Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nicholas Day #3 - A Little Bit of Mowgli

Nicholas really is just so stinkin cute!  He was much calmer today and didn't do the kicking that he did yesterday.  The caregiver from day #1 was with him today.  He just sits back and laughs instead of getting in the middle like yesterday's caregiver.  Nicholas does of course have a lot of institutionalized behaviors, but he is hysterical and really enjoys Brent coming.  The roaring scream of his was not as often today.  He did eat off of the floor and obsess over crumbs.  He also wanted to jump into Brent's arms.  The caregiver even mentioned that it means he trusts Brent.  :) 

Now for the pictures and videos!

The "top" in the picture below is an old fashioned top that they had there.
It did NOT survive Nicholas.
The worker called him "demolition boy".  lol
The food issues will take some time to get worked out once he gets home. 
I'm sure eventually he will feel like he is safe enough and food is sure enough
 that the crumbs on the floor won't seem so necessary to him.
Praying that he is home and learning all of that very soon.

Don't forget about our GIVEAWAY!  There are only 5 days left.  If you have shared the post about of our blog, donated, or shared the waiting kids from the weekends, then message me or leave a comment so that I know what you want to put your tries toward winning. 
Don't forget to VOTE for our blog.  We are currently in 18th place, which is awesome. 
If you have anything to donate to the Hidden Treasures Auction, then please go to this link and contact the lady.  That auction will be the first week of April and the money will be used to help with the costs of our Trip #2, to pick up our sweeties.  :) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nicholas Day #2- Tarzan

Day #2 with Nicholas was interesting, yet great.  I did get to Skype with him again this morning.  He was interested in the phone and was either kissing, eating, or licking me.  I am preferring to think he was kissing me, but I am betting he was licking.  haha  He was glad to see Brent this morning and wanted Brent to pick him up first thing.  You will see in the videos and pictures that there were also some great smiles today. 

Nicholas was very "Tarzan" like today.  He was climbing, jumping, and running about.  He overturned chairs and kicked a little.  He was really the picture that we expected as to what being "institutionalized" for years could mean for him. 

We are not worried in any way about adopting him.  I debated how much to show you of him.  I don't want negative connotations attached to him.  On the other hand, we've been honest about each of our kids so far in an attempt to educate our readers about the realities these children face as well as how "real" they are.  This is Nicholas's reality.  He isn't a bad kid.  He is an institutionalized child.  Some institutionalized children are bedridden, but Nicholas is not.  He is a mobile child in a survival of the fittest environment.  That is his world and he is a product of his environment.  Not everyone may be ready to take on a child from his environment, but if not then you can take on one that isn't there yet and keep them from ever knowing that environment. 

Here are the pictures and videos:

Next up are the videos.  Look past some of the things you see immediately.  Imagine how you would feel if you'd been in an institution for years and then this man showed up who talks funny.  Imagine how confused he must be, how scared, and the need for some "control" of his life that he must be experiencing.  Then watch for the signs that he will be "ok".  Watch for the smiles, the desire for contact, and the light in his eyes.  He will be ok and after he gets home you can watch God transform him.  It won't be "fast", but it will be a "miracle" for Nicholas.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for Nicholas and our family
 as we get the privelege of loving him each day.  :)

Please do not forget about our GIVEAWAY!  There have been donations and shares, but people aren't telling me what they want to be entered to receive. 
Don't forget to VOTE for our blog.  We are in 19th place and it really is bringing in extra traffic, which means more people seeing the waiting children and the realities that they face.

Thanks so much for following the story of our children, learning about orphans, and allowing a smart opening in your heart for God to begin to work in.  We feel priveleged to be able to share the realities with you and pray that you will spread the word. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nicholas Day #1

Brent's visit with Nicholas went very well.  He is such a cutie!  Our Skype call went well.  He was lapping up some food off of the floor, but that isn't too surprising for a child whose been in an institution for about 3 years (maybe more) already.  He loved the snack and the juice that Brent took.  Brent is going to find another cup type for him so that he won't spill so much on himself. 

I am exhausted.  I didn't go to bed until about 6am, because I had to hear how the visit went after Brent got back to the hotel.  Curiosity may have killed the cat in that old saying, but curiosity and adoring my babies over there is exhausting this Mama!

