Wednesday, March 30, 2011

God's Amazing Plan

    Today has been a wonderful day!  We enjoyed our second visit from the social worker from Riga's orphan court.  Our friend and translator Dace accompanied her to translate for everyone.  David was presented with some documents to sign.  He has already turned 16, so he has more authority in the decision.  He was excited and signed the documents immediately.....what a blessing!  He is a precious child and we are so blessed to be given the opportunity to be his parents. 
    After our visit with the social worker, our new friends the Burkharts from Wisconsin came over to visit.  They are adopting a sibling group of three boys.  The Burkharts are a wonderful couple and their three boys are precious!  God is such an amazing creator and master of all plans!  These precious boys have a wonderful family that will love, protect and care for them......and God knew all along which family these boys would join.  I am so thankful that our trips coincided, and Mike and I were able to share in their joy.  A joy that brings tears to my eyes!  I watched the youngest boy climb into his mother's arms and snuggle his sweet face towards her hug.  I can hardly write for the tears that have formed in my eyes and the overwhelming feeling of joy in my heart.  God is an amazing God!
    After lunch, we walked to the Galleria and shopped at Rimi for a few groceries.  I bought some wonderful hand cut soap at Stenders.  On our way back, we noticed some nice handmade items for sale.  Old Riga is such a beautiful  part of town.  The old streets are beautiful and the cobblestone roads take a traveler back in time. 
    It is a beautiful day in Riga.  The weather is very nice and my heart is full.  The blessing of adoption is overwhelming and I am so thankful to be a witness to God's hand at work!  Please continue to pray for our family at home...LillieAnna has double ear infections again....and has a terrible cold.  My mom is tired and weary from the daily routine of three children and two small high maintenance dogs.  She has been a life saver to our family and I COULD NOT have accomplished a 4 week trip without her support.  I love you have taught me how to love, give, pray, and open my heart.  You are my hero!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday....A Beautiful Day

    Today is Sunday and we attended a worship service at the Dome Cathedral in Old Riga.  The Pastor is American and at some time lived in Huntsville, Alabama.  It is an interdenominational service, but appears to be more of a Presbyterian worship.  It was nice to be standing in such a beautiful cathedral.....the oldest church in the region.  The pastor has such a kind demeanor and a beautiful voice.  We will definitely attend again next Sunday, however we miss our North Point Baptist service. 
    After the service, we went to the park to take some pictures.  There is a tradition here in Latvia for couples when they wed.  There is a bridge in the park and the couple attaches a lock to the iron handrails to signify their union.  They have the lock engraved with their names and wedding date....what a beautiful sentiment! 
    It was so pleasant sitting in this beautiful park enjoying the sun.  We watched families walking and catching the tram....such a relaxing day.

    A couple of other American families are in town on their adoption trips and we met a family from Wisconsin today.  Our sweet translator Dace, took us all to the market today.  It was wonderful spending some time with other adoptive parents from America. 

Here are some pictures from our walk today....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Legos, Bakugan and Uno

    Today has been a very quiet day around the apartment!  We did run to the store....., but other than that trip...we have been in the apartment relaxing!  I cooked dinner and we sat around the table and laughed with one another!  These boys are amazing and we are becoming so close.....I think we all are very ready to come home!  The boys wanted to know if we could move up the travel date....Mike and I smiled at the thought, but we know we have to go through the process for the adoption.  It will all be worth the wait!!! 
   We played Uno after dinner and David put together his Bakugan puzzle in just a few minutes!  Then we all played several more games of Uno.... it reminds me of our camping the way I cannot wait for!!!!  Kilgore kids at home....pack your bags....I feel a family camp out coming soon.  T-Kirby finally has brothers to ride bikes with and to run through the woods!
   Everyone has had their showers and now the boys are sitting in their room playing their DS games.  A gift from a special grandmother for their Gotcha Days!  I will post a few pictures of the day.  I am overwhelmed by the love that Mike and I both feel for these boys.  They are precious young men and have already bonded as brothers.  David is so good with translating the words Peter struggles with and it is a true blessing.

