Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Cried...

We had our appointment at the Embassy this morning, when I saw our flag....I cried....I really cried. I guess I have been gone too long. It is worth it to get our son Max, it has not been always easy, but God has been so good. We saw other Americans there, they are adopting also. It was so good to be able to speak English all morning long and to have everyone else speaking english also. It was a sweet sound.
It was neat, to be on American soil...the other Americans were the same, they got here in Ukraine the same time we did, they have been here just as long. She almost cried, they said it was wonderful to be on American soil. We have made several new friends in Ukraine, many are American families all adopting, several are American Missionaries, working a mission at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Odessa, we love these people, they are in our hearts and prayers, we love their church family also, they were very good to us, we enjoyed the fellowship there, the church services, it was great and we will miss them all, many thanks to Lighthouse Baptist Church, we truly enjoyed our time in Odessa.......But we do miss home, we miss our children, Bryan, Brady and Sarah. we miss my mom, she is at our home with our children waiting for us. We miss our church family so much, we miss the services and time of worship, the preaching, we miss the fellowship. We are so ready to come home.

We would love to see our church family at the are inviting you to come and Welcome Max Home. You can get the arrival info from pastor.

There are many that have been praying for us, praying that Max's medical appointment goes well, thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray. His medical will be in the morning.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Webster’s 1828 defines REALITY as: Actual being or existence of anything; truth; fact; in distinction from mere appearance. Something intrinsically important, not merely matter of show.

In this adoption journey that started over 9 months ago, we have gone from not thinking about trying to adopt again, to saying that maybe someday we will look into it again, to a time where God placed in our hearts a desire to adopt a certain little boy from Eastern Europe that has Down Syndrome.
During this time we have had many days when we were not sure it was going to happen. There were times of discouragement, times of frustration, times of encouragement from many friends, but through all of this was a knowledge that we could not do this on our own but only through the strength of God and in his timing.

Then came the day that we boarded a plane to fly almost half way around the world to start the in-country process, but it still seemed surreal to us. After we had our SDA appointment we left for the region he was in the next night. Our first day (Saturday) there was very discouraging, we had a place to stay for only one day and they were not sure when they could get us place after that. God then showed us He was still in control, we called the missionary here that we knew of and they were able to put us up for a couple of days and then on Monday with one phone call, we had an apartment for a month. Since then, we have seen may things that God has done to make this adoption process a reality.
Then on July 22nd 2011, it became a REALITY!!! Max became our son and he is quietly sleeping on the couch right now. It is no longer, is it going to happen or this is very surreal to us. It is now a REALITY that God has placed in our care this little boy to Love for the rest of our lives. God’s word tells us in Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Once more, we have been shown that when it comes to God, He can make what we think is almost an impossibility to be a REALITY in His power and timing. We have and will continue to Praise God for His goodness, mercy and grace He has bestowed upon us with our new son Max.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

HURRY UP...........

In a world where everyone is in a HURRY, we find ourselves in that circle. As everyone else who has gone through the international adoption process, you find yourselves in a HURRY UP and WAIT mode. You rush and hurry up to get your commitment papers in for the child that has captured your heart. Then you hurry up to get documents completed for your home study and then you wait for the completed  package. After you get that back, you hurry up and submit your I-600 form and then you WAIT for your figure printing appointment. Once you have that, then you get your figure prints done and then Wait again. But while you are waiting you continue to complete the rest of the paperwork and have EVERYTHING notarized. Then you submit all your paperwork to your rep. to see if it will pass the test for correctness and wait. If there is a mistake, you do that document over again and re-submit and wait again. Then when you think you have everything done and your “Golden Ticket” comes in, you look at the dates of all your documents and you notice that some of them may be older than the required time frame from the time they were notarized to when you will have your SDA appointment, so you have to HURRY UP and get them re-done and re-submitted for approval. Once everything is done and ready, you take them down to have them Apostilled, then you can hurry up and get them sent to your adopting country and WAIT for your SDA appointment.
During all of this mass frantic paperwork chasing you are trying to put together everything else. Who is going to watch the kids, what bills do I need to pre-pay or set up other arrangements, who is going to watch the house, will my work let me off for that long and so on and so on……… All of this is a hurry up for you need it done but it is also a wait for your are not sure when. But when the day comes and you receive your SDA appointment date, you only have a few days so it is back to the turbo charged HURRY UP. You hurry up to get all of this done and then you hurry up to get in country to wait for your appointment. Then you hurry up to get to your region to wait to see your child. Then for a few days you are in a hurry up mode to get more paperwork completed and then you wait for your court date. When that day comes you hurry up to get to the court only to wait, since we all know all courts are running behind.  But when the court is over and you have been granted your petition to adopt your child you are over joyed.
Now comes the hard part, you have been in a hurry and wait mode for 7-9 months and now that it seems like you are almost done and ready to head home you have more time to WAIT. The 10 day waiting period is a major WAIT. It seems to be as long as the whole process you have done already. Its only 10 days, but it seems to be like 10 months. But the day comes when it is over and then you hurry up to get the last few documents so you can pick-up your child and hurry up to the capital so you can have their medical done and then off to the embassy for their visa and then you wait for your flights home. The day comes to fly home and you hurry up to the airport to wait in line for security, then you hurry up to your terminal to wait for the boarding time and then finally you are on your way home. Once you arrive at your airport you hurry up and get off the plane to wait at customs.
With all of this HURRY UP and WAIT you learn that you need patience. We have come to the LORD many times during this process with prayer. For it was GOD that had set us on this journey and it was His words that kept us going. Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise; and James 1: 3-4 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Before you submit to do anything you should always bring it before the LORD and he shall direct you path. We have no doubt that God has set us out on this journey for it has been by His strength only that we have been able to continue this adoption journey. We praise God for his mercy and grace in our lives to allow us to adopt this sweet boy so he can have a forever family, ours and HIS.
Right now we are in the middle of the 10 day waiting period, so we are almost to the last phase of the HURRY UP AND WAIT.

