Family 2013

Family 2013
Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Pictures :) OUR forever families FOUND us !!

I hope this post finds you all happy and thankful for all God has made possible in your lives :) I hope you if you entered the crazy world of BLACK FRIDAY , you enjoyed yourself ! Me? no way! I am an amazon shopper all the way ;)

~I am so thankful for Tisha and all the kind folks she has touched. We received our first couple boxes of goodies ! Some awesome formula for Taya, Nutren high calorie. She loves it. Thank you so much Kristen! And 2 cases of diaper wipes ! WOOT WOOT!! What a huge blessing this is :) Tisha has raised almost $775 for our diaper and formula needs ! Holy smokes ! You can check out her blog a couple posts down, she is awesome and the mama to 5 beautiful kiddos.

I found myself thinking back over the last 1 1/2 years and I am just amazed at how low we found ourselves at one point, and how faith and listening to God's whispers can open your mind and bring you to a place your NEVER thought you would be , and amazingly it is MUCH BETTER PLACE to be :) Plus 2 new children we never thought we would have. I wish I could share so much of the things that rocked our world with ya, but not yet....we are so thankful for the ability to be OPEN to God's plan, even when we didnt think it was our plan ! God chuckles I bet, when we resist, and come up with SO many reasons why we shouldnt / couldnt do what he asks...knowing along that it is right and good . His plan is to better us and bring him Glory. HOW can that be wrong?

SO thankful these little beauties are going to be going home to forever families very soon !! Thank you for your prayers for them :)
Dont forget to peek & click  on the left-at all the Orphans still waiting on the Christmas angel tree for Reeces Rainbow :) donate to help a family pay the ransom for each little love.

 SWEET Martin finally will be rescued ! I have advocated for him many times, and sadly he was sent to the mental institution recently. BUT his family has finally found him and will be rescuing this beautiful little boy !!
 Remember Monroe ? His mommy and daddy are in EE RIGHT NOW, finalizing his adoption !! They worked super fast to rescue him and will be bringing him AND a new sister home to Florida :)
Beautiful sweet toby :) oh how I love this little beauty ! He has lost several families which I know broke their hearts, but again he has been found :) Praying this little one goes home to his forever familiy this time :)

Thanksgiving :) so thankful for my newest children being home safe and sound and just blossoming ! Thankful  Taya is ALIVE and happy.
My pumpkin and I together 23 years ! old are we ? Lol..
 My sweet sister and her new nephew and niece :)
 GOTTA love matching dresses :)
 My sister and her boyfriend Ry

 My sweet big boy :)
 My girl :)

 Papi and Boo :)
 My mom "booka" has Benji says :)
 Thanksgiving dinner Taya style :) everything we had blended up !
Bug was in charge of the table :)

Hugs !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Keeping it R.E.A.L ~ and pictures!

oK. First you know  I love adoption and love and cherish ALL my kiddos. But well, there is an adjustment period...either with an infant or a 5 year old :) throw in a language barrier and being a very busy boy and well have some trying moments :)

Taya is doing amazing and is blossoming before our eyes. But along with all the blossoming, we have had some harder moments. in the beginning she is very delayed. I was generous when I stated she was at an  18 month old level :( It was more just being in love with her, I didn't want to admit how  delayed she was. But it was more like  6-8 month old. She couldn't hold a bottle, crawl or walk, or talk. She is 4 1/2 yrs old. She weighed 21 #s. It was like picking up and carrying 20 #s of  newborn baby. NO muscle tone at all. Floppy. She didn't really interact unless pushed too, then she would be interested but in a very slow calm way.  She did like to be held and music would engage her. She was pretty much non-verbal except for a growl or loud scream like shriek when upset or angry mostly at mealtimes.  It could be draining :( But she slept like a champ :)  And is very sweet natured and learning to be loved and smile when we smile at her :) She has learned to sign "more" for food so less growling .She is our little flower. And I wouldn't change a thing :)

