Psalm 68:5-6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

I am Stepanie Nance. My family adopted two little boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine in 2010. I hope to educate and to inspire you. I hope to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Come along for the ride. It's a wild one!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 - you were awesome!

We have experienced heaps of blessings this year as a family. This year was all about saving two boys, Zhen and Theo, from a dismal life in an Eastern European mental institution.

They try. They really do, the doctors and staff of the orphanage. There was simply no way they could have known what Theo needed was growth hormone treatment. There is no way they could have provided it for him. His time was running out. I doubt he would have survived another winter.

I get a little choked up when I see how strong and happy he is these days. I love this boy something fierce! Look at the life in those eyes.

And Zhen. So much stronger than many of the children there, physically anyway. Emotionally he was weak. They try. They really do, the doctors and staff of the orphanage. The kids are clothed and fed and pushed around in strollers. There is just not enough staff or time for hugs and snuggles and teaching and toys.

I fall in love with this beautiful boy a little more each day. He's learned to seek and accept affection. When I kiss one cheek, he always offers me the other. He thoroughly enjoys all of the toys in the house, especially the linky rings.

He brought his linky rings to the doctor's office the other day. As he was fiddling with them the doctor asked me if he was getting good at putting them together. I said no. I put them together and he rips them apart.
Just then he brought the rings up right in front of his nose and he snapped them together! Don't you just love it!

Now that Zhen and Theo are home and safe I'll be turning my attention to the "lost children." The children who are left behind. I cannot let myself forget them. I carry an ache around in my heart for them. If the pain ever goes away, if I ever forget them they will cease to exist for me. I won't let that happen.
I don't know what 2011 has in store for us, but I'm looking forward to it a great deal. I cannot wait to see more lost children be found. I cannot wait to see how God moves and shakes. Life just keeps getting richer and more interesting every year!
Happy and blessed new year to you!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

First Christmas

I spent some time today reflecting on Zhen and Theo's past Christmases. What were they like? Was there any celebration at the orphanage? I just don't know. I also spent some time thinking of where they might be today if we hadn't gone crazy last year.

Zhen would be turning four next month when he would be moved to a mental hospital. It's a dark place for a timid, frightened little boy. Theo would have been moved last summer and would not likely have survived in the condition he was in. If he had survived, he would be bedridden today and every day. Staring at the ceiling or the bars of his crib.

Praise God! This was not to be. Their lives were redeemed and every time I hear the Christmas story I hear the story of Theo and Zhen. I can hardly think about it without my eyes leaking! It was a miracle and we couldn't have done it without God.

This is certainly their first American style Christmas if nothing else! Does every American boy want a Tonka truck, or what?

Zhen was sure that it was for riding on! I just love the way he gets into a chair or onto a toy by bending over and backing up. It's a total hoot!

Zhen didn't fit so well, but Elmo did.

My little Theo looking so happy and healthy.

He got a vibrating teething toy from Santa. He's got plenty of teeth, although they are a bit ground down. He loves the sensation. I may have to stock up on these!

Showing him how to open a present. He didn't really get it. Neither did Zhen. In fact, after opening his truck, he toddled off to play with it. He was done with Christmas!!

Each day Theo is showing new skills. Today he almost got his knees up under him! He's bending his knees a bit more now when he drags himself across the floor. Some days I wonder if he will ever crawl, and then there are days like today when I have hope. Every teensy tiny advance he makes is like medicine to my heart.

Poor tired but still beautiful Zhen. We do stockings after all the other presents are done. Look what he pulled out of his! Twins!

Here is a present, Theo!
No clue. I'll bet next Christmas is a completely different story. I'm looking forward to next year and all the great things that are in store for my two Ukrainian miracles!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Another first!

I cannot imagine that Theodore has ever had a chocolate chip cookie before this very day. I wasn't sure if he was ready for it, but while I was busy baking dad handed him one!!

