Saturday, December 25, 2010

Her last Christmas

Today has been a hard day, and even as I write the title to this post, tears are coming. I have been reading others blog posts, some of who have brought their children home, or are now meeting their children, and some bringing their babies home this week. I am so beyond happy for them, but it grieves my heart to know that my sweet little baby is all alone this weekend, she doesn't even know we are coming for her. It is the weekend, I have heard that on the weekends the children sometimes stay in their cribs all day. Did anyone even tell her it was Christmas?

Well, baby girl, this is your last Christmas you will be spending by yourself. Next year, you will have a family. You will have a brother and a sister who already love you, pray for you and include you in their days. You will have a Grammy and Poppy, who are just as excited for you to come home as we are. You will have 2 cats that you can chase around. You will have a home that you can run and play, and be free to be whomever you want to be. You will have enough food to eat that your belly will never ache with hunger again. You will have more than enough arms to hold you. You will never have to live your days in a crib again. We wait for the day to meet you, and pray that it will be soon.

We love you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good news on the vote

This is from Andrea Roberts, founder of Reece's Rainbow

The vote did not even happen yesterday.  And it won't happen before the new year.  And when it does happen, it will be a vote to go Hague, not for moratorium or anything else.  This is what our team has known and told us all along, and what we fully expected.

Reece's Rainbow is prepared with a Hague accredited partner (one we already work with and trust) to continue adoptions without interruption in the country, with our same amazing team of helpers and facilitators who have built this program from the ground up. 

We are just trusting and having faith in God that we will still be able to bring our little girl home in the spring. 

Please be praying with us for these things:

1. That immigration will be very quick
2. That the Lord will keep our little girl safe, and that she will have a bond with at least one care taker
3. That nothing will stop us from bringing her home as soon as possible

Thank you to all of you who have been praying. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Home Study and the Vote

Our Home Study is done!!!! I am so relieved. It is being overnighted to immigration, so should be there tomorrow.

I found out that the vote is going to be wednesday, just before noon. So, that would be tuesday, US time. Please, please pray that it will not get passed. Or that it would not get voted on. The way it is written up right now, if it is passed, it will halt ALL adoptions. We would not be allowed to adopt, if they pass it, so please pray.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is this your little girl

I just know somebody is out there that has been thinking about Leeza. She needs a mommy and daddy more than she even knows. She needs someone to take her home and love her and teach her and be patient with her.

Are you that someone? Will you rescue this sweet little girl?

Even if you know she in not your child, please go donate here so it will be that much easier for her family to take her home. Many people have the heart to adopt, but the cost of it turns them away. Please don't let this sweet little angel fall through the cracks. Let's help her find a home.

Another blogger has this great idea for a Christmas gift, please go read about it. I think it is one of the best ideas for a Christmas gift. You will be blessing both, the person you give the gift to, plus a Reece's Rainbow child.

Will you pass this on? I just know someone out there wants to be Leeza's forever family.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

yay! Look at our funds

God has completely blessed us. This past sunday we went to a church I used to go to, to share our adoption story and take a church group picture and individual family pictures.

Wow! We are completely blown away by their generosity. The church gave us $3,000 and one family gave $2,000. Plus, a 6 year old little boy wanted to give us all of the change he and his siblings had been saving for a vacation. And it wasn't just a little bit of change, it was two huge jars full of change. We haven't counted it yet, but it looks like several hundred dollars. What an amazing family, to teach their children to be so selfless. It is hard to take all of the money this little boy had been saving, but I think of the selfless widow and want his life to be blessed with more than a vacation could ever do. He is helping to bring home a little girl and give her a mommy and daddy. I hope that I could teach my children to be as selfless as this little boy is.

They also prayed for us, it was so wonderful. The words they prayed felt like they came straight from God's lips. One man prayed for all of the officials, and anyone in power. He went through each one and named them off. All I can say is, I had chills. Another lady told me after that while he prayed, she saw angels standing in between each of those people. Brings tears to my eyes now, just thinking about it. "If God is for us, who can be against us".

Thank you NHCC for all that you have blessed us with. With your generosity, we will not have much left to raise. I am hoping to be able to raise money for another child when we have the money we need.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Slipper Drawing

The slipper drawing was yesterday. Here is the link to the video of the drawing.

The winners are:
Picture Frame - Patricia Ohler
Gift basket from bath and body works - Mike Young
gift card for Outback - Patricia Ohler ( since she won twice, she entered this back in and Becky Gordon won the second time)

Thank you to everyone who donated. We have 38 pairs of slippers to send to the orphanage. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What about them?

It is so amazing all that God has done in our lives, in just the last few months. Wow! Just thinking back this time last year, I never would have expected that this is where we would be, even just 6 months ago.

God has changed ME a ton.

Not just me, God has changed Josh too. Just the other night when we were having our family worship time, Josh prayed for our 3 kids! It just makes me so happy that he already thinks of Priscilla as ours. I do, but to hear it from him, confirms everything I feel.

I can't even begin to say all that God has changed in me, maybe it is more of an attitude toward life than anything else. I know for sure that I feel I have a hope and a future now, or more, that I can kind of see what the future holds. I have a vision. The scripture that says "people without a vision perish" is so true. When I have something to hope for and hold on to, something to look forward to, I continue to press in, because I can see what is waiting for me around the corner.

I think about our sweet little baby girl sitting in an orphanage. She doesn't even know we are coming for her. Does she have something to look forward to? What about all of the other orphans. What about the ones who have already been transferred to the mental institution. Is that the reason 90% of them die within the first year? Because they have no vision. No hope for their future.

I hope that some of you reading this, will also catch the vision and be a father to the fatherless and  hope to the hopeless.

