About Me

I have adopted 4 children from a specific orphanage in Eastern Europe and I want to see more children redeemed from that orphanage and brought into families. I want to make sure that the children who are still left behind in that place are never forgotten.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Here is this year's Christmas picture.  :)   Next year's picture will have 5 more kiddos in it.  I can't wait to see it and most of all to hold them.  

Its Been a Long Time Since I Updated

Sorry I haven't done a very good job of updating.  We've had so much going on.  Cody is home and doing well.  Homeschooling is going great.  We started going to a church within walking distance of our home and love it.  We've been to a couple zoos, Zoo Lights, Great Wolf Lodge, and who knows what all else I'm forgetting at the moment.  The main thing that has been stressing me is the international adoption stuff lately.  Things there are finally back on the move. 

Here is a link to the blog where I updated about all of that just a few minutes ago:

I think you will be surprised with "who" is coming home.  :)  Go take a peek.  I will try and do some posts soon about all of the things that I haven't updated about.  Tonight I just wanted to let you in on our little secret and why I've been so quiet.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Story of Cody's First Night Home

Cody came in as if he'd been here before.  He had such a great transition time that he was very ready.

 I met Brent down at the end of our private drive.  I got Cody out of his carseat and sent Brent and the worker ahead to the house.  I helped Cody untie the "Welcome Home" balloons from the stake at the end of the drive.  I tied them to his wrist so that they couldn't float away.  Honestly, this was my plan to get a few moments alone with him before all his brothers and sisters got a hold of him.  :)  I got some good hugs in and then carried him up the drive.  I think I did pretty good at choking back the tears!  I had waited so long to get to hold him again!

Once at the house, he was VERY EXCITED to see everyone.  My mother was here as well and he had seen her on skype so he knew that was "Grandma".  :)  The kids were so excited to finally have him here.  I had gotten them all these cute little balloon pets at the store.  They were filled with helium just enough that they bounced behind the kids as they held the leashes.  Cody got to go pick his and then everyone else went to get theirs.  Cody picked a frog.  The kids had a blast with those. 

Cody soon enough made his way to his room.  His foster parents had sent his stuff ahead.  The last of the boxes arrived just a couple hours before him, so we had quickly got it all put away.  He looked through everything and saw both the old and the new things.   He went to Dayton and asked him to show him how to play a DSi, so Dayton gladly did. 

I had Mexican food prepared along with "Welcome Home Cody Unroe" cake and homemade ice cream.  Cody was much too excited to eat very well, but did eat some.  He ate more after the worker left. 

Once the worker was gone, I got the two little ones into their "Monkey" pajamas that I had bought a few months before for their first night back together.  Cody came into Julianne's room and climbed up on the bed.  She pulled his feet over and put on the bottoms of her feet.  It was so sweet that I proceeded to do more of my crying!  lol  Then they both began to laugh and roll on the bed. 

I hadn't been sure if Julianne would remember him.  She talks some, but not a lot, so there was no way to know what she was thinking before that moment.  Julianne in general takes a good long while to warm up to people.  To see them both happy and TOGETHER was a dream come true to my heart.  God truly blessed us by preserving their bond even after more than 2 years apart!  I've been having a "Praise Fest"!

I know this picture is blurry, but they were laughing and rolling around too much.  I think you get the picture!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Got Family Pictures Done

The Monday after Cody came home we went and had family pictures done.  Cody was so excited that he would be in the pictures with "everyone".  That made it extra special! 

Julianne was not very cooperative at first.  She takes a while to "warm up" to people.  She decided that I could not put her down or she would look sad.  When we got to the end she decided to be herself and the photographer was able to get some good shots of her. 

Here are some shots!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sorry I haven't posted, but . . . .


I really do apologize for not updating.  Things have been so busy!  He's been home two weeks this past Wendesday.  :) 

He has adjusted seamlessly!  He came in and as I tucked him in the first night he said, "I DID IT!  I'm in my new bed and your hair is red!".  He's so excited to be here with all his "brothers and sisters".  Seriously I hear the words "brothers and sisters" at least 25 times a day from him.   

He is doing so well that I can't even imagine that he just arrived.  You'd never know if you came into our house that he has only been here for 17 days!  He acts like he's always been here.  His foster parents did an awesome job of helping us transition him.  He seems to understand everything wonderfully.  He hasn't cried or asked to go "home" like I thought was likely to occur.  He asked the first night, "I can't go back to my old home again right", but he didn't say it in a sad way.  I said "It is very far so we can't go visit, but we can draw pictures or write a letter and I'll take you to put it in the mailbox."  His response was, "No, I already did that.  I home home now!".  He keeps saying "We are all together".  It is like God just made his heart all ready for this family. 

I'll try to come on and tell you more about all the fun and busy things we've been doing tomorrow.  I'll leave you with a picture from the flight. 

Isn't he adorable???? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


We got our travel approval!!!  Cody will for sure be home in ONE WEEK!!!  God is so amazing!  I had taken to calling Cody's worker every hour today.  She wasn't in the office, but I didn't know since her machine was still talking about Monday, June 18th. 

She called just a little while ago.  I am so excited that I can't even express!  All the work and trials of the last 13 months will all be worth it when I get that little sweetie in my arms!!!! 

My hair will have a nice red tint just in time too.  I have an appointment to get it died on Saturday!!!  :)

Going Red for Cody

I've had gray hair for a good long while.  I don't mind it much.  I tell the kids that they cause it and I will wear it proudly.  lol 

Tonight on Skype, Cody thought my hair looked "red" like his.  It was the light shining above my head that caused it.  He seemed excited at the prospect that it was like his.  His foster mother and I explained that my hair is brown.  I've alway had a slightly redish brown tint to my hair though.  :)

Cody has never had people "like him".  He is very caught up on his new last name.  He wants to make sure that it is on every card and package.  He is excited about it.  He wanted to make sure that "Dayton" had the same last name.  This is big stuff to a little boy who has been in foster care his whole life!

I decided after the Skype tonight that this "Mama" is going to have a good "red tint" to her hair.  I am going to get my gray hair colored.  I'm not planning to go bright red, but I will hopefully have hair red enough.  :)  My mother is making me an appt at JcPenney for Saturday.  I guess we will see how this turns out!  One thing for sure is that this Mama is mighty excited with anything that makes him feel "the same".  He is definitely one of us and if  "red hair" and "Unroe" make him happy, then that we will make sure to do! 

Yes, I am "Going Red for Cody".  If you see me and I look a little different, then just know that for that sweet boy I would do anything.  Who knows - maybe this will be the beginning of me covering my gray.  Maybe it will restore the "youth" that the process from Dallas has taken from me.  lol 

Please pray that we get the travel approval.  Brent needs to book his flights and give his employer the official "I'll be off next week" paperwork.  I also need to breath a little easier.  I need to KNOW that I will hold him in just one week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Getting so Close!

We are getting so close to Cody being home.  We are only 10 days from his new "Come Home Day"!

We were going to Skype yesterday, but decided today would work better.  I was out for a long day of getting things ready for Julianne's 5th Birthday, Crystal's 12th Birthday, and Cody's Homecoming.  I came home with a lot of stuff to put away.  Cody's foster parents' grandkids came over for the day there and they were running late.  I was disappointed that I wasn't going to get to talk to my little guy, but realized that with both families' busy days, waiting one more day wouldn't kill me.

I was so happy when the phone rung, because my little guy didn't want to wait either!  Hearing his voice was so good!

Then today we were able to Skype with him.  Oh, how I love that little sweetie!  He was talking about having gone to church this morning.  He was talking about lunch (this seems to be his favorite meal because it is the one who always mentions!  lol).  He was talking about the airplane!

His foster parents are hard at work preparing him for the move.  They have been busy packing for his move and the other little girl there who is heading to her adoptive family soon.  Cody is a heavy packer and is making sure not to miss anything.  :)

One of the cutest parts is that he is wanting to see Jesus when they are in the plane!  How cute is that????  I mean, he is going up in the clouds!?!  I can just hear Brent and he talking on that plane! 

