Monday, October 29, 2012

Register to WIN!

Just in case you didn't get a chance to read my friends blogpost, I'm going to summarize a portion of it for you.

I really liked her ideas of how people can help with our next fundraising event, regardless of their location or their love (or dislike) of running.  Here are the suggestions she came up with:

1.  Pass this link along to anyone you know who lives in Utah that likes to run.  Or walk.  Or move.  And encourage them to participate.

2.  Consider donating the amount of the required entry fee as if you were able to run it yourself. And then... Just Donate It! Bonus: If you don't live there you won't even have to get off the couch to be part in this way. And you can still feel really, really good about yourself. Because you made a difference to someone else.

3.  If you live in Kansas City area and want to donate and also run, let my friend know (you can contact her through her blog). She will be running a 5K on the same day, at the same time, in honor of Albina, Alina & Maks. And she would love to have some running buddies. Let her know if you'd be interested and she'll take care of the rest. Including delicious post-run cookies and milk.

4.  If you do not live in South Jordan OR Kansas City area and want to donate and also run, do what my friend is doing. Donate, run in your own town in honor of this adoption, and gather some running/walking buddies to also donate and join you in your own race. Provide delicious post-run cookies and milk.

5.  Share. Share. Share. Because sharing is caring. And the best way to get the word out. And that is what is needed here. To get the word out.

Registration for the race is as EASY as DONATING to our cause!
Simply take these easy steps:

1. Read the Consent & Waive Form before signing up.
1. Click on the DONATE button to the left.
2. Through Paypal, donate your registration fee amount for the 5K.
3. In the comments box include the following information:
  • "Participant(s) Name" (This acts as your signature for the Consent & Waive Form)
  • " Participant(s) Phone Number"
  • "Participant(s) Email"
  • " Participant(s) Gender"
  • "Participant(s) Age"
THAT'S IT!  No need to print anything off.  No need to sign anything additional.  Just complete your registration online through Paypal, and show up on Saturday ready to RACE!

Shelly & Friend after running Half Marathon: All Smiles!

Here are the Race Day details:

November 3rd, 2012
1:00 PM
Paradigm High School
11577 S 3600 W, South Jordan, UT

$15 for student/adult ($2 off with any student ID)
$7 for children 6 – 12 and adults 65 and older
Children 5 and under FREE



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Days Are Here Again!

I wanted to write yesterday because I was absolutely and completely FULL of great news... but I just didn't have a chance!

Here are the things that have happened since my last post on Thursday:
  • We received a message from Albina asking us when we were going to arrive in Ukraine.  We have come to realize that she is on an emotional roller coaster as well.  It must be so difficult to wait and wait and not know what is going on, especially when your life has been unstable in the past.  We've noticed that she pulls back emotionally and then something happens that gives her hope and she gets excited again.  My heart aches that I can't change the difficulty of this experience for her and give her the stability she craves immediately!   
  • We received our final document in the mail (our USCIS approval) on Thursday.
  • We were able to get it notarized and delivered to the Capital Building before they closed on Thursday evening.  This insured that we would be able to get the document apostilled by Friday morning.
  • Yesterday I picked up final documents from Capital Building and got everything shipped off to Ukraine!  (This sounds much simpler than it really was... it actually took me about 6 hours to get this project taken care of!  I won't bore you with the details of why.  You're welcome!)
  • We received a phone call from Ukraine.  The Bahr family is currently in Ukraine picking up their daughter.  They are the family that sent us pictures of Alina and Albina.  James was able to speak with the Bahr's and get a complete update on the kids.  They are doing well, they miss us and love us and are anxious for us to come and get them.  Alina has been faithfully keeping a diary and gave it to Mrs Bahr to give us.  Apparently it has entry after entry of her talking about how much she loves and misses us.  She's written poems and music and drawn pictures.  She's tried to write in English as much as she possibly can.  The Bahr's also took a video of Maks saying "Hi" to us and trying to speak in some English.  They said that they have really enjoyed spending time with them.  They shared that they have recognized that they are lovely kids that love us very much. (One HUGE advantage is that Mrs Bahr is originally from Ukraine, so she speaks Russian and is able to fully communicate with the kids there.)  Alina has asked Mrs Bahr to please try to phone us so she can speak to us as well.  We are trying to get a call coordinated, but there are some challenges.  Hopefully we will be able to speak to the children before the Bahr's leave Ukraine.
As you can see, we have had some wonderful events.  Hearing about our kids completely lifted our spirits!  Getting the paperwork all turned in gives us a certain level of relief!  It was a happy, happy day yesterday!

