Saturday, September 29, 2012


Mrs. Beaver:

When we were at our children's orphanage on the first day of September, we got to see a preschool program marking the beginning of school. We've since learned that in Russia school begins on September 1st every year, and is a shortened day called "First Bell" that's seen as a celebration. The little girls wear big white bows in their hair and the children take flowers or candy to their teachers.

As we watched the preschoolers perform during our time in their orphanage, the little orphan in these photos was captivated by what she saw, and I, in turn, was captivated by the beauty of her profile.

Once we got back to America, Becky, the coordinator here, told me the little girl's younger sister is sitting on the far side of her in this photo. This adorable duo of siblings is available for adoption. For more information about these sister or others like them, contact Becky at (612) 245-3216 or click on Becky's name to be linked to a flyer with many orphan photos and more details.

I hope that a family soon rescues these young sisters from their status as orphans through the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project (our adoption service provider). Then Becky can provide them with copies of photos we were enabled by God to take during our time at the orphanage. I would be so pleased to have been used by the Lord to give these girls the littlest bit of a photographic record, since older orphans from Russia normally enter their new families without a single picture of their lives up to that point no matter what age they are.

An Opportunity for Leisure

Mrs. Beaver:

For more glimpses into the untamed adventure Lissie is having on the far side of the globe, you find another post at her blog, Impassioned Purity.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Trip Into Town, Part 4

Mrs. Beaver:

During our first full day in the city that will be Lissie's home until the end of the coming school year, we went with Scott and Wendy and their four kiddos into the center of town. I mentioned in Parts 1-3 of this "Trip into Town" series that the primary goal for the outing was to get Lissie registered for language study at the university.
Once this was accomplished, Scott immediately called Lissie's teacher, who has also been one of his instructors, to alert her to her new student. The woman mentioned that she was on her way to the institute. We all saw this as a providential arrangement for all three of us to meet this educator who would play a key role in Lissie's life during her stay in this country.

Again, we were thankful for the campus' park-like setting in which to wait.
We took some photos as we waited...
...and waited.
Anna and Katie help keep 11-month-old Will content.
Scott began to wonder if the teacher had meant "on her way" in a western sense or in the less-time-focused Central Asian sense.
We told Scott not to be concerned we were fine with waiting a bit longer. I continued my people watching, amazed at the overall beauty of the local population.
Then before much more time had elapsed, Lissie's teacher was suddenly amongst us. We immediately sensed her warmth and kindness. Since people on the other side of the globe don't inherently smile when a camera is pulled out, the picture below doesn't do justice to the graciousness she exuded.
Mr. Beaver and I immediately felt comfortable with her becoming part of Lissie's adventure on the far side of the globe. We were grateful to the Lord that he'd arranged for us to be able to meet her while in the town's center!
Lissie had her first language session last week. When we asked her on a Skype call how the two hours had gone, our daughter said she thought pretty well. She went on to say, however, that her brain was very tired after the experience. It seems that this woman who is a linguistic PhD, doesn't speak English. The common language between Lissie and her teacher is Russian--sort of.
Lissie has worked hard at her study of the Russian language over the past few years since so many of her siblings were born in Russia. She doesn't, however, consider herself fluent. In that first language lesson, the teacher would her instruct her about the local language in Russian. Then Lissie had to translate the Russian in her mind the best she could in order to begin the process of learning the third language. The mental triangle of languages that it took her to get through the two hours exhausted her!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adoption Update: Please Pray!

Mrs. Beaver:

We took an important step this week in the adoption. We filed the I-600A. That's international adoption speak for the paperwork that must go the Department of Homeland Security to request that our adoptees be allowed to immigrate and become U.S. citizens upon the finalization of their adoption. Now we wait for several weeks for the return form, the I-171H. You'll hear the cheers when that crucial piece of paper arrives!

Important progress is being made nearly daily on bringing our kiddos home. However, we heard this week is that we're very unlikely to get a court date in Russia before the end of the year. This is highly discouraging! If we don't go to court before December 31, numerous documents will have to be done all over simply because the calendar now says 2013. And, if we have to redo paperwork, the process of getting a number of professionals to respond to our requests is time consuming. We'd probably be looking at a February or March court date. that is if something else doesn't arise to slow the process.

We need a giant army of pray-ers storming heaven's gates beseeching the Father of the Fatherless to grant us the "impossible." We know who is King of Kings, and we're trusting Him to do that which is not possible by human effort. Please ask the Lord to lay low hurdles that stand in the way of a 2012 court date! We're clinging tightly to Him. We're going to be on our knees repeatedly, pleading with Him just like Jesus instructs in the parable of the widow pestering the judge (Luke 18:1-8). "For nothing will be impossible with God."! (Luke 1:37 NASB) We're eager to loudly praise His greatness for getting us out of yet another tight squeeze as he's done so faithfully during our various adoptions.

This blog has readers around the globe. Will you please join in a world-wide concert of prayer on behalf of these four orphans? They need parents. They need a family. They need a home. They need the opportunity to learn the glorious good news of the gospel.