If you want to adopt, and think that you can't because of the money. There is a tax credit right now for over $13,000 per child. You can read about it here. And God will provide if you take the step forward. We are a testament to that, as are the many other families adopting through Reece's Rainbow. I know that adoption is the heart of the Father, and He will do all He can to see these little ones into a family. So pray about it, and then pray some more. :)

Is this your little girl? This little girl has captured my heart. She needs a mommy and daddy to love her, and color with her, teach her to swing, and  kiss her goodnight. She is 3 years old, and could be transferred to a mental institution, please don't let that happen. 

Or what about this little girl. Isn't she a sweety?  She has arthrogryposis. Most children with this condition are only affected physically. She needs someone to tell her she is beautiful and that she can do and be anything. Will you be that someone?

Look at this sweet face. He also has arthrogryposis. He deserves a mommy and daddy. Is Igor your son?

These next little girls are in the same orphanage, so they can be adopted together. Aren't they just beautiful. They have HIV, in their country, people with HIV have no place. When they turn 16, they are out of the orphanage like other children, but they will not be able to get a job. So, most likely they will turn to prostitution. I saw the second little girl on another blog, she said this orphanage is overrun and they have no room for the children, but the mental institution has room. It just makes me sick to think of them having to go to a mental instituion. Will you step forward and adopt one of these beauties?

This little girl has a special place in my heart. She is in the same orphanage as Priscilla, so I will most likely meet her, and maybe hold her and love on her. I want to take her home too. She has down syndrome like Priscilla does, but she also has Fetal Alchohol Syndrome. 
Is this your baby?

I could go on and on, but that is what Reece's Rainbow is for. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This week is the week that our home study is supposed to be complete. I'm really hoping to hear about it soon. I think I am starting to annoy our social worker, I have emailed several times to find out how it was going.

Things have slowed down so much, with the adoption part of my life, anyway. Yesterday, I mailed off a packet of papers to get apostilled. I sent it through FedEx, just to make sure it actually got where it was supposed to go. It costs $20, and that is only one way. I still have to pay for them to come back here. Oh well, God has provided all of our finances so far, and I'm pretty confident He will provide all that we need.

I was trying to think of a good idea for another fundraiser. I was hoping to raise at least $15,000 by the end of the year. We will have close to it, we have almost $13,000 right now. I thought about doing a raffle for a Kindle, but I'm not sure if we would even cover the cost of the Kindle. Anyway, I think a raffle would be a great idea, if I had somewhere to sell tickets. So, if any of you have any ideas, please pass them my way. We don't have access to a building, so we can't do a fundraiser that involves a place.

We haven't heard anything about Priscilla, so I hope that is a good sign. :) Oh, how I wish we could see new pictures or hear something, anything. I get jealous when I see that others have new pictures or videos of their children. I have met through email 3 families who have adopted from her orphanage. I think from Reeces Rainbow, that is all that have. So many families are traveling now or will be soon to get their children, but no one going to her orphanage. So, there isn't really a way for me to find out how she is doing. It is so hard.

Here are some pictures of the kids, and a little of what we have been up to.

Yesterday, we decided to get adventurous and paint on the floor, on paper, of course. Justus painted on the paper, and the walls, and himself, well, just about everywhere. I don't know if we will be doing this again, anytime soon. :)

Look at those cute little chubby legs. I couldn't resist a picture of them. 

Malika was very neat, and only painted on herself. 

Yesterday we didn't paint enough, so today, Malika and I tried to do a painting with the salad spinner and a paper plate. She had so much fun (can't you tell by her smile). Sadly to say though, the paintings didn't come out so well. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

10 days left for the slipper fundraiser

There are only 10 days left for the slipper fundraiser, so if you would like to enter the drawing for one of these prizes, be sure to donate before then.


Digital 10" photo frame (holds 2500 photos)
$40 basket from Bath & Body Works
$25 Gift Card - Outback

You will also get a chance to send a pair of  beautiful slippers to an orphan in Priscilla's orphanage. And of course help us to bring our little girl home. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Random thoughts...

I know I must write something, so I don't leave everyone hanging, things are just difficult right now, and I don't know what to write about, since things seem up in the air. We are moving forward though, just slowly, since we have to wait for our home study to be completed. Our social worker says any day.

Malika has been talking about Priscilla a lot lately. This morning, she sat down next to Josh, and I overheard her say " Will you pray for Priscilla with me, Daddy?" So sweet. I'm not sure what she really thinks about her. She has a baby doll with the same name, and sometimes when we are talking about Priscilla, I think she is referring to her baby doll, rather than her sister. But, we put up a picture of Priscilla on our mantle, and she knows that is her sister.

I just can't wait for her to come home. I am constantly thinking about her.

Yesterday we went to my Mom and Dad's house for Thanksgiving, I can't help but think about next year. What it will be like to have 3 kids, and that will be Priscilla's first Thanksgiving. We went to the park yesterday afternoon, and it was very windy. Josh and I were talking about how she may not even know what wind feels like, or what it feels like to get in a pool. We are so excited and ready to go pick her up and bring her home, to begin her life. And to enjoy all of her firsts with her.

And then, all these thoughts come crashing down, when I think about the vote.

Somedays, I have faith to move that mountain, and other days, I can't see anything but that mountain. All I know, is that we want her home, and we are going to fight until she is here.

So, Priscilla, just hold on. Mommy and Daddy are coming for you.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

News on the vote

I just read on the RR group about the upcoming vote. It is scheduled to be read for the week of December 14-17th, and it is said to be very last on the list.

So, hoping that it either will not be read, or that it won't get passed.

