Retro Spring


Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Danny!

Dear Danny,

Today is your 4th birthday.  Your dad and I really wanted to be with you, but it just wasn't God's plan for this year.  I can promise your 5th birthday will be an amazing bash!  (In fact some of your friends are already asking about it!)   Today we also learned some fun information about you.  We learned that you are a little guy!  According to the report you are just shy of three feet tall, and weigh around 23 pounds.  You might be embarrassed by me telling this, but you can use the potty when you need to!  This makes me a happy momma, and even though we expect to bring you home in diapers, it's a great sign that you will be ready to fully potty train soon! We also learned some more info about your biological parents.  They live in the village where you reside in an orphanage, and were young when you were born.  To my knowledge you don't have any biological siblings.  You have had a couple of surgeries in your short life, but shouldn't need any more major surgeries that we can foresee.

At your orphanage you play with the other kids, and get to go outside.  You are part of a "Granny Program" and when your Granny comes to see you you cheer!  I just love knowing this about you!  You don't feed yourself yet, but you do like to throw your cup. When I told your dad that he laughed!

We can't wait to meet you next week, and we are really hoping to throw you a little birthday party so that you never have another go uncelebrated.  Your dad and I, along with tons of others, love you so much and are excited to bring you home with us!



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 28 Christmas Edition!

I can not believe that in less than a week we take off to meet our son!  It's also amazing to imagine what next Christmas will be like with him here.  We are pretty sure that holiday celebrations at orphanages are small at best, and probably don't include specific gifts for individual children, so Christmas 2012 will be like nothing he has ever seen!  I can't wait!!!  (In fact I sort-of want to begin shopping now!)  Here are this week's prayer requests......

1. Danny: please pray his heart is prepared to meet us and accept us as his Momma and Daddy. Also, tomorrow is his 4th birthday, so pray it is happy, and they let us throw a little party for him while there!
2. US!!  Safe travels, no flight delays, good sleep (I do not sleep on planes, so this will be interesting) and safety driving across a foreign country with our driver and facilitator.
3. Our team!  We are so blessed to work with an amazing team both here in the US and in Danny's country.  I'm so looking forward to meeting everyone and spending some time with them.
4. Our families and friends!  You have all been so incredibly supportive, and we could not appreciate you more.  Each of you are in our prayers as we embark on the next steps of this journey.

Merry Christmas to each of you.  We pray that you know the peace that comes from knowing Christ!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 27

I've been a bad blogger!  December is so crazy work-wise that I am barely keeping it together, add getting ready to leave for a week to that and I'm out of time!  Please forgive me for not keeping up better.  Honestly, there isn't much new info to tell.  Two weeks from today we will be arriving in Danny's country, but if you've been following along you knew that already!  Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny....please pray his heart is prepared to meet us and accept us as his family.
2. Dexter.  There is still time to make your tax deductible donation!!!
3. Wes and Me: We have so much to finish up to be ready for travel.  Please pray our time is multiplied and our anxiety is eased.
4. Travel: pray for on time flights, easy lay overs, and trips through customs in various countries (THREE!) Oh how I hope we get our passports stamped in both of the countries we will go through.

Thank you again for praying with us and for us.  In two weeks I will be posting from Danny's country!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 26

Less than three weeks until we leave to meet Danny!!!  Today we were (finally) decorating for Christmas, and I realized just how unfriendly to children literally all of our ornaments and decorations are!   I also realized that next Christmas we are going to have to do the tree put-up and fluff during nap time.  Can you imagine the excitement of an almost 5 year old who has probably never seen a Christmas Tree!?  At least my mommy heart hopes he gets excited!  Anyway, this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny.....please pray that his heart is prepared to meet us.
2. Orphanage Staff: we have absolutely no idea what we might be walking into, as our facilitator hasn't ever been to Danny's orphanage. Please pray that they take pride in their work, and care about the children.
3. Our facilitators: we aren't sure who our driver will be, but please the whole team in prayer.  Their work is tough, but they love it and the children they work for.
4. US!  We have lots to do, including celebrating Christmas, and 3 full weeks of work to get through before we leave.  Personally, I'm praying for the time to fly by....I want to see my boy!!!

Thank you (a million times) for continuing to pray with us!  Can't wait for week 29 when we are posting from Danny's country of birth!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 25

Four weeks from today we will be in the same country as our son!  I can't believe I just wrote that...makes it so real, and reminds me how much I need to get done in a pretty short amount of time! Here are the goods for this week:

1. Danny
2. Dexter....please consider donating, and remember all donations are tax deductible.
3. I said, lots to get done, plus full time jobs to do as well.

I think that's it for this week, nothing too specific, just straight forward.  Thanks for praying!

Friday, December 2, 2011

nothing new to report

But I thought I'd do you all the favor of checking in anyway.  :)

Here is a question for our 49 followers, and the facebook masses:  what are some easy to transport toys we should take with us for when we meet Danny?  We've noticed from our adoptive friends many of the orphanages don't have much to play with, and we would like to have some fun stuff to do during our visits.

How about you ask US questions too.....what do you want to know about adoption, Down Syndrome, and what happens next?  Tell me, I promise to answer them all!

~ Jessica

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

thank an 11 year old

I got a message from a friend today who is also adopting from Danny's country.  In fact they will be meeting their son just two weeks before we meet Danny!  How awesome is that? 

Before I tell you about my message I think you should know this: there is something I want to tell you about this adoption community.  We support each other.  It's amazing.  Many of the donations we have received have come from other families in our situation who truly and honestly probably need the cash themselves.  And yet, they give.  With cheerful hearts, they GIVE.  If you are considering adoption but think you can't afford it please remember that God prepares those He calls to this journey.  Both emotionally and finanically.

This is what the message said: "Jessica, our 11 year old daughter decided to donate to Danny today."  Here are some interesting facts about this family: they have 5 daughters ranging in age from 2 to 21, and they are adopting their first son.  Dad lives and works many hours away from home to provide for his family, after being unemployed for 18 months.  Mom works very hard schooling the girls, as well as taking care of their youngest who has Down Syndrome, as well as fundraising tirelessly for their adoption.  And their in between girls are amazing....and are choosing to give up their Christmas gifts this year because of the adoption.  Something else you should know....this 11 year old really and truly thought about and considered what she was doing when agreeing to forego gifts.  This mom's prayer is that her daughter's hearts will break for God and for all that breaks His heart.  {I think her prayer is working!!}

So....thank you sweet 11 year old!  I'm sure that there are many, many, things you could have had with the generous donation that came to Danny today.  But you already know that your gifts are to come.  Here, when your sweet brother comes home in the spring....and in Heaven when God has finished using your sweet heart here on earth.  Your maturity is to be admired.  Your heart is so wholesome and pure and I pray that it always stays that way.  Thank you so much for loving our son as much as I know you love your new brother!

