Wednesday, November 30, 2011

PRAISE THE LORD!!

We have some GREAT NEWS!!!
We are now UNDER $10,000 as our financial need!

Thank you JESUS and THANK YOU who donated!

I cannot tell you how much it means to have the love, prayers and support of those around us in this process.

God is good and His love endures forever!
He will provide as He says in His word!
Romans 8:28 says He will work ALL things together for those who are called according to His purpose!
Thank you Lord for calling us and thank you Lord for continuing to provide.

Step by step.

Day by Day.
Dollar by dollar, he provides.

God is so good!

We had a need for a new nebulizer for our kiddos that would work here in UA.
We posted about it and within the day had a donation in our account to go purchase the new machine!
It was perfect timing too because, little Lexi and Ayden both needed to use it last night and have used it several times today.
I'm not thankful for the sickness, but in ALL THINGS I am thankful!
I am thankful for him showing his love and provision yet again in this!
I am thankful for the dear friend who donated the funds for the machine and I'm thankful we have a facilitator who would take us to the pharmacy and get it with us!
I am so thankful!
Let me tell you something else God did..
Just last night, I was taking my medicine and realized I was getting low on it and started to fret.
Instead I prayed and told God, Daddy, I'm getting low on my medicine.
I'm not sure how I'd even go about finding it here, if you could make a way for me to get some before I run out, that would be great!
I woke up to an email from a family in America that got their travel date for NEXT WEEK, they will be in Kiev and they emailed to specifically ask if there was anything they could bring for us from the states!
Ok, I am in tears just writing all of this!

I was so happy to read that message!
We were also able to ask them for a couple of other things for the kids schooling that they might be able to bring as well, but let me tell you, it is just so great to feel the love of my Father in Heaven, even in the little things.
It all matters to Him.

He cares about my sick babies.
He cares about me.
He cares about my kids in the orphanage.
He hasn't failed us yet and He promises in His word that he will never fail us!
He will never leave us and he will never forsake us!
He will provide and he will sustain!
Sometimes, that help may come at the very last second.
But still, it comes.
We are in the final stages of this adoption.
We have run the race and we are in the final lap, we can see the finish line.
There is a huge sum of money that is between us and the finish line, but I know something else..
I know that my ABBA FATHER is RUNNING THIS RACE WITH ME!
He is right here with us and he is carrying us through when our legs are too weary and our hearts to faint to keep running this race.
When our eyes are blinded by the mountain in front of us, He sees past it and he is here with us and there on the other side. 
He is cheering us on and he is providing every. step. of. the. way.

We TRUST YOU GOD!
We love you and thank you for providing!

The updated need is now: $9,942.00!!

We will make it to the finish line, and oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be!

All thanks, praise, glory and honor will be given to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who has made all things possible!

Thank you Lord for the sponsors of this race you are sending our way! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

SDA Meeting...

