Friday, July 30, 2010
On another note, I just spent the whole afternoon/evening in the hospital with my Mom and Dad and my son, Jordan. My mom went to the hospital today in an ambulance thinking she was having a heart attack. Another one...... She had her first one in June, 2007. Ever since then, she has been a model patient! She eats unbelievably healthy, she exercises, she lost weight that the docs told her to, she has been so motivated! For the last 3 years she has done this!! She is soooo much healthier than me!! I can guarantee you that!
But, today she was in such horrible pain, she really thought she might be dying! Well, she ended up in the emergency room, and by the grace of God, her cardiologists that did her surgery before, were in town and not on vacation like we thought they might be! So they ended up taking her to the cath lab and the doctors repaired some vessels in her heart. She did really great! We are so thankful that she did so well during the surgery and is recovering well!
Mom, I love you so much and we are so thankful for the person that you are and the help you are to our family!!! Even though you always think you are just not helping us enough, you are so much more than you know!!!!
What a day this has been! I have been working hard to get ready for our yard sale tomorrow. We still don't know if we will go ahead and still do it, but we might, since I advertised it in the paper... I went to Walmart today to pick up last minute supplies for tomorrow. While I was there (with 5 kids in tow), it started to seriously rain and thunder, etc. By the time we checked out, it had slowed down some, so I had Samuel and Daniel push our 2 carts while I carried Madalyn under a blanket. About halfway to the car, it decided to let loose again! Oh my gosh, it was coming down! I managed to get Madalyn and Justin into the car and told Daniel (9 yrs) to get them buckled in. I told the 6 yr old to get in as well. I was yelling at Samuel (11 yrs) to help me load the groceries in the car. We both got totally soaked! It was poaring so hard....
We laughed so hard once we got in the car! I can't believe that happened, it was so funny!!! I haven't been that wet, fully clothed in a long, long time... But what a great memory!!
Like I said, what a day it has been! Oh my, what will tomorrow bring!?! :)
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I was shaking today as I signed the airbill at the Fed Ex office! It is scary to think those papers that I have been protecting with my life for the last few months are gone....out of our hands. :( Why do I feel so protective of those things? Like if something happens to them it will be like losing a member of the family. Well, really not that bad, but you know... :)
We have an amazing friend who made a huge contribution towards our adoption by shipping our documents for us! Not only did this person pay for our documents to go to our girls' country, (and those of you who have sent your dossiers whether by UPS or Fed Ex or whoever, knows that that can be really expensive!), but they made the whole process so stress-free, pleasant, quick, and enjoyable!! And we didn't send them the economy route. We sent that baby PRIORITY!! To get there as quickly as possible!!! It may not seem like that big of a deal to that person, but it is huge for us! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
I know from reading other people's blogs, etc. that some people have had real problems with getting their dossiers sent! I don't know who it was (but someone adopting recently with RR) told the people they were mailing their dossier with not to put any value on the package because it can cause problems with customs. They encountered resistence and maybe some argument and then after they left, that person added a value to their document anyway! I think it caused a big delay in them getting the dossier to their facilitator! That is just insane!!! I don't know if I am remembering the story exactly, but it was something like that! I don't even know what company it was.
We knew our dossier would be expensive to mail and we were planning on that, and we knew that there might be some problems with getting everything labeled right, etc. So we are extremely thankful for the quality service we received at Fed Ex and the amazing and generous friends we have!!!!!!! And I am here to say that Fed Ex in Durango, Colorado is awesome!!!
We will be tracking our "baby" for the next 6 days! It is supposed to arrive in our facilitators hands by next Monday evening. Now, I am not sure if that is Monday evening our time, or Monday evening Eastern Europe time. I might have to ask someone that! :) There is a big difference!! (9 hours difference!!) :)
Oh my gosh!!! We might actually have a travel date soon! :0
Girls.....we love you and can't wait to meet you! Hang in there! We are coming soon!!!!!
Monday, July 26, 2010
We were not thinking anything exciting would happen today. But we were wrong!
Our apostilled I-171H arrived today, so we will be mailing our dossier to the girls' country TOMORROW!
I told ya! I love it!!!
It is so surreal that we are at this point! I have "watched" many families reach this point, then travel, then come home with their children! I never really thought WE would be here! We are so excited,it is impossible to describe this feeling....
So... we are using Fed Ex to mail our precious package, our beloved baby that we have been nurturing and loving and growing for the last several months. We are entrusting the care of this very important bundle of documents to someone else! That is HARD to do! If something happens to this package, we will have to re-do everything! That is an overwhelming feeling! Yes, it is technically just a stack of papers! But papers that have had an enormous amount of time spent on each one!! It would be disastrous if it was lost.....
