Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Update 10-11-11

Wow time flies when you are having fun! I know I am horrible at updating the blog, I am trying to get better at that though. Yes I know I keep saying that but all I can do is try right?

So anyway I know you don't care about our lack of blogging habits, you want to know how things have been going. Both girls arrived safely and were not too culture shocked. Overall the last 2 and a half months have been good. The girls have adjusted well and are making friends. We are still adjusting some while learning how to handle two teenage girls. I know one thing is for sure... they both love Skype! One thing they could not get over is how much people here in America text message. Nina said in Germany if someone wants to send a short message it goes as an email, otherwise they get a phone call. I guess that is how our culture has migrated over the past decade.

I think both girls are getting "Americanized" to a point. Just the other day while sitting at a local eating establishment, Cindy looks at her glass and said "When I first got here to America I thought to myself 'how can you drink all this drink', but now here I am on my second glass. I don't know how I will handle it when I get home!". We all just laughed. Both girls always order their drinks without ice, which we thought was odd but that's just how they do it.

For the most part one of our biggest concerns, dress, has not been too much of an issue. There have been a few times when we would have rather had a change occur though. Now that it is getting colder it isn't as much of an issue though. As for our rules, the girls have both been respecting of them. This is a major change from the other student. They actually WANT to help out around the house. One night both Nina and Cindy cooked supper for us. That was a treat. Both girls also don't mind going to church. That was a blessing as our last student refused to go.

Our little miracle, Carl, turned two the other day. We had his party at the Ag museum this time. That was interesting in and of itself! One of our great friends did the cake and boy was it AWESOME and goooooood. She made the inside look like cow print and the outside was all barn yard themed with a barn on top and such. Carl had a great time as did we. Although we were exhausted!

I would be amiss if I did not mention this part though. A few weeks ago, one of our dear friends came up to Tasha and I and said that their facilitator in Ukraine had a sibling group that he wanted to pass our way. We don't know much about them other than the oldest is somewhere around 8 or 9 years old. We are trying to get more details and are praying if this is the ones that God has for us. We still feel the call to adopt but we are waiting on God to point out exactly who and when.

That's it for now. We will do our best to keep on top of the blog though. ;)

Donny and Tasha

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The girls are on their way!!!

Well our first exchange student for this year will be arriving tomorrow. Her "American name" is Cindy. We have nearly everything ready to go. Although there are still a few loose ends so I am taking off work tomorrow to get those done. We can't wait to meet her. She will be our first of two we are hosting this school year. Cindy comes to us from Taiwan.

Our next student will be here next Saturday. Her name is Nina. She comes to us from Germany. She will be flying to New York on Aug 2 for an "orientation camp" then will be with us on Aug 6.

Please pray for safe travels for both girls and that they will make many friends that will be good influences on them. Also continue to pray for our families for understanding and support in this that God has called us to. It is a great undertaking and many people have asked us if we are sure we know what we are doing. When asked that, I simply look them in the eye and say "YES, I am doing what God has called me to do". Part of me wants to ask them if they are doing the same or running from Him. It would be interesting to see their reactions.

That is about it for now. We will update the blog as much as we can. Be sure to keep a lookout for updates.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

God's in control

To be honest we have put off posing this for a bit. But in the end it is better to do what God says do than try to find your own way around it. That is what has kept us going recently, the small still voice telling us it will be ok as long as you remember to give God the reigns.

With all that said, in our last post we were not sure if we were going to be able to keep the two exchange students that we signed up for back in February or not. God has proven to us time and again recently that He has our back and as long as we stay in His will all will work out for the good. So to the possible dismay of some of our family we have decided to do exactly that what God has called us to do, take in these young people and love on them as though they were our own.

We are not posting this to be arrogant or spiteful. We love our families and understand their concerns. However, we ask that they try to understand our perspective and interpretation of God's calling on our lives. We have prayed and sought His will on this and every where we turn it is confirmed that this is what we are to do. We are praying that our families will understand that this is what we feel God calling us to do and accept it and walk with us through it. It is not the easy way out as some would want, but rather the hard way that sometimes we are called to follow. We ask that you, the reader, please pray with us for understanding and provision.

