Feasting

Our lives here in Czestochowa are sort of the same as they are at home. I put the kids on the same routine we have at home, and we’re all doing very well that way. As I was doing whatever it is I do on Wednesday, decluttering the kitchen, floor cleaning (BTW- vacuums here and in the US are vastly different things. Think electric broom when vacuuming.), and so on, I ran across the “meal” schedule the orphanage gave us the day we left with Malvina. I put “Meal” in quotation marks because it was really the losest sense of the word.

Before I go on, I just want to say what fantastic job all the people at the Malvina’s orphanage do. For people getting referrals from czestachowa, you should definitely contact me and I’ll tell you all about it. I have nothing but praise for everyone who works there. They started a job I get to finish and loved Malvina well. They all cried the day we walked out the door. Every last one of them, and me. They are really her birthfamily in more ways than one.

I fully recognize that Malvina and her cohorts ate well compared to other kids in other orphanages around the world. I acknowledge that. But watching Malvina eat and eat and eat- that’s another thing. Here’s how it went down for her every day:

5:30 250ml. of water and 8 scoops of todler formula and 6 scoops of some other formula.

8AM- Juice- it’s like a thick juice with some kind of fortified something or other in it. Malvina hated it and never drank it.

11AM- “Soup” this means she got a jar of stage three baby food soup, which she ate with a spoon from a bowl.

1PM- “Desert”: more baby food from a jar. Usually some sort of fruit.

4 PM: Kasha: 8 scoops each of milk and rice cereal.

10PM: same thing at 5:30am above.

And this what she ate everyday for at least 18months: Toddler formula and 2 jars baby food.

I’m positive her basic nutrional and emotional needs were met. I know they were. But seeing her here at home with us, she knows they’re more than being met. This girl eats everything she can get her hands on. She tries it all. She doesn’t like it all, but she tries it. And we let her eat until she’s full. Sometimes, like tonight, she’ll eat for 45 minutes straight. Other days not so much. But her adventures with food and family and our willingness to let her set the pace with eating are yielding beautiful results. She’s joyful, she sleeps well, she’s learning more and more words every day and starting to use one or two. Its honestly a little daunting for me to sit in the kitchen for up to 3 hours everyday with her eating, but it’s worth it.

I have a friend who says that we should sit with the Lord and feast on his grace, and I think of the Bibe verse that says something like, “Your words were grace and I ate them”. These days are grace-filled. Eating and feasting in real life and in the knowledge that the Lord brings all things about in the right time.

We’ll be spending a lot of time at the table in the furture. The constant eating will taper off, but for the time being, I’m thankful I have a little girl who’s feasting on food and family. I hope it’s always that way.FUll Size-36

Two and A Half Weeks

We’ve been here a month, and Violet has been with us 2.5 weeks. In some ways, it seems like a long time, but mostly, I’m amazed it’s only been 2.5 weeks. She’s come a long way in that time.

She still eats ridiculous amounts of food. Her hair is getting slightly thicker. She runs with confidence and balance, and has started climbing stairs faster. She does small steps by herself. She’ll even hold hands on the sidewalk for 2 nano seconds.

We love how independent she is.

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But there are two things that stand out to me.

The first is that last night I walked by her crib and she was sleeping on her side. She slept very deeply, and didn’t make a peep before 7:30. Previously, she only slept very light, and only on her back. She’d wake up for any reason and then go back to sleeping lightly. I didn’t make a big deal about it. But when I thought about my own sleeping,  I realized I only sleep on my back when I’m tense and nervous. So in my mind she was defensively sleeping. So when I walked by and she was sleeping on her side, I was so happy! I also got some brief snuggles in the morning with her sitting on my lap and resting her head on me. Violet likes to be on the move, just like Lev, so I didn’t think much about her lack of snuggling, but I feel like this is the beginning to a more relaxed and happier Violet. It’s a small thing but it will always be in the back of my mind in the future, how she would sleep on her back, and then one night, she didn’t. There’s a lot of emotion attached to that for me, and it’s hard to put into words. Learning to trust is hard to recognize. I think it’s always going to be more of a feeling for me to know that she’s learning to trust us, and the evidence will always be in the small things, like rolling onto her side in her sleep. I might never have words to describe those emotions. It’s really every emotion all at once.

