Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted
according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or
slow to do the humble work.

- Mother Teresa

About Me

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Sunny Florida, United States
I am the proud mom to 6 kids: Natasha, 24, Nikolai, 20, Reese, 20, Maylee, 14, Erik, 10 and Violet, 7. The kids come from Russia, Ukraine and China; I'm so proud of my family sometimes I think I'll burst and I needed an outlet for it - so I've created this weblog. :o)
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Mother Teresa

Motivation for Moms

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One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
Mother Teresa

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Saturday, February 28, 2009
Today was a big day! Nik and I celebrated our 6th Adoption Day on Thursday and this morning I surprised him with a trip to go parasailing!! I didn't tell him what we were doing and let him guess and guess and guess until we pulled up to the port and I showed him a brochure! Nik, the laid-back, one-emotion kid that he is (calm), smiled and said, "cool!". For him, that is great excitement! LOL

Anyway, we had a blast. I bought a picture package and relaxed, knowing that we'd have fabulous pictures to show and put into frames for the walls at home!! It was a beautiful day, and the crew on the boat were really nice. Nik and I flew at 800ft. for about 15 min. over the beautiful Florida skyline, near Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, and Port Canaveral (where the cruise ships leave from, and 2 of them were there, which is always fun).

When we landed back in the boat, the one guy who takes the pictures came to me and said that there is something wrong with his camera and he didn't think the pictures were going to turn out!! AAAAAACKKKK!!! He was so apologetic and it was obviously not his fault, but I was sooooo disappointed!! I would have brought my own camera and made sure to get some!! UGH!

The long and the short of this story is that ZERO pictures turned out. :o( I spoke to the owner of the boat and eventually she agreed to let us go again next weekend (we are only about 30 min. away from the port) and would let us go for 1/2 price, and not charge for the pictures. A fair deal, at best, I must say. I tried to get her to let us go free, but she said, "Well, you did get to go parasailing..." and there is some truth to her point, so I didn't argue further.

So! Next week: 10:45am again, we go up again!! I guess it's not such a bad thing, really... ;op
Friday, February 27, 2009
Okay, one more post, and I'm done for the day!! I had to share this silly picture with you, though! Our older whippet, Ellie, is the Supreme Ruler of the dogs. She is alpha and not afraid to show it!! She has Adam completely "beat" into submission (we love to give him sympathy and he loves to get it!) and though Daisy gives her a run for her money, Daisy also knows her place. Anyway, Ellie was queen of this bed for the past couple of days. When she is on the bed, the other dogs aren't. Plain and simple. Well, this morning for some reason, she decided to get into her crate before it was time for me to go to work, and the other dogs didn't miss a beat!! I couldn't find them, and when I looked, I looked, I saw these two lumps under the covers of this bed!! Sure enough, I felt around and it was Adam and Daisy!! Poor babies somehow were so desperate to claim the bed now that Ellie wasn't on it that they both somehow burrowed under the covers and went to sleep!! They were so cute I was going to crate Ellie and let them stay on the bed when I went to work, but after I took this picture Adam (being the dunce that he is!) got shook up because he hates the camera (and heard it) and climbed out, meaning I had to crate him after all!! (Daisy doesn't get crated - she behaves herself when left alone.)

Poor little Adam and Daisy!! I'll have to be sure and let Adam sleep with me tonight. He's my little baby and I love to make big over him whenever I can, and with Mark out of town, I can sleep with as many dogs as I want! LOL

I do love those dogs. All of them. :o) Life would be SO boring and structured without them!!
Not 5 days ago I sent in our application to the Immigration Dept. for our 1-171H approval to bring Simon here. I was bursting my buttons with pride for having so few problems with it and really feeling like I was somebody!

Today, I got a certified letter and I quickly went to the P.O. and it was from them!! I knew it wasn't our approval letter because it was WAY too fast and they didn't have our homestudy yet, nor our Homeland Security fingerprints yet. BIG DUH!!! They sent everything back because I did not enclose a money order!! I would have bet a thousand bucks that the appl. said to send a 'check made out to...' (I haven't taken the time to double check yet, but I'm sure that's what it says!!) Anyway, I feel like such a stooge for not being safe and just sending a stupid money order.

Two things: One, it's no big deal at this point, really, because they don't have our homestudy yet, and I'm not really sure what good it does to mail in the paperwork beforehand, and

Two, it's great to see how FAST that stuff came back, and by certified mail!! I hope this is a good sign that shows that they are a FAST department!!

We got our final two letters of recommendation from Robin and LeeAnn (thanks guys!) tonight so tomorrow I will send all of the homestudy stuff to Ft. Pierce to our agency and resend the INS stuff complete with a MONEY ORDER to Orlando!!

