I'm a married mother of "3 1/2" ;) and the loves of my life are my faith and my family. I've grown in my faith over the last two years since my daughter's adoption, she is the reason why I started this blog in the first place, and I'm so looking forward to watching God move in my heart, and the hearts of others who follow along on our journey towards bringing home one of "the least of these". Special needs adoption is my mission field, whether I'm adopting a child myself, or helping other families get funded, or shouting for waiting children who need families to find them, and I hope you'll come along for the ride and watch what God can accomplish when we say yes to His command to care for the orphan, and go out into the world to be His hands and feet.

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Apparent Project Fundraiser

Hello :)

Hello :)

My Better Half

My Better Half

The Crew

The Crew

The New Guy

The New Guy

Before Adoption

Before Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Two Years After Adoption

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Daddy's Corner - Happy New Year to All

Before beginning this week's Daddy's Corner I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone so very, very much for your love, support and interest in this wonderful journey to bring our precious little Natasha home.  I wish for you and your family the very best for a very happy, healthy and safe new year.  We are excited that 2012 has come upon us as we pray that this time next year, sweet Natasha will be welcoming in the new year with her mommy, daddy and her 2 brothers.  For those of you that are new to this blog or that have not read a Daddy's Corner before, it is my chance to "talk" to Natasha and just sort of have a conversation with her.  This week's post is a little different.  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.  Please feel free to leave comments, if you desire, on this or any of our posts and once again, Happy New Year!!!  Now on with the post:

The little blond hair girl sits alone in her crib looking out the window as the day goes by...she begins to cry.
Little girl lost sits alone in her crib...looking so sad...she's desperately praying for a mom and a dad.
Though she doesn't know it...six thousand miles away...sitting at a table there's a husband and a wife working hard to come save her life.

My darling Natasha, I hope you are enjoying the start of the new year and are as anxious as I am that we will be together soon.  The process to bring you home is a long one, dear one, but fret not...your mommy and daddy love you very, very much and are doing everything they can to bring you to your forever home soon.  There is a beautiful lullaby out there, Natasha, and in part it goes like this:

Goodnight, my angel time to close your eyes...I promise I will never leave you and you should always know that no matter where you are I never will be far away.
Goodnight, my angel now it's time to dream and dream how wonderful your life will be...then in your heart there will always be a part of me.

I love you my darling daughter.  Happy New Year to you.  I send loads of love and eskimo kisses your way and as I always say to you....keep looking at the moon and the stars and and know that when you do, mommy and daddy are looking at them too and dreaming of you.  I love you baby doll and I'll talk to you soon.

Friday, December 30, 2011

One Track Mind...

So, my goal for this weekend is to not be TOTALLY adoption focused! That is so hard to do when I know what's on the line if I slack off, but I feel like everyone needs a break once in a while! I've been slacking off on my homework and stuff and I need to get back on track with school, and get caught up with everything that's going on with my hubby, and my boys.

I have to remind myself that isn't just me and Natasha against the world. It definitely feels that way sometimes because I do the majority of the "work" involved with bringing her home...the paperwork, the home study stuff, etc...but the truth of the matter is, Natasha is part of a family now....she has a mommy and a daddy and brothers and she's going to be a part of something special, not the ONLY special part of something...does that make sense?

Basically, we want to make her feel totally normal. We know there will be challenges, but she is her own normal, and we need to treat her the same as the other kids in her new family! We can't wait to bring this sweet girl home! Tonight we went to the store and got her bed, mattress, bedding, and toybox...I hope she likes Dora! lol

We also got an awesome donation...candy!

I hope selling these goodies is pretty easy! We'll make $22 profit per box if we sell them all! Well, Tasha will make 100% profit ($36 per box!) since the candy was donated! We got 2 full boxes! Every little bit helps and we're so grateful for everyone's generosity!

Today I also got to work on Natasha's wall....it's kind of hard to have an animal/zoo theme...but also a girly princess-y area too lol...here is how it turned out! I still have to hang her photos, but you get the idea. :)

I love it! I hope she wil too!!! We wanted her to have something girly and bright....and all her own. <3

Sweet dreams everyone! Please don't forget about the contest to win the jewelry! It's only $2 to enter!


Forgot to post the pic of the pretty jewelry!!


We are having our first giveaway!!! Donate $2 per entry to win this beautiful necklace/earring set!! Every $2 gets you a chance to win! If you donate AND share this giveaway on Facebook/your blog/twitter/etc you'll get an additional entry!!! Winner will be announced January 14th!! You can use either the chip in button or donate button, just be sure to comment that you donated so you can be entered. Thanks and good luck!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sorry I've been MIA

I know it's only been a few days since I posted but I've missed this blog so it feels like longer!! I've been extremely busy getting the house "homestudy ready" for our walk through...new door, new weather stripping, new bathroom flooring...and I did it all BY MYSELF! (Woot!!!! Girls Rock!!!)

