Saturday, December 31, 2011

Fundraiser for ????

Ok so heres the scoop. There is a child we are pursuing. We cant tell you the name or age or gender. But the child is blind. I can tell you that... And they are loved by many people. And the NOOK fundraiser is for them. We need 1100 dollars to complete our homestudy. PLEASE please donate to the chip in so we can pay for the homestudy. There is a child we have in mind. We are working towards this child...Please we beg you donate to the chip in. Win a NOOK. or some cards. Or a hand painted sign.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A conversation I had recently....

This past month, the little girl I work with (Abby) and I were talking about who I might adopt.  Abby is advocating for a blind child ...so she wont be the only one. :) I told her that in some Eastern European countries blind kids arent allowed to go to school or even leave the place they are staying. I was trying to tell her in the least traumatic way possible. And she said,"wow", "I sure am glad I wasn't born there!" to which I said ..."Me too!"

This is the truth people ....Think of any capable little kid you know. Now think about living in a conrete building with a little play area for the rest of their lives. No family. No freedom. No schooling. No art. No recess. No reading. Nothing to escape to. Think about it. THis is the reality for some today...Help us rescue a child from this. Please doante to the chip in and possibly win a great prize while you are at it!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2 more items added to the NOOK fundraiser!

from Terri Ellis @ A Drop in the Bucket a 10$ gift certificate. Terri paints beautiful signs like this one.





from me Amanda @  Ollie and Sully your choice of 20 handmade cards. An 80$ value.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ok Im Still here

Ok guys I am still here. Whoa its been a rough week. Seriously. But I didnt go to bed at night without a family. I didnt wake up seeing the same walls with no way to get away from them. I have a christmas tree and something to look forward to this week. Is it the same for all the orphans in the world? No it isnt. Help an orphan...donate to the chip in and enter to win a NOOK tablet...please for christmas help an orphan.

Friday, December 16, 2011

ITs a terrible Horrible no good VERY bad day. REALLY!

MY dear friend Amanda B. who is Victoria(63)'s orphan warrior was adopting a dear sweet boy Andriy. But yesterday a terrible thing happened and now it looks hopeless. Please pray that GOD can move this mountain somehow for Amanda. And pray for all the tears in the Ukraine adoption community right now.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blind kids can....

Run Marathons!

Or DO anything for that matter.

Around here we are on the verge Of something great. Like I said before God is moving mountains and we are just 175$ away from committing to adopt a blind orphan.  That means that due to one awesome donor who is in love with the child I am interested in, we have the commitment fee and thanks to her sister, who is offering 100 dollars, part of the 275 that is left to pay. So that means I need just 175$ people! Then we can worry about the next chunk we have to raise. PLEASE help! I know money is tight but please help!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Meet the 2 Victorias

The First Victoria


Girl, Born December 12, 2002
I can't wait to see Victoria with long, flowing hair!   
Miss Victoria was born arthrogryposis, which only appears to affect her legs/feet.   She has a glowing personality and is a caregiver favorite.    Will be wonderful to see her, after surgery and therapy, walking on her own!!   If she is not adopted, she will spend the rest of her life bedridden.   
From her medical records:  congenital arthrogryposis, divergent squint. 
From our facilitator:   Victoria is happy and affectionate.  She loves to play with her dolls and to pretend to be mommy.  She is a very pretty girl.  She is a rather smart girl, the care-givers love her. She cannot support herself and needs assistance. She does not walk but she is a very active girl.  She is moving herself somehow, using mostly her hands.
As with all children living in these difficult conditions,  this child's cognitive development has regressed significantly since he/she was younger.  It is of crucial importance that any family considering the adoption of an older child from the mental institution setting be well prepared for what to expect with regards to how the neglect and lack of adequate medical care and nourishment has affected this child.    These children all have TREMENDOUS potential for improvement, and deserve to have a life outside these four walls.



