Monday, December 27, 2010


I love Christmas songs! And being a part of a church community during the Advent season ROCKS! I love, Love, Love singing these wonderful songs about my Lord and Savior’s birth!
 I didn’t grow up going to church very often and when I did it was rarely around Christmas time. (Didn’t realize how deprived I was) I mean, yea, we sang the usual Christmas stuff that was on the radio. But who knew that there was so much more! Don’t get me wrong, I did learn a lot about the holiday season. Things like not letting your grandmother go walking after dark on Christmas. Apparently Rudolf’s nose isn’t all that bright! And sadly, as a child, I was often bad, hoping to get on the list, apparently checked twice by some big fat guy with a long white beard and a red suit. How bad must a kid be to get some coal in their stocking!?!
Everyone knows that a corncob pipe; a button, a silk hat (preferably taken from a wizard or a magician) AND 2 pieces of coal are essential for a memorable snow day! DUH!
I never did make it onto the fat man’s list. Not for lack of trying I can tell you! I mean after the cat incident, it became very apparent that a kid has got to be REALLY bad and I guess I just didn’t have it in me. (Yes, yes, I am such a kidder!)
And so in December with a jolly hearts we sing!
December has been such a busy month. We celebrated a little, we cried a little.
Sadly, we said good bye to my Aunt Peachy a few days before Christmas. This is my Dad’s older sister that he was very close with. I’m very thankful that he was able to be there with his family when she passed. She had been struggling for quite some time. It is always tough to lose family, especially at Christmas but we are thankful that she is not suffering any longer and grateful she passed peacefully in her sleep.
We also have a lot of rejoicing in our hearts this month as well!
It turns out that we will be an Uncle and Auntie a few more times in 2011! We are feeling pretty blessed! David & Erica are adopting a daughter, Zahra, from Ethiopia! She is four, tiny and cute as can be! We love her already and continue to pray for David, Erica and the family as they prepare to welcome this little princess into their home this next year! David, Kathy and Amara + One…Yep they are expecting again! So excited! (My birthday, Sept 29th sounds like a good day guys! Just saying!)
Steve and I are happy that we have finally started our home Study. Paperwork, reading material, parent training, criminal history checks and finger-painting...err I mean printing And preparing our paperwork for our profile.
Looks like 2011 will be another exciting and memorable year!
Steve and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2011!
Amara in her "Big Sister" shirt!
Betty, Peachy, My Mom, Me, My Dad, Steve (1997)

Christmas Family Photo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December! Really?

Let’s go back and catch up!?!

to November…

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I love this time of year. A time to reflect on the many blessings we have! Loving family, wonderful friends and great neighbors! We had our Thanksgiving dinner at the Shubin’s home. What a feast! Great times with family and friends! Like I said - so many blessings! God is Good!

We were excited that we got to celebrate with our long time friends, the birth of their first child, a son, Angelo John Prentice! He is SOOO cute! 

Jesse & Janelle & Angelo

We celebrated Steve’s birthday (and nothing says happy birthday like BBQ!? Am I right?) I’m very thankful to have such a wonderful man in my life!

Steve showing off Anika's gloves
Glad they are stretchy
December! Things are changing. Out with the old... getting ready for the new. I took down all my fall decorations and put up my Christmas stuff. YAY! And with a new season, we start prioritizing things to fit our future growing family. On that happy note – Here is a small update on our adoption process!
·         Still saving money
·         Working on starting our home study (we hope in a few weeks J or less)
·         Preparing paperwork for our profile and home study