    Tomorrow we will attend a service at the Dome houses the oldest organ in Europe.  I am so excited about the is in English.  We have been praying and reading the Bible with the boys.  I shared the story of Salvation and Mike explained that Salvation is a gift.  It was a wonderful Bible time last night.  We also shared the story of the gifts given for David and Peters adoption fund.  We shared how Project Hopeful heard David's story and raised so much money.....tears were in his eyes.  Those of you connected to Davids' donations.... this child understands the magnitude of this gift.  He is so thankful.....and I feel so unworthy, but I love him dearly and I am so thankful God chose our family.  God Bless you all....I love you so.........!  Please check out Project Hopeful's website and donate so that another child may find a family.  What a blessing that organization is for so many children. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

What an Amazing Day!

   Today has been a full day of adventure!  We left the apartment and took a tram down to the train station.  We bought tickets out to Jurmala where the indoor water park is located.  David was our translator and helped purchase the tickets.  He is an amazing kid...very mature and concerned for our safety.  He is very conscious of the cost of everything....I know that God has great plans for this kid.  He has won my heart!
    Anyway, we loaded this train....praying we were headed in the right direction and left for the water park.  When we arrived at the stop, we exited the train and had to walk another 10 minutes!  The water park was interesting....we had to buy tickets for all four of us....even though, Mike and I were not swimming.  It turned out though, Mike did go down and join in the fun.  The park is amazing and has lots of slides on different levels.  It is freezing and snowing outside and people are in swimsuits having a great time.  The journey to the park is very difficult....these people truly want to swim!  The boys had a great time and swam in all of the pools.   This was a costly and tiresome activity, so we will slow down and hang around the apartment more this weekend.
    Both David and Peter are great swimmers!  Peter's personality is so fun and he makes friends very easy.  I watched from the third floor and he was talking to everyone.  I love that part of him.  He is a joy....a true blessing.  He loves music and to sing.  He is always singing for us.  It is funny because the music here seems to be somewhat from the 80's....Abba, Chicago, Michael Jackson.....understand??  Anyway, the music playing at the water park was Michael Jackson and of course Thriller!  Well, Peter can dance just like MJ.  I just thought I would make everyone smile!!!  
    Tonight my friends. I am reminded of the joy of special family time. When we left the water park, David said, "Thank you, Mom, today was the best day!" My face lit up and my heart sang with joy.  I only wish my three children could have been here to share in this day!  I miss them so very much. 


I took great pictures today.....without my memory card!!!  (:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our First Orphan Court Visit

    Today we had our first visit from our social worker from Riga's orphan court.  Our sweet translator came with our social worker and spoke with both boys.  The meeting went very well and both boys told our visitors that they were already brothers.  She asked the boys what activities we had done as a family and what our plans were for next week.  She asked us if we had any concerns about behaviors or health.  She asked if we were satisfied and were still considering adoption.  We both stated that we were completely satisfied and did not have any concerns.  We love our boys and we did not travel thousands of miles to change our minds......everyone has issues.  Our God is in control and He can help with anything that may come our way.  He is the God of the "only chance" and I thank him for giving me the opportunity to be mother to these kids.   I want them to know that one mother gave them life and this mother gave them hope....a future and roots for their life.  I want to be the one standing at the graduation.....the wedding....the birth of their children and all of the good and bad things that this journey brings their way!  I pray that salvation is a part of the next step and that they both will know Jesus as their Savior.  This is my prayer daily that God will shine the light on this need in their life.  I have tried to share His word daily and use each thing we do as a learning experience. I wish that I had my ABEKA Bible cards with me.....I love the stories and the beautiful pictures.  Those cards still convict me!!!!  Anyone who has every taught Bible with that curriculum knows how beautiful the stories and cards are for sharing God's word.
    Anyway, today was wonderful day...I was so nervous.  It was good to hear that the boys love us as much as we love them.  Continue to pray for our family here and at home.....everyone is off of their schedule and missing mom and dad!  My mom is amazing, but it is difficult for her to cover all of the bases!  I will be on my knees tonight praying for my sweet family at home!