As my Aunt Roberta would say, "Oy vey iz mir!!"
This is Timothy. He's one of the kiddos listed on Reece's Rainbow that are available for adoption. Isn't he just precious?!? If we weren't going after Simon, he might be the one I'd want! He is listed as February's Child of the Month this month but he only has 45 piddly dollars in his grant!! Let's see if we can get the news out about this little fella, okay? This is how he is described: "Isn't Timothy DARLING?? This handsome, happy, active 2 year old boy is just waiting for his family to come get him!!! He was 2 in August and is already up and walking. He does have an oval window, but this has not stopped him in any way. he eats and sleeps well, is social and active with the other typical children, and has been very well taken care of. He will make a wonderful addition to ANY family! "

He's just too cute!!!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Today we were supposed to be rehearsing in Daytona all day for the Daytona 500 Pre-Race show that we were volunteering in. We did it last year and had a blast! Today, however, we just didn't have the gumption to rehearse for 12 hours, return exhausted only to get back to the racetrack at 7am the next morning for another exhausting day! Instead, we decided just to have some fun!!

Mark and the boys and I headed to Cape Canaveral, where there is a great "Entertainment" place, with Lazer Tag, arcade games galore, putt-putt, and Go-Karts. Besides playing Lazer Tag, in which I held my stupid gun thing backwards the whole time and ended up with zero points which really ticked me off, we went Go-Karting!! It was no easy feat talking Mark into participating, but participate he did! That man is one heck of a competitor!! Here are some pictures of our fun day:

Here we are, waiting in line (of which there really was none!) to race. Mark did not want to be standing next to Reese in this obnoxious pink T-shirt, but he did anyway. lol Nikolai does not have his glasses on because he broke them - he didn't get contacts!

"I actually have to get INTO this thing...??"

Nik was so excited, as this was the first time he'd independently driven ANYTHING! He was able to push on the accelerator with his stronger leg and did great!

"Whoopeee!!! I'm flying!!!"
"...Uh, Reese? You haven't started moving yet."
(Please do NOT look at that hole in his shoe!!! I just bought him a new pair but he insists on wearing these old ones!! I'm so embarrassed!)

Here's Reese in his pink T-shirt flying across the track. I'm doing my best taking these pictures while lapping everyone in my own car! I got lots of the sky and of the grass, the tires, etc. but I did manage to get a few of my family. Wish I had cropped them before posting them, though!

Here's Nik, ready to peel around a corner.

My son Reese, whom I love dearly, did not treat his mother with respect, it needs to be told. I was simply leaving everyone in my dust, lapping them all, when I was passing Reese for the 17th time, I'm sure it was. Suddenly, my child jerked his car to the left, causing me to SLAM into the guard rail!! He laughed as my car got so wedged under the railing that it took two of the workers with a crowbar to get me out!! This is one of the workers, trying to help a poor, defenseless mom who was only trying to have a good time with her children and husband, and gets a Hit and Run from her beloved son.

Poor Nik's car stalled twice and he had to be towed to the pit stop once to change cars! Poor kid! The rest of us were grateful, though, as his mishap allowed us to have extra time on the track! Thanks, Nik!!

Here are ultra-competitive Mark and Reese, vying for 2nd and 3rd place (I was in 1st place, of course).

And Mark, zooming up a "hill".

After the race: "Have you got a cot in the arcade, anywhere...??"

Friday, February 13, 2009
I just was made aware that these little girls were in the very same mental institution that Simon is slated to go to. He was due to be transferred there last August, but by God's Grace, he is still in his baby house (that I hear is quite good!) and hopefully will NEVER have to go there.

Read my friend Michelle's post: http://fromnctoukraine.blogspot.com/2009/02/reality.html

Sometimes, reality is no fun.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This is Margarita:
And this is Katerina:

Aren't they beautiful? These two little girls were available for adoption on the Reece's Rainbow website in the country where Simon lives. They waited for a family until they were of the age (4) when they were transferred to a mental institution to live until they died or are sent to an adult asylum. At that institution, they received very, very little care, and were forced to lie in bed 100% of their lives, even if they were able to walk or crawl around. My son Nikolai lived in one of these places, and my son Reese was due to be transferred to one immediately if I hadn't've adopted him when he just had turned 4. These places are REAL, and are where all children with any disability at all go. They are filled with hopelessness and death.

Very recently, both Katerina and Margarita died from the flu. They died alone and in a horrid place. Did anyone love them? Did anyone ever show any kindness to them? I don't know. I kind of doubt it.

