Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Home and SO Busy

Well, Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity have been home for a full month.  Things have been SO BUSY.  Matthew and Charity were use to being given something to sleep, so sleep is not common here right now.  They all have medical stuff going on that requires appointments.  Thankfully, Brent had two weeks off when they got home!  That was especially good since Matthew had to be admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving evening and spend a few nights. 

They are all making HUGE progress.  Matthew has been gaining about a pound a week!  Charity was so constipated that she literally lost 4 INCHES around her stomach when her bowels were dealt with and we are still trying to finish cleaning her out.  Johnathan had some type of head injury (it looks like someone hit him in the back of the head and broke his skull) between our first trip and 2nd, so we are still trying to get all the different visits for that and his hydro taken care of. . . you know the kind where one visit leads to the next. . .

Christmas is so exciting!  So many great things to see, hear, smell, and taste!  If the doctor's appointments ease up then I will try to get a real update on each individual kid done.  They are AMAZING kids who have been through so much and are changing SO fast.  We are so blessed to be their family!!  

Monday, October 7, 2013


Sorry to be so late posting here, but WE HAVE A COURT DATE!  Praising God big time here!

Court will take place on October 22nd.  We do not have to be there for that, as in our children's country we are represented in court by our attorney.  We should travel a few weeks later.  Lord willing our kids will be home by Thanksgiving!

Please continue to pray for them as they wait and that everything goes well as we plan the trip and with court and the paperwork after court!

Friday, September 27, 2013

WINNERS: Have A Heart Giveaway!

Aleshia's open heart surgery went very well.  She came home the Thursday after the procedure and has been recovering well.  They might have kept her a few more days, but she really does not do well in the hospital setting and was doing well enough that they thought she would recover better at home.  She really is an amazing child.  I'll do a whole update post on that later! 
For now here is a picture of her glowing smile to hold you over!

I needed to end this giveaway and post that we are FULLY FUNDED for the adoption as long as everything goes as planned and tickets don't end up being outrageous!!!!  That feels AMAZING!!  Now pray we get our court date and can go get them soon!!!

Here is the list of Gifts and WINNERS!

Gift #1 goes to Alex Anderson!

Gift #2 goes to Theresa Revilak

Gift #3 goes to Amanda Sutton

Gift #4 goes to the Bowden Family

Gift #5 goes to Darla Messenger

Gift #6 goes to Chelsea Claus

Gift #7 goes to Jennifer McCall

Gift #8 goes to Alex Anderson

Gift #9 goes to "birdiebabe522"

Gift #10 goes to Julia Nalle

Gift #11 goes to Jennifer McCall

Gift #12 goes to Chelsea Claus

Gift #13 goes to Lindsay Park

Gift #14 goes to Chelsea Claus

Gift #15 goes to Chelsea Claus

Gift #16 goes to Alex Anderson

Gift #17 goes Brook Kirk

Gift #18 goes to Amanda Sutton

Gift #19 goes to Darla Messenger

Gift #20 goes to Darla Messenger

Gift #21 goes to Lindsay Park

You can go see what you won by matching up your gift #to the pictures and descriptions on the first post about the giveaway at THIS LINK!  If you are one of the winner, please email me your address to abcunroe@yahoo.com so that I can get your Thank You Gift out to you soon!

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL WHO GAVE TO HELP US REACH THE POINT OF FULLY FUNDED!  I know there are some who didn't get "Thank You Gifts", but truly we are beyond thankful for the help of each one of you who have given, shared, and prayed.  Keep watching for updates as we get closer to bringing them home!!! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Heart Surgery Take Two

Well we are leaving again for Aleshia's heart surgery. . . again. 

Please pray that it all goes well this time and that it happens the way it should and she does well.  Her emotional wounds from the orphanage and institutional life she lived before she came to us are so deep.  That makes this all SO much harder for her than even "normal". . .

Pray that we can all work together to keep her calm.  We are driving her up and arriving late tonight.  She is not suppose to have to have blood work or anything tonight.  She should just be given calming meds to keep her calm and then kept calm until the surgery in the morning. 

