Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
"We have a positive report to follow up on the information we passed along to our parents on February 20. The head of our Moscow office has received confirmation that the State Duma has not taken any action on a possible adoption moratorium, nor is considering such a moratorium at this time. The motion made last week by one State Duma deputy has not even come up for discussion by a parliamentary committee at this point. So there has been no further action on the matter, and for now we believe this motion will not go forward legislatively."
"On a positive note, we would like to let you know that we do currently have families traveling to their regions to meet referred children, and families getting court dates and bringing children home, as recently as this week. We say this to encourage our families and point out that despite all of the above, adoptions have not stopped in Russia."
Tomorrow is clean house day- if I can "un-bury" myself- I'll write you tomorrow! Thank you again for your support and your prayers-
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I think dealing with teenagers on a daily basis too you have a lot of preconceived ideas about certain names, and you don't want to pick a name that may be ammunition for any picking, teasing, or bad rhyming possibilities. For a girl you need to think of the monogram! Ashley Savannah Deetz sounds just fine but what if she marries a boy with a last name Smith? You must be careful with the vowel! And you don't want a "Samuel Aaron Deetz, S.A.D" or "Christian Owen Deetz, C.O.D" And all names that have too many vowels or beginning with the letter D is out! If you pick a "vowely name" (I totally made that word up) You have some serious letter rhyming (R-E-E-D D-E-E-T-Z) or a "double d" scenario. I love the name Darcy, as in Mr. Darcy and I think it's just plain cute- but Darcy Deetz, come on! So after a name meets that criteria- then you do the rhyming test and the "riding the bus pick on you" chanting test "Rose, Rose, picks her nose!" Take those off the list immediately!
Another reaction I've had with people my age after they disapprove of the names we like is "Well I'll tell you my favorite names but you CANNOT steal them if I tell you!" Part of me wants to plug my ears and say "then don't tell me!" what if I really love their names? I'm warning you- I'm a desperate woman-I will steal your name! But I've been tempted to listen to all the names and then say "We'll those are....o.k."
If you would like to make a name suggestion, I promise I will not make fun of you! But I think our name choice may be the only part of our journey that may remain a secret!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Random thought #1-
It has been brought to our attention that donating on the C.W.A. website has another step we were not aware of- You must fill in a "project" in section 2. The project that gives directly to families is called "family builders fund" Then below that you fill in our specific information including our address. If you have any questions about this form (b/c C.W.A. uses the same form for all donations, please call them at 1-828-693-7007 x 312.) From 8-4:30 Monday-Friday. We truly cannot say thank you enough for giving. So far we have raised about $4,500. But we still have a long way to go. Our next chunk will be the biggest lump sum- about $11,000 that will be due after we complete our home study (See random thought #2).
Random thought #2-
Our home study has been scheduled for March 14th! Yeah!!! One step closer. Please pray for me and Chad as we will be cleaning like we have never cleaned before in the next few weeks! People say they don't look in your cabinets or under your bed- but better safe than sorry....
Random thought #3-
I think the spiders are finally gone. There have been no more webs in a few days.
Random thought #4-
We are almost finished with the book (100 more pages!!) Pray that we pass the online test. Despite my chagrin I have read something that has "stuck" with me- It's a Russian Proverb, here it is "If you know where you are going to fall, you would spread some straw" or going back to my girl scout days "Be prepared". I have finally started looking at the abundance of material, diagnosis, conditions, diseases and disorders as knowledge that will prepare me for whatever comes our way, whether it is minor or major. I am drinking in the words and hiding them away to expect the best and be prepared for the worst. The same with the discouraging
e-mails. We are "staying the course" and expecting nothing but the best. It's in those times when God exceeds your expectations that you know you are truly blessed.
Friday, February 20, 2009
"On February 19, 2009 a Russian State Duma deputy from the Communist Party faction, N. A. Ostanina, submitted a draft resolution to the Duma for its consideration under the title 'To V. V. Putin, Chairman of the Russian Federation Government, Regarding the Possibility of Temporarily Suspending Adoption of Children Who Are Citizens of the Russian Federation by Citizens of the United States of America and Non-Citizens Living in That Country'."
When we first choose Russia, the very next day we received an email about Russia's outrage due to a U.S. Federal Court decision involving a little boy that was adopted from Russia whose father left him in a hot car for 9 hours while he went to work. The little boy died from heat exhaustion and the murder charges were later dropped and the father was acquitted. Russian officials were outraged about the care of their children in the United States.
