Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pretty Baby

Yesterday the missionary helping with our adoption took some pictures of Anara. We were very excited to receive these. She also included a few morsels of information. Here is what she had to say, "I am including four pictures of Anara that I took today. She really looked well and seemed happier than she has since she first came. The lady working today said she has been trying to teach her to say mama, but Anara will only say papa. I thought Nathan would be happy to know that. The caregiver said she can roll over and she pulls herself up on the side of the bed to stand. She is trying to sit up by herself. Another adoptive family just gave me the gifts the they sent for Anara. I will give them to her tomorrow or Friday."

We are still waiting for our court date and to hear whether the waiting period will be waived because of Anara's medical condition. Thank you for your prayers!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


We just received an email from our adoption agency written by a missionary working at the babyhouse. She is the woman responsible for finding Anara for our family. I am not exactly sure of her job description or how she does the things she does, but we are very grateful to her. Here is some background. I had emailed the director of our agency a few weeks ago when I couldn't sleep. I emailed specific questions about Anara's development (does she smile, does she make eye contact, does she respond to stimulation, does she roll over). The answers to these questions wouldn't have changed our decision to adopt her, but I felt that I needed to prepare myself. Last night, I was awakened for the 2nd time by these unanswered questions. I kept praying and finally God gave me peace and confidence that He would give us strength whatever her condition might be, and I was able to fall back asleep.

Here is a portion of her email:

“About Amanda’s questions, Anara does make eye contact and smile. I would not call her happy. She seemed happier when she was first moved from the hospital. I think she probably had more attention there than she gets at the orphanage. She does respond to stimulation. She is very alert and seems to be very observant. I did not have a chance to ask if she rolls over or sits up, but I am sure she does. I will try to remember and ask these two questions the next time I see her. She is growing and seems above average in development and alertness for her age, compared to other babies her age in the orphanage. One worker tried to convince me she could talk, but I have not heard that for myself. The consensus seems to be that she is very smart. She has been on antibiotics in the past. We are trying to find out what kind. We have put her on vitamins and are supplementing her food with apple and apple/carrot baby food. I heard yesterday that Anara is sick at the moment. She had a cold, and then started to run a fever a couple of days ago. They have put her on antibiotics to clear it up. I will try to see her when I am at the orphanage tomorrow. Yes, the pronunciation of her name is Uh-nar-uh.”

This information was encouraging and we are thankful that God is using this missionary to meet Anara's needs. We are so very grateful for these efforts. However, it does bring up the fact that not all orphans are so well take care of. There are not enough workers, not enough money, and not enough emphasis placed on caring for orphans. As thankful as we are that Anara is being taken cared for, it is a reminder that many are not. This is the case for orphans globally.

*Please pray for God to move mightily among His people and prompt more families to pursue adoption.
*Pray that God would increase the resources available to missionaries and orphanages to better care for His kids.
*We praise God for this encouragement and for this missionary's heart and faithfulness.
*Pray that the orphanage workers would have a special love for the kids .
*Pray that missionaries would be encouraged and continue to remain faithful in their positions. *Pray that families will come forward to adopt children.
*Pray that the process of adoption as a whole would become more pure with true regard for the children.
*Pray that the courts would waive the 30-day waiting period so that we can bring Anara home soon.
*Pray also that she heals from her cold and remains healthy.
*The last prayer request is that our adoption agency would receive their accreditation renewal from Russia. They need this to continue facilitating adoptions through Russia. Right now there are families waiting to go pick up their children and children that know they have families waiting. It has been about 6 months and there is no word on reaccreditation.

Monday, February 26, 2007

What's on your mind?

Here are some of the things Violet thinks about.....

Violet's thoughts after losing her balloon Sunday.
"Green balloon go up in sky. Up to Jesus house. Jesus helps you. Balloon come back at night"

Violet's thoughts on the bottles for Anara.
"Bottle for Baby Sister. No. Bottle for Violet. Violet's bottle. Baby Sister get new one."

Violet's thoughts on Rachel from Signing Time.
"I like Rachel. I love her. She's cute"

Violet's response when I tried to give her another bite for dinner.
"Stop, stop Mama - the light is red."

Violet has a lot to say and her thoughts on the world are very entertaining. We have been potty training for a few weeks. She was doing great, but recently she has struggled and right now prefers to be put in diapers. I am trying to find ways to move her along, but it seems she really wants to be a baby right now. You can see for yourself.

Violet stole Baby Seth's pacifier

Violet borrowed the bottle being washed for Baby Anara

"Not biggie girl - I like diapers"

No news on Anara - hopefully we will be packing our bags very soon.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Too much excitement

For those of you who do not know, Violet's favorite show is Signing Time. She has learned many signs and songs thanks to this show. She asks to watch it constantly, and the host of the show, Rachel, is a celebrity in our home. Tonight, Violet had the opportunity to see Signing Time live. I am not sure who was more excited, me or Violet. Violet kept saying, "See Rachel", "Hug Rachel", & "Don't be shy". She was very happy at the end when she finally was able to take a closer look and have her picture taken with herThe pictures of Vi crying were taken before we left for Signing Time. She wanted Anara's new blanket wrapped around her. I wanted to take a picture of her in her Signing Time shirt, and she was devastated that I took the blanket off her. You can see that she recovered once the blanket was replaced.