The second thing that was surprising to me, more so now than when we adopted Lev, was that she has the opportunity to have favorites. SHe loves cheese and apples and plums and bread. And chasing pigeons and petting dogs, and koala bears. That stuffed Koala we brought for her is a definite favorite. I was sitting at the table today, watching her eat plums and cheese and bread, and it struck me how precious the chance to have a favorite animal, movie, food, and color is. And how close she was to not ever knowing there were things like favorites.  Or plums.

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It’s the small things that make life precious. Heart beats. Every small breath. Favorites. Sleeping on your side. They kill me.

When I think about all those years of NO, and ultrasounds with nothing on them, and never being promised anything in terms of kids, I’m beyond thankful the 2 little lives entrusted to us. I can’t imagine our lives any differently. It was really about them.

One week

WE’ve been in Poland for one week. I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed tonight so I’ll just do what I do: write and hope I come to some sort of point. I might or might not.

When we left the orphanage, we got a bag of food (more about that in a minute) and the one toy Violet owns- a stuffed raccoon that plays music when you pull this  wooden disc that comes from the raccoon’s bum (I question the placement every time I pull it, but WHAT. EVER). It was her single possession in the world.

Also when we left, everyone cried. And not only teary happy sad crying, but there was also downright sobbing. Then I cried.Violet was already crying, Lev was holding his fingers in his ears, and Alex was laughing at him and me. Then later I cried when I realized that Violets little friend O was all by herself because all her friends got  adopted and she’s still waiting for her parents to be able to come back and get her. And now I’m super stressed about that. Also, I want the girls to hang out while we’re here.

The big bag of food, which was all this formula like stuff, came with a schedule, and various instructions, some of them strange: no mushrooms until she’s 5. What? Ok.. NO clear juices. No sugar. Now cow’s milk. Just let her eat only this stuff. Oh, and feed her at 10 PM, when she’s asleep. Sure, orphanage. WHATEVER. This is the girl who does what Lev does, goes where he goes, and wants what he has.  We immediately came home changed clothes Skyped with the grandparentals, and gave Violet ice cream. She loves cookies and cream. Normally I follow the rules, but poor Violet has been eating mush since she was born, and I felt like it was high time she experienced the high life. She’s mostly rejected everything in the bag except the morning and evening formula ( and she wont even take the morning formula right now anymore) and basically just eats what we eat. She uses a spoon better than Lev, but he beasts her in the fork wielding category. I feel like her basic mentality was, “I broke outta this joint, so take that orphanage food! Except you, bedtime bottle. I’m still into you a bit. But only a bit.”

We got to meet Lady judge in person at our custody hearing (most people i know dont go to this… but we have Lady Judge, so of course we had to show up.) Of course, all the super crazy people are always beautiful and she was no exception. And she was crazy. She kept me up there quizzing me for 20 minutes about stuff like my graduate degrees and why I wanted to adopt. She calls up Alex, he answers her with his 10 words of Polish, she gets super excited about that, and lets him sit down 3 minutes later after asking him what he does for work. I was like, “Wow. Cray Cray.” Then she says, “ok well, we’ll deliberate now.” Deliberate what LadyJudge? And why does it take 30 minutes to do it? Then she’s making us have 2 court visits (most people only have one) before the final court date, which she changed to a day earlier, which inconveniences EVERYONE. Even my friend who was coming to stay with the kids during the final court date. So WHATEVER Ladyjudge! If I outlast your cray cray, I win.  And I’m the girl who navigated an IRS adoption audit while singlehandedly assembling a dossier, and came out with her still on straight. So bring it. I’ll still win. I’m confident of this.

Today it was raining and we were out walking to the store with our sad umbrellas, and a car came by and we know the driver saw us but we all got soaked because the car ran through a giant puddle. Lev cried, Violet laughed, then gave us stink eye, and Alex was stunned a polish person would actually do that. “People never used to act like that here.” Well, maybe he was the only one.

Two last things:

Nuns are mean. More than one nun here has given me stink eye for pretty much no reason other than being in their line of sight, and now I’m sort of afraid of them. Also, I’m convinced that nuns never actually die. They just go sit in a library somewhere and stop talking. There are some old OLD nuns here.

