So, we are leaving for the first trip to Russia in a day and a half! I can't believe it.....after 2 years of waiting this has happened so fast. I feel so completely unprepared & a HUGE mix of emotions right now. I know a lot of this emotional roller coaster comes from not getting enough sleep in the last 2 weeks, the stress of planning a trip to the other side of the world with just 10 days notice, & getting 3 kids & 2 dogs taken care of here at home. Our biggest catastrophe has been getting our Russian travel visas in time. After a big mistake by UPS & then having to pay a lot of extra money for 2 day processing service, they will be here with our passports tomorrow. Nothing like the last minute!
The kids are excited things are finally happening to get their new brother, but a little disappointed & sad it didn't work out for them to go with us. They will be well taken care of & have a great time with family & friends while we are gone. The girls have been showing some anxiety in their behavior, but I know they'll be okay. We're trying to take some moments in the busyness to give them extra attention. Yesterday, the girls & I had a hot chocolate tea party in our pj's. It was much needed for all 3 of us! Ben is a very mature 9 year old (almost 10 year old)& he amazes me at how well he understands what's going on right now. He is such a blessing & is looking forward to making the numbers even in the house with another boy! He is going to be a FANTASTIC big brother & all ready has plans to get his new brother on a baseball feild as soon as possible :)
We are mostly packed...it's in the 20's & 30's in Russia which is going to be quite cold for us southern Californians. I was at least able to pack all of the warm clothes in advance :) Thanks to some friends we have almost 2 suitcases full of donations for the orphange! Crib sheets, blankets, new shoes, clothes, hats....and Andrew's mom knitted some sweaters & hats as well. We are so grateful we get to bless all of the children in the orphanage in a small way.
We are ready to meet our little guy, but it's really hitting us how hard it will be next Friday when we leave Russia without him. I keep telling my self to focus on the time we get to spend with him, but as a mom I have no idea how I am going to get through 2 months of being separated from him. I'm having a really hard time with that, but I am armed with waterproof mascara & lots of kleenex :)
Thank you to everyone who has supported us & prayed for us! Please keep it coming! Here are specific ways to pray as of now....
1. Protection & safety on our trip.
2. Bonding with our son. Our emotions as we have to leave him there at the end of this trip.
3. For the kids & their babysitters.
4. USCIS to process & send our renewal. We NEED this when we get home so we can ship our court documents & get our court date for trip #2.
5. FBI fingerprint clearance letters to get here ASAP, too. We need these for trip #2 as well.
6. Finances-we know this is a continuous prayer request for our adoption. We have gone through trip #2 expenses & what we still have as resources. We are short several thousand dollars to be blunt. It's hard to see past this huge obstacle, but know we have to trust that God all ready knows how he's going to provide. God is bigger than money-PERIOD! If you feel led to help us out, you can send your tax-deductable donation to our fundraising account with Lifesong for Orphans. We are so grateful for the people who have all ready given & for those of you who are led to give now.
7. For us to get the rest of our court docs together quickly when we get home. The sooner they get to Russia, the sooner we get our court date, the sooner we go back to get our son!
8. For all of the details for trip #2 to come together just like they have for trip #1.
Thank you again to everyone who is following our journey! We are so incredibly grateful for the prayers & support. We still can't believe God called our family to do this....that he made this special little boy to be a part of us. I have had so many moments where I have felt so unworthy of this gift & that God is using us to change a small part of the world. It's very humbling. We will post updates about our trip & pictures of the sights & snow. Sorry, but no posting pictures of baby on this trip :( You'll all have to wait to see his sweet little face when we are officially his parents. Thanks again.....we are almost there!