Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hospitality?

Please visit this blog! I need to be reminded of this each day! I admit, I am not good at this. I want PERFECTION! And when I don't get it, I just don't want anyone over!

Abigails leftovers

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pic of my Yana!



Nope, this isn't new. This was last year, but it is a picture I don't have! And look, proof that yes, she is able to stand with support all on her own! I can't wait to hold her! But boy, we need to help with that haircut! I am thinking bows or a headband. :)

Now for a bit of update info:

Yana will be 7 in March. She currently weighs 25.5 lbs. and she is 37.8 inches tall. None of her development "measurements" such as physical, emotional, social etc are above 11 months. Her lowest "grade" was 4 months! She shows preference for only one little boy who is in the crib next to hers. That makes me sad to think of leaving him behind. He is like her brother. :(

Tavi just turned 4 in November. She currently weighs 24 lbs. and is 34 inches tall. She is at 18 months for her development level. She is WALKING and TALKING a bit. Considering her prematurity, I find this amazing! Also, it was noted she enjoys being around other children, which is good!

As a comparison, Luke, who will be 4 in February weighs 32.5 lbs. and is 38.5 inches tall. He is in about the 30th percentile for his measurements. So that gives you a clue just how tiny these babies are!

On the upside, they should be able to wear my nieces hand me downs, and even some of the neutral stuff of Lukes. At least till we get their health improved!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A family for Aaron?

Allow me to introduce you to a beautiful little boy. His name is Aaron, he's 5, and he has just been transferred out of an orphanage to an institution. The orphanage has been his home for 5 years. It lacked so much, and yet it was all he knew, it was it's own kind of security for this little orphaned child.

Now this 5 year old boy is in an institution. An institution for the mentally and physically ill and disabled. A 5 year old is ripped from the arms of the only family he has ever known, to be taken away by strangers to another "family". Only this family has less love, less food, less medical care, less laughter, and even less hope. And let's face it, when I say family I am only saying the word. This is NOT a family, it is a holding cell for those with no hope of ever getting out. The likelihood of Aaron being adopted from here is slim at best. Each day he spends here he will regress until so much hurt is locked inside that only a shell will be left. The smile you see on his face will be one of his last if he is not soon broken free from walls of this orphan prison. He needs his mommy and daddy to ransom him NOW!

I just have this feeling in my heart that Aarons family is out there. Maybe they are a little out of the box as far as their view of what makes a good adoptive family. Maybe they look at their finances and think it isn't the right time. Maybe they have "raised" their kids and think they are too old to start over.

But maybe, just maybe they will turn to God and ask what HIS plan is, what are HIS thoughts, where does HIS heart want them to go. Maybe, because they know how awesome God is, because they know that ALL THINGS are possible with GOD, just maybe they will "leap knowing that they will either be taught how to fly or there will be something solid for them to stand on!"

It is my prayer that Aaron cries at night for a mommy to come and love him. I pray he cries because that means hope is still alive in his little boy heart. He wants a daddy to take him fishing, he wants a mommy put a bandaid on his skinned knee, he NEEDS a mommy and daddy to say "YOU ARE WORTH IT!". He needs to hear them say, and live out the attitude of, I will "walk through any fire for you" my son, for you are worth it!

Do you have the courage? Do you have what it takes to walk this journey? Are you willing to let God, by grace, fill in your cracks so that Aaron gets his family? Don't be afraid, Gods heart is for the orphan! God's strength is sufficient. Be the vessel through which God gives Aaron his miracle!

Personally, I think everyone should be looking at themselves in a mirror and asking God "Will you send me?" You need to realize that Gods glory shines brightest from imperfect situations, not perfect ones. So don't look at the can nots. Pray to God to reveal to you the CANS!

And if I don't have you yet, I think Aarons mom and dad should take a look at this picture of their son, dont' you?

[the picture is big, so click on it to see it all!]



And here is a little more info: Aaron is a darling, blonde haired and blue eyed boy who was born with arthrogryposis. He is very high functioning, cognitively normal, and is able to walk on on his own. His feet are nearly normal, and his hands are only minimally affected. He stands straight and tall and is very active! Aaron has recently been transferred to the institution, so we need a family for him FAST! He deserves to have a loving family, not to be stuck behind 4 walls for the rest of his life!

If you are still uninspired, listen to this:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Prayer for good news!

Our facilitator is picking up the girls full referrals tomorrow. I am praying that there is good news in them, or at least nothing new that is bad! I am also praying there are new pictures. It has been a year. I know I will be meeting them soon, but I want to be as prepared as possible. And I just can't wait to see them, meet them love on them, and see with my own eyes just what is goign on with them.

So please keep them in your prayers, and the referrals as well! I should be able to post some info and maybe even their pictures if I get them via email!

Thanks.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas in Bulgaria....

MERRY CHRISTMAS MY SWEET GIRLS!


Here it is, Christmas day in Bulgaria. I wish I was there with you, I wish even more that you were here with us. WE LOVE YOU! I like to think many people are praying for you two this day. You have a loving family here who can't wait to hold you in our arms. You have a birth family, and I know that in their hearts they grieve for not being able to raise you. I like to think, this day of all days, that we all bow our heads in prayer for you, praying blessings to rain down upon you. I like to think that they will know you are soon to be adopted, and that their hearts rejoice at answered prayer.

I love you both.... more than I ever thought I could considering we have only met in my dreams and in my heart!

Again.... Merry Christmas girls. You are never far from my thoughts.

Mommy Loves You!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Greatly saddened today....

I just heard that Derek Loux has passed away due to a car wreck this morning in Nebraska.

This man had such a passion and heart for orphans! He and his wife adopted 3 boys about a year ago. And almost at the same time adopted 2 older girls from the Marshall islands as well, making their family a family of 10 kids?, 8 of whom were adopted.

He was a part of IHOP in Kansas City. The world has lost a champion, but heaven has gained a saint.

My heart goes out to this family, 2 days before Christmas. I can only imagine their sorrow in wanting him here and their rejoicing in knowing he is seeing his savior face to face! I will be remembering them in prayer.

God does't always make sense..... but He is always good!

The Loux family blog

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If its about the finances.....

As for financing an adoption, I want those who are doubting or have questions to understand the love in Gods hearts for these little ones! We put the initial $3500 we had to pay on our credit cards. We already had a credit card debt of $13,000. That debt currently, even with the $3500, is around $10,000... so it is going DOWN!

We were prepared to put the whole adoption on our credit card, or take out a loan to if need be. We figured about $22,000 of new debt because of the adoption. Considering our less than desirable financial position, I still always felt a peace about the money coming from somewhere. Thinking if it was Gods will that we put it all on a credit card, then that is what we would do. Always trusting He would help us pay it off.

As things are progress via fundraising, we may end up not having to put ANY of it on a credit card! It blows my mind! Praising God!

I am not saying that regardless of financial position, one should just jump into an adoption. But I AM SAYING to PRAY A LOT! And to take Gods leading seriously and put your hope and faith in Him!!! It is when there isn't an obvious road, or there are pitfalls, or mighty struggles that Gods glory is able to shine most brightly!!!

This journey of adoption is possible only because of Gods love and presence at work in the hands and lives of all who have been a part of our journey!!!!

Praying Gods blessing over all of you in the process of adoption, or those who are considering committing! May God lead, and may you forever be a willing follower!

With 3 days left until Christmas, the birthday of my Savior, I pray that all of you are feeling His love and peace in your hearts tonight!

