Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On the Road Again

Just can't wait to get on the road (to adoption) again! Sorry for the silence, sometimes it just felt as if we were wandering in the wilderness, not sure where we were going and not able to share where we were either. After many months of waiting on God, He has shown us the direction He would have us go in rescuing older orphans.

And, He used a dear long-time (as opposed to old ;) friend to show us where the road was heading!
Amy Post and the Daytons have been friends for about 20 years. Years ago, we attended the same church and had a common love for orphans (still do share that.) It was through Amy that we adopted Daniel, our second son, though he was the first son that we met. She took him in as her foster son for the first 17 months of his life. I learned so much from her during the many hours we spent together commuting to and from Long Beach once a week when our kiddos were little and Daniel was required to go to birth-mother visits.

Amy and I would talk now and then through the years, but always had that "Just as if we'd talked yesterday" feeling to our friendship. Last year, when we started our process to adopt older orphans from the Ukraine, we discovered that Amy and her husband had found their future son in Russia and were also in the process of adopting an older, special needs, orphan. Their process moved right along it's bumpy road as ours stalled due to our girls being adopted by another family.

In October, 2009, Amy called and said, "We're home and Alex is home, too!" Charissa and I went to visit a couple days later, as Mark and the boys were hunting in Idaho, and met Alex for the first time. He is so bright and fun to be around. He has a rare disability called Arthrogryposis, which disables his limbs, but not his mind. The Post's have an older son who also has Arthrogryposis and he began asking for a brother a few years ago, so they searched the world over to find Alex! The orphanage he came from said he was the brightest child in the orphanage! We had a lot of fun playing that day and marveling at the ability that this little guy showed!

About a week later, Amy called to tell us about Jewel, her blog name as she is a precious jewel in God's eyes, and we were so surprised! Amy said that one regret they had in Alex's homecoming was leaving his best friend behind. She explained that Jewel was always with Alex. And that they were brokenhearted to know they would never see one another again. Sure enough, their photos revealed just what they told us. There was Jewel, acting as Alex's arms, when he needed it, but mostly, just being his friend. It was the extreme finances involved in foreign adoption and the strong arm of that government, because of a fluke in their paperwork, that held them back from returning for her. Amy called to see if we'd go get this precious Jewel and bring her home!

So, Russia is our new destination! Jewel is 10 years old which, interestingly enough, puts her smack dab in the middle of the 8 year gap we have between Christian and Charissa! Neat, huh?!? She comes from an institution/orphanage that is set aside for children with special needs of all sorts. When we heard her disability was a seizure disorder, another WOW! Our dear friends have a very sweet 12-year-old daughter that has had a seizure disorder for several years. The girls' given names are nearly the same name! I'm sure that they will become fast friends! The 12 year old's younger sister is our Charissa's best friend and is also 2 years older than Charissa, as the 12 year old is 2 years older than Jewel. So, not only does Jewel have a family and her best friend, Alex, to come home to, she's got a friendship circle ready to embrace her!

So, here we go. Map in hand, destination marked. Won't you join us in prayer during our journey to go get Jewel?


Valerie said...

Isn't it amazing where God leads us!? Congratulations on your decision to bring Jewel home from Russia! There is no doubt that she will bask in a lifetime of love surrounded by family and friends. Praying that your process is smooth and that she is home with you soon!

We adopted a little boy with arthrogryposis from Ukraine in 2007(as well as a little boy with limb differences from Uzbekistan)and he is the light of our lives (and, like Alex, incredibly smart). We are now in the process of bringing home three more children from Bulgaria. I never cease to be amazed by the plans God has for us and all of the wonderful little miracles that we are blessed with along the path.

Natalie said...

Penny ~
I was SO surprised and happy to read your post tonight! I have thought of you many times over these past months. It sounds as if the Lord has been orchestrating things, even though at times you may not have seen His hand at work. He is faithful! I am very excited for your family and will definitely be praying for you guys as you walk through this process. I look forward to your updates. Hope your family is doing well and that you had a wonderful Christmas!
God Bless ~ Natalie

Christine said...

Congrats! We adopted from Russia in 2005! Let me know if you have any questions.

Stacey said...

Penny, like I told you before in church: I absolutely CAN NOT wait to meet this precious Jewel! I am constantly blown away by God's amazing way of leading us down our paths... and how much He Loves US!

I think that you and Mark are simply amazing.

One of my aunts has been fostering children for over 20 years. She has a biological son that is a year older than me (born 1980.) She had fostered hundreds of children when one day, she met Donnie. He has a heart condition that means that he will never grow taller than a 6-8 year old. He will never build muscle mass. He can't fall or get hit in the chest. He had already had dozens of surgeries by the time that my aunt officially adopted him at the age of 4.

Donnie is an angel. He is smart and sassy; sharp as a knife when he wants to be. He aspires to do amazing great things and loves to tell anyone who will listen his stories of "What I'll Be When Imma Grown Up Adult Like Mama and Daddy". He loves to go to church and "talk to Jesus". He is teaching every person he meets that it doesn't matter the color of your skin: Everyone needs love and a home... even if your Mommy and Daddy are a different color. (Some people really needed that lesson in our extended family...)

Donnie is a light, shining brightly in a world that has, unfortunately, shown him a lot of darkness. When he was born, his biological parents seemed to be happy... until they found out about his heart condition. Then, they wrapped him in a blanket, threw him into a trash bag, and left him in a dumpster behind a department store.

It was by God's Grace alone that Donnie lived through that ordeal. God sent him an Angel, er two Angels... in the form of a homeless man and his dog! This man was walking past the dumpster with his dog and the dog suddenly went Nuts, jumping up and pawing at the dumpster. He tried and tried, but the dog would not leave the dumpster. Then, the man heard Donnie crying. He climbed into the dumpster and brought the baby out with him. He then took him to the hospital and Donnie went into the system.

I don't think I will ever understand why people hurt and abandon children. But, it gives me hope to know that people like ya'll are Rescuing these babies... I can see God's hands at work within your family.

I can't wait to meet Jewel. And yes, Of Course Steven and I will be praying. I will get Mama and Daddy on it, too!

God is SO Amazing!!!!!!!

Peace, Love, and Blessings,
Stacey Simison

<3 <3 <3 *Hugs* <3 <3 <3

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