Benji is very outgoing and loves to give hugs and be hugged. to everyone, so boundaries are being learned.  He talks up a storm , in Russian ;)  Language is a bit of a problem. His issues are more physical , as in he is a ball of motion, and to correct him takes a bit of charades and lots of patience. He is OBSESSED with food. It can be irksome :(  (being honest) when you are cooking and he keeps coming up and kissing your leg and looking at you with doe eyes, hoping to get some of the food before meal time.He eats 3 good meals a day with several healthy snacks so  he isn't hungry, he just thinks he is.  I know he is working a system he has survived on, so I get it but sometimes it bugs me. He eats every meal like the house is on fire !I try to give him a bit less, so I can give him seconds when he is done so he doesnt think everyone has food and his plate is empty. Or a piece of bread or fruit.  And if you aren't watching closely he will steal food off anyone plate he can reach!  That's fun at mealtime :)  So when he does I make him put back whatever I can pull out of his mouth, and try to explain "his plate, his food" "Boos plate, Boos food" it is getting better but still happened this morning. I was feeding Taya, and turned to see Benji with my breakfast sandwich shoved ALL in his mouth under the table :(
~He will eat dog food and bird seed. He knows he shouldn't since he takes it and goes behind things to eat it :(
~He has to be supervised at all times, which is normal considering he is learning to make choices and learn what is off limits.
~He will knock over or throw just about anything if excited so we have to be careful to end, wild play before it gets out of hand.
~He sleeps well and is potty trained thru the day :):)
~He wakes up EARLY and will climb the baby gates and get into mischief so we are working on a new system.
~He is sweet and gently with everyone and has a sweet heart :)

While I was blogging this, Benji took his bathing suit off-and pooped in the baby pool :(  oye... everyone outta da pool :)

Just want you to know every child will come home with different things that will require adjustments so don't be freaked out :) this too shall pass ;)


And MOST IMPORTANT my kids all love each other :):)

Bugs Blog :)

My oldest daughter Bug, and her friend have a heart for orphans too :) Bug begged me to let her start a blog advocating for children on Reeces Rainbow  , so with my help she has a blog. This mama is very proud of her heart :) I know the children with BIG HEARTS for others will change the world for these children who are alone. Can you check it out and please give her some support and sign on to follow? It would give her a thrill to know folks are reading .


From one child to another CLICK IT :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cardiologist Appointment update :) & our need to act

When we met the doctors at the kids orphanage, both Doctors stated that each of the children had a heart condition. Now what the actual conditions were, I have NO idea. With the  language barrier, and different medical jargon..what we learned was Taya had a weak heart muscle and at one time an "extra stomach like organ" in her heart which had corrected itself over time, but they could not remove the diagnosis for 5 years. And a heart murmur. Seriously :( oye.  So my little girl when from a low stimulation environment to an EVEN  LOWER stimulation room :( my baby was in a crib for 6 hours of naps a day, plus bedtime from 8 pm -8am  at which time she was moved from her crib to a slightly larger crib with another child in it .
Can you imagine this  boring life for a child????

Benji's records indicated he had an extra valve in his heart which prevented him from running or exercising.Also a heart murmur. We were told not to let him run or breath hard :(  His groupa was very sweet  and the kids were very well cared for, but like most kids in orphanages, outside time was limited. 

Our Cardiologist, was very kind and was born in India and spoke some Russian ! Very cool. After several tests,  his conclusion is-

BOTH CHILDREN HAVE VERY HEALTHY HEARTS!!! Benji has a silent murmur which is nothing to worry about and sweet Taya's heart is FINE !
I am so happy for the kids, and yet so sad to think of all Taya has missed out on in her life, and all things she could have smiled over, if she had just been given a chance. HOW MANY of the children in the "laying down room" could actually be healthy children if given a chance? How many have mis-diagnoses ?? How many are withering away , as a form of neglect not a medical condition?? :(:(

Now after time home, to reflect , and after my anger and sadness over Taya's room as melted a bit , I realize that the caregivers are doing their best with the little bit they are given. I don't think any of them have any idea what these children can really do. Sadly there is a HUGE lack of education both in the institutions and in society about children with special needs. The caregivers in these rooms are given the least funds to care for the children. I only saw one lady being harsh with a couple children :( a couple ladies seemed happy, the rest seemed to be kind ,if a bit  detached. Which is probably from working in such a depressing room with many moaning , crying children, and such sad surroundings. I think it will take many years and much money to change things for these children. But maybe each time they see a family come for these beautiful kids, it will open their minds and they will learn these kids have so much potential!