Here are a few pics of what I've been doing!

Getting Started!!! It isn't perfect, but it's a LOT nicer than it was before!

Almost done!

I am in LOVE with the glass on my new front door!

New door! There is a story behing this purchase...first of all, it was clearanced out at 86% off the original price (!!!) but I NEEDED it because...I tried to paint my old door red. Many people can vouch for the fact that it looked TERRIBLE...it was gross. This is pretty :)

Jack's room was "cars" themed...but we changed it up and made it "zoo" themed...because it's going to be Jack AND Natasha's room! I don't know if they'll both SLEEP in it (more than likely the boys are going to share again and she'll get her own room) but since they're the same age, this is going to be the "toddler room" regardless of who does/doesn't sleep in there. All the toddler STUFF will be there, so where it says "Jack" on that wall, it's going to say "Natasha" on the opposite wall with more monkeys/animals and her pictures will be there :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Family Traditions...and Spoiled Daughters... :)

In our family, we have many Christmas traditions...this year we included our little girl in them the best way we knew how...enjoy the pics!!

Stockings. In our house, everyone has their own stocking...my husband has a traditional red one, our boys have Toy Story stockings, and I have a pink one that says "naughty" on one side, and "nice" on the other. I found this stocking at Target, it's the purple match to mine! I had to get it for Natasha, I can't wait to "glitter write" her name at the top. :)

Ornaments. Another tradition we do with our boys...well, I guess now I should say "children" since we no long have JUST boys! :) Anyway, eachngets an ornament each year, so this year Natasha got this one! She's our little princess, so a pink crown was oh so fitting!

Pjs! I think a lot of people have this tradition...but we each open one present on Christmas Eve, and every year it's the same thing...Pjs!! This year was no different,so here are Natasha's Tinkerbell jammies! Can't wait to rock my sweet girl to sleep while she's wearing these. <3

Bath sets/toys....this is another silly tradition I started and the kids love it, and it's cheap, so why not keep it going! lol....I get them little bath sets each year. My oldest got a basketball hoop that suctions to the shower wall and a sponge basketball, and it came with shampoo and bodywash, my little guy got a "shave kit" with a rubber razor and foam soap "shave cream", and Natasha got this one! I thought it was too cute, and I love Hello Kitty so we'll have a blast playing together! lol

Christmas outfit. I'm sure everyone does this, but I think people get a little MORE into it when super cute little girls are involved! lol...I picked this up because it's perfect for my sweet Natasha...she (and all my kids!) are the only presents I'll **EVER** need. :)

And here are a few pics of Tasha's Christmas pressies that I picked up today at the day after Christmas sales...I got a couple gift cards and of course i spent them on the kids lol

Sunday, December 25, 2011

And the official name is....

we hit 200 likes on facebook!!! whoo hoo! thanks to everyone who has "liked" us so far, and we'll announce our contest in the morning! I'll drop a hint though...the person who gives us the most help reaching 300 likes, will get a gift card! Details in the morning.

Now...for the big reveal! LOL

This sweet baby girls name is going to be.....
Natasha Christine Morse

From the minute I saw her, the name Natasha popped into my head. It's a strong Eastern European name, and we felt she should always carry a piece of her heritage with her...so that's one part of it...another part is the fact that our niece (who is also adopted) is named Natalie, and Natasha is Russian for Natalie (or so they tell me!) so I thought it would be sweet if our 2 adopted princesses had similar names...and the 3rd reason, which is more of a trivia thing than anything else...is because my favorite actress of all time is Natalie Wood...and her real name was Natasha. :)

Now for the middle name....Christine. David actually picked this name out, because he wanted her to be named after the One who sent her too us...Christ our Savior. :) But, that is only half of the story behind the name Christine! As you know we found our sweet girl (or, she found us! lol) through Reece's Rainbow...and there is such an awesome network of people who donate to, pray for, fundraise for, and love on these precious children. When we first fell in love with Natasha there were 3 people who took us under their wing, prayed for us, gave us advice, added us on facebook, and who have been there every step of the way. One of these amazing women actually wanted to adopt Natasha too! These amazing women are named:

Krista, Christina, and Christine.

How amazing is that?! David didn't know this when he picked Natasha's middle name!! God definitely had a hand in this name, much like He's had a hand in this entire process!