Thank you.

**If you would like to follow the Lindquist family journey you can on their blog here: Obeying God's Call**

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 24

I was afraid I was going to miss today's post, as crazy as this afternoon has been!  It would be so much easier to skip writing after running around all day trying to get ready for this week.  However, I think that is just what Satan would want, and I'm not going to let him dictate my life! :)  Below are this week's prayer requests, thank you so much for praying with and for us.

1. Danny!!!!!  We will be meeting him in 5 weeks! Please pray for his heart and mind to be prepared to meet us.
2. Dexter....yes, we have met our fundraising goal of $1,000, but would love nothing more than doubling that to make his adoption easier on his forever family.  Please pray about donating to him, and remember that every dollar goes directly to his forever family, and is tax deductible for you! ($35 gets you a precious ornament for your tree too!)
3. Wes and Me....we have much to accomplish between now and leaving to meet Danny, including a full month of work!  Please pray for us to have a spirit of service to those we interact with on a daily basis, as well as the patience to get through it! (yes, I just asked you to pray for us to have patience....big risk here!)
4. Off Adoption Topic: Please keep my sister-in-law and brother in your prayers as well.  Their baby boy is due pretty much any day now and we are praying for a healthy and easy delivery for mom and baby!

I'm going to leave today's list a bit short.  We have so much to do, and greatly appreciate all that our families and friends have offered to help out with.  If we miss thanking you in person, thank you!

Friday, November 25, 2011

black friday

Black Friday is such an interesting thing to me....don't get me wrong, I love a good trip to the mall, and we will be giving Christmas gifts to family and friends this year so it's inevitable that I will do some (more?) shopping this weekend.  But why does this day fall immediately after the one day of the year that we should be most Thankful?

Will you please watch this video and tell me how black you think every day in the lives of these people are.  Here is some perspective for you: if Wes and I weren't on the path to adopt Danny this just might be his future.  No, he is not in Serbia, but he is in a country that makes similar decisions for it's children and adults who are mentally disabled.

Think you can't do anything to change this?  Let me be direct: you're wrong.

The most obvious thing you can do is to adopt.  But I know that not everyone is able to do that, whether financially, or otherwise.  Second, if you can't adopt, you can support someone who is adopting.  Don't know anyone who you want to support? How about you sponsor a child on Reece's Rainbow?  Not that either?  How about this: think about these different organizations: World Vision, where you can sponsor a child, or feed a family, or drill a well for a community.  Samaritan's Purse, where you can show the love of Christ to a child through a Christmas Box.  Living Water,  works to provide clean drinking water around the world.  Want something closer to home?  Where we live there are a number of places you can volunteer your time or your financial resources, just google it!

More than anything you can pray.  Here are some specific things to pray for:
1. for the hearts of the government officials in countries like Serbia to soften to the least of their society
2. for the people who work in these institutions to treat the people in their care like the human beings they are
3. for your heart to break for what breaks God's heart (I caution you on this one...He will bring you to your knees)
4. pray for families like ours who are choosing to adopt and save a life from the black-ness that is institution life
5. pray about donating!!!!  it doesn't have to be to one of the organizations I referenced.  Have one you love? Share it please!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this little rant of mine.  As we get closer to traveling my heart breaks just a little bit more because I know when we meet Danny we will meet many other children who we can't bring home with us.  I don't know how God expects me to do that, but I do know that He is doing a great work in me, and I'm thankful I get to see what is next!

Monday, November 21, 2011

travel news!

For most of you who follow on facebook you know I am completely incapable of keeping a the cat is out of the bag.  We have dates to meet Danny!!!!  We were originally offered to travel over Christmas, but after some discussion about our jobs, airfare, and the holiday, we requested to move back our date by one week. {Honestly, I really hope our in-country facilitator will use it as a week off with her family.  The break is much deserved by someone who works without ceasing for families like us.} So we will be leaving on New Year's Eve to travel to Eastern Europe to meet him.  We. Can. Not. Wait.

Other good news: our airfare is at least $600 less than what I was seeing online a few weeks ago.  Don't get me wrong, it's still over $2,000, but that's better than $2,600+!  Are you beginning to understand why so many families have to fundraise for adoptions?  I love the saying "God doesn't call the prepared, He prepares those He calls."  It's so true.  This year has been amazing for us, and we clearly see the relationship to our willingness to follow the path He has put us on, and are so thankful for all the support from our family and friends.

We will get to visit with Danny for four days.  Since our travel does fall over a holiday we are going to lose a small amount of time, but don't worry, we plan to soak up as much as we can with him while we are there. Had we chosen to travel on the original dates we could have celebrated his 4th birthday with him on the actual day, but I think we may just celebrate it when we get there anyway!

So that's it!  Our big news!  As impatient as I have been the past two weeks waiting to hear something I am incredibly thankful that we found out when Wes was at home.  It has made it so much easier to discuss what needed to be discussed and make decisions without misunderstanding each other.  God's timing is always perfect.

Thank you in advance for continuing to pray for us.  We have a lot of work, and two holidays to get through before we get to see him.  Pretty sure "I want to spend January in Eastern Europe" was something that never crossed my mind until now!  So....where is my giant suitcase? :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 23

I don't even know how to begin this post.  As you can imagine I was really hoping to have some new information about the adoption and our travel dates but I don't.  At this point in time there is nothing new to know.  But as soon as I do I promise to let you all know!  Below are this week's prayer requests, including some things we are very thankful for.

1. Danny.  Not only do we ask that you pray for him, but we ask that you thank God for him!  We are thankful every day to be on this journey, and are learning so much while we walk this road.
2. My wonderful husband will be home in a matter of hours!  Prayers of thanksgiving that he spent the past two and a half months away safely, and will soon be here!
3. Movement in our adoption.  This is pretty important since our dossier has been in country for a month now.  We would really like to meet Danny in January, but at this point we just don't know if that is God's plan for us.  Please pray that He shows us the way.
4. Cost of plane tickets!  So far the best deal I'm seeing is well over $2,000 which is significantly more than we have budgeted.  We know that it will all work out for the best, but as a frequent traveller I hate nothing more than paying so much for travel!
5. Dexter: this one is great news!  We have already exceeded the $1,000 mark in fundraising for him.  Thank You!  We really appreciated the help.  If you haven't already donated we are still going strong since the Angel Tree is through the end of December.  All donations to Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible!