What do you think? Was he ready? :) (I just think he's a little dreamboat!)

Here comes dad with another cookie!!! This is the face he makes whenever he sees food of any kind.

Give it to him, already!



On a side note, I'm not sure that chocolate after dinner was a good idea. Theo just absolutely would not go to sleep at bedtime. Maybe it was the sugar, maybe the chocolate. I thought a nice warm bath would relax him, but they just get him all excited.
We are looking forward to many more firsts for Theo and Zhen over the next few days. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas letter to an orphan

Shamelessly stolen from a dear friend. You can click on the photos for more information.

Dear little one,

I saw your photo today. You are so adorable! Your eyes are so deep and full of hope.

I love your little smile, I know it must be hard most days to find the strength to smile.

I have heard how little food you have, and that sometimes you have to share food with your friends. What a sweet and giving little person you are!

But I am writing this letter to tell you that I will not be able to help you.

You see my family is happy with the life we are living.

We already have four children and it would just be too much bother to the rest of our family to try and help you. I know that we could get bunk beds and you could share a room with one of our bio kids but really that is no life for either of you.

We have so much going on around here and life would be too chaotic to add another child to our family. We already have two children in dance classes and two that play sports. Christmas is coming up soon and our children already have a Christmas list a mile long of things they simply must have! They have to keep up with their friends when it comes to the latest toys and technology!

I have a ladies night out next week and I have nothing to wear. I really need to purchase a new outfit. I guess I could sponsor you but it will have to wait until next month.

I really need that new outfit and my children are "dying" for some fast food tonight. Good luck to you and I hope that you will find your forever family soon!

Merry Christmas from the Jones family

Friday, December 17, 2010

More miracles...

It's crazy how fast this little dude is changing! Look what I found today:
I know, it's picture of Theo. He's sitting up. Oh wait! He's sitting up! He was just crawling around on the carpet a minute ago.

Transitioning from a prone position to a sitting position is something most babies learn by around the age of 9 months. Typical babies just do it, no big deal. For Theo it's HUGE!

Love, love love!

I just love celebrating every new skill. This kid lived in a cage (tiny crib) for four years. Watching him come alive is so rewarding. *sniff* I mean what are the chances that a tiny little guy like Theo from an Eastern European orphanage would end up in my home in the middle of the U.S.A.? It's so improbable. But, it's really heartwarming. Did I mention how much I love this little one?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jill's Story

Merry Christmas to you dear readers! This is my little gift to you...a gift that I received when I became friends with Donna and her daughter Jill. Because of these friends, I was able to joyfully accept that my son Ralph was born with Down Syndrome. Enjoy!

Jill's story - written by her mother, Donna:

Jill was born in 1964 (back in the dark ages of mental retardation). She was not diagnosed with Down Syndrome until she was 3 months old. There were no tests back then to determine this condition, but we knew she had a developmental disability from birth. Parents just know these things sometimes, don't they?

On a visit to the the pediatrician at 3 months of age, the doctor picked up Jill under her arms. She slipped right through his hands. He said, "Yes, I believe she is retarded. Now, you will need to decide what to do with her. I must advise you that she will probably never be able to walk or talk. Most certainly not be able to read or write. I would advise you to put her in an institution."

I replied, "We have had her as part of our family for 3 months and have learned to love her and see potential in her. We will keep her in our home!"

Jill had a fairly normal life growing up. She just did things a little slower than most kids. She not only learned to walk and talk, but learned to read and write, ski, roller skate, dance, and play the piano. She rode the bus downtown to her job at a bank for several years.

She began taking piano lessons at age 16. We realized the talent she had when she sat at the piano and played melodies with her right hand. It was time for piano lessons! I asked a former student of my husband (who was a music teacher) if she knew of a college student who needed the money and would be willing to take Jill as a piano student. To my surprise she said, "I would!" Jill took lessons for several years, learned to read music and even learned to memorize everything she played.