We were told we could just bring her up and have her there in the morning, but she is upset by getting in the van after the last trip.  We would have to leave the house about 4 or more hours before the surgery in order to arrive for the surgery.  She would be so worked up for the surgery that they would likely be unable to do it again.   This way we will get there in time for them to give her calming meds and get her calm again.  They are SUPPOSE to be prepared.  We are also able to stop and let her eat on the way up today and are planning to take her in places to make it seem less like a trip to the hospital.  PRAY THAT HELPS! 

I don't feel in the least bit "cheery", but I'm planning to fake it big time today.  I feel like I need to vomit.  I in no way shape or form know how I will be able to pull this off, but I have to do it.  She needs me to seem calm and happy today.  I'm NOT. 

Its a good thing that we've adopted so much. . . I've been faking being ok for a long time now.  I've not been ok while I wait for the kids to come home.  I've been faking it lots.  I've felt like I could go into a crying heap in the floor ever since I left my babies back in June.  I can't show that in front of my kids, because the 18 here deserve a mom who is happy and ready to enjoy life.  I'm THRILLED they are all here, so it is a balancing act of enjoying them and fighting back the tears for the 3 that have my heart on the other side of the ocean.  Poor Brent last night doesn't always get to have the "fake" though.  The poor man pulled out the Bible for our devotion together before bed and unknowingly opened to the "Love" Chapter.  The problem is that his version said "Charity" which sent me into sobs.  It was late and I had faked it as long as I could.  I miss them so much and I'd faked it all day, while preparing things to leave.  I kept thinking back to how hard it was while waiting to get Aleshia home and how I'd "faked" it for the 13 at home back then.  The things we do for our kids!!  But today is one of those days that the "practice" of faking it during all these adoptions will come in handy again I guess. 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for Aleshia!!  Please pray for the medical teams working with her.  Her surgery will be early in the morning.  Remember the best place to keep up with updates on her will probably be on Facebook as long as my phone keeps allowing me to update because it is just easier, so you can check her Facebook page HERE.  Also please pray for Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity as they wait and the people who need to sign things and give court dates so we can get them home with us.  Not a day goes by that their names aren't mentioned 100 times here while I choke back tears. 
Here's a picture of Aleshia from Easter.
Our Have A Heart Giveaway is still going on and I'll end it once we are back.
We are still not fully funded to for the last of the trip
BUT we are SO close!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Would you all like to see our ADOPTION VIDEO?  My wonderfully amazing friend Colleen put it together for us.  I am so unskilled at computer stuff that it is pitiful!  She did an amazing job though!  She is just starting her own amazing adoption journey to her son that she met while on my adoption trip and you can follow along with her HERE

Here is Our Adoption Journey to Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


We have had a very generous matching grant offered to us.  When our FSP reads $20,411 then another $500 will be donated to our account!  This is a HUGE BLESSING! 

Here is a link to our FSP! 

Also HERE IS A LINK TO OUR GIVEAWAY with the lots of things we will be drawing for to thank people for helping by donating and sharing.

Right now I keep remembering that last bit of time with them and praying that they know I'm still on my way back to them.  They had gotten so comfortable with being loved.  I HATE THAT I HAD TO LEAVE AND IT FEELS LIKE THE BIGGEST FAILURE AS A MOTHER! 


They definitely weren't the kids that I had expected to meet or the kids that I first met at the beginning of the week even!  The were LOVING having the LOVE of a MOTHER! 
They are waiting!

Monday, September 2, 2013

In Two Weeks

(Edit on 9-4-13 at 12:03am:  Thank you to those sharing our need to get this adoption funded before her surgery.  We still need $3,742 at this moment to be fully funded.  I know God is bigger than that amount!  These kids were His before He ever set me on the path to go get them and He knew that this surgery was going to fall at this moment too!  Keep sharing, praying, and donating because every dollar adds up!  THANK YOU!)

Two Weeks from this  moment I will be sitting in a CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) with Aleshia. . . The thought of that makes me SICK.  I can't imagine seeing her hooked up to all those machines to keep her alive and with all those tubes draining fluids from her. 

