Friday, November 28, 2008

36 hours to blast off!

The girls just helped me go through my checklist and double check everything in the luggage that I've been throwing in for the last two weeks. I was worried that each would weigh over 50 lbs which is the max weight for each checked bag on Lufthansa, but when I weighed them on the bathroom scale they were each 40 lbs! That was a relief.
Katie and I packed the clothes for the girls. Not an easy task since we don't know what size they are. So we packed a variety of sizes and I'll just make due. Most of it I will leave for the orphanage anyway, since I want to donate as much as I can to them and will bring more next trip. We ended up packing an out fit for each girl in size 4, 5, and 6. We figure I can roll sleeves and cuffs if they're too big. I had bought two darling sage green parka's at Ross with pink lining and dug out a pair of snow pants for each of them. Shoes is the hardest part. I'm just trusting that the orphanage will have a pair for each of them that we can borrow for this trip.
I have my laptop back and I've had one lesson with the web cam! My son Charlie is so amazing on the computer. He never had classes and he can do just about anything with them. We're going to be using just our instant messenger with the web cam and we'll see how that works! It worked good from my desk to the dining room table! Theoretically it should work from the other side of the world.
Julia's 14th birthday is Monday and I'll be in the air somewhere over the north pole so we celebrated her birthday tonight. I had really hoped to not miss any important family dates, but with the size of our family that is next to impossible.
Tonight I got the news that the family that was going to adopt Katerina won't be able to make that happen. Why God? Why can't those two girls have a family? I can only trust that He has a wonderful plan for my Ukrainian daughters. At least she and Margarita will still be together.
I checked the weather at my destination and it is 36 degrees during the day. I really hope for light snow while I'm there. Just not too much to get around. I'm assuming they are used to snow and won't slow down their city.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've Got Pictures!

It was a long time coming and a huge leap of faith to make the plane reservations without a profile or picture, but I did it and no surpirse here when the pictures came yesterday - the girls are perfect! What an awesome God to make all this happen and then have my two newest angels be so totally perfect for my family! Of course they are! All my children are so absolutely perfect for me!
So now I'm at T-7 days and counting. Today is the big meeting with all the amazing people who are stepping up to help make this miracle come true!
My parents are taking my youngest since she is not in school full time and my mom will take her back and forth to Head Start. My son Charlie and my daughter-in-law, Liz, will move in and be the temporary guardians of the other kids. My wonderful friends and childcare - oh heck my "other daughters" Jessica, Amy, Molly and Julie have their schedules to be here after school and evenings until Charlie and Liz get home from work. My friend Sandy is coordinating the childcare with any emergencies or "what if's" like if someone gets sick, or someone's car won't start and can't meet the school bus, etc. She and my mom are also going to keep the groceries coming! My friend Margaret is trying to get life organized to maybe go with me on the trip that I bring the girls home! And of course the friends who have financially contributed to this. Then there's the countless others who are praying and just offering moral support!
I really couldn't have done this without the childcare help, without the financial help, without the prayers.
And none of this would have been possible without Andrea and Reece's Rainbow. I would have not known of the need of all these children who are languishing in Orphanages around the world. I always "knew" but wasn't aware of just how awful their lives are. I will definately have a better idea after this trip. Even though the country I'm going to has far better care of their orphans than many other countries, it still is lightyears behind what their life will be like here.
Reece's Rainbow (PLEASE visit the website http://www.reecesrainbow.org/) is not an adoption agency, it is a ministry started and run by Andrea to help find families for children all over the world who have Down Syndrome. She is amazing, not only finding families, but raising money to help us be able to afford to go bring our children home. I couldn't have done this without the grants she was able to get for me.
And since I'm dropping names! About A Child Adoption Agency is THE BEST! Victoria really cares about the kids and the families. She has held my hand through this whole process - staying up until midnight and then the next night staying up all night to get the pictures of the girls for me. (The girls are 10 hours ahead of us, so the government workers are working when we sleep). And I might as well mention Golden Rule Travel too! They are a Christian Travel Agent who have contracts with the airlines to secure humanitarian flights, this started with missionaries but they've expanded it to international adoptions. They found me a great flight and a terrific price.
I hope to be able to post during the trip. I am having "technical difficulties" as my lap top has a virus and Charlie is working diligently to re-whatever you do to get rid of the pesky thing, isn't there a pill for that?
But I will update as I can and I will give access to my son and daughter so they can update if I can't but can reach them by phone.
Please continue to pray for this journey. Pray for my new daughters that they won't be frightened by this change in their life. Pray that they will somehow understand that when I take them back to the orphanage on the 18th, that I will come back for them soon. Pray for my kids here and all the people caring for them.