Family 2013

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

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Where to start?

Well hello :) Anyone still out there?  I hate that I have  been away for so long.I missed blogging.But It was important for me to step away, curl up and heal a bit.   So much I would like to share with you and so much I cant. I hope sharing some , helps you to understand my silence. Maybe it will help someone who feels like they are all alone and hurting to know that, in fact you are NOT alone. And it WILL get better.Bad things do happen to good people. It really isn't your fault.It is meant to grow you. It is for God's glory.   Slowly the healing will begin. God's plan is not for us to understand (and I really really didnt) but to trust in. Have faith in. And follow HIM. Lesson learned. The hard way ;)

 It was hard to not just sit down  at the computer and let my fingers fly across the keys and let so many things just spill out. There were times when I really wanted to scream. And cry. And boy was I angry .And so deeply sad.  I wanted to shout to the universe " Really ? Are you frickin kidding me? Again?What else can happen? Why has this gotten so hard? Parenting is hard enough..but special needs brings with it a whole list of unknowns and struggles. Add in huge life changes and struggles.  If this is a test Lord please, I CAN NOT DO IT . SHOW ME what the heck we are doing wrong! Heavenly Father  why have you forsaken me?(dramatic much?)  Yes I was THAT upset that I believed the Lord had turned his back on us :(  I was so very sad that a part of me had shut down. I stopped talking with the Lord. I didn't think he was listening.I stopped being social. It hurt too much when everyone else was happy. Yeah, I was so numb inside. I am embarrassed to share that with anyone. I am a work in progress. I am broken. I am far from perfect. I stumble.And I did fall. Hard.  But I keep going. Trying each day to do better then yesterday. And somehow , it has gotten better. The giant sack of confusion and despair I was carrying around for over a year , slowly ,slowly began to empty. It all began to pour out. And the healing began.A women's bible study that my sweet friend Lindy House, invited me to was .my.undoing. The Holy spirit found me. He spoke. And I listened. LET IT GO. He said.-
 Share with me. Share with this group.
 The heck with anyone WHO JUDGES YOU.
 And I obeyed.
 And the healing began.
 I was able to toss the sack of crap and hurt and disappointment  aside ,shake off and finally see the beautiful world again. I have hope. I have joy. I have found my FAITH.Through it all I had to believe that my children were a sign that all is going to be ok. God would not have blessed us with these 6 beautiful gifts if we were not loved. If we were not worthy.
You know the saying 'God will not give you more than you can handle' NOT TRUE!!!!!
Katie Davis said it something like this in her book "Kisses from Katie"  -
God DOES  give you more than you can handle. He wants you  broken and reaching for him! He wants you to depend on him COMPLETELY!
Amen. Yes he does.

God does not forsake us. It is his plan, with all the bumps and twists and turns and pain. And the joy. He does make us stronger. He does know what we NEED verses what we THINK we need. Boy the STUFF we have let go! The "things" we really believed for a long time that we needed! Its shameful now really. I believed that charging up debt to give each of my 4 (at the time) children 10 or so big gifts EACH  at Christmas  was NECESSARY ! It is NOT Christmas without a ton of presents and debt right?? Isnt that what our society teaches us? :(:( Trust me. You .DO.NOT.NEED.IT. The big house? Had it. The extra fancy room just for show w all the decorations that you just look at but dont touch? Had it. The dining room we only sat in once a year for Christmas dinner? Yup. Had that too. 2400 square feet of 'stuff'. But very little room for children. God's real gift. Now? All of it gone. Except the children ;)

Ok back to the story-

Background, I grew up with a single mom, who worked 2-3 jobs at a time to care for my sister and I . She taught me compassion and giving. We had nothing, but she would give a stranger her shirt off her back if they needed it. We rented and had to move a lot. I think by the time I was 23 I had moved 10 times. Not happy moves but forced , hurry up ,grab your stuff moves. I longed for security.
My husband and I bought our first house when I was 22. By the time Isabella came home in 2006 we owned 6 houses. Each one (except for our home, which we built as a "dream"home) was bought as a wreck, and painstakingly renovated by inch by inch by my husband and myself. Occasionally family helped out. Nothing from the floors to the walls to the ceiling was hired out. Blood sweat and tears for our families security.
Then we lost it ALL.

