"Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart - but in it"

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What not to say to adoptive parents

Ok so let me preface this with, dont think we are being mean. This blog post is just as much for me as it is for all of you. I went all over the internet and complied some different posts and made them into this one.

What Not to Say

"Who are his 'real' parents?"

"Aren't you wonderful to adopt this child?"

"How could his 'real' mother give away an adorable baby?"

"Do you know anything about his background?"

"What will you do if he searches for his 'real' mother?"

"Your kids look so different? Which one is yours?"

"It's just like having one of your own, isn't it?"

"Why was she given up for adoption?"

"How much did you pay for your baby?"

"Now that you've adopted, you'll probably get pregnant, don't you think?"

What Non-Adoptive Parents Should Know

If you're an adoptive parent, chances are you've heard all or some of these questions. Neighbors, strangers, friends, and yes, even family, may mean well, but their remarks can really grate on adoptive families. Often, non-adoptive parents don't even realize they're asking intrusive questions.

The answers to your questions are going to be framed using these basic points about adoption:

  • Adoption is permanent.
  • Adoption is a legal change, involving the court.
  • Adoption is another good way to create a family.
  • Some aspects of adoption are private.
  • Most adopted children grow up to be just fine.

That was from American Baby magazine, but just let me say I do not like this magazine not for this article but just in general. I think they push their agenda and are bought and paid for...ok enough on the magazine and back to the original post.....

"Are Those Your Real Children?"By using the word "real" you are saying that families formed by adoption are not real. Of course, all children are real and each one of them is loved and cherished equally by the adoptive parents.

"Which ones are yours?"Once a child is adopted, they belong in that family. If you say "which ones are yours" you are separating the adopted child from the rest of the family. Families that are built through adoption are just as much a family as any other.

"What happened to her real parents?" First, this falls into the same category as the "real children" question. Of course the adopted parents are the child's real parents. The child's birth parents are also their real parents. Families are formed in so many different ways and each family is real whether there is one parent, two parents, four parents or more.

The above was from families.com

Things that are NOT to be Said to People Who Adopt:

1. How much did she/he cost?
2. Why did you go and adopt--couldn't you have your "own" child?
3. Did you buy that baby?
4. Maybe now that you adopted, you'll have "your own" child.
5. She/He looks nothing like either of you.
6. What are you going to do when she/he looks for their birthparent?
7. Do you know her/his "real" parents?
8. I sure hope he/she fits into your family!
9. Why didn't his/her real mom want him/her?
10. Don't even tell him/her they are adopted, they'll never know.
11. Too bad you had to adopt!
12. Whose fault is it you can't get pregnant?
13. You're doing these kids such a favor.
14. S/he is so lucky to have your family instead of his/her own.
15. An older child is damaged goods .
16. She's your daughter?
17. What about your own kids? What do they think about this?
18. She might come from a cursed background.

19. What are you going to do when you have kids of your own?
20. Do you think you love them as much as you could love your real kids?
21. You got kids the easy way you never even had to be pregnant.
22. What if the real parents come back and kidnap them?

The above was from a website adoptioncrossroads.org

Is it difficult to love a child who isn’t your own?

My children are my own both of them. Yes, I know what you mean. And I repeat: both of my children are "my own."

I could never love someone who doesn’t share my biology.

I’m sorry your heart is so limited. And presumably your spouse doesn’t share your biology, so I’m sorry for him or her, too.

She/he’s so lucky.

If there are adoptive parents who haven’t heard this one, I don’t know them. Yes, my adopted child is lucky, just like her brother who was born to me just like any kid blessed with a good family. Moreover, my husband and I are lucky to have her as a daughter. My daughter is not lucky, however, by virtue of having been adopted or because she’s been adopted by an American family. Her life story will always be one that begins with wrenching loss of family, country, language, culture and all things related to the place and people from whence she came. She will have to figure out how to incorporate all of this into her identity at some point, no matter how much we love her.

That’s great you’re adopting; it’s so much easier than having the child yourself.