We are told that if everything goes smoothly with our paperwork, we may be able to get a court date set before the end of the year.  In fact, we were told that it's fairly likely it would be on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  This is great news, and sad news for my other children who we will leave here in Utah.  However, they have all handled this news with real maturity.  They are all simply excited to move forward with this adoption and are willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary.  I have such awesome kids! 

So that leaves us with the only not so happy part of this adventure:  We still don't have all the funds necessary to pull off this adoption and we are looking at having a court date in 6-8 weeks.  This is a little overwhelming.  However, when I picked up the documents and mailed them off yesterday, I felt complete calm and assurance that everything would be okay.  Perhaps someone out there is reading this and realizing that they've been meaning to donate, but they just haven't gotten around to it?  Perhaps someone reading this knows someone that could help us get closer to our goal if our story was simply shared with them?  Perhaps someone reading this has already donated, but still has a little more room to support us either by donating or participating in one of our fundraising events (don't forget the SUGAR RUSH 5K coming up next Saturday!).  If you fit any of these categories, now is the time to come forward and help.  There isn't much more time ahead.

We appreciate all the support and help we've gotten so far on our journey.  We have made tremendous progress, and we are confident that we will continue to have the support and help from many.  Thank you to everyone that has contributed up to this point!  Now it's time to go full speed ahead and GET THIS JOB DONE! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The One First Thing... To Check Out

Last night I read this blog that my friend wrote:

I cried.  
I cried because I felt understood
And loved
And supported.

Those are good feelings to feel.
And unfortunately, I don't feel these feelings as often as I need.

So, today I'm going to encourage you to read it as well.  
Perhaps if you read it, you can better understand, love and support our family. 
Because I know that sometimes it's hard to wrap your head around why we would be doing this.
And if I weren't going through it right now, I probably wouldn't understand us either.
But because I am going through it, I really understand.

And it is HARD.
Sometimes it really hurts.
Most of the time it's really difficult to have enough faith.
And it's overwhelming all of the time.
And if I didn't love these kids SO much...
I would give up in an instant.

But I DO love them.
I love them so much I ache.
I wish people understood how important this is.
And that they could wrap their heads around why this is such an important cause to support.

Because as far as my feelings are concerned,
These are already my kids.
And they are not with me.
And not having your kids with you is JUST NOT RIGHT.

So, I'm not giving up.
I'm fighting harder than ever.

Does that help you understand?

Learn how you can support us through our next fundraising event SUGAR RUSH 5K.
You DO NOT have to be a runner or even a local to support us.
Check out my friend's blogpost to find out ways you can support us,
And then register here.

And as always, Thank You so much for your continued support!


Last week another family from Utah went to the orphanage where our kids are.  They are in Ukraine picking up their daughter.  We sent gifts with them to give to Albina, Alina and Maks.  They sent us these pictures:

Alina is in the green on the right.

I love this picture of Alina in the background as she checks out her gifts from us.

Alina posing for camera with other orphans.

Absolutely beautiful girls!  Albina and Alina receiving their gifts.

Then, to add to our excitement, Albina posted some pictures of Maks on her Ukrainian Facebook.  I cannot WAIT to hug and kiss this sweet boy.  Although I haven't met him, I love him and feel so anxious to get to Ukraine, take him in my arms and carry him all the way home!

Albina also posted more pictures of herself on an outing with her friends.  But I'll save those for another time.  :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Feel A Sugar Rush Coming!

