Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Pictures Any One?

Christmas pictures of the 5 Bulgarian Blessings are here and ready to share.  :) 

First of I'll show you the Family Christmas Picture!
 Our 5 Bulgaria Blessings Together
 Ahnja with Destiny (these two are tight)
 Another family shot
I think if you look at both of the family shots, you can see the spots that 3 more little ones are meant to fill!  We can't wait to get them home and are still working hard on the paperwork to get them here. 
I will try to get all the kids posted on the family blog soon.  Right now it is time to bake Christmas cookies! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Small Update

Just thought I'd give a small update.  As of today, our homestudy is being reviewed by our international agency to see if any corrections need made.  After that it will be officially printed and sent to them for the Hague certificate that we need.  Then it will go to USCIS.  All that happens rather quickly, up until USCIS.  That often takes a couple months.  Please pray that someone gets it who moves it through quickly!

We just finished up a quick auction on Facebook and I will be busy mailing things out.  The auctions have been a huge help with getting together those beginning funds.  Adoption is expensive and we just finished the last one just months ago, so the auctions have really helped us to keep moving forward funds wise.

Our social worker just finished up our first post placement visit.  That is being reviewed now.  It is AMAZING how much the children have changed.  I should have new pictures to share soon too.  We just had Christmas pictures done that I will send with our post placement report. I may be a little partial, but my kids were sure adorable dressed up in their Christmas clothes!  Hope to show you soon!

Here are a couple little boys who are waiting in the same place that Thad, Carson, and Presley are waiting.  These two still need families!



Both of these boys need families so badly.  You can click on their names to learn more about them.  Reece's Rainbow has more info on them or you can email Shelley at

Friday, November 16, 2012

Update and Adoption Auction

Sorry I haven't been on much.  Things have been a little busy and when they are the updating here is the first thing to get left out.

Keith has had an infection in his sinuses and ears ever since I picked him up.  He's had antibiotics almost constantly and even tried antibiotic shots.  We've been to ENTs that were afraid to do anything because of his size, but who said that he wouldn't get better without surgery to put in ear tubes and remove his tonsils and adnoids.  A couple weeks ago the infection got too bad while we were waiting to go to a new ENT that upcoming Monday and he ended up in PICU.  He'd only been off of antibiotics for about 5 days!!  Thursday at an appointment with our primary care provider his lungs were clear and Saturday he had pneumonia.

The pneumonia ended up being a lot less scary than watching his response to being in a PICU room in a crib with people in scrubs.  :(  I can't even describe to you what it is like to see your baby that scared.  I found that his stress and fear was much reduced if I was in the crib (they should make those things bigger!) with him, so for 3 nights this Mama slept in a crib at the hospital.  I came home one time for a shower and not until Daddy and Dayton were there with him!  Dayton stayed over there during the days, bc we didn't want him to feel like he was in an "isolation room" again.  I held the breathing treatment mask, bc the scrubs scared him that the hospital staff wore.  Crazy how we never think about those connections and how they must be woven in their brains until you see the terror on their sweet little faces!  Children don't belong in places like that.  They need medical care, love, and comfort.  Cribs should never bring fear into a child's eyes!  Here at home, he is never in the crib except at night.  Not even naps are in the crib!  He spent far too long in a crib and I won't have him in one unless it is necessary.  I usually get him to sleep before I even put him in it.

I will say that we had a not good experience with one of the PICU doctors.  Keith (and Dayton) got to see what happens when someone messes with Mama Bears little cub.  Any time what happens comes up and I tell someone the story, Keith laughs hysterically.  He might look little, but he is FIVE year old in there and he fully appreciated the wrath of Mama coming down on the doctor who wasn't doing it right!  lol

The picture above is of him heading home from the hospital.  He's home and doing wonderful again now.  We went to a new ENT this past Monday and he will be having the surgery he needs this coming Wednesday.  Yes, the day before Thanksgiving.  Not the best time to not be feeling well.  Our hope is that he will not be hospitalized for this one, but if he is then we will have Thanksgiving whenever he gets out.  He needs this done so that he can get healthy and that is the first available appointment.  He will NOT be off of antibiotics at all until after the surgery.  Please pray that the surgery goes very well and he heals up perfectly!

