GOT OUR DATE!

Greetings bloggers!  We are elated to inform you that we are scheduled to leave for the Ukraine for our DAP date and meet our babies for the first time.  We got the phone call yesterday.  Here is how we found out:

Scott: “hello?”

Adoption Advocate: Is Theresa home?

Scott:  “No she isn’t right now, may I ask who is calling?”

Adoption Advocate:  ” It is ______  _____.”

Scott:   “Oh, hello, ____, it is Scott what can I do for you?”

Adoption Advocate:  “Got your dates!”

Scott:  “WOW!  let me get a calendar…Ok, what are they?”

Adoption Advocate:  IT is Thursday, the 24th and you have to leave be there no later than the 23rd.”   “Congradulations!”

Scott:  “WOW”  thank you…We are so excited and I will call Theresa Right away!…Thank you so much, _______  Praise The Lord!…Take Care…

Adoption Advocate:  “Congradulations, Scott and will be emailing you later today…bye…

Scott:   bye:

There you have it bloggers, We are going in a week!  We thank the Lord Jesus Christ for all of your love and support.  Please keep praying for us, the trip, the babies and their future.  Not just their future but for the orphans of the world!

 

Because HE Lives,  Scott and Theresa

 

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WE ARE SUBMITTED!

Hello blog followers.  It has been a bit since we have written on our blog.  Our Summer has been in fifth gear and we now have great news!  As of June 19, 2014, ALL of our paperwork has been officially submitted in the Ukraine and we are expecting to make our first trip there within the next three weeks!  We praise God and are so excited to bring our babies home and raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If this news isn’t exciting enough, we have been approved by Lifesong For Orphans for a matching grant!  

We have included the cover letter on this post: Cianciolo_Church_Fund_Support_letter_(2)  Please take the time to read this letter and ask God what He would have you to do in regard to giving toward our grant.  We thank God for all of you and for your love and support as Theresa and I are constantly humbled that God deems us worthy of your friendship and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  

God bless you…Because He Lives,  Scott and Theresa…><> JAMES 1:27 <>< 

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The following is taken from an article in The Daily Beast written by Tina Traster:

February 1, 2014:

Ukraine Is America’s New Adoption Mecca

A year after Russia halted adoptions to the U.S. in retaliation for sanctions, neighboring Ukraine is becoming an attractive alternative for hopeful parents. But will the country’s protests strand orphans in need?

Back in 2003, when I was adopting a baby from Russia, I was never afraid our efforts would be stymied by shifting political winds, or by anything at all. Like many other adoptive parents, we chose Russia because—though the adoption process was grueling and expensive—it was a sure thing, unlike the minefield that domestic adoption can be.

In 2003 alone, Americans adopted 5,221 Russian children, about the same number adopted annually from Russia since 1999. It wasn’t until 2008, when other countries’ adoption programs expanded, that Russia’s started to fall off.

Then, in 2012, thousands of would-be adoptees were shocked when the Kremlin announced its plans to impose a ban on adoptions by Americans. While President Vladimir Putin said the freeze was due to concerns about the plight of adopted children stateside, it was widely understood to be an act of political retaliation for recent U.S. sanctions on prominent Russian politicians.

By the Russians’ count, the ban, now a year old, halted the pending adoptions of 259 children, including scores of orphans who had already met their prospective parents. 

For those who still want to adopt internationally, the former Soviet satellite of Ukraine has presented itself as an unexpected solution.

For those who still want to adopt internationally, the former Soviet satellite of Ukraine has presented itself as an unexpected solution.

Dieter Gilbin and Lisa Bartholomew are one such couple. The Hawaii residents had been preparing to adopt a Russian girl named Ekatarina. They’d already decorated the nursery for the seven- month-old baby. They sat in on monthly conference calls with the State Department for families caught midstream in the adoptive process.

“At some point, we knew there was really nothing more they could do,” said Gilbin. “Our adoption agency told us [that] Russian offices they were working with were closing down. They also said we could switch to the Ukraine and we wouldn’t have to start from scratch.”

Gilbin and Bartholomew grieved the “child they lost” and moved forward with a Ukraine adoption because of their intense desire to grow their family. (Gilbin has a 14-year-old who lives with the couple). They started the process last March, and on Dec. 19, they brought home their son, nine-month-old Maclain. Ukrainian law requires orphans to be at least five years old before they are eligible for adoption, but it exempts children with special needs. Maclain has a congenital heart defect.

