Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 5: SDA Appointment... Complete

Our SDA appointment went very well. It was with a social worker who was a young, sweet gal. She gave us information about Aly (family history, medical, etc.) and asked us about ourselves. She looked through the photo album we brought and then I asked if we could exchange a photo we had of Aly for one hers. Yes, we have a new photo of Aly!

Along the way, we saw many of the things I had heard about, but never seen. My brother has told me of packs of dogs he has seen while in Brazil. We have them here as well.

Parking on the sidewalk? No problem!

For dinner we were able to meet with other RR families at an Italian restaurant, which was next door to TGIF's.

(Cornishs, Birschbachs, Swerdfegers, Hannons, Sharps with Kullen)

It was 25 degrees on our walk to the restaurant. It was snowing while we were inside eating. Once we returned to our apartment we checked the weather again – it was 16 degrees and going down to 6 degrees overnight. Brrrr!!! I can never complain about being cold in southern California ever again!

Tomorrow's weather? We will have a high of 10 degrees and a low of 8 degrees. Yep, we arrived just in time for the coldest day of the year. Am I good or what?

We will be able to pick up our referral from the SDA between 4:00 - 5:00pm Wednesday. As of right now, we do not know if we will be traveling to Aly's region on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 4: We Are Here And We Are Styling!

We finally made it to the country-that-shall-not-be-named! We were welcomed by a snow storm and it is cold (thank you Teri for letting me borrow your coat), but beautiful.

First, let me show you around our new apartment.

Here is our gorgeous living room.

Welcome to our kitchen. There is only one bowl, so Brian and I will have to share.

And finally, our bedroom.

I am thrilled that Brian was able to get the computer hooked up so we can keep everyone updated. It takes five minutes for one photo to upload so please be patient.

We are so excited that we are days away from seeing Aly!

Here is the tentative schedule:
- Tuesday 9:00am SDA appointment
- Wednesday 4:00 pick up referral from SDA
- Thursday meet Aly!

Please pray for Brian's back. The final flight here did a number on him and he is hurting.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 3: London

Today we grabbed a taxi and took a tour of the city. We saw Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, Sloane Street (the equivalent of Rodeo Drive), Piccadilly Circus (shopping area) and Trafalgar Square, the Thames, 10 Downing Street, the London Eye, and more all in an hour!

We are flying out early in the morning, heading to the-country-that-shall-not-be-named and are so excited! We are finally going to be in Alyona's home country. We are looking forward to our SDA appointment at 9:00 Tuesday morning.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 1 & 2: We're in London

Day 1:
It was my first time flying with Virgin Atlantic and it was wonderful (who doesn't like being doted on by a man with an English accent). However, before we even left San Francisco I was missing my girls something BAD!!! On Wednesday, I was a bucket of tears all day missing my girls, before I had even left. They'd give me the look and I'd say, "I am missing you already!" I love them (and like them) that much!

Day 2:
Well the weather in London in similar to the country-that-shall-not-be-named and I haven't frozen yet so that's a good thing. Who knew a girl from southern California wouldn't freeze to death in 30 degree weather.

The taxis in London are just like in the movies. We stopped at the hotel to drop off our things and thought a 30 minute nap sounded good. Two hours later Brian was getting me up so I wouldn't sleep the day away. We headed over to the music department at Harrod's for a meeting Brian had for work and I got to look around and see ALL that there is to see. Did you know you could buy fossil decor there? And they have the best toy department ever! Also, the ice cream parlour is calling my name. I may have to go back tomorrow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

We're on our way!

Eleven months of prayer, paperwork, heartache, worry, and waiting are done - today is the day we get on a plane and begin the adventure to meet Alyona face-to-face. Soon we will be holding her in our arms, and she will feel the love of God that He has placed in our hearts uniquely for her.

She has no idea what she's in for!

The unconditional love of a family, and ALL that it entails: sisters to play with and help her discover the world; her first taste of homemade chocolate chip cookies; a dog with a waggily tail; a bed and clothes that fit and she can call her own; and most importantly a mama and daddy to hold her, provide for her needs, protect her, be her champions and cheerleaders, and love her like Christ loves us.

Please watch this space for daily updates and prayer requests. We still have many hurdles before us and we need your prayers!


