Wednesday, December 28, 2011

13 Days and a New Challenge

We leave in 13 days!!! I cannot believe it! After 18 grueling months, we are finally going to meet our son! The court date came to us over a week earlier than expected! The judge said all of our documents looked good and set our court date for January 17th. They also think that it looks promising that our 40 day waiting period will be waived and we will be able to bring Matthew home on the first visit! This would be wonderful as we will not have to wait any longer, and we will not have to fundraise for a 2nd trip! (Please pray that we get the 2nd visit waived)

We leave on January 10th!!! We will arrive in Vilnius at 2 pm on January 11th as long as there are no problems. This will give us one night to get over the jet lag before meeting our son for the first time on January 12th! We are staying the in Old Town part of Vilnius... I can't wait to see the historical buildings and gothic architecture. This town bears the scars of centuries of war and oppression. It has barely been a country for very long... I am literally older than the country itself!!! I am not THAT old, you know ;) It will be VERY cold and we are told to pack for the "likely" event that we do not have electricity the whole time! So I will be buying long thermal underwear, wool socks, and lots of pocket warmers!!

I am so excited to announce that our $3000 travel deficit was cut in half thanks to a $1500 grant from the Gift of Adoption Fund! This was the BEST surprise Christmas gift that we could receive. This just leaves us with trying to come up with the minimum of $1500, so I have issued a challenge: If I can get 300 people to donate just $5 over the next 5 days, we will meet our goal! Surely there are 300 people out there with $5 they are willing to spare... give up one Starbucks Cafe Mocha... just one and you can help! Please consider helping us reach this goal (we are already off to a GREAT start with $155 already donated since yesterday!!!) It CAN be done! I am so, so , so excited to finally be completing this phase of our journey and beginning the new phase as a family of FIVE!! My son will finally be home and there will be ONE LESS orphan. Thank you to all the friends and strangers that have stepped out in faith, offered your generous donations, and helped to change the life for one precious child! We can't thank you enough!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Article 5 and new goal

Thanksgiving Day 2011

Thanksgiving came and went in a blur. It was just a very difficult holiday for us, but we tried to make the best of it. We got the girl's and Matthew these adorable teddy bears from Kay Jewelers
when I was having a broken necklace repaired. A large portion of the proceeds went to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, which is very dear to our hearts. It also helps remind us that even in
our sadness of being separated from our son right now, our children are all healthy. We are so blessed because PKU is manageable and treatable. Abigail and Matthew will always be healthy as long as
they stick to their special diets and drink their formulas. How blessed we are to have these options!
Our Article 5 was dropped off at the US Embassy in Lithuania on Friday and our documents were submitted to the court yesterday. It will be next week before we know which judge we have been assigned, and at least another week before we know our court date, which will determine our travel date. Travel is most certainly going to be after Christmas, so I have been trying to make peace with missing another holiday with my sweet boy.
I try to think of reasons why we each needed one more Christmas the way we are used to it. This will be Matthew's 6th Christmas at the Vilnius Care Home. I am so anxious to know who our judge will be. Why is this important? It is so important because we are petitioning the court to waive the second visit to Lithuania to bring Matthew home. We are asking that they waive the 40 day appeal period and allow us to bring him home on our first visit, and they are a couple of judges that have allowed this in the past. We are praying for a good and understanding judge... one that will acknowledge what has already been an 18 month wait! Not to mention the many better options available to Matthew to treat his PKU here... and a low protein baking master mamma willing to spend hours in the kitchen and work tirelessly to be sure he has more options and the best nutrition available. :)
In the meantime, we are waiting and preparing for the trip. It is becoming more expensive as we think of all of things we need for travel. Bryon and I do not exactly have wardrobes worthy of a Lithuanian winter, in which we may or may not have electricity the whole time! We are also having to come up with a wardrobe, bedroom and toys for a boy. I have found many great items second hand via a Facebook site for Murfreesboro moms to trade and/or sell unwanted items. A couple of friends also gave us some furniture that we have primed and painted for his room. Finished bedroom photos will hopefully be uploaded this weekend!

You may notice that our fundraising goal increased some. The estimated expense for the first trip is between $6000-$8000. We originally set the goal for $5000 as we were really hoping to get the remaining $3000 from grants. As of now, we have not received any grants, so we have increased our goal. I am trying to continue to sell Lithuania candles and ornaments, but this is a difficult time of year to fundraise. It is just so hard for families during the holidays. We have been very, very blessed to have received the very generous donations that literally came within a couple of weeks, many from complete strangers! I continue to be amazed and hold on to faith that God will provide and the He will unite us with our son soon! Please prayerfully consider helping us out by purchasing Just Love Coffee or the candles and ornaments that I have made. You may also make a donation through Paypal.

Check out these items that we are selling...

These are $6 and we have several scents/colors for the candles: Vanilla, Vanilla Spice, Pumpkin Spice, and Apple Cinnamon. These make great gifts. For shipping info, e-mail me at