Sunday, September 20, 2009

The End of Our Kazakhtan Adoption Journey

When we left Kazakhstan we left with questions in our minds and hearts whether there was a child/children that we were suppose to meet. We received information this past week about one specific child that we had met and others that our agency requested that we consider. After much thought and prayer we have made a final decision that our adoption journey to Kazakhstan is done. We still believe that it was a journey that God called us on. It didn't end as we had anticipated but we are better people for having stepped out and traveled along this road. The people we have met and experiences that we have had have been life changing. We will continue to support and pray for the children's lives in Kazakhstan that we are blessed to be a part of. We look forward to the day that God reveals to us the "whole" picture.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Month Ago

Our trip to Ust seems surreal or like a dream. One month ago today we arrived in Ust so full of hopes and dreams. We were finally going to see Galina again and meet Tanya. We expected "bumps" in the road but I don't think we ever believed that they would not want to come home with us. It has been an interesting 3 weeks since we arrived home. The first week we were both pretty numb. The second week many emotions started surfacing and have continued to surface. We have been blessed to have many people to talk to and to help us process our journey. The day after we arrived home our son Nichol returned from a summer job out west. He is our child that infuses energy into our home and he loved on us and did his job. God's timing?? The second week our son Gabe and his family came to visit from Orlando. Gabe could only stay 2 days because of work obligations but Christina and Cash stayed for a week which was much needed grandparent time. Christina allowed me to "takeover" Cash for the week. For all of you who know me babies are my thing! I can't think of anything that would help me heal better than cuddling with my grandson. God's time?? Lacey has been around since we arrived home from the airport. She is such a huge support and truly not only my daughter but best friend. She is an amazing young lady that also is grieving the loss of her sisters. We are still trying to figure out what we are suppose to do with all we have gained in the past 5 years with our adoption journey. There have been many blessings along the way. We have made wonderful friendships. We know in our head that what has happened was all part of God's plan and we are trying to embrace that knowledge in our hearts. It's been hard. It's been confusing. We've been discouraged. We have grown. We've learned so much. It's been soooo worth it!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

We've Arrived Home

After over 30 hours of travel we arrived home safe and sound. It was an incredible week that has stretch us and tested our faith beyond anything we could have imagined. We remain confidant in the knowledge that we have had an experience that is only a small part of a huge picture that we may never understand. Yes, we are hurting and praying for Galina and Tanya. We know that our lives will continue and be blessed but as we turn these two children over to our God we wonder what their lives will be like in the future. Mark has prayed this entire journey that if this journey that we were on wasn't going to bless our family then he wanted God to stop it. It has been stoppped with both of us knowing that it was God's plan. Our oldest son Gabe told me he thinks that maybe God allowed us to go and spend time with the girls so that I would be allowed closure. I know in my heart that it was necessary for me to see Galina and hear her declare that she didn't want to be a part of our family for me to believe the truth. We have been so blessed by so many of you who have walked with us and at times held us up. We have established life long friendships through our adoption journey. We had the opportunity to meet and hold our Kazakhstan granddaughter, Simbat, and spend time with her mother Madina between our flights home. It's time to put this journey behind us and move forward and hold fast to the knowledge that we have gained.

Friday, August 14, 2009

We Are Coming Home

We want to thank you all for your support and prayers. We did as many of you suggested today and what Mark and I also felt was something that we needed to do to make sure that we were fulfilling God's plan for our family. We talked to our in country coordinator and agreed to meet other children that were available for adoption. We met 4 children ages 4-7. We knew as soon as we met each child that they were not meant to be ours. We did meet a 7 year old boy on the playground that we both felt could be our son. We inquired about him and late this afternoon we were told that he has 3 siblings and it would be complicated to adopt him. We have prayed and prayed and prayed about our situation and we feel we have done everything that we could/should do in this journey. We are so blessed to have so many family and friends that have been so supportive both here (Ault's and Howell's) and back home. Our kids have been amazing!!! We have purchased our tickets home and will be arriving in Chicago late Sunday afternoon. We will be spending tomorrow with Madina(our exchange student daughter from 2001) and her new daughter in Almaty. It's time to close this chapter in our lives and move on to being Cash's Grandpa and Grandma!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Very Sad News

It is very difficult to write this and we don't even know what to say. We were called to go to the orphanage early today for our bonding time. When we arrived our in country coordinator was there with 2 social workers. They had been talking to Galina for over an hour. Galina has refused to become part of our family. We did have the opportunity to talk to Galina and Tanya. Galina was very definite in her decision. She wouldn't even make eye contact with us. Tanya said that if Galina wasn't going she was afraid to go and seemed relieved. Our hearts are broken and we are wondering God's plan in all of this. Please pray for our family.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello Out There

OK, if anyone's reading our blog we would sure like to know. We check it every morning for comments. Only 1 comment today. Have we already been forgotten? Please let us know that you've been here!!!