Monday, December 21, 2009

moving right along

I have made, courtesy of my facilitator, hotel reservations in Bulgaria! How exciting is that I ask you? The hotel even has a web site!

Hotel Budapest

The menu in the hotel restaurant has me drooling! :) [except for the lamb, I don't eat cute things!]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I have too much free time... not really

But I was bored, so look what I did! :)





Hey, be nice. I never claimed to be a professional! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

FUNDRAISER SUCCESS!!!!

Our church was praying to raise $1000 tonight with the murder mystery/taco dinner fundraiser. Drum roll please.... We were able to raise over $1600!!!!! That puts us over the $5000 mark with all combined grant donations, and we still have almost 4 weeks left to go! Praising the Lord! :)

WOW! Our matching grant....

So we have a matching grant of up to $5000. "My" goal was to be half way there by Christmas. As of today we are just $1270 SHY of $5000! Way past our goal!!!!! AND our church's big fundraiser for us is tonight! We are praying for it to bring in $1000!

What I am feeling is indescribable. I pray that all who have contributed in time, money and/ or prayer are greatly blessed by GOD because of their selfless generosity! What I can never fully repay, I put in Gods hands and ask that he generously rewards those who are answering His call to give! From the bottom of my heart.... THANK YOU ALL!!!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I bought plane tickets!!!

I am freaking out in a good way!!!!!! :) 2 round trip tickets to Bulgaria! Hooray!

Don't you love feeling loved? :)

I am married to the most wonderful man! He brought me the nicest gift! He brought me a calf! John was at a cattle sale yesterday and they were trying to sell a little weaned calf that no one would bid on. He was sickly looking, skinny, his head hung real low. John felt so sorry for it and thought, Kelly would love to love on this little guy. So he bought it for me!!! And just to share the sad price of this little calf... he paid $15 bucks for it!

Luke named it for me. He wants to call him Kuma. :) I have no idea why, but he was very proud of his creation! LOL

Here is our newest little guy: [please excuse the messy pen, it is a very temporary holding!!!!]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

hosting opportunity... desperate need!

I have a friend who is needing to place 2 girls, separately or together. They are foreign exchange students from China. They would need to be enrolled in your local highschool. Currently they are in California, but can go anywhere in the US. Their host families both lost their jobs and the deadline to hvae them moved is this Friday.

If you are at all interested, you can call Sudy [rhymes with Judy :)] @ 1-877-238-8729.

I can also get you her email if you need it. I had almost taken a job with her a year ago, but then we committed to the girls and I just couldn't handle anymore paper work! She is easy to talk to, and some day I might just take her up on the job offer. :) ... when my life finally slows down. LOL

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Good day = one dead mouse :)

Good news! Our mouse is dead, the cat got him. However, this is after the poor thing was caught in a trap. But hey, I'm not picky. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

ARRGGGHHH, Mondays!

What a lovely cloudy, cold and windy day! NOT!

Sometimes you just want a break huh? To start this lovely day we have 1 working toilet, the other one is broke because Luke flushed his brothers tooth brush down it. In his words..."I didn't flush MY toothbrush down the toilet." This was said AFTER he blamed the cat! 1 working toilet with 9 people on a school morning isn't easy, and the boys all proclaimed it too cold and windy to go outside!

Then we also have one sink, as the other sink is clogged. But it is the sink in the bathroom with the broken toilet that works so that actually was a blessing ...

AND to make things really, really great... there is a MOUSE in my living room. One of my cats tried to get it, but she just succeeded in chasing it from one piece of furniture to the other. So now I have a mouse trap under our TV stand, since that is the only place the cat can't get under. I don't want to know how many mice I don't know about!

AND all my kids are ready for Christmas break, as not one of them wanted to go to school this morning. They get on the bus by 6:45... so let's just say it took some convincing! Oh, and James has lost the computer and x=box today... he decided being mouthy was good entertainment at 6 in the morning.

I am tired. When is bedtime?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Interested in international adoption?

Think outside the box, get out of your comfort zone, stand up and fight for a childs life, make a real and lasting difference in the life of a child, take it to God and let Him lead!!!!!

**** I know most of my blog readers are adopting or have adopted already... but in case someone else comes along and God starts to move in their hearts... here is some information to spur them on:

1. Visit www.reecesrainbow.com

2. Play around the site, learn a little, inquire if you have questions... it a commitment free learning time. :)

3. As you do this, pray, evaluate your life, where is it going?, what is Gods will for your life?, Have you sought His will lately?

4. Look at the photos of waiting children, the angel tree link is a good place to start. Remember that these are REAL children, in DESPERATE situations, and that you REALLY CAN make a difference in the world of a child.

5. Throw out the logic of the world, and pray to God for HIS wisdom on the choices you make.

Thats a start anyway... :) In the meantime, here are some photos of little ones that pull on my heart [well, they all do, but some just speak louder. :)]













Saturday, December 12, 2009

Intricately designed by God

Every now and then there are children listed on Reeces Rainbow, and they are in the same orphanage AND somehow in my mind they become siblings that just have to be together! Vera and Alina are 2 such girls. They are both darling. Look at their beautiful smiles. Add the the fact that they both have CP, and to me look alike, and they just need to go home together. Ask your husband today how he would feel about adopting 2 little girls with blond hair, CP, and gorgeous smiles... 2 little girls that need a mommy, and need a hero... er I mean daddy. :) Ask your husband, but ask God first! :)



Vera (19)
Girl, Born April 8, 2005
SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!

GRANT in the amount of $1171

Vera is a darling, energetic and happy little girl. She has mild CP and is able to walk on her own. She is very capable and smart. She is already 4 and needs a family quickly!

UPDATE: Infantile cerebral paralysis, double hip dysplasia, systemic violation of the speech (middle level) She is very friendly and smily girl. She eats herself, can walk holding somebody`s hand. After spending some time with her you start understanding Vera`s speech. According to caregivers words she is
very prospective girl, she only needs individual support and treatment.
*** Vera is facing the mental institution soon, please someone give her the life she deserves! *



Alina (19)

Girl, Born April 2, 2007

How about this ittle pixie doll? Alinahas blonde hair and giant blue eyes. She has mild CP, and is diagnosed with hydrocpehalus, but I don't see that in her. She does have some strabismus, but she is a very happy, affectionate little girl! Working on her walking!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Question for large families...

How do you deal with your kids wanting friends over, and to spend the night? I love my kids friends, I enjoy kids. But having friends over is always so hard... I suppose being as we live in the country, esp. when weather is cruddy there is not as much to do. It is always crazy. The thing is everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, wants to come over ALL the time! I feel so guilty for saying no, but John works every single day but Sunday. Saturday night we go to church. ....

It woudl be so easy to live in town and just invite someone over for a couple of hours. But we live about 15 miles from town and the kids go "ballistic" if I suggest a short visit. :( ... and so then I feel guilty.

Do you just not have friends over? Do you look at this as just part of your life for now? In our house there are diverse interests and personalities... so nothing is ever easy. ... :)

We have 3 friends over tonight. 2 fpr Quincy and 1 for James. Figured it best to "get it over with". They are all sweet kids! I just wish I could get away with doing this once a year!

T.R.A.V.E.L.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Houston, we have lift off!!!!!!!!!!


OHHHHHHHHHHHH, you want to know when???? Well, it's not yesterday like I really wanted...;) BUT....

