Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Momment by momment

You know how there are those seasons of your life where you are sailing along in a way that affords you the luxury of rising above life a bit, looking forward, setting goals and having some vision? Those are good momments...we are not in one of those kind of momments. Right now some momments truly are as hard as we thought they might be, others bring some joy, but EVERY momment is intenesly demanding. That kind of demanding where you realized you just wiped the 6th backside in a span of 10 minutes (no exaggeration), or your staving at 10am and realized you never ate, or you fear your back is permanently out after the 10th round of "horsey" or "mommy cat" or whatever it is your on the floor playing, or your son elbows you every 3 seconds during his "story" at bedtime because you keep nodding off (at 8:30), or your personal space is so constantly invaded that your like Clovis on Apple Dumbling Gang, or the emotional needs of those little ones leaves you feeling at night like you didn't do anyone of them any justice. And yet in that "in the momment" kind of season, there is the still small voice (very quiet sometimes over the din roar) that reminds you that indeed what you do today (from the kissing of the owie to changing of the diaper) really does indeed last for eternity, and for a fraction of a second, you rise above it all and hear God chearing you on.

I love you Lord, thank you for helping me "rise above" this week and regain my perspective. How desperately I need you.

The "snow clothes" picture below is a good example of what I talked about above. It was an act of love (and a 20 minute workout) to get every dressed to go out and play in the snow today. I never would have guessed what fun all 4 (and myself) would have sledding. I love watching Asher and Faith getting to experience all their "firsts".

We still need your prayers. Thank you.

Truck races

A princess and a puppy

Don't let it fool you...they aggravate each other to know end:)

Snow clothes...sigh...

Seth and Faith



Friday, October 28, 2011


Here are some pictures finally!

The "tribe" out at the ranch

Asher's first ride with Daddy
Faith's first ride with Daddy
And the future rodeo princess who rides like a pro
Seth rides too but he prefers the puppies and kittens
Walmart. The lady who saw me coming in wondered if they were all mine:)

Friday, October 21, 2011


People are wondering how we are doing. Let's see...crazy...that's probably the best way to describe it. But we are doing well overall. There are the things that are a challenge like getting everyone's coats and shoes on and in their car seats. It took Paul and I about 45 minutes the first time we did it. By the time we sat our frazzled selfs down in our seats in the car about all we could do was look at each other and burst out laughing. Then there's the large spike in food consumption. Yikes!

Each kiddo is handling the adjustment differently and there are good momments and bad. They are all being troopers though. It has been a joy to watch the world open up to Asher and Faith. We are praising God for the beautiful weather that has allowed them sunshine and a chance to be outside exploring. They both started out very scared of the horses, barn cats and dogs. They love the kittens now and this morning (as if we aren't crazy enough), the six of us sat together and watched our dog give birth to 9 puppies. So cool.

Its early and we definately have lots of adjustment still ahead so we are so grateful for your continued prayers. In the meantime we are praising God for all the blessings like hearing Grace say yesterday, "Faith, I love you.", or the happy screams of all 4 kids playing "Get You Daddy!", or the now unbroken circle of hands at our dinner table because all the seats are filled and everyone can reach someone.

His mercies (including energy) are new each morning. Great is His faitfulness.

I'll try to post more pictures soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home at Last

Thanks to all who prayed for our trip home. The first flight was a rough couple hours but the second flight, the 10 hour flight, went well. Faith screamed for about half an hour of it but Asher literally slept the entire flight except one hour and during that hour he was eating. I asked at the counter in Frankfurt if they could give us the seats with the baby beds that attach to the wall and they were able to change our boarding passes to those seats so Asher had his own little crib. Faith slept about 5 hours of the flight so even mom and I were able to get some sleep. We were so, so grateful. When we landed in Denver things went very smooth and quickly and I got teary when the lady in Secondary customs handed me my kids' passports back and said, "You're all set!" Which meant, its a done deal, Asher and Faith are now US citizens...Thank you Lord!!! The kids fell asleep on take off and slept all the way to Billings. We got home about midnight and they went back to bed just fine. All four kids woke up about the same time this morning and it was such a sweet thing to bring Seth and Grace in to our room and introduce them to their new brother and sister. It has been a wild and crazy first day and I am sure we have a long road of adjustment ahead but we are praising God for all His protection, His leading, His provision, His strength, His encouragement, His miracles in this journey...and for four beautiful children.

The Van Dyke kiddos!

Opening "surprises" from Russia



Friday, October 14, 2011

Final day...