Having an extra month because of the surgery being cancelled last time has only made me more scared and sick.  This time I know how she reacted last time.  I know how scared she is of the hospital and the scrubs.  I know how hard it is going to be to make this work.  I AM TERRIFIED FOR HER!  I HATE SEEING HER LIKE SHE WAS! 

We didn't even make it to the surgery and it was horrific!

I can't imagine how we are going to do this. . . how SHE is going to do this.

Her heart requires it, but her mind is terrified of that place.  It reminds her of the places she came from. . . OH HOW I WISH I COULD TAKE THIS FROM HER!

Please pray for her and for us!

One thing that would take some of the worry off of our family right now is to just have this adoption funded.  I would be so relieved to go into this heart surgery not having to worry about the last bit of adoption expenses.  We really just need the last bit of travel expenses.  We are needing to raise the last $3,761 of the money that will be required to purchase the plane tickets to get Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity home.  We have a HAVE A HEART GIVEAWAY GOING ON RIGHT HERE with 21 Thank You Gifts to thank everyone for helping us.  There are entries just for sharing too!  Could you help us with this last little bit!?! 

We can't stop worrying about Aleshia's surgery.  We can't stop worrying about Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity while they wait.  We can't stop the worry our kids here will have while they worry about Aleshia or while some of them don't understand why Aleshia is away from them. 

We would love to just not have to worry about that last bit of funding to get our kids home, to just KNOW that the ransom is complete and whenever we can pick them up the money is there for the tickets.  Can you help us?

You can donate at THIS LINK and really EVERY DOLLAR helps!  If everyone chips in to be the hands and feet of God then this mountain of worry will be moved!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Travel Challenges for Trip #2: White Food?

So I thought today that I'd ask for your help in a different way!  Our sweet Charity poses some interesting challenges for the pickup trip.  Charity ONLY eats WHITE FOOD.  Once home we will begin to work on this challenge over time slowly and we will have various things available to us in order to make sure that she is getting adequate nutrition (Thank God for vanilla Pediasure!  lol). 

Right now I'm compiling a list of things that I can take to feed her on the airplane ride home mostly.  The hotel we stay at will have fresh white yogurt and milk.  They will also have toast which she likes soaked in tea. 

Let me just remind that she is ADORABLE!  You can read more about her HERE.  I think she is hilarious and I love stubborn, so this is just a minor issue.  (wink)

So, Charity only eats VERY SOFT WHITE FOODS and our travel home will consist of approximately 24 hours of travel. 

I have some ideas, but would love to hear your ideas of food that will clear airport security for her! 

Don't forget our giveaway going on to help bring them home!  I have lots of gifts to draw for to thank some of you for helping us in this last leg of bringing them home!  CLICK HERE TO GO SEE MORE! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Process and Why I Hate the Word WAIT

Those of us who live in the middle of the adoption world just LIVE the steps so much that we often forget that many people don't know what comes next.  Unfortunately for me, most of it involves the word WAIT after each move.  We are SO CLOSE now, but waiting is just so hard.  Please pray for us as we wait and especially for them.  Pray that the process moves quickly and that the "wait" parts are very short and the "move" parts are close together.  Pray that the government and court officials who see our case will see the urgency of Matthew's situation and expedite his paperwork through as fast as possible.  "WAIT" can mean 5 minutes, a day, a week, or two. . . . I'd really like it to mean 5 minutes. . . . but days instead of weeks could make a huge difference in Matthew's life.  There are wonderful people in the country that my children are from who really do care about children and we just need to pray that they recognize the urgency of Matthew's situation and move it along as quickly as they can.  We need to pray that holidays, breaks, and other things don't slow it down either.  PLEASE PRAY!

Next in our process is that we need our documents to be submitted to the government and then we wait on a SIGNATURE.  We pray that the government official who needs to sign it honors the "medical expedite" for Matthew.  His medical expedite states that because of his current condition it is important  for him to get home as quickly as possible because his life is in "imminent danger".  Every time I think about that I get sick. . . .

