Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our Beautiful Daughter Telma

Our daughter Telma is precious! We are so proud to call her ours.
When we adopted our amazing twins, Teyolla and Keyolla, from
the Marshall Islands, we met Telma. She followed us around and
we saw her everywhere we went. One day, she ended up on the
doorstep of the apartment we were staying in. It was about 6AM
and my Mom walked out the front door and saw her sitting there.
Telma asked if she could come in and play with our kids. My Mom
said, "Sure!" So she came in, ate breakfast with us and slept in
our apartment for the next two weeks! We got to know her
pretty well and just fell in love with her!

After we finalized our twin's adoptions, we were getting ready
to fly off island. I kept looking at Telma and my heart just sank.
I thought, 'How can we leave this precious girl here, knowing
she needed so much help?' I had a knot in my stomach and
a lump in my throat. I knew we had to do something. She had
severe scoliosis (a curvature of 115 degrees), was breathing
very heavy and labored and yet had a smile that just lit up
her world! I knew she was special and I knew we had to get
her help! I called my husband, who had just flown back home
with our two youngest children. I thought about how I was
going to talk to him about taking in another child when we had
just adoped two! I was nervous to say the least! When I got on
the phone with him and told him about Telma, he said, "Honey
I need to get you off that island before you come home with a
whole shipload of children!" He was amazing! He told me to
just bring the twins home and we would find a way to get
Telma to the U.S. to get her the help she needed. We got
Power of Attorney and she was in our home 5 months later.
My mom had been looking after her while she was still in the
Marshalls so we knew she was safe!

Our intention was to bring Telma to the states, get her the
help she needed, and get her adopted out to a wonderful
family. Instead, we absolutely fell in love with her and
ended up adopting her.

Telma is a beautiful young lady who loves the Lord deeply and
has a real heart for the poor and needy. When she was living
in the Marshall Islands, there were unkind children who made
fun of her and even threw rocks at her. She experienced a lot
of cruelty and I'm sure that has softened her heart to those who
are in great need!

When Telma prays over people, you will often see tears rolling
down her face. She has a very compassionate heart and is filled
with the love of Christ towards those who are in a difficult place
in their lives.

We adopted Telma when she was 12 and she will be 18 in February!
We love how the Lord weaves his plans together! The end result
is so beautiful! His ways are perfect and there is truly no one like
our God!

Telma has had four surgeries on her spine. She got an infection over
two years ago, due to the hardware that was in her back. All the
rods and screws holding her spine in a straighter position had to
be removed. Her spine surgeon will not operate on her again. He
said it is too risky. We have been waiting for an appointment with
a spine specialist in St. Louis. This specialist is booked years in
advance and we are praying for a miracle. Please keep our precious
Telma in your prayers. She is still in pain daily and we need a miracle!

Despite Telma's physical trials, you will always see a smile on her face. She has an amazing spirit that has truly conquered much! What a gift from the Lord she is to us!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Teyolla And Keyolla's Biological Mom, Rosalie

Some of you have been curious to see a picture of Teyolla and Keyolla's biological mom. Her name is Rosalie. We pray for her every night, that the Lord would reveal His great love for her and that she would feel hope in her life. My brother Terry and his wife Amy, took in our twins (before we adopted them) and their siblings, when they had been abandoned. They gave them a safe home, food and love. They also taught them about Jesus' love. It's wonderful that Teyolla and Keyolla's siblings and one cousin are all in the family!

We are one of those families who have chosen open adoptions, meaning that we keep in touch with our adopted children's mothers. We send them birthday packages, as well as Christmas and Mother's Day presents and cards. The girls call their moms and tell them that we are praying for them, and they update them on what's going on in their lives. We also send them new pictures of our girls several times a year. Derek and I feel that it's important to not cut off contact between our children and their biological moms. We know there are some situations where this would not be a healthy thing and we don't assume that all parents who've adopted can do this. We are thankful that this has worked for us.

God is good and so faithful! He's brought much healing to our adopted girl's lives. They are in a great place emotionally and spiritually and they've learned how to forgive, in a huge way! That in itself really accelerated the healing process!

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Pictures Of Misha And Mikey

Here are some new pictures of Sasha and Mikey! They are such little beauties! We can't wait to hold them in our arms and bring them home! These little guys are priceless!

This is a picture of Misha and Meredith. Meredith and her husband went to Ukraine and adopted their precious little Emma there. They met Misha while at the orphanage and took the pictures of him that are on this post. Thanks Meredith! What a blessing it is to have these pictures!

Little Mikey

You are on God's heart everyday and His plans for you are awesome little love ((Jeremiah 29:11)!

Nothing can ever separate you from the love of God little one (Romans 8:38).

Your smile melts my heart!