So there you have it! Leave a comment and let us know what you think of the name!

Daddy's note to his baby girl

Hi Natasha,
I hope you had a terrific Christmas! You were on my mind all day long, just as you are everyday. :) As we enter the last week of 2011, and get ready to enter 2012, I can't remember another year of my life that I have looked forward to as much as the one we are about to welcome. That is because 2012 will hopefully be when we are brought together. You, mommy and me will be together and then soon to be followed with you getting to be with your two brothers. This, of course, is in addition to all the cousins and Aunties and Uncles and Nanas and Papas and a whole bunch of friends that are all praying for you and can't wait to meet you too. You make me so proud, Natasha. You have brought a lot of love to a lot of people and that love is growing for you each and every day. I hope you are staying warm, baby girl. Daddy loves you do much and I can't wait to hold you. Jack and I do Eskimo kisses every night when it's his bedtime. Maybe you and I will do the same thing too. In case you don't know what that is, it's where you touch noses and rub the noses back and forth for a second and you say Eskimo...lol. I love you baby girl and I take comfort in knowing that each passing day brings us one day closer to being together. I'll write again soon but until then, keep smiling and know that we all love you!!!

We are 7 away!!!

We are ***7*** "likes" away on Natasha's facebook page!!! Once we hit 200 "likes" we are going to reveal her new name!!

She is known as "Xenia" on Reece's Rainbow, and we've decided what her new name will be, and there is a LOT of Reece's Rainbow significance behind it!

Please follow this link and "like" her page!! Once we hit 200 we will reveal the name AND we will be starting a contest with a super cool prize!!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day with their friends and family. While you're opening presents, having dinner, and spending time loving each other, please remember the children of Reece's Rainbow. Not just our Natasha, but ALL of the kids waiting for their families, or waiting to be home with their families. If you are financially able, please make a small donation as a gift to these kids who more than likely received nothing. It was just another day for them. If you don't donate to Natasha's adoption fund, please consider donating to one of the other sweet faces on Reece's Rainbow! There are no gifts too big or small for these kids, every dime gets them one step closer to their families.

I don't like to talk finances on this blog much, and I definitely don't want to ask for donations or harp on that "side" of adoption. There is a chip in box on the blog and a friend is selling bracelets for $5 each and that's all that needs to be said about donating. But, the money aspect is very real, and as a whole, money is a huge deterrant when families finally do consider adoption, so I want to say a few things about the finances.

International adoption is a huge investment. You are committing yourself to spending between $20,000 and $40,000 from start to finish. This includes things like fingerprinting, USCIS fees, agency fees, homestudy fees, travel costs, etc.

This does NOT include the basics of preparing for parenthood:

Prepping a room, buying clothes, toys, insurance, carseat, high chair, etc etc etc...

This does NOT include getting your home "home study ready"....believe me, once you look at your house through "homestudy caseworker" eyes...you see a million things you need to do, and all those little things add up fast!

So, I said all THAT, to say THIS...people who are considering adoption think of all this, and a lot of times, decide not to adopt because of all this. Especially in the case of special needs adoption because there will also be a lot of medical expense involved if your new child has heart issues, physical delays, etc...

It is a huge undertaking, and not many people can afford it, good people who have a heart for special needs kids who can provide GREAT lives for these kids filled with love, happiness, and hope...they just don't have the funds for the adoption process. This is where donations and love offerings become SO crucial, and Reece's Rainbow is amazing. They raise money on behalf of the children, and prominently display the amount of money that child has toward the cost of their adoption. What this does is help the potential parents not to completely freak out at the cost of the adoption!!

If you are financially capable, please consider sending a little love to one of the Reece's Rainbow babies. You don't have to choose Tasha just because you know us (most of you know us personally), we won't be offended if your heart tells you another child needs your support more!

We hope everyone has a blessed holiday, and we cherish each and every one of you! Thank you for your continued love, and support, and especially your prayers!

Much love,
Dave and Cilla
Thank you to everyone who sent Sweet Natasha a gift, she is going to LOVE opening all her pressies when she gets home!!

Here is a link to Natasha's family page: 

Here is a link to Natasha's facebook page:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Too Blessed To Be Stressed...

Um...nope the title of this blog does not describe me. At all. I'm blessed -AND- stressed thank you very much!!

I'm sitting here on the floor of my bedroom, looking around...and trying to figure out how it is that I cleaned in this room for 3 hours today...yet somehow it looks worse than it did when I started...hmmm...how do these things happen?

