Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fellowship and Fun

 This weekend we were excited to welcome our priest, Fr. Chris to family dinner.  He is from Poland and was there when the seed was first planted to adopt from Poland.  So, it was nice to have some special time to talk about Polish culture, how he grew up, and travel tips.   For those of you who were kind enough to comment on the recipe ideas, thank you!  I just wish I would've done a better job at following-up.  I was going to try Bigos, but changed the menu when I realized it was going to be 70-degrees and sunny.   We opted for one last grill-out instead.  Then, I was going to make  pierogies, but I ran out of time (Fr. Chris said they are just as good in the freezer section at the grocery store!:)  Lol.  So, my hope to create an authentic Polish dinner experience was a bust.   Nevertheless, it was still good.  We had some pinwheels (from Sams). 
Cupcakes for dessert.  Hazelnut Vanilla spread too (from Holland.)  Getting closer!:)
The rest of the menu consisted of the regular grill food.  Hamburgers, chicken and hot dogs (with sauerkraut. The closest we came to Polish cuisine)!:)

Here is our family with Fr. Chris.

He is from Trzcianka (northern Poland).  His sister lives in Warsaw so it was great to hear about her, and also gather some tips for traveling.   For instance, he suggested getting a "magic jack" for phone calls when we are there.  I have a big note pad going, so that will be added to the list.   He also said food and gas are more expensive in Poland.   Good to know.   We are moving forward in the adoption process and I am just hoping/praying things go smooth as go to the next steps.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dinner Ideas?

Any Polish chefs out there?   We are having a big family dinner on Sunday and I am on the hunt for a Polish dish.  Our priest, Fr. Chris,  is from Poland and he will be joining us.      I am hoping to find something relatively easy and that will also feed alot of people.   I found some ideas here, but I thought it would be nice to hear from anyone who has a tried and true favorite.  If all else fails, I may go the standby route:  lasagna.   Will keep looking though, hopefully I can pull this off!:)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In You, the Orphan Finds Mercy (Hosea 14:3)

Praying all orphans would have such a beautiful answer to this prayer:

Each night before I go to bed
I fold my hands and bow my head
Praying for a family and the day she will come for me
I ask God to watch over my friends at the orphanage,
The place that I call home
Wishing we find families and rooms of our very own.
I finish my prayers and climb into bed
Hoping that God heard what I said.
My prayers usually turn out to be my dreams at night
Hoping she will be standing there when I wake to the morning light.
One very special morning, I will hear their call,
I jump out of bed and run down the hall!
Is it her, Is it her, is that why they’ve called my name?
Running I hear them shout “It’s her, it’s her, she finally came!”
Have all my prayers been answered, have all my dreams come true
There she is in front of me, Oh Mama! Oh Mama!! Is it really you?
“Yes, it is my darling, I’ve come to take you home,”
“I will love, protect and cherish and you will never be alone.“
Mama looks at me so differently a look so new to me,
She touches me so gently, just as I dreamed it would be.
As I look into her eyes I watch them fill with water,
She embraces me and whispers, “I love you so my daughter”.
She takes my hand and I hold it tight,
I will never let it go, I hold with all my might.
Hand in hand we walk together,
No one needs to speak; we know this is forever.
And through our journey when we finally meet each other,
She will have found her dream and I will have found my mother.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pardon my Polish

Just wanted to check in with a quick update regarding Rosetta Stone.  It arrived at our doorstep yesterday and we wasted no time breaking it in.    I am already very impressed by the program, even though it's expensive, I believe it will be a good investment.  I thought we would record a start up session for anyone wondering how it works.  My brother recorded this and didn't quite zoom in on the screen enough to show what was happening, but hopefully you can get the idea.  We are learning as a family and I really think the kids are picking it up faster than Jim and me!    I am also trying to remember the great advice from Raime who suggested to focus on verbs.   My apologies to the Poles for doing such a poor job at speaking the language!   My pride is definitely going out the window after posting this, it's pretty rough. :) 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Welcome Friends

Today we made the official announcement about our adoption on the morning show.   It feels good to be able to finally share the news.   I am not good at keeping secrets!

 If you are new to the blog, you can read about how it all started by clicking on this link and scrolling down.   Thank you for your kind comments, it means more than you know.  

 We still have a long way to go, but it really lifts the wind in our sails to have encouragement along the way.  Sending prayers of thanksgiving and provision for anyone who has adopted, is in the process, or faithfully considering it now.  God bless you!

P.S. UPS deliveryman just rang the doorbell.  I think our Rosetta Stone is here!:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Polish 101

Cheshch ("hello")!      As you may have guessed, we are working on language lessons. I don't think we've gotten very far yet, but it's not for lack of trying. Now that the intense paperwork is behind us (with the dossier) we are doing our best to jump in with both feet and learn as much Polish as we can. I met a new friend this week who I know will be a wonderful help in the future when it comes to all things Polish. We attend the same church and she started a Polish women's group which is very active and vibrant. She recommended the Usborne book "First Thousand Words in Polish".

It was difficult to find this online (it appears to be out of print) although Usborne does offer a book of "One Hundred Words in Polish" (instead of one thousand).  Thankfully, our local library had a copy and I highly recommend it for children.   They also have an online quicklink with more interactive options (here).    I can't say that we know how to pronounce the words yet, but our boys have enjoyed it, and I think it would be a nice tool also with our child (or children) in Poland.

In terms of resources for Jim and me, I ran across a .pdf file with a ton of basic words and phrases here.   My new Polish friend also told me that the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland (Slavic Village) offers  language classes too.   I wish we could do that but it's an hour away from us,  and with our schedule I know it wouldn't be possible.   Still, nice to know.   We also took the plunge and ordered Rosetta Stone.  I definitely need audio assistance because I really struggle when I'm just reading the words, I need to actually hear it...over and over.:)    I know once I get the basics it will be just a matter of building on that, but it is still intimidating at this point.   That is what my blog title is all about though... "joy in the journey", this is an adventure and I am grateful for every confusing and amazing part of it!:)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Affording Adoption

I have read that the biggest concern for couples considering international adoption is....can we afford it?   For us, that was by far the biggest question and largest hurdle to date.   We believe in God's provision, and trust 100% that this is the path He has led us on, which is why we decided to step out in faith.   That being said, we also have three children and had to make sure we were being Good Stewards of our funds and not making a reckless decision that could send our family into financial ruin.    I will admit, it is still a leap of faith, but we have learned a lot and are seeing the fruit of our "yes"  in unexpected ways.     This is also an interesting perspective.  It is the cost of international adoption compared to other life expenses.  The average international adoption can cost anywhere from $20-$50,000.  Compare that to these purchases/investments:

 Those could all be considered necessary investments for sure, and once I broke some of those items down, it convinced me that our adoption could also be considered just as necessary as these other items.   International adoption may not be for everyone (if you don't like to travel for example) and that is the blessing of options...domestic adoption, foster care, etc.   Prayer and research go a long way!   Sources like the "100 top adoption-friendly workplaces" and Section 23 of the IRS code (sooo thankful for that)! For those who feel called to international adoption, click here for information regarding options, ideas, and ways to afford it.