JANUARY 17TH THROUGH JANUARY 23RD!!!!!!!! This will work out wonderfully as the last day for our matching grant is the 11th and all country fees will need paid before we travel! Praising God!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some days my heart just aches....

I don't know what makes some days harder than others. But there are those days that my heart refuses to be stilled and just aches all day. I wonder what the girls are doing. What did they eat today? Are they warm? Have they been held or talked to? Have they smiled or laughed today? Were they excited about anything?

But mostly, I just sit and wonder how long before I never have to wonder about these things again. Because they will be home... being loved, fed, played with, and held. Someday their world will be radically different than it is right now. At first they will not see the blessing they ahve been given, because they will greatly miss the only "home" they have ever known. But soon the love of a family will help heal their hurts, and life will be better than ever before.

Missing them a lot today. Wishing I could show them the beautiful snowfall!

SNOW DAY! uh... make that 2 snow days!

ARRGGHHH!!! I LOVE my kids home! BUT SHEESH! You would think they were all on a sugar high/caffeine kick! And 3 of them were outside from 6:30- to almost 9:30 this morning! What happened to nap time?!


Just heard: NO SCHOOL TOMORROW! Maybe we will make gingerbread cookies?!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family photos... sort of...

Ha! Not really. But I always take a picture of all my kids in front of our Christmas tree. Some years it isn't too hard, others it is impossible. This year resembled the impossible. And they are all getting tall enough, pretty soon we won't even be able to SEE the tree!

Oh I got it done. And sadly, these are the best 3! Sorry if they are kind of dark, I couldnt' get my editing to do any good!

We had just finished decorating the tree so excuse what they have on. Pay no attention to Logan. He HATES pictures, and refuses to "pose" for family pics. I may have threatened him a bit... :) YES, Cale is wearing his halloween ninja costume. He wears it all the time, even though he is 12! LOL And YES, my lovely 9 year old daughter loves her skull shirt, at least is has a good message about recycling! And YES, it was a high of 25, but James thought shorts and a t-shirt were plenty warm enough. You get the idea... I was taking this pic one way or another!!!! :)








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These are photos of John, our oldest son Logan [15], and our next oldest Nolan [13]. Nolan has not hit that major growth spurt yet, but he takes after Johns side of the family so may not reach the heights that Logan and most likely Cale will. You can see that at 15 Logan is taller than his dad! I found it pretty impressive that my 80 lb. Nolan can hold my 140 lb. Logan!








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This is a great picture of Nolan. He is your quintessential middle child. Kind, responsible, laid back, friendly, a good care taker and a total sweetheart [don't worry, he doesn't read this blog so his "teenage manhood" wont' be offended :)]. I don't talk enough about him. He is a joy to parent, and an integral part of this family running smoothly... or at least our version of smoothly. :) Isn't he just adorable!? He frets over not having a girl friend. My kids are not allowed to "go out" with someone until the 8th grade. Well, here he is in the 8th grade and no girl friend in sight. I tell him not to worry, he will have plenty of opportunities for girlfriend as he is respectful, nice, funny, good looking, smart, you name it! But hearing that from your mom doesn't go to far when you are 13! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lovin' Life....

Did you know on our next anniversary I will have been Kelly Mayden for as long as I was Kelly Dean? Cool huh?! I have never regretted my choice of marrying John a month after I turned 18. What can I say? I LOVE MY LIFE!






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And I just had to include this 'cause I think it is a cute one of Luke. :) I love his eyelashes. It just isn't fair that those lashes are on a boy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Specifically chosen....

Most of my "friends" that are adopting 2 at once, or more, are adopting with similar disabilities. Many of them are adopting children with Down syndrome. I have often thought, maybe it would be better to do that so that Yana would have a "sister or brother" as a pal for life! But to do that... we would lose Tavi. And I can't do that!

You see, when we first committed to the girls, we did so with both of them at once. God had given us a sign that these two were who he had in mind for us. We had inquired about 7 other children as well as Tavi and Yana. Initially we were just going to commit to Tavi, but then we talked about adopting 2. So we decided about a few that we were both drawn to, and who our "first pick" was. But we also were wanting to adopt from the same orphanage, which saves you $2000 plus!

We then inquired about if any of them were in the same orphanage. There were 2 boys. BUT then there was one girl, while not in the same orphanage was in the same city and there would be no extra fees involved. That little girl was Yana, and wouldn't you know she was our first pick!

But her "issues" on top of Down syndrome were BIG! So we asked if our facilitator could find out any more. She called the director of teh orphange who invited her to come and meet Yana for herself. And she let her take pictures! This is very, very RARE! What a blessing! We were able to find out some positive news, and saw how totally adorable she was and our hearts were no longer in limbo. We committed that very day... February 19th, 2009!!!!

Now some say coincidence, some say this could have gone any way we wanted, but we knew... this is what GOD had planned for us! We would become a family and these 2 girls, who don't have any idea the other exists will soon become sisters! It is a glorious thing to SEE God at work so lovingly and so specifically! It gives me such joy and comfort!

What are we going to do with 2 special needs girls, both of whom have very different special needs. Truthfully, I am goign to love them with every ounce of love and strength GOD gives me, and pray... A LOT!! He doesn't always call the equipped, but oftentimes equips the called!!!! And do we ever need equipping! But I have every faith we will get there! God's timing is rarely early, but it is never late! Praise God!

*************************

This little one is on my heart. What can I say? I am a sucker for a red head!!!
Are you being specifically chosen by God to bring him home?



Ilyas S.
Brothers and sisters no
Date of Birth: December 2007
Gender: Male
Eyes: Gray
Hair: red
Nature: Passive
Down syndrome

Here's his country info:

2 trips
Both parents for 2 weeks
Wait 2-3 months for court
Both parents travel for 2nd trip, one can leave after 4 days, the other waits one week longer
No family size restrictions
Both parents must be younger than 60 years
Total program and travel fees under $25k
Fee includes a $500 orphanage donation
Married couples and single mothers may apply


AND he currently is eligible for a $1700 grant!

Find him here: http://www.reecesrainbow.org/waitingchild3.html

Flights...$$

Looking into flights to Bulgaria in January. They are not as bad as I thought they would be. I know there are places that offer discounts to adoptive families, so we will be looking into those. Praying that as we get closer to the dates, our flight costs stay lower too! Can't wait to find out WHEN we will travel!!!! I have felt like it was Christmas Eve, and I am 6 years old ALL DAY! Makes a long day. LOL

Grant donations are slowly coming in, but we have been greatly blessed by those that have come in. AND we have been so blessed by encouraging words and promises of sending in donations after Christmas!

Prayer Requests:

Please pray with us that we reach our goal of $5000 for the matching grant!

Please pray that our lawyer in Bulgaria is able to obtain the needed signatures easily and quickly.

Please pray that we get our travel date soon so we can plan... I am a terrible planner, but even worse at waiting! LOL

Please continue to pray for the health and safe keeping of our girls.


Thank you all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We are OFFICIALLY REFERRED!

My dear friends, my dear, dear blog world friends... I can not wait to share with you one of the most exciting emails of my life!

We were officially referred the girls today... a WHOLE day earlier than we thought! I had everyone praying for Friday! LOL... Gods too funny! :)

Join me in praising GOD!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Luke is a natural! LOL

Welcome to the family James Jeffrey Mayden!

