Monday, December 27, 2010

Pics of the Holidays

All stacked up.....

...And they all come tumbling down!!

Here are some really good ones from Thanksgiving

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Have a confession

I'm no good at blogging!!! I love reading blogs, but I just can't get to writing on mine. So, I think I figured out why. I make it harder than it is. I stress over what I write going over it and over it. Then I think every post must have pictures. I build it up thinking it takes up so much time I dread it instead of looking forward to it.
This is all really silly, so I decided to stop being a perfectionist and just enjoy keeping record of the joys of motherhood. Irina and Seth especially say and do the cutest things lately. I need to be writing it all down because I am going to forget it the way my brain works lately. LOL
So here's something funny Irina said a few days ago. Amy was in the kitchen and said,"Mom, I'm so hungry I'm going to die!" Very quickly in response, Irina said" No you can't die! then me will have to sleep all by yourself." LOL She was trying to say myself but she is still figuring out English. That was so funny to us because we understood the seriousness in her voice knowing she is scared to sleep without her sister in the room.
Everyone is very excited about Christmas. Since Sunday, we have been talking about the birth of Jesus using an interactive nativity scene we got at the Christian Bookstore. It is great! Everyday there is a gift to open with a nativity character inside and a message to read with Scripture.The kids are captivated esp. Irina. It is so amazing to share the Good News of Jesus birth to a little one so hungry to learn. We are humbled to be the ones to tell her about her Savior!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Blogging for 1 Year

I can't believe an entire year has passed since I first started this blog! It all began because of Irina. WOW! Time does fly by when you are having fun!

Irina is changing so much. She is at Peace, which is the meaning of her name! We are slowly seeing her true personality, and she's a cutie. She loves to laugh and be a goof. She totally fits in around here because the Allen's love to laugh and be silly. One night at the dinner table,which can be a three ring LOUD circus, I asked Ira if it was too loud for her. She quickly answered "NO, I love it! At orphanage only SHHH!" I was so happy! I had worried and worried that the noise factor here would scare her, but instead she loves the freedom and fun of our family. She was never free to be herself. Now she can relax and be the real Irina. It's awesome to watch miracles unfold.

She is speaking and understanding so much more English lately. She can read it too! I had no idea. We were working on Phonics and reading the other day during school when all the sudden she began sounding out the words and reading! Amy and I were amazed. We learn something new about her almost everyday! Tonight she said the days of the week on her own! I was jumping up and down because we sing the Days of the Week song as we begin our school day and she caught on! WOW! The joys of homeschooling ! I get to see the fruit of our labor.

We've nicknamed her "Princessa", our Ukrainian Princess because she either can't ,or doesn't want to do anything for herself. We haven't figured out if they did so much for her at the orphanage she never learned how to do things, or she does know but she's enjoying being dotted over! So today, when I was dressing her( yes, dressing her just like I dress my 2yr. old Seth), she whispered in my ear " Ira Princessa" and giggled. I said, "Yes you are my Ukrainian Princess". Then she whispered in my ear "I love you, mom".(in English)What a gift! What priceless words!
So for now, I'm doing all the things I didn't get a chance to do for Irina and holding tighter to the ones I've been blessed with since birth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New life for Irina

Sept. 1, 2010 was Irina's 9th Birthday celebration. She was so excited the cake was "only Ira's". It was her first time to have her own cake and blow out her candles all by herself. It was her first time to share her birthday with her family! We are so blessed she's here. Can't imagine life without her.

Her first bicycle! She went from riding with training wheels to NO training wheels in record time. She just never had the chance to learn. Now look at her go!!

She lost a tooth for the first time. It didn't get thrown away and the Tooth Fairy came! Before, her teeth were just thrown away. Not anymore! Mama saved it! She was so proud she pulled it out herself. She wouldn't let any us touch it. She worked and wiggled on it all morning until she got it.

Her first time to a Pumpkin Patch with her brothers, sister, and Grandmommy.

Her first motorcycle ride with Uncle Dave.

These are just a few of the many "Firsts" we have been honored to watch Irina experience. So blessed to be her Mom!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hello Again!!