We finally got the paper we were waiting for..
The official results from the committee.
This paper was long overdue for our process in our mindsets anyway.
We picked it up and it said indeed that there would be no seperation and that we would need to adopt both kids.
We were ok with this, more than ok with this.
We were happy to have another blessing from the Lord.
What we were not so happy about is that this meant we had to start the paperwork process all over.
When we went home for the 2 weeks, we got our USCIS approvals updated, fingerprints updated and our homestudy updated.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!
We got back here and turned all of that paperwork over to our facilitator and prayed for the best.
We just needed the last document from the committee to proceed and now we have it.
It's time to move forward!
We went and filed the documents with the new petition to adopt both kids.
We anxiously awaited news...
day after day after day...
and, nothing.
No news.
This is so draining to have to wait and wait and know nothing and be able to do nothing for days on end.
Day after day we'd ask and hear nothing back.
We got a call last Monday morning telling us we needed to go to the SDA to find out about our date.
The process now is that we had to submit for a new date, get the date, go to the appointment, get the referral, go meet Misha and see Aliyah and then start the paperwork for court, go to court.. etc.
So, this was step one.
FINALLY!
We were so excited about this meeting, but I just had a pit in my stomach that something was just not right.
I tried to put it out of my mind and just go.
It was just not an easy feeling.
We got there and waited on the same brown couch in the same narrow hallway as we had many times before.
Finally, the clerk came down the stairs with her big appointment book in hand, she laid it out and asked us to sign on our designated spots and said this is for the appointment, not sure how things will work with these kids but that this is an appointment in general, not for our specific children. She couldn't do that.
WHAT?!
WHY?!?!
 When is this for and what is wrong?
Why not for our kids?
There were no answers being given.
Emotions were rising and impatience was growing stronger.
What do you mean you are not sure how this is going to go?
You gave us the referral for her in the first place and we were told about little brother and accepted him too!
You should have known about him, the inspector did, he was on the registry, he was in the process, we did our part, we went home, redid papers, came back across the world again and now you don't know what to do about your mistake?!
The lady got upset with us and said that there is a 6 month line for children under 6 years of age and we were not in that line. 
No, we weren't but we got a referral for a 9 yr old and she had a 4 yr old brother attached to her and you should have known that.
We were told to choose if we would take both or neither and we said both!
What do you mean you may or may not give us the referral for both kids?
We could not believe what we were hearing!!
How could this be happening?
It was your mistake, we did our parts, now fix it!
We asked when the date was and were told December 5th.
TWO WEEKS.
Are you kidding me?
2 more weeks of stand still?
2 more weeks of delay?
2 more weeks to wait for you to figure out what to do to fix this with no real guarantees?
We've been down this road before.
We had our hearts broken like this before.
A mistake on their part changed our situation with Anastasia and we had to wait 6 months and then right before we got here, they had given another family her referral and she had to go through the agonizing process of deciding who she beleived and what was the best choice for her.
She had to wrestle with her thoughts for a week with this other family not knowing if we were truly coming or if she should go with this family that was here right now.
We got this devestating news just about a week before we were on our way to get her.
We trusted God anyway and came.
We fell in love with our daughter and our son when we found out about him.
We don't want to travel this road again.
We can't handle this much heart break.
God, please help us!
We pointed out that this should not be an issue as it was their mistake at which point the clerk got very upset with us and said you weren't supposed to know he was in the registry.
My thoughts were, but you were to know.
The inspector knew and we were told as it is our right to know.
Yes, we know you made a mistake, we don't want to do anything bad to you for it, we just want to adopt these kids and be done.
She was so upset though.
She stormed off after we signed for our date and that was the end of it.
So, we have a date.
December 5th.
For now, we wait.
We pray and we trust and we wait.
We were obviously upset about this and the kids were all asking over and over what this meant and why this was happening..
Unfortunately, Mommy and Daddy didn't have the answers this time.
We don't know!
We can only hope and pray that the lady will go to the director on our behalf and present the details of our situation and that there will be some way for grace to be given and us to be able to proceed on December 5th.
With things being at a stand still for another week, I figured I would get on here and update you all as to what's been going on and what you could pray for.
We appreciate all of the prayers you all have sent up on our behalf!
First of all, we know when doing God's will and walking in faith, you are prone to attacks of the enemy.
We have felt this on every single front possible.
We woke up on Thanksgiving day to find that our business account had been hacked.
Ayden, Lexi and I have all been sick.
Bryan had a health scare the other night and passed out on the floor, hit his head and started seizing.
Our dogs were fighting back home.
Our nebulizer got fried.
The kids have been argumentative and just bickering with each other quite a bit.
A couple of the kids have been having issues with lying.
We've been attacked on just about every level possible.
I'm not saying all of that to complain but to tell you things you can pray for.
We've also had lots of good things happen.
We've had a great place to stay where we feel safe and at home.
We have been able to do lots of school work and the kids are all doing great on that front.
We've been able to get medicine for Ayden, Lexi and I to help us feel better and we are all on the mend.
Bryan came out of his seizure episode fine and is doing well with no after effects.
We have found a church to attend that we love and are so welcomed at.
We've been able to get our accounts straightened out back home.
We are still in the dispute process for some of the transactions so pray for that still. 
We were able to find a nebulizer that if we need to purchase it we can.
It is almost 500 gryvna so we decided to wait on it as long as we can and stick with the inhalers until we run out and praying that isn't until we get home.
We are doing our best to stay on a tight budget to maximize what we do have.
We did get a couple of donations this past week that helped lower our total need and got emails from a couple of you that said you donated as well so thank you!
We have emailed Eli Project to find out what that brings our need to and will update it asap!
Overall, we are doing very well.
We just have to keep remembering that we are doing what God has asked us to do and we will be attacked and that is ok.
God is here with us and He's going to take care of us.
Can I tell you just how amazing it has been to worship with fellow believers here in UA?!
Bryan and I even found ourselves singing one of the worship songs in Russian at some points!
It was so cool!
Such a supernatural thing!
It was amazing to be there praising our God; us in our language and the church members in theirs, all lifting our voices and praising our God!
The kids really love the church and the children's ministry.
The worship is beyond great!
It is the kind of worship I grew up with.
So passionate, so exciting, so involved and just amazing!
It doesn't matter that we don't know the words in Russian or Ukrainian, our God works beyond all barriers and He understands us all!
They do have the words to the songs on the screens in Russian and English so that is really neat and we have a couple of really great girls that work with us and translate for us during the sermon.
The sermons have been so on time for us.
God has really spoken to us in these messages about our specific situation.
I just LOVE how God works!
I told Bryan that if God were to ever move us to Ukraine, this is the church I could see us being a part of.
We just love it!
So, if you come behind us and would like to visit it is Hillsong Kiev.
You can take the Metro and get there.
It is about a 2 hour trip for us from where we are staying with taking the 2 metros and a bus to get there but it is so worth it!
What a blessing it has been and will be for our family in the coming weeks.
I pray that you have a church family like this wherever you are!
We are blessed to have found this church!

