What time is it in Ukraine?


Thursday, December 23, 2010

All I Really Want For Christmas Music Video

I heard this song and it touched my heart.  Still waiting to hear about Ukrainian law...until then, we keep praying for our little one and orphans throughout the world.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grasping God's Hope

The past three years have been some of the most difficult times of my life because I have felt so far away from God.  I've often cried out to Him, "Why have You left me?"  "What have I done/not done to have the gift of a child withheld from me?"  "Don't you love me?"  "Why don't You think I will be a good mother?"
I've gone through the grieving process many times as the loss of a dream and a child slipped away with each passing month.  I've felt the guilt of not being able to give Todd a child...denial, trying to convince myself that I really don't want children...anger of not conceiving and knowing that God has the power to reverse this sadness...depression and isolating myself to reflect on my pain...and HOPE, knowing and believing in God's promises:  "For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope".  Jeremiah 29:11
Since we have begun the adoption process, I've been full of hope and excitement.  I've been excited to give a child a home who doesn't have anyone to love him/her.  Others have approached me about starting the adoption process, which would give more children homes.  Maybe God is using me in this way.  I've pictured a child in our home, teaching him/her how to say, "puppy", of all things.  I sit in the "baby room" in the rocking chair, and pray for our child.  This chair is special because Todd's mom rocked him in it when he was a baby.  I'm getting attached to this adoptive child, whoever he/she may be.  
Now we've hit another bump in the road.  Until recently, I haven't much worried about it because I've been bound and determined NOT to fall into the temptation of worry!  However, the hour is upon us.  This week Ukraine votes on a bill that could potentially stop adoptions to the U.S. until an agreement is made.  It's kind of like I'm waiting to take another pregnancy test...will it be negative or positive?  I'm living each day holding my breath, wanting to know the result, but not really.  It's already in my mind that adoptions will be put on hold, but I still cling to the hope that nothing will be delayed and we'll adopt as scheduled.  God already knows the outcome and how it will affect our lives.  I continue to replay one of my favorite songs in my head, "You are God alone, from before time began, You are on Your throne, You are God alone..."  I know God is still in control, even if it doesn't feel like it or look like it from my perspective.  I'm so thankful that God has a different perspective than me!  In the midst of our impossible circumstances, God extends His hope to us, and to His orphaned children.  
I'm reading a book my friend, Julia, gave me written by Ruth Graham.  It's called Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There.  (yes Julia, I'm STILL reading it:)  I wanted to pass along a passage that has been helpful to me during this uncertain time in my life, yet a time where I'm grasping tightly to God's hope. 
"God has not left you or forgotten about you.  He has planted His hope within you.  You can hope again....Every morning, you wake up to a new day with new potential, new possibilities, new ways to experience God's character, and new opportunities to enjoy this gift God has given you called life!  Yesterday's challenges may change into today's promises fulfilled.  There is still hope!"
Please pray for this bill in Ukraine...that it will not stop adoptions as lawmakers rewrite laws to improve the adoption process.  Children need homes and there are many like me who are waiting to be someone's forever family.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Today "Little Bottorff" turned 2 years old!  We bought a small cake and blew out two candles for him and sang Happy Birthday...too bad it wasn't in Ukrainian:) 
We received some encouraging news regarding his status today too...a fabulous birthday present for him:):)  Tomorrow is our 4 year anniversary...we are excited to find out what year four has in store for us!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


"He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them."
Hebrews 6:10

We have many, many reasons to be thankful!  Most recently, two specific acts of selflessness remain on my mind to share. 

1.  My brother-in-law, Kurt, works very hard at his job and at home.  He is a firefighter and also has a second part-time job.  Recently a tree fell in his neighbor's backyard so hevolunteered to chop it up and haul it off.  In the earnings he made, Kurt and Robyn chose to donate to our adoption fund! 

2.  Last weekend we were invited to a birthday party for Deb and Brent's kiddos, Jaclynn and Jayden.  Jayden was turning 4 and Jaclynn will be 7 at the beginning of December.  We played games, ate cake and ice cream, and opened up gifts.  After the gifts were opened the kids ran over to us and tossed a large wad of cash in our laps and shouted, "Here, this is for you!"  As we sat there unsure of what to do, Deb announced that they had requested donations for "Little Bo" instead of birthday gifts from family and friends.  What a beautiful family and selfless act!

Jay and Jaz in their Halloween costumes!:)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adoption Garage Sale Fund Raiser

Here are some before pictures of the garage sale.  Isn't my sister cute??:)  Thank you Adrian for making them...they look great and attracted many people!

