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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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Okay. I'm calming down, now. This has been quite an afternoon. First, I had to go to Nikolai's IEP meeting, and those are always interesting. Then, I had to take Daisy to the vet as she is still not walking on that leg very well (he said that she is not using it enough and by holding it up so much it is getting tight - we need to make her USE the leg and get it going again; it has NOT come out of place, thank goodness).

Then! I get home from the vet and our all-important Immigration approval document has arrived!!! I have heard such horror stories lately about the USCIS and how they have given people a rough time, it has taken months and months, people have to get their Congressmen involved, etc. and ours took 10 painless days!!

What this MEANS, though, is that suddenly, we are very behind in our documents!! I thought we'd have several weeks to get everything all put together while we waited for this document, but it's HERE, and now we need to MOVE!! There are several loose ends that we can tie up if we move hard, and Monday at the earliest, we will be able to send away to Tallahassee for apostilles for everything, then when those are on, we will send the whole sh-bang to Ukraine!!

My head is spinning. There is so much to do. So many tiny details that mean so much. Ukraine is VERY picky about their documents and I am so worried that a "t" might not be crossed somewhere. Fortunately, our "coordinator", Meredith, is right here in Titusville, and instead of having to scan everything for her to check, we can just swing by her house and let her take a look.

Time to breathe deeply. Keep a clear head. This is not an emergency.


We had our first official document get sent off for an apostille yesterday. A very simple form, stating that we wanted to "reserve" Simon, and hoping that they will hold him for us and give us a quick appointment when our documents are finally in order.


The form itself was okay, but we forgot to put in this info, and I forgot to replace "Wife" and "Husband" with our names under the line on which we were to sign, etc. The notary messed up, drawing arrows all over the paper, indicating whose signature was whose, etc. Ugh! What a mess!! I don't ever remember having any troubles like this with any of my 3 Russian adoptions.

I sure hope this isn't a sign of things to come...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I admire those folks who can make nifty videos of their video clips and photos. I am trying to be as cool as those folks...! I joined Smilebox and thought I'd try and see if I could make a video, too. ;o}

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: A
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Please watch the video above. You will not forget it. I'm sorry I couldn't figure out how to put it directly on the blog, but at least you have the link.

It is NOT the "Send Me" one, but the SECOND one, the one titled, "Video" and that begins with a quote from Mother Theresa.

Please let me know what you think.
Sunday, April 26, 2009

I received an interesting e-mail from Meredith from our facilitator. She said that we need to send over a document specifying that we want to "reserve" Simon and because he's special needs, he'll go to the front of the line! At least, that's how I understand it. So tomorrow, we'll get this paper notarized and zoom it to Tallahassee for an apostille and FedEx it to Ukraine! Then, I suppose we'll be back to finishing our dossier.

But it was fun to see something "official" happening, and know that we will get our first official piece of the puzzle on it's way this week!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
We have been doing quite well, thank you, getting our documents in order for our dossier. In fact, everything was coming together so nicely I was getting a little bit arrogant! Ahem-- NEVER get arrogant when God is watching!! We've hit our first snag.

Nothing major, mind you, but still... We finally got our Medical forms filled out and everything looks okay (though we still need to scan them over to our coordinator to proof), but when we had the notary do her "thing", we noticed that her commission expires this October! What, you say? October? You'll be to Ukraine and back by then!! No. Yes, we will be, God willing, but all of the notary public's stamps have to say dates that don't expire for ONE YEAR after they receive the docs in the country!! UGH. Where in the world are we going to find a notary who will travel with us to the doctor's office and wait until he is able to sign another form for us? I guess we'll just have to start asking around... (I'll make that Mark's job! lol)

UGH. And things were going so weeeeeeell...!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Well, sort of. Nikolai turned 15 today, and while he's WAAAY too cool for DisneyWorld, he did consent to going to Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). Disney has a promotion this year that allows free admission to any of their parks on your birthday if you pre-register. Neat, huh? Mark and I already have passes, so we got in 100% free today! (Simon's birthday is Aug. 11, and we can't wait to take him!)

Anyway, we had a great day. As usual, the weather was gorgeous. We managed to pressure Mark into riding some of the wildest rides there, including Tower of Terror and the Rockin'Roller Coaster, but our favorite ride was Toy Story Midway Mania! (it's a 3-D ride full of midway/arcade style games - it's a BLAST!!!