Clearly, you have never adopted a child. What, exactly, is easy about it? Is it the hundreds of questions prospective adoptive parents have to answer along the path to adoption, questions that go to the heart of what kind of people they are and dissect every aspect of their lives? Is it committing to a lifetime of knowing that at anytime from toddlerhood through adulthood, your child may come to you with wrenching questions about his or her origins and your answers may be unsatisfactory? Is it knowing that the very fact that your child is yours means that somewhere a woman will probably grieve every day of her life for the child she could not raise? Is it missing the early months, sometimes years, of your child’s life? Is it telling your child when he or she asks to see baby pictures, "Sorry, I don’t have any"? I could go on, but you get the point.

The above was from babble.com

Things you should not say to a family who chose international adoption

Why didn't you adopt a child from the US?"

This is a very common statement that adoptive parents hear. Some versions of it include "There are so many needy children in foster care. Why didn't you adopt there, instead off through international adoption?" This comment and question is just plain rude and nosy.

Imagine you are holding your sweet newborn in the grocery line, just a few weeks after giving birth. A total stranger asks you "Why didn't you adopt?" or says, "There are so many needy children, how come you didn't adopt?" Of course that sounds very crazy, just as it would asking someone why they didn't adopt locally.

Some parents feel "called" to adopt internationally, others would prefer to not have to deal with "baby momma drama." Some adoptive moms don't feel up to dealing with the headaches and hassles of adopting from CPS. Some don't meet the qualifications for domestic adoption. Some would prefer not to have to wait long. Some feel, that by adopting internationally, they are making more of a difference.

The question also implies, in a way, that international children aren't as "deserving" to be adopted. Please avoid ever asking this question to a parent who's been through international adoption.

"I have a friend of a friend who chose international adoption, and her child has severe problems...."

Some similar comments are "I saw that 20/20 show where the kids from Russia were just crazy.", or "Aren't you worried your child with have fetal alcohol syndrome or autism?"

Please never say that to someone who's in the process of adopting from a foreign country, or already has. Chances are, they have researched all challenges that might arise, and it really isn't your business to pry. While it's expected to be a bumpy ride at first (sometimes), the majority of all international adoptions have wonderful, happy endings.

It's like saying to someone who just found out they were pregnant, "Well my friend got pregnant and her baby... (insert tragic story here)..." When someone chooses to adopt internationally, they choose to love their child unconditionally.

"It takes a special person to do what you are doing. I could never do it."

While that statement is probably very valid, it's not very considerate. It is insulting to the adoptive child, and to the parents for that matter.

How, would you feel if someone looked at your biological child and say, "Wow, you are such a special person to take care of him/her! I don't know how you do it!"

Please never say it to any parent, adoptive or not, of a child with (or without) special needs.

Top Things to NOT say to an Adoptive Parent
(slightly edited from http://www.michellesmiles.com/?cat=3&paged=2)

We know people mean well but some adoptive parents may not appreciate the following:

10. Oh look, she has your husband’s eyes (or smile or whatever)…
Ok this one doesnt bother me. I think God knows each child and who is their family and maybe He makes the kids look like us, who knows. So if you want to tell me Faith looks like me I would be honored

9. How much did she cost?
Babies do not cost money. Adoptions cost money. If you want to know because you want to adopt I will talk with you but not in front of my children. I can also give you information on costs. If you want to know just to be nosy I will know and wont tell you.

8. Did you meet her real mother?
I am her real mother. I am going to raise her, sit with her when she is sick, cry with her over her first heart break, and pay for college. Her birth mother (or biological mother) is someone we honor and are thankful to every day for the joy she has given us, but we are her real parents.

7. I just know you’ll love her like your own.
See above. She is our own daughter and we will love her more than you can know. (Also, our biological children and our adopted daughter are all our REAL children).