You can read the whole article here- www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/world/europe/04adopt.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/A/Adoptions
Does this mean that we are on a downward spiral that will ultimately end in Russia closing there doors to Americans? Or has it always been like this? Are these common occurrences?We have no idea! It's difficult for us to discern what is a small false alarm and what is an all out panic fest due to the small amount of information we are given. Everything to us seems like any day now, we are going to receive a call that says- Game Over, take your business elsewhere. Walking on egg shells are not fun! But we appreciate all of your prayers and your support as always. We are trusting God's plan for our lives and know that he is in control! Not just in our home, but in Russia too.....
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Some History for you.....
As you can tell we are so excited about this region, and it's a TRAIN ride from Moscow! Not an 8 hour flight.... It is well populated and not out in the middle of nowhere (translation- it appears to be goat free) There will be lots to do while waiting for the court system to allow us to meet our baby for the first time.
Now for the bad news- right now, right this very second,
Can't wait to tell you more soon!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So Anya e-mailed us last night and let us know she has narrowed our regions down to two! St. Petersburg or Krasnodar (southern most region near the Black Sea). She needed some more information about what domination the church we serve at was because the Judge in St. Petersburg has some sort of religious preferences. We aren't sure if that will work in our favor or against it. To be honest with you we aren't even sure what that means! We're trying not to over think this- I just wanted to let you all know since this is a big step! I feel the bulls eye (which started out as the entire world) has been narrowed down and narrowed down and soon we will know within a few hundred miles where our baby will be from! :0) How cool is that?
I'll leave you with this one parting thought- I googled Krasnodar (home of the 2014 Winter Olympics) and realized it looks very cold there all the time! Most of the pictures are of frozen somethings or another. Jana said I could borrow her fur coat! The baby will love me because I will look like a giant teddy bear- but underneath I'll be Spider Girl!
Going to bed right now!! I'll keep you posted!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
So one of the attorney's at my firm asked if we would like their kid's playground set because their kids had outgrown it. My first instinct was to ask "Why would Chad and I need a playground set?" But that was only for .5 seconds (blond moment). I accepted, and he asked if we could pick it up on Saturday while he and his family were out of town. Great! So he gave me his address and then he left for the airport. This is where the funny starts.
This Saturday we ask two of the boys in our youth group- Wes and Chad (we will call him Little Chad as not to be confused with husband- a.k.a. Big Chad) one of which has a truck and both of which have muscles, to help us move the playground set to our house. Well, as we were driving to the house I realized I had misplaced the address in the sea of paperwork that has overtaken our dining room, but decided I would use my deductive reasoning skills to find the house (I knew the street name and thought I may even recall the house number) and how many houses could have a playground set out back? Answer: A lot. Then I remember he said it had a pool at the bottom of the slide! Bingo. So we unload and begin to dismantle this lovely (and very expensive I'm sure) playground set. In the red clay mud. I think they must have an irrigation water leak or it rained at their house A LOT overnight. We were covered in mud.... But that's not the funniest part. Here it comes-
THE PLAYGROUND IS INFESTED WITH SPIDERS! We would disrupt one of their nests (which look like giant wads of cotton candy in case you ever run into that.... it's not cotton candy! Don't eat it!) and baby (and mommy) spiders start running. Little Chad's job became to hold the hammer and "terminate" as he saw fit. You would unscrew a bolt and spiders would run out. Pick up a pipe, you guessed it SPIDERS! Well the big pieces went in Little Chad's truck bed and the smaller pieces- swings, slide, platforms went in the back of our Trailblazer. I think THAT made them really mad. But don't worry, no spiders were harmed in the loading of this playground (except the ones with the hammer- but that was self-defense!) They all crawled out and made a home in our car. Every morning I have a virtual obstacle course of tiny spider webs running here and there in the dashboard and windows. And the worst part is the psychological damage it has caused me. I haven't physically seen any creepy crawlers in the car- but I know they are out there! The proof is all around me (literally!) Right now I can feel them crawling all over me!
It's amazing how preoccupied you become when your vehicle is transformed into a scene from Charlotte's Web, just without the cool messages or that really cute Pig.
Monday, February 16, 2009
This cross was made for you. My wife, Jane & I, have said that for many years. Truly, it is for you. Enjoy it! In 1995, my wife & I started this ministry, giving away crosses as fast as I could make them. After making about 10,000 I have stopped counting. All the joys and the stories has been a blessing from God that makes it all worthwhile.
This year, God touched my heart with a vision. It is about a wonderful, caring and loving couple that wants to share their love with a child. This couple is my precious daughter Sarah and her husband Chad, who is like a son to me. God called them to South Carolina to serve God as a Youth Pastor & wife. After 9 years of marriage, they are ready to become parents. God has opened their eyes and some doors, showing them the possibility of adoption of a child that needs a Mom & Dad. God has already chosen this child and they have started the journey to adopt a child from Russia. The cost of this journey will be about $30,000 to $35,000. This is where the cross ministry comes in to help with some of the costs involved.
