Quick Update

Just a quick update on our boys...

Process/Timeframe:  On September 17th, our agency director sent our dossier to our in-country facilitator and we wired the money for the translation of the dossier.  When we first started the process (in April), the estimated timeframe from dossier submission to travel was 1.5 months.  Unfortunately, there were layoffs in Ukraine that have caused the process to slow down a bit.  Most families are now seeing a 3 month timeframe from the date they submit their dossier to the date they travel.  If that holds true for us, that would put us in Ukraine around Christmas!  We are still praying for a quick timeframe, but trusting that God's timing is truly perfect (easier said than done).

Telling the Boys:  We are hopeful that the orphanage director will tell the boys about us soon (receiving the dossier has been a trigger for other families).  We did find out from our facilitator that she told the boys they had a family pursuing them (she said she had to ask them to make sure they wanted to be adopted and wanted to move to the US) and in her words "they WANT to be adopted!!"  She said they know nothing about us personally--just that a family from the US is pursuing them.  That gives us a better peace of mind, especially considering...  

More Friends Being Adopted:  As many of you know, there is a couple from Alabama who is in Ukraine right now adopting 2 boys who are friends with our boys.  They have been staying in the orphanage for the past 3 weeks while the court process has taken place, and have spend a LOT of time with our boys.  As of last Friday (Sept 20th), they passed court and their boys are officially theirs (in Ukraine)!  That means that they are moving out of the orphanage today and taking the boys into Kiev while they finalize all of the remaining paperwork (new birth certificates, passports, and Visas).  With more and more of our boys' friends being adopted and leaving the orphanage, we are SO thankful that they at least know someone is coming for them!

{Try to even imagine what it might be like to be an orphan getting closer and closer to "aging out" and not knowing if a family is ever coming for you.  Can't even imagine!}

Choosing to be Grateful:  While it has been extremely tough to have 3 of our kiddos across the world from us, we are choosing to be thankful!

- We were blessed to have 3 straight weeks of getting frequent pictures and updates on our boys from the couple from Alabama!

- Our boys know that a family is coming for them!

- We know that they want to be adopted and move to the US!

- We have connected with several families (most in Alabama, one in Chicago) who adopted boys from the same orphanage--boys who are close buddies with our sons!  And we are already making plans to go visit them once the boys are home and settled!

- We have connected with the Honorary Consulate of Ukraine who is here in Houston and excited to offer help (language classes, culture classes, connections with other Ukrainian teens, etc.) when our boys get home!

Praying for a magical Christmas for our family!

Eden at 3!

Our baby girl turned 3 years old today!  Here’s her long overdue “scrapbook” installment...

Lots of Love

- You absolutely LOVE your family ("lub you" and lots of hugs and kisses)
- You like to be in mommy’s lap (“sich-ee-wap” means “sit in your lap”)
- You can make your sister crack up laughing in a split second by making a silly noise, silly face, etc.
- You can also make your sister burst out crying in a split second when jealousy or anger takes you over (luckily, this doesn't happen very often)
- You face-time (call with a video on our iPhones) with Rah-Rah at least once a week--you love your Rah-Rah!
- You love spending time with Grandma and Grandpa on Wednesday nights while Mommy and Daddy go to small group--you squeal with delight, do a dance, run up and give big hugs when they walk in the door!
- You talk about your family members who we don’t see as often like Nina and your other aunts, uncles, and cousins—even your dog cousins!
- Your teachers (church and MDO) often comment on your sweetness—we LOVE to hear that!

You’re a Beauty!

- You are tall, with long legs!
- You have beautiful hair with tight, soft curls—you are so patient with Mommy as she styles it
- You have favorite hair bows (“ha bows”)—cute little clips with a fabric flower on them
- You have a “style”—you are usually wearing skinny jeans with a cute t-shirt or leggings with a girly skirt and top; you like fun socks and your Toms shoes or your purple sandals
- You enjoy feeling "pretty" and will go show Daddy anytime you wear something extra pretty or have a new hairstyle

Chatty Cathy
- You need full and honest communication about your day (is Daddy at work or home; is this a "school" day, home day, church day, or going out day; etc.)
- You are very animated as you "re-tell" stories of what happened to you
- Your vocabulary is growing so fast!
- You are polite and use your manners ("peese," "thank koo," "koose me")
- You show your defiance toward us by ignoring us when we call your name—we’re working on that J
- You ask for help when you need it (“uh hep me”)
- You picked up a funny thing from Grandma…when you see any baby (usually Jacob or Callie), you smile at them and say in a loud voice “heh-wohhhhh!”