With all that said, the girls will be here within two weeks. We still have some cleaning and reorganizing to do but it shouldn't be too bad. Though cleaning is a never ending battle at our house. Guess what we will be doing this weekend? :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Time flies

Well I got chewed out again this past Saturday for not updating the blog. There is alot going on in our lives but not so much on the adoption front. So here is an update. lol

The family that is getting Katia is in Ukraine and will be coming home in the next week or so from what I read. I am so glad she did not reject them like we thought she may. I praise God daily that she will have a forever family.

Some have asked if we still intend on adopting. The call is still there for sure. We are having to work through some tough financial issues right now though. We couldn't bring another child, or children, into our home with the way things have been recently. We are working hard to get things straight and that has led me to start another blog so maybe others can learn from our journey on the financial side.

As for the exchange student front, Miro went home at the end of last month. He really started to come out of his shell toward the end and it was more mutually enjoyable. As for the two girls we have signed up to host this coming school year, that may be on hold. We really don't want to turn them away but again it goes to the financial issues as stated above.

I have started working with my dad and his lawn care business after I get off work. However the problem is with the recent dry spell and the horrible heat the grass just is not growing like it was. As I type this it is nice and black outside with rain and it is supposed to rain for the next few days on and off. We really need it. Just seems like every time we start to do better something happens or someone takes advantage of our kindness and we end up worse than we started. I have been praying for Gods guidance on what we are to do and look forward to the coming breakthrough!

That is about all I have for right now. It is just hard to write about all this and not get somewhat depressed. I don't want this to be a pitty party or anything like that so I need to go take me some happy medicine and come back. :)

Donny

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't miss the little things

So far today God has revealed so much to me... and I JUST got to work! To start out, when I was putting my socks and shoes on I dropped one of my socks. Immediately God spoke to me and said "don't miss the little things... they make a big difference". So my mind went with that and I started thinking how that split second it takes to bend over and pick up the sock could translate into life changing events later.

For instance, lets say that it took me one more second to pick up the sock and put it on. So now my day is "1 second" behind where it was. That one second could mean that I missed a green light on the way to work that put me out of harms way from a horrible accident on the interstate. It could also mean that God was slowing me down to put me in just the right place at just the right time. The latter is what I have experienced this morning.

I left for work about my normal time this morning. Since traffic was light I took the interstate and took my time. Once I got there I went to put my keys in my pocket, when I realized I still had the van keys in my pocket! We only have one set of keys for the van so I knew I had to take them back home so Tasha would not be without a vehicle. So I head back. In my mind I was grumbling about it, as I had already forgotten the word from God earlier. Well on the way Francesca Battistelli's song "this is the stuff" came on the radio. A song about small things that annoy us but we must trust that God has good in store for us. My thoughts started turning back toward what was spoken earlier. I make it to the house and drop the keys off and head back out to work. At the red light just before the interstate I notice this guy in an older truck in front of me. Most people would just overlook him but being that I have owned "old trucks" and the like I realized his dilemma...his defroster was not working as is the case in a lot of older vehicles. Anyone that has had a similar problem knows that it is hard to see out the windshield and you have to roll down the windows to see out the side mirrors. So the light turns green and we go. Once we hit the interstate I see he is having a hard time seeing if he can get over being that his windows are fogged and the sun was blasting from the back. Then it clicked... I had to forget the van keys in my pocket, not notice it till I got to work, and had to take them back home all because God knew that I would understand this guys problem. So I merged over but hung back so he could come over also. He realized that I was letting him over and he made it safely into the travel lane. If I had not realized what God was saying I probably would have done just like everyone else and just blown past him at the first chance I got. I thank the Lord that He opened my eyes and my heart to realize what He was saying. I know that guy will probably never know my side of the story and that is ok. I just pray that his day is just a little brighter because "that person let me over in traffic". I can tell you it made a huge difference in my day.

So I challenge each and every one of you to stop and think about what God may be trying to tell you when there is a "set back" in anything you are doing. No matter if it is you dropped your sock, you forgot the van keys in your pocket, or you can't get that flight you want. In the end He is in control and it is best that way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feb 10, 2011

Where to start.... How about here: Flowers new family... After a few connections were made, we were able to find the family that filed the I-600 on Flower. We got in touch with them to verify they were going for her and sent them the pictures we had of her already. They seem to be a very nice family and we are confident she will be happy. We still pray for her and them daily. They plan to be traveling around March or so. So please keep them in your prayers as they finalize all the paperwork.

