101. I wanted to adopt from Russia
102. Nathan wanted to adopt from Columbia
103. The 6-week stay scared me.
104. We went to a Bethany international meeting
105. We ended up choosing Russia! Yeah I win!
106. We started all the paperwork and sent in our money
107. We ended up waiting over a year for our referral
108. Our first referral was an 18-month-old little boy
109. We had wanted a child that was as young as possible
110. We also knew that if God wanted us to adopt this little boy we would.
111. We never had a name for him
112. 3 days later we received word that our facilitator in Russia had a 7-month-old baby boy for us
113. Did we want to adopt him instead?
114 after much prayer we felt God calling us to adopt this little 7 month old.
115. We were very sad about the other boy and prayed that he ended up in a home
116. The little 7 month old was named Vasily Nikolaevich Nadeleav
117. We did not get a picture and video of him for 4 more months.
118. Finally a family traveled in November 1997 and we received our first videos and picture
119. He was beautiful
120. A few weeks after we got a call from Bethany that this little boy was being labeled retarded
121. We knew that could not be true after we saw the video.
122. Even if he was God had called us to adopt him.
123. We showed Bethany our video and they agreed with us. The little boy looked very bright.
124. We found out he would have been put in a home to die if we had not adopted him.
125. Dec 1997 we found out we could possibly get a court hearing soon.
126. If we did not get one soon there was a chance for an adoption stoppage
127. If that happened we may not be able to travel until February or maybe not at all.
128. Just a few days later I was reading the newspaper and saw a plane crash in Irkutsk, Russia
129. This was where Nikolas was born.
130. It said that a plane had hit an apartment building and burned down and orphanage.
131. We were so scared. We did not know if this was where Nikolas was or not
132. This was on a Sunday
133. On Monday we found out we had a court hearing and had to get to leave by Thursday
134. Yes you read right. 3 days notice to travel!! Wow!!
135. Our court hearing was December 16th 1997. It was also Nate’s sister’s birthday
136. We had problems with our Russian visas and Originally we were denied.
137. Some important info had been left off that we didn’t know we needed
138. I got a phone call from the Russian Consulate and at first the man was not very nice.
139. After I cried and begged he told me to overnight everything and we could pick it up in New York
140 Big problem. We were not flying through New York
141. He then said he would overnight back to us
142. Our visa’s arrive 1 hour before we left for the airport. God is good!
142. We spent 3 weeks in Russia.
143. We had a great time and made many friends
144 We arrived home Dec 31, 1997
145. End of April 1998 we found out I was 3 months pregnant (Thanks Diane for seeing the mistake!!! LOL For those that have not seen yet i said 12 months pregnant! LOL)
146. Biggest surprise of my life.
147. Heather was born November 1998
148. Not long after Heather was born we met our good friends Mark and Cheri Battjes.
149. I didn’t realize then how important Cheri would be in my life!! I thank God for her every day
150. They ended up adopting a little girl from Irkutsk not long after us
151. We have now been friends for about 10 years!!
152. In November of 1999 we ended up buying a house in Hudsonville.
153. We loved it because it came with a hot tub!
154. At the end of June 2000 we found out that were going to have another baby
155. Yes it was another surprise!
156. At the same time I started having some health issues.
157. I ended up in the emergency room via ambulance one night because of severe heart racing
158. Later we found out these were being caused by panic attacks
159. I ended up having panic attacks for two years and went on some medication.
160. I was on Paxil and I would NOT recommend this to anyone and will never take it again.
161. Caleb was born in February 2001.
162. He was loved very much by the hospital staff
163. They were supposed to bring him to my room at night but…
164. They thought he was so cute they kept him in the nurse’s station all night
165. He was already being spoiled
166. The night we brought him home he screamed for 11 hours straight.
167. We found out 11 hours later that the nipple on his bottle was not working right.
168. This was our third child. You would think we would have it all figured out.
169. Late spring of 2002 our good friends, the Battjes, went to Russia to adopt a little girl
170. This was their daughter, Arianna, biological sister.
171. When they returned they had such good reports.
172. I remember being downstairs with Cheri and talking about maybe us adopting again
173. I remember calling up to Nate to ask him what he thought about adopting a Russian girl
174. He actually said I don’t care see what Alex says (our facilitator and friend in Russia)
175. We went ahead and called Bethany with in a few days and had started the paperwork
176. This was beginning of June.
177. Heather told us one day that she would love to have a sister that was her age. 3 1/2
178. We emailed this to Alex and he said he would see what he could do
179. With in a few days we had our referral of Ekaterina Anaolievna Manchuk
180. Mark and Cheri traveled again to Russia for their court hearing in July
181. We traveled for our first trip to meet Katie in August about 2 weeks after Mark and Cheri
182. We spend 9 days with Katie.
183. The day we left her in Russia to go home she ended up getting the chicken pox.
184. We knew before we left on our first trip we would be returning in 5 weeks.
185. We flew back to Russia on October 10 and spent the next 6 weeks in Russia.
186. If you recall #102 and #103 above A 6 week stay had scared me big time
187. God has the last laugh always!!
188. We LOVED every minute of our 6 weeks in Russia
189. We traveled every day to find somewhere new and learn about our children’s country
190. We now had 4 children and my head was spinning.
191. We figured we were now done.
192. In august 2004 we made another big change.
193. We were not happy with the church we were attending and the drive to get there was so long
194. It would take us almost 30 minutes each way
195. I had grown up in this church and had always attended there
196. We decided to look around to see where else we could attend closer
197. our good friends Mark and Cheri told us about their church
198. We decided to meet them there and see what it was all about.
199. This was in Allendale, Mi and only about a 7-minute drive
200. We were so nervous
to be continuted........
I kind of like how it always leaves at somewhat of a cliffhanger!! :)