*For updated SUGAR RUSH 5K information visit this post!

Last night I returned home from my weekend away.  You remember... the trip I was taking to run a half marathon?  I was able to spend some time with my dear friend, relax, eat lots of good food, and yes: run a half marathon!

The morning of the marathon we woke early and headed to the race.  There were 10,000 runners in this race and lots of supporters gathered as well.  It was a busy place with lots of excitement and energy.  We started our run out slowly.  The downtown scenery/architecture was beautiful and created a wonderful course to run on.  Around mile 8, my knee started bothering me.  I stopped to stretch and take some more ibuprofen.  Then I forged ahead hoping that it would work itself out and I could finish the race strong.  At about my mile 11, the winner of the full marathon flew past me.  Yes... he was running more than twice as fast as I was.  It could have been discouraging, but it wasn't.  It was inspiring.  Surprisingly, it didn't make me want to run faster or become more like him.  I really went into this race with no specific expectations and no time goals.  I went into this race wanting to run it MY way and MY best.  I primarily wanted to enjoy my first race as well as some time with my friend.  My only hope was to run the entire race, but knew that I needed to be sensitive to my knee issues.  Fortunately, even though my knee bothered me a bit, it never got so bad that I had to walk.  Just after mile 12, I started feeling foggy and not so great.  My friend started talking me through it.  I realized I was SO close and that I couldn't possibly give up at that point.  As we rounded the last corner, I expected to see the FINISH line.  But it was still hidden.  I knew it was ahead, but I was so frustrated that I couldn't see it.  I just had to keep going and trust that it would come into view very soon.  My friend said to me, "Run for your kids!"  I replied, "I've been running this entire race for my kids!"  Then she said, "Then run for yourself."  As soon as I caught view of the finish line I felt renewed strength.  I pushed through my foggy, yucky, "I want to walk and nap" feelings and did a pathetic (albeit inspiring) sprint through the finish line.  I gathered my medal, chocolate milk, water, apple, pretzels, and roll.  We got pictures taken.  And we celebrated my first and only (so far) personal record for a half marathon.  I knew I wasn't fast or overly amazing.  I knew that my finish didn't stand out as anything overly remarkable.  But I believe it was absolutely remarkable.  I was happy with my accomplishment and felt proud of myself for finishing the race.

Here are only a handful of the things I learned by running this race:
  1. A long run with great scenery, live bands along the way, people cheering on the sidelines and lots of people with similar goals surrounding you makes things feel a lot smoother and easier.
  2. Running a race with a supportive friend makes difficult things fun and painful things bearable.
  3. Chocolate milk after a race tastes good to lots of people.  But if you're like me and you don't like chocolate milk, running over 13 miles doesn't change your taste buds.
  4. Apples DO taste really good after a race.
  5. Sometimes you have great support to help get you through things.  But sometimes you just have to do difficult things alone.  Like cross the finish line.
I realize that none of these above "lessons learned" seem new, because "racing" has been used as a metaphor millions of times and everyone has heard racing metaphors over and over again.  But reminders are always good, and actually being in the race helps things hit home just a bit more.

Here is our latest fundraising announcement:  THIS IS IMPORTANT!

My daughters school has organized and is putting on the SUGAR RUSH 5K RUN/WALK.  Joining with us in this event will be beneficial in the following ways:
  1. Running/walking this 5K will help you burn off those extra calories you may consume on Halloween.
  2. Participating in the SUGAR RUSH 5K RUN/WALK gives you one more excuse to wear your awesome Halloween costume!  It's like a parade, but BETTER!
  3. The entrance fee of only $15 for adults will benefit Albina, Alina and Maks.
  4. Even if you are not running, come and support the runners and visit our booths!  
Registration is easy!