After that signature, then our documents will be submitted to court where they will wait to be assigned to a judge.

Then our case will wait for a date to be given by that judge.

Then we will wait for that date to come.

Then we will have court and become their legal parents, but will have to wait for the documents to be ready before we can even get dates for travel.  This day they are declared ours, but we still have to WAIT!

Once the documents are ready then we will be given a date to travel to pick them up and will have to wait for that date to arrive.

24 hours of travel to get to their country means lots of time spent waiting.  I hate being away from my 18 kids at home and then not even with the 3 there yet is super hard waiting.  Knowing I am getting ready to bring them home for good will make this waiting a little easier!

Once in country the wait is tremendous because once you are in their beautiful country, but can't get your children immediately it just is unbearable even though so close.

Once the day arrives you wake up WAY before the alarm goes off and have to wait for the time to go pick them up.

Once you get to the orphanage I will have to wait for them to bring my kids to me, even though I want to RUN up the stairs and grab them because I've waited way longer than anyone should ever have to wait.

After we pick them up we will have to rush back for passports and then go back to the hotel.

There will be tons to do over that next few days and all of it is just more of the process that is part of the wait to get them home to join our family and have all 21 of my kids together in one place safe and sound.

The travel to get home takes usually around 24 hours with kids who are tired, grumpy, and overstimulated.  Matthew will be needing to get some medical care soon after getting home too, but we are hoping to be able to not go straight to the hospital and have appointments set up to keep him from inpatient if at all possible.  Keith finds hospitals very stressful, so we don't want to thrust him into that right off if we can help it.  We are praying we can manage to meet all his medical needs without going straight to the hospital and will set up appointments as soon as we have some idea as to a pickup time.  That waiting in airports and on airplanes will not be easy!


I feel like a 3 year old whining, but I WANT THEM NOW!!!  God has to be tired of hearing me whine.  We really expect that we should be able to travel in October or November. . . even though I know the word "WAIT" is used a lot of times. . . it just seems like FOREVER still. . .
Please pray that they expedite on his account and that they help us get him home where his life won't be in "imminent danger" any more.  Those two words haunt me in my sleep. . . I need to make those words no longer exist for my little boy and tuck all three into their beds at night where they are safe and loved.   

You can help be a part of this end part of their journey home by CLICKING HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT OUR GIVEAWAY! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Article 5! and GIVEAWAY UPDATE

Our Article 5 Interview occurred and our attorney is getting everything ready to submit.  We are praying that they will honor Matthew's medical expedite and process the paperwork quickly for a signature at the government level to get it ready for submission to court.  We need to get him home and get him some much needed medical care.  We are praying hard and we ask that you would too!

We have the Have a Heart Giveaway going on right now to thank everyone who is helping us so wonderfully with raising the last of the funds to get the kids home.  We appreciate the help so very much!  Aleshia's heart surgery is really at the worst possible time, because it is just before we will need to travel to pick them up.  It is still much better than it needing to be done after they get home though!  God has provided wonderfully for us all along and we know that everything will fall into place.  This is just a wonderful opportunity for others to get to be a part of their homecoming story!

You can click here to see all the wonderful "Thank You" Gifts that are awaiting at the end! 

Not listed on that post is $5 donations!  Every $5 donation will also receive one entry, so please email me your receipt to abcunroe@yahoo.com  Every amount is bringing us so much closer to bringing them home!!  THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS!!

Every dollar brings us closer to the goal amount of bringing them home!  I'm sure this post will make the "troll roll".  lol  Yes, there are the wonderful trolls who go around talking about how much better off kids are in orphanages.  I've even heard that our family is large and that the caregiver ratio might be better in an orphanage. See, the thing is that "caregivers" don't "care" the same as a Mommy.  I go to bed each night begging God to keep them safe till I can get there and knowing that Matthew is in misery without medical care.  I'm a Mommy.  I hurt for my kids.  I don't leave them lay ever.  I don't have apathy or think that any of them are not worth my time.  I feel what they feel.  I hurt when they hurt, even if they are on the other side of the ocean.  I sit up all night if they are awake.  I stay up too late and get too little sleep just because a little one decides that they aren't sleepy and I know that they spent too many years in a crib and I'm VERY glad for the opportunity to give them those extra kisses.  So I'm going to leave those trolls he may link back to my "fundraising" post with a little picture. 