Thank you all for your prayers and support of our family and our mission.
We are so honored and blessed to be used of God.
We'll keep you updated!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving - A call to action!

As I sit in our apartment in Eastern Europe with 4 of our kids, I am thankful.
I truly am thankful.
I am thankful for each and every one of my kids that is here in this home with me.
I am thankful for my husband that is here with me.
I am thankful for our business back home that God has blessed us with.
I'm thankful for our employees that are helping take care of business while we are here.
I'm thankful for our customers.
I'm thankful for our family back home.
I'm thankful for our home.
I'm thankful for our dogs.
I'm thankful for our cars, as old and beat up as they are, they are ours and they are paid for!
I'm thankful for Dave Ramsey's FPU classes.
I'm thankful for our church.
I'm thankful for Eli Project which led us to our kids in UA.
I'm thankful for our 2 other kids that are here waiting to come home with us.
I am thankful for the Malone family who followed God's plan for their lives that led to Eli Project.
I'm thankful for so many, many things.
I'm thankful for life.
I'm thankful for love.
I'm thankful for you.

As I sit in this apartment almost 6,000 miles away from my family back home, I am also sad.
Sad.
Not that I am not at home to eat my favorite meal of the year.
Not that I'm not able to over-indulge myself with all kinds of yummy goodness that I don't even need.
Not that I am missing out on any Black Friday "deals".
I'm sad for other reasons.
I'm tempted to say that I'm almost angry.
Maybe angry is a better word.
Maybe dissappointed.
Disgusted?
Maybe any of those will do.
You ask why?
I'll tell you why.
If you don't want to be offended, you might stop reading here.
I'm not writing this blog to please people.
I'm writing this blog to share my heart and hopefully the Father's heart as well.
And well, if that offends you, I'm sorry.
I suppose that's something you'll have the opportunity to discuss with him one day.

I think this day is horrible.
I think that Thanksgiving has been taken entirely out of context.
I think that the modern day American in their comfy house, in thier cozy clothes and loose pants, with bellies full and seconds on the way have forgotten what this holiday is all about.
Instead of being thankful, we tend to over indulge our selfish cravings for foods and plan our overnight or early bird trips to the stores for the "perfect gifts" that we just MUST have.
I have to wonder, did anyone actually sit down at their table yesterday and really think about what they  have to be thankful for?  Better yet, was anyone not at a big table full of food set out just for them and their loved ones, rather at a mission house, feeding and loving on the homeless of our cities?
Did anyone stop to pray for anyone other than themselves and thier food that they were anxiously awaiting to eat?
I'm not saying this just to bash you, I've had my moments of greed and selfishness too.
I've been guilty of counting down the days to Thanksgiving just so I could eat all that yummy food and just have a couple of days off. I've sat there with the pen in hand and gone through the ads circling every wish, want and must have. 
I too have been guilty of telling someone "I wish I could do more..." and then go out to stand in those lines and spend that money on a useless gift, when I could have donated that money to that cause and made an eternal impact instead.
I can even admit that most of the time when I said that I wish I could help in a situation, I had money readily available to me that was earmarked for something more important to me.
Granted, it wasn't much but still, it was mine.
I wanted to spend it on me or mine.
I hand more important things planned for that money.
What could be more important?
Oh, you know, Sunday lunch.
That late night run to Arby's to satisfy my craving.
How about a new pair of shoes, or even that fake ipod that just went on sale.
Yep, I'm guilty too.
I have to admit that I've sat in church when the request was given to donate to a certain cause and I sat there with knots in my stomach over donating "that much money" to that cause when I had such good plans for it.
Why do we get almost sick to our stomachs when God asks us to do something with funds that he has provided for us and yet, when we see that sales add, boy we are all over it like peanut butter on jelly!
Priorities.

What's different then?

I let God in.

I asked him to give me his heart.
I asked him to give me his eyes.

This is a tall order.
You see, when you let God in and you look at things through his eyes, you tend to see the other, not so pretty side of things like Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
You start to realize what you do have to be thankful for instead of complaining that someone else ate the last roll or took the last "My Little Pony" you HAD TO HAVE for your daughter off the shelf.
You start to see that you have more.
You have MORE than most people on this ENTIRE PLANET!
Yes, YOU have MORE!
You have food to eat, a place to sleep, and clothes to wear.
No, it may not be food you like,the turkey may have been dry, it may not be a comfy bed or even clothes that are name brand or even stylish, but you have them.

I used to think, yeah but I EARNED this stuff!
I worked HARD and I DESERVE this.

Really?

I DESERVE it?

Let me tell you what I deserve.

DEATH.
I deserve death.
You deserve death.

But God.

But God loved us so much that he didn't want us to die.
He sent his son.
His ONLY son to DIE for US.

For me.
For YOU.

I'm sorry, what were you saying?

You have worked hard and you deserve to have nice stuff and to think of yourself first?
God created this earth and gave his son for us.
Doesn't he deserve anything?
Doesn't he deserve our thanks?

Ok, so you can agree with me there, right?

