Wednesday, December 25, 2013


We had a great Christmas day today!  Lots of presents, family, fun and mayhem!  Can't wait till next Christmas when our whole family is here!!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Whoopsies!!!  Long time no post!!!!!!  Life has gotten in the way of blogging LOL!!  Jared got back from his trip to Bulgaria with no problems at all.  We finished our paperwork and have our I800 and article five approval.  We are waiting on a signature from the girls government and then we will get assigned a judge and a court date.  Best guess is Feb for close yet it feels SO FAR AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pics to tide you over :) 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wonderful Wonderful Words

This has been an amazing couple of days.  We found out this week that we got travel dates to go see the girls for the first time.  This is VERY exciting b/c we were not expecting to travel until late October, and Jared will be leaving in just two weeks to go meet them!  We CAN'T wait.  We have seen videos (recently) of Jocelyn, and feel like we have  a pretty good handle on what she will be like.  We have NO updates at all on Lanie (Lillie) so that will be a lovely surprise for Jared to learn more about her.  I will not lie and say I don't wish I was going, or that i'm not jealous of Jared because, dudes, I totally am.  But this is the best way for it to work for our family.  I will go on pick-up trip and hopefully that day will come soon!

So, after calming down from that excitement, we got an early message on facebook from someone who works with the organization we are fundraising through.  I went to look at our grant and almost passed OUT cold when I saw that we had been given a 10,000 donation overnight.  I IMMEDIATELY burst into tears and called Jared, where he tried to understand what was going on through my sobbing. 

I don't know who donated the money and don't know if I ever will.  If you happen to be a reader of my blog, PLEASE know you have our never-ever ending GRATITUDE.  We can now simply focus on bringing the girls home, and not have to worry about where the money will come from.  I still tear up to think of it.  What a HUMONGOUS weight that fell just right off our shoulders and shattered into dust at my feet. 

THANK YOU DEAR ANGEL!!!    Also, thank you to everyone else who has supported us during the fundraising journey, donating even when you are adopting yourselves, buying toys im convinced most of you didn't need to help us raise that amount, tithing to us, giving when you should have been saving, sharing our story, writing heartfelt posts about us, listening to me cry with worry about the girl's health, listening to me cry with worry over money...THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!

One day, hopefully very soon, I will be rocking these little ladies to sleep, whispering in their ears how much they are loved.  How a whole community rallied around their mama and daddy to bring them home.  I will stroke their hair, and tell them all about the angels who gave and gave and gave, and how mama and daddy were able to rescue them, thanks to all our new friends.
Thank you dear friends!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you <3

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Why this country?

Forgive me for not posting recently.  Nothing is wrong, I've just been feeling quiet, as we are kinda stuck waiting for things out of our control right now.  But, when I saw the picture below, my heart was stirred and I had to post SOMETHING to acknowledge this little guy. 

One of the questions we get sometimes is "why not adopt from this country".  Although there are MANY reasons we are not adopting from this country (and we do recognize that in-country adoption is a PERFECT choice for some families), this is one of the main ones. 

Please look at this sweet boy.  He is in a country that has recently CLOSED to American adoptions.  This is his before and after picture.  Before and after what you ask?  In many countries, children with disabilities are transferred from a "baby" house to a MENTAL institution that will often house children to ADULTS.  The common ages for these children to be transferred is 4-6....

Oh sweet boy, how we have failed the people charged to keep you safe have failed the system as a whole has failed you.  My heart broke and I wept when I saw this picture.  Beyond the obvious bruising, cuts and sores, he looks VERY thin in his recent picture. 

I won't say this NEVER happens in the USA, but it is VERY rare.  Unfortunately, this is not all that rare in different countries, especially once children are transferred. 

We have other reasons of course, for choosing to adopt out of the country, but this is a biggie for us.  We need to protect the innocent, the ones who cannot protect themselves.  I think we are all called to protect those who are weaker than us, one way or another.

PLEASE, consider helping these poor children.  Adopt, pray, advocate, something.  Call a family who is adopting and ask if you can help.  Ask if you can bring them a meal.  Ask them about the children they are adopting.  Do something...please.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

One Step Closer!!!!

