Friday, December 28, 2012

Say It Ain't So

I am trying to understand why anyone would sign a bill to stop children from being adopted. An anonymous person left a comment on my blog stating. "I'm giving Russia the benefit of the doubt - they're taking legitimate steps to reform child welfare and protect their littlest and most vulnerable citizens! Russia does not HAVE to allow Americans to adopt their kids; it's a PRIVILEGE not a right. The USA has had ample warning this was in the pipeline!"

WHAT? Are you kidding me anonymous blogger. Protecting their littlest and most vulnerable citizens? Children are dying! Many who age out of the system take to the streets, become homeless, get involved in drugs and prostitution, then commit suicide because they have no protection! Children with special needs are placed in adult mental institutions when they reach the age of 4 or 5. What kind of protection are they given? They have to fend for themselves, and many die within in a year of being in an institution. You are right anonymous blogger, it is a privilege to adopt a child from another country including Russia, but if people were adopting their own children, protecting their most vulnerable citizens, we wouldn't be in this pickle now would we?

Just say it ain't so. Why is anyone denying children like Sara to have a family? Oh my heart is so heavy with sadness, confusion, and empathy. I especially feel heartbroken for those I know personally who may not get to see the light at the end of their adoption tunnel. I am still holding on to hope and trust that there is a greater plan. I trust that more good will come of this decision and somehow, some way these children and families will have what they have always dreamed of. My love for Sara is no different than the love I have for my other children. She was not born of my flesh but she was born of my heart! She would have been locked away in an adult instituition with no chance of survival and now she has a chance to live the life that she deserves. I am grateful that her country allowed us to adopt her. Tears for the many children who could have had the same chance but now can't. I pray that something will change. It has to! I pray that other families can feel the same blessings and have the privilege to adopt from afar! I will continue to pray that hearts will still be softened. Sara has blessed our lives in so many ways! How can you not look at this little face and deny that she is loved, chosen, and cherished? Please Lord, let others have the chance to feel the same.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Prayers For Putin

As you all know, I have a special place in my heart for adoption. Two of my most favorite people came into my life through adoption. Reece's Rainbow, the organization that advocates for children like my Sara has found homes for over 900 children. If it wasn't for this organization and the inspiration of many, we would have never found our lost princess. There are many children who are listed on Reece's Rainbow, many who live in Russia. These children are only a small number in comparison to the total number of orphans in Russia. In the past 20 years over 60,000 children from Russia alone, have been adopted by Americans. Putin, Russia's leader is about to sign a bill that will stop Americans from adopting from Russia. This bill has already passed, it just needs Putin's signature. He has been quoted as saying, "There is no reason not to sign." If this passes many, many children who would have had a chance, will be locked away. They will never know the love of a family. We have close friends right here in Utah who will be affected, many who have already met their child. Can you imagine meeting a child who you already consider your own, telling them and promising them that you are coming back, then not being able to follow through with that promise? It breaks my heart to think that this could happen. All because of a man and his tough guy "I'll show you" ego.

The adoption process is a long and complicated one. Many, many hours and tears are spent along the way, not to mention the money. In Russia it's even more complicated requiring 3-4 trips before you can bring your child home. Right now 46 children in Russia have already met their parents and the process to bring them home is almost complete. What a sad day it will be when they are told that they cannot go home! This number doesn't even count for the ones who have started the process and have committed to a child, possibly even met them too. Even though we only knew Sara from a picture, we knew that she was our daughter. Many others have done the same, they have seen a photograph and know that the child they see is the "one" and they are working hard to bring that child home. Or there are those like our friends, who have taken a huge leap of faith and have gone to Russia on a blind referral. Meaning they didn't know who they were going to meet or commit to until they got there. They never saw a pic, had no idea about this child but after meeting them, they know that this child is meant to be part of their family. It just doesn't make any sense that anyone would want this to stop. It's another situation when sweet, innocent children, thousands in this case, have to suffer because of the actions of one single coward. It's times like this when I feel hopeless. Like many, I want to help but don't know what I can do. Then I am reminded that the power of prayer is amazing! There IS something I can do and so can you. We can pray. Pray that Putin's heart will be softened and that he will think with his heart and not with his ego. Pray that these children will not suffer because of a silly political move. Pray that whatever the outcome may be, we will have an understanding and be able to accept why. Help us bridge the divide."The children must come first." For most kids in Russia because their own people do not adopt (especially children with special needs), we are their only hope. Some may aruge that children have died in American's care. But let me quote this fact from a friend, "In 20 years, 19 kids who were adopted from Russia have died in the US. 19 out of 60,000 adopted. More than that died in Russian institutions yesterday!!" Please share and pray. Everyone deserves the blessing of a family! These children don't have a voice, let us be their voice!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