The second Victoria

Girl, Born November 13, 2005
HELP, I HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRANSFERRED!
Victoria is too cute!  She has brown hair and blue eyes, and is in the same orphanage as Andriy and several other children with Down syndrome.  Victoria is a smart little girl and very *able*.  From her medical records:  congenital cataract of both eyes (blind), microphtalm, delay of psychological development.   Outgoing, can walk independently, knows her way around in her group, is interested in studies, responds well when adults refer to her.
From a missionary who has spent time with Victoria:  "What a sweetheart! Gentle, calm, outgoing, and very affectionate. She has made a lot of progress since she was at the baby orphanage. Vika has had some self-harming tendencies but the workers have been working with her on that… Whenever she would start banging her head they would pick her up, lay her across their lap and start massaging her back. Now, when she gets upset she goes to them and lays across their lap all on her own, no longer resorting to self-harming behaviors. Vika is independent and was walking around all over the room hardly ever bumping into anything. She doesn't speak much but she does say "Mama". She also knows how to let the workers know when she needs to go to the bathroom. They also said that her fine motor skills have greatly improved as well. Finally, she is a real snuggler. First thing she did when I called her over to me was climb up onto my lap. I tried to get better pictures of her but all she wanted to do was cuddle in close… how could I say no to that???"
 

This orphanage is one of the good ones. Small, with all higher functioning special needs children of "preschool" age (ages 4-8). There were only 6 kids in Victoria and "Andriy"'s room and two workers caring for them. It was clear that workers care about them very much and showed them plenty of love and affection. The director is not only open to adoption, she is actively looking for families for all of the kids so that they don't have to be transferred once they turn 8-years-old! Unfortunately, "Andriy" and Vika are in the lowest functioning group and they usually have a hard time finding families for those kids… but maybe that's something RR can help with :)


Why am I telling you about these girls? Because the first one I am an orphan warrior for and the second...well I am just in love with.  2 Girls....the same country. If you are moved to donate to either girl go to Reese's Rainbow.org and type Victoria in the search box. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thank you Jamie Kirkpatrick!

Thank you Jamie -

Who's Jamie? She's the first to enter the drawing for the new NOOK tablet! Her entry fee got her three entries. So far she's a guaranteed win. Who's gonna be the next one to throw their name in the hat? Please dont ya want one?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things are Happening around here

THings are happening. That is all I can say right now. Please pray for Chet and I that we can come to a decision based on the things that are happening. But all I can tell you is GOD is moving mountains and I am here to watch it. WOW!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Just a Reminder about the giveaway!

New NOOK Tablet giveaway....

What can it do?
Our fastest, lightest tablet with the best entertainment displayed in stunning VividView™


•Movies, TV shows and music from the top names—Netflix, Hulu Plus™, Pandora® & more

•World's most advanced VividView™ 7" Touchscreen

•Over 2.5 million books, magazines, comics & kids' books

•Lightning fast Email, Web & smooth streaming video

•Thousands of must-have apps like Angry Birds and Epicurious

•Extra-long battery life—yet ultra-light and thin

•Always free NOOK support in-store




So I have tried to come up with ways to raise money to rescue the blind children stuck in an orphanages in Eastern Europe.  So here goes in order to be entered for a chance at the New NOOK tablet this is what it takes.  Help touch the life of a blind orphan this christmas!!

$10 = 1 entry
$20 = 3 entries
$50 = 15 entries
$100 = 45 entries
Click on the Chip In the enter!

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Greatest Moment in History.....

began with an Adoption! Consider this. One man named Joseph adopted a child that wasn't his so we could all have a savior.  What if he had told that the child Mary carried wasnt his,  and caused her to be ostrocized from her community? How would the manger scene have gone then? In the same manner that Joseph adopted little baby Jesus, Our Lord and savior adopts us.  We are his chosen ones. Please help us remember adoption and grab a NewNOOK too!

Why Special needs ? in Eastern Europe?

Simple. I am familiar with blind children, as most of you know.  Did you know that blind children are the last choice in adoption? A deaf child or a physically disabled child will always be chosen over the blind child. Why? Because people see being blind as the worst thing ever. But its not. It is just another thing in life.

Why Eastern Europe?
Well... the children that have special needs in that area are placed in mental institutions. They don't go to school. They don't go on field trips. They are stuck in those concrete walls for life.  They are sentenced to life in prison for being different. If the parents keep the child they are ostracized and there are no services or physicians to treat conditions.  THings that are easily treated here are death sentences to those children over there.  I know of one child in Serbia who is 8 and blind. He is the size of a four yearold he weighs 30 pounds. He will never go to school. He has no OT, no PT no braille instructor.  He is contained because they fear he will hurt himself.  He is kept in a crib all day long, he is fed mush through a bottle, or shoveled into his mouth by someone who has 50 children to feed and not enough time to wait for him to do it himself.  He throws toys in frustration, not to hurt. He begs to go outside to the little playground.  He is the reason For the NOOK fundraiser.  Help him. Help these children PLEASE!