If it does get read and does pass, then pray that they will not stop adoptions that are already in the process, or those with special needs children.

This is taken from the RR yahoo site, about the Hague convention, and why it could be good :

For those of you not familiar with the Hague convention and what the laws say that govern Hague, I just wanted to add that the reason you hear many of us saying "Hague would be a blessing!" (and it WOULD) is because the Hague convention would ensure that ALL orphans in "Priscilla's country" are registered for adoption and that children can NOT be placed in an orphanage indefinite without parental rights being terminated (which happens to a lot of children...hence the reason "Priscilla's country" has so many older children in orphanages that are not registered for adoption or just became registered for adoption at a much older age). It would also GREATLY improve the unknown, unpredictable length of travel, no expediting fees or surprise expenses, no secrecy to the process and what's actually going on while you wait in a car, no unexpected paper work changes and 40 pages worth of documents in triplicate :) It would STREAMLINE all adoptions.

Also, for those of you in process, the Hague treaty specifically says that countries should NOT stop their adoption programs while working to become Hague compliant. So, the Joint Council WILL encourage "Priscilla's country" to keep their adoption program OPEN should they express a desire to "shut down to become Hague compliant". They are actually already doing this!

Finally, I do want to add one other thing to clarify a little about why you hear us talk a lot about the children with special needs specifically. The Hague treaty also says that countries that are members of the Hague convention should FIRST do everything possible to keep the children in THEIR OWN COUNTRY. Those programs start with the "young and healthy" kids. While we certainly hope and pray that it will also one day include the children with special needs (hence Connecting The Rainbow), the reality is that "Priscilla's country" (and other countries in Eastern Europe)are years away from those programs filtering to include children with special needs. That is why you hear the urging to not stop the adoptions of children with special needs (and older kids...who also aren't included in those programs right at the start). It is NOT because we don't think ALL children deserve a family...we DO.

Thank you to all of you praying and sending letters. I have a huge peace about this right now.
I'm not sure what God's plans are for the future of our little girl, but I do know that He placed her in our hearts for a reason, and I also know that He loves her way more than I ever could. So, we are just trusting that He knows best, even if it doesn't turn out the way we would like it. 

Saying all that, I still have a peace about it. And strangely, I still feel like she will be coming home in the spring. So, I am just going on that little piece of hope that I have. We are just moving forward as though nothing will stop us. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Why not? Ok, just kidding, I just couldn't think of a better title.

Yesterday, I tried to take my mind off of the stress with everything going on, so I found this cool blog, and made this tissue box cover. Well, it didn't really help me take my mind off the stress, but at least I got a cute tissue box cover out of it.

I woke up this morning with Priscilla on my mind. So, I got out this little dress that my friend, Judy gave to us for our little girl. It even has a cute matching baby doll outfit. I want her to wear it for her 2nd birthday. Please, oh please come home by your second birthday.
Even Justus wants her to come home to wear her dress.

Today has been so hard. I'm not sure what is going on right now. I will go re-mail the documents. All is not lost in that, I think. My heart is just really torn up. I tried to go shopping tonight, to see if it would help get my mind off our little girl, it didn't. Everywhere I turned, I thought of her.

I feel like I am pregnant and the doctor just told me they aren't sure how my pregnancy will end, they aren't sure if the baby will make it. And even if the baby does make it, I could be very overdue. I may never see her beautiful little face or hold her hand or look into her eyes. I love her beyond any words could ever say. I don't know how this has happened, when all I have of her is a picture. I just know it happened.

Unless God says in a huge audible voice to stop, we will keep trudging along, we aren't giving up. I don't think I can give up. But, in all honesty, I don't want to do this anymore. I just want my life back. There, I said it. Now, isn't that selfish of me.

I don't even want to go to bed tonight, because then I will just have to wake up tomorrow. Ok, I'm not depressed, just sad.

I am so beyond mad right now...

...because, guess what showed up in the mail today? My documents that I sent to EE, 2 months ago!!

They weren't supposed to come back. Arghhh, I am so upset. Because, not only does Priscilla's country not even know that I am trying to adopt her, now I will have to re-pay to send these. And they aren't cheap.

Just praying that things will work out in the end. We are NOT giving up. We will bring her home.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Something that can be done

Today, I have been thinking and praying all day about this vote that is going to be passed. I have been very sad, because I just have this bad feeling about it. I posted on a chat group for other adopting parents from Reece's Rainbow, and someone posted a link to someones blog, this post gave me a little hope, at least to know that there is something I can do.

This is the post:

Even if you don't feel the call to adopt, you can get involved in orphan care. And here's a simple way to get involved today...

By now, most of you have probably heard about the decision in Ukraine to go forward with a vote to halt international adoption until an inter-country agreement is in place. Please take a moment to write to your senators & congressmen, then encourage your friends and family to contact do the same!

Below you'll find a letter that you can use, or write your own.
To send a letter to your congressman:

To send a letter to your senator just click on the state and follow the link:

Please help us get the word out!!

Dear (name),

I am writing to you today regarding a VERY urgent situation. Many families in the US are currently in the process of adopting children from orphanages in Ukraine. Most of these children are older or disabled. American families adopting these children offer them what may be their only opportunity at a normal and productive life free of crime, prostitution, or institutionalization due to illnesses that are treatable in the United States. I personally know one of these families.

On November 3, 2010, the Ukrainian parliament voted to proceed with voting on legislation that would halt all international adoptions until inter-country adoption agreements are in place (see the State Dept. announcement at . At this point, all that is needed for this to become law is one more vote in Ukrainian parliament and a signature by the Ukrainian president. This could happen any day. If it does, many families and innocent children will be greatly affected. I personally know one of these families.