Thank you for praying!

Friday, November 18, 2011

as the soccer announcers say: "goooooooooaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllll"

We have exceed the goal $1,000 set by Reece's Rainbow for Angel Tree on Dexter's behalf!  And to think, we still have a month and a half to go!  I am always amazed at God's abundance and provision, and I know we can do even more to help Dexter's forever family out.

Will you please consider donating to Dexter?  You can donate to the chip in at the right.  Notice, our chip in doesn't show that our goal has been met because we had one very generous donor send a check directly to Reece's Rainbow.  Personally, I'd still like to see that chip in say $1,000!

I'm still offering yummy oatmeal, cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies for all $35 donations made in November. With that same donation you will receive an ornament for your tree with our cutie's picture on it.  I got mine earlier this week and now I'm trying to decide who else I want on my Christmas tree.  I can't wait to tell Danny all about fundraising for Dexter next year when we break out the Christmas decorations! (and I really hope part of that story includes Dexter being home in his family!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Greater Joy Dad!

Wow.  When Adeye asked for adoption stories to feature during November I never imagined that our story would be one of the ones featured!  What and incredible opportunity...and what horrible grammar I used writing that!  What can I say? So much of our lives are rushed right now!

For those of you who are new to our adoption story we welcome you!  Please feel free to read back over the past 8 months of our lives.  If you really want the nitty-gritty there are three posts that you should read.  They are called "life story."  Here is our most up to date picture of Danny:

We are also fundraising for Dexter, who's photo you see directly to the right.  He's the cute blondie!  Thank you so much for checking us out, and praying for us through this process.  We are hopeful we will have the dates when we will go meet our son later this week!

Thank you Adeye and Anthony!

Sunday Prayers vol. 22

I was really hoping to be here giving away our travel dates...even though that's a bit dangerous in this day and age what with break-ins and all.  But I don't have them yet!  I am as disappointed as you are, don't worry.  We are hoping to get them next Friday.  Here are this week's prayer requests

1. Danny.  Please begin to pray for his transition from institution life to family life
2. Dexter....have you considered donating or adoption?
3. Wes will be travelling home next weekend!
4. I have a big deal working that I should hear about this week.  While I would really love to get everything we proposed I think that's a long please pray God's will be done.

That's it!  Pretty short and sweet list this week.  We genuinely appreciate you praying with us for 22 looooonnnnnnggggg weeks.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I am sooooo late to this bandwagon, and yet I've been so incredibly blessed this year that I can't avoid the topic any longer.  Here is a sampling of the things I (Jessica) am thankful for from 2011.

1. My husband.  He is amazing and I am more in love with him every day.
2. Our jobs.  God has blessed us in more ways than I ever imagined possible this year.  We are so blessed that every penny we have needed so far has been there, and we have been able to help others who are on this path as well which is such a gift.
3. Our family.  I can't say enough about how loving and supportive they have been as we have walked down this adoption road.
4. Our friends.  Ditto above.
5. Reece's Rainbow.  I had never heard of RR before March, and yet this adoption family has become so important to our little family.
6. Andrea Roberts. Reece's mother.  Without her we would never have found our son.
7. Our facilitators.  Have answered more questions, late night emails, read drafts of applications, probably been incredibly annoyed by me.  And yet not a single complaint!
8. Our home.  While I have moments that I dream of a larger house I know this is the home God intends us to bring Danny home to.
9. Mya.  The angel who has ultimately led us to Danny.
10. Angel Tree and the ability to advocate for Dexter.  (He's a cutie!  Are you his momma?)

So there you have it.  We are so incredibly blessed and thankful for His provision.  And once Wes gets home I'm going to try (no promises) to get him to write a "thankful" post as well.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

no news!

And I'm tempted to not tell you any news that I get until we have at least $250 in Dexter's Christmas Warrior fund.  That would be mean, wouldn't it?  Except that we all know that I stink as a secret keeper.  The only way for me to keep a secret is for me to completely forget you told me.  Which does happen from time to time, but I doubt that I'm going to keep a secret our travel dates (once I get them) for long.  So let's do this instead....donate to Dexter!  Then I won't have to keep you in the dark.

"please help me find my mommy, I will smile so much then!"
{that chip-in at the top right of this blog post is the easiest way to donate to Dexter....and there's cookies in it for you!}

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 21

I want to give you a quick update on where we are, and what is happening next in this crazy adoption process before getting to this week's Sunday Prayers list.  Wes is still working in Connecticut.  He has officially been there in 4 different months since he left in August, worked all through September and October...and now it's November.  Crazy!  We don't know exactly when he will be home, but we do know for sure that he's going to come for Thanksgiving, the jury is out on whether or not he will have to go back.  Work has also been keeping me busy, which is the saving grace in all of this! God has abundantly blessed us to be able to add to our savings during the past few months, and we are eternally grateful that we have more than we need right now.

Next in the adoption process is submission of our Dossier to the Ministry of Justice in Danny's country.  That will happen TOMORROW!!!  It is our understanding that it is basically a formality of our adoption process, and we will receive a verbal referral and invitation to come meet our son for the first time.  I am barely able to contain my excitement, and you know I will be on pins and needles until we receive our travel dates.  We are hoping to have our travel dates by the end of this week so we can begin to shop for plane tickets.  Since I am a planner by nature I have searched already, and I'm a bit overwhelmed at what I'm seeing price-wise.  We expect to be traveling at some point in January. Thank you in advance for praying for us this week.

1. Danny....please begin to pray for his transition from orphanage life into family life.  We are praying that the assimilation is easy for him, and that he immediately feels at home with us.
2. Dexter...he is going to be #2 on my list now!  Please consider donating to his adoption fund.  Have you ever considered adoption?  He is a perfect age to bring into your family and fit right in!
3. Travel: dates and airfare.  Our prayer is for God's timing to continue to be perfect in all of this, and that the prices on airfare begin to come down.
4. Our Jobs: please pray for safety for Wes as he continues to be away.  Please also pray for me as the end of the year is a very busy and stressful time.
5. Our Eastern European facilitator: Toni works very hard for many families while dealing with many government agencies and folks who oppose her work.  She deserves to always be in our prayers.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Got the best email ever this morning.  Our dossier is being submitted to the Ministry of Justice on MONDAY!!!!!!!!!  This means we should have our travel dates as soon as next week.  We are praying so much right now for expediency to the proceedings (which we understand to be a formality) and lower airfares than what I'm currently seeing online.

