Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After 2 years, hundreds of documents, thousands of tears, and millions of prayers, I can finally say...OUR ADOPTION OF KIRILL IS COMPLETE!

We feel incredibly blessed by God's addition of Kirill to our family. 

We understand God's love for us more fully because of this difficult road we travelled to bring Kirill home. 

We realize we could not have done it alone.

We are SO THANKFUL for the outpouring of support through words, thoughts, acts of kindness, and most importantly, PRAYER.

If you've followed our journey from the beginning, you know that we have grown increasingly passionate about orphan care during our adoption process.

I can think of no better way to end this blog than to put out a plea for the millions of other children just like Kirill that do not have most basic human right...the love of a family.

As we were saying good-bye to our wonderful Russian staff on Kirill's gotcha day, I will never forget our facilitator's parting words to us. With tears in her eyes she said, "You have a blog. Please put on your blog that there are other children here who need families."

This request was humbling and amazing to us. Our Russian staff had been working so hard on our behalf. They lost sleep and put in long hours to help us fight for our precious son. I know their jobs were so very difficult. Yet they want to keep fighting for these children who are not valued by their society to have famlies. I cannot tell you how much these people mean to us. They are truly the Rosa Parks of their society, fighting for the rights of those that cannot fight for themselves.

And they are winning.


I am fully convinced that Satan tries to keep people from adopting orphans because he KNOWS that through adoption, you will come to know God's love for you more fully than you have ever known his love before. I can also tell you that when you choose to adopt, God will teach you things that he cannot teach you any other way than through the adoption process.

So don't miss out.


There are 147 million chances waiting to show you the love that God has for you.

And if you are afraid or if you have excuses, tell them to God and then listen for his reply. Search scripture. Ask him to help you understand his heart. Then remember his promises...

Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Phil 1:6
"For I am certain of this very thing, that he by whom the good work was started in you will make it COMPLETE until the day Christ returns."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

Now that Kirill's adoption is complete, I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with this blog. I had always intended to just stop posting here and post more on our family blog once Kirill was home. But I never really expected to have so many readers either! My other blog, the one I started 6 years ago (Minivans and Mom Jeans...you should check it out!) has been woefully neglected since we started the adoption process two years ago. But, I love that blog because it's got so much of our family history on it AND it's where I did more creative writing for so long. Our Eyes Opened has a more serious tone. I'm thinking I can combine the two and share both philosophical posts AND the hilarious & exaggerated stories of our family life.

I do not have time to keep up two blogs. (Who am I kidding? I haven't been keeping up two blogs as it is!)

I don't really want to close Minivans.

But most of you all started reading here.

Will you follow me if I stop posting here?

What to do?

I'm going to leave it up to you!

There's a poll if you look to the right--->

Cast your vote! Because I'm not good with decisions. And my brain is full right now. So tell me what to do!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Adjustment & Attachment

Below you will find a letter we had prepared to send out to family & friends back in March when we thought we were bringing Kirill home. After we were denied his adoption in his regional court, we didn't send out the letter. Since we were all a little caught off guard by his homecoming after our supreme court hearing, we are just now sharing this with everyone. It is very apparent now more than ever that the plans we had for Kirill's adjustment be followed. We are all doing fine, but we just cannot have a lot of excitement right now. Quiet and calm are our friends. :) I will share on here our day to day, so I hope you will follow along and understand if I don't respond to every email, phone call, or comment right now. I do read them and appreciate them more than you will ever know. But if I responded to everything, I would not have any time for Clayton and Kirill. Things will settle down eventually and I hope to be able to be more responsive after we are all adjusted to the big changes in our lives! Thank you again so much for your continued prayers and support. 

Dear Family and Friends,

As we get ready to embark on one of the most exciting events in our lives, we are thinking a lot about the people around us and how much our lives are going to change. Family and friends are so very important to us and we cannot wait for Kirill to share in the blessing of a relationship with each one of you. We feel that God has worked through you all to give us love, support, and encouragement during our adoption process. You have prayed, cried, and shared in our excitement; truly you have been Christ to us. We appreciate you more than we can ever express in words.

We’re thrilled about bringing Kirill home! We’ve done a lot of reading, research, and asked a lot of other adoptive parents about this process and we feel as prepared as we can be to help Kirill become a member of our family and community.

