Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our Official Day in Court

This week has been a bit over-the-top crazy to say the least. Soccer practice for all three boys geared up this week, we had a field trip, I started the week off sick, and we had two days worth of dr. visits to get through for updating our homestudy/USCIS forms in order to get our kids home. Honestly, we have been home to sleep and eat breakfast. That is about it.

BUT... today, when I got home from my madness, I had a lovely email waiting for me from our agency titled "Court Date". HOORAY!! That is fun to open :) So.... our big day in court IS....

May 20th

Now, for those of you not familiar with adopting from Ethiopia, it is quite likely that we will not pass court the first time. The current statistic is 30% of families do not. However, our Yahoo Support Group is praying this number out of existence, so soon 100% of families will be passing court the first time :).
The great thing about May 20th is that it is only around 2 weeks before Tony is expected to be home from his Big D. Now that we have a date, he can begin to work on finding a way to get home in time to travel with me to Ethiopia. Funny, I sorta was hoping that we would find a way to have some "alone" time soon after he came home from the big D... I guess I wasn't expecting to have it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia!!!!

So... to my prayer warrior friends-- mark May 20th on your calendar with HUGE red, blue, green and yellow markers (the colors in the ET flag), and start praying for a successful court date the 1st time!!! Let's pray these two newest members of Team Dragovich home!

Grace and Peace,

Saturday, February 21, 2009

House full of kids... where is Calgon to take me away???

Cool presents!!

I don't really know why I allow such silliness to happen in my life, like letting my 10 year old have a sleep-over birthday party (belated by now). I think this has definitely filled his "cup", though. Which is ever so crucial-- always, of course, but especially with Daddy on his Big D. and the newness of having two new siblings becoming ever more a reality. And really, all EIGHT kids are doing very well!! That is no joke, either! That is for-real! :) They loved the taco dinner-- chosen by Wyatt, of course; and the ice-cream cake was a HUGE hit! It was semi-homemade... can you believe it?? I just didn't feel like spending money on one of those gross ice-cream cakes from the store-- they are only sorta good, and then they just sit in your freezer and take up space. So, I invented the "Team Dragovich" version of the ice cream cake. I made and baked a graham cracker crust; let it cool and let three different kinds of ice cream sit out to soften at the same time. Then I spread the softened ice cream on top of the crust-- in 1/3's (1/3 vanilla, 1/3 chocolate, 1/3 chocolate chip). On top of the ice cream I put a thick layer of crushed oreo cookies-- the boys LOVE to help with the crushing, of course; and then spread cool whip (softened) on top of that. Finally, I made the number 10 out of green m & m's and VOILA!! Wyatt watched me make his cake and he said, "Wow, Mom. You are really going all out for me! I mean, your just going way above what I could ever expect!" :) That was pretty cute.

Wyatt's homemade ice cream cake

Lighting the candles
Ha-ppy Bir-th-day To YOUUUU....

I finished putting together two cute care packages for our new ones in Ethiopia. Sammy helped me pick out some of the contents. It was pretty funny watching him at work. Here is what we put in each kiddo's 1 gallon sized ziploc bag:

underoos--Star Wars--Clone Wars (surprise) for Joshua B.
undershirt and fairies undies for Rebekah S.
beanie bears
photo albums
books: Good Dog, Carl, The Mixed up Cameleon, Harold and His Fairy Tale
mini-football for Joshua B.

Yes, I know. It is weird that I sent underwear. And books that they can't even read, yet. I couldn't help it. I felt this need to take care of the necessities-- underwear and vitamins. And I can't do ANYTHING without including a book. I am not sure I expect to ever see any of it again. Other than the photo albums. I'm sure all the rest of it will get re-cycled (the clothes) or used. I did put their names on the beanies-- but I'm really not sure if we'll come home with them. That's okay. I just want them home :)... and Daddy should just come home, too!! :D

A friend of mine said to me the other day that as she was praying for us, she had this realization that almost half of my family is on the other side of the world. Yup. This is true. And someday, our kids will understand that their daddy was in the same time zone as them, wanting to come get them, wanting all of us to be together; and waiting patiently for it to happen. That's pretty awesome.

