Monday, August 31, 2009

The First Finish Line...on to the next...

Hey everyone. We got through with court.... about 6:30pm tonight! It went fine and we are approved to adopt Laurel!! Praise the Lord! It was a bit of an intimidating process and we had to wait almost 1 1/2 hrs for the judge but it is over!! Now comes the 10 day appeals waiting period. We appreciate your prayers that no one will appeal the judges decision. It is our understanding that the mother as well as a prosecutor can appeal although technically the mother has signed away her rights.

Please pray for Martha as she will be boarding a night train in a few hours (11pm our time) and travelling to Kiev. She will arrive in the morning and will be taken to the US Embassy where she'll have to sign more paperwork and then be taken to the airport to catch a 2 pm flight out. Hopefully she'll arrive home around midnight Tuesday night.

Please pray for Mike as he'll be left here by himself to visit Laurel and finish up paperwork like the new birth certificate, visa, medical and passport for Laurel.

We can't wait to see you all soon!

PS: The picture was taken by our translator right after we were named parents of Laurel

Friday, August 28, 2009

Almost There

Just a short update from this part of the world. Laurel seemed to feel much better today. She was a wild child the first part of the visit and then got sleepy. The signing seemed to click a little more today. She saw a cat and made the correct sign for it over and over. She followed that poor cat for 30 minutes making the sign. She also made the correct sign for car! We are definitely going to have to learn some new sign language.
We attempted to visit a history museum today. The downstairs was about as small as our house and you had to give tickets every few feet. We had 8 tickets to give just downstairs. Then we went up to see military stuff and there was this huge deal that (we think b/c we couldn't understand Russian) the ladies downstairs had torn the wrong tickets and they wanted us to go get 4 more tickets so they could just tear the "right" tickets. Not a chance. We got fed up and left. Oh well. We settled for an ice cream cone from McDonald's and a walk by the river.

Tomorrow the cleaning lady comes to clean our apartment. We'll see Laurel in the AM and probably do a little souvenir shopping.

Love to all,
Martha & Mike

PS: We just found out Laurel sucks her thumb. She was really tired today and did it. Too Cute.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

News from the Front

Hi everyone back home!!! We so miss everyone and can't wait to get back to US soil. We are having very good visits everyday with Laurel and she is really warming up to Mike. You can tell she hasn't seen many men before therefore she isn't really sure where they fit in in the big scheme of things or what Daddy's are good for. Boy will she be in for a surprise! She and Mike will have a blast. She made the sign for "cat" yesterday when she saw one and I was so proud of her. You can also tell she wants to talk some b/c she moves her lips like what we say and tries to make a sound. We see that she LOVES apples and they probably feel good to her teeth as she is still getting teeth.

WE FOUND OUT OUR COURT DATE TODAY. We are scheduled for Monday at 4:30pm (9:30am US time). PLEASE be in prayer for us that the judge would look favorably on us to adopt Laurel. She seems already to be a bit of a stickler for details so it makes us a bit nervous. If all goes as planned, I will leave court, get on an overnight train to take me back to Kiev. I will be met by a translator who will take me to the US Embassy to sign some papers and then off to the airport to catch a flight Tuesday pm. We'll see how the details work out. Please pray for MIke who will be left behind and will have to deal with Laurel by himself. I think they will be just fine however.

Thank you all for your interest, time and prayers. We are so blessed to have friends and family like you.

PS: The picture of all the wonderful food is to prove to our Mama's that we aren't starving. We found a wondeful Ukrainian cuisine restaurant that serves lots of food CHEAP. All of this and drinks were around $8. We treat ourselves about once a week.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Op.

Hi everyone. Today was another great day with Laurel. We play about 2 hrs. with her and she even learned the sign for cracker. They told us she needed to have her pic taken for a document so they took us outside of the orphanage into the scariest park you have ever seen. Anyway, we went into this little bitty store underground and they stood her on a stool and took her picture. She didn't look too thrilled and wasn't sure what was going on (neither were we :) but she was a good sport. We hope to have find out when the judge will see us on Tuesday. Please pray that everything will be fast tracked so we can come home. I'm sure that is a common feeling when you're out of the country just wanting to bring your new daughter home.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our First Meeting

We finally met Laurel. Our first meeting was only for about 15 minutes. She played with a pen I brought in and also scribbled on a little notepad. She actually warmed up enough to give me a hug after we had been playing for a few minutes. She is tiny and beautiful and look forward to spending a full 2 hrs with her tomorrow. If all goes well, we were told court may be next Tuesday when the judge comes back. More updates to come.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We're still here

We are heading to see Laurel tomorrow (Sunday). We have had interesting reports about her and are very excited to meet her. So far the trip is going well. Internet is extremely slow so updating is a little difficult. We are doing a lot of walking. Hopefully we'll be able to post photos when we get some. Thank you for your prayers and please keep praying for us!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We're coming Laurel!!!

It's here. Monday morning we'll be flying out to go visit our little girl. I can't believe this is really happening. It was less than a week ago that we got an email from our facilitator saying out appointment was this week- August 13th. We had asked for a later (by a month) date but the LORD saw fit to change things up a bit. Since then, we have been FLOORED by the compassion, generosity and love that has been poured out from our friends, church, community and family. Even people who we don't even know!! Please pray that the Lord's will be done in our life over there and that as our pastor's theme is year "LET THE LIGHT SHINE IN 2009!!"
We want them to wonder why so many American's want their special needs children. We want to be able to share the unconditional love of Christ with them.
Thank you so much who have followed on this wild ride so far with us. Hopefully they'll be lots more to come. Thank you to our wonderful church family who is so encouraging and praying for us!! Thank you even to the perfect strangers who don't even know us but believe in this cause.
We're coming baby Laurel!! Coming soon!! We will update everyone as soon as we get a good internet connection. Blessings!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


It's really happening!! It really is!! We got our SDA Appointment date and it's August 13th!!! We are hoping to fly out sometime Monday. This was not at all our plan (of course). In our child specific petition we had asked to fly after August 27th but they ignored the petition. There is a chance they could change it but we have to fill out a new form, notarize it, appostille it again and UPS it ASAP to get to our facilitator. All this would have to happen before Thursday 13th and it takes AT LEAST 4-5 days for it to get to Ukraine with no issues! So, Monica was so wonderful to figure out somewhere else for Baby Connor to stay, we scrounged for our loan, we booked our flights and the journey begins!!

God has reminded me that this is HIS timing not mine. I had other plans. I wanted it all wrapped up in a nice, neat package and have the room ready, all of the money raised, everything packed neatly etc..... But God knows the plans He has for us and they are GOOD plans!! Please pray as we embark on this journey. I've never been out of the country and needless to say am VERY nervous. We still aren't sure who will be returning to the country to pick her up. We are waiting to see how she reacts to us and how safe Mike feels with me being there.