So, now everyone hurry, shoot up a flare prayer of thanks right quick to cover you just in case he comes while you are reading this blog.
Wouldn't want to be guilty of not being thankful after all.


What about obedience?

Does he deserve our obedience?
Sure, you say.
Ok, what does he want us to do then?
How are we supposed to obey?

Go to church?
Ok.
Read the Bible?
Ok.
Pray?
Ok.
All of those are acts though.
We do them to check them off an invisible list (sometimes actually written out for some of us)
to say that " CHECK! Did that, on to the next thing!"
But what are we really DOING?

What about his commands?
Don't steal?
Ok, I'll pay for my super cool, super cheap deal when I check out in my black friday line that is 3 hours long.
Don't covet?
Ohhhh, now that one is hard, I REALLY wanted that item that Mrs. Fastpants got ahead of me and got the last one of.  Ok, ok, I'll not covet it..
Don't Murder?
Well, duh!  I CAN'T do that, who'd be there to make the egg nog and take pictures as everyone opens gifts at Christmas.
Oh, and not to mention jail time.
And, that would so ruin my new sweater I bought.

What about his OTHER commands?
What other commands you say?
What about the book of James?
It is full of many commands, including one that is very near and dear to our family..
James 1:27.
It should be near and dear to every Christian as it is a declaration of what God expects from us as Christians.
We are to care for the orphan and the widow.
One might say, Oh, I care.
I see them on the tv commercials with their bellies pudging out and flies in thier faces and my heart hurts so I shoot up a flare prayer as I lean back in my lazy boy and click the remote to change the channel to a more comfortable advertisement for my entertainment pleasure.

Pleasure.

Unfortunately, that is what most of society runs on.

What is in it for ME?
What does that make ME feel like?
What does it make ME look like?
What will people say about ME?

What about them!?

What about the homeless woman on the street corner who is so depressed at how far she has fallen and sees no way out?
What about the man that wreaks of sweat and filth from his binges of alcohol and is so lost that he just lives for that next fix.
What about the child who is afraid, cold and alone under the overpass that is crying out for help as her mother lies dead next to her from the overdose that she thought woud "fix it all".
What about the children in Africa living IN the dumps?
What about those boys that have to dig in the trash, that is also known as their bed to find scrap metal to go and sell so that they can have money, not for them to buy themselves anything but for them to pool it together and pay for ONE of them to go to school to get an education to better himself and help make a change for kids like them in the future?
What about the women who are seeking shelter from their abusive husbands and they see no way out so they go back, back to the abuse. 

Yes, those stories are REAL!
Yes, they happen EVERYDAY!
If that doesn't break your heart, I don't know what does!

As I sit here with my fancy laptop (basic as it is - others don't have any access to things like this) and I look at my table full of junk food, I too am guilty.
Guilty of self indulgence and greed.
Guilty of selfish thoughts and behaviors.
Guilty of sin.

I am writing this because, I am convicted.
I am convicted that I am too selfish.
I don't always think about the needs of others.
I tend to even think, well, they got themselves in that situation, they can get out.
But is that what God says of them?
Is that what God said of me?

NO!

He reached down out of Heaven and rescued me from my pit.
From my selfish mistakes that almost cost me my life and my children's lives.
He lifted me up.
He gave me grace.
He gave me love.
He gave me family.
He gave me life.
He gave me hope.

He did all of those things for YOU too.
Question is..



 What are we
 doing with it?



Are we wasting it?

I know I am guilty of wasting my life.
I don't want to waste it any more.
I don't want to live just for me.
I don't want to live to satisfy my selfish wants.
I want to live in full abandon to God and his plan.
I want to reach out and touch those dirty hands and help take them to the fountain that can wash them clean and give them a new start and a new name.
I want to be the kind of person that cares about the orphan, the widow, the homeless, the lost, the forsaken.
I want to make a difference.
I don't want to live for Thanksgiving food.
Yes, I love it that much.
It is seriously my favorite holiday because of all the wonderful food and the fact that it isn't about gifts.
It is a time to reflect on our lives and be thankful and enjoy good food and good company.
Yet, it was meant to be much more.


I have come to despise Christmas and the Christmas season because of what it has turned into.
What we have allowed it to become as a society.

It is pitiful.

We save up, or just raise our limit on our credit cards, to go out in the freezing cold, camp out overnight, or wake up at O dark 30 to beat the next Joe blo to the sale to buy things that we don't even need and will regret buying in a couple of months when the bills come due or the items break.

We should be ashamed.

What if we did something different?

What if instead of our posh little get togethers where we cook food far beyond what any human can consume in one sitting, we got together, made the food and then took it to those at the shelter or on the street or in the dump?

What if we SERVED instead of being served?

What if we gave isntead of fought to buy?

What if we put our treasures into heavenly things, like giving help to the widow by paying her electric bill that is about to be cut off due to the high costs of electricity in the winter and her low income of SSI?
What if we volunteered at a clinic where women go everyday to abort their "unwanted" babies and we show them that people do care and there is a chance for their child.
What if we were to support the halfway houses or the food banks or the group homes?