This is what the love of a "Mommy" does:

We are working hard to bring Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity home so that they can have a "Mommy" instead of a "caregiver" too.  Every child deserves a "FAMILY", not just a caregiver.  We just happen to have more people here to do the loving.  Yes, the sites that like to bash large families can bash away.  The fact is that the picture above shows the truth.  The child on the left was Keith the night I brought him home at age 5 and the picture on the left was Keith one year later at age 6.  He went from couldn't hold his head up, to didn't want to be laid back!  He grew when he was loved and cared for by a FAMILY!  He came from the same place that my three children are now and they need to come home.  The place they are in now is trying hard, but orphanages cannot replace families.  They suffered severe neglect in that facility for years and the only way they are going to heal and thrive is to come home.  So the trolls can troll away.  There is the proof that what we do is making a HUGE difference and will continue to do so. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Aleshia Heart Surgery Update

Well Aleshia's open heart surgery did not go as planned. . . .

The day started out early and calm.  We left the house with her still sleepy, in her pajamas, and doing well.  We had to be there the day before the surgery to be admitted.  The trip to the hospital was great.  She was happy and pleasant.  I can't say that things stayed that way though. . .

 I can't type it all again, because I am SO drained.  I'm adapting a post from her heart page as far as the explanation, but then adding some more details of other things too.  
 Our time in the hospital was SO HARD. Aleshia was all the way to the holding area for surgery before it was cancelled. The hospital itself was VERY traumatic for her. She threw up at shift changes, had to have knots in the sleeves of her pajamas, and was sticking her fingers waaaaayy back in her eye sockets. SO HARD TO SEE HER THAT WAY!!! (We requested meds, but ...were told not until later, but they have been informed that this will NOT be the case next time and a plan WILL be in place.) Four adults were required to get labs. After she kept making herself sicker they finally ran other labs bc she began to run a fever. We made it all the way to the holding are for the surgery before they got the results of an elevated white count. That ended the surgery! They started to talk about checking for lung infections, but I insisted on a strep test since we had a child with a positive test that they knew about the week prior. Our primary care had wanted to treat Aleshia then, but the first person I had to talk to at Cardiology had said "no" and not relayed the information fully and told me he worked for a different hospital. The second person said it would be up to the primary care, but it was too late at that point since our primary office is small and was closed. The rest of our day didn't go any better as the nurse didn't do the strep test right the first time and then still the 2nd time didn't use a tongue depressor and wasn't going to swab the tonsils. . . I insisted and Aleshia did test positive for Strep. She is rescheduled for September 16th for her open heart surgery. This is pushing WAY TOO CLOSE to adoption pickup time for our newest three kids. We really do need prayer for that.

 Aleshia needs lots of prayers!!!  The whole things was very traumatizing. It reminded her very much of her time in the orphanage and institution. IT IS SAD THAT THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY HAS SO LITTLE KNOWLEDGE OF CHILDREN FROM TRAUMA BACKGROUNDS!!!  We are seeing regression and she doesn't want to get in the van. We had to go to our primary care provider today and she was terrified to get in the van and SO upset. Please please pray for her to be ok soon. Please pray that we can work with the people there to come up with a plan for her care for the next surgery that will reduce anxiety levels for her. Healing will be very hard if she is that upset. She cannot be so upset she is puking after open heart surgery. There is a special team there specifically for kids that have had previous issues in the hospital that I will be working with and I will be making SURE that we come up with a plan that seems to meet her needs in the best possible way.  We now know what her reaction is and we have to make sure we do everything we can to make sure we are doing everything possible to keep her calm.  I'll be calling them to start the planning next week.  Please pray for all of us as we try to come up with solutions!
Please also pray for our adoption of the three children we are in process for right now.  All three need to come home soon, but Matthew is in very severe condition and needs to come home extremely badly.  He has a medical expedite that says if we don't get there quickly then he may not make it home at all.  We did get good news today stating that our Article 5 interview is going to be Wednesday.  Unfortunately many people are on vacation there right now, so the signature we need for the next step could be much delayed. . . .
Please consider helping get them home and us get funded for their adoption by sharing or donating.  We have great gifts to offer in our GIVEAWAY SO CLICK HERE!    Our trip for them won't be that long after her surgery now with this delay, so I need to find some way to get funded and I'm trusting God to help us do that. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


