Life has been busy. Vernon and I went on a marriage retreat with our church group. It was a wonderful vacation that allowed us to focus on us and our relationship while having a fantastic time. The retreat was on a Caribbean cruise. We came back relaxed and refreshed. It was just what we needed. Vernon and I have not taken a long vacation by ourselves in several years. We have gone to the coast on long weekends, but we have not taken a whole week and gone out of town like that. It was wonderful. I love my family and I love being with my kids. But I did not realize how much I had missed having my time away with my husband without the responsibility of taking care of everything.
A week after we got back from the cruise was the church’s Revive weekend for the youth groups. If you aren’t familiar with these I will explain…..Several families in the church offer to host a group of kids at their home for the weekend. During the weekend the youth are split up by grade and by sex. Depending on how many kids of each sex and each grade, there may be one house per group or multiple houses per group. There are planned activities at church that are appropriate for the youth. The Christian music is upbeat and more to their taste, the lessons are taught to issues the youth face, and the leaders of each group are typically young enough that the kids feel they can relate (mostly college age to 20s with a few others mixed in who are older but work with the youth). A mission activity is scheduled for Saturday, along with some free time for the kids in the group to decide what to do that is fun for them and encourages building friendships. Saturday night is usually a concert or show of some type. The kids are brought to the church with all of their stuff on Sunday morning and the parents get to take home very tired students after the church service is finished. The purpose of these weekends is to allow the youth to experience a spiritual revival within themselves; hearing what the word says relative to the normal teenager’s struggles with salvation and living according to biblical principles; and helping them build relationships with others their age within the church who are most likely struggling with the same things. I am sure our youth pastor could explain that a lot better, but you probably get the idea. Vernon and I hosted the 10th grade boys. There were enough boys to have two homes for this group, so Josh got to go to the other home for 10th grade boys. We had a wonderful time with the boys. They were very respectful and sweet. I hope they enjoyed being here even half as much as I enjoyed having them here. Mostly, I hope they experienced a personal revival after participating in the events of the weekend.
Not much has happened on the adoption front since I posted last time. Vernon and I had appointments this morning to have our finger prints done for immigration. We are now waiting to see how long it will be before we get the I-171H form we need. Our translator sent us one more form which is now required. I have to modify it with our personal information and print it out to get notarized tomorrow. We have received our amendment to the home study that informs immigration that Vernon will not be traveling with me this time. The process of bringing our daughter into this country is different if both parents are not there for the adoption. Vernon will have to adopt her after we get home instead of her being a citizen as soon as she arrives in America. When we adopted Josh we were both there for the adoption so he became an American citizen as soon as he landed in America for the first time.
We have not heard back from Open Arms Adoption after submitting our application. I will post on here when we hear back with our approval. We are still trying to come up with more ideas for fundraising. If you have some good ideas please let me know. I am really not gifted in fundraising.
Thank you all for praying with us through this adoption process. Please continue to pray for our daughter. It is bitter cold in Eastern Europe. I pray for her to be warm and healthy during this very difficult winter. Also be praying that our immigration paper work will come in sooner rather than later. The sooner we get there the better. Please pray for provision. As I have mentioned before, adoption is expensive. Jehovah Jireh is my provider. Also pray that we will all have hearts that are open to hearing from the Lord and melding together as a family with a new member amongst us. Adoption is hard, but God is good and He knows how to make it all fit into his glorious plan.
Have a great night!! I will post again when I have some news to share. I love you all!!