Thursday, September 20, 2012


We are completed.  Done.  Finished.  Cleared.  Ready to fly!!  Thank you God for taking care of everything.  Amazing how God worked everything out according to His plan (no problems this all!!).  He must have some big plans for this little guy.  :)  Can't wait to be a part... Thankful He chose me to be in this...:)  Thanks for the prayers.  Now we have all playtime left... Not sure what we are going to do tomorrow, but I think we are heading to Old Arbat..:)

Flying out Saturday morning!


P.S (from Brad) This has been an interesting trip for me too (actually not a trip).  I have worked from home this week and watched Alia while Steph and my mom went to get Alek.  Alia's been great (cough..cough..) most of the time.  :-)  It's been a great time for the two of us.  Thanks to all the family and friends who helped me this week.

There were so many uncertainties through this process, but we both believe that we were called to go.  I knew that He can be trusted to keep us where His Spirit leads us.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New updates from Moscow

Well, Alek has been with us now for about 6 hours. Started out a little rough (he cried quite a bit at the baby house, especially when his favorite care taker came in to say goodbye), but he quickly adjusted. Oddly enough, the first smile was while changing his diaper. :) He LOVES having his diaper changed (I know! Weird right?)! He giggles the whole time (from the time you lay him down until 
you pick him up... & then he's still happy).
He likes electronics more than his toys. He got a hold of my camera and held it up to his ear & said something that sounded like a Russian "hello". He climbs up and down and all around on furniture already.
So far, he's quite happy and easy going (I'm sure that will change on the plane though... He is quite an active little guy). He follows me around all over and cries if I walk away or if nana picks him up (although, he loves to play with nana... As long as she's not holding him). That is a really good sign ... He knows who's the mommy. :)
We went out to dinner tonight and walked one of the very busy streets. He soaked up everything! It's pretty obvious he hasn't been out much.
We skyped with Alia and Brad earlier... Alek kept trying to grab Alia's head. I can't wait until they meet!
All in all... Awesome day! Feeling very confident (even after the rocky start) that he will adjust well & fit in great. He's going to love playing with all of the kids. I think he'll probably be able to keep up & hold his own pretty well. ;)
More tomorrow... Hope you enjoyed the pics! :)
Love you all and totally feeling the prayers! Keep them coming. Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

3rd trip...

Well, here we are... Back in Moscow.  This time it is Brad's mom (Anita) and I (Steph).  We flew in today and I get Alek in my arms tomorrow!  I am SO looking forward to tomorrow!  :)  Praying that my little guy feels comfortable, safe, & loved with us.  I know it will be a hard transition for him, but... It is so much better for him (even though he doesn't know it yet & won't understand it all right now.
We will be in Moscow until next Saturday because there is a lot of paperwork to be completed before he can leave Russia with us.
Keep checking... I will post pictures as soon as I can! ;)
Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Prayers needed...

Typing with a heavy heart tonight...
Received some very disturbing news on Alek's adoption today. Everything is fine and final on Russia's part, but it seems there is a US official who doesn't want to sign off on the visa (which we HAVE to have to bring Alek to the US). He has a reason, but it seems to be personal, not political or legal and has nothing to do with us (seems he is upset at someon
e else, but taking it out on us). Anyway,we are unsure of our next steps, but know we need to pray first, before taking any action.
Please join us in prayer. Pray that God will work this out for us so that we can bring our son home soon. We know that even though it seems to be a HUGE issue' there is nothing to big for our God. Thank you all for your continued prayers.

"Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God...

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?""

