Sunday, July 31, 2011

Krasnoyarsk Day 1

The past 3 days have been a blur, in fact, I think we actually lost a day somewhere. It is Monday morning here in Siberia. We arrived at the Krasnoyarsk airport at 8:00 yesterday morning. From there we went to our apartment and laid down for a nap......that nap turned into almost 10 hours of sleep. We woke up, got showers (so happy to smell normal again), and then headed out to buy a few groceries and eat dinner. We had a difficult time trying to find a place to exchange our money for rubles. Of course no one speaks English, but we knew that would be the case. We ate dinner at California Pizza.......we didn't know what to order but the cook nodded and gave us a simple pepperoni pizza! It was pretty good and it was super cheap! We got a whole pizza and 2 drinks for less than $10! We walked around the city a bit and then came back to the apartment to rest some more. We are trying very hard not to look like tourists, but I am not sure it's working!

We soon realized that it was church time in S.C., so we called using facetime on our phones....IT WORKED! We were able to chat with our church peeps and they were able to hook the phone up to the speakers during service. Curt did morning announcements from Russia!!!! We also were able to watch most of the service.

We just skyped with the kiddos, they were very excited. I don't think I have ever been so happy to see toothless grins!!! We miss everyone and are looking forward to seeing you all soon. We will travel to see our little girl in just a few hours.....I cannot explain the feelings I have. I have been praying all morning for her heart, that God would go ahead and calm her down and prepare her for our arrival. Please continue praying for all of us! God is getting ready to completely rock our world. We are never going to be the same after this experience. The lyrics "break my heart for what breaks YOURS" are screaming in my head. Break us Lord, break me!!!!

We made it!

We arrived in Krasnoyarsk at 7:00 am on Sunday, which is 7:00 pm on Saturday evening back in South Carolina. We had a CRAZY trip over, which I do not care to repeat!!!! We began the journey with a delay out of Charlotte which made us land late in NYC. We had some friends meet us there to take us to lunch. We had to rush, so we weren't able to see very many sights other than some parts of Queens. It was just really nice to see Dan and Daneal and talk about church and God and life as church planters. On the way back to JFK, their poor car broke down, so we had to catch a cab and leave them on the side of the road. They did make it home eventually! We got checked in at JFK, I had a SPLITTING headache, so I was miserable. We boarded the plane and then the bottom fell out. We sat on the plane for 2 hours waiting for the storm to pass over. The flight over was alright, very smooth. We were very thankful when we landed in Moscow. We were 2 hours late, but the man that met us there was very nice and helped to get us checked in for our final flight. We had a long layover so we explored the Moscow airport as much as we could. We grabbed some lunch at "The Hippopotamus". Watched MTV Russian style......that was interesting by the way. Who knew that the Jane Fonda workout attire was so popular???

The Kras flight was the best yet. We were seated in threes, so a young guy named Nikita sat beside us. He swore that we understood Russian and so we did our best to speak with him. A young girl behind us named Anna translated for us. We learned that Nikita had been on a cruise ship playing volleyball with his team. One of his team members sat behind us and we called him "big hands". Nikita had just gotten married to a "very beautiful" girl.....he could actually say that in english. We laughed the whole time, he was very funny and he sure did love his vodka!

Curt and I laid down for a nap at 8:30 and Curt is still asleep at 6:16 pm!!!! I hope he sleeps tonight. Tomorrow, our journey continues as we meet with the MOE (ministry of education) and then visit the orphanage. We cannot post pictures online of her "face" online anywhere! Now, I am going to try to get Curt up so we can go make some pictures and get some COFFEE!!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

3 days.....

3, THREE, TRES.....however you say it, that is how many days we have left before we FLY to Russia!!! I am experiencing mixed emotions. For starters, I am afraid to fly!!! I have flown over the ocean before, no biggie, but I was 17 not 30!!!! I am also stressing about leaving my children for so long. I know they will be in great hands and those great hands will have even greater back up hands, but still I am anxious for them!!! I am nervous about meeting our daughter! Will she like us? Will she smile? Will she let me hug and kiss her?

Curt and I had the opportunity to meet with THIS couple for dinner last night. We had a BLAST, they were so much fun! They will be arriving in Russia the day after we leave the country for their 2nd trip. They had so much helpful information for us. They showed us pictures of the important people we will be meeting and informed us of customs within the country. I feel more relaxed after talking with them. I am hoping deep down that our girls are in the same orphanage and maybe know each other. That would be quite an amazing story to tell!

