Wednesday, March 3, 2010

1 year ago today we accepted 2 referrals

This is the one and only picture we have of Macey. We saw this picture one year ago today. We saw the picture and chose her before we met her. We knew we were coming for Marcus and had seen his picture before. Today was our SDA appointment. The official day we had been waiting for. It is the job of the facilitator to have their files there for us when we arrived. I was so glad it was the two children we had requested. Nothing is ever done until it's done. All we knew was there was a little girl, 4 years old with Down syndrome available for adoption. We had no medical history or name. We were elated to have a face with the child we had in our mind. The four of us thought she was so beautiful. We couldn't wait to meet them both.
Usually you accept the referral(s) then have to wait a day to have the paperwork processed. I remember after our appointment our facilitator rushing us out the door, into a parked, black Mercedes and off to the notary to have Macey's paperwork completed. The notary was behind a black door with no name or sign advertising this was indeed the notary office. I felt like we were in a scene from a movie. We drove fast through town, waited while they notarized the necessary documents then back to the SDA office. Jamie, our missionary friend took Taylor and Tanner to McDonald's in the center of Kiev for an ice cream cone. They missed all of the excitement. We were so glad to have Jamie with us. She was a huge help when we needed it most. We were asked to come back that evening by 5pm to pick up the completed referrals for both Marcus and Macey. All of this was done on the same day. We were blessed to have it completed. We knew then that the next day we would make the 8 hour drive south to meet Marcus and Macey. As you can tell this was one of the most exciting times of our lives. We were officially on our way to meet the children God called us to and they didn't even know we were coming.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Today is Marcus' 4th birthday!

Today is Marcus' 4th birthday! This is his 1st birthday as a US citizen and as our son. This day has meant so much to me. I have cherished each little detail today as though I could make up for lost time. I wanted him to know how much we love him and how we wanted to celebrate his life. This has been an amazing year for us. This day last year we had arrived in Ukraine and celebrated his birthday with new friends. Today we celebrated as a family of 6. I knew this day was coming I just wasn't prepared for all the emotions. This was the little guy the Lord so adamantly called us to. I'll never forget the day Wayne chose him. He said, he looks like a Dickinson. From that moment on he was. It took us 6 short months to rescue this little guy. We went through a kitchen fire, Wayne's surgery, stacks of paperwork and approvals not to mention traveling around the world to meet him. It all came flooding back to me today. Today he is mine; Home, loved, safe and wanted. I wish I could just bottle him up. He is truly the sweetest, funniest little character I know. He is full of energy and will hardly sit still for a moment. We have rescued him from the bars of a playpen where his name was probably never spoken with endearment to the freedom of a family who cherishes each milestone he has to offer. I tell you he came home and literally hit the ground running. He learned to walk quickly and was given new sight. He hasn't looked back since. He is full-time - All the time. I wouldn't have it any other way. He is loved by his therapists and cherished by his teachers. We have given him an environment that is safe and secure. He is free to explore the world around him. He has the most beautiful big eyes. He looks in amazement everywhere we go. I am enjoying life through his eyes. The things that tickle him or excite him are the small things, the everyday things. He is a joy to watch grow. As I think back to the very first picture we received and think about who I thought he was, I am thrilled that he has exceeded my expectations. Our family is forever changed because of this little guy. When we said yes to the Lord's calling we had no idea the fulfillment we would receive and the blessings Marcus had to offer.
As I reflect on the years missed I am saddened. I wish I could have given birth to him myself. I wonder if his birth mother was excited and held him tight wishing she could care for him herself. I pray for her today and I know she remembers March 1st as though it were yesterday. I pray a special blessing for her and wish I could thank her myself for giving him life. I'll never be able to be a part of the day he was born. But I can from this day forward be the one to celebrate every birthday and always remind him how wonderfully and beautifully made he is.
I love you little Bubba!

Celebrated Marcus' 3rd b-day in Ukraine

We arrived in Ukraine in time to celebrate Marcus' 3rd birthday on March 1st. Our goal was to meet him by his birthday. I had to keep some kind of goal while getting through the adoption process. We may not have met him quite yet but we did celebrate him with our new friends. After landing in Kiev our first stop was the market so we could buy our meals for a few days. Jamie, Yuri & Sveta picked us up and drove us to get groceries. We picked a cake while we were there. We knew we wanted to celebrate Marcus' birthday. We depended on Jamie to read the labels and communicate for us. She is a missionary from the US who is ministering in Ukraine. We arrived at the guest house and began to prepare dinner. We chose a chocolate cake for dessert. We invited Yuri and his wife Sveta to join us. We sang Happy Birthday to Marcus as though he was there with us. It was a bitter/sweet moment, one I won't forget. As we sang, laughed and celebrated why were were there we enjoyed a piece of cake and some hot tea. It wasn't long before Yuri announced that the cake had liquor in it. I wondered why the cake was so wet and soggy. I just thought it was a Ukraine thing. Anyway, I politely swallowed the piece I already had in my mouth then refrained from eating any more. Taylor and Tanner thought this was the funniest thing. They still bring it up today if we order a cake. They make sure it has no liquor in it. Too funny! I knew his next birthday we would be celebrating it together. Praise God!