What if we were to start to think like Jesus?
What if we were to ACT like we are followers of Jesus?
What if?

Let me tell you what if..

LIVES WOULD BE CHANGED!

CHILDREN would have FAMILIES!

PEOPLE would learn to CARE for eachother!

We would be what God has always wanted us to be...
THE BODY OF CHRIST!
We would make a difference!


We CAN make a difference.

What if we all spent just 1/10th of what we spent today on our Black Friday "Deals" on making a difference in even one of these areas?

What if?

Can I ask you another question?


Why not?


Instead of pushing through the lines and fighting for the last item on sale, what if we were pushing through the lines to make donations to families who are working to adopt the orphans we speak of? 

What if we were forming lines outside of the homeless shelters to take turns to serve?
What if we were waiting for hours outside of the county jails to spend time with prisoners to show them the love of Christ?

What if we were to spend just a few minutes a week sitting in a NICU with a sick baby while his momma takes a shower that she hasn't taken in days because she cannot bring herself to leave his side without someone there to comfort him?

What if?

What if we started acting like Christ?

What if we really became THANKful and really started GIVING?

After all, isn't this THANKS GIVING?


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A wish..

Do you realize the opportunity that is before you?
We are all called to care for the orphan.
Have you ever taken that personally?
Have you ever thought, oh, I can't adopt?
How about, I don't want to adopt?
How about, I'm not called to adopt?
Ok, fine, I get that.
What about helping?
You CAN help!
Most WANT to help.
ALL are CALLED to help.
No, I don't mean all are called to adopt.
I mean all are called to help, in one way or another.
We all have the responsibility to help with the orphan.

Some are called to adopt.
All are called to help.
Some can help financially.
Others by praying.
Still others by sharing the need of those in the process.
We all have a part to play.
As part of the body of Christ, we are called to bear one another's burdens.
I realize that it may seem odd to some that we are asking for help, but you know what, I beleive that sometimes, that IS God's plan.
He shows his stregnth in our weakness.
He can work in the willing.
He doesn't always call the equipped.
He DOES equip the called.
How?
By many ways, including using others to help carry the burdens, including financial burdens.

We know beyond a shadow of doubt that God has called us here to adopt these kids.
Circumstances may look bleak at this point due to the financial side of things, but...
My Daddy, The Holy One of Isreal, owns the cattle on a 1,000 hills!
EVERYTHING is His!
This $10,000 is nothing to him.
It is a huge mountain to us.
Is He calling you to help move that mountain?
I've been called to scale it.
We've been climbing, saving, stretching every dollar to pay for every expense we can.
There's an old saying that says: There comes a point when you have done all you can do and then you must trust.  We decided to trust and then do all that we can and now, trust still!
Trust in God.
Trust in HIS plan.
Trust in HIS time.
We are trusting.
We are asking.
Why?
Because, these kids are worth more than my pride in asking for help.

No, I don't have anything fancy to give you in return.
I don't have any special things to auction.
I have my heart.
I have my kid's hearts.
I am laying it all on the line.
We need help to complete these adoptions.
I am asking because, I keep hearing, you have not because you ask not.
We are making the need known.
We are asking.
Will you help?

$10,000 is not that much when we all come together and make it happen.
It's as easy as 100 of you donating $100.
Or 400 of you donating $25.
Or even 1000 of you donating $10.
Every little bit helps.
We are here for the long haul.
We won't give up.
We will keep working.
We will keep contributing our every last dime.
We ask that you help, that you give, that you pray, that you share.

Please.

You can donate through paypal by sending it personal to newhornerfamily@gmail.com so they won't charge us the ridiculously high fees.
You can do a tax deductable donation (it's almost the end of the year!  Own a business? Need a write off?) by going to http://www.umok.org/?page_id=31 and mark it for THE HORNER FAMILY C/O ELI PROJECT.
You can drop off a donation at The Cupcake Lounge.
You can mail it there as well.
There are plenty of ways to help.
These kids need to be brought home to a forever family, to a home, filled with love and laughter.
This is their and OUR Family's wish...
Help us bring them home.

You have an opportunity before you to help save the lives of 2 children and give them a future and a hope.

I sit here in tears as I write this.
There are so many things I could want, that my kids could want, but all they want, all we want is our brother and sister home, safe and sound.
Pray. Give. Share.

Thank you.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank You.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Finally got to see her again!!!

The day has finally come!
The day we get to see Aliyah again and the day the kids meet their new sister!!!
Excitement is in the air!!!
The kids waiting in the board room at the orphanage for them to bring sister to us.

