Moving Right Along!

So where do I even begin with this crazy whirlwind of a day… at the beginning you say?  Ok, that makes sense I suppose.

Tossed and turned on the overnight train again.  Ready to be done with those!  I’m actually counting down the time we have left by overnight train rides, only two more!  Woohoo!!  The kids slept many more hours than we did, per the usual, and were up bright and early at 6:00am.  Our train didn’t get in until ten so we had a good four hours of entertaining to do on not quite enough sleep.

We were informed upon arrival that we had a different apartment than the last one we were in.  Something about a landlord being asleep and not having time to get us a key… maybe?  Not sure exactly, quite a bit was lost in translation (per the usual).  So now we are completely disoriented in a city we thought we had our bearings in.  Our driver quickly pointed out a McDonald’s and left.  We were famished and I thought he said there was a grocery store down that way, the street certainly had enough shops, so took a little walk.

There were several restaurants and a nice park with a fountain, but no grocery store.  We hiked back and stopped at a little fast food place that was not McDonald’s… I don’t think we could stand another meal of that.  Ugh.  Then we went back to the apartment, I quick got ready for a visit with Hope.  No time for a shower, so I looked terrible after the night and morning.  So glad Hope doesn’t really care what I look like!

It was a short visit today.  We have never visited her in the evening before, but apparently her orphanage “closes” at five o’clock and her “nap” isn’t over until four so… itty bitty window there.  Hubby and the kids stayed back this time, it had already been such a long, cooped up day for them to spend another hour+ in the car.

Sweet girl and I had a good visit though, and it was so nice to just get some alone time with her!  Her new favorite game is laying on my lap while I bounce her and sing the sign language ABC song I know, holding her with one hand and signing with the other.  I promise I was safe!  But she just laughed hysterically the whole time and she was trying to track with my hands to watch the signs.

After the song was over I told her to say “Again” if she wanted to go again.  I prompted her a few times and got a little “ahhhh” out of her so we went again :)  I’m no speech therapist, but I figure prompting her to speak and then praising and rewarding her for vocalizing is probably a good start in teaching her to communicate through appropriate sounds (rather than just screaming).

Next I went on a quick grocery trip since I had our driver and could actually get to a store.  When I got home everyone was famished, so we decided to go to the “pizza place” which felt less than inviting, so Jake suggested the “other pizza place”.  We walked the other way on the street and came to a small building with huge stickers of pizza on the window and an arrow pointing inside.  It looked promising.  We walk in to tables surrounded by lush, exotic couches and middle eastern incense.  Hmm… perhaps we should have payed more attention to the Disney Genie sticker on the window?

We sat down (first mistake) and the lady brought us huge, elaborate menus that certainly did include pizza but this was no pizza joint.  The kids were restless and asking to eat the sugar on the table.  This was obviously too high end for restless, hungry, miniature people so we got up and left!  Totally embarrassing.

Our last ditch dinner effort was the “burger joint” we saw (different from lunch).  They even had cheese sticks!  How could you go wrong, right??  AND pizza on the menu! Score!  Well, we order to discover that the pizza was made with ketchup, not sauce.  The cheese sticks were actually fish sticks.  The Caesar Salad dressing was actually plain mayonnaise and the burger was actually a grilled chicken sandwich-type thing.  We didn’t eat much, but they thought we were trying to order chicken nuggets instead of fish sticks (thankfully) so at least the kids ate.

I still consider this a good, successful day though!  We are here in Hope’s region just waiting for our court date.  By the way, pretty please pray we get SDA approval tomorrow!!  This is the only thing not “moving right along” and we really need it!  If we don’t get our approval tomorrow we won’t be able to have court until Monday at the earliest.  That puts Juri and Zhanna Hope’s court dates at least a week apart, delaying our return home about a week.  We are so ready to come home, please pray we wake up to approval in the morning!!

While you are praying for that, also join with us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our funding!  We just received word that a grant we applied for months and months ago actually came through!  And the crazy thing is that they prayerfully determined to give us the exact amount we need to be funded after our Miles Fundraiser is finished!  Is God awesome or what!?!  Perfect love, perfect gift, perfect timing.  Thank you Jesus!

AND we only have 527 miles left to go!  That’s a little over $500 to finish funding our adoption and then we’ll get to reveal Juri’s new name to you all!  I cannot wait to finish this off, so excited to make that reveal!  We are absolutely praising God for His hand in all of this and so humbled and grateful to all of you who have come alongside us to bless our family and our new children by making this adoption possible for them.  It would not have been possible to do this on our own.  It is Christ’s Church that has kept us afloat the entire way!  We can never thank you all enough!

P.S. – Click here if you want to help us move a little closer to revealing our son’s new name!



Today and yesterday were difficult visits.  Our poor Janna was lethargic and trying so hard to be engaged, but her little body was just too tired.  We have an inkling why, suffice it to say here that orphanage life is not a good life for any child.  She needs out of that place!  It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to hand her back to the nannies, turn around, and walk away.  Now that we are just waiting on court dates the days seem to be dragging on forever.  How long oh Lord!

And with the groaning of my heart, I learn another small piece of God’s heart for us.  How it must grieve him.  I have only two children who I long to be in my arms and my presence.  Our Father in Heaven has literally billions of children He is still working tirelessly to bring home to His Church.  The need is great, so great.

Yet even through the brokenness, there is light and hope.  Despite Janna’s condition today she was actually holding herself up in our arms!  Usually she just slouches over and leans on us, but she was actually “sitting” up straight today!  She did it several times, it was great progress and we were so encouraged.  We can’t wait to see her home and help her to become the beautiful young lady she was always meant to be.

And we are not the only ones!  Our family has been abundantly blessed with so many prayer warriors, encouragers and supporters.  We couldn’t do this without every single one of you.  A dear family member, who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered our family a second matching grant!  We have been so surprised, and humbled and grateful for this.  We still have 3,475 miles left to go on our miles fundraiser to get us funded for the rest of our adoption!  What a great blessing and opportunity this grant is for us.

Our anonymous donor has offered a matching grant of $631.00.  So when our mileage reaches 2,844 our donor will double that!  The grant was offered based on the Bible verse of Proverbs 6:31, that we might pray over Juri and Janna that everything which has been stolen from them will be returned sevenfold.  What a beautiful prayer and what a beautiful gift!

So here is your incentive!  We already have our children’s new names picked out.  Once we meet our matching grant we will share with you what Janna’s new name will be, along with the story behind it!  After we finish our miles fundraiser off completely we will announce Juri’s new name and the story behind that one!  I promise you they will be lovely names and inspiring stories and I am dying to share, so let’s knock this out shall we!!

Our donor has given us seven days to meet our matching grant.  Today is day one.  Let’s go!  I ask that now you have finished this post (yes right this minute) step away from the computer and say a quick prayer for our family.  After you have prayed please share this post and our story with others you know and ask them to do the same!  If you feel led to give perhaps consider $6.00 or $31.00 to honor the Scripture verse being prayed over our sweet children’s lives this week.

You can make a tax deductible donation at either of the links below:

Reece’s Rainbow Mueller Family Grant
Adopttogether Mueller Family Grant

We love you all so much and we are humbled and eager to watch God work as He knits our family together with love from His people around the globe.

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