This picture is how happy Keith was even at the doctor's office when the "people in scrubs" (AKA nurses) left the room!  Love that smile and so blessed to get to be his Mama!

We also went on a Wednesday night to speak at a large church locally about adoption.  Our kids do great at church usually.  Nicholas got out of the van and immediately freaked out.  The church was a large brick building just like his institution.  :(  It took him a very long to calm down and a lot of reassurance and time to feel safe.  He was loud and afraid.  It was pitiful to watch.  He was terrified that he was "going back".  At home, and in places that he has been and knows, he is a very comfortable acting little guy.  You put him in a place that looks like it could be an institution and in the dark and he is still frightened.  He will get better the rest of the way.  You'd already not recognize him as the little boy that I picked up!  He just has to keep experiencing that even places that look like that will never separate him from the love of his family and whatever was scary behind those walls, will never bother him again.

I just won't apologize for Nicholas's noise the other night either.  That is exactly why Christians need to get off their butts and go adopt children.  Children should NOT be in institutions.  They should NOT be in foster care.  They should NOT be in orphanages.  CHRISTIANS should be DOING what GOD SAID and then children would be loved and cared for.  The Bible says that what we do unto the least of these we do unto Him, so that means we are leaving Him to waste away, be afraid and alone, and feel unloved and forgotten . . . to the point that scrubs, brick buildings, and cribs are all scary things.  No child should live that way.  I dare to say that it isn't the fault of the governments. . . yes that probably isn't a popular belief.  Governments are not the ones commanded by God to take care of the "orphans".  God told US, His adopted children, to take care of them.  Is it expensive?  YES  Is it difficult?  YES  Do you end up in uncomfortable situations (like a crib)?  YES  Will you get your hands dirty?  YES    BUT IT IS WORTH EVERY SINGLE SECOND AND THE REWARD FAR OUTWEIGH THE COSTS!!  That is the truth of it.  God said to do it and no matter how uncomfortable it makes people, that is what we are suppose to do.  LOVE THEM LIKE HE LOVED US!

We do have a Facebook Auction going on right now.  It will help with the fees to bring home the next 3 Unroes!  Lots of wonderful Christmas presents are available to purchase at great prices!!  We've had some wonderful donations so go check it out!  Three More For the Unroes Christmas Auction

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Little Girls Outting

Well yesterday was Monday, which was Brent's day off.  Aleshia had an appointment to follow up with our primary medical provider.  I took Julianne, Anita, Ahnja, and Destiny along and got their flu shots.  I was ready for A LOT of whining, but it just didn't happen.  I had Destiny go first, because I knew she wouldn't whine.  Everyone else just followed her lead I guess.  The girls looked so cute!  I put them all in matching outfits and they were so THRILLED about all having the "same" outfits.  I figure I better enjoy it now, because any day some of them will start to not like it and then it will be over! 

The girls were so funny in the doctor's office.  Ahnja and Destiny are a hoot together always.  Anita and Julianne are like two peas in a pod as well.  Aleshia still isn't to the point that she can interact and join in the same way they can, but I love how they try to include her and show her things.

After the appointment I drove through McDonalds (we hardly ever do that!) and got them pies and ice creams.  We took extra to share with grandparents and headed to their house.  Mommom and Daddy Bill (what we've always called my grandparents since I was little) couldn't believe how neatly the girls ate and how sweet and loving they are.  They were so well behaved that even Daddy Bill was talking about it!  His vision is very bad now, so he thought Ahnja was me at one point.  I told him that I'll take that as a compliment, because she is WAY cuter than I ever was. 

After we left there, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things.  We went to the Christmas aisle first.  I love hearing my little Bulgarian Americans exclaim over the exciting things that we've put up here and they saw there for Christmas.  We picked out some new singing Christmas characters.  Ahnja and Destiny were quietly singing Jingle Bells through the store.  Ahnja's English is coming along so well!  They both got quieter (and Destiny quit on me), when I got out the camera to record it, but at least I got a little.  I heard people talking about the "cute little girls" and "look how well behaved all those kids are".  I love that they saw those things instead of noticing that 4 of the 5 kids with me had Down Syndrome.  No one even mentioned or seemed to notice their "extra".  I love that little extra chromosome, but I want people to see them for all their wonderfulness and then notice that "extra" blessing.  :)  There was an older couple in front of me at checkouts.  They turned and said that they'd never seen such well behaved children.  I wondered later what they would have thought if they'd known that 2 of those girls had spent time in institutions????  I wondered how many of the people smiling at Ahnja and Destiny singing got a blessing from hearing their joy of getting ready for Christmas?  I wonder if any of them ever think about the children still stuck behind the walls of institutions and orphanages and the joy that they and the world are missing out on? 
I know one thing, I AM VERY BLESSED!
If you want to visit our current Christmas Sale on Facebook, then go check it out. 
Lots of neat ways to start off your Christmas. 
Just click that link and it will take you there!
The money from that will help with the cost of the adoption of the next 3 Unroes!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Christmas Yet? Want One?

