Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Farewell Dear Friends

Today is the one year anniversary of our "family day" - the day we were officially declared in court to be the adoptive parents of sisters Galyna and Anastasia. Like most others, I began blogging to keep family and friends updated on our journey while in Ukraine, but sharing our experience with you has been so rewarding, and blogging became such a habit, that I've continued since our arrival home last July.

I will probably never have the chance to meet you, so let me say how much you've meant to me, and to all my family. Your comments and emails have been such an important part of my life that it's hard to say goodbye. But the time has come for me to spend less time blogging and more time parenting as we become a homeschool family, juggling work and school.

I will continue reading your blogs of course, and may even start up a homeschooling blog later this summer, so perhaps you haven't heard the last of me.

Whether you are pre-adoptive, post-adoptive (or non-adoptive), I pray for all God's blessings on your journey. If you are preparing for a trip to Ukraine, I've listed some links to old posts below that you may find helpful.

The gift of adoption has been an indescribable joy for our family, and I thank you for sharing in our lives the past 13 months.

Grace and Peace - Jim

Memorable postings from our adoption trip to Ukraine:
  • The Scourge of Ukraine - this is why Ukraine's orphan problem is a real humanitarian crisis.
  • Going to Court - it's funny how we all get so wigged out about this. Dana wrote this beautiful post about that unforgettable day in Odessa.
  • A Day in Odessa - for most adoptive families, the craziness doesn't really get started until the last few days. Type-A folks beware, NOTHING is predictable about this!
  • Funky Odessa - this is a soulful city with fascinating people and surprisingly beautiful in places.
  • Life in the Orphanage - nothing beautiful about this!
  • Why Not Me? - a hard lesson learned.
  • The Mysterious Oleg - if you're using the "Oleg team," here's the man behind those cryptic emails!
  • The Ukrainian Holocaust - if your adoptive kids are from the pro-Russian parts of Ukraine (east or south), they need to know about this.
  • Time Warp - I'll never forget this day, traveling back in time to an abandoned Soviet air base.
  • The Permanent Things - as desperately poor as these people are, there remains much to be admired, and there's much for us to learn.
  • Beach Party! - if you go in the Summer, make sure to check out the beaches.
  • More on Odessa - prepare to have fun in this wild town!
  • Homecoming! - the moment we all long for. I'll never forget seeing all our friends waiting for us!

54 comments:

Annie said...

Jim, I really will miss you. For some odd reason (well, surprises me!) I pray for you often. One doesn't quite feel the same kind of affection for a fellow "guy blogger", but in many ways your family has become dear to me. I wish you the best with your homeschooling journey. I hope you will blog about that! And I will miss your many wonderful suggestions for reading-matter or AV materials. God bless you all! Make sure Anastasia keeps up her blog, at least, so we don't lose contact. (And thanks for your "highlights" list; I'll scroll back and read them all.)

Leslie said...

My heart dropped when I read the title of this posting. I assured myself you were referring to something other than closing the blog, but sadly I was wrong. I don't fault you for changing gears though. We struggle to post consistently and meaningfully. But truth be told, we post mostly for us. The blog is our record of where we've been, because sometimes its too hard to remember the path we've traveled.

You're blog has always been a directing source and a consoling font. We are grateful for the truth, humor, and wisdom you have shared with the rest of us, Jim and Dana. Do keep in touch with us. There is so much more story to tell!

Annie said...

It's to sad. I had a great year and I'm sure I'll have a great live with you.

You told me to start my own blog, but now you are done. It's not fair. But I'll keep it up because I love doing this and because of you.

Thank you so much for everything you done for me already.

I love you.

John said...

Sorry to hear it but thanks for the good read.

Leslie said...

This isn't the above "Leslie" but the other one, who reads your blog. I've enjoyed reading. I've enjoyed your perspective. Thanks for taking your time to keep us informed.
We too adopted from Ukraine, and I was terrible with blogging afterwards. I only lasted about 3 posts post-adoption!

Jacey said...

I've very (very very) rarely commented on your blog (though,y ou probably got more comments from me, than most of the other blogs that i read do) - but i've realyl enjoyed reading your story.
It's been a joy to read, and I almost feel like I've taken this journey with you - even if from afar.
I wish you the best of luck, and happiness.