To this day she practices a half hour every day except Sunday. She has had the opportunity to play all over the state, for many schools, at weddings and parties and at the state fair. We have always had the philosophy that Jill can do anything anyone else can do - it just might take her a little longer. I'm so glad we decided to keep her out of an institution!

***I'll be passing along any kind comments that you have to share with Donna and Jill.***

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My daughter.

I can't sing anymore. I have an OK voice...actually I think I'm pretty good. I just get choked up every time I open my mouth. All my emotions are still so raw. Even singing The First Noel made me weep this morning in church. Not your typical tear-jerker of a song, is it? I guess that is how undone I really am.

My open wounds are for the children I left behind in Eastern Europe. They start to scab over from time to time. Then I can function normally and fit in with the other suburban families suffering from dreamy affluenza in my quiet little town. Then something happens, the scab is ripped off and I'm yanked back into reality again.

A couple of days ago my daughter Rose yanked me back to reality. After looking at some children on the Reece's Rainbow website and praying for them she asked me a question. A question that just about broke my heart. "Mommy, if I was in an orphanage in __ (a certain EE country), would you adopt me?"

What could I say? I had to say yes, didn't I? I said yes.

But what is the real truth?

What if we didn't know about her? What if we didn't feel we could handle another child? What if we couldn't raise the money? What if our income didn't qualify for immigration purposes? What if we made excuses? I went to bed that night completely wrecked and wondering.

Then a few days later I watched this video and the questions in my mind changed. Now the questions were more like...what would I do to be able to get to my daughter??

You see, I do have a daughter in an Eastern European orphanage. Masha. In my heart she is mine. She is one of the least of these. She is royalty. Fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I can't get to her. You call yourself my friend? I need you to get on a plane and get to her! Who will go get her and be a mommy to her for me?

But you don't know her. You have not seen her giggle and dance. Her life isn't affecting you. I know you care and it probably makes you sad that she will be sent to live in a mental institution when she turns four years old next month. But, you'll sleep just fine tonight.

And so will I. And I hate that.

She's so far away. It feels like a dream. Was I even really there? And anyway, I've done my part, right? It's not my problem.

Except that, I'm still a part of the body of Christ. And He has shown me and given me a piece of His heart. And my heart is always going to hurt for the ones left behind. I will always be reaching out, encouraging, preaching, yelling, screaming...until the rest of the body wakes up. And then we will rescue the children like Theo, and Zhen, and Masha, and God will get the glory.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Look at my little big boy!

Today was a good day for my heart. The good news just keeps on coming!

When I woke up today I was greeted by Theodore who was sitting up playing in his bed. He was sitting up! He transitioned from laying down to sitting up!! This is HUGE!

I think he may be about done with the baby seat. What do you think?

Ralphie loves Theo! Theo merely tolerates him! ha!

Theo had a pre-op physical with his pediatrician this afternoon. He is up to 18 pounds from less than 13 in August. That's dramatic considering his size!! Most exciting is that his head circumference has grown at the same rate as his weight and length. Do you get that? His brain is growing!

The visit was a pre-op physical because Theo has an MRI and sedated hearing test scheduled for next Friday. I'm not holding my breath, though. He's been super snotty and coughing a bit. We may have to reschedule. :(

For your entertainment...

I can't forget to tell you how wonderful Zhen is doing. His cheeks are a little red from the cold, dry air. But, I think they are adorable!

Tonight I got down on the floor and taught him how to fly!!! A little tricky balancing him on my feet and taking photos! haha! He's so ticklish this is almost impossible to do!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Guess what today is?

Can you guess what today is?

Why, it is Theodore's half-birthday! Any excuse to celebrate, right? I thought about making a cake, but he wouldn't have enjoyed that. Instead he celebrated with apricot baby food! A first for him!!

