August 16, 2008

4 Months, Sea World and First time in the pool....

I wasn't sure how to title this post. We've had so much going on that I am not sure what I would call it. We do spend alot of time at home but we are so blessed to get to have fun time with friends.

Madeline is now 4 months. We went to the doctor on Wednesday and she is 11 pounds 15 ounces, 24 inches long and growing. She is still tiny but she is much bigger than when she was born. I think she is doing fine but the doctor ordered more "tummy time" so that she can start to roll over. She did roll over from front to back once! She absolutely HATES tummy time! But, we followed doctors orders and tried it. I could only handle the screaming alittle bit and then I gave in! I am a sucker!

We went to the Ski Lodge today with some friends and we put her in the pool for the first time. We have been so blessed to have my god-daughter, Kayla, with us all week. Craig and Mom were out of town so the extra set of hands was nice! Kayla is excellent with children and she will make a great mommy one day but for now, she is only 12. I have attached a photo of Madeline in the pool - she LOVED IT!

Molly, Craig, and I got to spend the day with some friends at Sea World last week. We had a great time! Craig and I were able to act like kids and ride all the rollercoasters - it was a blast!!! Molly loved the Shamu show and she even got a little teary eyed (along with her mom) at the overwhelming feeling of seeing this huge whale do tricks.

Madeline has been in Kindermusik and loves it. Her Aunt Brooke does a great job and we are having so much fun. We've taken a break from it and will start back in September.

Ballet starts the second week of September and I am already full! More than half the students are NEW!!! Praise God! I am so excited and I have really missed my little dancers so much.

I think that is it for now. Here are some new photos and I hope you enjoy them.

The Hills
PS - I don't know if anyone even reads this thing but I'll keep it updated just in case :)

August 6, 2008

Happy Adoption Day!

Wow - its been 4 years since we were given custody of Molly Rebecca Hill. Boy, how time flies. I can still remember sitting in that court room waiting to hear the verdict! We were there for an hour and a half and the questions just kept coming. We were interviewed by so many people about our intentions of adopting Molly. I kept thinking to myself, "Are these people serious!?" Anyway, God is good and He gave us Molly on August 5, 2004. We were beyond relieved!!! I will post my original post from that day. But first - we had an AWESOME Adoption Day Party! As I looked around the room last night, I got teary eyed thinking of what a blessing we have in our friendships. There are so many stories of adoption among our friends and its amazing how God has used adoption for His Glory! Enjoy the pictures - Molly is so blessed to have so many people who love her very much! Thank you to all my friends for your love and support 4 years ago and since that day!


August 5, 2004 - "We name Craig Alan Hill and Amy Rebecca Hill the parents of Molly issued by the Court of Ukraine!" Those were the words we heard today! She is ours! Court started at 3:28 PM - the prosecutor was not there and the judge asked Dennis to go pick her up. She came in and actually started talking to the ladies behind us. She seemed to be in a good mood. Court began with the judge reading the documents that we had submitted earlier today. The letters from the US Embassy, the letters from Dib Waldrip and Carter Casteel, updated NAC letters with my corrected name and others. Once that was done, the questioning began. Craig was questioned first by the prosecutor. She asked him questions like about our finances, our family, the health of the child and pretty much grilled him for 30 minutes! He answered everything perfectly! I was so proud of him. The prosecutor even smiled at times when Craig answered. Then, it was my turn. I just took a deep breath and said "Be yourself!" She asked me about my job, if I was aware of the medical diagnosis of Molly, and then she told me to describe Molly. That's when everything seemed to just fall into place. I told about her finding her toes, the fact that she loves Cheerios and yogurt and that she says a few words. I said that she was quite strong willed and that I have grown to love her so very much. She then asked why I adopted a child with medical problems (even though we know she is healthy) and I told her that I would rather adopt a child that I can provide medical attention too that would not get it here in Ukraine. She then told the judge she had no further questions. It was great! Then, the lady from the NAC stood up and told them that we have followed all the necessary steps to adopt and that its in the best interest of the child that the Hill family adopt her. Then, the lady from the Minister of Education basically said the same thing. Then, the lady from the orphanage got up and went on and on about Molly and told them that she had seen a huge difference in her since we've been there. She said that Molly is so very happy and that she recognizes us as Mommy and Daddy. She said that the orphanage feels we are the best interest of the child. Then, it was the prosecutor's turn - my hands began to sweat! She said we have submitted all the necessary paperwork to her and that based on what she has heard today and the testimony given, it would be in the best interest of the child to be adopted by the Hill family. HUGH RELIEF! Then, the judge asked us to stand and wanted to know if we wanted to change anything or add to anything that had been submitted or said in court. We said no, we just want to adopt Molly. So, she said "I will name Craig Alan Hill and Amy Rebecca Hill parents to Molly by the Court of Ukraine. The final court decree to be picked up 30 days from today." So, the 30 days were not waived but I am perfectly okay with that! I am just so thankful that she is ours!!!! Court was over at 5:00 PM. The prosecutor even shook my hand and took a photo with us. She was smiling and I kept saying "Spasibo" which is "Thank you."
We then left and went to visit Molly. She is not feeling well. She has an upset tummy. They thought I fed her something last night but nope, it wasn't my fault. Atleast not this time. Anyway, she wasn't herself at all but we just loved and loved on her so much. I'm sure she wondered why we were acting like that. The caregivers were so excited for us! They hugged us and were talking so fast in Russian/Ukrainian - we had no idea what they were saying. But, they were happy!
We then went downtown to celebrate at our favorite pizza place - Metropole. We took Edward, Dennis, Anita and Roland with us. It was awesome!
Craig plans to return to the US and he may have to come back to pick up Molly with me. We are waiting to talk to the orphanage director about that. But, he plans to go to Kiev on Sunday and be at the Embassy on Monday to sign some paperwork. It looks like I will possibly move in with Anita and Roland and hire a driver to take me too and from the orphanage. They have a Christian taxi driver that lives in their building. They live in a very safe place and it will be good to have them there with me. So, it looks as if all this will work out. I will be able to pick Molly up on the 6th of September. I will pick up the court decrees and get her birth certificate and necessary documents from the region and hopefully, I will be on my way to Kiev by the 7th or 8th. Then, to the US Embassy to get her passport and visa to come home. I will most likely travel on the 11th or 12th. I am so excited that I think I've probably made many typos/mistakes in this journal entry.
Like I've said before, I can't begin to thank all of you for everything you have done. My friends in New Braunfels that have worked night after night and day after day getting us the necessary documents. Teresa Fillmon with His Kids Too got up at 3 AM and got on her knees praying. I have received so many emails where people were praying all day and had friends/family members that we don't even know praying for us. When my sister in law heard the news - she was at VBS with 1800 people and she shared it with everyone! We have some amazing friends and we consider those of you we don't even know friends! We will cherish our time here for the rest of our lives! We can't say "thank you" enough!
We love all of you so much! I will try to post photos from the court hearing later. We need to get home and get some sleep - we are all so tired!
Thanks to Edward and Dennis - they stayed up so late last night translating documents and then worked until a few minutes before the court hearing translating a letter we received in regards to the Social Worker issue from Dib Waldrip (our District Attorney)! Hey Dib - we promise to work hours upon hours on your re-election campaign!!!!!!
Molly thanks you from the bottom of her heart too. Without each and every one of you and the many different types of support - we could never have made it!
With love from Ukraine! Becca, Craig and MOLLY REBECCA HILL!!!!!!!
Birthdate 1-12-03
Adoption Date 8-5-04