Let's get on with the pictures and videos!

Isn't he just the cutest!!??!!
As you can tell, Nicholas has a scream and a cry to communicate with, so that is what he uses. 
I can't wait to teach him that there are other ways.  :) 
I really do think that he has a lot of potential. 
It will take him some work to get him out of the institutional behaviors. 
He definitely has a lot further to go in a lot of areas than the other children,
but God has a big plan for this little boy - MY LITTLE BOY!
God is good and Nicholas is MINE! 
I can't wait to get him home!
Don't forget all the ways to HELPVote for the blog, re-post, donate, donate to the medical fund, advocate.  We have a GIVEAWAY going on to help encourage you to help as well.

First Glimpse of Nicholas

Well, I just got my first glimpse of my sweet Nicholas!  First I got a text of the picture I am about to show you.  Then I got the Skype call that I was praying so hard for!  He was very busy making quite the mess with some cracker sticks and Brent was hoping to be able to see if he could get him to play next.  I'm afraid he may not have any luck until the crackers are gone.  lol  We all know though that the key to a child's heart that you are just meeting for adoption is through food often.  They need to know that they can get that need met before they will let you into their hearts.  We learned about that in our foster parent training over and over as we went through trainings over and over as we did all of those adoptions through the years.  Hopefully he is learning something very important right now as he eats the cracker sticks that he has scattered about.  Ok now you have to see my little cutie!

Isn't he just adorable?!?!
I'll give you more details later. 
I'm not planning to go to bed until the visit is over and I know how it went, but I will fill you all in on the rest after I get some sleep! 
Don't forget our GIVEAWAY going on.
Don't forget to check out THIS post to see another great way you can help.
Don't forget to VOTE for our blog and give it more exposure so more people see the waiting children and see from our children that it can be a huge blessing!
If you didn't see or share the waiting children blog posts from over the weekend then check them out!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Help Get Medical Treatment for Orphans in Serious Need

Another blogging mom has a perfect post on this that I'd love it if you'd take time to go read about.  She "shows" the need and how you can help. 

Here is the LINK to that post.  Please go check it out.

Right now I'm up waiting to learn more about Nicholas.  Brent is visiting with him this week and should be meeting him very soon.  :)  I will have more to share with you about that later in the day!  I can't wait to see him and see how he is doing!

Waiting Kids Post #4

Today's post is going to be waiting kids who are older.  There are some kids waiting who want a family so badly and are almost too old to be allowed to be adopted. 

Imagine if you'd never had a family.  Ahnja has waited for 9 years and you could see her excitement!  She was so happy to have parents (even if her Mama was the size of an iphone and her Daddy talks very weird).

Then imagine if "time was up".  You would never have one.  You'd be turned out on the streets if you aren't disabled, but if you are disabled then you'd be locked away in a mental institution forever. 

It is heartbreaking yet very true for many.

This is Bernadette and she is 15 years old.  She needs a family to come for her before she turns 16 in November.  She is about the size of a petite 8 year old.  She is friendly and loves to play with dolls and watch cartoons.  She needs a family QUICKLY!  Her grant is over $8,900 to help with her adoption!  Could you be her family or donate to help someone get to her more quickly?

Laurel is another girl with just a short time left before she will be locked away from the outside world forever.  She has a $2,000 grant available through another source and a Reece's Rainbow grant of $5,284 available to help with her adoption.  She is wanting a family so badly.  Can you help her?

Samuel is nearing 16 and is begging for a family.  A family adopting from his place met him recently and he desires a Christian family.  He wants someone to love him! He is great at soccer and would love to go to college.  He will never have that opportunity in his native country!   His special needs are minor with just a deformity of his fingers.  He is respectful, has a good sense of humor, and is smart.  He already is learning some English!  Please consider him!  I have a son who is 16 years old and they still need a Mom at this age!

Duncan is in the same place as Samuel.  He too wants a family very badly.  He is smart and hardworking.  He just needs a family and a chance!  He is small for his age and appears to have CP.  He gets around independently using a walker.  He "fears even to hope for a family, because he doesn't think anyone would want him because he isn't handsome".   He is aware of the fact that he will soon live out the rest of his life in a mental institution even though he is mentally fine.

There are so many children waiting of all ages.  I just want to feature these 4 today though.  They are all right at the verge of hopelessness and YOU can change that path for them!