Also, don’t take the potatoes the little old ladies in the grocery store wants. She’ll follow you for 2 aisles rebuking you in polish until you give her the potatoes. This is a true story. I make sure I’m by myself at the potato box now.  I’ve been to Poland several times now and each time a nun gives me stink eye, and I make a little old lady angry. But I still love Poland. I think those things are just par for the course. And more exceptions to the rule that Polish people are actually super nice and friendly.

Finally:

I’m very happy violet is finally with us. SHe’s a great addition to our family, and I like waking up knowing she’s just in the other room. Giant load off my shoulders there. I am so so glad that we didn’t turn down her referral. I still don’t like that there were 4 kids her room at the orphanage who don’t have parents yet. That actually really bothers me, because only one of those kids has a moderate to severe condition that I bet could be easily alleviated in the US with therapy and the right medications. The other 3 kids are just so amazing and firendly and sweet, and I hope that people who see their faces in referrals don’t reject them because of how they came to be in the orphanage. I think I’ll write more about this later, though.

 

Odds and Ends before we leave

I’m going to start winding up this blog here, since we’re leaving on Saturday for Poland. I’ll be updating while we’re there, but once we’re home, I’m going to start transitioning back to my photography website and blogging personally there. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun at www.onecrazylove.com/blog. It’s mostly my photography site, but I’ve been trying to integrate my personal life more into my business. I made the choice early on to keep a seperate adoption blog. In some ways, I’m very happy I did that. In other ways I wish I hadn’t. I still have a hard time deciding what personal thinks are going to make up the personal part of my blog. It’s sort of a fine line- mixing the personal and the business. I want to do it well, and I’ve actually been OK with slowly growing my business and being careful about my choices versus going all out and letting all my junk fly free into the wind. I don’t know if that makes sense. I think it’s going to be an ever evolving process for me. I’m ok with being open about myself. But my family requires some extra consideration and care.

Anyways, we’re all in a tizzy her. But not a stressed out tizzy. Just happy excited busy tizzy. Lev starts out every day asking if today is the day we go to Poland. Then we have to talk about the days, then we talk about  the orphanage and go over the things we can do and probably shouldn’t do. For example:

Yes to: gentle hugs, sharing toys, using kind words, letting others go first, washing our hands before playing with the kids, politeness, and smiles.

No go: yelling, throwing, unkind words, sitting on someone or something other than chairs or the floor. Eating other kids snacks. not washing hands after coughing sneezing or the potty (this is based on a recent play date he had, where he was the only boy, schooled in the arts of polite behavior by the girls. It was a very productive playdate for him. He committed all the fouls, all the girls corrected him. THen they made him have a tea party. he was not a fan of that part.)

I did assure him that he wouldn’t have to have a tea party.

In the mean time, I’ve been getting my money’s worth out of the facilitator, by telling Lev about her, and about how Magda likes things done decently and in order. So when he’s screaming, yelling, being recalitrant etc. I simply inform him that Magda doesn’t appreciate that sort of behavior and would say things like, “Lev, seriously, you’re a big boy. Why is your mother putting your pants on?” Magda has accomplished more in 3 weeks than I have in 4 years of parenting. Lev dresses himself, eats with a fork, and has curbed most of the yelling. All becuase I told him Magda likes good behavior. I’d say my money was well spent and we haven’t even arrived yet. Too bad I didn’t think of this while I was potty training. And double sad, when he gets to know Magda, and she thinks he’s so cute, he’ll realize he’s been had and that she probably doesn’t care if he yells indoors. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. FOr the moment, I’m winning. That’s honestly all I care about.

I’ve been thinking of a way to update everyone without using facebook. Not everyone who wants updates is on facebook I discounted that. Then I discounted making my blog private, because that irritates me when other people do it, so that was out. All the was left was good old email, which works best because i’m not guaranteed the internet every day, nor am I guaranteed facebook. So if youl’d like in on the email updates, send me a quick note to Charity@onecrazylove.com. I’ll make sure you get added to my list, and can see the emails.