We are still raising money. The 2nd trip is looming in the future and the $$$ are HUGE! Here is a list of costs coming our way. We have pretty much exhausted all of our resources. I am trying to sell a cello outfit!!!!!

1. Plane tickets $3,000
2. Hotel fees $3,000
3. Medicals in Russia $1,600
4. Foreign Fees $7,000

Any amount you can donate will help!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chickfila Fundraiser

So many things to be thankful for today! Thankful for the AIR CONDITIONER.....I cannot imagine working out in the heat like my husband does all day! I am thankful for my wonderful mother who helps me out so much with my kids. If it weren't for her, I would never get all of this adoption stuff completed! I am also thankful for awesome friends who show up without being asked to help us set up for our event! I am thankful for friends across the state who are donating toward our adoption, got $200 in the mail today!!!!

Our Chickfila fundraiser was a success! We had a great turn out for all 3 hours! We won't know until next week what we actually raised, but whatever the outcome, I know God is all over it! Another praise for today.......LRBC, the church I grew up in, had bible school this week. All the money brought for offering was donated to our adoption and also my cousins adoption. We were given over $200 tonight!!!!! God is just continually blessing our efforts. Why do we worry, He is in complete control!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bluegrass Extravaganza = HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Saturday was a very long and tiring day for not only us, but our friends and families as well. The morning began with Krispy Kreme doughnut sales in Abbeville and CF. These yummy boxes of friend dough were donated by our dear friend Rena Rhodes! Total sales were somewhere around $650!!! WHOOHOO!!!

Immediately following the sales, Curt, myself, Brandi, Addam, Thomas, Teddi, Emmi & Mar Mar loaded tables and chairs and then set up the Livery stable for the BIG event!! The plate sales were to begin at 5:30, but at 4:45 we had a couple come in the Livery and hand us a $100, they didn't even say a word. We kept saying thank you, but they smiled and walked down the road. What a blessing! The Livery was packed, at times there was standing room only! We ran out of food and had to turn people away! Our total for the day was somewhere around $3,500!!!! We are so thankful for all the amazing people in our lives who made this event such a huge success. Carrie, Nanny and Mom made delicious cakes. Brandi, April, Austin, Addam and Brittaney all served the food. The bands were amazing! My dad helped us clean up!!! God places people in your life for a purpose and I am so thankful to have each of these people in my life!!!! It was a great day, a blessed day!!! We are closer than ever to bringing our sweet baby home!

My friends Heather who helped pull the pork the night before the event, she is pretty fantastic!

Ricky ran the sound......he always makes me laugh!

Diamond Hill Bluegrass Boys, my father in law in yellow!

Thomas Richardson Quartet, so much talent!

My Bro and Sis in them!

Brandi and Brittaney, two of the sweetest girls ever!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On today's agenda.....

We are now 2 weeks from our flight......craziness! I have luggage in the living room floor, gallon size ziplocks to put our food and bath stuff in. While in Russia, we are going to try to live off of the bare minimum. We are only taking 3 pairs of pants each, and I can only bring 2 pairs of shoes;). For breakfast we will be eating pop tarts, for lunch either Ramen Noodles or Mac and Cheese, dinner, we aren't quite sure about at this point. I am surrounded by paper work at this point, it is literally in front of me, at my sides and under my feet. My plan today was to finish the packing of our clothes at least, BUT, my kids very much need a break! I'm thinking the YMCA waterworks may be in our near future, at least for part of the day!!!

If you live in the Abbeville/Greenwood area, please come out to our Bluegrass Extravaganza this Saturday at the Livery Stable in Abbeville. Food and music begins at 5:30! It is going to be awesome! We will also have krispy kreme sales Saturday morning!!!!

Ok, I'm off now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

17 days away...

Ok, yesterday almost cost me to lose my mind! I found out that our packet of VERY important documents never made it from the Sect. of State to AWAA, which meant that the U.S. Postal Service had lost them somewhere in the mail. BUT, after many tears, blessing a few people out and begging for our homestudy agent to redo the documents, I am calm. I will be taking the documents to Columbia first thing tomorrow to HAND DELIVER them to the Sect. of State. Let's see.....what else has been going on?

