Thursday, December 28, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
We took Morgan to Speech and while she was in there we went to Target so the boys could pick her out a gift. Edgars thinks we are made of money and asks for everything he sees. I keep telling him that Christmas is only a few days away and that he doesn't need any of those things. He tells me "Just put it on your credit card" We have tried very hard not to give him the impression that it is all about the money. I can tell that is going to be something we continually work on this time!
I will try to update the blog more frequently now that things have calmed down! Have a Merry Christmas!
After we left the school we came home and hung out for a while. Edgars had no problem entertaining himself with Rusty, Shiloh and Bo. The dogs love him and they get plenty of play time when he is around.
Wedensday night at church the kids found out their parts in the Christmas Eve play. Edgars is going to be a wise man, Patrick a shepherd and Morgan a sheep. They are all very excited!
Over all our day was uneventful but we had a good time anyway.
Sorry that I have been slow to update our blog. Since Monday everything has been CRAZY and my To Do List is a MILE long!!
Tuesday my mom and I flew to Detroit to meet the kids. We had a great flight and got there around 11:00 and immediately started trying to find out what we could do to meet them. Sometimes in customs it gets confusing if you don't know where you are going and you can easily get lost. We were hoping to meet them down in customs like Jennifer is able to do if they fly into Atlanta. We tried to find an information desk that was shown on the directory but we had no luck. Finally we just went to one of the gates and asked someone. She told us we needed to go down to International Arrivals and they would let us in. We grabbed a bite to eat and then asked someone else. She told us that no way would they let us back there and that our best bet would be to wait for them outside of the customs area. When we got down there we asked someone else and she said that since they had a connecting flight they would not come out where we were standing but that there was a hallway on the 3rd floor where they would come out. So back we went to right where we started. We asked an airport policeman where the hallway was and he showed us. Once we found it we decided to go sit at their gate so we could at least see their airplane land. When I got up to go to the bathroom the board said they would be landing at 1:20. When I was walking back it said they had landed. Then the excitement began to build!! We were watching to see their plane come to the gate and there was a guy sitting there waiting to take that plane to Amsterdam. We started to talk to him and found out he is from Romania. He has been in the US for 8 months and doesn't like it. He said that in America everyone smiles all the time even though they don't mean it. You ask them how they are and they say they are fine even when they are not. He said that even though he can make more money in America, he would rather be with his family and in a country where people say what they mean. It is funny because Jennifer is always telling us that in Latvia they call it the "american smile", when you smile even though you don't mean it. It is sad that we hide behind our smiles and don't let people see who we really are. I apologized to the guy who was quite content to talk for hours and told him we had to go meet the kids. We walked over to the hallway and waited...and waited...and waited. Since we had received so many different answers we were afraid we were in the wrong spot. We were also afraid that they would not know where to go and go to the wrong place. But at the same time we were afraid to leave and go check anywhere else knowing that as soon as we left they would arrive!
Finally about an hour and a half after they landed we saw them walking down the hall. They couldn't see us and so we just stood trying not to be noticed since we could not get into the hallway to run to them. Finally Ilga spotted me and started to wave and then Edgars saw me. He ran and jumped into my arms and hugged me and then he hugged Nana. Then he said "What are you doing here? This isn't Atlanta!" He was very surprised! All the kids were just standing there staring at us not quite sure what was going on. After meeting everyone we asked if they were hungry. They said No. But then I said "McDonalds?" and they all instantly changed their minds. So we went to McDonalds and got fries and drinks. Then everyone had to go to the bathroom so we showed them where it was and Janis, Olegs and Edgars ran right into the girls bathroom! We realized it and started to run after them but they also realized it and ran right back out! hahaha!
There was a cool fountain in the center of the terminal and the kids were fascinated watching the water dance around. Eventually we made it to the gate to wait for our plane. When we got there Ruta realized that she left her bag. So Liza, Kristine and I trucked all the way back to the other side of the airport to McDonalds where her bag was waiting for her! Thank Goodness!
We had a good 2 hours before the plane arrived at this point so we just sat at the gate talking. The kids were cutting up and goofing off and having a good time. They were giving us chocolates and little things they had made on the plane. Ruta was cracking me up. She had a balloon and she would blow it up and put it under her shirt and say "I have a baby!" Then she would let it deflate and say "No Baby! No Baby!" Edgars didn't stop talking from the time he saw me to the time we landed in Atlanta! He kept saying "Oh Krista..." "Oh Krista.." The kids were trying to teach me how to say things in Latvian and cracking up laughing at the fact that I didn't say it right!
Shortly after taking off from Detroit Ilga and the kids were all asleep except for Edgars and Alex. I am sure Alex wanted to sleep, but he was sitting beside me and Edgars and I don't think he could sleep thru all Edgars talking! hahaha!
When we landed we took the train and then stopped at the bottom of the escalators so we could let all the families know we landed. Our phones wouldn't work so finally we just decided to go up anyway. The kids were anxious and I know the families on the other end were as well!
Edgars ran and jumped into a HUGE hug with Patrick. Then Morgan. Then Gene and Papa! It was so neat to see from the other side of things. The kids coming up meeting their families, some of them for the first time.
We left the airport and Edgars and the kids talked the whole way home. I could tell his energy level was drifting though and he went to bed with no fussing! I wasn't too far behind him because I was exhausted too!