I am writing to you to urge you to act quickly on this matter by 1. Contacting your Ukrainian cohorts and requesting a consideration of revision of the law to allow adoptions to proceed while the agreement is being drafted (as was done in Russia) and 2. Work with your colleagues in congress to begin drafting this agreement so that it is ready to go in the event the law passes.

Thank you for your timely consideration of this urgent matter!

Please take the time to write these letters. Please forward this to all your friends and families. Post on facebook or twitter or wherever else people may read it and help out.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pray,pray,pray....Here we go again

We need prayer again, desperately. Ok, not just us, but all families adopting from Priscilla's country. I have known about this for a little while, but haven't said much to anyone, because it seems I am asking people to pray constantly. And I guess I was hoping it would go away, but it hasn't.

Remember last month or so, I asked everyone to pray about the bill they were trying to pass in EE, that would stop all adoptions. Well, they have been up to it again. I don't know the full details, but it seems there is another bill. This one is to stop adoptions, in order to clean up how they adopt. From what I hear, they want to become a Hague country, basically this is just a set of rules in order to protect the children who are being adopted. You can read more about it here. This could be a good thing, but if they do this now, then ALL adoptions would be stopped. There are about 75 families adopting, at least through Reece's Rainbow, with about 100 children involved, with most of the children having medical needs.

If they pass this bill now, these children's lives would be in jeopardy. Also, adopting families have an expiration date on all paperwork being done, so everything that we have worked so hard on would be void, and we would have to start over.

I know, I know it has been a huge roller coaster. I wish they would just get their act together and stop scaring us. I hope that they will consider the children in this matter. So, please pray.

I have even thought, wouldn't it be nice that they could set a date in the future, like say, the end of 2011 to do this, so that adopting families can finish adoptions, and future families will know before committing to a child.

I have not been too worried about it, until now. So, maybe that is the Lord's grace or His way of showing me it will be ok, I don't know. But, I do know enough to have people praying. I think the bill may be voted on next week or so (actually it was already voted on and passed, but has to be voted on again).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hmmm...don't have a title

Well, nothing new is going on, just a big waiting game now. I do hope everything comes back in time to submit in February. I really don't know what I was thinking when I thought there was a chance to submit this year. Everything becomes clearer by the day. :)

I emailed a lady who adopted from the same orphanage we are adopting from. She said it was one of the better orphanages and that the children are very well taken care of and loved. She said I would be happy with how well taken care of they are. That makes me so happy, to know that Priscilla is being loved and fed properly. So, maybe she won't be as little as I was thinking.

Oh yeah, and we have raised half of the money we need already! Praise God!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Yesterday, we had our last home study appointment. I also thought we would be done with it, and it could be sent to USCIS, but our social worker said it would not be completed until the end of the month.

I am really trying to just trust in the Lord and not worry about things, and just hope it will all get taken care of in time. At least we have the winter break and I won't be stressing over it (too much).

I am so impatient today. I just want to hold her and take her home so bad. I am glad things are not quite so stressful right now. We are nearly done with getting the dossier ready, and there is not much to do on our end, except wait. Sounds good, but is kind of torture. At least to me. I thought I would rather like it without stress and busyness, but now, all I do is think about our little baby, and how we are missing out on this time with her.

Aside from my impatience, today has been a good day. It has been very normal, we stayed home and just enjoyed life. I absolutely adore my children, and I am so grateful for this time to spend with them. My hope is that the next few months go by quickly, but not too quickly that I forget the children I already have. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We have the document!

Well, as some of you know, we have had a very difficult time getting a document for our dossier. The Proof of home ownership. This is one document that we had no idea it would be difficult to get, we have owned our home for quite some time, and even pay taxes on it! 

I won't go into detail about what we went through to get this document, but I will say, we have been quite busy getting this one little piece of paper. We went to the courthouse a total of 4 times, went to the mayors office once, to a lawyers office twice (to get a new deed to our house), and I was on the phone many times to many different people trying to get it resolved. 

I have to say thanks to my friend, Jill's dad, Senator Tom Butler, for his help. I called him last week to ask him for help with something else, not expecting this to come up. So, anyway, he called me back and I told him of the problems I have had, he said to email him everything and he would take care of it. 

And he did! 

Senator Butler forwarded my email to a lady in the legislative office. She called me and wanted to know in detail everything that happened. She said she would take care of it. So, about 30 minutes later she calls and said she found someone to do it for me, and that when she told this person of all that we had been through, she said she would be happy to help us. 

I was so nervous, but I once again went down to the courthouse. I was afraid this lady was going to be mean, too. She was the nicest lady. When I went into her office, she even said it was so nice to meet me, and she said "so, I've heard you have been through a lot". Then she asked what I needed her to do. Then, just like that, she did it. No questions, nothing. When I opened up my folder with all the papers, she saw Priscilla's picture, and said she was beautiful, and that she wanted me to bring her back to meet her.  I'm still in shock that it was so easy. After I left her office, I couldn't believe it, and kept looking at the paper, just to make sure I really had it. :)

Praise Jesus! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

A family for Vika

I've just read about this sweet little girl on someone else's blog. Her name is Vika, she is 4 years old and has just been moved to a mental institution. You can read about her here. This post breaks my heart, please go read it. Just to think that she would cry when taken away from a mommy and daddy that she so hoped was hers. I can't even imagine what she is going through right now. To be taken away from the only home she has ever known, and thrown into a mental institution, where they are forgotten. 85% of the children moved there will die within the first year, please consider donating to Vika's account, so she will not be one of them. Help her find a forever family.

