Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Sure They are In Bed

Eastern Europe is about 6 or 7 hours ahead of us.  That means that my little ones are asleep over there.  It is so hard knowing they went to bed without a mommy to kiss them goodnight.  They probably have never had a bedtime story. They've never had lots of doting brothers and sisters to tell them goodnight.  They've NEVER HAD A FAMILY. 

I love them all so much.  It is so hard to sit here with no control over how they are or what their days and nights consist of right now.  Children need to be hugged, kissed, and loved.  I can't do any of that for them.  I pray daily that even their basic needs are met.  I beg God to hug them for me.  I beg God to make this process fast. 

I've given birth to one child.  I had a horrible hard pregnancy.  We had already planned to adopt and had our 1st little girl home before Dayton was even born.  We decided that we would adopt all the rest of our children. 

I can honestly say though, that pregnancy and child birth were both easier.  I currently have 5 children who I can't hold.  They aren't safely tucked away inside me awaiting their grand entrance.  They are scattered all over and there is no way for me to get them home any faster.  Paula is not in good shape and is emotionally shut down on top of not talking or walking.  I can't help her! 

God is teaching me a lot about trust and faith.  I am going to have to depend on Him for every second of this or else I will go insane.  This is definitely the "front seat of the school room". 

God, they are in Your Hands.  Please keep them safe, help them feel love, and bring them to me soon.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Help and Have a Chance at a $100 Gift Card!

I am going to give you a link to a special blog.  This is the blog of Shelley.  Shelley has helped me so much already.  She works with families who are adopting from Eastern Europe through Reeces Rainbow.  This is their 4th adoption in 4 years I do believe.  She met this little girl while at the institution that she adopted her last son from last year.  They are getting close to their first trip and they still need quite a bit of money to go. 

They have lots of ways that you can help.  There are some very cute things her husband sews that are available to buy.  You can buy coffee, shirts, CDs, or just donate.  If you donate right now you can have your name put on a puzzle piece.  When all the puzzle pieces are put together, they will have the money needed to bring their daughter home.  They also have an $100 Amazon gift card to give away. 

Please jump on over and help them out!  This is a great way to help an amazing lady who helps so many others bring their children home.  (She puts up with a lot of emails and instant messages from me!) 

Go check out her blog and help her bring their little girl home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sad News - Please Pray

Please pray for Paula.  Someone did finallly get to meet her.  That part is very good.  They also found that it wasn't one of the really bad mental institutions from what they saw.  I would have been quite relieved about her situation if it wasn't for her "condition". 

It turns out that Paula was completely "unresponsive".  She didn't respond to seeing them, hearing them, or them touching her.  I am just crushed for her.  I can't get to her and she needs a mommy to love her.  I wish I could just go scoop her up and start the long road to helping her get better.  We still have many months left before we will be able to bring her home.  I just fear that she has shut off the world completely.  Every child needs someone to LOVE them.  Food and clothing isn't enough.  She needs a FAMILY! 

I am not at all afraid of bringing her home.  I know we can give her what she needs.  I am terribly afraid that she will give up and won't make it home.  Without love children cannot be healthy.  They don't grow properly.  They don't feel safe.  They don't develop properly.  She needs those things in an urgent way.  The helplessness that I feel in knowing that she is there without responding and I can do nothing to help her is so intense.  I cried today until I was hoarse.  I let the children watch tv for way longer than normal.  They don't watch a lot so they were very glad to be told to go watch tv a little while.  I hid in my room and got a lot of crying over with.  I talked to a couple of really good friends who made me laugh after listening to me cry. 

Please pray for Paula.  Pray that God will help us get a really quick USCIS approval.  I know God can do miracles and I am determined to watch them happen.  Pray that she will hold on inside the little world that she is in inside of her.  Pray that God will prepare her tiny heart for love and family.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Some Fast Blessings

Paula's file had been held by someone else.  We had to wait to see if they would adopt her or return her file.  I prayed that if they were farther along in the process and could get her out of that institution faster than us, that they would choose to adopt her.  They did not choose to adopt her though. 

We found out Tuesday that her file was available and received commitment paperwork to get done for her ASAP.  We went Tuesday and got her commitment papers notarized.  Brent them took them to the County Clerk of Courts and had them certified.  He immediately ran to the post office and sent them the fastest delivery method to the Secretary of State to be apostilled.  That all happened on TUESDAY!

The papers were to be delivered to the Secretary of State on Wednesday.  We included a self addressed stamped envelope as you are suppose to do.  We made sure that it was a "next day delivery" as well.  We received it back on SATURDAY!  That is amazingly fast for anything to do with the government!

We got it out of the mail box on Saturday around 1pm.  Brent immediately took them to UPS because they closed at 2pm.  We mailed them the fastest possible route with a tracking number.  (Amazingly enough the cost was over $145!)  They are set to arrive in the specific country on Wednesday! 