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit , and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."  Ephesians 6:18

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Getting to know one Another....

    The last couple of days have passed quickly!  We have been spending some time getting to know one another.  We have visited the zoo, eaten dinner at the "big" Lido, Cili Pica and Double Coffee.  We have been to Stockmans and the movies.  We have ridden the tram and walked miles!!!!  It is such an interesting place and as Americans we stand out.....I think we must smell American...he he!  Some little boys yesterday laughed at us in McDonalds and asked us if we were American....we said yes and they said we know...your clothes!  I don't think that they quiet understand why we have these two Latvian boys with us!     Tonight, Peter and I took some time by ourselves and went to McDonalds.  Dad and David stayed at the apartment and rested. It was nice to spend some time with Peter.  I think he was feeling a little homesick.  His spirits were better after dinner.  This has to be hard for them as they leave their home and say goodbye to their culture.  Please pray for all of us as we wait for our time here to pass.  We found an English worship service for Sunday and we are going to attend.  I have been listening to my praise music trying to fill my soul.  I pray that God opens the door to minister is a dry and thirsty land.  I have such a love for this country and pray that God will open doors for mission work here. 
    I love my boys and I thank God that He led us to them.  Please pray for them by name as they make such a transition.  I am a true believer in prayer.  I know that I serve an amazing God who can move mountains.  I am living proof of His work.....God is the God of the "fat chance"!!!

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is ; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary."   Psalm 63: 1-2

Monday, March 21, 2011

Peter's Gotcha Day!

    Today has been an amazing day....Peter's Gotcha Day!  This morning our sweet attorney Daina and her son picked us up to go to Peter's region for court.  As we drove out the city of Riga we noticed more snow piled up.  The further we drove out and the closer we drove towards the Russian border the more poverty and snow we saw.  It broke my heart and deepened the love I feel for the Latvian people.  We passed Salaspils which was a concentration camp during WWII.  Heartbreak, strength and endurance are three words that continuously come to my mind. 
    When we arrived in the region, we went to court.  The court consisted of three "jurors", a judge, and a secretary.  After thirty minutes of introductions, discussions, and questions, we were approved to begin the bonding time with Peter.  The judge had already met Peter and decided that he needed a family.  When we left the court, we drove to the foster family and picked up Peter.  It was a very emotional meeting!  It has been seven months since we put Peter on a plane back to Latvia.  We have missed him so much.  Both boys have captured our hearts and both have a place in our family. 
    Tomorrow, we need to go to the market.  We will take tram 7 to Stockmans and buy some groceries.  I know Mike would like visit a museum, and the boys have some plans for a water indoor water Latvia!  I have been working on math facts with David and he is doing very well.  Both boys are doing very well speaking and understanding English.  I am very proud of my boys and I love them so! 
    Please pray for my family at home.....we are all homesick for one another!  We skype every night, but I miss them so much.  Pray for our family here as we bond with one another and for God to give us opportunities to minister as a family.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Snowing!

    It's's snowing!  It is supposed to be the beginning of spring here in Latvia, but this morning it is snowing.  When David wakes up , I believe he will be disappointed!  He said, "I not like the snow very makes me slow! He is such a great kid and so very smart. He fixed the drain in the sink last night.....Mike was amazed!  God is going to do great things in the life of this child. 
    Yesterday was a wonderful day!  Our court appearance went smoothly.....although, Mike and me were very nervous.  It is very informal, but for the only two Americans in the room intimidating!  Still as I have said in the past...Latvian people are precious!  Now, we have the next couple of weeks to bond and have visits from our social worker. 
    On Monday, we will make an 8 hour trip to Peter's court and to his foster home then back to Riga.  He will return with us and spend the bonding time here in the city!  I miss him so much and cannot wait to see that sweet face.  He is such a special child with so much love to give.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for him.
    Last night, we skyped with our three children at home and Davids and Kirby played video games together and talked about the game over skype.  Technology is amazing and I am so thankful because it has helped with some of the homesickness.  The boys are going to get along so well and really seem to have a lot in common.  Wow...3 boys at home!!  I am going to be very busy, but I will love every minute of it..!!
   We are going to try to venture out today to find the movies.  We have been told that the movie is in English with Latvian subtitles!.....Go figure?? Anyway, we have 3 weeks to tour and spend time learning the culture.  It is a beautiful country with lots of history.  These people have survived tragedy and oppression and I am so excited about our time here learning about my son's heritage. 