I had a hard time getting a good photo of him tonight for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Ralph would not leave him alone. He kept grabbing Theo's hands or patting his arm. Very sweet, but...a little aggravating when he won't move on to something else after a few minutes.

The second reason I couldn't get a good photo is that Theodore is a world champion spitter. Did you know that is a sport? OK, I'm exaggerating. But not by much. See the apricot splatter pattern on the highchair tray?

I didn't really want to have to clean apricot baby food off of the camera lens. He got my shirt several times!! Good thing he's super cute, right? Now he's officially a super cute 4 1/2 year old boy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More miracles...

It's been a whole week of miracles for Theo. This amazing little boy has really come so far from the day in July that we met a little tiny bag of bones. There are still some uncertainties and I can still feel his hip bones through his jammies, but what good news I have received this week!

Firstly, Theo had an appointment with a specialist for a condition that was going to require surgery. Now, we are not in a small town by any means, but this specialist only comes here once a month. So I guess he is pretty special! ha! It took some time to get an appointment.

Surprise!!! No surgery needed. The doctors in Ukraine were wrong. Heck, the doctors at the children's hospital here in the USA were wrong, too. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was flabbergasted!

Later that day we got Theo (Zhen and Ralph, too!) fitted for some ankle/foot orthotics. Theo's going to walk one of these days, I just know it. We are going to give his feet and ankles all the support they need to make it happen. The good news here? All of Theo's deductibles and co-insurance limits have been met, so there will be no out-of-pocket expense for these braces.

Yesterday was the long awaited pediatric dentist appointment for my little man. I was quite certain that very few of his teeth would be salvageable. I felt a little, ok a lot, odd walking in carrying him in an infant car seat. Everyone was so kind though that I soon felt at ease. The hygienist was able to scrape a ton of strangely colored tartar off many of Theo's teeth, with me holding him down. All of a sudden his mouth didn't look so scary.

The dentist came and examined him shortly after and found no problems other than a couple of enamel defects. In fact, she pointed out some positive things about his the nicely spaced lower front teeth. There is plenty of room for adult teeth to come in without crowding. Again, I was blown away. I was pretty certain he would have multiple teeth pulled. Great news, huh?!

Last night Theo and I stayed up late together like we normally do. After his injection he gets a little hyped up. I put him in the high chair and let him eat some little baby puffs. He did great scooping them up and getting them into his mouth without any assistance from me. Then after the puffs ran out I decided to see what he would do with a cracker. See?

He did a fantastic job of munching on his crackers and moving the food back in his mouth to swallow. Very little food that went in came back out again. He's learning to eat!!!! Without feeding therapy! I knew that he would learn with opportunity and a little time. Still, I call it a miracle.

Next week...preschool evaluations, sedated hearing test and MRI. Looking forward to the many more miracles that are to come!!

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pie Warrior

Zara. Most certainly not her real name.

No photo. No face. No grant.

An orphan with no name and no face and no money.

I had some grand plans to raise big money for her adoption fund when I signed up to be her Reece's Rainbow Christmas Warrior. But, life with our two newly adopted boys has gotten in the way. It's the story of my life...over promise and under deliver.

Not much I can do about "life" right now. I mean, we still are trying to get doctor appointments for Theo and Zhen. But, there are a few things I can do.

When we were preparing to adopt I made enchiladas for donation until my hands turned orange. I was really happy to make something instead of just asking for gifts. I was happy to use good quality ingredients and provide something that people would enjoy.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I had the opportunity to hone my pie making skills. I have not used shortening or margarine for nearly 10 years. Yes, we quit hydrogenated oils long before it was cool, so my pie crust was made with butter and unbleached flour. The pies were so delicious, the crust so crispy that I was compelled to make more pies on Saturday. I was fighting off the children just so the pies could cool off!

