Friday, July 15, 2016


Home a month!  That is hard to believe.  I have so much to update everyone on and so much to write.  I hope to get the chance to do that soon.  I want to carefully and thoughtfully write about my journey this past month.  I will soon.
This is to write about some blessings in our lives this past month.

1.  My phone was stolen in Ukraine.  This was more than an inconvenience to me as I lost all my photos and videos or Ariya's first days with us.  Pictures of where she lived, people she knew, memories I can never replace or get back.
Thankfully my mom who traveled with us captured some of what I had lost.  She set up an online album the other day and I was so relieved to get some of what was lost back.  Thanks mom!

2.  Ariya.  This child is a huge blessing.  I can't explain how complex she is.  There are many layers to her and we have a lot of things to work through.  In spite of everything she has experienced and everything she has lost, she appears to be giving us a chance to show her love and stability.  This isn't easy for her.  She has walls a mile high put up.  But goodness she is also such a joy.

3.  When we home from the airport I came home to a yard that had been freshly mowed, flower beds that were weeded (no easy task!), food in my freezer, and new clothes for Ariya.  What a gift this was!  I don't have many friends.  Most of the friends I do have (not counting my Facebook friends :)) are done with the young children phase.  I don't see these ladies (and spouses) as much as I would like anymore.  I am just in a different place than they are right now.  Yet these friends came over and made sure I had some nice things to come home to.  I haven't even had the chance to thank them properly.  Their thoughtfulness meant the world to me.

4.  My family.  As hard as things have gotten, my husband continues to amaze me.  He is a good man.  Our extended family has been nothing but welcoming to Ariya.  We have been given the distance we need to adjust yet their love and support is made known.

5.  A community of families in similar circumstances.  Reece's Rainbow - the organization responsible for helping us adopt both Ember and Ariya - has a reunion every year.  This year it happened to be 6 hrs. drive away and was only about a week or so after we came home from Ukraine.  I was not going to go.  It was too soon.  At the very last minute I decided to pack up the 3 girls and head to KY to meet some of these amazing families.  For 4 days I got to be surrounded by people who "get it".  By this I mean people that completely understand the adjustment we were going through with Ariya.  People who loved her, prayed for her and for a family to find her.  Ariya even got to see some other children she grew up with in Ukraine - before she was transferred.  This 4 days were exactly what I needed.  Ariya's behavior didn't shock anyone!  Ember got to see another child with arthrogryposis just like her.  She saw other kids with other difficulties and saw that she isn't alone.  I met people I have wanted to meet for 5 years.  People so full of reassurance, advice, and support.  It was so good for me.

I will try and update with details on Ariya soon.  She is doing so well.  I am blessed.


  1. So good to see a post from you! Prayers for you, your new daughter and your whole family!

  2. My dearest daughter and son-in-law: words cannot express how proud I am of you and how thankful I am for who God made you to be.

    I was so blessed to be able to be a part of going to Ukraine and bringing our newest family member home! What a wonderful experience. Ariya is a little girl who has been through so much but there is a very sweet and loving side to her that is such a pleasure to see. She has a great sense of humor too and even though the language barrier makes it difficult, she manages to show that side of herself. I pray that with the consistent love and support of her family and extended family she will soon know and "feel" that she has found her forever family and home!

    I, too want to thank you wonderful friends of Thad and Lorene who were so kind and gave your time and money to show them your love and support! It meant so much!

    As your mom and step-dad please know that we support you, pray for and love you and your wonderful children. What a blessing you are! Mom G

  3. Smiling so big, after reading your post. Our
    beloved Lord is walking with all of you. Your
    entire family are gems, pure sparkling gems.
    Sometimes going through the fire, but coming
    out of it. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to more updates.
    Mrs. Kathy

  4. It will get better. It will get easier. When I adopted my daughter, the general consensus was that for older children after 6-8 weeks of HARD, it got easier. It was very true for us.

    The song that helped me through was Amy Grant's "Lay Down Your Burden". It was both my prayer and what I wanted my daughter to know.