We are here and doing fine! Our computer was down due to a virus, and I'm still trying to figure out how to get everything done and blog ,too. We now have a family chore chart, so hopefully I can do better at keeping everyone updated on how Irina is doing in her new family.The blog has a new look to celebrate our family's growth.
I wanted to give updates, but Ira is sick tonight. In short, she is doing fantastic! Everyday gets better and better especially her English. I am amazed at all the new words she is incorporating into her speech. She is learning a lot from listening to children's songs. Her favorite was Jesus Loves Me now it is God Made Me. I love hearing her sing it in her own way as she's trying to pronounce English. It's just too cute. It's like listening to your 1year old say their first words. It's priceless!
This is the first time she has been sick since she came home. She has vomited twice and is saying her stomach "Ouch". I'm wondering what happened when she was sick in the orphanage. As I cleaned her up, told her I was sorry, and prayed for her, I was thinking I'm so glad she's here and no there. It's times like these that stop me in my tracks, and I stand in awe that God chose Irina to be our daughter. I get to take care of her, especially when she's sick.
Gotta go,and tend to my precious girl.

Since I promised homecoming pics. Here's a couple!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Get To Do This

Well, Praise the Lord the light bulb went off and the Lord gave me a new perspective about adopting Irina. In the beginning, times were really hard. I was slept deprived, jet lag hung on for awhile, and everyone wanted mom. I had nothing to give anyone and there were so many needs facing me. It was overwhelming, but God in His mercy and grace helped me see things in greater light. He showed me what an honor and a privilege it is to be my children's mom. That I get to do this!!He gave them all to me, even Irina who has missed out on a mother's love for the first 8 yrs. of her life and I get to be her mom! I get to hold her, rock her, play "this little piggy went to market",sing to her and tell her about Jesus. It hit me like a ton of bricks. WOW! God allowed me to be Ira's mother, and not her birth mom. I feel sorry for her mom that she has missed this. She lost a blessing. I found myself praying for her the other day and asking God to heal her and make her whole and drag her to the cross. Send someone Lord to tell her about you. She needs you. Please give her hope and may she know how much you love her and Irina.

Homecoming Pics to come!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well.. at least we know she's learning!! :]

Today has been a very good day with Ira!!! She is listening sooo much better. Lately, Ira has been learning that if she does not listen she will miss out on something she likes i.e.watching a movie, riding her bike, or drinking coca-cola(she loves coca-cola)! Today long story short Samuel ended up in the girls bed room and wouldn't sleep! Ira got so upset she started yelling,"ne spot ne coca-cola ne bicycle, ne kolad, ne movie!!( If you don't go to sleep you get no coke, no bike, no outside,and no movie!) Samuel was shocked but didn't take it seriously, until she started yelling look in my eyes this is not funny!! What a little Mommy. We were laughing our heads off!! She did this about 5 times ! HeHe!! I love her so much!
Posted by Amy

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Having Fun!!!!!

It has been very hectic this week with a child adjusting, a boy with a cold
(a.k.a a very crabby kid), and another boy that well just doesn't understand whats going on!!! But we still have enough time to have a little fun!
Giddy up daddy!!!!

On the way to the beach!!
What a princess!!!(Daddy bought those glasses ;)

"Papa"teaching Era how to swim!!

I was just thinking the other day I don't think mom ever put pics of all of us on the blog because she was talking so much about the adoption!! Well here are her babies!!

Amy - 11yrs Irina - 8yr Samuel - 3 1/2 yrs

( Sorry Its blurry, he doesn't like his picture taken, especially while watching Scooby-Doo!!!)

Posted by Amy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home For A Week

Well we've been home 1 week today! It's taken this long for me to finally feel normal from jet lag and all the adjustments. Considering how hard this must be for Ira, she's doing really well. Her episodes are fewer and less intense,but she is still definitely grieving everything and everyone from Ukraine. It is so hard to see such pain in her eyes. However, it is in those moments when she allows me to comfort her that we bond the most. She is a fighter, so I assume her will to keep going is how she survived in the orphanage. Even though she fights against our parental love, I think its that character trait that helped her as she lived void of parents. She is still trying to figure out what her role is and what our roles are, but everyday is better. She is a precious child,who really doesn't even know herself because she's never been able to relax and just trust. She's had to be self-reliant to survive.
All the kids love her and she loves them. She is very motherly with Samuel and Seth. It's sweet to watch how she interacts with them. She wants Amy all the time and if she's not around she'll be looking for her. God has been so good and has provided all we have needed. I'm so amazed by His care for us. Just yesterday our friends who are adopting from the same orphanage came to our house with groceries and stocked our fridge!! When we can't get it done God can! Love you Jesus! Thank you Lewis family!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A new Hollywood star is born!!!!!!