And in light of recent information, if we lost it, we would have to re-do everything and have it all done and sent by the first week in October! Apparently, the country we are adopting from historically closes from November 1 through February 1. They do not accept new dossiers during that time, so it is something to think about! We really should not have to worry about that, but worse case scenario.....it could pose a problem.... :(
Anyway...I'm sharing a couple pics of our very precious documents. 35 very important and very hard earned, notarized, and apostilled papers! You will never know how difficult paperwork can be until you have finished a dossier for an international adoption, especially one from this country! Ugh!!! But we are very proud to have it done!! :) :)
Please pray for safe travel for this special little package! Please pray that things will continue to go somewhat smoothly for us. We have definitely had our delays in this journey!! Seems like lots of them! But I think it has been a pretty easy process so far. Most of my pregnancies have been easy. The last one was pretty tough, especially toward the end, but our little Madalyn is so very much worth all the all hard times!!!
This time it is a paper pregnancy, but very much the same in many ways! We cannot wait to see our girls!! Thank you for your prayers! They are very much appreciated!!!
Friday, July 23, 2010
The papers that we were really hoping would be here.......aren't!
I am so bummed! I don't do so well when I get my hopes up about something, and then it doesn't happen. Kind of like a little kid!!! :) I just really need to try not to get my hopes up, then I am usually okay.
But I really thought if we could send our dossier by today, we might actually get submitted by next week. Not sure why I thought that, cause for sure there is no guarantee!! And the probability of that happening is not good. Most of the time, dossiers are NOT submitted that quickly. So I am not sure why I thought that could happen, but.....I did.
Oh well, we still hope they will show up tomorrow, but we are not counting on it. I talked to a lady at the Secretary of State's office today and she said that it takes 5-7 days to process, and that they had only completed documents through Monday the 19th. Ours arrived there on Wednesday... So if they do come tomorrow, all the Glory will go to God!!! Because it will totally be because He made it happen! I have faith!!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
But really it is not as easy as that!! Oh, how I wish it was! Have a great Friday sweet girls!!! We are coming soon and we love you!!!!!!!!
So... we are really hoping to be able to send our dossier tomorrow, or even Saturday. We are waiting on 2 apostilled forms to get back from Denver and we are praying hard that they will be here by tomorrow. We mailed them Fed Ex priority overnight on Tuesday, they arrived in Denver Wednesday morning at 9:49 a.m., and from there the trail goes cold. I didn't keep track of the number for the return package (ugh, what was I thinking?!) so we really have no idea when it will be coming back. Maybe we are being overly optimistic in how fast they will get apostilled, but oh man I am really hoping!! I did send a letter asking the Secretary of State's office to expedite those 2 forms, but they don't usually do that unless you are there in person. And we really couldn't drive 7 hours to Denver to have that done, so we will see.... I had to try!!! As has been the case in our journey so far, we will probably have to wait longer than I want to, but I also know with all my heart the amazing power of God! He can make easy things take as long as He wants, and He can also make things that should take a LONG time, happen quite quickly! That is one of the many things so cool about knowing our God!
Wow!!! I cannot believe we are actually at this point in the process! This is really happening and I am trying to remember when I actually agreed to all of this!! :) That is my fear talking...
Really I am so ready to go get my girls, but yet I am scared to death! I am afraid to leave my kids, especially the little ones! I am afraid to get on that airplane and totally give up all control! As if I have any to begin with!! I guess I just think I do....
But, when I look at those little girls' faces, I know that it is all worthwhile and somehow, it will all be okay! I absolutely cannot wait to meet them!!!!! That is for sure, without a doubt, totally and with 100 percent confidence, it is true! I want to see my babies!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
However, I can tell you this...their names are beautiful! (IMHO) They were given to them by their birth parents, and we are keeping them! We hope that when we get to their orphanage we will learn more about these two families and the circumstances of the girls' births and their family history! We are really hoping to maybe even meet their parents and have some sort of open relationship with them! That is our hope for them, because it really would be such a blessing for the girls to have that information and for their birth parents to see that their daughters will grow up completely loved and cherished and adored. And most of all, to see the value that God has placed on their lives! That would be so awesome!
Monday, July 19, 2010
(play drum roll now...)
It's official! Our I-171H came today, our approval letter
I am so excited and I just had to share our awesome news!
I will post more later, but we are hoping we can send our
dossier to Ukraine by the end of this week!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Her name is "Alina" and she is in an orphanage in Eastern Europe.
She has been waiting so long!!! If you were 4 yrs old, and you had
been waiting your entire life for a family to love and cherish you,
wouldn't you think you had waited long enough?!
