!!! This process is so extremely expensive and time consuming for them. Their dedication has been outstanding!!!! It has been in the works for over a year now. They certainly deserve it, as they have been so very wonderful to work with us. A big CONGRATS goes to Kids To Adopt and I know that all of us out here are grateful to them for bringing our families together with all their hard work. WHAT A TOUGH JOB!!!!! But, they have made it a Great job and well done!!!! We love you!!!!

Karissa had her surgery on her ear and it has been a success...Praise God!!!!! She has really felt weak with this one and just wants to sit in my lap with my hand placed over her ear. I think she will need some Mommy time. But, can't get much done like this. She has been in my lap since we got home from Lubbock this morning. She has taken her pain meds and is peacefully sleeping now. I thought I would use this time to write a little. she is up and wanting me to throw down my computer. We are doing two things around here....healing and waiting!!!! Many blessings to you all and will let you know when I find out any news!!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Brings Hope

On the day, that we celebrate the risen Jesus, our prayers are focused on the hope of bringing our little girl home soon. I have received the document from the State of New Mexico and now await only two more documents to complete our court dossier. Hopefully, we will have those on Monday. It is only a matter of time now and Katie Aunna will be home with us where she belongs. I know, that each night she goes to bed, she thinks "maybe tomorrow my Mama and Papa will take me home". We are feeling the same here, that maybe today we will have the remainder of our documents to bring her home. Our prayers will continue to be focused on completing this process as quickly as possible and that God's timing will soon be fulfilled. Please continue to pray for Katie Aunna. We wish you a blessed Easter and a beautiful Spring.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monday on Thursday

This is one of those Mondays on Thursday!!! But, I have done all I can do for today. I still need three more documents to finish our dossier for court. It is so frustrating to wait for these last few documents. The State of NM owes me one document:((((....and in this document only the incorrect date must be revised. It has been two weeks to revise a date!!! The letter is already written!!!! Texas still owes me one document and it was not FedEx shipped as directed....but...MAILED...regular mail...untraceable. Plus, I need one certificate from our psychiatrist which we should hopefully recieve tomorrow.....fingers crossed.

All the other two pounds worth of documents have been sent off to Santa Fe and Austin. Guess I will have to send the others for apostilles next week. We are praying we will get a court date and can either hand carry these three documents or FedEx ship them next week. It is very frustrating to wait on other people to complete their part. But, I have hope, as we are very close!!! Keep praying for those other documents to show up soon and we will be in good shape here. Oh yes, and Karissa has come down ill and can not have her surgery until next week. Have a wonderful Good Friday. I am going to try and relax a little;-0......

Another Monday But On Wednesday

Mary Beth Playing outside today!!!

Today was a fair day this morning until the wind came up. Mary wanted to play outside so I sent her to run out some of that heavy energy she produces. She was obviously enjoying her self. I felt a little gloomy today as it was another Monday, except it was really Wednesday. I ran papers everywhere and chased papers as well.

Also, my dear Mama passed away three years ago today. I suppose my sister and I became orphaned on that day.....although we were adults when she died. My sweet little Daddy passed away on January 11TH of that same year, just a few months before she went. I think living without him after fifty years was just more than Mom could take. So, she went on home to my Daddy and Jesus.

One thing I know is that they are in approval of what we are doing with Katie Aunna and I feel confident of that fact. They were such loving people and were proud of us for helping little children have a home. In fact, they were a bit surprised we were adopting our Annie, but, two days before he passed away, Dad told me he was proud of me and then warned me not to "bite off more than I could chew".

I promised him I knew my child limit. He told me that he hoped I did as he knew how sweet kids are and it's hard to say that's enough. He also told me that he and Mom wanted to fill every place around the table with a child.....ha ha. So, although he may have acted conservative, he wished that he and Mom had done the exact same thing.

Tonight, I wrote to the translator in Russia. Maybe, tomorrow I will hear back some news, in regard to Katie Aunna. I miss her so much and can not wait to hold her in my arms once again. All of her pretty clothes are washed now and in her drawers and closet. Her bed is made and waiting for her to sleep in it. I have prepare all my favorite clothes of hers to take with us to Russia.

Karissa keeps begging us to let her go with us. She tells me that Katie Aunna needs to be with another child so she won't be afraid. I am thinking she may be right, as Katie Aunna might feel more confident, seeing Karissa calm during travel with all the new changes. They would probably enjoy each other greatly. I am thinking seriously about it;-).