Please remember to VOTE to help spread the word.

Also remember that if you share this and let me know then you can be entered for a chance for a gift in our GIVEAWAY.

Lots of ways to help can be found HERE.

We should have posts about Nicholas starting Monday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Waiting Children Post #3

For today's post I thought I'd feature children like Aleshia.  Children who are often overlooked because of thoughts that they are "lower functioning" or still not mobile, just like the sweet little girl you've watched begin to blossom this past week.

There are so many on Reece's Rainbow that I can't even begin to do them all justice, but here are a few.

Milena is SERIOUS need of an adoptive family.  She is 3 years old and only weighs 11 pounds.  She cannot eat by mouth.  She has some other diagnoses that you can find out more about on her link.  She is seriously delayed, but needs a family badly!

Tiny Ruth is in serious need of a family.  She has a hip problem, probably similar to Aleshia's but she is younger so more likely to have a good result with therapy or correction.  She is listed as having malnutrition, Down Syndrome, a possible chromosome deletion, and a heart issue.  She needs a family and has over $840 to help with her adoption.  She is only a year old and needs to come home!!

Brent has already been transferred to the institution (Just like our Aleshia).  He was considered to be lower functioning than some of the other kids with Down Syndrome in his orphanage.  He was noted to be healthy and is 6 years old.  I just wonder how "high functioning" would we all be if no one really loved us and spent time with us????  He needs a family and has a grant of over $3,200 to help with his adoption. 

Lilly is also much like Aleshia.  She is not mobile and does not speak.  She has been overlooked and waited for way too long.  She needs to see a cardiologist once she is home.  She has a grant of over $6,500 to help with her adoption.  Could you please be her Mama?  Those eyes are pleading just like Aleshia's and they break my heart!

Sasha is almost 8 years old and severely delayed.  He is in desperate need of a family.  His grant is $266.50 right now, so even if you can't be his Mommy you could donate to help him find a family more easily!  There are questions about if he may have autism or CP, just as there were with Aleshia.  More than anything though, he just needs love.  He will be bedridden in some institution soon if he isn't already and most definitely won't get the blessing that Aleshia did (her blessing of a good institution is rare).


Drew's write up sounds so much like Aleshia's did.  He is able to stand and sit independently, which Aleshia is not able to do right now.  He needs a family badly as he is in an institution and bedridden now.  He will be 8 years old in April.

Stacy is already bedridden in an institution.  This could be a picture of our Aleshia if she had been transferred to a different institution.  This little girl needs a family SO BADLY!  She is in a region that allows older parents and larger families to adopt.  Her grant is over $3,700 and she needs YOU to help her!

Robyn has likely already been transferred to an institution.  She is 5 years old and has a grant of over $4,800 to help with her adoption.  Could you be her family?


Sweet Megan is already transferred to an institution.  She needs a family badly.  She is only 6 years old ( a few months older than Aleshia and younger than Anita).  Her grant is over $23,000!  The financial burden of her adoption has been alleviated almost entirely!  Someone go get her out of there!

Sweet Jolene needs a family.  Little is known, except that she has a healthy heart.  She will be 7 years old soon.  Could you be her family?

Don't forget to share this post on your blogs or Facebook for a chance at a gift from our GIVEAWAY!

More ways you can help orphans can be found in this post.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Aleshia Day #5 - Last Glimpse of New Pictures of Her Until Gotcha Day

Today Brent had one last visit with Aleshia.  Things went well and he was able to get an address so that we can send stuff while she waits.  I will record another book soon and send so that the "teacher" can work with that with her as well.  I may send some flashcards with pictures that the teacher can go over the American words for with her.  Aleshia may not "speak", but she does understand.  :)

Aleshia was her normal lovable self.  :)  I was able to Skype with them this morning and she definitely recognizes my voice and I believe she associates it with the book she loves so much.  :)

 Julianne does this same cute thing of putting her chin on ours, we call it "chin love"!

Daddy had some good play time with Aleshia today.

The last thing that Daddy got to do before he had to leave was feed her.