I will be back tomorrow with our Sunday Prayers.  I bet you can guess what #2 is going to be....since Danny is always #1!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm a little competitive

And disappointed.  I had really hoped that we would be over $100 for Dexter by now, three days into Angel Tree.  And we've had only 1 lonely deposit into his account.  I'm hoping it's because some of you have decided to send a check to Reece's Rainbow, but I'm guessing it's because I'm not being annoying enough!  Remember, I promised COOKIES!!!!

Please, as you are looking over your charitable giving for 2011, won't you consider helping to save a life?  Because that is exactly what you are doing when you donate to Dexter, or any of the children on Reece's Rainbow.  I'm not kidding.  When you donate to a child, no matter how big or small the donation, you are helping to ensure that someone comes to bring them home to a forever family.  How often can you say your $35 can make that big of an impact?  Not often at all.  And remember, as well, ALL donations to Reece's Rainbow are 100% tax deductible.  Don't let the tax man get you this year.  DONATE!!!!

Remember to use the Chip-In on the right to donate to Dexter so I know who to deliver cookies to.  Contact me directly if you have any questions about RR, donations, or adoption in general. After all it's also Adoption Awareness Month too!

are you my momma?

Edited: we've had 2 donations!  But still under $100.  Won't you please consider helping out?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

we got new pictures!!!

Ok, not exactly, but I got the full length shots that the head shot photos were edited from for Reece's Rainbow.  Want to see them?  I've added optional captions for your entertainment.  The first one is his baby pic.  I find him to be quite cute!

1. Hi Mom!
2. It wasn't me!  I have not had any cookies.  Promise!
3. Aren't I the cutest kid ever?!?!?  

This next one is more recent.  We don't know exactly when it's from, but I'm assuming it's from early this year when his medical report was updated.  

1. Get this scary doll away from me
2. Ugh.  I know I'm cute, but stop taking my picture already!
3. Why am I wearing girl pants?!?!?

Final caption: Don't forget about Dexter on the Angel Tree!  $35 gets you an ornament for your tree and cookies from me.  First batch is going out tomorrow, and I would love to make it a double batch!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Christmas Warrior day 1!

Happy November!  Only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then Christmas will be rapidly upon us.

November also means that it's time for Reece's Rainbow's Christmas Warrior project. I've already introduced you to Dexter, our cutie, but here he is again:

Here is how the Christmas Warrior project works: the 1st goal is to raise $1,000 for sweet Dexter between now and December 31st.  For every $35 donated you can get an ornament for your Christmas tree with his picture on it.  In the spirit of honesty I want to make sure you know that $5 of each donation will cover the ornament cost, but the other $30 goes directly to Dexter's adoption fund!  That means we only need 34 people to donate $35 in order to get him the $1,000! Totally do-able, right?  I think so!

As if the thought of putting that sweet face on your tree wasn't enough I'm going to sweeten the deal.  For everyone (local) who donates $35 to Dexter, during November, I will bring you this:

Oatmeal, Cranberry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here is the easiest way to donate: see the "Chip In" at the top right of the blog?  The one that says "Dexter's Chip In"?  Yeah, that's it!  You can donate there using PayPal or a credit card.  This makes it easier for me too, because I will get a message saying who donated, and how much.  Then I can make you cookies!  Want to make a BIG donation ($100 or more?) please plan to MAIL a check to Reece's Rainbow.  This will save them significant PayPal fees.  (Send me a message telling me that you donated so I can make you cookies too!) You can mail your check to:

Reece's Rainbow
PO Box 4024
Gaithersburg, MD 20885
*in the memo line please put: "Dexter 26HA"

To those of you who are out of town....shipping is expensive!  Since we are in the process of adopting our sweet boy I'm hoping you will understand that footing the bill on sending cookies out of state just isn't feasible right now.  If you still want cookies...and are willing to pay for shipping to cover it (via a donation to Danny's account) then I will happily ship you cookies!  Have a question about how to donate to Danny?  Click the link with his picture on it, or send me a message.

What is the 2nd goal of the Christmas Warrior project?  Hopefully to find a forever family for Dexter!  Have you ever considered adoption?  Will you please pray about adoption for your family?  Will you please also pray that by December 31st Dexter has a family ready to come for him?  

With the average cost of adoption running $25,000 our goal of $1,000 might seem insignificant, however sometimes seeing that the fundraising process has already started is the last thing it takes for a family to make the decision to take this journey!  

In advance, I would like to thank you for donating to Dexter.  Who-ever his family is greatly appreciates it, I promise!  (Also remember, your donations to Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 20

20.  Twenty.  Wow.  That's 5 months!  Just thought you should know!  Today the rocking chair for Danny's room came in!  It looks so great in there.  Thank you mom!

Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny.  Please pray that he gets to go outside and play as much as possible, and that he gets to act like a kid.
2. Christmas Warrior is coming on Nov. 1!!!  Please pray about donating to Dexter, the cutie we are sponsoring.  The assigned goal we have from Reece's Rainbow is $1,000.  I think we can double that!
3. Wes.  It's snowing in CT.  We live in TX, so this is not "normal" for us.  Pray for his safety.

Hum.  I think that's it.  Super short list this week.  Since it is so short can I ask you to really search your hearts about donating to any of the kids on Reece's Rainbow?  Or possibly consider adoption yourself?  With 147 million orphans in the world it's going to take a lot of us to reverse the problem!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Angel Tree is Coming!

Just a few more days before the annual Reece's Rainbow Angel Tree kicks off!  Looking for a gift for that hard to shop for person?  I've got just the thing!!!  And it only costs $35, and it goes to a good cause.  Stay tuned here to learn more on November 1.   This little guy will really appreciate your help.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

sick day

I'm home from work today sick, and Wes is still in Connecticut working.  There is no-one to take care of me.  But I'm an adult, and I'm capable of taking care of myself, even when not feeling well.

However, it makes me wonder.  When Danny is sick who takes care of him?  We know that in 6-7 months that we will be happily shouldering that burden.  But what about now?  Honestly I pray that he just doesn't get sick while he is still in the orphanage, because then I don't have to think or worry about it. We know that he is very close to his "baba" so I pray that if he doesn't feel well that she loves him enough to let him curl up in her lap and rock him and love him.

Just something that was on my heart today.  Hoping and praying our little man is as healthy as an ox!

