Look at the beautiful family God gave us!


Marshall (yes, he's wearing pink)





Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting tired of waiting

Sorry that I didn't post anything yesterday. There wasn't much going on yesterday. David had a headache, (he's prone to migraines) so we stayed home, rested and rehydrated ourselves. We're both getting a bit impatient, getting tired of waiting, and wanting to get our kids out.

We know God is still in charge, though. Some of you knew that I was worried about missing my qualifying course that I need for my job, and that I was worried that I wouldn't be able to work when I got home if I didn't get to take it. I emailed several people at other facilities that were offering the class at a later date, and they were so amazing, offering help to find courses that would work for me, and lots of encouragement. One even offered to guarantee the opportunity to take the class, even if they didn't have the minimum number of registrants! In the end, my own facility asked me to help transition to the online version of the class, and told me to make arrangements for it when I get home. Yay! God is good. That was my biggest worry about staying longer to help David bring the threesome home. So he solved my problem, and even gave me blessings through strangers.

Someone in our family has a birthday. Can you figure out who? I had fun looking up the words for the text of this card in the russian-english dictionary. Then, just in case I was way off, I asked the receptionist to translate it for me. I was pretty close!

Today we didn't go to the orphanage, either, and no, we still don't know how the little pumpkin is doing. Haven't heard back from the translator. At this point we're assuming no news is good news. David studied all day, and I cleaned the apartment. We like our housekeepers here, as they have sweet smiles, and lovely personalities, but I think we all define "housekeeping" differently. Oh well, I'm not working anyway!

Today we met up with another family coming to adopt a 12 yr old boy from an older kids orphanage in another nearby town. The wife of this couple was one of the ones who first inspired me to consider the crazy idea of adopting three kids with Down syndrome. I first thought, "Are they insane???" They have ten kids and they actually have five kids with Down syndrome. She's my expert advisor, and I've had so much fun emailing with her this past year. What a joy to meet in person! It feels like we already know each other. Anyway, we went to lunch together at the local Eastern European foods buffet. We talked, and laughed, and drew lots of looks. So what else is new?

As we were on the street, visiting together, a man stopped and asked if we were Americans. We said yes, and he said he was from Texas, and he and his wife were adopting two kids, and they were eating with some other adopting couples over at the TGI Friday's. None of them were from Reece's Rainbow, but he was so happy to chat with other Americans. I actually see or hear people speaking english almost every day. There is a young mother with long, curly hair, who talks loudly on her cell phone in American-sounding english, as her two kids speed by on their scooters. I've seen her around our neighborhood once, and a few streets over another day. She's very recognizable. Makes me wonder how many people see us day after day, and say, "Well, there's those Americans--the man with the long hair and moustache, and the woman with the clunky clogs and green coat."

Friday, October 29, 2010

The days keep ticking by

We still haven't heard much about our littlest girl.  We've asked for information, but no one seems to know much.  They said they think she'll be back Mon or Tues.  We talked to the doctor from her baby house, and she didn't seem too concerned (and she's really attached to this little sweetie.)  I guess if she's still in the hospital when our paperwork is finalized, then we'll go and get the lowdown, since we'll have the legal right.  Until then, I guess we just hang in limbo.

I was just thinking that it's so good that we're adopting three kids, and still have two kids to take our minds off of our missing child.  We can't go see her, no one really knows what's going on, they keep them in the hospital for a minimum of five days...  If we had no other kids to occupy our time, well, I don't know about David, but I would be a crazy person by now!  We would have no purpose for our being here "ticking off the days."  Sitting in the apartment, with no one to bond with would make me INSANE!!! 

David was thrilled today because when he saw him, our boy toddled to him to be picked up.  Warmed his heart.  He let me put my arm around him for awhile today, and he played with my hand for a few minutes.  He also learned how to ride on his Daddy's shoulders.  It is so fun to have these firsts with the kids, but sad also, that he's almost four years old, and has never had a Daddy to ride him on shoulders.