Friday, December 2, 2011

New NOOK Tablet giveaway....

So I have tried to come up with ways to raise money to rescue the blind children stuck in an orphanages in Eastern Europe.  If we were to adopt a child from there we will  need 1500 for our home-study. And 1000 to commit to a child. So my goal is too raise at least that...If we manage to raise more for the 18,000 expenses after that then that is good too.There are several children in Ukraine that we could adopt too  if we could just get the funds for our home-study. So here goes in order to be entered for a chance at the New NOOK tablet this is what it takes.
$10 = 1 entry
$20 = 3 entries
$50 = 15 entries
$100 = 45 entries
Click on the Chip in to enter
The fundraiser will continue until we raise enough.  The winner will be chosen by a random number generator.
Well that's it folks! Thanks and Good Luck

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crafty Project #1

So do you remember the cooler I got at the thrift store for just 75 cents? Let me remind you.
Then when I went shopping with Chet's mom I found this cute fabric. The colors are a bit off the brown is more chocolaty and the blue is a turquoise....

Anyways... So I thought I would transform the cooler into a chic lunch box. So here are the steps so you can make yourself a cute cooler!
1. Set the cooler in front of the window to make a paper pattern of the cooler shape onto copy paper.
2. Trace the pattern onto the fabric with a brown crayola marker.
3. Cut out the fabric and set aside.
4.  Liberally paint modge podge onto the cooler where the fabric is going.
5.  Place the fabric there and then paint over it with modge podge.
6.  Make sure the fabric is soaked in the modge podge.
7. Let dry then coat again.
8. When that dries take a bic white out pen and add "stitching"
9. Cover with Modge Podge a third time.
10. I covered both sides and I am thinking about cuting out a fruit for the blue part.

ENJOY!  Amanda

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Getting Crafty again!

Whoa watch out this month has been super creative for me. Tomorrow I will post the new little thankful books Im working on. Plus I want to show you some new cards I did. And for all you moms out there, I got a cute little paper bag turkey Im working on. Plus I would like to share with you a new book I read.  So watch out world, Im awake, I feel good and I am getting crafty!!!
Amanda

Friday, November 4, 2011

Time to get Crafty!

So tonight I went to Wally world with my husband. Nothing new there. The other night I went and the Halloween stuff was selling for 50 percent off. I was excited cause Wally world has this section of scrapbooking stuff that is a price point of 97 cents.  They are cute little card making/page making stuff that are really well made for only 97 cents.  Score! Well they had moved the halloween part of that section into the 50 percent off section. That meant everything was 50 cents for those of you that cant count.  I bought 12.00 worth and came home one happy camper. When I got home, I checked out the stuff. They had these cute little die cut cards that came in a package of 8 for 97 cents.  Most of the time, cards at that price are cheap think paper. When i opened these up I discovered good paper with good envelopes. SCORE! So I got one set of each kind. There were 6 kinds. Anyways I have been trying to decide what to do with those awesome cards.  Then tonight when we were there the stuff was 75 percent off. So everything was 24 cents. Less than a quarter people! And they still had a lot of stuff. I was able to get 4 more sets of each kind of card.....for a dollar! BIG SCORE! so I got all the stuff you see above for 16.00. Amazing.
Then as I was unwrapping the stuff from the packages (to save a little space), I made the cardboard packaging into some shabby chic tags.  Here's how
1. First I sanded the words off of the tag. I left them kinda there cause I liked the way they looked.
2. (center photo) and 3. Then I painted them with Acryllic paint. I picked fallish colors, turquoise, barn red, cream, orange, and brown
4. I even used colored tags.
5. Then I stacked them up to use on another project.

He's engaged!

So... my brother got engaged last weekend, and he's decided to have the wedding next weekend. wow. that is moving a little quick for me. They think they are just going to the courthouse on the 11th and gonna get hitched.  I wanna be there. I wanna witness it. Who does that? Just sayin' oh! 11.11.11 sounds like a fun day to get married.   I'm just sayin'

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick or TReat...smelll my feet!