We don't have any new news on Anara. We are still praying for a court date very soon and the 30-day waiting period to be waived. We also applied for a grant from Shaohannah's Hope and wrote a letter to the mission committee at our church.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Violet & Victoria

Ring around the rosey...

A Pocketful of posies...

Ashes, ashes We all fall down

This morning Victoria, also known as Doodlebug or Bug, came over for a few minutes. When Bug and her mom were leaving, Violet said, "Bug stay here" and pointed to the floor beside her. Doodlebug's mom (Kita) had errands to run, so we volunteered to watch Bug. Bug lives next door and makes a perfect playmate for Violet. Violet is a little bossy and doesn't share well, but we are working on that.

Violet apologizing for pushing
Yesterday was a rough day. I want to post this photo because I think it is hilarious. Violet is having a trouble with meal times. She refuses to swallow and gets very angry because we won't let her down from her high chair until she finishes.
Life is so hard
Anara news: Today we are sending Anara a little gift with another adoptive family. We are sending a fleece with tags and ribbons (Taggie) made by Grandma P., a little Winnie the Pooh head on a silky piece of fabric, and most importantly a plush photo album. The photo album is filled with pictures of Violet, Mom, Dad, grandparents, and all the aunts and uncles. I will overnight it to an adoptive family and they will hand deliver it to Anara. Jody also put in some requests with them for a few more pictures.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Don't forget Violet

There has been some concern (mostly by a grandparent :) that we might forget Violet in this process. You can rest assured that this would be absolutely impossible. Just now Violet said to me, "Mama, get down off there" because she disapproves of me being on the computer. However, with all this talk of a baby sister, she might already be showing some signs of regression.

Violet with her baby doll's pacifier in her mouth.

In other Violet news, she has recently been diagnosed with asthma. I am going to call it "mild reactive airway disease" because that sounds much better. She has been sick with her typical coughing twice since January 23rd. She has nebulizer treatments a few times per day, but only with these colds. When she is healthy, she breathes just fine.

There is no such thing as a candid shot with Vi. As soon as she hears the camera turn on, she puts on her cheesy smile.

Anara Update: Our documents are being translated right now. Our power of attorney in K-stan is asking the adoption committee to waive the waiting period after the adoption is finalized. She is also inquiring about whether the country fee can be lowered because of her special needs. You can pray about these two things. They would mean a less expensive and quicker adoption. Pray also that God would move more families towards adoption.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gracious God of Plenty

We wanted to create a place where we could provide
updates to everyone on a somewhat regular basis.
Here is our family blog.

Baby Anara

Anara news: Our paperwork made it through the certification process at the embassy last Friday. It is now on its way to court. The adoption process should be final in about two weeks. There is a 30 day waiting period after the adoption is complete. We could potentially travel to pick Anara up 2-8 weeks from now. We are praying that it will be sooner rather than later.

Violet gets excited when asked questions about her "Baby tister". We are pretty sure she doesn't understand what it means, but she has picked up on our excitement and echoes it rather well. Here is a recurring dialogue regarding Anara.

"Violet, tell _____ what you are going to have pretty soon."

Violet responds with wide eyes, "Baby Tister".

"Tell ____ what your baby sister's name is."

"Baby Nara"

"Where does Baby Anara live?"

"Ophinage - Daddy Mommy go get her."

We are preparing for travel and Anara as much as we know how. We haven't made travel arrangements or visa preparations because we are not sure of our dates. I am hoping for a little more information on Anara so that I will know what size clothing to take for her. We are working on getting formula and appropriate medications.

We recently consulted a pediatric urologist about Anara's medical condition. He and his partners will more than likely be the physicians responsible for her surgery. He was very gracious and helpful. Anara will require a fairly complex surgery within a month or two of coming home. She will have about a 3 week stay at Riley. The surgery should correct most of the issues related to her bladder exstrophy. The urologist said that it is likely Anara will require lifelong catheterizing. We are praying that she will be an exception and achieve continence, but we are prepared and accepting of this outcome.

We can't wait to meet Anara and bring her home. We decided to keep her given name. It means pomegranate flower and we thought this fit our family well. Anar is also the Russian form of the name Ann. Ann means "gracious". Elizabeth is Nate's mother's name. Elizabeth means "God of plenty or my God is bountiful." Her name can be stretched to mean "Gracious God of Plenty."

Here is another picture of Anara. She is seen here with a missionary. She is the woman who is responsible for introducing us to Anara. She seems to be a very commited and wonderful woman with a genuine love for His children. We cannot wait to meet her when we pick up Anara.

Please email or call with any questions or comments. I will try to keep this blog current.