As of 9:00am this morning James is officially our son! Woo-Hoo! The kids are psyched to put up the trampoline! They have been waiting almost 2 years! {no trampoline allowed for foster care...}







Monday, November 30, 2009

Sometimes there is a light

I wish there were words to describe my oldest son. There aren't, at least not in a short blog post. I would have to describe each year of his life and it would turn into a novel, chronicling the ups and downs, the 2 steps forward and 3 steps back, and so on....

He is a great kid, with amazing potential... I see it. Someday I hope others [esp. himself] can see it too!

You just never know what Logan is going to walk into the room... I feel like I have fought for him my whole life, oftentimes to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion. But I am his mother, and I won't give up. God hears from me a lot! He has a plan for Logan, I just keep praying He won't give up on him either!!!

Here is a VERY rare picture! It is a treasure to me!



****************************************

Here is just a cute pic of Logan, John, and my brother from Thanksgiving. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

news

Hi All,

I received an email from our facilitator this morning. Our dossier is
registered with the MOJ. They are reviewing it at the first meeting of the
adoption commitee which is next Friday. If all our documents are in order,
which they should be!, then we will receive the referral then!

Please pray that happens! With the holidays approaching... there could be
delays ....

**** I am considering "fasting" from the computer until then, except for email. So if you don't hear from me, that is what I am doing. Thnaks. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

consuming...

I have been waiting for some inspirational words to share. I have thought over many topics I could touch on. There are many needs in this world that can get me really fired up and going.

But the truth is I can't concentrate on them long enough to write anything worth anyones time in reading! My mind is consumed with meeting my girls! I love my life. I love my husband. I love my children. But I want to be in Bulgaria now, holding my babies! [though I guess 6 years old isn't much of a baby! :+)]

I am trying to still be a good wife and mother, but I am not real motivated to do anything. I know this will pass... but boy is it hard! Here I am waiting for something wonderful.

What must it be like to wait for something horrible? My heart is really with those parents tonight, waiting for an outcome that isn't good. By the grace of God, I have not been that parent yet. We have had minor to bad... but nothing terrible! Since I am apparently so bad at waiting for the GOOD, I pray I never have to find out how very bad I am waiting for the terrible!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So thankful today!

I received news today that our dossier has been authenticated, and will be registered with the MOJ tomorrow/Friday!!! The next step then is the official referral of the girls... then we can travel!!!! Not sure how long getting the referral will take... but things are moving! Praise God! What a thing to be thankful for today!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

bathtime for Luke and friends....

We have a lovely 1 year old male bichon / poodle mix. He is a pain, but also a riot. He loves the kids, and loves water!

Take a peak into one of Lukes favorite activities:









T H A N K S G I V I N G

I am thankful for:

T ... time with family and friends

H ... heroes that are fighting to keep us safe and free, missing their families this holiday season

A ... agriculture, it's not only how we make a living, but we are a part of feeding the worlds hungry

N ... nachos, if you know me, you understand my love of this food! :)

K ... KIDS! Oh how I am thankful for my kids!

S ... seasons. I live in an area that has 4 distinct seasons. I love each one.

G ... growth group, we love this group of people.

I ... internet. It has brought me a world of friends and also brought me Yana and Tavi.

V ... victory over the world through my belief adn salvation in Jesus Christ.

I ... innocence. I am thankful that my children all have been fortunate enough to have a time in their life of being innocent of the pain and suffering of this world.

N ... I am thankful that God NEVER lets go of me!

G ... God. Oh how I am so thankful for my heavenly father! To God be the glory forever.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Choices

Identical twin boys grew up in the same house. Their father was an alcoholic. He abused both the young boys and their mother. He had been in and out of jail. He couldn't hold a job. He slept around. He rarely had a kind word for the boys, and when he made promises to them he never followed through.

These young boys grew up. One of the boys grew to be just like his father. He was an alcoholic. He was abusive. He was in and out of jail, and his family which included a wife and children was a mess.

The other son was a happily married man. He had a wife and 3 children. He loved his wife, and told her so regularly. He loved his children and told them so too. He followed through on promises, taking his word very seriously. He had kept a steady job with the same company for 15 years. He was a man that many could and did depend on.

A reporter doing an article on identical twins interviewed both the men. Wondering how identical twins raised in the same family could turn out so different, he asked them both why their lives had turned out the way that they did. They both answered with the exact same words:

"With a father like I had, how could I be anything else?"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John might go with me to meet his girls!

Praying, praying, praying!

John has suddenly started feeling like he should go and meet the girls with me. Without going into detail... THIS IS HUGE!

Logistically we are talking it out to see if we can even arrange care for the kids. But oh how I would LOVE for him to be there when I meet our babies... he was there for ALL the other "first meetings", except James [:(]

I want to hold my husbands hand as they bring our girls in... I want to marvel with him over how cute they are... I want to see him hold them close, with that new daddy smile, and remember it forever!


Please God, if it is your will for John to go, PLEASE make a way!

Amen!

nothing to do with anything...

My husband, my daughter and I were arguing over the lyrics to Ole' Dan Tucker. We all sang it slightly different. .... needless to say, I WAS RIGHT! :) "go me!"

But in looking up the lyrics we found all sorts of information on the song and for whatever reason we found it interesting. So here is the link, if your family sings weird old songs together like we do!

Old Dan Tucker

And another favorite that I never knew all the words to "Waltzing Matilda".

Waltzing Matilda

***IF you scroll down far enough there is a little section of music for each so you can hear it! :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

The world had a light go very dim today....




This is Benjamin. He is 7 years old. He has Down syndrome and was in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. He was in need of an adoptive family. He still has the need for an adoptive family, but no longer has the chance for one.

You see, in many areas of Eastern Europe, kids with disabilities that age out of the baby house are transfered to mental institutions. Many of these institutions block adoptions, and a child has no way out. They are left to die, and many of them will meet that fate quickly. These institutions are not looking to save lives, but to be a holding place for those that are so forgotten that no one will ever know of their passing, let alone care!

Now, some may say "Life is so unfair, why would God let this happen to an innocent child?"... Be careful if you ask this question of God for He may very well say "Why did you?".

What prevented someone from coming for Benjamin? Time? Money? Room? His disability? The paperwork involved? The baring of ones life to social workers and various agencies? The risk of heartache? The risk of standing out, of being different? Do you really think these things are BIG problems for God?

This childs light has been dimmed, so much so that most, if not all of us will soon forget that he even existed. That is a true tragedy. A child, so precious, so dear to Jesus, so much a part of WHO God is... and we just let him linger and die alone! Like an animal that has become to prevalent, and whose numbers must be thinned, many view this little brown haired beauty as a worthless commodity that has no value. He is just a nuisance that stands in the way of something greater. The lottery of survival of the fittest in the world of an orphan is ugly, brutal, and an everyday reality. And little Benjamin lost the lottery... tough draw kid. :(

God is a specific God, and Benjamin was created with love, care, and intricate detail. HOW DARE THAT THE WORLD REJECT THIS PRECIOUS GIFT GOD SO FREELY BLESSED US WITH! HOW DARE WE!!!

Did he ever know his mamas loving embrace? Did he ever hear a lullaby as he drifted off to sleep? Was he ever held when he was scared or sick? Was there ever anyone who gave one little smile or felt one tiny sense of pleasure when he accomplished something for the first time? Was he ever held in the arms of one whose heart was singing praises of thankfulness to God for just being able to hold him close? The reality is most likely no to all of these questions.