Update On Our Ukrainian Sons

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for Misha, Sasha and Mikey! As most of you know, there were delays with our adoption paperwork, which caused a delay in an invitation to travel to Ukraine to meet our boys for the very first time! We
are so sad about this but we know the Lord is in control and His timing is perfect. Right now, there is a chance we won't
be able to meet them until January. SDA shuts down in Ukraine for the whole month of December, and because we had to re-do
our paperwork, there were more delays.

We are still believing for a miracle, that our boys will be in our arms and home by Christmas!

Thanks again for your prayers!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Worth it all!

Most of you have seen the pictures of the three little guys that we're adopting. These are the only pictures we have of them,
so that's why you keep seeing the same ones over and over again. I've posted an update of where we are at in our adoption process below the pictures!

Sasha, is our little one who has hydrocephalus and is also crippled. There is a chance that with surgery, he might be able to walk. His eyes have always drawn us to him. What a beautiful little angel he is!

Precious little Misha has Down Syndrome. What a little love! We'll get you in some boys clothes soon little buddy :)!

Little Mikey has cardiomyopathy. We can't wait to sweep him up in our arms and hold him tight! We're coming soon little love!

We've had some set backs with the adoptions of our three little guys. There were some things that happened with our adoption paperwork in Ukraine that caused delays. That hold up caused delays in SDA clearing our paperwork, thus causing us delays in getting an invitation date to meet our little angels. We were all so sad! We were asked to get all our paper work re-done because the setbacks caused our paperwork to expire (it's valid for 6 months). Wow! That was a bit like a punch in the stomach... because we had worked so hard on getting all the paperwork completed! We gulped really hard and got back to work. We just completed all our paperwork for the second time around today! It's all been notarized and apostiled and will be off in the mail and on the way to Ukraine again, by 4PM! What a relief!

Our boys are worth any challenge that comes our way. They are worth fighting for! Please keep them in your prayers.
We want to be sure that because of the delays that occured, they will not be sent to the institution, while they wait for us to bring them home! That's one of our biggest concerns.

God bless you all and thanks again so much for those of you who have faithfully prayed for us and the precious boys we are
trusting and believing will be ours very soon!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Falling In Love With South Korea!

My husband has been ministering in Korea a lot this past year. Our daughter, Michaela and I were blessed to be able to join him on one of his trips. Michaela asked me if I would share a few of her adventures, through her pictures, on my blog, so, that's what this post is about. Be prepared to view A LOT of pictures (not normal for a blog), because Michaela wanted to be sure I posted all of these!

We absolutely love the Korean people. They are some of the kindest and most hospitable people in the world (and we've traveled to many places). The people in the churches we ministered at, have such a love for Jesus and are very committed in their faith!

Our daughter, Michaela, loved her trip to South Korea and was treated like a princess by her precious Korean friends. What an awesome adventure it was for Michaela to be able to meet the people, eat their food, sing in their language and learn more about their culture. She got to shop in the open markets and eat all kinds fun new food. She got to hear Korean choirs and couldn't believe how high some of the sopranos in those choirs could sing. She loved being able to practice the Korean words she had learned along with her Daddy and I.

One of Michaela's favorite Korean treats is called Kim Chee. It's very hot and spicy marinated cabbage. She couldn't get enough of it and ate it at every restaurant we went to. The restaurant owners and staff were shocked to see this little blonde 8 year old girl, chowing down on Kim Chee (not the norm for most American kids for sure)!

Michaela got to visit the ancient King's Palace. She saw the changing of the guards and loved the beautiful colorful designs in the painted ceilings of the palace. The artwork was amazing!

She was very sad to leave all her friends but knows she will return to Korea again on another trip, one day soon. Enjoy the pictures!

Michaela standing with one of the Palace Guards.

Flashing the "Victory" sign with the school children.

Changing of the guards at the Palace. The colors of the guards uniforms were so rich and beautiful!


Our friend, Bora. She is so sweet!

Yummy food on a stick!

Have you ever seen a real live Persimmon Tree? This was beautiful.

A variety of dried fish. Have you ever had dried squid? Neither has Michaela. She had to pass on this one. Lot's of people loved it though!

Michaela's favorite! Kim Chee!

Hey buddy, do you know Dorothy? Am I in Korea or Kansas?

Shopping at one of the outdoor markets

Having fun at one of the restuarants we ate at. Michaela was very intersted in helping this new friend cut up onions!

The South Koreans have won our hearts!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

From The Book "Gifts"

Life is so generous a gift
but we, judging it's gifts
by their covering,
cast them away as ugly
or heavy or hard.

Remove the covering
and you will find beneath it
a living splendor,
woven of love, by wisdom
with power.

Fra Giovanni