Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Introduction To Lexi

Alexis will be our tenth child. She is probably our last child!!! Duane is not very receptive to adopting again and quite honestly....I doubt we can afford any more children. As devout Catholics, we believe, that we should take what ever God chooses to give to us. During our 36 years of marriage we have done quite well. We were married on August 18, 1973...groovy!!! We are still very much in love and hope to spend another 36 years together. We adopted our first child within the USA as a newborn baby girl in 1977 independently using an attorney. In 1981 we adopted a newborn son through a USA agency in Albuquerque. After twenty years of marriage, we gave birth to a healthy boy we conceived using, In Vitro fertilization, in 1993. As this child grew older he asked us for a sibling. This began our quest into international adoption.

In 2002, we adopted Christian and Karissa, independently from Ukraine at the young age of 14 months old. They were virtually twinned at birth and have never been a part from one another. Next, we adopted Annie Kate from Serbia, Russia in 2005, as a 19 month old baby girl. Mary Beth followed Annie in 2006 from Borovichi, Russia at 20 months old. Then our hearts took a different direction in 2007 when we found a 27 month old boy in Belgrade, Serbia. Following John's adoption from Belgrade, we found a young girl (6 y/o) in Murmansk, Russia whom we adopted in May of 2008.

It was during our adoption of Katie that I saw a child that had been represented by our agency for several years. I had previously watched her video several years before I had met her in person. Although, I felt drawn to her when I saw her referral video, I did not feel God was asking us to adopt her. She had some SN physical issues which concerned me and so I passed her over and found Mary and then John before considering her again. At this point in time, I viewed Lexi's referral video again, and saw another girl who was 5 y/o at the time and fell deeply in love with her (Katie Aunna). So we adopted her and gave the name of Katie Aunna Gartner.

I never expected what was going to happen with Lexi at Katie's adoption!!!! It was the day before our adoption court hearing for Katie and we had gone to the orphanage to visit. Our soon to be daughter was holding the hand of another child while lined up in the hallway. I walked up to Katie and greeted her in Russian. At that moment the girl holding Katie's hand turned around to look at me. I gasped and said her name in a question like "V" is that you??? The child said yes and I realized she was the child I had looked at so many times between adopting our other children. She looked into my eyes and a wide smile spread across her face. "V's" eyes lite like stars in a dark sky and twinkled at me. I swear her feet were not touching the floor as she was floating on clouds of love for Katie's Mama and Papa. She was madly in love with us!!!

"V" floated on this cloud into the playroom with Duane, Katie, and I. She was so in love with us and I could see how sweet she really was. This is the moment I began to fall in love with her. She was staying very near and directly beside me. Katie was jumping all over her new Papa like a wild child. Duane thought it was very cute of Katie to be running wild like that;-). I was trying to listen and understand what "V" was saying. When the translator saw "V" with me she told her that Katie needed to be alone with her new parents and to leave the room. "V" laid her head on my shoulder and deeply breathed in my scent as she placed her face into my neck.

She smelled me with a deep inhale as though to store this scent of mine forever in a box hidden deep within her heart. Then with tears in her eyes she ask me to please take her too and be her mommy. Tears came to my eyes as I knew I wanted to, but, we did not have clearance on our home study for two at that time and our I171H was for one child. I almost felt defeated before I ever entertained the idea of adopting her. The translator took her from the room and we were instructed to concentrate on Katie. So, we did as we were told. I looked at Duane and said "Honey, please...." and he shook his head NO.

We focused on Katie Aunna and brought our little daughter home to America. But, the face of "V" laying her head on my shoulder has not left my mind's eye or my heart. Duane admits that she is also in his heart and mind ever calling "Papa". Perhaps she is looking out that orphanage window everyday and hoping with all her heart that we will return for her. Her face looked sad and forlorn in the last pictures we saw after we left Russia. She seems quite depressed!!! September is her 10Th birthday. It is my goal to have her in my custody by this time. Only God knows His plan and I hope He will help provide the financial needs we have to get her home.

That was one year ago (May 17, 2008) that I last saw her. I know her heart was broken that we did not take her home with her best friend Katie. Over the last year Katie has advocated for "V" at every possible opportunity with us. At last God has won over our hearts and we have began the process to adopt her this summer. Our home study will be ready in July and we will begin to pursue the process of creating our adoption dossier. If all goes well, I will be sitting with her in the orphanage in August and bringing her home in September 2009.

This blog is dedicated to her adoption and I hope you pray with us through this journey of love as we bring our 10TH child home to join our family. God's many blessings to you and thank you for your prayers for Lexi and our family!!! Trisha (mom2b4#10)


  1. Wow, what a story! The part about Lexi at the end makes me think of Jovan before we left. We will continue to pray for your journey to get your "last" daughter. :) Ask Duane if he is going to discuss with God about more children for you? :)

  2. It's hard to beleive that it's been just short of 1 year since we met in Murmansk. You know that our thought s & prayers are with you guys..How we wish we were going back to Murmansk as well..If it's in the cards for us I'm sure the way will present itself..( like a big bag of money , maybe )....Go get her !
    Jay , Tatiana , & Aleksander

  3. I love the blog about my future sister!!! Can't wait to get her home...she's a darling;-). Love ya...Casey