To my future little costumed people -
Your daddy and I are in week 7 of foster parent classes. They are interesting but I am not sure we are learning much. Maybe we are just learning to play "the game." Just like you. Next year, I hope to be making caramel apples with you and picking out the one thing you want to be most on this special night. I look forward to walking down the street with your hand in mine, and letting you experience the rustle of leaves, the thrill of ringing the doorbell and waiting with anticipation. Toby is waiting for you too. He looks longingly at any kid that will pet him or love on him. He is waiting for you.  He wants someone to play with at the park after school and he wants someone who will let him sleep on their bed.  Koda, Timid, Nitro, Connor, Kevin and Flirt wouldnt mind having some small feet in the house too. We are lonely without you and we are looking forward to what God has in store for all of us.  So if you are sitting somewhere tonight thinking that you hope most for a family to do "Halloween things" with, we are thinking it too. With all our love, Mommy & Daddy Nachtmann

Monday, September 19, 2011

52 Card Pick Up

WEll again, I did not reach 100 cards. But I did get 52. And that is 52 more for the kitty.  And chet and I are starting STARS training tomorrow. Yeah! Finally after 9 months we are getting soemwhere.  Ill let you know how it went.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Another Card Challenge Weekend...

Ok here goes I am challenging myself to another busy card weekend. Last time I did 32/100. So this time I am going for more than that. I will post them as I complete them. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Card total 32/100

Today I completed 17 cards. Okay, Okay, I only got to 32 out of 100 cards...but hey that is 32 more than I had last Thursday.  Well Im going to bed now...CArd making wears me out. Night all.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Card total 15/100





Well I have fifteen cards so far for my 100 card challenge to myself.  I have finished a few older cards that I was working on but for new cards I have 15 new ones.  My Silhouette cutting pad is loosing stickiness and I am working on it to fix that. Though I am making lots of similar cards, none of them are exactly the same. Here are some of the new ones.

Friday, September 9, 2011

This is what I did with those cute little cobwebs...






I also made these 2 Dude You rock cards. My goal for this weekend is 100 cards so we will see how that goes. Overall though, I am thrilled with the Sillouette which I used for all of these cards. Sorry about the sideways pictures I will fix them shortly.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Isn't he worth it?

This is Andriy. Who my friend Amanda is Adopting. He is blind. He is also 4 and he needs a family soon. Amanda's family could get their travel date in as little as 6 days and they are 10,000 short on funds. 10,000 short. His little brother added his whole wallet to the funds. Please help we can do this. We need to do this.
click here to donate...it is tax deductable.

My new toy....

 Ok so awhile back Chet said I could buy a Sillouette. What is that? Well its a diecutting machine...think cricut...but without the cartridges.  Sounds expensive right. Nope mine cost 99.00 which isnt cheap but it came with 2 cutting mats and a 10 dollar girft card to the sillouette store for shapes if i dont want to find them myself. The sillouette also came with 50 shapes and it cuts any clip art or font on your computer. any. Well when I first got it Chet told me I couldnt open it (cause he was gonna set it up on a seperate computer.  Then he didnt. Then I was stalling after that cause I didnt know how long it would take to set up and all that. SO today I set it up...took 10 minutes tops. AWESOME.  And then I cut some shapes that came with it. A cute scallop square a couple circles (which are really hard to cut perfectly by hand or with a circle cutter), a birthday candle and happy birthday in a cool font.  And a flag pendant It took under a minute and those shapes were perfect! I am in love. ITS AMAZING. not gonna lie. amazing. So one of the shapes it came with was a cobweb and I wondered just how small I could make it.  Here is the pile of cobwebs that I cut small ones 1.5 inches and bigger ones 2 inches across. Tomorrow Ill show you what I am going to use them for.
 



Aren't they beautiful!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Got Paint?

To help with the adoption fundraising, (Thank you to Amanda and Loretta for your donation to the chip in.) (The chip in is in the process of verifying my banking information so that is why it is not showing up yet.) I am painting some rooms for people. So far I think I am painting farm animals and tractors in one room and a teeny bopper room in the other house. So if you need your kids room painted or you want your movie room painted. Let me know.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Books..they're not just for reading anymore.....

The other day while at Red Racks (which is a really great thrift store in Blue Springs) with Chet's mom I found this old golden book encyclopedia. The illustrations are great and the book has a nice old smell. I had no idea what I was going to do with it. But I thought if anything I could scan in the pictures and use them in cards or something. Turns out I paid 1.00 for the book cause it was hard backed. But it was worth it. This is one thing I have decided to do with it. I ripped out the first page. Then I folded it in half and cut clouds out of it. Printed page elements are so hip right now. And I got 96 pages of cool elements to make.
Seriously. Look at these great illustrations. This is Snowflake the albino gorilla.
This is the page after the clouds.
Aren't they pretty?
Another hip thing right now is doodling. If you watch TV and billboards you'll see that everybody is into handwritten fonts and pictures.  So I took my little black pen (bic brand flair pen) and outlined the clouds.
then I inked them up with my Autumn leaves turquoise ink pad. They are so cute I will show you when I finish the cards I made out of them.




