Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Did You Know...
Thursday, February 26, 2009
***And just in case you are wondering, Russia currently has between 700,000 to 1,000,000 kids currently living as orphans. Each trip in the orphanage makes us wish that we could bring more home and since we are unable to right now let us take a moment to encourage any person reading this "amazing" blog (just kidding) to consider an adoption from Russia. We would love to have the chance to tell you all about the countless reasons why Russia would be a wonderful place to add to your family. The kids are so beautiful...
When we arrived at the orphanage Bryce was already waiting for us and he started with a few tears for just a couple of minutes then he was amazing for the remaining 2 hours and 20 minutes. The challenge is that the room has kids in it coming and going with caregivers and these are the only people he knows. We only speak a few russian words and look very different from many of the people he is used to and so that makes it tough for him. I pray for his heart each day that God would protect him from the stress of leaving all that he has known and come live with us.
Bryce is very smart and extremly inquisitive. He wants to understand everything. He sat on our laps for most of the time and just likes being held. We did spill a huge container of kids puffs as he would not let go of them. Very funny.
We love you and are so thankful for each of you.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
- Julia was ready to leave to go to dinner and take pictures by the ice sculptors in a short sleeve t-shirt. Cindy replied "Julia, a t-shirt is NOT going to cut it. We are in the middle of Siberia" It was a very funny moment.
- We had the chance to go the orphanage again today and it was amazing! Our little guy (I call him my little man) started our time crying but quickly came around and we left with the most amazing highlights that you can only dream of...
- He looked at a truck and called it the Russian name "machina" and then we repeated the English word "truck. He responded truck. This was his first English word. We all were amazed that from then on he would call it a truck.
- Most amazing to us was the second word he said in English...JULIA! We are working with him to learn our names to call us and when we said that Julia was his systra and her name is Julia he responded Jula...And did it several times. Needless to say having Bryce say Julias name has made a lasting impression on her and exactly what she needed. Bryce also knows Cindy as MuMah and Billy as PaPuh. He would take his apple puffs and feed each of us one at a time as we called out our name. It was so neat as he would not do this in June.
We are learning so much about each other, the power of Gods mighty hand each day, Bryce and the desire to adopt. Bryce has snuggled with each of us and is so full of life. Our international adoption doctor told us that he is the healthiest boy she has seen come out of an orphanage and he is very smart and is full of life. He loves trucks, balls and all of the fun boy things and I tried to get him to say Go Eagles and we are still working on it. With Cindy being a Giants fan we must start early.
We have meet several families here for adoption as well and we have been spending time with a family here for "higher purposes" that we know through friends. It has been great to get a tour of the city and learn so much about Krasnoyarsk
We wish each of you a great day in the Lord!
Billy, Cindy, Julia and BRYCE!!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We spent time doing Julia's school work and I spent time working on several Habitat for Humanity projects in the morning and then we took Julia sledding on the man made ice sculpture and Julia really enjoys this a lot.
Monday, February 23, 2009
We got ready this morning and meet our adoption team (Go Yelena and Sergey) and headed to the orphanage. It is located about 60 minutes from our hotel and with today being "Defenders of the Fatherland" Day the traffic was light.
We arrived at the orphanage and it was very queit...We actually thought to queit. We waited for about 10 minutes and out little man came walking thruogh the door. He looked so cute and he came over to Billy and sat right on his lap...Then the crying started. He cried for the first 45 minutes as we played with him and we tried everything to settle him down. We actually found out that this is a VERY GOOD thing as he has leanred the unique ability to attach to adults. We are glad for this.
Let me just say that he is one active and strong little boy. (Our neighbor Dave has said to me on several occasions that he cant wait to see Bryce outside playing soccer and for the first time to day I could truely see this)After this crying time Bryce settled down nicely and we read Brown Bear Brown Bear Who Do You See atleast 20 times and Julia ate animal crackers with him. I rubbed his long hair for the longest time and he sat so close to us. Bryce then began to open up and play with a lot of different toys and we did etch a sketch, blocks, cars, balls etc. It wasos much fun and suchm a blessing to be with him. Towards the end of the 2 hour time our driver asked Bryce who Mu-Mah was and he pointed to Cindy. He then asekd him who pu-pah is and he pointed tot me and he then asked who his sistra was and he pointed to Julia. He is such a blessing for us...
We had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and played some Uno. Soon it will be night night time. Tomorrow is the BIG DAY with court at 4:30pm Russia time(4:30a PA time) and this iswhen they ask us a lot of questions and decide if we are fit to adopt. Would you please pray for this time. We will spend tomorrow preparing for court (we are both a bit nervous) and then it is off.
Thank you again for be a part of this journey in our lives. We are grateful for so many people that have been a part of Bryce coming home. We would love to hear from you...
Billy for the Family
Sunday, February 22, 2009
We were not able to see Bryce today. Our facilitator said we should rest since we have had busy days of traveling. Sergey will pick us up tomorrow at 8:00 am and then we will go see Bryce for the first time on this trip. We cannot wait to see if he will remember us. We are thankful for the opportunity to visit Bryce tomorrow. Monday is a Russian holiday to honor the military men so typically we would not be allowed to go to the orphanage. We have been overwhelmed by God’s little blessings each step of the way!
Our court date is Tuesday at 4:30 pm instead of 10:00 am. Please keep praying for God to move a mighty mountain and allow our 10-day waiting period to be moved. They said it is highly unlikely unless the child you are adopting has a medical emergency and thankfully Bryce does not. We were talking to our missionary friends today and we said Julia will be missing her PSSA’s and that we were going to try to talk to the judge about coming home early for that. She did say that they value children here and education and it is worth a try. We know that God can do all things so please be praying with us. Therefore, when you are all still sound asleep, we will be meeting with the judge and they will decide if we are fit parents for Bryce and hopefully wave the 10 day waiting period. We know God is in Control!
