So this appears to be the end of our very long adoption journey! We of course need some paperwork to finalize, but that is too uneventful to blog about really. We are so excited to be a family of five!
I will probably stop blogging here.....but I can't without about a thousand thank yous. We have been in the process on some level for over a year.
1st - I want to thank Andrea from Reece's Rainbow (and everyone who is a part of their team!) - while we did not end up with a Reece's Rainbow angel as we had anticipated, we are so thankful for their organization and the good things they are doing for children around the world - including advocating and educating right here in America! Perhaps someday we can adopt (WAYYYYY in the future) an older child through RR - but for now we promise to continue donating and sharing their cause!
Thank you to our friend Yahdira who was kind enough to do all of our adoption notary completely for free! This is an amazing ministry! If you are in the North County SD area (or willing to travel to her) please email me & I will get you in touch - she offers free notary for families adopting for their adoption paperwork!
Thank you to Suzanne, Kathleen, and Kelly (not in any particular order =)) for putting together a beautiful fundraiser - we know it was just as much for 'Claire' as it was for us, and we know you love our Charlotte just as much as you loved Claire. We are so thankful that so much of the money raised went to Gregory (still waiting on Reece's Rainbow) - we love that God has multiplied the children who have been adopted - first 'Claire', now our Charlotte, and prayerfully Gregory.....and prayerfully even more - we know that fundraiser touched many hearts and we know it helped so many more than just our family!
Thank you to EVERY person who prayed for and supported us in a million different ways! We had dozens of friends, family members, and total strangers who blessed us with prayers, words of encouragement, and financial support. We are so thankful and truly humbled - we know not everyone going through an adoption has this kind of support, and we do not take any of it for granted.
Thank you to the RR families we connected with - but especially Sarah - mommy to be of 'Caroline' waiting in Eastern Europe - we shared a lot of ups and downs. She was a great comfort in that she understood a lot of what we were going through. We are so thankful her little girl is still available and their paperwork was submitted - we ironically both now have 'heart babies' and we are thankful for the friendship we have been able to have with them!
Thank you everyone who prayed for us when we got the terrible news that our 'Claire' was not to be ours. We know we are exactly where we are supposed to be, but it was (and is) terrible for our family that we will never meet her in this lifetime - we are comforted by the fact that she is loved and HER family got to her before the shut down - we can only pray she has a beautiful life and that we can meet her on the other side of eternity. We know all the prayers for her protection have not gone unanswered - we are sure she is just a treasure in her family. While we miss her - we are just so happy she is loved.
Thank you to our other virtual friend Ivonne - who told us about Charlotte needing a family ASAP!
Thank you to Michelle at 'Adoption Answer' who took a leap of faith with us. She needed a family immediately and she didn't know us at all. She is a woman of integrity who truly wants what is best for all involved - birth mother, child, and adopting family - I'm sure she was nervous not knowing us beforehand - but we truly believe God put us all together.
Thank you to my parents who took our kids for the longest 'about a week' of all time - it turned out to be 3 1/2 weeks that we took before Charlotte was ready to leave. Our big kids are cute, but they are a lot of work - Grandma & Grandpa shuffled them around everywhere they needed to go and never complained.
Thank you to our friends who helped them out with playdates and dinners when they needed a little break.
Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House for everything they do - because Charlotte was in NICU and we were more than 50 miles from home we were able to stay with the RMH for $10 a night! We lost a bit of money when our Ukrainian adoption did not go through. And while our travel obviously was less expensive - there were lots of new expenses with this new adoption - we are thankful our living expenses the last THREE weeks was next to nothing. RMH serves so many - some families are here for months at a time - even 3 weeks we are so blessed! Thank you to the volunteers here, those who brought in dinner and brought gifts for us and our kids. Amazing, amazing people - making the world a much softer place.
And above all else, we thank God for burdening us for orphans. It has been a much tougher road than the traditional route to a family - but we feel so richly blessed. We are so thankful for the daughter we made. But we are also so thankful for the son and daughter that are so perfectly part of our family but that we simply could not have made on our own - how blessed are we that we were put together with these little ones too. The beauty of our three kids together speaks volumes of Your profound grace, love, and goodness. Our prayer is to honor You as they grow. We pray what You have done with us (despite us occasionally complaining, doubting, and crying along the way) will be a testimony others will be encouraged by. More than that, we pray we honor You as we raise them - looking at all of them so little we just can't wait to see Your plans for them. We are just people; regular people, and we just don't know why we were so blessed.
Signing off for now ~
All our love and gratitude ~
Kate, Harry, Josie, Silas, and Charlotte Elise