1. Read the Consent & Waive Form before signing up.
1. Click on the DONATE button to the left.
2. Through Paypal, donate your registration fee amount for the 5K.
3. In the comments box include the following information:
  • "Participant(s) Name" (This acts as your signature for the Consent & Waive Form)
  • " Participant(s) Phone Number"
  • "Participant(s) Email"
  • " Participant(s) Gender"
  • "Participant(s) Age"
THAT'S IT!  No need to print anything off.  No need to sign anything additional.  Just complete your registration online through Paypal, and show up on Saturday ready to RACE!

If you prefer not to or cannot pay through paypal, please email us at and we'll arrange to get payment from you another way.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This War Brings Peace! Let The Fighting Continue!

We are nearing the close of Coin Wars.  So far we have had 3 generous donations from people/families that have gathered their coins.


Yesterday one of my daughters came home from school with this:

Warning: Objects in bucket may have been manipulated to appear larger than they really are.  :-)

One of her teachers had sent this bucket around to her classes throughout the day.  How awesome is that?  I truly love this teacher! (She is an amazing teacher, person and friend to our family!) 


Take a few minutes today to gather your coins. 
It really will make a difference!

Every penny counts! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Moving? Yes, Please!

 Meet Dana Conway.

Real Estate Agent Extraordinaire!

She recently approached us as someone that wants to help our cause.  This is her generous offer:

"If you or any of your friends refer someone to me to buy or sell, I will donate 1/3 of my commission to the adoption fundraising. We are praying for you and your sweet kids!"

So, our request is pretty simple.  If you are considering purchasing or selling a home in Northern Utah (or know of someone that is), please use or pass along Dana's name and information so it can benefit our adoption fund!

Dana Conway

I am confident that you and/or your friends will love working with Dana!  She is a lovely person that will make buying or selling a home a pleasant experience.  In addition, she is an extremely hard worker and an individual committed to helping people find their perfect home and enjoy a successful outcome.

As someone that has moved a number of times, I know how stressful looking for and selling a home can be.  A good real estate agent makes all the difference in the world!  Please consider Dana, not only because it helps our cause, but because she is simply worth using!

Only 3 more days of Coin Wars!  

Check out this picture I received yesterday:

Don't you think it's time to go collect your coins?

Monday, October 15, 2012

MIRACLE? Let's Hope So!!!

After my post yesterday James asked what the title "Are You An Elephant" had to do with anything.  Since he's got an exceptionally high IQ, that probably means that there were a number of people that didn't understand what I was trying to say.

Basically... Since an elephant never forgets: "Don't Forget To Participate In Coin Wars!"

Makes perfect sense to me!  :-)

Recently we ran into some hangups with our adoption paperwork.  We had hoped to send in our Dossier about 2 weeks ago.  We were waiting for one last criminal clearance from the USCIS.  However, they came back to us and requested fingerprints from our 18 year old daughter that is no longer living in our home.  We explained that she was no longer a resident in our home, but regardless of what we said, they insisted that she was still considered a resident and that we needed to get clearance for her as well.  It was frustrating because we knew that would be a major delay in getting our paperwork compiled and mailed to Ukraine.  It was very discouraging and disappointing.

Last Friday Toria didn't have school because of fall break, so we headed to downtown SLC to try to get her fingerprinting done even though her appointment isn't until November 2 (James and I went in early without any problem).  However, they would not let her enter the facility unless she had an appointment.  There were absolutely NO exceptions to the rule (apparently since the election is coming up they are far too busy with appointments to take additional people).  Both Toria and I left the building crying and disappointed.

When I got home James told me he really felt I should contact the officer in charge of our case one more time (I'd already spoken to her 3 times trying to convince her that Toria is no longer a resident in our home.  Each time she told me to drop it and simply comply).  I decided to email her and make one more attempt.  My first email draft was full of frustration and anger (can you blame me?).  James helped me with a rewrite (thank goodness for non-emotional husbands!).  I sent the email off and got a response indicating that if we could send two copies of correspondence to her apartment address as well as an updated home study clarifying her new residency (which we'd already submitted) we could avoid getting fingerprints.


This is HUGE.
It's also SCARY.