I love it when things happen in such a timely manner.  I worry about USCIS.  I know it can take a long time.  My biggest fear is that Paula won't hang on.  Her situation makes me so nervous.  She is in a "laying room" type of situation and can't really do anything.  I fear that we'll run into a delay that makes things to slow and she won't live for us to bring her home.  I pray every night until I fall asleep begging God to help her to hold onto some inward hope and help her feel His love to keep her going. 

Pray for her.  Pray that USCIS will go quickly.  We should be ready to submit to them by the end of February or beginning of March.  God has an exciting plan that we are thrilled to be a part of!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Great Post

No, I'm not bragging.  :)  I ran across this post written by a wonderful adoptive mother.  Here is a link and I put it again at the bottom: It shares many of the things that I hear way too often.  I will be honest and say that the things said there are heard to often and felt even more often.  I will also be honest and say that it has shaped me. 

Even when people may not think these things, I feel them.  I know that SOME people feel this way or say these things and as a result I wonder about many others.  They are views that I don't agree with.  All the things that this other mother says are so true.  The people with the views are the ones who are very WRONG. 

It still has affected how I react and deal with others.  I don't ask for help.  I don't like to accept help.  I often refuse help when it is offered.  I don't like to share my children with others who didn't think we should keep adopting and if I had listened to then I would have those children.  I go above and beyond what most parents would do in order to prove to anyone in doubt that all of my children are still well taken care of and missing nothing. 

I take it a little far I will admit.  We have a wonderful church family.  At the same time I realize that when someone says "Let me help you get drinks" or "I can help you get plates" or "Tell me what I can do to help you", I say "Oh no, don't worry.  I've got it all under control."  I know I do it.  I know that people with two children (or even one) accept help more often than I can ever force myself.  I don't want anyone to think that I can't "do it all".  I can do everything I need to do and do it without help.  Why though can't I let someone "make drinks" or "help with plates"?  Purely because I've insisted on doing it all myself.  I mean it would be great to have them help, but I don't want anyone to think I "can't" or feed anyone's belief that we should quit now. 

We manage quite well.  The kids all do their part to help.  I could be more willing to accept help.  I mean. . . . gasp. . . . I could even ask for help.  Maybe I will try to work on this, but I can't make any promises. 

Here is the really good post:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just for the Record

If you know us personally then you probably know others that know us personally.  I have a request.  Please share these thoughts with others, so that I don't lose my self control and share them in person. 

Here are the facts and we already know. 

Yes, it is not "normal" to adopt this many children.  EXPLANATION:  We are not trying to be normal.  We don't want to be normal.  We like our crazy life and our loving home.  I'm definitely not going to win any "normal person of the year award" and I am very cool with it.

Yes, it is going to be busy and crazy to take on this many with special needs who have never lived in homes before.  EXPLANATION:  We like busy and crazy (the opposite of normal to most).  We love children and feel that each and every one is a blessing.  If you think we will change our minds and leave them in mental institutions and orphanages because it will cause our lives to be a little wild for a while, then you are wasting your breath.  They are already mine in my heart and I will take down anyone in the path to make sure that they get home.  If your child was in that situation wouldn't you do the same?

Yes, we realize that they don't speak English.  EXPLANATION:  I really don't care what language they speak.  God made them and God brought them to my attention because He knew I'd fall in love and do something about it.  They will learn to understand language just as my other children with autism learned to do.  It will be a challenge, but also a rewarding and educational experience for our whole family.

Yes, we know we can't save them all.  EXPLANATION:  I can still save more.  I can't adopt them all, so why don't all the people who say or think that do something about it?  Why don't all of them save one?  The statistics show that if most Christians adopted even one child, there would be no more orphans.  I don't need an excuse and I refuse to defend myself.  I am now leaving the defending to those who do nothing.

Yes, I will have 12 children ages 10 and under.  EXPLANATION:  That happens to be when they were born and how old they are.  Sounds like fun to me!

Yes, I have thought of the "How are we going to do it?".   EXPLANATION:  I hear that question a lot so believe me I have considered it.  The answer is that I will be figuring that out as we go, just as we always have.  God doesn't give all the answers right away.  He provides what we need as we go!  I have learned to live peacefully with that for the most part (harder when they aren't safely in my arms yet, but I'm trying).  We are planning to do some extra homeschooling during the summer and take time off when they arrive home with maybe just some light studies and build back up to our normal school routine. 

I'm sure there are lots more things that should be here.  It is quite late and I am tired.  I do now feel much better after getting that off of my chest. 

