Sunday, November 29, 2009

SO much to be thankful for!!!

Life has really been a whirlwind the last couple of weeks! SO many changes...SO much travelling...SO many things to process! I am still in the midst of trying to sort through all of our experiences, find our "new normal" with four kids, and figure out what to do with the coming holidays :-) It was great to all be together for thanksgiving this year...especially since there was a time when we weren't sure if that would happen! Out of everything I have to be thankful for, and believe me, it is quite a list, I must say, having Mia here with us and Josie Love home, impacted me more than anything. When we were in India, after being there for a couple of days, all I could think about was how I had to get Mia home...I had to get her out of India. I saw for her no hope there. Even now, as precious as the pictures we were sent over the months before we went to get here were, I can hardly stand to look at them now. Always in the crib. Always laying down. Never smiling. I LOVE to see her smile! I LOVE to watch her crawl and explore, all the time telling her, "go ahead, honey, this is YOUR home now!" She really didn't know what to do with her freedom at first. (Although, she is learning fast!) In addition to that, I also was able to spend some time around sweet Josie Love! Oh my goodness! Talk about stealing your heart away! I cannot even begin to describe how her spirit just draws you in! She has the best, and most mischevious I might add, smile I have ever seen! Maybe it's because it is below those precious half-closed eyes, I don't know, but she will have you wrapped around her little finger in a heart beat! I am SOOO thankful she is home, finally, where God has planned for her to be from the foundations of the world, as well. I could hardly stand hearing the stories about how she used to hold her head down, not smile, not communicate, whimper, and not be able to walk. This was just a few WEEKS ago, people. I don't even see a hint of that child. Praise you GOD!

Brian and I were talking on the way to thanksgiving at my parents about how much harder life is than what we expected growing up. I am coming to the peaceful realization that it isn't going to get any easier, but that God is going to show himself bigger. Never has that rung truer than walking through this adoption process, which by the way has been 4 and 1/2 years not 3 and 1/2 as I had been thinking. BUT, as I was there with my family, watching them love and embrace our Mia-Asha and sweet Josie Love, I can say with out hesitation, it was ALL worth it. Every tear, every delay, every fearful, fretful, uncertain step, it was ALL worth it. I am SO very thankful for not only my daughter, but all that I had to go through in order to get her here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Words cannot describe how deeply relieved and excited to be back in the states, and especially back in my own home with ALL four of my children here with me. I actually got out today and went to Target with Ella-Kate. I am finally just beginning to process some of what I saw on our journey to the other side of the world and today I wept for India. I wept for the 15 million people in Kolkata and the chaos, both physically and spiritually they live in. I wept at the thought that there is nothing short of Jesus' redemptive return that can fix all that is broken there. I weep for gratitude knowing that my daugher is here, able to grow up in this country, instead of there where "she has no hope" as one woman in India commented to me. Then I contrasted that to the faces of those I looked upon in the store and I wondered why is it that instead of a deep sense of gratitude for all that we have here, does our society here in the US instead seem to breed a deep sense of entitlement? We take SOOO much for granted--- the FDA even with all its faults, is SUCH a huge blessing. In India I stayed in four star hotels and still couldn't drink the water. I always had to be contientious of ice, could not eat any raw fruits or vegetables or eat dairy products while I was there. The sanitation department....oh my goodness. I was so thankful for that in our nation when I would pass huge piles of trash a block long just laying on the sidewalk beside the streets. I saw mommas bathing their children in puddles on the sides of the major streets that run through the city. Men drinking brown water out of plastic water bottles that looked like they were ten years old. My daughter will not remember her short time in India, but I will never forget it, God help me never forget it. I am OVERWHELMED with things to thank GOd for this year...

I want to write more and post more pictures but I am falling asleep literally in front of the computer screen. Maybe tomorrow :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Almost there!