We are so glad to have him back. Even if for only 3 weeks!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
We were of course devastated to find this out. Everyone had told us that the Orphan Court has Edgars best interest as utmost priority. We never thought for one minute that they would not see it as his best interest to be with us. It baffles me that they would think that he is better off where he is than with us. But...we have prayed and prayed, and so have so many others for God's best for Edgars. And for whatever reason, unknown to us at this time, it is not God's will for him to be with us. We are saddened but we will press on.
The orphan court did approve for him to come for Christmas. So we will take him for 3 weeks and love him up as much as we can. He will be here December 19th. My mom and I are flying to Detroit to meet the host kids and Ilga. He has no idea. I can't wait to surprise him!
When I look back over the rollercoaster last year since we first signed up to host this boy for 3 weeks last Christmas, never knowing the journey it would bring us on, I am amazed. God has changed our lives so much. I would have never guessed that bringing an 11 yr old boy into my home for 3 weeks would change my world forever. It hasn't been easy at times, many times. I have sat in my closet and cried until there were no tears left to cry. But I have also been given a much deeper joy and a compassion I never knew. Never be afraid to let God take you on a journey, even a difficult one. Because on the other side of the valley...is a mountaintop with a view you could never imagine!!!!!!!!!
Keep praying...and if you haven't already...reach out to someone else this Christmas...and find the blessings that can only be found in helping others.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Edgars went to court this past Saturday and he said it went very well. They asked him questions about us and if he wanted to live with us and go to school. He, of course, said he did and that he considers us his family. Tomorrow will be the final orphan court hearing to decide our case. The court will meet at 3 pm which is 8 am our time.
Please join us in praying that the court will rule in our favor!
I will update when we know more.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Helen asked me to go ahead and type up a letter inviting Edgars to come for Christmas and return in January. If the courts deny our request for him to come to study, then she wants to have the invitation ready so that they can at least approve him to come for Christmas. So I typed that up along with a letter stating how the courts can check on him while he is here. I am sending these papers with a family that is leaving on Wednesday.
Within just a couple of weeks, we will know the outcome. I pray that the courts rule in our favor and Edgars can finally be home!!!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
He also told me that Natalija, Edgar's foster mom, is going to court on Thursday so they can interview her about our case. One of the court's concerns was how Natalija felt about Edgar coming to be with us. I was happy to hear that at least some progress is being made. I pray we have a decision soon. I know they still have to interview Edgar. I have emailed Helen to find out if she knows when they will interview him.
The guy who helped me book our tickets was awesome! He made sure Edgar got "good seats" on all the flights. He also made sure that even though I was booking separately from the other kids that Edgar was sitting by them on every flight. It was nice to have GREAT customer service from an airline!!
Keep the prayers coming! A lot has to fall into place in the next month!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
We talked a little about his interview he will have with the Orphan Court. I told him to be honest and to tell the truth. I asked if he knew what the truth was and he said yes, it was not lying. He said "Krista, I tell them YES! YES! I want to come to America!" I explained to him that it will only be for one year. This was very hard for him to understand. He asked me why it could not be forever. I told him that the Orphan Court wants to do what is best for him and that right now if they approve it, it will only be for one year.
We were talking about Kristaps, his brother, and how he was doing when I hear a lady come and scream at the top of her lungs in Latvian. I asked Edgars what was going on and he just started to cry. I asked him what was wrong and he just kept saying "I miss you. Please bring me to America. I miss you soo much." I asked what she said but he would not tell me. Then he said he had to go. It was so hard to hang up with him crying like that. It was hard to not be able to hug him and tell him everything is okay. I just told him that I loved him and I would try to call tomorrow and that I would pray for him. What else can I do from 6000 miles away but put him in God's hands.
I tell you what, this experience, while it has brought many joys, it has also been one of the hardest experiences of my life. I will be glad when I can look back and see why God has brought us thru all of this. I know that it is coming one day. Please pray for Edgars!
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
She is going to take the documents and review them and get with the other members. Helen explained to her the urgency due to Christmas but she said that it could take as much as a month or longer...
After I got off the phone with Edgars I thought of several ways the court could check on Edgars and I sent an email to Helen. I suggested that the chaperones who come on the hosting trips could check up on him and write a report. I also suggested that she tell them that we have a webcam and she can call and see Edgars and checkup on him anytime. I also offered to have the social worker come out at whatever intervals the court would like to check on him and write a report. Hopefully these suggestions will help eliminate the court's fears.
Please pray that the court will see that this is Edgars home and where he belongs. Please pray that they will do so quickly so that he can be here for Christmas!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I also gathered all the documents for the Embassy - A letter from us explaining why we think they should allow Edgars to come, the I 20 (document from the government/school showing that he is accepted), A wonderful letter of acceptance from the school, The I-134 form (document stating that I intend to support him and he will not become the responsibility of the state), letters from our employers and the bank backing up the I-134. We got all of this notarized. We did not have to have it apostilled because it is going to the US Embassy and not an International Court.
After three trips to the school I finally got an I-20 that is correct. The first trip the lady was out and forgot to leave it. The second trip the I-20 had a school completion date of May 2007 and the back page wasn't signed. Because we weren't sure if the May 2007 date would pose a problem, we decided to have her extend it to May 2009. I am not sure if it will make a difference, but I would rather cover all the bases.