(Baba: the term in his country for grandmother.  He is in a "baba program" meaning a grandmotherly type comes to the orphanage to play with him and help care for him 4-5 days a week.  I pray she loves him as we do, and that she promises him we are coming!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 19

Nineteen weeks I've been writing this post.  Yes, I do realize that I am surprised by this every week!  It just amazes me that we have been in this process for so long already.  The days seem to drag, but the weeks are flying by.  Here are this week's requests in no particular order (except the first one.)

1. DANNY!!!!  Here is something specific to pray for him: Pray that he is somehow being prepared to meet us.  That he recognizes us as safe and loving people who will always have his best interests at heart.
2. US!  Wes and I are both working extremely hard right now.  Please pray that God continues to give us the strength and focus to keep it up as long as He needs us to.
3. Our paperwork: Still being translated, and we are praying that it is completely ready for submission by the first week of November.
4. Danny's caregivers, orphanage staff, and orphanage director.  Please pray for all of these people as often as you remember to.  It's very important that they are open with us when they meet us, and are willing to continue to work with Danny after we leave.
5. Government: of Danny's country.  That God moves mountains in the processes we are burdened to and makes them move as quickly as can be.
6. The Hinz family continues to run into issues with getting out of Sterling's country.  Please pray that this passport comes in on Monday.

Thank you (19 times in a row) for continuing to pray with and for us.  It's amazing to see how God is working through all of this!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

more fun facts!

Did you know there are actually three types of Down Syndrome?  I surely did not!  So I googled!  Below is what I found:

There are three different types of Down syndrome: Standard Trisomy 21, Translocation, and Mosaicism.

Standard Trisomy 21 is when the extra chromosome 21 comes from either the egg or sperm cell. Between 90% and 95% of all Down syndrome is Standard Trisomy 21.

Translocation is caused when a piece of chromosome 21 is located on another chromosome such as chromosome 14. The person with Translocation Trisomy 21 will have 46 chromosomes but will have the genetic material of 47 chromosomes. The person with Translocation Trisomy 21 will exhibit all the same characteristics of a person with Standard Trisomy 21 since they have three copies of chromosome 21. Translocation occurs between 3% and 5% of cases of Down syndrome.

Mosaicism is when a person has a mix of cells, some containing 46 chromosomes and some containing 47 chromosomes. This occurs either because: a) The person received 46 chromosomes at fertilization but somewhere during early cell division the chromosome 21 cell pairs failed to split creating a cell with 47 chromosomes and a cell with 45 chromosomes. The cell with 45 chromosomes can not survive but the cell with 47 chromosomes will continue to divide. All cells that come from this cell will contain 47 chromosomes. b) The person received 47 chromosomes at fertilization but later during cell division the extra chromosome is lost. Mosaicism occurs in 2% to 5% of cases of Down syndrome. A person with Mosaic Down syndrome may exhibit all, some, or none of the characteristics of Down syndrome depending on the percent of cells carrying the extra chromosome and where these cells are located.

And now you know.  (Me too!)  Stay tuned, tomorrow I will be back with more Sunday Prayers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

and now we wait!

I have struggled this week, wondering what I will blog about until we know more about our time line.  Most likely it will be a pile of random rants!  Hope you stick with us during this period of waiting!

Here is what I do know: our dossier is in country!  Thank you to our bank/insurance company offering their members the ability to get discounts at FedEX.  It cost just over $100 to send that precious package to where it needed to be.  Dollars very well spent in my opinion since I shipped it on Thursday and it arrived on Monday as promised.  Currently (I have been told) it's in the process of being translated to a language with a completely different alphabet than English uses.  Thank GOD for people who are smart enough to not only be bilingual, but also bi-alphabetical.  {Huh! That must actually be a word, b/c my computer didn't mark it as being mis-spelled!}  Once translation is complete it will be submitted and we will receive a verbal referral to meet Danny.  As soon as I know when that is I promise to let you know!  Praying for early January.  Also praying for less expensive airfare than I am currently seeing for the week I think we might travel.

In the mean-time we are both working like crazy and saving as much money as we can so that we are prepared for our next sets of payments to the agency and airline.

That's about it for now.  I hope to be back in 2-3 weeks with more exciting news.  Keep looking for Sunday Prayers updates, we will always have something on our list that requires blessing!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 18

What an amazing week off from work God has blessed me with!  I was able to visit Wes for a few days, and we were able, together, to get all of the paperwork for our dossier completed!  When I came back home all I had left to do was run up to Austin to get our final apostilles (for the dossier) and it was ready to mail!  I made Thursday's FedEX cut-off and our dossier is currently in country waiting to be "cleared" for delivery tomorrow!!!

What a long time this has been coming.  When this journey started back in April we thought for sure we would be done with our dossier in a matter of weeks.  God's timing was that it took months.  Six of them to be exact.  And while it has been hard to put our absolute trust in Him, we know His timing is perfect in every way!  Below are this week's prayer requests.  I wish I was here to tell you that we are now on the down-hill slope of adoption, but I have a funny feeling that it's just getting truly started!  Thank you in advance for praying with us.

1. Danny
2. Didi is person who will be translating our documents.  We sent her a total of 19 apostilled items, most of them are multiple pages.  Please pray that she is able to work with a clear mind and that we have sent everything and more than she needs.
3. We are prayerfully hoping to be submitted in the next two to three weeks.  Once we are submitted then we will receive a verbal referral to meet Danny.  Please pray that this comes soon so we have lots of lead time to book our travel.
4. The Barnett & Hinz families.  The Barnett's will be travelling home this week with Maclayne, Teague, and Trenton.  Hopefully the Hinz family will be travelling home with Sterling, please pray they are able to get everything done!
5. Please begin praying for the judges and Minister of Justice who will handle our case, and the orphanage workers where Danny is.  We are praying that our case moves smoothly through the system, and that Danny is being prepared to meet us, and eventually come home with us.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Not only is October Down Syndrome Awareness Month, but today, October 15th, is Pregnancy Loss & Remembrance Day.  If you have read any of our back story you realize that the path which brought us to Danny includes the loss of two pregnancies during 2010.  The first was very early, but very much wanted at 6 weeks.  Our second loss (equally wanted, and a daughter) was at 16 weeks right before Christmas.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of these two babies and what they mean.

A few days ago I was thinking how strange it was that I would have had a daughter who was four and a half months old at this point.  How strange that honestly, I can't imagine what that would be like.  What I can imagine is that sometime in the next six months or so Danny will come home with us.  He will be 4 then.  How different it will be than what I truly expected my life to be at this point.  Do I wish that one (both isn't possible) of those babies we conceived was with us?  Absolutely.  But do I also have dreams for our son, who probably wouldn't be in our future without those losses?  There is no doubt!