Well it is time for a GIVEAWAY!  I will be spending a lot of time away with my daughter Aleshia while she has open heart surgery.  My mother has taken time off to help with the other kids here at home.  That means that I will not be here to run auctions and work at fundraising.  Our I800 was approved by our officer last week and sent to her supervisor, so things are moving there (would have gone faster if our oldest son hadn't turned 18 while I was in country and required fingerprinting through US Immigration along with a homestudy update).  We need to raise the last of the money to get the kids home.  Everything is paid except for the money for the last trip.  I have a little toward that already too, but its a little harder to save when your little one is having open heart surgery. . . If you would like to get updates as to how her heart surgery is going you can get those on her Facebook Page Here.
You probably remember her One Year Update Post, but here is her side by side picture to remind you who she is: 
So time for the HAVE A HEART GIVEAWAY!  I want to thank everyone who is helping us work to get them home by donating and shouting while I am away from Facebook and the blog for the heart surgery. We appreciate your heart for all of our kids and couldn't do this without you!  We hope that the gifts below will be great "Thank You"s to all of you!
Here is how it will work:  (All donation receipts need to be sent to abcunroe@yahoo.com so that I can keep track of them by putting them in a folder while I am away for the open heart surgery and all share entries will be kept track of only by commenting on this post. )
For ever $5 donated to our Indiegogo account or our FSP listed on the right sidebar of the blog you will get 1 entry.
For every $10 donated to our FSP listed on the right sidebar of the blog you will get 2 entries.
For every $20 donated to our FSP listed on the right sidebar of the blog you will get 5 entries.
For every $50 donated to our FSP listed on the right sidebar of the blog you will get 15 entries.
You can also get 1 entry per day just for sharing this giveaway! 
GIFT #1:  Disney brand personal dvd player with 3 Disney dvds!
GIFT #2:
  • Wooden balance bike with five-position adjustable seat height to grow with child
  • Rubberized handle bar grips for comfort; limited steering radius to prevent jackknifing
  • Pneumatic rubber tires and spoke-less wheel discs for safety
  • Unique carry handle incorporated in the bike's body
  • Renewable birch wood construction and non-toxic building materials; recommended for ages two years old and up
  • Five-position adjustable seat height--from 12.5 to 17.5 inches
  • Maximum weight of 60 pounds

    GIFT#3:  This is a 4 Pack of ItWorks Ultimate Body Applicator Wraps. 
    GIFT#4:  3 in 1 Indoor Sports Set and a Workout Video for Kids!

    GIFT #5:  Perfect for Your Princess to Have a Party to Celebrate Just Because God Made Her Special when this arrives!  The SweetPea Beauty Veggie Tales dvd, 2 Princess Petunia books, a set of best friend Veggie Tales Watches, and a set of stuff to throw a "just because" party (plates, napkins, balloons, and party favors!)

    15'' W x 11'' H x 0.5'' D
    Medium-density fiberboard / metal hanger
    Made in the USA

    GIFT #7:  WALL ART
    11'' W x 15'' H x 0.5'' D
    Medium-density fiberboard
    Ready to hang
    Made in the USA

    GIFT #8:  This Veggie Tales Prize contains a dvd, 4 books, and 2 Larry Boy wrist bands!
    GIFT #9:  *CUSTOM RETRO APRON* You choose one of the 3 styles: Chef, Diner or Princess Panel and let me know 2 or 3 colors you'd like and Lara will create a custom apron for you.
    (This family is also adopting and here is their FSP:  http://reecesrainbow.org/47374/sponsorwingler )
    GIFT #10:  This adorable block puzzle is perfect for your little ones!  It is donated by the Jenks Family.  They are also in the process of adopting and you can support their adoption by shopping their Etsy shop.  They have lots of different styles of block puzzles and can customize one just for you as well!  : http://www.etsy.com/shop/FaithfullyCreated 
    GIFT #11:  This beautiful Starfish Stretch Bracelet was donated by Darla Messenger.