  We have to keep advocating for these kids. I can not forget their faces and I DO NOT WANT TO. I  want to be changed forever.I want to feel sad when I think of the child with their little arms tied to their crib, crying to be freed, I want to feel sad for all the children banging their heads against the bars of the cribs for stimulation :( I want to remember the smells (as hard as they were) I want to know that my children are lucky, and so many are not.  I want to work for "the least of these" to make a difference in their lives. God calls us to care for the "widows and orphans" . Each of us if Christian or human :)  has a responsibility to help those  less fortunate than ourselves. If adoption is not right for you, that is OK. But you can help another donating $5, $10 or more to their adoption costs. OR you can pick a child from Reece's that you love and donate to that child's grant fund every month to help THAT CHILD FIND A FAMILY. $10 can make a difference when paid  forward :) by many families.
This is Anastasia 3G she is in Eastern Europe and I have signed up to be her Christmas Warrior. I am commited to trying to raise money for her grant fund so her family will not have such a large ransom to rescue her. She is 5 years old and facing a very scary mental institution very soon :(:( help me, to help her please??
Click on the link below and you will find her picture almost to the bottom of the page on the right.  If you click on a childs name it will take you to a paypal link to donate. Please consider a small amount :)

CLICK here to pick your very own Christmas angel
,    from the many orphans just waiting for a mommy :) donate any amount you feel OK with. Pray for these children, blog about them, print out their pictures and share it with friends and families. YOU NEVER know when you will show a mommy their CHILD'S PICTURE :):) they didn't know was out there. it has happened to me, several times and it is AWESOME.

Thank you to everyone for your prayers ! Pictures next time, Sorry, my husband has changed his password and I can not access my pictures :( :( 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More pictures, ER visit and friends :)

I have to say one of the BEST side effect of adoption, is the amazing friends you make along the way. Not just fly by friends although there are some that are in your life for a brief amount of time but also friends that you really bond with and who care about your life , your kids and your journeys. These friends really get who you are :) These friends rejoice when you move forward and are sad with you when your "process" hits a snag.They know what a dossier is and HOW to say it ;) They totally get why you would travel across oceans, to foreign countries to adopt another child. Even a child (or 2) that have special needs. Even a child who has lived all their life in an institutional orphanage system. They understand why you would adopt another child when you were only planning on 1. They understand adoption isn't to make us feel good, its about bringing glory to God  and giving a child a family. They understand the amazing amount of prayers that were offered for clarity and the courage to step out and say YES -to save this child the serious emotional damage and suffering that being transferred to a mental institution for older boys , would have caused this sweet loving little boy. Even if for only a few months , his ready smile and quick hugs likely would have been gone. His heart would have been broken and he would have lost his trust. We couldn't let that happen. And man are we the lucky ones :)
I want to thank ALL of you out there who have prayed for us, followed our journeys, and supported our adoption efforts, called me when Taya was in the hospital ;) Text'd me to be sure we were OK,emailed me to check in, keep up with me and all my pictures on FB ;) and sent sweet gifts and an amazing car seat :)And all of you who have felt led to donate to Reece's Rainbow to help another child find a home-you rock ! Just reading my blog lets me know you all "get it" and that means so much.  And all of you who have felt led to donate $5 to Tisha's blog to help off set the costs of diapers, goats milk, formula and pull ups :) Truly you all  are the BEST.
OK enough mush ;)

 Taya the first night home sleeping next to my bed. Bug actually slept with her down there :)
 Had to take my sweet baby to the ER shortly after we were home. She was constipated again and her tummy was super bloated. Some sweet friends on FB shared with me their concerns for her large tummy.and after consulting with Kendra :) I called the Dr who wanted her to go to the ER. After 3 xrays and a bit of "cleaning out" they ruled out a blockage but said she is major backed up :( so we made an appt for the GI Dr (last post)
 My sweet baby's thumb :( Her tummy was hurting her so much she was chewing/sucking it raw!  It is almost cleared up now :) If she doesn't go potty after 3 days , a gentle glycerin supp. was prescribed while we try to find out whats going on. She is on miralax , 1/2 a cap in 4oz of bottle  2 times  a day but still she doesn't go often.
 swollen tummy. It was wider then her hips. and tight like a balloon.
 Bathing beauties :) Our house doesn't have a tub, weird with 3 bathrooms right? So to keep taya safe I put her in a laundry basket. Tried a baby tub but she tries to inhale the water! This way very little water is in with her.

Just a cutie :) LOVE her in headbands and bows but dang it  she pulls them out if she knows I put it in. So it is a mission of secrecy and distraction to get it in there. I know, she doesn't NEED THE BOW, but ....
I do ! LOL.