Sleeping/Waking Up

- You still go to sleep easily, but either Mommy or Daddy MUST sing to you as we tuck you in ("ing!")
- You still go to sleep with your lion and lovie (lion is a small webkinz stuffed animal; lovie is the blue blanket you've had since we brought you home--Aunt Jenny gave it to you)...and of course, your beloved paci [as of today, you are paci-free!]
- You know how to work Netflix on the iPad like a pro, so that is your wind-down activity at the end of the day (“i-pah”)
- You know that you only get your paci at naptime and nighttime, so our routine when you wake up is to put paci in a basket on your dresser--you kiss it and tell it "bye!" [as of today, you are paci-free!]
- You start every day with a gummy vitamin (“vi-min”) and a cup of milk (“muck”)
- You give Daddy a "wet willie" (wet finger in the ear) every morning that he is home to wake him up--you prep your finger by giving it a long lick, then you get up on the bed, crawl over to him, and stick your finger in his ear--he obliges by being "surprised" every time!


- You are a great eater, but can get distracted very easily at the table, so we have to remind you to take bites and keep eating
- You are a carnivore—you LOVE meat!
- You are not a picky eater at all, and we love that you love veggies and fruits, too!
- Your favorite healthy snack is a mandarin orange (Cuties) and you love to peel them yourself!
- Your favorite “treats” are M&M’s (“eem-eem’s”), peppermints (“pop-mees”), and Jolly Ranchers (“joh-ee-rah-ers”)!


- You love to sing and dance!
- Your favorite song lately is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”
- You love playing games on our iPhones and are quite savvy with technology!
- You are still an outdoor girl at heart--you love exploring our backyard for bugs, rocks, flowers, etc.—when you find a bug, you ask for help to touch it (“touch it, touch it!”)
- You have an outdoor kitchen where you spend lots of time mixing up all of your finds with water
- You love Disney princess movies and books
- You love sitting with Mommy as she puts on her makeup--you have your own set of brushes and makeup, too!
- You love going over to Grandma and Grandpa's house--you especially love driving Grandpa’s truck, fishing, feeding the turtles, swimming , helping Grandpa with chores (stacking wood), picking oranges off the neighbor's tree, helping Grandma bake, reading books, riding your horsey (rocking horse that says "neigh!"), and really anything with Grandma or Grandpa!

Our Big Girl

- You completed potty training boot camp (3 days in panties with Daddy as your coach) like a champ when you were 2 ½ years old!
- You are "miss independent" and can put on your own shoes--often on the wrong feet, which is adorable! (you try to put on other articles of clothing, and are very close to doing it yourself!)
- You are such a big helper--with laundry, dusting, putting items in the trash, weeding the flower beds, etc.
- You love helping us get Callie up from her naptimes--you'll get in the crib with her and play for a bit and then you'll help by throwing her dirty diapers in the "stinky" trash can [and for the last 3 days, you and Cal now share a room!]
- You really like helping Mommy cook or bake! We give you your own bowl, spoon, measuring cups, and some ingredients and you go to town! You like to use the toaster oven as your pretend place to cook your ingredients. (you and Mommy both wear aprons--yours has a monkey on it!) 

What Makes You, You


- You are such a loving and kind little girl—you wave at everyone, and even blow kisses to many—but you save your smiles for those you are most comfortable around…and we love that!
- You are a girly-girl in SO many ways! (princess dress-up, wearing skirts that twirl, etc.)
- You have picked up a bit of your mama's need for tidiness (which we love!)--for example, we recently turned to walk out of your room and you insisted that we go back to pick up a few puzzle pieces that Callie had been playing with
- You can spot the "bad guys" in every Disney movie you watch and will yell out "ba guy!"
- You LOVE finding the moon every night!
- You like talking to Jesus--especially to thank Him for our food at meal time (we all hold hands, close our eyes, pray, then say "Ahh-men" loudly together as we raise our hands)
- You will mimic Mommy in the car while we listen to worship music and raise our hands and sway them back and forth--such a sweet time for me to see you worship our Lord!
- You do not like to “perform” for the camera—maybe partly defiance, but mostly just your personality (which is fine by me!!)...but you still give us your silly faces!

We love you SO much, Edeneku Lee Huss!  And we are SO proud of you!

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We are SO thankful to all of you who have contributed to our adoption fund so far!  As of today, we are approximately $6,000 away from reaching our goal! 

As promised, every $30 contribution made to our adoption fund from August 22 - today at 3:30pm gave you a chance to win a 42" TV!

We used Excel to track everything and used the "random" function {=INDEX($A:$A,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($A;$A)),1)} to do the drawing. 

There were a total of 6 families represented in the drawing, and 62 total entries.  Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

And the winner is...

Congratulations, Blake & Amy McCartney!  Looks like I'll be loading up the TV before I head out of town in a bit!

Thanks again for all of your love and support in bringing our boys HOME!