Thursday, October 9, 2014


 What a little love!

Hannes is doing well.  
All of his birth defects have now been repaired!

He is growing...
from a toddler to a 
little boy!

We are so grateful to all who have 
followed our journey
prayed and donated 
to bring this little one home!

It is hard to think about what his life would be like
if we hadn't adopted him

He was living in Lugansk
and that part of Ukraine
has been under heavy fighting
for a while now...

The orphanage has been evacuated
the facilitator has fled
The buildings have been bombed

There is no water
no electricity
very little food

I can't even imagine what it looks like
or what the people still living there
are dealing with.

My heart hurts for all the pain and despair...

and I hug Hannes just a little bit tighter
so very glad he is with us.

There are two little ones that we met
while we were in Ukraine for 
Hannes's adoption.

They were with Hannes and we saw them
every day
for the five weeks we were there.

A little girl and her big brother.
She was around a year and her brother around 2.

They wrapped themselves around our hearts.
They have a family waiting to adopt them.
The war has interrupted their plans
and they have been waiting
and waiting
and waiting
and they just got permission to travel to them
in the place they have been evacuated to 

This is a miracle!
Their mom will be flying to Ukraine this Saturday!
You can help!

These two children are dear to our hearts
please click on this link and help them get home!

They have been in the midst of a war!
They deserve to come home to peace!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hannes had his fourth 
and final surgery 
to correct the last of his birth defects.
We are so grateful that 
we are able to give him 
the medical care that he needed.

Care that would have been difficult
in his home country
especially now,
since they are 
at war.

We never take for granted
the ease with which
life is lived here
in the U.S.

And we are so grateful
to God for His
provision to us
this little boy that we love so much!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I love being a Mother...

Nate - my oldest son with his son - Noah - age 5

Lydia - my second child - with her child Jaxon - age 1 week

Jacob - age 7

Julia - age 6

Hannes - age 3

I am so grateful this Mother's Day... 

Five beautiful children 
two amazing grandchildren. 

 I am grateful to God that He has blessed me so abundantly. 

A big hug to Dianna and Jason 
for loving my two oldest children. 

 And my everlasting thankfulness 
to the two women 
who gave my two youngest children life. 

 I do not underestimate the pain you carry
it is a privilege beyond measure 
for them to know me as mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Year Ago Today...

We arrived home with Hannes...

It was the beginning of the rest of his life...

In the year since we have been 
home with Hannes

he has had his congenital birth defects

he is healthy now!


In his orphanage he was isolated in the infirmary
due to his heart defect

he spent most of his time in a crib...

this was for his benefit, so that he wouldn't get sick
by being around the other children...

So he has spent this year
catching up

learning to laugh

learning to play

learning to eat

living his life...


 one of the boys...



out and about in the real world...

or busy at home...

being a brother...

exploring this world...

gaining skills...

water... swimming... LOVE...

playgrounds!  sliding is fun!

Christmas with your sister
is fun!

It has been a wonderful year

We are so grateful you are in our lives...

Happy One Year home Hannes!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Hannes!

Happy Birthday Mr. Hannes!

You are 3 today...

Our little Ukrainian Leprechaun!!

Born on St. Patrick's Day

 You have come a long way in the last year...

You didn't use to like touching anything remotely "icky"

and tonight you made a BIG mess with the 
cake and frosting...

still wouldn't eat it,
but we are thinking maybe next year!

Last year Daddy was with you, 
 Mommy had gone home but was traveling back to you

This year we were all together
your first birthday at home!

 We have LOVED this year with you Hannes
and we look forward to many, many more!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Julia!!

 It's hard to believe
that our princess is

You are our
full of life
little girl
and we are so glad
to have you
in our 

And for a special birthday surprise...

Captain America came to visit!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Adoption Day Hannes Ruslan!!

A year ago on March 6
a judge declared
that Hannes
was our son.

So much we have been through
this year -

Hannes has had open heart surgery
to repair his congenital heart defect
which turned out to be 
just a bit more than we had anticipated...

Hannes has had many months of 
Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Feeding Therapy
Speech Therapy
Pediatric Cardiology appointments
Pediatric Urology appointments
Pediatric Dentist appointment...
Urological surgery to correct a 
congenital defect
which turned out to be 
just a bit more than we had anticipated...

But through it all
he has grown -
5 inches
5 pounds -
and he has
advanced a year in his 
cognitive functions
and he is slowly learning
what a family is
what love is
what security is
what fun is
exploring his world
exploring relationships
figuring out how to love...
a year ago
he was an orphan
but this year
he is loved and cherished
a son
a brother
a nephew
a grandson
he has a place in the world
he belongs
and we love him so!

Happy Adoption Day Hannes Ruslan!