There are some things about adoptive parenting that are the same as parenting a biological child. There are also quite a few areas that we have learned are different. Through our adoption agency, the UAB International Adoption Clinic, books, other adoptive parents, adoption social workers, psychologists and more, we have learned that Kirill needs a specific type of environment and parenting when he first comes home in order to feel safe & secure and to learn how to live successfully in our family.

While we know that every child is different, we also understand that there are many possible things that will impact Kirill’s beliefs and behavior when he gets home. These include how much nurturing Kirill received, if there was abuse or neglect, the amount and quality of the food he received, illnesses, the quality of care and his unique temperament and personality. The result of these variables can include behavioral issues, emotional disorders and a sense of grief and loss from being separated from the only home and caregivers Kirill has ever known. Adoption is a traumatic and scary event for a child, whether they are newborn or 10 years old. Kirill is being removed from all of his routines and familiar surroundings. If you have children, you can imagine plucking them out of your family and into a totally different home in a different country. Anyone would feel grief and sadness at an event like this. So in order to help Kirill feel safe and learn that we are his parents, we will be creating the type of environment that will help promote security for him during this stressful time.

When Kirill gets home, at the recommendation of the experienced adoption professionals with whom we have been working, we need to implement specific parenting approaches to help encourage a strong, attached, emotionally healthy bond. Kirill needs to learn that we are the parents. He needs to feel nurtured and safe. He will not be used to having parents to love and care for him.

Here are some things we will be doing for Kirill based on research and experience with other adopted children. We will be living a very quiet life with limited trips out and few visitors in for a little while. Social workers and psychologists tell us that when children are first brought into the adoptive home, they often feel overwhelmed, scared, and nervous. By keeping our lives very boring at first, we will be helping Kirill feel safe. This does NOT mean we do not want visitors coming to meet Kirill for the first time. We will just have to limit it a little so that it is not overwhelming. Please feel free to call us and ask to come visit! We just want you to understand that if we have to limit visitors it is not because we want you to stay away. On the contrary, we need your support and encouragement during this time!

I know a number of people are planning to meet us at the airport when we arrive home. That will be wonderful and touching for us to see so many familiar and supportive faces when we arrive. We do not want family and friends to stay away from us. We just can’t pass Kirill around for everyone to hold a lot and we will have to be mindful of overloading him with new things and people. We know you will want to hug, kiss, and help spoil Kirill, but it is recommended that we be the only ones to do that at first to improve his chances of attaching strongly to us. Until we feel that Kirill has attached and clearly knows that we are his parents, we will need to feed, change, and take care of him. We know that it may feel disappointing to some of you because you have shared in our excitement of meeting Kirill. I bet you’re especially disappointed about missing out on the diaper changes. Have no fear; there will be many more once he becomes comfortable at home. J

As strange as it may seem, adopted children who act very outgoing and affectionate with strangers is not a healthy thing. It is called “indiscriminate affection” and can mean that they haven’t really attached to anyone. It would not be a good sign that Kirill is attached to us if during his first months home he will let just anyone take him and hold him without searching for us. For certain, it going to be a weird and wonderful experience for us. We are so excited and we can’t wait to bring Kirill home so you can all see him and get to know him. Things are just a little different when you are adopting a child rather than having a biological child. He will be adapting to a lot of new things…new parents, new brother, new home, new foods, new time zone (totally opposite of everything he is used to). That’s a lot to swallow at one time. Although we cannot predict how long it will take Kirill to adjust to our home, we feel confident that by implementing some specific parenting approaches it will happen more quickly than if we did not implement those approaches.

We appreciate your time and understanding in reading this. We are giving you this letter because you are very important to us, and we know you will be to Kirill as well. We want you to understand how dedicated and committed we are to helping Kirill adjust and adapt as smoothly as possible during this stressful time in his life. We feel confident that everything will smooth out quickly and we will be on a more normal schedule! Thank you again for your continued prayers, love, and encouragement.

In Him,

Greg & Tesney

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kirill's Miracle Story: The Final Installment

After we got Kirill, Greg and our Russian staff went to pick up his passport and complete some additional paperwork. We thought it would take about an hour or maybe two, but like everything else in this adoption, nothing was easy! :) When Greg got to the bank to do the paperwork, there was a paper missing that was left back in Pechory (an hour drive from Pskov). So Greg and our staff had to drive there and back, meet with the bank, pick up the passport, and be back at the hotel by 5 p.m. so we could catch our overnight train that left at 6:30 p.m. YIKES! Once again, God was faithful and Greg got it all done just in time for us to leave for the train station around 5:15 p.m.