If you like the cross, it is yours to keep. If you would like to order additional crosses for family, friends, Sunday School Classes or just as a personal witness tool you can now purchase them. How much do they cost, that will be whatever God puts on your heart to donate to this adoption. You can donated directly to Christian World Adoption (http://www.cwa.org/) and make a donation in their name, Chad & Sarah Deetz. This way they will receive 100% of the money donated to bring their baby home and it is tax deductible. There is also a website (http://fromrussiawithlove2009.blogspot.com/) where Sarah writes “blogs” to keep us all updated on their adoption journey.
You can order crosses by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow 15 to 20 days on large orders over 30 crosses. I am excited to make crosses for you in an effort to bring this child into our family. I can guarantee that many will love him or her with all our hearts.
We are very appreciative of your support and prayers. We are counting the days when we will hold our own precious grandchild in our arms.
In His Amazing Grace,
Ron & Jane
Saturday, February 14, 2009
We also got a gift that was one of the greatest, most heartfelt gifts we have ever received. One of the teenagers in our youth group (I think they would like to remain anonymous so please don't ask me who!) presented Chad with a small envelope on Wednesday night after I headed home. They requested that we open the letter together later that night. When Chad got home, we took out a small folded piece of paper, that contained a simple handwritten note. I won't go into details but it said that they felt God's call to give to our adoption. Then they said "I'm sorry it's not a lot, but this is all that I have" We opened the tiny ivory envelope and inside was a stack of what appeared to be $1 bills. At that point Chad and I both were teary-eyed. What a selfless and pure gift. Well we kept peeling back the bills and the amount grew larger and larger. We were taken back by the amount of money! We're talking birthday card money from your grandparents (both sides) your honor roll money, your weekly allowance, and the money you got from Christmas! I imagine they were saving up for something very special, but instead they decided to give it to us! We were shocked! Still, just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. Ok, I've erased about 5 paragraphs after that last sentence, because I really don't know what else to say about that- there are no words.
Gifts come in many shapes and sizes, some with ribbons and bows, some that you can't hold in your hands, some grand, and some in tiny plain envelops- but the best thing about a gift is it's a tangible way to say I love you!
Happy Valentines Day!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
(Unexpected factor number 2) She let us know why the 10 day waiting period exists after we go before the judge and he approves the adoption. We just assumed it was so that the paperwork could catch up with us in Moscow. Noooo.... the family of the orphan has 10 days to "get the baby back" Panic mode now. She said it was very, very rare, but there are no guarantees. Ok.....I was upset even at the thought of this!
(Unexpected factor #3) Well, we got to the discussion about which region and she said "ok I'll assign you a region in the next few days" Hmmmm..... that was unexpected. We had done a little research....but still know nothing about the ins and outs of each region. In my mind that makes total sense. Let the expert make the call about what suits our family. But still, could I at least get some more information?
My heart at this point was about to jump out of my chest! This is out of my control! I had no say in where MY baby comes from (Russia is a huge place with many diverse regions) I don't get a say in how old they will be (what if they have been in the orphanage too long and the developmental delays are too great?) and worst of all- What if someone comes and takes my baby back after they have lived in an institution since birth? What gives them the right!!!
After I had time to step back, think, pray, ponder and eat 2 cupcakes (thank you Mark Fischer), 4 pieces of chocolate, and a bag of potato chips, I thought to myself- this has never been in my control! Why am I so upset? If I say I trust God, then shouldn't I act like I trust God? It's like saying "Ok God I trust you to bring me a healthy baby, but I want to pick how old they are, which region they were born in, how long they lived in an orphanage, and while I'm at it I might as well just get a list so I can approve which children are acceptable!"
I am not going to be a backseat driver! (Even though I am really good at it, just ask Chad) How many times in our lives have we been sure about what was "best" for us and God has not only met our expectations, but exceeded them beyond our wildest imagination? Why should this be any different? I will tame my inner "control freak" and practice what I preach! Sorry for the preaching!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
We didn't get to talk to Anya today- we had a scheduling conflict, but we are talking with her at 3:00 on Thursday (tomorrow) and we are so excited. It's given us a little more time to prepare. It takes us a long time to pick out cheese at the grocery store- imagine a whole county of options. Here are our questions-
1- Which regions are "blind" regions? That means that some regions in Russia call you up when they've matched you with a child and say "we have a boy for you, he's 12 months old" and you get on a plane and fly to Russia. Then you meet the child and then get his health history and information. You fax the records to your doctor. You wait for him to make an opinion. Then you either accept or reject the child, if you decline you ask for another child. It could be a 5 minute wait, it could be a week. That is a blind region. A non-blind region is you make that decision from the United States. You get all of the information up front about a child and you can talk with a doctor before you accept or decline and ultimately travel. Even though we prefer a "non-blind" region we are trusting that God has a perfect match for us and we are confident in either process. But can you imagine meeting a child and deciding that their health issues or other factors would not be feasible for your family and having to say "no thanks, can I see another?" I don't want to even think about that!
