Friday, August 31, 2007

From Thursday's visit

From Thursday visit using the cell phone to take pictures! (and by the way, yes it is cool here, in the 60s)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

visit 2 goes well

We drove up to the baby house and the children we came to see were outside playing with their group. Erik recognized our vehicle right away. And his little brother soon recognized us too.

Then it was a game of running away- come catch me, over and over- with lots of laughs and hugs of course.

We brought along a bag of balloons and Erik recognized immediately what they were before even opening the pack. It seemed very doubtful that the children had ever had balloons outside before from their responses. But we all had a grand time. Of course we had taken enough for the other children around and to replace ones that popped. Eventually the boys learned that certain things make balloons pop- and so by the end of the hour and a half they were looking for ways to pop them!

The caregiver eventually took the rest of the children inside to give us some time with the boys. And then we needed to take them back inside in time for lunch. Saying goodbye was difficult. Neither of the boys wanted to go inside and Erik was very upset.

It makes us feel that we will not be able to do this visiting for very long without it being hard on the kids. They clearly are hopeful. (and so are we- but we are not saying anything certain at the moment) Erik told his caregiver this morning that he had visitors, and in particular that an "uncle" came to see him yesterday and last night. She had not known anything about it so she was a bit confused, but once we came again today it made sense.

The caregiver today also said that these are the strongest boys of the group and what they really need is a family. It was evident that the other children were smaller and only one of them really talks. They eat well, sleep well. Again she says the language just does not have the opportunity to develop well in this environment.

So we left, a bit overwhelmed with emotions- we still had a busy day ahead of us.
Hopefully tomorrow we can get the pictures out of the mobile phone and post one or two here!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We saw the boys!!

Today was special because we could visit the boys. Their names now are Erik and Jevgenij. Just as blonde and cute as the pictures. And though the director warned us they are fiesty boys, they seemed very normal to us.

The director also went over the health histories and was open to any questions we might have. And basically there are no health concerns. They are developing well. The one area that is still a little slow is speech for both of them.

The director said that this is often the case in the institutional environment. They provide physical therapy, massage, whirlpool and speech therapy for any of the children with needs throughout the time they stay there. But the reality is that there are many different caregivers and large groups of children doing things together.

The children in the group were all overstimulated and excited by visitors and they were especially attentive to the presence of a male. Men are rarely ever seen there and of course are not among the caregivers.

The caregiver for this afternoon said she hopes that it works out for the adoption with us. The boys really need a family and the older one is asking about it every day. We also know that they have been on the list to be adopted for about a year already.

We asked about what to take for the children and about their sizes. I learned that things are measured according to height - so the label of shirts is by centimeters. So we will look for something around the size of 89 cm and 99 cm.

We got to spend time outside with them too and one rides a tricyle very well and the other one without pedals.

The older one came to the car when we were ready to leave, motioned that he wanted to come along. But we will have more visits. It sure is exciting!

We started to look at furniture too, kids beds with guards. The youngest has still been in a crib, but the director said he could probably use a regular bed with guards. But neither is ready for bunk beds.

So many things to think of and prepare. And at the same time we do have some things to prepare and take care of in our LCC roles too.

We are not giving our decision yet, and we will take advantage of some gradual time to get to know the boys. We will be praying about it, but so far we have peace.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Each day a little more news

Well, we could not have imagined that things would move along at this rate!

Yesterday with met with social workers who have been involved with the birth mother and get a little more of a picture of their situation and it answered some of the questions we had.

Today we called about going to visit the baby house (orphanage) where they live here in Klaipeda.
We will go tomorrow at 3:30, and we will be able to talk to the head doctor to be sure we understand the medical background as well. Hopefully we will learn from the caregivers what their patterns are, who they have attachments to already, and what we might expect.

It is an exciting time and we have many people around us who are excited for us as well. They have been around while we went through the grueling processes of paperwork and waiting. So they should also enjoy the results!

Today the idea of a baby shower was mentioned. We'll hold off on that just a little longer till we make a final decision about adopting these particular boys. But so far, we are optomistic!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A referral/offer!

Imagine my surprise when Friday I get a phone call from the Klaipeda social service office that they have an offer of children for us! She wants us to come see her on Monday. So at 2pm we go to hear more about the offer and the process ahead of us.

Then the same afternoon we got emails from our Lawyer telling us about the referral and attaching a number of documents in Lithuanian about our potential children. We have 30 days to give our answer- whether we accept this offer. (That is standard procedure).

The emails also came with pictures! They are two blonde haired blue eyed boys. Ages are 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. We have more to learn about them but first impressions are positive.

Wow- this is really happening!

I feel stretched already in getting my Lithuanian language back to full speed and am tired by afternoon most days. (Not sleeping full nights yet does not help either). But this will get better.

So we pray that we would have clear guidance for the next steps!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In Lithuania

We arrived 5 hours later than scheduled, but all our baggage came through even when rerouted by different flights! We were glad to see Betsy Dintaman who met us with our van and we were able to travel directly to Klaipeda. With the delay in arrival it would not have been very possible to get a good bus yet that night.

We've been settling back over the last week here. The apartment needed a little more attention that we expected. Seems it was closed up more than usual due to rain and the schedules of people we had staying here. The air was stale and musty, it was very damp and mold was growing in the bathroom.

The weather is warmer now- in the 80s many days, still enough rain to keep things quite green.

Today Sharon went to the Klaipeda office to check about our status for the adoption process. The nice director there had gotten no word but she was ready right away to call the Vilnius office to see how things stand. She found out we are number 243 out of 280 foriegn families waiting, but the number does not mean much. We are still the first to be considered once they have siblings of the kind we requested to offer. So we just wait.

And for now that is good, there are a few more things to adjust to here in the apartment and our ministry too.

Friday, August 10, 2007

looking toward Lithuania

less than 1 week to go stateside before heading on for the next chapter of life and ministry and pre-adoption waiting!

We have learned only that we are on the list and that communication will go to the Klaipeda office regarding a referral. Our lawyer in Vilnius has also asked that information go to her and she of course plans to contact us directly.

We may have some different news or options once we are back- on site. The Klaipeda office people do know that we are away for the summer. So we will also let them know when we are back!

Meanwhile we are packing and getting the last few things together, adding in a few children's books, videos even children's medicine in anticipation.

Hopefully we can post again after being settled in Lithuania in about 2 weeks!