NO! NO? How can a child be born and never know any of these things???? How can we care so little? HOW?

Did you know that despite being full of children a number of orphanages are eerily silent? How long does it take for the heart of an innocent child to finally realize that know one cares so they stop crying? stop playing? stop laughing?

My heart is sad. Is it wrong to hope he dies quickly and painlessly so that he will know these things wonderful and loving things in heaven? That he will be perfect? That he will never know loneliness or fear or suffering again? I think it is wrong, it shows a lack of faith and trust in God. Or maybe... in some circumstances and just for a while, it is okay....

I will be praying for you little Benjamin. Praying that your Saviors arms rock you to sleep tonight. That he is in your dreams, showing you his love. And that human arms are sent your way and are able to hold you close praising God for your life!

God has SO got this!

We spent $150.oo to have letters printed off [in color] to send out for our matching grant request letters. Didn't figure that amount into our adoption expenses. But I prayed about the letter, and felt that what we had was really good.

Well, my husband got called the other day to do an interview for some research firm with some medications they will use on the cattle. He got a nice check for being willing to give an hour of his time.

Anyone care to hazard a guess what the amount of the check was? :)

GOD IS SO FAITHFUL, WHY DO WE EVER DOUBT HIM?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Please pray for my dossier...

I am so sorry that rhymes. ;)

Anyway, the plan is to have our dossier translated, authenticated, and registered with the MOJ by next Friday. That way we should still get the official referral this year. Which would definitely let us travel in January.

PLEASE LORD let this happen quickly! .... Amen.


p.s. Notice the counter on the side of my blog. 9 MONTHS today!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Floored, me that is!

I can not believe it! Our dossier is in the hands of our Bulgarian agency!

GO FED-EX!!!!

Just so you all understand... I dropped off our dossier on Monday afternoon, less than 48 hours ago! I couldn't decide between expidited and priority... both were costly, but priority was $50 dollars more. I couldn't help myself... I sent it priority, thinking that will get it there by Friday.

Well, I got an email this morning, saying it was there! Please understand, Bulgaria is 8 hours ahead of us... so it actually got there sometime last night! Which is like WAY less than 48 hours.

Cool stuff huh?!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

whats on my heart today....

Borrowed words from another blog, written of an adoption journey almost a year ago. Today Ethan [Dmitri] is unrecognizable as that child seemingly at deaths door just a few short months ago....

"Renee' and I are sitting in the office of a telephone company in Novograd
Valenski, Ukraine, using wireless internet. We are in the middle of adopting
three special needs boys from an orphanage here. Two of the boys have Down
Syndrome. Roman is high functioning, energetic and happy. Dimitri has serious
mental retardation, failure to thrive, and though he is five years old, he is
the size of a 1 year old. He has sores on his face, a distinct smell of death on
him, and yells out if we try to do anything with him other than hold him.
Because he has less ability to respond and learn, he naturally gets less
attention and care from the orphanage workers in this world of limited
resources. The harsh reality of the "survival of the fittest" principle is a
life and death struggle that this little boy is losing fast. Our third boy
Sasha, is a brilliant six year old who has Spina Bifida (the condition our son
Josiah died from in 1996). He is like a learning sponge that can't get enough!
He is happy and alert and thirsty for knowledge and experience. So with two of
our boys, we get an immediate return on any investment we make. With Dimitri,
there's not much immediate gratification. In fact, it's unknown when and if
there will be a return at all. This is the kind of situation that makes the
carnal, fallen, human reasoning think, "Why try? What's the point? What will
this produce? What good will this do? Why not select a boy who has more
potential? This looks like a lost cause.

Two days ago we drove for hours into the Ukrainian countryside to the village
where Dimitri was born. We met with officials there and signed papers and
answered their questions. We also went and saw Dimitri's house. The day had been
long, we were still recovering from jet lag, I was beginning to really miss my
six daughters at home and all the familiar things our fragile human hearts
entangle themselves with in feeble attempts to feel secure. Sitting in the dark
on our very long drive back to Novograd that night, the Holy Spirit began to
whisper to my heart, and new understanding about redemption began to take shape.

I was thinking, "Man, adopting this little boy has been so much work. This is
exhausting, expensive, uncomfortable … and it doesn't feel very rewarding right
now." What am I doing in some little Soviet car in the dark, in the middle of
rural Ukraine in frozen December, as the driver dodges cats and potholes? What
if Dimitri doesn't improve at all? What if we get "nothing" out of this? … Ahhh,
there it was; that dark, fallen, unreedemed, selfish human love, rooted in the
tree of the knowledge of "good and evil". The love the Greeks called "erao"
love. The love where we treat someone as precious and treasured for what we can
get out of it. This is unlike "agapeo" love, the God kind of love that treats
someone as treasured and precious for their good, not for my good. It's when I
love a person in order to meet their needs, having no expectation of them
meeting any of my needs. At a whole new level, God is working His kind of love
into my weak heart, and He's using little Dimitri to do it.

On the drive home that night, the Lord whispered in my ear, "This is Redemption.
Derek, do you know how far I travelled to get you and bring you back? I had to
be separated from my Son, in order to get you, just like you are separated from
your children in order to get these boys. Do you know how expensive it was for
Me to purchase you? It cost me everything. Do you know how broken, sick,
damaged, twisted, dirty, smelly, and hopeless you were? And at the end of it
all, you had nothing to give me or add to me. I did it for you. I emptied myself
and became nothing so that you could have it all. This is redemption.

My friends, adoption is redemption. It's costly, exhausting, expensive, and
outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it
killed Him. And when He redeems us, we can't even really appreciate or
comprehend it, just like Dimitri will never comprehend or fully appreciate what
is about to happen to him … but … he will live in the fruit of it. As his Daddy,
I will never expect him to understand all of this or even to thank me. I just
want to watch him live in the benefits of my love and experience the joys of
being an heir in my family. This is how our heavenly "Papa" feels towards us.

Today, settle your busy heart down and rest in the benefits of redemption. Enjoy
the fruits of His goodness, and stop trying to "pay Him back". You'll never get
close you goofy little kid.

-- Derik Loux

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time flies... NOT. :)

According to my little counter thingy on the side of my blog... it has been 8 months and 4 weeks since we committed to the girls. Today our dossier is on its way to get the ball really rolling. Since many of you adoptive moms understand the feeling of "being pregnant" that often accompanies adoptions, by the time my girls come home I will have a long overdue baby inside my heart! :)

BUT, PRAISING GOD TODAY, things are finally moving!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is done...

...finished, complete, ended, ready to roll, finito, in full, etc. Our dossier is being mailed on MONDAY!



IT is taking an international journey and I pray it gets there in record time! :)

Happy 4th Birthday Tavi!

My sweet little girl... how I wish I could have woken you up this morning singing "Happy Birthday!".

Cake, ice cream, presents, and a family to love you and spoil you on this day... you deserve so much more than this and yet you have none of it. Life has not been good to you so far, but God is good, and He is faithful... and He has tenderly cared for your heart and your future.

You are coming home baby girl! Home to a family with God at its center. Home to a family that has been longing for you for so long! Home to your own bed, your own clothes, your own mommy and daddy, your own brothers and sisters, your own pets, your own grandmas....

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Your eyes may not work, but honey we will help you see how good life is... how good GOD is!

Friday, November 13, 2009

My heart is singing, I got an update!!!!

