Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If Only We Could See the Potential

Yesterday I came across a link to a video about Bulgarian orphans.  What I saw moved me deeply as I proceeded to watch all nine videos in one sitting.  My son Paul watched much of the videos with me.  It was obvious that his heart had been tugged too.  He asked if we could adopt all the kids in the video so they could be happy and fed like we are.  The conditions that these children in the documentary had to live in day to day is absolutely unimaginable until you watch the video.  It is disturbing and begs us to action.  Children sentenced to a life of darkness, hunger and despair with only their very basic needs met day in and day out.  As I learned about Vashky, Didi, and Milen my heart broke for them.  What began as something as simple as being born deaf or blind or with a cleft palate these children were labled with  additional diagnoses such as allagrifinia which means small brain because society thinks they are ineducable.  This hit home... hard.  One of our daughters had this same diagnoses among others and we witnessed first hand the little potential they saw in her but I never really comprehended where she was headed had we not chosen her.  No one ever inquired about her because of this label and it is by God's design that we were blessed with her as our daughter.

It was her that opened our eyes to the preciousness of life and potential that every child has.  It just has to be unlocked. The first time we met her at 8 years old she could not hold a pencil properly, nor could she bead a string very well.  Six years later she is reading, writing, and learning long division.  Though she has been an amazing student over the years, it is she that has taught us.

And then I think of Dennis.  He was so thin and fragile when we first met him.  He could not swallow a mashed up banana nor did he really make any noises.  The sun was so bright for him the first time we took him outside indicating he had not been outdoors in a very long time.  In just a matter of hours we saw a flower begin to bloom.

And then there is Alex.  Pretty much confined to a stroller, we were told his chances of walking were slim.  We told them that as soon as he was home we would work with him so that he could be mobile. Now he climbs jungle gyms!

Here are the videos that I watched.  I am warning you-- they are hard to watch.

Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 1
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 2
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 3
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 4
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 5
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 6
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 7
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 8
Bulgaria's Abandoned Children Part 9

Today I shared God's word, His plan for our lives, the fruits of the spirit-- my heart.  I love my children so much and I desire for them to be thankful for what they have been blessed with not because I want recognition or a handful of thank yous but so that they can outwardly focus on others to help, to show kindness, and to love rather than overly focusing on what they don't have because they are not thankful.  Then the older ones watched the first five videos with me.

When the kids came home from school and I was in the midst of doing things, I asked one of my daughters to help with Alex in the bathroom.  Later she came to me on her own, teary eyed.  "You know Mom, I was in the bathroom with Alex and I was grumpy at him because he can't do things on his own.  I had a mean attitude toward him and then I remembered.  I couldn't believe myself.  I thought back to what you had shared with us and I knew it was me with the problem.  I immediately stopped and he was happy and laughing.  I'm sorry."  As you can imagine, I am very moved by my daughter's honesty and her willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to guide her.  I am once again in awe that the Lord would reveal His beautiful plan through something so ordinary.

After watching the videos I couldn't help but wondering what became of Didi and Milen and Vhasky.  I am so excited to share the follow up story in the next video links.

Part 1 revisited
Part 2 revisited
Part 3 revisited
Part 4 revisited-- this is the segment that begins the actual follow-up.  It is so heart-warming to see what a little love and attention does.  Investing in a child can make all the difference.
Part 5 revisited
Part 6 revisited

Please keep the least of these in your prayers... always.  There are so many ways to help-- pray for the children, donate to a ministry that outreaches to them, support an adoptive family, visit an orphanage, become a foster parent, or become an orphan advocate.

Current High Bids

Current High Bids for Silent Auction-- Thank you so much!

#1Bib -- $5 LizD

#2 Soft baby Book-- $5 Emily $10 Kristen

#3 Flannel Mickey Blanket -- $10 Emily $15 Nicole N

#4 necklace-- $5 Mama Bear $10 Elizabeth

#5 pink necklace-- $5 Emily

#6 necklace-- $5 Emily

#7 necklace and earrings-- $5 LizD   $8 Sarah $10 LizD $15 Sarah

#8-- $5 LizD $10 Sarah

#9 necklace -- $10 Shari

#10 necklace-- $10 Robin's Nest

#11 green cuddlebug- - $10 Emily  $20 Vivian Bowles

#12 red cuddlebug- - $10 Emily $15 Kristen  $25 Tanya B

#13 tote bag-- $5 Dana  $10 GarolG

#14 Middle School Book-- $10 Robin's Nest

#15 (Just for Me Bible)-- $5 LizD $10 Maria G

#16 (Just for Me Friends) -- $10.00 Maria G

#18 redemption book-- $10 Amber $20 AllisonD

#20 collage-- $5 Julie B (Julie B Please email me for the decal) $20 Votemom

P.S. I will keep this updated as bids come in.