I know that I can't wait to get my hands on him!  I've been longing to hug that sweet boy since we left there over 2 years ago.  I just knew deep down in my heart that he would be mine some day!  God just spoke to my heart and He put such a cutie in front of me that not even Dallas's system could keep me from wanting to fight through. 

Praising God for this coming blessing!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Day Full of Good News

Its been a while since I posted again.  The waiting was getting the best of me!  We found out that Cody's come home date was to be delayed and that his worker hadn't even applied for the travel approval until this past Monday.  Then came some crazy question with fingerprinting our 16 year old that made me have a slight tantrum, but got worked out. 

TODAY was good news day!  First, I called USCIS to see if we had an officer assigned.  I found out that we did have an officer assigned and that our I800-A was APPROVED yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We should receive that by mail some time next week!  All we have to wait for now is the FBI clearance to come back from WV where the "ink" fingerprints had to be sent.  :) 

Then I got a call from Cody's worker.  OUR NEW DATE LOOKS TO BE THE 27TH OF JULY!  That is a week later than we had hoped, but it is still a date.  She was asking about airport questions and where nearby hotels would be.  :)  That made it seem much more real!  That means that since this is being written after the date already changed to the 15th, then I should be holding my little boy in 12 days!!  Say a prayer that the travel approval comes back quickly so that we can get things booked and that there aren't any more delays. 

I really needed this good news day!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


The plan is for Cody to arrive home on Wednesday, July 20th!  :)  Now I'm not going to try to pretend that I think that is perfect timing.  Perfect timing would have been MONTHS ago as far as I'm concerned. What I do know is that God is in control.  I will be very elated to hold my SON in my arms that day. 

Brent gets to hold him first.  I really am kind of mad about that.  I'm the one who knew over 2 years ago that he was suppose to be our son.  Brent is always a little slower to "know" and often has to be close to an official "match" before he sees that it will work out, just as I did a long time before.  lol 

I know though that I need to stay here and keep all the kids under control and "settled".  We want Cody to have a smooth transition.  That will happen much easier if my kids have stability right before he arrives.  I know that I need to be here with them all and make things calm, but oh how I want to go hold him first.  It is taking all of my self control not to tell Brent to sit on it.  roflol  He is a much better traveler.  He actually enjoys flying.  I HATE FLYING!  I only do it to bring my children home.  I also will not fly alone.  I find airports to be confusing and horrible.  So the trip would cost more, I'd have to find someone to go with me on short notice, and my kids would be all riled up from me being gone.  Yet, my heart wants to hold him first. 

I know one thing that makes it all better.  He is coming home forever!  I can tuck him in on the night of the 20th in his new bed.  I can read and sing and spoil.  That all means that I can try really hard not to be too mad that I don't get to hold him first.  I guess I'll try to just be thankful that I have a wonderful husband who is just as crazy as me and crazy about our kids.  He is always ready to sign, fly, and love them too. 

Please really pray for Cody.  The foster parents have tried hard to get him ready for this transition.  We've sent things over and over and over and over.  We've loved and prayed as have they.  Pray that he can understand and not grieve losing the only parents he ever remembers having.  Pray that he can embrace the forever family who loves him so much already.  Pray that he can adjust easily and feel at home.

Also pray for the foster parents.  They are going to have a much quieter house when my little chatter box is home.  They will also have "P" going to her new family very soon as well.  Without the two of them their house will be much quieter.  They wanted both kids to have forever families and have worked hard to transition, but they will also grieve losing them.  I'm going to try and update my blog well when he gets home, because I know his foster mother knows its here and can read when she wants to know and when it makes her feel better instead of more sad. 

Pray for all of us.  Pray that nothing else delays things here at the end.  Pray that the travel is all safe.  Pray for me as I try to decide whether to meet them at the airport that is 3 1/2 hours away or whether to keep everyone here at home waiting.  I can see the good parts of both, but my heart just wants to hold him.  Pray for all of our adjusting.  You may want to say a special prayer for Julianne.  She is use to being "in charge" and she's going to have to share that with a young man her own age.   To him, she won't be "the baby".  lol  She'll be glad to have another brother I'm sure, but sharing with someone else your age can be hard at first. 

Pray and Praise, because my little boy is coming HOME!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Little Retail Therapy :)

My day started at 6 am.  I got ready and took Unique to a follow up for some allergic skin reaction that she had.  She is doing well and it should be all clear soon.  I then went to Walmart and picked up a few things.  By 8 am I was already fed up with all the waiting that I am doing with waiting for a date to hold my little boy.  I've determined that I should NOT get up so early, because it just causes me to be fed up earlier.  lol

I decided to do all my contacting of those who are driving me crazy early.  I've sent an email to Cody's worker BEGGING her to help us get him home quickly.  I've called the IRS taxpayer advocate and spoke with him.  I've called USCIS and found out we still have no officer for our international adoption.  I emailed one of the Senators that I sent a request to help for to once again request help. 

I received some cute pictures of Cody.  His therapists took him out to Build A Bear and the Nestle shop as a going away thing.  So sweet!  Now we just need a date for him to 'go away'!  He also received his package from us and his foster mother took a picture of him enjoying his sticker book.  I love pictures because they give me hope.  At the same time - HE IS SO CUTE, so I only want to hold him more.  I'm very thankful for the pictures though. 

I decided as "retail therapy" I would try and find matching outfits for he and Julianne.  I wanted something they could both wear to his first church service.  I found what I wanted and I'm so excited.  :)

Cody's Outfit  :)

Julianne's Outfit :)

Here is a link to Zulily if you'd like to find some really cool stuff.  I just recently found the site via a friend and I'm pretty impressed with their ever changing stock and large variety of styles and brands.  There are new brands every day and each sale only lasts for 3 days.  http://www.zulily.com/invite/aunroe517
It's almost time to get this crew ready and head for my Aunt's house for a cookout and fun.  I am already tired! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

So Tired of Waiting

I am so tired of waiting to hear about when I can hold my little boy.  We really thought he'd be home in June, but June is almost over.  We've heard nothing.  I've still never spoke to or received an email from his adoption worker.  Maybe she always handles her cases this way, but I have never ever had an adoption with no contact with the child's worker.  I really need to have information.  I can wait so much better if I know what is going on.  As things are I really might be going to lose my mind.  Each day I wake up and check email off and on all day.  I wait for a phone call.  I pray that whoever is the hold up will do whatever it is that needs done.  I pray that they will imagine how they would feel if they were on this side.  I mean good grief, if I didn't love him and want to spend "forever" with him then we wouldn't be a good "forever family". 

Please pray that we will have him here with us soon.  Pray for his adjustment period.  Pray for the foster parents who have been taking care of him since before he even stole my heart.  Pray for his worker and anyone else involved with his case.  Pray for me as I wait.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Cody's worker told our worker a week or two ago that we'd hear something soon.  I am trying to wait patient. . . . They said he would almost certainly be home in "June".  Each day that ticks by without travel news makes me so nervous.  I don't guess I can believe "June" is the month until I hold him in my arms. 

We sent his hat and I got a picture of him wearing his "Ohio" hat today.  His bright red curls make me smile.  His smile is huge and his eyes are so mischievous.  :)  I really hope to hold my little guy soon. 

I'd really appreciate lots of prayers to go up for a travel date.  I'm so ready to have him in "New Hio" with us. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Excited about what I Found for Cody

Some days I just have to revel in the little things.  Today I found a hat for Cody that said "Ohio" on the front.  Its just a simple ball cap.  I am just excited because he talks about coming to "Hio", so I thought it would be something to send him.  :) 

I'm hoping that Brent can make it to the post office for me tomorrow.  This week has been extra busy.  We went to get our fingerprints done for the international adoption on Monday and then drove extra to go to the zoo.  Brent normally goes to the post office for me on Tuesdays, but I had to go to a different doctor in hopes of getting a doctor to sign off on my medical stuff for our dossier.  (Still ticks me off that I can't have our medical provider do it.  Anita is the best and who cares if her signature says CNP instead of MD!)  Today I had to make a trip to the eye doctor, so Brent came home to sit with the kids.  My eyes are so dry that it feels like my eye lids are sticking to my eye balls.  (I know YUCK!)  I can't figure out if they are worse because of all the antihistamines it takes to survive allergy season or if it is because of all the tears I've cried over our adoption processes and wanting to hold my babies. 

