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!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally We Have Internet!

YEAH! We have internet in our apt.! I think I said" Spa-see-ba" Thank You in Russian a hundred times to the installers and our landlord. We were all excited ready to call home,but after hours of trying we are unable to buy Skype credit from Ukraine. I want to call my children at my moms and can't. I am so sad I could cry. I miss my children!I can't wait for the day we are all together at home. This is so hard. For all those who have done this before,please tell me how you made it through this. You can't be with any of your kids during this long process. You leave children behind with family and each day you have so say good-bye to your new child who doesn't understand why you keep leaving without her everyday. Lord,please help me. No one could have prepared me for how heart wrenching this is.

Now, for details. The first day we met Irina was June17th. Irina has dreamed of having a family for so long, in order to protect her she was told guests were coming. After getting information about her history and her medcial condition,we were taken to her cottage to meet her. When they opened the door and she walked out, she was more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. She smiled and said Hello with her cute accent. I had tried to learn some Russian phrases beforehand,so I asked her in Russian what her name was,she said Irina Nikulina and then she asked me my name. We had brought a teddy bear to give her,so our facilitator said don't you have a gift for her? We pulled out "Mishka"from our bag and handed it to her. She smiled,but you could see the wondering in her eyes. The facilitator asked her what she dreams of having and she answered a "Mama and Papa" The ladys in the room had to turn their heads ,so Irina would not see them crying. It was very moving. They quickly took her back into the cottage. They took us outside and asked us if we were sure we still wanted to adopt Irina. With tears flowing, we said YES! The facilitator said "Are you sure"? Tim said, "Nothing could stop me." After much excitement and tears, we were off to take care of the paperwork to offically accept the referral to adopt Irina. We didn't see her again til the next day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still No Internet

We are still waiting for internet to be installed in our apt. here in Kharkov. Our facilitator is so upset because she wants us safe in our apt. not out at McDonald's WiFi. I so desparately want to give details, but again it is getting dark and we took all our time checking emails and trying to Skype my dad. We visit Irina everday around 10am until 12pm. A driver picks us up to take us to her orphanage. It is out of the city, so it takes 30 min to get there. She has taken to us very quickly. She wants to come with us everyday,and is tired of waiting. It is very hard to keep telling her we can't take her with us yet. She tries very hard to learn English words. She can count to ten and say the alphabet. She is very smart and very active just like all Allen children.

Here are a few more pictures of our Miss Personality.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Waiting for Internet

Hello, from Kharkov Ukraine!

Yes, Tim tried a turn at blogging and got interrupted before he could write anything LOL!

We have been promised internet in our apt. since we arrived on Thurs. We are still waiting, so we took a risk and walked down to McD's WiFi. It is getting dark and we must go soon, so this will be quick.

Irina is BEAUTIFUL and more than we could have ever imagined! All our prayers have been answered. She had no problem understanding adoption and consented to coming to America as our daughter without reservation. She has personality plus taking us all around the orphanage showing us off and saying Mama Papa.

Will give more details later. God is So GOOD! The process has moved very quickly for us.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

We Made It!!

We are finally here in Kiev Ukraine after a long trip!! The flight from Chicago to Germany was 8hrs long and tiring. It was weird leaving at 2:30pm our time and landing somewhere else at 5:45am. In Germany, our lay over was extended, but it wasn't bad. It gave us a chance to freshen up, eat breakfast together at McD's and relax while we waited for our flight. We left Germany at about 11am their time. This plane was smaller than the one before and was very bumpy. Tim and I didn't get to sit together either, so that made it harder. I've only flown Southwest planes for 1hr 15min from Chicago to Alabama- easy flights. After hrs. of sitting in the same spot and lots of turbulance, Tim and I offically DO NOT like to fly! However, the Lord is our example, "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross." Hebrews 12:2
It was such a blessing to have the Heims with us the whole time. They will never know what a comfort they have been to us. It was hard to say good-bye to them at the Kiev airport when our driver and facilitator picked us up. I cried at the thought of not having Traci with me anymore. Her help and guidance have been a gift from God.
Our SDA appt. went perfectly!! They asked us a couple of questions, but I think our actions spoke louder than words. When they showed us Irina's picture at 12-18months old we both gasped and my tears flowed. The lady kept starring at my tears of joy.
Our facilitator showed us how to get around, get groceries and took us to a restaurant for dinner. During dinner, she told us that Irina was recently asked if she would ever want to be adopted and she responded, Yes, if they love me and I love them!! God answered all our prayers that He would prepare her for our coming. I think her answer confirms God is at work in her heart. We already love her, and we pray she already loves us. We then got settled into our appt. to get some much needed SLEEP!
We leave Kiev today @3:30pm for Kharkov where Irina is. We will travel by train at night in order to sleep on the way and arrive in the am ready to got to the orphanage. I absolutely can not wait to see her!!! Please keep praying! God is answering! I'm in awe at the work of His hands!
We miss home and we miss our kids something awful. It's quiet here. We don't really know how to act!
Will post once we are settled in Kharkov.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Our Way!!!!!!!!!

We are having a sleepover at the Heims before our trip begins tomorrow. The car picks us up in the morning @ 11am to take us to O'Hare airport. We leave Chicago @ 2:33pm and get to Frankfort Germany @5:45am. WOW, that will be a long flight!! We will arrive in Kiev Ukraine @ 1:30 pm on the 15th. We will meet Irina soon after. Please pray for God to prepare her and us for that first encounter. Can't believe it's finally here!
Its amazing how God has orchestrated this whole thing. The fact that we are flying with the Heims is just so cool! We had hoped all along we would be able to travel together, and God gave us the desires of our heart. One year ago,God placed them in our path at just the right time to speak God's truth into our lives. We are so thankful for them and everyone God has brought our way to help us on this journey. Thank you Jesus and all who have been a part of this adoption!!!!
We will post info as soon as we are able. Good-Bye!