BTW, I learned this week that we'd misunderstood the rules about posting photos. We just can't identify the kids' or their region in any way. Thus, the picture at the top taken a couple of weeks ago. Mr. Beaver had just given them stuffed animals their future siblings had picked out for them. In fact, here's the littlest one's reaction as the cheap toy was pulled unceremoniously from a Target bag:

Oh, I long to hold my babies!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Trip into Town, Part 3

Mrs. Beaver:

After my last post about going to the bazaar in Lissie's new home, I realized I hadn't finished sharing the story of going by taxi into the city center.

The goal that day was to register Lissie to study at the university. However, all along the way, Scott was teaching her about the ins and outs of life in this Central Asian country. In this radically different culture, everything that day was an adventure.

Lissie and her dad just before they entered the building to register her for course work.
After they disappeared, I did some serious people watching.
In this, the most cosmopolitan of places in the country, the women wore a variety of dress styles.
Some wore head coverings; some didn't. Scott told us that on campus the women are discouraged by the university president from wearing them.

 Meanwhile, the men were dressed primarily in white shirts, ties and dark trousers.
And a detail for our female readers...
As Lissie packed she was pleased to learn that flats are in fashion.
In the country where Jaynie lived very high heels were expected.
I wish I'd been fast enough with my camera to catch this beautiful little girl from the front as she crossed the campus wearing her school uniform. Since we'd just been in Russia and seen our own children in similar uniforms, she caught my eye. I love her shoes. I have to conclude that pink is a favorite color amongst little girls the world over!
Scott, Mr. Beaver and Lissie emerging from the building--mission accomplished!
More on our trip into town soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Mrs. Beaver:
Mr. Beaver and I have been privleged to visit Russian orphanages nine times. In all honesty, each time it gets harder. My heart aches more. My yearning that each and every child we encounter might have a family just grows stronger.
When we returned last week from our most recent trip, this picture caught my eye as I made my way through the hundreds we took while spending time with the four siblings we're adopting. For me, the photo epitomizes both the beauty and plight of Russian orphans. The implications behind the photograph are staggering.
Here they sit in their little wooden chairs, poised to put on a play celebrating the first day of school, a production that they've practiced to the point of perfection. There's one critical difference between the effort of this little cast and that of similar ones in America. What is that difference? No parents to cheer. No grandparents to glow with pride. No older siblings to excitedly rush the stage when the performance ends. In fact, there's no audience. None.
And yet, these beautiful babes will still give their little musical their very best. They'll sing in tune and their dance steps will be in sync with one another--despite the empty room. I'm left with a nagging question. How do they do it? How do they excel despite the lack of anyone to cheer them on? As the visiting parent-to-be, I smile my biggest smiles, returning their winsome grins as they sing, dance and recite their lines. What I really want to do is weep.
Only one factor keeps me from losing heart. They're not cast-aways to Jesus. Each of these precious faces represents a person made in the image of God. They're not cast-aways in God's order of things, and He has begun moving in a mighty way among Christians across the globe since we first entered the orphan-care arena a little more than a decade ago. More and more couples are stepping up to care for "the least of these" by making them family members. Hope exists for these little ones. But more soldiers are needed in this effort to liberate the fatherless, soldiers willing to suffer for the sake of the Name (2 Timothy 2:3).
The work is hard...and the cost is high (not just monetarily, but also emotionally, physically and, at times, spiritually). But God's grace is greater than the cost.
The reward for being spent in this way? We get the opportunity to share Jesus with these little souls who most likely wouldn't hear about Him from anyone else. We get the opportunity to live the gospel, portraying (however imperfectly) a shadow of His love which He demonstrated by dying to self so that we might be adopted into His family. As we die to self, we get the privilege of working for Him in the building of His Kingdom.
Adoptive parenting is a 25/8 job with no furlough. But these precious ones, be they little tykes or teens, definitely fit God's description of children... they are a blessing straight from Him (Psalm 127).
(For more information about these very children or others, contact Becky at the Russian Orphan Lighthouse Project)

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Mr. and Mrs. Beaver:

Many of you may have wondered why we have adopted or, perhaps, why we have adopted again and again and...

Our reason is articulated perfectly in the video below. This is our story!

Francis Chan For Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Quiet Request

Mrs. Beaver:

The woman (on the left) was our interpreter when we went to court two years ago to adopt Daria, Alexander and Oksana. We were so pleased to learn when we arrived in our children's region on our recent trip that she was to be our interpreter again as we visited their orphanage. What a heart this woman has for orphans! That large heart was unexpectedly tugged in a painful way when we visited the "older girls' room." There this teen, Olga, hugged her tightly, looked in her eyes and said beseechingly, "Would you please find me a family?"

Please join us in beseeching the Father of the Fatherless on Olga's behalf. Please, please cry out that He will locate the perfect family for her before she ages out. At that point, the statistical chances of her eventually turning to prostitution or suicide reach eighty percent!