So...even though Thanksgiving is over and done for the year...'tis still the season! I'll be making high quality pumpkin and pecan pies for local people for the next month. If you are in the Wichita area and you'd like to give one a try leave me a little comment and I'll get right back to you! I'm covering the cost of the ingredients and donating my time so that I can donate 100% of my proceeds to Zara's Angel Tree fund.

Enjoy a creamy pumpkin or crispy sweet pecan pie for a donation of $15. I'll even deliver! Save yourself a few headaches and let me make the pies for your holiday events. And together maybe we can help Zara have a Merry Christmas next year!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

No turning back!

So thankful today that Theo and Zhen are home with us. Thankful to God for his great work of deliverance! What a blessing they are to our family! It just feels like such a privilege to be entrusted to care for them. Honestly I feel that way about all my children, but it's different with those two new boys.

Watching Theo grow stronger every day makes my heart want to burst with love and appreciation for him. I often think of the four years he spent lying in a crib 24/7. It's hard to wrap your head around that, isn't it? He's energetic and loving his freedom these days. No turning back!

Psalm 107:14-15 (New King James Version)

14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh goodness! Lookie!

You should know that Theo cannot yet pull up. He cannot get into a sitting position. He can't crawl. But look...

He can stand for several minutes!!

He's getting noticeably stronger every day! And I think he's growing, too.

Sweetie! He's a true miracle!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The nannies would be proud...or not so much.

Yesterday I took the kids to the park downtown for the annual Turkey Trot race. Richard ran in the 10 mile race and Thomas ran the 2 mile race. It was chilly and I was afraid that Zhen might get cold riding in the stroller.

Here's Zhen in his coat and hat. I did have him completely zipped up with the hood and mittens on. But, that didn't last as long as I thought it would. ha!
It's Kansas, so the day was fairly windy. By the time we got home his poor little cheeks were bright red. A little lotion helped a lot. I tried to teach him how to rub it in, but he didn't seem to care.
Tomorrow: appointment for orthotics!! We are going to get these boys walking!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Please pray...

You simply must read what my friend Julia has written HERE.

In fact, for your convenience I have decided to post the entire thing here for you. Because we know what we know and we have seen what we have seen, we have a great responsibility.


A few weeks ago I posted about a vote on a bill that would put a moratorium on adoptions in Aaron's former country. The bill passed once, but needs to pass a second time before it goes to the President and is signed into law. If the bill stays as it is written then adoptions in that country will come to a screeching halt. I've heard a lot of differing information, advice, thoughts etc. about when the second vote will take place. It is very possible that the vote will take place next week. Thanksgiving week. Some say November 22 and some say November 24. Some say it will not happen until spring. Only the Lord knows when that vote will take place. It is an extremely serious matter and we need to be praying hard that this bill will either not pass or that the wording of the bill changes so that adoptions, especially the special needs adoptions, will not be hindered. Consider the following:

  • Next Thursday is the LAST day this year when that country will be accepting dossiers until the end of February. This is a normal process that takes place each year. Those families who are not submitted in the next two weeks will have to wait until early next year for submission.

    If the bill passes and if it is signed as it it currently written:

  • Then those families who have been racing against time to get their dossier to that country by the cut off date will find all their work to have been done in vain.
  • All the families who are currently in that country and have met their child BUT HAVE NOT HAD COURT will be sent home.
  • All the families who have bags packed, plane tickets in hand and are ready to walk out the door to go get their children will not get to go.
  • All the families who have had all their paperwork submitted over there and are just waiting for a travel date will be left hanging.
  • All the families who have mailed their dossiers and are praying they will be accepted either this week or next week by the agency that processes adoptions will not be submitted.

There are about 30 Reece's Rainbow families in the above situations. 30 families who are hoping to bring home over 40 children. FORTY. There are over 40 other families who are working hard on their paperwork in order to be submitted early next year. We are talking over 100 SPECIAL NEEDS children who have families right now willing to sacrifice everything to get them home.

