For those of you who did not receive our Christmas card, here is a summary of 2011 for our family. If you did not receive a card, I likely do not have your address or was unsure if you have moved or not, so I didn't send one. You can inbox me your address and I will be happy to send one to you.
I am aware of all the typing errors and redundant words. However, I wrote this letter in about 20 minutes as it needed to go out in the mail before the madness began and we traveled for the holidays. In my defense, Tim and Katie (may or may not have) read this letter before I mailed it and they both said it "looked good." My apologies. By the way, we had these portraits taken by a good friend (thank you, Michelle Barnett) in Pinehurst back in November.
Dear Friends and Family,
Dear Friends and Family,
What an exciting year this has been! It was full of ups and downs and so many blessings! We are pleased to announce we welcomed our precious Brandon Sergey into our family forever on May 5, 2011! What a wonderful child God has blessed us with. He is a handsome, blond-haired 11-year-old boy who is happy, loving, kind and very athletic. Those of you who do not follow my Facebook are probably surprised that we do not have 2 boys, Maxim and Roman, who we announced we would be adopting last Christmas. The condensed version of the story is we met the boys at the end of March and both boys did not want to be adopted. They felt they were better off at the orphanage. So, brokenhearted, we traveled back to the capital of Ukraine where God led us to Brandon from the numerous other available boys in Ukraine. Though it was heartbreaking to experience a failed adoption, looking back we can clearly see God’s hand in the whole situation.
Tim is still working as a Senior Network Engineer at L-3 Communications. He very much enjoys what he does. He travels several times a year all over the world and within the States and enjoys that. He very much enjoys having another man in the house to play sports with and video games. It is so much fun to see the 2 of them wrestling and teasing back and forth about who is stronger or manlier.
I stay busy working at the church and academy as the Business Manager. I oversee the finances of the church and academy and more recently I’ve begun to oversee the church’s Cafè & Bookstore. I enjoy this job a lot. It has stretched me, but I very much enjoy learning and growing while serving in the capacities that I’m needed in the ministry. I am beginning my 3rd year of instructing Personal Finance online at the University of Phoenix which I absolutely love and feel privileged to have such an opportunity.
Brandon is 11 this year. He came home from Ukraine on May 14th and has grown 2 ½ inches already. His English is coming along quite well. I would say he can speak as well as a 5-year-old American child in only 7 months! He played soccer this fall and did an excellent job. In fact, he scored all of the goals for his team for the year except 3 goals. This winter he’s involved with basketball clinics and loves every minute of this new sport. Since he’s been home he’s learned to ride a bike, hit a baseball, throw a football, swim, rollerblade, play basketball and play Frisbee golf. He thoroughly loves being part of a family and is adjusting very well.
Katie is 10 and began her 5th year of piano after taking an 8 month hiatus from it. The break was the best thing for her because she came back to it enthusiastic and loves to practice and attend her lessons. She made the A Honor roll her first semester of 5th grade. She’s joined the Art Club at school and is doing very well. Katie and Brandon are very close to one another and both enjoy building forts, designing new “inventions” and drawing together. Katie was baptized this past March. She is really growing to love the Lord more every day and we can see evidence of this growth in her life.
Kylie is 8 and in 3rd grade. She is really coming out of her shell. She’s made several new friends, especially a new girl she plays with daily in our neighborhood. She’s our gifted little diver and a very strong swimmer. Last month she began her orthodontist journey. She has a whole mouth full of metal gear on now in preparation for the braces she will receive in a few years. She is a sport through it all as I’m sure it is very uncomfortable for her. She fills her time with playing with Haley and her special neighborhood friend.
Haley is 6 and in 1st grade. She made the A Honor roll her first semester. She continues to be our little social butterfly. She’s generally a friend to everyone, but her best friend is Kylie. She’s our naturally poised and ladylike little daughter. This Christmas she is missing her 1st little bottom tooth and is very proud to finally have her gap in her mouth like all the other 1st graders. This little gap certainly doesn’t get in the way of her whistling or her singing at all!
We trust all of you are doing well. We have heard from some of you and are anxious to hear from all of you this Christmas. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well.
Love, Tim, Carinda, Brandon, Katie, Kylie and Haley