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. This post is a little longer than I usually write, but I couldn't seem to shorten it so, it is what it is.
Just as a note I want to say our story has some sweet things, and hopefully some inspiring things, but if you don't hear about the difficult 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. I add this, because when we write about our lives and the fun, interesting or wonderful things, people sometimes think how perfect everything works out in your life; they haven't seen your pain, or sorrow or struggle. I can assure you there is struggle and pain… but my calling is to encourage people to look towards the goal, and be over-comers. Persevere in running your race, even if it requires much of you, and "what ever is good", speak about those things.
Now here is a recap of my trip, and a story for you.
The second week of my recent 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, 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 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, they needed a family. There were actually 3 siblings, but the third (whose name is now Eddie), had not been able to go on that trip to North Carolina 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; They brought their children home approximately one month before we brought our 3 home. They ended up adopting 3 of the 4 children that they had hosted in their home; the fourth was not a part of the sibling group of three, and he ended up being 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 more grandchildren. 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 very much, they are very special to me. 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 working on this post. 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. You can click here for a few more details and pictures. I was able to take a few pictures this trip, but I wish I had gotten a family picture of them all together. We had a wonderful week, culminating in Asher's birthday on Saturday, and Mother's Day highlighted by Elyse's baby dedication on Sunday, after which the whole tribe of us went out to eat. It was wonderful.
Here is Vadim, the oldest of the siblings from Russia on the left, and next to him, Himilce's Nephew 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, with 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, Jimena who is the sibling of Terry above, and was adopted by Himilce's sister; Jimena is from Guatemala; so you can see adoption really does run in the family.
Here are Himilce's sisters Amanda on the right and Marina in the middle and their 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 my visit, and had her family come up for that and Asher's Birthday... it was all very, very special to me.
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 own boys were the same way when they were little.
My own 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".