Finally, my sister came over tonight, and we had fun with Lev, then she gave me her garden gnome Cecil, which she always carried around on her travels and took pictures of. We agreed Cecil should see the alps, and Prague, and different parts of Poland, so he’s going into the bag and hanging out with us on our travels.

We are truly weird, my sisters and I. We know all the words to the Princess Bride and Napoleon Dynamite, and the Sandlot, and we take a garden gnome on our travels with us, even though we’re in our late twenties and 30’s. We’re comfortable with this level of nerdiness.  My sister goes so far as to leave Cecil in a noticeable place, like the middle of  the sidewalk, or a bridge, and watch people talk about him from a nearby bench. I don’t think I’ll really go that far, but I am looking forward to instagramming Cecils travels with us. You can follow me on instagram: @onecrazylovephoto. I’ll be hashtagging the gnome: #ceciltheroaminggnome. It should be good times.

 

 

Mindless Worrying

I’ve reached that moment where I spend time praying for our family, obsessively trying not to worry about the strange things that pop into my head, and then pray again. It’s a cycle. I’d say it’s a vicious cycle but its not. It’s just what I do. And I totally get it from my mom (Sorry, mom. I outed you on the interwebs. Love you!)

Anyways, sometime I write down the things that worry me. And then they don’t worry me anymore (mostly).  So in no particular order, here are the things that worry me. Some are really really dumb.

1. I’m really hoping that Lev wont sit on any of the kids at the orphanage the first week we are there. He loves kids and playrooms, and then he gets all excited like he does at soccer, and then he’ll sit on some poor little kid. It’s not a mean thing, it’s just a thing he does sometimes out of excitement. And I don’t want him to do it at the orphanage. I. Will. Die.

2. I’m afraid that we’ll miss one of our flights.

3. I’m worried that Violet will cry a lot. Lev never really cries, and crying actually makes me crazy, so… yeah. I worry about crying.

4. I’m afraid LadyJudge is just going to have a lot of mean fun with us at the court date: “Haha American people! You think waiting almost a year was fun??? Just wait… Hehehe.” I imagine she’s doing some sort of Mr. Burns hand thing and evil laughing just thinking about it.

4b. Alex is concerned the judge will ask him questions about his political opinions of Putin, Lukashenko, and Ukraine and generally be against all Russian people. He’s been thinking through a nice way to say, “Putin is a war criminal and abuser of human rights and should go to jail.” But he hasn’t ruled out just being blunt and saying that.

4c. I’m worried the judge won’t like that we’re protestant.

5. Let’s be honest. I’m just worried about the judge.

6. I’m worried Violet hasn’t started talking.

7. I’m slightly concerned that Lev have a hard time adjusting to the reality of  a sister. He’s very excited about it right now, but the moment she comes stomping through his tinker toys is an entirely different thing.

8. I’m afraid that people will stop us at the airport on the way out and ask us why we’re carting off one of their own.

9. I’m a little concerned that I only have 8 days to get halloween costumes ready when we get home. Halloween is FUN at our house, and we love working on DIY costumes in October together. Lev is insisting we all participate this year as various characters of Curious George. HOW AM I SUPPOSED COME UP WITH A YELLOW HAT IN A WEEK, PEOPLE???  Lev and Violet might have to be an Iphone and a Nexus Tablet or something. Last year, Lev was box of Kleenex, and he loved it. I’m sure it will all be ok.

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Now some people will argue that Lev is squinting his eyes closed to avoid the truth that he was a box of Kleenex for Halloween. But I maintain that this is the face of excitement, folks. He loves Halloween.

10. I worry about Alex going to Belarus to visit his family after the court date. I made him promise to call me every morning so I know he wasn’t carted off to jail in the middle of the night, and again in the evening to tell me what he did during the day. He promised me he’d get his brothers shady friends to smuggle him back if they try to keep him. But still.

10b. I’m sad we can’t all go to Belarus. My sister in law’s mother does this thing with yellow bell peppers, sunflower oil and sugar, and it makes me sit down and eat half the jar in one sitting.

11. I’m afraid I’ll get lost in Warsaw. In the city Violet lives in, it’s impossible because if you get separated, you just go to the cathedral and sit outside the chamber with the Madonna until the other party shows up (that’s what we agreed on one afternoon anyway). Warsaw is HUGE. I could be lost for days there.  Days. And I have a bad habit of making the bathroom guardians angry and getting on the wrong bus in Warsaw. Things happen to me there.

