Saturday, December 27, 2008

A beautiful Christmas and the countdown...  

This Christmas was an amazing time of celebration of everything my Abba Father has done for me and for all His children. The realization of the precious gift that His son is is even more real to us this year. When this world was in darkness and didn't even know it. When we were fatherless and didn't know what a father was, He worked to claim me as His. What an amazing Father...and amazing Daddy.

We are so blessed to be adopted by our Heavenly Daddy and are blessed to be able to adopt two new sons from Ukraine.

Early in the process, I asked Mary how long she thought it would take for us to feel like the boys were really our and how long it might take us to love them as our flesh and blood. Little did we realize that that would happen before we even met them or laid eyes on them (physically). God has opened our hearts and lives and has melded them to us. Little Matthew is already part of us as though we had conceived and given birth to him. That's incredible and unbelievable to someone who has not experienced it, but it's absolutely true.

When Jonathan was adopted by another family, as painful as that was, we knew God was doing something special. We are now trying to adopt a little boy named Misha. He was transferred from the orphanage where Matthew lives several months ago and is now living in a mental institution for the mentally handicapped. Once again, God has melded this little heart to ours. When we found out we wouldn't be adopting Jonathan, we began praying that God would give us another son or daughter and He immediately placed Misha on our hearts. We decided then and there that we wouldn't not grow so attached to Misha in the even that we would be unable to adopt him. Yeah...right. God has once again opened our hearts to love him. We are going to do everything possible to give him a new name and a new home and a new life.

God has done miraculous things so far and we expect even more amazing things from Him that we cannot at this point imagine.

The countdown is on for our February 16 date with the SDA in Ukraine. We are more than excited and hope the 7 weeks will FLY by as we know they will. We seem to have everything that we know that we need to do done and our bases covered as best we know how. My mom is coming here to stay with the kids for the entire time we're gone (we're staying until we bring the boys home). I've got people to fill in for me at church (I'm a worship pastor). God has provided money for our expenses. Most importantly...God has an amazing plan that He will carry out. We will wait and watch His Mighty Hand!

How can you pray for us now?
1. For God's continued grace in our lives and the lives of our new children as His hand continues to carry out His work.
2. That if we need more money, that He will provide it through whatever means He sees fit.
3. For our preparations to be complete and comprehensive before we leave.
4. That Matthew will be in the orphanage when we get there and that Misha will be available and the director of the institution where he is will show us favor and make it easy to adopt him.
5. That God would miraculously provided a large van for us. "You have not because you ask not."
6. Most of all, that throughout everything that has happened and will happen in this process, that God would GLORIFY HIMSELF and that His name would become even more well known because of what He will do!

Thank you for praying.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We heard from our facilitator today and got our TRAVEL DATE!  We're going to Ukraine to get our boys!!!

Our date is February 16 so we will be leaving the USA on Friday, February 13 so we can be there and at least partially human by that time.  We are SO EXCITED!

One sadness is that the Loux family will be traveling 2 weeks before us and we won't all be together there...but we'll be there for at least 2 weeks together as our trips overlap.

Praise God for everything He has done so far.  Everything isn't exactly as we had or would plan it, but we TRUST HIS HAND and His plan!  We're so grateful He has included us in it.  Thank You, God.

Derek and Renee Loux come home tonight (they're on their way now) so say a quick prayer for them.  They had to leave their boys behind and will go back in a couple of weeks to pick them up.
Our friends the Wayne & Meghan Dickinson are almost through with their dossier so praise God for that!

Our friends John & Tracie Loux are in the final stretch to get ready to go so pray for them for final fund-raising and all the details to work out easily.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Heard...  

We just heard from our facilitator that there is a GOOD PROBABILITY that we will be able to adopt Misha from the institution that he was transferred too!!!  That is SO EXCITING!

We've been gathering things that we need for the trip to the artic!  We bought each other waterproof shoes (really their boots) for Christmas.  I got a warm coat too for Christmas.  We bought a BULK PACK of hand warmers.  We heard throught the grapevine that once again, Ukraine hasn't paid Russia their natural gas bill and the heat/hot water is off in at least parts of the country.  We've also both got Under Armor underwear and shirts...  We're READY for cold.  But if God chooses to send a heat wave, that'll be cool too!

We've bought a few toys for the boys...coats for them, we knitted some hats for them, bought car seats, have their beds set up, working on quilts for them, made fleece throw blankets for them...  Sounds like we're excited, huh???

Praying for God's will and timing!

No news...  

Well... We're ready to buy our plane tickets and get to Ukraine.
But... We're still waiting on our travel date. Sigh. But we are glad
to have confirmation that it's coming!

We are praying that we will be able to rescue Misha from the
institution he was transerred to but we haven't heard any news about
that yet. You can pray with us about that. In the meantime, we are
having an addendum to our home study prepared to include both boys and
girls ages birth through seven with Down syndrome. OUR first choice
is Matthew, of course, and Misha but want to be prepared if God is goi
g to do something different.

We simply want what He wants. My "life verses" that my dad chose for
me when I was a child are Proverbs 3:5&6. Look it up. That's what
the Malones are doing. :-)

Peace and grace.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Why We're Doing This #2  

We travelled back to Kiev wondering what God was up to.  Why did we feel that He had called us to adopt and have a feeling that there was no way we could ever really accomplish it?  Not being able to visit the baby home and the hopeless feeling because of the financial mountain that we would be facing, made us wonder if we even knew what God's voice sounds like.  Could we have missed Him or misunderstood Him? 