Eating Out

Mark and I went to the bazaar this afternoon and went to a small restaurant off of the meat market. The people in the restaurant couldn't speak English and the menu was in Russian so the man brought out different things that he thought we would like. We had a bowl of noodles with broth, meat?, green peppers and onions. It was very tasty. The one thing we knew that we ate was palmani. The other families that are here are going to wait and see if we get sick to see if it's a place they should eat. LOL!

Day Three Bonding

Today we started doing our bonding for 3 hours instead of splitting it up into 2 sessions. We arrived at the orphanage at 10a.m. and were met by the orphanage director. She came special just to meet us because there are no children there right now. She told us Tanya's history and gave us the chance to ask questions. Galina came in the room first and was crying. Apparently, Tanya was picking on her. She came over and sat on my lap for hugs. I had made arrangements for Lacey to call so Galina got to talk to Lacey. This brought a smile to her face right away. Mark is learning more and more Russian. I think he might be learning more Russian than the girls are learning English. We asked permission to go for a walk and actually went to a magazine (store) and got some pastries, juice, chips and chocolate. We took a blanket and went and sat by the river. We gave the girls dry erase boards and started teaching them some basic English words. After about an hour they got bored with us and we went and walked down by the river. Mark tried to teach them how to skip rocks and also juggle with rocks. We then returned to the orphanage and Alma was there waiting for us. Galina started crying again and said she wants to go home and to see her boyfriend. Alma is concerned about Galina and thinks she's going to be rebellious. She asked me whether we think that she is going to agree to come with us. We are hoping and praying that she will. Alma said that she is filing papers today for us to adopt the girls. I am going to have a talk with Galina tomorrow to make sure that she understands what is happening and that she is agreeable.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day Two Bonding

It was quite a day. We went to the orphanage at 10:30a.m. Tanya was crying ALOT. She wasn't even able to answer any questions or talk. We finally asked her to show us around the orphanage and she started to feel better. As we were going to her classroom Galina arrived. She immediately started crying and came over and hugged us. We talked for a few minutes and then finished having Tanya show us around. Galina came over and grabbed my hand as we were walking. We went back to the room we had been meeting Tanya in. Galina started crying really hard then. The director of her orphanage brought her and she went over to her and cried and cried. After about 15 minutes of her being really upset they told us that Galina didn't want to be adopted. The director of her orphanage told her that if that was still her decision after 10 days she would come back and get her. There was much discussion for the next several minutes and then it was time for us to leave. Our in country coordinator pulled us aside as we were leaving and told us that she was going to give Galina 5 days to make a decision and she was going to talk to her about the seriousness of it tomorrow. She told us that if she decided not to be adopted she wanted us to think about adopting another child. Neither of us was very upset because we thought she might have problems thinking we had abandoned her all these years. We went back in the afternoon for another visit and arrived to two smiling girls. They talked about many things. Galina remembers everything about being at our house. She had all of the photos and the backpack that we had given her. She could remember everyone's names. She told us that she lives in a group home instead of the main orphanage because she is such a good girl. She writes poetry and has had some published. We didn't ask her during this visit if she had changed her mind but our translator told us that she has. We aren't going to pressure her at this point and just try to have some fun with the girls. I took our laptop and went through all of the pictures and they really liked doing that. Galina had also been brought from summer camp. She told us she had a boyfriend there and he didn't want her to leave. Galina is just as we remembered her. Please pray for all of us that we keep our focus on God's plan for our family.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day One Bonding

We arrived in Ust Kamenogorsk at 2 this afternoon, were taken to the hotel and then went to meet Tanya. Galina will be brought from her orphanage tomorrow to Tanya's orphanage for our bonding. Our impression of Tanya is very good. She is a very gracious young girl. She is shy but made eye contact and answered our many questions. She came over and sat between us and at one point started crying when the social worker was explaining to her what being adopted entailed. For her this is a last hope for a family and a chance in life. The social worker asked Mark and I many questions about why we wanted older children, if we were scared and how our grown children felt about it. After Mark answered these questions she said that if we were OK with it then they were too.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Today's the Day