Monday, August 6, 2012


Court was today.  The missing papers were never even mentioned.  There were normal questions. All of our paperwork, Brad & I, our interpreter, the baby house director, a member of the ministry of education, the judge and just 2 others were present.
Court was scheduled for 12:30.  When we arrived, there was a 10:00 & 10:30 who hadn't even gone in yet.  The wait was long... We had no clue what to expect.  The chairs were about as uncomfortable as our minds. We stood there in the waiting area thinking about what kind of mood the judge might be in.  Was his tummy growling as loud as our tummies were growling?  Finally, it was our turn.  20 minutes later, we heard the word "accept" and then we were dismissed and congratulated. That was it. :) I told Brad that we must have to have paperwork issues just to remind us of how much God is in control.  It's a reminder that our lives are not our own, our children are not our own, our money is not our own, and our plans are not our own.  God's plan is always so much bigger than our own.  Sometimes we can choose to just trust, other times we are forced to trust.  Either way, He deserves our trust, He wants our trust, And at times He demands our trust.  I trusted Him... I just worried a little too. ;).  I also believe that these kinds of troubles increase our prayer lives (& yours too).  I know you were all praying and we are extremely thankful !
Right after court, we were taken to see Alek.  He walked in to the room like such a big boy!  At first he didn't want to come to us.  I don't think he remembered us at all.  We received permission to take him outside.  He didn't warm up to us quickly.  We needed to take a picture for his passport and visa.  I asked if we could wait a while because he seemed terrified.  He stayed quiet and just looked at us very seriously.  Finally, after about 20 minutes ... A smile.  Just then, they came and took him.  Time to eat.  Seriously, 3 minutes later... He's back and doing much better. He was ready to play.  We played, and he laughed.
About 5 minutes before it was time to go, 2 caretakers and 3 little girls came out to play.  Alek immediately took off after them (he's walking super well now).   He followed them right into a little gated area to play.  I quickly figured out that these were his room mates and it was playtime.  He couldn't miss it.  He smiled at us and came back to the gate occasionally to say hi or let us pick him up for a minute.  When his caretaker picked him up, he smiled and laughed.  I knew it was time to go.  He's in good hands until we are invited to come back and get him.  It is definitely going to be an adjustment for that little guy.
Sounds like sometime near the 15th of September we will be welcomed back to get our son (still sounds really weird to say or type that).  I have a whole lot to do to prepare my home and family for the changes ahead, but we are ready to become a family of 4!
Thanks again.  I will hopefully be able to post pictures soon. :)
Brad, Steph, Alia, & Alek

He's ours!

The court accepted our request to be his parents! :).
More info soon, but we are starving and very thirsty from a long day.  We are going to run out for a bit and we'll post more later.  Thanks SO much for the prayers.  We really felt them!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hello again... from Russia

Hey, first... sorry for the time without posting.  For some reason, we can only post from certain computers... which is a pain.
So, here's the quick version of what has happened in the last month...
We got home from our first trip, found out that Russia wanted us back for court pretty much 30 days later.  We DESPERATELY tried to get everything turned in and were successful with everything EXCEPT immigration (which happens to be pretty much the most important thing).  We were not able to get it in time for court on July 23.  Then, it was rescheduled for August 20th, then July 31, then August 6th (so, here we are... that one actually "won". :)
Court will be in about 5 hours.  Here's the situation.  There were a few items that were requested very last minute before we left.  Although we tried as hard as possible to get the forms requested, have them notarized, and get them apostilled..., we were unsuccessful.  There just wasn't enough time and the documents are currently at the apostille office. :(  (We, however, are here... in Russia).  We already had everything set to leave, so we left.  Obviously the plane wasn't going to wait for us.
So, in about 5 hours ... we find out.  We pray that what we have will be enough.  We look back to a post during Alia's adoption.  It was the night before court and there was a HUGE paperwork disaster.  We were told that we probably wouldn't be able to complete court (this was not our paperwork issue either... which was the worst part).  All night long we prayed.  The next day, God worked miracles and the documents were not even discussed.  4 years later, here we go again.
We are very thankful that we know God has put all of this together and can work another miracle for Alek.  This whole process has been all about God's miracles and we trust that although it may be unclear right now (and even possibly in the court room), God is in control.  Brad and I have not had any control over the first 15 months of Alek's life and have the same amount of control right now... none.  However, we know that God loves that little baby and has taken care of him up to now... and won't ever stop taking care of him.
So, we will go to court knowing that whatever happens is still in God's plan and we have to trust.  That's all we can do.  We were actually able to get a little bit of rest and we are ready.  We are ready for... whatever God has in store.
We will post as soon as we are back here and have internet connection.
Love you all!
Please pray!
Steph, Brad, Alia, and Alek