We were staying at a man's property in Kiev.  His name is Yuri and he has driven us all around Ukraine over the years.  He has begun construction of a "Guest House" and conference center on his land in Brovary (on the outskirts of Kiev).  We were staying there for the first time.  Later that night, we were all sitting around chatting and just relaxing after our hard day of travel.  Yuri told us (through interpreter) that he understood that we were thinking about adopting a child from Ukraine.  At that point doubts had crept in and we wondered "Would/could God really do this?"  He said, when we come to adopt, he wanted us to come and stay at his guest house and that our money wou
ld be no good (in other words for free).  At that moment, we realized that God had just handed us about $2,500-3,000 toward the adoption.  I was speechless.  He then said many encouraging and uplifting things and said that he had a friend who lived near him that was a lawyer who does international adoptions.  I thought, "Wow!  What a coincidence!" Ha!  It was God bringing confirmation, of course.  I told him that I'd like to communicate with him sometime, maybe get his email address...lo and behold he picked up his cell phone, dialed and handed me the phone.  A couple of seconds later I was talking to this guy (who spoke English).  He shared that we'd probably be able to have a child adopted around the first of the year (I thought, "Right!  You don't know what you're saying...we have tons of money to come up with!")   Later that night, a friend of ours from Ukraine (who was the project leader for "Gift of Adoption" in Ukraine (she worked for CBN)) said that she'd be glad to help with anything she could.  She had handled several international adoptions. 

Suddenly, what only a few hours ago seemed nearly impossible, seemed completely possible through the power of God.  Of course we believe and have faith, but there are times when doubts begin to overshadow what we know to be true.  We knew that God would be the one who would do it, but when we began to take ownership, we began to think it was imp

As it turns out, because of where we are adopting from, we won't be able to stay with Yuri very much of the time.  Our friend wasn't able to help us with any of the paperwork because our facilitator does all that as part of the fee paid to them.  And we aren't using the services of the attorney that we spoke with on the phone.  The point is...God proved to us in a matter of minutes that what He sets out to do, HE CAN and WILL do.  Without my knowledge, expertise or even help!!  (Don't get me wrong, we've worked hard...but it's been through God that all this has transpired!!!)

We were E-X-C-T-I-T-E-D when we got home.  We knew we had not only heard from the Lord, but also heard Him tell us that HE WOULD DO IT...NOT US!

The week we got home, we told a dear couple in our church about what God was doing and they gave us $2,500 toward the costs!  That week was also my 15 year anniversary at the church I serve as Minister of Music & Worship and there was a surprise reception party for our family.  The church didn't know about what God was doing yet, but they gave u
s over $2,000 in cash!  In the first week, God had supplied nearly $5,000!  Once the church found out what was going on in our lives, money began appearing on my desk in unmarked envelopes.  It was overwhelming what God was going.

In the mean time, the missionary who lives at the Yuri's guest house emailed me to tell me that she knew a missionary couple who had adopted and that they might know who could help us.  We emailed them and in just a matter of minutes, replied with the web address for Reeces Rainbow.  Mary and I began to look at the website immediately and were overwhelmed to find out that there was ministry that assisted with the adoption of children with Down syndrome from Ukraine.  Could God make His hand any clearer???  We emailed Andrea and almost immediately got a response from her.  She made us a page of kids that were adoptable and available.  We were overwhelmed with the decision.  Instead of struggling which child we would rescue, we felt like we were deciding with kids we were leaving behind.

Out of all the kids, there was a couple that we had zeroed in on.  One was a little guy named Dante.  He was tiny for his age (5 years old).  He reminded us of our own little Eli.  But we couldn't decide.  We emailed Andrea and in Andrea fashion, she replied immediately and asked us to consider two boys, Oleg and Dante.  Wait a minute!!!  We were ad
opting ONE child!!!  Mary and I were in bed (I had the laptop) and we were looking at the pictures and reading the descriptions again when Andrea emailed us and right then, we decided that indeed we would adopt two.  In that moment God opened our hearts to those two boys (one of which we already had our eye on and Oleg).  

So here we are...papers approved, expecting our exact travel date at any time (we'll be traveling in February 2009).  Even though God intervened and Dante has been adopted by another family, we are SO EXCITED to go get Oleg and another child of God's choosing!!!

It is amazing that God is allowing us to be part of His plan and that He is MAKING IT HAPPEN!!!  Four months ago, we never would have dreamed that He would have provided the money He has provided through grants and donations, never dreamed that our paper work would come together so quickly and that we'd be invited to travel so quickly.  He has done GREAT things...of course, God is capable of 
nothing less!!!

Thank you God for all You've done and all You will do!!!
Also...a great big THANK YOU to Andrea for answering all our stupid questions and helping us
 get things figured out and completed.  And a great big THANK YOU to Meredith for answering even more questions and helping us make sure our paperwork was perfect and for helping us through losing Dante.  And another big THANK YOU to Derek, Renee, John and Tracie Loux who are adopting from the same orphanage we are going to...having others on the journey with us makes it easier and even a bigger blessing!

To Matthew (Oleg) and our other child...  Daddy
 and Mommy LOVE you and we are coming to get you just as soon as we can!!!

Peace and Grace

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why We're Doing This #1  

Many people wonder why we are adopting...and why from Ukraine.  I began traveling to Ukraine to do mission work about 6 years ago.  I go 2-3 times a year so I've been lots of times.  The very first time I went, I didn't want to come home.  The people of Ukraine stole my heart and I just couldn't bear the thought of going home.  So from that moment, God had my attention and gave me a passion to go and serve there in whatever capacity He made available. 