If there is one thing I really miss about being in Ukraine, it's the time that I had to blog. It was really nice to be able to come back to the apartment with nothing else to do but blog. Life with 4 kids was busy and although I can honestly say that having one more isn't that much busier, blogging is always the thing that gets put on the back burner. It's about the only thing that's been on the burner lately, I haven't cooked a decent meal for my family in a while. So maybe I am busier than I thought, ha ha! Anyway, I have a lot of catch up to do blog post wise but in the meantime I am going to post any recent news, while I can. It's a bit overwhelming to play catch up on past events ( I still haven't posted pics or videos of our arrival home) so to save myself from more trouble, I shall write even if there are big gaps in our timeline. 

It is now 1:30 am on December 26th. Christmas has come and gone! Happy Christmas! We spent the day lounging in our jammies and did a little bit of nothing. Nothing if you don't count opening presents, eating breakfast, watching movies, playing with toys, taking naps, and having Christmas dinner. It was my kind of Christmas day. My parents moved to Midway this time last year. It's only an hour or so away but it requires driving up and down a canyon. For the past 10 years or so it has been a tradition that they come to our home for breakfast so this year we invited them to stay over night on Christmas Eve. I knew that they would enjoy being in our home to watch the children open presents. It has been a while since they have had small children. My mom and I figured out that the Christmas of 1995 was the last Christmas when we were all together but even then, we were older. My older brother and I both got married the following year. Anyway, they did come down and we all went to Temple Square to see the lights. It was snowing and the lights and the snow just glistened and glimmered. It was so beautiful and very magical! We even saw Santa Clause, the real deal! At one point my dad stopped to look at the temple and said that is wasn't very long ago when we were all inside having Liam, then Sara sealed to us. It was nice to stop for a minute and ponder the special events that have taken place this year. My heart was full of so much love for the temple and the memories we have there. It is a very special place and it has been a very special year for us! I am so happy that my parents, Mark's mum and brother were able to share these special moments with us.

All day long I couldn't help but hold Sara close to me, giving her lots of loves and kisses. I was filled with so much joy that she is here, part of our lives, part of our family. (It's still a bit surreal.)  Although technically this was her 2nd Christmas, I considered it her first. It was her first Christmas to experience the love and laughter, the warmth and feel of a home. She got many, many things as did my other children and I loved knowing that she deserves every little bit and more. In Ukraine they do not celebrate Christmas until January 7th, but even then I wonder if it is a special day for the babies who lay in an orphanage or if it is a day no different than the others. I am just grateful that Sara will now know that Christmas IS a special time of year! All day long Liam kept coming up to me giving me the biggest squeezes! I kept whispering to him too that he is loved and cherished. This was his 3rd Christmas with us but his first as an official Lutkin. As I watched and cuddled all of my children, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude for the opportunity I have to be a mother. I got a small glimpse of how Mary must have felt becoming a mother, the joy she must have felt as she looked down at her son, the Son of God. The Savior and my family are my greatest gifts! I have been blessed!