2-How close is the region from Moscow? (see the eyeball shaped thingy inside region #1 on the map) Moscow is the hub for adoption. You fly into there then "branch out" to whatever region you are traveling to. Some are a quick car trip or train ride. Others are a 3 hour flight. We all know how I feel about more flying. But once again- what's another 12 hours? This is the most important trip of my life! But logistically the more travel we have the more expense goes into the adoption. And we are going to need pampers when we get home! (and car seats, and strollers, and.....)
3-How adoption friendly is the region? Some regions are more stable than others, more open to Westerners, kinder Judges that may waive the 10 day "post adoption" holding period in the country.
But in the grand scheme of things we are at peace with the whole region thing. When God is in control and already has a perfect person for us, it's really simple. Tomorrow, we will listen to Anya's advise and trust that God has placed her in our life to be his mouthpiece.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Tomorrow we will sit down with her and talk about the ins and outs of Russia and what region we need to narrow it down to! Because (other than the home study) the documents we complete at this point will be geared specifically to a particular region. Please pray for us tomorrow afternoon as we decide on a region and that God's will is of course at the forefront of that decision!
We are making big steps and I am so glad you are here with us in this journey!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This weekend we were "practicing". Some of our dear friends finally sold their old house and were getting things in order for the closing. They didn't want to pull their 7th grader and 10th graders (who are in our youth group) out of school Thursday and Friday, and we were happy to "keep" them for a few days while their parents got the house in order. Chad and I arranged pick up and drop off times, homework, meal cooking and planning "Do you like onions?" bed times and shower scheduling, and extra-curricular activities. We caught a glimpse of ourselves many years down the road. Cat and Will are fabulous kids, their parents have done such a good job raising them. They are courteous, kind to each other, fun to be around, and tell great stories of "frien-a-me's" a friend that acts like your friend, but ends up being your enemy. (Go back and sound it out now) clothes, make-up, shoes, and Gray's Anatomy character development. Will can tell you with conviction why it is important to have an x-box 360 and how it is so much better than a regular x-box. I learned about Boy Scouts and teenage novel characters. It was a very good weekend and a much needed break from paperwork!
Friday, February 6, 2009
So about the online planner..... how cool! It lists everything we need to do from start to finish. It's like adoption for dummies. "In just 25 easy steps you too can have your very own Babushka!" So I skimmed it (not to go too deep per my initial letter- I learned my lesson with the first stack of 200 pages) So it was like "USCIS, blah blah, blah..... Hague Regulations, blah, blah, blah, blood testing and kidney donations....uhhhhh????" Ooooh- Step 21 "preparing for travel" So I started to read. "Russia is only a "short flight" from New York City, only 10 hours." GASP. You know how I hate to fly. Chad still has bruises on his arm from our last (and only) flight together in 2002. So I did the math (I hate that too, but it pales in comparison to flying) and figured give or take optimal jet streams, I will spend 48 HOURS WITH MY FEET OFF THE GROUND. I love my feet on the ground! If our child as a teenager ever throws the "you don't love me" card believe me that will be the first item brought to their attention. 48 HOURS. That's all I'll say....
My friend Carol stated that that is going to be "my labor". She assured me that I could get some "good drugs" and I won't feel a thing. I only have one question- does Air Russia offer mid-flight epidurals? In case my first one wears off?
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Also- If I can figure out how to attach our initial "announcement" letter I'll do that too. That really sums up our feelings about adoption, why now, etc.
Our dear friends, Matt and Keri, adopted their son from Ethiopia through C.W.A. too. Matt and Chad spent their teenage years together through district Nazarene church functions. Then they both answered a call into Ministry. Matt's first youth pastor position was in Clearwater and ours was in Kissimmee. Those years were great and we got to see Matt and Keri and their growing family on a very regular basis. Well the one thing that stays the same about ministry is the moving part. Matt answered a call to a church in Michigan and us to Waycross, Georgia. Matt still cam down one week each summer to be our special retreat speaker for our youth kids. I still remember the visit where Matt told us they were adopting! It was so exciting! It became evident that God doesn't just tell his "staff" where to go and where to serve, but also how to love. Not just people that are right in front of us- but little people that may live a world away.