Oh, I just remembered that I have stuff to send him from the zoo too.  lol  I guess the Ohio hat will probably wait until the next time.  Maybe I can send it when we have a DATE for him to come to Ohio.  :) 

Dayton also picked him up something from the AWANA store.  Dayton wasn't going to get anything at all until I told him that he could pick out something for Cody.  I may wait until next week on it too though.  I think he was wanting to write something to send with it. 

I need to fall into bed.  It would be so much easier to go to bed, if I could go check on all 5 of my children who only live in my heart and not my house right now.  I'm sure Cody is fine, though I'm not sure about the 4 in Eastern Europe.  Still, it is so much more peaceful when the children are within reach.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Worse than Having 12 Kids in a Tornado Warning

We had a tornado warning here a few weeks ago.  We also had a tornado warning to wait through on our way home from the zoo on Monday.  They were a little unnerving.  The kids always do good, but I hate to think they are even a little scared.  I really just don't like tornado warnings.

Tonight I was reminded that there is something worse than keeping 12 kids corralled during a tornado warning.

What is worse is having my little boy so far away and know that he has a tornado warning.  So really worse than having to go through a tornado warning WITH 12 kids, is having a tornado warning where my child is WITHOUT me.  There was no way to know what the situation was there.  There was no way to know when it was officially over.  I couldn't look outside to see what the conditions were.

So I did what I could.  I stayed glued to the weather channel.  I watched it while my heart beat out of my chest.  I watched while I prayed that God would keep him safe.  Then I prayed for his foster mother who wasn't home and the little one that she is staying in the hospital right now. 


This part of adoption is like if you gave birth and then they sent the child somewhere else for months.  You love the baby, but you don't know when you will get to express that to your child.  No one tells you anything about the "end" of waiting.  You just hold on knowing that God has a plan. 

So if you read this and you don't understand how I feel, just imagine if your child was in the situation and so were you.  Quit thinking about the child as if they aren't mine yet.  I know that is hard for parents who haven't adopted to understand.  It is just the truth.  In my heart he is just as mine as the child you gave birth to is your child.  You wouldn't love your child less if someone else got to pick their name or if they were in TX right now.  You would love them with your whole heart because that is what God made you to do.  God made me to love Cody (and the rest of my crew!) and I do love him so very much. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Sweet Cody

I was able to talk to Cody and his foster mother on Saturday.  Hearing his sweet voice always gets me teary, but in a good way.  You could tell that his foster mother is doing a good job getting him ready for the transition.  I had sent a bunch of pictures that she requested to her via email that day.  He had looked at them and was talking about the "toys" and the "climber".  He wants to climb on it, but wants us to make sure he won't fall.  When I told the kids later, they nearly fought over who would make sure he didn't fall.  lol  (I love this crew and how much they love their siblings before they ever arrive home!)

My favorite part of the conversation was when I told him that I loved him bunches.  It was the very first time that he said "I love you bunches too Mama".  :)  I'm sure he doesn't even half understand how much I love him yet.  I can't wait till he gets here and I can give him a little better idea though.  :) 

I also received mail from him today.  He had taken foam letters and made his name and new last name on a piece of paper.  He had colored on the paper a bit too.  To say that the mail made my day today would be an understatement.  I think I was like a little kid getting mail.  lol

I'm so thankful that ICPC is done and things are rolling again.  We appreciate all prayers that everything else continues to go well.  Also pray for Cody.  His foster parents have done a great job of preparing him so far.  Even at that, he is only 4 years old and can't possibly fully comprehend what is really about to take place in his little life.  He's been with these foster parents for a long time.  Most of our kids came from places where they weren't very well taken care of, had been moved around a lot, or just weren't that loved.  The fact he has been loved and cared for in the same foster home for so long is a wonderful thing.  It means he will be able to understand the workings of a family much easier, trust adults much better, and transfer his attachment to us.  On the other hand, it means that he will have a greater loss as well.  Pray that God prepares his little heart and helps his foster parents as they will miss him greatly too.   Also pray that however the social worker sets up the actual move is just right for him.  I don't want him to feel kidnapped or hurt by it. 

I'm waiting here to hold him and he'll adjust fine.  He'll come to know that we are his "forever" family.  He'll come to understand all the new family roles.  Most of all, he will come to know that we are all one great big family who adores him and thanks God daily for him.  :)  In the meantime, pray for everything to go smoothly. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Well We got our ICPC Approval

We got it on Wednesday!  :)  (I would've posted sooner, but there were blog issues yesterday)

That means that Cody is going to make it home very soon.  I expect that he will arrive home in June.  June will actually make a full year of working on his adoption.  That is very frustrating and our government should do so much better than that.  I am going to be positive though, so I can't talk about it.  lol

I did find out that Cody has a whole routine for opening the packages we send him each week.  First, he checks for his name.  (A boy has to make sure it is HIS package!)  Then he looks on the inside of the card for his name.  Then he looks inside to see what we sent him in the package.  I have to say that it is rare to find a child who is interested in the card first! 

I also found out that he is extremely interested in reading.  This excites me lots!  I love teaching children to reading and watching the excitement on their faces when they  "get it".  He recognizes the names of the other 9 children in his classroom now.  He is so interested that his teacher (at a special needs preschool!) is going to start teaching him some sight words.  I am loving his smart little self pushing them to all see his brains instead of his cerebral palsy!

I went shopping today to get some educational fun stuff to send my little guy.  I got him some flash cards.  I am also sending some educational sticker books.  The foster mother specifically requested some pages for him to trace.  I decided on a whole book.  :)  I can't wait till he sees on the fun educational things that await him when he gets home.  I'll send those things now, but when he gets home he'll hit the jack pot.  I homeschool and my favorite part of our new addition to our home is the huge closet that I get to organize my learning supplies in.  Even with that I've had to spill over into some other places for my supplies.  :) 

Ok, so here is my happy post.  The very happy post will come soon about him coming home.  I'm just sure of it! 

Destiny also turned 8 today.  I hope to blog about that tomorrow, if the children allow me to have time.  :)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Rough Day

This has been one of my roughest days.  I just needed to cry and even after I cried, I still needed to cry more.  I kept thinking about Cody.  I'm sure he went to preschool today.  While he was there I am sure they discussed Mother's Day. 

My baby boy, who I love so very much, has never had a "mother".  He's been in foster care his whole life!  Recently he was told that he has a "Mama" (that's what he calls me - isn't it cute?).  Yet, he still goes through another Mother's Day without a mother.  I mean, I am here and I love him.  Its just that the hateful woman at ICPC will not let me bring him home.  I love him more than words could possibly explain.  Yet I sit here feeling as if I too have failed him.  Why can't I get him home?  I can't imagine his situation.  I mean, what does he think???  I can imagine he wonders why everyone else has mothers to come pick them up and love them each day.  I can imagine he wonders why his just speaks to him for a few minutes whenever his foster mother chooses to call and sends him a present once a week. 

I can't stop the tears from flowing.  I just can't stop weeping for what he must feel.  I can't understand what more it will take to get him home.  I know people that have gotten their children home from overseas much faster than this!  I don't understand!  Why won't they let me bring him home??????? 

Please don't get the wrong idea.  I know how blessed I am!  I am very blessed and I am so thankful to be a mother to my brood and my 5 who haven't arrived.  I understand why my children from Eastern Europe aren't home yet.  I long for them, but I undrerstand.  Why can't I get Cody home from Texas?  We are at the point of it being 11 months! 