I am anticipating our court date now. Every family who adopts knows the mounting pressure of waiting for their court date. For us, this waiting is magnified by the reality of Tony being able to travel to Ethiopia to pick up the kids. It will be within a month of his original coming home time-- yet, he will most likely have to receive special permission to get out of there. Then, depending on how quickly he gets out and gets home... well, he will have MAYBE a week before turning around and flying BACK over the ocean to ET to pick up NEW kids, when he has not even really gotten to see the OLD ones for the past 7 months. It all sounds very daunting and overwhelming, to say the least. But... I believe in a God who causes ALL things to work for the good of those who love Him and call on Him! He will uphold us with His righteous right hand, and we will be stronger as individuals and as a family for having to walk through this refining fire. We covet your prayers and support during these next several months!!! Thank you, so much :)!

Grace and Peace,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The scattered thoughts of a new "referral" mother

Now that we are 2-days post-referral, I have to share some of the crazy things that have been flitting in and out of my mind over the past 48 hours.

"How is it that I can be so surprised to finally see their faces, and yet somehow in my heart, I have seen and known them all along."

"YIKES!!!!!" upon looking at the amount of money needed by AWAA to accept our referral. "THAT'S not happenin' so easily!!"

"Why isn't Tony here so he can deal with all 'dumb' financial side of the paperwork?"

"How in the world can I re-arrange the rooms to be adorable AND fit an extra boy?"

"That smile. Those eyes. My God truly is the Master Craftsman and Master Artist."


"What if we completely overwhelm them? What if they can't deal with the dog? (that wouldn't be so bad) How in the world am I going to communicate with them??"

"Are we crazy?"

"Wow. Wow. Wow!!!!!!!!"

"I hope Sam doesn't corrupt B. TOO much!"

"Five kids. How FUN!!"

"Five kids. AHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

"What bozo created all this paperwork mess anyway? OBVIOUSLY s/he is NOT an adoptive parent!"


"How in the world am I going to have time to do all this paperwork, be single mommy right now AND decorate rooms?"

"God is in control, God is in control, God is in control..."

"HUGE shoes to fill. Overwhelming. Wonderful. Beautiful. Terrified. Here we go!!!!"

Grace and Peace,

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey... I didn't even have to call-- AWAA Called us!!!!!!!

Well, it happened! "THE CALL" came yesterday morning around 10:45 am. I was in shock, to say the least. In fact, the conversation went something like this:

Phone rings. I see AWAA on the caller id. I think, "hmm. I wonder what they want? I know we paid our last installment. Did they lose the check? No... I saw it was withdrawn... hmmm???

me: "Hello?"
terra: "Hello! Is this Shari?"
me: "Yes. Hi Terra! How are you doing?"
terra: (giggles in a sort of funny way) "I'm doing fine :)"
me: (finally dawning on me that THIS is THE CALL!) "Oh.. wait a minute.. this is the call isn't it!! Oh my goodness, oh my goodness! (now I am sort of pacing the kitchen, starting to shake, totally surprised and looking for something to write on???)
terra: (giggles again) "Yes, it is! I have good news for you today!"
me: "Okay. Oh my. I'm ready. Not really. WOW!!!!"

Conversation proceeds from there :)

So... Team Dragovich is two more strong-- a VERY handsome boy who is 6 and has Dragovich ears-- I could say Monke ears, too. And a PRECIOUS little girl who is 3 and has the deepest, most beautiful eyes that I have ever seen.

I spent the next many hours trying like crazy to reach Tony on his cell phone that he "keeps with him all the time"... but apparently not :). Of course, I knew I couldn't tell anyone until I was able to tell him. Which made the next several hours VERY HARD :) Finally, in one last desparate attempt, late in the afternoon-- knowing it was nearing the middle of the night his time-- I reached him. HALLELUIA!!!!!! He was as surprised as I was and wanted to know all about them, of course :)

So, now we begin another flurry of paperwork to update our homestudy, USCIS paperwork, scrounge money from SOMEWHERE (we were not expecting a referral so soon and so a little thrown off by this last chunk of payments)-- God is SOOOO good and in control and He is the God who Provides... He has provided and He will continue to provide :)

Please pray that the paperwork gets done and I understand the right things to do-- especially with Tony on the other side of the world right now. Pray for our new littles... that God would continue to protect them, keep them healthy and loved while we all wait to be united and for all our hearts to be prepared for the new transition and season we are entering. Also pray that the financial aspect would be worked out-- we know it is and will be... it is more a matter of my trusting and releasing it to God to work out the details.

Grace and Peace to you all,