6. You know you’ll get pregnant within a year now.
Yes, we all know our cousin’s secretary’s sister who got pregnant 3 months after adopting. But this doesn’t happen in a statistically significant manner. And you have no idea what kind of fertility struggles someone may have gone through before adopting so it's better not to mention this to couples adopting their first child. Plus there is no chance I will ever carry a child again.

5. Is she yours?
Nope, I took her out of a shopping cart at Target. Hope no one notices.

4. Did you get lots of medical tests done on her? I hear most of those countries only let Americans adopt the really sick babies.
Crap! We forgot to send in the papers for the money back guarantee! She’s our daughter we know what medical conditions she has and we will take care of her.

3. I bet she's smart. I hear "they" have a real gift for academics...
I think she is, but then I'm her mother. (smile here) I don't think, though, that we can make sweeping assumptions about any group, do you?

2. Are you going to tell her she is adopted?
Lady, if she doesn’t figure it out herself at some point, we have bigger problems than her understanding that she is adopted. Adoption is rarely a secret in families in this day and age. It is part of her life story and she will know from day one that she is incredibly loved and came to our family in a special way.(Ellie's mom wrote this but I totally agree)

1. Does she speak English? (asked when you're holding a baby)...
Only in private. In public, they speak "baby." [smile here] -again from Ellie's mom but I kept it


Positive Adoption Language:

The words we choose to use say a lot about what we think. When we use positive adoption language, we say that adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is a way to build a family. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other. Try using the positive words when you are talking about adoption...


Birth Parent
Biological Parent
Birth Child
My Son/Daughter
Born to Unmarried Parents
Choose Adoption
Make an Adoption Plan
International Adoption
Child with Special Needs
Child from Abroad
Was Adopted


Real Parents
Natural Parent
Own Child
Adopted Child
Give Up
Give Away
Foreign Adoption
Handicapped Child
Foreign Child
Is Adopted

The above was from a blog called bring ellie home.

Now to add my own.

So I was out to dinner with my family and I dont know what it is but we always get remarks and stares. Thats fine, I learned after number 4 this is a way of life. This woman was asking us about our girls and when anyone asks about our children I include Faith. She is my child she just is not here yet. So anyways she says to me, "Wow wont that be hard?" She was speaking about Faith having special needs. What I wanted to say was Since when is life suppose to be so easy? But I refrained and said that God told us to and we said yes. I wonder which one would have scared her more. Speaking about God in pubic I should be ashamed. Ok so on to the point...

Dont you think I know it is going to be hard to raise my child? It is hard to raise any child, especially one with special needs. I am not some stupid woman that is going into this in denial. I know, I know, I know this will be hard. You saying it isnt an epiphany that will be my Ah ha moment and I will all of a sudden just stop the adoption.

Second one, Are these all your real children.
No this one we made a wax museum looks real huh. Lifelike even. I can not emphasize this enough they are all my REAL children. Use biological if you must ask that question. I actually had one person say are they all yours. Since when do people just go places with random children. Yes they are all mine.

One thing I heard that was a bit offensive that I have not forgotten was when I brought up we were considering a child who was deaf blind this person said, "I wouldnt touch that with a 10ft pole!" That meaning my daughter. That statement hurt a little. I'll just leave it at that.

I also have been hearing Oh so you want a BIG family. What 5 is a big number? Nah!

Isnt she so lucky to have parents like you. NO. We are blessed and lucky to have her as our daughter. We arent heros. We arent above anyone else because we adopted and we hope we never have that air about us. We just simply answered God's call. To Him be the glory.

Please understand that we know you are not saying any of this to be mean and most of the time we laugh at your comments. Ok so I want to thank you if you held in and read this whole long thing. If you have ?s dont think that I wont answer you or I dont want to hear your ?s. Just be mindful of how you word them because words can help and be mindful of little ears when you ask because there are some thing little children just cant understand and it may confuse or even scare them if they over hear it. Thanks all. Nite!


I was looking online at adoption products and then that got me to some blogs of others going thru the process and that got me to the tears. Tears seem like a daily occurrence during this adoption process. I am sure that those of you reading this that have gone thru or are going thru the process now know what I mean. I am not sad by any means or depressed or angry just I guess the spirit moves me..a lot! lol.