I beg of you to pray.  Pray hard that I hold him soon.  Pray hard that he comes into my arms and that he knows how much I love him.  Pray hard that I can deal with these feelings of hate that come over me when I think of the woman and the system that have kept him from me so long.  Pray that he is somehow made to understand in a way that only God can, that his "Mama" loves him so very much and wants to hold him so badly.  Just . . . PRAY!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Praise and Prayer Request (ICPC related)

Ok, many of you already know that the ICPC lady has driven us insane.  The cardiologist that Julianne sees was trying to finish me off.  I mean, how can a doctor's office say they DON'T DO LETTERS!  So finally I called again yesterday.  I determined that I wasn't getting off the phone until someone cared!  I cried so hard and pleaded for help so that I can bring Cody home.  (I have a headache still today from the crying bc it isn't my norm, but good grief.  I can only take so much and I was at my breaking point!)

Well, I go them to agree to sign a paper from our agency and they got him to do it SAME DAY!  That is a major PRAISE!  God had to have orchestrated that, because I had begged and cried before.  So all the letters have been faxed to Mended Reeds! 

I believe that our worker went ahead and faxed them yesterday to ICPC.  PLEASE PRAY THAT THIS WOMAN BACKS OFF AND DOES WHAT NEEDS DONE FOR US TO BRING CODY HOME!  I fear that getting through this hoop just means she will find a different hoop.  I don't know what else she could possibly want, but I don't want to find out either.  Please go to God on behalf of Cody and us to plead that He softens her heart toward us to let us bring Cody home. 

Thanks for all the prayers!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Blessed to be Her Mommy!

See this beautiful little girl!  Yes, she is MINE.  She has been for quite a while, yet I still marvel at the blessing of being her mommy.  

Tonight she fell asleep with me holding her.  When she first came to us from Texas, she wouldn't do that.  She would only go to sleep without us touching her.  Tonight, as she turned around while watching television to put her head on my chest, I marvelled at our far that has come.  The first time she fell asleep with me holding her was in a Sunday night church service at our church.  I almost wouldn't get up to go home!  lol 

I am her Mommy and I am so happy to be.  I can't wait till Cody and our little ones from Eastern Europe get home.  I want to see how long I have to wait to get them that comfortable with me. 

I sure do love being a Mommy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ground Turkey Meals

I use ground turkey much more often than beef.  It is a lot healthier and frankly I don't eat beef.  I buy the ground turkey at Sam's in a package that has 2 packages connected that total 5 pounds. 

I put 5 lbs of ground turkey in my (very large) skillet 

Add a little water and minced onion and brown the meat

I season this with mostly Taco Seasoning, but sometimes a little Chili Powder as well

Then I add 2 bag of thawed (in microwave) Mirepoix blend (I get this at Krogers when it is on sale for like 98 cents a bag) that consists of chopped onion, carrots, and celery

I add two cans of Rotel (or off brand similar) tomatoes

Then I add one can of black beans when it is close to all done so they don't get mashed up.

I serve this over chips as the meat for a Nacho Belle Grande type of dinner.

This will also go into soft taco shells and be served as the main dish the next night.

We will have it a 3rd night (not consecutively or they get tired of it lol) as the meat over a salad with tortilla chips broken over it and salsa or other Mexican food sauces.  I usually serve a side with this of some time of bread or put shredded cheese into soft taco wraps and bake to go with it.

I get a 4th meal out of it by adding that same meat into my Spaghetti sauce for a Spaghetti dinner. 

By this point we've had 4 dinners (each serving 14 people with some left over) by using 5 pounds of meat.  :)  They get some vegetables and fiber snuck in as well without even noticing.  I also don't have nearly the prep time that it would take to prepare 4 meals if the meat wasn't already done. 


Monday, April 25, 2011

Picture and Big Prayer Request

I need anyone who reads this to PRAY REALLY HARD!  I need ICPC to clear and Cody to be a step closer to home.  I want to hold him so badly.  I also need to get everything off to USCIS this week for our international adoption.  Our homestudy should have been notarized and ready.  I am terrified about the paperwork that I have to send out.  I am scared silly that something on it will be wrong and delay things.  PLEASE PRAY for both adoption processes.  My heart is so full of love for my little ones and so heavy over paperwork and agencies that are identified by their initials. 

Here are some pictures that I took last Sunday (We spent Easter at home and had church here bc flooding closed our church this week.) of the 12 kids who are home and here with me.  Pray that there are more faces in our pictures soon.  :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Letter to ICPC (that they will probably never read)

I wrote this letter last night to the lady who is torturing me from ICPC.  I sent it to my worker and asked her to forward it.  I knew that she would read it and tell me the truth about what she thought.  She emailed me back and said she'll send it on Monday if I would like, but that she doesn't think it will help.  As of right now, they are asking for things they are allowed to ask for.  It angers me incredibly that they are asking for these things ONE AT A TIME, instead of asking for them all at once in the beginning and making the process faster to bring home my son.  I have to share the letter somewhere in order to get what I really think off of my chest so here it is.

I am writing this email as a plea for my little boy. Cody has spent his whole life in foster care and now is missing another holiday that should be spent with a family that adores him. I met Cody over two years ago. He was in the same foster home as my daughter Julianne. I fell in love with him while we were there. His red hair, blue eyes, and sweet personality made him irresistable! He wanted our attention so badly and was so close to our daughter as well. You can only imagine how hard it was to pull away with our daughter, who I had waited so long to hold, while he cried at the door. The complete joy of having her and heading home to our children was subdued by the tears in my eyes as I watched them pull him from the door crying. I knew that he still didn't have a family and that I just took the little girl who in his heart was his sister.

I understand that you have a job to do. I understand and also desire that homes are made sure to be acceptable before children are placed. I wish that the foster homes that most of my children came from were to have had half of this type of scrutiny applied to them! Children deserve the best and most of my children came from foster homes that I wouldn't leave my pets in. I am blessed that Cody is in one of the better foster homes that we've been to, but it still isn't a forever family.

I am begging you to just tell us what other hoops you want us to jump through. I've been doing adoptions for many years and I am very use to jumping through hoops. Thankfully, we have been blessed to work with Mended Reeds that is willing to jump through all these hoops for us as well. I must admit though that the hoops you are asking for seem extreme. I've spent the day begging and crying to try and get letters from everyone you wanted them from. I've had nurses tell me that a cerntain doctor won't do letters while I begged. I have then had to find alternative ways to try and do what is asked. See, I am a good circus dog and I am use to jumping through hoops to get my babies home. I find it much more difficult to be told to make others jump through hoops for me. Specialists do not like to be circus dogs. I do believe I have found ways to prove the things you have asked for after many tears.

I want you to imagine for a second that you were in a similar position. I'm not sure if you are a mother or not, but just imagine yourself as a mother. Imagine that your child is being held hostage. You are told that you can finally get your child into your arms. You are given the "ransom" demand and you run, scurry, and hurry to try and meet it quickly. Then imagine that each time you do this, the "ransom" is set higher and more difficult to pay. Imagine how helpless and emotionally exhausting that would be. Time after time I have paid the ransom for my children. I have gone above and beyond what I have been asked to do, because that is what Mommies do for their children.

My children have all come home and excelled beyond what they were ever believed to be able to do. I have proved myself over and over. I'm not a first time parent. I am a mother who has been blessed with many children. Birthparents are allowed to give birth to as many as they want (even if they don't take care of them!) and never are questioned with the scrutiny that we subject ourselves to time and time again as parents via adoption. We should be able to give homes to children who already exist, but are being denied the basic right to have families who love and adore them.