But amazingly she still has enough time to be silly!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Last dinner/night in Ukraine!

Its soooo nice to know that we are finally leaving within 8 hrs and exciting that we will be in america in 24 hrs!! But also in some ways I am going to miss this place!! Here are some pics of us eating our last meal in Ukraine!!


Read the post below!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finally Pictures

What you've been waiting for! Pictures of the two sisters!

Video of Irina and Amy playing in a jump

Friday, July 30, 2010

Post Error

Sorry for the confusion on the last post about Going home. Amy and I posted an old uncompleted draft the other day trying to post pictures. Haven't had a chance to fix it yet. We've been busy visiting with friends that are also adopting. We have spent the last two days playing at the park, taking pony rides, bouncing in a jump, playing on the fountain steps, and eating ice cream. Irina and Amy have had a ball. Ira was so tired tonight she fell asleep without a fight.
She is doing so good. Everyday she seems more at ease with her new mama and sister. I now believe the delay in going home was for her to get better adjusted to us before the long flight home, and for God to purge me of self-reliance and teach me dependence on Him. When things are going smooth my first reaction is to not rely on Jesus in the day to day tasks. I now realize that's what I was doing. I operate on my own strength until times get tough. During this first week with Irina, I saw my need to rely on Jesus every second and I've asked Him to reveal to me when I start operating in self-reliance again. I want to learn the first time. As my friend says"You know better, so you do better".
Well, we are headed home Tuesday morning @5:30am. The driver will pick us up @ 2:45am! Yikes! Please pray for strength for us to make it on little sleep and that Irina's ears don't bother her. She's worried about that my translator told me. Will post again when we are finally back on American soil. Can't wait! I do grieve for Irina as she leaves her native country, but Amercia is her future. A future she would not have if she stayed here. In a year's time she would have been transfered to an internat. A place where there are only teachers not caregivers and one doctor for over 200 older children. The supervision is minimal not like the care she has received up to this point. I praise God He placed the burden in our hearts for her when He did. Our times have truly been in His Hands

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Anchor, Jesus

To God be the Glory! Prayers are being answered! If you have been praying for me, Irina, and Amy, I could never say thank you enough. Knowing that people are taking time to pray for us is very humbling and encouraging. God has heard our cries and continues to hold us up.

She is getting better. Everyday I have seen changes and everyday she shows signs of attaching to me more. It is slow, but very postive.The other night she got very mad because she couldn't understand me even though I'm trying to learn words and communicate with her, when she's upset it makes it worse. After many tears from me and her, she came over to me and gave me a hug. WOW! She was saying she was sorry. At bedtime, she wants me to put my arm around her and she wants me or Amy to sing. I just look up and smile and thank the Lord that she asks me to sing ,Jesus Jesus Jesus, there's just something about that Name. It's one of our family's favorite songs written by Gloria Gaither. We sing it everynight while puttin the kids to bed,and I started singing it to Irina at night. Now,she is requesting it by singing the word Jesus to the tune! It's so Cool! She and Amy are bonding. She only wants her sistra to fix her hair(voh-luh-see). Sometimes, she even shortens the word ses-trah to just "sest". It's so cute. I love to watch them play together, running, and racing each other. Amy has been a true gift from God on this trip. She has been such a big helper and prayer warrior. I know God sent her because He knew what I needed before I did.

