Monday, March 28, 2011

"Be anxious for nothing..."

Well, the time is quickly approaching for our departure.  Like any other person, I have so many concerns (or let's face it...worries).  We know that so many are praying for us and will continue to pray for us as we travel.  We are so thankful for the guidance God has provided for us and for the support that has surrounded us.  The Bible is full of promises from of those promises keeps coming to me:

4 "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:4-7

There are so many things that I am anxious about (even though I should not be anxious for anything!)....Please join us in praying for some specific requests:

1.  Our safety.  I (Patti) am unsure about flying and traveling in a foreign country.
2.  Our kids that will be left here...that we may all have a peace even though we will be apart.
3.  Zack...we pray that the Lord will prepare him for the changes that will be coming and that bonds will be re-ignited quickly.
4.  The judge that we must 'deal' with.  We have been told that he is the most difficult judge, please pray that he will be 'easy' on us.
5.  All those involved in this workers, translators, adoption officials.

Now that we have shared our petitions, we cannot forget God's faithfulness and thank Him for that:

1.  We are thankful that the funding has been provided.
2.  God's provision for not only finances, but the peace He has given us through this process.
3.  Support from family and friends.

Most importantly...we pray that His name will be glorified in all we do.

Thank you all for all your words of support and encouragement, and most of all...lifting us up before our Father in prayer.

Dan and Patti

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tonight's The Night

Tonight is a big night.  We have our pizza party fundraiser as a final fundraiser before we leave for Russia.  We are in need of about $9000 still.  We know that is a lot, but we also know that God is in control.  It has really been amazing to see God’s people work together for this purpose.  When we started this journey, we were told that the cost would be right around $50,000.  We choked.  We felt the Lord leading us down this road, but knew we didn’t have the money, even after selling everything we could.  We started with fundraisers and the money started coming in.  Each time we had to send in a ‘chunk’ of money, we had just enough.  It has been just awesome to be a part of…(I say ‘awesome’ because we are in awe of God’s provision and evident hand). 

When I think of the amount we must raise, I find myself in a panic.  The verse that always comes to my mind is Ephesians 3:20-21:

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I have been finding so much comfort and encouragement from the Bible lately.  It feels as though the words were written just for me.  I just love when a passage will bring me to tears, because they are tears of surrender and relief and joy (that deep down overwhelming joy).  God has been showing Himself to me/us in so many ways through this adoption that we know without a doubt that this is His will and that He will provide.

Our fundraiser is from 5-8pm, March 25.  It is being held at:
Bethel URC
2025 Baldwin Street
Jenison, MI 49428

Anyone is welcome

Monday, March 21, 2011

Preparing and Packing

We are starting to get our things ready.  I have a box in our spare room (for now) that I toss things into as I think of them.  I'm so nervous that I'm going to forget something!  We have to bring so many things that are required.  We have to take a suitcase full of things for the orphanage to leave.  Things we need to bring include:  School supplies (paper, pens/pencils, crayons, markers, coloring books, etc), and hygeine items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, medicine, band-aids and such.  We were wondering if anybody has anything that can be spared.  Do you have extra things in your cupboards that you could donate?  We would really appreciate if you could also help us out in this way since it is costly to fill a suitcase with those things, versus everyone sparing a tube or two of toothpaste.  If you are able to help us out, I can meet up with you at some point, or you could bring it to our fundraiser on Friday night.  Thank you so much for all your help, donations and prayers!
Dan & Patti

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Court Date!!!

Dear family and friends,
It is with great joy and excitement that we write this letter…we have been assigned a court date in Russia!  Our date is April 7, 2011!!!! 

Many of you are wondering (as we were when we heard) what this means. This means that we need to appear in the Russian court and make the case/request for Zack to be our son.  Lord willing, we will leave for Russia on Friday, April 1.  This will give us a few days to do the things we will need to do in Moscow, and then leave on a twelve hour overnight train ride for the region of Chuvashia on Tuesday night.  We will arrive in Cheboksary (the capital of the Chuvash Region) on Wednesday morning, and go to the orphanage (roughly an hour drive) to go get Zack.  We will stay in Cheboksary Wednesday night and prepare for our court session on Thursday.  Court has been known to possibly be two days long.  We particularly ask for your prayers that the Lord would soften the heart of the judge as he has been intensely difficult to deal with these last few months. We do know that we will be leaving again for Moscow either Thursday or Friday night to make our flight on Saturday, the 9th.  Approximately 2 weeks later, Dan will return to Russia to get Zack and take him home.  Russia has a waiting period after the court date, while the child’s visa is applied for.  Dates on this trip are not yet set, so we’ll keep you all posted.

In our haste to make arrangements for travel and adoption, we spoke with our adoption official, and she informed us that costs have gone up, and the value of the American dollar has gone down, making the exchange rate unfavorable.  Therefore, we are in desperate need of more funds than we originally thought.  We are in need of $10,000.  We will be having a last-minute fundraiser at Bethel URC in Jenison.  We will be having a pizza party open house from 5-8 on Friday, March 25. 

We thank you all for your has meant so much to us.  We know that MANY people have given money, time, help and most importantly…prayers.  We know that this is our Father’s will and He will provide, as we have seen His hand time and time again.