About 3 years ago, I was coming back from Ukraine in March (now would be a good time to mention that is was FREEZING...but it has nothing to do with this post...just a fact...and that's why I have Under Armor for our trip in February) and felt a strong call of God.  I even had a "vision" of Mary and I and our future.  It was cloudy but it was strong.  During this trip, I had been made aware of the orphan crisis in Ukraine.  That was bad enough, but when I found out what happened to kids with special needs, all I could do was weep.  I sat in the kitchen of a friend in Vishneve and cried like a baby.  I couldn't even speak.  

Traveling home, I had an overnight layover in England.  I couldn't wait to get home and talk to Mary so I called her long distance from my hotel room (yes...crazy, I know, but I couldn't wait).  I told her we really needed to talk when I got home...maybe not the best thing to say to a woman when you don't intend to "spill the beans" right then.  Obviously, I was unable to leave it at that and told her that it had to do with our family and Ukraine.  Honestly, I was a bit worried about telling her what I thought I needed to tell her.  As it turned out, there was no reason for me to worry.  She responded on the phone that she felt that God was going to be making major changes in our lives and she wondered if we should adopt from Ukraine or maybe move there.  God had been preparing her heart while I was away and told her the same things He had told me.  

You see, my "vision" was of our family having a private home for Ukrainian orphans with Special Needs (and specifically Down syndrome).  I assumed that this would be in Ukraine.

I came home and we made plans for her to return to Ukraine with me in the Summer and we could stake out a place to live and meet with people about what kind of ministry we could have there.  We were met with shock and some skepticism, but people know us well enough to know that we will follow God wherever, whenever.  

We had a great trip to Ukraine and really felt God's call, specifically to Ukraine.  We just didn't know how.  So since we had said yes, we knew that we must just follow and go forward until He said keep going or stop or wait.  We began making plans to sell our home and find a place to rent that was much cheaper so we could pay off debt that we had from the major medical expenses from our son, Eli's surgery when he was 3 months old and a small amount of other debt.

We were thinking that God would move us to Ukraine by the following summer.  We talked to the kids and told them to pray with us about it.  They were excited to be able to follow us as we followed God.  We were pretty surprised by their response.  We thought it would be hard for them.  But it wasn't.  It amazed us and we thought, wow, this must be what God wanted from us.

We just kept going forward until one day God said, "Stop and wait on Me."  So we did.  We were confused, but we trusted God and left our "Yes!" on the table.  He had our answer, before we knew what He was really asking of us.

I continued to do ministry in Ukraine and Mary joined me on a couple of more trips.

FAST FORWARD...Spring of 2008.  Mary and I began to have strong desires to have more kids.  Some people would think that's a bit strange since we have 5 already.  We aren't able to have children due to some medical issues.  Mary even checked with her doctor to see if there was any chance and there wasn't.  I was a bit discouraged by that because we both had such a strong desire to have more children.  So we waited on God.

Summer came and we had a trip to Ukraine planned.  We asked God to give us an answer of some kind while we were in Ukraine and that He would give us a clearer vision.  We went with the full expectation that He would answer.  We were to be in country for 9 days.  As day 7 rolled around, we still had nothing.  We had met the purpose of our trip, but we didn't feel that we had heard from God in regards to His call.

On our way from Pochiv region to Kiev, we decided to stop at the special needs baby home in Vorzel.  Mary and I had visited it on one occasion and I had visited once on my own.  We wanted to take some toys to the kids there.  We had it in the back of our minds that maybe we were being called to adopt.  But we didn't see any rational way that it could happen.  But during the night before the drive, many of us in the group came down with a stomach virus.  Obviously, we knew that it would be wrong to go into the baby home with a stomach virus.  The poor kids had enough problems without a stomach virus to pass around.  We dropped the toys at the door and left.  Crushed that we had been unable to visit.  Wondering what God was up to.  We thought He wanted us to visit, people had donated money for the toys...had we missed Him altogether?

Part Two Coming Next...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're Going to Ukraine!  

After everything we've been through over the last week, all the emotions, everything, it was SUCH A JOY and BLESSING to get our facilitator's emails saying that all our paperwork had passed and we'd get a travel date tomorrow (Friday).  I can hardly wait to wake up in the morning and check the email to see if we got our date so I can buy our plane tickets!  

We're SO EXCITED to go get Matthew (Oleg) and hopefully another child too.  We just have to pray and hope that there is another boy who has Down syndrome and is between 2-7 years old.  We were pretty specific in our home study because we planned on adopting Matthew (Oleg) and Jonathan (Dante/Dimitri).  We didn't realize the possibility of what could happen...

Looking for our date.  I'm too tired to chronicle much tonight, but tomorrow I'll begin posting some of the many things the Lord has done over the past few days and months.

Peace and Grace.

It's time for...  


We got word this morning that our paperwork was PASSED THROUGH AND WE ARE TRAVELING AT THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY 2009!!!!!!!!!!!  We'll get our exact date tomorrow!!

We are so THANKFUL to GOD for all He has done.  Yes ALL He has done.  Even the things that He did that we wouldn't have necessarily chosen to do ourselves. 
Tomorrow I'll chronicle some of the things God has done in our hearts over the last days and months.

The other part of the GREAT news is...  John and Tracie Loux will be going with us!!!!!  We are SO AMAZED that God worked this out!!!!! And THANKFUL!  Did I mention THANKFUL!!??