I have had to anchor my faith in the promises of God or I would not be surviving this trip. I realized yesterday that before I left to come God kept bringing the word anchor to me through sermons and devotions. When my devotion yesterday spoke about how trusting in the Lord is possible as we anchor our confidence in the promises of God, the light bulb went off. This is what He's been saying all along! So after learning that we were not getting a flight home yetserday and all my hopes of coming home were dashed, I placed myself in God's hand and surrendered what I wanted to His plan. We drove to the airline office to see if they could help but still there were no flights home any sooner than my scheduled flight on Aug 3rd. Even though, the adoption was complete Tuesday afternoon, I can't come home until next Tues because all flights into the States are booked solid. For whatever reason, the Lord has me here for now. I don't like it, but He sees the big picture I don't. I'm here learning to know Him better,the more I trust Him.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pray for Irina

We are now in Kiev where I have internet and can use my own computer instead of my facilitator's. Well, to tell the truth the last few days have been very difficult. While every adopitve parent is told everything that can possibly happen, there is no way to know what issue you and your family will face. So, some words of wisdom to parents, who are wondering and waiting for their travel date, it would be better to expend your energy memorizing God's Word and spending quiet time with Him. I wish I had prepared myself in that way more than running around busy busy busy. I understand wanting to get here so bad to finally get your arms around the child(ren) you've waited so long for, but we forget that children are not adults. Even the family they have wanted for so long can be scary and stressful to them. Pray for your child(ren) to be prepared for this change and that God would comfort their tiny little hearts and minds. This will be time better spent than doing anything else.
Although a family has been Irina's dream, it is a huge change in her life. We've figured out through translation that she didn't realize how hard it was going to be for her. She wants to understand me and she wants me to understand her. She is afraid to come to America alone with no one to speak Russian with. She honestly thought that our translator was coming to America with her. As a mother, it has been horrible to watch her grieve especailly because she will not let me comfort her. All I can do is cry out to the Lord on her behalf since He says:"As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you. "Is 66:13 When I have not allowed the Lord to work through me, self reliance crept in but my strength failed. My pastor has said "Self-reliance is God-defiance." That has helped me so much. God doesn't need our help. He is God! He created the Heavens and the earth and all that is in it. We would not have breath in our lungs without Him,yet we try to handle everyday life apart from the peace that God is God and we are not.
Please pray for my baby girl. In so many ways, she is a baby inside. She is almost 9yrs. old, but inside she has not truly developed. She has been deprived of the loving arms of a mother and the leaderhsip of a father. Pray she will allow me to comfort and love her through her distress. Pray she will not refuse the love that stands before her. As I am writing this, it reminds me of us as God's children. He stands ready to receive us,help us, comfort us, and waits for us to come to Him with our needs, but we don't. We run around like chickens with our heads cut off wondering why everything in our lives is so crazy looking everywhere but UP to our Heavenly Father. If you are in the midst of trouble today, don't try to skip A & B and jump to C. Turn to Jesus and surrender your life to Him(A). Go to Him, cry out in prayer and obtain wisdom from His Words that He left us, the Bible(B). Then living out your life(C) will be for His Glory because YOU AREN'T DOING IT! HE IS! Saying this helps me remember to do this myself. Thank you for your prayers. God is Faithful!Prayers are already being answered. Our pastor helped us find a Russian group at Harvest Bible Chapel Naperville that meets every Fri. It is a group of families that have adopted Russian speaking children,who meet for support. The children can continue their language,while learning English! This is a great gift from God.
Will post pics of the sisters together later. Headed to Embassy appt.