It is a battle. A spiritual battle that needs to be won. Four years ago these children were hidden from society. They were unwanted. They were dying in their cribs. Alone. But God has raised up an army of loving families who want these kids. They want the unwanted ones. They are shocking the orphanage directors, the nannies, the doctors and the social workers. Each time one of the 'least of these' is selected, they are making a powerful statement to the powers that be in this country and others that these little ones have value. They deserve life, love and families. They don't need to be discarded at the hospitals. They can grow and learn and thrive. Hearts are changing and the powers of darkness are not pleased. It is a spiritual battle. As the church is waking up, realizing its call in this forgotten realm, the battle lines are being drawn.

Pure and simple - we need to pray. We have on our side, a Mighty God. He is the One who has called the church to action and He is the One who is leading this battle. I have in my house the sweetest little guy because God placed it in on our hearts to GO GET HIM. Our call did not end when we walked off the plane. One child whisked out of darkness is not enough. We need to battle with the rest of the families who are fighting against the odds to get these children out. They have been called by God and we need to stand with them in prayer that NOTHING will prevent them for fulfilling His plans.

Pray church. Pray that the bill either doesn't pass or that it is reworded. Pray that God will continue to move in the hearts and minds and souls of each and every orphanage and institute director. Pray that the doors of these places would be flung open and that the church would be able to march inside. Pray that through the testimony of every single family who goes over there, that the system of discarding the special needs children would come to an end. Pray. Pray for the vote. Pray for the people God has put in place who are working around the clock to address the issue. Pray for the families. Pray for God's peace to reign in their hearts as they journey in this unknown. There are numerous other families who are trying to adopt in Aaron's former country who are also deeply affected by this vote. They are not Reece's Rainbow families but they are just as much in need of our prayer covering. We know many in this group and we agonize with them also. They too desperately need our prayers. This vote affects thousands of children stuck in a very harsh system. Pray not only for the families, but for God's call for you. Pray for discernment as you wrestle with whether God is calling you to adopt. Pray hard, church.

Those who are unable at this time to rescue a child, you are not off the hook. You are called to support the families who are going. You are called to GIVE. You are called to be an encourager, a supporter. You are called to pray. So pray. And lest you forget for whom we pray:

**I left the photos on Julia's blog. You can also see the hundred's of waiting children at Reece's Rainbow. **

All of the precious little ones pictured above need families. I can't look at their faces without wanting to cry. They are helpless, needy and desperately in need of your prayers and support.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Zhen and the racoon

Zhen has been afraid of stuffed animals for as long as I have known him. We are working on this! I know this looks a little mean, but of course I didn't get the camera out soon enough...

He was so curious and he really wanted to play. We were practicing giving the racoon high fives and he would crack up every time...and then cry for a second...and then do it again!! What an awesome kid. I love to watch him open up and try new things. Even if I have to push him a little bit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coming Down

Sitting here tonight feeling so very blessed. And yet, so very dissatisfied.

Lately at night I've been watching some documentaries about climbing Mt. Everest. (I gotta be up to give midnight meds.) Did you know that most of the deadly accidents on expeditions to the highest peak on earth occur on the descent? On the way down?

Traveling to Eastern Europe and bringing home our boys was a definite spiritual peak. I walked closely with my Lord through some very dark places and days. I was fearless. What a high place!

Now that we've been home several months I'm on the way down from that peak. Coming down isn't nearly as exciting. Especially when you find yourself doing face plants! I'll get through it, but no one really talks about how to get down. We all struggle and scrape to get up...but then what?

I'm feeling very powerless and weak. I feel like a failure some days. Especially when it comes to advocating for the children we left behind. I left a huge chunk of my heart behind when we left. I can't just sit here enjoying my blessings. I've got to DO something.

Anyone else have trouble getting down from the mountain? How did you manage?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sometimes things are not working but you keep doing the same thing anyway. This is how feeding Theo has been going. Each day we have a goal. A minimum number of calories for him to take in. Every day he was falling short.

