We are two of the most blessed people to have such amazing friends and family. Derek and I are planning a yard sale for this coming weekend to raise some funds that will help us complete our adoption of B and C. When we opened our garage door and saw all of the donated items already present, I was just so overwhelmed with emotion and complete gratitude. For people to go ahead and get things started while we were meeting our children... I just can't even explain how meaningful that is... We are so unworthy of all that God is blessing us with through each of you (I don't even know who all donated things yet!) and through our perfect angels in Russia. I will be eternally grateful. I wish there was a better way to express my thankfulness to each of you... When we came into our house, there was a basket of muffins for tomorrow morning and dinner in the fridge. Derek said he even thought someone planted flowers into one of our long-forgotten flower pots outside! Thank you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And now to what I was originally going to post:
Well, we’re back in Tennessee. While it’s great to be on US soil, I feel like a part of me is still in Russia. Of course I mean the kiddos, but I also mean St. Petersburg itself. It’s hard to describe, but I feel like that city is another “home.” It is now part of our family’s heritage and feels as such just as much as Chicago, my hometown. I love the people, the history, the food, the rich culture,
Our trans-Atlantic flight had television monitors that displayed flight information such as outside temperature (-77—yikes!), speed and miles yet to go. With each passing mile, I felt the threads from my heart—which have been created and tied to our children—pulled tighter and tighter and the separation grow harder and harder.
But there is so much to do to prepare for their arrival, so keeping busy will be good. For the last few months, Derek has been great and researched several adoption grant possibilities for some financial assistance. Now that the adoption process is practically set in stone, we will apply and see what happens. We are also planning a yard sale for this Friday and Saturday, which—thanks to amazing friends—will feature A LOT of items. Please pray that buyers show up! Derek wrote a heartfelt letter, in which we asked if anyone was willing to donate some items. So many of you have offered to do so! I am so overwhelmed with gratefulness for everyone’s loving and giving heart. A few have suggested that I post the letter on the blog. I will do so in a post tomorrow. Our address is listed there (at least until I am able to make this blog public) for those of you who can make it!
In addition to the logistical stuff, there is fun stuff to be done as well! Their room is painted, but we still have to furnish and decorate it. It will be so fun doing that now, since we know their personalities. Oh, and clothes! I can’t wait to pick out cute outfits! Derek’s already said it’s going to be hard not to buy things for them every time we go into a store. Oy! Envelopes, Derek. Envelopes!
Well, I’m beat! (I feel I’ve ended nearly every post this way. Sorry about that.) We had to wake up at 2:15 a.m. St. Petersburg time (5:15 p.m. central time) after just three hours of sleep for our 6:30 a.m. flight. Interesting reason why we had to get up so early actually: Our hotel was on a small island between two of St. Petes’ rivers. The only way on and off the island are via bridges that are drawn up during the night to let the barges go through. I believe they go up at 2 a.m. and are brought down at 5 a.m. For those that need to get on or off the island between those times, there is a short 15 minute window starting at 3:00 a.m. during which the bridges are down. Our driver for that day lives east of the island. Once the bridges were brought down during this short gap if time, he raced onto the island, picked us up at our hotel on the west side of the island (which is about 5 miles east to west and 2 miles north to south), and made it just in time to cross the main bridge on the south side. Whew!
So, 22 hours of travel later, we've been up for 29 hours and are physically and emotionally exhausted. I'm going to bed one thankful friend and longing mommy.