At that point Chad and I had not yet given up on starting our own family the "old fashioned" way. But now, 9 years into our marriage and no baby- we are moving on to another game plan. A plan that God lays out for us in scripture loud and clear! “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” James 1:27a
So the choice was very easy for us. I know some women would not feel complete unless a child is born of her own flesh. God has always blessed me with a peaceful spirit. I feel so at peace about the adoption process. It seems very natural for me. I want a baby. There are over 100 million orphaned babies that need a loving home. I have a loving home. (and church, and family, and friends, and community) A+B=C. It's like that commercial with the easy button. I honestly don't know what took us so long.....
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
So..... Here we are. Day one.
We have exciting news! We are in the process of adopting a child from Russia. This is a crazy letter to write, I have already erased about three paragraphs worth of writing, because after you say that- what else can you say? Every single person we are sending this letter to, whether you are part of our immediate family, extended family, circle of friends, member of our youth group, or dear brother or sister in Christ through churches of our past or present, we love you and thank you for the instrumental part you have played in our lives. It is with that spirit of friendship and connection that we send you this letter.
As many of you know, we recently celebrated our 9th year of marriage on January 8th. For those of you at our wedding- you watched a 20 year old girl and a 22 year old boy make a lifelong commitment to each other. I think about how young we were; I guess “they” said the odds were stacked against us. I don’t know who “they” are, but I feel safe to say “they” were wrong. With God as the cornerstone of our marriage, the mortar holding us together has been firmly sealed in Him. For those of you who know us from our ministry in Waycross, Georgia you saw us truly “grow up” without the safety net of home and family. At times, I’m sure it was like watching a train wreck- a phrase you can identify with because of all the trains that run through the city both day and night. For those of you “Spartanburgers” who know us now, in the present, you have known us in some of the best times of our lives. We cannot believe how God has blessed us. And our family, you have known us from the beginning and fostered in us the ability to love and trust immeasurably and without boundaries. Throughout those years of absorbing blessings beyond measure, we feel like we are about to burst! It is in that spirit that we want someone else to experience the joy, grace, mercy, and love we have been shown so freely.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5
So here we are. On January 22nd we met with an adoption counselor at C.W.A. (Christian World Adoption) Many people from all over the county use C.W.A. because of their expertise and Christian emphasis on adoption. Our good friends and fellow pastors, the Hastings, adopted their son William from Ethiopia through C.W.A. After checking out several agencies, our hearts were clearly with C.W.A. from the start. To our delight, their National headquarters are in Flat Rock, North Carolina- 45 minutes from Spartanburg! Carol, the adoption counselor commented on how nice it was to “see a family” wanting to adopt, not just look at a picture of them. So far, God has cut a path for us, literally. After our application was complete, I printed out about 200 pages of the “getting started” manual the next day. I’ll admit, I panicked with every page spitting out of the computer. I read a few pages and started to cry. I prayed. Then I stacked it all up, turned it face down (in a true childlike attitude that if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist) and started to write this letter because we can’t even start this process without your help.
We need your support. We need your prayers, your listening ears, and your financial help. We are overwhelmed, emotionally and financially, but at the same time we have a peace about the entire process and feel certain that we are in the center of God’s will in bringing home our child.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Please visit http://www.cwa.org/ and find out more about this journey. If you would like to make a contribution directly to our adoption, you can visit the financial aid section and make a tax deductible donation in our name online. 100% of all donations go directly into our adoption account if you list our names in section 2 of the online form. Or you can call 1-888-97ADOPT and talk to someone in person. As you may or may not know, Russian adoption costs between $30-$35,000. Many people wanting to adopt see this as a “deal breaker” and quit. To be honest with you, it totally freaks us out too! But we are trusting that no matter what, God is in control of every aspect of our lives and he is going to see us through this. He is faithful.
In these past few weeks, we truly understand more than ever, what it means to pray without ceasing. Most likely our child, our forever child, is being carried in someone else’s womb right this minute. Or maybe they have just been born into this World, thousands of miles away into an Orphanage where they are hopefully being loved and receiving their most basic human needs. Please join us in praying for our precious child, Russia, our child’s mother, the caregivers, and the unstable government that will ultimately decide our fate as a family.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” James 1:27a
With your help along this path, we are eagerly anticipating the day we can say-
“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him.”
1 Samuel 1:27
With eager anticipation and much love,
Chad and Sarah Deetz