We are in Delhi, now, which has really been so different than Kolkata. I have settled down and gotten used to the pace here, and have actually enjoyed being here in Delhi. I am not sure how to describe it, as it is quite different depending on which part you are in, but we have seen some beautiful ruins from the car rides, monkeys as Brian mentioned on his facebook, and today, I saw and elephant walking down the middle of the street, where the cars are, with someone riding on it's back! The hotels have been great here (thank the Lord for that) and we have gotten to connect with TWO other Dillon families which has been great, especially in being able to empathize and laugh some about the absolute CRAZINESS of our journeys!

Our big news today is that we got the Visa done and in our hands! I am SOOOOOOO relieved! I finally feel like the stress has almost all but gone away. It of course was not with out a few frustrating moments in that you NEVER know what is going on around here! I will blog more specifics a little later as I think I am on the ONE computer in our whole hotel here in Delhi.

We are loving the time we have with Mia-Asha (yes we finally chose a middle name, and in good time as we had to give that info on the visa app today!) Asha is the Indian word for hope. She is so very sweet and VERY busy! Brian is upstairs with her right now while she naps. I have jumped right into mommyhood , however as she has decided to cut her first tooth--red swollen gums, fever, and the whole bit. So she hasn't felt the best. You could pray for her for that and for the 20 plane ride we have ahead of us tonight. Her medical appointment went well yesterday, had a WONDERFUL Dr. see her, but she had to have 3 immunizations, already having struggled with fever and not feeling well, so I am sure that doesn't help.

I really can't wait to share more of our trip with you all! I have been able to process some and have been enjoying it here so much more that the first part of the week. The Indian people are really beautiful in so many ways and there are so many amazing parts of their culture and history.

One quick funny story, yesterday while driving to her medical appointment, we passed a small shopping area that had a banner out in front of the store. It was huge and black and in very large lettering, i THOUGHT i saw an advertisement that read CAR was CAR BOOM. Brian and i had a good laugh about that one!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Details, details...

Well, I have a lot of catching up to do so, this is going to be a long one! Like I have said, it has been a rough last few days (up until yesterday :-)) After our middle of the night "scene out of a bad movie" experience, we made it back to the airport in Delhi where we got the sneaking feeling over the next few hours that everyone else there may not have been as excited about our being there as we were. That is a strange feeling, not just be the minority but in a foreign country where you were told the terror risk towards Americans was high :-)In addition to that, I could not get my phone card to work, couldn't figure out how to make local or long distance calls just to hear family's voice, and when we finally did get to Kolkata, we couldn't find our driver for almost two hours, and could call because we didn't know how and were absolutely and totally exhausted. It was at this point, I think God had seen enough and had mercy on us because out of nowhere, this Indian man dressed completely in white showed up at the phone booth we were trying to make a call from and took over. He helped us figure out the phone was broken and then he proceeded to call our hotel for us, locate our driver (who had been told we were at the international airport instead of the domestic, and then proceeded to be our "hedge of protection" out of those locals who were trying to get us to ride in their cab or allow them to carry our bags. When our driver showed up, he smiled and said, "oh, yes, Mr. Singh (our driver)...he is a friend of mine, very good man", smiled helped us in our car, refused to be tipped and waved goodbye. I was never so inclined to want to kiss a strange foreign man in all of my life (I held back, although I think I said thank you a million times.) When we finally got to our hotel, we took a hot shower, and fell asleep for about 6 hours. We had planned to start our sightseeing that afternoon, but were just too exhausted. The hotel in Kolkata, was wonderful. The staff were so helpful and amazing and the food has just been incredible. Monday, we did go sight seeing, including the New Market where you bargain. It was also exhausting. We were able to find some great gifts and memoriblia (including two of the cutest saaris for the girls I have EVER seen), got ripped off a couple of times (which was okay because I know no one there is getting rich off anything), and saw all of what you would imagine one would see in Kolkata in regards to the beggars and the poor. I was an experience. Our diver, Mr. Singh was so great. He would drive and give us the history of the city, and you could tell he was so very proud of his country. We learned a great deal and developed a great connection to him. Yesterday, he told us that I reminded him of his daughter of the same age who was getting married (an arranged one of course) and said if we were in town next year in Cashmere, he would be happy to have us as guests for the wedding. I was so honored and humbled to receive that invitation. We then tried to head to the home of MOther Theresa where after only being there a few minutes, they experienced a power outage and we had to leave. I was at least glad we had the few minutes we had. Being there in the city and then thinking about her ministry there really put things in a different light. She has had an incredible impact on the city.