"What the heck is going on here?"

"Okay, I think I'm getting the hang of this..."

"So, if I just hold onto your head for balance..."
  Daddy let him play with the sunglasses today, and he also enjoyed manipulating them, examining them, and trying them on.  He was also gentle with them.  Sometimes these kids seem younger, as they explore the world, but then sometimes they seem age appropriate, as in knowing how to be gentle with things.

"So this is what these things are like up close!"

Every day when we come to visit, I find our girl sitting by herself, doing...nothing.  There are some other children in the room, but she is not playing with them, and there are toys in the room, but she doesn't seem interested in playing with them, either.  She always perks up when we come in and today was no exception.  She was so happy to see us, and I held her for awhile, and she stroked my hair nicely, until, same as every other day, she decided to pull it out of my head.  Personally, I'm getting tired of this scenario, and wish we could do some real discipline, learn boundaries, and move on to enjoying being a family.  I want to be the parent, and not the visitor!  Patience, patience!
The tender reunion

spoiled by the unacceptable behavior

Doesn't this break your heart?  Hasn't she spent enough time in timeout for one little lifetime?
Remember that game I told you about that Daddy played with her, where she holds his hand, and folds down each finger as he counts, and then he opens his hand up suddenly with a whooshing noise?  She took Daddy's big gloves, and played this game herself, while we watched her and cheered her on.  He said, "She took my game, and made it her own!"  He was so proud.
"One, two, three..."

"Yaaay!"  (That's translated out of russian--I think)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ticking off the days

We got up plenty early today, and headed off to the orphanange, but our girl still isn't back from the hospital.  We're trying to get hold of our translator this afternoon to see if we can find out any info about her.

So we had extra time to spend with our other two little monkeys.  We had a long visit with our boy, who was much more happy to see Daddy than he was to see me.  He ignores me, mostly, but he plays with Daddy.  He occasionally makes eye contact with Dad, but is always willing to laugh if Daddy is tickling him or roughing him up.  They were so noisy, in fact, with growling and giggling, that one of the ladies came out to shush them, saying, "Shh....babies are sleeping."  Hmm...

"Why do you keep throwing me back here everytime I try to escape?"

"Not upside down!  Not upside down!"

"He's got me again!"

"I love Mommy sooo much!"

Look at them pretty eyes!
Next we went to see our other girl, and guess who got to spend almost the entire visit with Daddy, because she wouldn't be nice to Mommy? Actually, everytime she grabbed Mommy's hair, and wouldn't let go, Mommy wrestled her to the floor, and held her there with one foot. She didn't like that very much. Luckily, we were all alone, because I don't think that would have gone over very big. We try to analyze why she's doing this, and what sets her off, because we definitely see a decision point, but until we get her to ourselves, we won't really be able to address it.

She's a lot of fun, though, because she obviously has so many things going through her head. She had a battle of wills with Daddy over several things today. Whether she could run out of the room into other parts of the orphanage (off limits to kids, I'm guessing, as she never ran back into her playroom) and whether she could try to play with a frame on the wall. Eventually, he gave her his sunglasses, and she spent a good twenty minutes manipulating them, examining them, trying them on, trying to get used to opening her eyes when they were covering her eyes, and talking about them a lot. She had a lot to say, we just don't know what it was. She was actually very gentle with them, but you could tell she was afraid we were going to take them away, and she was very possessive with them. He distracted her enough to snag them when he took her in to eat.
"I'm baaaad!"

"These belong to me now!"

"These things really do block out the sun!"
There's the poster on the wall, that she kept wanting to play with, that David wouldn't let her handle.  He said, "We're probably letting her get away with something."  I said, "Yeah, letting her sit on the back of the couch!"

Getting on the bus to go home, we ran into a family who is also here to adopt.  They are the ones who originally showed us the route, and they also brought their four children with them to this country.  We took up the back of the bus, and had a merry, albeit loud, time speaking english, and swapping stories of our time here.