Many people want to adopt, but the cost is the biggest thing that holds them back, so please donate to her account. Give up your coffee for a day, or your soda. Fast at lunch and donate what you would have spent. Remember, it is all tax deductable too. It doesn't take too long to donate on line, don't put it off until later, she may not have a "later"

Her blog link is here. Every $5 donated will be entered into a drawing to recieve an $800 gift card to Best Buy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This has been a very trying week

I wanted to write something, just to say "I'm still here". But, I cannot write in detail what has happened this week.

I would just like to ask for prayer. We have come up against a lot of opposition this week. We have one document that is needed for our dossier, but are unable to find somebody to sign it.

So, please, please pray. Right now, I am unsure whether we will be able to adopt. And I am having a really hard time with it. I have not been able to do much, just thinking about losing our little girl. She needs a mommy and daddy.

We will definitely not be able to submit this year.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Does she resemble Malika?

This is a picture of Malika. It is hanging on our wall, and I noticed, it looks a little like Priscilla. What do you think? It would be so neat if she looked like us.

Where we are

So many people have asked lately where we are in the process of adopting, and when we will be getting Priscilla.

I am not completely sure, but I will do my best to tell you what I know.

Friday, we will be done with our home study.

Right now, we are waiting on getting a fingerprint appointment with USCIS (US citizenship and immigration).

We will have to send a copy of our home study to USCIS and wait approval.

We are almost done with our dossier (this is all the paperwork we will send to Eastern Europe), but we can do nothing with this until we receive approval from USCIS.

As of right now, I am unsure whether we will submit this year or next year. I have been working very hard to get everything in place to submit this year. We still have a chance, but it is looking slimmer everyday. After friday, it all depends on how fast USCIS gets things done.

Priscilla's country will only be accepting dossiers until December 1, then they will take a break until February sometime, I won't know the date for sure until December.

If we are to submit now, we have to have everything mailed over to EE by the middle of November, and hope they will get everything translated and submitted in time.

From what I understand, if we submit this year (which would be close to December 1st), we would not travel to get Priscilla until January or February. If we are unable to submit until next year, we should travel sometime in April (of course, this is just a guess, we won't know for sure until closer to time).

My hope the whole time has been to get her before her 2nd birthday. So, if we are unable to go until
April, we would still be able to bring her home by her birthday. I would love it so much if we were able to get her earlier, but I can do nothing else at this point except wait.

Hope this makes sense to everyone. If you have any questions, just leave it in the comments and I will try to answer them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am going to attempt to write about something that I don't have any personal experience with. I have only read about it. Most of what I have read comes from Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections by Jean McLeod and Sheena Macrae, this is the huge textbook we were required to read for our home study. At first, I did not want to read it, if you saw it, you would understand. It is 503 pages long! Anyway, I did read it, and I am sooo glad that I did, it has been a huge source of information on adoption. I highly recommend it, don't be turned off by the size, though, because you can skip around, or just read what pertains to you.

Anyway, maybe you are wondering what it is I wanted to write about. It wasn't the book, if that is what you are thinking. I want to write about post-institutionalized children, and Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADs), yes it is real!

Like I said, I don't write this from personal experience and I am not an expert on it, so if you do not agree with me, please say so.

I have several reasons for wanting to write on this. First, it seems so many parents adopt and then realize they have gotten in over their heads. They just didn't understand the magnitude of problems children have from living in an orphanage. Or they are not willing to work it out. A friend told me tonight that she knows of a family who adopted a 6 year old earlier this year, and are now looking for someone else to adopt him. I do not know this family and cannot assume things about them, but it is just so sad. Sad for all involved, sad that the parents thought they were getting a child that would be so grateful to have a home, to find out that he isn't, and that he has problems too big for them to handle.  Sad that the child is once again being rejected. This isn't the first time this has happened, remember the story of the little boy being sent on a plane back to Russia?

Another reason to write about it is, another family who recently adopted wrote a post and said it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows and she wasn't sure if she should write the truth, because others come back and they have such rosy things to write about. I hope that she does not feel alone, because that would be the worst thing to happen. For everyone to be following along your journey, even donating, and praying, and then you bring your children back, and it is HARD! Not at all what you expected. Your children don't want anything to do with you. One minute they want you to hold them, the next they are screaming and spitting at you. Or maybe they are just super clingy and won't let you do anything else, but hold them.  And then, having to live all of this silently? That is just too much to ask of someone.

I hope that, when we bring Priscilla home, that our friends and family will surround us and be there for us. EVEN if we say we don't know what we are doing, and this is way harder than we expected.

Before reading the book I mentioned, I really thought that it would be dreamy to adopt. That we would become mommy and daddy to a child that didn't have one. I thought she would fit into our family so well. Really, I didn't think she would be any different than our other children. Then I started to read other blogs, and got scared, because some of their children didn't even know how to play. My whole fantasy came crashing to the ground, but it is a good thing that it did.

I did not even think about her loss. And her grief. Yes, she will be getting a family, but she already had a family. And I will be taking her away from the only home she ever knew. Even if it isn't the best home, it is a home.

For every 6 months in an orphanage, a child will be delayed 3 months. And this is for typical children. When we adopt, I think we expect them to love us, we love them, afterall. We have even been praying and looking at their picture for months. But, they have never been taught to love. They don't know what a mommy and daddy are. Except for the many caretakers they had. Will we be like that? Will they think that any friends or family that come over will be the next person to care for them? We took them away from the people, and the smells and the sounds they knew, will someone else come take them away again?