Why? Lots of reasons. Kinda a scary snowball.  We were caught up in the lay offs of our renters. The crash of the housing market.Recession.  The desperate lies people tell when they want to take advantage of someone. The damage they do when they have to move and they are angry. On and on and on. Until..
We had to say enough is enough. Our family was sinking fast. The stress was too much. The savings were gone. But thankfully my husband had his job and our kids were healthy. We would survive.

So we moved to the country to heal. We adopted Taiya and Benji. We struggled with the guilt and the stress.
Wow was it a  HARD fall. Everyone wants to tell you what you SHOULD have done. Trust me. We tried everything. EVERYTHING.
God knew the plan. He had it all worked out. We kept moving forward. Believing in following Gods word.

Then we committed to Baby Anna :)
Then God told me she wasn't meant to be my child.  Heart break.Let her go. In less then 24 hours her TRUE family found her :)
Then a domestic situation came up with a BEAUTIFUL little girl from Taiya and Benji's  orphanage. We met the family who was disrupting. The baby girl who was 2 was stunning and had SO much potential. We knew she would fit perfectly. It was between our family and another big family with a heart for children. This other family is AMAZING. She became their daughter . We LOVE their hearts and she is perfect in their family . I knew it was Gods plan  But I was so crushed.I was still very heart broken over baby Anna.  But again it did work out the way it was meant to.  :):)
She is thriving and is SO loved.

We tried to buy our own home. Fell through.
We fought with the IRS for 10 long months over our adoption tax refund! They issued a letter demanding  we pay a fine of  a large fine!!!!!!!!!!!! 
We did nothing wrong. Just lovely.
Finally our Congressman's office put a Tax advocate on the case. We could not get a Tax advocate to help us alone.

She constantly made rude comments to the leasing company about our family size. It sucked. But boy did she LOVE that we paid early. Every single month.

November 2010 a friend saw Benji best friend from Ukraine on the New horizons website for Christmas hosting! We were thrilled. We signed up! Then someone pulled him from the list, due to his special needs or maybe it would have been too much for him traveling. We were crushed.
Michael asked if we could still adopt him? Yes.
Lets do it !!!

We took the leap of faith and commited to bring home the little boy we loved so much but had left behind.

 Sasha asking Michael if he was Papa?
 Giving my sweet Sasha one of many hugs during our visits! He was always looking for Michael!
 Love those LONG fingers and happy smile!
Benji and Sasha saying a final goodbye with their favorite care giver.
If you would like to see our fundraiser page and read our bio click the link to take you to our Reeces Rainbow page :)
click HERE

we have heard he is very skinny and a bit sad . He was transferred to a school for special need children. 

There are some other things in here that for now I will leave out.

In February 2012 a turn of events ONLY GOD could create.
I had been asking my Leasing agent who was a real estate agent to look for ANYTHING WE COULD RENT OR BUY ON LAND.We wanted away from this landlord.
She didnt send me one thing.The places I called didnt take animals or didnt call back after I said we have 6 children.
Landlord wanted us to buy her house for a HIGH PRICE . :(
I called on a house kicking myself for even daring to get my hopes up.
The lady who answered the phone was a put in our lives by God. I believe that connection was meant to happen.
Her daughter WANTS TO ADOPT! I can help with that :)
She knew of a house that needs work but was on 10 ACRES!!!! 
It was OWNER FINANCING.! They didnt care about our past bumps. They loved our family.

I saw the house on Friday. Michael saw it on Sunday. We put an offer in Sunday night. It was accepted Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!
10 days later we were HOME OWNERS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!
I can not tell you what a  humbling awesome feeling it is. NOTHING like buying any of our previous homes. NOTHING like it :) I cried when we left closing. I was so humbled. Wow.

The house is 1600 sq feet ;) with 3 bedrooms. BUT the garage is 1000 sq . can you say den and 2 more bedrooms ?? My husband has been a VERY.BUSY. MAN. :)

We have mailed our dossier to Ukraine! We are currently waiting a date to submit and travel . We are SO close to getting our sweet boy :)

House is not done yet. We have kiddos together in bedrooms. Flooring is in finally. Painting is done. Yard needs grass.  But no one is complaining. Because it is OUR HOME. And we love it.
A work in progress.
Like me :)

                                                 Kids all thriving at Christmas time 

the rest of the story will follow at a later date....

