Saturday, October 11, 2014

Six Months Home!

It's been exactly six months since Ilya came home.

And we have fallen in love with the boy whose picture we fell in love with first.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Almost 4 Months

Once again I'm long overdue for a blog post!

Our new son, Ilya (Ilyusha), has been home for about 3 1/2 months now.  We've almost made it to four months.  Somehow, four months has been like a magic number for me.  I have heard other adoptive parents say that at around four months home, things got better, life started feeling more normal.  Near the beginning things were tough for us.  Ilyusha was plucked from everything he ever knew, and thrown into a completely different world, and that is a rough adjustment for any child.  Tantrums, meltdowns, super-clingy behavior... that was our life for several weeks.  During that time, I thought to myself, "If we can just make it four months... it will get better."  That was the hope that I clung to, and I tried to chase away the thought that would follow... "What if it doesn't?!"

And now, here we are, at almost 4 months, and it has gotten MUCH better.  We've all adjusted to a new normal.  Ilyusha has some more growing to do, emotionally, but he has come SO far.  He is learning and experiencing new things every day, and he LOVES being part of a family.  "Family" was a concept he didn't even know, four months ago.  He's not the same little boy we met in Ukraine.  Aaron described the way he seemed then as being "on autopilot."  I don't know how else to describe it.  Now, he is truly living.

Adoption is messy and hard, but absolutely beautiful.  It's beautiful how God led us through the whole process, and how his timing was so perfect.  We flew into Kiev right after the worst fighting ended there, and Aaron left Slavyansk with Ilya less than a week before the militant separatists took over that city.  We got Ilyusha out at the very last minute, and we had no idea.  (And we thought the paperwork process was delayed longer than it should be!)  It's beautiful how Ilyusha is fitting in with our family, and it's a beautiful picture that is painted of how our heavenly Father loves us unlovable people, and how He invites us to be His sons and daughters.  It's redemption.

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."  -Galations 4:4-5

Finally, here's what you all really want to see.  Our video slideshow of the adoption experience.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Allow me to introduce...

Ilya (Ilyusha) Daniel Miner!

We LOVE this spunky little guy!  And he should be coming home with Papa on Friday!!
I'm sorry that I woefully neglected my blog while we were in Ukraine.  I sometimes get the idea that no one is reading it anyway, but then today someone told me they checked it recently to see if I had updated.  So at least one person reads it!
Aaron and I were both in Ukraine for about 4 weeks, until we had court.  After court, I was able to come back home to our kids here in the US, who had been staying with my parents.  Aaron is still in Ukraine, finishing up the last part of the adoption process in Kiev  When he gets home (hopefully) on Friday, it will be 3 weeks that he was there without me.  I can't wait for that joyful day, when we are all reunited as one family!
Our experience in Ukraine was amazing.  It's too much to write about right now.  All I'll say right now is that adoption is hard, but beautiful.  I'm sure we'll experience much more of the hard when Ilyusha gets home, and immeasurably more of the beautiful.
Praise the Lord!


"Who makes the orphan a son and daughter? The King of Glory. The King of Glory!"


Friday, January 31, 2014

We Got Our Travel Date!

There is a little excitement around our house right now...

We got the long awaited phone call this morning...

WE GOT OUR TRAVEL DATE to go get our son from Eastern Europe!  Our appointment is on February 26 with the adoption authorities.  We're not exactly sure which day we will leave, because we might go a few days early to visit some friends there.

WOO HOO!  We have about 3 weeks to get ready!  Aaron is already in trip planning mode... (He loves planning flights and travel stuff)!

Check out our fundraising thermometer on the right side!  We are so close to the goal to be fully funded!  THANK YOU so much to everyone who helped!  It's hard to know exactly how much money we will need, because the stay in country can vary, but this is our best estimate.  If you can help us get that last bit of the thermometer filled in, please click on the link to the right, with Camden's picture on it.  We appreciate your prayers as we get ready to go and travel, too!

We also still have the fundraiser with Just Love Coffee Roasters going on.  Click on this link to go to our storefront and get some fantastic coffee, while helping us bring Camden home.  A portion of your purchase goes to our adoption fund.  I think some of this coffee would make a great Valentine's gift

There will soon be ONE LESS ORPHAN in this world!  Praise God for his goodness and faithfulness!  "I will not leave you as orphans..." -John 14:18


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Every time the phone rang today, my heart skipped a beat!