So are you ready for Christmas yet at your house??  We start early here.  A lot of people really think we are crazy for putting up our Christmas trees already.  Then the outside decorations likely put them over the edge.  lol  I've never cared what people think much though!

We usually wait until October 19th to begin decorating.  This year we were all itching to get started early.  This is our 5 Bulgarian Blessings very first Christmas home.  Keith, I'm sure has never experienced any type of Christmas before coming home.  He has now though!

The others may have had some celebrations, but not like THIS.  :)  So two large trees and 2 small trees are decorated inside.  Our biggest tree is up, but waiting till Sunday to do our Thankful Chain (we make a paper chain with each link having something we are thankful for instead of using tinsil on that tree) and get it decorated.  That tree takes a little more time, because everything on it is either their ornament with their names on it or something that we have made.  The Angel Tree (Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree ornaments are the main thing on it) and our Nativity Tree (all ornaments relating to the true meaning of Christmas and our Savior) are both fully up.  Our outside lights and inflatable decorations are up.  All the little things that sing and make Christmas so fun are all over the house.  The life size singing Santa is up in the living room. 

So exciting having all 18 of these home to celebrate.  So hard though knowing that three of the children who have stolen my heart are not here.  We had a Christmas Auction already that started the holiday spirit flowing over on Facebook.  Now we have some Christmas necklaces that will make perfect gifts that you can purchase to help with their adoptions.  :) 

 The necklaces come on this card that explains the meaning of the necklace.
I thought these were just perfect
because they talk about the price that God the Father paid
with the life of His Son. 
They also say "If God loved us, we also ought to love one another".
That is so much of the reason behind adoption!
God did it for us
we are BLESSED to be able to do it for children in the earthly sense!
These would make a perfect gift for teachers, Sunday School teachers, children, moms, grandmothers, aunts, friends, or even to put in a stocking! 
For a $15, you'll have one sent to you. 
If you are like me, then you always need more than one of anything.
A $25 donation will get two of them.
For $20, I will send one of these to whoever you'd like to surprise
 (with or without telling them who it is from),
along with a letter than tells that this was sent to them because a donation was made
to help children be adopted.
I will put a picture of our family and the three children into the document/letter format,
so that they can see who it was to help. 
For $35, I will send the above package to 2 separate people. 
I have about 26 of these available to send out. 
I will leave this available as long as I have enough to do it and then I'll put discontinued into the title.
I can send these now if you wish or mail them out the week of Thanksgiving. is my email address so that you can send me special instructions as to who they are going to and if you want them held until Thanksgiving.
If you pay and I do not hear otherwise,
then I will send the item to the address on the Chip In as soon as possible.
Several people have asked about the next auction.  The Christmas Auction went very well and lots of people got some really great deals.  Sure makes Christmas shopping easy when there is so much in one place.  We are aiming to have another one the first week of November.  If you have something you would like to donate, then contact me at the email address above.  I will post here when the auction starts.  Keep checking back.  I know some people on here and Facebook missed the last one, but I will try my best to make sure everyone knows.  :) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Commitment Paperwork? Who?

Our commitment paperwork arrived in country today.  It is in the hands of our wonderful attorney.  We are praying that all goes well and that it is submitted soon.  Holding our breath till the commitment papers are accepted! 

*In case you don't know the process and terms, the "commitment papers" are not to commit us to some crazy farm for having 18 kids and being ready to adopt again.  ;)    They are the papers where we are requesting the government of their country allows us to commit to adopt them.  This is a packet explaining a lot about our family, the adjustment of the other children into our family, and our preparedness to adopt again.  It also explains how the 3 children that we are wanting to commit to will fit into our family.  It gives details about our family and tells where in the process we are and how soon our homestudy will be ready to go off to USCIS. 