    GIFT #12:  These beautiful Amber Swarovski Crystal earrings were also donated by Darla messenger.
    GIFT #13:  These awesome shirts were donated by another amazing adoptive family.  Once a winner is drawn I will give you their contact info and you can choose your size and color.  You can help out their family by buying shirts here:  http://www.walkingthenarrowpathnow.blogspot.com/2013/06/tshirts-are-ready-to-order.html

    GIFT #14:  This Down Syndrome awareness set was donated by another amazing adoptive family.  What a great way to show of your support for Down Syndrome!  You can read more about their family here:  http://reecesrainbow.org/55675/sponsorkirk

    GIFT #15: This amazing Down Syndrome awareness necklace was donated by Carol Miller.  What a beautiful way to show your support for Down Syndrome!!

    GIFT #16:  Veggie Tales Book and DVD.
    GIFT #17:  This package of little kids toys includes a shape sorter, Elmo dvd, and Red Rover game.


    GIFT #18:  This is a 500 piece puzzle of Noah's Ark.
    GIFT #19:  This is an adorable Size3 Gymboree Outfit.

    GIFT #20:  Art piece by http://willpaint4babies.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/who-is-will-paint-4-babies-painting-for-now/

    GIFT #21:  This Stacking Rainbow is tons of fun and is donated by Jamie Lentz who is also in the process of adopting.  You can find her store that is helping to fund their adoption by clicking this link:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Little-Sunshine-Montessori-Boutique/350544488363478

    Thanks so much for helping to bring the three children already in our hearts into our homes while I am away working to help Aleshia get her heart fixed! Please pray for Aleshia, Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity!     




    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Trip to Meet the Three Part 4: Meeting Matthew

    Well, meeting Matthew was very different than I expected.  Matthew had grown since he had been given a Baba (Again this is "grandmother" in their language and is provided by a ministry there.  He received one because they found out he had a family coming.).  He had gained weight and instead of 18 pounds at almost 10 years old, he was now between 20 and 22 pounds.  I was THRILLED to see that he had gained weight!!  My immediate thoughts were that he was doing SO much better than I expected.  He was very drawn up of course, but to know that this Baba was taking the time to feed him and in such a short time he had gained so much was both thrilling and sad.  If he could gain so much so quickly, then how sad that it took knowing a family was coming for him to get a Baba.  Yet resources are limited.  They never imagined that HE would be chosen. . . this broke my heart into a million pieces. . .

    This first picture was me working with him on our first visit,
    because I needed to start learning for travel how stiff he is.
    I needed to know for dressing purposes how much movement there is.
    I needed to know for carseat purposes what his legs could comfortably do.
    So I just slowly talked to him and began to move his legs while rubbing them softly.
    Just a little at a time. . .