We got verbal approval!!!!!!  WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!

Now we need written approval and then we will get travel dates!!!  We are coming girls!!!!!!!

the kids in chronological order!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Questions about money

I stole this from another adoptive mama  :)
We (and other adopting families) get asked all sorts of questions. Since I thought maybe some of you might have the same or similar questions, I'll try to answer one every now and then on here.
Today's question--If you can't afford to adopt them without fundraising, how will you afford to care for them once they are home?

To answer this, I would like... to ask you to consider the cost of giving birth to a child. There are doctor's visits (monthly, then every 2 weeks and then weekly) for the entire pregnancy--more if you have any sort of complications. There are costs of tests, ultrasounds, and medications (if you need any.) There is at least one hospital stay (assuming you are like most people and give birth in a hospital) which also involves paying all the doctors who assist in your birth--a midwife, an OBGYN, anesthesiologist, the cost of the epidural or other pain killers, the cost of a C-section/surgeon (if needed).
And those are all just medical costs--and not even all of them. Then you have car seats, cribs, play pens, clothes, high chair, swings, strollers, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, etc, etc. Now, if you add up all those medical fees (if you get statements from those places or your insurance company, add them up some time) the cost of childbirth is around the same, if not more if you needed surgery or a NICU stay or whatnot, as an adoption. But do you pay for all of that out of your own pocket? NO. Why not? Because someone helps you. In this case, it's health insurance. You pay a small amount and the insurance takes care of the rest. As far as all the equipment the baby needs, you typically don't pay for that either--you have a baby shower and register for what you want and others buy it for you.

But since you probably don't have the $20K-$30K it takes to birth a child, would you think that it means you can't afford to care for the child after it's born? Of course not! The same goes for us and adoption. I don't know of anyone who has that kind of money just laying around.

BUT I do know we can care for Jocelyn and Lanie's needs once they are home. In fact, we've had to prove that with all sorts of bank statements and tax returns and other financial forms that get reviewed like crazy and then reviewed some more to make sure we can. We've had to prove we have health insurance and doctors nearby who can care for any of their special needs. We've had to prove exactly how much money is left over from each paycheck after we pay our bills and that we have enough to pay copays for doctors and feed and clothe them. How many of you have had to do that before you were allowed to get pregnant? None, because it's just assumed that if you are pregnant, you will be able to care for your child. But in case you can't, you can apply for government assistance. We have to prove that we could care for her without that.

So while there is no insurance company or whatnot to help us "birth" our next child, we are applying for adoption grants, selling everything we can, saving every penny we can to put towards it, making toys to sell, and begging and pleading with others to give to help us to get them home. If everyone gives just a little, no one has to give a lot.

Our girls have been waiting for a long time. At 6 and 2 it seems so long to wait to have a mama and daddy to call their own.
If you want to help, please let me know! There are so many ways everyone can help ! Thank you!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Okay folks, this is a long story so prop your feet up and bare with me!

When you are adopting, you have to get fingerprinted like a ZILLION times.  One of the things we need is a FBI background check but we need it to come from the FBI, not the quick electronic ones.  So, as soon as we committed to Lillie (hadn't committed to Jocelyn yet) we sent our prints in and waited.  It takes about 6 weeks to get them back.  I was so excited when they came back but that quickly turned to concern.  Jared's were approved but mine were rejected.  Okay, well we had submitted them early so it wasn't holding us up, no big deal. 

I had my prints re-taken and re-sent them in, confident they would be approved this time.  I didn't have any trouble with my prints when we adopted Eli, so I wasn't overly concerned.  I called at the 4 week mark just to check on them and they were REJECTED again.   Duh duh duh....  I asked the lady at the FBI what to do and she said I had to submit a third set and see if they were rejected again, OH and we had to pay again for it.  We didn't have to re-pay to submit the second set but for the third set we did.  Great. 