They have no idea how to attach. Because it is a learned thing. Maybe that is why there are books on attachment parenting. When parenting a child who has been in an institution you have to parent completely different. "A securely attached biological child who hasn't been abandoned by a birth parent, would never believe that his mother would ever permanently leave him, for any reason. And primal loss will always be a deep, dark possibility for our internationally adopted children, because the unthinkable did happen to them." -Jean Macleod

Children in an orphanage won't have continual interaction, sometimes they pick up bad habits, just to entertain or comfort themselves. There could be numerous habits, such as rocking, head banging, picking at themselves. They also have to defend themselves from other children and maybe even sometimes caregivers (hopefully not:(. Some habits from that could be hitting, biting, kicking, spitting. They are forced to eat quickly, and even young babies have to learn to feed themselves or not eat. Some children may even be looked over, so they don't get enough to eat. They may have many eating issues because of that.

And don't even think that by adopting an older child, you would be by-passing the waking in the middle of the night. I've always thought children in orphanages would be great sleepers, not sure why I thought that. But, they are still children, they have more issues and fears than most children. They may wake often and cry out in the night. They have learned that no one will come to their aid at night, and that may cause even more fears. Children who are adopted should not be left to cry at night. The ultimate goal is to build attachment with your child, and you cannot do that if you are not meeting every need that they have, even if it is not one they even know is a need. Like getting hurt, they may not come to you for comfort, because it was never something that was done, so they don't know it is a need, but it is.

I could go on and on, of issues that post institutionalized children will have, but I will let the experts do that. :)

Now, something else I learned was Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADs). It is much like the baby blues. One reason for it, is that you put all your thoughts and time into the adoption, that the actual child and life were forgotten. And when you spend so much time building trust with the adopted child, you become worn out and stressed. Just as with post-partum depression, it is best to enlist help.

I don't write this to scare anyone away from adopting, only to inform. I hope that this will make people all the more inclined to adopt and love the correct way for that particular child. I hope this will make someone want to adopt a child and show them what love really is. And to teach them that even though their situation was hopeless, that they themselves are not hopeless. 

It may not go this way for all children, we are hoping and praying that Priscilla will have a wonderful caregiver who truly loves her and that she will not have to go through these many issues. But, if she does, we will be ready. And we are in this for the long haul. You won't be seeing my baby on an airplane back to her birth country :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pray for the Cornish's

Please pray for this family. They will be leaving in 4 days to go and adopt their little boy and hopefully Aleksa, whom they were unable to adopt 2 1/2 years ago. Please pray that the orphanage director would truly believe they want and love Aleksa.

Meredith will have a chance to speak to the Embassy in Eastern Europe about Down Syndrome and how we raise children with special needs.

You can read their blog here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

little girl

I had a dream the other night, about a little girl. She was about 4 years old. She was all alone, nobody wanted to be around her. There were people in another room hanging out and enjoying life, but she was in a room all by herself. I went in to see her, at first she didn't want anything to do with me, then she warmed up to me. I knew there was something different about her, she couldn't walk, looked very normal, but clearly was behind emotionally and physically. When I left her, she cried.

The next morning, I couldn't get her out of my head. I was thinking maybe she was a real girl, so I went on Reeces Rainbow to look for her. I knew she didn't have Down Syndrome, so I looked on the "other angels" listing. I didn't see anyone who made me think of her. Not sure why I had the dream.

But, I fell in love with this little girl, she reminds me so much of Malika. I think it is the short hair and the crossed eye. Isn't she beautiful.

I asked about adopting her too, but she is in a different region than Priscilla. They said it would be very costly to adopt two children from different regions. If it were only the money, I wouldn't even care, but it would be time consuming too.

I actually fell in love with many of the children, crying after reading about them. One little girl in particular, reminded me of my little friend Lauren, she has arthrogryposis. I cried when I read about her, because it said she was typically developing cognitively, and the only thing affected was her body. Can you imagine, being a prisoner in your own body? It doesn't seem so bad if you have a family to love you. I so wish we had a huge house, I think I would take many of the children. 

I want this little girl so bad, maybe we will go back for her. This process is so hard, I have said when we are done, I don't want to do it again, but after seeing this sweet little girl, I would. 

Her name is Lynne, you can read about her here, she is about 1/4 way down the page. 

I hope she will have a mommy and daddy soon.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

More alike than different

This is an awesome video. It has brought tears to my eyes. I knew that people with Down Syndrome were capable of living independent lives and that they were the same as us, but that they just learn slower. But, this has made it more real.

Next time you see someone with Down Syndrome, treat them with respect and don't look at them as though they are different. Just treat them as you would anyone else.

Today, my friend, Judy had a yard sale and donated half of the money she got from it to us. And we had another bake sale at the yard sale. We made close to $300. I am so excited, because we have raised almost $9000. I was hoping for $10,000 by December. It looks like we will make it. Yay!

Judy gave me two cute little dresses for our little girl. I cried when she gave me the first dress. It is a beautiful pink toile dress with a matching baby doll outfit. I cried because my first thought was that she could wear it for her 2nd birthday. And we wanted to get her a baby doll for her birthday. ( I know it is so early to be planning that far in advance, but I just can't help thinking about it). The second dress is so beautiful too. It is a purple velvety dress with matching tights. I am going to use it as her gotcha day dress. I will post pictures of it, after I find a matching bow. For those that don't know, Gotcha day is the day that they are ALL YOURS to take home. I can't wait.

We also went to the Buddy Walk. It is an organization that brings awareness about Down Syndrome. They raise money to give out new parent packet to new mothers of children with Down Syndrome. How awesome is that!

We met a wonderful family at the walk. We were walking next to them and started talking to them, and then ended up eating lunch near them. They have 4 children, their 2 1/2 year old was born with many disabilities. The Doctors told them he would probably be paralyzed and blind, but he isn't! He is in a wheelchair, and is learning to wheel it on his own. They gave all the credit to God. I keep meeting all these wonderful families who have children with special needs. The amazing thing is that most of them are Christians.