    This picture is a very content and comfortable little boy.
    It feels good to not be so tight. . .
    It feels good to have your legs release.
    It feels good to SMILE!
    (No one there knew he could smile)
    It feels really good to know you are loved!
    This is from our 2nd visit on the first day.
    This picture is how Matthew lives every day, except that most of his life is spent flat. 
    He lives this drawn up.
    His hands, arms, and legs are all drawn up and tight.
    This next picture shows you the difference that 90 minutes of love and soft touch
    made to my very love starved boy.
    When I saw this comparison that night I could barely sleep.
    His face changed.
    His arms relaxed.
    His legs relaxed
     This day we finally got permission for him to go outside.
    You can see that even though his legs are long
    (and somewhat distorted in the picture above because of the angle),
    he is a very small boy for almost 10 at the time.
    Before he went for his Visa pictures, his Baba gave him a haircut.
    Since the pictures had to be taken on a white background
    and he is unable to sit up
    he went on this and had his picture take laying on it.
    I'm not going to talk about my last day with him.  Aleshia has heart surgery in just a couple days and talking about having to leave him is too much to bear.  Let's just say that my little boy is laying right now in the position that he laid in for all the years before.  No one is giving him kisses or helping him relax.  No one knows everything that I learned about him during that week.
    While I was there I learned a lot about my little boy.  His teeth have all rotted out till they are below the gum line for the most part.  Most of the cause is reflux, but no one thinks he has reflux.  See in an orphanage no one is noticing what happens after you eat. . . they don't have time.  Mommy notices when you are throwing up and swallowing it.  He also lays flat in a bed all the time, which makes the reflux worse. . . My little boy is also suffering from silent seizures.  Once he is home we will be headed straight for a neurologist.  They will deal with many issues, but the silent seizures will be addressed very quickly. 
    The thought of how my little guy is living is heartbreaking.  I can barely breathe when I think of it.  It kills me to think that it was caused by a traumatic brain injury when his birthfather beat him into a coma.  I pray that he doesn't even remember that!  I pray he doesn't even remember when he use to be able to run around, play, and talk.  I do KNOW that he understands much more than people think. 
    *There are links on the right side bar if you would like to help bring Matthew, Johnathan, and Charity home.  There will be a big giveaway starting here in the next day or two as well!
    Please please pray that this process moves quickly.  Pray for him as he endures the wait.



    Friday, August 9, 2013

    Trip to Meet the Three Part 3: Johnathan the Planned Meeting

    When Johnathan made his entrance, he really MADE it.  lol  He had gone outside and was NOT happy to be made to come back inside.  He shrieked and was quite loud.  He has NO trouble at all expressing when he is happy or sad. 

    He is such a cute little guy.  He was almost 7 and has since turned 7 years old and is a very small little guy for his age.  He is probably more the size of a 3 or 4 year old.  You can tell that he had years of sensory deprivation, because he likes to slap your skin just to hear the sound of it.  Every time they brought him up the steps to the visitation room, he made as much noise as possible to hear the echo.  He wants to bang things and sling things. 

    When I asked his "teacher" and his Baba about what they thought would be best to occupy him on the trip home they both expressed it should be nothing hard or heavy because he is going to throw whatever he is given.  That is just his way right now.  It isn't because he is a bad kid.  It is just because he has never been taught different.  He went from spending his life all in a crib during the "old days" in the orphanage to being one of the lucky children to be living in the part of the orphanage that is set up in more of a home style.  "No" isn't something that he has been taught to understand though!

    He has hydrocephalus.  His head got MUCH too large before the shunt was put in sometime in 2011.  His head is still quite large and I fear his shunt may not be fully operational.  Heads do not reduce in size after they grow, but a child does begin to grow into their head. . . I'm not sure that his head has stopped growing but we will find out once home.  When I asked about when he last had an MRI to check it, I was informed that it was permanent and therefore there was no need to check it.  Once he is home we will be heading to a neurologist very soon to get it checked.  We have a son with hydrocephalus and know that in the US, shunts are checked yearly at least!

    So here are some pictures of Johnathan!

    Now here is me trying to take his shirt off to try on the new clothes I brought. . . You can tell by my face that I was shocked.  I determined that they must dress him from the bottom up!  There is NO WAY that shirt comes over that head!  I just left the shirt on and went ahead and put the shirt I brought over it.  I will be bringing shirts with plenty big neck holes! 

    Yes, I miss this little guy!
    I'd love to hear him say "Meow!" right about now!
    Good news!  Denzell's finger prints are done, new I800A is issued, and I800 has left our worker's desk and is in her supervisor's box!  Super blessed that things are moving quickly again now!
    If you'd like to be a part of bringing the three kids home, then please look for ways on the  right side bar!  There is also a Facebook Usborne Event going on HERE
    Stay tuned for a big giveaway that will be here soon as well!