Friday, July 23, 2010

No Longer An Orphan

The passport is ready to be picked up!! That means we are leaving the apt. in 40 min to pick up Irina!! She will leave everything behind including the clothes on her back, so she leaves the orphanage just like she would leave the hospital after birth. I will put on her going home outfit and her new gold (OBOOF) shoes. When we come to Jesus, and repent of our sins, He cleanses us, and we put off the old sinful man, and become a new creation in Jesus because of what He did on the cross. Today, Irina will put off her orphan status and leave that orphanage as our daughter. Yippe! Thank you Jesus for sending us such a precious and priceless gift!!
On Wed. when we took her to get her passport/visa pictures taken, her caregiver told me she missed me so much while I was gone and that she loves me so much. I was so excited that I could make out what she was saying by the few words I have learned. I was also in awe to be loved and missed by Ira such a gift from the Lord. Everyone thinks we are blessing to her and what a wonderful thing we are doing to adopt. Yes, she has longed for parents so long she has asked 2 of her female doctors to please adopt her. Yes, she now has a family to love and care for her. However, being doers of the Word and not just hearers is not some great thing. It is what those who follow Jesus are to do. He said to care for widows and orphans in their distress not just those who feel called. Caring for them is what He said, and that could be done differently by each person. Someone commented on my blog that they would have to be content right now to just pray for orphans and families who are trying to adopt. He is doing his part, and it is very humbling to know that perfect strangers are covering this trip and my family in prayer. There are people back home taking care of my other children while my husband works. They are doing their part in caring for orphans because without the help of all my family and friends who have lovingly cared for my babies in my absence, I would not be able to be here focused on Ira. There have been people who have given money to help fund the expenses of this adoption, and those who gave of their time to help us put together a rummage sale. They did their part in caring for orphans, otherwise I could not pay for the apt. where I am staying or pay the driver who takes us safely through an unknown country. Every person that has done their part for an orphan named Irina Nikulina has obeyed God's Word and thus changed the course of her life. Now, she is no longer an orphan,but our beautiful daughter Irina Elizabeth Allen!!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Everything is Moving Fast

I never expected to be done with everything so quickly. The time is quickly approaching for me to go to the orphanage and pick up Irina for GOOD! I've no time to give details because I'm borrowing my facilitator's computer. If we receive her passport tomorrow, we are going to get her and she will be leaving the orphanage. The moment I have been waiting for is finally here. It has been a very emotional day and tomorrow will be very emotional as well. All I can say is, I am the most tremendously blessed mother to have been chosen to receive such a gift as Irina. Why God decided to bless our family with this precious gift from heaven I do not know, but I am so thankful and so extremely humbled.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

We are here!!! After flying on 2 airplanes,layovers,and riding on a bouncy train for 6 more hrs.,we made it to Kharkov at midnight Sunday. Amy and I were up 32 hrs. with a few naps here and there. We crashed until 7am Mon. morning when we hit the ground running again. We were in the car 9hrs. taking care of the birth cert.,social security name change,and many other stops,but the best part of the day was finally seeing My sweet Ira!
She came running to me and held me tight. It was wonderful to see her. They said she has been waititng for us to come back, and that she has been the star of the orphanage because she has Parents! They said she was like a Hollywood Star-famous and proud of it! She loved Amy right away and hugged her 3-4 times during our visit. She would just hold onto her and not let go! They look just alike. It is truly amzaing. Will post pitures later as we don't have internet yet. I am borrowing my facilitators computer for now. Hang in there pics coming soon!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Going to Get My Girl!

Getting back on a plane today for Ukraine! This is so exciting! The first trip was nerve racking since I didn't know what to expect, but knowing I'm going to pick my baby girl up makes all the difference. This is exciting! Also, my oldest daughter is coming with me. We are very excited about this last minute change. I will have the best travel companion and she will have time to bond with her sister before coming home. God has connected us with more amazing families since we've been home. Twice when I was talking in a group about my upcoming trip to complete our adoption, people stopped in their tracks to pray for me. I am so humbled! Thank you to everyone who has been following and for all your comments and support. I have never witnessed God in such a way as I have since we obeyed the call to ADOPT!
Good-bye. Will post when I arrive!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're Home

There's no place like home! The flights back were smooth until we got to Chicago. From there we were flying to Nashville in order to go pick up the kids from Grandmommy's house. Our flight was delayed 2hrs. because of rain and lightening. It was weird being stuck in the airport so close to home. It would have been nice to just go home,but we had to go get our babies and the waiting was killing us. We finally got to mom's at 11:58pm the 6th after we had been awake(minus a few naps on the plane)30hrs. Yikes! We were exhausted.The kids were a beautiful sight. They had all grown and changed in just 3 weeks. We finally rolled in after driving 11hrs at1am on the 8th. Home was a wonderful place to be. My bed felt as soft as a cloud in the sky, and I didn't want to get out of it. HOME!
Today, I'm corresponding with the travel agent about booking my return flights. 1 week from today I'm going back! Can't wait to see my baby girl again! I pray God is sustaining her until I get there. I pray she is not doubting my return. Hang in there Irina, Mama will be there soon!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Going Home