So as I cry, I thank God for the experience of those two losses, because I know that we are on His path for us.  I also pray that His path includes biological children for us, someday.  And today, I pray that our babies are looking down and proud of us and excited to see their brother in our home soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

promise fail

Oops! I'm supposed to be telling you fun facts about Down syndrome this month. With all the dossier madness I've been distracted!

Here is one:

Those beautiful almond shaped eyes are just one of the distinguishing characteristics of a person with DS.

I'm going to do better the rest of this month! People with Down syndrome are REAL and important and worth so much more than society realizes.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

five star day!

Today didn't start out so great.  I got home late last night from visiting Wes and was very keyed up.  Caught up on my blogs, read some emails....didn't fall asleep until after midnight.  Very unusual for me. Then this morning I was AWAKE (I mean wide awake) before 5am.  Really thought it was going to be a long day....and then I went to put the dogs in their kennels and heard it. Drip. Drip. Drip.  The bathroom vent was leaking!  Called Wes.  No answer.  Called Dad....he's coming later.  As of right now (2:30pm) it isn't dripping, but there is a new quarter sized hole in the ceiling where it soaked through. Fantastic!

Here is where it gets GREAT!  I drove to Austin, no major hiccups! Got to talk to a sweet friend who I have been playing phone tag with.  I found a parking place, and had just enough change in my car to pay for an hour and 15 minutes on the meter.  Walked right in, no waiting!  The lady who does the apostilles for Texas is so sweet.  She wants to see pictures, ask questions, hear about what the next steps are.  So we are talking and another couple come in.  They hear our story, and are congratulatory.  Then!  Another group comes in.  The lady is familiar.  It's Shelley Burman!  Carrington's mom!  The Burman's have adopted twice now, multiple kids each time.  I admire the Burman's faith and courage in continuing to follow God's directions....they are adopting again!  A sweet little guy from the same country Danny is in!  Please keep them in your prayers.

Next great thing: I got a text message from Stephanie Barnett....they have scheduled their flights home, with all 3 kids!  The Barnett 7 will be together for the first time at 9:15 Wednesday night.  I promise to take as many pictures as I can and share them next week!

Final absolutely fantastic thing!  Remember Vilis and Juris?  Rumor has it they will both be making their way to the "New Commitments" page on Reece's Rainbow very very soon!  The best part of this story is that we understand that they are best friends in their orphanage....and their new home is big enough and full of enough love for BOTH of them!

So, needless to say, while today may not have started out so great it is truly a day God made for rejoicing!

I always seem to have a prayer request, so here it is: when we sent our USCIS application in we invited friends over and prayed over it.  It made a world of difference, since our approval came in 1/2 the time we expected it to take!  The next few days are super crazy, and we want to get it there so translation can we are asking for our dossier to be surrounded in prayers for the next two weeks.  I am going to create a facebook event and send reminders and specific requests that way.  Will you please join us?

Thank you so much for your support and prayers and dedicated reading so far!  As far as I can tell we are officially at the half way point in our adoption of our son.  It's been an amazing ride, and I know we have only been on the uphill the roller coaster really begins twisting and turning!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 18

While I am visiting Wes and putting the finishing touches on our paperwork I will probably be pretty quiet.  But we still need prayers! Here you go:

1. Danny :)
2. Paperwork: please pray that we have everything notarized, apostilled, and ready to go by this Friday, October 14 with no issues since we only have a few days together to get it all done
3. The Barnett Family: will have their "gotcha" day later this week, and will be traveling 20+ hours with three new kids!!
4. Translation/Submission: these are the next steps for us in the process of adopting Danny.  Please pray that our translator has perfect understaning of the massive pile of paperwork I will be shipping her.  Please pray for her to have the stamina to translate quickly and submit our petition to adopt as soon as she can.  Once these tasks are completed we will receive travel dates!

Thank you all for continuing to read, follow, and pray!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

shout-out! (and a prayer request)

I spoke with our sweet social worker today, whom we love!  She ran into more snags getting us the last piece of paper we are waiting for to make our dossier complete.  Let's just say that there were multiple trips to the notary, post office, and finally FedEX so we can have it tomorrow.  To say she has gone above and beyond is a major understatement.  Can you please keep Ashley in your prayers in the next few days?  She has done so much for us, and has worked so hard to get us to this point!  Pray that the other home-studies and families she is working on and for go smoothly.

Ashley lives in Lubbock, so she won't be here when it's time to bring Danny home.  You can be sure we will find a way for her to meet him and see the fruits of her labor!  Ashley has been a constant prayer warrior for us, and I honestly don't think we would have made it this far without her.  Thank you Ashley!

Thanks for praying for Ashley!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 17

What a week last week was!  Between work (crazy) and adoption (amazing) it was an emotional roller-coaster.  And I wouldn't trade a thing.  This week I am waiting for the two remaining pieces of paperwork to come in from our social worker and the local adoption agency that is going to do our follow up home studies.  We are hoping to have both of these items by early in the week so that I can find a way to get them apostilled here in Texas soon.  Thank you so much for praying for last week's requests, they were answered in amazing ways!  Here are this week's.

1. Danny: do I even need to explain this one again?  :)
2. Dossier: we are so close I can almost taste it! Please pray the remaning items come in quickly, and that we don't run into any snags getting them notarized and apostilled.
3. Travel: I am going to visit Wes next Saturday through Wednesday, partly to get our dossier completed and ready to ship.  Please pray that the state of Connecticut will expedite our apostilles so we can get our package in the mail around October 15th.
4. The Hinz Family: has court this week to get approval to adopt Sterling.  Please pray the judge is touched by their story and approves their adoption with no questions.
5. The Barnett Family: are in their mandatory 10 day waiting period now.  They should be traveling home around Oct. 14th.  Pray for all five of them as they travel and continue to get to know one another.
6. It is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  Please pray for those of us who speak up about Ds, that we touch someone who God needs us to touch.

That's it!  I hope you all enjoy having a specific list to pray for each week!  Thank you for loving us!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Happy October!  Sure, most of you know that October is breast cancer awareness month.  If you aren't sure take a trip to your local shopping mall like I did last night.  There is literally tons of stuff out there showing support for breast cancer research, survivors, families, etc.  Including this beauty that I am trying to justify owning:  Susan G. Komen Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.  (PS: How do you other bloggers get pictures from websites into your blog?)

But what about Down Syndrome?  Where are the shirts?  Where are the posters?  Where are the blue and gold ribbons? Butterflies? Butterflies and the combo of blue/gold are 'symbols' for Ds the way the pink ribbon is for breast cancer.  We know tons about cancer, but what do you know about Down Syndrome?  Well here are some fun facts!