1. Bought travel book
2. Had cute Russian thank you cards made
3. Got in touch with CPA, will have Curt's letter of employment tomorrow
4. Making physical appointments
5. Finding out that the FMLA within the school district is STUPID!!!
6. Organizing my dossier binder for the plane
7. Packing bookbags as carry one
8. Applying for 2 more grants
9. Emailing missionaries in Russia to see if we can crash with them
10. Bathing some sweet babies, Nate is spending the night!!!!

It has been crazy and I am ready for a break, BUT that will have to wait until......after Christmas I guess!!! Have a blessed night!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cute Little Camera Straps

I have a camera strap and I adore using these covers to give it some snap, color and style!!! Each strap is $10 by itself!
If you choose to, we can embroider one initial on the strap for $2!

You can contact me on facebook or you can order from the menu on the side of the blog. I only have a few of each, so order quickly!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Counting down the days......

This many days until we fly!!!! The countdown has begun and with so much to do to get ready for the remaining 2 fundraisers, my mind is going 90 miles an hour and my house is a disaster. Curt and I along with all 3 kids, my mom, brother and sister in law all went to Build-a-Bear to make a gift for our Baby A!!! The kids enjoyed it, Campbell I think loved picking out the clothes part the most. We recorded her this evening as she dressed the bunny and helped it pose for pictures. We are applying for two more adoption loans and grants this week so be in prayer that we will be awarded these grants! BBQ and Bluegrass this weekend, don't forget!!!

Before I sign off, funny conversation with Campbell this morning in the bathroom. Seems we always have funny stories to share after we have been to the potty together, huh!!!

CG: "Mommy, are you pregnant?"
Me: "No, I am definitely not pregnant!"
CG: "Mommy, am I pregnant?"
Me: (laughing nervously) "No, what does pregnant mean?"
CG: "It means you are skinny"
Me: "No, pregnant means you are going to have a baby"
CG: (pondering on the potty) "Oh, ok"

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cello Outfit for Sale

Raising money is draining both physically and mentally! Well, today I had to make some important decisions. Curt and I don't buy gifts for each other at normal times like Christmas and birthday, but we purchase gifts at random times throughout the year! Two years ago Curt bought me an amazing cello, which I have always wanted. I sort of play cello, but not great, so the cello is like brand new. I have now made the decision to sell it in order to bring our sweet daughter home! The cello is a Jean-Pierre Lupot, full size and it comes with a great bow and hard case with wheels. Please contact me at for more info! Check out the pics!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Now more than ever!!!

We are in a whirlwind......literally! We have been booking flights, booking rooms and applying for visas over the last few days! I hope I can put into words what God has laid on my heart lately! You see, we stepped out on faith for this journey, we really had no choice but to say yes to God whenever He asked us to adopt. I mean I guess we could've said no but then just think about the blessings we would've missed out on. I have heard all my life that following God can be difficult and test your faith....I only think we have seen difficult times! God is getting ready to do something amazing in our lives, I just know it! We have pretty much exhausted all of our resources for funds and we are only on trip one!!! We still need a ton of money so that we can go on trip two and bring our daughter home! People are going above and beyond to donate to us. People are buying BBQ tickets, handing in jars of change, praying, writing about us in the newspaper, telling their friends who are telling their friends and donating! Could you spare $10, $15 or even $50 bucks? We want our daughter home, safe, in her bed, with her brothers and sisters! We love her very much and cannot even imagine our lives without her! PLEASE, donate what you can!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Auction Success

THANK you to everyone who bid on the items up for auction on the "Joy to the Heart Gifts" FB site! All proceeds are going towards our adoption and thanks to you, we raised over $500 to help bring baby A home! Either my sister or I will be in touch with you about delivering your item(s).

We will be spending the next few days celebrating the 4th at good ole' Lake Succession with some family. This time next year we will have another child to throw on the tub with all the cousins......if she'll ride that is! We should hear more about our travel itinerary next week and we will know that exact dates of our first trip! Again, thanks to everyone who is helping support our cause. It takes a village!!!!! Here are the upcoming fundraisers for the month of July, please attend!!!

  • Saturday, July 16th Bluegrass Extravaganza Livery Stable, Abbeville BBQ plates $6.50 MESSAGE me for more details
  • Friday, July 22 Chick-Fil-A fundraiser 5:00-8:00.....come hang out with us!!!
  • Tuesday, July 5-Tuesday, July 12 Blessings Unlimited Catalogue Party, all proceeds go to us
  • You can always order an adoption tee or hoodie
  • You can always order some yummy coffee
  • Make a donation
  • Have your church or Sunday School take up a love offering