Friday, July 22, 2011

Long time no posts eh?

Wow. I cant believe it has been over 2 months since I have blogged! That is crazy. And , well, our life has been crazy. We have gone thru some really hard, emotionally draining, soul searching, life evaluating things in the first half of this year and I had to process. And find my "new" normal. Emotionally and spiritually.
I have to admit I have struggled. Badly. Still struggling a bit spiritually I am ashamed to admit.
I do think I am about ready to share. I feel I can 'own' our journey now and no longer feel worried or sad over sharing.
So its coming :) Hang in just a bit k?

btw~All kids are doing wonderful. Everyone is healthy , so no worries there :)


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Their families found them!

 These sweetie is going home !! Look how cute she is ???
 Little Turner will come home and have the surgery he so needs with the love of a family :)
Sweet Zara :) oh how I love her. Her family found her ! She will be a FIRST CHILD ! How awesome is that?

~Its been a b.a.d. month or so for us. Lots of disappointments, hard decisions and loss :(   A blog post coming soon to share. Can you pray for some guidance for us? We KNOW all has been the Lords plan, and we trust. Sometimes its just hard to be strong ya know? We will get thru it :)

"If the Lord leads you to it, He WILL lead you thru it "

Hugs :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pay it Forward :) & When God shuts a door he may open a window ....

All of these BEAUTIFUL children below, all 7 of them have benefited from YOUR generous donations to our USCIS fund. I have spread the love thru all of these Reeces Rainbow children! I chose children with Down Syndrome dear to my heart :) a sweet child with HIV in Benji's and Taiya's old orphanage, a child with CP (preston) that my daughter loves, and Oleg , a child that my friend was commited to but due to something that cannot be helped they can not adopt right now.
 Oleg is in real DANGER of being sent to the institution :( So from the very bottom of my heart THANK YOU SO MUCH!
 Charity :) this beauty with Down Syndrome lost her family, right at the same time we let Baby Anna go . Charity's NEW family hasnt found her ...yet! 
 Beautiful Drake is in (20) where Taiya was and he is HIV + and so handsome!
 Sweet Oscar has Down syndrome and is just too cute!
 Sweet sweet Preston! He is 4 and will spend the rest of his life in a bed if not adopted :( My Bug loves him. He has CP and so needs a chance at a life ! If you purchase a pillow case dress (on the left) the proceeds goes to Preston!
 Handsome tiny little Oleg :) he is in REAL DANGER of being sent to an institution ! He has a large grant of close to $4000 and I know we can find his mama !!
Sweet little Turner , He is a handsome little dude who needs a heart operation NOW. He has Down syndrome and must find a family quickly so he can get well and have  a wonderful life !
Last but not least. My favorite. My little Zara :) I have loved this baby since I first laid eyes on her in December. She had Down Syndrome and has been very sick with heart issues and a few others things. She has been in the hospital for a long while but is at the orphanage now trying to heal. She needs a family. If the Lord leads us in her direction at some point...well . I will be a happy mama ! I just love her and see Taiya in her :) If her family finds her first then I will be sooo happy for her!

Each of you friends who donated to help us, helped each of these children :) xoxoxo


never stop trusting the Lord has a plan. We have a situation to adopt that we are looking into. This is our window :) I will keep you updated. You wont believe it when I can share !

Pray for us? Please ask the Lord to allow us to parent this child IF he believes we can care for this child. If this is HIS plan. Pray for the parents to hear the Lords plans for the child and for their hearts to heal.

Pray for Baby Annas family who is meeting her right now!
Pray for my dear friend K- who had to make a heart breaking decision to not proceed with their adoption . I know her heart is hurting and I want her to know, we all are praying for them.
 My guatemalan Princesa :) and sweet Taiya !

My handsome sweet boy :):)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fair day catch up :)

 Gotta love your local fair! We try to go every year since its usually cool out and not torture walking around in the hot sun :) sweaty hot kids is NOT fun.
We love seeing all the animals and the kids ride a couple rides each , we have one meal there and just enjoy the day.
 Taiya gave this cute little Chi and very special Taiya kiss :)

 Gave up trying to get a perfect shot. They were just too excited . They're still pretty cute :)
 My beautiful cowgirl :)
 My cheeky Mayan princesa
 My spicey Ethiopian beauty :)
 My handsome,growing up too fast 12 year old first baby :)
Our sweet handsome little guy :)

 Taiya was NOT a fan of the hat :(
Cant argue with the shirt :) Thanks Tami !