Adopting I am finding out is a lot like a pregnancy which I have probably have said before (mommy brain). My hormones are all crazy, my emotions are everywhere, I am gaining weight(hey I gotta blame it on something :) ), my boobs hurt, ok so I exaggerated that last one. I have to wait for my child like I did when I was pregnant, but I cant protect her. I can pray for her and hope to see her and bring her home soon, but I cant eat right and exercise and know that is enough to sustain her. I cant take my vitamins and they affect her growth and development. I can't rub my tummy and talk to her. So I pray, I pray for God to hold her and whisper in her ear that her mama loves her and is coming for her very soon.

Today in church during worship I knew it was about time for Faith to go to bed and while worshiping I saw me stroking her hair as she lay on her belly in her crib and as I sang out to Jesus I was singing Faith to sleep. I held my Faith necklace and just sang, for the both of them. I thought about what worship sounds like. It so beautiful, whether it is in church or while listening to klove in the house or car, it just is so so beautiful. I thought about holding Faith in church during worship. I wondered about what her reaction would be to the music. We know she likes music, she gets to listen to music 3x a day with her hearing aids in. I wish they put them in more. I imagine how much more she will love worship.

I think about how she probably wont be sleeping in her bed but in mine with me and Paul, shhh dont tell him that! haha. Though it shouldnt be a surprise as all our children slept with us. I was putting AJ to bed tonight and I held her and she knows that I hate putting her in her crib awake and that I am the weaker one, thats why her dad puts her to bed every night. Shes a smart one. So I held her a little bit and talked to her about her baby sister who is coming and how many they can sleep together in the same crib or play in one crib together.

I cant even imagine the strength Paul and I will need having 5 children, homeschooling and having a child with special needs. Thank God He will give us strength. I just really can not wait to hold my littlest love bucket :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Frustrations and general thoughts

I was looking at all the fund raising we have been doing and all the donations and it was so nice to see how much everyone has helped. Thank you ALL!!! Then I looked at how much more we have to go. It seems as though all our money is going to paperwork and clearances and adoption agency fees and psych evals. Its disheartening. We still have to "pay" for our child and for our travel and in country expenses including 230.00 a day for an interpreter and 1200.00 for a medical exam for us on the first trip. Ugh!

The reality is starting to set in though that this is so close to happening. We could be in Russia this time next month, maybe. Paul got a job so the paperwork will be easier now they say. I am still waiting to hear back on the final draft of the homestudy. Some days I think this is taking forever, but if you think about it we started this journey in November 2009(found her in October), we got the dossier on Christmas eve 2009 and today is Feb 15th 2010, 3 months, that isnt long at all especially in the adoption world. I am just so eager to go see her. To travel the first time so we can sign a paper saying Faith is who we want as our daughter otherwise known as officially accepting the referral. Plus I know once we are there it wont be long until she is flying home with us to meet her sisters, grandparents and the hundreds of people that supported us, supported her.(I know we arent suppose to but I may decide to have anyone who wants to come to the airport come. We will see.)

When I think about that day, the first time we see her, I cant think about anything else but her. I can't think about her living conditions or the other children there. I can't think about how when we are over there it means our 4 beautiful amazing daughters our over here without us. I especially can not even let myself go to what AJ will be thinking. How we were here and then all of a sudden we werent. The one week wont be near as bad as the 10 days. Maybe if we all pray they will say everything is in order why don't you just take her now(on the first trip). Pray people! Wouldnt that be so wonderful.

I also cant bare the thought of meeting my daughter, the child for whom I have prayed and not somehow tucking her in my shirt and leaving with her. How do I say goodbye? This is a lesson for me, in patience and strength and endurance. A lesson in learning that it isnt in my time but in His. Learning how to lean on my Father's arms for strength to endure things I can not even fathom. I worry about how she will react to us. I am suppose to prepare for her to scream and not want us and if she does want us it will be just one of us.