It broke my heart today as Kate and Beck learned that our "Elf" was going back to the North Pole. I allowed them both to hold him and give him a hug (before now they were not allowed to touch him or he would lose his magic). I figured since he was on his way back home, it wouldn't hurt. Kate was sobbing and saying that she loved him and was going to miss him. I have to admit, it made me cry. The magic of Christmas seems to pass so quickly and I too do not want it to end. I know that we can and should carry the spirit of Christmas in our hearts every day, but there is something special about Christmas day and the children with their sweet spirits on this day. I assured them that "Will Jingles" would be back next year and Beck said, "That's not very long, a year goes by fast Kate." Oh boy, did that just break my heart to know that he too notices that time just flies by! I want moments like today to last forever. I want my children to stay children forever! It's moments like today when Kate said, "This is the best Christmas ever!" that you wish would never end. It really was a great day!

There are so many pics that I want to post from today, but they'll have to come later, in a separate post. Instead I will post pics that we took on Sunday after church. It was a very frustrating photo op, trying to get everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time. We originally took them outside but it was a bit chilly so there were not many smiles at all. I finally just sat them down on the couch and snapped away. It was still difficult to get everyone to look at the camera but you get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right? Mark assured me that one day they will all cooperate but today is not the day and for now we just need to do individual shots. More and more I am realizing that I just need to lower my expectations. They're all blog worthy pics regardless so enjoy. Mark, Cole, Beck, Kate, Liam, and Sara, these are a few of my favorite things!

 By the time we took Sara's individual pics inside, she was done. She even has her hands up to say, "I'm done, back away, no more." It may look like she's smiling, but she was fed up! Ha ha!


"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad. I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad."
Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Takes My Breath Away

Definition for suffocating:
1. Die or cause to die from lack of air or inability to breathe.
2. Have or cause to have difficulty in breathing.
Now why on earth would I have the definition of "suffocating" to start a blog post? After reading this definition I have to wonder why am I still alive? Sounds crazy but when I think of all the sadness in the world, it is very suffocating. The orphan crisis, AIDS epidemic in Africa, child abuse, homelessness, domestic violence, starving children, shootings and killings, the list goes on. All of these things take my breath away.
After hearing and watching today's news about the shooting in CT, I cannot stop sobbing. I first heard of it just minutes before my kindergartner was about to get home from school. I couldn't help but hug him a little tighter when he stepped off the bus. No one ever expects to send their babies off to school and have them not return home. Unfortunately this happened today. 20 children did not come home from school today. 20 parents did not get to greet their child when they got home. 27 families have been changed forever. These news stories are stories that I shelter my own children from watching or hearing. I am so sad that these 600 plus children who attended this school were not offered that same protection. They lived this nightmare and my heart breaks for them. Over 600 children have witnessed firsthand the devastation of a coward.
I don't know why but when things like this happen little details swarm my head. I can't help but think that like me, many of these parents had probably finished their Christmas shopping. There are going to be many unopened presents this year and that thought just makes me tremble. I can't even fathom what these parents must be feeling. This holiday season will never be the same for these families. Ugh! I just pray that they will receive the peace needed to get them through this troubled time. I am reminded that although I am fearful, fear is the opposite of faith. I may not understand why these things happen but I have to trust that it's all in His plan. I also have to remember that there is still a lot of good in the world. One gift that I treasure is the gift of my Savior. His love can comfort, guide, and heal troubles hearts. I am so grateful for my own testimony of  Him and His love. Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert. As always, it was a night to remember and one of the verses of Hark the Herald Angels Sing sung by Alfie Boe is still echoing in my ear.
Hail the heav'n born Prince of Peace!
Hail the son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
He lives! His birth and death allow us all to be saved and have eternal life. There is no doubt in my mind that these children who lost their lives today will live again. I look forward to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and am sure that these beautiful children will be part of the angelic choir who will sing at His coming. They will rejoice and sing "Glory to the King!" I have a wish that God will speed His coming! I can't wait to have my breath taken away by something glorious and joyful! Prayers and hugs!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

Over 7 months ago, on April 7th to be exact, I saw this picture. A baby girl who was a "Newly Listed Child" on the Reece's Rainbow website.

