Friday, July 29, 2011

Waiting Children 7/29/11 at

We found our son in a photo just like one of these. Is your little love pictured here, waiting for you too?

A Most Blessed Day!!

Dear AJ,
What a great day today is, Sweetheart! We've been praying for and thinking of you nonstop the last several days. Really it's no different than any other day since we found you, but the last few days our hearts have been heavy. We received an email that it was very likely you actually had been transferred already out of your baby house to the institution. We were devastated at the thought. We prayed and prayed and prayed. We had our friends praying for you too. Waiting for the confirmation seemed to take forever. But today, it came. You are still at your baby house and they are waiting for us to come and get you! The sentence "They are waiting for you" is now a group of words that we will always be in love with. I don't often hear your Grampa Carroll he did. He was sobbing and giving praises to the Lord. He was so relieved that his little grandson, whom he is so madly in love with would not be transferred. Thank You Jesus for making this happen.
Speaking of Grammie and Grampa Carroll- they couldn't be more excited to get you in their arms! They are already picking out new furniture for your arrival! They said, "We are looking at new sofas, you know the kind with a recliner on each end. We have to have a cuddle place for both our babies to snuggle and watch movies with us when they come!" They beam when they talk about you and your brother. They can't wait to have you both stay the night! Oh, the plans they have for both of my precious boys!
We had our first homestudy meeting and it was good! Our second one is scheduled on August 9, here at your home. Daddy's passport is here now- it just came this morning. We've ordered the apostilles for our CSPs and POAs so we can mail those to the team where you are. We continue to work on collecting our paperwork for our dossier, we're getting there Sweet Boy! Now we need to pray that once our homestudy is completed, things with USCIS will MOVE QUICKLY!! Our trust remains in the Lord, that He will get us to you in the perfect time.
This weekend, Daddy and I are moving the toddler bed that has been in your bedroom out. We are going to give it to a dear family that is close to our hearts! We have to make room for your bed now. We are going to wait to decorate your room, though. We want you to show us what you want and what you like. We are excited to find out what you like and what your favorite colors are!
We also were just made aware of the person who gave so generously to your adoption grant. She and her son gave the money needed to make your grant what it was the day we found you. What a blessing to our family, AJ. She doesn't know us or you. But what giving, unselfish, love she has shown our family- and she didn't even know it. We found out that she is sick and has been off and on for 3 years. Daddy and I pray for her and have asked all those we know who are prayer warriors to continue to pray for her healing and for God's hand of favor to be on her. Maybe someday, we will get the opportunity to meet her and thank her in person. We pray that would happen.
It's 11:40am here right now. That makes it 7:40pm where you are. Have you eaten your supper already? Are you getting ready for bed? Sending all our love to you. See you soon.
To the moon and back-
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Running, Sweating, Pictures, The FBI, Medals, Snow pants, and YOU! :)