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Kids are such a blessing!  

Our kids really had a hard time yesterday with the news about Jonathan (Dante). But last night during our family devotion time, we talked about Proverbs 3:5-6...

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and
lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him 
and He will direct your paths.

This is my life verse, chosen by my dad when I was very young. He wrote that in every card, book and Bible he ever gave me. What a legacy. But I digress...

The kids had good input on why it is so important to trust the Lord...especially in times when He does things that are hard or even impossible to understand.

During prayer time, I was amazed at their prayers. Over the last months, they have prayed for Jonathan and Matthew every night...that God would protect them, give us wisdom to know what to do, for our paperwork, for a speedy travel date, etc. But last night, our 7 year old started the prayer time and prayed asking God to get Jonathan home real quick so he can get well fast. One of our daughters prayed telling God how much she trusts Him. Our oldest son (14) finished out the kids part of prayer time and thanked God for giving Jonathan a family even if it wasn't ours and thanked Him for saving Jonathan's life. As hard as all this has been emotionally, I am so grateful that God has given us faith and that our children are ready to follow God even though it's sometimes so hard.

Seth, our 7 year old, kept asking yesterday to make sure that he was still going to have 2 new brothers even though one of them wasn't Jonathan. Of course we pray so!

Yesterday, it was my understanding that our home study limited us to 2 boys with Down syndrome ages 4-7. Because of the small age range and the fact that so many kids had been transferred from the orphanage we are hoping to adopt from, we wondered if there would be any left for us to adopt, but last night I reread it all again and realized that it actually states between 2 & 7 so that makes it more possible to find a son there. We were very thankful for that!

Peace and Grace.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thankfulness and Sorrow Meet...  

NOTE:  Before you read this post, please take note that all the families mentioned in this post have communicated with each other and we are ALL after the same thing...the perfect plan and will of our loving Father.

About a week ago, some new friends of our got news that one of the three boys they hoped to adopt in E. Europe had been adopted by a couple from another country.  The gut wrenching feeling that I had for the next couple of days because of the sorrow I knew they would be feeling is hard to describe.   They were trying to get ready to leave the country and grieving over the loss of the son they hoped to adopt.  

Mary and I talked about it a lot and began to get the nagging feeling that perhaps one or both of our boys may be moved from the orphanage before we had a chance to get there to get them.  We began making inquiries to find out what we could, all the while trusting God to carry us to His plan.

The couple made it to their destination and had their meeting with the court and at that time found out that another of the boys that they wanted to adopt had been moved out of the orphanage along with another 40 or so children.  While he was still adoptable from the place he had been sent, it would not be possible to adopt from both orphanages during the same trip/process so they made the choice to adopt the 1 remaining child and to accept 2 blind referrals.  Of course, they wondered how they would choose, until they were presented with the referrals.  There were only 2 other boys in the group to choose from, so that made it pretty easy.

As I was reading the update on their blog late afternoon yesterday, I was so excited that they had met all three of the boys the were to adopt and that they had gotten confirmation from the Lord that these were the ones for their family.

I re-read the blog post and this time was paying more attention to the details and names.  I realized that the name of one of the boys was the "formal" name for one of the boys that we hoped to adopt.  The details were similar to the boy we hoped to adopt (Jonathan).

Through some inquiries and ultimately a phone conversation, it became clear that what we feared had happened.  Little "Jonathan" had been chosen by another family.  Obviously, we are heart sick and will have to go through a grieving process.  The feelings and emotions are very strong at this point, but God will sort all that out in both families...He's faithful.

Understand that there are no hard feelings between our family and the family who is adopting J.  We will all meet up one of these days and share stories, tears, and laughter!!

Please pray for the this family.  Little "Jonathan" is VERY sick.  There is question whether he would have survived even until we got there.  This family is adopting 3 special needs children.  2 of these kids have severe medical issues that need immediate attention and treatment.  Mary and I are so THANKFUL to God and to the family who is rescuing him and will love him and care for him.  

We look forward to seeing what miraculous things the Lord does and we give Him THANKS and PRAISE.  You may ask how you can follow the scripture that says, "In everything, give thanks,"  when something like this has happened.  I don't have a good answer for that except that God has always proven Himself faithful.  God has always kept His promises.  God's ways are not my ways.  Everything God does is good.  Everything God does is right.  Our faith has found a resting place...the arms of our Loving Father.  We trust Him, we love Him, we THANK Him!!

Please pray for all the families involved and for the larger Reece's Rainbow family.  We're all in this together and when something like this happens (especially twice in a couple of weeks) it causes everyone a little anxiety to say the least. 

Just remember that God's plan will go forward and He will bring glory to Himself!  Praise Him!!

PS>>>>  The Malone Family and the John & Tracie Loux family hope to TRAVEL SOON!  Please pray for a speedy travel date for us to go get those boys!!

"I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him!"

Peace and Grace.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I'm waiting 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
And I am hopeful 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
Though it is painful 
But patiently, I will wait 

I will move ahead, bold and confident 
Takeing every step in obedience 
While I'm waiting 
I will serve You 
While I'm waiting 
I will worship 
While I'm waiting 
I will not faint 
I'll be running the race 
Even while I wait 

I'm waiting 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
And I am peaceful 
I'm waiting on You, Lord 
Though it's not easy 
But faithfully, I will wait 
Yes, I will wait 
I will serve You while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting 
I will serve You while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting 
I will serve you while I'm waiting 
I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

--John Waller

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December is doubtful...  