Thank you Deb and Adrian for helping me organize...you did fabulous:)

Weeeeellllll, after a cold, rainy weekend, God truly reigns!  Despite the weather conditions, people came and were VERY generous!  My mother-in-law made chili dogs...thank you Marlene!  My mom made some home-made caramel corn to sell as well!  We heard many adoption stories and were encouraged throughout the weekend by our family and many friends.  Love you guys!  Thank you for all your support and prayers...we are now a step closer!  Here are some pictures from our weekend!:)
We STILL have 5 racks of QUALITY baby/toddler clothes if anyone is interested:)
Daddyo was our money keeper...doesn't he look official??
My girlfriend made these chocolate, covered Oreos to sell!  WOW!!  Thanks Kayci!:)

Here is my mom organizing some adoption bracelets on a tree!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Experiencing God

We are doing a study in our Sunday School class named Experiencing God.  Last week's lesson stood out to me in many ways.  The beginning story was entitled "God as Provider".  I related to the man in the story because I keep asking myself "How in the world will God make this provision?".  Here is a quote from the lesson that struck me.
"Then it dawned on me, that as long as God knew where I was, He could cause anyone in the world to know where I was.  As long as He knew our situation He could place our need on the heart of anybody He chose." - Blackaby  
God knows where I am right now and where a child without a family is at this very moment.  God also knows we have a garage full of items for sale on a rainy, cold weekend!  I don't know why trust is so hard, and how doubt creeps in so easily, but I am reminded through this study and through real experiences that God is in this situation.  He has a plan to form forever families for children and for parents throughout the world.  "He is a able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

Praise God for my parents who came into town a day early to help set up and go without sleep!  Who also have organized and moved items, made meals, and even did a load of laundry!
Praise God for friends who bake brownies, baby chocolates, sort clothes, borrow out their truck, their donations, and for words of encouragement and especially prayer!
Praise God for a husband who works so late to continue getting the paperwork sorted, faxed, and organized!
Praise God for our Little Bottorff...he is already loved and I can't wait to tell him all the stories about how his mommy and daddy are loved by so many!
God has a perfect plan and I am excited to see how this story unfolds and I know all of you are a part of this story with us!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Garage Sale November 12-13 - fund raiser!

Hey everyone,
We are holding our first official fund raiser this weekend!  We have had so many friends and family donate items for our garage sale.  Thank you all!  We are still collecting items until Friday so if you have any items you want to donate let us know.  Also please spread the word about the sale!

It is Friday Nov 12 and Saturday Nov 13 at our house at 8 am each day.  20903 W 53rd Terrace, Shawnee, KS 66218.  Pray for success and thank you for all the prayers so far!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

Phil 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.  And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus".  

This has been a challenging week with a bunch of little things adding up to one big thing.  Busyness leads to sleeplessness which leads to weepiness which leads to failing to pay attention to detail.

Mistake one:  Intentionally slept late to catch up on sleep, got caught in traffic on 435 for over an hour and STILL not to work.  Very frustrating!

Mistake two:  Called in a sub but needed it cancelled.  I cancelled it in one system but didn't cancel the sub in the other system...short story...I had a sub and was going to lose a 1/2 day of work!!

Kindness 1:  My secretary stayed calm and collected then took care of my sub and fixed my mistake.  WOW!

Kindness 2:  My principal gave me grace and made certain I was able to keep my 1/2 day without consequence.  WOW!

Kindness 3:  My co-workers were patient and helpful as I came into work late and cheered me up!  WOW!

Kindness 4:  Our dog sitters stayed with our less-than-obedient puppies this weekend and didn't take the check we wrote them!  They wanted us to use it toward our adoption.  WOW!

Kindness 5:  Friends from Sunday school mentioned our garage sale to their parents and we picked up items tonight.  They also asked many questions about our situation and said they would pray for us.  WOW!

Kindness 6:  My dear friend has offered to help us fund raise on her own time using her own resources.  WOW!

Kindness 7:  My parents are coming into town early to help us with the garage sale including set up, selling caramel corn, cookies/brownies, making and selling bracelets.  So far they have put many hours and prayers into this effort...WOW!

Kindness 8:  Friends from church are inviting us over for dinner (WOW) and donating car loads of items.  WOW!

Kindness 9: A friend from church created a hand-made card and wrote me an encouraging and much-needed note.  WOW!

Kindness 10:  Another donation today!:)  Thank you for all your many prayers and words of encouragment.  WOW!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Encouragement from my beautiful friends and family!!

*  Even though Sam was not meant to be yours, he was meant to open your hearts fully to adoption and Ukraine.  So all your love and yearning for him was not for loss...it was for gain. 
I just really feel like God drew you deeper into His plan of adoption by making Sam's face so captivating to you even though he was not meant for your family..he was meant to start you on this journey, so he will always have a special place in  your heart and your future child's!

*  Thank you for allowing us to pray for you...I don't understand but I am trusting Him. 