It's huge because if things continue to go in this direction (please send lots of prayers that it will) we avoid about a 2-3 month delay in our adoption process.

It's scary because it means that we have less time to come up with all the money we need.  This really, really scares me.  I have a hard time having the faith that we can possibly come up with the remaining $30,000+ in the next 4-6 weeks.  That's a little (no, a LOT) overwhelming to me.  However, I really have felt (and continue to feel) that if things with this fingerprinting work out and we are able to move full speed ahead, that the Lord will provide a way for us to come up with the money.  (Why is having faith so hard?)

This afternoon I made the trip to Toria's apartment to pick up some mail that she has received since she moved out.  I got it all scanned and emailed to the officer.  Hopefully things will be approved really, really soon (like tomorrow) and our approval letter will be mailed off.

Keeping our fingers crossed that we can push ahead quickly and without any additional delays!

In the meantime, don't forget to collect and count your coins!

Just in case you've already forgotten.  :-)  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Are You An Elephant?

Don't forget to go through your house and collect your loose change.  

Only 4 more days to collect and donate for Coin Wars!  

Albina, Alina & Maks are counting on you to take a few minutes to gather your pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters.  

Just do it.  

You know you want to make a difference in the lives of these orphans!


Friday, October 12, 2012


A couple of weeks ago Micah came into my room right before bed.  He dropped this in my lap:

Then he said, "This is all my money.  It's for the adoption."

Soon after this experience, I asked for fundraising ideas.  One of the first ideas was the following:

"You could ask the school that your children go to, to do a coin wars. Its simple and fun!"
(This was the winner of our FUNDRAISING GIVE-AWAY! Please contact me with your address so I can send you your prize!)  :-)

However, when we talked to my daughters school, they determined that they wanted to work toward some other fundraisers for our family.  (How awesome is it that they are stepping forward to support and help us?)

Even though Coin Wars wasn't going to work in the school, I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that "no donation is too small".  So, as I thought about Micah's donation and the Coin Wars idea, I came up with the following idea for our next fundraiser:

1.  Collect all your loose change.

Micah got change out of my closet, purse and car.

2.  Count it out.

Counting all those pennies got a little confusing, but he got through it without losing count!
3.  Donate that amount to our cause and help get us closer to saving Albina, Alina & Maks.

Donated: $7.38

4.  Send in pictures of your coin collection, or tell me how much loose change you were able to collect.  (Send to  Whoever comes up with and donates the largest coin collection will win a gift card!  Seriously, You could actually get rewarded for donating to us.  How cool is that?   

When I say every dollar counts... I actually mean:



In 6 days I will be going out of town for a few days to run a half marathon.  Let's see how much change we can come up with BEFORE my half marathon!  I think this could be surprising!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Sesame Street Counting Song Is Stuck In My Head!

August 8, 1988


Do you remember where you were that day?  I do.  I was in Interlochen, Michigan attending a summer music camp.  I spent my day playing the violin, and feeling very homesick.  I wore a uniform that consisted of navy knickers, light blue knee high socks and a blue button up shirt.  My hair was in a short bob with a very curly perm that was even more spectacular because of the insane humidity.  It was a lovely time in my life!

My friends and I talked about how cool the date was all day long!  It was a pretty big deal to us.

It's not often that the date is made up of such a cool combinations of numbers.  Just every once in a while.

Well... today is one of those days.  Did you realize it yet?  Have you and your friends been talking about it?

October 11, 2012



In celebration of great number combinations that happen in our dates only once in a very long while, and specifically TODAY'S AWESOME DATE, I'm asking you to donate $10, $11 or $12.

That's it.  

Or if that just doesn't seem like enough, you could also donate $101,112.
I just figured most of you would prefer the smaller donation amounts.    

So pull out your credit card,
Click on the donate button
And choose a number! 

Will you give $10, $11 or $12? 
Take your pick! 
They are all amazing numbers. 
And they all get us closer to saving Albina, Alina & Maks!