I'm so blessed that my job allows me this kind of flexibility - all I have to do is schedule my patients for Saturday to replace today and I don't miss any work time. :o)

Anyway, here are some pictures:
Entering the park - each Disney park has a "centerpiece". At Magic Kingdom, it's Cinderella's castle, for example; at Epcot, it's the big "golf ball". Here, it is Mickey's Fantasia hat.

Here we are, about to enter the Tower Of Terror: I had to dig Mark out from his hiding place in the bushes after I took this.

At the entrance of Aerosmith's Rockin' Roller Coaster. It's like Space Mountain (in the dark) but this one goes upside down several times. In the dark, yes. It's FUN.

We needed proof that Mark actually survived this ride! Here are Nikolai and Mark at the exit to the ride. (Cool scenery, huh?)

"I had such a fun birthday!!"

On our way back home.

What a fun surprise recently to see new pictures of Simon in my mailbox! To me, it sure looks like he's grown, but maybe it's just because he's standing in front of a really short railing. He does look so much older, though...!! He's 4 1/2 already. We are DETERMINED to make it there before his 5th birthday in August!!!!

This picture cracks me up! I call it his "hillbilly" picture. The shutter speed was apparently slow on the camera that was used and he moved, making his teeth look like huge, long buck teeth!! Mark says he needs to have a pair of overalls and a crushed straw hat on to make this picture complete!! HA!! Well, I think he is beautiful any way that he is!! ;op (The bummer of it is, this is the only picture we got where he's *smiling*!!)
Sunday, April 19, 2009

Being part of a wonderful, loving, supportive adoption support group (specializing in Down Syndrome adoption), I have come to know many soon-to-be moms. They, like me (and Mark) feel called to adoption, particularly international adoption. Certainly there is a great need for adoption and foster care in this country, but anyone who dares look outside of our own very comfortable, safe country can see that the need is absolutely ENORMOUS. Children in the USA are fed, educated, put into foster homes (though admittedly many foster homes are horrible) and given a chance at life. They are even given college scholarships simply because they are foster children. Not bad! True, they need love, they need parents, they need stability and a family of their own, but when I see kids in other countries, they don't have all of these creature comforts. An i-pod? What the heck is that? Water and ice in the refrigerator door? Say what? Hot water whenever you want it? A pure luxury. Forget an education and a family to go to on holidays!

These kids are shunned, kept away from society. Special needs kids are considered punishment, God's wrath for sin committed by the parent(s), and often don't survive past childhood. When healthy kids age out of the System, they are given one month's living expenses and one month's rent on an apt. From there, they are totally on their own. Trouble is, they are labeled "orphan", and I believe that label is even stamped in their passport (like our driver's license), and this keeps them from getting jobs, apartments, etc. and they are treated without any respect at all. Kind of hard to live a fulfilling life, isn't it?

THEREFORE, many people who are aware of the plight of foreign orphans feel led by God to adopt them and "rescue" them. Is it wrong to feel like we are "rescuing" children? We are, in fact, doing just that, but is it wrong to state that? Or to think it? Or to remind the child from where he/she came someday (especially during the rebellious teenage years when they think that they are so abused when they have their cell phones taken away for 2 days for discipline for some infraction)?

Once I was berated and absolutely dressed down by a woman who was herself, adopted (though domestic, and as an infant). She told me in no uncertain terms that I should NEVER think that I "saved" my 3 children and I should NEVER expect them to be grateful or to be reminded of their past. She flew off the handle, being extremely defensive of adoption, and assuming that I told my kids daily, "You'd better love me. Look how I saved you from a life of hell!!" Ridiculous. Especially coming from a woman who knows one of my children very well and has a strong influence on her, and this feeds into my daughter's anger towards me.

Instead, I wrote her back and told her yes, that they should be grateful to me. I'm grateful to my own mom (I'm not adopted). I'm grateful that she didn't abort me. I'm grateful that she loved on me so dearly (especially when I was small). I'm grateful for all of the sacrifices that she made for me and for making me such a priority in her life, even when times were extremely tough. I'm grateful for her wonderful friendship. Yes, I'm grateful to her, and I'd like it if my children were grateful to me. No, I don't remind them of their past very often at all. They know where they came from. Yes, we discuss it when the situation arises. Mainly, I try to teach them to be grateful to God the Father who saved them, for without Him, I wouldn't have felt led to get them in the first place!! This is not something she is able to understand, apparently, and it's unfortunate for her.