So who are we asking to be allowed to commit to?
Presley is 3

Carson is 6

Thad is 9
Those are only their online Reece's Rainbow names.  We will be choosing new names, so we are actually working on that now.  Please pray that the commitment papers are accepted, that 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some pictures of Nicholas and a small update

Nicholas is doing great.  He is a child that I thought would take quite a while to adjust and be able to go to church and out to eat.  He handles everything very well already though.  He can sit through a preaching service.  He waits patiently when we go out to eat.  He is using the potty when sent.

Most of all, he loves being loved!  He loves hugs, kisses, sitting on your lap, and being picked up.  He is 10 years old, but about the size of Cody who is 5 years old.  He very much understands what we are saying already and smiles when I say 'I love you'.  Such a cutie!

Here are some pictures.

We are so blessed!  I'll try to do better at updating, but things are busy with the new adoption paperwork.  On top of that, I'm trying to find a new pediatric cardiologist that I will like.  Aleshia is fine now, but the one Aleshia went to will be one we never go to again and the one Julianne has seen for quite some time is using the same new medicine for sedation.  That means that none of my children will be seeing him for ECHOs that they want sedations for either.  Julianne was due to have one in December, so I need a new cardiologist quickly.  

I'll give more updates on the kids we are going back for soon.  Our commitment paperwork should arrive my snail mail in their country tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aleshia is sick and we miss her with pictures

Aleshia had an Echo this morning.  She was sedated for it and did not wake up well from the sedation.  The doctor got a good piece of my mind and will again.  We won't be going back to him either, because I think he gave her too much medication.  She is spending a night in the PICU for observation, but is back awake after a very long 8 1/2 hours at least of sleeping.  I was with her during the day and Brent is with her now, so that I could come home with the other kids.

She was doing much better when I left though.  Praise God for this smile!
We all miss her terribly.  Life just isn't the same without her here.  Julianne was asleep when Aleshia left this morning for the Echo and is missing her worst of all I think.  

I had to use the flash on the camera to get this picture of her.  She went in, flipped out her light, and was sitting like this when I went in to check on here. 
 Yes, she was sitting and holding Aleshia's picture from Aleshia's old picture album.  She got it out all on her own.  This is so SWEET and so SAD too.  Julianne has slept in her own bed every since Aleshia came home.  They giggle and laugh after the lights are out and Julianne even turns them back on sometimes.  (wink)
She misses her very much as do we.  I bet I have a little girl back in my bed tonight.  Praying Aleshia continues to do well and is back home tomorrow morning before Julianne even wakes up.  

Aleshia has a family now and WE don't know what to do without her!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christmas Anyone? and the Family Picture!

Yes, that is what we are working on here.  We have a Christmas Auction going on right now to help with adoption costs.  We've only been home for 2 months and while things here are going AWESOME, we have to do a little fundraising to keep this adoption moving at the fastest possible speed.

We have our new Social Worker coming on Monday.  We are very excited about that and getting the process moving as quickly as we can.  We can't wait to meet them and make them a part of our family!  There is so much paperwork and so many parts to the process, but we are trusting God to get us through each part.

You can check out our Christmas Auction on Facebook if you would like.  There are some really great deals on there from people who love care about our family and want to help us make these next three blessings an official part of it ASAP!

I'll put up more pictures later, but here is the one of the whole family on the "ark" playset in the backyard.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Reached $100, but I'm showing the Main video so here it is

I can't get the preview video to post.  That means you get to see the main video, even though we are only at $105
Let me start by saying that this is less probably about half of the clothes that had to come out of the closet in order to put fall and winter into the closet.  We pile them up like this and then pull down the tubs from the attic in order to have the stuff ready to go into those tubs and put them right back up.  Then I wash and sort all of the clothes from the tubs and mark them with a sharpie to show who they go to that year.  What they decided to do this year, shows what happens when you have 15 children between the ages of 5 and 13.  lol  Kids just want to have fun!


We'll have more ways for you to help us fundraise for this new adoption later, along with pictures and names as we're still working on the new names.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Do you want to SEE???