I promise to get caught up with pictures soon! this batch was from February.  When I look at Benji and Taiyas picture I cant believe these sweet children have only been in our family since October! They have just blown our minds with how well they have adjusted and learned about life in a family. And Taiya well she is just such an amazing survivor ! She has hit milestones we didnt think she would hit for a year!
Taiya can say "up" "out" "num-num" (food) and mom-mom ! And she LOVES to pucker up for kisses !

Things are good :)
Baby Anna will be meeting her new family early next week and be on her way home in another few weeks after that. What a lucky little girl she will be :) AND what a blessed family she will have. I pray for her birthmom too. I know how much she wants her little girl to be adopted but I can only imagine how much her heart will break too :(  so bittersweet.

REMEMBER !! If you donated to our USCIS fund I will refund your money if you would like . If not I will be paypal-ing the full amount to Reeces Rainbow by saturday. If I dont hear from you, I will assume you would like the money to be forwarded on to another child :) it will still help bring a baby home !


Saturday, March 19, 2011

The post I NEVER thought I would write :(

Im just going to jump right to it. If you are on Reeces or facebook with me- well you know my heartbreak.

If not here goes-

I started to feel very uneasy about our adoption of Baby Anna about a month ago but I pushed the feelings away. I was becoming more and more uneasy and not sure why. It is not that I am "overwhelmed" or "need to focus on my kids at home" or that its "time to spend money on the kids I have" nope. nada. So please, dont go there.
I prayed and prayed and slowly the answer was coming to me. I have NEVER felt this way thru our 4 adoptions. Never. I would ache to get to my babies. I would always say it would be ok. The money will come. They are meant to be ours. '
But as time passed those feelings were not there :( Baby Anna is beautiful and perfect and I know she would have been a beautiful member of our family.
After praying and soul searching and confiding in my husband and a very good friend, I had my answer.

I was not meant to be Baby Anna's mama. I am just a part of her journey to her forever family. I cried. My heart broke. And we let her go...........
I cried. Boo cried. It hurt so so bad . But it has never been about me. Its about the children who desperately need to be rescued. It about bringing Glory to God.

I never ever thought I could do this. It is awful and sad and so wrong to walk away from a child. Where does it say its ok to leave an orphan behind in the bible? :(

Less than 24 hours later her new family found her. The Hagler family have 2 bio boys and are adopting a little boy with Down syndrome from the same orphanage that baby anna is in. She will be a princess in her new family and be loved SO MUCH. They are traveling early next week. She will be a daughter very soon. Baby Anna we will always love you and cant wait to watch you blossom in your new family !

Was that a sign? Maybe. I have to believe it was. I have to .

I know we will adopt again, maybe soon, maybe next year. This wasnt planned but the Lord has a way of knowing the right path for all of us. I have to trust HIM even when I dont understand.

For everyone that so kindly donated to our adoption, thank you!
If you donated to Reeces Rainbow all the money went straight to baby anna.

If you donated via my chip in or check let me know if you would like your donation returned. I will happily.

If you would like your donation to go to baby anna or another child on RR just let me know and I will paypal it to andrea at RR.

If you mailed a check, I havent cashed them. Would you like it forwarded to RR or torn up ? Let me know.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. This was a very heart breaking thing to do. Something I suffered over and am still so sad about. Our journey is not over and Baby Anna's life is about to really begin ! GOD is so good.

My email -  octpumpkinatmsndotcom :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY TAIYA! And ALOT of sister silliness !

Happy Birthday Sweet Taiya !