August 3, 2008

Life with the Hills

I can't believe its been almost a month since I posted last. I used to be on this thing so much but I guess having a newborn takes a little more time than I am used too!!! Don't get me wrong, I love it! Madeline is growing so much and she finally hit the double digits in her weight! She is now 11.3 pounds and growing. She even has a few rolls on her thighs. She won't appreciate me saying that when she is 15!

Madeline is becoming more vocal everyday. She has decided that she really likes to hear herself talk and most of the time its on her changing table. Its the funniest thing but she talks more while I change her diaper than anytime throughout the day. We aren't sure the fascination with the changing table but its so cute to watch. She is now in Kindermusik and loves it. She loves music and I hear it helps with so much of her development! She is the youngest one in there and its cute to watch her face and her expressions with the various types of activities.

We were able to see Madeline's birthmom a few weeks ago when she got married. We were invited and got to witness such a precious ceremony. I have mixed emotions because I feel like B is a daughter to me. She, her now husband, and her son moved to Vegas. I am so happy for her and want her to start over but I miss her terribly! She called last week and I was so excited to talk to her!!! I hope that one day we can travel out there to see her but we are waiting on her invite. Its still so hard for her to see us at times and I don't blame her if she wants to be distant for awhile. Madeline gave her a precious bracelet on her wedding day as well as a book called, "Never, Never, Never Will She Stop Loving You." Its so precious and I substituted her name for the name in the book. I hope it touches her life like it has ours!!!! I still thank God every day for her!

Molly starts kindergarten this year! She is going to a private school for two days and then I am homeschooling the other three days. I have already heard ALL the comments I possibly can hear and I'm okay - people are entitled to their opinion. But, Craig and I feel such a calling to homeschool and we are learning to be God-pleasers and not Man-pleasers. That is soooo hard for me because I have been a people pleaser all my life. But, I am trusting God in His plan and Will for our lives - He does know best! I have a great support system at our church and there are a number of people who homeschool. I am actually pretty excited about it!

Some prayer requests:

My friend, Jamie and her family - her dad is recovering from surgery. He has been diagnosed with cancer. He has undergone radiation and chemo and had surgery last week. The doctors sent him home today so we are praying for a complete recovery!

Another friend, Ashley, is in Ethiopia adopting a son! They should have arrived tonight and I can't wait to hear all about it! Pray that things go well and that they can get home in a timely manner!!!

My friend, Stephanee, she is Ashley's sister. She is keeping Ashley's daughter! Also, she is getting ready to host the two girls she plans to adopt! They come in at the end of the week. They are also submitting their dossier to adopt these two girls on August 7th!!!

I am going to post some new photos of the girls. I'll write more this week after we celebrate Molly's Adoption Day!!!! On August 5th we will be celebrating this special day!!!

The Hills