 

There’s more, and some of them are more serious than others, but this is a small portion of the things that run through my brain at any given moment.  I know that when we roll into the hotel, I’ll just be excited. But at the moment while I’m cleaning and packing, I’m also obsessing. I was like this before our first trip and I’ll be fine when we get there.

 

16 days to departure! <– i need to get off the computer and get cracking!

Clothes

Because adoptive parents bond with their absent children differently, I usually do it through shopping or creating. I’m calling this dress the “I’m leaving the orphanage forever” dress. I found it on clearance at Nuvonivo in downtown Raleigh. I decided that Violet (mostly me) couldn’t be happy without it, so I impulsively plunked down my money and walked out of the store a happy mama.

I’m actually glad I bought it. I thought I would have buyers remorse, but it was on clearance. It’s hard to have remorse about clearance. But I didn’t want Violet walking out of the orphanage with the old clothes she always wore. I want her to leave it behind and leave wearing something new and special for a new life! 10553361_10152207592357117_4210008923110575256_n

I’m not super fashion forward, but I do like my kids to look nice. So I spend a lot of time going through clothes that people give me, and hunting down sales for things I think they’ll wear a lot. I liked this dress, becuase as She gets older, it might still fit as a tunic over some leggings, which I know are sort of out of fashion now, but are totally cute on little girls. I also have a super cute pair of shoes, a head band, and some white tights to go with this. Her short hair and blue eyes will really look great and I can’t wait for everyone to see her.

Anyways, look for a picture of Violet sporting her new clothes and families sometime after September 19th. I’m looking for ways to keep everyone updated onour adventures as we go to Poland without having to log into wordpress constantly. I’m thinking something mobile based, but I’m still thinking about what I want that to look like.  I’ll keep updating the blog as much as I can with our adventures. But I do plan to start integrating this blog back to my photography/life (mostly photography) blog at some point. You can click here to see it.

Thoughts in the darkness.

 “the very pleasures of human life men acquired by difficulties”

St. Augustine

Every night, Lev climbs into our bed. 99% of the time, he lays down and goes back to sleep almost immediately. Bust last night he was having a hard time settling back down. He said he was itchy. So after we took care of the itchy arms and feet, I settled him back into bed and then went back to our bed.

Sleep was elusive as it so often has been during the last 5 years of non stop adoption of both Lev and Violet. I had been looking through her court papers and her birth certificate yesterday because I was helping someone with a form I had to fill out. The things on her paperwork leave with so many questions. Like her birth father signing the register. Why even bother? But he did it. And I have a certain amount of respect for that, no matter what choices he mad after that. He acknowledged her. I’m grateful for that.

I also noticed that her birth father’s birthday is on the same day we go back to orphanage to pick Violet up. I have a lot of mixed feeling about that. Will I remember that day that’s it’s his birthday? Do I say something to her about it? In a way it doesn’t matter becuase she won’t realize what I’m talking about.

I guess that as an adoptive parent I’m supposed to feel fiecely protective of my role as Lev and Violets mother. That I should be disgusted by the choices made by birthparents who ultimately place children for adoption and surrender them to the system becuase they either can’t or don’t want to parent. But that’s not how I’ve ever operated. Yes. Violets birthparents made some truly awful choices, but in the end, there’s some evidence they knew they just couldn’t parent. And I can’t really see that being so much different from the rest of us. We all make truly awful choices, and God gave himself for us. His compassion on us compels my compassion for her birthfamily. They are lost. They don’t know the Lord and they left this little person parentless. I hope  it wasn’t a callous choice on their part. I think it’s going to stick with them for the rest of their lives, and they’ll always hear in the back of their mind the guilt that haunts them, “I did this thing to that child”. And I feel compassion for them becuase they have to live like that. Hopefully someone will come along and share the gospel with them and free them from addiction and guilt. But they won’t ever know that it all turned out for the better for Violet, and they’ll always wonder what happened to her. I hate the torture of that for them. I really do.

