Hello Beautiful Family!
I have been reading your blog since just
before Katya's arrival home and have been honored to pray for her, her
doctors and your family over the past many months.
I want to
thank you for sharing your journey with all of us who read your blog.
It gives me courage for when things are bleak in my own world (or feel
I have a few questions and I hope you know you can answer any or none at all...
is your family's faith background? I see that you wear headcoverings
and was interested. My husband is a rabbi and I know the customs in
judaism for head coverings and I thought I would a
Thank you very much for all the kind and encouraging words! And we especially thank you for all the prayers! They are so appreciated!
I was raised in a Christian home, attending a Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Church until I was ready for 3rd grade. Then my parents decided to relocate to a new state and attend a Mennonite church. They eventually joined the church there, so I mainly grew up Mennonite. My husband was raised in an entirely different country (Mexico) in a German-Speaking Colony in a Kliende Geimende Mennonite church. The reason I cover my head is from the teachings in 1 Corinthians 11. I like the Amplified Version here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+11&version=AMP
I too find it interesting that headcovering for women is practiced in so many other religions. ;-) It encourages me and strengthens my belief in how important it is. ;-)
I so appreciate your sharing your faith in God in your writing...once again, this buoys me.
Thank you . . . following God is the most important thing in my life, and it is because of Him that I a who I am and can do what I do. I hope my love for Him always shines.
how did you raise all of the money you needed for your adoption? Did
your church help? I bought one of Cherry's adorable bows...what other
avenues of income generation did you pursue?
Honestly, we tried just about every thing! Every thing that was *Legal*, I should add. ;-) We sewed, we crafted, we sold every thing of ours that we could sell, with the help of many friends we did a spaghetti dinner and a silent auction that brought in over $1,000. Several bulb fundraisers through Dutch Mill Bulbs were done--and some of those fundraisers were handled by friends or family of ours in other states. We scrimped and did without. We ate primarily beans and rice much of the time, and if there was anything we could just barely do without, we did without. Our family is used to living simply, but we took it to "new highs" in order to be able to save the money for Katya's adoption expenses. We felt that it was only right if we were asking others to consider helping with her expenses that we do all ourselves that we could. It really bothers us when we see people asking others to sacrifice to help them cover adoption expenses, only to find out later that they are doing all kinds of things that they could do without. In our opinion, it's wrong for instance, to drop $250 on a tatoo, or to go out and get a nice big screen TV for Christmas, when you are asking others to sacrifice and give you their money.
And yes, our church friends pitched in and helped in various ways. In addition to helping with various fundraisers we did, one lady in our church did a Tupperware fundraiser, and there were quite a few Sundays we went to church and found cash neatly folded up and placed in our 'in house' mailbox there . . . to this day, we have no clue who the generous heart(s) were, but we have thanked God often and asked Him to bless them! Also, after we were home, the church ladies provided about a weeks' worth of meals for us in order to make things easier for us. That was very appreciated as well!
We are really grateful to this day for everyone who helped in so many, many ways, and we couldn't have saved Katya's life without the help of people who were willing to be God's hands and feet to Katya in the battle for her life.
And finally, how long did you consider adoption?
I [Hope Anne] knew growing up as a young girl that adoption was something I wanted to do someday. My Mom read "The Family Nobody Wanted" to us kids as a read aloud book when I was around 5 or 6. And I read it again myself many times growing up. There were a few other books that influenced my life as well. When my parents relocated to the Mennonite church, there were several families in the church who had adopted multiple times. I saw adoption as a positive thing, and it just reinforced my desire. In fact, I felt so strongly about it that for many years I felt that I would rather adopt than have biological children. I knew I wanted to adopt special needs kids because my oldest brother (who died when I was six) had special physical needs, and a younger brother had intellectual disabilities that affected him fairly profoundly, and do indeed, still to this day.
Paul was not brought up to view adoption as positively as I did, and it took much longer for him to feel that it was the right route, but he eventually became fully onboard. It would have been back in 2004 when he first really was sure he was called to adopt. After that we began our adoption of Kristina, and completed it in 2005. Our experience with adding her to our home was challenging, but not so much so that we felt like we would never adopt again. It still took a lot of time and prayer though before God gave Paul the go-ahead for adopting Katya . . . and that is a whole 'nother story that hopefully we can share at a later date on her blog here!
Oh, and how long have you and Paul been married?
21 years, if I can still do the math. ;-)
Thank you, Jabreman for all your support and help over our journey with Katya! May God bless you!