Please understand that Cody is a real person. (I attached a picture that his foster mother sent since we have been in regular contact with her and kept her updated on Julianne since she came home.) A real child, just like one you might give birth to yourself. He was handed a rough blow before he was ever born. He as shown miraculous improvements and genuine determination to over come many of those difficulties. He is a child first and foremost that deserves a family. He deserves to be adored by my husband and I and the 12 brothers and sisters who long for him each day. He deserves to go to bed at night in a room prepared for him and shared with a big brother who can't stand to sleep in there any more because it reminds him that the bed is empty and Cody is still not here. He needs his forever Mommy to tuck him in and tell him how loved he is and a Daddy that will teach him to hit the ball with the baseball bat. He deserves a real home and a real family life. Foster care is a horrible place for a child. It is aweful that so many have to stay there, but Cody has an alternative. Cody has parents who have longed to have him with them for over two years already. Cody is adored by a family who has proven over and over that they have the ability, determination, and love that it takes to raise children in a long term and permanent family.

My husband and I have proved time and time again that our children are our first priority. Cody is already ours in our hearts and he is a priority. We have proven that we will fight for what is right for them and that we love them beyond compare. God has blessed us with the ability to have a large family. I would take that right to the Supreme Court before I would ever back down from a child in need of a family that God lays on my heart. I can keep jumping through hoops, but it is just wasting Cody's time. Each day is another day missed with his forever family. Each day is more memories that he doesn't get to have.

Please, I beg of you to just let us have our son. He needs us and we need him home with us.

It will probably be the middle of next week, because of the holiday, before I can gather all of the letters that you have asked for. Please be ready with everything else to approve this case and let us bring our son home.


They are Holding my Little Boy Hostage

This is Cody.  I can't show his face right now, but I got this picture and was excited to be able to share.  That is a book that we sent him and he fell asleep with it, so since his face is covered, I can share.  :)

I beg your prayers for his adoption to move quickly.  Ohio's ICPC is driving me insane.  They keep saying we have to provide something else or that our agency has to provide something else.  We've heard that they are being told to deny every adoption that they can from out of state.  Evidently some children have come from out of state and their adoptions have disrupted.  That puts them back into care, but this time the state of Ohio is footing the bill.  You'd think that, since our first adoption was over 9 1/2 years ago and all ours are home, that we'd have proved ourselves by now.  I have 18 and 19 year old daughters that still live at home, when many bio parents would have put them into the MRDD system to be housed.  It also isn't like Cody is some delinquent child.  He's a cute little 4 year old who has overcome so much in his short life and NEEDS a family. 

Please pray that they will move this thing forward rather than delaying with endless attempts to find some reason to deny him a family!  It is like they are holding him hostage and every time I think I paid the ransom they just change it to another ransom demand.  It is exhausting and my heart breaks each day for this little boy who deserves a family to love and adore him forever.  Please take this before God for us.  The devil must really be angry at what God has planned for my little boy, because otherwise he'd not be fighting it so hard.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I know this picture is a little blurry.  I just thought I'd share that THIS is how I FEEL RIGHT NOW!  The day I took this picture I was trying to take some pictures to send to Cody.  She let me know very clearly that she was DONE with getting her picture taken.  I can't help but think she is adorable even showing a mad face.  lol

I very much feel like the face she is making and the idea she is trying to get across.  I am DONE with the waiting.  I am tired of waiting for ICPC to move on Cody's adoption.  I am tired of waiting for Central Registry checks on my oldest daughters.  I am ready to have all my kids home.

The thing that is DIFFERENT is that no one cares if I am TIRED and DONE.  Julianne is cute and we love her so much that we CARE.  The government offices that do all of the things (or don't do them) that I need done for my adoptions don't care that there are real children waiting and mommies worrying. 


I think I'll go back and re-read my post about the cost of adoption now.  I think God means for me to "get it" and I'm instead feeling ticked off.  Maybe He is ok with me being ticked off because He too is tired of the people in charge wasting the lives of children?  I am going to have to pray about that. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cody News - Good and Sad

I got an email from Cody's foster mother. 

First of all he had his annual MRI.  His shunt is still doing great!  He will need to follow up with a pediatric neurosurgeon in a year for another MRI and an appointment to get the results.  That is great news!

Cody is continuing to ask every day at each meal, if he can go eat in "Hio" with Dayton.  That makes me feel so many mixed emotions.  First of all I am just so SAD.  I mean, my little boy wants to come home and can't.  The world is an unfair place and children are not valued as they should be.  Our foster care system is so broken that it has taken forever to get him home.  I am also GLAD that he wants to come home.  I know that means that God is preparing his tiny little heart for coming home to his forever family.  I know that it is amazing that he is wanting to leave the only home he remembers ever living in.  I know it means that he is comprehending that the gifts, pictures, and phone calls are coming from REAL people.  He is ready to go see those real people and is longing to do things with the brother that he will share a room with. 

I need to hold him so badly!  I thank God for preparing his heart.  I am thankful that I got some more news on him from the foster mother.  I am heartbroken that this process still has so long left before he will come home and I pray that he hasn't given up on the whole idea by that point. 

Pray hard that he comes home soon to eat in "Hio" with Dayton and all the rest of us!

Snack Mix

I get a lot of questions about how I feed them all, so I thought I'd do a series of posts about the ways I make food work.  :)

One of my kids' favorite things in our "Snack Mix".  I started making snack mix as a way to give them good snacks with stuff they like, but keeping it as healthy and low fat as possible.  I also HATE TO WASTE anything.  On top of that our snacks need to be low sodium because my oldest three had high blood pressure until I adjusted their diet (mainly cut out school lunches). 

Here's what I do! 

I go through our "cereal cabinet" and get different cereals that have been mostly finished.  I put them all into a huge container.  I add some type of small marshmallows (the kids especially like it if they are seasonal - snowmen, spring time, heart shaped).  I then add some chocolate chips, M&Ms, Reeses Pieces.  If we have a partially eaten package of pretzels or gold fish crackers then they get added. 

Just a quick and careful (non crunching) mixing with my hand and we have a snack that will last for quite a while.  If another bag of cereal gets almost empty then I just add it whenever it gets that way.  Right now I did a special one for Spring and added a package of jelly beans to the mix. 

It has just enough "sweet" and "junk" to it that the kids ask for it, but plenty of cereal, crackers, pretzels, etc that it is a good snack as well. 

I love it because it eliminates waste, saves money, and is something they all love!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

She Did It!

Yes, Julianne did just pee in the potty!  While Dayton and I were carrying on about her peeing in the potty, she smiled and said "Potty".  :)  Have I ever mentioned how much I adore my little girl??  Well, in case you don't know, I adore her more than you could possibly imagine.  She makes every day wonderful.  She is so sweet and cute that I didn't even mind cleaning up pee 3 times yesterday.  lol 

Ok, well there is my "happy Mommy" post!  :)

Potty Training Julianne?

Well, yesterday I put Julianne in big girl panties for the first time.  She is 4 1/2 years old and it is time to give it a try.  She's peed and pooped in the potty many times before.  We've never gone full fledged at potty training though. 

I can say that she only peed in the floor 3 times.  The problem with that is, that is the ONLY times she peed!  Yes, every single time that she peed it was in the floor.  She did go sit on the potty once with her panty's still on, but even after I pulled them down for her, nothing came of it.  I think she may have thought - ok well its been more than 15 minutes and mommy hasn't sat me here yet so I guess I should probably sit down on my own.  haha

We are back at it this morning.  No successes yet.  I'm not giving up!  I think she can do this.  She knows what the potty is for.  I think she just needs to understand that it isn't just for before bath time.  Oh well, we'll see how this goes!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Got to Talk to Cody

Yesterday I got a phone call from CODY!  I wasn't inside at the moment so I even have his sweet little voice recorded on my voice mail.  I called him back as soon as I got back inside. 

He kept asking if "Is Mama still on here?".  It melted my heart even more, which is nearly impossible since he stole my heart two years ago.  He was talking about coming to "my new Ohio".  He has such a little voice and is so cute!