I dug out a bunch of stuff we don't need/want...I sold a little bit of it, gave a lot of it away, and I'm giving more away tomorrow. I picked up a few last minute Christmas presents for people...I got my groceries for the food I'm making for Christmas dinner...

I'm just so done with this holiday. I know that sounds awful but honestly...this kind of crap is NOT what Christmas is about. Trees and gifts and food and pretty lights are all wonderful...but seriously...if that's all you're in this holiday for, you've completely missed the point. This season is ALL about symbolism...giving to each other...the way God gave us the gift of Jesus, and salvation...that's the point. We give to each other not because we have to, not because we are obligated to by some social standard...we should be giving because we love the person we're giving a gift to. We want to see their face light up when they see what stood out among all the other things in a store and screamed "this was MADE for my friend/aunt/sister/mother/father/brother/etc" and you just HAD to get it for them because of how you knew that gift would fill their heart...at least that is what this season means to me.

I got the best gift in the world this Christmas. I got a daughter. I would never admit it...but I've always secretly wanted a little girl. I'm a total tomboy, alway have been...probably always will be...but the thought of missing out on the joy of being a mother to a little girl always made me sad. I can't wait to play barbies, doll her up in hello kitty from head to toe, put bows in her hair, bake cookies in her EZ bake oven...yes I know she has down syndrome....and I won't be raising a daughter in the most "traditional" sense of the word...but I plan on putting no barriers up for Natasha. She will be free to learn and grow and develop at her own pace, and I have a feeling our little fighter is going to surprise us all!

Who could've known how bittersweet this would taste...

If I don't get a chance to say this again, Merry Christmas! My husband's family is Jewish so our kids get the ultimate holiday "hook up"
....Hanukkah presents AND Christmas presents!

As I watched my boys open presents from various people this holiday season, I couldn't help but to feel a bit of heartbreak. I'm so thrilled that my boys are having a great holiday, but my mind keeps creeping back to my sweet Natasha. What is her holiday like? Will she get a present? A new pair of warm pajamas? A toy to keep her from getting bored in her crib? Will she get picked up and hugged and kissed?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but I can assume, and reality paints an ugly picture.

My precious girl won't be sitting on Santa's lap this Christmas, she won't get dolled up in a holiday dress and have her picture taken, she won't leave cookies and milk out and wait for the sun to come up so she can open all her presents, she won't have a stocking to take down from the fireplace...she won't have Christmas.

I tell myself to focus on the GOOD...this Christmas she has a FAMILY, she has LOVE, she has so many people thinking about her...and I'm so thrilled for HER...that she has all those things, I just wish they were in the flesh, that she could FEEL the love and hugs and cuddles...she could hear the "I love yous".

She has presents under the tree. She has a stocking hanging on the mantle, these things will be tucked away in the attic, waiting for her to come home and open them.

She is cherished...

I've been keeping myself busy with school, housework, playing, crafting, and baking with the boys...running errands...I've been inventing things to do so I wouldn't have enough time to sit down and really think about how much Christmas is going to SUCK for one of my kids. As a mom, you want to see those faces light up on Christmas morning, all you want is to make your babies happy, and one of my babies is getting a bum deal this year, and it's really affecting my holiday cheer.

Please pray for me and my family as we enter into this time of celebrating the birth of Christ. I know that is the TRUE reason for the season...I just have to keep reminding myself that this time next year, my sweet girl will probably be sitting in front of the tree, shaking gifts and sneaking peeks. :)

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reposted from facebook, but important so please read :)

I kind of feel the need to put this out there. When entering the adoption process, I had no intention of "defending" my decision to people who disagreed with it. I feel as though God called me to do this, and whether or not my friends or family are on board or not really doesn't amount to a whole lot when compared to God's Will for my life...but I am going to clear the air about a few things, and ...then I'm not going to ever bring them up again.

I am not buying a child. I am paying a ransom for a child. I am buying her freedom, a fundamental human right that all people should have, that this child does not.

Not having $35,000 cash lying around does not define whether or not I am a good mother. Adoption is expensive, international adoption is EXTREMELY expensive. My husband makes a decent living, it's enough to allow me to stay home with my kids, it's enough to pay the bills, put food on the table, buy our kids everything they need (and a lot of what they want), we can go out and have a good time (within reason), and at the end of the day we still have some left over to tuck away. That being said, I'm not rich, and I don't know many people who could come up with $35,000 within a few months and if they could, it would most definitely cause their lifestyle to take a hit.