Cardiologist appointment for both Benji and Taya 11/18 :) pray they are OK. Dr thinks Taya has a murmur, and Benji's Dr report in EE, stated he had a heart condition so we will see.

Taya goes for her b. enema procedure 12/1  I am praying the blood work comes back and shows something that will allow us to avoid this , but if we have to I know it will be to help her. And I just want her tummy to feel better :)

oh and BTW  TAYA IS CRAWLING ACROSS THE LIVING ROOM NOW ~!!!!!!!~ SO proud of my girl :):) Yup at 4 1/2 she is crawling :):) smart girl!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taya's GI appointment

We had Taya's GI appointment today. The doctor was great with her.  A small funny-while the nurse was taking her weight and height she asks me all serious "Is there a chance your daughter has Down syndrome?" ME- " ummm no." heehee..just kidding. I said yes :)
Anyway the doctor has decided to test Taya for Hirsprungs syndrome, Celiac disease, and thyroid issues. It will require blood tests, x-ray of the colon and a B. enema . Then we will go from there.  I read up on Hirspungs and Celiac and she has almost all the symptoms of Celiac and Hirspungs really only has constipation as a symptom that I could find, so the testing is needed. So hope it isn't serious, and my little baby can start to feel better .

Hugs !!

Monday, November 8, 2010

LOTS OF pictures :)

View out our 3rd apartments window. View was pretty but the apartment was kinda ..yuck.
First bath :):) Taya LOVED the water !
Taya looking a bit dazed....but oh so cute. Sweet Benji. He has been so amazing thru this all. So loving and trusting.

The night before we left to the airport for the first time, I found Taya laying like this just  staring under the couch. Later is when the vomiting started.
 When I first put  Taya in her hospital crib with her monkey she slowing reached for him and just held his hand.
 After 24 hours of fluids and antibiotics I was able to get her to sit up propped against the rail.
 Daddy managed to get in one time long enough to give me a change of clothes for me and Taya and more diapers.Benji stayed down in the car with Yulia :)
 A rare cuddle . When she was hooked up I couldn't really hold her, the lines were too short so I spent as much time holding her hands thru the rails with my chair next to her.
Looking SO much better. This is the night before we were to be picked up at 2am to head to the airport to try it again ;) I was able to get her to drink about half of bowl of a creamy soup broth by little drops. That was the first time she had eaten any food since before she started vomiting, Thursday I think. Doesn't she look so sweet and fragile in the big high chair?

 My little fragile baby. Thank the Lord, she was a fighter and hung on until we could bring her home.I know the Lord watched over her. She was so close to passing away , just like her little friend Anne-Marie. I was so crushed to learn she had died before we came. I planned to hug her and let her know so many people were praying for her, and let her caregivers know we were trying to find  her a mama and a papa . She is safe with Jesus now.
 Look how cute she is ?? This is her going home outfit since the dress I bought was HUGE on her. This is an 18 month outfit with a onesie under it and tights :) The hat is by Maryann Shrum :)

 My favorite shoot. Taken on the plane waving* PAKA PAKA to EE :) *bye bye
 Cutie !
Babies sleeping peacefully and dreaming I hope, of all the exciting things that will be ahead for them in the next chapter of their lives. We are so blessed and proud to be their parents! What if....we hadn't listened to the whispers in our hearts? What if I had listened to ALL the NO'S my husband gave me, and gave up?What if I said your right, it is too much, it is nuts, its not for us. What if I listened to others who thought it was crazy to adopt a child with Down syndrome especially 2 !  What if my husband had dug his heels in and thought of himself only? What if we decided 2 more kids would take Christmas gifts and extra goodies away from us and our kids at home? What if we hadn't listened to the signs GOD was showing us? what if we hadn't come in time ?
The what if is simple. Taya may be in Jesus' arms now. Benji would have been transferred to a home for invalid boys. A mental institution to you and me. He may or may not have made it to today. And we would have missed out on an amazing journey the Lord planned for us long ago. We would have missed meeting and loving our new friends at the church. We would have missed experiencing another way the Lord protected us. We would have missed seeing the orphans in distress with our own eyes. We would have missed seeing very poor people trying hard to do the best they can with so little. We would have missed out on these 2 amazing little children who love unconditionally even after so many have let them down. We would have  regretted it for the rest of our lives.
"...Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows that we know, and holds us responsible to ACT..." Proverbs 24:12

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -(Mahatma Gandhi)