Please remember that you can VOTE for our blog and help us spread the word to more people.
Also remember that we have a GIVEAWAY going on right now with 3 ways to win a gift.
Also remember that the Hidden Treasures Auction is coming up, so if you have anything to donate to it the info is on the link.
Over the weekend, we will once again be featuring more waiting children.  Please try and share on your Facebook walls so that more people see their faces,  Even if a friend of yours isn't the Mommy of one of the children, it could be a friend of your friend who is and they see it because you share.  :)
This post from yesterday has a wonderful song that I just became aware of as well as lots of ways you can help and links to get you there.  :)

Nicholas's visits will start next week!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wonderful New Song and Video!

Just saw this song and video for the first time.  It is amazing and so true.  Every child truly does deserve a home! 

Click HERE to help us spread the word by voting for our blog.

Click HERE to go to Reece's Rainbow and see the waiting children who YOU can help.  Donate, Advocate, and ADOPT!  Your Blessing could be waiting at the end of Reece's Rainbow!

Click HERE to go to our giveaway for ways to receive a chance for gifts for helping in 3 different ways.

Click HERE to donate to our adoption fund.  We have all the costs covered up until the point that we will be paying for some very expensive travel.  We will be buying 3 adult round trip tickets and 5 one way tickets for the kids to come home.  The tickets alone may be around $11,000, but we have no way to know for sure until we get to the point of knowing "when" it will be.  We are praying it is expedited for the sake of Keith's health.

Click HERE to read about the fundraiser that Hidden Treasures will be doing for our family the first week of April and how you can donate items to it.

People ask what they can do, so there are 5 different things that you can do to help orphans.  Maybe you can even try to click each of the links and see what all you can do!  God has given us many ways!

Aleshia Day #4 - Last Day with 2 Visits

Well, today was Aleshi's last day with two visits from her Daddy.  Tomorrow he will get to visit with her one time and then head back to the next city and he'll start visits with Nicholas there on Monday.  Aleshia is doing wonderfully!  She is improving each and every day!

We did get some good news today.  We are going to be able to hire a teacher to come and work with her while she works with us.  Aleshia doesn't speak so she probably won't learn to speak English while we are away, but the time with an English teacher may help her to better understand us.  It will also give her some continued attention individually.  They want us to write something explaining to the teacher what we would like for her to do.  We are going to ask that she continues to go over the picture album and says the words to Aleshia in English and Bulgarian to help her associate the English words with the pictures.  We also want her to continue to let Aleshia listen to the story that I recorded for her, so that she will be use to my voice when I arrive.  Hopefully she will continue to encourage her to turn the pages and give her English words for things.  Brent will also be leaving a toy there that has buttons to push and it talks.  It has several pictures on it, which will allow Aleshia to have more pictures to associate with English words as well as more "cause and effect" play. 

The director of her institution is one who really CARES about the kids and takes pride in doing his job in the best way that he possibly can.  He met with Brent today and asked what Brent thought of the facility and if (as a professional who works with special needs in the US) he had any suggestions.  The staff there genuinely care about the kids (that is more apt to happen when the director does!) and do their best.  The children are fed the best way possible.  Anywhere else Aleshia would have been "bedridden" and confined to a crib.  She would be given a bottle because it is easier.   At this institution she is in a wheelchair every day - and Brent has seen several other kids up in them as well!  She is fed pureed food on a spoon and a cup is held for her so that she can drink out of it.  That is all HUGE stuff in an institution!  We are so thankful for the care that she has gotten there and it makes it so much easier to leave her, though still by no means easy.  They will be getting xrays done of her hips soon and letting us know the results so we can plan for treatment here.  Please pray for Aleshia and the people who are trying so hard to care for so many children. 

Now for the pictures!

You can see a little smile in this one, though she and Daddy both have their eyes shut!

This next one is one of the best snuggly parts of many children with Down Syndrome
- the lack of a nose bridge just makes them irresistable!
I always call that my "kissy spot" on Julianne!

Daddy is showing her the pictures of everyone in these videos!

Please remember to vote for our blog HERE and help us be able to share the plight
of waiting children with more people. 
Also don't forget about the GIVEAWAY!
Remember that you can have a chance at those things by donating, sharing about our giveaway, or sharing the posts of waiting children that I post on the weekends. 
Please pray for Brent and Aleshia tomorrow. 
I know how hard that last glimpse is for me and I'm not the one who has to walk away
or the one being left.