Amanda gave me 10$

Thanks Amanda, for starting me out with ten dollars though its not showing in the chip in yet! But its there. I have faith.

Listed my first 2 cards at Etsy!

In motivation for getting this adoption thing underway, I listed my first two cards.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Here is My new Chip In!



Help us raise money to commit to adopt a little angel!

On Respite and other things...

Our respite for 10 days was hard. But enjoyable. Its hard to connect with a teenager you know nothing about. But it was fun and hope we get to do it again soon. We met with our social worker only to find out that training wont be in August but maybe in September if we r lucky. I am about ready to give this local adoption thing the heave ho. Many of my blogging friends have been to the Ukraine and back in the 8 months we have been waiting for our classes to start. I mean really. 8 months. Just to start taking the classes (we get our home study done in the class). I want a blind kid, a deaf kid, and 1000 different sibling sets, we are willing to take 18-21 year olds and still it has been 8 months. I know where the system has failed these kids. At the front door. We started this journey in November, completed our paperwork and physicals in January and we are still waiting. On another note this is Stephen.
Stephen is Blind. But he has some sight. He is new to reeces rainbow. I am trying to raise the 1000 for him. He was born March of 2010. So he is 1 year 5months old. or 17 months. If you have a heart for Stephen and want to help leave a comment or go to http://www.reecesrainbow.org/ he is Stephen21H. I have a booth on October 15th in Desoto, MO that I am going to sell handmade cards at. I am hoping to raise more money for that little child God wants us to have. I keep hoping that the reason this local thing is taking so long is because we are meant to be looking to the Ukraine or Russia instead.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Heres what you missed.

On the fourth it was raining. I got stuck making pictures at the printer that V'ora brought. Guess I'm the only one that can push the start button. Who knew. After taking pictures of the food I didnt get a chance to take any others. Hannah and Eric left early and so we had no one to show the house to. So here is what you all missed. (Chet and I laughed that the year we finally got our yard together no one came to look)



Look at these Elephant ears they are huge!

Oh to be a cat...

When I am at my computer Timid is always sleeping next to me on the dresser I store scrapbooking stuff in.  Because she is mostly black in color it is sometimes hard to take her picture. But these ones turned out great!

She really seems to be enjoying this spot.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sweet and Saltines

This recipe is featured in the April 2010 issue of Country Living.
It is part of the article on "Trisha Yearwood's Family Recipes".

This is what I decided to make this year for the fourth and wow they are rich!! But there wasn't any left and Papa came to me and said, "Did you make these? They are really good. (and that is saying alot cause he doesnt really like chocolate.


Mama's Sweet and Saltines





40 Saltine crackers
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup light-brown sugar
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil and saltine crackers.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over crackers, covering them evenly. Put cookie sheet into oven and watch closely. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until just bubbly.

Remove from oven and pour chocolate chips over crackers. When chips begin to melt, spread them over crackers with a knife. Transfer pan to freezer for about 20 minutes, or until completely cooled. The chocolate-covered crackers will form a solid sheet. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.



Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It was a NO GO for launch...

 before
after
Well the crafty week was a no go for launch. Meaning it didnt happen.at.all. But hey there's always next week. And some things did happen around here. As you can see...the roofers have started and we are getting a pretty red roof.!!! and Toby was measured on his week 2 growth chart (yeah we r that pathetic that we have a growth chart for a puppy) and he grew...... 3 inches taller! Chet said he hasnt grown but I could tell he had. The proof is in the puppy chow! Also we finally got Toby to swim by bringing Luke to the cemetary to show him how it is done. I tried to get a picture of that but Toby quit swimming when I got the camera. oh well.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Crafty week challenge

This week I am going to be CRAFTY. There I said it out loud. SSSHHHH dont tell anyone ok? No really I am going to try to be crafty. My GOALS are as follows...
1. Turn the movie room into a kids bedroom.
2. Make my pallet herb garden.
3. Make a fence of doors to hide the pool.
4. Paint my scrapbook desk.
5. Make a wreath for my front door.