So, are we "rescuing" Simon? Yes, we certainly are!! For without us, he would surely die within a year, as he is due to be transferred to an institution where he will get far less than even minimal care. Children there rarely live more than several months after transfer from the Baby Home. (Nikolai was strong and survived until I got him at age 9 from the institution he was in. He was skeletal when I got him, but he made it, thank God!) So yes, we are certainly saving his life. But God is the one who deserves the "credit"!! He is the one who pointed the finger straight at Simon's nose when my husband was browsing through the kids' pictures, and said straight to my husband's heart, "HIM. Get HIM!" and my husband obeyed.

So yes, we are rescuing Simon, just as I rescued Natasha, Nikolai and Reese. But I am not to be given the glory. God is. Without God, none of these kids would be here, and neither boy would probably be alive. I shudder to think of what Natasha's life would have been like had she stayed in Russia and become a "street kid" at age 16. Though my heart is absolutely crushed beyond measure that she does not wish to be a part of us right now, I am overjoyed that I was able to be the one chosen by God to give her a family, a name and a life.

Yes, they have been rescued, but I am only the "worker bee", being used divinely by Almighty God. Let's leave the judgements up to Him.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Today was a big, but really good, day! The boys spent all day with friends at their birthday party (brothers who have birthdays practically on the same day) so Mark and I took advantage and made a day of it, ourselves!

First, we had to attend the appointment given to us by the Immigration Department for fingerprinting. This is a big step on the road to adopting Simon!!

So we did that, then we celebrated by going to Epcot at Disneyworld! It just so happened that the International Flower and Garden Festival (or whatever it's called) was going on - it was GREAT! Besides going to Buchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada, I've never seen so many flowers in my life!! The topiary was absolutely incredible. Disney really employs amazingly talented people. They do NOTHING half-way!! Mainly we walked around the international part where the different countries were displayed, but I did drag Mark on the Test Track ride, which is one of the coolest rides in DisneyWorld!
He liked it. :o) It was car based. ;o)

After that, we went to an RV dealership and drooled over the RV's. Someday, Mark and I would love to buy an RV and travel around. I can easily find temp work as a PT, and he can always find computer gigs, do websites, and perform concerts. It's just a dream of ours, is all.

So we had a fun day. :o)

Here's an example of some of the amazing topiary we saw all around. This is Mickey doing his Fantasia stuff.

Here's my poor Markie, painfully enduring having his picture taken (note the pained expression). Behind him, you can see some floating gardens and behind the water, you can see some of the amazing flower displays. SOLID FLOWERS. (The elevated track there is the monorail.)

Here's me, in front of Rafiki dedicating Baby Simba. I wish you could see the detail!!

Here we are, looking so (cough!) cute, in the German village at Epcot, eating some bratwurst. Please don't go in that restaurant if you don't like saurkraut because the smell of it nearly made me sick!!! I can't stand saurkraut!!

We also went into a French Bakery and Mark enjoyed ordering his stuff in French. The show off...
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Happy Easter!! All four of us managed to get up and ready and over to the beach for Easter Sunrise Service at Lori Wilson Park!! We got there, but I had not thought things through and we did not have chairs or a blanket, and a few of us couldn't stand on sand for an hour and a half, so we decided to go back up and sit in a little pavilion that was over on the dune. We couldn't hear the service from there, though, so we left!! It was embarrassing, though... Here are some pictures from our morning:
Here is the service as seen from our place at the pavilion. You can see that the sun was rising, but it's hard to see the ocean in this light. But it was there. :o) A very beautiful morning. A perfect Easter morning!!

Here is Reese, listening (or trying to) from the railing near the pavilion. (You can see the ocean better in this one.)

The boys and I, on our way back to the car, through the hammock. (Look how tall Reese is! He's 14 1/2, now. Nikolai will be 15 in a couple of weeks.)

Think getting good pictures of the kids is tough? Try getting a good one of Mark and me!!

All dressed up, and no girls around...

"I AM smiling naturally!!"

Hungry, waiting for breakfast.

"If you take a picture of me while I'm eating, I'll...!!"