Duane went and got Karissa's passport out of the bank safety box. My biggest concern is Karissa will need surgery on her ear this Friday and I am not sure how this will affect her ability travel in an air plane for all those hours. Guess I will consult with her specialist this Friday. Keep her in your prayers as she undergoes this surgery. I love my little girl so much and am so sad she must have her 4th surgery on this ear. Many blessings to all!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hmmm....Monday again on Tuesday

Maybe it's "Groundhog Day" the movie around here!!! Today was another running all day chasing paperwork, or on the phone, or the computer. It seems like an endless stream of required documents, but, we continue to persist and will do so until we reach our goal... to bring home Katie Aunna. I am just getting so hormonal that my family would probably like to get a hotel room...ha ha. Really we can't afford it right now!!! But, we continue to keep the goal clearly before us. Please keep praying for our documents. Although we are swimming against the current right now we are making sure progress.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Keep the Ball Rolling

The report for today is...I am still battling the paper jungle. I am a few steps closer as I have all but one letter for my New Mexico apostilles. Unfortunately, I am waiting for letters to come from our Texas doctors now and the state of Texas licensing board. It seems so much extra expense and consumption of time. However, the court dossier must include a letter from the doctor's state licensing board which says his license is current and authentic.

Of all the dossiers I have done for our international adoptions...this one is the most difficult. Let me say in big letters...Katie is WORTH it!!!! I would climb any mountain at this point to bring her home. The music to my ears is a court date. First, I must gather all the needed documents and I am getting closer to that goal. Please, keep praying for our completed court dossier this week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Paper Jungle

Today was much more productive than yesterday!!! I have to say that the professional people mentioned on the blog credits are all so on board with this child's need to be in her home. Our paperwork is flowing once again and will move toward a completed apostilled production next week. This means I can get things sent out to our agency and they can review it and send it on to obtain our court date. Even the State of Texas' offices of the state government have been awesome today.

All of our chosen doctors, therapists, and professionals are in great participation toward completing their paperwork for our adoption court dossier and even for our post court 10-day waiver petition. Katie Aunna does have some special medical needs and it is so wonderful that people are preparing with me for her homecoming!!! All good things work together to accomplish "His" purpose. I know how blessed it is to have so many of us working on Katie Aunna's behalf. No wonder she raised her little hand and exclaimed "I am the winner......".

Children are just so tuned in to things in such sweet ways. How lovely to see the world through the eyes of a little child. Even under the circumstances of being orphaned, Katie can see the importance, of a family. It makes her "the" winner of a wonderful prize. In the above picture she smiles bigger than her NEW teeth;-)!!! My prayer is that it continues to roll towards the goal with speed. Duane and I want so much to love and care for her needs as only her "mother" and her "father" can do. I am very encouraged with the composition of the court dossier.

As a closing remark; Gee...I can't wait until my adoption amnesia sets in and all this difficulty (labor pain) goes away....ha ha and then there is the adjustment period to post about;-). Actually, I believe the honeymoon phase will last a good while for us and I foresee Katie Aunna adjusting into a cooperative and highly intelligent little girl. She will enjoy the summer time outside so much!!!
"I can only imagine"......Thank-you dear Lord for all the people involved <><. It is such a miracle of new life with so many hands touching this process, including God's.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jesus Will Bring the Rain

Annie being "Annie";-). The Siberian Princess!!!

Today's bible verse is Romans 8:28: "And we have known that to those loving God, all things do work together for good to those who are called according to purpose." That was just so perfect this day. Just a side note here; I do not chose the verse of the day. It is selected by and God. This was quite a direct word to me from our Lord. So, this morning began with...all things work toward good.

Later in the day one of my favorite songs came on K-LOVE radio channel. I just love the song "Bring The Rain" by Mercy Me. It seems I too often become complacent with God's miracles and mislead myself to think it needs to be this huge miracle for God to be working in my life. Perhaps what I am attempting to say is that I often overlook the fact that every day there is a miracle from God and I am not always as thankful to God as I should really be on a daily basis. He deserves the credit for the tiniest good thing which occurs in our life.

All of this paperwork battle has been such a discouragement for me. However, when I was listening to the song "Bring the Rain", my little girl Annie was singing along so sweetly. Amazing how a little child is so tuned-in to happiness!!! I had this realization that I need to be thankful for the hardships associated with this process. It is an opportunity to praise God when we get the results we are expecting and when we do not get what we expect. Hardship is a wonderful thing. It is the first sign to me that there is an upcoming opportunity for praising our Lord and King whose miracles come in all sizes and shapes.