Here's a pic of something that caught my attention:

Alive and well!  Click to enlarge if you can't figure out what I liked about this!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not much to say, but I'll say it anyway

This morning our alarm went off really early for some reason, and I woke up with a headache, and couldn't go back to sleep, and then it was cold in the apartment, so I turned up the heaters, added an extra blanket, and then...finally went back to sleep.  With no alarm--well, it sounds like an excuse--we slept way in, so we got a very late start, and as we were standing at the bus stop in the pouring rain, realizing that we would get there in time to see one and a half children, we decided to try for an early start tomorrow, and go exploring today instead.

I got asked for directions again (what is up with that?) and then we hopped a bus to try to go to the Ashan (which is apparently their version of Walmart here.)  A young mother with a passel of kids shyly struck up a conversation with us, and we had an enjoyable chat, as her english was pretty darn good.  Most of the younger people have studied english in school, even though they may be reluctant to even try to talk with us.  She wasn't reluctant at all, and asked us about ourselves.  We told her about adopting 3 children with Down syndrome.  She said she was very glad, because, "in our country, those poor children have no one who cares about them."  She and another man on the bus gave us directions on how to get across the highway to the shopping center, by taking the pedestrian bridge up and over.

I took these pictures of the Ashan, and its neighbor across the way, the Epicenter, which is something of a Lowe's and Home Depot, with motorcycles and a restaurant thrown in.  Unfortunately, there was a stern sign at the doorway prohibiting dogs, skateboards, alcohol, and cameras!  Bummer!  I've been wanting to take more pictures, but as everyone stares at us, it makes me more hesitant, rather than just figuring-- Oh well!  They're staring at us anyway!  Looking at the Ashan's giant sign, David said, "Even I can figure out that that says 'supermarket.'"  I think it actually says, "gippermarket," or "geepermarket," but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

It was a huge building, and after seeing so many tiny stores, and street vendors, it was interesting to see the variety that is available.  Actually, there isn't that much variety available in this city, and although we had to travel far and wide to find household goods that we needed, we discovered that pretty much we had already seen was what there was to see.  It's all in one place, there, but other than appliances, not too many surprises.

Speaking of appliances, they had a wide selection of small kitchen appliances.  Interesting, because there were lots of those smoothie makers that look like a cordless screwdriver, that you stand in the glass, and whiz up the ingredients.  Those didn't really take off in America.  Also, lots of stand-mixers with really flimsy plastic bowls.  I wasn't too sure how well those would stand up to a batch of cookie dough.  Lots of food dryers (we thought) that were labeled in english as steamers.  They looked for all the world like food dehydrators, but what do we know?  Some bread makers, a waffle iron or two, and lots of toasters (no surprise, considering how great their breads are.)  The big surprise--meat grinders, lots and lots of them!  Apparently, no kitchen is complete without its own meat grinder.  Missing in action?  Crockpots--here in the land of soups!  Why not?  I would be crock-potting that borscht, if I lived here!

Okay, here's something we did decide to buy.  A teeny-tiny coffee pot.  I've seen these in the european decorating books, and every picturesque kitchen has a tiny coffee pot on the stove.  I really wanted the classic plain galvanized-looking metal one, from the pictures, but the insides were aluminum, so we went with the stainless steel and porcelain one.  There's only so much instant coffee one can drink, and we finally broke.  This is a tea-drinking nation, and they do drink some coffee, but they do it their way.  Lots of instant coffee, and a few coffee houses here and there.  We tried a coffee house the first week, but were pretty disappointed, and overcharged, and haven't tried one again. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yet another sickie

Today David wasn't feeling so good with a stuffy head and runny nose, so he decided to stay home and rest, and sent me off into the big, scary world by myself. He's been bugging me to go out by myself, and giving me a hard time, like he thinks I'm not brave enough. I have a truly inadequate sense of direction, so I did have a few misgivings, but armed with phone numbers and extra money, in case I got myself lost, I did head out solo to visit the kids.