1. Ds is usually identified at birth or soon after
2. Individuals with Ds have more chromosomes than you!  47 to be exact, and most of us only have 46
3. Ds is the most frequently occurring chromosomal 'disorder'
4. 80% of children born with Ds are born to mothers under 35 years of age
5. Ds falls on the 21st chromosome, with 3 copies of that specific gene
6. MY birthday is 3/21  (last night I said to a friend: it's like I was born to do this!)

Ok, so that last fact has nothing to do with Ds, but isn't God amazing?!  I love His sense of humor.  Don't believe me?  Go find a picture of a giraffe.  Would you have ever thought to make one of those?

Stay tuned here this month, I'm going to make it a goal to include as much info about Down Syndrome as a I can.  Because people like Danny are valuable to society, and I want you to love them the way we do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

bye bye September!

When we first began this adoption we were told it was about a 9 month process from start to finish.  And of course, thinking we were exceptional people we just knew we could get it done in 6 months.  Then our FBI back ground checks took two and a half months.  So our homestudy took longer than that.  We committed to adopting Danny in April, so September marks the sixth month we have been in this process.  Obviously we are not as exceptional as we thought! (PS: I totally wish I was one of those people who kept a list running of specific dates when things happend.  It's pretty vague since I'm not that organized.)

After we signed our commitment papers and sent our first checks in we learned that 9 months really isn't typical....12 to 14 months is much more the "norm." So here we are, six months later.  This could, God willing, mark the halfway point in our adoption!  I can't tell you how excited this makes me!  So what happens next for us?  Here is a quick outline to keep you up to date:

1. We are waiting on three pieces of mail to reach us.  These include a form from our social worker, a form from our local agency who will be performing our follow up home studies, and our Golden Ticket! (The golden ticket is our immigration approval, called such because it's actually printed on gold paper.)

2. Once we receive all three of these items Wes and I have to get everything notarized.  When I say everything I mean literally about 50 pieces of paper.

3. After notary we get everything apostilled.  This is where it will get a little tricky for us.  Since all the items we have from our social worker and local agency are notarized in Texas they must be apostilled in TX.  I'm totally down with that, because there is an awesome outlet mall on the way to Austin!  The tricky part is that since Wes is in Connecticut we are planning to do all of our signing in front of a notary there...and all those forms will have to be apostilled in CT! Here in TX you can sit and wait and talk to a very nice lady while she takes care of the apostille for you.  In CT you can't.  You must either mail them in or drop them off, but you can't wait for them to be completed.  If you can't come back in person in a few days then they will mail them to you.

4. Once all the fun of step 3 is complete we will then ship our entire dossier (packet of required documents) to Danny's country!

5. Someone will translate all of these pages into a language much like Russian, complete with crazy alphabet.

6. Our dossier will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice of Danny's Country.....THEN....

7. We get a referral to go meet him!  (This is the most exciting step so far!)

8. We travel to meet him...when?  I'm not sure yet, but something in my heart says we won't be here for Thanksgiving, and yet will be so thankful!

9. Mail more documents

10. Court

11. Bring my boy home!

We are hoping and praying to have steps 1-4 completed by October 14th and ship our dossier out for delivery early the following week.  I know this still feels like so much (believe me, it does!) but I also feel like we are on the home stretch at this point. We are both so thrilled to think that we could be meeting our son in just a few weeks!  Think about it, Thanksgiving is only 8 weeks away!

Will you please pray that our final missing documents reach us this weekend, and that I have safe travels in getting everything finalized and ready to go, and also when I see Wes in a week.  Please also keep our sweet social worker in your prayers.  She does good work helping families like us get ready to adopt, and she is constantly under attack by evil.

Finally, will you also do the happy dance that our USCIS approval seems to be coming back in record time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 16: Wednesday Edition

Special entry for a couple of special prayer requests.  (And two blogs in one day.  How did you get so lucky?!)

1. The Barnett Family has their court date tomorrow in U. It is at 11am local time, which is 3am Texas time.  If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night please lift them up.  We are asking for court to be easy, and quick and for their waiting period to be waived.
2. Our USCIS approval to come in by next Friday!  We learned today that we have an officer assigned, and I got to speak with him.  He should be processing it in a few days so our approval is close.  We would like to have it by next Friday so that I can carry our completed dossier when I go visit Wes and we can have all the notarizing and apostilleing done.  (And increase our chances of meeting him in November!)

Thanks for lifting these two things up in prayer!

news! BIG news!!!

I just called USCIS because I have something I need to send them and didn't know where or who to send it to.  A very nice gentleman answered the phone and gave me all the info I asked for, and he also asked to check the status of our application.  WE HAVE AN OFFICER!!!!!

What does that mean?  1. I know where to send that last form (and already scanned and sent it.) 2. Our officer, Mr. Sobey, will have time in a few days to take a look at it, and hopefully get us our approval in "a week or so." 3. There is light at the end of this tunnel!!!!!  4. We really might get to meet him in November!

Please pray for this part of the process to go quickly, and for Mr. Sobey to hurry up!  I have a very hard time having patience when I know something is so close!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 16

Four months I've been writing this weekly entry.  I wish more had changed in the last four months of waiting, but I know God's timing is perfect and He knows why this is taking so long!

The past few weeks in church we have been listening to a sermon series called "Think, Act, Be."  It's all about becoming more like Christ.  One of the verses today hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'll even admit, I pulled out my phone during church and texted it to Wes.  (He is still up in CT working the remnants of Hurricane Irene.)

"Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked."  ~ Psalm 82:3-4

When we were first married we began to pray for God's will in our lives.  We asked Him constantly (multiple times a day) to ensure we were walking the path that He laid out for us.  Since starting this adoption back in April I have never felt more sure of anything in my life; we are on His path.  THIS is HIS plan for US.

If you had asked me a year ago what the verse above meant I'm not sure I could have answered you.  But ask me today!  Today it means getting our son here as quickly as we can.  It means advocating every chance we get for people with Down Syndrome, and Reece's Rainbow.  It means loving the people in our path and showing them that just because a child isn't 'perfect' doesn't mean they aren't valuable.  It also means letting our church family know about this mission.