My kids are hysterical.  I was in their videoing their funniness and thought that it should be "Pay Per View".  So here's the deal,  WHEN THE CHIP IN ON THE RIGHT SIDE BAR REACHES $200 IN DONATIONS (THAT WILL HELP BRING OUR NEXT THREE KIDS HOME TO JOIN IN THE FUN) THEN I WILL POST THE VIDEO!!!!

This is what the Unroe children have decided to do instead of jumping in piles of leaves and how any chore can become fun.
Dayton left the activity when he saw the camera, but Cody and Ahnja were having a blast and some of the others couldn't decide whether to join or not!  lol

I'll keep watching so that I know when to post.  Make sure to keep popping by so you don't miss it!!!

Also, anyone who donates to the Chipin before that goal is reached will be entered to win this little wooden doll that I bought in Bulgaria!  She is so cute and she has a vial of "Rose" perfume inside which is the popular thing over there!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Why I've Been So Quiet . . . Are you Ready?

I'm sorry I haven't gotten Nicholas's update post up.  I'll try to get that up soon.  I've been a little busy though.  You're thinking "Busy, with 18 kids".  lol  The kids are doing WONDERFUL and things here are running very smoothly.  Our new homeschool year has kicked off well and our Homeschool Co-Op is back in session every other Friday.  All is well and wonderful!  (I even have new family pictures to share with you soon and a picture of all 5 of our little Bulgarian/Americans together!)

We've been busy with PAPERWORK!

Brent knew when he was at Keith's place for trip #1, that God would be sending us back there.  We didn't know "when".  We figured it would take a while to settle these in.  God fixed that though and they settled in easier we could have ever imagined.  They are wonderful, amazing, thriving, and joyful!!!  Laughter and Bulgarian words ring through the house.  We all often use the words for "Yes", "No", "Wait", "Stop", "Dog", "Goodnight" and a few others interchangeably with the English version because we LOVE the way that it sounds.  The Bulgarian language is BEAUTIFUL!  They understand almost everything in English already and Ahnja speaks quite a bit.  Anita and Nicholas both speak a little bit of English already too.  They enjoy church, going out to eat, family movies with snacks, playing outside, and so many other things.  They all readily accept and even initiate affection.  LIFE IS WONDERFUL!!!!

So God has made it clear to us that we are going BACK!  Yes, we will be heading to where little Keith came from to bring home 3 additional children.  I can't say "who" yet, as we are working on the official commitment documents.  Our homestudy money has already been paid and paperwork is already in the hands of the agency.

You will notice that there is already a "Chip In" on the sidebar of this blog to allow for donations.  We also have a Facebook Auction running right now to help with the beginning costs.  We've not had much time to save up fees toward this adoption and there are fees due right off the bat.  We could just wait to save them all, but then the children wait longer.  That is not something that we want to happen, especially with the children where Keith came from.  The government has made changes to try to help correct the problems there, but with YEARS of neglect in its most severe form these children need to come home quickly where love, nutrition, opportunity, therapies, etc can help them to overcome what they have lived through.

I'll have a giveaway or two run from this blog soon as well.

Please pray as we move forward that everything moves smoothly and quickly and that God will take care of them while we work hard to bring them home!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ahnja Pick up and One Month Update ( a little late lol)

Ahnja was next on the pickup schedule.  I was worried.  I knew what she had been told about US being the ones to leave her.  I also knew that she was older and in a group home where she likely had some attachments.

When we arrived and went up to the "flat" that they lived in there, the other children had gone away the day before on a vacation and she had been left behind with one staff.  She was happy to see herself on the camera, but very unsure of me.  I have no idea what could have been told to her after Brent left or right before I arrived.  She was happy to call me "Mama" after just a few minutes.  There were lots of hugs and she gave me pictures that she had prepared for me.  Then she was NOT happy to be told she needed to leave with me.  The psychologist was assuring me that she'd be fine.  Ahnja cried and I felt so badly for her.  I also knew that she would be fine later and I knew that what she didn't know is that there was no real future for her there.  Down Syndrome is still a very big deal there.  She was scared of going somewhere new, but her future there would have been much scarier.

