Monday, January 27, 2014

God won't give you more than you can handle ...

Yes, interesting quote. I've heard this said to me throughout my life.  When times seemed hopeless really hard, God won't give you more than you can handle right?  But isn't that the point of it? That times can seem hopeless, but some where, some how, you pick yourself up, you find the strength to pull through and move on? Isn't that where your faith comes in and saves you? So what is it about this statement that really works for people?

I did a search on those exact words: God won't give you more than you can handle and this article came up. I read it and I have to agree with it. The truth is, God will give you more than you can handle.

A couple of days ago, my faith was tested. I too was wondering where my faith had gone.  How was I expected to move past this day of despair,  feelings of making a big mistake, regret possibly, that my choices were all wrong, and looking towards the future with no hope, that I could possibly be making the biggest mistake of my life?  I had lost my faith and had nothing positive to say about the situation. How did I get to this place? Was it Satan rearing his ugly head?

Here I am 2 days later and I can think positive about my future. So what was that? A bad day? Depressed day? Hopeless day? Yuck! We all have those days where you just don't feel right, you're down, things don't feel right and life just seems hopeless. I went to church Sunday morning thinking, okay God, give me some faith right now because I feel like I've run out. I'm on "E" and need a full refill.  And I left there thinking, hmmmm I feel the same as when I came in this morning.  Where was my faith? Did God give me more than I could handle? Did I think that just because I was in the house of the Lord that my faith would miraculously be restored?

It took me a few days, but I'm glad to see I still have my faith, I feel positive about the future and I feel like I can deal with it. I feel strong, where as I didn't a few days ago. I felt weak and mentally just checked out for the rest of the day because that was the only direction I could go.  I just could not look towards the future with any positive thoughts. We all have days like that, bad days, feeling beat down, feeling like no matter what you do, it still feels hopeless, like there is no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel and feeling like you just don't have the strength.

By the end of the day I was feeling more like myself again. So what was it that had me thinking positive again? My family. This direct quote from that  article  sums up exactly where my mind was at the end of the day. Thankful for my family that with God's love and my faith in him, we as a family can move forward ... together!

When we become aware that life will give us more than we can handle and come to grips with this, we find a promise: God is faithful to meet us in the mess and in the pain.

But, if we’re honest, even this can seem like a tired old phrase. Because when it really hurts, God can seem so far away. This is where you and I come in. We need each other to move ahead, and we need far more than tired old phrases.
In times when life becomes unmanageable, we need to be willing to walk alongside one another. When we do this, we put flesh and bone on the person of Jesus. We can be with one another in the midst of suffering, helping each other carry the weight. Which means, that we, as the Body of Christ, have an opportunity.
When we are willing to sit in the pain, to walk with one another when life’s path is difficult and to shoulder one another’s burdens when they are too heavy, we become an embodied promise. We become living proof that while life can sometimes be too much, through the goodness of our loving of God displayed within us, we can move forward together.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Here's the deal ...

This is the deal friends and family! :) I'm sorry to keep you peeps in the dark for so long, but I haven't had a clue as to what was going on either.  I don't know what is going to happen in the next 2 weeks, but we have been told to appear in Kiev, Ukraine on Feb 12th for our SDA appointment. That leaves us 2 weeks to finalize travel plans, make arrangements for the kids, and most of all figure out how we're going to come up with the money for our first trip! We kind of put fundraising on hold a while back,  pending our girls decision, which has changed several times over the last few months.  And with her decision being "no" a week ago, we stopped everything thinking it was a no go, that we wouldn't adopt our girl.

But today.  Today, today, today we are forging ahead, not knowing if her "Yes!" we're being told is a final YES. But we've got to forge ahead. What else can we do? I have to know that we tried our best. That we forged ahead. That we did absolutely everything to give this girl a chance and her know that she is worth it! That she knows we love her and will care for her. That she deserves this chance!