We had to be in country this week to pick up a crucial document.
The one from the inspector's office that said they were not going to seperate Aliyah and Misha.
We had to pick it up early this week so we could submit it back to the SDA with our new petition to say we want an appointment to adopt both of them.
This document expires this weekend and you can't pick it up on the weekend so, we had to come earlier in the week.
They didn't have it on our last trip because they had required all the doctors visits, dental check ups, and mental check up to be done before finalizing their answer.
Yes, mental.
You see, they have her in a specialized orphanage. 
There is a document that says she is mentally retarded.
The doctor that saw her to clear her for adoption said that there was nothing wrong with her and that they could not confirm this mental problem diagnosis.
So, with conflicting reports, the comittee ordered for her to be hospitalized.
Yes, hospititalized.
We didn't know this until after we had left her from the last trip or we would have tried to explain it to her.
They wanted to watch her in the hospital to make sure that she was mentally stable and functioning properly at her mental level.
I was crushed when they told us they were hospitalizing her.
I thought how confusing that must be and how scary!
You go and say yes you want to be adopted and they hospitalize you?
Argh!!
I hate red tape!
I sure hope someone explained it to her and she was ok.
Anyway, it was either wait a week for the testing and then for the comittee to meet again and possibly be here until the 12th which is the last day they legally had to get it to us or just come back before they HAD to turn it over to us.
We decided to come back instead of take our chances waiting.

I. could. not. wait. to see my girl again!
It seemed like hours as we waited for her to be brought from her classroom.
Everytime I heard a door screach open or foot steps coming down the hall, I would look to see if it was her.
Finally, I heard her little voice from down the hall.
I looked and there was her beautiful smiling face!
I bolted through those doors as fast as my feet would take me and she did the same towards me.
She lept into my arms and I picked her up and spun her around telling her over and over, I love you so much!! I've missed you!!
I sat her down realizing I had to share the lovins with brothers, sister and Daddy who were all anxiously awaiting her arrival too!

She immediately ran to Lexi and grabbed her tight, gave her kisses and just smiled as she rubbed her hair and her cheek saying sweet nothings in Ukrainian.
Sisters! 

Ayden was next and he gave her the cookies we found at the store that were made in her town.
She gave him big hugs too and lots of kisses but I was too slow with the camera.
I was enjoying every minute of this, taking pictures was secondary, but I knew I wanted them to keep the memories forever!! 
She finally got to see her Daddy and boy was she happy!
He gave her a great big hug and she was all smiles! 

We went up to her room after visiting downstairs for a minute with the Director who just loved all our kids.
We had to take a picture of us all, so here it is! 
Can't wait for the one with Misha in it!!
Soon!!

We had also gotten her this bow you see last time we were here but weren't able to give it to her before we left.  We got it from a lady at the Metro Bazaar.  We also took her those pretty pink earrings she's wearing. 

Me and my girls! Love 'em both so much!!
So blessed!

We had a busy visit today.
After a short time in her room showing her siblings where she lives for now we headed into her class to visit with the other kids.
They've been working on their English it seems, we walked in and everyone said Hello instead of the usual Dobre Dien (good day).
It was great to see all of these kids again!
Our kiddos each took a package of cookies and shared with the kids in the class.
We had exactly enough! WHEW!
Aliyah and Alexis were practically inseperable! 

Aliyah was taking  her to her friends to introduce her friends to her new sister.
She was so proud and it sure made Lou Lou feel special.
She's honestly been a bit worried about sister liking her.
I kept telling her she is great and you will love her and she will love you!
And boy, they do! 

Ayden was quite the entertainer.
Everyone loved him, so little but with such a big boy attitude.
Not in a bad way, just a big kid! :)
He loved that sister was carrying him around.

Today was a special day in another way too, we got to tell another sweet girl that is in this orphanage that she too has a Mommy and Daddy coming for her!
She was thrilled!
I was honored to get to tell her.
I can't wait to share more with you all about this family!!
They found her from THIS blog y'all!
Praising God that he uses my meanderings to change lives!
Who knew??
After we visited about that, our family went out to play outside as it was such a nice day! 

For some reason, Adrian didn't want to play today, he sat on the sidelines for the most part.
He did go play on the monkey bars later but didn't want to play soccer b/c it was cold.
I tried telling him if you play you'll warm up!
He wanted inside!
Funny how things change, last year it was him outside in the snow saying it's not cold and me saying it's freezing let's go in!

This is Adrian with Sasha, our facilitator.

Lou got tired of soccer pretty quick but saw a bunch of leaves falling.
It was so beautiful to see so many falling all at once as the wind blew.
She decided to make a big pile to jump in. 

And throw!
I loved those pictures!
Priceless!
How many times do we have the opportunity to enjoy the little things like leaves or rain drops on your tongue and we hurry along to get to the next thing.
Oh, to be like a child again, where time is abundant and the world is your playground!
We can learn a lot from kids!
I know I sure do!

Mommy needed a break so Aliyah came to check out the pictures I was taking and decided we needed one too, so up in my lap she went. 

There are tires in the ground over by the soccer feilds we used as chairs and for "king of the mountain" of course!
Get him Adrian!! 
I had to help from behind!
But, we knocked him off!
HA!

I just love this picture of them.
So happy!

