Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So Far to Find You...

We've been thinking of our sweet little girls in China tonight...  Well we think of them ALL the time actually!  We have never "met" them but we miss them like crazy.  We absolutely cannot wait to see them, play with them, feed them, hold them, love them, and ultimately...bring them home! 


To our sweet Ruby and Hailey:   We love you and miss you.  We are counting down the days until we hold you in our arms.  We will love you forever!  This is our song to you.
Love,
Mom and Dad 
(turn off the music at the bottom of the blog to listen to this song, words printed below).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone
We were waiting and praying
And longing to bring you home
And then we saw your face
In a moment you were wrapped up in our hearts
We took a step of faith
And now here we are

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From a world away, I journeyed
Just to hold your hand
You will never be alone again
I've come so far to find you
So far to find you

You were fighting and fearful
You were hiding your heart away
But I was trying so hard to show you
'Cause there were no words that I could say
If you could see my heart
You would know that all I want to do
Is care for you

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

Here in your eyes I see
Reflections of myself
How I'm the child that's really running
But I can hear a voice that's whispering my name
Saying come to me, don't run from me
I'm all you need and I am calling

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
(I have come so far)
Will you take my love and give up the fight
(I have come so far)

Will you let me hold you in my arms tonight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you
Will you take my love and give up the fight
I have come so far to find you
So far to find you

From Heaven's throne
Down to a rugged cross I came
It was My love for you that brought Me all the way
So far to find you
So far to find you

You were broken, abandoned
And crying all alone

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day 2012

We are so happy to be celebrating World Down Syndrome day today with our sweet girls. This is our second year celebrating this day with Anna and Victoria and our third with Madalyn. These girls have brought so much joy into our life.  More than could ever be expressed in words.
  
The day of March 21st was picked for World Down Syndrome Day because of the numbers 3 and 21 (3/21).  People with Down syndrome have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome...hence 3 and 21.   Just in case you didn't really know that...   :))

We found out Madalyn had Down syndrome about a month before she was born.  That was 3 years ago this month.  It was probably one of the hardest times of our life.  We had no idea what to expect.  We just knew we loved this little girl and wanted her to be healthy. Those times were tough!  But once we met our little girl, we fell so in love with her and she has brought us tremendous joy ever since.  So much... that we knew we wanted more of that special love in our life!!

By Madalyn's first birthday, we were committed to bringing home 2 more precious blessings from Ukraine. 


These two have changed so much in the last 17 months!



And now here we are just 2 short years later getting ready to bring 2 more precious children home.  All these sweet girls sport that extra chromosome and they are all beautiful!! 
  


We are so very very thankful for the blessing of Down syndrome in our life!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is Winter Over Yet?

I have been a blog slacker lately.  I have lots of excuses reasons. Ha!

There has been some rough stuff for our family lately. Not something I'm gonna blog about...  ;)  But besides some of that other crazy stuff, we have just mostly been dealing with sick kids.  Whatever nasty little cold bug we caught has pretty much gone through the whole family, except for one or two of us.  

Poor little Anna got the worst of it though, as she wasn't able to really shake it and ended up with pneumonia.  I'm so bummed!  I thought we had gotten through the winter without a major illness.  Apparently not....


She has been very healthy since she came home (17 months ago today!), so it was a bit surprising that she got so sick.  It got to the point that she was just sitting on the couch and/or wanting to be held, not playing, not eating, not wanting to do anything but sleep. If I put her on the floor, she would just sit down.  She wouldn't walk and I was worried that something really serious was going on.    

She was acting weird, but she still looked really good. 

We were able to borrow a pulse oximeter to check her saturation levels, just on the off chance there was a problem there.  She wasn't running a fever, she wasn't coughing, plugged up or anything.  She looked GOOD. 

Except for being so. not. herself. 
  
Imagine our surprise when the machine kept registering her O2 levels in the 70's. We had to check, double check, then check it again on one of our other kids just to see if the machine was working right.  Good thing we just happen to have oxygen available at our house.  Ha Ha


Long story short, we went to the doctor and she got a couple chest xrays (she was very cooperative for them, most likely because she just didn't have the energy to move) and a lovely shot of antibiotics (which she really didn't appreciate). 


We are thankful that our pediatricians know us so well (from Madalyn's millions of sick visits) and apparently trust our judgement enough that she did not have to be admitted.  Not to mention the fact that the hospital was already filled with a bunch of kids with RSV.  Lol   It's kind of funny because when we got to the pediatrician's office and the nurse checked her sats, they were down in the 70's.  She went back and told the doctor and they just automatically assumed (rightfully) that they needed to get a bed at the hospital ready for Anna.  But when she walked in and saw her, she said, "I thought I was gonna walk in and see a sick kid!!  She doesn't look like she's in the 70's, she doesn't look THAT sick!".   Lol  

After a couple days on antibiotics, she is doing much better.  :)



Madalyn trying to wipe Anna's face.