It is a lot of legwork just to get everything together. I was going to overnight the documents to Latvia which costs $100 and really isn't a true overnight but more like 2-3 days. However, my friend Wendy is leaving for Latvia today and she took the documents in her purse so that they can be hand delivered to Helen. She should arrive in Latvia tomorrow morning.
Helen will then take the Orphan Court documents and have them translated(to the tune of about $20 per page so about $200). Once the translation is complete she will go to the Head of the Orphan Court and talk again about our situation.
Please pray for us. There is a lot that has to fall into place and quickly.
First the Orphan Court has to approve for Edgars to come to go to school. Once they approve that, then we have to pay a $100 visa fee and a $100 SEVIS Fee (SEVIS is the system that keeps up with International Students). Three days after she pays the VISA fee she can make an appt with the Embassy. At the Embassy they will interview her and Edgars to find out why he wants to go to America and why they should let him go. She has to convince the Embassy that we are not trying to "immigrate" Edgars. We hope we accomplished that by the letter we sent them. But who knows...We have heard from others that the interview is tough. Once the Visa is approved then we can book his plane ticket. We would like for Edgars to fly with the Simple Obedience host children who are flying on December 19. They are booking their tickets on November 15. Ideally we would like to book his by then. Tickets are very cheap right now, only $600! If we could get his plane ticket booked soon, that will save us a considerable amount of money.
As you can see...a lot has to come together. We know that God has a plan in this and we are trusting for his perfect timing. Please pray that things go favorably and we can bring Edgars home. I am not sure how I can bring him again and have to put him back on a plane in January. Pray for our strength and our patience.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I rewrote the letter to the Orpahn Court and emailed it to Helen. She gave it her stamp of approval. Now all I have to do is get all the documents gathered up and on their way. Helen didn't think I would need to have everything notarized and apostilled but I think we may anyway just in case. I would hate for the process to be slowed even more by something as small as a stamp that costs $3. Also the school mailed me the I 20 and a letter of acceptance last Friday and I have not received it. My notary mailed me some documents I had forgotten last Friday and I have not received those either. I called the post office to inquire about the delay but they were no help. It seems like roadblocks every way we turn. So tomorrow I will go hand pick up the I-20 and I guess I will go back to the bank and get another copy of the letter and get it notarized again. Oh the joy of paperwork!
Edgars is doing fine. He is out of school this week and loving having all day to play and goof off. Even though it is very cold every time I call he is outside playing! At least he is getting a break from the rough time he has been having at school lately.
Well..until next time...keep the prayers coming!
Monday, October 09, 2006
Helen called this morning to let us know that she did go to the orphan court this morning. The lady she talked to in the department for Foster children was not sure the process of bringing a child on student visa. She said she would have to consult with her colleagues before giving Helen any kind of answers on whether this would be possible. Helen seemed confident because she said the lady seemed especially sympathetic to the situation. We should hear something back from them in the next day or so.
We are still waiting to hear from Furtah about the I 20. I will call them tomorrow if I do not hear from them today. Other than that we are just gathering the documents we think they will need and waiting.
Please pray for us during the waiting...its hardest for me. However I know that we are going to have quite a testimony to share when we get on the other side of all of this!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Until next time...
Sunday, October 01, 2006
We had lots of people send Edgars birthday cards. He said that everytime his foster mom Natalija goes to the mail there is more mail for him from America! He was so excited! I can just imagine how special that must make him feel to have so many people think of him on his birthday!!
Morgan sang to him "Happy Birthday to you, you live in a zoo, you look like a Monkey and you smell like one too!" He didn't know what to think about that! He said "Krista, she called me a monkey??" haha! I had to explain it was just a silly song. He said "Yes, Morgan is a silly goose!"
Tomorrow he has to go back to the boarding school so we are hoping we will be able to call him on his official birthday on his teacher's cell phone. It is very hard being so far away. I want to be with him on his birthday. Hopefully next year we will be!!
As many of you know we met this wonderful boy thru an orphan hosting program. It changed our lives! If you are interested in hosting you can contact Jennifer Peters at Jennifer@simplyforlatvia.org or visit the Simple Obedience website. The winter hosting is coming up soon and there are some wonderful kids available to host. Even if you are not interested in adoption you can host a child for 3 weeks. It is life changing for the child and for you!
So far there is no updates on the process with the Student Visa. We are just waiting to hear if the school gets approved. It has only been 2 weeks so I am trying to be patient!!
Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers and support!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Edgars is doing pretty good. He spends Monday thru Friday and school and then comes home on Friday afternoons. I had an interesting time trying to call his school for the first time this week. Natalija, his foster mom had given me two phone numbers to call. I called the first one on Tuesday and said "Edgars Ludzu" which means "Edgars please" and the lady said something in return that I did not understand. So I just repeated myself "Edgars Ludzu." Well, I guess she realized we couldn't communicate because she hung up on me. I called the other number and got no answer. So I gave up for that day. On Wednesday I decided to try again. So Jennifer helped me to figure out how to say in Latvian "Do you speak English?" And "I only speak a little Latvian" So once again I called the first number and I said "Hello, Do you speak English" (in Latvian of course) and she said "No" and so I said in Latvian "I only speak a little Latvian" and she said "Edgars?" and I said "Yes Yes Ludzu!" and she just started laughing and started talking to someone in the background and laughing and then they just hung up on me. I was so defeated. This Language barrier is HARD! I was trying to find someone who could help me find out how to talk to Edgars but noone was available. So finally I decided to try the second number. So same scenario...I call and when this lady answers, I say in Latvian "Hello, Do you speak English?" And she says "Oh, yes, of course" and I was SOO Thankful! I said "Good, Good! Thank You!" She says "Edgars?" and I said "Yes, Yes" and she says "One minute"
Finally I got to talk to him! He told me that his daytime teacher was the one I called first, she doesn't speak any English and she isn't at the school at the time I am calling. His nighttime teacher is who I will be calling and she speaks English! YEAH! I was so happy! He says he likes school, he likes his teachers. He said that school is very easy and he can do everything they ask of him. This is apparently a big turn around from his previous school! The entire time we were on the phone his friends were in the background saying "Kreeeeeeesta! Kreeeesta" He kept saying "They like your name!" hehe!
Gene and I both got to talk to him on Thursday. He said some kids were kicking him and chased him up a tree and then he got in trouble for being in the tree! We were so upset. I am sure he is being picked on because of his size. Me and Gene were both like We HAVE GOT TO GET HIM OUT OF THERE!
I know we can't shelter him from everything, but I hope we can give him a better environment!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Keep the prayers coming!
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Helen confirmed that Edgar is starting a new school on September 4th. It is a boarding school but it is in Riga. He will stay there during the week and go home on Fridays. This is better than last year's school where he only came home for summer and Christmas! I asked her if they would be refrigerating his medicine and she said she would make sure they do! Edgar seems excited about starting school which suprised me. He is usually opposed to anything involving school. This school really seemed to make an impression on him. Helen said that it is a new type of school in Riga and doesn't seem to be as formal. Schools in Latvia are apparently a lot more formal than American schools. Fun is not in the schools' vocabulary. Hopefully Edgar will do well at this school!
I have gotten accustomed to talking to him and seeing him on Skype almost every day. It is going to be hard to only get to talk to him on weekends.
As for an update on the Student Visa - The Language school is still waiting on approval. Helen said that once the school has approval she will go the head of the Orphan court and discuss the situation. This way we will know how things are going to go before we even have an official court date. We are all praying that things will go smoothly and he can be home by Christmas!
I will keep you posted. Keep praying! Phil 4:6-7
Monday, August 21, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Just yesterday I got an email from the principal of The Language School stating that she had received the money to apply to accept international students and she would be starting the application process today. Typically the process takes 90 days. So it is looking like November before the school can issue an I-20 for us to send to Latvia. We are hoping that this will allow us enough time to bring him here by Christmas and he can start school after the Christmas holidays.
I will keep you updated as we know more but right now it is just a waiting game!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Last year a survey was taken of over 1000 children in Latvia. Here are the results:
- 54% of surveyed children do not have enough to eat
- 62% do not have sufficient clothing
- 44% don't have electricity, heating, hot water or cold water at home
- 39% said they cannot turn to doctors for help with medical needs
- 52% cannot afford to buy the medicine they need
- 80% live in families where parents/guardians drink heavily
- 79% said they don't wish to study
- 53% don't have the study materials they need
- 66% said they don't have anyone to talk to, to share their thoughts with, ask advice of
- 32% think of commiting suicide
- The older an orphan gets, the chances for his/her adoption drastically decrease.
- Each year many orphans between 15 to 18-years-old leave the orphanages.
- Most of these orphans have no one to turn to for help.
- About 10% of them will commit suicide after leaving the orphanage before their 18th birthday.
- 60% of the girls will end up in prostitution.
- 70% of the boys will enter a life of crime.
- Only 27% of these youth will find work.
From an article titled "Plight of Orphaned Children in Latvia":
Latvia is one of the smallest countries in Eastern Europe and also one of the poorest, with children often bearing the brunt of chronic poverty. Since the fall of communism, the ex Soviet Republics have struggled to move towards true democracy and a free economy. Living standards have declined dramatically over the past decade and many families Â particularly those with single parents - are living below the poverty line.
Amid these tough social and economic conditions, some mothers cannot cope and either abandon their children or give them up to orphanages. Hundreds of thousands of children in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries currently live in such institutions.
These post-Soviet childrenÂs homes and orphanages are overcrowded, run-down, and under-funded. Even in some of the Âbest equippedÂ orphanages, children are undernourished and physically small for their age. Education standards vary wildly due to limited budgets and other priorities, and children have very few life or work skills to enable them to integrate back into society. Most lack the proper education needed to be admitted to the secondary educational facilities, or they drop out quickly if they manage this feat due to the pressures of providing for themselves without proper support. The majority of youths have nowhere to go once they reach the age of 18 and must exit the only home that most have ever known. A life in the streets leading to crime, prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse is the destiny of most of these young people.
These orphans are easy prey for sex and slave traffickers. According to Amnesty International, young women and girls, often vulnerable because of economic deprivation or for having already been physically abused, are easy targets. They dream of a better life, which the traffickers promise when they offer them "work" in the West. Instead of getting a proper job, the women and girls find themselves trapped, enslaved, forced into the sex industry.