Friday, November 19, 2010

One Week and Counting!

Yes, it's true! We are leaving in one week and we couldn't be more excited! We have waited so long for this moment and it's hard to believe it is finally here. I have heard some people compare an adoption to a pregnancy and I would have to agree. I remember all too well that feeling you get around the eighth month. I felt that I was done and couldn't wait to hold my little one in my arms. Well, it has been eleven months and I REALLY can't wait to hold Alyona in my arms! I am definitely in the nesting stage, trying to make sure everything is just right for when she comes home.

I am so thankful that my brother will be able to stay with my kiddos at home. I trust my girls, but for their safety and protection (we watch too much Criminal Minds and 24 - something that Alyona won't be watching!), I like knowing that he will be there for them.

Well, I'm off to try to figure out how to pack five suitcases of items into two. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

College and Car Seats

It's been busy around here in more ways than one. In addition to getting ready to bring Alyona home, we got to take our high school senior to another college to look at. How many people get the pleasure of checking out car seats and colleges in the same week?

I can also sleep better tonight knowing that our plane tickets to you-know-where have been purchased. This has been such a long process, but the end is finally in sight. Hang tight little one, we're coming!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I heard this song, Beautiful by Mercy Me and I thought of Aly. I miss my little girl!

Days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart, they'd see too much

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

Praying that you have the heart to fight
"Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful.

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves enough to die

You're beautiful
You're beautiful in His eyes

You're beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful
You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His

Monday, November 8, 2010

We FINALLY Have Our SDA Appointment!

I was enjoying a hot breakfast--lovingly prepared by my daughter--when the phone rang. Well, I don't know about your house, but at our home, 99.9% of the time a ringing phone usually means that it is a solicitor... and yes, we are on the Do Not Call list. As per usual, I ignored the phone. The answering machine kicked on and I realized that it was not just any phone call, it was from our facilitator! She called us with the news that we finally have an SDA appointment for Nov. 30! She told us to book our flights ASAP and to let her know so that she can relay the information to our facilitators in the country-that-shall-not-be-named. I am so excited, we finally get to make our travel arrangements. It looks like we get to have Thanksgiving with our family after all and then be off on our excellent adventure to go get Aly!

Friday, November 5, 2010

SDA Appointment? Not Yet.

I am sorry to inform you that we still have not received a date for our SDA appointment. I know, I am just as surprised as you are. This is a little disappointing, as I really believed we would have had it by the end of this week. Hopefully, this time next week I will have a date to announce. I have been so good by not checking email every three minutes, but instead have been busying myself with errands to get ready for our trip. As soon as I walk in the front door, I'm asking my daughters (ok, maybe it has become pestering) if I received any emails I should know about, but then I follow that up by saying, "Of course not, you would have texted me if there were".

Our state-side facilitator did email me on Nov. 3 to let me know that she has been contacting the facilitators in the country-which-cannot-be-named daily, asking about getting our appointment date and to check to see if anything is wrong with our paperwork (ahhh, that thought never even entered my mind!). I received another email today and the good news is that there is nothing wrong with our dossier or Aly's paperwork, it is just a matter of the SDA scheduling an appointment (or not as the case may be). And so, we continue to wait (I'm getting really good). I did think it was interesting that we were asked if we would be ok if we do not get much notice.... ummmm yes! We want to get there ASAP! If the Browning family had 9 days notice of their appointment, I think we could handle the same. It's amazing how I am beginning to miss this cute little someone I have never even met. It kind of reminds me of when I was expecting my girls. The closer I got to my due date, the more I couldn't wait to meet the latest member of our family. Like waiting for my other girls (which thankfully only lasted nine months) I have prepared a room for Aly, shopped for clothes for her and even have her Christmas presents purchased. Now, I am only missing one thing... Aly!

Good news to report, Brian was able to sell another piece of equipment for $1500 this week, which combined with the other piece of equipment for $700 and another $100 donation from last week, comes to $2300! This is not including the $250 in donations that have been made through the Reece's Rainbow site. Unfortunately, we do not know who made those donations, but we are most appreciative! Every day we are getting a little bit closer to bringing Aly home and we can't wait!