Younger Ukrainian children are also eligible when they are part of sibling groups in which one child is at least five years old. A child must be registered for one year with the central adoption authority.

Bartholomew, a maternal fetal specialist who is familiar with medical complications, acknowledges the prospect of bringing home a special-needs baby gave her pause.

“It was something I had to think about,” she says. “I’m not a stay-at-home mom. I wasn’t sure what we could handle. We are raising another child, who is 14, and I didn’t think we could give all our attention to a sick child.”

The pull for a baby, that tug that allows prospective parents to take a blind leap of faith, propelled them forward. Unlike Russian adoption, where parents had received pictures and sometimes videos of children prior to traveling, parents go to the Ukraine to look through books with pictures of waiting children. When the couple was shown Maclain’s picture, they thought he looked like “a lovely, curious baby.” They spent six weeks in Ukraine before finalizing the adoption.

“He sleeps through the night, he has a good appetite, and he’s delayed developmentally but he only has a hole in his heart between the lower chambers, and he doesn’t need surgery or medication,” said Bartholomew.

Adoption professionals say they’re seeing an uptick in interest in the Ukraine. Theresa Barbier, director of Grace International, was working with 10 families in various stages of finalizing a Russian adoption in 2012. Half of those families turned to Ukraine, bringing home a total of 14 children since the Russian ban was imposed. (Some families adopted sibling groups of two or three children).

Barbier, who began working with Ukraine only after Russia closed its doors, says the country is open and receptive to American adoptions. “The Ministry has been amazing to work with; we’ve been surprised at how good it is.”

State Department officials say that neither Ukraine’s political turmoil, nor its financial dependency on Russia, is affecting adoptions.

“Families who were adopting during protests said they were not affected,” said Barbier. “The Ministry kept its appointments; court dates have not been disrupted.”

The Ukraine has never had as robust an inter-country adoption program as Russia. While thousands of children were adopted from Russia—around 1,000 to 2,300 per year—Ukrainian adoptions to America hovered between 400 and 650 over the past five years. Ukraine is also making a greater effort to foster and place its orphans domestically, though most say special-needs children will continue to be adoptable from abroad.

Many prospective parents have worried that the Ukraine would sour on Americans adopting their children after a glut of negative stories leaked over the past few years—from 21 deaths of Russian children at the hands of their American adoptive parents over a decade, to re-homing stories that expose adoptive parents who are handing off internationally-adopted children, like unwanted pets, without scrutiny or oversight.

A congressional staffer who met with Ukraine’s Ombudsman Yuriy Pavlenko last April said he has no reason to believe Ukraine has soured on inter-country adoptions but conceded that officials are concerned with the high level of non-compliance on post-adoption reports, which are required until the child turns 18.

“Forty-seven percent of families are either behind or have never filed post-placement reports,” said Jan Wondra, (She’s now the national chair) of Families For Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, a parent support and advocacy group. She said it’s critical for families to meet their obligations. Particularly at a time when international adoption is in such a state of flux, and prospective families know firsthand how devastating it is when a country imposes a ban and shuts its doors.

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Hello to all of our blog followers.

Romans 8:15 – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Our spring has been a very busy spring as we are preparing for our babies to come home.  We have been praying hard for the events surrounding the Ukraine as our boys are living in that country in an orphanage.  So far, we have seen from the news reports and communication from families already there in process of adopting, God’s hand of protection.  Please pray along side of us that our boys and all babies waiting for a forever family will be safe and the families going to bring them home will be safe as well.  Also we praise God for the love support and generosity for all who have been praying, giving and loving with abundance.

Here Is Our Progress Thus Far:

All of our documents are being finalized and are in Ukraine being translated into their language for the court.  Our only document left in the United states is our USCIS background check, which is in process as well.  We are expecting to receive that any day so we can send it to Apostile and to the Ukraine.  With all of that in place we are still expecting to take our trip by the end of July – beginning of August.  We will continue to keep you all posted.  Thank you and May God bless you all.

