Penny & Chris Goeppner are in the process of adopting two children from Russia.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Chris and I decided this year to read through the Bible. My reading assignment today included Mark 9:1-29. God has been speaking to me lately regarding my faith in Him and this passage challenged me alot. It's about the boy with the mute spirit. Jesus' disciples could not cast out the spirit so the boy's father asked Him to help the boy. Jesus said to him, " If you can believe, all things are possible to Him who believes." The father of the boy responded, " Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!". That pretty much sums up how I've been feeling lately. I believe that God is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do but I struggle sometimes with whether or not He is willing. Especially regarding our adoption. This time of silence where nothing seems to be happening, I waiver in my belief. I hate it but it's true. It just seems so surreal sometimes that we are actually in the process of adopting because I don't see or hear anything happening.
After reading my assigned scriptures, I read my devotional for today in Today In The Word. God spoke to my heart again. The devotional read " As brothers and sisters in Christ, we protect each other from self-delusions. Sin is deceptive. We usually sin because we rationalize our behavior. We convince ourselves it's no big deal. Our heart and will surrender to the excuses of our mind, and only someone else can point out our self-deceit. A loving brother or sister needs to say, 'You've got it all wrong. And you're headed for disaster.' In addition to admonition, we need encouragement when were ready to throw in the towel." Hebrews 3:13 says, "Encourage one another that none of you may be hardened by sins deceitfulness." I want all of you who have been praying for us and encouraging us thorough this long adoption journey to know that we are so thankful. Without your encouragement, we would have thrown in the towel long ago. I also want to say to all of our fellow adoptive blogger friends that I hope to be an encouragement to you as all of you are to us. I'm so thankful for our fellowship.

Monday, February 26, 2007

An early birthday present

My sweet, sweet husband gave me an early birthday present today. He wanted to buy me something special before we bring the kids home. We won't be spending much money on each other once we're parents. He left the house this morning under false pretenses and came home with a small box and a very sweet card. Of course I forgave him for his "white lie".=) Inside the box was the most beautiful tanzanite ring! I love the color of this stone, it changes from blue to violet in different lighting. It is a very soft stone so I have to be careful when I wear it. What a wonderful surprise! Thank you hunnie, you are so thoughtful and I love you very much!
By the way, the photo is not a picture of my ring, it's only an example of what tanzanite looks like.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Russian Class-Week 4

Well, I'm halfway through the class. Last night we began conversational Russian although we didn't get any further than "how are you?" and "what's your name?". Both phrases I already knew but once again, it's helpful to hear the correct pronunciation. I really would love to take a more advanced class though and I'm hoping Natasha will offer one. I'm believing we'll be traveling next month so I think I'm going to ask her if we can get together for a tutoring lesson so I can learn some key phrases. At least I am learning to read Russian better. The workbook has handwriting lessons in it and it's been fun learning the different ways to write Russian. Russian handwriting looks alot different than print. Next week we will be tested, I'm looking forward to it as I enjoy a challenge. We will be writing the correct Russian spelling of words. At least when I go to Russia I will be able to read signs and such even if I don't understand what they mean.=)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A beautiful day!

Florida weather usually ranges from warm to hot but today is different. I woke up to temperatures in the low 40s but it dropped to the high 30s during the night. Chris left the house early this morning and found that his windshield had a thin coat of ice on it. How crazy! It is a rare day when you can see your breath in Florida. We love the warm weather in Florida but I like days like this. I get to wear sweaters that normally never see the light of day and I get to wear my oh so comfy uggs to keep my tootsies warm. I think we'll go take our dog for a walk and enjoy this crisp weather. The forcast says we'll be back up to 80 in a few days.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Russian Class Week 3

Tonight we focused on greetings and Russian names. I already knew the basic greetings like zdratdstvootye (which means hello) but I didn't know that that's the formal use of the word. When speaking to adults or people that you don't know, you use this version but when speaking to friends, or people younger than you, you say zdratstvooy. To just say hi, you say pree-vyet. Most people know how to say goodbye in Russian but the shorter version is paca.
The other thing we focused on was the patronymic middle name. Not that it's all that important for visiting the country. It was very interesting none the less. In case you are interested, the middle name comes from the father's first name. If you're a man you add an ovich to your father's first name and if you're a woman, you add an ovna. You actually go by your first an middle name among your peers, not your last name. I'm so glad that we don't go by our first and middle names in this country, aren't you?
I'm mostly enjoying hearing the pronunciation of the words so I can better speak the language.
There's a guy in the class that is fluent in Russian so I asked him what he was doing in our class, he just likes to hear the language being spoken. I think he talks with the teacher after class to keep his conversational skills fresh. He taught English in Russia for a year and got to travel alot around the country. He said he spent some time in Krasnoyarsk. He was there in the summer so he didn't get to experience the Siberian winters. He did mention that the Hotel Krasnoyarsk was under construction at the time and there was no hot water. I hope this is not the case when we stay there!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

We have been re-fingerprinted!

