While I was loading the pictures for this post, I was reminded of our adoption story and a few connected adoption stories in our family. As you see the pictures, you will understand why those thoughts came about. It also ran through my mind that when I was a little girl, and even into my adult life, my favorite books, t.v. shows and movies were about families, and especially the ones about big families and about adoption. Here were/are some of my favorites; "The Waltons", "The Brady Bunch", "Cheaper by the Dozen" "With Six You Get Egg Roll", Yours, Mine and Ours", "Room for One More", "The Gentle House", "Life With Father", "Little House on the Prairie", and the list could go on, but you get the idea. I think I was always attracted to them because they express a little of the things I think about, feel and love about life; they put their finger on my heart.
So, in this post, I thought I would tell you some adoption stories from our family that maybe you would enjoy. I haven't quite come to the place where I wanted to tell you the stories you won't enjoy... some day I might, I'm not sure, but the least I could do is tell the nice parts, because we all need the encouragement of the "good things" to dwell on, especially these days when there are so many "not so good things" going on in the world. Now I add that to let you know that we are like every family in that we have had our beautiful, and we have had our ugly... we have had our good and we have had our bad. I only mention this, to say that our story is like many; it has some sweet things, and hopefully some inspiring things, but if you don't hear about the hard things, the difficult things, the ugly things, it isn't because they have not happened to us, it is because at this time of my life I don't care to write about them on my blog... perhaps some day. Now here is a recap of my trip, and a story for you.
The second week of my trip I flew from Florida to North Carolina. Our oldest son Nathan and his wife Himilce and family live there now. This was the first time I was able to see our new precious granddaughter. Little Elyse is our 6th grandchild, Isn't she beautiful? Yes, its okay for Grandma's to gloat a little, I think (It is always a little more permissible for grandma's to gloat about the children, rather than parent's for some reason, I don't know why that is, but I take full advantage of it as you may have noticed in previous posts).
Before I start my story, I want to show you some sweet faces. Above, is Elyse whom I just mentioned; don't you just love her festive dress? Below is our little Asher. Look at those adorable eyes.
Now you might think he is sad....
I mean look at those eyes...
...but he's not. He's having a birthday. And he's very happy about cake and presents. He talked about his birthday all week in anticipation, and without shyness... he was so cute. He wanted a strawberry cake and a blue car. Himilce made him a beautiful strawberry cake, and we were happy to be able to get him a blue car (forgot to get a picture of the blue car).
And here is Elon, our oldest Grandson. He's getting so big. Right now, he is busy loading up Asher's Tonka truck with rocks. This is an authentic, vintage, metal, Tonka Truck. These days, you can buy a new truck like this, but it is made out of plastic, and not near as durable; this was one of Asher's birthday gifts.
Now with that little part out of my way...( I mean how can I type out a story when those pictures were crying out to be shown and talked about... ), so now, let me try again.
While our children were little, we had gotten a desire to adopt children. I believe we were stirred by the news coming out of Romania at that time. It was sad and terrible news, that revealed thousands of orphan's in Romania that were there, due to that country's dictator who had decreed some outrageous laws to suit his own pride. There is of course a greater depth of details, but in a nutshell there were thousands of orphan's barely surviving in the streets, and this stirred our hearts, we yearned to help. We were not, however, in the financial position to afford foreign adoption at that time, so we didn't, but we held onto that desire to help children that needed someone to help them.
After our sons went away to college, and while our daughters were teenagers, we became certified to foster adopt. We had a small interaction in that realm, but still it was not quite the Lord's timing. Several years later, after Nathan and Himilce were married, had finished college, and were living in North Carolina, the first time, we went to visit. There I had a lovely chat with Himilce's Mother, Darlene, who told me about a group that they were about to sponsor, by hosting some Russian children/orphan's for a two week visit to North Carolina. The ultimate desire of this group is to help place orphan's in homes; By bringing groups of orphan's to the U.S., they were able to bless them with a trip, and possibly open the door of adoption for them. When I heard about this, I was very intrigued. This was our heart, and this was Darlene and her families heart as well.