Our Dearest AJ,
How was your day Sweetheart? Did you smile and get the giggles today? I hope something made you belly roll laugh!
We thought of you a lot today. This morning was the 2nd Annual Race for River Hills 5K. What's a River Hills you're thinking? It's your big brother's school. It's an awesome place. Anthony loves it there and so do we. As we were running the course this morning, I couldn't help but watch Daddy gliding along effortlessly and think- "HA! 2nd to last race with you not pushing anyone!! Take that!" - (while I was slogging it out with your brother. :) He is excited to get you home and find the perfect running chair for you- if you want to run that is. We know your big brother really really loves it. We hope that you will too. We beat our time this year by around 3 minutes from last year, but were still over 5 minutes slower than our, it was hot? :) Doesn't matter. Your brother still won a medal for placing 3rd in his age group and that is all that counts. You'll win medals too Buddy- we know you will. Wonder what the first one of the many will be??
In other news- we got our DCI background checks back, so that's one less thing. Yes, we passed. Did you think we wouldn't? As soon as our home study is done we'll get our I600a form and get our FBI clearances. We'll get fingerprinted again in Des Moines and write a big check to Homeland Security. Just another step to get us to you! So far so smooth. :)
We did find out that in our state, Iowa- we can order apostilles by phone- which is awesome! I called the Secretary of State's office in Oregon where Daddy and I got married to check if they would perhaps do the same. Well, that was a big fat NO. So, we'll be overnighting our marriage licenses to them with a prepaid FEDEX overnight envelope and pray they don't get lost on someones desk!
We did get an email from our dear friend and stateside helper Brigitte that she knew of a family who had just brought a child home from your orphanage! The mom said that she looked for you, but never saw you. She wondered if you were living in another building and didn't get to come outside very often because you couldn't come out on your own little legs. My heart is so broken for you, AJ. Do you have any idea of what it feels like to have the sun shining on your face? Have you ever seen snow and gotten a chance to at least put your hands in it, let alone put on snow pants and make snow angels? Do you know what sledding is? Do you know what it's like to sit outside on a summer evening and listen to the cicadas sing their summer songs? Do you know what it's like to feel warm sand between your toes? Our gut tells us, you know of none of these simple treasures of life. That's all gonna change very shortly. We have so much to show you and tell you and teach you, Love! Our hearts ache while we wait. But we are anxious to hear about where you live and see pictures of it all. It makes us feel closer to you, even though you still don't know we are here.
Grammie and Grampa Carroll so can't wait for your arrival as well. They said we will wait to celebrate Christmas and Jesus' birthday if we have not returned home with you yet. It doesn't matter how long it takes, everything stays up until their newest grandson comes home! We will do the same. We are sure Jesus will be cool with a belated birthday party!
It's 9:20pm here Darling. That means it's 5:20am where you are. We love you and will talk soon. Have more sweet dreams- you've got time.
To the moon and back!
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two.
Heavenly Father, we come and humbly sit at your feet right now. Our hearts are lonely and broken for what is Yours. We lift up our little one to You right now that You would lay Your hand of favor on him and do what You do best- love on Your babies. Love him up for us, Papa. Our only connection to him is through You. We pray that this whole process continue smoothly and without delay. We pray for no mistakes in our paperwork and everything would get into the right hands at the precise right time. We love You. We trust You. And we Thank YOU for bringing this little Love into our lives. In Jesus name, AMEN!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sitting and waiting and thinking...

Dear AJ,
Daddy and I have been snuggled up together tonight looking at your pictures and searching you out in every possible way for maybe that one picture of you that's out there that we don't have. We did find you in a YouTube video tonight, they weren't new pictures, but they were YOU- the one and only YOU. We saw videos of other families who have adopted kiddos like you- first meetings, first hugs, first pictures, first time to hear a voice. And then of course the beloved GOTCHA DAY - a day that Daddy, Anthony, and me are really having a hard time waiting for. If it was our choice, GOTCHA DAY would have been on August 16, 2005. But this is God's perfect will and timing, so we will rejoice in that.
We've had more good news since the last time we wrote to you. Our first homestudy meeting is scheduled in Des Moines for Wed. July 27 at 4pm. We will meet with our licensing worker, Carla at the library. We'll take you there sometime, if only to show you another place that got us closer to having you in our arms. Daddy and I spent all evening last night filling out more paperwork for that first homestudy meeting and I ran reference forms out to the remainder of those closest to us to fill out. It feels so slow. We feel like if we aren't filling out a document, we are wasting precious time. Then we remember, God has this. It's His precious time. THAT can be so hard. We will wait and do it right and in God's time, we will be with you- and it will be forever and ever and ever.
The other super exciting thing tonight was this: a very dear friend called to tell us that God had really laid our family (especially you) upon his heart. He wondered what it was that he could do...what was the Lord telling him?? He said the Lord told him to go RUN 31 MILES to raise money for you, Sweetheart! We explained that we were fully funded but any money that was coming our way now was still going into a savings account for you to help pay for doctor/dentist visits/co pays, clothes, shoes, your new bedroom, and whatever else we will need once you are home. So, our dear friend just wanted to make sure that he heard what the Lord had told to San Francisco to run a 50K race- all for you, all for us, and most importantly all for the glory of our Savior, Jesus. Wow. Daddy and I were speechless and crying. I could barely get any words out, but thank you and we love you.
I will write more soon my Love. Daddy and I have to go to work in the morning and should try to get some sleep. It's 9:40pm here and 5:40am where you are right now. I pray that you've had a restful night. Do you still have time to have one more sweet dream? If you do, dream of us. Mommy, Daddy, your Big Brother, your little dog licking your precious face while we yell at him to "Get Down!" And all the while your gigantic fat lazy cat takes a clawless swipe at his face as if to say, "Yeah! What they said." We love you to the moon and back and will see you soon.
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two-ee. (Hold Fast! Our precious little one! Help is on the way! Hold Fast! He's come to SAVE the day....)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just a bit of news today...