We heard from our facilitator today in Eastern Europe that it is doubtful that we will be travelling in December. We are glad to be with the kids for Christmas, but we are concerned that Matthew will be moved from the orphanage due to his age. A Reece's Rainbow friend of ours got to the country and the child they wanted to adopt had been moved out of the orphanage and had become un-adoptable.

God knows and He's in charge!

Peace and Grace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Waiting and trusting...  

God we trust you.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

God is in charge...His power reigns.  

I love this quote by C.H. Spurgeon...

"God’s power is like Himself, self-existent, self-sustained. The mightiest of men cannot add so much as a shadow of increased power to the Omnipotent One. He sits on no buttressed throne and leans on no assisting arm. His court is not maintained by His courtiers (a person who attends a royal court as a companion or adviser to the king or queen. a person who fawns and flatters in order to gain favor or advantage.) nor does it borrow its splendor from His creatures. He is Himself the great central source and Originator of all power (C. H. Spurgeon).

I get so caught up in the enormity of what God is doing in our lives right now that I can sometimes hardly breathe.  This is all so much bigger than me, my wife, and my family.  The task ahead seems like Mt. Everest.  I can't imagine why God chose us to do this.  I can't fathom how He has been making it happen.  I can look back over the last 3 months and I get overwhelmed by God's goodness and power. 

God's power has overtaken us and has left us speechless, humbled, energized, awestruck, amazed, flabbergasted.  We have seen God do things we never dreamed could have happened when He first asked us to do this. 

He has given me dreams of the future that seem just as incredibly impossible, yet I know that in Him and through Him, nothing is impossible.  Mary and I felt His call a couple of years ago in this area and even though we knew that it was God who would bring it about, we scarcely believed it could really happen.  Yet, here we stand.   Just below the summit.  We can see it, but stand in disbelief.  We can feel the change coming, but feel like we're in a dream.

God has brought us here.  We trust Him.  We love Him.  We surrender to Him.

Peace and grace.

Where we are now...  

Right now we are waiting...

We received word from our facilitator in Eastern Europe late Monday night (November 24) that our dossier had been submitted despite the fight to submit.  It was also the deadline to submit dossiers for adoptions of young and "normal," healthy children.  Since we are adopting older (5 years old) and broken children (Down syndrome), our facilitator made it clear that it was God's hand that allowed this to happen.  We are so happy that God allowed us to beat the deadline.  

We have communicated that we are willing to travel with little notice so we don't know what to expect.  Our hope and desire is to go and get the kids as soon as possible.  We don't know what God's plan is or what His timing will hold, but we have a belief that it will be sooner, rather than later.  He has moved everything along so fast and without problem that we can't help but believe that it will be soon.   We may be totally wrong, but that's the impression we have.  We are watching and waiting.  

While we are waiting, we will worship.  While we are waiting, we will trust Him.  While we are waiting, we will continue to chase after Him.

We thank you for your prayers.  

Our daughter Hannah has been knitting like a mad women!  She is creating hats and scarves and selling them to help with fundraising.  In the next couple of days, we'll have an online shop where you can see the items and order your own custom knitted hat or scarf...infants to adults.  She does great work and it's amazing that she has stepped up and is filling her free time to make the adoption a reality.  We'll post a link to the store when it's set up.

John & Tracie Loux were submitted the same day we were and they are in the waiting process too.  Pray for them as they continue to fundraise and as they wait on the Lord.   You can visit their blog at .  They have some great fundraisers going that you'll want to check out!

Until later...peace and grace.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Latest...  

We heard from our facilitator in Eastern Europe today. There's really
no new info today. He let us know that he will contact us again as
soon as we have an "invitation" (court date). Or If there is a
problem with any of our papers.

He said we were very fortunate that we were able to get our papers in
because it was a fight to get them in due to the high volume of young,
"normal" children people are trying to adopt. Since ours are older
and with down syndrome they are often shuffled to the bottom. So
praise the Lord!!!

We'll update as soon as we know more. Thanks for your continued
prayers for is and for our boys in Europe.

Monday, November 24, 2008

We're Submitted!!  

Our paperwork was submitted today in Eastern Europe!  We don't have details yet.  Our facilitator sent a simple message that just said "You're submitted! Details tomorrow."  YIPPEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!

Praise the Lord!!!!!

No News Today...  

Well, there was no news today. But in this case, no news is just no
news. Maybe tomorrow.

God is faithful. Period.  

The waiting is what gets me. My mind thinks of all the things that
can go wrong. Not all the things that have gone right. It's about 3pm
easetern Europe time and no word.

The one thing I do know is this...
God is God and He is faithful no matter what happens today. End of
story. I'm not worried. Just anxious. It's that feeling you get as a
child waiting for Christmas. It's almost time to open presents and
you can't waitto see if you got the one thing you really wanted.

Till we hear something, peace and grace.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Bake Sale  

If you're looking for the EXCITING NEWS post, skip down a couple to the post titled "Everything is Set..."

Well...hardly anyone showed up for the Craft Show so we didn't have many buyers.  We sold some of our baked good but not too much.  Our 13 year old daughter, Hannah, sold several hats that she's been knitting, though!  Go Hannah!!

She's got some orders to fill that she took today and will do those this weekend.  She's going to take orders tomorrow at church too and try to get some more done over the Thanksgiving holidays...

<---Hannah knitting at the Craft Fair Today                  

The events of today...  