Then enjoy this amazing date in history!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Robbed Blind!

A while ago I posted about "adventures" and included a picture of my brother, who is currently kayaking down the Mississippi River.  (

A couple of days ago he landed in Memphis and was robbed of all his kayak and travel gear.

Check out the story below to read of the miracle that took place:

There are good people out there willing to help others.  They sacrifice and work hard to serve.  They give of their time, their resources and most importantly, they love others regardless of how well they know them.  I have been priviledged to meet such people along our adoption adventure.  And now I'm grateful that my brother has been able to meet people as well.

Today is a good day to celebrate all the good people that participate in random acts of kindness!
Now I'm going to think of a way I can pay it forward!

It's just a small way to say "thank you"!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Construction Ahead

I live in an area where there is ALWAYS road construction going on.  I'm not sure how it works, but they just can't seem to get the roads repaved, widened, or repaired fast enough.  It can be very frustrating for drivers when they see "Road Construction Ahead" signs.

 Usually those signs mean that things ahead are bound to be inconvenient and delayed.  In some cases, it even means your entire trip will be rerouted.

Sometimes when I hit construction I get tense and frustrated.  I feel anxious.  I can even feel angry!

But sometimes I turn up my music, sing along and enjoy some new scenery.

Unfortunately, I usually choose the first option. 

Last night I had another dream.

I went to see my friend who was performing in a show.  Afterwards, I went to find her to offer my congratulations on a job well done.  When I got to her, I was pleased to see that her mother, who I hadn't seen for quite a while, had also been in attendance.  The mother asked how I was.  I realized she didn't know anything of my adoption adventure.  I told her, "You must not have heard, we are in the process of adopting three kids from Ukraine!"  She looked at me and said, "Wow!  That must be quite an undertaking.  I hope you are enjoying the journey!"

When I awoke with that comment still burning in my mind, I realized that I have, as of late, experienced a complete shift.  I have not been enjoying the journey lately.  I've been stressed and emotional.  I've been feeling doubts that we can ever reach our goals.  I've been feeling overwhelmed and completely clueless as to how to move forward.  I've been completely stuck!

So this morning I decided I needed to put on some different glasses and stand back and view this experience a little differently.  I decided that I needed to take the advice of the mother in my dream and ENJOY THE JOURNEY.

Because the fact of the matter is, there is a lot to celebrate.  There are a lot of good things going on here.  We have gotten a lot of support.  We have raised a lot of money.  We have made new friends.  We have received sweet messages and notes filled with love and encouragement.  We have witnessed miracle after miracle.  Lots and lots of little miracles.

So today I want to focus on that.  Because I'm tired of focusing on the delays and inconveniences of life.

Instead I want to focus on the potholes filled, the sidewalks created, the detours discovered.  I want to focus on the miracles.

I can feel that there is lots of construction going on.  Construction with my life, my family and especially with ME!

And as with all construction, I'm excited to find out what the finished product will be.

But in the meantime, I will enjoy the process.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shop ‘Til You Drop

You’ll notice that a tab has been added to our blog site.  This is good news for us, and good news for you!  Three Martlets is a newer online company that specializes in unique items (currently they have a number of items for sale that come from Central America).  This company has agreed to donate all proceeds to our adoption fund! 

So it’s time to splurge on yourself!  Buy something beautiful, knowing that you are also doing something beautiful to help our family reach our goal!

Friday, October 5, 2012

54 Days Without My Kids

This summer we met a family that had hosted an orphan from Ukraine the previous summer (2011).  They had decided she was meant to be a part of their family and set out to adopt her.  When we met them this summer, they were still in the midst of fundraising so they could submit their final paperwork and get a court date set.  They finally got their court date yesterday and they will be heading to Ukraine in just over a week.

I am so thrilled for them that I can't stand it!

I can hardly imagine how painfully difficult it has been for them to wait all this while to see their sweet daughter again.  They haven't seen her for over a year because they have been working tirelessly to raise the money necessary to go get her and bring her home.