Trafficked women and girls are exposed to a series of human rights abuses, including abduction, deprivation of liberty and denial of freedom of movement, torture and ill treatment, including psychological threats, beatings and rape. To escape their devastating life, suicide is unfortunately the only option some of these children feel is available to them.
"We know what love is because Christ gave His life for us. We should give our lives for our brothers. What if a person has enough money to live on and sees his brother in need of food and clothing? If he does not help him, how can the love of God be in him? My children, let us not love with words or in talk only. Let us love by what we do and in truth."
1 John 3:16-18
Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
The kids made it home safely to Latvia. Edgars called me on Skype this morning. He said the flight was bumpy and there were a lot of tears. There were a lot of tears back in America too!!
It was hard to leave the airport. Hard to come home to a house that felt empty to all of us. Tears came quickly for Patrick and Morgan at bedtime, and for me and Gene, too!!
We are just holding out hope that Edgars will be back in our arms soon. Helen is going to work on getting information from the orphan court on the Student Visa and we are going to work on this end to get him enrolled in school. Once the school gets approved to be able to bring him, then we can go forward. For now we just wait. Patience is going to be our challenge over the next few months. Thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. The phone calls and emails of support over the past couple of days have meant the world to us. We are so thankful to have wonderful friends!
Monday, July 24, 2006
Today I took Eddie (as he likes to be called) to Walmart to pick out some gifts for his brother, Kristaps and his friend, Serges back in Latvia. He also got a couple of things to keep him occupied and some snacks for the plane. We picked up the last of his pictures and finished up his photo album. Then we cooked Shishkabobs and corn on the cob (or popcorn as he calls it) which were YUMMY! The kids played together a lot this evening and then finished it off with Eddie taking a BIG bubble bath! I have to fight back tears to recount the day because tomorrow night at this time, he won't be here.
Last night he said "Krista, are you my mommy?" And I said "Yes, I am your American mommy." He said "Except you don't drink, or smoke or hit" So I said "No, but sometimes me and Gene disagree and we get mad at each other, but we work it out and everything is okay." and he said "Yes, you use your words and not your hands."
Part of the purpose of Frontiers for Children is to show these kids that there is another way than the way their lives were with their biological parents. That conversation showed me that he realized there is another way. Not that our family is perfect by any means, but we have Jesus and we have love and that makes all the difference!!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Gene's family came up today and we went to the park and grilled out. We had a great day. Edgar managed to step in a nest of yellow jackets and got stung three times. It was scary, but he is okay. We thought for a little while we might have to take him to get a shot, but we gave him Benadryl and he was okay.
We had a long talk at bedtime about when he goes home. I asked him to keep reading his Bible and praying every night just like we do here. And I asked him to remember that when he doesn't have anyone else, he has God. I hope that he will remember that when he has hard times and we can't be there to wrap our arms around him.
Going thru this process has been probably one of the hardest things that I have ever gone thru in my life. But I know that God is carrying us thru it. It is truly life changing and no matter the outcome, I am grateful for the experiance. After all, it is in the valleys that we grow.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
On the way home from Columbus my van was acting weird. The dash kept shaking on and off and it was concerning me, but thankfully I made it home without issue. When I was on my way to meet Gene and the kids for dinner my van started acting really weird and even though I had the gas pedal to the floor it wouldn't go over 20 mph. At Christmas my van acted up and it was just a small part that needed to be replaced so we thought it was that part. Gene ordered the part and bought some stuff to clean it. We ate dinner and then while they went back to the gym I went home to get some work done. I didn't get half a mile from the gym when my van wouldn't go anymore. The engine was running fine, but it might as well have been in neutral because no matter how much I pushed the gas, the engine revved but the car didn't go. Gene thinks it is the transmission. We had to have the van towed to a shop. Its only 3 years old so I can't believe the transmission would go out already. I am praying it is a small part that is going to cost very little.
Everything has been falling into place for us to bring Edgar on a Student Visa. A $3000 transmission job will seriously hinder us being able to do that.
I was teasing Edgar and asking him what he was doing to my van since at Christmas while he was here it broke down and it has been fine since then until now. He laughed and told me a crazy story about him opening his dad's hood and unhooking some wires so his dad's car wouldn't work and then when his dad would leave he would hook them back up, then a few days later unhook it again until finally he got caught. I asked if he got in trouble and he said no, his dad was very happy.... Sometimes we don't know what of his stories to believe, but I made him promise not to do that to our cars anyway! hahaha!
The next few days are going to be very emotional for all of us, add to that the stress of car trouble. We just have to remember to keep our eyes focused upward and He is going to take care of us!
Keep us in your prayers!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Last weekend we went camping and had a lot of fun. Edgars caught 12 fish and he has asked us for a fishing pole to take back to Latvia. We went swimming at Lake Allatoona and the kids wore Gene out - standing on him, climbing on him and using him to catapult them into the water! We all got a lot of sun and Edgars is very proud of his tan!! :-)
Monday we went to the dentist and Edgars got his tooth pulled and three fillings. He even got to put his tooth under his pillow and found a surprise from the tooth fairy this morning! He said he saw me do it. I promised him it wasn't me! (It wasn't! It was Gene! hehe)
Then we went to Stone Mountain for the afternoon/evening. It was hot, but we had a great time. The night finished off with the laser show. Edgars loved it! He didn't care much for the pictures on the mountain but he LOVED watching the building behind us where the lasers came out.