On the exchange student front, Tasha received an email from one of the girls we signed up to host in the fall yesterday. She is very excited to be coming to America and looks forward to having "a little brother".  She asked a few questions about us and such basically being inquisitive as anyone going to a new country would be.

Today is Miro's (our current exchange student) birthday. I know it has to be hard having a birthday away from your family and friends. I just wish we could afford to do something for him, even a cake would be cool.

So this marks the SECOND time in a month that work has been closed till noon due to bad weather and I have come in at 7:20 anyways because I didn't get the notice. Last week was because my supervisor did not call and I only got the email once I was here at work. This time I came on in to work as did she because we both misunderstood what the governor said about state agency closings. Guess it is time to break out the map when he says "all agencies north of....are closed until noon". At least I get some quiet time that I can get work done without interruptions.

That should do it for now.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Flower has a home

I received bittersweet news Saturday. One of our good friends called and told us there is certain proof that there is a family going to adopt Flower. The family is almost done with their dossier and will be traveling in the spring they hope. Tasha and I are glad she will have a forever family. Still part of us is saddened that it was not us. We know that there is a reason and we may not know it this side of heaven. Maybe one day we can still meet her. I do know that we will still be praying for her daily.

On another note, please be in prayer for our friends JC and Ashley. They leave for Ukraine to go adopt their daughter in FOUR DAYS! They still have a need for some major financial blessings. So anyone that reads this blog and is able to help, please visit their blog http://fumia.blogspot.com for donation details.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A visitor from Slovakia

I must say this one caught us off guard a bit. Guess it is best I start at the beginning. On January 1, 2011, after a long day of driving back from Winter RAMP in Chattanooga, TN, I sat in the recliner rocking Carl to sleep. As is my custom I took my phone and checked what everyone was saying on facebook. Just a few seconds before I pulled up the app, our friend Eric had posted that he needed a host family for a foreign exchange student. The post spoke to me, I now know it was God though, so I messaged him for details. Turns out that the original host family had to back out due to health issues and this student had no where to go. They had to find him a host family ASAP as school started back on January 3. Not realizing the time frame I told Eric I would talk to Tasha about it and we would pray about it. Tasha was already in the bed passed out by this time. The ride wore us all out. Eric then messaged that he had to know by tomorrow, January 2! I was floored to say the least. I mean at this point we had just got back in town and the house was a wreck, the spare bedroom was still a kids playroom, we had nowhere to put anyone.... But God...

So the following morning I told Tasha about the message exchange with Eric and we prayed about it. We both felt God was saying DO IT but then our flesh kicked in: we don't know this kid, how will we afford it, what if..... and the list goes on. Well, when God tells you to do something you had better do it. A wise man once said, "If you don't do what God called you to, there is a void created in the Kingdom". I do not want to cause a void. So after church we went out to Vicksburg to see Papa's grave. On the way there I called Eric and told him what we felt led to do. He was happy. At this point all we knew was the student was from Slovakia, his name is Miro (shortened/americanized version), he is 16/17, and will be here till June. We still did not have a room clean and had no idea about how this all worked. Once we came home from Vicksburg the mad dash of cleaning began. Thank God I had Monday off of work also. We were able to get the room habitable before he arrived.

Eric arrived about 8:30pm Monday night with Miro. He was exhausted from all the driving they had done that day. He started in Nashville, went to Tuscaloosa, AL, then to Pearl where we live. First impressions were good. He was kind of quiet that night but who wouldn't be after all that riding and meeting a new family. We had tons of paperwork to fill out so I showed Miro his room so he could get settled in. We ran over some basics with Eric and finally got done about 10pm. The next day was packed full of stuff to get Miro registered in the local school system.

So far things are going as well as can be expected. He is adjusting well I think. Although he is a typical teen boy: eating constantly, has issues with authority, and would stay locked in his room 24/7 if we would let him. At least he keeps his room clean. We have learned quite alot about his part of the world. Like there is no more Czechoslovakia... it is the Czech Republic and Slovakia, two separate nations. 