Now. Now is the time. There's no more delaying anything. This weekend, we have to finalize our flights to Ukraine. We can not finalize our returning flights because we are not sure when it'll be okay to leave Ukraine. Nothing is for sure over there, nothing! We've been told, expect hiccups. Mike will stay the first week we are both required to stay in Ukraine, then return home. I will stay in Ukraine and finish up anything else that needs it, which at this point I have no idea what will be required after Mike leaves.

We've been told after our first trip, we will return home for about 4 weeks. Then we will return to Ukraine to court, finish up legal stuff, then Mike will once again return home without me. I will stay in Ukraine  for the 10 day waiting period, then T and I will go to Kiev for her exit medical, T's passport, birth certificate and anything else we'll need to get her out of that country. I'm not even sure if I have all that right, where we'll go what we'll do, but for now, it's all I know.

After flights, I need to figure out what our kids are going to do. There's school for Taylor, Mother's Day out for Aiden. Mike will stay gone for a week for both trips, but I will be gone 2 plus weeks for both trips. How is this going to play out? I have no idea. Still wondering about this plan too.

Next, there is the money situation. We were so fortunate enough that Show Hope is giving us a $4000 grant for our adoption, AND, they are gracious enough to get that to our agency in the next week or so for us to carry it on our first trip! Which, is a God send, that's the trip where the most money is needed! AND, that trip is in 2 weeks! Now. How on earth are we going to come up with the rest of the money not to mention money for the flights? I don't know that right now.

So, yes! I have lots of homework to do. And,!! So bare with me friends! This is going to be a wild ride! So far it's been crazy! Ups and downs are not my specialty! I detest them, seriously! But for this girl,

we've got to try! Thanks for all the support, prayers, messages, and posts! Pray for our girl, pray for us, and pray for my family! We appreciate each and every one!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

She has made her choice ...

Tanya is on her way back to Ukraine.  While here, she made a decision. She no longer wants to live in America. She is returning to Ukraine and chooses to live there. We are not adopting her. It was a very hard decision, and I knew she was struggling. I am the one who pushed the adoption ahead, to give Tanya more time to think about the decision she was making and I knew this winter hosting session would be very good for her to see what her life would be like with us. I am so glad we did that. We just want what is best for her.

She still has family in Ukraine, particularly a brother she is very close with. To ask her to leave all she's known would not be fair to her, so we let her make up her own mind without any persuasion on our part. It had to be her decision and know she made her decision on her own. We will keep in contact with her, support her in any way she needs, and love her from across the ocean. She is such a good girl and to watch her leave today was heart breaking. She wants to come back and visit us. Hopefully, we can get her back here this summer. As to what her future holds? I have no idea. But we will be in it, somehow.

Thanks so much for all your support, kind words, love, and hugs! Tanya is a very special girl and I hope we have touched her life the way she has touched ours! I know that Tanya came into our life for a reason. I first thought adoption was her purpose, to join our family.  When I saw her struggling last week, I prayed and asked that she find her inner strength, be brave, and find peace. Little did I know her peace would become my peace. I know now, we came into her life for a reason also. I'm hoping she sees what a special girl she is and that we love her unconditionally!

When people cross our paths in life, we may not know why in the beginning, and we also don't know what path we'll take with them, once they are in our lives.  Tanya entered our lives with a purpose although she did not know it.  She's taught me so much about my relationship with my own children, Taylor and Aiden.  What a revelation she is. What a brave and amazing girl she is, to come from a foreign country, live with total strangers, and hopefully learn a lot about herself in the process.

Although I am saddened and heartbroken, I have to believe in my heart she will be okay. I did tell her if she was ever in danger of being harmed, for her to contact us and we will help her any way we can. She said okay.

Someone had posted a link to this ring on Facebook a while back. When I saw it, I knew Tanya had to have it.

