our adventure…life, adoption, and a little bit of everything else
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Posts from — August 2010

Summer, summer, oh where did you go?

I can’t believe summer is now officially behind us! We started school 2 weeks ago now. We are slowly getting back into our routine, trying to figure out the logistics of all the extra curricular activities. Once school is finished for the day, we hit the ground running…..swimming, strength training, gymnastics, guitar, children’s choir/hand bells, and soccer season is around the corner! Clark’s gymnastics coach told me last week that he is almost ready to move up again! This would entail him going 3 times a week for 2 hours each. What? He’s 6! We haven’t made a decision about that just yet. It will probably have to wait until soccer season is over. Anyway, back to the schooling….Ali is in the 9th grade this year, and Clark is kindergarten. He just wasn’t ready last year, so we started all over. We figure this time next year, we will have 3 all about the same age….crazy! Our Ethiopian princesses are a year apart, and they are estimating that the oldest is about Clark’s age! That means I will eventually be homeschooling little stair steps! We are thinking of putting them in traditional school for their first school year, hoping that it would help with learning the language.

Speaking of our Ethiopian princesses, we finally received the 2nd set of medicals that we had been waiting on. We were so relieved that everything looks good so far…no major red flags. Well, except for the fact that we will have 3 munchkins….the oldest is Clark’s size! That means 3 kiddos not on the growth chart. We are used to it by now, no biggie! I’m pretty used to Clark being the smallest everywhere he goes. We have been receiving updated pictures pretty regularly, about once a month at least. We were very disappointed in the last set, their poor heads were shaved AGAIN! Their hair was just starting to look cute, after they shaved it upon intake into the orphanage. Booooooo! They shave their heads periodically to treat a fungus that the kids spread around. We just hope they let it grow now! I have already bought some cute bows and headbands…so they need some hair! 🙂 We don’t have much of an update on the adoption process. We are in a holding pattern waiting on our USCIS approval. We hope and pray we get that in the next couple of weeks. We are waiting for their paperwork to be submitted to the first set of courts in the region where the girls are from. It is rainy season, and the road to court was flooded. So we wait…we should be fabulous at it by now! I just want our girlies home…a crazy busy house full of laughing children! One day, one day.

We made a flying trip to Lake Charles last weekend to see our new China doll nephew, Will. We met them at the airport when they flew in from China, but it wasn’t enough time to sneak in enough kisses! I just HAD to have me some more sugar! He is so darn precious. I think he is finally getting his days and nights straightened out. It is so cute to see their son, Kai, looking after “brother”! They have some fun years ahead with those 2 cute boys, and their big sister!

Just some random pictures from the last couple of weeks.

August 23, 2010   No Comments

She named him Samuel…

So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:20

July 13, 2007 the day we were united with our son!

July 13, 2007 the day we were united with our son!

Samuel Ruslan Clark officially became our son 3 years ago yesterday. I was reminded of how Hannah begged and pleaded with God to bless her with children. God did eventually open her womb and blessed her with children. God has chosen to add to our family through adoption, and for that we are so thankful. It may not have been the way I would have chosen years ago, but I did not know what I was missing. For that I am so very grateful. I would have missed being head over heals in love with a little blond hair brown eyed fellow that is full of life, spunk, laughs, strong willed, 110% boy, God loving, sister fighting, school work hating, water loving…oh I could go on and on. He’s a bundle of energy that never, and I mean NEVER slows down. Unfortunately, God hasn’t graced me with a fraction of that energy…but it would be nice. It was over 5 years ago now, that we began the long journey to our son. It was a journey fill with anguish when it looked like we might not ever get to travel to Ukraine due to problems within the adoption process. Anguish, despair, fear, heartache…but balanced with faith and trust in our Lord and Savior. I’m human, so I would definitely cry out to God and plead just as Hannah did…why God, why? But in the end I knew deep in my soul that He was sovereign and full of grace. I knew ultimately it was all in His timing. Then fast forward to July of 2007, we found ourselves in a foreign country surrounded by strangers that were somewhat responsible for who would become our son. I say somewhat because we knew who was truly responsible, he was just using these people as tools for His ultimate purpose. Again, we had to trust in His provision and guidance. Clark was 2 years older than what we had prepared for, again I found myself questioning God…what are you doing here? As I laid my head on the pillow that night crying, July 12, 2007, half a world away, I prayed and acknowledged that He already knew the child he had for us. So I prayed that he would grant us peace and we could rest in the assurance that He knew far more than our simple minds could comprehend. I woke the next morning with complete and utter peace, and knew in my heart that we were about to meet our son for the first time. I will never forget that moment. We made it to the orphanage and Clark was escorted into the waiting area and WE.JUST.KNEW! As if God himself were in the room smiling and shaking his head as if to say, “See, you just had to trust me.” All the pain, heartache, doubting, and fear all melted away in an instant. We were made for that moment. He was ours and we were his. I’m totally in love with a song by Steven Curtis Chapman right now called Beauty Will Rise. I found the lirics online and wanted to share them.