This is what I received this morning:

"Tavi is doing very well, she is healthy and well. She is a very cute child and is very well orientated despite her blindness. The director says that she likes to sing a lot and does so in a very special and cute way. [Tavi turns 4 tomorrow!]

Yana is healthy and well too. She doesn't walk yet but stands up in her crib and walks in it holding on to it. There is not much progress in her development but there is no digression either. [Yana is 6 1/2, DS, hydrocephalus]

Both of the directors were excited when I told them that you will be here most probably in January"

*** DID YOU CATCH THAT? "You will be here most probably in Janauary!" Praise God!

I am mailing my dossier early next week. I should have the forms returned to me apostilled and ready to go by Tuesday!

PLEASE JOIN MY HEART AND SING OUT A PRAISE TO GOD THIS MORNING! I NEEDED THIS UPDATE SO BADLY!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Please pray....

Our lawyer in country is goign to try and call the girls orphanages tomorrow to get an update! Please pray that they are willing to talk with her!!!!!

Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My paper baby is almost ready for delivery!

I have everything APOSTILLED! I have everything I need, minus 2 items that are being mailed to me tomorrow from AAC! Once I have those in my hands my dossier will be headed to my girls country!

Did I mention I continue to become more impatient, while at the same time trusting the Lords timing more and more each day! Talk about emotional confusion! :)

It's not right....

...the closer we get to meeting the girls, the more impatient I become. And the more patient my husband gets! BLECK! I don't want reassurance that it will happen, I want him to whine with me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

WE GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got the matching grant!!!! **** lots of happy dancing going on here!!!!! ****

We are working on it girls! Soon I will be able to see you face to face!

WOOOOO-HOOOOOOOO!

The decision has been made, we are changing names....

I guess it is better now, than when she has been home for 6 months huh?! :)

TAVI VALENTINOVA will be her new name in her new family. That is of course unless I meet her and decide that she can not be named Tavi. Which I hvea done with my bio kids... went into labor with one name, cried because the name didn't "fit", then obsessed until we came up with one we both liked. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thinking of a change....

John and I hvae been thinking of changing Shawnees name to Tavi.

We both like it better, and it means 8th, which consequently is where she falls in the birthorder. Our fifth child is named Quincy [we didnt' intentionally pick it because she was the 5th one... :)]

Still, I have referred to her as Shawnee for so long... I just don't know.

Here are the 2 choices. Which one do you like for my dark and curly haired brown eyed girl?

Shawnee Valentinova OR

Tavi Valentinova

Must be the only child or in a family with one or two older children...

I occasionally browse foster care photolistings on the internet. Whenever I come across the statement that the worker will only consider families in which the child is the youngest by many years, or the only child in the home, or in a small family with only 1 or 2 other children it makes me pause.

First off, I know that [hopefully] the workers are out to see that this child is successful in life. Secondly, I know that I hvae no idea who this child is and they have some. But I also know that in the almost 2 years James has been with us, his worker [of whom he has had 4!] thinks that she knows a lot about him. She knows only what I tell her, and that is still jaded as it is just my opinion influenced by my parenting experience and personal preferences.

So I then get really sad thinking they are limiting this childs chance at success. Now in some situations they will consider other families outside of their preferences, but not in most of them. :( EVEN if this means the child waits LONGER for a family!

Quite a while back I inquired of a child... only to be told they will ONLY consider families with fewer than 4 children. WHY? THAT seems very wrong to me! And to my knowledge he is still waiting....

I realize in some cases it is imperative that a child be the youngest. That makes sense to me. But family size, and cases where the child doesn't pose a danger to ones younger than them, but instead is a "time or attention issue" frustrate me.

I am guessing, and pretty accurately I believe, that if either of my girls were in the US foster care system today these statements would be applied to them. In fact, most of the children adopted from abroad with special needs would probably have quite a few "stipulations" put on their adoption as well.

It makes me so mad to see children wait unnecessarily long for reasons that I believe should be suggestions, but not set in stone! Esp. in the US where we have the resources available! It also makes me mad to see children listed at older ages. You can bet they should have been legally free for adoption years before in probably 90% of the cases ... and because of our faulty legal system, where the best interests of the children are rarely put first, they have to wait until they are over age 6 or 7. They wait longer to find a permanent family, if they ever do. And by that time often have been through a few foster homes... that only increases in number as they age!

I HATE it! When it comes to things like drug abuse, severe neglect, obvious physical abuse, and others... why is chance after chance given? My heart hurts for these birthparents because of the good chance that they are only living now how they lived as children. BUT someone must be able to be courageous enough to step forward and say "TOO BAD! When it comes to a child, you dont' get second chances!" The needs of the child come first! And they need their chance to be a child protected NOW! Today! This minute!

I do not believe that emotional trauma should just be viewed as an expected consequence of the fostercare system! I think that if the childs needs are put first, so much emotional pain could be avoided.

When my foster son was finally removed from his birth mother... he didnt' hardly look back. He was 7. He was one of the younger ones. His older brothers [3 of them] have since bounced around in many foster homes.... they get further and further away from success with each move. I can see the deterioration and can do nothing to stop it. EVERYONE in this town KNEW and reported what was going on for 3 1/2 years before something was finally done! 3 1/2 years people!!! What precious moments of childhood were stolen from these boys! Someone messed up big in my book! Really big!

To be frank.... I dont' give a DARN about birth parent rights when a child is being put in harms way time and again! I don't care about freedoms or about the right to raise your child the way you see fit. I don't care about forgiveness, mercy, or the fact that everyone makes mistakes. My heart may go out to the birthparents, but they lost their chance at being a parent to these children whom they have hurt. Someone has to protect those who can't protect themselves. Being a parent IS NOT A RIGHT! IT IS A PRIVILEGE THAT CAN BE LOST!

When a child is intentionally, or neglectfully harmed I believe it is because of a "ball" that has been dropped by "MANY" people. And many people will have to answer for it.

I will forever find it amazing and humbling that despite what some people do to their children, God has yet to lose hope for man!

Check it out!

Holiday Tees and Onesies! This is a great blog that has adorable personalized tees and onsies for sale. Shipping is very reasonable! I believe the sizes go up to size 7/8, not sure what the smallest size is. But I know they go down to at least 18 months. Please check it out. She is just getting started with this blogging business. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's the climb.....

**** forgive me for quoting Miley Cyrus :)****

The Climb lyrics
Songwriters: Alexander, J; Mabe, J;

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa


In a bible study by John Piper I am learning that "GOD is passionate about His glory!" Oh what a tough concept to wholly understand! I am getting there, but it is a 2 steps forward and one step back process.

The adoption journey is perilous. In any adoption journey one is almost guaranteed heart ache, LONG waits, little control and lots of helplessness, aggravation, confusion, and feeling very much alone from time to time. But one is also GUARANTEED, not almost, but wholly guaranteed to see "THE GLORY OF GOD ALMIGHTY!"

It is so much more loving for God to show us His glory, than to spare us from suffering!!!!!!!! Adoption is NOT for SISSIES!!!! It is not for the faint of heart, thee of little faith, those who think life goes along apart from the directives of Gods hands! Let his glory fully shine in your adoption journey. Let his glory shine in your words, your attitudes, your love, your patience, your commitment, your testimony, your sharing and generosity, and your heartfelt prayers. How better to let the world see how deeply he cares for the orphan than to let his glory shine in each and everyone of our journeys!