Shortly after that time, Nathan and Himilce moved to Colorado, and life carried on. A few months went by and the plans to sponsor this group finalized; Himilce's parents had the children in their home for 2 weeks. I delighted in hearing all of the details about their story, because, as I told you above, I love stories about these kinds of things. I especially loved hearing the details that her parents were going to adopt 4 of the children. One day Himilce talked to me about 2 siblings that had come with this group that her parents had met. She showed me a picture of them. There was no adoption pending for them. There were actually 3 siblings, but the third (whose name is now Eddie), had not been able to go on that trip for various reasons. Steve and I felt our hearts stirred by them. We prayed and got a peace from the Lord to move forward; A short time, and a lot of paper work later, we found ourselves on our way to Russia to meet them. We spent a week in Russia, and most of that time with them. It was wonderful, and somewhat difficult, but very heart stirring for us. When we got back, we finished all of the paperwork to complete the adoption process, and waited on a court appointment to be set in Russia.
In the meantime, Himilce's parents also completed all of their paper work, and finally received a court appointment. I believe their appoint came at the end of April, or beginning of May, because our appointment came at the end of May, and was finalized the beginning of June; one day before Steve's birthday; he turned 46 (46 seems so young to me now). Himilce's family brought their children home approximately one month before we brought our 3 home. They ended up adopting 3 of the 4 children, the fourth was not a part of the sibling group of three, and he had been reunited by the court, with his birth mother, so hopefully that was a good thing.
That was seven years ago. Since that time, we had our first grandson (pictured above), and 5 others. Our three grandchildren from Nathan and Himilce have 6 Aunts and Uncles from Russia, and 2 Auntie Olga's, one on each side of the family. While I was in North Carolina this time, I got a chance to see Himilce's parents again, whom I haven't seen since that little chat we had those years ago that started this adventure. I enjoy them all very much. I also got a chance to meet Himilce's siblings from Russia, whom I have always felt as if I knew, but I had not gotten to meet yet. So you can understand the reason for all the memories and thoughts about adoption while I was writing this post and for this story today. It was such a joy to meet them all. Eddie has talked to Vadim now and then, and soon we are hoping to get them together when we "all" three get a chance to go back out to Florida and North Carolina. They are a little like kin to each other, because they came from the same region, in Russia, and are related through the marriage of adopted brother and sister. Russ and Olga remember them, having gone on the first trip to North Carolina with them, although I don't think they were in the same orphanage, but from the same city. It is all very interesting I think. When I was there visiting, I was able to take a few pictures (Now if I didn't have that cold, and had been feeling better, and if there hadn't been so much going on, I would have tried to snag a family picture of them all, but, between Asher's birthday, and Mother's Day, and the baby dedication at church.... which were all very special and wonderful events, I didn't get that in my mind until... now. But I was able to get a couple of pictures and so here they are:
Here is Vadim, the oldest of the siblings from Russia on the left, and next to him, Himilce's Nephew "Little Terry", who is not so little anymore, but was 2 when he was in Nathan and Himilce's wedding, and Himilce's brother Dillon. Himilce has 4 siblings along with the 3, making a grand total of 7 siblings, or 8 children altogether.
Here is Darlene, Himilce's Mama, and our mutual precious new baby granddaughter.
And of course, another adorable picture of the precious one.
Here are Himilce's sisters from Russia; Olga on left, and Marina on right.
This is Himilce's niece, who is the sibling of "Little Terry" above, and was adopted by her sister from Guatemala; so you can see adoption stories run in the family.
Here is Himilce's sister Amanda on the right and Marina in the middle and her little niece.
The precious cupcake again...
...and scrumptious little toes.
This was Mother's Day, and baby dedication at Church.
Nathan and Himilce arranged the dedication around this visit, and had her family come up for that and Asher's Birthday.
What a perfect Mother's Day gift for all of us Mom's.
Himilce and the precious one.
She is a "Smiler"; and a very happy baby.
Doesn't he look delightful in his suit? Love his smile too.
...gotta have one more picture of the precious one in her lovely dress for the baby dedication.
"Church is over and....I gotta get this suit off"... my boys were the same way when they were little.
"Hey Elon, do you think its strong enough to hold you?"
"Hey Grammy, come look, we found a bird's nest".
"Did you see it Grammy?"
"Beautiful Blue Robbin eggs".