"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"One Less" (or if I wasn't already married to a FANTASTIC guy, I would ask Matthew West to marry me)

I know this post title seems a little random, and there is a very good reason for that--it is random. BUT, this blog is about our adoption process, and my iTunes download 5 minutes ago definitely qualifies! I really like Matthew West's music. He is coming out with a new album, and I'm kind of looking forward to it. Today, the single, "One Less" was released and it is a song about...are you ready??? It's about ADOPTION! The song is fantastic in my opinion, and I plan on listening to it on loop for a while. Just thought you should know! 

By blog standards/etiquette I know I'm not supposed to copy/paste the words and ideas of others, but I sometimes live life on the edge (and I don't think Mr. West would mind if it encourages you to buy his single or album :)). 

Here is what Matthew West has to say about his song, "One Less."

“Defend the cause of the orphans…” Isaiah 1:17

I was inspired by the hundreds of stories from people who were so passionate about adoption.  What a gift for a family to open up their arms and welcome in a child with no home!  Every adoption story is truly the proof that God is involved in the details, even the smallest details.  I wrote the first verse to show how at the same time, in two different parts of the world, God is hearing the cries of two hearts, and little do they know they are about to be joined together by a God who can orchestrate the impossible.

There are so many orphans in the world today, that the mission of giving them all a home to the human eye seems more like a mission impossible.  But, as I read one story after another about a child finding a home, I found myself saying, “That’s one less, one less, one less broken heart in the world tonight.”

You may not be in a position to adopt an orphan in your life right now, but there are many ways to carry out the command of the bible to care for the orphans.  Personally, I have a friend who is in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia and he and his family are in need of financial support to do so.  Many friends and neighbors are helping support this family’s effort financially so this little girl can have a home.  Ask God to show you how to care for the orphans.  Every time you help, that’s one less…

The Story Behind:
One Less

Humboldt, TN

My wife and I started an adoption of a little girl named Lily in August of 2007. We were able to finally bring her home in November of 2009! I am the senior pastor of a church in TN and the adoption became a process embraced by our whole family of faith. As a part of the adoption my wife moved into an apartment there in that country so we could foster our now 8 year old daughter. We spent 7 months apart from one another. It was the most difficult test we have faced as a couple. The pain that marked those seven months was quickly replaced when we finally made it home. The joy we shared when we arrived here reminded me of what it must be like when one of God's children finally make it home. We left Guatemala with no fan fare and a few tears. We arrived at our home with church members lining the street with banners, cheering, and sharing great relief.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Homeland Security Looks Favorably Upon Us

We received our I171-H approval from USCIS (immigration/homeland security) this week, and it has already been forwarded to our agency. Whew! It is the last piece of the paperwork puzzle. Now what am I suppose to do? While the paperwork was daunting at times, it did give us a sense of purpose. We would celebrate every little thing that we finished, and it really felt like we were getting somewhere. Now, we are to just sit and wait? Hmmm, ok...because that is something that I am fantastic at (insert sarcastic tone here). 

Maybe I will secretly start decorating the nursery!? Good thing Kevin doesn't actually read OUR blog. All of my "secrets" are safe here. 

We are "unofficially" #31 on the referral wait list this week, and you should be impressed that I have yet to call and get an updated "official" # from the agency. Maybe I am learning a little something about patience, or maybe I just know that I shouldn't harass anyone yet, because I will be calling all too often when we are lower on the list. You decide. I love hearing about referrals for 2 reasons. Of course, with each one we hear about, we move one step closer to our son or daughter. Even more than that though, it is a sweet feeling to know that another child has been matched with a Forever Family and will be home soon. Just a warm fuzzy even all around!

An update on our niece, Kailey. The surgery went as planned. The recovery seems to be going as smoothly as it can. As always, we ask for continued prayers for a smooth and fast recovery, as well as strength and peace for her family. I am excited to head there next weekend and have some quality time with my favorite 6 year old in the whole world (Kailey's amazing big sis--Mya).

Monday, September 20, 2010

CaringBridge for Kailey

Much of my mind and energy is consumed by thinking and praying for my tiny little niece, Kailey Elizabeth. She is a miracle to be witnessed. We also continue to grieve the loss of baby Breley, but are sustained by the thought that she fought so hard to give her sister, Kailey valuable time in utero, in order to give her a fighting chance. Kailey is taking full advantage of that gift from her sister! 

Kevin and I are waiting to receive our I171-H approval (immigration), so there isn't a ton of adoption news to post. We are still sitting unofficially at #34 (and really hoping to see some movement on the list SOON!) Really quickly, a public apology to my dear friend, Ashley in regards to the "longest e-mail ever." Thanks for letting me get all of my thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, fears, and more fears out in the open today! You know I love ya!

Below I have pasted the e-mail about Kailey's CaringBridge site. Prayers welcome (any negative thoughts need not apply). Thanks in advance!