Please consider adopting this little sweetie!
If you cannot adopt right now, please help get the word out so that we can find this precious child a family! She will go to a mental institution
very soon, one that she cannot be adopted out of!!!! It is imperative
that we find a family for her now!
Alina has brown hair and brown eyes. She was born with a VSD (ventricular septal defect) and also has hypothyroidism. She is doing very well, but should see a cardiologist once she gets home. Alina has recently turned 4 and is at risk for institutionalization. Please consider adopting this beautiful girl!
This is "Jessie". She has brown hair and brown eyes and is totally healthy!
She is in the same orphanage as "Alina"! They can be adopted together. Don't you think they would make wonderful sisters!!!
These 2 girls weigh heavily on our hearts and we would really love to see them find a loving family! Alina, especially, doesn't have much time!
Click here to see what a mental institition will be like for little Alina.
Please God, help us find a family for these 2 girls!!!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Sooo...if you read this blog and you are local (to us), please stop by next weekend and check out what we have. Or if you have stuff you would like to donate towards our yard sale, that would be awesome too!! Email me!
We would still appreciate any donations you could make toward our adoption! It is really a hard thing to do to ask people for help! But when it comes to my little girls, I will do anything! My girls are worth going beyond our comfort zone to share our story with others. They are worth risking friendships to ask someone else for help. They are worth the risk of just plain asking other people for money to help bring our children home!! We have had some very special people support us in tremendous ways in helping us bring our girls home! We are so very appreciative!!! Thank you everyone, you rock!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. Hebrews 10:36
and this one...
...And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. Hebrews 12: 1-2
...helps me stay strong and have the faith to continue on! We are so excited to meet our daughters and bring them home! And sometimes it seems like we will never see the end result, the day they are officially ours!
What exactly are we waiting on this time, you might ask? We are waiting on only one little document to be able to send our dossier to the girls' country! Only one little piece of paper between us and traveling to meet our girls! Doesn't seem like much, does it? But is a very important piece of paper! It is our Approval letter from USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will ultimately approve us for adopting orphans from another country! We have to have that paper!
Well, the other day, I had been patiently going through my days thinking we would get that letter any time. I wasn't worried about it (yet) and so when a friend suggested I call the officer in charge of our case to find out more info, I really didn't feel the need to but I did it to satisfy her. :) Boy am I glad I did!!!
A few things happened that God was totally making Himself obvious in.... First the fact that my friend told me to call when I wasn't going to. Second, the fact that the officer in charge of our paperwork answered the phone herself! I had told myself I wasn't going to bug her, and just ask the person who usually answers the phone to check the computer. Then, much to my surprise, our officer told me that it was going to be a couple weeks before she would even look at our stuff! Wow, I was kinda shocked and didn't say too much except for "Ohhh". That's when the third God thing happend. She just threw out there that the only reason they would expedite our paperwork was for a medical emergency on the part of the child. Here was my chance and I immediately told her of little Magda's heart defect and her pulmonary hypertension which needs immediate attention, and will require open heart surgery. I mentioned that I had sent a letter with the girls' picture on it asking for them to expedite our case. Apparently, that letter went somewhat unnoticed, until this conversation, and she pulled it out and looked at it! Then she told me that she would mark ours for a medical expedite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That moves us up a couple weeks for sure! Wow God is so amazing and it is just really awesome when something like that happens! Thank you Jesus!! Yet another reminder of how God is sooooo in this adoption and that everything will go according to His time frame! He will make sure of that! He did it for us when we got our fingerprints done early, too! This has been a great encouragement for us! We are getting so close to seeing our girls!!!
So....we will just keep on waiting. But now we are waiting on Him! That makes it so much easier to endure somehow. He loves our girls and knows what they need and He will be faithful to provide it!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I wanted to post a follow up to my last post. One of the questions I mentioned but did not address in the last post was "Why are we going overseas to adopt?". When I start talking about Down syndrome or adoption or Madalyn, I can easily go on and on and get distracted....happens alot actually. ;)
Anyway, I don't want to repeat myself here, and most people that know us do know why we are doing this. So I am going to include a couple links from some other blogs that have just really had a huge impact on us and our decision to adopt these 2 precious little ones. This first link was actually the inspiration for us to begin the process when we did. We had been praying about what we needed to do, and this post really just spoke very loudly to us, and we were hooked! :) This is written by a mom who has 6 children, 4 of whom have Down syndrome, 3 of whom are by birth, 3 of them are adopted, both internationally or domestically. (That is a little confusing, I know, but you will just have to go check out her blog to figure it out.) She does tons of work (voluntarily) for Reece's Rainbow and is just an amazing person! So please read her post to see what inspired us to take our leap of faith!