Tanya was so timid, nervous, scared, overwhelmed, and brave, all at the same time when she first arrived in the US this summer. But by the end of the summer, her confidence grew. She rode roller coasters with no fear, laughed until her face turned beat red, and smiled with so much love. What an amazing year to witness. I want Tanya to Love Life and Be Brave! I want her to know she is important to us, that we love her, and she is an amazing young girl! The future is so up in the air for her, but I'm hoping, so much, that when she looks down and sees her ring, she'll know we want her to Love Life and Be Brave that she's worth it and can do anything she sets her mind to! Just Love Life and BE BRAVE Tanya! We love you!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Lots of emotions today. The yard sale is over and I am feeling it this morning, so much that I am skipping church. (bad momma!). I have been working on this yard sale for 2 months now, gathering, sorting, tagging, etc. So many donations and I'm so, so, SO thankful for each and every one!! I planned on taking pictures and documenting each step, but I was literally so busy, I didn't. Lots of running around picking up donations, lots of people dropping them off, and trying to fit my family and home life in between all that. Was not an easy task and I have to say I failed at the "trying to fit my family and home life in between". I didn't even put Halloween decorations up! It was a temporary in my mind so I justified it with that. How do we justify situations like that in our minds? It is justifiable? Chalk it up to another failed attempt at having balance. Ah well, moving on....

Today is Orphan Sunday. Lots of emotions tied to this day, Aiden, Tanya.

I think I'll just leave it at that, it's Orphan Sunday, what a day to remember!

Time to "fall back" too.  Totally forgot about the time change, although Mike did not. Good for him, bad for me. He went to church, I did not (bad momma, again).  I was so, so, SO incredible tired last night and this morning.

We got to the site to start setting up for our fundraiser yard sale at around 6ish. Ehem, close, but not exactly at 6. =) We pulled in, Rhonda and her daughter Ashton pulled in right behind us, next was Mike's dad, then Krissy, a friends daughter, and then Tracey right after that, and then the other Tracy!  Everyone was such a big help to us! And I have to say, I am like a drill sergeant when it comes to organization and setting up for one of these. I have it set up in my mind and I'm a stickler for it following through and seeing it all the way through! Bless these people's heart for helping us and letting me have my way! My friends know how how hard I work to get things organized and I get crazy when those things get out of whack! OCD person, yeah that's me!

After the awesome set up, things were off to a quick start. Krissy took reins over the cash drawer, which was a huge help! I was being asked, "how much for this?" and "how much for that?" "Does this work?" and "will you take this much?" Hagglers.... enough said! LOL Shelley soon showed up when things were on fast track! She jumped right in and was a huge help! Thanks Shelley!! It seemed non stop till after lunch! We kept going through quick downpours of rain, then sun, then another quick downpour.  The people kept coming! By 4:00, our drawer was full, at least half if not more items were gone, and we were tired, so we started packing up. Mike, myself, Mike's dad and my dad were the shut down crew.  It took us at least 2 1/2 hours to pack up the remainder of items, get the canopy down, tables up (we had 22 tables up!) and get everything loaded. I.was.dead.tired. I think we left the lot at around 7 pm maybe?

We were there from before the sun came up till after the sun went down!  It was a 16 hour day, but, so worth it. I was so tired, my body hurt, all my joints ached. I didn't even count the money last night after we got home and unloaded the trucks. I took a warm shower, got Aiden ready for bed. Laid down with him at around 9:30 and was out. I woke sometime in the night, went to my bed and slept until 9:30 the next morning. I felt pretty rough and skipped church, bad momma I know, but I wasn't just tired, I was mentally and physically worn out.

Two months of preparation and planning  for this big event and I have to say, it went very, very well! I could not have expected better! I think that was the reason I didn't really want to count the cash drawer. What if we didn't get close to what I was hoping for? Will it be enough? Did we actually make a lot or just some? All I knew was that I was dead tired and was in no mood for a let down. So, sleep and rest trumped money! I let myself over sleep and rest, I needed it!