Can you believe our sweet baby is 5? I am blown away and so THANKFUL she is home with her family. How pretty is she? You can just see the sparkle in her eyes and the pink in her chubby cheeks!
We had a nice family party for her and she enjoyed herself :)

We had our appointment w the endocrinologist. What a waste :( it took an hour to drive there, my dh took time off work , we went with all 8 of us , waited an hour for a 10 min appt! Only to be told that one of her counts is high indicating a low thyroid and the other count is low indicating a high thyroid. ( I may have that backward? but you get the idea) All to say we need another bloodtest ! Oh well..what can you do? I wish they would have asked for another blood test before we came, so we could get a diagnosis :(  I hate taking her for blood. This will be the 4th time ;(

Ok. In case you ever wondered how SILLY life can get with a 2 yr old, a 4 yr old and a newly 5 yr old  set of sisters, well let me tell ya. Trying to get a picture when one of them has the giggles in nutty! I tried to get a shot of the 3 little girls in their new dresses Buka bought for them and it was hillarious! I decided to share the effort  with ya'll. Good thing Benji wasnt in on it too....then it really gets crazy :)

Here Boo is trying to NOT LAUGH. Taiya in calm so far.......

Wait a Taiya is getting into it!

Baby congratulating Taiya on being so funny :)

Taiya is wondering if I'm finally done :)   Yes baby. I'm done ;)
 btw look at that chunky little leg ! How awesome is that?

Taiya had a great birthday party, loved opening presents and tasting some cake. Mama is just happy she is HERE alive and blossoming :) Oh how I love this little baby girl!

~If you could pray for the children of Ethiopia and the people who are in power. Please pray for kind words to be spoken and hearts to be opened.And for those who have evil in their hearts to be exposed.  Leaving 90% of children who COULD find a family in poverty and orphaned is NOT the answer. So many children would fall thru the cracks. Stopping corruption is VERY important but there has to be a better way. My heart breaks for all the families in process and all the children who would be hurt.

~If you could also pray for The Lord to show us his Grace and help us to somehow find the right path to take? The Lord knows the issue, I am being vague I know but we truly could use the prayers right now for guidance and peace.

Hugs !

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

H. Pylori :( and Tick bites, Families Needed !

H. Pylori bacteria :( this is the  medication I have been giving to the 3 little kids for about 5 weeks now. 2 times a day. Its a joy. Taiya is very tricky , because if she gets a taste of 2 of the medications she quickly spits the whole mess out :( then we have to try again. So I try to disguise it in applesauce or yogurt with some sugar on top :) To read about the H.Pylori joy click here  we still have another 3 weeks worth of meds to go....

This is exactly what I needed. I found a nasty DEER TICK on my side 2 weeks ago. We live in the country but I have never seen  a Deer tick  around here before.  It was not the normal passive brown tick...this little sucker was not going to be removed! He was digging into my side and it hurt! After removing it, it throbbed and by day can see the inflammation and infection setting in. I felt icky too :( A few folks said "no big deal don't worry" and many others said "get to a Dr" so After trusting myself, and calling the Dr...I went to a walk in clinic.
The Dr there said  Lyme disease risks aside- I clearly had Cellulitis starting ! That explained why it looked so infected and I felt like I had a fever starting :( so I opted for the 2 weeks of antibiotics . Sheesh! never a dull moment ;)

Taiya has her apt for her thyroid issues next Monday. Fingers crossed they find a solution easily for our little one.


 This little boy is Preston. He is 4 years old and at GREAT RISK of being moved to an institution for disabled children :( He has CP most likely. Sadly his picture doesn't show any of his personality..but his mama has to be able to look PAST his bad picture and save him. My Giana loves this little guy and is having a bake sale this weekend to try to raise money for his grant and her plane ticket to Baby Anna's country with us.  :):)
OK. This is Lauren :):) She will turn 4 in March. I love this little beauty! She is in Baby Anna's baby house and she is HIV +  
I  would LOVE to scoop her up ! She will make a beautiful daughter :):) Is she your little girl??
This little cherub is Ilya :) his birthday is June 2006 :) what a sweet little face he has ! He has Down syndrome and needs his mama so bad !!! He also has a nice size grant and single moms are welcome!

Go to  to find out more about these little cuties !

Thank you to everyone who has donated or purchased a dress :) We are only about $200 away from our goal to cover our USCIS FEES!  Don't forget you don't have to buy a dress, you can purchase just socks or a doll dress with free shipping !! Every $1 is a blessing.

I have an surprise too !! We have decided on Baby Anna's  new name :) Its coming next...... any guesses ??
Hugs !!
"...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)