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE EXCITING's the next post down called "Everything is Set"

Today is our final fundraiser...we hope.  There is a craft show here in Moore, OK called Holiday Happenings.  We have been allowed/asked to set up a table as a Bake Sale.  So yesterday I baked and baked and baked!  It can't believe how much stuff I baked.  Hopefully we will have a great bake sale.  We still need some funds to make the trip and I DON'T WANT TO BRING HOME ALL THAT STUFF!!  :-)

It will be kind of nice to be able to relax a bit today and talk to people and tell them about what God is doing in our lives.  We'll be busy enough today and tomorrow (tomorrow will be a killer!) that we won't have time to fret about whether our Dossier will be submitted on Monday.  Hopefully, by the time we wake up Monday morning, we'll have our answer!  That would be SPLENDID.

Jon & Matty... Daddy and Mommy love you and we're on our way to get you soon.  Jesus is there with you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Everything is set...  


We heard from our facilitator today that our documents have been "legalized" and will be submitted on Monday!

The speed at which this has all happened so far has been amazing to us.  If you would have told us at the end of August that in less than 5 months we would be bringing 2 more boys into our family, I would have told you that there was no way.  Yet...IF things get submitted Monday and things move along (even at the normal adoption pace) that's the reality.

We bless God for letting us do this...making it possible and providing the multitude of needs to accomplish it.  We're almost there financially, but we are far enough along that we could travel tomorrow if we were given the date.  We'd be able to find a way to make it happen.  We're confident that by the time we travel, God will have met those needs and more.

Praise the Lord!

Our Facilitator Has Everything.  

The Lord gave our package wings and it arrived yesterday in Ukraine. By 8:00 p.m. Ukraine time, our facilitator had it. Oh me of little faith. I was worried about it getting there before Monday morning. Instead, it got there Thursday morning. It's funny how our minds work. The God who parted the Red Sea, provided food from the sky for 40 years, raised dead people to life, fed thousands with just a few morsels, caused blind people to see...that's the One I had a hard time believing would be able to get a package (just a couple of pieces of paper) to the right place at the right time. Silly.

We are now just praying and hoping and waiting and BELIEVING. Knowing that God's plans are not our and that His timing is just exactly perfect, we are watching to see what He will do next. We'll follow Him. He knows the desire of our hearts (after all, He put it there), so whatever He does with that as it relates to timing, is His business.

This journey has been fantastic. I need to chronicle the whole thing so I don't forget any of it. The speed at which He has provided most of the money has been blinding. The way He has given us such a huge base of spiritual and emotional support is astounding. From word God, He's been doing fantastic things that only He can do!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Our final paper arrived tonight (Kiev time).  Our facilitator is going to UPS to pick it up...hopefully first thing in the morning (Friday).   Hmmmm....maybe he can submit tomorrow...  that'd be cool!

Project: "Get the I171 there in time!"  

The I171 is in Kiev!!  It's in customs right now.  Hopefully they will release it TODAY and it can be put on the delivery truck.  Lord...give our envelope favor with customs!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The I171 is on the plane...  

The I171H is on the plane from Cologne, Denmark to Eastern Europe.  In the air.  Hopefully they'll be able to deliver it to our facilitator tomorrow or Friday at the latest.  We really want to get all this submitted on Monday...the deadline day.

It's been only a little over 2 1/2 months since we began this journey.  Some people spend years in the process.  It may seem unrealistic that we could possible get the boys home by the end of the year, but that's what we're praying for...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I171 Ready...Thank you Congressman Tom Cole!!!  

Yesterday, a wonderful suggestion was made through a comment on our blog from a reader.  They had called their congressman when they couldn't get a response from USCIS.  I thought, "What have we got to lose?  The worst they could do it laugh and tell me to be patient!"

So I called Representative Tom Cole's office in D.C. and they said that of course they would help us and gave me another number to call.  I called the regional office and they contacted USCIS.  Within 30 minutes, I had heard back from Rep. Cole's office and we had been approved and they were to process the paperwork immediately.  Within a couple of minutes after that, we got an email from USCIS telling us basically the same thing.  WOW!

Well...they didn't mail the document out yesterday as promised so all night I tossed and turned and worried and so on...  But good actually came out of it (don't you love it when God does stuff like that?).  Since they hadn't mailed it, it enabled me to go pick it up this morning at 8:00 a.m. and get it notarized, apostilled and shipped via UPS before 10:30 this morning!  If they had mailed it yesterday afternoon, even with my next day envelope, we wouldn't have had it in our hands til this afternoon, then I would have had the 2 hours of work still to do with it and get it mailed before 6 p.m.  So for all my worrying...God had a much better plan in the works. what should I worry about now that it's mailed? needs to get to Ukraine in time to be submitted!  But I'll leave that up to God.  It's His deal anyway.  He loves Jonathan & Matthew so much more than we do.  He created them, He sings them to sleep, I suspect He's even held them.  Way more than we've been able to do yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Growing Weary.  

Mary and I are so ready to get Jonahtan and Matthew home.  We have our whole dossier in the hands of our facilitator except our I171H.  We were told back on November 3 that we were next in line and they would get to it that same week.  Well, it's November 15 and no word.  No answers to emails.  No document.  We are getting close to when we must mail it for our facilitator to get it, translate it and get it submitted before the country to we are adopting from closes for the rest of the year.  In fact, we are just a couple of days away from that. We can't bear the thought of Jonathan and Matthew being there over another winter.  