Wow, what a week!!! First I want to thank everyone for their prayers and calls of encouragement. We are 11 hours away from takeoff and less than 72 hours from seeing Tanya and Galina. We received our passports with visas by special courier last night at about 8:30p.m. We also celebrated Mark's birthday last night since today with all the last minute details he might be forgotten. Everything's packed thanks to Beth's experienced hand. We have 4 pieces of luggage all weighing close to the max. Brent and Beth will take us to the airport and drop us on the curb. They want our truck for the month. LOL! We are looking forward to meeting Mike, Vonda and Luke at McDonald's in Frankfurt. We became blog friends back in February and soon discovered that we were moving along step by step together. We prayed that we would travel together and God has answered our prayers!! We will also meet another family that has been in Ust for 2 weeks already. Several months ago we all dreamed of sharing a pizza together at Pizza Blues. As we tried to work out all the details God already had it done.

Prayer Requests:
1. Safe travel.
2. Protection for our kids left back in the states. Lacey and Nichol will be moving into new apartments while we're gone. Gabe, Christine and Cash will be coming to Michigan for a wedding.
3. Discernment when we meet the girls and God's peace that passes all understanding that they are meant them for our family.
4. That Tanya and Galina will know that they will be loved and cared for.
5. Anything else you can think of because at this point we are beyond words that God has blessed us with this opportunity!

I probably won't post again until after we meet the girls. We are hoping it will be Monday when we arrive in Ust. Ust is 10 hours ahead of Michigan. Look for an update when you get up on Tuesday morning.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Off and running!!!

I called in the troups. Brent, Beth, Ty and Chelsea came to our house today to divide and conquer. Lacey, Beth and Chelsea went and got the last few gifts we needed. Me, Brent and Tyler went and got a laptop. Our flights have been purchased. We will leave from Detroit at 6p.m. on Saturday night then on to Frankfurt where we will meet up with our blog friends Mike, Vonda and Luke. From there we will all travel together to Almaty and arrive at 11:55p.m. on Sunday night. On Monday we will fly to Ust Kamenogorsk where we will meet our daughters. Our visas are being picked up tomorrow by Fedex same day delivery. They will board a commercial jet at Washington Dulles airport and be picked up at Detroit airport by a courier who will deliver them to our home around 10:30p.m. Friday night. It has been a day filled with joy, fear and excitement. We ended our day today with our small group having dinner at our home and great fun and fellowship.

We Have Been Given Faver!!

Just a quick note to everyone who has been praying for us. WE ARE going this Saturday, the 8th. The man at the embassy is expediting our visas. I will post more about soooo many answers to prayer that we have received over the past several days when I can calm down.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Office Closed Due to Vacation...AGAIN

Really truly I do not like drama but the past 24 hours has been full of it. Maybe, I should say, the last 6 years of our adoption journey. As I posted yesterday we received our LOI and were told that we would travel on August 15th. That changed today. We have been told that the judge in our region will be leaving on vacation on August 31st so that wouldn't allow time for our court hearing. We were first told that if we couldn't leave by this Saturday, August 8th, that we can't go until September 20th. Our visa application is en route right now to Assistant Stork and the embassy is closed tomorrow. The embassy no longer will expedite a visa. I asked what our options were and if we could travel on Monday or Tuesday if that would leave us enough time. We could be on that plane tomorrow if we just had our visas. AA told us that they will call Ust tonight and get a cut off date for us. In the meantime, AA told us to call Assistant Stork and ask them if it was possible for them to request our visa overnight. The man at Assistant Stork was wonderful. He had me print off our flight itinerary for August 8th which Eldo at Golden Rule Travel is able to hold for us until Friday. He then told me to write a pleading letter to the man at the embassy. He said it will depend on what kind of mood he is in whether he will grant us an expedited visa. Assistant Stork will let us know by Thursday at noon whether we will have our visas by our flight on Saturday. If not, we are hoping that we can still go the beginning of next week. So close! On the positive side all of our papers are in order and we will go... it's just a matter of Gods' time.