"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him!" --- John Piper


Satisfy: quench: allay, meet the requirements or expectations of ,make happy, meet: fill or meet a want or need, comfort: provide freedom from worry

Satisfying: comforting, providing freedom from worry

Are you finding your satisfaction in God? Is He all you need? Is your adoption journey glorifying Him and bringing you even more fully in line with His will and heart for your life? Are you seeing "The Climb" to your child as an opportunity to glorify God? Are you praising God for that?

Oh how I pray that if I can't have the girls here today held in my arms, than I can have the glory of my Father shining like the sun in my life for all to see!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Blessing for you....

[*** I think I posted this a while back. But I came across it again, and each time I read it I pray it for my children and family and friends! My advice, say it out loud with your childrens names. It is powerful!]


May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships; so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people; so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war; so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world; so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.

This I pray upon all my family and friends! In the name of Jesus,

AMEN!

Planned Parenthood Director resigns, and joins the other side! Praise God!

Here is a short article. No, I didnt' read the comments because some people just make me to angry!

But God IS working here, you can bet on it! Only, don't bet for real because isn't that a sin?.... ;)

URGENT, and scary!

DO NOT respond to any email if you get it from me requesting money! I can't get into my email, it has been locked for security concerns, and I am NOT sending ANY email requesting money to anyone!!!!! A couple of friends have gotten this from my account! I hope this is not something HUGE! I have had my identity stolen before.... UGH!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I got chills. They're multipying!

Our status on our Reeces Rainbow page now reads "USCIS approved, Dossier complete!" [which isn't 100% true, but close enough that I am taking it! :)]

This dream may just be real my friends!!!!

WHOOOOO - HOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess who has USCIS approval??????????

WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That leaves local clearances and apostilles!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quote of the day....

"When God overcomes our difficulties for us, we have the assurance that we are engaged in His work and not our own." ---- George Muller


I find this so very apparent in this adoption journey to my girls.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I worry about the flu virus....

I don't worry about my children here in the US. Good medicine, good health, good immune systems ... they will be fine.

But my girls in Bulgaria do not have any of that! And you know that the Roma children in the orphanages and institutions will not get vaccines, medicines, or the love they need to overcome the flu! :(

Pandemic in Bulgaria

Riley



My oldest on the left... and 2 of her closest friends before homecoming. Isn't she pretty? :) Takes after her mom, she does! ;)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Sacrifices and Blessings...

What I have asked of my kids in order to raise a large family through birth and adoption:

1. I have asked them to give up material things that their friends readily have. The lastest MP3 players, the latest computer or video games, a nicer car, bigger and nicer family vacations, more presents at Christmas or birthdays, more toys, nicer clothes, brand name food, more extra curricular activities, new shoes at the beginning of the school year, school pictures, going to the movies, going out to eat, and so on.

2. I have asked them to share my attention getting less one on one time. I have asked them to be more patient and for the older children to step up and help when my hands are full with one of the other kids. I have asked them to help each other learn to read, cook, throw a ball, ride a bike, or build a fort. I have asked them to baby sit their younger siblings time and again. I have asked them to clean, cook, pick up, wash, feed the pets, and be responsible for their own messes. I have asked my older kids to hold down a part time job so that they can help buy things they need or want.

3. I have asked them to reach outside of the boundaries that the world would set for them in order to have a greater love of Gods creation. I have asked them to have a compassionate and understanding love for people of different races, cultures, nations, shapes and sizes, makes and models, and different beginnings.

4. I have asked them to see that though college may not be paid for specifically by us, that they will always have our support and love. That we will do absolutely everything we can to help them be successful in life, but that true success is based on Gods criteria, not the worlds.

5. I have asked them to see that life is worth fighting for. I have asked that they see that just because things are difficult, financially tight, at odds with the world, go against common sense, and scary do not mean that one should quit. Instead it is an even greater reason to cling tight to God and put our trust in Him.

6. I have asked them to never be afraid to be BOLD for God! I have asked them to understand that when God calls you to it, He WILL see you through it!

7. I have asked them to be there for each other, that family matters! I have asked them to care for, encourage, fight for, love and depend on each other.

I have asked so much of them. And I pray that God blesses each one of them, as He has blessed me, with seeing His hands in the creation of our family! I want them to see that love has no boundaries, no borders, no blood ties but instead GOD ties. I have asked them to see that God intricately designs a family, knitting us together so that we may glorify Him.

It is my feverent prayer that each of my children go through life with God at the wheel. That they may be bold for Him. Answering His call for their life with a resounding YES LORD, YES LORD, YES, YES LORD!!!!!!!!!

Deuteronomy 30:6 The Lord your God will prepare you and your descendants to love him with your whole being so that you will live.


I found this on a fellow bloggers page and thought the translation to perfect to pass up:
"If it seems that we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us."
II Corinthians 5:13-14a

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Come on, let your heart get fired up! :)

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Thankful Thursday...

A lot of blogs I read celebrate Thursday by having "Thankful Thursday". So today I thought I would follow suit!

I give thanks to my Heavenly Father today for:

* My husband, John. For 17 years we have shared laughter and tears, joys and sorrows, children by birth and adoption, family, farming woes, spiritual journeys, financial success and failure, new friendships, the dissolution of old friendships, and so much more. God knew what He was doing when He blessed our life together!

* My children: Riley for her compassion and sunny view of life, Logan for challenging everything I thought I knew about raising kids and for his rare but heartfelt "I love yous.", Nolan for being laid back and for always being able to make me smile, Cale for his huge desire to ENJOY life and his defense of the defenseless, Quincy for her tenacity and for her unique way of looking at things, James for his courageous spirit and will to fight, Luke for his energy, vibrance, and outgoing personality.

* My life: I can honestly say that this is where I want to be in life, who I want to be, and who I want to be with! I have day dreams, but they are just adding to what I already get to experience each day....

* My God: I am so thankful for YOU! I am so thankful that you love me so much that you want to reveal your glory to me! I am so thankful that you never, NEVER let me down!

* Tiffany and Shamika: I am so thankful for both of you. You gave life to my children and loved them enough to let them go. How I pray you see Gods Spirit at work in your life!

* My Yana and Shawnee: I am thankful for you for so many reasons. Loving you, adopting you has allowed me to see the Glory of God! To see His goodness, his kindness, his heart, his provision, his tender mercies.... oh my precious babies... if you only knew how much you are dearly loved! I look at your pictures and my arms ache to hold you. I think about you all the time. Soon I will be thankful for having you in my arms, but until then I am so very thankful to God for allowing me to share this journey to you with Him!

Today I "Give thanks with a grateful heart because I am a child, dear to the heart of my heavenly Father!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More fun [not] on the roller coaster of adoption...

Need more prayers! In the girls country there is some upheaval in the adoption system that isn't in our favor! Please pray for wisdom to serve the childrens best interest! There are so many that need to come home, and this will all be messy and delayed if it isn't straightened out. I don't understand it all, dont' want to either. I just want God to fix it. :(

Generous blessings....

I have a wonderful friend that I spent the majority of my childhood with. We had the chickenpox together in 3rd grade and she got to come over to my house while everyone else was at school.

We thought it was so cool! :)

In grade school we had a list of something like 50 imaginary friends and we would choose which ones to play with each day. If one of us came to school with a "new friend", then the other one would make one up that was similar.