She is one PROUD BIG SISTER! 
I am one PROUD MAMA!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A little leap of faith...back in Ukraine! November 7/8, 2011

This post is going to be one about faith.
Gut wrenching, tear staining, love in action FAITH.
To tell you that this journey has been easy would be a lie.
To tell you it has not been stressful would be a farce.
To tell you that it was not all worth it...that my friends would be the biggest lie I could tell you.

It has been all worth it.
It will all be worth it.
If you have followed our journey long, and even if you haven't, you can know that those stepping out in faith to do adoptions or any other thing that God calls them to do can be hard.
Scary at times.
Intimidating, yes.
Impossible? No.

 You see, my Bible says that faith without action is dead.  James 2:17.
It also tells me that I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:13
It also tells me that if I have even just an ounce of faith, that of a mustard seed, that I can move mountains! Matthew 17:20
It also tells me that I am to trust in HIM and never doubt, that he's going to work it all out!
We used to sing a song in my youth choir I was honored to be a part of that said, "if you trust in HIM, and never doubt, I know that He's gonna work it all out, he's gonna work in your favor!"
Habakkuk 2:1, 3
I will climb my watchtower now, and wait to see what answer God will give to my complaint.
But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day

Now, this is the hard part.
The wait.
We have decided to walk in faith.
To fly in faith.
To GO in faith.
We are praying and trusting God to MOVE THIS MOUNTAIN we call Finances and not only to move it but to blow it to smitherines!!
God gave me Isaiah 41:13-20 and I am holding tight to his promises.

13 For I am the LORD your God
   who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
   I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
   little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,
   new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
   and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
   and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the LORD
   and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
17 “The poor and needy search for water,
   but there is none;
   their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
   I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
   and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
   and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
   the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
   the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
   may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
   that the Holy One of Israel has created it

So, here we are.

 On a plane.

 On our way.
 With love in our hearts.
 And smiles on our faces.
Blindly going where we never thought we'd go..
To Ukraine, with no way home.
Yes, we brought all of our children here, with one way tickets.
No return date.
No plans other than God's.
We are here to finish the work he has called us to do.
He said GO.
Now, we have come.
We are now working and watching for God to provide every last dime needed to complete these adoptions and fly home.

God has already shown us that this is what he wanted us to do, so HIS name could be glorified.
So His plan could be done through us.

This is not for show, it is for growth.
It is for obedience.
We are here and commanding that mountain to MOVE!

The afternoon before we left, we opened our mail to find 2 checks that will help with our adoptions as well as we had several other donations come in throughout the weeks we were home.
This has taken our financial need down to $10,000.00.
THANK YOU to those who have supported us in prayer, financially and even just with your kind words!

Thank you Lord for sending us confirmation just when we needed it.
We know you are in control and your plans are higher than our plans and we can't wait to see you work on Aliyah and Misha's behalf!

Please pray for our family.
Please pray that the mountain will be moved.
Pray for us as we continue to pray, Trust and Obey!


A Horner Halloween October 31, 2011

Meet Fred.
If you have known us long, you know that this is Bryan's costume from about 3 years ago when we decided to dress up for our first fall festival. 
He was Fred and I was Wilma.
Since we are saving as much as we can, we recycled old costumes.. and made some new ones..

Lexi's Mermaid gown 

Ayden's Superman.. pretty sure this is the last year for both of these! 

And our homemade genius one, Austin as Perry the Platypus. 
Funny thing is, he walked around ALL NIGHT LONG making the clicking sound Perry makes.
Not sure what I'm talking about?
You should check out Phinneas and Ferb on the Disney Channel for more info!

Here's us with our boy, Adrian, for his 1st American Halloween.
Umm he's really grown!!
Look what good a family has done for him! 
We are so blessed to be his parents!

So blessed by all of our children!

Thank you Lord for choosing us!

Going to the BIG D and yes I mean Dallas!! October 25, 2011

Our first few days home was filled with cuddles, sleep, food, phone calls galore, and getting things handled, both at the shop and at home.
We were able to get our documents all in hand, updated and ready to go in a matter of days.
As soon as we got home, we had done some number crunching and checking in with different friends and family about keeping our kiddos for the next trip/trips.
We would need to go to UA for a week, come home for a couple of weeks, go back to UA for about 3 weeks and come home for another 2 weeks and then go back to UA to complete it all for another 2 weeks.
As you can imagine, not many, or any, were up for that feat.
Especially when you add that there are 4 kids and several holidays that will happen during this time frame.
This is a hard situation no matter what way you look at it.
Well, after looking at the costs of airfare to do all of those trips and trying to find someone to care for the kids, with that emotional strain, we compared it to just taking all the kids with us and staying.
Yep, that won out!
It is cheaper and better to keep our family together during all that time.
So, we had one more thing on the check list before we could make plans to head back to UA.
Passports.
Well, make that passport.
If you recall, the other 3 kiddos came with us last year to get Adrian.
We only had to get Adrian's US passport.
We have his UA one but that would only allow him to get into UA not to get back home to the USA.
So, we called and got an appointment for the next day to go get his passport in Dallas.