Пока я могу держать вас в моих объятиях сладкого ребенка я буду держать вас в моем сердце. (Until I can hold you in my arms my sweet child, I will hold you in my heart.)

Prayer requests

That the money needed to finish up this adoption plus all travel comes.

That the courts will waive the 10 day waiting period.

That the time from the first time we travel to the court date is tiny, or that we can adopt her the first trip over. I know that this never happens but hey my God is bigger, amen!

That all the paperwork goes through and quickly, no delays, no revisions, no redos.

Praise reports

That Faith has made it this far. That she survived being born early and living in an orphanage and not being loved or held. And that that time is almost over for her. No more days without love.

That Paul got a job! PTL!!!!

Is it enough

Today I realized something. I ask God to give me His eyes, I can't pretend I don't see now that He has given me His sight. I cant pretend I don't hear now that He has given me His ears hearing. I cant stop and pretend that He never called me. So I ask, God, give me your strength to endure the things I have seen and heard and yet to see and hear. Give me your wisdom to know when to speak. I have been asking Him since I was little to let me help change the world and that prayer is being answered as we speak. Some days I feel as though I am not doing enough. Maybe we should have tried to adopt more or sooner? I find myself asking... am I doing enough?

Updates on the fundraising

We have raised 386.68 from Silpada Jewelery!!! Thank you so much to Kathy Downy who decided to sell on our behalf and raise the money to help us bring Faith home. If you would like to order any jewelery or have a show just click her name. Thanks to Kathy too for the beautiful necklace she gave me today. It is priceless. I love it!

We would also like to thank Sarah Darr for donating all the proceeds from the Pa Soy candle sale. The candles raised 300.00 Thanks so much Sarah. If you would like to have a candle fundraiser or buy some you can email her at raindrop132@verizon.net

Thank you both so much for the hard work and all that was involved in making these fundraisers a huge success. I pray God blesses you in the way you have blessed us.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big Shout out to the State Capitol!

Yesterday we decided it was time to get away. We needed a break from everything and we had almost every paper for the dossier done. I booked 2 rooms in Hershey Pa and got us all packed up. We took my gram with us because she said she wanted to go to Hershey for her birthday. Her birthday isnt until May but what the hay, right?

We left at 6:45am Monday morning. The roads were clear which was a bit of a shocker since we had 3 ft of snow at our house. We were making great time so we stopped to get a cinnamon roll for breakfast. We got to Hershey at about 11am. The kids were so excited to be there. We toured the factory and it was great. Basically it was us 7 and maybe 10 other people in the whole building, haha. I forgot how there was not really a lot to do at the Hershey factory. We were done there maybe an hour after we got there. So we called up the hotel and ask if we could check in early, like 4 hours early. They surprised us all and said yes.

At the hotel we got our rooms and they were fabulous! Very clean and really pretty. We went swimming and had a blast. I preferred the hot tub to the chilly chilly pool water. The kids had a blast. Cherry and Trin were playing and helping each other swim, it was so cute. Sarie wasnt too sure of the water except for when she was on my back. AJ absolutely loved it. When Paul wanted to swim I took AJ and when I wanted to he took her. When we both were swimming or playing with the other kids she was sitting out with Gram. She was so mad when we would take her out of the pool. None of the kids wanted to leave the pool, ah correction Sarie was all too eager to leave. After we got them out of the pool and AJ was done throwing a tantrum we got dressed and ready to see friends we havent seen in oh my....6 years! Wow! 6 really....anyways..

We went to their house which is beautiful by the way and then out to dinner. It was so cute hearing our 5 yr old and their 6 yr old talk. They couldnt remember each others names so they keep saying, "Best Friend, hey Best Friend" haha. We got to socialize and then I remembered that not every family is a homeschooling family and it was Monday not Saturday. So we cut our visit short and went back to the hotel.