Today has been a wonderful day, but a little sad too. I have been watching Justus walk and play and realize that Priscilla is the same age as Justus, and I am missing out on this time in her life. Oh how I wish we could get things going faster. Please pray with us that if it is the Lord's will to get her sooner, everything would fall into place.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our Yard Sale

We had our HUGE yard sale/ bake sale this weekend. I have to say it was a huge success! We ended up making $1670! I am so excited we did so well.

We put so much work into it. I have literally been busy every minute of the day for the last two weeks. We sorted and priced things, made signs, emailed people about the bake sale, emailed about getting yard sale stuff, picked up yard sale stuff, cried because I was so stressed, baked things for the yard sale, set it all up, and then took it all down. It was so much work, but I had the most wonderful people come and help me. It is times like this that I know without a doubt that I am loved.

So, thank you to all of my wonderful friends and family for giving of your time and stopping your lives to help me out. Thank you to my friends who are moms that stopped everything and brought your kids to come and help. A special thanks to Dee, who came not once, but twice this week, with all her children to help me. And thank you Mary, Linda and Becky, without you guys, I really could not have done it. You have been wonderful. They stayed up most of the night friday, setting up, and then got up early the next morning to finish. And thank you to my mom and dad and my brother, Nick. Thank you for loving our little girl that you haven't even met, that you would give so much to help us. I found out later, that Nick loaded, and unloaded the van, not once, but twice, to take things to the thrift store after our yard sale. And I can't forget my wonderful husband, and our friend Keith, they both stayed up all night friday, watching the yard sale stuff.

I could go on and on. So, if I did not list your name, don't think I didn't notice your hard work. I did.

I really enjoyed the bake sale part of our yard sale, since eating is one of my favorite things to do. :) I'm not sure how much money was from that part, but I think a good portion came from the bake sale. Thank you to everyone who baked. Everything looked so wonderful. We had a table of about 10 feet, FULL of baked goods, and more to fill up later, and most of it sold! I really did not expect that. I thought most would be left.

Here are a few pictures. I wish I had taken more, but it was a very busy day.

I can't believe all that stuff was in our garage. There was more on both sides, too, I just couldn't fit it all in one picture. 

Here is a picture of me with the two girls I was a nanny for. I love them so much. I think of them as my own. 

Lauren was so wonderful, she passed out flyers and greeted everyone. 

I think this one might  embarrass Hannah :), but I love it, she's so cute, and it really shows her personality. She was in charge of  the bake sale. Everyone commented on how grown up she was. Can you believe she is only 11?

Some of our yummy looking baked goods. 

Look at all that money! This is my dad, he was in charge of taking all the money, he's a great sales man too, he actually got people to donate even more money. 

One more of Justus checking himself out in the mirror. He's so cute.

We are almost halfway to our goal of $25,000!  Look at our fundraiser thermometer. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Like a child

I am just filled with such love for my sweet baby girl today. I look at her picture, and see such beauty in her eyes. Today, we had our huge yard sale ( pictures and update to come), on the way to the yard sale Malika said we were going to make money to bring her sister home. Then she said with such passion " she is going to be BEAUTIFUL". Oh the innocence of a child! I wish that I could protect all of my children from the many ugly words, stares and questions that are sure to come. If only people would see life as a little child does. 

Jesus told us we needed to humble ourselves like a child, and if we didn't we would not enter the kingdom of heaven.(matthew 18:3). Children don't see color,race, or disabilities, they see the person that is before them. Why do adults see the imperfection before they see anything else?

"The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

When I think of a child with down syndrome, I think "child". I don't think "disability". I have had so many people question my ability to care for a child with a special need. Not because I am not capable, but because they see a hard life before me. I don't see it that way. Sure, there will be hard days and hard moments. But, I see a life filled with love. I do not want to get to the end of my life and wish that I had traded in my "easy" life for one that was what God wanted. I want to give every ounce of energy, love, sweat and tears to be ALL that God wants, Now! 

God never promised us an easy life, he didn't promise us a life without hardship, he didn't promise us a life filled with only happy days, just read the psalms. But, one thing we are promised is that God will walk right beside us every step of the way. I don't know about you, but it is the hard times in my life that draw me to the foot of the cross.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

What is Down Syndrome?

This month is Down Syndrome Awareness month, and there is a challenge for bloggers to blog something new about Down Syndrome every day of this month. The challenge is called 31 for 21. The 21 stands for Trisomy 21, people who have Down Syndrome have a third copy of  chromosome 21, rather than 2. 

I don't really have time to blog everyday, but I do think it is a very neat thing to do. So, I may blog some about it, or take excerpts from other blogs. I think we will all learn something from this. 

The following is from this blog

The name Down syndrome comes from the man who first described it, Dr. John Langdon Down.  There is no 'S' after Down in Down syndrome because Dr. Down does not own the syndrome, it is just named after his last name of Down.

There are three types of Down syndrome: Trisomy 21, Translocation Ds and Mosaic Ds. 

Trisomy 21 means the person diagnosed has three separate copies of chromosome 21 in every cell of their body. 

Translocation Ds means the person diagnosed has three copies of  chromosome 21 but the third copy of the 21st chromosome is attached to another chromosome instead of being separate.

Mosaic Down syndrome means there are three copies of the 21st chromosome is only some cell lines throughout the body and not in others.  Some people with Mosaic Ds have the third copy only in the blood line and not in the skin, marrow, brain, etc.,  while other people may have the extra copy in the brain and bone lines and not in the blood, muscle, etc.