Her profile mentioned that there were additional photos, so I immediately requested them and received these pics.

She looked familiar and I couldn't help but wonder if she was the "one". I searched, pondered, and prayed and knew immediately that she was the one! My husband did the same and one month later, on May 7th, we committed to adopt this blue eyed beauty. Within days she was on the "My Family Found Me" page with Reece's Rainbow. Then soon our family profile was listed on the "New Commitments" page. It was official, we were about to embark on a unforgettable journey to bring this baby girl home.

During the next few months while we gathered paperwork, had our home study done, got letters of employment, mortgage and other financial statements, had background checks, fingerprints taken, visited our doctor, had many docs notarized then later apostilled, held several fundraisers, this little girl's picture sat on the kitchen window seal next to another picture frame that held a picture of my other children.

Her picture also sat on my bedside table.
Last December, we had a date night/Christmas dinner with some of our really close friends. One of our friend's sister owns a chain of retail stores and our friend is the retail director. They specialize in home decor and previously I had acquired from their store these cute little people who represent each member of our family.
Before we met that night I had asked if he had any more of the little girls left because I wanted one just in case we adopted another little girl. Luckily for me he did have another one and he brought it with him and gave it to me at dinner. I knew in my heart that there was another child for me, another angel who was meant to be mine, but Mark at this time wasn't so sure. In November I had even placed another little girl's picture on the fridge in hopes that maybe one day she would become part of our family. She was a beautiful little 3 year old girl named Irina. I even remember Mark questioning why I had him bring me another little metal girl because his exact words were always, "Stop looking, we are not doing this." I just laughed it off but somehow knew that we would be doing this one day and that this angel of mine would come through Reece's Rainbow. Next to Irina's picture on the fridge, now hung this little metal girl, waiting to be added to the family.
Unfortunately Irina was no longer available and her picture had come down off the fridge. But this little girl with a big heart, continued to hang. I anticipated adding her to the family wall and after we had committed to Sara, I knew my hopes would one day be realized. 
Today, this little girl now represents Sara. She is in the arms of her daddy! She is part of a family! She has three brothers and one sister who adore her. She has a mommy who knew all along that there was another little princess who would make her heart complete. Sara is that princess. She is no longer a photo that sits on a window seal. She is no longer a photo who sits on a bedside table. She is no longer a little metal girl who waits patiently on the fridge to be part of the family wall. She is part of OUR family, our little girl who is enjoying the blessings of having a home. She is one of the lucky ones!

It's very interesting to think that in November when my heart was captured by another little girl's photo, that November was the month that Sara was born. The Lord was preparing my heart even then! Now before I end I want to share a few more pictures.