                                  I will post more later with pictures

Our Son

    Our God is an awesome God!  These words have been ringing in my ears from Atlanta to Frankfurt to Riga, Latvia.   My small mind is incapable of comprehending the magnitude of God's ability, mercy, grace and love.  How He could ever find me worthy of such an awesome responsibility to serve him in this mission.  Mike and I both are overwhelmed by His love and the call to serve as parents to these two young men.  Tears rolled down my cheeks numerous times as we were in flight to Germany.  I would look over at Mike and we would both smile knowing where we were headed.  The joy of this journey has only increased as we move closer to having our boys here with us in the apartment.
    When we arrived and grabbed our luggage....I didn't pack lightly.....we were greeted by our driver.  Mike describes him as a bald headed Russian bear...he...he!! Mike leaned over to me and whispered I think we are in a cheap spy movie.  It is only those who love my sweet husband who can appreciate this humor! Mike had me sit in the front seat next to "the bear".  Well, it turns out that our driver was a wonderful man and devoted father.  He could not speak English and would call his daughter (while driving very fast down the road) to translate for him.
   When we arrived at the apartment, we were greeted by a precious young lady who helped us settle into our apartment and then go to the bank.  She explained the process of exchanging our money.  This was such a blessing.  I gave her a small gift for her kindness and she was overwhelmed with joy.  Latvian people are so warm and loving.  It is a beautiful city with so much history.  I will take some pictures today to post.  As many of my friends traveling companion is the walking history channel.  He of course has mapped out every musuem here and every historic site to see.  It is such a blessing to walk down these streets and feel the presence of freedom for these people.  The architecture is beautiful and I want to take pictures for the boys to have for memories.  Mike is going to draw one of his pen and ink drawings of their favorite building for their room. 
    Now....the best part.....yesterday!!!!  We woke up and grabbed some breakfast and then Daina, our attorney picked us up to go to meet Davids.  We were both nervous and couldn't wait to see him.  It felt like it took hours to drive across town.  When we arrived at the orphanage, we were greeted by the director and social worker who were delightful people.  As I mentioned before Latvian people are precious and I am so honored to be able to meet them and become friends. We spoke for a few minutes and then were taken to a nice family room to meet with Davids.  When he came into the room, he grabbed me and gave me a big hug.  He did the same for Mike.  Tears on every face.  He is amazing.....!!!  I cannot desccribe how great this kid is!!  I know that GOD protected him just for us and to do great and mighty things in his life!!!!!! God's power is amazing!!! We sat and talked for about thirty minutes and then we went to his room.  He showed us all of his creations....very talented!  He made me this special box....Mike was impressed by his handy work.  He even dove tailed the corner pieces.  This meant alot to Mike....the builder, contractor, carpenter and as I call him the oragama artist of scrap wood! We gave him a small gift of Star Wars Legos and he put it together in about five minutes.  He and T-Kirby are going to be great brothers. He had already packed his bag, so we brought it back to the apartment.  After court today, we should be able to bring him back to stay with us.
   Today...Friday, March 19th, our first court appearance.  I am nervous, but so excited and cannot wait to have Davids here with us in the apartment.  We are waiting on Daina and her son to pick us up for court.  Daina is a precious lady and everyone who is waiting to to come to Latvia will LOVE her!!!
    Anyway....I will post more later with pictures.