Because our 10 day waiting period was not waived, we are going home. We will be picked up in 4 hrs. to begin the long journey back. It is very hard to leave Irina behind. Just like it felt the day I waved good-bye to Amy, Samuel,and Seth, as the car drove away 21 days ago. My heart was being torn. I've never left my children longer than an overnight away. I can't wait to hold them in my arms very soon,and to go to that orphanage in a few weeks and bring my baby girl home for GOOD. The day we said good-bye to Irina went really well. She is such a trooper! I worried that she would not understand and be upset, but she was O.K. Bless her heart, she has had to grow up too fast in so many areas. The translator told me she understands that the law will not allow us to take her home yet,and that she has seen other children be adopted,so she is familiar with it all. We told her when she missed us to hold her Mishka(teddy bear) and look at her photobook.When I get my flight intinerary, I will email it to my facilitator and she will let Irina know when mommy is coming back!

Seeing so many children without the love and nurturing that only parents can give, opened our eyes to the needs of orphans. Hearing their cries, watching them fall with no one to pick them up,and seeing the longing in their eyes, was unbearable at times. It is hard to endure these long weeks away from your family, not be able to communicate with people around you, wait, be at the mercy of other people, wait, miss your kids, wait, and wait some more, but the Lord said".. in this world we will have tribulation, but BE OF GOOD CHEER for I have overcome the world".John 16:33 It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it! Please pray justice will be given to the weak and the fatherless and pray more families will come to rescue the weak and the needy.Psalm 82:3-4

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's A Girl!!!

Let us introduce you to the newest member of our family!

Irina Elizabeth Allen.

She officially became an Allen July 2, 2010 @11:48am. She weighs about 65lbs and stands about 51 in. tall. Court was just as exciting and nerve racking as going to the hospital for a scheduled C-section(the norm for me). I think all 3 us were nervous. Tim and I didn't know what to expect, and we couldn't understand anyone, so we were quite uncomfortable. We could tell Irina was a little nervous too. All 3 of us were being asked questions,so they were coaching us on how to respond to the judge's questions. It all ended up being just fine. When Irina was asked if she wanted to be adopted, her sweet Russian words brought a juror to tears. She told the judge that she has dreamed of having a family for so long that she would love to be adopted by these very parents,and that she wants to be happy with us if only the judge would allow it. After a brief deliberation and more formalities the judge declared us Irina's parents!!!!!!The judge and the jurors came over to us and shook our hands. Irina came running to us and hugged us both. I have no words to describe the feelings I have. It's as if, a part of Tim and I has been living on the other side of the world and we just found her !! We Praise God for her life that He created, and He that He has chosen to give her to us. What a gift she is!
"Children are a gift from the Lord" Psalms 127:3 NASB

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Court Date Delayed

We got to the courthouse today and within minutes of arriving we were told our courtdate would be POSTPONED. It is now set for July 2nd. At first, we were shocked because we are scheduled to fly out of Kiev on Fri. morning. We were told this happens a lot here. It is no surprise. We prayed for God's timing in our adoption journey, so we must trust our prayers have been answered. It may not be what we had planned, but God knows what's best. Whatever the reason, I know it is a gift from the Lord. The Lord has been very tender towards my heart as a mother. He has known exactly what I have needed even when I did not. Irina was beautiful today, and full of smiles. Her hair was beautifully braided with big pink bows to match her pink outfit. We prayed with her before we entering the courthouse building. Irina looked confused at what Papa was doing, but she didn't seem to mind. She then reached out for my hand, and we skipped off together toward the building. She kept smiling and laughing. We were concerned about Irina's reaction to the court delay, but we were told she is O.K. She understands that the delay has nothing to do with us. She seems to understand everything so well. I wish she didn't have to be so grown up at such a young age. I pray the Lord "will restore to her what the locust have eaten."Joel 2:25
Please pray for us to get home soon as Tim needs to return to work next week. Thank you for all the prayers and support everyone has given us.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Written Consent