Pray for us this week. Emotions are running high. I can feel myself start to tear up whenever I think about it. I have noticed the tears are coming a little quicker for Edgars as well. It isn't going to be easy, but I am glad for the experience all the same!
I uploaded the pictures thru last week on Photoshow if you want to take a peek!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Last night our small dog Bo got locked in the boys room. While he was locked in there he had an accident and pooped on the carpet. I cleaned it up and everything was good. Then later when Edgar was praying he said "Thank you God that Bo pooped on the carpet" I started giggling. He said "What Krista?" I said "Why did you thank God that Bo pooped?" He said "Krista, we are supposed to thank God for the good and the bad!!!" He is right. Even the poop on the carpet! :-) At least we have carpet for him to poop on!!
Then later that same night, I was praying and telling God that I really needed a word from him about what we were supposed to do and if we should bring him on a visa and if so how would we pay for it, etc... He gave me Matthew 17. I was reading it and it wasn't making any sense. Then I got to Matthew 17:20. He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
I read the note at the bottom and it said "If you are facing a problem that is too big for you. Take your eyes off the mountain and place it on the God who has the power to move that mountain." It gave me chills! Point taken, God! I know you are big enough. I'm moving out of the way, You can do your work! :-)
Monday, July 10, 2006
Wow! It is hard to believe that two weeks are already gone. The time is going by entirely too fast! We had a great weekend and Monday. Friday night we had a hosting event which was a game night. I don't think any of us actually played any games, but we had a good time. Edgar got to spend time with some friends and he enjoyed it. Unfortunately there were not any interested families that came. We were a little disappointed about that.
Saturday we went to our encounter group Bible Study and then two friends of Patrick and Morgan's came over and ended up spending the night. Yes, we had 5 kids! They all had a great time. While they were outside playing Edgars saw a lightning bug. He had never seen one before and so Madison took him outside to try to catch one. The next thing we knew he came in screaming at the top of his lungs. Apparently while they were out there a herd of deer came walking thru the woods behind our house. They were both very shocked by this! Edgars wanted Gene to go shoot them! haha! We had to explain that we would get in big trouble for that!! The kids had a hard time going to sleep because they couldn't stop giggling, but finally around midnight they settled down. Sunday we went to church and then to Pump it Up for a birthday party. The kids all had a blast! It wore them AND us out! Today we took the kids for a surprise trip and drove to Chattanooga. We went to the Tennesse Aquarium and then to the Imax. Edgars LOVED every minute of all of it. He was fascinated by the animals. He kept asking us if he could live there. He kept saying "I love this! I love this". At the butterfly center part he got a butterfly on his finger and held it and we got some great pictures. He had a blast and so did we!
He cracked us up during the Imax. It was 3d and he was trying to grab everything that came at him. He was trying to feed the "fish" his popcorn and talking to them. It was so funny!
No one wanted to come home. But tomorrow it is back to the daily grind of work and everything.
We go back to the dentist for visit number 2 on Wedensday!
Thanks for your prayers! Keep them coming!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Dr Mike said that Edgars has 7 cavities and one tooth that needs to be pulled. He treated the worst tooth today. It truly needed a root canal but they are not equipped to do that. He said he treated it with a medicated filling which should give the tooth a 50% chance of survival without a root canal. We have to go back for three more visits for fillings and to get the tooth pulled. Edgars was very brave, as usual. He's a tough kid!
When we were on our way to dinner, Edgars told me that they put something over his nose and it made everything funny. I tried to explain the concept of laughing gas! He said Narnia was very funny. Last time I checked, that wasn't a comedy, so I am guessing the laughing gas worked very well! :-)
Tomorrow we go to an event for interested families to meet the kids. Please pray for Edgars to find a family to call his own!
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Edgars doctor's visit went very well. They weighed him (52 lbs) and measured him (51 inches). Even for his height he is underweight and for his age he is VERY small(In the 3rd percentile). He cried when he saw the chart. It broke our hearts. He was hoping so much that they would tell him that he was closer to where he should be. They drew his blood and are going to run some tests and will get back with us about those. The doctor said based on his age, weight, height, etc he should be taking 1.1 mg of the Genotropin and he is only taking .8 so we will begin increasing that tonight. We also found out during the visit that while he is at the boarding school they are not refrigerating the medicine. The doctor said that this can make the medicine much less effective, if at all. So all these daily injections could have been no good because the medicine was ruined by not being refrigerated! It is so frustrating that the people at his school do not see the importance of maintaining this medicine. Hopefully Helen can talk to them about the importance of the medicine being refrigerated and that they have to make sure he takes it EVERY day! I will update the blog when we hear back from the doctor in regards to his tests.
I promised Edgars that I would take him for a surprise when we were done at the doctor if he was VERY brave. So when we left we went to Walmart to let him pick a small toy. He has gotten in the habit of saying "I Need" about everything. I have been trying to teach him the difference between "Want" and "Need". When we were leaving Walmart Gene pointed to something and said "I need this". Edgars hollered over to him "Papa Gene...want NOT need!" hahaha I told him at least I have taught him something! :-) It gave us a good laugh!