Those are my goals. Notice there is one for each day...that shouldnt be too hard right? Yeah Im not convinced either...SO pray for me.  THIS is the week. I can FEEL it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Or not...

The roof was leaking this morning the dryer broke last night and we cancelled our respite care. I really feel bad about it too/ But we weren't ready...and it was father's day weekend. And we werent ready :(. Oh well heres to hoping they call again!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

WEll we got a phone call....

For a 6 year old girl. Who is afraid of men. For the weekend. Wow she comes tomorrow afternoon and leaves Sunday afternoon.  This should be interesting. I'll let you all know how it goes!!

Introducing .....TOBY!




Yes....that's right...the puppy stayed. We have decided he is the dog for us. (along with the other 3 of course).  meet TOBY he is a shepherd/ mastiff mix and he is 6 months old. He is super cute even when he slobbers which is the only bad part about him. He is going to be an inside dog. And that is something I am VERY happy about. On the adoption front there is no news. We have been waiting to hear about respite care from our social worker. Here are some pages about TOBY...

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Pool is open..and other things

It so hot here we are filling our pool. We thought we weren't going to mess with it this year because of the respite care thing but its so hot we are filling it. We are looking for a fence to go around it. Cause we need to have it fully fenced.  We have also been adding rock borders to our flower gardens. It looks pretty good. We traded labor with dad for some more mulch so when that comes I'll take pictures so all can see. Also there has been this cute puppy hanging around our house...and he gets along with the neighbor cats. We need another puppy like we need a hole in our heads but he's pretty cute....I'm just sayin' :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

I am officially a Nachtmann

And I am none too happy about it. I had too renew my license as it had expired on my birthday and so I gave up the ghost and changed my name. Bah! I loved my name and the lady at the Social security office even mispelled Nachtmann. That is a bad omen to a life of spelling my last name out. Holmes was so easy. So simple. Nachtmann is not. I wanted to become AmandaJo Holmes Nachtmann but I had to change it on my birth certificate and since I had already been to that office (in Liberty) and I was in Lees Summit when I found this out I just got a new last name. yeah! NOT. THRILLED. at. ALL!

Friday, May 20, 2011

on other things...

Our respite care thing is dragging on...we r waiting on a contract from social services. There is three more days of school and no contract. arrrggghhh...  Went to the women of Faith conference in Des Moine...it was great!
Amanda

Please help pray for KIRILL's family again....

this is the post from Tesney's blog http://www.oureyesopened.blogspot.com/
Friday, May 20, 2011Going with God


We leave in less than 24 hours. God is with us. We are going with him. We are taking peace, hope, and the understanding that HE is writing this story. We covet your prayers. We humbly ask for you to especially pray on May 24th beginning at 6:10 a.m. CST. This is the exact time we will be standing before the supreme court judge. Pray for him. Pray for our lawyer. Pray for Kirill. But above all else, pray that Christ is seen by everyone who hears Kirill's story. THANK YOU ALL! I will update here as soon as we know the supreme court ruling.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We are going to be respite care....

After our home walkthrough, we found out the next class we need wont be offered until August. I was floored. We were hoping to have kids by summer. So the only way to do that is to do respite care which is a break for the foster family from the child or if the foster family goes on vacation and the child cant go with them, then that is where we come in. We are excited because we will get to have a lot of different children all summer long. Yeah! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Please Pray for the Davis family! Again..

this is a post from their blog http://www.oureyesopened.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kirill's Story


Please feel free to share the following on your blogs. It is a summary of our adoption journey so far. Please help us spread the word. We are hoping somehow someone will be able to help us.


Two years ago Greg and I began praying for God to do whatever he wanted with our lives. We handed him a “blank check” so to speak, and told him to cash it. He opened our eyes to children with disabilities wasting away across the ocean in Eastern Europe. We joined God and started our adoption journey.

Our family is more than equipped to handle a child with special needs. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Best Buddies of Alabama. I have volunteered for RISE and Eagles’ Wings. All of these organizations serve individuals with special needs. My husband I have close friends and family who have special needs and we are a big part of each other’s lives. Our wedding party included some of these special people. Our involvement with individuals with special needs led us to adopt a child with special needs; specifically, we chose Down Syndrome.