So, the bottom line is, even the hard times are food for praise. Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to eventually adopt Katie Aunna. I am thankful for my beautiful family, my home, those who read this blog, my life, and every God given minute I have it. We are all so blessed in the world....will we see it? I pray that I will see every tiny miracle that occurs around me. Today, I see the end of this road which leads to the "big" miracle. A new life will soon join our family and friends.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

I am very distressed today!!! I just got a call from our agency and the home study documents must all be redone on a different letter-head. This means 13 documents will need to be printed once again on new letter-head, signed, notarized, and sent to Santa Fe for another round of apostilles (several hundred dollars more in expenses for the extra process).

Then they will need to be sent to Russia for translations before they can be submitted to the judge. So, unfortunately, this has slowed us down by several weeks in getting a court date. It just seems this adoption has been so difficult. We just flew through our infant adoptions without a hitch. Now that we want to adopt an older child, we have had every possible speed bump imaginable, to slow us down!!!

I admit, that I am feeling a little discouraged today, as it seems we will never get to the bottom of all this. Katie Aunna needs to be home with us so much and here we are still stuck in the dossier phase. I do have to brag about, Kids To Adopt and Frank Adoptions, as with the mistakes not being discovered until the dossier reached Russia, the Ministry did not have to give us Katie Aunna's referal and they did not have to allow us to visit with her. But, thanks to the good relations these agencies have with each other and the ministry officials, we were allowed to receive the referral for Katie Aunna and visit with her as well. Thank you God for letting us see our little girl.

Now we are asking for everyone's prayers to get the documents swiftly from our home study agency and that the documents will fly smoothly through appropriate hands before our other documents begin to expire!!!! Please pray for speed at the pace of lightening with our documents. Thank-you and many blessings!!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

We Are Home From Our First Trip

All the snow at the Airport in Murmansk did not deter flying at all!!!!

Well, we are back home today and slept in our own bed last night. It felt oh so wonderful after being in transit for the last week. Out of seven nights we slept in five different beds!!! I took a small pillow from home with my silky pillowcase. This did help, but, we just ran our self ragged. We had some very delicious food in Murmansk and Moscow. The borscht was wonderful and I had missed it very much. Also, I enjoyed the beef stroganoff. In the Zori Hotel in Murmansk we ate at the breakfast and dinner buffet. There was plenty to chose from and we loved the pastries!!!!

The best part of the trip was Katie Aunna. She was a delight. I am so happy we have found her I think she enjoyed us as much as we did her. She is so crazy about her Papa. Katie Aunna loved his hair and played with is pony-tail....ha ha. Of course, everyone in her hospital floor knew about her "beautiful" Papa. She showed him off to everyone. I am thinking Papa is somewhere between perfect and glorious in her mind. It is like she has had her dream come true in him. Most of the visits were spent in Papa's lap or playing some funny little game with him and he enjoyed every single minute of her admiration. Katie is like sunshine...bright, warm, and radiant.

She has learned to do just about anything she wants to with only one arm available. Her left arm was immobilized to her waist line and she was wearing a dress over the top of her bandages with her arm and hand underneath her dress. The first day we visited her we had a pair of little black dress shoes for her. She just loved them and every visit after she had them on proudly. The funny part is she said her Papa gave them to her...ha ha.

On the second day that we visited her I took some juice, a yogurt, cookies, bacon flavor potato strips, and fruits. I guess Katie decided to get on a complaining binge with Mama....ha ha. She said she would expect her new brothers and sisters to speak Russian, her juice was too cold, her yogurt was not sweet enough, she could not bite into apples, and I made Papa's hands too dry. Duane laughed so hard and said everyone should heed the commands of the princess. Actually, it was very very cute and we all laughed at her particulars.

Katie Aunna is so funny and just is the cat's meow. So, I assured her that I would heat her apple juice, feed her bananas, put sugar in her yogurt, and lotion Papa's hands. Additionally, the kids could practice some Russian before she gets home...ha ha. That's when I got my kiss and hug. She also told me she loved me when we were about to leave on our last visit. Boy....did that ever melt my heart!!!! Papa just adores her every word and so do I. She is just perfect in every way. Now I pray we will quickly get the court date to return for her and she will be out of the hospital quickly. I have tried to post a few pictures of Russia, however, I keep getting a server error. I will try again later tonight;-).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Visit With Katie Aunna

Katie Aunna victoriously exclaimed in Russian "I get Mama and Papa!"