The next time you decide to judge a persons parenting skills based on their bank statement, take a minute to ask yourself if YOU would have been able to take YOUR OWN children home from the hospital after their birth if the following was said to you:

"Here is your baby, you can have him after you do this stack of paperwork, we get five letters of reference, we do a record check, give you a physical, check into your mental health status, look at your bank account, inspect your house, you take 15 hours of parenting classes, 10 hours of cultural sensitivity training, three social work interviews... oh and you have to give us $35,000 before we let him go."

Just some food for thought. If you can't be supportive during this process, I kindly ask you to gracefully bow out of our lives. We don't need your negativity and Natasha definately doesn't need to come home to people who haven't loved her from day one.

End of rant. Thanks for reading. It will never be brought up again. :)

Sorry for the lack of posts!

I know I've been totally MIA lately, I had every intention of blogging while on my trek to and from Chicago (a 1200 mile roundtrip, done in less that 48 hours!)...but the sleep deprivation told me that attempting to blog would end in me embarassing myself, so I waited lol. I took a few pics while we were up there, and I'll post them here for everyone to see!

Here's the deal with why we drove from Tennessee to Chicago in two days. The short story is this: we needed many copies of our birth certificates and marriage license...and we were born in Cook County so it was a WAY better idea to drive up to get them than to wait for Cook County to decide to mail them...somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 weeks from now!

We didn't have the time or patience to wait that long, so into the car we went and drove straight through, slept at my sister in laws house, had lunch with my girlfriends, got our certificates, had dinner, slept at my sister in laws again, got up, applied for our passports, had lunch, then hit the road back to Tennessee. Somewhere along the line I got food poisoning, which is lovely. *sarcasm*

So, that's where I've been! We got a lot of stuff for Natasha's adoption squared away,  we sent some emails, we filled out some paperwork...it was a productive couple of days!

Enjoy the pics!

I couldn't go to Chicago and NOT get Jack a Bears shirt for his birthday!

I love this picture of Jack playing at the park with his cousin...I'm so glad they got to spend time together <3

Had lunch at La Peep with my girls (+1 since Skye got to come!) across the street from Harpo Studios in downtown Chicago

In case you're asking yourself what in the world Harpo Studios is...lol...it's where Oprah used to film her show, not I think Rosie O'Donnell films there.

See ya later, Sweet Home Chicago!!

My adorable hubby rockin' all his new Blackhawks gear...starting the trek back to Tennessee!!
Last but not least, we picked this up at Target for Natasha! She needed SOMETHING for Christmas, so we settled on getting her a princess piggy bank...and stuffing it full of dough for when she comes home! She's going to need lots of educational toys to get her up and going and exploring...she's going to need an ENTIRE wardrobe because I have two boys! There will be no hand me downs for her!! Plus she's going to need an entire bedroom put together! So yeah, this pig needs to eat lots-o-money in the next few months! LOL

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dear Santa

If Natasha could ask for one thing this Christmas, what do you think it would be? I saw this on another blog, and it seems fitting. It also broke my heart.

Dear Santa,
All I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in at night. A mommy and daddy who will tell me that I'll never be alone and whose love for me will never end. Of all that I could ask for, well, there's just one think I need. All I really want for Christmasis a family.

I think I felt my heart shatter as I read that for the first time. While most kids are fixated with what goodie's they'll find under the Christmas tree in a week, there are children who really want nothing more than a parent to hold them on their lap, kiss their little forehead, and love them forever. What kills me the most is that MY little girl is one of those kids. I try so hard not to let my mind go there...not to think about what she's doing or feeling because it's too hard. There is a 17 hour time difference and I can't tell you how many times I've looked at the clock and said to myself "it's 6pm where she is...I wonder if they've brought her dinner yet...I wonder if she's been held or hugged today." It's unbearable. I hope that somewhere deep down she can feel how much she's loved...because she IS so incredibly loved by us.


We just broke out of the single digits on Natasha's facebook page! We have over 100 "likes" now!! WHOO HOO!!!

Please go like our little cupcakes facebook page. We update over there multiple times per day so you'll stay "in the know" even more than you do on this blog! lol

Thank you to everyone who is loving on this baby girl and praying for her. I love you all so much!

I had an amazing time in church this morning. I absolutely love my pastor and his wife, they are amazing people and we're blessed to call them our friends. Due to certain people berating and belittling our decision to adopt Natasha, I've been having a lot of doubts lately. Not doubts about adopting her (I'm 100% certain that's what we're meant to do!!) but doubts about my abilities as a mother. Sometimes people can be cruel and someone close to me who doesn't want me to adopt decided to attack me on a very personal level and it was extremely hurtful! I couldn't help but to question myself and whether or not what this person was saying was true.