That night, I did not sleep well. I was really anxious about a lot. I think I had just not had anytime to process, was severly sleep deprived, and probably some what in culture shock. I was feeling somewhat ashamed at how scared, faithless, and anxious I was. I got up early and just began to pour out my heart to God, telling him these things and that here I was exactly where I had been telling everyone I wanted to be for so long and yet, I was almost paralyzed emotionally. "How inspiring is that?" or something like that was my comment. Then oh so graciously after listening to all I had to say, the Lord reminded me that he did not create me to inspire, he created me to glorify Him and that I needed to admit and give him all my insecurities and that He would show me and whoever else watching that He is able and more than enough to meet all our needs and has grace to always meet us where we are at. I agreed with him that this was better. When all is said and done, I would much rather someone look back over my life and see the faithfulness of God than I would have them see what appears to be my own bravery or faith. I boast in nothing but Christ alone. After that word, I felt much better as you can imagine.

Tuesday, as you know, was gotcha day! There had been some concern the day prior as to the safety of foreigners actually showing up at the orphanage (which is customary)and lead to the couple the day before not being able to go, but Ms. Roy having to bring their child to the hotel. While the main point is to receive the child, I was desperately hoping things would be resolved so that we could go and get photos, video, and ask all our questions as that would all be so very important for Mia to know as she gets older and seeks to know more about these details of her life. As is all turned out, we were able to go, thankfully, but did have to be rushed in and out very discreetly and quickly. While there, we were able to do all that we wanted, having some very sweet conversation with Ms. Roy and the anyahs (caretakers) about Mia her birth mom and her time with them. It was a precious, priceless experience! These babies are not in a very formal place but they are very very loved and cared for. God showed me later that day, that the babies that come to them are little seeds that they are in charge of planting in good soil, that is thier love, and they tend to them, with out seeing the fruit of thier investment. For as soon as they start to bud, we, the parents sweep them away where we continue to pour into them but get the priviledge of watching them grow. What they do is so very selfless and important in the lives of these children.

Over the last 24 hours or so, we have just enjoyed our time with Mia! It did not take me long, thanks be to GOD, to pick up on her cues for being tired and hungry, and learning how to help her get to sleep. She has taken to both of us and is saying Da-da, although we can't say it is discriminately yet! She has wanted me a lot today and is asleep on her belly on my lap right now as I type this :-) She has the cutest little grin and voice! She is really quiet though, a different dynamic than I am used to and one I don't expect will last long once around her siblings for a while :-) She can crawl and sit up well, and is trying to "walk" by getting herself on her feet and then keeping her hands on the ground, makes her way around the floor. I was told my the anyahs that she "likes the sweets". She and her sister will just be two peas in a pod in that regard :-)

From here, we are going to get her visa pics made in a little while and then we will get on a plane tonight back to Delhi. Tomorrow we have an appointment for a medical examination in a Dehli Dr.'s office, and then take all that paperwork to our appointment at 9 am on Friday to the embassy. PLEASE PRAY WE GET HER PASSPORT DONE ON FRIDAY!!! To not, would mean two more nights (we don't have reserved or the money for ) in the city. That would mean a lot to us! We CANNOT WAIT to be home and introduce you to our sweet girl! I know she will steal your hearts as she has stolen ours!

WOO HOOO! Got her!

Well, we FINALLY got her! I can't believe it! I feel SOOO less stressed right now, even though we still have a lot of hoops to jump through between now and when our plane lands on Saturday. We have also connected with a couple in our hotel that picked up their little boy yesterday, and that has been a ray of sunshine! Just to have SOMEONE to communicate freely with has been awesome! I know I keep saying this but I will write more tomorrow. We are in our friends room and are using their computer and they are going to loan it to us for the day tomorrow...SO tomorrow is story day :-) For now, enjoy the new pics I've loaded and can't wait to tell you about our adventures!!!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I can say without hesitancy this has been the hardest two weeks, with the hardest being the last several days, of my entire life. Everything here is a battle. From trying to work out the simplest tasks to what is happening in the spirtiual, I am completely and totally exhausted. My praise rests however in His faithfulness and goodness and His words to us that He has given, as He always does, in perfect timing. Today is gotcha day :-) We are supposed to pick our sweet Mia up today at noon. I have heard, however there are some difficulties at the orphanage and so I am preparing myself to be patient and flexible. More details on this later. Please continue to pray as we are so very much in the middle of struggle all the time. I will post more to all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh my goodness...where do I even start? We have only been gone about 48 hours and already, I am having to stash most of our experiences in the "will process later" box I created in my brain when we started this trip. I will just say that it has been full of "unexpecteds". We are now in Calcutta, we arrived this morning after an overnight layover in Delhi. Tomorrow we will explore the town, pick up some remembrances and try to capture on video and camera as much as we can of our journey. Tuesday, is gotcha day :-) These are our for a story or two. I will post some and then Brian will give his take as well....
Like I said, there have been MANY unexpecteds. I was not expecting to feel so COMPLETELY removed from the planet I thought I lived on :-) I am amazed at just how reliant I am in my life on familiarity as a source of peace and for functionality. We have a phone card, for example, that I researced to use for international travel in India, and for the life of me cannot get it to work! The communication barrier, pace, culture, every aspect of my life here is completely foriegn to me. I am just completely at a loss to how to put all this to words...But to give you a taste of our journey, let me tell you about our overnight in Delhi. First, we THOUGHT that we were going to be staying at a hotel IN the Delhi airport (we did use a travel agent, and he has done an excellent job, by the way, so I think we all may be the victim of a "misrepresentation" in advertising here). We THOUGHT that we would simply get our bags, find our hotel in the terminal, get a few hours of sleep, regather our thoughts, take a hot shower, have some time to process, just refuel. THIS was our expectation ;-) Here is what REALLY happened....we get to the Delhi airport, (along with three other international flights of about 450 people each) at 1130pm (an hour later than our original time). We stand in long lines and are twice told we haven't filled out some paperwork we need to fill out to get into the we figured that out and stood in our line. At that point, we had to wait for our baggage...and wait....and wait....and wait. I think ours literally was the last off the plane. Meanwhile, I am trying to connect with our "driver/excort" rep from the "airport hotel that was going to help us with our smooth transition to our nice relaxing convenient hotel room. We ended up having to call him which is when I found out my phone card doesn't work right. It took the better part of an hour to try and figure out a way to just contact our hotel which was supposed to be in the airport. OUr first clue should have been whent the people at the airport info desk didn't recognize the name of our hotel. About two hours later, we finally get in touch with someone where we are supposed to be staying, and they are to meet us at "gate 2" outside with a car and driver. I am thinking at this point, okay, so the hotel is on the airport grounds, just not INSIDE the airport. I am cool with that. We get in the car, after they rubberbanded two of our suitcases to the top of our car and we are off...I expected crazy driving, dirty streets, all of that, but we were driven through a war zone and dropped off somewhere that looked like a scene out of slumdog...I will let Brian take it from here. wife elbowed me in the backseat of the cab as we were careening down the wrong way on a 4 lane one way street. I looked at her reassuringly, "Not to worry babe." Then, the driver turns off into an dark, dirty alley where 8 men are gathered, no hotel is anywhere in site, and remember, that this is about 1:30am. I began to feel pretty scared, helpless, and stupid all of the sudden. Eventually, some kind of hotel did emerge. Broken windows, a bucket in the floor of the shower (because there was no water pressure AT ALL, and the sense that we were the ONLY customers in the hotel led us to quickly change clothes, pay an exorbitant amount for the room, and have them drive us directly back to the airport at about 2:30am.

This morning we got to Kolkota. The hotel driver (whom it took 1.5 hours to connect with) drove us 13 miles to our hotel. Along the way, we saw probably 70 or 100 buildings all at least 50 stories tall littered about the city - all of them halfway done, the contruction efforts abandoned a year ago due to a recession. The clash of concrete, trash, people and noise here is like nothing I've ever seen. And today (Sunday) is supposedly the least busy day of the week.

More later, gotta go...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our "Plans"

I feel a little like Moses right now when God asked him to speak knowing full well he had a stutter....I am wondering if God remembers it's me He is asking to try and plan this trip....I am somewhat details /planning challenged! SO, as it all turns out, we were able to make our visa appointment tonight for next Friday, the 20th, which is good. So as it stands, we will fly out of Indianapolis this Friday at 1pm. We go through Chicago, then straight to Dehli where will arrive late at night, and I am sure sleep comfortably in the terminal as we await our early morning flight to Kolkata where Mia is. We will get there on Sunday morning where we will spend that day and the next Monday preparing to go get her. I say preparing because my objective is to capture as much of her "beginnings" as possible through pictures, videos, and things I can bring back in my suitcase to show her and to have for us as memories to share with her one day. I am not sure exactly what these two days will look like. We are waiting on God to lead us on this one, as He knows what will be significant better than us! Then, Tuesday is "Gotcha Day!" We will spend most of our day at the orphanage. Wednesday, we will spend at the hotel just resting and getting to know her then take a late flight out back to Delhi. Once in Delhi, we get visa pictures made, medical exams, and then go to the embassy (Friday) to get her visa processed. Please pray we will get the visa on Friday! Much to the suprise of our adoption agency, the rep on the phone in Dehli mentioned they can't always do the same day turn around! Not something we expected to hear :-) Our flight leaves Saturday morning at 2am and we will be back in Indianapolis by 3pm Saturday (11/21). For those of you who have asked, we will fly in on United Airlines connecting from Chicago and yes, you are MORE than welcome to welcome us home! We would love for you to share in the celebration!

We are planning to try and update our blog while we are there, so you are again, welcome to follow us while we are gone. Right now, I have to focus on packing. I was awoken by a two year old with a fever a few moments ago and have a 5 year old who has a cold which he has so graciously shared with me, so health and as much rest as possible are two good prayer requests!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A dream...REALIZED

So, not much to say today except... WE ARE GOING TO INDIA TO GET OUR BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!! It has been a really emotional last two weeks, and this morning, laying in bed, I was thinking about how this adoption, our story, began 15 years ago with me as a dream. A dream that one day, God-willing, God-providing, I would be momma to an orphaned, neglected, baby girl. My head is swimming as I am still processing the moment this morning in front of my computer reading in disbelief about her passport being ready, my heart leaping, it's time. It's time to go get your daughter. You have waited long enough, now go....and by the way, go Friday :-) SO while we won't solidify our flight until tonight, our tentative plan is to leave this Friday, yes, three days from now! SO while this post will be short, I will have more to say tomorrow as we will have finalized travel plans! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Just sitting in the middle of the mud...

Fisrt, let me clarify, in my post Friday, I did not mean to come across as saying our passport was ready. Do you all really think I would have been that discreet in my announcing of news like that? (smile) What I was trying to say was that two OTHER families of the six of us who are waiting received THEIR passports. All this was was showing there was movement that was unexpected. WE DID NOT GET OUR PASSPORT. Us getting our passport=getting on a plane and flying to get my daughter. SO, there is NOTHING left keeping me from her but the silly passport, so sorry for the confusion, but we STILL do not know anything. When we do, you will hear me holler from my house and won't need the computer... :-) FYI it did not come today (Monday) either. Back to my "new" post...

So, I had a picture in my head was of me with wading boots on trying to manage my way through a big puddle of mud. I was desperately trying not to get any on me. The mud was the struggle, the heartache, the difficulty of life, specifically the waiting and all the emotional blah that goes with it. My picture flashed to the next scene, and here, I was not only sitting in the mud, but my fingers were squishing in it as I was just one with it. Several scriptures came to my mind, Phil 3:10-11, says "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow to attain to the resurrection of the dead." The second was Matthew 23:37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem [Jesus lamenting here], how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing." I realized that my "vision" was me trying to walk through this without walking through this and that what God wants is for me to just be in this moment and embrace all that goes with it. Jesus heart expressed in Matthew was that of a mother's heart, a longing to gather his precious children together, to care for, protect and mother them. He truly lamented over not being able to do this due to their rebellious hearts. I understand that longing to a lesser degree in my waiting to bring my child home. He suffered the longings of a mother's heart to an exponential degree. This brings the idea of "fellowshipping in his sufferings" to a new depth in my own heart. God's heart is so deep and so full of love for us that we could spend a lifetime pursing it and never fully grasp it. I know that my present struggles aren't anything big compared to what so many have, are, and will go through, so on a scale of difficulty, it's pretty low. However, it is my reality and is where I am and I hope that somehow my being open with the seemingly insignificantness of where I am will just bring into the light all the more His heart and how He does take notice of the things we feel are too small and uses those for His glory as well. Knowing Him more deeply is a prize worth suffering for. Whether it is a "small" hardship or a devastating loss, the veil ripped so that we could in the midst of it, receive the greatest prize. Don't get me wrong, I am emotionally exhausted. I am ready to go. But, I am sitting in the mud now, instead of trying to tiptoe through it, and He is sitting beside me in it :-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dare I even post this...

Well, we got an email this morning, two families of the 6 (us included) who are waiting for passports, unexpectedly got news that their passports were finished and ready waiting at the orphanage. This is GREAT news as it means things are moving along again. There is now a chance the rest could come in over the weekend or early next week. Obviously, we are praying for the former :-) WHAT a roller coaster of emotion... I almost didn't post this today, but after reading the depressing post I put up yesterday, I didn't want to leave that haning there :-) SO, onward we March!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Barely Holding On...

Hope deferred makes the heart sick... We will not get passport news this week, I just found out. We will get another update on Monday. This does not mean it will be done on Monday, just we will be updated. I am greiving the thought that we will not all be together at Thanksgiving and it is very very difficult for me. There is nothing I nor anyone else can do about this, I am just trying to find a way moment by moment to try and live here and now and live well, yet cannot escape the dark cloud of disappointment that follows me. I don't have a lot of strength left in me to maintain existing with this uncertainty. Appreciate all your prayers...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy 11 mo birthday, sweet girl...

Well, Mia turned 11 months on Monday. I have to admit, a couple of weeks ago, we really thought this was going to be our gotcha day. I am grieving that a little. I know God's timing is perfect. I know hindsight, we will see clearly. In this moment though, the waiting just hurts. God reminded me though that my pain when I give it to Him, is a worship to Him. He knows I wait and I hurt and I do it out of obedience to Him and that means something to Him. That gives me strength :-) So for those of you who are wondering and asking. No. I haven't heard anything else yet and it is really hard. All of what I know and praise God for as the truth, I cling to, but it still just hurts. You can pray for that and pray that this part is over soon :-)

On a good note, Josie Love is coming home and she is walking!!! (full story at One step closer to us all being together this Thanksgiving! At this rate, we may be flying straight into Nashville :-) (Hopefully not) Anyway, thanks be to God for all the amazing miracles He is doing! Looking forward to another one!