Hope is in the Air

Look, a heart potato chip.  Annalyn found it.
Galina noticed our last frog finally died.  Dennis was quite fascinated with the flushing ceremony.
Bye froggy.
It snowed the other night.  The kids had fun playing with it the next morning.
Taco salad with spinach for an iron boost.
Today is Wednesday.  It has been a hard two days two weeks with one daughter.  To look into the eyes of one of your children and see a blank as if she feels nothing has brought me to my knees.  Enough said.  The Lord has given me incredible strength.  It doesn't matter what she says, she is ours and we are a family.  Through thick and thin, good and bad...
Prayer deflates the enemy.  
Prayer restores the spirit.
Prayer blankets a home with grace.
With God all things are possible.
Remember that always.
Today is a new day.
Hope is in the air.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Silent Auction

 Please check out the Silent Auction of the following items.  As you already now, every dollar raised will go towards Doyle and Fischer's adoption.   If you are interested in bidding on an item, please leave a comment with your name, the item number and the amount you are bidding.  Please start the beginning bid at $5 or more with increments of at least $5. All items were made with love-- and I know that everyone who contributed worked hard!  Thank you for that.
The silent auction will end at noon, March 6, 2012.

Crocheted bib by Rachel Reed

Soft Baby Book (9in X 10in) by Christine Christine Robins

Flannel Mickey Blanket (approx. 3' X 4') by Christine Robins

Gorgeous Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany 

Gorgeous Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany

Beautiful Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany

Beautiful Hand beaded necklace with matching earrings (set) by Elaine in Germany

Beautiful Hand beaded necklace and earrings (set) by Elaine in Germany 

Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany

Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany
Hand beaded necklace by Elaine in Germany

Cuddlebug doll  (approx 12 in tall) by Anna Deaton

Cuddlebug doll  (approx 12 in tall) by Anna Deaton

14X12 sewn tote bag by Christine

Book donated and written by Kathy Cassel. Check her out on Amazon! 

Book donated and written by Kathy Cassel.  Check out her Just For Christian Girls site!

Book donated and written by Kathy Cassel.

Book donated and written by Kathy Cassel.

A wonderful adoption story perfect for bedtime.  Check out their blog here.

Beautiful Cross Pin made by Crystal.  Check out her Etsy shop!

Beautiful Collage (approx. 10X8 in) by Emily.  Check out her Etsy shop!

Thank you for walking this journey with us.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Around Here

Crazy busy around here.
Starting a small group at our house.
Girl drama.
Spring cleaning.
Clearing off my desk.
Dennis going through a stage of having crying fits if he doesn't get his way.
Adoption paperwork.
Yard work.
Finding a new doctor.
Straightening out health insurance claims.
But the Lord is good.
I am closer to Him now than ever simply because I cannot do life without Him.
I don't know how anyone does life without Him.
Tonight it snowed.
The kids were in heaven.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Oh cinnamon roll. You are so tender. So warm.
So delightfully scrumptious.
You melt in our mouths.
You are the definition of perfection.
But now...

You are gone.

You were great while you lasted.

Until we meet again...

which will be tonight when we roll out the rest of the dough that's in the fridge. 

Happy thoughts.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Our Trip to the Beach

It was supposed to be a sunny yet crisp 63 degrees the day we went to the beach. It turned out to be much warmer-- or at least it felt warmer.
It made for a beautiful day!
John and a handful of our kids went in the water.  Don't tell me that's crazy-- I watched them!
William was not happy about going to the beach.  After talking to him about how I thought he was smarter and more mature than to let a trip to the beach control his attitude-- he was able to change it.
I gave him lots of ideas-- none of which included swimming or being cold and he ended up having a great time!  He told me so on the drive back home.
Sveta and Anastasia
At 15, Caleb is still a cuddlebug.  It is very sweet.
Annalyn's hair curls up nicely now that she has layers.
I told her how gorgeous she looked with her wavy hair and took a picture to show her.
Newport beach was perfect.  We have been here before but didn't know about the bathrooms right behind us.
The seagulls were great entertainment.  They often caught the pretzels in mid air.  One was even brave enough to land on our blanket to snatch up a pretzel.
William and Dennis
John, Jonny, and Andrew
Galina and her biological sister.
Both beautiful... and healing.
God is so good.
This trip was a great one.
So great that we'll probably get together again in the next few months.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Awesome News!