Meanwhile, Kirill and I stayed back at the hotel and had some bonding time. The first thing I wanted to do (after hugging and kissing him excessively) was give him a proper bath. I undressed the little guy and just lost it. He was so painfully thin. I have never seen anything like it in real life. He was also covered in scabies. I called Greg and told him he had to pick up some scabies cream while they were out. 

After his bath, I tried to dress him in some of the clothes we had bought. We had purchased 2T's and it was apparent that he was going to need 12 month clothes. I cinched up the waist of a pair of shorts as tight as they would go and made them work. He had to wear them the rest of the trip because all of the other pants and shorts we bought were so big they would fall to the ground when he stood up. Keep in mind he turned 5 years old in May. He wouldn't drink much but he ate all day long. Our Russian facilitator had made us a home-cooked meat pie and Kirill LOVED it! He ate half of it by himself over the course of the day. I was worried about him not drinking though; he was obviously dehydrated and needed fluids. I gave him lots of "juicy" foods...applesauce, yogurt, oranges...to get some fluids into his system.

When Greg got back to the hotel, I slathered scabies cream all over him. Then, we grabbed our bags and headed to the train station. As we left the hotel, we had to say goodbye to our Russian staff. We have grown to love them so much. It was really hard to say goodbye, not knowing when we would see them again. I cannot explain how much they mean to us; they fought so hard to help us bring Kirill home. I would HIGHLY recommend our adoption agency, Creative Adoptions, to anyone thinking of international adoption. 

We boarded the train and had sleeping compartment to ourselves. No sketchy knife guys this time! We all ate supper and then we tried to lay Kirill down to sleep. He kept rocking and moaning restlessly. We have since learned that he does this when he's fighting sleep. Finally, around 10:30 p.m., Greg sat on the floor next to his bed and started praying. He said, "God, you know how to speak so that he understands. Please give him peace that he is safe and let him rest." Within seconds, he was asleep.
Eating meat pie on the train
We arrived in Moscow the next morning and our facilitator there took us to our hotel. The U.S. Embassy doctor came to do Kirill's medical exam. He told us K weighed 22 lbs. and that he was concerned about his malnourished state. I showed him that he was eating and had started drinking a little more. He told us that his heart sounded good. He also said the scabies cream we used wasn't very strong and gave us the name of a spray to use instead. The whole exam lasted about two minutes. He signed off on his part of the Embassy paperwork and wished us luck.

Our translator came to the hotel to help us with our Embassy paperwork. She took it ahead of us to the Embassy to make sure we had everything in order for our appointment. We headed to our Embassy appointment at 11:30. They had agreed to expedite our paperwork. We went to the front of every line and were in and out in 45 minutes. It was the fastest, smoothest part of the adoption by far! Ha!

Now here's the funny part. I had not had a true come-apart yet on this trip. I had tearful moments, but nothing like what happened in the U.S. Embassy. We were standing in line to pay for Kirill's visa and the emotions overwhelmed me. I have no idea why it happened at that moment. There wasn't really a trigger. I looked at Greg and said, "I'm about to lose it," and then burst into tears. You might think it was about K becoming a citizen of the U.S. But it had nothing to do with that. I'm really glad he's a U.S. citizen since that is where we live, but we are not citizens of the world so I don't really get emotional about the borders in which people reside. I think we were just quiet and still in that line and I finally had a chance to just let the emotions envelop me.

We left the Embassy and went back to the hotel. We rested for a few minutes and then headed to Red Square to take pics of K in his home country. We also stopped a the pharmacy for scabies spray. While we were there, the pharmacist was so sweet to Kirill. We were so refreshed by her kind gestures. We had been getting stares from people on the streets. Nobody was rude to us; I think people were just curious to see a child with disabilities in public. You just don't see people with disabilities our in public in Russia. But we believe this will change; we met many Russian people who gave us hope that the attitudes there are changing.