I do not have videos of picking Ahnja up.  The couple that went with me had their hands full with the 3 children in the van.  I could have asked the driver with me to video, but I did not think that would be fair to her.  She was much older and more aware.  I wouldn't want someone to video me transitioning into a brand new life with some crazy lady who spoke a language I didn't understand.  We got her into the van with promises of going to get ice cream first thing and still not terribly happy.  Thankfully, that changed.  The pictures I'm going to post of her with the ice cream show how quickly that occurred!  Her personality came out quickly and she was back to her amazing self in no time at all.  She has attached wonderfully.

This was right after we got back to the hotel and she realize she had a "bebe' "!
See how happy she was by her first outting!
She is doing great here at home!  The first several visitors that came over made her get very quiet.  Then when they got ready to leave, she said "Chow" and tried to push them out the door.  After the were out the door and getting in their cars, she would go out and be very friendly.  We realized that she was afraid they too would "take" her.  We encouraged visitors to come more, so that she could see that she didn't have to leave with anyone.  She is very friendly when people come now!  

She has quite a few words that she says.  She repeats everyone's names and sometimes uses them on her own.  She says "No", "Stop it" (mainly to Cody or Anita!  lol), "I love you", "Goodnight", "Tickle", "Yes", "doll baby", and several other words.  She knows body parts and can repeat them.  

She understands almost everything that is said to her.  She claims to NOT understand the word "clean".  roflol  When you use that word and point to toys (like you do every day), she has no clue what that means.  Thankfully, Destiny is glad to take her hand and model how she needs to help with that task!  

She has a huge personality!  She is very loving.  Lots of kisses, hugs, and playfulness from her now!!  She is very bossy.  I've had to remind her a hundred or so times that she is not in charge of Anita.  (She was left in charge of other children at the group home, so this is only typical for her to need to learn this.)  She can be somewhat sassy and have an attitude, but she gets over it quickly with a timeout.  
Ahnja and Destiny have become so close and the best of friends!
 Destiny is actually bigger than Ahnja by several inches and a clothing size,
but Ahnja sits up tall to make sure she looks taller.  lol

Here is a little "Ahnja footage"!

Monday, August 27, 2012

One Month Update for Anita and her Pick up Pictures and video

Ok, this is late of course, but you're still getting it.  lol

Anita was the first child that we picked up on July 17th.  As we pulled up to the gate I could see children outside playing.  There was this gorgeous little boy that was showing his strength for getting out and I immediately noticed that he was a little boy that a friend is adopting.  I was not expecting to see Anita right off and I was wanting to be sure I could tell his Mama about him, so my attention was on him.  THEN THERE SHE WAS!!!
Right outside!  She knew she was suppose to be "going" somewhere and she was ready.  She was NOT happy when we had to go back into the building.  Then I got to see her mad side as the caregivers made her go back inside while we all did paperwork.  She screamed the entire time that we did paperwork just about.

The videos are loud, but here is one where she is at her calmest besides when we were finally "out" of that gate that held here inside the orphanage.  Once in the van she calmed down nicely, because she was "going" like she was suppose to.

Here is Anita now!
(If you are wondering, Dayton is telling Julianne that they don't want to see 
whatever is on tv that she keeps turning back on.  lol)

Anita and Julianne are hysterical together!
They have a blast!

She was said to be nonverbal. 
She is already saying words and even a phrase or two.
She only says them when you don't try to get her to.
(Go figure with that "extra" stubbornness)
She's said "I love you" a few times.
Goodnight has happened twice.
Today she said "Go, Go, Go" 
with the hand motion she did in the video above.
She is quite the mimic and that is what I say 
when I shew her out of the kitchen when I'm getting things out of the oven 
or when I need a moment along to actually go pee 
or change clothes.  lol
She is VERY animated.  
She will mimic any motion.
Sometimes you can tell by her movements and the way she holds her mouth
that she is mimicking the way the caretakers in the orphanage
talked and motioned when they taught her to do something
like put on her shirt
or eat her food
or anything.
She keeps us laughing!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some One Month Stories

Ok, I'm a couple days late, but things are busy.  I hate to miss any moment with them to sit and blog, so I do it at night.  That means that I'm exhausted and sometimes decide bed is more appealing.  Then other times I want to blog, but words to describe the wonderfulness of this life and these 18 kids is hard to even put into words.  Other times, honestly I'm so ticked that kids are waiting and people who claim Christ aren't lining up to get them out of those orphanages and institutions that I can't write anything that would sound nice and decide maybe to keep my fingers off the keyboard.  Now there are my excuses, but that isn't what this post is for, so let's learn a little about the kids!