Monday, August 3, 2009


WE GOT IT!!!!!! I received a call this afternoon. We will be leaving on Saturday, August 15th to be in Ust Kamengorsk on the 17th. Two weeks from today we will be hugging our girls. PRAISE GOD!!!!! More details to follow.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


We've had an interesting week. Last Friday we received a call from an associate pastor at our church asking us for help. There is a teenage boy in our community that was adopted from Ukraine 6 years ago and has disrupted from his family. The principle at his school has been caring for him for the past 6 weeks and they are looking for a family for him. He immediately thought of us and called. Mark and I were very perplexed by this, asking God, why now when we are maybe a week or two away from going to get our girls would you put this on us. I met with 3 ladies on Thursday to talk about this child's situation. We brought it to our small group for prayer on Thursday evening. The tables have been turned to where Mark can't stop thinking about him and I am thinking... not an option. We've been talking and really praying about it and went our separate ways to do errands this a.m. and Mark just called me from his cell phone. He said he was driving and praying and God really spoke to him about this situation. He referred to Nehemiah 6:3 I'm doing a great work and I can not come down. We have a plaque as you enter our home that was made by Mark's best friend after studying Nehemiah in our small group and this is what the plaque says. We need to keep to the work that God has given us and not get distracted. When Mark shared this with me I got chills. Our adoption has been a HUGE walk of faith for Mark. Thank you Lord for speaking to Mark and him being open to listening to your voice!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Permission Needed

Well, it was a very frustrating night last night. It's been a struggle to hold back the tears. I talked to the head of AA and was told that they haven't gotten permission from our girls brothers. Our LOI is ready to be issued but they won't issue it until they get this permission. She told me that the in country coordinator has made a few calls trying to find them but hasn't had any luck yet. We've known all along that this might be a problem but are frustrated because we've also been told several times over the past 5 months that they were going to get it taken care of so there wasn't a delay when our LOI was ready. SIGH!!! God's time! This is very reminscent of our journey 4 years ago which doesn't help my anxiety level. I have made contact with several people to see if I can find the brothers. My nephew got on Russian facebook. No luck. I have sent an email to my friends family that went and found Igor last time to see if they remember any info that might help us locate him again. Not heard back yet. I sent an email to a young lady named Anya who is the daughter of the pastor of a church in Ust. She emailed me back and told me that she has an uncle and cousin who live in the city that Igor was last known to live in. She is checking with them for us. We would also love to have the opportunity to meet the boys when we adopt the girls. We feel it is very important for the girls to reestablish contact and maintain it with their brothers. We also thought that Sasha was going to be our son at one time and would love the chance to meet him and have a relationship with him in the coming years. Alla will be talking again to the in country coordinator in the next few days and will touch base again with us on Thursday. PLEASE PRAY!!!!

A very good friend/coworker shared her morning devotion with me:

Do not let your heart be troubled.

Peace be still.

I will send you a counselor and he will tell you the things from the Father.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We've Come Out of the Desert!

Our 40 day waiting period is over. Yeeeehaw! I received a call today letting us know that our dossier has been approved and released by the MOE and is on it's way to Ust Kamenogorsk!! We also were told that we will be traveling with another family that we have become very good blog/email friends with. What an amazing blessing!!!!! God is sooooo good.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Living Life

I just came across the following saying. It really says what Mark and I strive to do on a daily basis. It reminded me to "enjoy the journey" no matter what twists and turns it takes. I hope you are blessed by reading it!

"Life is not a race - but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work Hard. Be Choosy. Say "thank you", and "great job" to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental ~ search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you inspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself ~ Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We're Grandparents

Cash Aaron Wolverton, our first grandchild, was born today at 7:47 a.m. to our oldest son Gabe and Christina. It was a grueling 26+ hours and as proven by the last generation of Wolverton boys/men they have huge heads! Cash weighed in at 7lbs 6 oz and is 19 1/2 inches. They are all doing wonderful but are totally exhausted. Mark and I will be spending some time in Orlando over the next week to have the chance to love on our little man. He's absolutely amazing!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Forty Days and Forty Nights

We've been notified that our dossier will have a bit of a delay because a key government official is out of the office. One of the other families has blogged that this official will be gone 40 days. I found this information out last p.m. and woke up this a.m. thinking of several biblical references to forty days.