So we re-did and re-sent and felt MUCH less confident this time around.  I've been calling at least once a week for the last several weeks.  I actually have talked to a very nice lady at the FBI several times.  She even called me at home after we talked the first time because she said she couldn't stop thinking of us and our story.  So I called and got her again today, which is crazy to me that the last three times I've called I've gotten her.  Must be a reason bc it is totally random who you get when you call.  So, today, my lovely FBI friend told me sad sad prints have not been put into the system yet...and she is afraid they were lost somewhere, bc it is past the point in their system when they should be visable.  SIGH SIGH SIGH.   Tentatively, I asked her if I could send a set directly to her, praying she was moved to help us.  She told me that she was going to do everything in her power to help us.  We needed to retake them and then she would try and help us out.  As we got off the phone, she also told me she would pray for us. 

Called the hub-ster pretty frustrated that I had to drag the kids downtown to get ink and electronic prints.  I dont' love going to our downtown, it's hard to drive and park and i'm a baby and it scares me a little.  I also HATE dragging the kids around down there.  Hubby agreed to let me pick him up (he works downtown) and sit in the car with the kids while I got my fingerprints done. 

So we got to the justice center and I waited in a line behind people who were checking on their warrant status's and visiting inmates....super duper fun.  I kept my head down and my eyes on the prize lol.  Got to the front desk and the lady who you pay couldn't understand why I needed electronic and ink prints.  Told her that was what my  new friend at the FBI told me to do for our best chance to get them approved.  She sent me back (without paying) to talk to the cops in the fingerprint section.  I explained my story to the lady-cop in the back.  She was a bit incredulous but super nice.  AND I handed her my money to pay and she went to get me change and brought ALL my money back to me and told me to KEEP it!  Say WHAT????????  Wow!!!  So she said my fingerprints were great and she thinks the place who did the electronic ones must have screwed something up.  She was SO NICE!!!!

It got me to thinking.  Thinking about adoption and all the paperwork and hassle it can be.  It would be so much EASIER for us not to run here and there and everywhere getting all this stuff done.  Truthfully, life at home is pretty smooth right now.  Eli has transitioned beautifully and has very few issues.  It would be EASIER not to bring home two more children who have disabilities.  One of whom I suspect is left to lay alone in her crib much of her day.  It would be EASIER to be content that I had done my part.  We "rescued" one child already. Isn't that enough? 

And maybe all this hassle and being rejected over and over are signs that we shouldn't be doing this?  But you know what I realized?  Instead of taking today and being frustrated and taking the signs as a negative thing, i'm choosing to look at the positives.  Not once but TWICE today I had strangers go out of their ways to HELP me, to help us bring the girls home.  Neither one of them had to do the things they did.  In fact, it would have been easier for them to do the very minimum, and wash their hands of my case.  But they didn't.  And we won't either.  We don't need easier.  When I look at my girl's faces, I don't see easier, but I see how our family will be BETTER for having them in our lives.  And that is enough.

Friday, June 21, 2013

quick picture update!

He is full of life and loving his freedom these days!

Sassy girl always has her own way of looking at the world!

new pic of Jocelyn!!!!
Hi there Beautiful!

What cha lookin at mama?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A little help from our friends

First, it is a sad say in my little adoption community.  Another child who had a family coming has died before they could get to her.  She was in the same country my girls are in.  Rest in peace little one, rest in peace.

Second, I got to thinking about adoption and the reasons people say they can't adopt.  One of those reasons is (understandably) the COST.  This is something I worry about everyday.  Will we have enough money to bring the girls home?  I know we can afford to CARE for them, but coming up with 35k in 10 months or so is SCARY!!!!  Very scary if we are being honest here.  SO, here are links to children with LARGE grants that would be a blessing to any family.  Please look and see if any of them are your children, I know they would be great additions to any family!!!

