Monday, August 27, 2007


Nightlight Christian Adoptions is the agency we have gone through to adopt all our children, Joey and Daniel from Russia and now Hannah from Kyrgyzstan. They have been so wonderful to work with and we feel so thankful God led us to them in the first place.

It all started when I attended their adoption seminar back in the mid '90s. I didn't necessarily feel any strong feelings about adopting but I went anyway. During the break Ron Stoddart, the director, put a video on of children in orphanages in Russia. Suddenly I felt such a strong emotion and call from God to go in that direction. I was so blessed to feel like the Lord had a purpose and a plan for our lives to adopt.

So here we are ten years later with a sweet blessed family, more than we could have ever imagined would be possible. The Lord has been so very faithful and good to us. We are so thankful.

The pictures above are from Friday, August 17th when we went down to see all the folks at Nightlight, to have them meet Hannah and see the boys, to thank them in person and to have the kids put their handprints on their wall. Each child adopted through their agency has done this and we hadn't taken the kids to this new office yet to leave their mark.

Thank you Ron, Linda, Jody, Julia and Rhonda and everyone else who has worked so hard to help children find their forever families. You have been God's instruments in our lives and have rescued so many children! We love you!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Our Southern California Girl!

We just got home from a week down at the beach with my mom. It was such a great bonding time for us all! Hannah's in love with her daddy! They got alot of time together and it really warmed my heart to see her so contented in his arms.

We went to Disneyland one evening and while watching a performance of the some of the songs from the new High School Musical Hannah almost jumped out of my arms to dance to the music. She is so funny how she rocks back and forth and sings! We've got a little performer!

It was so amazing to be down in Balboa, where we already have so many family memories taking long walks on the boardwalk, hanging out at the beach all day and making our nightly treck to the Fun Zone for Balboa Bars with our sweet baby girl. I just kept thinking of where she was three weeks ago and now look at her! From Bishkek to the sunny shores of Southern California! Wow!

Life is good!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We are so blessed!

Well we've been home close to three weeks and all is well. It has definitely been an adjustment! I had forgotten how much work this is! It's so surreal to be back in the baby mode, with everything that comes with it. I get stopped in stores by old ladies, I have a smushed nutrigrain bar at the bottom of my purse, spilled juice on the seat in the van, crushed cheerios on the kitchen floor, the smell of baby lotion on my hands and I'm tired. But I am oh so happy.

Oh, and I had forgotten how hard making dinner can be with a baby on the hip! I am learning all over again how to do everything with one hand!

She is just so precious. Everyday I get a new glimspe of her personality that truly amazes me. And it's so fun to have a girl! I took her in with me to get my hair cut and she just sat on my lap as happy and content as can be. All the ladies ooohed and aahed over her. I could've never done that with my active boys.

She has been making tremendous gains and we are so delighted at every little thing she accomplishes. She can play peek-a-boo, blow kisses, wave bye-bye, and the other day she said "Mama". She hasn't said it since but I am so excited. The boys first babbles were "Da da da da" which naturally led them to say "Dada" before "Mama". Her babbles are "Ma ma ma ma" so I am so happy that one of my children will say my name first!

Everyday she seems to be coming more and more out of her shell. She is definitely exerting her little will and we welcome that. She fights me when I change her diaper, one day she'll eat everything, the next almost nothing, she arched her back today when I put her in her car seat and she fusses when she wants something from me, usually my cell phone or my keys or a credit card! Uh Oh! Then she just smiles up at me and melts my heart. Yes, she is a typical toddler!

I had no idea I could fall in love so easily!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sleep, glorious sleep!

I have three friends who specifically have prayed for Hannah's sleep. Well, I am so happy to report that she has been a fabulous sleeper!!! This is huge! We are all doing so well on account of this. She and I have recovered really well from jet lag and are on a great consistant sleep schedule! I really consider this nothing short of a miracle. Thank you sweet friends for your powerful intercession!

Well, we have been home a week and it still all feels like a dream. We are doing WELL! Yeasterday we took one of our first excersions out to Target and on the way I played a Disney CD and we were blown away to hear her singing! With a very sweet soft voice she followed along to "Under the Sea" with a "yaaaaaaaah...yaaaaaaaah....yaaaaaaahhh..." It was so cute.

She is absolutely amazing, this little wonder. She snuggles up to me as though I have always been her mama. She throws things down on the ground and just laughs and laughs and waits for us to pick it up and give it back to her to only be thrown down again!

She loves her bumper jumper and we couldn't be more pleased at the way she is excercising her little legs. We are seeing so much progress with her motor development and with her eating. She is so happy and loves being with the family and is really disappointed when we have to remove her from all the fun to put her down for her nap. She fusses for a bit but then once she gets those fingers in her mouth she is good to go.

What a blessing to have a baby in the house again! This has truly been a dream come true!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Home at Last!

Oh how sweet it is to be home! Thank you to everyone who prayed for us with these long flights. We sure felt covered. Hannah was so charming and I felt like the time holding her for so long really bonded us together in a special way. She was so cute and interactive with everyone on the flight to London and on the ten hour flight to LAX she slept for five hours!

We had such a wonderful homecoming with many dear friends and family waiting for us at the airport. I just cried when I saw everyone, especially my boys (all three of them!)

The highlight so far of being home have been seeing how sweet the boys are with her. They adore her and are hovering over her all day. We've spent the day feeding her, changing her, bathing her, putting her in her walker, jumper, highchair and swing and basically just watching her every move and finding delight in every detail of her little personality.

Bob and I spent some time this morning thanking the Lord for the many miracles from this whole experience. The list is so long of the many ways He provided. We also thanked Him for each of you, for your many prayers and support throughout all of this. We just feel so grateful.

Now, the real adventure begins!!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I write this at the end of a very long and exhausting stressful day and with tears in my eyes I can say all ended well! Our paperwork was processed and we are going home! I will give more details later but must get Hannah down and pack up and get to bed! We leave at 6:15 a.m. tomorrow for the long flight to London. Blessings to all of you who prayed! I so appreciated getting the comments from dear friends and new acqaintances rooting for us on the other side of the world!

The pictures above are of a beautiful Russian Orthodox church we visited today and also of us with another couple we have been traveling with on this adventure!


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Out and About

Well we made it to Almaty, Kazakhstan! We left Bishkek this morning at 4:40 a.m. to cross the border in the early morning hours to miss the crowds. It felt so adventurous and thankfully we crossed without a hitch. These countries are so rich with ancient history you could just feel it as we drove through the countryside watching the sunrise and picturing the travelers along the Silk Road.

We arrived in Almaty and went straight to the SOS Medical Clinic for Hannah's exam. She suffered through alot of poking and prodding but it all went went very smoothly. After that we went to the US Embassy to take all of our official paperwork. It was proving to be a very long day.

The day got increasingly longer when we got a call from the embassy saying that there was a problem with the paperwork. I had to return there with the coordinator and we heard first hand about a pretty serious problem with it regarding needing Bob's signature to be in person. We pleaded with them for mercy, basically, and were told we will have to find out tomorrow if the consulate chooses to accept or not. I am choosing to be vague about the details but really need prayer! Please pray the consulate with choose to accept without making us have a huge delay in the process...

We are now resting at our new hotel in Almaty. The good news about today is that I fell so completely in love with this little baby doll I can't get over it! She is an absolute dream to love on! She was such a trooper with all the travel and she charmed us with her sweet smile and little laugh. Heaven!