Seven days from now I will send rain on earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. Genesis 7:4

Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:18

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horab, the mountain of God.
I Kings 19:7,8

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very important city..a visit required three days. On the first day, Jonah started into the city. He proclaimed: "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned." The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. Jonah 3:3-5

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and forty nights he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:1-4

So we will also wait 40 days and stand on the promise that God will continue to protect Tanya and Galina. We will continue to believe that he will fulfill the call that he has placed on our family to pursue the adoption of these two young ladies. We will remain in his word so that we will be fed and not enter into temptation from the devil!! Our hunger will be for our family to be in the center of God's will.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


What is the meaning of a sister? Our daughter Lacey has been asking us to find her a sister since she was about 5. She didn't think it was fair that she was the only girl in our family. Of course, I don't count because I'm a "mom girl". I am blessed to have 2 sisters and they are my best friends and confidants. I don't know what I would have done without them by my side. So I sympathize with Lacey and have made efforts for her to have close relationships with her girl cousins and we even had exchange student girls but it just hasn't been the same. As our adoption journey has lasted 6 years Lacey has been frustrated and sad that we haven't been able to get Galina home. You see she was at the airport when Galina arrived 6 years ago and there was no doubt in Lacey's 15 year old mind that Galina was her sister. Lacey went shopping this past weekend and found some awesome sales. She is my shopping girl. She called me and asked while she was in the checkout if I wanted her to go back and pick up a swim suit for Tanya and Galina. I told her to go for it. When she went back up to the cashier he teased her about having 3 suits and she said "The other ones are for her sisters". She called me all choked up because it really hit her that this time her dream of having sisters is really going to happen!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Girls Room

I ordered the bedding for our girls room today. I got everything cleaned and organized this past week in their room and can't wait for them to come home!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Christina's Shower

I have been blessed to have a new daughter that I absolutely love. Christina will be blessing Mark and I with our first grandchild in 7 weeks. We had the opportunity to spend this past weekend with her. Christina flew up to Michigan from Orlando where her and our oldest son Gabe live. We had a baby shower for baby Cash Aaron on Saturday and then spent time with Christina and had her all to ourselves. I took her to the airport tonight and her flight was delayed. As we were waiting we were talking to another woman and she said, "Boy, you guys are lucky you get along so well". I am counting my blessings tonight because Mark and I both feel very blessed that our son chose a young woman that fits into our family so well and is so easy for us to love.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Our dossier arrived today at 2:22 a.m. (our time) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Why Kazakhstan? For the past 11 years God has woven a beautiful tapestry for our family with Kazakhstan. It started one January when I was feeling stagnant in my Christian walk. I fasted and prayed that God would bring something into my life that would give me a jump start. A week later I was invited by a group from the church that I grew up in to go on a medical mission trip to Karaganda, Kazakhstan. I went on this mission trip in August of 1998 and it changed my life! On this trip I was able to cuddle and love on a little abandoned baby at the hospital that subsequently was adopted by a family in Florida. This little one named Karina planted the seed in my heart to adopt an orphan from Kazakhstan. In October of 1998 my sister and her husband felt called to missions. They tried to go to South America but I just laughed at them and said "You're going to Kazakhstan". They ended up in Seryegevka, Kazakhstan and have been living there for 6+ years now. Over the past 11 years our family has organized and hosted 3 groups of students from the Kaz American English school in Karaganda. We have a Kazak exchanged student daughter that lived with us from 2000-2001 that we have kept in contact with that is blessing us with a granddaughter in late August. She currently lives in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In 2003 we hosted a 7 year old from Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan through a program called Kidsave. We fell in love with Galina and have pursued adopting her and her siblings since her visit. We currently have a beautiful 17 year old young lady from Atbasar, Kazakhstan that we are sponsoring so she can live in a safe home and attend school. Mark and I have gone together to Kazakhstan to my sister's village once to help with a project and I have returned to her village 3 other times to help with humanitarian aid and the last time to start teen small groups in their church. We have a friend from our church that married an American that is from Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan. We have fallen in love with the people and culture of Kazakhstan and claim many people on the "other side of the world" as family.

OK, there is no such place as Frankfurt, DE so maybe that means our dossier is in Frankfurt, Germany. That's what I'm going to believe since that's closer to Astana and it's been there all day without moving. And believe me I've checked numerous times.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Sometimes we get so caught up in details. International adoption really brings out my insecurities. We were excited on Tuesday when we were told that our dossier had been approved and was on it's way to Astana. Since then I have been checking our FedEx account several time a day to track it. It hasn't shown up. I have imagined that our precious packet of documents has been sitting on someone's desk hidden under other things. Don't they know we're in a hurry????? Finally, today I emailed our ever so patient agency director and asked her if our dossier was in transit. She very graciously sent me a tracking number. I keep telling myself that "it's in God's hands" and then I try to take it back and start to worry. What am I thinking/doing??? Currently our dossier is in Frankfurt, DE and expected to arrive in Astana on June 9th. Yeah, we are getting there step by step.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

T Shirt Fundraiser

An artist friend of ours has designed a pic for a tshirt. We are going to sell them to family and friends to help raise money for an orphanage donation. They are $12.00 each. If you want one please let me know. On the back we have put Romans 8:25...But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

Dossier Approved!!

We just received notice from our agency that our dossier has been approved and is on it's way to the MFA in Astana! It took 4 weeks and 5 days for it to be approved. From looking at other blogs I think this is unusual for our agency. We didn't have any questions or request for additional documents so aren't sure why it took this long. God's time!! This is the point in our adoption journey that things fell apart 4 years ago. Please pray with us that this time we will be able to get our LOI and bring the girls home.

Prayer Requests:
Igor and Sasha will give us permission to adopt their sisters.
Tanya will be open to becoming part of a family again after 9 years in the orphanage.
Galina won't be mad at us for taking so long to get her home.
Our dossier will make it through the ministries quickly so we can get the girls home before the end of the summer.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Received Info

We have been asking for info on our girls for a couple of months. We had an age on Tanya and the info that we have on Galina is 4 years old. We received the following today from Maeven. Alexandr is actually Sasha the boy that we tried to adopt with Galina 4 years ago. Please pray that he gives permission for us to bring the girls home.

the coordinator says that she checked on the girls, they are fine, they study well, they are doing great, but they are in different orphanages.

The coordinator will have to drive 200-250 kilometers to a rural area in order to find their brother Alexandr, she plans to do it soon, probably early June. After this trip it will be more or less clear if the adoption of the girls will be possible.

We will keep you updated.

Our middle son Nichol left with his best friend Chris for a summer job of a lifetime. They are going to be trip leaders at Camp Chief Ouray in Winter Park, Colorado. Nichol has been a camp counselor at Camp Chief Ouray for 2 summers. This is Chris' first time there. They have both completed 4 years of college and have 1 year left before they have to enter the "real" world of work. They will take groups of 14-16yr. old for a week at a time either backpacking, biking, white water rafting, sea kayaking, etc. Both of these young men are tons of fun and bring energy to any place they are. These kids don't know what they're in for. They will have a camp experience like no other.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still Waiting

Our dossier went to the Kazakhstan Embassy 4 weeks ago this Thursday. We've been told that it should be approved this week. Last week our adoption worker suggested that we read other blogs to get an idea on how everyone's process goes. I have been doing this and went back to look at the time frames for approval once the dossier got to the embassy. I didn't find any families that their dossier didn't clear the embassy in less than 3 weeks from AA. Some of those even had to submit additional information. We aren't sure what's going on with ours but it's getting pretty frustrating. When we ask our agency they tell us we need to be patient. Please pray for us as we continue to trust that this will all come about in God's time.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

4 Years Ago Today

Four years ago today my husband finally joined me on our family's journey to adoption. This was after 7 years of me thinking that we should adopt and many fights, intense discussions, begging and tears. I had finally given the fight over to God in January and KNEW that if he truly was calling our family to adoption he would change Mark's mind. On Mother's Day morning Mark sat me down on our front porch with sun shining on us and said to me, "I need to tell you something. Let's go get the kids". We began our dossier the next day and then our journey came to an abrupt halt in September of the same year. We were sure that it was over and then 6 months ago we were given information and had several things happen that prompted us to resume our journey. We are walking forward trusting that God will continue to guide our steps to our children that are waiting in Kazakhstan and that we are listening and faithful.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What was that again???????