To be honest, I want Lev and Violets adoption experiences to be the same. I want the openness that Lev has for Violet. I like knowing Lev’s birth family because it means when we have questions, we can just ask. One some level, that doesn’t exist for Violet. Her openness will be different. Her little playmates at the orphanage will all be within a days drive from us. She’ll be able to know them, and hopefully continue her relationship with them, becuase in a way, they were her first family along with the nurses who cared  so well for her. But I’ll miss not knowing anything about her birth family other than a few names and dates and places.

And that’s what I think about in the dead of night. I think about what brought about the events of the day that Violet was born. And if they wonder about her, and why her birth father bothered to even sign the register if he had no intention of being her father. I’ll probably never know. And in some way, while I already dread the discussion about how Violet came to be in the orphanage, I know that it will also have to be a conversation about her birth parents and that there will be a lot of “I don’t know’s” for all of us. It’s the ugly downside to international adoption.

I have to acknowledge though that I’m thankful for what little information we have about her birth family. We know she has a birth sister, and a birth grandmother. We have dates and places and some names. I made copies of all the documents that came to us and put them in a box for Violet that has letters I write to her, and some other random things I want to give her later in life.

And this is not say that her birth family is more important than us. Becuase they aren’t. We’re her family, the one that God designed for her. Her birth family biologically prepared her for the life that God has for her to lead, and Alex and I get the priviledge of preparing her spiritually and emotionally and physically.

I think one the most important blessings of adoption is the clear view of the gospel it gives us: Lives lost and found. The old off and the new on from first Corinthians. The perseverance of the Lord pursuing his children all the way to the very bitter end and beyond and our year of incompleteness, paperwork, and cranky Ladyjudge. That our lives are hidden in Christ with Jesus.  So I think that no matter what our conversation with Violet about her birthfamily and how she came to the orphanage have to be rooted in the gospel. That her identity is less about biology and more about who she is in Jesus and with us. We have to tell her ” we didnt save you. God did.  He made it so you were my daughter and I am your mother and he turned all our sadness into joy!” otherwise we’re all rowing down the wrong river.

This was long so I’ll stop here. Adoption is bittersweet. But the Jesus and the Gospel are better. That’s what I want Violet and Lev to hang onto in life. Who they were and how they started are not as important as who they will become.

The Call.

So it appears that I won’t need my contingency plans or my disclaimer anymore. The disclaimer has been discarded.  The list is still on the fridge, but it’s been covered up my own massive to do list since…

WE GOT OUR CALL!

I’m so happy! I was really hoping it was coming soon, as evidenced by this Facebook post from the June 23rd. I learned how to do screen shots to get it on the blog tonight, so I expect all of you to read it.

 

facebook Fun Fact: I saw that hummingbird 3 weeks before we got Violet’s referral. And I saw the firefly roughly 3 weeks before we got out call. I’m not a believer in signs, but I do like to think that Lord allows be reminded visually that he”s working even if we can’t see it. He’s been so faithful to us in our adoption and it’s really because of his grace that we’ve come this far. Here’s a recap of our story. Bear with me. It could get long.

On Saturday July 12th, Alex and I had a skype interview with the Lydia Fund. We were really hoping to get this grant because it meant that we’d be fully funded for Violet’s adoption. We were lacking $2500 dollars. And thankfully, we got a $2000 grant! I was stunned. People who know me well in real life know that it’s not impossible to stun me into silence, but it’s not common that I’m so stunned that I sit in silence for more than a minute. But there I was, sitting on the couch, stunned. Nothing but silence for a full 5 minutes. When I could speak again, Alex and I talked about how the Lord gave us $19,500 in 6 months. It’s the most amazing answer to prayer! Both our kids are visual answers to prayer, but this is close second.

On Monday, I call the agency and tell them that they can expect yet another call from a funding agency, and the director squealed on the phone out of excitement for me. And she said to me, your travel dates will be here soon. I know it. And I said, “well, it’ll happen, but I’m sure the judge is still on vacation.” Becuase that’s what our last conversation was about- a judges vacation. I didn’t write about it because there was nothing to say. It was disappointing, but also very nice to be able to ignore my phone when it rang or dinged at me.