-Jacey

Tami said...

I just wanted to de-lurk and let you know just how much we enjoyed following your adoption journey. While we were still in the paperchase to Find Maddie, it was such a blessing and encouragement to hear about all you went through.
I, too, have struggled quite a bit to keep blogging now that we're home, but have found I need the 'therapy' writing gives me! ;) I hope you will journal about your homeschooling experience...that's another journey I sure would like to follow. Blessings!

Debbie said...

I will miss you! You have given me such insight into Ukraine adoption, especially of older children, and I thank you so much for sharing. I understand your need to spend more time with your family! I have found it very hard to blog, and Elaine isn't even here yet! :-)

Take care, and I hope to hear from you every now and then. We might have to call you with a request for translation... ;-)

Kathy & Matt said...

Jim and Dana,
thank you for sharing your story.
You have provided so much wisdom, humor and honest insights about the process of adopting and then parenting these wonderful children. I feel like I've learned so much from you.

Thanks also for your comments on our blog as we traveled. It was reasssuring to have input from "seasoned adoptive parents".

Blessings on your family!

The O'Haras said...

That you may continue to bless those kids of yours. The journey that you have shared with us all, has helped in ways that you can't know. To know that there are others out there sharing in the experience God has asked of us is helpful. May God continue to guide you through the journey of parenting.

Sean

Is Eight Enough? said...

It has been wonderful following your family's story!!

I have a friend who was intending to adopt young siblings from Ethiopia. She will wait for a referral for another 2-4 months. Meanwhile she has just heard about a boy in the same orphanage who is ready for adoption now. All the reports that come back from visiting parents is how wonderful, helpful and loving this child is.

She has no history on this child and the orphanage says they have none to speak of.

Having adopted older children yourself would you be willing to email her and chat with her regarding this opportunity? She is concerned about attachment issues and since you have adopted two older girls I thought you might be a valuable person for her to talk to.

If you are willing to email her please can you send me an email and I will send her to your blog.

Thanks! Oh, and so you know who I am, you have been to my blog:

http://sixboysandalittlelady.blogspot.com


Justine
Waiting for Immigration for our 2 Ethiopian daughters.
mum2boys@telus.net

The Richards' said...

We began to follow your blog just as you were in Ukraine, just as the O'Haras were making preparations to depart to get their girls.

You have no clue how much you have touched our lives with your blog, how sad we are that this is the end of you hearing about your family, your girls, and how much we will miss your words of wisdom! Although we've never commented, and silently followed your journey, we've prayed, we've laughed, and we've felt a part of your life.

May you continue to be blessed--and if you do start a home schooling blog, we'd love to follow along! Tell Annie I'll be following her blog, to keep up the great work!

MamaPoRuski said...

A belated Farewell, thanks for connecting with us, we are still awaiting dossier submission to bring our girl home! I would love to hear how homeschooling goes with the girls!
God Bless!

Christine said...

I'll miss you. It has been neat reading about your family. Please stop by once in a while and say hi.

Ashley said...

I read this when you posted it, but I didn't get a chance to comment. I thought I would come back and leave a comment.

You have helped me more than you could ever know. I thank you for all you have done and I will certainly keep in touch. I owe you an email and I will try to get to it very soon.

I have enjoyed your blog and I will do my best in keeping up with Anastasia's. You have a wonderful family and I hope we can cross paths one day.

Annie said...

I missing your posts.
Love, Anastasia

Christine said...

I saw your comment on Ashley's blog and wanted to stop by and say hi. How are things going with your family?

adopting2fromUkraine said...

I decided to check your blog today since I haven't visited in a while. I'm sorry to see that it has ended.
I can't remember whether I've ever commented before, but I have read your blog off and on. It has really been an encouragement to us in our adoption of a 12yo girl. We homeschool too and have for 20 years. It's just slightly different with a Russian speaker, though she's rapidly learning English.

Best wishes in your future ventures!

June

Wife to the Rockstar said...

Jim,

Thanks for the thoughtful comment on my blog. I hope you are your family are well.

I miss your blogging!

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