I was really struggling, then at church this morning my awesome pastor preached a sermon that could have been tailor made for me! We went through the lineage of Jesus and how he had ancestors who weren't the best people in the world...and the question was raised...why would God choose THESE people to be ancestors of the Savior? Why would God not have chosen the best of the best for the lineage of Jesus Christ?

Well, the short answer was this. You don't have to be perfect to fit into God's plan. You can make mistakes and God can still use you. We are all human and no one is perfect. That does NOT mean God doesn't have a plan for us. That does NOT mean that God doesn't have plans for us that are SO MUCH BIGGER than anything we would have ever planned for ourselves.

God doesn't always call the qualified, but God ALWAYS qualifies the called.

Thank you Bro. Bill for your message. I always learn so much from you.

Thank you God for speaking straight to my heart this morning and bringing me peace.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Daddy's Corner

Hi Baby Girl, It's Daddy!!!  I just wanted you to know about all the great people that are following this blog and the Facebook page we have dedicated to you.  You have captured the hearts of each and every one of those people just as you have captured the hearts of me and mommy and your two brothers.  The weather has been kind of weird here lately.  It was in the 70's two days ago and then dropped into the 30's last night and now we're back into the 60's.  I hope it's not too cold where you are. I hope you are being dressed warm and have enough blankets. Mommy and daddy started getting your room ready.  I know it's a little early still but we just can't help ourselves.  I went shopping with mommy the other night just to get one thing and an hour later were still in the girls department looking at different things we can't wait to get you.  I can't wait to hold you, kiss you and watch you grow.  Your two brothers are looking forward to playing with you.  I'm sure you are going to have fun.  I'll write more to you later on baby girl but for now, you get some rest.  Keep looking at the moon and stars and know that when you do, we are looking at them too and dreaming of being with you soon.  I love you, baby girl. Love, Daddy

Friday, December 16, 2011

"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." -Nelson Mandela

This post is difficult to write, but I feel like it's necessary. I am blessed to have an overwhelming amount of love and support through this process, but that doesn't mean that *everyone* is on board. I was asked today "how do you handle hearing negative things about your adoption?" and the short answer is: I choose to surround myself with love.

I don't have time for people who make it their mission in life to see people suffer and hurt. I don't let people like that get to me because that's exactly what they're looking for...anger, a reaction, attention...they are looking to get SOMETHING out of hurting me (or you, or whomever their target is) and I don't give them the satisfaction.

I had someone tell me today that they *hope* we fail our home study! My jaw hit the floor. This wasn't a person who disliked me, or who I disliked, this was a family member. A family member who has now been all but removed from my life. I didn't know what to say to that, but I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to pray for her. Anyone who's heart is that icy needs prayer because there are under lying issues that aren't being dealt with.

You can love someone, but distance yourself at the same time. I have chosen to distance myself from this person because it is a negative environment and I don't want to be a part of it, but I will still love her, and still pray for her.

As far as my sweet baby girl, she was moved into the "My Family Found Me" section on RR!!! I'm so in love with her and I'm so excited that I got to SEE progress being made!!!

More later! Have a great weekend everyone!

“Children need two things. One is roots and the other is wings.”

I want to start this blog by saying that I'm sorry if it makes no sense! It's 2am and I'm exhausted. It's been a long, tiring, emotional day! We learned that our sweet Tasha had some other medical issues that we weren't aware of....but we also learned that our agency approves of us and found us to be capable to adopt out baby girl, and we're being moved over to the "committed" page on RR shortly! It isn't a HUGE step in the grand scheme of things, but it is a HUGE step for us!!

I also want to say thank you. I was completely FLOORED by people's generosity. We *just* put our "chip in" button on this blog and already we've received $250!!  I don't think anyone can understand my level of gratitude. When you donate to a cause like this, you aren't just giving money, you're giving us, the adoptive parents, hope, you've giving us support, and you're giving our baby LOVE....and I just can't say thank you enough!

This is an extremely expensive journey, and when I sit down and look at all the costs involved, it's overwhelming, and completely intimidating...I'm the girl who turns down vacations because I can't find round trip airline tickets for under $250 each...and in a few months we'll be spending over $10,000 on airfare alone...that's what I mean by intimidating! lol  Now, with the new developments regarding our baby girls health, there is an even bigger financial commitment. Our journey isn't over when we bring her home...we will have a stack of medical bills to tend to as well. I try not to dwell on all that though. I firmly believe that God will provide a way for us to make ends meet and keep this sweet girl happy and healthy once she's home!!