To our sweet AJ,
Hi Baby Love! How was your day today? Was it a hot and sunny summer day for you? It's VERY hot and sticky here. It's the kind of day to just stay inside and keep cool.
We don't have a lot to tell you, nothing really too exciting is happening here. We still just think about you and talk to your pictures constantly. We wonder what you are doing at different times during the day.
We did receive some happy news today. We were told of the region that you are living in and that you have NOT been transferred to the icky place. Daddy and I said lots of prayers tonight asking that Jesus would continue to keep you safe and that those making the decisions would have their hearts open to His will, which we still feel is to keep you in your baby house until we can come and get you. We also prayed that Jesus would keep this whole process running smoothly and easy and that the enemy would have ZERO power here- that he would be made to sit and be still in Jesus' name.
I found out over the weekend that a very dear friend of mine is fluent in Russian and she will tutor me and I can then tutor Daddy. Her name is Erin and she can't wait to meet and love on you too! We spent the weekend together and she was quizzing of right now, my Russian isn't gonna get me too far. :)
We are hoping to get our first meeting scheduled with our licensing worker in the next week or so for the homestudy. We really wanted to get it scheduled and done this week, but don't think that's going to work out. I'll let you know when we get that scheduled, don't you worry Love Bug- it will get done soon!
It's 9:10pm here right now, so it's 5:10am where you are. I hope you are sleeping and that your little body knows nothing but peace and comfort. I hope you get to sleep for a few more hours too....really wish I knew what your schedule was like.
We so love you and will see you soon. I know I will see you tonight in my dreams. Hugs and loves and snuggles and kisses! We love you to the moon and back!
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Paper Chase!

Our dearest AJ,
Whew! What a day today, little Buddy! Our paper chase to bring you home has officially begun. The first round of documents for our dossier have been signed, notarized, and faxed for approval. You would have laughed at me as I hovered over the fax machine at work, growling and showing my teeth at anyone who attempted to walk too close before I knew the papers had been successfully sent! (God help them if they actually wanted to fax something before I knew I was done!)
The truth is, I can't stop thinking about you and how badly we want you here. I'm so afraid I will mess something up with your paperwork and it will be all my fault that you have to stay longer where you are. That thought haunts me daily. I need my family to be complete and it's just not complete without you. We have some beautiful photos of you that Grammie Nancy put together, matted, framed, and hung up here at home with the other photos of our (your) family. It's perfect now. There aren't any awkward empty spots on the wall anymore. You just fit beautifully and perfectly.
I have been working on learning some handy Russian phrases and can't wait to tell you how much I LOVE YOU! I know you can't hear me say it, but I say it to you everytime I pass by your photos. I say it to you while I'm driving and I see your face in my mind. My Russian accent is bad, but the words still come. I think you'll know what I'm trying to say when we meet.
I'm waiting to hear back from our licensing worker to schedule our homestudy meetings and chasing papers for her as well. Tomorrow I will go back to Manchester to get Daddy's birth certificate and go to our home courthouse...guess why...yes, collecting more papers. You are worth more than every email, phone call, fax, and road trip. If we were told we had to travel to the moon and bring back rocks to get you to us, we would make it happen- somehow, someway.
It's 2:30 in the morning where you are right now, Love. I pray you are sleeping peacefully and dreaming of good things. Jesus, hold our baby close tonight and tell him Mommy and Daddy love him madly.
Я тебя люблю,
Mama, Papa, Anthony, Monster, and Two