I knew that Tuesday would be such a big day and that they were also calling for yet another snow storm so we had to get in get done and get out. Tuesday morning came way too fast. We got up and had a wonderful breakfast courtesy of Days Inn on Chocolate Ave in Hershey(lil shout out). The kids and I all ate well then we started to head to Harrisburg. This is the time our Gps and Pauls phone decided to not work. I completely forgot my phone had gps until we were in Harrisburg. So we found the building and fed the meter. We had an hour and 40 minutes to get done.

The kids did so well going through the metal detectors, even AJ. She was looking like she was grown walking through there herself. The building was amazing! They were having a meeting in the chamber while we were there. After going through a maze, fun maze, we found the apostilling office. They were so nice there. I ask if they notarized because we had 4 documents we had to redo because there was a 1 where a 3 should have been, picky adoption agency. Sadly they told us no, but ask where we were from. I told them we were from the Burgh and they all worked together to find who was our representative and get those papers notarized. They said we shouldnt have to go all the way home to come all the way back out. I thought that was very thoughtful.

We had to go through the maze again only a different way to find Sen. Logan's office. A woman on the elevator told us she would take us right there, how sweet. We would have never found it ourself. It was on floor E but was 5 something so we would have just gone to 5 and been totally lost. She was so kind to us. I was worried that the people in the office would say no or it would be this insane amount of money, they didnt. God certainly was in this trip. While the papers were getting notarized another woman ask us about the adoption and how we decided to adopt. I love that question. I am not one to speak about salvation and how you must get saved and be all preachy. I wish I were, but I am not. I think our adoption story allows me to speak about miracles and the God we serve without getting preachy.

The woman said, "Isn't He great!" Not isnt that great or oh how nice, but Isnt He great. Amen He is! She then took us into the office of Sen. Logan, his private office. I felt so privileged. Then she put the tv on and it was the meeting going on. She explained the whole process to us. I never thought I would like government but I was genuinely interested. It was a good opportunity for the girls to learn too. She told us we could actually go to the "chamber" and watch, but we had to go back and get those papers apostilled and pick up the others. They wished us luck and with the papers in hand we headed back through the maze one last time to the apostilling office.

We got back to the office and paid the money for the apostills. $700. I spent less than that on our last van! I am going to talk to the Senator about changing the laws so the apostilling rate can be lowered. There was another couple at the office apostilling for China. It was their first adoption and their 4 th child, a boy. How wonderful. I pray he comes home soon.

We got in the car with only 9 minutes left on the meter. After we stopped for a bite to eat at Friendlys we were finally on our way back home. Snow started to hit pretty fast into the trip. We did beat it home though. As soon as we were all in the door the snow fell hard, haha.

Better news was when I opened an email from our caseworker in Washington. Paul ask her if we needed to get the medical tests done here and in Russia because the papers kind of made it sound that way. She took like 2 weeks to get the answers for us, something Paul and I feel she should have already known because we are not the first people to adopt from this agency. Anyways I kept pestering her and finally she told us great news. We did not have to have the tests done here but only in Moscow at the American clinic. This is awesome on so many levels. 1- there were 40 pages that went along with this paperwork that needed filled out by a doctor that was an internist which our dr wasnt and they all would have needed notarized and apostilled. 2- The tests and apostills would have been hugely expensive. 3- Our dossier now needs 2 papers and will be complete!!! YAY!!!!!

This friday we see a CPA and maybe, just maybe will be ready to turn in the dossier by next Friday! I am asking for prayer for a few things....

Our homestudy is in Russia and pending approval, please pray it gets approved.

That Paul gets a job.

We need 1200.00 for the medical exam in Russia when we go out the first time, plus 2000. for plane tickets and 300. per day for the translator. Hotel costs are not included in that. God is going to have to send us a big check.

Pray the spaghetti dinner fundraiser goes off really well and we have a ton of people. It is at Monroeville Assembly Of God church in Monroeville Pa on Feb 26th at 6pm. There will be music and drama, oh yeah and yummy food.