I must get some sleep now, but I also wanted to share a fundraiser we have started....wristbands! (Like the "livestrong" bracelets!) They are light purple and say "Love Conquers All" on them. They are $5 each and you can pay through paypal, or our chip in button....just please remember to send me your email address so I can get your bracelet to you ASAP!!!

Thank you again for everything you've all done...all the prayers you've said....I just could never say thank you enough!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Has anyone seen the movie "Juno"? Do you remember the scene where she tells her father she's been out "dealing with things way beyond her maturity level"?

Yeah. That about sums up my day.

I am so invested in making this adoption happen, it's become my central focus and this little girl....this precious, gorgeous, amazing little girl...she's rocked my world.

I was at the store last night, I needed to get ONE thing...and of course I found myself walking straight toward the toddler girls department...I couldn't have stopped myself if I tried. Four outfits and a gaggle of hairbows later, I leave...forgetting the one thing I was there for to begin with. I'm totally enamoured by the idea of having a daughter, not just ANY daughter...THIS DAUGHTER.

So today, my face lights up like a christmas tree when I see an email from the adoption agency with just my sweet girls name in the title. I open it, and I begin to read...and my 1000 watt smile starts to fade, and by the end of the email I'm sobbing. I won't go into detail, but I'll copy and paste the part that sums it all up:

The girl has a combined heart defect, muscular hypotension. The doctors give an unfavorable prognosis for her development. They are planning a cardiac operation. She is very passive, not responsive.  Xenia is not recommended for adoption by her doctor.

Ok, first of all, my initial reaction was heart break. Not just sadness, but gut wrenching heart break. I've never hurt like that before, I've never felt THAT helpless before. I want to get on a plane today and go hug her and hold her, and rock her, and sing to her and tell her it's going to be ok, and that she's loved beyond her wildest dreams...I want to fix her heart, and make her strong and happy and active...

But all I can do is sit here, and write this blog, and pray. I can do nothing for her right now, I can fill out paperwork, I can go fax paperwork...but I can't hold her and comfort her.

My second reaction was that I want to punch that doctor in the face. How dare he say she isn't recommended for adoption! I get that they live in a culture where anyone who isn't "perfect" gets tossed aside as if they don't matter...but this isn't "some kid" he's talking about...this is MY KID...and I think we all know what happens when "momma bear" mode kicks in....how can someone look at that sweet face and DARE to say they aren't recommended for adoption.

For a family.

For a home.

For warm blankets and sweet kisses, warm baths and full bellies...

For a chance at a life.

I can't even begin to understand what is wrong with people who can't see the beauty in these precious children, who can't understand that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, that they are PERFECT. They are EXACTLY what God wanted them to be, downs syndrome and all, heart conditions and all...they are made in His imagine just like the rest of us.

The bottom line is this, I love Natasha. I love her like I carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her myself, I love her the way ALL mothers should love their little ones. I love her beautiful blonde hair, I love her precious pout, I lover her engulfing gray eyes, I love her heart condition and I love her downs syndrome. Does that sound crazy? Probably, but that's ok, because just like her eyes and nose and mouth, those things are part of her and who she is, so they're loved too.

I don't care what anyone says, I don't care if I'm judged or if people disagree with my decision to take this baby girl and love her for her entire life, I don't care! The only thing in this world I care about is following the path that my God and Savior laid out for me, and if along the way I meet fabulous people who want to go on this journey with me then Praise God, it will be an AMAZING trek we go on together! But, for those who want to doubt God's plan, and try to discourage us from loving our sweet girl, then unfortunately those people will need to be left behind on this journey. This is about finding God's plan for us, and our sweet girl, that's all this is about...and we're so excited to be on this path!

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Theme song

My 8 year old heard this and said it reminded him of Natasha. Listen to the lyrics, I think it is fitting for all of us who are trying to bring our babies home.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Help us bring our girl home

Many of you know her by a different name...so we don't want to confuse anyone, but we plan on naming her Natasha, so if we refer to Tash, or Tasha, or Natasha...we're talking not talking about a child *listed* as Natasha, we're simply using the name we selected!

We created a chip in account...feel free to donate if you would like to. This is an expensive journey and every penny counts! Thanks everyone!

Late night ramblings of a sleep deprived future adoptive momma...

Hearing myself say the words, “we’re adopting a little girl from another country” sounds so foreign that it almost scares me. How did this happen? How did I go from being a boring housewife/stay at home mom, to an advocate for special needs children clear across the globe? How did I become the pseudo momma to a precious little girl?