Dear Family and Friends,
We have decided to create a CaringBridge website because Facebook doesn't really allow an in-depth update. There is so much happening in one day with our little girl that it is impossible to keep everyone updated by email and Facebook.  Please follow Kailey's progress here.  Thank you!
Visit Kailey’s website in two easy ways:

    1. Visit the CaringBridge website by clicking the link below.

    2. Enter the website name, kaileyvandrovec, at www.CaringBridge.org.
When you visit you’ll be asked to log in, because I’ve chosen to keep the site private.

Show your support for Kailey
• Visit and keep up to date.
• Leave a message in the guestbook.
• Receive e-mail notifications when the journal is updated.
Thank you.
Terry and Jessica

CaringBridge is a free, nonprofit web service that connects family and friends to share information, love and support during a serious health event, care and recovery. Feel free to contact CaringBridge if you have any questions about using the site or need assistance.
If your e-mail program does not allow you to click on the above link, just copy and paste the address into the address bar of your web browser.
Please save this e-mail for future reference.

Kailey getting a snuggle with Momma!

Kailey and a snuggle with Daddy!
Dark hair and little ears!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dossier Made It Safely to Ethiopia

We were thankful to find out today that our dossier made it safely to Ethiopia. We are still waiting on our I-171H (immigration) approval to make the paper chase complete, but we just had our fingerprints done on 9/3, so I expect we will be waiting a few more weeks. The #1 question we will get is, "how long do you have to wait?" Good question...I have no idea. We continue to be unofficially #34 on the waiting list. We have been on the waiting list for 1 month. According to the agency, the wait time is currently 3-9 months for a referral, so my best guess is (3 to 9 minus 1 = 2 to 8 months left). Please don't let it be 8! ;)

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude. I have had blog readers and people I've never met, express their support and concern and offer of prayers for Breley and Kailey. I am humbled on behalf of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. I know how appreciative they are of the support and prayers. Thank you on behalf of them (and myself and Kev), to those I've never met, those I've only met once, and of course my co-workers who are quick with a tissue and hug. Oh, and Mom and Dad--I love you too. Not sure why I was such a brat in the teen years with parents like you, you never cease to amaze me with the love...
Should I thank Mercy Me and Sara Groves for the couple of their songs that I've played on loop all week? Thanks Mercy Me and Sara Groves. Oh, and Tenth Avenue North...I've had one of theirs going too...

Breley--you came into this world and showed us the true meaning of perseverance and love. Kailey--we are behind you little one! Your sister angel is watching over you. 


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Breley Ann Vandrovec, Beloved

“Before I formed
you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Do not
be afraid… for I am with you… declares the Lord.“ Jeremiah 1:5,8 --
Breley Ann Vandrovec died this evening in the comfort of her mother's
arms. We loved her dearly. She taught me many things about perseverance and love, and for that, I will forever be grateful.

Let Me Introduce You to Our New Nieces

If I could list the miracles at play in the lives of our newest nieces, I would. To be honest, I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around it. They made it to 24 weeks on Friday, September 3rd at midnight...Breley Ann was born at 2:05 am and Kailey Elizabeth was born at 2:30am. They each weighed 1 lb and 6 oz, and were 12 inches long. They are receiving great care, and they are fighting their way through. I keep telling everyone, that I have this specific picture in my head and it is years from now, and we are telling Breley and Kailey about how people far and wide prayed for their protection, health and safety...and it is such a neat picture in my mind, because the prayers were resoundingly answered. I have nothing but utter faith...that this is coming true. Thanks to everyone who has prayed. Words do not adequately describe the gratitude. 

You would think that after hearing the weight, inches, etc that I would have been prepared to actually see them. NOT AT ALL. Mind you, I have seen preemies before, I have nieces that happen to be triplets, and they too were born early. I wanted so badly to speak to Breley when I saw her, but I was speechless (this is a truly rare occurence for me...if I am ever quiet, it isn't because I don't know what to say...it is usually because I am restraining myself. Not this time.) All I could utter to Breley, was that I love her, and it was barely above a whisper. I saw Kailey from afar. She was in the middle of receiving some treatment, and frankly...I couldn't watch. It struck me, that here I am freaking out in my mind and Miss Kailey is just handling it like a champion. I am a weakling! 

So, if you would--just continue to pray for the strength of these little miracles, and the peace and strength of their mom and dad and older sister.Thank you!!!!!

A note about our adoption. We got them done Friday, and it was quite uneventful. It wasn't a problem that I showed up at Kevin's appointment (mine isn't technically until Tuesday). We are just waiting for Homeland Security to process everything, and will begin waiting by the mailbox for our I-171H approval...the last paperwork. Yippee!!!!! Oh, and we are "unofficially" #34 on the waiting list for our referral! We will wait a couple more weeks to call for an updated, official #. You know I will let you know when I know!

I dig that the girls are already into fashion accessories. Purple goggles, baby! (I already bought them headbands, bows and flowers!)


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