As always keep Faith and all the orphans in your prayers. They need to be home with their families. They need healed and loved.

Praise reports

God is good all the time. We thank Him for helping us to get a reliable van. Ours finally bit the dust in the way home from picking up the new(to us) one. For getting us the finances to pay for the apostilling. For everything! Thank you Jesus for loving us. Some days I just sit on my knees and think "Who am I oh sovereign Lord and who is my family that You have brought me this far!"2 Samuel 7:18

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Faith's 1st Birthday!!!

Yesterday was Faith's first birthday. Usually this occasion is marked by a party with all the friends and families and a look back on the very first year of your child's life. Paul and I only had one recollection. It was when we got the email saying that a baby needed a family. The email that changed our lives and put us on a journey to another country and mounds of paperwork, court hearings, apostillings and homestudys.

I began to think about Faith's birthmom. I thank God for her and her choice to give our daughter life. I wonder what she pondered, if anything, yesterday. Did she think about how one year ago that day she was rushed to the hospital to have her child 13/14 weeks early? Did she know something was wrong? Was she excited to have a child? Was she young or older? Single, married, widowed, abused?

Being a mom I know that on my kids first birthdays I was so happy to celebrate their life yet sad it had gone so fast. I wonder if her days went fast or if to her time stood still. I always cry on my kids birthdays too, did she cry? Her cries would be much different than mine. Mine are of joyful times remembered and a look back at how much my little ones had changed. Looking through all the pictures and remembering those moments. She doesnt have any pictures to remember all the accomplishments Faith had made through out the year.

I wonder if she knows that Faith has a mom and dad trying very hard to adopt her. Does she know her daughter has a family that wants Faith? Does she know her daughter just sat up for the first time last month, or that she recently got hearing aids and loves listening to music? Does she know where the orphanage is and passes by it during her day? I just wonder what she thought about yesterday on the first birthday of our daughter.

I never use to be a fan of open adoption. I felt like it was an intrusion. I was suffering with infertility so the very last thing I wanted was to have a child and have another mother come in and be a part of that. This whole adoption experience has changed me. I dont know if it is because I have children now or that I am older. I wish very much to meet Faith's birthmother. To know all about her. To let her see that my husband and I are good people that only want the best for our daughter. I want her to know where Faith will be living and that she has sisters. I want her to know if she ever had any more children that needed a home we would be open to that. I think my views have changed because I am not so selfish now. I know that it would be best for Faith to know all she can about who she is.

Faith's birthmother,

Thank you for giving our daughter life. I pray that God blesses you. Words can not express how much I owe to you or how very much I thank you for giving us our daughter. When she is home her name will be Irina(meaning peace) Faith. We wanted to keep her Russian heritage so I spelled Irina the Russian way. We will probably always call her Faith. She has 4 older sisters.

My husband and I have been married 10 years and are very much in love. Faith will have a wonderful church family who already pray for and love her. We have a strong faith in God and our daughter will be brought up to love the Lord with all her heart. She will receive the best medical care and all her needs will be met. I doubt she will ever get put down.

I held all my babies for the first year of their life all the time. I was teased about it too but they are all well adjusted children. You dont have to worry about her being hungry or cold. I will feed her and make sure she is always warm. When she cries know that it wont be for long and I will hold her to calm her fears. I will rock her to sleep at night and sing worship music in her ears. I will always tell her how much I love her and how much you loved her. Her (adopted)father will always be there for her. He is a great dad. He will protect her and love her.

She will never be treated any differently because she is adopted. She will know where she came from and who she is. We are going to try to learn Russian and speak it in our home often. We will celebrate the Russian holidays as well as the American ones. We plan on spending some summers in the Ukraine so she wont be far from her birth country.

Thank you so much for Faith. Those words seem so silly, like I am thanking you for a perfume bottle or something. I have no words to tell you how much we thank you for choosing life.

I also want you to know how much God loves you. Romans 8:38-39 says
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Always remember that. Remember that you too have a hope and a future.

Be blessed