Saturday we got up at 6am and headed down to West Palm Beach for our 8am re-fingerprinting appointment. We got there at 7:30 and I'm glad we did because we were the first in line and by the time 8am rolled around, there were 20 people standing behind us. The whole process took about 10 minutes. Now I need to find out from our family coordinator what I need to send to her so that it's documented. I have a whole stack of apostilled paperwork that we had to re-do because it expired to send to her. Yay! I'm doing something for our adoption!
Monday, our day off, we set aside to pray and fast for our agency's reaccreditation and for everyone adopting through our agency. Our Pastor and his wife joined us and so did Chris' family. It was a really neat time of prayer with our family. I have a real sense of peace about everything and I believe that we'll be traveling soon.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Russian Class-Week 2

Tonight was much better than last week. The teacher was only 5 minutes late.=) I found out her name, it's Natasha. We concentrated on the alphabet again but also did alot of reading Russian words and translating Russian words. She wrote a list of countries and states on the board in English and we had to write the Russian equivalent underneath. When it was my turn at the board, I got this weird flashback of when I was in school getting called up by the teacher to do a math problem. I almost started sweating! Only this time I knew the answer, I correctly translated the words. Natasha asked me if I had taken a Russian class before, I said no and that I was learning on my own up until now. She asked me why I wanted to learn Russian so I told her that we were adopting from Krasnoyarsk, she knew where it was. I asked her if she does private tutoring and she said she did so I think I'll continue my lessons with her once our class is finished. I want to learn phrases like "Give me my children now!" and "How much to waive the 10 day waiting period?" Just Kidding!!! =) But seriously, I want to learn phrases that will be helpful to us while we are there. Hopefully we'll be traveling soon!
I got to talking to a couple that is taking the class with me. They were excited about our adoption. They're taking the class because they met a girl from the Ukraine that is friendly with their son and they want to be able to communicate with her and her mother. I found out they go to a church near us. They said they'll be praying for our reaccreditation, how cool!
In case you are wondering, we are using a text book and a workbook titled "Russian Face to Face" Level One. I ordered a used copy of the text book from Amazon but I haven't gotten it yet, I do have the workbook though. The first lesson is handwriting in Russian (cursive). It's alot different from printing it. It's fun learning it. Anyway, I look forward to next week's class. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Fingerprints and Prayer

Chris and I submitted all of our info for our re-fingerprinting last week, our fingerprints expire in March and therefore need to be re-done(along with everything else). Yesterday we got our re-fingerprinting dates in the mail, they're for this Saturday. Pretty cool. I love it when I feel like I'm actually doing something to move our adoption along.
Our agency's yahoo chat group is doing something pretty cool this month. Families in the process of adopting have chosen one day this month to devote to prayer and each day is covered! Our prayer day is next Monday. I think it's so awesome that every day this month somebody is praying for our agency to be reaccredited and for various requests pertaining to all of our adoptions. We have got to get some good news soon with all this prayer!=) I'm so thankful for all the prayer and support we receive from our families, friends and from our fellow adoptive families in the blog world.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Russian Class

Tonight was my first Russian class. I signed up for the class being offered at our high school a few weeks ago and I was so excited to start. I walked into the class, hoping I wasn't the only one that signed up. I wasn't, there were nine others. I sat down at a desk and anxiously waited for the class to begin. 15 minutes later I was still waiting (along with everyone else) in awkward silence. I was hoping that someone would be friendly enough to initiate a meet and greet while we were waiting but no one did. I guess I could have but I didn't. 30 minute later the teacher arrived. She took role and we immediately started learning the cyrillic alphabet. She did not introduce herself and I did not get around to asking. Some of the people in the class had taken it before and were familiar with the alphabet. I am familiar with it as I've been learning Russian on my own for months now. About half the class had never seen or learned the alphabet before. We then practiced reading words in Russian and guessed what their meanings might be. I enjoyed that because although I'm familiar with alot of the words, I need help with pronouncing them. She said we'd spend a few weeks studying the alphabet before we jumped into conversational Russian. I was a little bummed about that since the class is only 8 weeks long and I really want to learn the conversational part. I hope she offers an intermediate class so I can continue learning. I love languages, its really fun for me to learn them. Russian has been alot easier than I thought it would be. Easier than Spanish so far. Anyway, I'll keep you up to date with my classes and all that I learn.