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Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” ~George Iles

The quote I selected today is one that I first read at Faith’s Lodge… not realizing how meaningful or perhaps applicable it would be in my life.  Now, I think anyone could apply this to their lives… but really… keeping faith in the dark – now that is pretty familiar territory to our family. I really liked this quote when I read it after Eric died… but I never contemplated how much time we would spend “in the dark” with Jacob in Minnesota or… more importantly after he died.

And so when you are forced to comply sometimes you not only weather the storm but you inherit new thought patterns.  And for us.. it has been – plan less… hope more.

ImageSo, last weekend Bob and I went to buy a  Christmas tree at night, in the pouring rain…. and it was all wrapped up… and you had no idea what it would become once you unclipped those ties.  Of course they would upwrap it just so that you knew you were getting the tree that you wanted and then wrap it back up for transport, but… that seemed kind of contradictory to this new mindset – and, okay, it was rainy and dark and cold.  So, we thought… perhaps we should put our money where our mouths are and just pick a wrapped up tree and go with it.  So, we did just that…we threw it in the back of the car and took it home.  It could have been missing half its branches.  But, guess what?  It was PERFECT… or, at least it was perfect for us.  You can be the judge!

And now…

We are planning to adopt a child that we don’t know.

Of course we’ll get a peek when we travel to Ukraine.  And, I’m sure, with each trip we’ll be able to pull back a little more of the wrapper.  But really, the Sam that comes back to Virginia with us will likely have a lot of layers that need to be peeled back.  And who knows what will lie in the middle?  Who ever knows?  And so, we hope that our family and young Sam will be a good match – despite the speed bumps that we encounter along the way.

Another topic that has come up in conversation is the state of affairs in Ukraine… most specifically in Kiev – which, is exactly where we will be going for part of the first week.  Simply put, there is great conflict between old Ukraine who knows firsthand the cruelty that Russia can inflict and young Ukraine who wants so desperately to part of the Western world.  And this has led to revolts in Kiev.  Is this the optimal traveling situation?  No.  Is this necessarily a safe situation?  No.  Is there anything that we can do to fix this?  No.  Will this change our plans?  I hope not.  If nothing else… this makes me more determined to help one child get out of there.

And further news on the Sam front…  I finally confirmed this week that Sam does not know anything about us yet.  This is certainly done so that there is no disappointment should something happen along the way that would negate the adoption process.  I am sure that these children don’t need another reason for a broken heart.  So, we cannot be in touch with him prior to our travel to Donetsk.  I am, however, waiting to be put in touch with his facilitator and hoping that it will allow us to get some more information – hopefully medical, educational, behavioral… but also very important things like favorite color!

Finally, thank you all so much for everything that you continue to do for our family.  People have helped us in many different ways and we are grateful for all of them.  Thanks for everyone who has contributed to the online fundraiser.  Thanks to you we have raised money which will help to offset our travel expenses – which is very much appreciated.  I purposefully did not spend time visiting the site until recently… but have now done so and will certainly be in touch with those of you who have visited.  We received a contribution from as far away as China… from our friends Joyce and her son Andrew who is fighting the unkind progression of ALD.

And so – onward through the holidays which carry many mixed feelings and into the new year which will be full of faith… and hope.


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