Another relaxing night at the Wolverton's. I received a call yesterday afternoon from our adoption coordinator notifying us that they needed us to resubmit our money orders for the Embassy processing of our documents. They had expired because it has been over 90 days since we submitted our dossier to AA. I was just pulling into the post office when I received the call. So, GREAT I can do it all here and even overnight it from USPS. I went into the post office to complete my business. Thank goodness the woman working at the post office was someone that I knew. She made up my money orders and then I gave her my debit card since you needed to pay with cash. I entered my pin number and it said it was wrong so I tried again. Same thing. Three times and now my card is locked out. OK, no problem because I have a different debit card that I can use that I'm sure of the pin number. I try that one and now I have so many numbers running through my head I can't remember that number. I ended up locking up that card too. Now it's time for the post office to close but Praise God the bank is still open. I head to the bank and am able to complete my business there and then off to my favorite FedEx drop location. Man, it sure seemed like an easy task when I first received the call.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kazakhstan Embassy

We just got the news that our dossier went to the Kazakhstan Embassy today. YEEEEEHAAAAW! I called our coordinator to check on things and she told me that she was just sending me an email to let us know. I am soooooo excited. I started crying and couldn't even talk to her. It seems surreal that we will see Galina again and meet Tanya in a matter of a few months.

God is so good!
God is so good!
God is so good, he's so good to me!

He answers prayers!!!
He answers prayers!!!
He answers prayers!!!
He's so good to me.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Documents, Documents, Documents

I finally received all of the updated documents that we needed to send to our agency for our dossier to go to the Kazakhstan Embassy. I went to the Office of the Great seal this morning and got all 11 of them apostilled and then back home to sort, copy, staple and organize to hand over to the FedEx man. I dropped our precious package in the FedEx box at 4pm and will be tracking it to California. I still can't believe that Galina and Tanya might be home by summer. Six years ago Galina taped a picture that she drew of herself on our laundry room door. I told my family that it would stay there until Galina came home. Please pray with us that this will be soon!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

Kazakhstan Embassy, Washington D.C here we come

We got the awaited email today. The one that when you are in line waiting for your dossier to go to the embassy is the coveted email. AA sent us instructions to get some documents updated and get them to them so they can prepare our final dossier to be submitted. It's been a hard wait. I've had moments/days when I wondered if it would ever come or if there was a problem and it would never come. Maeven, our worker, has been so patient with my phone calls. We were also told last week that the in country coordinator is working on getting the permission that we need from our girls' brothers so that we can adopt them. This is awesome because I originally thought this wouldn't happen until our dossier was in Ust. God is soooooo good!!!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians

Friday, March 20, 2009

IT'S SPRING! We have been looking forward to this season since we were told several weeks ago that our dossier will go to the embassy in early spring. Here is a photo of my first crocus that has bloomed. We are trying to take one day at a time so that we don't get impatient and anxious about the waiting. Mark and I are both working extra jobs to try to stay on top of the financial obligations of this great adventure of adopting two teen girls. Oh man, what are we thinking??? Two more cars, dresses for dances, makeup, hair "things" and the list goes on. LOL! Please pray with us for the girls that God will prepare their hearts so that they will want to come and join our family. When I think of spring it reminds me of a song that I sang as a teenager in my church.

What a wonderous time is spring, when all the trees are budding.
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming.
That's how it is with God's love, once you've experienced it.
You want to sing. It's fresh like spring. You want to PASS IT ON!

Please Lord, let our family be the one that can share this love with Tanya and Galina!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Galina's birthday

Wow! what a week. Mark and I headed to Orlando to be with Gabe and Christina on Sunday the 8th. They had to have some tests because Christina had some abnormal blood work and there was concern that baby Rocket had Down's Syndrome. We went to be with them when they received the results of the amniocentesis. On Monday the 9th we got the news that everything was normal. PRAISE GOD!!! Tuesday, March 10th, was Galina's 13th birthday. Mark and I went to the beach with Lacey, Gabe and Christina. As I picked up shells on the beach I thought about what we will be doing next year to celebrate with her. I can't wait to bake her a cake and have family all around her singing with Mark the loudest and off key. We had hoped that we would be further in our adoption process so that we could talk to her on her birthday but we have great hopes that she will be with us for her next birthday. We are still waiting for our dossier to be submitted to the embassy. We had to change some of our documents and are still in line waiting our turn. I was told today that it looks like our dossier will be going in late April or early May.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine's Day!! I can't believe it. We received our I171H today. It only has been 2 weeks since we went for our fingerprinting. Sometimes Michigan is awesome. Mark and Kristine Wolverton as of 2/2/2009 have permission to bring two orphans that are siblings into the U.S. Praise God!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