We had a good 4th of July. We hung around the house and relaxed and then that afternoon went to the Braves game. It was neat to see the huge flag that they spread out across the field. When the F-18 fighter jets flew over it scared Edgars to death! The game was going good and then the rain hit. At first it was only a light rain but then it got harder and harder. We waited around for a couple of hours but finally decided to give up. The kids were very disappointed to miss the fireworks! Luckily we went Monday night to the fireworks in Kennesaw. They didn't get 4th of July fireworks but 3rd of July is close enough!
Hopefully we can get by Stone Mountain while Edgars is here. The fireworks after the Laser show are pretty good!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Gene and I are worn out but we are having a blast! We haven't slowed down since last Monday. I am hoping after tomorrow we can hang out at home some! I have got Edgars (or Eddie as he now wants to be called) saying "Chill Out" and that is exactly what we need to do this week!!
Friday we left at 10 am and did not get home until 10:30 at night!! We picked up Helen (Edgar's Children's Home Director) and Kara (Jennifer's Daughter) and we went to US Play for bowling. We had a good time bowling and we all bowled really well (Thanks to those bumper lanes!) haha
When we got done bowling we went to "Chicken and Cheese" for Pizza and games. Then we went to Kennesaw Mountain for a little while. Finally we ended up at the church for the Vacation Bible School Ceremony. Patrick, Morgan and Edgars all did wonderful on their performances. We were very proud of them!
Saturday morning we got up bright and early and headed to Columbus. We went with Nana and Papa to Hollywood Connection which is sort of like an indoor amusement park. Edgars loved the rock climbing wall and EVERYONE was amazed at how fast he went up the hardest one. The lady that worked there said most people can't make it up it. Edgars made it up in less than a minute. I am beginning to think he is part monkey! After Hollywood Connection we went back to Nana and Papa's for the LONG awaited Shishkabobs! They were delicious!! Then we went to the movie Cars with my brother and his family. It was a cute movie!
Sunday we went and had lunch with Mamom and Grandaddy and then headed home. On the way home Gene stopped at a fireworks store and got a bag full of fireworks (the legal kind). The kids had a blast last night lighting them! Every kid in the cul-de-sac came out to join in the fun!
It was fun but it was hard to get the kids settled down after that, especially Edgars! I learned how to say "Edgars, please go to sleep" in Latvian and when he doesn't listen to me in English I start using Latvian. For some reason then he knows I am serious, and listens. :-)
Things are going great and I can't believe it has already been almost a week! Tomorrow we are going to the Braves game and Fireworks and Wed we get up VERY early to go to downtown Atlanta to the Endocrinologist.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Edgars woke up bright and early his first morning in America! He had a great day! We went to the free summer movie and saw Yours Mine and Ours which was really cute. Then we went shoe shopping. Edgars found some Hummer underwear and that made his day!!
We discovered that Edgars medicine is working to help him grow in one area. His FEET! He has grown 2 shoe sizes since Christmas!!! We went to McDonalds and Edgars ate two hamburgers, some chicken nuggets and fries. I took him for a much needed haircut. Then when we came home, there was no slowing down. It was outside to play in the slip and slide, the sprinkler and ride our bikes around the block. Then cook dinner, then eat, then off to Vacation Bible School! I should lose 10 lbs by the time he leaves! he he!
Also, another praise - God is so Good - Edgars' VBS teacher is also a hygenist at the dentist where my kids go. I had called to see if they would see him and they said they could clean his teeth for $110! I was like that is a discount?? Well she talked to one of the dentists and he has agreed to clean his teeth and do any work during his lunch hour for FREE! First the endocrinologist and now the dentist! God is really taking care of us!!
I have found (so far) that hosting is easier the second time around. We didn't really have any getting to know you period. It is as if he never left. Someone asked me the other day if it was going to make it worse that we brought him and we can't adopt him. But the way I look at it...I would rather bring him twice a year for 3-4 weeks than never at all...
Keep praying! It is obviously working!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
We got to the airport about 3:15 today and the kids did not come up the escalator until about 6:30! We had no idea where they were and why they were late. Patrick and Morgan were VERY restless asking every other minute "Where is he?". Finally someone shouted "There they are!" Edgars saw me and came running and jumped into my arms! It was a wonderful moment!!!
He talked the entire way to dinner. We asked him where he wanted to eat and he said "Chicken and Cheese". I was like Where? He said "You know the big mouse?" Finally it occured to me - Chuck E Cheese!! We talked him out of there, promising to go there another night. We ended up at Golden Corral instead. Edgars told me that he had 3 cups of coffee, 3 cokes and a Mr Pibb today. That explains why he has been HYPER!!! After we ate dinner we came home and Edgars reunited with Rusty, Shiloh and Bo. It took us a while to wind down but after a bubble bath and Bible story he was ready to go to bed. He didn't want to do his shots before bed. He told me he has not done them in 7 days because they hurt badly. I hope this endocrinologist can give us some answers!
Tomorrow we will get some new shoes (the ones we bought him at Christmas are well past time to throw out) and a hair cut! He said he wanted an American Haircut! (I'm not sure what the difference is, but whatever! )
Keep us in your prayers and especially the other families who are getting acquainted with children they have never met and speak little to no English!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
There are no strangers, there are no outcasts, there are no orphans of God. So many have fallen but Hallelujah...there are NO orphans of God!