The funniest thing that has happened thus far has to be the gifts his parents sent for his host family. One evening right before I headed to bed he comes to me and says, "My mom sent this for my host family" and hands me a book on Slovakia in English of course. Then he says "I not sure you like the other part, but here goes...." and he hands me a bottle of "Plum distillate...52% alcohol". I laughed and thanked him for the gifts. It is the thought that counts really. I am still reading the book but the bottle I gave to a friend that may can find dome culinary use for it.

That should do it for now. I will try to post more tomorrow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A long time coming

I know it has been quite a while since our last update... THREE months to be exact. I think those that follow our blog had almost given up on us posting an update. To be totally honest, so had I. So much has been going on in our lives since the last post that it would take forever to catch up. With that in mind I will do my best to break it down over the next few posts. So bear with me as I post it up.


To start out, I will pick up where our last post left off. We did not get the money needed to file the I-600 in time. After posting the last post we received a few emails. Some positive, some not so much. I guess that is to be expected though. We still pray daily for Flower for her safety and the family that is supposed to be getting her. As of New Years day she had not heard anything about someone coming for her. That troubled me greatly. It kind of made me think that those that told us she has a family coming for her were not being completely honest. Although, I know that many MANY things could have come up and delayed them. I just pray that she gets the loving family that she needs and deserves. If they do fall through there may still be a way for us to adopt her but that will have to wait for another post.

Now to jump around a bit. Some of our good friends that adopted two lovely young ladies from Ukraine last year told us they had been having dreams and wanted to show us some pictures. The dreams were of the children (yes CHILDREN) we had adopted from the same region they had adopted from in Ukraine. This is not #4 but a different place. So after many tries to get together, we got the pictures and prayed over them. Our hearts break every time we look at the pictures and think "why can't we take them all and love on them....". With that there were two sets of sisters that stood out to us. One set is a set of 4 sisters ranging from 11 to nearly 16 while the other is two sisters age 10 and 12. We are still praying through that decision but we know that God has called us to adopt. Just not 100% sure which one(s)... yet. :)

There is so much more to say. That will have to wait for another post. (see I now know how to keep people coming back hehe)

Donny

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Need serious prayer

We need some serious prayer on a few fronts. Both deal with our adoption. One is our social worker and the other is a miracle that may be released in regards to our daughter.

First off, this past Friday I found out that our social worker and her husband were in a bad car wreck. The car caught fire. She is in the hospital still and will be wearing a halo for at least 12 weeks. Her husband is ok from what I understand. God was in that car that day. Not only the saving of two lives, but our friends, the Fumias, paperwork was in the car during the wreck. Not the copies, but the originals that go to Ukraine! And rememer the car caught fire, and the papers didn't get taken out until 3 DAYS LATER! God protected the papers and they are on their way to USCIS. Praise God! One bad thing is this will delay our homestudy being completed due to our social worker healing. Please be in constant prayer for her and her healing. Her name is Elanor.

On other news, we may still be able to get Flower (to borrow a name from some good friends, to protect the innocent)! It is still up in the air but God has opened doors that may allow us to still get her. However we need to file the I-600 before FRIDAY! Her birthday is Saturday. So we are praying God will lay it on peoples hearts to donate, or just "do what he does" and blow us away. We need about $830 for the I-600 and federal background checks that go with it. I am going to call USCIS tomorrow to make sure of a few things, but I think the paperwork may need to be sent by Wednesday at the latest. That is a very short time frame but with God anything is possible. Tasha and I are praying and trusting that God will provide.

In light of this, we are asking that you prayerfully consider donating. Any amount will be helpful to bring our daughter home. If everyone that read this blog gave $5 we would have almost all the I-600 fee. If everyone gave $10 we would be much farther toward the goal of bringing our daughter home. We personally know times are tough. But we also know first hand that God blesses the givers and that HE is Lord over it all. After tithing, would you prayerfully consider helping to bring one (or more) of Gods children home.

May God bless you,

Donny and Tasha
Sent via Donny's BlackBerry Torch