This is Vytas. He too is listed on Reece's Rainbow. He is already 4 years old and is very close to possibly being transferred to an institution. I had the pleasure to meet him, hold him, kiss and hug him. Meeting him was a miracle in itself. It is worthy of it's own post which I will share at a later time. Before I had even met him and a couple others, I was committed to help them in any way I could. I knew that if I could get new pictures and meet these boys, I could make a difference. If you look closely I am glowing (sweaty) in these pictures. I was so flustered because I never thought that I would meet them so when I did, I was a hot mess. Anyway I was able to hold him and whisper to him that he is loved. I am hoping that some one's heart will be pricked by his photo and will want to rescue him and allow him to enjoy the blessings of a family. He is no different than you or me, all he needs is love! I don't want him to be just a picture, I want him to be chosen and cherished too! He deserves it! For this purpose I have become his Angel Tree Warrior with Reece's Rainbow. The purpose of the Angel Tree is to raise awareness and at least $1000 for these children between now and Christmas. Please join me and help me reach this goal for Vytas. I would love to see this amount even exceed the $1000. It is possible! For any donation to his fund over $35, you will receive an ornament from Reece's Rainbow with his picture on it plus you will receive the blessings of helping another little one find his family. Because really when it comes down to it, money is what stands in the way of many of these kids not finding homes. I have made a decision that instead of giving neighbor gifts at Christmas this year, I am going to donate the money that I would have spent, to Vytas' fund. Please consider doing the same. Or if you and your family have a tradition of giving to a great cause this holiday season, I can't think of a better cause. If you work for a company who is looking for a charitable cause, please send them to Reece's Rainbow and Vytas' fund. Together we can make a difference.
I have shared with you many photos and it has been said that a picture can speak a thousand words. Sara's picture spoke to me but even a thousand words cannot describe the love I have for her. I am still amazed that all we knew was a picture and now she is in our arms and in our home. Is it possible that Vytas' picture is speaking to you? His picture can literally speak $1000 words with your help. All you need to do is click on his pic at the top right of my blog, and it will direct you to his page where you can donate, it's that easy. And maybe his family is out there! I sure hope so! God bless!




Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Think I'm Gonna Like It

It's hard to believe that October 10th, our Homecoming Day has come and gone and another 11 days has passed. I always say that I need a vacation after a vacation (even though I wouldn't really call this a vacation) to recover and gradually get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately my mom didn't want to stay another night, let alone another week. Do you blame her though? 40 days of looking after 4 kids was enough! There was nothing gradual about getting back into the swing of things, life just kind of picked up where we left off. Doctor appointments, soccer games, hospital visits, wedding, school Fall break, oh my! I did allow myself some time before I got back on the computer, hence the reason why it has been 11 days. A video is in the works from our Gotcha Day and Homecoming, so stayed tuned. Coming to a blog near year you, Fall 2012.

For those interested here are the details of Sara's Gotcha Day. Without videos and pics this may be a bit boring but here I go. I had mentioned earlier that we ran into a snag that day. After we had been picked up by a cab, taken to the passport office to get Sara's passport, we arrived at the orphanage. Our day started at 9:30 and by now it was close to 1 pm. We were so excited and ready to bust her out. The video camera was charged and ready to record her leaving the orphanage. I had snatched the last pics of the orphanage itself so I could remember every little detail. Her new outfit was ready to replace the one that she had been wearing. Everything was lined up as we had been waiting for this moment for a long time. We knew that within minutes we would hold our baby girl in our arms and our new life, our new forever would begin. We knew that once we left the gates of the orphanage, Sara would never look back. We waited in the lobby as Yulia went to sort out the last details with those in charge. We expected it to be a quick process but she came back and said that the one in charge was not going to sign and allow us to take her unless social services was present to sign. In the past Yulia said that the director has had no problems allowing social services to sign within the next few business days. But because the director was on vacation he technically was not in charge and the next in line would not allow the process to be completed unless social services was present at that very moment, even knowing that someone would be at the orphanage the very next day. Yulia quickly got on the phone to contact social services but because it was the lunch hour, no one was available. She came back and said that we may have to wait. At that moment I'm afraid that "wait" was no longer a word in my vocabulary. In the meantime she said that we could visit with Sara since it was during the normal visiting hours. So we did. Yulia was doing her best to get in touch with someone who could help and finally she reached someone but had to leave to go pick her up. Another hour and a half passed then Yulia finally entered the room to let us know that it was time to sign paperwork.