Today was wonderful for all of us. When we entered the hospital she ran up to Duane yelling "Papa, Papa, I love you"!!! She is absolutely crazy about Duane. They played together for several hours. Things are very difficult for her as they have OPERATED (middle of February) on her arm because they said she had a malunion of her shoulder. We can not tell if she will be alright with this arm now. I know before surgery it did not affect her movement. But, her arm has been immobilized since her surgery. Guess Dr. Smith will need to work on her arm and maybe he can help her.

Katie is just adorable and does very well with repeating words I say to her in English. She is extremely bright. I am amazed at how much she love her Papa. Mama is just okay...ha ha. Duane has always wanted a Papa's girl...well he has one in her. Our others have been Mama's girls and boys, but, this child is absolutely nuts about her Papa. They played like two little kids today. Duane and I had to PROMISE her over and over that we would return for her. Katie Aunna got into my lap and put up her arm in victory...she finally gets a Mama and Papa!!!

Duane just about cried because she asked if he would take her home to America in the morning. She waved good-bye to us and told Papa how much she loves him. Very, very sweet little girl. I have to say we are very much in love with her. I pray God will protect her and allow our return swiftly!!!! More details and pictures when we get back in a few days. Much love to my kids at home...I MISS YOU!!! We bought pretty stuff for you in Russia. Much love to all.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Second Meeting

Well, a little rest has made a world of difference in our spirits. Katie Aunna was a bright star tonight. The visit was with me, Duane, and Tatiana and it was wonderful. Katie asked who are we "really"? Tatiana said they are your MAMA and PAPA!!! My heart melted as she looked at me so sweetly and smiled like she appreciated having the issue straight. Then she shocked us by hugging Duane and kissing him in the air just short of his face!!! GLORIOUS!!!!!! I am so in love with her and she with us. I had taken her sunglasses to her and she waved "Paca" with her sunglasses like a true movie star. She has very very good Russian and is repeating many words to me in English. Tonight she told us that she would not speak English to her brothers and sisters at home in America...only Russian. I asked her what if they do not speak Russian...she said..."Oh Mama, but they do speak Russian"....ha ha. She will learn English very quickly...she is extremely bright. I adore her. Thank you to everyone at home for your prayers and continued love for us!!!! Talk to you all soon!!!!

Our First Meeting

Today we met Katie Aunna. She is as darling as we had hoped!!!! I am sorry to say that the doctors here have decided to operate on her arm. Unfortunately, she is in the hospital and so visiting her is much more difficult. We arrived in Murmansk last night. When we found our translator and adoption coordinator we were told she was in the hospital. Quite a shock to us both. Another highly disappointing issue is that we were not allowed to tell her that we are her Mama and Papa. They introduced us by our first names...which any one of our children will a big "NO-NO" in our family. Even Aunts and Uncles are not allowed to be called by first names without the use of aunt or uncle. So calling us Duane and Patricia was immensely disappointing to both of us. After many hours of travel we are both extremely tired. I feel like I am a visitor to Katie. Maybe when we visit tonight they will not make us to tell her we are "just" visitors. It is a very stressful day today. Duane thinks I need a nap;-). Maybe so!!!! Did get a few pictures of Katie with the social worker and one of her with me. I can not dress her up as I had hoped, so no pictures to post of her little hands like we planned. Pray for us that tomorrow will be better as we will not see her again after tomorrow until we return for court.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We're In Amarillo

Pictured above is the Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo, Texas (AMA)

Yesterday, I worked like a crazy woman getting things in order with the house and kids. Kisty and Shane arrived around noon time and I had cooked a big juicy pot roast. It had fresh vegetables cut up in it and had cooked in the crock pot all night Saturday. It was so tender you could have cut it with your tongue...ha ha.

After lunch we got things loaded up and as we were backing out of the garage....Kisty, with a little one on her hip, holding another little one by the hand, and seven other children (including her two girls) congregated all around her at the back door. They were all smiling so big and waiving goodbye to us. It was the cutest sight I have ever seen. I wish I would have had my camera within reach so I could have taken their picture. It was darling. I suppose it will be in my mind's eye for the rest of my life. It was so cute!!!!