If anyone thinks that there is an alternative to my insanity, then you don't know me well.  I love the children that God has placed in my heart.  I will not leave even one of them behind to live in hopelessness.  I will take on more if God provides a way.  If anyone is very concerned about what all I am taking on, then please feel free to get off of your bahootas (I use that word instead of "butts" here often) and do something crazy for God yourselves.  You might find it is quite rewarding and that knowing you changed the life of a child is even worth a little extra tiredness and making life a little harder for a short while is such a BLESSING. 

Please spread the word.  My "paper pregnancy hormones" may be the culprit.  It could also be a very earnest impatience for the complacency of the world around me.  It might even be that I can't imagine how people live knowing that they do nothing to help children that God created, but yet live in despair.  I can't put a definite pinpoint on the cause of my inability to deal with the questions.  I just know that the next person who suggests in any way (no matter how discreetly) that maybe I should leave my children in mental institutions or let them suffer so those around me won't be uncomfortable or we won't have to go to the "trouble" of being their parents, might need to DUCK. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lots of Progress

Well we have lots of progress to report.  Progress is always God's little pick me ups, so I thought I'd share with you all.  We have so far to go, but it is so amazing to feel God moving and working in it all. :)

First of all, yesterday we got our "apostilled" documents back from the Secretary of State's office.  That made me happy because it didn't take a week even.  I know there are LOTS more documents to have "apostilled" so it is great to know that they do them quickly. 

Those same documents hit the road again today!  They are headed to the specific country (can't say the name) in Eastern Europe.  They should arrive on Monday.  Amazingly enough they had to be sent either UPS or FedEx, so the cost was a little over $117!  I've sure never paid that to mail anything before! 

We also heard today that our homestudy agency (have I mentioned that I <3 Mended Reeds) has our homestudy nearly finished.  They realized that I have to get our wonderful medical provider to write a specific sentence about each of my two daughters that are "adult" age.  I can get that hopefully on Monday.  There are a few more small details that need added tomorrow and we should be ready to roll. 

I have completed 2 of the 5 online classes that I need to complete for the Hague education as well and should finish those up in the next week.  :) 

It is so wonderful to be a part of God's plan.  I am amazed at what He is doing.  Stay tuned!  Lots of news to come I'm sure.  I have no clue how it will all come together.  There are still some big "ransom" costs that need to be paid coming up.  I have no doubt that God is going to provide for all of it.  He is amazing and those are His children over there.  I know how badly I want to get them out of those situations and into my arms.  He's loved them longer than I knew they existed so I'm sure He is going to move mountains!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Why? (The Answer)

Tonight I watched "Martian Child" with Denzell and Dayton.  It is a movie that I had never let any of the kids watch.  Some of the foster care themes are a little too fresh for many of my kids and we don't need a set back.  Those two had really helped me a lot today while I had a headache, so I had let them stay up extra late.  Both of them are thoroughly rooted and I thought it would be a good time to let them enjoy the movie as well. 

That movie rings true in so many ways for me.  I couldn't begin to tell you the tears that come to my eyes while he waits to hear if he will be given the opportunity to parent the child that he already has come to love.  I get chills when he gets the call that says he can be his parent.  I totally relate to those awkard moments of trying to figure out how much to open or close the door.  I could talk about all of that tonight, but I won't.  I won't even go into the ridiculousness (is that a word?  lol) of the system that has left me waiting endlessly for my little Cody to come home.

 I do want to talk about the big TRUTH in the movie.  At the end of the movie the little broken hearted boy looks into the eyes of his father and asks "Why?".  He wants to know why parents don't stay.  He wants to know why he has been rejected over and over.  He wants to know why the world saw no value in him.  Then comes the truth from the dad . . . . "they are STUPID". 

That is the truth.  In this world children are neglected, rejected, and set aside because adults are STUPID.  Children wait tonight in foster homes feeling unloved and afraid of what tomorrow will hold because people are STUPID.  Children sit in the cribs all day in orphanages unloved, hungry, and not even knowing what their world should be like because adults are STUPID. 

God gave all of us these amazing gifts!  CHILDREN ARE A GIFT - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!  They are thrown away in our society daily.  They are aborted, abandoned, abused, neglected, and discounted because our whole adult world is STUPID.  How will all of the adults stand before God some day and account for their STUPIDITY?  How will they justify to God their inaction?  I really don't know.  I can't imagine standing there and saying "but they weren't my responsibility",  "I didn't do that to them", "I didn't give birth to them", " I didn't have time", "I had MY own children", or whatever other lame excuses people have planned. 

As long as children are hurting we are being held responsible.   The Bible talks about "the least of these".  The Bible talks specifically about Jesus's love for children and His words about them and their care.  The Bible tells us that "true undefiled religion" is taking care of the orphans.  What more words do people need to make them know it is their responsibility?  What more do they need to make them act? 