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
- in love
- were going to be parents to a little boy
- what are we doing
- why are we doing this
- THANK YOU GOD!!!!!
We are amazed that God has brought us to this place after close to 5 years of waiting. If you are reading this then you have played a part in our journey and I am reminded of these words that Jim Elliot wrote in 1956...
He is NO FOOL who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!
Thank you for praying for us and for all of the support. The next blog update will be in Russia.
We love you!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
February 18 to March 19, 2009
Wednesday February 18
Leave Newark at 6:10pm for Frankfurt on a Lufthansa flight. We arrive into Frankfurt at 7:50am and then leave for Moscow at 10:35 am and arrive into Moscow at 3:50pm.
Thursday February 19
Check into our hotel in Moscow and crash!!! Moscow is 8 hours ahead! We will have a good friend that lives and serves in Russia with us for the first few days, John McIntosh and we are grateful for him.
Friday February 20
Cindy and I each have a 2 hour physical that costs us $800 each and we have very little examination done. We even bring our own lab results. In the evening we will have dinner with a friend and go to sleep.
Saturday February 21
We will spend the day in Moscow and then leave for Krasnoyarsk at 8:55pm. This is a 5 hour over night flight across 4 time zones. Can you say Amazing Race?
Sunday February 22 (Krasnoyarsk is 12 hours ahead)
We arrive into Krasnoyarsk at 6:00am and we will go directly to the apartment we have been provided for by some friends and missionaries in Krasnoyarsk.
Here is a photo of our apartment looking out at the public skating rink. (Yes, it is in a stadium)
We will spend most of the day resting and getting food for the time in Krasnoyarsk.
Monday February 23
This will be the first day that we have the chance to visit Bryce. We will get a two hour visit and we will also have to file some paperwork with the courts for our court date the next day. We will also drop off all of the clothing we have collected for the orphanage.
Tuesday February 24
HUGE PRAYER DAY…We will have court on this date at 10:00am in front of a Russian judge who will be the person to officially decide the fate of Bryce. It should last 1-2 hours total and lots of questions for us to answer. Pray that the judge will grant us Bryce and we are also praying that she would waive the 10 wait that Russian law has for adoptions. This would allow us to come home 2 weeks earlier than expected.
Wednesday February 25 to Friday February 27
These three days will be 2 hour visits to the orphanage with Bryce and lots of time to be together as a family. We will not have much else to do but wait for the Bryce countdown…
Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1
These are the toughest days for an adopting family. In the 10 day wait they do not allow you to see your child on the weekend. We will spend a lot of quality time together and work at putting together a life book with pictures and stories that Julia will do to tell Bryce the story in picture and word of where we meet him. We plan to go to church with some missionaries that we know in Krasnoyarsk on Sunday and enjoy as much of the -20 F culture we can possibly enjoy.
Monday March 2 to Friday March 6
This is 5 days of visiting Bryce for two hours and enjoying the remaining 22 hours in the middle of Siberia. Two important parts of this week include…
1. Bryce’s first trip outside of the orphanage…EVER! We will go as a family to get his passport and visa picture. Pray that he will enjoy the trip.
2. Bringing closure with the caregivers and people that have looked after Bryce for two years and giving them gifts for taking care of him. The people have loved him to the best of their ability and get paid very little for it. We will also give the orphanage gifts for the children that are not going to a home. (One thing we hear is the need for new socks. If you want to give a gift of socks to the orphanage in socks or money please let us know)
Friday March 6 Part 2
If the judge is feeling kind, she may allow us to come and get Bryce late Friday afternoon. This is the back-up prayer request if she does not allow us to waive the 10 wait. It would be a HUGE blessing to have Bryce for a few days in Krasnoyarsk before we leave for Moscow and then home.
Saturday March 7, Sunday March 8 and Monday March 9
If we must wait until Tuesday March 10th then it will be our second weekend in the middle of Siberia enjoying crisp temperatures and lots of borsch! We plan to take full advantage of the time to really get to know the area Bryce is from and enjoy this time together. We will eat at the California Pizza kitchen (amazing it is in the middle of Siberia) and ice skate/shop/read/sleep etc. Sunday & Monday is a Russian holiday knows as Women’s Day so we will be unable to go to the orphanage on Monday since the whole area will celebrating women. Lucky Cindy!
Tuesday March 10
All families call this GOTCHA DAY! We will get the call to come to the orphanage, change Bryce into Eagles clothing (Billy only can wish this), take a picture and than quickly head out and he will be with us from this point forward. So much to pray for this first day…
- language understanding
- food understanding
- Julia and Bryce and their relationship
Wednesday March 11
This will be our first full day with Bryce and we are very excited about having him all to us. We are so grateful to God for His love and compassion for us and children.
Thursday March 12
This will be one of several challenges as we make the 5 hour flight from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow. Pray for Bryce especially as he will have gone from never leaving the grounds of the orphanage to flying to one of the biggest and most expensive cities in the world.
Friday March 13 to Wednesday March 18
We will enjoy 6 days in Moscow getting Bryce’s passport, visa, medical exam etc. and try to enjoy the sights of one of the great cities of the world.
Thursday March 19 HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We leave Moscow at 7:05am and arrive into Frankfurt at 8:40am. Our flight to Newark departs Frankfurt at 1:15pm and arrives into Newark at 5:20pm. We are flying on Lufthansa and our flight number from Frankfurt to Newark is 402. We should be at the airport in Newark and through customs by 6:00pm.
You can follow our journey and leave messages for us at the following blog site…