Today his foster mother emailed to tell me that at lunch time he said he wasn't eating there but instead "in Hio" with Dayton.  lol  He is so cute.  I can just see God preparing his tiny heart for the move.  His foster mother is working with him and he even knows his new last name.  I can't wait to hold him. 

Please pray that our Central Registry Checks for Precious and Unique come back quickly.  We need those to clear Ohio ICPC.  I am so tired of waiting, but I have no choice.  I love him and he is going to be my little boy.  When I get a hold of him, it will be very hard to let lose of him after this long wait.  Please pray!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reminding Myself of the Cost of Adoption

My frustration level is running so high right now. I want to hold Cody and get closer to bringing my children from Eastern Europe home too. My international homestudy is having corrections made and so I still haven't been able to send it off to USCIS. That is driving me NUTS! Cody's adoption is being once again prolonged because ICPC in Ohio is making us have more background checks run on my two daughters that are legally adults, even though we had everything run that was required before now. I don't know when things are going to move. I am tired of pushing, but I have to push. I have to get them all home!

Some days it really does feel impossible and like it is too much. Some days I wonder if Cody will ever make it home. Some days I beg God to take the enemy out of the mix and let things run smoothyly (ok that one happens more than "some" days).

When the times come I have to remind myself of the cost of adoption. I don't mean the cost to me of these adoptions either. I mean the cost of my Father to adopt me!

See my Father loved me so much that He had His Only Son go to die for the sins I would do. He loved me enough to sacrafice His Son! All of that just so He could ADOPT me! I am not worthy at all. I hadn't even been born yet. I wasn't even suffering from my sins yet. He did all that for me, before I was ever born.

Wow, when you look at that "cost", then I really have no room to whine or gripe. I really can't even bring myself to stomp or pout! I have to just thank Him for loving me that much. If that is all He'd ever done for me then He would have gone to the extreme, yet He didn't stop there! He loves me each day. He loves me so much that He has allowed me to be blessed with 12 children here already and 5 more than are already in my heart and need to make it home. They were His from the beginning of time and yet He chose me to get to love them, fight for them, and learn true love from them. I know about His true love in a way that people who've never loved a child that they were yet to hold will never understand. I know that He loved me even when I was so far from Him. I know how He rejoiced at my "adoption" even though He already had so many others, but yet I was so special to Him.

I am going to go to bed very thankful tonight for all of that. I am going to once again beg my Father to move things along and slap the devil out of our business. I am going to pray that He helps my little ones know that they have a mommy who loves them. I am going to keep right on plowing along. I am going to do it with a heart of gratitude because He deserves it! I may not feel the peace of them all in my arms, but His peace can help me ride the waves until we get them into my arms.

Thank You God for adopting me and the sacrafice that it took. Thank You for making the price I pay to adopt my babies so much less.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why Days Like This ARE Still WORTH IT!

Today has been rough. Cody's adoption is taking much longer than we thought. The enemy really hates adoption and is attacking so many that I know of right now. I just saw this song for the first time though. It is just wonderful! It reminds me of how some asked if we "really" planned to continue with adopting Paula when we knew she wasn't responding. Even if she never responds then it would be worth it, but just imagine the joy if she does surpass all those odds. The same is true with each one that I am waiting to bring home right now: Cody, Paula, Anjelina, Nicholas, and Ahnja! No matter how hard it is, no matter how much heartache, no matter the trials or the cost - IT IS WORTH IT JUST TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THEM WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE LOVED!

Enjoy the song and say a prayer for all our little ones and their processes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jacob Progress

This is something that doesn't happen that often!  There is JACOB PROGRESS! 

I've been working with Jacob to try and get him to do some things on his own.  He has done NOTHING when we are watching for 2 years.  I want him to come out of the room when he gets dressed so we started there and had a few successes.  I decided to push toward him taking care of his bathroom needs once in there.  I wanted him to wipe, pee, and put on a pull up on his own.  (He wouldn't even stand up without being told!) 

Today lots happened!  I said "Jacob wipe, pee, and get your pull up on", from outside the door.  He did it!  I went in and assisted with making sure his hands were clean.  I took him to his room and gave him his clothes to put on.  He did it immediately - even the right way!  The he CAME OUT all on his own!  A little while later, he was trying to make baskets with the hoop on a door in the family room.  He made a few shots and was smiling!  He was even catching the rebounds some! 

Don't get me wrong, we have a huge way to go still!  God showed me the progress that I needed to see to give me hope though! 

Praise the Lord!  Jacob is alive inside there and we are gradually winning the battles against the RAD!  God is amazing and I am blessed!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Satan is on the Prowl and That Must Mean . . . . .

That GREAT things are in the works! I am determined to see the good in the trials. Today it was the van. I got all 12 kids ready for church and Brent realized that a couple tires were low on the "big van". He took it down the road to get a little air and the next thing I know he says he can't get them to hold air. :( Zeeky was TICKED! One thing that is not fun is Zeeky (6 years old and has autism, FAS, and fetal drug exposure) when he is dressed and not "going"! lol All the kids were ready with coats on and ready to go.

Brent did get it to Sam's and they fixed the tires. We were so glad that God worked it out where we wouldn't need new tires! New tires for our big van were going to run $800! The people working there were very nice and told him that really the tires were still great. They need new valves where the air goes in and to be resealed to the rims. One did have a nail in it, but who knows how long that has been there. I haven't drove the big van anywhere since last Sunday night. That wasn't even the tire that was the most concerning since it was just a little low and another was barely holding air at all! God is AMAZING like that!

Tonight we made it to church! We had an awesome service and feel so ready for the week. I'm sure that the devil will keep on throwing stones at us. Thankfully, God provides! The new refrigerator is even bigger than the first one. :) I just try to remember that if we weren't on the right track then the devil would have no reason to even bother with us! He hates it when adoptions are in the works. He has always made life difficult right before each adoption. Right now we have Cody's adoption and the 4 from Eastern Europe all at the same time. He is ticked off! :) The international adoption must tick him off even worse. These kids would have all stayed in institutions their entire lives and their light and purpose that God gave them would have never got to shine. God has put us here to bring them home though! We won't be stopped by vans, refrigerators, or the devil.
It really reminds me of one of the songs I have on my Iphone sung by the Veggie Tales. I love it more than the kids I think. :) "GOD IS BIGGER THAN THE BOOGEY MAN"!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Must Be Getting Somewhere Because . . . .

The refrigerator/freezer broke. I really would like to cry right now. I worked on Cody's adoption paperwork till 3 am. I was so glad to finally see progress toward his adoption. His worker told our agency worker that if we got it done by tomorrow then hopefully we can pass Texas ICPC next week. It was long and hard, but we got it done!

I then when in to realize that the refrigerator that I had hoped just had a door left cracked or something is officially NOT WORKING RIGHT! I had to clean out the other freezer in order to make room for the most important stuff from both freezers to be put into the one that is now working. I then moved all the stuff from the broken refrigerator into the broken freezer. The freezer isn't "freezing", but it is cooling. I managed to move the refrigerated medications into the other refrigerator.

Brent or I will have to go early tomorrow to purchase another refrigerator. Then I will have to beg for them to bring it. I can't even get enough milk for a whole 24 hours into that one crammed refrigerator. I kept some fruits that were ok to do so with in the half working fridge and added freezer packs just in case. Now I'll have to stand guard to keep the kids from opening it in order to preserve the cold that it is producing. The water and ice in the door isn't working either.
Oh well, I guess if we weren't on the right path then the devil would leave us alone. All the Reece's Rainbow families can tell you about all the ways that the devil comes at you when he fears you will love God's children and bring them out of his hold.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our Cute Little Dictator

This little angelic creature is our very cute and utterly sweet DICTATOR!  :) 

She just makes us do things.  I don't really know how she does it.  She just leads you to whatever she wants and somehow convinces you to get it, give it to her, or make it for her.  She just does it.  I wish I could figure out how she does it!  I think if I could, then I could conquer everything in my path.  All I can figure is that it is her total cuteness.  It is the presence of that ever cute and ever stubborn extra chromosome!  It is just that she is JULIANNE!  :) 

I admit that I am smitten, wrapped around her pinky finger, and constantly amazed at her wonderfulness.  I thank God for choosing me to be her mommy.  I can't imagine how I woke up before her arrival.  I feel sorry for the world around me that doesn't value the worth of her and so many other children who are "chromosomally enhanced".  I thank God for showing me the complete and utter joy of receiving such a blessing.  I wonder how anyone could ever look in those eyes and not want to kiss her cheeks off.  I wonder if I will ever come even partially out from under her complete control.  (lol)  She really is the most wonderful and amazing, tiny, four year old girl I've ever seen.