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Easy Breezy Today...Busy Busy Tomorrow

To the Sweet of our Hearts,
How was your day Love? Was it sunny and warm where you are? It's so very sticky hot here! It rained a bit this morning when we left church. The rain made me think of you. Do you know what it's like to go for a summertime walk in the rain? Do you listen to a thunderstorm and fall asleep or do you think they are scary? We can't wait to find out all of those things about you.
Today was nice for us. We took it pretty easy and just spent the entire day hanging out as a family...minus one very important little man. Our family- Daddy, Anthony, and me- we used to feel complete. Then we saw your beautiful face, AJ. All that "completeness" we once felt, went right out the door. It's now a deep aching and constant gnawing feeling that we are just so not complete without you here.
We had supper tonight with your Grammy and Grampa Carroll- that's my mommy and daddy. They are so in love with you too! They said we MUST have a belated birthday party for you when we get home. They wonder if you will like Grampa's "smoosh"- birthday cake, frosting, and a little bit of milk to "smoosh" it all up. They are very excited to see if you do!
Tomorrow begins the start of a busy week! I need to make doctor appointments for Daddy, your Big Brother and me, so we can get things in order for our home study. Daddy and I need to go and get our fingerprints taken and start filling out more paperwork. I also need to get copies of my birth certificate from the courthouse here and need to go to Manchester where your Daddy was born to get more copies of his. Your Uncle John and Aunt Kimie are going to get copies of our marriage license from Oregon. (We can't wait to take you there and meet your cousins, Mia and Ava!) They are so excited to meet and love on you too! I sent the request in for our dossier packet and will hopefully be able to start on that very soon.
To be truthful AJ, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with everything I know we need to complete to get you home. I'm just afraid I'm going to mess it up and make this process last longer than it already so painfully does. I pray everyday that it goes so smoothly and easy. I don't know that I could ever really forgive myself if I knew I made a silly mistake that prolonged bringing you home. It's always in the back of my mind. Even with so much to do, just know that Daddy, Anthony, and I love you so very much. It's so much waiting and wondering, but we will all be together soon. We are working very hard to get you home to us as soon as we can.
It's 9:30 in the night time here, so that would be 5:30 in the morning time where you are. I hope you've had the most wonderful peaceful sleep. Have the most beautiful day AJ. I will write more very soon.
We love you to the moon and back.
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two-ee cat. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

God is good, everyday. Everyday, God is good.

To our sweet AJ,
Good morning to you Love! It's almost 7am where you are right now. I hope you are seeing and feeling warm sunshine and hearing birds chirp. Did you dream of sweet things and have a good sleep? I am so sleepy tired. Daddy is already fast asleep beside me.
We had such a great day today, Buddy. We got the chance to talk to so many people and you wanna know who we talked about? We talked about you! Yep, we did! We got to show so many people your pictures and tell them how we just can't wait to bring you home! We had so many great people come to your house yesterday and today. Today was the "official" day of our first fundraiser to raise the rest of the money we need to bring you to us! Yesterday was a set up day, but so many people came to bless us, and it was all for you Sweet One. We had a garage sale! We received SO many donations for the garage sale that we had to ask people to please STOP giving!! That just sounds crazy doesn't it?! But it's true! God blessed us over and over again with all of the donations we received! But the blessings didn't stop there- we sold lots n' lots of stuff which led to the Lord opening up the flood gates and pouring out His blessing on us more than we could have ever imagined a simple garage sale could ever have done!
We are not very far into the process of bringing you home, but we are now able to concentrate on getting the paper work done that we need to do to get you to us....or get us to you, rather than wondering where money was going to come from.
AJ, God is so good. Do you know who He is? If you don't, that's ok. Daddy, your big brother, and me- we'll introduce you right away! I have a very good feeling that you do know who He is and that the two of you are pretty tight! I bet you talk to eachother all the time, don't you?
Well, if that's the case, then I don't have to tell you that even before there were stars in the sky, before He spoke them to be, He KNEW all about you! He knew your name, the color of your hair, eyes, skin, everything! He even knew that one day, we would come to get you. He knew that we would be your forever Mommy and Daddy. Nope, you didn't have to come out of my tummy to be one of our true loves! God knew you were going to be a true love for us. We just had to wait until He decided the time was perfect to show us who you were. God's timing is always perfect. His love never fails us.
Everyday we are getting closer to bringing you home! The days just can't seem to go fast enough, but we know and believe without a doubt, in His time (the only time that matters) you will be ours. We love you and think about you all day long. I'm going to fall asleep now. I can hardly keep my eyes open, they are so heavy!!
We love you to the moon and back.
Mommy, Daddy, Big Brother A, Monster, and Two

