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Clearly we are behind on our updating – life has been very full! Things have been moving, and we are preparing to fly to Tatiana’s country in a week. We are working on last minute details for – well- basically every aspect of our lives.

Several people have asked me if Tatiana knows we are coming, and the answer is that she doesn’t. She won’t know until we get to officially meet her. We are anticipating a huge adjustment for her, and for the rest of our family. The adoption itself will still be lengthy, and once we get back home we will need to take a good amount of time to rest, bond, and settle into our new normal. I will try to update as much as I can, because I know some of you have cared about Tatiana for a very long time, but please be patient with us!

We are so excited to finally get to travel, and we are incredibly grateful for the people in our lives who are loving us and supporting us through this. Continued thoughts and prayers for us, Tatiana, and our other children are greatly appreciated.

Drumroll Please….

The fateful day was this Tuesday, December 30.  So, here’s the before:

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When it wasn’t pulled back it reached about the bottom of my shoulder blades.

According to my wife, I looked like Brendan Fraser halfway through.  I’m not sure about that though…

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And, after it is all done…

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The first thing I noticed was I can’t get away with going out on cold days on a hat now.  That became painfully obvious to me stepping out of the salon into low 20 degree windy weather after it was done.  Brrr.

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We are late closing this out.  The whole family got sick, and it took us a little bit to catch up.  But, the final results are in, and… Ray loses.

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So, final details of the plan to chop it all off are in the works, but I’m thinking about doing it December 31, and starting the new year with a new look.

On another note, Alex mentioned to me that none of the kids have ever known me with short hair.  Ian was a newborn when I started growing it out, and he has no memory of me with short hair.  Here are Ian and I as I was starting to grow it out:

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Thank you everyone who participated.  I’ve got to say it went better than expected, except for the me losing part.

Challenge update!

Wow. Things have changed since the last update.  Quite a turn around.

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Thank you all for your donations.  Keep it up.  I’m really looking forward to seeing Amber’s hair all done up.

The month of November is half done and it is time for an update on the challenge we started at the beginning of the month. Things are awfully lopsided right now, as $349.50 worth has been put into the bucket to make me cut my hair, while nothing has been put into Amber’s.

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Come on people.  There have to be at least a couple of you that want to see her break out of her shell a bit and sport a crazy hairdo like this:

Let’s make it a contest.

Let the games begin!

Friends and family,

As you may or may not have heard by now, we’re working on adopting another little girl we met during our trip to Ukraine in 2011.  We have steadily been working through the paperwork, doctor’s appointments, background checks, etc., and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  At this point it appears we will likely travel to Ukraine sometime early in the new year.065

And, on that note it is time for us to start fundraising.  Amber had a sneaky plan to get me to cut my hair as a fundraiser.  I thought we should raise the stakes and make it a contest.  So, I polled Amber’s Facebook friends for a challenge for her.  After a couple of weeks of a polar bear plunge leading the poll, it has just recently been edged out by her cutting her hair and dyeing it spectacularly, like this.

So, for the month of November we’re going to pit those two challenges against each other.  Help us raise money to adopt Tatiana and choose a challenge to put your support behind.  If Ray’s bucket contains more at the end of the month, he’ll cut his hair.  If Amber’s bucket contains more, then she’ll cut and dye her hair.

To vote for Ray cutting his hair put “Ray” in the “Add special instructions to recipient” box in the Paypal form.  To vote for Amber cutting and dyeing her hair put “Amber” in the “Add special instructions to recipient” box in the Paypal form.

Help bring Tatiana home, and vote with your donation on which of us you’d like to see do the challenge.  Let the games begin!

Ray

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Something New

I haven’t posted on this blog in awhile. In fact, the last time I posted was almost exactly two years ago. It was posted days before we packed up everything we owned and moved our family across the country. We have been spending the last two years settling in, and finding our new footing here on our small bit of land. We have been making new friends and reuniting with old ones. We have been working on our homeschooling, our garden, our chickens, and a couple of bees hives. We have been making memories and learning how to trade our suburban life for a more rural one. More recently, we’ve been working on another life change….

Back Yard

When I wrote that last post, I was looking forward to our big life change, and looking back to the place we had left behind, when we brought the twins home. I wrote the post about what life is like in the orphanage, and what the words ‘mama’ and ‘papa’ mean to the kids living there. What I didn’t write was that after awhile, the children stopped yelling. They knew we were there for someone else, and one after another, they stopped yelling. Except for one little girl.

Her picture is on that last blog post I posted. She is the little girl in pink, and I have my arm around her. In a crowd of children who grabbed my heart forever, she held a special place. She never stopped asking if we were her mama and papa. Every day when we came to pick up the twins she would ask if we were there for her, too. Every day I watched her eyes as she asked if she could come, too, and every day I watched her eyes when they told her no. All of the other children gave up, and she never did.

The groupa

She was listed on Reece’s Rainbow, so I knew she had a chance. We came home hoping to help find a family for her. While our family shifted to include three year old twins, we watched to see who would choose to bring her home. As we shifted to relearn life here, across the country from where we started – we did our best to speak for her. Slowly, we realized it was time for another shift – and we are working to bring her home.

So far the process has been much harder than the first time around. I haven’t known how to post about her, because every step of the way has been slow and uncertain. The politics in her country have also shifted, since we were there last. I haven’t wanted to announce anything until I knew for sure how this would all fit together.

Tatiana

But, being that this is an international adoption, there is never going to be absolute certainty about what the process will look like or how long it will take. I know this from last time, and I am relearning this time. We are committed to take the next step in front of us, and despite my desire to have it all mapped out and planned, I know that’s all we can really do. We deeply appreciate the love and support we have received so far, and we are grateful for all of you who have loved her along with us over the years.

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