If we had to leave for an appointment or a day trip it was just a disaster! I thought it was me. It seemed like all I would do all day is feed that beautiful boy. And it was.

I didn't understand what was going on. After nine babies you would think I'd know a thing or two, right?

It was the bottle.

I didn't feel like washing his bottle the other day and so I gave him a different style bottle that I had in the cabinet. He sucked his 6 ounces down in about 5 minutes, burped and was ready to play!! He hadn't had time to play for a long time. Playtime is so important because that is when I work with him on conditioning.

He has not started physical therapy or any other services yet, but I know a thing or two. He is getting stronger. He is getting around! He is getting in trouble!!!

I've got to get some video of him "inch worming" his way around! This kid is SO much fun.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Eating - orphanage style

Zhen takes his food very seriously. He doesn't lose interest in eating until the food is gone. He eats like a champ!

I have made a point to feed him whenever possible. It is a sweet way to show him attention and affection. However, he is quite skilled with a bowl and spoon!

Tonight he is using the metal bowl and an extra large spoon. We call this eating "orphanage style."

Actually, it could easily be called Eastern European style. Every time I ordered soup or stew over there I was given a HUGE spoon. Mmmmm. I could go for a big bowl of borscht right about now!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I wanna go back...

I had a dream the other night where I brought my sons back to their Eastern European orphanage for a visit. I have a super duper overactive imagination so it was really...umm...surreal. The children were having art lessons for pity's sake! I knew where I was even though it was unrecognizable.

I don't put much stock in this type of dream. I think of it like housekeeping for the mind. More like purging! I don't consider this dream to be any sort of oracle or calling. But...

It makes me want to be there. There is a chunk of my heart missing. I'm pretty sure it broke off in that stuffy upstairs grouppa room.

I never had a difficult time sharing what it was like over there like other people I know. Maybe it just wasn't that bad? Maybe my heart is a little harder than it could be. Now, nearly three months out, I'm starting to forget. I'm wondering if it really changed me or not. I need to go back.

Crazy. There are a few children I'd go back for.

If I had to. If no one else goes. No one else seems to be interested. My goodness, could I even pull that off again?

OK, rambling here. Must be bedtime!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Whoa!! Man, that flash is bright!
Hey look at me! I can actually sit up by myself like a big boy. Do you recall the photos from the orphanage where I was shown how to tie him to the playpen bars so that he could sit up and play? No more of that nonsense.

People say that they can tell Theo is growing. I can't see it. Not yet anyway. I need numbers to look at. I do see that he is filling out a little bit. I love to get my hands on his squishy little thighs! It's better than squeezing the Charmin!! This is a very welcome sight compared to just two months ago.

Theo's teeth are growing too! Isn't that cool and strange? It seems as if he was in suspended animation for a few years and now he's picking up where he left off. He still breaks my heart and I have many concerns, but we have new hope each day! Love this little dolly with all my heart.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Angel Tree is here!

I'm a Christmas Warrior for ZARA

An adoption grant fund is a Reece's Rainbow orphan's best friend. That is until their family finds them...but then one thing leads to the other. And when their family finds them they are no longer orphans, are they?
Theo's grant fund made it possible to adopt him, and it wasn't a moment too soon. Zhen's grant fund made it possible to bring him home as well. The only thing that keeps the children featured on Reece's Rainbow from being adopted
A Reece's Rainbow orphan's second best friend is a cute photograph. It's just a fact that the kids who get chosen first are the ones with an adorable picture.
Sadly, my Angel Tree child has neither! No photo. No money. Yet.
But, she's only 20 months old! What a blessing it would be to get her home in time to benefit from early intervention services, which end at the age of 3. A blessing for her and for her family, too.
For each gift of $35 or more you make, you will receive a beautiful Reece's Rainbow Christmas ornament. Please consider Zara...for all the other nameless and faceless orphans out there.

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