Down syndrome is nothing to be afraid of.  It is simply a medical diagnosis with symptoms that may need attention like any other medical diagnosis.  People who have been diagnosed with Down syndrome do not 'suffer' from it, they are just regular people living with a medical diagnosis and thriving through life with it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Does God really want us to adopt?

This has been my question all day, and this is why...

My first fundraiser is a yard sale/ bake sale. We sent out an email to all of our friends and family to collect stuff for our yard sale. I am so amazed at people giving, even people I haven't seen or talked to in 5 years are giving.

We have been just collecting it in our garage, but we will have the sale in our old church parking lot. So, anyway the last few days, I have been sorting and pricing everything. A few people have come over to help with it, which is completely necessary, because...

...This thing is HUGE!!!

Our garage is sooo full, and things have crept into our house. I should be praising God for the abundance of things. But, I haven't been. I have only been complaining about how much stuff we have, how dirty our house is, and how in the world am I going to get everything done before the yard sale day. Not to mention, how will I find time to just be with my children.

This morning, when I woke up, there was this awful smell in the house. So, I emptied the trash, cleaned the garbage disposal, cleaned the cat box, spilled the cat litter, made a huge mess in the bathtub, discovered the bathtub drain was clogged. And then when I went to vacuum up the cat litter, the vacuum wasn't working very well, because, it too, was clogged. So, then I laid on the floor like a 2 year old and just cried.

My day, did get better, but was still probably one of the worst days I have had.  I didn't do anything else, except play with the kids. A much needed rest from all the craziness my life has turned into. At one point today, I even laid on the floor and looked up at the ceiling, and forgot how messy my house was. We didn't even get out of our pajamas today.

So, today, I have been wondering whether this is really a good idea to adopt a child. I mean, as people say, this is for life! If I can't even handle the stress I am going through now, how in the world will I handle the stress of adding another child, one with a special need, even.

All day, I thought of this. Becoming even more depressed as the day went, just thinking about how, I must be making a mistake. And maybe I didn't even hear God in the first place, maybe we are just doing it, because it sounds like the right thing to do. Maybe I am just going crazy, and I wouldn't be able to handle another child anyway.

Then, I actually prayed about it, instead of just thinking about it. My answer from God was so clear and simple. His answer was, whether I have another baby or adopt one, it will be the same.

We are not done having children, so whether we have a child born to us or adopt one, we will still be adding another child to our family.

So, I will just hold onto that hope, and know this is what God wants, even when life becomes overwhelming, or when I think I am losing it, or when the kids are screaming at each other, or when we are driving from one place to another, or when life doesn't slow down.

I will start to see the joy in having a full garage. And start praising instead of complaining.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sasha and Maria have families!

I am so excited, the two kids I posted on here, both have families that stepped forward this week to adopt them.

Just last week, our social worker asked if we wanted 1 or 2 children on our homestudy. We know for sure we are to adopt Priscilla, but I just could not get Sasha out of my head. He is in the same orphanage as Priscilla. I knew I could not go over and get Priscilla and leave him without thinking about him every single day of my life. I have been praying and praying that someone would come forward to adopt him.

You see, he had a family, but the mom got sick, and they were unable to adopt him. I know they must have been devastated to not bring home this sweet little boy that they already felt was theirs. From what I understand, they even decided they would still go through with the adoption, but while in Eastern Europe realized they needed to come back home and take care of their family.

So many people were praying and rooting for Sasha. His grant started growing. He needed a family badly, because he just turned 3, and would have only a year left before going to the mental institution.

But now, he will have a mommy and daddy. He will have 2 brothers. He will be loved and adored. You can read their blog for the full story.

I am so beyond happy that he is coming home. And the best part, his family only lives a couple hours away. So, our children can grow up together. I wonder if they already know each other and play with each other in the orphanage.

So, I found all this out a couple days ago, and then today, another surprise. The little girl I wrote a post about has a family. She is so sweet. I haven't had a chance to talk to her family yet, though.

Prayer changes things. I've been praying for both Sasha and Maria just about everyday for weeks.

Thank you, Jesus, that these two babies have homes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The way people see things

Since starting our adoption process, I have come across so many different views about adoption, or special needs adoption. I try really hard not to take things personal, but I do.

When we first started out adopting a child with special needs, I thought it was a wonderful thing, and was so proud to tell people.  I thought everyone else would think the same. Boy, was I wrong.

I had no idea how many people are prejudice. Maybe some people are just "looking out for us" whatever they want to call it, I see it all as the same. What happened to the saying, " If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all".  I have heard just about everything, quite a few people have asked if we really know what we are getting into, or that this IS a lifetime commitment, and then there are those people who have told me all the horror stories of people who have special needs children. Someone even said to me the other day, that they hope it works out for us, because they have heard bad things about people who have adopted internationally. Seriously!? I mean, couldn't they have just said, I'll be praying for you. I mean, we've already stated what we are doing, and just because Priscilla is not born to us, doesn't make her any less our child.

We DO know it is a lifetime commitment. We also believe parenting is a lifetime commitment. Yes, maybe it is a little different, because Priscilla may never be able to leave home. But, we are completely committed to ALL of our children. Even if they live with us their whole life.

Do we think it will be hard? Yes, but it is completely worth it. Without us, Priscilla has no hope of truly "living". Without us, she has no hope of knowing what love is. Without us, she might not ever know who Jesus is. We are committed.

As I am writing this, I realize I just don't really care what people think anymore. What I care is how will she be treated her whole life. Will people love her for who she really is? Will they take the time to get to know her, or will they be too afraid? Will they just judge her because of the way she looks?  Will people feel sorry for her and pity her? I hope not, I hope that they will just treat her like they would any other person.