As we prayed over the faces of thousands of orphaned children with Down Syndrome, we ultimately chose a little boy named Sergey from Russia. Eight months later, as we neared the finish line of our adoption, one of Sergey’s family members in Russia stepped forward to adopt him. We were heartbroken for our loss, but God showed us that we were following him, and his ways are perfect. We knew we still wanted to adopt, so the way we saw it, two children would find homes because of our journey…Sergey went to his family and now we would choose another child to come into our family. We took great comfort in knowing that God could see this when we first committed to Sergey! We were honored to be a part of his plan.

Shortly after losing Sergey, we received a new referral with a grainy photo of a four-year-old blond-haired boy wearing pink glasses named Kirill. We were instantly in love with him. We had to re-file a lot of our paperwork because of the change in referrals and regions of Russia, but we were fast and we thought we were looking at three more months at the most until we would have Kirill home.

That was well over a year ago.

Since then so many things have happened. A tragic story of an adoptive mother sending her child back to his country alone on a plane with a note pinned to his shirt rocked our world…he was from Russia. Adoptions in Russia came to a screeching halt. Kirill’s region stopped processing adoptions for eight long months. The judge refused to accept any Amercian adoption cases until an official treaty was signed between the United States and Russia.

Even though we wouldn’t be able to finalize the adoption in court until the treaty was signed, we were allowed to go visit Kirill and sign our official petition to adopt him in August 2010. We fell more deeply in love with him. This was our son.

During that time, we found out that Kirill is the first child from his region EVER to be adopted with Down Syndrome. A birth mother keeping her child with Down Syndrome is unheard of in this area of the world. Adoptions of children with Down Syndrome just don’t happen there, these children are literally hidden away from society in orphanages and mental institutions. As our process continued, it became apparent that Kirill would be a pioneer. If our adoption was approved, it would pave the way for other children with special needs to be adopted from this region.

Then, a miracle happened around Christmas and the judge in this region suddenly changed her mind and began processing American adoptions again. We were elated.  Could this be the light at the end of a very long tunnel? I was somewhat nervous about Kirill being the first child adopted with Down Syndrome from his region, but our agency was very confident that if we got a court date, our adoption would be approved. In seventeen years, they had never had a case rejected IF the family was issued a court date. We were told not to worry, so I didn’t. After meeting the judge’s requests for several supporting court documents, we were finally granted a court date-March 17, 2011. St. Patrick’s Day…I was thrilled. This would be our new favorite holiday! Our son was coming home!

Our other son, Clayton, who had just turned three when we started this adoption process, has prayed fervently for his brother. He is now almost five. When we told him Kirill was coming home, oh my…we had an excited big brother on our hands! At one point he even went to his room, dumped out his toy cars and divided them into two stacks…one for him and one for Kirill.

Last week, as we sat in the courtroom and suffered through five agonizing hours of difficult questioning, we were not prepared for anything but an approval of our case. Two doctors, two social workers, and the Minister of Children’s Services all made very strong statements on our behalf. They fought for us. Hard.

But when the ruling was read, the judge said, “Your application to adopt is rejected.” The basis given was that Kirill was “not socially adaptable” due to his “medical condition” and he was better off in an institution than in a home with a family. As the judge read her ruling, she stated several times that we were a good family, that we met all the criteria to adopt a child, but that she would not approve our adoption because Kirill has Down Syndrome. She told us that we could adopt another child, because legally our application had no problems according to Russian adoption law. She said she would approve our adoption for a “typical” child, but not this child. Why? The only reason? Because he has Down Syndrome. Even though we were approved by our home study and by the USCIS to adopt a child with special needs. It makes no sense whatsoever. Denying a child a family because he has Down Syndrome is a violation of human rights at its most basic level!

It was like a terrible dream. We were so unprepared for this outcome. As we left the courthouse in a mental fog, the doctors and social workers that had testified came to us and said, “If you appeal, we will fight for you. Appeal. Fight this decision.” Of course we were going to appeal…I could no more walk away from our biological son, Clayton, at this point. Kirill is just as much my son.

So here we are, asking God to move the mountain that is standing between Kirill and us as we appeal to the Supreme Court in Moscow. There are also three other families who are in various stages of adopting children with Down Syndrome from Kirill’s region; one of the families has a court hearing set for next week.

We are hoping that someone will hear our outcry and help us bring our son and these other waiting children home. His adoption will set the precedent for many other children in his region. There are 98 children in his orphanage with special needs alone. It is one of many orphanages in this region that houses children with special needs. This is about more than just one child, the lives of hundreds of children with special need are at stake.  Please help us