Thank you to everyone who continues to pray for us.
In other news:
Anyone need a super duper awesome T-shirt? Taking pre-orders for the Simply Love USA T's! $25.00 each - ALL profits from the sales of these T's go to help bring home baby Shubin! Email me if you are interested! I'll send a list of colors/sizes.  
  •  Excited about a new website my brother in-law is working on…More details coming soon.
  •  Excited for David & Erica! Closer and closer..We can’t wait to meet our new niece! Read Their Blog here!
  •  And we are happy to be Celebrating (in a roundabout way) with Kenny & Amanda Marl as they grow their family!! Read about their story here!
And a Fundraising Event! Dec. 3rd & 4th
My friend Leah Marl has decided to quit her Party Lite Business and she is clearing out her stock!!
Here’s the scoop!
To raise funds for 2 adoptions!
Kenny & Amanda Marl &
Steve and Angie Shubin
Come stock up on candles, or do some Christmas shopping and support a good cause too! 50% of sales from Leah's stock and items sold from the Fundraiser brochure will go to support the adoptions & 25% of sales from the regular catalog or December specials flier. For more info, see Leah's Facebook Event Page! Or call/email me for more details!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saying Good Bye

I keep meaning to update, but life has been a bit of a whirl wind the past month. So I will start my update today with a tid-bit from this past month.
Saying Good Bye
Steve’s grandfather, Nick or Dzeda,( meaning “grandpa” in Russian I am told) passed away this year in August. He and his wife Luba, “Baboonya” (you guessed it, grandma in Russian), were married for 60 years.
Dzeda and Baboonya - two amazing people!

Funny how the Lord zigzags us all around, making a beautiful tapestry called life. I’m so thankful for the people that have been weaved into my life. Put there for various reasons. Dzeda and Baboonya adopted me as one of their grandchildren and blessed me as one of their own. Their kindness to me and my family are beyond words. They have had a huge impact on my life through their family.
Steve and I were blessed to be able to take a trip down to Los Angeles for the funeral. Dzeda – being a Molokan ( was buried in the traditional Molokan way. I was honored that I, being non-Molokan, was able to be a part of this beautiful experience. Molokan funerals are very different from traditional American funerals. One thing really standing out, everyone dresses in White.  Including, a sharp and peaceful looking Dzeda in his White suit, White shoes and White casket. Women wear a Kasinka, a head covering that is traditional for women to wear for funerals, weddings and church services. The funerals usually are two days, but since Dzeda lived in Oregon, he had a one day funeral service in Gervais and then the traditional two day service in LA.
Our whole family was able to travel and meet up. It was a blessing to see family we hadn’t seen in years and be able to catch up. Getting to see David & Erica was such a delight! (They have been a huge help for us with our adoption process.)
We met family and relatives we had never met face to face and talked and shared with new friends. Our family had a great visit with Pop’s father. (Guess what his name is...How did you know it was George?) Steve and I were able to stay with our close friends Aaron and Esther and their adorable little blonde cutie, Logan. We are so grateful to them for their hospitality! We even got to relax and lounge around pool side for a little bit thanks to Aaron’s mother, Ellen. Most of our family stayed with her. (What a sweet woman and what a gorgeous place to stay!)  Thankfully, we were able to get some great pictures with family and even got to do some sightseeing in between all the other stuff we were doing.
Being a part of this was an amazing experience for me. Culturally it was a bit different but in that good sort of way. It is good to be taken out of our comfort zone sometimes. Emotionally it was tough. It was a process of mourning, remembrance and embracing a life well lived. Seeing the fruitful vine and seeing firsthand the promises God keeps. Letting go and saying good bye at least for now, knowing it is only for a short time. Tough to explain how you can have a heavy heart and yet at the same time, a heart filled with joy. The funeral was beautiful.
We all stood close by as Dzeda was lowered into the ground on that second day by his grandsons. Molokan men stood on one side and women on the other all singing in Russian a rhythmic chant. It made the moment beautiful and surreal. All of us dressed in White, each standing with our handful of dirt. The deep and profound realization of what we truly are, Dirt. Dirt made a live.
It happens…
And it is a most amazing gift.
We bloom, flower, wither and die.
Dzeda had such a kind and beautiful spirit. Hearing the wonderful words about this man, stories told of his kindness and Christ-like actions toward others, spoke of the type of man he was. You can see that by his legacy he leaves behind. He was loved and respected and noted many times for his sense of humor! Seeing Steve that day alongside his brothers and cousins, each taking turns shoveling dirt, tears in their eyes. Baboonya standing there looking on, being comforted and held by her children. She was surrounded by grandchildren and great grandchildren. This memory will forever be burned into my heart. Being there and creating that moment with my family. It gives hope and encouragement.  Our hearts humbled by our imperfections but with growing excitement at what is still to come. A continued legacy. God is good! 