I got a late start, and then I zoned out during the subway ride, and missed my subway stop, so I jumped off, jumped back on, jumped off at the right stop, and then took the slow bus to the orphanage. So I got there late, and figuring that our littlest angel is probably still at the hospital, I just checked in on the other two.

I think the little man missed Daddy. He was not happy to be held, and then didn't really want to play with me, either. He didn't want the ball today, but did play with the truck. He didn't like that I put the links in, and he had to take them all out, as I put them in. I blew raspberries on his back, and he would turn away slowly, with such dignity, as if to say, "I'm not impressed by this silly behavior of yours."
"You're so booring... I miss Dad!"

"I guess it wouldn't hurt to play for a little while..."
When I went to see the big angel, she was very happy to see me, and insisted that I go out into the visitor's lounge. She looked around out there, obviously wondering where Dad was. She was happy for me to hold her tight, and carry her around and around the room, as we talked to each other, and I kissed her neck. She held onto my ponytail the whole time, and then when she got too heavy, I sat down with her on the couch, and she checked out the hairbrush I brought. I brushed her hair, which she really liked, and then she brushed my hair for awhile, which she's not very good at, since she kept getting it tangled, and brushed it all in my face. She was fine, though, for awhile, until she eventually got bored, and started getting rowdy. Just then it was time to eat, so I took her in, and she clung to me, and yelled, and pulled my hair, and the careworkers yanked her hands out of my hair (ouch!) and sat her down to eat. I knelt down next to her, and she put her arm around my neck. The most stern careworker yelled her name sharply, and boy, did she jump to put her hands back on the table! I was scolded after that, and shooed out of the room. My girl did wave bye-bye to me, until I was all the way out of the room. When I told David about my visit, he said, "Good job! You got her in trouble!" My bad. Sorry, I was too busy to take any photos of her.

The other day we were wondering how people can always tell that we're american, and our facilitator told us that we just look american. We thought that maybe we smiled more than the people in this country, and she agreed. I thought that maybe it was because David has long hair, and a moustache, which aren't really seen here. She agreed, and said that he also has a very american face, but that my face looked more eastern european, probably because of my Czech grandmother (I had told her about that already.) As proof of that, today when I went out by myself, I got a lot fewer stares, and two people stopped me to ask directions. Not only do I look eastern european, but I also look like I have a good sense of direction!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Court -- take three--and it's a wrap!

So, everyone showed up to court again, as planned, and apparently all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed, because the judge pronounced us the parents of the kiddos! We were expecting lots of questions about why we wanted to adopt special needs kids, and why three, but there were no questions. Everyone stood and congratulated us, and looked really happy for us. I got a tear in my eye, but only one. It was all over with suddenly, so I didn't have time to get too emotional. Later, David said, "I wanted to get a picture of us with our judge, but I didn't know whether it would be appropriate." Our facilitator said, "You should have asked! She would have done it!"

We found out that the littlest girl is, indeed, in the hospital, with a respiratory illness.  The facilitator said that they keep them for 5 days minimum, and we think she's been in for 4 days.  We're not sure because we didn't go to see her Thur or Fri last week because of court.  So, hopefully she'll be out soon.  We asked if we could go to visit, but not surprisingly, were told no.

I posted some extra pictures I had laying around, since we didn't get any pictures of the kids today, and no picture with the judge, either!
David loves this curved building.

We bought a souvenir in St. Andrews church.  I call it our little shrine.  I actually think this art work is very beautiful.

Pure sweetness

This statue stands guard over one of the orphanage houses.  Hmm...

Our one day outside was a lot of fun.

I decided to re-run this pic, because his profile reminds me of someone--Harold and the purple crayon!

"They're soooo pretty!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Still missing in action

Well, we still don't know what's going on with our littlest girl. I asked about her using the russian word for "hospital" and the careworker said "yes." Since it's the weekend, all the people in charge are not around, so hopefully tomorrow or Tues we'll get the full story. We are praying that she's in good hands, and making a full recovery.