Once we were finished I was expecting to get instructions for the "out with the old, in with the new,  changing of the clothes" ceremony. There was no mention of it and finally I asked, "So when do we change her clothes?" Yulia thought that we were all ready to go and had already done it, even though she was still in blue jumpsuit, tee hee, so we went back to Sara's room and got her ready to go. The nanny quickly stripped Sara of her clothes, then swooped her under a running tap to wash her bits and face. Once she was dried off, I swooped in and started to change her. I am thinking that maybe the nanny intended to dress her but I'm afraid I didn't even give her the chance. As I was getting her dressed (in pink) the nannies were looking in the bag to see what else I had brought. Her dress was short sleeved and they were very worried that was all I had for her. They just smiled and nodded as if to say she'll just freeze but oh well, but then I reassured them as I showed them that she had a cardigan to cover her little arms. I even had a coat and hat. No worries nannies, I have been a mother 4 times before now! Once she was dressed I had asked if they could feed her before we left and no kidding, it took less than a minute and she was back. I had just enough time to collect her things and she was good to go. They cut very large holes in the nipples of the bottles and feeding requires no sucking so she choked down whatever they gave her and we were off! There were no tears, no hugs or kisses, no good byes from the nannies but I smiled and thanked them anyway. As we walked out the door and entered the cab, I did noticed that they were at the window watching so I am sure that they were happy for Sara. Sara was free! Free as a bird! What a wonderful feeling for her and for us to know that we will shed tears of joy and sadness for her, we will give her all the cuddles and kisses she needs, and we will never have to say good bye to her again, it's only hellos from here! She was part of a miracle, Kareen's (Mia's) miracle! But now she is our little miracle!

I will do another post of our last days in Ukraine and our journey home. Then I will do weekly, bi-weekly, maybe monthly posts of Sara and her new life. For now I just wanted to post this so you could all see that we are still truckin'. Sara is doing well. She couldn't be happier. She has smiled more than ever this past week. I would love to know what she is thinking, but I am sure she feels like she is home! I am sure that she has stopped thinking that this is the longest visit ever and when are they going to take me back? I am sure she is thinking holy noisy and busy compared to the life that she knew. And I am sure she is thinking, to quote another Annie song " I think I'm gonna like it here!" The next day after we got home, Thursday, she had a cardiology appointment. I had made several appointments while we were in Ukraine thinking that we would have been home way before the scheduled appointments. Jet lag hadn't set in yet so we went. Everything looked and sounded good but the doctor did say that by doing a sedated echo he would be able to see everything in regards to her heart. We knew that she was born with a hole in her heart and I was willing to do whatever it takes to have her thoroughly checked, head to toe. She had that on Tuesday and everything looks good. She still has the hole in her heart but have been told that it is normal and it shouldn't be a problem. She does have an abnormal defect called a PDA but it is small enough that it shouldn't be a problem. She will just have follow up appointments annually. Poor baby has tiny little veins and had to be poked several times for her IV and blood work, and she wasn't a happy camper coming out of sedation, but what a relief to know that her little heart is well. She also had her pediatrician appointment on Monday. Dr. B said that she looks good. She had four shots and the blood work that she had done at the hospital confirmed that she is healthy. Her blood count looked good, her thyroid looks good, and she tested negative for other diseases. She weighs 14 lbs. and is 26 inches long. On the DS charts, she was around the 25% for height, weight and head size.

She has an appointment for her eyes in November and also an ENT appointment. I am sure that she will either have to wear glasses or have surgery but it is amazing how her eyes have already calmed down since we've had her. She has more to focus on and more to look at. She has kids in her face and has a reason to make her eyes work. She loves to stare at her hands because I am sure that at times they were the only things she had to focus on. But now she has so much more to see! She thinks that her toes are amazing because I really don't think she has ever seen them. They are so quick to bundle them in the orphanage, putting a sleeper on top of socks so every time her feet are free from socks she is touching them, eating them, thinking I have 10 more sausages to enjoy! After her first bath, where she actually got to lay in the warm water, she was all smiles and giggles. During the bath, she kept sucking in and the water being poured on her belly was literally taking her breath away, but afterward when she was wrapped in a towel, she had a look of "That was amazing!" It has been so much fun to experience many of her firsts. She's already had her first road trip to Idaho for a wedding too. It has been amazing to see the transformation from the first time we saw her until now! She is so sweet! So happy! So vocal! So strong! So mobile (rolling from one end or the room to the other)! Good eater! Good sleeper! She is just perfect in every way! Life is good! Life is grand! Life is busy! Being a mother of 5 is my new life and I think I'm gonna like it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm Ready To Be Extraordinary

We have made it to the end of our rainbow! We have reached our pot of gold! Our beautiful princess is an orphan no more! We gotcha Sara Lily! Gotcha for good!