I know this, I will not stand before Him and account for my inaction.  I will stand before Him knowing that I did every thing that I could.  If what you can do is "give", then do it.  If what you can do is "advocate" then get to it.  If what you can do is "adopt" then hurry.  Ask God what your part is today.  Don't TELL Him what your part should be, because you will account to Him some day.  If you need a place to start figuring out how to do your part then please feel free to click on  my links for Reece's Rainbow.  They have a part that each one can play.  DON'T BE STUPID!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our Login and Acceptance

We got our login and our acceptance email for About A Child today.  :)  That means we can start doing our online education ours for the Hague adoption training we have to have.  That also means that they received our payment and have officially accepted us with their agency.  That is good stuff.

Waiting and thinking are hard things.  I have to stop my mind a thousand times a day.  It wants to wonder what my little ones in Eastern Europe are doing.  When it goes there I feel sick.  I wonder if they have had enough to eat.  I wonder if their diapers were changed.  I wonder if they did anything today.  I wonder if Paula has been out of her crib at all. 

These are among the many things that make my heart hurt.  I have a very clean house.  I have been nesting for our little Cody to come home for lots of months already.  He still isn't home and now I'm nesting for 4 more.  I am starting to run out of things to "clean" and "sort".  You would think that to not be possible since there are 14 people living here already.  It is possible though! m

I listened to Julianne laughing today and wondered if my others had anything to laugh about.  I pray that God gave them peace and love in their hearts today.  I pray that He puts it their tomorrow.  I pray that He puts hope in there with the love and peace.  I pray that He helps them to know somewhere deep inside that Love is coming for them.  I pray that they somehow can hope for a family when they have never had one.  I pray that they can find peace in knowing from God somehow that we are out here loving them and trying to love them all the way home as soon as possible. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Country Commitment Paperwork

We filled out our paperwork for the specific Eastern European country that our little ones are from.  We went and got it notarized today.  Brent then took it to the county courthouse to get the notarization "certified".  He took them straight to the post office.  They are now on their way to the Secretary of State's Office to get "apostilled".  That is one more step that we could do that is done.  They said the turn around is about 4 days to get them apostilled.  We will then be able to send them to their next stop.  Yes, the "hurry up and wait" has begun for this as well. 

Praying that we spend more time "hurrying" and less time "waiting".  :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Paula's Introduction

Here is the info about Paula off of Reece's Rainbow's public site.  :)

Paula #22-1

Girl, DOB: April 19, 2006
 Main diagnosis: Down syndrome
lagging behind in physical and mental development
Paula was born with a heart condition that was surgically corrected with satisfactory results.
She does not yet walk and often prefers to be by herself. She is 4 years old and her report says she functions at the level of a 2 year old. She is lagging behind in all areas of her development.
Her medical report was updated in May 2010. Paula REALLY needs a family, and will truly blossom once home.  Please give her a chance!

Anjelina's Introduction

Here is the info off of Reece's Rainbow's site about little Anjelina.  :)

Anjelina #6-12

 DOB: May 25, 2005

Anjelina has Down syndrome and an interauricular cardiac malformation that is monitored by a cardiologist. In addition, she suffers from frequent urinary infections.
Anjelina can walk, run and climb! She participates in activities with other children. She plays with toys, follow simple directions and laughs at jokes.  She is pronouncing combinations of sounds and syllables but it not yet using words.
A baby photo of Anjelina is also available. What a priceless gift that will be for the adoptive family!

Nicholas's Introduction

Here is the public info off of the Reece's Rainbow site about Nicholas.  I won't share the info from his file, but I will share the info that is public already here to make it easier for friends and family to fall in love with him too.  :) 

(child's name has been changed to protect their identity)
Boy, Born September 7, 2002
Nicholas is so so handsome, and definitely has some Roma in him.   Dark olive skin with dark hair and dark eyes.   Very smart, and HEALTHY except for some strabismus.   Active, happy, and will make a wonderful addition to any family.  Be ready to run!

Ahnja's Site Introduction

I wanted everyone to be able to know a little about the kiddos in Eastern Europe that we are adopting.  I won't share their info from the files I have received, but I thought I'd share their info from the public Reece's Rainbow site here where those following or checking in can find it easily and get to know and love them like we do.  :)  Here is the info on Ahnja that we first saw on the site:

Girl, DOB: April 01, 2002
 Main diagnosis: Down syndrome
Ahnja is currently living in a group home setting with 2 other children. She can count to 10, identify all major colors and recognize all her letters. She likes to draw, color and play with blocks. She enjoys interacting with other children and exhibits pretend play skills. She enjoys music and likes to sing. Her favorite activity is playing with dolls. She is toilet trained and can feed and dress herself. She likes to put the toys and clothes in order and enjoys helping clean. Her receptive language skills are excellent. She talks and her clarity is improving.
She receives speech therapy and attends a mainstreamed preschool in the local community.
Additional photos are available.