All in all, it was a good sale. But I'm glad it's over. Yard sales are hard work, don't let anyone tell you different! As far as the money drawer. Mike counted it, I have yet to touch it and it's now 7:15pm on Sunday night. And as far as the total, Mike said it came to a little over $1800! So yes, the hard work paid off. This will be such a major help to our adoption fund, which was the sole purpose in the fundraiser.

So, thanks to our friends and family for the help! Thanks to all those awesome people that donated items! And, thanks to all those awesome people who came to our sale! We could not have done any of it without you!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The missing piece ...


Who likes puzzles? Who wants to be a part of putting together a puzzle? Who wants to fill a missing piece of a puzzle? Who wants to take part in something wonderful? Who wants to help make something wonderful happen? All it takes is just a click!   Interested???   Then read on.....

See this beautiful girl?

Her name is Tetiana, or Tanya rather. She is a 16 year old orphaned girl we hosted this past summer through an organization called New Horizons For Children  (NHFC).  After bringing her here and her living with us for 5 weeks, we felt our hearts being tugged on real hard by the end of that 5 weeks. Sending her back to Ukraine was the hardest to witness.

Now over 2 months later, we are in the process to adopt her! She is the sweetest, kindest, and most nurturing girl. It's a long process to adopt her, but we are kind of on a time schedule. We sent off our I-600A three days before her 16th birthday, so we literally have six months to complete her adoption and get her home!  This is where you come in!

Six months doesn't give us long to fundraise for her adoption, not to mention we're hosting her again this winter. And let me tell you, she is so excited to come here for Christmas! So we need your help! That's where the puzzle pieces and YOU come in! I have in my possession a 252 piece puzzle that is very unique, just like that girl you see in the picture above. I can't show you the picture of the puzzle until it's completed. So this is where you come in. To complete our puzzle, I will sell a piece of this puzzle for $5 each. Each time a piece is purchased, I will write the name of the person that purchased it, on the back of that puzzle piece. Each time a puzzle piece is purchased, we are one step closer to getting our puzzle put together and getting our girl home.

So, if you'd like to purchase one or more puzzle pieces. Go to this web site.  Here, you can "buy" a piece of the puzzle, while donating to our cause, getting our girl home! Just select the Donate Now button, enter your amount you're donating and how many pieces of the puzzle you'd like to buy and for whom. I will then write the name(s) on the back of the puzzle pieces. Once the puzzle is done, I will have it set between glass and framed. That way, we can always look at our memorable puzzle and what it represents and turn it over to see all the wonderful people that helped make it possible!

So, don't be the missing piece!  Get to clicking people, we don't have much time!! And, I'd like to say, thanks in advance for all the support and prayers along the way! We could not do this without YOU!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thanks, I needed that!

Okay, so life has been somewhat .... uh .... well .... um okay .... really, it's been a whirlwind lately!! Like, totally cray cray!  So I won't bore you with all the chaotic details. Seriously, I'd like you to stick around for a while and at least get through this blog post with me, maybe want to read future posts. Yeah? Maybe? Yeah, I know, get on with it!  =)

Life as I know it, is totally crazy right now. I had no idea how much everything was weighing on me till I went on a "girls" trip this past weekend with my two life long besties! We had planned this trip for a while, like, months ago. So far back, in fact, I had kind of forgotten about it. So the day before we were supposed to fly out, I called my friend and touched base with her. Normally, I'm not a "last minute" kind of gal, I usually plan things out pretty well, but not this time. Too much going on upstairs to even think about our trip. With every thing going on, I almost didn't go. But, I knew I needed a break so I just threw some things in a bag and went with it. If there was something I would need while there, I'd buy it. <---(This is major for me, the OCD queen, plan everything, don't mess with my plan, kind of mama!) Yeah, I was patting myself on the back for that one, totally out of character for me.

