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!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It has been an amazing, busy weekend.

Our social worker called on Saturday morning and we set a date for our homestudy home visit! I thought this day would never come! Seriously, nothing happens fast enough for me. I get so impatient when I think of those sweet little boys waiting for us.

After a big buttermilk pancake breakfast, we loaded everyone up in the van to deliver lunches downtown. Ten families from our Sunday school class made 20 lunches each, consisting of a sandwich, fruit, cookies, chips and a bottle of water.

People start lining up before 11 am to get a sack lunch. I hesitate to call them homeless people. First of all, some of them may not be technically homeless, but still in need of a meal. Second, since Ralph came along I've become more sensitive to people-first language.

Using people first language means we refer to a child with Down Syndrome as a child with Down Syndrome, NOT a Down Syndrome child or worse, a Down's kid. First and foremost, my son Ralph is a person, a boy, a child. The DS is secondary to that.

So I was wondering the other day, how would I use people-first language when referring to other groups of people. Would I call a homeless person a person without a home? Is there a better way than to say "homeless person?"

Anyway, I'm guessing that the folks that showed up for the sack lunches were mostly homeless. But, individually they were more than that. They were someones baby boy or baby girl at one point in time. They have desires as well as needs. And, the God of the universe loves them each.

The kids were hungry by the time we headed home, but they had to wait. The lunches were not intended for them and had all been given out. It was a great little lesson in service. I hope we get to do this again soon.

After our own sandwiches at home, I got to go shopping at the Mall with James, Ruby and Ralph. I finally spent my birthday gift card on some much needed clothes! I was hoping to be buying some smaller pants by now, but a girl has to wear something.

I got home just in time to change and head out to church for the Crazy Love womens' event. What a great time we had eating scrumptious desserts from Leah, listening to a wonderful gifted speaker, and challenging each other to serve our Lord in ways that may be seem crazy. Crazy that is, until we realize how crazy is the love of God.

Sunday morning was my absolute favorite, though. I was finally free to share our adoption plans with my brothers and sisters at church. We brought some doughnuts to our Sunday school class, because that is the tradition when you are expecting a new child. What fun it was to share that we are essentially expecting twins. It was fitting, I think, to share this news on the heels of the Crazy Love event the night before. I'm sure some people think we have gone crazy!!

After church we did Leroy's birthday celebration. His birthday is on Tuesday, but dad will be out of town. He wanted pizza and grapes for lunch. Silly me, I forgot to buy grapes! After cake and ice cream the little kids played outside. I think spring may be on it's way!

I let the kids stay up a little too late to watch the Olympics closing ceremony. I'm sure I'll pay the price in the morning. But, it's the Olympics!

I've been fooling around with some photos for this blog for the past hour. I'm limping along on this dinosaur of a computer, trying to come up with a decent blog header. Perhaps I'll get some help this week and get some nice, pretty buttons posted.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The ball is rolling.

Our social worker has all of our paperwork now. The ball is rolling. We are waiting on various clearances in order to move forward.

The first set of check have been written and cleared.

We have the dossier and most of it seems pretty simple. Now I have a bit more time to relax, practice my waiting skills and do some home organizing/cleaning.

Maybe I'll work on this blog instead. Spruce it up a bit? Sounds like a great way to practice avoidance! LOL

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Sometimes I say that if the devil can't make you bad he will make you busy! But I'm busy on God's errand, isn't that OK?

Seriously, I don't know where the days go. And it seems like I'm not really making progress on getting the house tidied up. I have so much paperwork and paperchasing to do.

Last week we took James mother out to eat so that we could let her in on our plans. I was surprised at how well she took the news. We let her know that we were going to need her support during the process and help with the other children while we were out of the country.

Funny, Wesley is going to Thailand in April. We are going to Eastern Europe. Her best friend is going to Greece, I think. It doesn't seem fair that she doesn't get to go half-way around the world, too!

We now have all of our paperwork submitted to our social worker. Our FBI clearance was overnighted to West Virginia on Monday. Our Voice of Hope donations and Promise Trust money has been sent in to Reece's Rainbow. I finally received our dossier on Monday night.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I thought that once we made the decision to go ahead with adoption that I would fired up to get the house organized. I was right.


Except that I've been bogged down with paperwork and more and more paperwork. And I don't even have the dossier stuff yet!

So that is my excuse for the condition of my house! I guess I should be happy to have a fresh new excuse. haha It's all OK though. I'll get organized, just a matter of time.

Today the children were moved from the "at-risk" page over to the "I found my family" page! Isn't that wonderful? Every little step makes this feel more real to me.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Notary trouble

Today I called my friend who offered to be our notary for this adoption. Unfortunately her notary expires this year. Eastern Europe requires that the notary not expire within one year. Drat!

Our medical form will need notarizing. The doctor has to sign in the presence of a notary! But the notary at the doctor's office expires in April!

I called the city office but the clerk who is a notary was not there. They gave me the name of a city council person who is also a notary and guess what? I know her!

She is a nice Christian woman who volunteers at the Pregnancy Crisis Center. When I told her what we were trying to do, she was very supportive and had kind words to say about people with Down Syndrome. Her notary doesn't expire until December 2012!!! Yay!! AND she said that she would come with us to get our doctor's signature!

I'm having some time management trouble. I'm always thinking and stressing about the paperwork, but it's not getting done. So, I decided to set the timer for myself like I do for the children. I work on the paperwork and phone calls for one hour and then I put it aside to fully concentrate on other things for awile. I hope this helps me to get all the i's dotted and t's crossed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New photos

I got new photos of my little boy yesterday. Oh, I'm so in love! He doesn't look so healthy, or happy. But he is beautiful to me anyway.

I starting to really believe that he is mine. I still have a long way to go and lots of paperwork to do. I hope nothing goes wrong. It might break my heart. Heartbreak is a distinct possibility.

I guess that is why they call it a leap of faith when you set out on a journey like this.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Tonight I'm feeling very anxious. I have been looking into the eyes of a beautiful child for almost two years now. Ok, it's a photo. But, those eyes haunt me.

Now we are preparing to commit to adopt him!

But, the paperwork. The money. It does not seem to be happening fast enough.

What if someone commits to him before we get our paperwork done? In my head I know that I could accept it. It's all about the kids, right? But my heart. Oh, my heart. I'm loving him already.

I'll bet this won't be the last time I feel like my heart might break.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Here we go.

I have paperwork that I need to be doing right now, but this couldn't wait another day. I want to document this journey from the very start even though I cannot share it with the world right now.

For two years I have prayed for the children on Reece's Rainbow. For two years I watched many come home to loving families. Some went home to their Father in Heaven. Most are still waiting.

My sweet husband knows my heart. He knows that I know we don't have the money to adopt a child. It is obscenely expensive. He also knows that my heart would never stop hurting for these beautiful unwanted children. He knows that if this is what God wants for our family that He will make a way.

So here we are.

At my 40th birthday dinner-date he agreed that we will move forward with plans to adopt from Eastern Europe. There are a couple of angelic looking little boys that are facing the institution very soon. One of the boys has a large grant fund. Sad to say, that grant money makes a difference or we would probably be committing to another boy.

Time is wasting. Paperwork is calling.

I can't wait to make this journey public. It's going to get interesting, I'm sure!

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