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the sun came out

I hope you all had a very blessed Easter with your families. 

Mine was good.  Lonely, but I made the most of the day alone. I miss my family something awful. But I remind myself constantly that each day that passes gets me one day closer to being home–as one big happy family. Oh my gosh, yes, we will be a big family. I read somewhere recently that when you have seven children, you’re considered a mega family.  Yikes. I never imagined.

Going to the grocery store is still quite the little adventure for me here.  I am having some serious issues with food. I’m a vegetarian.  Have been for well over twenty years.  It’s just the way it is with me.  I don’t like eating animals. Nothing against it, just don’t like it. I am convinced that everything in this place has meat in it.  Everything.  They love all the things I hate–dried meats hanging everywhere that remind me of the smell in Chinese markets, fish with their faces on, fish tanks filled to overflowing with the next meal.  All the things that are so not on my nice list.

I’m totally struggling to find things to eat.  Last night, in absolute desperation for a salad, I bought a cabbage (the closest thing to a lettuce I could find), a few radishes, and a tomato, and made that my salad.  Could not find any salad dressing anywhere, so some red vinegar did the trick.  It was heaven on earth. Never in my life have I enjoyed a salad more.

So while I walk around the grocery store searching for something to eat, I notice that there is not an Easter egg in sight.  Nothing.  No chocolate bunnies or colorful marshmallow anythings in sight.  I think that’s odd.  What I do see are these strange rectangular cake-thingys in the bread section.  Looks like bread, but has frosting on top, and sprinkles.  I have no idea what they are. I squish it and it’s kind of hard. I’m curious, but don’t really have any desire to try it.

Valentine [pronounced ‘teen’ at the end] and Tatianna come and pick me up so that I can visit my sweet children.  She leans over and hands me something she made just for me. “Easter cake”, she tells me.

Oh, now I know what that is.  The things I’ve been seeing are the Ukrainian version of our Easter eggs.  They have cake for Easter.  I never would have known.

It probably has meat in it somewhere.  I know it does.  Everything does here {grin}.

Today is a stunning day and I ask the caretakers if I can please take my girlies outside for a walk.

They send a messenger to ask the chief doctor.  He says yes, only for thirty minutes though. 

Great–I’ll take it.

Oh. My. Goodness. Gracious. I should have seen it coming….

The caretakers spring into action. The clothes get whipped off.  Socks get put on underneath the onesies.  Booties get put on over the onesies.  A sweater goes on top.  A hat. Gloves. And, wait for it, wait for it…..a SNOWSUIT!

Yep, I kid you not. On a sixty degree day.  They were so bundled up they could not move.  They were both stiff to the point of feeling suffocated, I’m sure.

I lean over and tell Tatianna that if my kids at home have a sixty degree day, they wear shorts and tee shirts and no shoes.  The ‘no shoes’ bit just about did her in.  Lord forbid children don’t put something on their feet.  Terrible mothering, I know.

I absolutely cannot wait to let Hailee and Harper’s feet feel dirt. They’ll get a few lessons in bare feet from my little African children.

Harper’s little snowsuit just happened to come off once we were outside. Even without it, she was still bundled up to her eyeballs.

It was so glorious.  Being outside, in the sunshine, with my treasures.  Poor babies, they struggled to open their eyes.  I know that they do bring Harper outside from time to time, but I wonder if Hailee has ever had the warm sun on her face.  I seriously doubt it.

How adorable are these two with their little tongues sticking out?  I’m thinking maybe I should join in next time.

Your chariot awaits, sweet princess.

Bundled stiff in Mommy’s arms. By this time she was starting to sweat profusely, poor darling.

I was so happy to see that some of the other children had been taken outside too.

This orphanage is home to over 100 children.  Some of them can be adopted, some cannot.  Many of them have parents who have not relinquished their parental rights. Their future is so uncertain. 

It absolutely breaks my heart.  This is one very hard part about adopting from this country.  To see these little faces every single day, and know that I cannot take them with me, really kills me.  I weep for them.  I long to get them all out. But I can’t. I pray that someone will come and adopt them.  Please, God. They don’t deserve this. No child does.

Me and my angels walk around the orphanage grounds.  We have a sweet time together.  Harper is so content to sit in the stroller, and Hailee I carry in my sling.

This building has been their home.  It is all they know.

We walk around and I take in the sights and smells of their home village.  I never want to forget.

I never want to forget where they have come from.

I never want to forget what their first home looked like.

It won’t be home for much longer.  In a few days they will finally say goodbye to all this.


I can hardly wait for that day.

It has been so amazing getting to know Hailee and Harper over the last few days. We have had sweet moments together, just the three of us. I have been able [via my facilitator] to find out about their histories, their birth families, and a bunch of other stuff too.  Some of what they have told me has left me speechless.  Most of the time I just cry.  I’m sure that they call me “the Mama who cries a lot.”

They all think I’m nuts.  The caretakers, the doctors, the whole lot of them.  Not a day goes by when we do not walk into that building and get asked, “Is she sure she wants to adopt both these children?” or “Why does she want these two children?”  Tatianna just rolls her eyes at them now. She is starting to undertsand me. The others don’t get me at all.  They just don’t undertsand how a woman from America can come and adopt TWO of these children–the children no one wants in this country. The children who’s parents could not even look them in the faces when they were born. The children who were brought to the orphanage when they were just a few hours old so that no one had to see their uniqueness.

They don’t understand how anyone would choose to have them.

How terribly sad that they don’t understand the father heart of God for these special children.

But they’re seeing.  They’re seeing what love looks like.  They’re seeing me love on my children who smell bad and are so desperately in need of a good bath. They’re seeing me kiss and cuddle them like they have never been touched before.  They’re seeing the love an adoptive mother has for her children–just the way they are.

And while they’re seeing, I’m praying that God would soften their hearts for the children in their care, the children who have no one besides them in this life.

I’m praying with all my heart.


Today has been a public holiday here. Everything is closed. Tomorrow we can finally get the paperwork started.  I have to go to court and write a statement for the judge, telling him why I want to adopt these children. That will start the whole adoption process in this region.  I should get a court date early next week.  My husband and I are still asking the Lord for a waiver on the ten day waiting period after court.  Everyone here tells me it is impossible.

But they don’t know my God!

So many of you have written to ask me how I am doing with everything.  How am I feeling about Hailee and Harper and their needs?  Am I afraid?  Nervous to parent them? What about our other children? How are the girls and what is their development like? Is Hailee going to need 24 hour care? How is Anthony about everything? When is he coming here? How am I doing away from my family?
So many questions.  I appreciate them all so very much.  Tomorrow I’ll answer them.  If there is anything else you’re wondering, or are curious about, just leave it in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer it too.  Nothing is too personal or crazy. I’ll answer as best I can.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.  I am so thankful today that He is RISEN.