We played with little boy today, and even though he isn't very warm with us, he seems okay with being with us. He loves to play ball (as you've gathered) and loves the anticipation of not quite knowing when the ball will hit him. I caught lots of smiles today!

"Throw it!  I'm ready!"

"I caught it!"

Waiting for the ball to fall!

And--there it is!

Big girl was very happy to see us, and jumped into my arms.  I carried her for a few minutes, and she stroked my face and hair for a few minutes, as we cooed to each other.  She wouldn't go to Daddy's arms, even though he tried to get her to.  It was lovely until--you guessed it-- the hair pulling started.  She does stop when I squeeze her really hard and kiss her in her neck.  She loves that, in fact.  I don't really want to set up a reward system for pulling my hair.

She sat with Daddy for awhile, and he wrestled with her a little, and then we tried to get her interested in these links.  She doesn't know how they work, and doesn't care to learn.  She doesn't care much for quiet activities when all the attention isn't focused right on her.  That's why we went back and forth with her sitting on my lap for awhile, playing with my zipper until she got too rough, then back to Daddy.  Today I decided to try something different, and everytime she grabbed my hair, I'd hold her hands and make her stroke my hair.  She doesn't like that, because she's not in charge.  I said, "You want to touch my hair, then I'm going to make you touch my hair!"  So I made her stroke my hair until she was trying to get away from it.  If she's nice about it, I let her do whatever she wants.  She definitely makes a choice when she decides to be rough.  David put it into words pretty well when he said, "It's like she thinks, 'this is too good;  I have to destroy it.'"  I think feeling loved all of a sudden after all these years would be overwhelming.  Why now?  Why suddenly?  What did I do different today that I didn't do before?  It's a lesson for all of us in grace, and learning to accept it.

"These links are boring!"

"No!  Don't make me touch it!"
Remember that tomorrow is our (next) court date. I don't want to be a pessimist, but things never go easy for us. However, they always work out eventually, and we know God works in our lives. We should have lots of character by now! Please be praying for us, and our tiny tots.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Someone's missing...

Today, when we showed up to see little miss, we were told that she was in Kiev, but that was all we understood. Is she sick? Is she in the hospital? That's our hunch, but our translator couldn't get hold of anyone to find out anything, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out more. Everyone, please pray that God will watch over her and care for her, whatever's going on.

Even though our boy isn't exactly generous with his smiles yet, we're seeing a lot more, and I managed to catch a little bit on camera. My camera takes so long to snap the pic, the moment is often gone before I get it, so I'm putting a bunch of half-smiles on here.  Don't forget, you can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Future footballer- that's what they call it here.

Just having fun

He just makes little kicks, because a big kick would knock him over!

He kind of has a one-track mind, doesn't he?

Look who else likes to be "man-handled!"

After missing two days of visiting, I think we lost some ground with this little girl. Although she was happy to see us, she was pretty aggressive today, and I got my hair pulled lots of times. She also cuddled a lot with me, though, and she got a lot of really hard squeezes. Daddy played chase with her, and wrestled with her and tickled her until she was giggling so hard she was gasping. I thought, she'll sleep well at naptime today!

She did not want to go in to eat at the end of our visit. That says something to me, that she would give up a meal to stay with us.

This is the beady-eyed stare she gives me, right before she grabs my hair!

Daddy helping her use up some of that excess energy by spinning her.

She loves this, and was so dizzy, she kept tipping over after he stood her on her feet.  She even thought that was fun!
Today we went for a really looong walk (my feet were killing me) and found the US embassy. It was closed, so we didn't go in, but at least now we know where it is. We stopped at a McDonald's for lunch. Bless them, they had a normal bathroom with toilet paper, even! Never take that for granted, people! David figured out that W.C. means "water closet" way before I did. In fact, I recognized the russian word for "toilet" right above the W.C. first. W.C. has always meant Wilson Creek to me.
Finally!  A sight for homesick eyes!
Wait a minute!  How do you order when no one speaks english?  Just kidding!  They brought out their one english-speaker to help us order.