Beauty Will Rise

It was the day the world went wrong
I screamed til my voice was gone
And watched through the tears as everything
Came crashing down

Slowly panic turns to pain
As we awake to what remains
And sift through the ashes
That are left behind

But buried deep beneath
All our broken dreams we have this hope

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning, beauty will rise

So take another breath for now
And let the tears come washing down
And if you can’t believe, I will believe for you

Cause I have seen the signs of spring
Just watch and see

Out of these ashes beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of these ashes beauty will rise
For we know joy is coming in the morning
In the morning

I can hear it in the distance
And it’s not too far away
It’s the music and the laughter
Of a wedding and a feast
I can almost feel the hand of God
Reaching for my face to wipe the tears away
You say it’s time to make everything new
Make it all new

This is our hope
This is a promise
This is our hope
This is a promise

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that’s been made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

It will take our breath away
To see the beauty that He’s made
Out of the ashes, out of the ashes

Out of these ashes
Beauty will rise
And we will dance among the ruins
We will see it with our own eyes
Out of this darkness
New light will shine
And we’ll know the joy that’s coming in the morning
In the morning
Beauty will rise

Oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise
Oh, oh, oh, beauty will rise

You can click here and watch him sing it. It is beautiful!

We celebrated Clark’s Happy Adoption Day in downtown Houston yesterday. We visited 2 different Russian markets, had lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant, and ended the day taking the children ice skating for the first time. It was so much fun. When the 13 year old in the house keeps telling you how much fun she had, you know it was a good time! haha! It was so great to be in the small Russian markets, to see so many items that we enjoyed while in Ukraine. A piece of us will always long for Ukraine. We got to purchase some familiar foods, delicious juice, and talk with a young woman from Russia. She loved hearing that Clark was from Ukraine, and wanted to know his birth name. She immediately started calling him Ruslan and finally Ruslanchy (which is  a nickname of sorts, his caretakers would call him this). It was so precious to my ears! She tried speaking to him in Russian…which got a big cheesy grin, but a big fat look of confusion at the same time. He doesn’t recall any of the language, sadly! After touring the markets, we made our way to Blue Nile. It is an Ethiopian restaurant that was recommended to us by a coworker of T.C.’s We are so glad we decided to try it. It definitely isn’t for the less adventurous eaters, but we thought it was very good. Ethiopian cooking has very bold flavors, not spicy in the sense that we use it…but bold and full of flavor! They don’t use utensils (but will upon request), but we wanted to get the full experience. They eat their food with injera bread…a spongy flat bread that you tear into pieces and grasp the food with. We will most definitely be going back! We are so thankful we found this place and will have a place to take our girls that will be familiar to them. Anyway, lastly we took the kiddos ice skating. It took Clark a few minutes, but he pretty much got the hang of it. He would fall down and pop right back up. Ali is so strong from all the the swimming, that she was actually pretty good. Of course she used to live in her in-line skates!

Here are some photos from our super fun Happy Adoption Day!

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27

August 1, 2010   2 Comments