God is in control!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yesterday, November 7 was Jonahtan's 5th birthday!  We sure wish we could have been there with you buddy!  We had a cake for you.  It was yellow cake, with white icing and SPRINKLES!  Did you celebrate too?  Did someone kiss you and tell you they love you?  Did someone tell you they are so glad you are alive?  We love you!  We are so happy that you will be our son! Just wait...we'll have a big celebration next year!  We hope to celebrate Christmas with you! Happy Birthday!

Today is our daughter, Bethany's, 9th birthday!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Documents emailed to facilitator!  

Yesterday, our documents were emailer to our facilitator in easten Europe. Today we were able to physically mail our apostilled dossier via ups and it will be received on Monday! We can hardly believe it. Boys, we're coming to get you! And happy birthday to Jonathan D Malone! He's five today! We love you already!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fingerprints APPROVED!  

Our fingerprints have been accepted and we're next in line to get our case reviewed and approved.  This is a short process once it starts...  They tell us they will do it this week.  We are up against a deadline (we think) with the SDA in the country we are adopting from so we are trying to get everything done as quickly as possible.  If we miss what we think is our deadline (November 24 or 27), we will have to wait until February to submit the paperwork.  Our boys are already passed the age they should have been moved out of the orphanage and into a mental institution so we are praying we DON'T MISS THIS DEADLINE.  Please pray with us! It's kind of hard and frustrating to wait...but our future and the future of our boys is in God's hands.  Not man's.  So we rest in that.  He is able to do whatever He wants!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fingerprint appointment  

We have had our fingerprinting appointment at the Homeland Security office and are waiting again to hear from them and to receive our final approval documents so we can send everything off to be translated and submitted to the government office so we can get our court date and travel to pick up our boys.  Please pray with us that they will remain healthy as the winter comes on strong where they are.  We are sure hoping to get them out of there as quickly as possible.  We're trusting God for timing, finances and everything always.  The waiting is so hard.  Knowing that those guys are there waiting on us and it's all about paperwork.  The importance of the paperwork is unquestionable, but if only there were an easier, faster way to save those guys!!  We're ready at home (except we still have to get a larger vehicle).  God willing, they'll be here by the first of the year. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...will mount up with wings as eagles...will run.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Documents nearly complete...NOW WAITING ON USCIS  

Well...after much work and more waiting, all of our documents are just about ready to send to Eastern Europe.  We are having our fingerprint appointment at immigration office next week.  Then we hope to get our US approval quickly following that.  We are planning to go ahead and send the documents on to be translated so that as soon as we get the US approval form, our paperwork can be submitted quicker.  We are still hoping to travel in January.  Our fundraising is going well.  We are getting ever so close to having enough.  We still lack what I would consider a large amount, but God has provided so much so far that we have no doubt He will be helping us with the rest.  He is so amazing!! We also have high hopes of getting.

Home Study Submitted to USCIS  

We are so happy to report that we got our home study in the mail on Friday afternoon.  We got it notarized and sent off to USCIS on Saturday morning by priority mail so they should have it Monday.  Our next step with them will be to get our fingerprints made and then wait again until all that paperwork is accepted and approved.  Then, it's off to Ukraine for translation and submission for approval to the Ukrainian government. It's hard to imagine that this is actually happening!  We had thought that we were not going to be able to have any more children (and isn't five enough?? Ha...we didn't think so).  So for God to be doing this, is such an amazing blessing for us!  We pray that it will also be a great blessing to Jonathan and Matthew (Jon & Matty). We still have lots to do to be ready and a good bit of money to earn and raise before we're really ready to bring them home, but it's kind of like having a child... can you ever really be ready? The stress of the process and the anticipation and waiting is starting to become apparent, but we are TRUSTING GOD!  He's completely able to put all the pieces much better than we are.  I suppose it's kind of like us being pregnant with twins that we know have congenital defects and other health problems.  Only we have such a wide window of when they could come.  We long for the day we will hold them and they will be ours.

Home Study Nearly Complete!  

We received word today that our home study is nearly complete!  We hope to have it back next week.  Then we'll send it to USCIS to complete our application process with the U.S. government.  Then, after we receive our paperwork from them, we'll send it all off to Ukraine for approval and the scheduling of our appointment.  It's so hard to believe that this is really happening! Everyday, it's harder and harder to wait.  It seems like Jonathon and Matthew are already part of our family and they are just waiting for us to go get them and bring them home.  Our friends and family are excited too!  (Even if they think we are a little weird!  And who knows...maybe we are!) :-) 

We are getting closer and closer to the money we need.  We still need about $8,000 but trust the Lord that what He has begun, He will complete. We're still working hard to earn the money and there are others who have said they want to help us financially. We are trusting God for each step of the journey. Sometimes it's hard to wait and be patient and not run ahead of God, but we know that His will is best and that His timing is PERFECT!! 

We're very thankful for everyone that has had a apart in this journey.  We're thankful for Reece's Rainbow.  This ministry has been so helpful and they have made it so much easier so far.  God is good.  God is faithful.  We love Him and just want to follow Him.

God is in charge!  

God has amazed us over the past five weeks.  He has brought miraculous events into our lives to remind us that HE is in charge of the adoption.  He has reminded us that all He has asked us to do is OBEY Him and follow step by step...not do it on our own. 

He has brought people alongside of us to help us financially in ways we have never dreamed.  He has impressed people to give money and we don’t even know who they has just appeared on my desk at church.  Every time I start to wonder if He’ll really be able to provide the needs so we can bring our boys home, He does something wonderful an amazing that leaves no doubt that He is in control and He will complete what He has started.   