My oldest daughter, Toria, has moved away from home and is currently attending college.  Originally she planned to go to school in Liverpool, England.  I was so excited for her to have such an opportunity, but wasn't sure how I would cope with having her so far away.

However, plans changed and now she is living less than an hour from our home.  She easily calls or texts me with updates or questions.  And I'm able to see her about once a week.  Every other week at the most.

This is not the case with Albina, Alina and Maks.
I cannot visit them.
I cannot text them.
I cannot call them.  (Or at least not easily!)

Occasionally we get messages from Albina through Ukrainian Facebook.

It's not enough to feel connected though.
It's simply not enough.

I live with a constant ache for my kids to come home.
I miss them.

Last night the ache was especially strong.  I could hardly breathe I missed them so badly.  I hoped that a good night sleep would help me feel better, but still, this morning I just wanted to jump on a plane and get to Ukraine!

I know it's selfish and that I don't deserve to have my kids more than anyone else,
But I really hope we aren't still in the midst of fundraising in a year from now.

I just need a miracle to help bring my kids home!

Each of us has a choice when we see someone in need.  We can look the other way, or we can determine what we have to offer (big or small) that can help.

Is there anything you can offer Albina, Alina & Maks?  Is there any way you can contribute to the miracle needed to bring them home?

"On the street I saw a little girl cold and shivering in a thin dress, with little hope of a decent meal.  I became angry and said to God,  "Why did You permit this?  Why don't You do something about it?"  God replied, "I certainly did do something about it ..."


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Running To Ukraine!

I'm not a runner.
But I run anyway.

I run because I hate it and it's hard.
I run because when I do something hard that I hate to do,
It's a reminder that I can do anything.
Even hard things.
That I hate.

(And maybe I'm a little masochistic.)

Earlier this year my friend asked if I would run a half marathon with her.
I've tried to train for races before, but I'm prone to injury and always have issues as my mileage increases.
It's frustrating.
And when something is HARD and you HATE it and you're INJURED and FRUSTRATED...
Well, that's just more than I can typically handle.
So I gave up on the idea of ever running a longer race.

But when my friend asked if I would join her in a half marathon, I said "yes".
So I'm running my first race in just a few short weeks.

This is what I've learned from this training:

  • Running more and more miles each week doesn't make me like it any more. 
  • I'm still prone to injury and have to be really careful.
  • Running while crying is difficult.
  • Running 12 miles after a yard sale is impossible.
  • Training for a half marathon when you are trying to adopt 3 orphans from Ukraine is really hard. (You would think it would be a great stress reliever, but it just makes me tired.)
  • I don't like running alone.  But I don't like running while having full-blown conversations.
  • I get sick of listening to music while I'm running.  It gets annoying to have things blaring in my ears.
  • My mind really likes to tell my body that it is weak and tired and that it should quit.  It's hard to ignore myself.
  • Running hasn't helped me lose weight... Because adopting three kids makes me want to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  And eat.
But I still run. And I'll still be running (or at the very least, walking) a half marathon later this month.
Worst case, I look forward to spending some time with a friend that understands me,
And loves me,
Even though she knows most everything about me.

And just in case you didn't see the correlation before:

Adopting is HARD.
And fundraising is something I HATE.
And my heart is feeling really prone to INJURY.
But I am adopting these kids because I want my kids (ALL my kids) to know that just because you hate certain things or they are exceptionally difficult,
You do them anyway.
Because hard things are almost always worth it!

And while running a half marathon is considered a pretty cool accomplishment,
It doesn't even compare to saving the lives of three orphans!


Many of you that have been following our story have donated.  
Thank you!
You've made a huge difference.
If you haven't donated yet, what's holding you back?  
Saving 3 lives is worth some sort of sacrifice.  
I promise!  
Just donate $5 or $10 if that's all you have.  
Or more, if you have more.
But donate something and help us save the lives of these 3 beautiful children!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Running Away!

I'm running away.

Sunday was one of the hardest days I've ever had (emotionally).
Monday wasn't much better.