ROAD TRIP!!

We made it there with no problems..
other than we forgot to bring his passport picture!
WHOOPS!
Thankfully, there was a passport office that would take the picture right down the road.
Bryan dropped Adrian and I off with 15 minutes to spare before our appointment to get the picture and get back down the street to the Passport Office.
We got in line and man oh man, I thought they were NEVER going to call us.
Finally, they did.
I hurried over and said, "we just need a picture, we have an appointment at 11am at the passport office and don't have a picture."
"No problem" she said and told him to stand there to take a picture.
WHEW!
Got it done!
Flew out of there and outside to call Bryan to swing back around and pick us up.
Only thing was, he was now stuck by a train!
AGHH!
Good thing we walked so much in UA, off we went!
Speed walking in downtown Dallas to make it to our appointment.
We got there with 1 minute to spare!
Only, our documents were in the car with Bryan.
Uh oh!
I called him and said, when you get here, just pull up and hand me the papers then go park and come in.
We made it through security with only a few jeers about our OU gear and headed up the elevators to the passport office.
We got in there and realized we didn't have a form we needed.
Man, oh man, we are late now.
I grabbed the form and filled it out as fast as my little fingers could write and jogged up to the window, out of breath and appologized that we were late.
They checked us in no problem and had us sit down to wait.
She did inform me that Bryan had to be present as he was under 16  yrs of age.
I assured her he was on his way up.
Good thing we all came.
I didn't want to come.
Today was ladies Bible study at our church and I wanted to go there instead.
Good thing we all came.
They called us up to the window after a bit and we turned in all our docs we had.
They were asking for originals, which we did not have with us.
I was so worried!
Thankfully, we had brought the entire adoption folder and there were originals of what we needed in there, just down in the car.
Bryan ran down to get them, we turned them in and they said, ok it'll be ready by 3pm.
Sweet!

So, we became tourists!
We went to Galleria.
This mall is HUMUNGO y'all!
I mean, they even have an ice skating rink.. IN THE MALL!!

We walked ALL around that mall and then decided to head back to get our papers.
I was in tourist mode so I was flashing pictures everywhere.
Here's some cool buildings. 



And, now back at the Passport Office..
YAY!

We walked in, got the folder and were done!


This trip wore them out..


Passport in hand, we are off!
Now, to wait until we can head back and get our kids!

Oh, and raise $11,000....

How about a SURPRISE Trip home?? October 20, 2011

Our day started out SUPER early!
By early, I mean 3 am.
We thought about not even going to sleep, but yeah, we were tired.
We packed and got our tickets booked home last night and headed home to surprise our kiddos!
We had to get to the airport by 4am and got on the plane and headed to Germany at about 6:45am.

As you can imagine, we were hungry!
We were in Germany and hungry.
We only had USD and Gryvna so we had to exchange for some Euro.
Man oh man! 
Euro is expensive!
Not to mention the change fee at the airport.
Grr.
Oh well, we had to eat or get sick.. we chose to eat.
We exchanged $30..
We got this...and some change...
WOW!  Ok, what can 2 people eat in an airport in Germany for 15 Euro?
Well, for starters, a water..that cost over $5!!!!!!! 
Yeah, we split that! 
We each got an egg and a roll and I had a couple of slices of bacon instead of a second egg that Bryan had.
Craziness.
It was very good though.
I thought, oh we'll exchange $30 and we'll use the extra when we come back through next time.
Dude, we spent every cent on that breakfast.
Bummer!
Good thing they fed us on the plane a few hours later.
This was our first time to have a weinersnitchel. Sp?
Pretty cool.
It was filled with mustard! 

After a long day of flights, my dear friend Gina picked us up from the airport.
We were waiting on our luggage, one of which never showed up, we could care less at this point.
We just wanted to be home.
So we  had to wait around and file a lost luggage claim first.
After that was over, we got in the car and it was T minus 20 minutes to home!
We were so excited!
We had asked our friend Tina who was staying with our kids to keep them up late tonight.
They were all in our room watching a movie.

She met us at the door and we walked in to the room saying "hello!!  Is anybody home?"
The kids all said "WHAT?" Looked back and forth at eachother and said, "Mommy? Daddy?  MOMMY! DADDY!  YOU'RE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Adrian belted off that bed so fast and about knocked me over!
Blurry pic but excellent memory! :) 
The rest of them are still in shock at this point.

There they are!
Let the tears begin!
All the lovins and tears and what are you doing home questions began.
We were all so excited to see eachother!


Austin was crying he was so overwhelmed and didn't know what to think.
He was so prepared that we'd be gone several more days and was in shock! 


Tickle time! 

I was telling them all about their sister and how she made me the necklace.
Lexi loved it.
I put it around her neck and told her she'd get to meet her sister soon and we'd make them together.


And then came the dogs!
Love my puppies!!



It was a great day!
We loved surprising our kiddos.
Now, if only the others were home too.
Soon!
Very soon!