Simon is in that situation right now. At almost 4 1/2, he is over-due to be transferred to one of these institutions where he'll probably live about a year, if he's lucky. It is by God's good grace that he hasn't been transferred yet. Because Mark and I have committed to him, there is an excellent chance that the orphanage director will hold on to him until we come for him.

I've adopted 3 times. Each time, there was doubt raised by family that maybe I couldn't handle a child with issues, after all, kids adopted from Eastern Europe have behavioral issues. Yes, they do. But it is not all about that - it is about providing love and hope and a life with Christ and it is about enjoying a family! Everyone wins!

I had considered adopting these two little girls at one time, but I just didn't feel led to do it. Would they have lived had I pursued them? No, probably not. They would have been waiting for me when they got the flu and it wouldn't have mattered. But Simon is still there in his baby house, waiting, not knowing how much Mark and I love him. We do feel called to be his parents and we trust that the Lord will help us to get him and to raise him, and if we feel led to adopt a second, then so be it.

While Katerina and Margarita are basking in the warmth and love of Jesus right now, we know that they died alone and in misery and their lives were filled with sorrow. That makes me sad until I think of Jesus telling them of all of the ladies who are a part of Reece's Rainbow who loved them and talked about them and wished for them. They were loved!

I can't wait until we can bring Simon home. I am more anxious than ever to get him home. Please pray for his health and safety until we can get there, and for all of the other kids waiting, waiting...
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Homestudy paperwork, patients canceling appointments without telling me, dogs with upset bellies, kids needing to get to Youth Group on Wednesdays, piles of laundry, insurance hurry-up-and-wait issues (from the fire), dogs too cold to go potty outside (in 35 degree weather), dirty dishes in the sink, teenage boys' bedrooms that smell like locker rooms, shoes that suddenly fall apart, what to make for supper tonight?, not enough soap in the shower... these are the hectic things that make up a typical week in our house. Often I feel like a hamster in a wheel, running, running, running, but getting no where. But then...

I spent $123 at JCPenny and bought nothing but things that were 75 - 90% off! Mark got some $60 Haggar shirts for $6, the boys got clothes for school, we got new throw pillows for the bed, I got some unmentionables, Simon got some new adorable little one-piece outfits, and I walked out of there with three BULGING bags of stuff for $123!

Also, this week three patients called the office to comment on how sweet I was and how I was like sunshine coming in their door! THAT was nice!!!!

And little Daisy got a new sweatshirt "hoodie" because it's been so cold here, and she looks so cute that I just can't help but giggle with love when I see her.

Reese is going to try for a dual enrollment course when he gets to high school next year so that he'll graduate not only with a high school diploma, but ALSO with an AA degree! He is so motivated I know he will go far in this world. It's not even that he's so *smart*, but he tries, and tries, and tries, and has very high goals for himself and isn't afraid to do the work that it takes to get there. Plus, he's just a sweet and lovable kid.

And Nikolai's my little house-cleaner. Each evening after supper, Mark and the boys VERY graciously clean up the kitchen! I bring my dishes to the sink and leave. Usually, it's Nikolai that does the bulk of the cleaning and he does a great job! Thanks, Nik!!!

Mark is my cuddle-bunny. No, he's not my child, he's my husband! ha But he is so cuddly and loving and warm and sweet, I don't know what I ever did without him.

Adam and Ellie remain silly and busy, but I dearly love them both. Adam is still (at 6 y.o.) very much like a toddler and I love that about him! Ellie (at 7 y.o.) is still very bossy and "alpha" over the other dogs, but she is getting sweeter in her old age. We think she may be sick, though, as she's been acting a bit strange... I hope there's nothing wrong.

So even though life gets hectic and often seems overwhelming, there is so much good there. So many ways to be happy and appreciate everyone in our family. Everyone contributes, everyone loves the other, and everyone helps the other. We are an unusual family, but God pieced us together as only He can do, and we think that's pretty neat.

So even if I'm a hamster in a wheel, running, running... God often picks me up out of my cage, gives me a cuddle and a treat, and sets me gently back in it; always reminding me that even if I'm feeling overwhelmed at times, I know that things are truly ...GOOD.

Monday, February 2, 2009
Hi, I have an 18 y.o. daughter who was adopted from Russia but does not live with us. She is struggling with many things and could really use prayers. Don't want to give details here, but God will know. ;o) Thanks so much.

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If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.
- Chinese proverb
It is not the will of your Father that any one of these little ones should perish. Matt. 18:14

Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matt. 18:5

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My family

My family
Nikolai, Mark, Missy, Reese, and Erik

Nikolai, 19

Nikolai, 19

Reese, 19

Reese, 19

Erik, 9

Erik, 9





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