Because He Lives,  Scott and Theresa

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Palm Sunday…The following devotion is from Adrian Rogers and Love Worth Finding Ministries:

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He Is…

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever noticed that the title God chose to describe Himself is an incomplete sentence? Now, most people would finish that sentence, “I am… [something].” But not our Lord. He purposefully did not complete the sentence “I AM.” He is.

Are you hungry? He is the bread. Are you in the dark? He is the light. Are you searching? He is the truth. Are you lost? He is the way. Are you in need? He is your Shepherd.

ACTION POINT:
What are you looking to God to meet today? Trust Him right now to meet you there.

Pray today that we around the world remember Who God Is and what he did on the cross as we are entering into this Passion Week.

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Act on God’s Word

Today’s devotion is taken from Gospel to Asia ministries by Dr. K.P. Yohannan:

Peter risked becoming the joke of his hometown when he rowed out in broad daylight to the deep waters of Lake Gennesaret and let down his net to catch fish. Everyone watching him from the shore must have thought he’d gone mad. Even a small child could have told him that if he wanted to catch fish, he must do it at night and in shallow water.

But this was a moment in Peter’s life when he did the right thing first. He had just listened to Jesus teaching the multitudes from his boat. It must have touched the heart of this fisherman so deeply that he was willing to forsake all his professional expertise and go about fishing in all the “wrong” ways, just because Jesus told him to do so.

He could have politely said to Jesus, “I respect You for being a great teacher and an excellent carpenter, but believe me, Your knowledge about fishing is really off. Take it from an expert—what You suggest will never work.”

Instead, Peter replied, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5).

That day Peter discovered that when he abandoned his own thoughts and acted on God’s Word and God’s thoughts, he experienced a wonderful miracle.

I am often amazed when I read in the Gospels how the experts in the law of Moses—the Pharisees and Sadducees— rarely, if ever, experienced miracles in their lives. At the same time, common people who knew very little—Peter, the Roman centurion whose slave was sick and the widow whose only son had died—witnessed the most incredible wonders. Surely these theologians in Jesus’ time had sickness and urgent needs in their families just like everyone else. What prevented them from seeing God’s promises fulfilled?

I believe it was pride causing them to cling to their own clever thoughts. Pride wouldn’t allow them to humbly acknowledge that they could be wrong and that God’s thoughts and ways were so much higher than their own.

By the way, we see the same thing happen in our day as well. Young national missionaries and simple believers on the mission fields of Asia experience a book-of-Acts-type of Christianity on a daily basis, whereas many of us “Bible experts” seem to miss out.

You see, the foundation for learning to walk with the Lord, for serving Him and for becoming a blessing to others begins with the humility to act on God’s thoughts instead of our own.

Peter, the centurion and the widow (like those simple believers on the mission field) had nothing to hold on to. Unlike those religious leaders, they were not preoccupied with protecting their reputations or guarding traditions and someone’s teaching. That’s why God’s Word could flow freely into their lives and become the basis of their thoughts and faith and, in turn, their actions.

We too must come to God with the same humility and submission, telling Him: “Lord, I don’t know; I want to learn; I want to change.”

And, by the way, we cannot use psychology, carnal reasoning or philosophy to bring about these changes—to pull down wrong thoughts, imaginations and anything that causes us heartache and cripples our faith.

God’s Word clearly says that this very real battle has to be fought with spiritual weapons: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5).

The most important factor in abandoning our thoughts is to look in the Bible and see what God says about a matter. Then we must determine to act on His Word rather than on our own thoughts or those the devil may whisper into our minds.

For example: If I think, “No one loves me,” God’s thoughts on the same subject are, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

If I say to myself, “I failed,” God’s Word says to me, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4).

If my thoughts are, “I am weak,” the Lord says, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’ ” (Joel 3:10).

If I am convinced that “I can’t do it,” God’s truth is that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

How can you learn to apply God’s promises to your life and in turn experience His blessings? When you face troubles, problems or uncertainties and you don’t know what to do next—stop for a second. Ask yourself: Am I thinking the thoughts of God? Am I doing what the Lord would do in this situation? Am I making the decision? What does the Lord say about this? How can I respond to it?

If you don’t know the answer, go to your Bible. Check your concordance or ask someone to help you find God’s thoughts concerning your problem. See if you can find an example in God’s Word in which someone faced a similar situation.

Then pray over the Scripture portions you find. As you do, the Lord will enlighten you. The verses will no longer be abstract to you but instead will become living words for your situation.