Meet Iris.  She has over 16k in her grant fund on Reece's Rainbow.  Her adoption total would be around 25k so she is SO close to being fully funded!!!  Several people have met iris and they all speak about what a JOY she is to be around!  I KNOW her family is out there!
Meet Maria.  She has 15,000 in her grant account on Reece's Rainbow.  Her adoption total will also be around 25k, so very close!!!!!  She looks like a Happy girl!
Meet Jason.  I LOVE this little guy, he is so so so cute!!! He has over 11,000 in his account.  I am not sure on the total for his adoption but I believe it is a lower cost country.
Meet Simon.  He has 10,000 in his account.  He NEEDS a family QUICKLY or he will age out and be unable to be adopted into the USA.  This means he will spend the rest of his sad days in an institution :(
Meet Dixie!  She has over 12,000 in her grant.  I believe adoptions in her country run 25-30k, so a VERY good start here. She is a lovely young lady!
Meet Jaeger!  He has over 11,000 in his account.  The total for his adoption will be around 27,000.
Meet Clarice!  She has over 11,000 in her grant.  She is in a country where her adoption will be around 25k.
Meet Greta.  she has over 10,000 in her account!
Meet Stephie.  She has over 10,000 in her account!!!!!  Hair loss is VERY common in kids with down syndrome, both boys and girls!  She would rock some cool hats!!!
Meet Brandi!  She has over 10,000 in her grant account.  She is a DOLLY!!!!!
Meet Felix!  He has over 11,000 in his account!!
Meet Mark, he has over 10,000 in his grant account.  He has Down syndrome and also Leukemia.  Mark NEEDS a family ASAP!!! 
 There you have it friends.  12 children with grants over 10,000!!!!!!  Please look and see if any of them could be your child!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Because their lives are worth it too

Moving right along with our adoption.  One major thing I have noticed with this adoption is the lack of support this time around.  When we were adopting Eli, everyone was so excited for us.  I think bc it was new and people thought we were great for helping this kid (not our thoughts, but comments we would get from others).  I guess, foolishly, I thought we would have the same excitement this time around.  I was warned by my friends who have adopted more than once  not to get my hopes up, but I was sure they were wrong.  Unfortunately, they were right.  With a few exceptions, it has been a very different experience this time. 

Another friend of mine just posted that she had a family member who actually said she was concerned that by adopting they would be taking things, like brand name clothes, away from their other children.  REally?  First, we don't buy our children brand name clothes anyway, but why can't others, outside of the adoption world, SEE that things don't matter.  Should we leave our girls in orphanages, to whither away, so that I can give Thomas and Gwen THINGS?  Do I want to raise children who would value toys over a person?

Is it okay for me to choose jewelry over rescuing these children?  Some would say we have done our part.  We adopted once already.  Aren't we done yet?  Hasn't the novelty worn off?  How will we know when we are done?  I would say right now that even after bringing the girls home we may not be done forever.  How do you stare at pleading eyes, eyes that scream, hold me, love me, please, and say no, I need this THING more.  I can't stare in those pleading eyes, and say, your life isn't worth it to me. 


This is a ten YEAR old girl.  Look closely at this picture.  Notice how tiny she is?  Notice the shaved head?  Notice how she is tied hand and foot to a crib?  She is tied so she can't get out of the crib and explore.  She is tied so the caregivers don't have to deal with her.  She is tied so she can be ignored, left year after year, not to grow and be loved, but to remain, to exist, to only exist.  Is my life worth more than hers?  Is it my place to decide her worth?  I don't think so.  This could be my Lillie or my Jocelyn in a few years.  Jocelyn is already VERY small, 15 pounds or so at 6.  Should I have left her?

 Vm (2)

This is a 13 year old boy.  His hands are tied together to prevent him from hurting himself.  I might hurt myself too if I was left in a crib and ignored all day, just to break up the monotony.  I see you sweet boy, I see you. 

I wish I could tell everyone who has doubts, or fears for us, or thinks we are crazy, how my heart will never be the same after leaving Eli's orphanage (which was truly doing a very nice job).  I wish I could make them see the joy Eli brings us.  I wish I could make them understand, that even on the hard days, the days I end up exhausted and worn, that I would never choose to go back to my old life.  I wish their hearts would break just a little for these children, who have no one to rub their thin bodies and give them comfort.  Who have no one to kiss them and love them and help them learn and explore.  I wish I could explain the absolute joy I feel when I look at Eli, when he calls MAMA impatiently, when he holds his sisters hand in the car, when he comes to me and asks me to take him somewhere. 

Everyone has worth and value.  We will continue to value and love those we are entrusted with, and be open to anymore who may be brought our way. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Life skills

We have been busy around here!  In our homeschool, we are trying to work hard on important life skills :) 

What?  unrolling the entire roll of aluminum foil is an important life skill too :)