Our last night in Russia was very bittersweet. We went to eat dinner with our American friends who graciously hosted us for over a week during our wait to pick up Kirill. It was a perfect way to end our time in Russia.
Greg, Kirill, Rich H., me, Emily H., Nicole D. and Max D. (not pictured...Rob D. and Caiden D.)...our American friends!
Caiden D., Rob D., Greg, Kirill, me, Nicole D. and Max D....our gracious hosts!
The next morning we went to the airport and headed home! We checked into our flight and settled in on the plane for the LONG (12 hour) flight. We met some really sweet people on our flight who were returning from a 5- year missionary stint in Russia. Believe it or not, one of them had a child with DS! We also met a separate group of people returning from a mission trip. We had a lot of time to visit with them because Kirill didn't sleep the entire flight.
First plane ride

In D.C., we were greeted by our adoption agency social worker, one of my DS mommy friends, and two of my college friends. We didn't have much time with them, but I was so happy they all came to meet us at the airport.

The crew in D.C.
On our flight from D.C. to Chicago, Kirill still didn't sleep and we were all getting irritable. It had been 24 hours since we woke up that morning in Moscow. Kirill finally passed out about an hour before we landed in Birmingham. Little stinker! 

After two years, we were finally home. We were greeted at the airport by our family as we came out of the concourse first. Then a host of people were waiting in baggage. You've seen the video...and my ugly cry...lol! 

So finally, this chapter of our adoption journey was over. I couldn't believe it. I still don't sometimes. I look at Kirill a hundred times a day and wonder if he's really here or if it is a dream. Our God is so good, so faithful!

1I give you thanks, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will sing your praises before the gods.
2I bow before your holy Temple as I worship.
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness;
for your promises are backed
by all the honor of your name.
3As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.
4Every king in all the earth will thank you, LORD,
for all of them will hear your words.
5Yes, they will sing about the LORD’s ways,
for the glory of the LORD is very great.
6Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.
7Though I am surrounded by troubles,
you will protect me from the anger of my enemies.
You reach out your hand,
and the power of your right hand saves me.
8The LORD will work out his plans for my life—
for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rewind: Kirill's Miracle Story, Part 3

Before we left Russia, in the midst of all the craziness of trying to get things in order to bring Kirill home, I wanted to post some short picture-posts of our day-to-day and the things we did before I told part 3 of K's story. I knew if I didn't, I'd forget! I think there will be one more installment because I'm so long-winded. I just don't want to forget the details of this amazing journey!

I think I left off with us waiting for the court decree. We were told that according to Russian law, the Supreme Court had 5 days to prepare the decree. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Until Day 7. Timeframes are merely a suggestion in Russia. If you're reading this blog and you're early in the process of adopting from Russia, please go ahead and wrap your mind around that fact. :) Our facilitator called every day to check on the status of the decree, and everyday he would tell us, "Maybe it will be done tomorrow. We will hope for the best." Now we have learned that "We will hope for the best" from our facilitator (who is a wonderful man) really means, "I don't know." Again, the Russian way is so much different from the American way. This is neither good nor bad, just different. Russians do not get their panties in a wad about things they have no control over...they just "hope for the best."

We started to get worried when there was no decree after the fifth day. I felt uneasy until we had that piece of paper declaring Kirill was legally ours. We had so much disappointment in the course of our adoption; things that were not only unfair but also things that went against international adoption law happened to us and so I had a hard time trusting anything anyone said. In my mind, even a ruling from the Supreme Court might be changed somehow. During those days I had a lot of anxiety and didn't sleep very well. God used that to help me pray to him more, seek his peace, and trust him more deeply.

After the sixth day, panic increased because our visas were going to expire on June 10th. We had to get Kirill, get his paperwork processed in Pskov and Moscow, and get out of the country before our visas expired. If the decree didn't come through on the next day, there was no way we would be able to get out of the country in time, even with expediting our U.S. Embassy paperwork.

We prayed and prayed that God would move the judge to finish the decree. We were advised not to pressure him too much because that could make him take longer just to exercise control. It's a frustrating place to be, trying to gently persuade yet not pressure....when you really just want to go camp out at the supreme court building with signs and loudspeakers until they give you the decree.

On day 7, our facilitator called and said, "I think the decree will be ready today at 5 p.m. Or tomorrow. But we will hope for the best." LOL! I was beyond hoping for the best. So we packed up, not knowing if the decree would be ready, but if it was we had to immediately get on a train that left at 6:30 p.m. for Pskove. We went to the courthouse at 5 p.m., frantically ran to meet the secretary who brought down the decree, got back into the car, sped to the train station in 5 o'clock Moscow traffic, only to find there were no train tickets left.