Yesterday we went to the US Embassy for our kids' American visas interview. There were 5 other adoptive families there and it was fun to visit with them and see their kiddos too. We did a bit of sight seeing but the kids were tired and hungry and aren't up for long excursions. Today we went out again and did a bit of shopping. I had Starbucks and mom and the kids had Cinnabon...that made us all happy.

Honestly, we really need your prayers this next 48 hours as we make the long trip home. We are VERY tired physically, emotionally and spiritually. I forgot how the spiritual oppression here can weight so heavily on a person. The battle is not just against lack of sleep and fussy kids.

When we arrive in Denver tomorrow night we will have to go to Secondary after we go through passport control to clear our kids' visas (at that point they will be US citizens:)). This can take a long time however, especially if there are a lot of people in line in front of us. Please pray that we get through very quickly and that all the paperwork is cleared with no complications and that we make our connection in good time. Again, prayer for much much smoother flights than our last one would be appreciated. We have a 3 hour flight from Moscow to Frankfurt, a 10 hr flight from Frankfurt to Denver and then the flight from Denver to Billings.

"It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm and the light of your face, for you loved them." Psalm 44:3. Thank you Father that you love us and that in You alone is our victory. May the light of your face shine bright upon us and all those praying for us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Today we spent our first full day in Moscow. We arrived very late last night after a horrible plane ride from Krasnoyarsk. If they could have, the people around us would have thrown us out without parachutes. As I feared it would be, navigating the Russian airports with two exhausted, sickly, scared and overwhelmed children was anything but fun...miserable best describes it and probably one of the most stressful parts of the whole process. My biggest fear however was that somehow at the airport in Krasnoyarsk, they would say there was a mistake and that we all had to stay... so I was relieved when that airplane lifted off the ground. The next five hours were spent with the two kids tag teaming whose turn it was to scream. I had been telling myself that however miserable it was, it was only a few hours of my life...that leg is over now...praise God and we are one step closer to home.

Today Asher woke up feeling miraculously better. He has his spunk and energy back and at his doctors appointment (a whole other story for a different time), the doctor said he looked good. Both the kids have rickets from lack of sunshine and exercise, something we are happy to fix when we get home:). The kids did great this afternoon and evening. They adjusted much quicker this time to a new place and both are bonding well with mommy....they like Babuska (grandma) too. We are still managing to get around with my limited Russian vocabulary and my steller charades skills. Thanks to Google translator (and Anna and my sister) I am managing to communicate fairly well with Faith too. She's a sharp little lady...I'm sure she wants to roll her eyes at her mommy's mis-pronunciations but she doesn't seem to mind. What a sweetie.

Tomorrow we head to the US embassy for Visas, then we may have some time for sight seeing if its not raining (the forcast is not looking good though). Friday we do consulate registration and Saturday morning we head for home...sigh...

I know I thank you every time but truly I feel your prayers encouraging me and keeping me sane (I'm sure my mom and Paul would say the same). Thank you for being so faithful to pray for our family. Thanking God for being our ultimate source of strength, peace and light on this journey...and thanking Him for you.

Monday, October 10, 2011


We are hanging in there. Sitting around with not much to do but wait for paperwork is a killer when you want to be home so bad. One more day here in Krasnoyarsk after today and then at least we get to head in the direction of home. We will fly to Moscow tomorrow night and spend wed-fri getting the kids visas and having their doctor's appointment to clear them for the trip. So please, please pray that Asher gets better and passes the doctors appointment ok. He was up half the night last night with what we think is now an ear infection and he has a rash on his face too (probably excema from food, or meds, or air outside or new linens and clothes washed in new soaps). Poor baby, he is having a hard time with the "real world" too. He gets so very scared and overwhelmed every time we go outside and he is terrified of the elevator (that we have to use, no stairs that we've found and we are on the 10th floor). That and a possible ear infection could make the travel very hard. Please pray for us all and that he would get better quickly.

We went out on a walk today, thought we would try to make it to the footbridge. We made it but had to turn right around. Faith kept telling me something that I was afraid might mean she needed to go potty and Asher was getting upset. We had to make an emergency stop off at a KFC on the way back for chicken and fries so they weren't both screaming in the stroller the rest of the way. The doors into KFC looked like elevator doors and Asher was so terrified of the place that I had to wait outside with him while mom and Faith got food. As they always seem too, french fries made it all better and we made it home in one piece.

Your comments and posts are very encouraging to me, thank you all so much for your prayers for us and please keep them up. Here are some pictures!