*  Our God certainly is a GOOD and MIGHTY GOD and we're grateful to Him for miraculously making things happen. We will continue to pray for our little Ukrainian, his health and that everything will easily flow into place. He certainly doesn't know what great loving parents await him. We also ask for His hand in fund raising and that it will far exceed what we expect. Just so you know, even though we will never know him, we still pray for Sam and ask the Lord for his healing and that he will be adopted someday to a family that can meet his needs. God Bless Him.

*  God is still in control and even though we don't always understand the path He leads us down, we do know that He does not make mistakes.  No, you probably won't get Sam, but sometimes a set back is a set up for a great come back.  God always works it out so that there is no mistaken that His hand was in it.  God has this all worked out for you guys,

God always works it out so that there is no mistaken that his hand was in it. God has this all worked out for you guys, just keep trusting and believing.
Thanks for sharing you story
I'll be praying for you and your family

Successful Home Study!

Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. He determines the course of world events; he removes kings and sets others on the throne. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he himself is surrounded by light. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. (Dan. 2:20–23) 

We continue to pray for wisdom and strength during this adoption journey.  Today's home study went well and it's another milestone on the way to becoming parents.  Thank you for all your prayers and words of encouragement!  May you have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friday is a big day!!

This Friday we have our first home study visit!  Our agency has been fabulous with communication and they even were able to move our home study up 3 days earlier!  Thank you for all your prayers...this is a huge step closer in our adoption process:)

10-26-10...Answered Prayers

Today was an "high" day on this roller coaster ride!  I have been praying so hard the past 24 hours for donations and encouragement because I'm getting nervous and Satan is really attacking me with fear.  I'm over-whelmed with the amount of generosity and willingness to help I've received from people around me.  Here are some answered prayers!!!  Thank you everyone!!!

****We would like to donate to your garage sale. We have tons of stuff!  We’ve been saving our stuff for a garage sale this summer but felt that we needed to donate these to you guys. I believe my mother-in-law has stuff to donate as well…the problem with that is she lives in Columbus, KS and I don’t know if they will be able to bring their stuff up by the time you have your garage sale. I also talked to my parents and they mentioned they may have some pieces of furniture they can donate. 
To give you an idea of what we have I’ll list some of the items I can think off of the top of my head:
Tv stand
2 outdoor chairs
Wooden Shelf
Tons of Baby girl clothes (they are already on hangers)
Box of adult clothes
Big Picture

****Just wanted to let you know that we will do some hefty fall cleaning and "out with the old, in with the new" just as soon as we return from our honeymoon.  As you know, we were married this past Saturday and were extremely blessed with a variety of wedding gifts.  We have noticed we have many duplicate items such as alarm clocks, kitchen appliances, etc.  We would love to donate these items to your sale for the wonderful cause!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rainbow at the end of the storm...

October 22...
After hearing the news about Sam, I was angry, I felt stupid, and I was disappointed.  I was just so sad to know this little boy was not going to be a part of our family.  The next morning I completed one lesson in the Experiencing God Bible study entitled, "God Takes the Initiative".  I battled with the loss of Sam all night because this new news made us both question everything up to this point.  Did we make all of this up in our head?  Was God truly leading us toward adoption or was it just our own initiative?  How could we have been so off base? 
My prayer that morning was for encouragement and clarity.  I was reminded that God is a faithful, prayer answering God!  I also enjoyed learning about George Muller's method of joining God at work.  I "tested" my method against his and felt encouraged that we had proceeded according with God's will.  Adoption for us was not an easy decision...in fact, we fought it for a long time.  But each time we prayed and read scripture regarding this path, God led us closer to it. 

During our conversation with our caseworker, she mentioned another little boy they have in mind for our family.  He is younger and healthier, and we can continue on the same timeline as we were with Sam!  We are continuing to proceed with the adoption process in Ukraine!  Please continue to pray for our paperwork and home study.  Our first home study visit is scheduled for November 2!!!

Hard to hear news...

October 21...
Todd received an email regarding the health of Sam and that our coordinator needed to talk with us over the phone.  I was in parent-teacher conferences.  What we were about to hear changed our lives and broke our hearts...

Our coordinator explained that in his recent medical evaluation, Sam's mental capacity diminished greatly over the past year.  She told Todd he had "severe mental deficiencies" that were not present during his last evaluation.  Her suggestion was to not proceed with adopting Sam. 
I wanted and needed to hear this news for myself because part of me didn't believe it and I didn't want to give up on Sam. I spoke with her the next day and she confirmed his mental state.  She explained that we should live our lives knowing that he was being taken care of and that if we adopted him, our lives would never be the same due to the care we would have to provide. 

We knew this was a possibility, but the aching for Sam is so hard to endure.  We fell in love with this little boy, but we are going to listen to the advice of our caseworker and not continue with the adoption of our little man:(

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The journey begins...