Now it's funny, but at the time I was about to burst into tears. We HAD to be in Pskov on Friday morning because we needed to get Kirill's passport application in and pick up his birth certificate. The office that does birth certificates was going to be closed on Monday so if we didn't get to Pskov by Friday, we would not be able to get his birth certificate until Tuesday, which would mean there would be NO WAY we could get out of the country by the 10th.

We watched as our facilitator talked to the woman at the train ticket counter. He came back to us and told us that he would drive us if he had to, but that he was waiting to see if she could locate two tickets. Miraculously, she found two tickets together, but we would be sharing a sleeping compartment with two other people. I didn't care as long as we were on the train!

So we boarded the train and got settled into our lovely compartment with our two Russian "friends." One of the guys was nice, but the other one was NOT happy with sharing his compartment with "Americanskis". He kept chewing us out in Russian and every other word was "Americanskis!" The nice guy kept looking at the guy and rolling his eyes, kind of a signal of solidarity with us. Although we didn't speak each other's languages, no one had any trouble understanding the other. Greg and I just laid in our beds and read with headphones on while the angry Russian guy continued to spout angrily at us. It became funny at one point because he'd been going for about 45 minutes and we were not paying him any attention. He got frustrated with us not listening to him, so he started listening to music and singing over his headphones really loudly to annoy us. I guess he didn't realize that I've worked with kids and adolescents all my life, so that really doesn't bother me. I can tune out most anything. During the night, he got up to go to the bathroom or smoke, not sure which, and I noticed a knife in his bed. I motioned to Greg because if I was getting slashed in the middle of the night, I wanted to make sure he knew who did it. In the morning, as he was gathering his things, another knife fell out of his blanket. How many knives does one need on an overnight train to Pskov? Several apparently.

We got to Pskov unharmed and checked into the hotel. We had a couple of hours to shower and eat before our appointment to get Kirill's birth certificate. We found out that birth certificates are not issued on Fridays because they do marriages that day. But, our WONDERFUL facilitator had called and gotten special permission for us to get the birth certificate due to our circumstances and the fact that the office would be closed on Monday, as I mentioned earlier. We got the adoption certificate and birth certificate; an amazing moment. I cried as the woman read the certificates to us with Kirill's new name and our names listed as his parents.

We took these documents to the passport office to get Kirill's passport. There, I got to see his passport pictures, the first pictures I had seen of him since our visit in March. I was taking pictures of the pictures with my phone and the lady at the passport office was looking at me like I was crazy.
Cutest passport pictures ever!

We found out that the orphanage director wouldn't be able to bring Kirill to us until Monday. They had an official state visitor that day, so we had to wait over the weekend. It was tough after all the waiting we had already done, but we rested and got to see a lot of Pskov, which is a beautiful city.

Monday morning we woke up and anxiously awaited Kirill's arrival. It was such a wonderful reunion. I'll let the video do the talking!

Stay tuned, Part 4, the final installment, coming soon!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kirill Says Hi!


Just arrived in Moscow on the overnight train and have a very short time to blog. Gotcha Day was crazy! I will tell the story later...we had some hiccups in our plans after we got Kirill. Nothing major, but had to chase papers in Pskov and do a lot of running around!

We are getting ready to go to the U.S. Embassy for Kirill's visa. The doctor just came to examine him in our hotel. He is extremely malnourished. The doctor was very concerned about how thin he is, but said otherwise he looks ok. He could not hear any issues with his heart by listening, but said we needed to get him to a cardiologist as soon as possible to make sure that the hole in his heart has closed on its own.

After bath in the hotel room
So you're my daddy?

Enough with the camera already! I'm trying to eat!!!

He is eating very well though. He LOVES bananas and pretty much any food! He doesn't like to drink much. We have tried every kind of cup and liquid we can think of. This is worrying me a little. I know he is dehydrated because he doesn't pee very often. He only had one wet diaper all day yesterday.

Ok, I've got to run. Please pray for our precious Kirill. He is going to need so much. We are so thankful we got him out of the orphanage when we did. We cannot wait to get him home and fatten him up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Passing the Time in Russia

This trip started as a 5-day short trip to Russia. We are now on day 16! We are not complaining at all...but don't be surprised if I have a ceremonial burning for the 1 dress, 4 shirts and 2 pair of pants I brought. I keep reminding myself that there are many people in this world who would consider that an extensive wardrobe. We are so spoiled. 