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

From the top of our lungs....

Our dear sweetheart, AJ-
We can "officially" shout it to the whole world from the top of our lungs that you are ours. You made your debut on the New Commitments page of Reece's Rainbow today. I cried big tears of joy seeing you there. I could barely call Daddy and get the words out so he could understand me. We knew you were going to be ours- we knew God had already told us that. But how it made my heart leap when I received word that your sweet face had been moved to a page that shouted to the whole world- "THERE HE IS, HE'S GONNA BE A PUTZ!!"...I know... you'll get used to it- I did :)....Yes, you are going to be graced with a strong German last name that no one will ever pronounce correctly as long as you live. It's all good though Sweet of my Heart. It's all good.
I'm getting ready for your first fundraiser to help bring you home. It's on Saturday (July 9, 2011). It's a big huge garage sale. So many people from our community have donated their things to our family to help bring you home. We are so incredibly blessed. Your bedroom is full and I can't see the floor. Daddy's garage is full. We look as though we should be on the show, "Hoarders." (I don't like that show very much, it makes me anxious.) But it's all for you and to get you here to us, where you belong. And we will do whatever it takes to get you home to us, my Love.
It's 1130pm where you are right now. I hope you are already asleep and dreaming of sweet things. So in my best Russian... мы тебя любим
мама и папа   

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011

To our Little Darling,
Happy 4th of July to you, Sweet Little One!
We think of you all day long and speak of you nonstop. We wonder what your hair smells like. We wonder what your voice sounds like. We wonder what your little hands will feel like wrapped around our fingers. We wonder what you like to eat. We wonder how you like to sleep. We wonder if you do sleep!? (Your big brother has his moments of not wanting to.) Do you like to take a bath? Do you like having your head rubbed when you're tired? Do you like to be sung to? Do you get to feel warm sunlight on your precious face and if you do, do you close your eyes and soak it in? Do your teeth chatter when you're cold? Will like your new pets, Monster and Two? Will you like being a little brother? Will you like going running with us? Will you like to go swimming and let your little muscles be free? Will you get mad at us when we are doing therapy with you...uh- who are we kiddin' of course you will. :) Do you like to be tickled and if you do, where are your tickle spots? How will you want your bedroom to look? Will you let us snuggle you up late at night and drift off to sleep in our arms? Do you like to be read to? Do you like music? Will you fall asleep in the car like Mommy or will you stay wide awake like Daddy? Will you talk yourself to sleep everynight so we can soak in your sweet voice? Will you smile when you see us? What secret conversations are you going to have with your big brother and what secret plans are you two going to concoct? Will you like it when Monster wants to lick your toes and lie in your lap every morning before school? Will you fall in love with us the way we have fallen in love with you?
You don't know yet that you have a Mommy, Daddy, and Big Brother waiting for you. You don't know yet that we are so very much in love with you. You haven't seen us, but we've seen you. We look at your picture and talk to you everyday. We dream about what life will be like when you're finally home, where you belong. We dream about showing  you everything. We dream about loving you and calling you ours forever and ever. We pray that Jesus would protect you and tell you about us. We pray that He would wrap  you up in His arms and whisper, Mommy and Daddy are coming to take over soon! We pray that Jesus would bring your sweet little body peace and comfort. We so love you Anthony. You are already apart of our family. You are already apart of our hearts.
It's 4:30am right now where you are. Sweet dreams Little One. We will see you soon.
Loving and missing  you!
Mommy, Daddy, Anthony, Monster, and Two