Kind of an interesting thing they do here, is to close down the main street, and allow vendors to set up a marketplace, and everyone comes out to stroll up and down the main drag. It is a slightly festive atmosphere, lots of people taking photos, street musicians, a few roller bladers, skateboarders, some families pushing strollers, or small children on bicycles. Mostly just people strolling up and down this big street. I'm not sure of the point(exercise? thank God we can finally walk down the middle of a street?) but David says, "Why do you have to figure it out? It's just something they like to do!"

Friday, October 22, 2010

Court-- take two!

Today we went for our second time at court.  It was an interesting experience.  The courthouse is a busy place, as expected, but it is a completely run-down building which I did not expect.  We went down many narrow halls, which were mostly unlit, except for the occasional window.  We had court in the judge's office.

As I mentioned yesterday, this judge is an unknown quantity, and as we waited, I prayed that God would be completely in charge.  We entered and found a pleasant looking woman, no makeup, very no-nonsense looking, and who looked very smart.  She is supposedly not familiar with adoption proceedings, so everything was very much by-the-book, and she read every document out loud.  The translator told us that it is very unusual for the judge to read everything like that, and that it usually goes very quickly.  She tried to keep up with translating, but after awhile gave up, since the judge was reading everything (very fast.)

Today the people present were us (of course,) the judge, translator, social worker, lawyer, prosecutor, and two witnesses (jurors.)  Everyone was pretty solemn, and I tried to meet their eyes, and smile, but I think maybe that would be trying to influence everyone, and they all avoided making eye contact.  In contrast, the judge looked us straight in the eye, and seemed very encouraging when we had to answer questions.  Her body language was encouraging, if I can say it that way.

As we sat there, it seemed so surreal, and I couldn't believe that after almost a year, and all the hard work, and emotions and excitement, and stress, and wonder of connecting with the kids, that we were sitting there in that tiny room, and soon would hear the verdict of whether we would be allowed to take these children to be our own for the rest of our lives and theirs.

As she was reading, I could understand some of it, because legal words are like technical and medical words, and they are the same or similar in many languages.  Plus, I knew the general content of the documents.  When she started reading the social worker's report, in which the social worker recommended that we be allowed to adopt the children, because we will be good parents for the children, the translator interpreted it, and there wasn't any conflict with other people's rights, because everyone had given up their rights at the births of the children.  Then when it came to the next part, and she read that the children have had no visitors, and the translator interpreted that, the feelings caught up with me, and yes--my kids know what I'm going to say-- I started to tear up, and here came the waterworks, flooding out.  It wasn't exactly the impression I wanted to give, but it's who I really am, so--oh well.  David rubbed my back, and the translator patted my shoulder, and I wiped my eyes with a kleenex, and tried to get my composure back.

I have a job in which I work hard to facilitate bonding between parents and their newborn child, and the thought that not only had these babies not been able to bond with their parents, and their parents had signed away their rights to their children, but also that no one-- NO ONE-- out of a whole planet full of people, had visited  them.  It was an overwhelmingly sad thought, but immediately after, I thought of the tender care I had seen shown to my children in each baby house.  Life may not be rosy there, but there is still a caring hand and voice, and I have seen each of my children shown kindness by the careworkers.  I thank God that he knows the names of each of my children, and he put a call on my heart from thousands of miles away, to come and get these particular children. 

As I type this, and I'm thinking of all the christians all over the world, and our mandate from our father to visit the orphans in their distress, I was wondering, where are all the christians?  Then I remembered the videos I've seen online of the visits from the church of Almaz, who come and minister to the orphans, and bring hope, love and needed supplies and building construction, and that I've seen some of my children on these videos.  I've also gotten updates from other parents who have been here to get their children.  So, my children have been visited, and I am so grateful. 