June 18th cont'd.
After Irina showed us off to all the caregivers and the children, our facilitator said we had to go to do more paperwork. We didn't want to leave, but she told Irina we would be back in a little bit. At about 2:15pm we arrived back at the orphanage. Irina was sleeping because the children take naps b/t 1-3pm. That's also naptime at home! They had to wake her up, so she could give them her written consent to be adopted by us. She came out looking so tired and disoriented. I felt bad for her that she got woke up. She saw our facilitator up near the main building,so she wanted to go where she was. I followed behind her as she said "Pahs-lee, Mama", which I learned means "Let's go". She then yelled "Pahs-Lee" to Papa, but he wasn't coming fast enough for her, nor did he grab the backpack. So she ran over to him ,quickly zipped up the bag, and put in on her back all the while saying, "Pahs-Lee". I must mention she loved the backpack and everything in it. She is so curious! She took everything out exploring every inch of it. She found my water bottle in there and chugged it. She was so thirsty! She also took my sunglasses off my head and put them on. She fits right in with her siblings who do the same thing. Everybody wants to wear my sunglasses and drink my water!

Once the Social Worker was ready, we headed back to the cottage and sat down at the little table we sat at this morning. They gave her a piece of paper and pen, and began telling her what to write. She had beautiful cursive handwriting!. As she wrote out our names Timoti and Cyntia in Russian, I was amazed at how brave she was. What a smart, assertive & observant little girl! She is just like her sister!! Again, we had to quickly leave in order to get all our paperwork to the Judge's secretary before the weekend. They told Irina we had to go, but that we would be back tomorrow. She ran over to me and gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek!! Then she ran over and gave Tim a hug too. He picked her up and gave her a big squeeze! Oh, Lord you are so GOOD!!!! What a joyous day! What an amazing gift God has given us- another child to LOVE. I never expected hugs or kisses, and she so freely gave them. WOW!! I stand in awe at the work of HIS hands!!
Today we bonded with Irina even more during our visit. She has a boo-boo on her finger that she showed me on Sat. So, today I brought some band-aids and anti-bacterial ointment. I looked at her finger, and could see a little piece of a splinter still in her finger. I tried to pull it out, but she kept jerking her hand away. I got out the band-aid and the ointment, dressed her wound ,and gave it a kiss, she was thrilled! She loved being taken care of. She quickly took of her sock to show me another boo-boo on her foot. Thank goodness I brought more than 1 band-aid. It was the first time I got to see her feet because she is always wearing socks. She has the cutest little feet and toes! They were so soft like babies feet. I can't wait to get her home,clean her up, put lotion on her and just baby her.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prayers Answered

From the time we saw Irina's picture on until now, we have asked the Lord to guide our steps. We asked the Lord to help Irina decide if she wanted to be our daughter or not. All those prayers were answered June 18th 2010! On our way to the orphanage that day, both of us were nervous. When we arrived we spoke with the lady Pediatrician that cares for Irina. She told us after we left yesterday, Irina was asking about us and wondering if we were coming back today. We all cried again knowing how long she has waited for a family. We went to her cottage and waited for them to bring her out. She was happy to see us again, but unsure of what was going on. While we waited for the Social Worker, we pulled out the photobook we made for Irina with pictures of our family and home. Amy even wrote Russian words in the photobook so she could understand. As she flipped through the pages, she still wasn't sure why she was looking at these pictures.When the Social Worker came into the room, I said "Irina after meeting you yesterday we want to know if you would like to be our daughter?"I said "We want you and would love to have you as our daughter." She smiled and said"Dah" (yes) "Hoh- chesh"(I want to). She said YES! God had it all covered! Our facilitator spoke with her at length explaining to Irina that she would not live in Ukraine anymore, but America. Irina continued to say "Yes " she wanted to be our daughter! She got up and gave me hug! It was a blessing I was not expecting. Then our facilitator asked Irina about her name, if she wanted a new name. We told her we love her name and didn't want to change it unless she did. She said she liked her name Irina(Ira for short "Ear-raa"),but she was ready for a new last name. We told her we wanted to give her the middle name "Elizabeth" after her Grandmother, and said her new last name was Allen. She repeated it back to us with a big smile and her cute accent ,"Irina Elizabeth Allen". She handled everything like a champ! I worried for no reason. God prepared her just like we asked!
When everyone stood up to leave the cottage she grabbed my hand and ran outside with her photobook yelling to everyone "Mama"& "Papa" God answered our prayers above and beyond. He gave MORE than we could have asked for!