The incredible thing is that we get to be part of it and experience the blessings.  We are humbled.  We are amazed.  Our God is awesome!

God is AMAZING!!  

Back in July, we were in Eastern Europe in the country we hope to adopt from.  We go several times a year to do mission work but this wasn’t just another trip.  We went with the expectation of God to speak to us and show us where He was working and how He wanted us to join Him in that work.  We sought Him and pleaded with Him to show us.

For the past several years, we have felt called to something more than just going on trips and having “limited” impact (not that anything God does is limited...we just felt that we were to have a larger scope).  We didn’t know if He wanted us to move there as missionaries, stay stateside and continue to raise money and travel periodically or what.  We had felt for some time that we were supposed to think about adoption.  We’ve thought about it, but frankly the financial needs for adoption seemed way out of our reach (which they are out of OUR reach, but not God’s).  So basically, we just said, “God, show us and we’ll follow You know matter how crazy it sounds.”
He has definitely given us a passion to help orphans and specifically orphan with special needs and more specifically orphans with Down Syndrome (our youngest child, Eli, has Down Syndrome).  

God spoke and said it’s time.  So on our journey back home we knew what God was saying to us and we started praying and asking Him to confirm.  We stayed in a “guest house” that has been built to be used as a conference center and when the man who owns it found out what we were thinking about, he said for us to come stay there when we were in country (knowing it was to be over a month) and there is NO CHARGE.  Wow!  This man, who is a believer and a man we trust completely, went on to tell us about a Christian attorney he knows who does adoption work.  I told him I’d like to contact him sometime and he picked up his phone and called him.  The man speaks English.  So we have a legal contact we can trust if we need him.  Within a couple of minutes, God had begun the confirmation process.

We got home and continued to pray.  We started trying to put money aside to get our home study started.  We called a handful of places that do international adoption home studies and couldn’t ever get any of them to call back.  We knew it was going to cost between $1,000 & $1,400 for the study, but God had provided the money so we were ready.  Yet, no one would call back.  I finally emailed one more place and they contacted us immediately and then the social worker contacted us the same day and was at our house the next evening to start the home study.  And she charged a much lower price and she is a Christian who has helped hundreds of families adopt from overseas.  WOW!

But it doesn’t end there.  While we were staying at the guest house, there was a missionary who lives there and helps this family with their ministry.  She emailed me 2 weeks ago and told me about some friends of hers who had moved to the States and they emailed me almost immediately and then referred me to Reece’s Rainbow . Suddenly, God had revealed the boys to us and implanted them into our hearts.
We don’t know what else God will do, but just last Sunday, the church where I have served for 15 years had a big anniversary bash for me and my family.  They gave us $2,000 on a money tree (and they didn’t know about the adoption at that point).  A dear couple gave us $2,500 for the adoption as soon as they found out.  We’ve had people give us a couple of hundred dollars since then as they found out and just wanted to be part of rescuing our boys.  We got 2 grants for the boy’s adoption expenses through RR.  So the insurmountable mountain of cost (WITHIN TWO WEEKS) dropped from $27,000 to only needing about $11,000.  Still overwhelming but nothing to God!   He has done great things.  Every day we realize other things that we will need when the boys come home, but we know that God will provide these things and dollars.  He is so amazing!

Papers everywhere!  

The papers are accumulating!  We ordered more documents today.  It seems impossible that all the paper work will ever be complete and exactly the way it’s supposed to be and in order.  But...we’re trusting the Lord.  He Who began this good work will complete it...

There’s no way we could do this on our own.  We are trusting God for so much...the finances, talking to the right people, getting the right boys, the right facilitator.  God has already done so much for us in this process that we can hardly believe it!  He is really proving His power and sovereignty.

Sharing the news...  

We’ve gotten to share our adoption journey today several times with several people and it has been a VERY encouraging experience.  People at church today seemed very excited about what God is doing.

Last night, I explained it all to my mom.  I was a little nervous about telling her what we were doing because after all, we already have five kids.  Isn’t that enough??  :-)   Sometimes, my family looks more at “common sense” than on God’s calling.

We are afraid to get too excited about all this, though.  In the back of our mind, we wonder what will happen if everything falls through!  But I must be already feels like these two little boys are ours and we are just waiting to go pick them up.  We’ve never seen them in person or heard their voice or felt their touch...yet, it seems like they already belong to us.  Crazy...but there it is.

The journey begins...  

The process has started!  We have started our home study, ordered copies of all the documents we need so far and have even began praying about the two little boys we hope to graft into our family.  We have barely started the journey and we are SO EXCITED and can hardly wait! Right now, we are anticipating about 1 month on our home study.  The social worker said she would really try to have everything ready to finish her report as soon as she receives all the documents that we have to collect for her (criminal background checks, child abuse registry reports, etc...) and then we can get it submitted to immigration.   We’re in the process of getting our application sent off to immigration in hopes that we can get our fingerprints and some of the red tape out of the way while we wait for the home study.  We are praying for favor and that our paper work will always land in just the right hands and that we won’t get lost on someone’s desk. 

We are going through lots of different emotions right now.  Excitement, FEAR, uncertainty in what the future holds, amazement about what the future might hold...  Above all, though, we are trusting God to do what He wants to do in our family and possibly in the lives of two little boys.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good eBook Sites

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sold Out  

We're sorry! Tickets for "A Night for Ruslana" are SOLD OUT!
If you'd like to make a donation anyway to help us adopt this beautiful girl...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Contact the Malones  

Contact us by EMAIL

About Us  

Coming Soon...really.


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