I recently read an article about how they've found a new test that may make testing for Down Syndrome during pregnancy more routine.  The article talked about how it could help "eraticate the disease".  I nearly vomitted!  If they ever manage to do something so ignorant, then our humanity will take a huge hit.  I already believe that our world is suffering the effects of killing so many innocent babies because they were suspected to have Down Syndrome.  I look at how evil our world is and how little care people have for one another, what if they had all been born?  What if we all felt the connection of love for these special people?  What other gifts did God intend for them to show us?

God offers us GIFTS and that is what our world wants to do with them!

I for one am very glad that Julianne's birthmother did not abort her!  I am so glad that she is alive and gives my home life every day.  I praise the Lord that He let me be her mommy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Ticked!

I had planned to tell you a really cute story about Julianne's new "thing".  I will try to do that tomorrow.  It really is adorable!  At the moment, I just need to vent!

I am so sick and tired of waiting for Cody to come home.  He doesn't live across the ocean.  I'm not dealing with a foreign country's government.  Nothing needs translated!  Why on earth does our society allow our government to be this inefficient and ridiculous!?! 

I have been loving that cute little red head of mine for 2 years.  I loved him the moment I laid eyes on him.  My heart broke when we left there with Julianne and he was crying at the door.  I have longed to hold him every since.  It took forever for the foster mother to finally give me his social workers contact information.  Since I got it we have been feverishly jumping through any hoop and waiting for months. 

It has now been NINE MONTHS!  I am so sick and tired of it!  I want to hold my little boy.  I want to tuck him in.  I want to kiss him goodnight.  I want to listen to him giggle.  I want to be HIS MOMMY! 

Why or why isn't he home yet?  Why oh why don't people do their jobs efficiently and quickly with care??  How on earth do the people who leave children waiting for their forever families sleep at night? 

I really do pray that God makes them have horrible, restless nights at this point.  I hope He burdens their consciences and makes their weekend miserable!  I hope they can't stand themselves for not caring about the children whose lives they hold in their hands!

Please pray that he is home soon and in my arms!

Sorry about the vent, but I had to get it out.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Julianne's Eyes

We went to the new specialist yesterday.  I liked this new pediatric eye doctor much better.  This lady was very good with her and explained what she was doing.  She did a much better comprehensive eye exam as well. 

She explained that right now Julianne can see 1 INCH in front of her clearly.  Anything beyond that is quite blurry.  She has some scarring that could mean she was a preemie as well.  She does NOT think that Julianne needs the eye surgery that the other doctor wanted to do to allign her eyes right now.  She thinks that the crossing is because of the severity of her vision problems.  She gave us a new prescription for glasses along with the info for the type of frames that would probably work best for her.  It was the type of frames I had researched and was hoping for, which made me feel good about her as well.  She also decided that we need to work towards her full prescription, but that giving her a full strength prescription for glasses now would probably just scare her. 

We went today to the eye doctor's office that we use for the rest of us.  They are ordering the frames for us now and we can't wait to get her all fixed up.  I'm praying hard that she will wear these easier.  :) 

Julianne is amazing anyway.  I can only imagine how amazing she will be once she can see!  She'll probably get into even more (if that is possible lol) and learn a lot more as well. 

She will look so good in glasses that everyone will want them.  :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our Family From The Beginning (In Pictures)

As I was going through pictures the other day, I realized that our family pictures really do tell the story of "us".  Here is a little play by play for you all.  :)

This is our first "Family Picture".  Precious had been home just a few months.  She was 8 1/2 when she joined our family.  Dayton was just a few weeks old here.  :)  This was taken in December of 2001.

Next came Denzell who was 7 at the time and Unique who was then 11.  Everyone thought THAT was a BIG family.  lol  They had already been home for several months in this picture.  (I don't have the Spring picture on this computer.)  This was taken in November of 2003.

Next came Andrew who was then age 5 and Forrest who was age 7 at the time.  This picture was taken in Spring of 2006.  :)  People then realized we were "crazy".  haha

Next came Crystal who was 8, Destiny who was 4, and Ezekiel who was 3.  They made us into a family of 11 people and pushed us into most people's "Extreme Large Family" category.  Gotta love a 50% increase in the number of children!  This picture was taken in December of 2007. 

The next additions were close together.  Jose was 7 and Jacob was 5 when they arrived in January of 2009.  Julianne arrived at age 2, just 2 months later.  This picture was taken around May of 2009.

Our last family picture was taken in December of 2009.  We usually always do pictures at Christmas, but I just couldn't do them this year when Cody was so much a part of us, but not here yet.  I promised myself and the kids that we'd do one when he gets home.  I will go ahead and do them before the kids get home from Eastern Europe.  We will then get another as soon as they are all settled in enough to after their arrival home. 

Here is our most recent picture from December 2009.

I can't wait to get everyone in one picture.  I wonder if we will manage to get them all to look at the camera.  :) 

Can't you see how big God has blessed us?  I mean, to most this would be insane, but to us it is just the biggest blessing imaginable.  We are truly and amazingly blessed! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Counting Some Blessings!

I'm going to attempt a "light-hearted" post.  I thought I'd go through some old pictures and see what I had to share.  Everyone should remember their blessings and smile on Sundays especially.  lol

This one made me smile immediately.  :)  This was Julianne's first tea party.  The two boys joined us because they just couldn't miss Julianne's first tea party.  I think I remember distinctly them giving me that evil eye and telling me that I better not post it.  lol  (I didn't post it for over a year, so I think that is pretty good.  lol)

She started out neat, but it got kind of messy.  :)

Let's see what else I've got in this bag.  :)
Oh wow, was this a long time ago.  Dayton and Andrew were both only 4 years old here and Forrest was 6.  Forrest and Andrew weren't even living with us full-time yet.  What cute little wisemen they were!

Look!  We were about to get eaten by dinosaurs!  (We only had 9 kids then!  That seems like forever ago!)

I don't know what the biggest blessings to look at are right now.  I could count the blessings as those specific moments, which were awesome.  The other blessing is really just getting to be their Mom!  I love those little people and all the joy they bring me.  :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Help and Have a Chance at a $100 Gift Card!

I am going to give you a link to a special blog. This is the blog of Shelley. Shelley has helped me so much already. She works with families who are adopting from Eastern Europe through Reeces Rainbow. This is their 4th adoption in 4 years I do believe. She met this little girl while at the institution that she adopted her last son from last year. They are getting close to their first trip and they still need quite a bit of money to go.

They have lots of ways that you can help. There are some very cute things her husband sews that are available to buy. You can buy coffee, shirts, CDs, or just donate. If you donate right now you can have your name put on a puzzle piece. When all the puzzle pieces are put together, they will have the money needed to bring their daughter home. They also have an $100 Amazon gift card to give away.

Please jump on over and help them out! This is a great way to help an amazing lady who helps so many others bring their children home. (She puts up with a lot of emails and instant messages from me!)

Go check out her blog and help her bring their little girl home! http://www.gatheringthemfromtheeast.com/2011/02/1500-and-thank-you-gift.html

Julianne and Homeschooling

Julianne is hysterical.  Her little cute self keeps me constantly in awe that anyone could be that daggone cute!  She is 4 1/2 years old.  She weighs 28.8 lbs.  She has a personality that barely fits in any room.  She is smart as a tack, but doesn't speak a whole lot yet.  She has the cutest "extra chromosome"!  She communicates better nonverbally than anyone I've ever seen.  She never misses a moment of anything! 