INS Fingerprinting

What is it with us and winter storm warnings??? We received a letter Tuesday, Jan. 27th that we needed to be in Grand Rapids at 8a.m. on Friday, Jan. 30th for our INS fingerprinting. We got up as if we were heading to work on Friday because it's an 1 1/2 hr. drive. We left the house at 6:15a.m. to snow and icy roads. We counted 15 cars off the road on our trip up and back. I sure was thankful for the 4 wheel drive truck and Mark behind the wheel. This is the last appointment that we needed to complete. Now we wait for our turn for our dossier to be processed.

I just went back and read our blog from our previous attempt to adopt Galina and her brother Sasha in 2005. We had many conflicting stories at the time and weren't sure what to think. After 3 years we believe that Almas just didn't have the power to do our adoption. We believe that there was no grandmother and he told us that because it was an "acceptable" excuse.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adoption Ark Dossier Approval

We received notification from AA yesterday that our dossier has been approved and sent on for translation.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dossier Complete

Well, as of yesterday (1/16) at 4:30 p.m. our dossier was in the hands of the FedEx man on it's way to Adoption Ark in California. It was a crazy week of trying to complete it. I left work early on Tuesday to check the mail for the one last document that we needed to go get our apostilles. It was in the mail. I called work and told them that I wouldn't be back. I was on my way to Lansing to the Office of the Great Seal. It was a winter storm advisory but waiting one more day just wasn't in my plans. LOL! I got to Lansing by a detour because there was an accident. When Marcy at the Office of the Great Seal went over our documents she couldn't apostille any of our documents that our credit union had notarized because the notary stamp and the state registration for the people that signed didn't match. Soooo, back home to reprint 10 documents and back to the credit union. Another trip to Lansing on Thursday. Guess what? Another person at our credit union's notary isn't correct. A total of 4 notaries at our credit union had incorrect stamps. Back to the credit union with one more set of documents and the name of the one lady at our credit union that had her notary correct. We completed the documents and they gave us movie passes and a gas card for all of our inconvience. I took our packet of documents to our small group on Thursday night and plopped them in the middle of everyone and told them "we need to pray over these". I also shared with our group that I want them to pray for a "miracle day" of March 10th that the girls know we are coming. This was the first time Mark knew that I was requesting this of God and he thought it was awesome! On friday, Lacey returned with our documents and they all passed! I had worked a midnight shift on Wednesday night and had been able to sort, copy and organize the documents that were done. Once Lacey brought me the rest of the documents at work I was able to copy them and get everything completed. I prayed that when I left work I would run in to a FedEx truck otherwise I would drive to Battle Creek and hope to meet the deadline to get it sent on Friday. As I was driving down the main road there was a FedEx truck. I followed him to his next box and he took our precious package. Then I passed 2 more trucks on the way home. LOL! I guess God was letting me know I can trust him in the little details. Now we wait to see if our dossier is approved by AA.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another step closer

We received our completed home study on 1/8/2009. I mailed our I600 today, 1/9/2009. I have one more document to receive and then I will be able to go to Lansing to get all of our documents apostilled. I am planning to do this on 1/13/2009. I am still praying for a miracle date of 3/10/2009. This is Galina's 13th birthday. I would love for her to know that we are trying to bring her home again on her birthday.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

It promises to be an amazing year for our family. We found out December 26th that we are going to grandparents. Gabe and Christina will be blessing us with our grandbaby the end of July.

We have been waiting for our home study to be approved by our international agency. It was completed by our social worker the middle of December but needed to have some changes. AA has been closed for the holidays so we are expecting our final home study sometime the week of January 4th. I have all of our other documents ready to submit once we have this. We are praying for a miracle date of March 10th for our dossier to be approved and the girls to be told that we are processing documents to adopt them. March 10th is Galina's 13th birthday.

As I took down our Christmas tree today my thoughts and prayers were with "my girls". I am hoping and dreaming that they will be with us hanging these same ornaments Christmas 2009.

Mark and I took our kids and my mom on a Christmas vacation to Jamaica this year. We talked about this being the last Christmas that it would just the 5 of us. Of course, Gabe proved us right with his announcement of his impending fatherhood. Our hopes and dreams are that our family will have 3 new members by July.