Saturday, August 25, 2012

One step at a time...

We don't have much news to report, but we do want everyone to know that we are still working on this process and trying to take things one step at a time. We have finished everything that we need to do for our home study. All our background checks and child abuse clearances have come in. It took us longer to finish our online education than we had expected, but that too is now behind us. So now we just wait. God has continued to provide the money for the adoption, but for reasons that are unknown to us, He is providing it very slowly this time around. We are closer now than we were before, but we are still short of the funds that we need for the first half of our program fee. We are still trusting Him, and we know that He will give us everything we need in His own perfect time. It is hard to wait when we want to bring our daughter home so badly, but we do trust Him.

We will be having our first big fund raiser next month, so stay tuned for details about that. Our good friends, Dan and Sarah are adopting a little girl from Russia, and we are working together to raise some of the funds needed to bring our daughters home. We are having a big pancake breakfast and silent auction on September 29th in Mason, Ohio. Like I said, we will provide more details as it gets closer, but if that day is free for you, plan to come. (If you live in this area, of course.)

Both Gabriela and Mikaela celebrated their third birthday this month. Unfortunately, I can't post pictures yet, because they are all on my dad's camera, and I keep forgetting to get them when we are over at my parents' house. They both had a blast! Greg and I are looking forward to next summer when we will be celebrating three little girls' birthdays.

Greg and I left the kids with my parents today and went out for a date. For the first time in months, we decided that this would be a day of fun and relaxation -- no errand running allowed. It was wonderful! We went down to one of our favorite restaurants in the City called "It's Just Crepes." We both fell in love with crepes in Ukraine, and it is hard to find good ones here in the states. Not only are the crepes at this place incredibly tasty, they are also very reasonably priced. It makes for a fun and cheap date. :-) Then we walked a few blocks down to a really cool antique book store. We had never been there before, but we will certainly be going back. We both have a weakness for old buildings and old books, so a Victorian house converted to an antique bookstore is definitely our kind of place. We picked up two used books on Chinese history. One of them has great pictures, and I think it will be really good for showing the kids some of the things in Isabelle's country. We then went to Barnes and Noble to look for a travel guide to China. We used the Lonely Planet travel guide for Ukraine, so I started with that one, but I don't think it is going to work out for us. It focused mainly on Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong - three places we probably won't even see. Out of the hundreds of pages in the book, only about 10 were even about Isabelle's province. We ended up not getting anything there. It was interesting, though, because it confirmed what we had read before that Isabelle's province is the poorest in all of China. The book was divided into sections on the different provinces of China, and each section began with a reason to visit that specific province. The "Why you should visit Guizhou" section started by saying, "Oh, poor Guizhou..." Not very encouraging. The book did say that the people living in Guizhou were some of the friendliest in all of China, so that should be nice. Apparently they don't get very many visitors, so they get really excited whenever foreigners do come. I wonder if we will be the first white people that Isabelle has ever seen? Poor little girl. It is going to be quite an adjustment for her.

As always, thank you for your prayers. I means so much to us during this time to know that our brothers and sisters in Christ are continuing to ask God for his favor and provision for us. Blessings.