We are now in Amarillo. We stayed at a nice, four week old, Holiday Inn Express!!! Very nice and beautiful;-). Duane is sleeping and I am playing on my computer. He did not sleep well last night as I think the pre-travel jitters are getting to him just a little. We had a very nice dinner last night except the waitress slung Duane's juice out of his plate and onto his shirt he had planned on wearing to Moscow.

How rude and all the manager at Big Texan could do was to offer Duane dessert. Now does that stink?!?! Oh well...good thing it didn't burn him. Then we came back to the room and watched a little TV before crashing. I am just so extremely excited to see Katie Aunna. I inhale "Katie" and exhale "Aunna"...ha ha. I hope they prepare her for our coming. I think they will.

It is 27 degrees in Amarillo and the wind is blowing harshly. I am so glad we got over here last night as it would make for a little more dangerous drive with the high winds and blowing snow. It did not stick very much, but, enough snow and ice to make travel a little more dangerous. I can hear the wind howling outside and Duane snoozing next to me. He better rest up as the marathon is about to begin!!!

Well, guess that's all for today and the next time I post we will be in good old Moscow. Praise God as He is so good to us and I want Him to have the glory He is due!!! It is virtually a miracle that we are here, can afford to do this adoption, and are in good health. Praise the Lord!!! Keep us in your prayers as we make our way around to the opposite side of the world where a little girl waits to be united with her very own mama and papa. I can't wait to hold her in my arms and squeeze her tight!!! I'll post some pictures of Amarillo and our other encounters when we get to Moscow...till then, many blessings <><

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!!!

Duane and I tonight before we leave. I noticed that the last picture of us was taken in Serbia one year ago and so thought maybe a new picture would be in order;-)...say....R-U-S-S-I-A;-)
Here is our luggage and it is way too much!!! Don't you just love that pillow strapped to my Louise Vuitton luggage.....ha ha. However, the red bag will not return at all as it is strictly filled with all the goodies for the Orphanage. I just hope it does not weigh over 50#s and it does feel close. Anyway, we are packed now and ready to go!!!

Naturally, I didn't go to sleep until 1:00am. I had all three girls in the bed with me and poor Duane got pushed out to the couch....teehee. I have completed my list of things to do and with time to spare. So tomorrow afternoon we will go to Amarillo for a nice time alone and spend the night there. Monday we will leave for Dallas/Fort Worth. Then on to Paris, France in a ten and a half hour plane ride. Next, we will arrive in Moscow, Russia where we have a hotel room reserved so that we may rest before taking the flight out to Murmansk.

We are so extremely excited to see our little girl and I know they have told her that her Mama and Papa are finally coming to see her. She has watched other children get their families and now it is her turn. I am imagining she is as thrilled as we are right now...awe!!! I found some beautiful gifts for her. Ones which she will always remember receiving and they will make our time with her even more special.

Yesterday, I went to my favorite place to browse and bought a darling card about a mother and her young daughter. Then I bought some beautiful wrapping paper and matching paper fill with really nice bows for her personalized blanket. I would have to think a blanket is an important item to a child who has lived in the Arctic Circle!!! It has her name and date of birth embroidered on it.

Katie Aunna's blanket is light pink with little purple butterflies and the embroidery is also a lavender color. It is gorgeous and came with a beautiful white box that says "Personalized Gift For You". I also have a darling princess purse with cute items for her inside. The other children at the orphanage will have numerous other gifts such as hot wheels cars, party favors, coloring books, and play dough. We got pretty clothes for the girls and a make-up kit.

Also, we figured one of these kids will want to be a surgeon and so we brought the game "Operation" with us too. We are going to do some nice visits. I dread coming home without our doll baby already and we haven't even left yet;-(((. All of my remaining dossier work is complete and when we return home I will only need to gather the doctor's documents and update our police checks to get a court date.

Anyway......back to our planned visit with Katie Aunna. I found the most darling bracelet for her. It has a sterling silver heart charm and four silver beads. One bead says daughter, one says mother, one says love, and the fourth bead says forever. It is precious. I hope she likes it. One thing I do know for sure is that this little darling has watched kids get their families and now it is her turn. I can only imagine how thrilling that must be. Katie Aunna's mama and papa are coming very soon!!!

We are anticipating a wonderful trip to Russia and we are so grateful to be serving the Lord in such a blessed way. Pray for our safe travels and that Katie Aunna will enjoy us as well. The next time I blog will be from Russia. Love to all my family...especially my baby nephew Derek.....I love you!!! Till next time...Many blessings to all;-).