For more information about Olga or other children waiting to be liberated from their status as orphans, visit The Russian Orphan Lighthouse website. We highly recommend you follow Becky's blog listed in the sidebar there or click our link here. What she shares rings so true to what we've experienced. If you use FaceBook, considered following Becky's posts there. She often shares opportunities to pray for orphan-related specifics. She also shares happy endings! Not everyone can adopt, but everyone can pray!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Dress Maker, Dress Maker Make Me a Dress"

Mrs. Beaver:

On our last day with Lissie in her new location, we packed in a great deal. First thing in the morning, Lissie went with Wendy and her daughters to the dress maker's home to check on the progress of the local clothing Wendy had arranged for her in advance of Lissie's arrival.
So Lissie donned her head scarf again. In an effort to honor the locals, Lissie will wear clothing according to local custom. Unlike what was necessary for her sister, Jaynie, in another Central Asian country last year, Lissie won't be required to wear a burqa when out in public.
 Here's Lissie with the seamstress.
The dress was yet unmade, which Wendy said was unusual for this normally timely woman. However, the fact that the fabric was still just a pile of cloth gave Lissie the chance to Have input on the shape of  the neckline.
Katie (left) and Anna (center) took the opportunity to interact with the dress maker's daughter as she held their brother, Will. These girls (and their brother Michael) are remarkable at making friends wherever their parents' work takes them. At their young ages, they are truly ambassadors!
 By the time the outing was over, Will was sound asleep.
One of the family's three kittens was only too glad to reclaim it's favorite spot as the sleeping baby was lifted from his stroller.
Will's nap was a short one, and before long we all gathered to go to the local bazaar, about a twenty minute walk from their home.
We passed by goat herders on the way... well as a family cow grazing at the side of the road.
When we reached the bazaar we immediately found it to be a place of wonder for these westerners!
I thought my picture taking with my very obvious, good-sized Nikon DSLR coupled with a zoom lens might not be tolerated. I looked to Scott for my cues as to what was acceptable and honoring to the people we were amongst. Scott coached that I was fine taking pictures as long as people didn't object. No one showed the slightest hesitation. Oh, happy day! Thank you, Lord! I prayed over and over again. I'd leave this once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity with plenty of pictures. What a blessing!
Once we entered the bazaar, fabric was everywhere. Fabric for clothing. Fabric for tablecloths. Fabric for bedding. Heavy fabrics. Light fabrics.
The variety of colors and pattern and textures was overwhelming! Vendor after vendor selling fabric. I was in heaven. Mr. Beaver? Well...not so much! Mr. Beaver, Scott and Michael (who was in a sling because he'd broken his wrist the day we arrived) quickly found another way to pass the time.
The women's goal was to find Lissie additional material to have more local clothing made.
Wendy guided her...
...but decision making proved difficult when faced with so many choices!
In the end, Lissie found a material that suited her. The cost? The equivalant of $4!
Passing a couple of hours strolling the bazaar helped Mr. Beaver and me to more fully understand that our daughter will spend the next few months in a very different world, filled with new sights, sounds and smells. We cast our precious girl into the hands of our Father--and hers--to care for her as she adjusts.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Sister's Point of View

Mrs. Beaver:

Lissie being mobbed by the fatherless as she gets out PlayDoh we brought as gifts
We're back home after an exceedingly blessed trip. I'll try to post more very soon, but for now here is a link to Lissie's take on the experience of meeting future siblings while they're still in an orphanage: Meeting My Siblings.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tour Red Square with Us

Mrs. Beaver:

This afternoon Mr. Beaver and I walked to Red Square. Come join us on our tour:

This dramatic horse statue is a favorite of our family's. When we all traveled to Moscow to bring home Daria, Alexander and Oksana, we took a photo of all twelve kids here. By then it was too cold for the fountains to be running!
Here's a slightly different view:
A Russian tradition is to have the bride and groom be photographed in front of landmarks in their home town. Moscow is, of course, full of beautiful settings for wedding pictures. Above is the first bride we saw on this Friday afternoon. We saw several more before returning to our hotel.
We saw this second bride and groom almost immediately. The groom had just given the bride his jacket. We didn't know whether the two soldiers or police following the wedding party were protecting them or simply there by a coincidence.
I wish I had my Moscow tour book with me to explain the history of more of the buildings and towers in the Red Square/Kremlin Wall area, but I don't. I hope you enjoy the sights anyway.
These domes sit atop one of the churches within the Kremlin Walls. Today they looked especially dramatic shining in the sun with dark rain clouds hovering behind them.
After being up for 19 hours, I'm out of spiz to continue this post. Hopefully more tomorrow from airports as we head for home.
While I've been writing, Mr. Beaver. has been IM'ing with Lissie. Her stomach isn't feeling well tonight. Wendy and Scott are wondering if the culprit might be milk direct from a neighbor's cow, even though it was boiled before Lissie had any. At any rate, would you please join us in praying for her to be healed by the Great Physician?