Thursday, December 1, 2011


This week has been a whirlwind, and it doesn't look like it will slow down really until about 2012...heaven!  We're all OK with that though because we wouldn't have our lives any other way.  As a large family, it's pretty much inevitable to have full schedules, particularly when special needs kids are involved.  My mind is spinning and my heart is so full, I have so much to share, but, unfortunately, I still haven't found time to record everything.

Thank you all for checking up on Matt (my hubby).  He was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis the first year of our marriage, in 1993, and he has been on every possible medication over the past 17 years.  His colitis had gotten so completely out of control at one point (I think around 2000-2001) that he was scheduled to have a colostomy (removal of his colon).  His gastroenterologist and rheumatologist decided to try an infusion drug known as Remicaide as one last experiment before removing his colon.  Everyone was shocked to see how well this drug worked to control Matt's ulcerative colitis and the many other symptoms/diseases that accompanied colitis.  (At one point, Matt had 8 labeled degenerative diseases that were a result of his severe ulcerative colitis.) 

Well, Remicaide has its side effects and health risks, so Matt always preferred not to stay on that very long, but the problem was that he could NOT get off of it.  He had to have the drug infused every month, and every single time he tried to wean off of the drug, he would have a horrible flare up and be in worse shape than before he started it. 

Matt (and many prayer warriors) have faithfully prayed for many years that God would heal this debilitating disease.  For many years, those prayers went unanswered, so we all began to believe that Matt would live with ulcerative colitis for his entire life.

Until yesterday's colonoscopy report revealed miraculous results:  Matt no longer has ulcerative colitis!!!  He has not had to take any drugs for his colitis in a year and a month.  No Remicaide infusion treatments, no supplemental drugs, nothing.  He has felt fine and hasn't had any flare-ups, nor has he had any problems with the variety of other diseases that had overtaken his body alongside the colitis a decade ago.  HE HAS BEEN HEALED!!!  Matt's gastroenterologist reported that his colon shows no signs of colitis, except for one inch of colon that has a "sandpaper" look, instead of being smooth, but it is nothing to treat or be worried about.  The gastroenterologist took biopsies throughout Matt's colon (routine for patients with an ulcerative colitis diagnosis), and we'll know the results of those biopsies in a few weeks. If those come back fine, Matt will not have to have another colonoscopy for 10 more years!  Truly, this is a healing miracle of our Jehovah Rapha, and all glory and praises go to Him, the One and Only Miracle Healer.

Now, back to trying to figure out the details of the Ukraine trip.  Ugh.  Another whirlwind.  I wasn't planning to travel due to the medical necessities of our 13-month old baby, but our facilitator is recommending that I travel due to the complexities of this adoption.  We still haven't decided whether I will stay or go, still waiting to hear from God.  It's hard to leave 9 kids at home (several with special needs) for an unknown period of time, particularly at Christmas, but if God says GO, I will most definitely go.  We have to decide soon, obviously.

The time frame for this adoption will be something like this, but keep in mind that nothing is predictable or guaranteed in any way:
  • Leave USA Dec. 12
  • Arrive in Kiev, Ukraine Dec. 13
  • SDA appointment Dec. 15
  • Travel to Sumy, Ukraine Dec. 16 or 17
  • Meet with orphanage director and boys in Sumy.  Continue visits until court date (which cannot be determined ahead of time). 
  • The court date must be at least 5 days after the SDA appointment, but most of the time is more like 2 weeks (or longer) after the SDA appointment.
  • Go to court to adopt boys.
  • Return to US during 10 day waiting period after the court hearing.
  • Return to Ukraine  after we receive approval from court to begin phase 2 of the adoption process.
  • Start phase 2 of adoption paperwork in Ukraine (new birth certificates, passports, medical appointment, visas, etc.)  This can take anywhere from a week to many weeks.  Another family who recently adopted from this region was in Ukraine for over 2 months waiting to get all approvals.  Ugh.
  • Bring boys home after everything is approved and visas are secured in Ukraine.  This will most likely be in January 2012, or even February, depending upon how quickly things move or don't move.
Everything is variable, so it's really hard to "plan" anything. :-)

The most awesome news that I was hoping to share in greater detail, including background info (which will have to wait for now), is that this past weekend, God completely funded this adoption!!!  I have so much to share regarding this, but God has done some HUGE things.  Now, with the possibility of my needing to travel as well, we may need to raise another $1,000 (round trip tickets are running around $1200 (humanitarian rate) right now), but we are having a huge yard sale this weekend, so we'll see what God does with that.  I have no doubt that if God wants me to travel, He will provide the funds to do so.  He has done great things in this adoption.  Great things.

I've run out of time, but hope to update again soon.  Thank you all for your support and prayers.

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