Aleshia and Keith were our first "Gotcha Day"!  I haven't shared as much as I had hoped to so I thought I'd catch you up on that a bit.  We picked up Aleshia first on July 16th.  There was a newspaper reporter and camera man there who wanted to know and understand better the "why" of us coming for her.  How do you explain to people that their society is throwing away the most wonderful members of it???  How do you nicely say "I came because you didn't want her and I couldn't stand to live without her"?  It was difficult to think of how to answer their questions, because all I could think about is that she was THERE and so was I! The people there were so nice and genuinely happy to see her be loved.  That institution truly cared about her and did the best they could.  You could hear children in the place and there were kids outside playing.  It wasn't a family, but she received the best they had the ability to give her and for that I am very thankful.

Here is a video of the moment that I first got her into my arms:
 (Can you hear my friend Jackie exclaiming how beautiful she is? <3 )

Then we had to hop right back into the van and hurry off to go get Keith!  You'll see in the next picture that she even got her clothes changed while we drove!

Keith's place was very different.  It was full of kids and 4 times as many lived there as did where Aleshia had come from.  They paraded a few children in front of us who looked healthy, but I knew it was NOT how the kids there looked in general.  I know of many children who have families coming for them there and they do not look healthy.  My sweet boy was so thin and had spent his 5 years there in a crib receiving barely enough care to stay alive.  Floors after floor of children and yet it was QUIET.  

Here is a video of our first moments together:

(Could you see Jackie's husband Doug holding Aleshia?  Yes, he was already wrapped tightly around her tiny crooked pinky finger! lol)

After that we had to jump into the van and head for the capital city to get their passport pictures done!  

Aleshia seemed to enjoy riding in the van, but we had to keep working to keep her upright.  She is 6 years old, but still not sitting up independently.  (We are waiting now for results of some tests on her hips because there seems to be an issue with them.)  She is very opinionated too and let us know that from the beginning. Jackie and I even managed to change her diaper while riding in a van!  Yes it was quite the experience as it wasn't just pee!  lol 
(There is tiny Keith in his pajamas back at the hotel)

Poor Keith, on the other hand, was not use to the sun.  He cried every time the sunshine touched any part of his body.  He was not use to being held and he had to be held in the van.  He was squirmy and Jackie and I did a lot of passing him back and forth.  Thankfully he got use to being held and was spoiled within just a day or so!  <3

Now, here are some of the "now" pictures!

Aleshia has the seat now that is pictured above. 
She can sit up and be in the middle of things much better that way.
She is still very interested in Keith.
She has the most gorgeous smile.
The seat has also helped her gain some back strength, 
since it doesn't support her back like a wheelchair does
This has allowed her to be able to sit up well on a couch
or on the bed if her back is against the wall.
That is improvement and we hope to see her get much stronger!

Now for Keith's mega transformation:
The picture on the left on the top is a picture I shared with you before.
Brent was visiting him and those are size 18 months pajamasa that were HUGE on him 
and not even wearable.
Brent donated that pair (along with many others he took).
On the right of that picture is Keith now with a size 18 months of the same brand and style of pajamas.
I bought those at the same time to have here, but they are a different pattern.
He is wearing them and they fit now!
He wore a size 18 months outfit to his kidney specialist appointment this week.
He wore a size 6 to 9 months (some smaller), when I picked him up.

The picture on the left of this is Keith without clothes when Brent visited him.
He looked the same when I picked him up,
 but I don't have any good pictures of him that way as things were very hectic.
The picture on the right is of Keith tonight!
Yes, that is what love can do!

Above and below pictures were both taken tonight as well.
He has gotten so strong that he can sit up with little support.
He can also support his weight while just holding my hands and stand up now, 
but I don't have a picture because I'm the one holding on!  lol

And that is what Keith thinks of his new life!

All the kids are doing wonderful!
I'll try to get another one month update up soon for Anita, Ahnja, and Nicholas!

Thanks for following along with our journey and the part you all played!

If you'd like to watch the miracles God can do when you step out in faith, then contact Shelley at 
or go to 

Many children are waiting
 and you can change their lives 
and be more blessed than you can ever imagine!

Please don't leave them all alone!

Go check out these kids in particular: