Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I wanted to capture our journey and be able to share our story, from the beginning.  Once we get David home, I will do another video of his "gotcha" journey.

Thank you to all of you who have stood by us from the very start.  Your love and support helped propel us onward.



Monday, December 24, 2012


So much has happened since my last post.  I will do my best to try and make sense of everything that has gone on during the last couple of weeks.

We finally got word on Wednesday, December 12th that we would be having court that Friday at 10 a.m.  We woke up that morning excited and yet very calm.  Our adoption journey had taken so many twists and we were - the day we had been anticipating for months, yet looked nothing like we had originally visioned.  BUT, we had such peace.  God knew all along who would be our son, even if we didn't.  Because of our obedience and trust, we were being given the best Christmas present of all.

leaving for court
Court was very relaxed.  It was held in the judge's office and he was a very kind man.  We were each asked some questions, mainly wanting to know why we wanted to adopt.  The regional social worker, orphanage lawyer, prosecutor, judge's assistant, and judge's secretary were also present.  The SW spoke and said that based on her findings, she highly recommended us to be the parents of "Marcus".  Then the orphanage lawyer spoke and shared that we were highly praised by the orphanage staff and not only did "Marcus" love us, all of the children and staff loved us.  I had a hard time fighting back the tears.  Curtis and I had gone into this journey knowing that it wasn't just about saving a child, but changing the lives of many.  We brought Jesus to that orphanage and showed them what His love looks and feels like.  It didn't take effort, we just did what we always do and let Jesus work through us.  We treated each of those children as if they were our own and each staff member as if they were a part of our family.  Even though we didn't speak the same language, our hearts spoke to each other.  We laughed and cried together, often speaking just one word and pantomiming. :)  So many hugs and kisses were exchanged.  Our lives are for every changed.

So, getting back to court... :)  We were dismissed to wait out in the waiting room while the judge made his decision.  We waited about 10 minutes and were called back in.  Curtis and I held hands while the judge read his decision.  In a matter of a moment, we were given the gift of new child to call our own.  We are the proud parents of David Maxim Eriksen!!!!

left to right - judge's secretary, regional social worker, orphanage lawyer, Curtis, judge, Sara, and judge's assistant
We left the courthouse and were surprised to find David waiting in the car.  Irina (our facilitator) had taken David to get his passport pictures done while we were in court.  We didn't know she was doing this and were very excited to see him!!  I jumped in the car, grabbed his little face and said, "I am your mama and you are my son.  I love you!"

David waiting in the car after court
After taking David back to the orphanage, we went to lunch with our facilitator's Luda and Irina.  We talked about what the next stage was going to look like and the time frame for completing it.  There is a 10 day waiting period from the day of court to the day we are able to pick up the court decree and start the paper chase in being able to bring David home.  The day we could start gathering the necessary paperwork would be Christmas day.  We would need to apply for his passport in the city he was born in, which happens to be a few hours away from the orphanage.  Once the passport is applied for, it will take a minimum of 4 business days to get.  That would put us at December 31st before we could even be able to schedule our visit to the US Embassy in the capital city.  In David's country, New Years kicks off their Christmas celebration and goes through January 7th (their official Christmas Day).  Needless to say, everything closes down and we wouldn't be able to finish up the necessary paperwork and appointments until the second week in January.  Our facilitators advised us that it would be best to go back home and wait. 

We were beyond excited to know that we would be able to be home for Christmas, but sad that we would have to leave David behind.  We spoke to the nannies at his orphanage and explained what was happening and made sure David knew why we had to leave.  It was bittersweet.

We drove back to the capital city that afternoon.  We spent the next day getting some papers notarized and enjoying the sites of the big city one last time.

the snow makes everything look so pretty
We boarded the plane that Sunday morning and didn't tell the kids we were coming home.  We wanted to surprise them.  We had all prepared for us to be gone during Christmas, but the kids prayed every night that God would bring us home before then.  We traveled for 27 hours and didn't sleep much the whole time.  Excitement was keeping us going.  When we walked in the house, Curtis tried to capture the kid's response on video.  It was dark and the video didn't turn out well, but Lauren was in shock and said she was going to faint, Katie cried and shouted, "you're home", and Johnathan.....well, Johnathan came out of the bathroom brushing his teeth and just looked at us and went back into the bathroom.  :)  Johnathan later told us that he had prayed every night that we would be home before Christmas.  His prayers were answered.
We are now home and trying to adjust our bodies back to the time zone.  Jet lag has been rough, but I think I am finally coming around.
We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.  We have been blessed with a new son and a new appreciation of life.

When we lost Porter we also lost his grant.  We are trying to recoup those costs as we counted on that grant when we set up our adoption budget.  We have been given a generous $1,000 matching grant that goes through 12-31-12.  We need another $815 to meet it.

Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

The Eriksen's

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

.....the rest of the story...

Once we arrived in Marcus' city we were taken to the orphanage to meet him.  The director was ill, so we met with the assistant director and orphanage doctor.  During our visit, one of the nannies brought Marcus.  As soon as I saw him, my eyes welled with tears.  He was so afraid.  He didn't want to make eye contact with us, but his curiosity kept getting the best of him.  I would catch him glancing up at us and quickly smile then look away again.  We only had him in visiting with us for a few minutes.  Because he was so scared, we had him go back to his groupa.  After our visit, we were taken to the local hotel to drop off our things.  Our facilitator asked if we needed more time or if we wanted to go ahead and give the okay to proceed with the adoption.  Both Curtis and I knew that he was the one.  The rest of the day was spent running around the town trying to get some paperwork notarized.  It was a Friday, and apparently people don't like to work on Friday's around here.  Our wonderful facilitator was getting frustrated and I just sat in the back seat of the van praying.  On our seventh stop, our facilitator came out to say that she found a notary that would be willing to help us with our documents.  Around 4p we were finally done running around and were taken back to the hotel.  We were pooped out, both emotionally and physically.

Saturday we woke up and got ready to head to the orphanage for our first 'real' visit with M.  We just showed up at the orphanage, walked right in and right to his groupa.  No questions asked.  We spent a couple of hours trying to introduce ourselves and help M to feel comfortable.  It was a quiet visit (he didn't talk), but a productive one.  We left that afternoon and M was starting to open up.  When we went back for our late afternoon/evening visit, M was much more excited to see us.  The kids were eating dinner and the nannies invited us in to hang out with the groupa.  They even invited us in to the children's sleeping room.  M showed us where he slept.  We were so grateful to have the opportunity to see where he sleeps.

The nannies have all been very welcoming.  We have been allowed to be a part of many things while here.  M is treat fairly well.  I asked if any of the other children in his groupa are available to be adopted and we were told no.  They actually all have families and are only there for a certain amount of time due to various reasons.  Good to know these sweeties have families, sad that they are temporarily separated from them.

Court is scheduled for this Friday at 10a our time.  Please pray that nothing comes up that would prevent it from happening (example-judge has other more important cases, or a key person is ill).

Once I have access to my computer, I will be able to elaborate more on our time here as well as share photos.  Working from my tablet is not working so well.  :)

Thank you for sticking with us......sorry my posts have taken so long to get up.

-Sara and Curtis

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I am finally able to get on my blog and give you all an update.

We arrived safely in "Porter's" country Tuesday afternoon after a 21 hour travel day.  We had a driver that met us at the airport and took us to our apartment in the city.  It was a clean, warm place to crash.  Wednesday morning we had our appointment with the Department of Adoptions.

Our meeting didn't go quite as planned.  The leader of our facilitation team was with us during our appointment.  We were shown "Porter's" file and were told that he was actually living in a special needs care home and that he was paralyzed on the right side.  Curtis and I sat there with our eyes wide.  We didn't say a word, just listened.  "Porter's" prognosis was not fully given until then.  We were informed that it was best that we forgot about him and pick another child.  Curtis and I sat in disbelief that once again this adoption was taking another turn.  We understood that we were being informed what to do as we were not approved in our home study to care for a child with "Porter's" level of care.

We were given a handful of files and were told that we needed to pick out three children that we would be interested in.  My heart raced as this was not what we had prepared for.  I was overwhelmed with the thought of choosing a child so quickly.  We spend more time researching a car to buy or even a peice of furniture than we were being given to pick out a child to graft into our family.

Curtis held my hand and gave me the look of reassurance that this was going to be okay.  We chose three files and after the Department of Adoptions called to verify that they were still available for adoption, we were told that we now needed to narrow it down to just two boys.

We did just that and the DAP quickly started calling to get a hold of the orphange directors to see how the boys interacted with the other kids and any other important information we would need about their overall health and mental status.

While we watied to hear back, we walked accross the street to have lunch.  During that time they were able to hear back from one of the orphanages that the boy we were interested in was very kind, gentle, healthy, and on track developmentally.

We were excited and told our facilitator that we would like to go and visit him.  That next afternoon we picked up the paperwork that would allow us to visit the orphanage.  The next morning we were picked up at 6:15ish and driven to this boy's town.  More information coming...

We have one more prayer request: When we lost Porter, we lost his grant money as well. It had almost 5k in it. We counted on using / needed to use that money for our expenses while in country. We are now short on finances as our new boy did / does not have a starting grant.  The fundraising numbers have been updated (less the grant) and we are now $4,617.84 short of funds.  I have struggled with sharing this information. Asking for help again has not been top on my priority list. But this is the reality of it. My blog has been giving me fits, so I have been delayed in posting while out of the country.  Our grant account with Reece's Rainbow is still active, so if you could share our situation, that would be great. 

We feel your prayers. Thank you! ♥ Sara and Curtis

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Update Coming.......

A long overdue update is on its way.  The blog is giving me fits and using my tablet is not helping the matter.  I will be getting help with my post letting you all know what is happening here with us.  Once again we encountered more unexpected information that has pointed us in a new direction.  As you have probably noticed, Porter's information is missing and a new boy, Marcus has been added. My next post (with some help) will explain what has happened.  In the meantime, we would appreciate your continued prayers.