In 5th grade we did a science fair project together. It was on an Apple computer. You know the kind that had a huge monitor and only green showed up on the screen. It was on the state of KS if I remember correctly. We did really well at the contest!

We spent HOURS playing in the woods around her house doing all sorts of best friend things. We played "Dukes of Hazard" all the time! She was Luke and I was Bo. And uh... it wasn't really anything like the TV show. :) But it provided loads of entertainment and good times!

We might have been just a little strange. :) But boy, did we have fun together! I couldn't have asked for a better best friend in my childhood!!!!!

Angie is a very kind and loving person. She is a person of great character that follows through on her promises. She is non judgmental, and fun to be around! She has blessed my family with a generous donation towards our adoption. It was unexpected, but so appreciated!!!!

I am so thankful for her and her husbands thoughtfulness! May the Lord stretch their givings and may the Lord bless them mightily in return!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Prayer for a grant!

Hi Ya'll. :)

I wanted to ask for prayer. We received a call today from Lifesong For Orphans. They finished reviewing our application. The volunteer who read it is writing her recommendation and will turn it into the director. We will know 2 weeks from today if we receive a matching grant! She left me feeling VERY positive that she was recommending that we do... but she didn't volunteer [probably cause she can't tell me] what exactly her recommendation was, as in grant or no grant.

If we do receive the matching grant, we have 1 week to write a fundraising letter with their help and accompanying letter of recommendation. Then there are 8 weeks left that we have to fundraise for the matching grant. :)

So please pray with me that we receive a grant, that the members of Lifesong hear clearly the Holy Spirits guidance for this situation, and that we as a family trust God with the outcome whatever it may be!

*** Just something cute. This was quite a hefty application. In it we had to answer all sorts of question pertaining to our religious beliefs, our testimonies, and our motivation to adopt. John was able to all his questions on 2 sheets of paper. They were good answers. My answers were 5 pages, and I kept it short! LOL But the lady did say she felt so blessed to have read our application. :) So I guess we didnt' appear crazy!

HOPE....



*** Change is slow, but attitudes are changing! Bless these women and this program! I feel so blessed because my girls are in an area that offers this program. I pray they are benefiting from it!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What's in a name?

YANA:

It apparently has various meanings depending on the origin.
It means Charming, God is gracious, bear, and my favorite "He answers!".


Were you asking for a family baby girl? He has answered! We are coming to you soon!

Fundraiser

I am offering a holiday shopping babysitting service. It will be Monday - Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. It is a donation based service, as I feel that is best. I figure with 5 background checks, 2 approved homestudies and a currently inactive fostercare license... I am over qualified. :) I am starting November 2nd. We'll see how it goes.

Since I am NOT a paperwork, organization type person... I am going with my skills and my enjoyment. I am good with kids, and I enjoy them... so hopefully everyone wins here! :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I need friends!

I need friends. I need friends that are going through this whole special needs adoption thing. I know that because I know I don't have it in my life right now. I live in a small town, and there isnt' a large variety of lifestyles in some ways. [I love my town though].

I dont' make friends easily I guess. Probably because I don't have time to do much outside of family and being a farm wife. That's okay, I love my life. But I realize that for all my desire to have friends to confide in and cry with and vent with and share fears with and share joys with now, once my girls are home it will be IMPERATIVE!

My blog is kind of boring. I just don't have that exciting of a life... busy, but not exciting to most [I love it though!]. :) I can get to talking your ear off, but I am not much of a writer.

If you are feeling the same let me know. The internet can be a curse or a blessing, but in this case I see it as a blessing.

For those that are regular visitors, you mean so much to me! I am so happy to share in your journeys... past and/or present! Thank you. :)

Today?

Will our I800a approval come today???? I wake up in excited expectation nearly everyday now! It is coming, I just don't know when!

It is the last thing we need before we have everything apostilled. I am still praying to have our dossier completed by Nov. 1st!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All Is Good Now.

Panic attack over. Apparently it has all been worked out, and as long as I have the letter stating they don't return fingerprint cards, all is good! All that fit throwing for nothing....

Ever feel like you are the last to know?

Do you know that I HATE delays?????

Okay, so I had been waiting, and waiting for our FBI fingerprint cards to be returned. It has taken almost 6 weeks. We were told they no longer return the cards. So we wrote a letter explaining why we needed them. That was supposed to work. WRONG!

Now we are told, after receiving our background checks in the mail today, that they will only return the cards with a letter from the BULGARIAN ADOPTION AGENCY! That isn't real quick and easy! The agency is an ocean and continent away!

I PAY taxes. Does our government not even have the courtesy to CALL and tell me this!!!! I called to check on our fingerprints last week. The lady was very nice, told me they would be mailed out on Monday. Never mentioned anything about not getting the fingerprint cards back! I guess I am nobody to this wonderful government I vote for, serve, and pay for!

**** I am venting! I love the US! But SHEESH!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Never enough... or is it?

Please take time to click on the following link to another blog. The question of "Do I have enough to give this child?" is answered so eloquently!

http://jerdebwalker.blogspot.com/2009/10/its-never-enough-or-is-it.html

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Epilepsy and Quincy




So we have finally heard back from the Dr. on the results of my 9 year old daughters suspected seizures. She does in fact have epilepsy. Not news we were excited to hear, but in a way we were glad to hear it. It was obvious that something was going on... and so knowing that we can 1. identify what it was and 2. easily treat it with medication makes the diagnosis not to terribly scary.

Here is info on her specific form of epilepsy:
Absence Epilepsy

People with absence epilepsy have repeated absence seizures. Absence epilepsy tends to run in families. The seizures frequently begin in childhood or adolescence. If the seizures begin in childhood, they usually stop at puberty.

Although the seizures don't have a lasting effect on intelligence or other brain functions, children with absence epilepsy frequently have so many seizures that it interferes with school and other normal activities.



Absence seizures.

Absence seizures, also called petit mal (which means "little sickness"), cause a momentary loss of consciousness. These episodes usually last less than 30 seconds and may be so brief that they go unnoticed. People with absence epilepsy can experience as many as 50 to 100 of these seizures a day. They may look as though they are simply staring off into space or they may go rigid or jerk and twitch.



This all started the end of last school year. At first we were concerned about her hearing, but then noticed that even when we talked louder she wouldn't respond. So then we decided [God forgive us!] that she was just the biggest air head we had ever seen. But every once in a while something would seem more than just "spacing off", and I made the comment to my husband in late August that "If I didnt' know any better, I would think it was a seizure. You know, the kind where you freeze and stare off into space..." It never really occurred to me that this was a very real condition!

So anyway, fast forward to Sept. and I get a call from the school nurse saying that her teacher was concerned because he thought Quincy had a seizure in class. The nurse seemed almost embarrassed to call and tell me, but felt that she should. I laughed, but told her I knew exactly what behavior he was seeing. I then felt more justified in my comment of it possibly being a seizure, so I called the Dr. Who ordered an EEG, and here we are with a daughter who will be going on anti seizure meds.

We are praying that this is something she will outgrow. But if not, then that it is at the least easily controlled. John has an aunt [his dads sister] with Epilepsy, but it occurs with Grand Mal seizures, not petite mal like Quincy. And my mom has a cousin with the same condition as Johns aunt. So while it is in "the genes", it is strange to me that it has skipped so many and landed on Quincy.

Anyway, that is my news of the week in the continuing saga of parenthood! I have decided that if one has enough kids, you will experience most everything by the time they are grown. :)