This morning I had this note from James waiting for me.

I'm going to try.

I remember a few times when my mom would "run away" for the day.  We lived about 2 hours from Las Vegas and she would drive by herself and just walk around the mall, get something to eat, see a movie... whatever.  She would come home from these escapes a much happier mom.  One time she even brought a new dog home.

So, I've decided that today I'm running away.  I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do.

It will probably involve See's Candy.

It will NOT involve bringing home a new dog.

Hopefully I'll come home feeling happier.  Hopefully I'll come home feeling re-energized.  Hopefully I'll come home ready to  get back to work on fundraising and mommy-ing and all the incredibly good stuff in my life that for some reason just doesn't feel so good at this small moment in time.

Maybe I'll even come home to some more "donation received" notices.  *hint hint*


PLEASE consider how you can help save Albina, Alina & Maks.   
They need your help!   
Making a donation is easy.  
Every donation counts.  Every donation gets us closer to our goal.  
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina & Maks.

Thank you for joining us in our Adoption Adventure!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adventure or ???

This morning I was sent this link about my youngest brother.  He is currently on his own ADVENTURE.

James and I have been married for just over 21 years.  When we were engaged we discussed our hopes and dreams of the future together.  We envisioned a family, success, happiness, order, service, and love.  It’s not that we were completely na├»ve, but we certainly didn’t know exactly how challenging life would be.

One of the bigger challenges we’ve faced has been moving so much.  We’ve slowed down considerably in the last 10 years (averaging 2-3 years in a location).  All in all, we’ve moved 25 times in our married life.  It’s been really difficult on me.  First of all, moving is HARD!  I don’t think I know anyone that loves packing up all their things, taking them to a new location, and unpacking and getting settled into a new home.  Sometimes it’s more exciting (like when you’re moving into a new home you really love) and sometimes it’s really difficult (like when you’ve lost your job and you need to move in with someone until you can pull things together).  Regardless, it’s always a really big job.  Add to that the fact that you never really feel like you fit in anywhere, and it’s difficult to develop real friendships because many people (including yourself) are afraid to really reach out because they fear history will repeat itself and you will be moving again very soon.  Yes.  Moving is really, really difficult!

Some time ago, I started to notice that I was making moving a lot more difficult on myself because of my bad attitude.  I realized that having constant melt-downs and negative feelings wasn’t helping anything.  I decided to change my entire outlook on what moving was.  I started by calling it an “adventure”.  Because an “adventure” is a lot more exciting than simply “moving”.

I’ve experienced many “adventures” since choosing to use that word to describe difficult things.  Any time I face something exceptionally challenging and difficult I take a deep breath and say to myself, “Okay!  This is going to be an adventure!”  And then I push forward hoping to come to the end of my “adventure” triumphant and successful.

I view “adventures” as something really difficult and perhaps even risky that has the potential of providing a spectacular outcome or reward.  Pursuing an “adventure” means you are embarking upon a journey that could be dangerous and challenging.  It requires taking a chance.  And most importantly, it requires moving forward in complete faith that the outcome will be worth the challenges you endure.

Recently, a friend pointed out to me that many people don’t view adventures as I do.  Most view adventures as “a trip to Disneyland, or white water rafting, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.”  She told me “an adventure is voluntary thing, something you save for, and plan for and enjoy as part of the “dessert section” of your life.”

Under that definition, an “adventure” sounds like fun, right? 

And let’s face it: if adopting three orphans from Ukraine were that type of “adventure”, everyone would be doing it! 

So, if most people view “adventures” as really fun outings, then I’ve changed my mind.  This is NOT an adventure I’m on. 

Perhaps you can help me find a word that more aptly describes our current adoption journey?


We invite you to consider how you can help save Albina, Alina & Maks.   
They need your help!   
Making a donation is easy.  
Every donation counts.  Every donation gets us closer to our goal.  
Every donation helps save Albina, Alina & Maks.

Thank you for joining us in our Adoption Adventure!