Read here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Went to Costco today.
Gave Galina and Annalyn haircuts tonight. Thankful for curly hair... it's way more forgiving than straight.
Making plans to go to the beach tomorrow to meet up with Galina's biological sister and her family.
For some unknown reason I am tired this evening and feel like calling it a night.
Is 7:30 to early a bedtime?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

They're Here!

They're here! The window decals came in the mail today! This is going to hopefully be one of our biggest fundraisers-- so please consider partnering with us. I put one the van to show all of you how it looks and what the average size of the decals are.  Oh and yes, because I really like the message. :)
If you order one I will include directions to make sure you apply it right.  When I first got them, I began peeling the wrong side and wondered why it wouldn't work.  I even called the company.
Finally a light bulb when off in my head and I figured it out.

Please check these out!   Please order one!  Please help spread the word. Please help us reach our goal of raising $1000 towards our two little boys adoption.
Only $20!
 There are four designs to choose from.  
If you would like to purchase one of these window decals which are approximately 9 in X 6 in. please email me at telling me which one you would like to order.  Since I have them in hand, I will mail them out as soon as you order them.
Other ways you can help-- repost or link this on your blog, Facebook, etc.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
So far five people have bought a decal, and I put one on the van.  I pre-purchased eighty decals.
That means only 74 more to sell!




Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catch Up Post

The last week has been quite busy.
When Grandma and Grandpa were here, Grandma showed the girls many new knitting and crocheting tips.
She even taught Paul how to knit.
My Mom came down just as they left.  She brought down the sewing machine I had her take back last time she was here because I was certain I would never learn to sew.  Actually, I was afraid.
But this time, I was ready.  And I learned because she is such a good teacher.  
This was our first bag that I am checking out in the mirror.
One night for dinner we made 7 pounds of cotlyete (little Russian meatloaves).
When we pulled out the leftovers for lunch today, we found out two certain girls were sneaking and eating them... and feeding them to the dogs as treats.
"But the dogs love them too Mom."
My Mom taught Julia and Anna to sew too.  Actually she brought down a second sewing machine that the girls have in their rooms.  Julia set it up and the first time she stepped on the peddle, the foot and needle took off full speed!  It scared Julia-- it was so funny!
Happy belated Valentine's Day!
All the younger boys filled out valentines the prior day to take to school and pass out.
They came home with tons of stuff!
My Mom's neighbor bought candy for all the kids this year.  It was very sweet of her.  If you are reading-- thanks Linda!  I added it to the little bit we had bought for the kids making this one sweet Valentine's Day for the kids.  At dinnertime, John passed out the goodie bags.  The kids were thrilled!
The kids start their school work as soon as they get up--usually before 7 am so 
that they could finish by 1pm.
The kids made a huge fort / indoor skate park with a huge tarp.  They think it is so cool.  They were a bit disappointed when I wouldn't let them play outside today because of rain and hail.  
When William has kitchen duty, he has a particular way of doing things.  It is quite interesting to watch him because things have to be just so.
Here I am sewing a bag all by myself!  I can't believe I am actually doing it! I even bent a needle, pinpointed the problem, and changed the needle all by myself!  If you ask my Mom she'd tell you this is huge.  Huge I tell you!  Take it from me-- you are never too old to learn something new!  Hopefully pratice makes perfect!
Speaking of new-- tonight is Dennis' first night sleeping on the top bunk.  I bribed him with a new toy at nap time today if he would sleep on the top bunk, and he did.  I wanted to see if he would do it at night too. Since he usually always sleeps with Alex on the bottom bed, this is a big deal for him.  
Here's Mr. Good Boy for the last three days!  Keep up the great job Alex!
I called the Spina Bifida clinic today and talked to them about his reoccurring break out around his mouth.  We have stopped his preventative antibiotic to see if it is contributing to it.  He is now taking cranberry chews too.  I sure hope this helps him.