Now, we are their visitors who come faithfully to see them, play with them, and love them.  We have missed two days of visiting with them, and it feels wrong.  David said, "I'm worried about our kids, that they might think we're not coming back."  I actually thought he was talking about our big kids at home, and I said, "Why would they think that?  They have no reason to think we're not coming home!"  He said, "not those kids!  The ones at the orphanage!"  I just love sharing parenting with this man!  I haven't thought about whether the kids can make those kinds of abstract connections or not, but he's already assuming that they might be able to, and it worries him to think they might think we're not coming back--after not seeing us for two days!

So, now you're waiting to hear our happy ending.  Remember how I said that the judge was reading everything?  Well, if you do that, you might find a typo, like a misspelling of one of the kids' names, which might threaten the legality, and which needs to be corrected before the proceedings can proceed...  Tune back in on Monday, when we resume court... sigh...

Giant thing to remember:  God knows.  These are his kids, and this is his show, and he knows where we are, and he knows the ending, and anything else I want to throw out there, he knows.  We are not worried, and we're not disappointed, and we're not mad.  I think a few other people may be, but we're not.  I'm happy, because everytime something strange or unexpected happens, I know that God has it all under control, and he's doing something different for us.  That makes me feel special. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our court date

Okay, it's obvious that some of you aren't praying as hard as you could be.  How do I know?  Because we did not have our court appointment today after all!  That's right--you need to be praying harder! Harder!  HARDER!

I'm just kidding :)

Well, not about the no court part, but about the praying part.  Okay, I'm not even really kidding that much about the prayer.  We really do need your prayers, and we're so grateful to all of you.  It really is prayers and faith that will bring us home, but all is in his hands, so we're not worried.  I had this image of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell sprinkling a little more pixie dust so that Wendy and the boys could rise, and then fly.  Anyone else think of that?  Thank God I don't have to rely on Peter Pan (wait a minute... this is sounding suspiciously like... hmm... at least he has a great sense of direction.)

Okay, I am relying on the Amazing, Omniscient and Omnipotent God of the Universe, and I know he knows exactly where we are, exactly who our little people are, exactly where we stand, what we need, who we need to be in contact with, when we need to get there, and which hearts need to be impacted.

Our facilitator and translator picked us up for our court appointment, and explained that although they normally get a certain judge, who is very friendly to them, and to adoption, and knows all the reasons people like us want to adopt multiple special needs kids, we would be seeing a completely new judge today who is new to them, and they don't know how she feels about adoption, special needs adoption or anything else, for that matter.  Because of traffic, we were about 10 minutes late, which wouldn't be the way to impress an unknown judge, in my opinion.  The lawyer, social worker and prosecutor also all showed up, but then we were told that all the judges in the region had been called to a special meeting, so she was gone, and we would need to come back tomorrow.  Our translator said she thought that "everything happens for a reason."  I would have to agree, since I know my timing has never been the same as God's, and he often ignores what I want time-wise.  I told our facilitator that it was okay, and he said, "Well, it's okay for you, but not for me!  I have things to do, and now this will take two days instead of only one day."  He must have thought about it for a minute, though, because he amended, "Well, it's not really okay for you either, because that's one more day's rent you have to pay, and one more day that you are delayed going home, so it costs extra for you."  I told him, "God knows what we need."

So, we came home without getting to see our kids, and we won't get to see them tomorrow, either, poor little bugs.   Anyway, David's making soup tonight.  Sort of, when in Rome...  There is a lot of soup here and the soup we've had has been very good.  The soups we've made ourselves have even been uncommonly good.  Maybe their soup makings are just better than usual.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that they're always accompanied by "artisan" breads!  It's rainy and cool outside, so of course, it's perfect weather for soup, as well.

He can find his way around a kitchen, too.

That looks pretty good, doesn't it?

This is a sweet bread with cinnamon and pecans.  I'm just pretending to eat the whole thing.  No, really!