                                                             Really, more pictures

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Court hearings! How many people fret and worry that something may go wrong? That someone might ask them a question that they don’t know the answer to or that they might get asked something unexpected. For us, we thought all things were going smooth when we had one of these. The day was hot and the waiting area had no air conditioning and just prior to our court hearing there was a concern about renting instead of owning a home. What do you do when this happens? We both started praying about the issue and our Interpreter said that everything was going to be OK and to pray. After a time of prayer and with the coming to mind the scripture of Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God” . With that, we had a calm come over us, in fact it felt like it was no longer as hot in the waiting area. Once we were called into the court room for the hearing, everything went smoothly. No concerns were brought up about the house or anything else, in fact it was all very positive.
We should never be surprised when we have difficulties or trials. For God tells us in James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” So the first thing we should do is take it to God and then; BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD! For it is only then that we can have peace, and know that God is in control.
We have seen the mighty hand of God work all through this adoption process and we know He is not done yet. We know and have faith that when there are trials, we are to BE STILL and let God do His work. One of our prayers during this journey has been that we would stay out of Gods way while He was at work for this adoption. We have praised God for every step of this journey, knowing He has been in-control and will stay in-control.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”
Thank you for all your prayers, Bill

Monday, July 11, 2011


Psalms 139:14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Court went very well because God was there; we are now the BLESSED parents of

Benjamin Maxim Burger
We will call him Max
We praise God that he chose us to raise this amazing little boy for His glory, we do not take this for granted. We truly feel blessed to have been given our special little treasure.
Bryan, Brady & Sarah are also very happy to have a new brother!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Analyzed & in Context

For those who know me (Bill), you know that I am constantly analyzing things around me. It is no different here in Eastern Europe. So with that, I have analyzed and put into context things here in Eastern Europe. It has been surprising to see that things that really matter are not that much different between America and Eastern Europe.
Every day we watch people walk by the orphanage towards an Orthodox Monastery and give tribute to pictures of “holy men” of their faith. This is a faith that believes in works and baptism salvation. It saddens the heart to see so many people who do not know that true salvation is a repented heart. These people here live a life with many of superstitious beliefs, including one that bad things will happen to them if they touch a person with Downs Syndrome. They believe these children are invalid, therefore are worth nothing.
But what about Americans?  How many American people who say they are religious, believe the same way. A majority of Americans believe in some sort of works salvation and have many of their own superstitious beliefs (e.g., don’t walk under ladders, don’t cross a black cat’s path………..)Americans may say they have a heart for those with special needs, but in reality most do not treat them equally. They either shun them or go out of their way to avoid them most of the time. It is usually only when there is some type of reward or acknowledgement for them, do they open up to these special people. It is easier for them to open their wallet and hand out some money for someone else to do the work with special people than to do any of it themselves. They don’t have the time or do not know how (they don’t want to know how).
Yes, there are more special needs children in Eastern Europe orphanages than in American orphanages, but here are the simple truths of why. Americans either want their children with special needs or through the technical advances in medicine and testing  they simply abort them in America. The people of Eastern Europe do not really have this option. So, as Americans, are we really any different than those here in Eastern Europe?  

Here are some more pictures of our time with "Brian"

This is him very excited!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Getting to Know Him

We have had about seven visits so far, we still miss days because of the paperwork. We are really getting to know Brian very well. He runs to us when he sees us, with arms open for a hug. He is still very excited, but finally settling in, knowing we will keep visiting. He has such a sweet giglle, and I love hearing him laugh!!
He does not get much freedom in his group, so he is loving the "freedom" he is getting with mom and dad.
 He loves to walk with dad, sometimes, he will run ahead, but he makes sure that dad is following close behind, he giggles and keeps dad on the run. He loves books, he loves when big trucks drive by. Yesterday, he was not feeling well and he sat with mom the entire visit, I loved that cuddle time!! When is is feeling fine, he is more of a daddy's boy! He does not like the word "NO".
It is so hard to leave everyday, he does NOT like going back to his group. He will act up and he does not cooperate with the orphanage workers. I will always kiss him, and tell him we will be back soon. We tell him to be a good boy. He does have a "sad" look as we walk away, it just breaks my heart.
He is an amazing little boy, and we love him very much!! He seems very happy with us, he is content with us now. He is now very trusting, he likes to stand on the bench, he has good balance, but if he does start to fall, he knows that mom and dad have him, and he loves it!! We do not have internet in our apartment, but the Baptist church is letting us use the internet, so I hope to be able to update every other day. Now for pictures, enjoy!!

Please pray for Brian's health, and pray that things continue to go well and quick. We hope to get a court date Monday. Please pray that we get a court date for next week, also pray that they will waive the ten day waiting period. Most of all pray for God's perfect timing!!

Bryan, Brady & Sarah, We love you all!! We miss you all so much!!

In Christ,
Bill & Sheri