Food, Reese's FAVORITE thing!!

Tuckered out on the way home, after a a big breakfast, and a busy morning that started TOO early.

Thursday, April 9, 2009
We are doing great in getting our dossier docs together!! So great, in fact, that we will EASILY have everything in place by the time our I-171H document gets here! I am continually amazed at how easy this dossier compilation is compared to the previous 3 (especially the last one - Nikolai's)!! I keep waiting for something to happen to make me moan and groan and get frustrated, but so far, not yet. True, I have to show my docs to Meredith to make sure they are okay, but...

One of the most fun things is that I don't need an apostille on ANY of my documents from ANYWHERE other than FL!! I'm so used to sending away to 3 or 4 states for Russia...!! This is almost fun! (Okay, don't get cocky, Missy...)

Anyway, I'm just feeling good about getting so much done and having things go smoothly so far. :o)
Monday, April 6, 2009
Finally!! I am figuring out how to do this "button" thing!! I would surely appreciate it if you would put Simon's button on your blog to help spread the word about him and our request for prayer and financial assistance in adopting him. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

The code will produce this on your website:
Grab This Button

HUGE thanks to Meredith who helped me to do this!! (She basically did the entire thing...)
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Just to let you know, I'm starting a new blog. It's public, but our names have been changed for privacy (you just don't know who's out there, ya know??). I will post more there than here (I'll try to blog there once per day) and keep this blog mainly for family stuff. The address is: www.isthissupermom.blogspot.com . I'm doing it as a trial to see if I can bring in a few extra dollars (it may be a VERY few) a month through Google Ad Sense, so if you see the ads on there, please click on a few, as I get a tiny bit of money for each click. You don't have to buy anything at all, just the click is all I need. Thanks! I hope that the blog itself is enjoyable and worth a "light read". ;o) It's still very new, and I'm still working on it.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Here is a montage of just a few of our many pictures taken on our vacation! There is a story to tell behind each one, but I've just made brief comments. If anyone ever wants to take a kid-free luxurious vacation, let me know! I can make a recommendation!!

Public thanks go to my mom for offering this trip to me. She knew how much I needed it and it was so nice to go somewhere one-on-one with her. She reminded me that the last time we took a vacation was when we went to D.C. when I was in High School!

Warning: this video montage has NOTHING about adoption in it, so if that's what you are looking for, you should probably skip the video. ;o} Sorry!!

All of my pictures are not uploaded yet to my computer, so there are more, but I thought this was a great way to post a lot of pictures and also conserve space. lol Hope you enjoy it.

*** Sorry! I had some trouble putting the video on, so look UP and you'll find it!!

But I'm going to try the most weird, radical diet, yet. But before you roll your eyes and slump your shoulders, at least know that this diet is approved by one of Mark's very good friends, a PhD in Nutrition. It is supposed to totally detox and cleanse your body (that sounds fun...!) while "melting away fat". (ahem) It's worth a try, though, eh??

It's a total liquid diet, based on lemonade. (Don't laugh - I'm serious!) You drink 8 - 12 glasses of this stuff a day: 2T (?) lemon juice from lemons, 2T(?) pure maple syrup, and 1/10 t. cayenne pepper (I have to double check the recipe). Sounds awful, I know. This is ALL that you consume for the duration. I would like to try it 30 days on, 30 days off, as they recommend it for 10 - 40 days, several times a year. What could it hurt? I'm already terribly unhealthy with a horrible diet! LOL

I plan to begin tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. ;o)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
A wonderful missions team posted about their trip to Ukraine on their blog and because I knew they were at Simon's orphanage, I asked if they had any pictures of him, and they did! They only had one, but I'll take whatever I can get! Mark and I think he looks lonely in this picture and very orphan-like... It also looks like he needs vitamins and sunshine!! But his eyes are still ocean-blue and he has such a look of softness that Mark and I both adore. We are more excited than ever to go and get him!!! This picture was taken last month. Here he is:

This picture means a lot because it means he has not been transferred to the mental institution yet and we also were able to see that he is standing now and the woman said on her site that he was walking a little in a walker and is feeding himself! Very good signs! Bless his heart - we can't wait to hold him and give him all of the love and attention he deserves. No more lonely, orphan-like looks for him!!

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for this tremendous gift!!

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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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