I would also like to include this next link. It is from the same blog, but it is a wonderful article advocating for orphans. And the word "orphans", includes children both overseas and domestic.
I just have to put in a plug here for the children here in the U.S.A. that are in need of families. too. Our family has been a foster family since 2002, and though we are now adopting internationally because we feel that is God's calling for us right now, there are children right here in our own country that need homes, as well! There are over 500,000 children in foster care in this country. The majority of them, most likely, are not as in dire need for a family RIGHT NOW, as some of the little ones in these orphanages, but some ARE! Maybe it is not because of complete neglect, lack of food or medical care, or being shipped off to mental institution they cannot be adopted out of, but more likely it is emotional care, permanency, a family who will love them forever... Whatever the difference, they are still orphans and God calls us to care for them!
Anyway, here's the link. And if you look at the picture under #3, that is an old picture of our little Arianna. It is a telling picture.... we love her so much already and we just need to get there and bring her home!!!!!!!!!!
Not to overload you, but I just had to add this other link. This one talks a little about what happens when these little ones turn 4 years old and are not being adopted. Read that again...... 4 YEARS OLD. They are so little. I just cannot imagine. It breaks my heart....
Monday, July 5, 2010
We were told our daughter would have Down syndrome about a month before she was born. It was hard and we were very confused! "Our" hopes and dreams for this first-born daughter of ours (after 6 boys) were gone. But as soon as we saw her, we fell in love with her and it didn't matter anymore. Yes, we had to adjust a few things. But Madalyn is so precious and we are so blessed to have her in our life! I know with my whole heart that until you have a person with Down syndrome who is very close in your life, or know someone who does, you will not understand what a special blessing you have! She is not a mistake, a problem, an option that you can get rid of.... she is
a person who will bring you more blessings and love in your life than you will ever know!!!
It is devastating to know that the abortion rate in this country for a child with DS, is above 90%. Please, if you've had that prenatal testing and received a positive result, know that we understand what you are going through and your grief, but we also are on the other side and we can tell you of all the positives and the blessings! Believe me, Madalyn has brought more blessings than I ever thought I would see! We absolutely cannot wait to have 2 more of these precious beauties in our life!!!
Please read this amazing testimony of another family that has chosen to become the adoptive parents of 3 children with Down syndrome. It is a beautiful story.....
We are so blessed to live in this time, and in this country, where open heart surgery like our daughter's is very common. We had some awesome surgeons who have done this surgery many times and know what they are doing! They did a great job, and not only repaired her ASD and resulting pulmonary hypertension, they found her very tiny VSD and repaired it as well! Our pediatrician compared her heart surgery to having her tonsils out. The risk anyway... pretty amazing, huh?! I have said this before, but The Children's Hospital in Denver (ranked one of the top 10 Children's Hospital's in the nation in 2010), is an amazing place! There are wonderful and amazingly smart people there!!
Friday, July 2, 2010
When you have given birth to a child who has Down syndrome (or other special needs), it changes you. Completely and fully. Our daughter Ma...
A midst all the craziness lately, I managed to get a few little projects done to make our new house feel a little more home-y. Actually I...
What about these names for our precious little girls? Magda -- Alexandria Margaret Hope Alexandria means helper and defender of humanki...
I posted about Brent last month. This little guy is only 5 1/2 yrs old... 5 and 1/2 ! !!! Who out there reading this blog has a 5 yr old?...
Baths are usually great fun for kids. But not so much for this little girl . Our litttle Victoria had her first real bath back in Octobe...
We celebrated 3 birthdays this month! :) We are so blessed, but it makes for a busy month. A super fun kind of busy, but busy nonetheless...
I put this video together for the Angel Tree kiddos on Reece's Rainbow...hoping to help with donations or finding a family for at least...
from Victoria, Anna, and Madalyn Westbrook Best Wishes for a wonderful and blessed New Year!!!!!
Sandra She was only 4 1/2 yrs old and living in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Now she is gone. She was only 4 1/2!! This is the reason ...
Wow a new year 2014! I am always amazed at how fast the last year flies by! I'm not sure why that is... I guess I think it should ...
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- Well, we still do not know exactly where our preci...
- And we're waiting..... again.
- Next stop ??
- It is off!!!
- tomorrow, tomorrow, I luv ya, tomorrow....
- They didn't come today.... :( The papers that we w...
- I said I would post again, but then I didn't... so...
- It's here......
- This little girl, who is only 4 years old, needs a...
- Another Yard Sale Fundraiser
- Waiting and waiting and...
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- Sometimes people ask us why we have chosen this pa...
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