What’s Next?

Thank you so much for everyone who prayed last night and yesterday for our approval!  Our SDA approval was signed and we will be having court for Hope on Tuesday or Wednesday!  Our ten day waiting period (before we can officially do anything paperwork-related) will end on a weekend and we’ll get to start paper chasing for her on July 14th.

I don’t know how possible it is, but I am still praying for a July 18th flight home!  If we fly any later we will need to pay for Stephen’s ticket because he’s turning two.  That’s an extra $700 we would really rather not spend.  Not stressing about it though!  If God wants to work it out that way that’s His business, because there isn’t anything I can do about it.  I’m just along for the ride and whatever happens happens.

We were planning on cancelling our visits to see Hope this weekend, at $50 per trip, we just weren’t going to be able to afford it with the delays and extra fees we’ve had so far.  But a lovely adopting family in the same city we’re at now (who we haven’t even met yet!) offered to help offset those costs for us!  So Jake did get to go visit our sweet girl today.  The kids and I stayed home since Evie was not feeling well and we didn’t want to take any chances.

So here is the tentative schedule from here on out…

  • Monday is a holiday, nothing happening.
  • Tuesday or Wednesday we will have court for Hope.
  • After court we will return to sweet boy’s city (Don’t you want to know his name!?)
  • On Thursday our 10 day wait for him is over and we get to start paper chasing!
  • My mom arrives that Friday.
  • We will be able to start paper chasing for Hope on Monday the 14th
  • Later that week we will go back to Kiev for medicals and Embassy paperwork.
  • Then fly home!!!

So much to do!! Buckle your seat belts folks… it’s going to be a crazy ride!

Sevenfold

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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.

On the Rails Again

IMG_03601:25am here and we are on the train again.  I have slept a little but not much.  I have been going back and forth in my mind about what to even write about today.  There are so many emotions.  After spending nearly a week with Juri, we have so much hope for him.  He is such a joy, and we can’t wait to make him a part of our family.

At the same time we are dreading leaving him for these one or two weeks and afraid that what little bonding we have done is going to unravel in that time, that when we come back he won’t be certain that we are going to stay.  We left once, why wouldn’t that be the pattern?  But it isn’t anything we can do anything about, so I am trying to leave Juri’s heart in God’s hands.

I feel so not in control, and for anyone who knows me, you’ll know that’s way out of my comfort zone.  All of these thoughts and feelings are swirling at or beneath the surface, and I’m feeling terribly guilty that my thoughts aren’t more focused on Janna.  After all, she is the only reason we are leaving our precious son for any length of time.

I do remember not feeling excited right before we met Juri, and from those I’ve talked to it’s a totally normal feeling.  I am sure when we get to her city and her orphanage I will feel differently, but now and for the last few days, this train has been the very last place I wanted to be.

Unless our facilitators can pull off a miracle we won’t even get to meet Janna until next week.  Our referral appointment is tomorrow (or later today I guess) and we pick up the referral on Friday, which doesn’t give us enough travel time to be in her city before the weekend and, of course, Monday is a holiday.  So instead we will just spend three days doing nothing, no paperwork, no visiting… nothing at all.  Three seemingly wasted days.

I know three days doesn’t seem like much, but I am new to this whole being-away-from-my-child thing.  There is a reason why we brought our two bio kiddos with us, lol!  And three days away from Juri doing absolutely nothing just sounds like torture to me.

We certainly covet your prayers this next week, for our strength and peace, and for protection and a hedge around Juri’s heart and whatever bonding we may have developed while we could be with him.  Pray also for wisdom as we go to meet Janna and accept her referral.

One last little thought, I have been having people ask us about our “Sponsor a Mile” fundraiser, so I will do an entire post on that directly after this one.  Keep your eyes out for it!

P.S. – Our kids are becoming pros at sleeping on the train.  They are doing so well amidst all the upheaval and uncertainty.  We’re really proud of them.

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Here we go!

IMG_0289As I write we are currently on the overnight train to Juri’s city.  Here I am in our little compartment right after we boarded while we were waiting to go.

I tried to sleep but couldn’t so I’m writing you instead!  I may or may not have a chance to post this before we go to meet Juri for the first time.  I really hope I do, (I did!  I’m going to get a shower too!  Woohoo!) but our train is set to arrive at 6am and we have to meet with the orphanage director at 8:30am before she leaves, apparently Friday is a day where they get off early so our facilitator had to arrange this special for us to even have a visit tomorrow.

I know it’s a half hour drive from our apartment to the orphanage and we have to make a stop at the store to buy treats for the kids at the orphanage since apparently that is  very important.  I am feeling very nervous to meet him, and a little frustrated that the morning is going to be so rushed.  I won’t have time for a shower or to practice the little bit of Russian I know.  I won’t have time to mentally prepare myself for this really huge event.  It’s just incredibly intimidating!

It’s also a bummer that we are getting here on the weekend, which I assume means we will have less visits with him before we will need to go back to the capital to get Janna’s referral.  I feel like we are going to meet him and get everyone really excited and then we’re going to have to leave again for a week or more. But I just have to leave it in the Lord’s hands.  He knows what we need and what Juri needs and He’ll make sure we all get those things, so I need to let go of my vision and just let Him do His thing.

In any case, prayers would be appreciated.  I assume by the time most of you read this our visit will be over, but perhaps a few of you are night owls or very early risers and can say some quick prayers for our meeting today.

Oh also, I’ve had so much to say I keep forgetting to mention!  There is a group of dear ladies that call themselves the “Anonymous Angels” and they choose one or two families a month to gift with a matching grant.  This month they have chosen our family!  We truly couldn’t be more grateful.

For those who don’t know, a matching grant is a grant that we have to fundraise for first, once we meet their amount they will double it!  Our matching grant is for $600.00, so if our FSP can read $18,680 (I believe that’s the exact amount) within the next couple of weeks, this group of ladies will donate $600.00 more!  So every dollar you give now will essentially be doubled!!

I wish I could promote it a little more, but with the travelling it’s been a bit tricky, and we want to spend our time online to share our journey with you as well.  If you would like to donate toward our matching grant you can give a tax deductible gift here: http://reecesrainbow.org/63824/sponsormueller

Alright, I think that’s all for me tonight.  Next time you hear from me I will have some very exciting updates!! Can’t wait to share all about our sweet boy!

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