Sometimes I get so frustrated that we can't adopt Edgars. It breaks my heart to think of him alone 6000 miles away and I can not wrap my arms around him. That song was a reminder to me that even though he has been orphaned by his biological parents...Hallelujah...he is not an Orphan of God!!!!! And as hard as it is to imagine, God loves him even more than we do!
Pray for us...3 more days...and then at least for four weeks we can wrap our arms around him and fill him up with love before that dreaded day when we have to say goodbye again.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Thank you all for your prayers! Keep sending them! They are working!
We had our final hosting meeting on Saturday night and it went well. We got to meet the other families who are hosting. Unlike last time we hosted, the other families are not from our church. They are also all new to the hosting experience. We got to share with them a little bit of our experience and let them know that even though it is not always easy, it is very worth it.
Karina, Edgars sister, is flying out today to Belize on a mission trip. Please keep her in your prayers. She will not get to see Edgars this summer, but we are hoping she can at least talk to him a few times. She is also looking into getting a webcam so they can talk via internet and see each other. If you have not heard of Skype, it is wonderful! You can talk to other people who have Skype for free and if you have a webcam you can see each other. If they don't have Skype, the long distance rates are very cheap. Skype is free to download and we spent about $20 for a webcam and a microphone. Edgars home has this set up also and we are able to talk to him and see him! It is very neat!
Please pray for us as we prepare for his arrival. Pray that the children and chaperones have a safe trip. Pray especially for Edgars that he will find a forever family while he is here!! He needs a Mommy and Daddy to call his own!
Thanks for going with us on this journey!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
We had our yard sale today and it was very successful! Thank you to all of you who donated! We raised about $350 to help with the cost of Edgars trip! We are excited but also GLAD that it is over. We are tired and hot!! Several people inquired about the hosting program. People were generous and told us to keep the change. One guy bought $7 worth of stuff and gave a $20 and told us to keep the change. It is so neat to see the kindness of complete strangers!
Also, we met a lady who referred us to a pediatric endocrinologist who she feels sure will see Edgars. Gene is going to call the doctor on Monday. Pray she is willing to see him for reduced fees or even better - No fees!
Thanks for all of your prayers! We will keep you updated as things happen - 17 more days....
Friday, June 09, 2006
Gene and I figured we would jump on the blogging bandwagon to keep you posted about our hosting experience. You can check back here frequently for updates.
I will give a little background for those of you who weren't with us thru our experience so far.
After much prayer we were led to host an 11 year old boy named Edgars for three weeks last Christmas thru a program at our church. (You can see pictures on our photoshow website)
When we signed up to host, we had no idea what an impact it would have on our family. When that little boy came up the escalator at the airport, we fell in love. Of course there were hard times. There was the morning that we couldn't figure out what he wanted to eat for breakfast. There were the times he tested us to try to see if we meant it when we said that we would love him no matter what. There were the times he got mad and stormed to his room because he didn't like our rules. But there were also the times when he made us laugh so hard our sides hurt. Like when he hid in the laundry basket and scared me to death. And when he got to ride in a Hummer, his favorite car. There were also the times he made us cry because we could tell how hard his 11 years of life have been and how much he wants a family. Then there was the first time he prayed at night before we went to bed. We don't have a clue what he said, but it made us cry anyway. We got to watch him reunite with his sister who he had not seen in 2 years which was awesome. And then before we knew it the day came when we had to say goodbye. When he walked away Patrick called after him "Goodbye, You were the best friend I ever had". I nearly lost it. After only three weeks it felt like my child was being ripped from my arms when they took him onto that airplane. You see we thought that when Edgars came that we would change his life. Instead, he changed ours. And we have not been the same since.
We knew going into the hosting that I was too young to adopt Edgars. Latvian law states that both parents must be at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting. We tried anyway. Helen, Edgars Children's Home director at Hope for Children went to the Dept of Family and Children in Latvia but sadly they declined our request. We knew that God has called us to take care of Edgars even if we have to be his family from 6000 miles away. We have called him every week since he left. He looks forward to the calls and so do we. He breaks our heart every time when he tells us he misses us and he wants to come to America.
When noone signed up to host Edgars for the summer hosting we knew that God had called us to bring him. Although we were sad in one way that no one who COULD adopt him was going to host him, we were excited in another way that we get to spend 4 weeks with him!
We are praying that this summer a family will come forward who will want to adopt Edgars. He is a wonderful little boy who has so much to offer.
He found out this week that he is coming with us and he is very excited! All he can talk about is coming to America! He wants to eat Shishkabobs! That was his favorite food when he was here! He ate more that one night than he ate the entire time he was here.
We are having a fundraising yardsale tomorrow to help raise funds. Thank you to the MANY MANY people who donated lots and lots of items! We are so blessed to have wonderful friends!
Also, we found out yesterday that someone has covered the entire remaining cost of the hosting. What a HUGE blessing!!! We do not know who donated the money but we are praying that God blesses them abundantly!!!!!
Edgars flight will arrive around 4:45 on June 27. We can't wait to wrap our arms around him!! Please continue to pray that God will prepare us and him. Also, we are trying to find an endocrinologist who is willing to see Edgars at a reduced price. Please pray that we can find one. We believe the daily shots he is taking may be unnecessary. We would love to get him some more tests to see for sure.
We love you all!