So in all honestly on Tuesday the 15th, I was sitting on the couch playing candy crush after lunch while Lev was having video time. I heard my phone ring, but I ignored it because that’s what I do now. Then I heard it ding, as the caller left a voicemail. THen it rang again, which I ignored again, and then my ding for a text message to arrive and I’m thinking to myself,

“Whoever this is rather insistent, which is annoying because I’m very comfortable here on the couch and I don’t want to get up. ”

But Lev wanted Juice, yada yada, so I get up and go get it, and on the way past my phone I see another text message coming in from the agency director. I gae Lev his juice and called her back.

“I knew that the Lord would give you your dates soon when you called yesterday. You’re going back to POland next month”.

And the first phrase out of my mouth was,

“Are you serious? You’re not making this up? Are you serious?”

She was serious. I couldn’t write anything down becuase my hands were shaking so badly.

It was July 15th. 11 months and one day since I first say my daughter.

On August 25th, 357 days after I saw my daughter for the first time in person, I will see her again.

Exactly 2 months from today, on September 19th. I’ll put on a very uncomfortable black dress, and Alex will don a suit and tie, we’ll walk into a court room and a judge will declare us Violets parents. For the next 5 days I’ll have 2 children under 4. I try not to think about that preferring instead to rejoice in how the Lord provided for us when we were never promised children. And now I have 2. TWO.

It’s been a long time coming. A very long time.

The Lord has been very faithful and gracious to answer the prayers of huge amounts of people.

 

Contingency

Disclaimer: There’s a lot of waiting parents in our program who read this blog, as well as people thinking about adopting from Poland who are looking for info. My experience and their experience will differ very much and no adoption is the same. So from here on out as I write openly and earnestly about our experience, this “disclaimer” is going to appear at the top of my posts. Our crazy long sanctifying wait is not due to anything anyone at our agency, the facilitator, or our family has done. It just is. There’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s all our of our hands at this point. I’m doing my best to make the best of it. This is adoption, people. It is what it is. Thanks for staying calm with us

 

I’ve reached that point in adoption (everyone reaches that point) where I start making contigency plans, not becuase I think the plans I’m making are called for, but simply because I have nothing to do adoption wise.  And last night I was sitting at my desk, supposedly working on SEO for my studio, but instead watching adoption stories on the Archibald Project website. My very favorite most inspiring story is the one featuring the Via family. They’re from a city near me, and the Lord took them on an unexpected, and very amazing journey. I’ll let you watch the video(scroll down to the bottom), but I did want to share something that hit very close to home:Phonto

 

I won’t spoil the video for you, since I really think you should all watch it, but it made me wonder: if something happened and we couldn’t bring Violet to America would we give up everything here and go be a family there? I knew my answer right away, but later, I asked Alex the same question after telling him the story about the Via Family. And his answer was the same as mine:

Yes. She’s our daughter, and we’re not complete without her.

Absentia

 

 

Disclaimer: There’s a lot of waiting parents in our program who read this blog, as well as people thinking about adopting from Poland who are looking for info. My experience and their experience will differ very much and no adoption is the same. So from here on out as I write openly and earnestly about our experience, this “disclaimer” is going to appear at the top of my posts. Our crazy long sanctifying wait is not due to anything anyone at our agency, the facilitator, or our family has done. It just is. There’s nothing I can do about it, and it’s all our of our hands at this point. I’m doing my best to make the best of it. This is adoption, people. It is what it is. Thanks for staying calm with us

 

malvina's birthday card-1

 

Sometime in the last week, Violet had a birthday. Please understand that I have to be vague and that I can’t say when exactly it was, just that is was.  I’m not entirely happy we weren’t there with her, and I wish had been a little bit more forward thinking and sent a gift to the orphanage for her. But sending stuff overseas is sketchy at best, becuase it’s hard to know when and if something will arrive, so I refrained, deciding instead to bring all her christmas presents and birthday presents with us when we come. It’ll be like a belated holiday/birthday celebration.

In the mean time, my parents sent Violet a birthday card. I didn’t want to leave it sitting in the envelope, so I opened it to find this super cute bear card. Now its sitting on the mantle, in quiet celebration of many things: life, love, endurance, hope and the days to come. One day, all this waiting will come to an end, and we’ll all be together. It’s coming!