Category Archives: Adoption Updates

New video camera

Hey people, more video to come after an unfortunate lapse. We went to the beach a few weeks ago and dipped our video camera in the Gulf of Mexico. We just thought it would be fun and that our camera could use a nice, cool refreshing dip in the dirty ocean. I hope he did because that was the last water he will ever experience. That’s usually how it goes with electronics and sad/water.

Sam is doing well, though. He is starting to clearly say a few words like bye-bye, yes, and dada. He says lots of words, but they’re all a little fuzzy. You can make them out, but have to listen closely, but these few are becoming very clear and “big boy.”

He has not been doing so hot in the nursery. He did ok at first, but now he screams and cries when we leave him. It’s sweet, and we sort of love it, but we feel like terrible parents when we walk away. It’s always pretty hard.

When I left him yesterday he cried so I knelt down and talked to him and he just turned around to face the room and backed into me so he was leaning on me with his hands on my legs. He seemed like he felt so safe and comfortable. We really want to see him get more comfortable, but we have to admit selfishly that we love him treating us like this.

So anyway, more to come, as promised, this time for real. Hopefully video soon and definitely some pics. Thanks for following and walking with us.


it’s good to remember

Hey people, anyone who happens to still be checking this. We are going to try our best to get back up and running with posting and updating. We’ve thought a lot about all the family blogs out there and how they are used and viewed, and decided to try to get on this again. A lot of what we post will hopefully have a focus of how Sam is adjusting, what we are learning, and how adoption is affecting and has affected our lives and his. We’ll see what happens.

I received a video today from a family who met Sam back in 2008. It was cool and prompted me to look back through some old blogs and pictures. I didn’t have a lot of time, but in ten minutes or so, it really took me back. I remembered some of the feelings we had and the things we went through together. I remembered many of the people. I just remembered. It’s good to remember. It’s good to reflect.

I quickly forget how profoundly we changed in the three months we lived in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. Our lives were so impacted by a people in general, specific people, experiences, a baby house filled with children, and so many other things. The rooms we spent time in came back to me. The parks and the snow followed by the sun. So many things came back to me, even if just for a few minutes, and it was good.

Brining all this back with us has surely changed us, and we are so much beter for it. God has been so incredibly real to us, and we have had some challenging moments in our 6 or so weeks here, but our lives are richer, both by adding Sam abd by carrying all the “luggage” that we now carry, both good and bad. It’s weird to say that in some ways we miss our time in Kazakhstan. It might sound surprising, and honestly it’s surprising to me, but our lives were so significantly affected by so many things there, that it’s hard to just return. Things will never be the same. And if I’m being completely honest, I am not sure I want to completely “return.” I’m not sure I want things to ever be the same again.

Where it goes from here I have no idea, and I’m not sure what our future looks like, but I am glad to have experienced something so deeply that is has affected my spirit, my actions, my loves, my character, my motivations.  I’m glad to have lived and experienced and be still experiencing. Walking on roads like this, only starting to understand faith, has become to me a very rich and priceless thing.

home again

Well, we are home now, and it is great. I will go ahead and say this before I write the rest of this out: there are no pictures here today. Instead we posted a short highlight video of our time with Sam at the baby house. We have a farewell party with his class and some footage of him in our apartment in Karaganda separately, so this is just highlights of his time in the baby house with us. It’s on our youtube page at

We got home Sunday afternoon to family and friends at the airport, and have been having a good time at home. We are recovering from jetlag, Sam included. He has woken up at midnight and 1 the last two nights for some midnight play time and then back to bed. Overall we are doing really well. We are enjoying the company of family who are really exicted to have us and especially Sam home.  We’ve really had some good family time between the three of us, too.

We are feeling some unexpected feelings as well. It’s hard to put our finger on it exactly, and we’re mosty just excited to be back, but we are feeling some things about leaving a place, returning to a place that should be very familiar, getting back in the swing with family and friends, and stuff like that.

I am having to remember a lot of our student training when we send them overseas. When people experience cultures deeply it is often hard to return back to the home culture, and I think we are feeling that a lot. A season of our lives was lived and really came to a close in that place, and it holds so much of our son’s history. It’s just a very mixed emotions kind of time.

So I guess the word of these last few days is surreal. It’s been very, very good. Sad in some ways. A little unexpected. Very at home, and at the same time a little unsettled. Surreal. But we’re really glad to be back, and Sam is so great. He is such a little trooper. He had his first haricut, his first ride in a carseat (which is a foreign concept in Kstan), his first night in HIS bed, in HIS room, with HIS dog, Lucy. It’s so cool.

Thank you for praying. We’ll post again soon.

James Brown, please meet us at the airport

Strange suggestion, we know, but we want to recreate the scene from Rocky 4 when James Brown sings “I-live-in-Amer-ica” right before Apollo Creed fights the Russian. We want that as Sam comes off the plane. (Not really, and please do not attempt to re-create this in any way).

The point is Sam is now one of the elect. He was chosen by the United States of America, not by any works of his own, to be called an American citizen. His visa interview went so great, so fast, and was so refreshing after some of the interviews we’ve been through.

Altogether we were at the consulate for about 30 minutes, and the visa interview only took about 10 minutes. It was really more of them telling us what was going to happen next and what documents we would need along the way. We also got the famed “sealed envelope” to carry home with us. We celebrated by paying about $18 for some ice cream and a shake at Baskin Robbins, and we could not have been more excited about it.

So everything we came here for has been done, everyone we need permission from to get out of here and into American has given it, and plane tickets have been purchased. We leave here tomorrow night around 3am headed for Frankfurt, then on to Dallas where we arrive at 2:30pm Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who has walked with us through some or all of this. We will be posting some about other things and people as we close out this season in the next few days or weeks, but thank you. We know that we could not have done this without so many of you.

“Lord willing” is the most appropriate phrase here

In the book of James, he says that we make all these plans, but that we don’t know what a day will bring. He says we will do this and that if the Lord wills it. So you hear lots of people say things like this, “Today we will leave our city headed for Almaty on our way home, Lord willing!” And attaching Lord willing to it is the most appropriate way to say it as we have seen in our time here and especially in these last few days. You can just never be sure.

So I preface all this with the fact that you can never be sure here. So having said that, Lord willing, we will be leaving our city this afternoon at 5pm on a train headed for Almaty. If things go smoothly we will be heading home on Sunday, May 31st.

Without sharing too many details, we heard two days ago and again yesterday that tings would not be finished by today and that we would be here several more days, but it was. God is powerful, and in this case we have seen his power even over men’s hearts. He moves things and people however he wants to, and his power touches everything.

So we head to Almaty for a doctor visit tomorrow and then we turn our stuff in to the Embassy the next day. The next day we have Sam’s visa interview where we will, Lord willing, get his visa and be ready to come home. So for now pray for a quick and good doctor visit. This will also be our first with Sam so his mom and dad are a little nervous about what all might come from it. Also please pray that all of our documents are in order when we go to the embassy.

Thank you, and hopefully we will be takling to many of you face to face real soon. Thank you for walking with us for all this time. We love you.

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