So you may be wondering how we've passed the last 13 days of waiting. There is no shortage of things to do in Russia! But first, you have to have a fabulous American family invite you to stay with them because they have all the good tips. :) What? You don't accept email invites to stay with complete strangers? Well, that's how we roll around here. We were SO BLESSED to have an American couple contact us and offer to allow us to stay at their apartment while we were in Moscow. If you've never priced hotels in Moscow, lemme tell ya...it ain't cheap. You can easily drop $200/night on a very modest hotel a good ways from the downtown area. The closer you get to Red Square, the more expensive it gets. So we took the American family up on their offer and we are so thankful we did! Not only did they give us an awesome place to stay, but we made new friends that will forever be a cherished part of Kirill's story and our lives. I just can't express how much they mean to us now!

Our friends' apartment in Moscow where we stayed

Like I said, if you find an awesome family, they can tell you lots of great places to visit and eat without breaking the bank. But if you don't happen to know an awesome family in Moscow, here are my suggestions:

You could visit St. Basil's...no, wait...you SHOULD visit St. Basil's and tour the inside:

Then, you could take a tour of the Metro Stations...because they are like mini-museums:
Greg and I found this statue to be our favorite because granny is packing some major heat.
Inside hall of a metro station...this one is actually kind of plain compared to some of the ones we saw.
Mass chaos that is the metro in Moscow
Then, you have to go shopping:
Izmaylovo Market where they sell a lot of handmade things...and some complete crap as well.

You might also need to find H&M to buy your new son some clothes!
 Are you hungry yet? If so, there are some good places to eat, contrary to popular belief:
Honey Cake
Outdoor cafe near our hotel. Yay English menus!
Japanese food with our new friends Inna and Dima. Inna translated our court documents! 
Stand where they sell a type of drink made from honey. The guy at the top is playing drums and the girl is dancing. 

 Make sure you see Red Square at night:

Take a walk by the river and play:

Our sweet American friends!

Tour Sparrow Hills for a fabulous view and to see the University of Moscow:
University of Moscow
 There's lots of great free music if you look around hard enough:
Harpist in a hotel lobby

And fantastic views:
Looking out onto Red Square from St. Basil's

You can even go hang out with dead people:
Novedichy Convent and Cemetary

Boris Yeltsin

Chillin' in the cemetary
Novodevichy Convent
There are crazy cat ladies everywhere I guess.

 Then go to Gorky Park and meet the locals:

Walk down the river in the ritzy part of town and see some beautiful old buildings and monuments:

Visit the toy stores:
Greg LOVES Singamajigs!
Search for the nicest bathrooms (I also found the worst earlier at the cemetary, but I won't post that pic):

And find all the foreign embassies that you can because their buildings are usually pretty cool. 
French Embassy...actually this part is the French Ambassador's residence

We did a lot more stuff, but I am not patient enough to load all the pics. We ate some good Mexican food and also went to the American Medical Clinic...not in that order. HA! So if you're desperately in need of either one of those things like we were, I can give you the 411 on them. :)

This is all I can post tonight. I'm tired and I need to try to sleep before our boy gets here tomorrow morning! I want to post about our time in Pskov too because it's been lovely, but that will have to wait.

From Russia with Love,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Celebration Begins

After court was over, we were told the decree would be ready within 5 days and we could go pick up Kirill in Pskov as soon as the decree was ready. So we decided to stay in Moscow and just wait for the decree. We changed our plane tickets. We had already reserved the hotel for an extra night because we were not sure if court would be one day or two, so we had some time there to make a decision about our travel plans. It wasn't hard to decide; we weren't leaving Russia without our son this time. I didn't care if it took months, I wasn't getting on a plane without him!

We frantically emailed and Facebooked our awesome news. We Skyped with my family and some of our close friends. God just kept blessing us. People rallied to take care of everything at home since our trip got extended by two weeks.



Suddenly, everything was brighter...especially St. Basil's

I have a slight obsession with the green doors in Russia. Guess what color I've decided to paint the door of our West Circle house since we've been here?

We celebrated in Red Square into the night!

Everything that has been done for us...there are not words to adequately describe how thankful we are for our biological family as well as our faith family...including so many of you. We could not have made this journey to Kirill without an army of people helping us. Many of you who simply read the blog but don't even know us have helped with finances and prayers and messages of support. Oh my, do we ever feel unworthy!!! I cannot say it enough: OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL! HE IS SO GOOD!

Next up: "How to Pass the Time in Russia"...stay tuned...LOTS of pictures and fun stories!