Clearly I know HOW it happened in a literal sense, but it has all happened so fast that it’s left my head spinning. I’m so excited, yet so scared…I’m so thrilled, yet so nervous! These feelings are the norm for a new mother, but I’m *not* a new mother…I’ve been a mother for nearly 10 years. I have 2 sons, I know how to be a mom, but I don’t know how to be a mom like this. I don’t know how to be ok with my baby girl being thousands of miles away, I don’t know how to be helpless while she lies in an orphanage…I don’t how to not cry my eyes out every time I see her precious picture. In a lot of ways I AM a new mom, I’m a new adoptive mom…and it’s an emotional roller coaster!

This journey didn’t happen overnight, so *why* I feel so shocked is a bit confusing. We’ve wanted this for a long, long time. We began our adoption journey over three years ago when we were trying to get pregnant with our youngest son. I have a history of miscarriage, and we suffered through a lot to have him. Shortly before I got pregnant with him, we decided to give up trying to have another biological child, and pursue adoption. The only place I was interested in adopting from was Reece’s Rainbow. My husband and I were in agreement that if we adopted, we would adopt a special needs child, and we would not adopt an infant. We wanted to give a child a shot that they otherwise might never have. Everyone wants the “perfect” blonde hair, blue eyed doll baby…everyone wants a sweet newborn to snuggle and love on. We wanted the child that everyone else overlooked, the child that WAS perfect in God’s eyes, the child who was EXACTLY who he or she was supposed to be in this world….the child that got dealt a bad hand in this world. God has given us a million second chances in our lives, it was our turn to return the favor and give a child their own second chance.

Well, I ended up getting pregnant, and for the first time in 4 years, I *stayed* pregnant and we were blessed with a gorgeous baby boy. He lit up our world and brought so much joy to us! We love our sons so much I can’t believe our hearts haven’t exploded yet…but at the same time we’ve always felt a little tug at our hearts…we’ve always heard a little whisper that said, “God has a plan for you”. During my pregnancy, during my sleep deprived nights as a mom to a new baby who had his days and nights confused, during my down time when said baby (turned crazy toddler!) took a nap…I would repeatedly find myself on RR, and it was on a random Tuesday afternoon that I saw her. The most gorgeous baby girl in the entire world…I’m sure I had looked at her photo before…but for the first time, I *SAW* her. I saw our daughter. It was the most intense feeling in the world, imagine the day you had an ultrasound done, and the tech told you that your baby was either a boy or a girl…imagine that moment when you went from being a pregnant woman to the mother of a little boy or a little girl…that moment of clarity where your future blew wide open with possibility! The moment it became real. That was MY moment when I saw her sweet picture! I immediately saved her pic to my phone, sent it to my husband, and he wrote back almost immediately, “She’s perfect.” I sent a generic email through the website requesting additional info…and I tried not to think about it too much. I was convinced she had a family lined up, convinced it couldn’t happen, I was in denial and I was in no way submitting to my Heavenly Father’s Will for my life.

Within an hour I got a response email, I was told that my info had been forwarded to the agency In charge of our girl’s case. Within 2 hours I had an email from the agency with forms attached. I printed them out and started filling them out. I contacted a homestudy social worker that had been referred to me, within an hour of placing the call I had downloaded all of my necessary forms, I had written an application fee check, I had filled out more paperwork. Within 4 hours I was back in contact with the agency and told that I could take priority in our girls case if I was financially able to move forward. I was, so forward we went! Within 24 hours of all THAT I was back in contact with the RR director and being emailed commitment forms.


Imagine being told a gorgeous girl like our Natasha (not her legal name, but the name we have selected for her) was available for adoption, and knowing that because you had pursued adoption previously, that you already had your foot in the door to move forward, all you had to do was say “yes”. That’s a LOT to process!

So, my husband and I had a long talk about it, and we then included our boys in the conversation. Yes our youngest is only 2 and he doesn’t understand what we’re talking about, but he needed to be involved on some level! We decided to go for it. Life is short, and this girl needs a family who can dive right in and do anything and everything that needs to be done to get her home as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when it comes to children with special needs in foreign countries. They need families, they need LOVE and they really, really need medical care, speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy….They need a fresh start.

So here we are, knee deep in paperwork, to do lists, adoption books, down syndrome awareness literature, financial statements, and we’re deeper into our Bible’s and prayer than we have been in a long time. More than we need money, or support, or encouragement…we need GOD during this process!

Please keep us in your prayers, PLEASE keep Natasha in your prayers…please send her love vibes as often as you can! I’ll be updating this blog regularly, and hopefully you will all share this journey with us!
Do you want to do something beautiful for God? There is a person who needs you. This is your chance.
-Mother Teresa