My best buds, picked me up at 6 am Saturday morning and we were off. I didn't get much sleep the night before, so I was tired to say the least! Got to the airport, got on the plane, exhausted. Got to our destination, got to the room with this view.

 It was really beautiful to see, hardly anyone there. Really, it was a perfect time to go. Ninety degrees, perfect weather, etc!  We got settled in and went down to the beach. I was so tired, but could not take a nap. Hardly any people on the beach, waves crashing, quiet, breeze blowing, and I couldn't relax.  I didn't realize it at that time, but I was overloaded, bogged down, overwhelmed and couldn't relax and enjoy myself. Just had too much on my mind. I had my book with me so I read some on my book.

I'm not one for reading books. I don't really like to read books, <gasp>  but, this one has not left me alone in over a year. It's been following me and nagging at me that long. So, okay, I'm reading it,  now back to the blog! Oh yeah, so I'm reading on the beach while my two best buds take a nap, lucky! Took a break from reading and put the book down. Was snapped out of my "zone" when one of my friends asked me "what cha thinking about?" Huh? My first thought was "nothing", but that wasn't true. I had all the happenings in the last year or so, plus thoughts of the future running circles in my head. You know the look, the blank stare, in the zone. The "duh" moment when you catch yourself staring at something for an infinite amount of time? Like you need someone to snap their fingers in your face to snap you out of it?!?  I had zoned out completely and I have no idea how long I had "checked out".  

That evening my friends and I fixed ourselves dinner in the room, ate, sat and talked for a long while. I have to say, I love my friends. They are awesome! Supportive,, you name it!  Bless their hearts, they both have a lot on their plates, A LOT I tell you. But they took the time to talk with me, listen to me go on and on about things going on around me, how I'm feeling somewhat helpless in it all, and giving me some insight too. The.Best.Therapy ever! They never once asked me why I wanted to adopt Tanya. Never, ever gave me anything negative at all, only support, help and let me bend their ears, a lot! 

The next morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. I just wanted to lay in bed, and not move, feeling overwhelmed again, but my back was telling me different! So I rolled out of bed, went out on the balcony to view this again.

I took a deep breath, I felt somewhat refreshed. It wasn't till around lunch time that I started to feel somewhat normal again, whatever normal is for me these days. The cloud over and in my head had cleared some and I felt like I could function and actually laugh again. You can't be around Lee Ann and Tracy and not laugh! It's just impossible! We hung out on the beach, hung out at the pool, which we had mostly all to ourselves, check it!

Talked about old memories, fun times in our pasts, everything, laughed, it was so nice! Lee Ann, I don't know how you can remember so much from the past, just amazes me! Love that about you! We stayed out there till dinner time. It was so so SO nice being able to not have a schedule, not have to be somewhere at a certain time, do what we wanted when we wanted, ate when we wanted, went to bed when we wanted, even got up when we wanted ..... ahhhhhhhh. 

We finally went to the room that evening, showered, ordered pizza, fixed salads, and just had good old fashioned "girl" time, i.e. eating, talking, laughing, reminiscing. By then, I was getting back to my normalcy, whatever that is, and enjoying it.  

Thanks Lee Ann and Tracy - you ladies are a God send to me! I don't think I could ever repay you for our "Girl's weekend getaway"! I didn't realize it at the time, but God had a hand in it for sure. You two were brought back into my life for a reason and at a  time when I really needed it. I thank Him every day for the blessings in my life, most of all you two! So thanks to you .... I can move on, with a determination that I can tackle anything, with an open mind that I can handle anything, and with an open heart that will guide me to where I need to be. Love you girls! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Orders of Business ...

I've come to love this lady and her precious family! What an amazing mama and person she is! See her precious little girl with the gorgeous blonde hair?

Growing Wests

She's from Ukraine, like our girl we're adopting. I'll indulge about this awesome lady at a later time. Yeah, she said it best! Here's her blog post. Read it! :)