Put your life in the context of Scripture. Start thinking God’s thoughts about your situation and act on them in faith. As you daily practice and develop this habit of applying God’s promises, it will become second nature as you grow in following the Lord.

Abandoning our thoughts and humbly taking God’s thoughts as our own truly honors Him and revolutionizes our faith.

Start acting on God’s Word, don’t delay…

Today’s prayer request:   That we may trust in God first and to lead our heart rather than follow our heart in all that we think, do, act and say.

 

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Family Fun

Psalm 128:  1-4:  “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.”

We’ve often heard that the family that prays together stays together, and that is true. But the family that plays together, stays together too. God wants you to have fun at home. Do you believe that? 

Every night at our dinner table we shut off all electronic devises and television, enjoy a wonderful dinner that my wife has prepared and we play a game called “High and Low.”  We go around the table and tell each other what our high point and low point of our day was.   If one of the family members is negative toward another, they have to say three nice things about that person to make up for it. We do this as a fun and meaningful way to spend time together as a family.  We believe that it builds us as a family and also encourages any dinner guests we may have.

After World War II, there were a lot of orphans in Germany. A group of behavioral scientists decided to study some of these little ones, so they took 100 children and put 50 in one group and 50 in another group.

One group of children was given everything that they needed: food, bedding, clothing, as well as lots of loving attention and affection. The other 50 children had their physical needs met except they received no loving attention or affection.

After a year, both groups were tested. Those children who received the loving attention and affection were an average of two inches taller and several pounds heavier. The other group had more diseases and sickness.

Did you know that laughter is like medicine? Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” Man is the only creature who can do three things: weep, blush, and laugh. That is a gift of God. God made us that way. What better way to laugh and play than to do so with the ones you love and who love you back?  What better way to give God praise and worship than with a cheerful and merry heart?  Do the woes of life and this world bring you down?  Turn your eyes on the One who can and will lift you up.  His grace not only saves you, but His grace keeps you as well.  “…whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  Jesus said he came to give life AND to give it more abundantly.   The whosoever is you-so-ever and me-so-ever.

Today’s prayer request:  Pray for the families in our country that they will spend quality time PRAYING and PLAYING together.  Strengthening their homes, churches and communities. 

 

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Devotional Thoughts Today: April 10, 2014:

To all of our blog followers…The Lord has impressed on me to either post or write a devotional thought on our blog.  Today is the first post.  At the end of each devotion I will have us consider a prayer request; so, if you have any, PLEASE  I encourage you to list them so we who all follow this blog  shall lift the up to the Throne Room of Heaven.  May God bless you and encourage you as you read.

ROMANS 8:15:   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Devotional Thought:  In 2005, a wealthy woman adopted a little Ethiopian child (pic). While she was touring drought and disease and famine stricken Ethiopia, she got the idea that although she couldn’t do every child in Africa a favor, she could grant favor to one child. So she stepped out of her world and into the world of this little girl whose existence was difficult at best. Can you imagine the difference in the life of this little girl before this woman adopted her and after the adoption. That woman chose her. She showed favor to her. Her life, once deprived, now had abundance. Her life, once without any real future, now exploded with possibility. What a difference it can be when someone who has everything shows favor to someone who may not have very much.

As my wife and are are going through the process of bringing home our twins forever, I am reminded through God’s Word, that In Christ, no matter what we are adopted into His family—Forever Family.  That means the following:  I once was lost, now I am Found,  I once was blind and now I see,  I once had nothing, Now I have everything.  I am adopted because My  Heavenly Father, My Abba (Daddy), Chose me and called me out of this world of sin and into His world of perfection (need I remind you I am far from perfect until I arrive in Glory).  Our twins right now, as little as they are were born into this world in a country far from ours and in a situation that without being adopted face a life of living in an institution and the horrors of being cast out of society because they have a disability.

They are (without even knowing it yet) chosen by us so we can bring them home and include them (NOT CAST THEM OUT) in our family and bring them up with all of not just their physical needs, but their emotional and spiritual needs as well.  They will be hugged, and loved unconditionally as our biological children are.  Just like on my adoption day (November 19, 1994), On their adoption day their lives will be changed forever for the glory of God.

My Prayer request today is that you pray for all of the orphans to find forever homes.

 

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