Here are just a few examples of her cuteness:

The other night she climbed up in one of the "big" desks, instead of sitting in one of the little ones:

This morning she climbed up in a seat next to Denzell.  He was doing online high school (he's the only one doing an online school) and was in a "class connect" where a teacher was teaching live on the computer.  I'm sure Julianne learned a lot.  :)  After this picture was taken, she later climbed on his lap so that she could see better. 

I wish our other tiny ones were home to join in the homeschool fun.  It is horrible how much you can miss children that you have never even had with you.  It is also a God thing though.  I remember feeling the same way about the tiny princess you see before you.  God brought her home and He will them too!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Love that RAD progress!

May I just say that Crystal is such a different girl than she was about a year ago.  To think that for awhile she was trying to make me sick by spraying stuff to affect my asthma is almost hard to imagine.  She was so afraid of being rejected that she couldn't even accept the love and acceptance that we were continually offering. 

Now I see an 11 1/2 year old girl who is gorgeous and loving.  :)  She has her moments when she goes back to pushing away.  It usually comes during school time and she has to see what will happen.  She wants to know if I will believe she is "dumb" I think.  Everyone else did think she was and she felt it for so long.  I know she is smart!  I just have to keep convincing her that she is.  :)

She is ATTACHED!  She is loving.  She will initiate hugs and kisses now.  She made me a card to tell me she loved me the other day.  She wants to help.  She loves to help with Julianne most of all.  (Really who doesn't???  lol)  She wants to help with baking or putting out lunch.  She wants to be a part of OUR FAMILY! 

I am blessed beyond belief to watch this transformation.  She is turning into a beautiful young girl.  She even looks different.  You can see a difference in her.  Sunday, she even let me put blush and lip gloss on her.  She was reminding her Sunday School teacher to ignore Forrest's attempts for pity because it was all a game to get that attention in the wrong way.  lol 

Now, please no one mention this improvement to her.  It would be a sure way to sabotage her.  She is getting there though!  PRAISE THE LORD!

Please Pray for Paula

Please pray for Paula. Someone did finallly get to meet her. That part is very good. They also found that it wasn't one of the really bad mental institutions from what they saw. I would have been quite relieved about her situation if it wasn't for her "condition".

It turns out that Paula was completely "unresponsive". She didn't respond to seeing them, hearing them, or them touching her. I am just crushed for her. I can't get to her and she needs a mommy to love her. I wish I could just go scoop her up and start the long road to helping her get better. We still have many months left before we will be able to bring her home. I just fear that she has shut off the world completely. Every child needs someone to LOVE them. Food and clothing isn't enough. She needs a FAMILY!

I am not at all afraid of bringing her home. I know we can give her what she needs. I am terribly afraid that she will give up and won't make it home. Without love children cannot be healthy. They don't grow properly. They don't feel safe. They don't develop properly. She needs those things in an urgent way. The helplessness that I feel in knowing that she is there without responding and I can do nothing to help her is so intense. I cried today until I was hoarse. I let the children watch tv for way longer than normal. They don't watch a lot so they were very glad to be told to go watch tv a little while. I hid in my room and got a lot of crying over with. I talked to a couple of really good friends who made me laugh after listening to me cry.

Please pray for Paula. Pray that God will help us get a really quick USCIS approval. I know God can do miracles and I am determined to watch them happen. Pray that she will hold on inside the little world that she is in inside of her. Pray that God will prepare her tiny heart for love and family.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Large Family/Time with the Kids

I have heard over the years many times about how people worry the kids won't get enough attention or "one on one attention".  I was thinking about it for a few days as we have all our time together.  It really did make me laugh.

I spend more time with my kids than most parents.  My kids homeschool so I am with them all day long every day!  I work with them one and one and I get to see the "light bulb" when they understand each new concept.  I know all about their personalities, thoughts, desires, and quirks.  I rarely miss a moment of their lives!

Many families have two working parents.  They have their kids for a few hours in the evenings, run to sporting events, and have weekend time. It works for them and many take extra care to raise well adjusted and loving children. 

I'm not here to debate stay at home vs working mothers.  I know some of both who do exceptional jobs! 

I just wonder if the people who ask "how?" I can do it take into consideration that I have my children for many more hours per day than many parents do??? 

My kids have me all day long every day.  They get plenty of attention and are doing exceptionally well. 

If you came across this and you are thinking about whether you should add to your family or feeling guilty that a new addition will take away from your current children, DON'T.  God gave mommies lots of love to go around and more family members just means more people to love each other.  My kids will tell you that they can't find a negative to it.  They love each other dearly and can't wait to have more brothers and sisters to share family life with.  :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For the Record

If you know us personally then you probably know others that know us personally. I have a request. Please share these thoughts with others, so that I don't lose my self control and share them in person.

Here are the facts and we already know.

Yes, it is not "normal" to adopt this many children. EXPLANATION: We are not trying to be normal. We don't want to be normal. We like our crazy life and our loving home. I'm definitely not going to win any "normal person of the year award" and I am very cool with it.

Yes, it is going to be busy and crazy to take on this many with special needs who have never lived in homes before. EXPLANATION: We like busy and crazy (the opposite of normal to most). We love children and feel that each and every one is a blessing. If you think we will change our minds and leave them in mental institutions and orphanages because it will cause our lives to be a little wild for a while, then you are wasting your breath. They are already mine in my heart and I will take down anyone in the path to make sure that they get home. If your child was in that situation wouldn't you do the same?

Yes, we realize that they don't speak English. EXPLANATION: I really don't care what language they speak. God made them and God brought them to my attention because He knew I'd fall in love and do something about it. They will learn to understand language just as my other children with autism learned to do. It will be a challenge, but also a rewarding and educational experience for our whole family.

Yes, we know we can't save them all. EXPLANATION: I can still save more. I can't adopt them all, so why don't all the people who say or think that do something about it? Why don't all of them save one? The statistics show that if most Christians adopted even one child, there would be no more orphans. I don't need an excuse and I refuse to defend myself. I am now leaving the defending to those who do nothing.

Yes, I will have 12 children ages 10 and under. EXPLANATION: That happens to be when they were born and how old they are. Sounds like fun to me!

Yes, I have thought of the "How are we going to do it?". EXPLANATION: I hear that question a lot so believe me I have considered it. The answer is that I will be figuring that out as we go, just as we always have. God doesn't give all the answers right away. He provides what we need as we go! I have learned to live peacefully with that for the most part (harder when they aren't safely in my arms yet, but I'm trying). We are planning to do some extra homeschooling during the summer and take time off when they arrive home with maybe just some light studies and build back up to our normal school routine.

I'm sure there are lots more things that should be here. It is quite late and I am tired. I do now feel much better after getting that off of my chest.

If anyone thinks that there is an alternative to my insanity, then you don't know me well. I love the children that God has placed in my heart. I will not leave even one of them behind to live in hopelessness. I will take on more if God provides a way. If anyone is very concerned about what all I am taking on, then please feel free to get off of your bahootas (I use that word instead of "butts" here often) and do something crazy for God yourselves. You might find it is quite rewarding and that knowing you changed the life of a child is even worth a little extra tiredness and making life a little harder for a short while is such a BLESSING.

Please spread the word. My "paper pregnancy hormones" may be the culprit. It could also be a very earnest impatience for the complacency of the world around me. It might even be that I can't imagine how people live knowing that they do nothing to help children that God created, but yet live in despair. I can't put a definite pinpoint on the cause of my inability to deal with the questions. I just know that the next person who suggests in any way (no matter how discreetly) that maybe I should leave my children in mental institutions or let them suffer so those around me won't be uncomfortable or we won't have to go to the "trouble" of being their parents, might need to DUCK.