We are expecting a call any day now, that will tell us when our appointment with the adoption authority in Eastern Europe is.  We know that we, and a few other families that had their dossiers submitted on the same day, are next up to find out our dates!  It is hard to be patient!  We are SO excited!!!!!

We will soon have a travel date to go get our little boy!

What will it be like to meet him for the first time?  Will we bond quickly?  What is his orphanage like?  Sometimes I can't sleep because I'm running the scenarios through my mind.  Or else I'm thinking about how to pack lightly for a 6 week trip!  :)

Our fundraising thermometer has continued to rise, and we are so close to being fully funded!  This fact blows my mind!  How did that happen, and where did all that money come from?!  We trusted God in stepping out to adopt a little boy who needs a family, despite all the "logical" reasons not to, and we have already seen Him bless that decision so much.  His provision has been amazing!  I know I can never say it enough, but THANK YOU to everyone who has donated and been praying for us.  We have SO much of this journey still ahead of us, so we appreciate your continued prayers, and we trust that God's faithfulness will continue.  We know that lots of things can still go "wrong," but it's all in our Father's hands, and He knows what's best.

Here's a picture of my adoption folder, where I organized all the documents we had to gather for our dossier.  The picture is bad (just snapped with my webcam), but I wanted to point out the verses on it. 

The first one (Psalm 68:5-6a) is one of the many verses that shows God's heart for the defenseless and the fatherless.  The second one is one of my favorites, Ephesians 3:20-21:

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever, Amen."

We don't know how this whole adoption part of our life's story will play out, but we know that God can make it happen and use it to do much more than I can imagine (immeasurably!), or even think to ask, for that matter!  And he will do it all for his glory!  That is one of my prayers in this adoption.  Whatever it brings for our lives or Camden's life, may God get all the glory!!  I can't wait to see what He does!  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Submitted! And Calendars for Sale!

We had great news last week!  Our dossier documents were submitted to the adoption authorities in Camden's country.  That means they are being processed, and we are simply waiting for them to tell us to come!  It will be several weeks though, so we need to be patient!  We were told there is a deadline mid-December, after which they don't take any more submissions before the holidays, and we were so glad that we made it right before that deadline!

We have a couple of new fundraisers going on right now.  The first is calendars!  We had these printed with pictures taken by some talented people, included my dad and some other friends, and a couple from us.  Each picture has a Bible verse included.  The calendars are spiral bound, and the pages are 8.5"x11" in size.

Here are you can see all the pictures for each month of the year:
Special thanks to Phil Nebe for some of the photos!  You can see and purchase more of his work here.  And also Laura Pittman for the cover photo.  She has some of her work for sale at here.  The purchase of her photos and artwork supports the great work she and her husband are doing in Fiji through Island Encounters.  You can find out about it here, and see her awesome wedding photography here.
We are selling the calendars for $10 each, plus shipping.  Send me an email to find out the shipping cost, at
You can use PayPal to pay here:

If you don't need a calendar, how about some great COFFEE?

You can order coffee from Just Love Coffee Roasters, and a significant portion of the cost goes to our adoption fund!  Just be sure to order through our storefront at  We just ordered some ourselves, so we can't tell you personally how great it is, but we have a coffee connoisseur friend who thinks their coffee is fantastic!  And how great is it that they are willing to give a portion of their profit to adopting families!?

We are getting so close to our fundraising goal, and we are so thankful to all who have helped!  It's hard to believe that we will be traveling in the very near future.  We are so excited to bring Camden home!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

And the Winner is....

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our American Girl doll giveaway!

We are thrilled to report that we had 364 tickets sold or given out, and the profit for our adoption grant was $1,651!

That is awesome!

THANK YOU to each person who donated or shared the information about the contest on Facebook, for helping us to bring Camden home!  So many people gave so generously!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...

The winner is... Becky M.!  Becky will get to pick the American Girl doll of her choice.  Congratulations!

And thanks again for my dear friend who let me use her little girl's picture all over my blog and Facebook!  :)