A Love Story...
We first met in March 2006 and there was an instant connection.  We shared the same love relationship with Jesus and desired to put Him first in our lives.  We also shared others loves like dogs, Indiana Jones, Mexican food, traveling, and the desire to begin a family.  It didn't take long to discover that we were made for each other and we got married in a beautiful, winter wonderland in December 2006.

Two years, going on three...
After a year of honeymooning, we decided to start a family.  Over the course of several years, we have come to know the pain and struggle of infertility.  Many of you have shared our loss and I'm sure there have been times many of you have wondered, as we have been asked many times.  We have not given up hope because our God is a mighty God!  However, our desire to have children has grown immensely over time and our hearts have been moved in another direction.
Before Todd and I were married, adoption was something we both desired to pursue after we had biological children.  Once infertility became an issue, we started casually researching adoption options.  It's a long, expensive process, that can also be heartbreaking, and it's something we were hesitant to explore. 
In our casual research about adoption, we found a picture of a little boy that looks like a Bottorff.  He has blond hair, blue eyes, and dimples:)  Over the past 8-9 months, his face continues to appear in our memories and we can't stop thinking about him.  But, the more we researched, the deeper the fear set in.  However, God wasn't done with us and He kept tugging on our hearts.  After much prayer, we decided to find out more about this little boy.

The journey begins...
We called to talk to the placement agency about this little boy and we discovered he is in an orphanage in Ukraine.  His birthday is December 9th (one week exactly after our wedding:) and he will turn four years old.  We also found out he suffers from the hip dysplasia.  Although he is older, successful surgery can still be performed.  We are told he is a very smart little boy and everyone loves him!  Because of his age and disability, we are looking at adopting him within 3-6 months!  We are so excited to start our family and my sister even bought him a little Star Wars shirt:)  Mommy is also going to get him a little MU shirt and it shouldn't upset Daddy too much based on their perfect record so far this season:)  We are quickly gathering and completing all the paperwork needed and have officially started the adoption process!
In our conversation with the adoption agency, we also found out that the cost of the adoption and the required, extensive travel will be near $30,000. 

God-sized events...
We spent about two weeks enjoying the decision to adopt Sam with each other, while also completing the paperwork.  Then, we began telling our family and close friends.  One night we were driving back from telling my parents and we got a phone call about a person who wanted to buy our doghouse.  There actually was a "bidding war" because two people wanted it.  Well, the couple that ended up buying the doghouse happened to be a pastor and his wife...that were also missionaries...that also ran their own ministry...who also had a heart for adoption!!!!  Coincidence?  No...God!  The next day this couple came to pick up the doghouse, gave us much encouragement, offered us some fund raising contacts, and also donated more than double what we were asking for on our dog house!!!  What an awesome and encouraging God we serve!

Not long after we sold the doghouse on Craig's List did we get another person who wanted to purchase a $10 bath spa system.  I happened to mention we were raising money for an adoption and she told us her husband was in a Christian band!  She also told us she was going to talk to the band to see if they would be interested in holding a concert to raise money for our adoption!!  We are still waiting for more information, but are praying this is a go!

"She named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the Lord for him'".  Samuel 1:20
One morning before church I woke Todd up and we instantly started talking about Little Bottorff.  See...we knew Sam wasn't his "real" name, but we didn't know if we were going to change it or keep it the same. Since that's how we've been praying and talking about him, we really didn't know how that was going to work.  In our conversation that morning, Todd pointed out that Samuel was a judge in the Bible...that reminded me that he was also Hannah's son...God's gift to her after years of being barren.  I've been praying "Hannah's Prayer" for over two years now...isn't it just like God to actually bring me Sam?!?!  Wow...we're NOT changing his name, God created him for us. 

His birthday is December 9th...
The more we think and pray for Sam, the more we grow to love him!  Alicia and I also picture him in ways we imagine he might be based on the one picture we have of him.  (we can't share the picture on-line because he is not our son yet)  Over time, God has even revealed to us that He answered prayers we had more than 4 years ago almost as soon as we uttered them. Sam was born December 9, 2006. We were married December 2, 2006. Alicia was only half of my answer to prayers of hope for a loving wife and children. I didn't know it at the time but God answered the rest of the prayer half way around the world. I can see now that I would never understand this attribute of God if we got pregnant with ease.
Mark the dates...Friday, November 12 and Saturday, November 13 we are holding an ADOPTION FUND-RAISER GARAGE SALE!!!  We are selling a variety of items, including hand-made bracelets to bring Little Bottorff home!  Please come and shop OR let us know if you have any items to for the garage sale!!! 
Please pray for items to sell and for generous shoppers:)

Also, if you'd like to make a donation, you may send it to:
PO Box 860114
Shawnee, KS 66218