Saturday, April 30, 2011


We got our Supreme Court date!!! It is May 24th at 3:10 p.m. That will be 6:10 a.m. CST. I hope you will all join in prayer at that time for us as we appear before the Supreme Court in Moscow to appeal our adoption.

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to post again. But I have a couple of good reasons. We received our court date via telegram on Monday, April 25th. Greg checked the mail about 7:30 p.m. and there were two telegrams in Russian, one addressed to each of us. They were in phonetical Russian...meaning they were in Russian, but phonetically spelled using the English alphabet. So we couldn't use Google translate to figure it out. We ended up taking them to a friend's house who teaches languages at the U of A. He was able to translate it enough to figure out that it was our court date.

We were very excited but also unsure if it was official. By the time we got home that night it was almost 11:00 p.m. We had called, emailed and text messaged our adoption agency social worker. She called us back and said that they couldn't confirm the telegram message until they spoke to their Russian staff. None of them we were expecting us to receive notification of our court date via telegram. They thought it would be sent to our lawyer in Russia and he would let us know. So we waited on pins and needles...we're kinda accustomed to that by now.

By Tuesday afternoon we got confirmation from our adoption agency that it was indeed our court date! I was going to post it on here, but I never got a chance before I went to work on Wednesday. Then Wednesday our city was rocked by an F-5 tornado. We have just now gotten back internet service so I can post. Our area of the city is fine. Our apartment is fine and our friends and family are safe. However, much of our city is completely destroyed. I'm sure you've seen the coverage on the news.

So I'm asking that you please pray for our city as you pray for our Supreme Court date. Thank you all. we are so thankful for the support you've given us for so many weeks. You have been our Aarons, holding us up in prayer. We are so grateful. You will never understand how much the thoughts and prayers mean to us.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I have hesitated to compose this post. I feel like it could be perceived as attention or sympathy-seeking. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. In fact, if you feel inclined to comment with some form of "I'm so sorry", although I know you really mean it and I appreciate your sharing our sorrow, I want you to instead leave a comment of praise to God for our suffering. Please don't take offense to that request...we are so blessed by your thoughts and prayers. But we KNOW that God is making us perfect in our weakness. So we will continue to endure any pain that comes our way by praising him and allowing him to heal us. We are blessed to be children of God and our suffering is making our faith stronger and our relationship with God more complete. First and foremost, every circumstance of our life should be lived for Christ, be it pleasant or unpleasant in the worldly sense of those words. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Greg and I keep reminding each other of that daily as we walk this difficult path we find ourselves on for this season of our lives. In the midst of our suffering, there is joy, hope and peace. There really is...I'm not just speaking Christianese.

Still, the suffering is raw. It is painful. There are times when I collapse in tears. I miss Kirill so much. I replay our last visit with him and wish I had kissed him one more time, savored his touch and his smell just a little longer, taken more pictures, told him how much we loved him just one more time before we walked out of the orphanage.

And then there are reminders that punch me in the gut with no time to prepare or shield myself from their emotional blows. Like ripping the scab from a wound and exposing the raw tissue once again. They come out of nowhere and they reduce me to a heap on on the floor.

There's the afternoon last week when I picked up a load of clothes from the cleaners. As I unwrapped the plastic covers I found the jacket I wore to court. I sat in my closet and cried as I remembered the last time I wore it and the horrible feelings of loss associated with that day.

There's the afternoon that I picked up Clayton from school and he told me they had talked about birthdays. He realized that Kirill's birthday was coming up, but Kirill wasn't going to be here, and they couldn't have a joint birthday party like we had planned. He cried and asked me over and over, "But WHY mommy? You said Kirill was coming home. You LIED to me." We both sobbed all the way home as I tried to explain to him that mommy didn't lie, it just didn't turn out the way we expected.

There's the alarm I had set on my phone weeks before we left for Russia reminding me to add Kirill to our medical insurance after we got home. When I saw the words on the screen of my phone, I had to brace myself against the wall as I cried out to God for strength to make it through the grief.

There's the text I got from someone who couldn't have know what happened, asking how Kirill was doing now that he was home. It took me a full 24 hours to find the words to respond.

Even as I sit here typing this, tears are streaming. Clayton is watching Saturday morning cartoons on Qubo and "Willa's Wild Life" is all about a bear from Russia. Clayton is repeating Russian phrases to the t.v. He should be saying them to Kirill...he should have a brother here watching cartoons with him. Sigh...

I wallow, I cry, I hide under the covers, I beg God to take the pain away, to work a miracle, to bring Kirill home. And I hear his voice saying, "I love Kirill more than you. I know your pain. I see your suffering. Trust me. Seek me. Listen to me. And know that I AM GOD...and you are not."

Then I get up, thank God, and ask him for what I need to make it through the next day, hour, or minute. And you know what? He always gives me just enough. And really, what else can we ask for?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thank You God!

The 7 Day Blitz met its goal in 4 days...holy moly. THANK YOU TO KIRILL'S ARMY OF SUPPORTERS.

It seems so lame. Two words...THANK YOU. But that's all I've got. I can't even come up with words to describe how my heart feels knowing that so many people are supporting us. So please, accept my lame thank you and just know, those two words have so much emotion behind them...hope, joy, peace, faith, encouragement, excitement, relief, humility, LOVE.