It was a very rainy, cold, busy, exciting, overwhelming, sweaty, surreal, happy, sad, joyful, tearful, much anticipated, lovely, starving, magical, perfect day! Although I listed a fair few, words really cannot explain how I feel! To look over at Sara this very moment as she sleeps makes my heart swell! I am so grateful for this opportunity! If someone would have told me even 2 years ago that I would travel 6000 miles to Kiev, Ukraine to rescue a little girl from a life that I can't even fathom, I would have never believed them. Many would say that Sara is a lucky little girl, but I would have to say that I am the lucky one! I wish I could relive this moment over and over, because it feels amazing! Whether I have given birth to my 1st, 2nd, or 3rd child, or adopted my 4th or 5th, the feeling is the same when a little one has entered my heart and my life!  During this journey I have felt my Savior's love, seen many miracles, and have had many answered prayers. My joy is full!

I am really exhausted and am so ready to cuddle my baby girl, but I just had to post another video with pics from this glorious day! The live footage will have to come later because I do not have enough room on my computer to store it. There was a little snag that we ran into when we arrived at the orphanage. It set us back a couple of hours before we could actually take her so we were able to have another visit while we waited. So you'll see her in her cute (blue) orphanage clothes first, then in her sweet little (pink) dress. It's tough to juggle a camera and video camera so we only have pics after we have left and got in the car. We'll create a masterpiece with live footage once we are home but for now enjoy the show. Our Sara Lily is ready to bloom. She's ready to be extraordinary!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love Ya Tomorrow

Today was our last, official visit before our big day tomorrow! What better way to capture the moment than to see pictures of today set to the song, "Tomorrow" from Annie. Tomorrow, Sara will be an orphan no more! We promise, tomorrow will not be a day of "gotcha, just kidding!" It will be the real deal, Miss Sara Lily's Gotcha Day! Hip, hip, hooray!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Almost To The End Of Our Rainbow

We are so RED-y to bust our baby out of the orphanage. 2 more days (Monday) until Gotcha Day, the real deal!

ORANGE you glad we only have 4 more days (Wednesday) until we cross the pond? We sure are! Our homecoming is so near!

We've had many highs and many YelLOW's during this process. But oh so worth it!

Lots of laughter and plenty moments of GRRR-een! All part of the excellent adventure!

We're feeling a little BLUE that we have to leave. (It's the birthplace of our daughter, a place that will always be close to our hearts.)

Sara Lily, PURple loved, cherished, and chosen!  Our lives have already been brighter since we found you. We have been changed for good!

Each new day adds a new color and we've almost made it to the end of our rainbow! Our pot of gold (Sara) is glistening, shimmering, sparkling and will soon be our treasure!

We feel richly blessed. It's been an experience of a lifetime. Our family is complete!

Is it any wonder why she adds so much color to our lives?

She's a ray of sunshine!
 Waiting to get her new birth certificate with us listed as her new mama and papa!
Car ride back from her passport application.
Silly Sara!

Every time she lifts up on her arms, she always grasps her hands together. I think she's praying that her little friends will find a home too!
I love this look!
So big! She got up on her tippee toes and lifted herself up. I think she was trying to show her dad the correct way to do a push up. Mark looks like he is taking a good mental note. Clever girl!
Girls just wanna have fun!

Shake, rattle and roll!
Sillier face! I love it!
Look at me!

I'm a happy girl!

A girl needs her beauty rest, especially after a long day of play. Life is getting better every day!