Steve & I

Baboonya & Children

Baboonya & Children

Pop's Father, George
Ellen, George & Tanya



Steve & Logan
Aaron, Logan, Steve & Esther

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is our story...So far...

Blog Blog Blog…Back in my day we didn’t have blogs…Oh wait, it is my day! So I guess I’ll just hop on board this blog train and blog away!!

All aboard!!

And away we go…

Well this is and will mostly be, for now, a blog about growing our family through adoption. Our own amazing lil’adventure! When I think of adventure, I think of rollercoaster’s and the very true words of my mother (right before I got married). She told me that life was just one big rollercoaster. Sometimes you hang on for dear life and other times, you toss those hands up out of pure joy. I went on my first rollercoaster while on my honeymoon in June of 1996. It was indeed full of ups and downs. I loved it and the fact that Steve was right beside me made it even more outstanding!!

I, the great and fabulous, cow loving, soccer playing, truck driving, country loving girl know as Angie, grew up in a small town. I went to a small school and met a nickel arcade loving, comic book reading, computer programming, artistically nerdy and VERY good looking boy who lived in a medium town, who went to a medium sized school. We met in early spring of 93 at Wal-Mart. YES! It is true; you really can find everything at “wacky wally world” even love! I’ll have to write about that adventure too..Someday.

Anyways.. Mooving along here.

At the ripe ol’age of 16, I met my future husband. Three years later, we were married in June 96. Steve…where to begin? He is amazing. Smart, funny, kind, witty, charming and every bit a goofball as I am! Best of all he loves me even with all my flaws…

And together with our powers combined, we are the future rulers of the universe and..oh wait, wrong blog.

Steve is a super great guy! He has all those wonderful qualities I knew I wanted in a man plus all the qualities that God knew I’d need in a man. Plus as an added bonus, free of charge, to help us build character, God tossed in a few annoying ones for us too. You know.. just to keep things interesting! My SteveO is my heart and he completes me. Yes I know it is corny but what else can I say?

So we were busy living life and loving our adventure so far and thought after 4-5 years, we should upgrade to the new and improved version of us.
I.e. Start our family. We did all the right things and patiently waited. And waited. And waited

And waited.

Lots of tests, poking, prodding, and getting personal with people we didn’t know. All this just to find out they just didn’t know why it wasn’t happening. It seemed so easy for everyone else. We waited some more. We watched our friends and family as they grew. Bitter sweet! So happy and yet a tinge of sadness, then came the guilt for being selfish.

And the whole time we’d get advice from friends and family and even people we didn’t really know too well. Try this, do that, bla..Blaaaa BLAAA…Yadda yadda..relax..bla bla..have a few drinks..Bla bla bla..

While, I’m sure it was well meant… Good grief… The things people say!! Hahaha! Thankfully, we don’t take things too personally and most of the time we get a good kick out of it all. We know that Love was/is the biggest motivation. Sometimes though, I still dread meeting new people because it’s usually one of the first things I’m asked. I say no we don’t have any children. Then there is that vague, awkward and sometimes embarrassing moment where I don’t know if I should give more explanation or what.

So after all the testing, and waiting and not really knowing, we just took a breather. At some point you have to decide when to stop and move on in a different direction. After a long time, we finally decided to pursue adoption as a way to grow us into a family. Now, please understand that what I can easily write in a few paragraphs doesn’t begin to tell of the emotional sadness, pain, hurt and anger that we went through to get to where we are now. Even now we still have crazy mixed emotions to deal with day to day. There is a song that I like and one line of it goes “This is a story about a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world” Sometimes, I feel like that girl.

Most of the time, we try to keep our happy faces on! Fortunately, God gave us a good sense of humor, a large dose of faith and His undeserving mercy.

So this is our far...

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:23).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My first blog!

I’m starting a blog everyone!! Hooray for me.

Like many things in life, the first step is the hardest.

Welp, I’ll be back to finish this up soon!