Madalyn tickling Anna.


Super cute smile, so glad to see our old Anna is still in there...


Playing ball with Madalyn...


Finally feeling good enough to get off the couch. Those plastic balls look too fun not to get up and play.


The good news, obviously, is that Anna is feeling much better than she was.  The bad news is that she has to stay on oxygen for at least another few more days.  I am happy because she is tolerating the oxygen really well!  She hasn't tried to pull it off her face once and doesn't act like it bothers her a bit!  Such a good girl!


I'll leave you with a few pictures from today.  She is obviously feeling even better today and we are so thankful to see her cute and funny personality coming back to life!!  We sure love this girlie!!!








Oh, yeah...she got her haircut, too.  

Just in case you were wondering...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Accepting those who the World Rejects


     
One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”  He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked.
  “Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.
  The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.”
   Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”    2 Samuel 9:1-3

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A true story is told of a British factory worker and his wife who were excited when, after many years of trying to become pregnant, they discovered they were going to have their very first child. So this man relayed the good news of his wife’s pregnancy to his fellow workers at the factory, and told them that God had answered his prayers for a child. But his coworkers made fun of him for asking God for a child.


When the baby was born, he was diagnosed with having Down syndrome. And as the father made his way to work for the first time after the birth, he wondered how to face his coworkers. “God, please give me wisdom,” he prayed. 


Just as he feared, some said mockingly, “So, God gave you this child?!” 


The new father stood for a long time, silently asking God for help. At last he said,“I’m certainly glad the Lord gave this child to me and not to you!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As this man accepted his disabled son as God’s gift to him, so David was pleased to show kindness to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, despite his condition. Some may have rejected Mephibosheth because he was lame, but David’s action showed that he valued him greatly.


In the very same way, our sin has mangled our appearance in the eyes of God. Yet because of His love for us in Christ, He has looked past our iniquities and accepted us unconditionally. And it’s by that same grace that we show kindness and acceptance to others when the world rejects them.


A friend of mine sent me this in an email.  I thought it was great and wanted to share the story.   


I felt it was applicable not only to people who are considered disabled, but also to orphans in general.  Orphans are the most innocent and ultimate example of those whom the world rejects.





















Rejected because of disability, physical deformity, poverty, even a birthmark...it doesn't really matter how.  

We are all called to care for orphans (James 1:27).   All of us.   

We may not all be able to adopt a child... (although I would highly encourage you to seriously look into it and search your heart to really determine if you can't, or if there is some other reason that's holding you back).    

But...

We can all do something!  We can give of our time or our money.  We can PRAY for orphans.  We can support others who are adopting or who want to adopt!  There are so many ways you can contribute and "care" for orphans.   

  
I would just ask you to pray and ask God where He would use you. Who does God want you to show "His kindness" to?  Where does He want you to be when it comes to caring for orphans?   I  guarantee that He wants you doing something.  

But it is up to you to figure just exactly what.    :))

Friday, March 2, 2012

Officially Waiting...again

Just wanted to post a little adoption update.

Plus a few pictures because I can never post anything without some pictures to go along with it.
   

Our dossier was logged in on February 14th!!!  Yay!!
  
We are now officially in waiting for our LOA (or LSC) which means Letter of Seeking Confirmation from Ch*na.  According to our agency, this can take approximately 2 - 3 months. That seems like a really long time and from studying looking at other family's time lines during this particular part of the process, it seems like it can vary A LOT.  There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it.  Some people I know got their LOA in 80 days and some in 45 days.  


That is a HUGE difference in time frames!! 

Once we get our LOA, we will have a little more paperwork to do, but for the most part we will just be waiting on a travel date.  That will probably be another 2 months or so after LOA.  


We are just praying that everything will go smoothly and that we will be traveling sometime early this summer!  


We are also hoping for some updates on the girls soon.  I have already started buying clothes, etc for them, and so we are asking for their specific measurements.  So fun!!!    


And of course we want  MORE PICTURES!!  :)


We can't wait to meet the girls and learn more about their personalities, their likes and their dislikes.  What are their favorite foods and what do they like to play?  What makes them cry and what will  make them feel better?


Will they be ready for such a big life change and how will they adjust to leaving the only place they have ever known??   Do they even want to?  


Tough questions, but really we just want them to be happy!  No different than any of our other children. 

So many unknowns and so many questions yet unanswered...for now anyway.  :)

Soon though.  I'm sure it will be here before we know it and we will be holding them in our arms!! 


We just can't wait to show them how much they are loved, wanted, prayed for, and that they are a huge part of our family already!!
And your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it", whenever you turn to the right or to the left. Isaiah 30:21

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Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.