But it's not over. Because we still have three days left in the giveaway, you can still give...but there's a catch. We met our goal. Now let's help another family, OK? Go to Bethany's blog to read the whole story....and help bring Archie home too. If I could give you all a virtual hug, I would. Thank you again. SO. MUCH.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

7-Day Blitz for Kirill

I'm just overwhelmed...I don't even really know what to write about this. Several of my DS mommy blogger friends have gotten together and are doing an online fundraiser for Kirill. Because of the appeal, we are incurring a LOT more expense for this adoption than we ever anticipated. Knowing how much international adoption costs, these mommies put together a fundraiser to help us continue our journey to try to adopt Kirill. Here are the rules: For every $10 donation, you are entered in a contest to win some FABULOUS prizes. I've copied the following from Bethany's blog...go THERE to enter (or to Charissa's, Lisa's, Renee's, or McKenna's blogs)!

"Being an adoptive mother to a Russian orphan with Down syndrome, I could expand on the million-and-one reasons Tesney and Greg's rejected application to adopt has deeply affected me. But that is not what is important.  

What is important is that they are appealing the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court of Moscow and they need our help.

The Davis family has been through so much already... and now they have been slammed with astronomical unforeseen financial hurdles in bringing Kirill home. In order to just begin the process of filing their appeal, they had to pay $2,500. They have been told that they should plan to attend the Supreme Court hearing, which is a trip to Russia they never planned to have to make... add $3,000 - $4,000. If the Supreme Court overturns the ruling, they will have to return home and wait for a date to travel to Kirill's region to reappear before the original judge in their case... add $4,000 - $5,000. Assuming everything goes as planned, they will remain in country for the 10 day waiting period and finalization of their adoption... add $3,000 - $3,500.

So how can you help? A few of us adoptive mommy bloggers have put our heads together to create a 7 day blitz for Kirill."


Our first prize...

Canon EOS Rebel XS Digital SLR camera
donated by LisaCharissa, McKennaRenee and Bethany


$500 gift certificate to B&H Photo



Read all about the camera here.

And... a lifetime membership to ClickinMoms. An online haven of all things photography... tips and tutorials on everything from how to use your camera to editing your images to starting a photography business.

clickin moms
clickin moms2


Our second prize...



  • recently juried into the FMH Crestwood Gallery for the Celebration exhibition
  • completed in 2010
  • oil on canvas
  • measures 3 feet by 4 feet

Oil paintings by regional artist, Lisa Tarkett Reed, celebrate and explore the relationships and patterns in nature. Reed’s paintings are inspired by her growing collection of natural objects. Flowers, crystals, rocks, leaves, shells and bones, collected by Reed over decades, provide points of departure in her work. As Reed layers line, shape and color, she discovers and plays with the geometry, relationships, and patterns inherent in organic forms.

In October 2011, Reed will have a solo exhibition at The Artists’ Gallery in Frederick, MD. Currently, Reed has a solo exhibition at Les Idees Gallery, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reed has had solo exhibitions at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Gallery Lascaux, Gallery 937 and View from Zenith Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as at Shenandoah University, Leesburg, Virginia, Figure Five Gallery, San Francisco, California and the Walker Fine Arts Center Gallery at Patrick Henry Community College, Roanoke, Virginia. Reed has shown her work in group exhibitions at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mary Condon Hodgson Gallery at Frederick Community College, Frederick, Maryland, The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick, Maryland, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, New York, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Reed has taught drawing and painting for over fifteen years in regional art centers in Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia and at private schools in Brooklyn and Virginia.

Reed earned a BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and studied painting in Rome, Italy as part of the Temple University Abroad Program. Reed earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California.

In 2009, Reed founded Sister MamaCita, a Mothers’ Cooperative in the Arts and sister group to the Philadelphia based MamaCita, a Mothers’ Cooperative in the Arts founded by Melissa Tevere in 2005.


Our third prize...

Custom blog makeover (Bethany).

You will get...
  • custom header
  • custom background
  • custom signature and sidebar headers
  • installation of pages
  • installation of facebook/twitter/rss feed widgets
  • and more!

Our fourth prize...

UltraHD Flip video camera.
donated by Joanne Charland, momma to Vinnie (a T21 friend)
Read all about the video camera here.


Our fifth prize...

Organic Bloom Frame

  • measures 16" x 20"
  • choose from a variety of styles and color combinations

Our sixth prize...

(Three Little Butterflies)
hardcover book, signed by Conny Wenk

"Schmetterlingszauber is a book about the wonderful friendship of three beautiful little girls. Although they are colorful and unique like little butterflies, they have many more things in common than they don't.

They love spending lots of time together, whether they hang out at home or on the playground having fun galore. Sometimes they even have picnics on a beautiful meadow. They love dressing up like little princesses, polishing their nails, having little "imitation" tattoos, singing and dancing, telling bedtime stories to each other and of course, jumping on the bed.

They can be really wild ... but to me they are just three little butterflies."


Our seventh prize...

(3) handmade hats.
donated by Heather Randlett, momma to Bridget (a T21 friend)

1. Newborn/Baby Beanie-Style Hat... This crocheted baby beanie is crafted with a soft cotton/bamboo blend yarn, adorned with a shabby chic crocheted flower. Perfect for cute newborn baby pictures.

2.  Women's Beanie-Style Hat... This crocheted beanie-style hat is crafted with a super soft alpaca/acrylic blend yarn, with 3 beautiful colors - celery green, mocha, and cream.

3.  Women's Ski-Style Hat... This knitted snug-fitting ski-style hat is crafted with a soft acrylic/wool blend yarn in a rich cranberry color.

**All are hand wash only, lay flat to dry.



1) Every $10 donation using the ChipIn to Kirill will earn you an entry into the drawing for one of the prizes.
2) Prizes can be shipped overseas if the winner is willing to pay for shipping.
3) Donations will be accepted through Monday, April 11th.
4) Winners will be announced Tuesday, April 12th.