Because of that....and meeting our friends from our sister church, I am going to write a letter to our minister.  We have been praying for a bigger stage to tell our story on.  Maybe that stage is the one at church, where 5,000 people regularly attend.  Can you imagine if only 1% of those folks decided to adopt?  That's 50 more kids in homes!  Out of the way of wicked!  So that leads me to my first prayer request of this week:

1. Pray that I have the words to touch our minister's heart, and that he is willing to let us tell our story.
2. Pray for Danny!  Prepare his heart for us, let him know he will be safe and secure in our arms and home.
3. Pray for Wes.  He has been gone a month as of this week.  Pray he has the endurance to stay as long as he is needed.
4. Pray for my job.  I received a contract last week, and will be installing 3 pieces of equipment this next week.
5. Pray for RAIN! There is none in our forecast, and we are still desperately in need.
6. Finally, please pray for my friend Crystal.  This week she is going to help her dad, who is in poor health.  Pray for her safety as she travels, her family, as she is away from them, and her dad to begin to feel better.
ahhh! I forgot one!
7. The Barnett family will be traveling back to EEU this week to complete the adoption of their three kids.  Please keep their children here at home, as well as the three in U in prayer.  Also pray for their judge, and that their two week wait will be waived.

Thank you for reading the last four months of my rambling.  I hope you find as much reward in praying for these things as we do.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

it really is a small world

I had so much fun at the Buddy Walk this morning!  It was my first, and while I didn't walk I worked the Reece's Rainbow booth.  How exciting to share the mission of so many faithful to His call!  While working at the booth I met some of the nicest people I've ever known.  The Winkles family recently brought the most handsome boy home from EEU.  He is a doll!  And only a few weeks older than Danny.  Have to admit that was eye opening, because he is much smaller than I thought Danny would be.  Maybe it's a good thing Wes won't let me buy clothes yet?

Anyway, after all the talking, and cuddling, and chasing a crazy crawler across the parking lot....Mom asked where the Winkles go to church.  HA!  They go to Journey Fellowship, which is a plant from our church! I loved to learn that our extended church family has been on this awesome journey before us.  Hum, also wonder if we may all be able to tell our story some day...

And yes, I just blogged about that one thing!  Stay tuned Sunday Prayers are back tomorrow!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 15

Funny thing happened yesterday...Wes's USCIS official appointment notification came in the mail.  The funny part is that his prints were completed on Thursday!   I honestly laughed out loud at the mailbox. Luckily no one else was at our community box, so I didn't get any crazy looks!  Today I am committing an hour to working on our dossier.  Webster's Dictionary defines DOSSIER: a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject.  Well I would certainly agree with the detailed part of that statement.  We are already beyond 50 pages, and it's not done yet!

Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny...have I told you guys that we have settled on a 'name' for him?  Daniel will continue to be his middle name, but he has a new first name.  We are going to do our best to keep it off the internet for now though, so if you want to know it email me!

2. Wes...continues to work on the East Coast.  Please keep him in your prayers, this has been an amazing opportunity for him to grow his career with USAA.  I hope to go visit him in early October.

3. My's the end of the quarter, which in my business means lots of scrambling! I am working on one deal in particular that means a lot financially to our family and adoption.  Please keep that in your prayers!

4. RAIN, sweet cleansing rain!  San Antonio (and a lot of Texas) has finally gotten a taste of rain.  Please pray that it continues.

6. The Hinzes will be meeting Sterling later this week for the first time.  Please keep all three of them in your prayers.


7. The Barnett family is waiting to get their official court date so they can plan to return to Ukraine.  Please pray for favor with the judges, and that they will release them from the 2 week waiting period most families have to endure.

Thank you all for following with us, and praying with us.  Stay tuned for more info on Juris, the handsome boy we are going to be Christmas Warriors for this year!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Luke 6:38

Give, and you will receive.  Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.  The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.  ~ Luke 6:38

I can not begin to tell you how much I needed to hear this verse today.  We are so incredibly blessed in this world, and it's so difficult to remember that all the time.  We give to church, we sponsor children from World Vision (awesome cause by the way) we help our friends who are adopting and I will just tell you.  It comes back.  In SPADES.  

Because of this I have chosen to be a Reece's Rainbow Christmas Warrior in addition to our fundraising for Danny.  Why would I take the focus off of our son?  Because it's the right thing to do.  Because God is calling me to stretch myself, and those around me.  Because I have the children...ALL of them...from Reece's Rainbow in my heart.  As soon as I hear back from the folks at RR I will post a link to the beautiful boy we are sponsoring....I know it's a boy because those are the only options I gave them!  If it's the one I hope it is then I will be thrilled!

Stay tuned!  

PS: YOU can be a Reece's Rainbow Christmas Warrior too.  Click this link: RRCW 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

it doesn't always feel real

**I wrote this yesterday, and didn't think I would post it for anyone to read.  But then a friend reminded me that this blog is as much for me as it is for the people who read it.  I want to remember these times, and this is where I am right now!  Enjoy...or think I'm a raving lunatic.  Just don't tell me if it's that last one.

The past few weeks I have felt very disconnected from this adoption.  Don't get me wrong, I love my son and can not wait to meet him. However, I am not in love with the process that it takes to get him here! Since we finally got our homestudy completed and our USCIS application sent off I've just taken a break from the whole thing.

It was not intentional, or planned, it seems as if my brain (and my heart?) have taken an adoption vacation!  I feel guilt about it!  I want Danny here so much that I cry about it, so my guess is that it's unconscious self preservation that brought me here.  I will give myself some credit, there has been a lot going on, and I have been shouldering the bulk of it, as Wes has been out of town for two weeks now.  I've still been doing things for Danny, and with him in mind, they just aren't paperwork things.  His closet and bedroom look amazing!  His bed is so cute, and I can't wait for Wes to get home to build his headboard and footboard.  I've been procrastinating, so now I need a plan!

Here is my plan: my USCSIS fingerprints are completed, and hopefully tomorrow Wes's will be too.  After that I really need to get cracking on the paperwork monster again.  Will you please join me in praying for focus and endurance to get it all completed in the next two weeks?  The "plan" includes working on one item per day until it's all done.  I think two weeks should just about do it.

Once the paperwork is complete another trip to Austin will be in order to get it all apostilled.  Hopefully by October 15th (arbitrary date I pulled out of the air) we will have our "Golden Ticket" from USCIS, and that is the point at which we will be able to send our dossier to Danny's country. That means we could travel sometime around mid-November.  Ever wanted to visit Eastern Europe in winter?  Ha!  Me neither!  But if it means seeing, loving, hugging my boy?  I'm all in.

Thank you for continuing to pray for us through this crazy, heart wrenching, bonkers adoption.  We love you all!

PS: Don't forget to pray for the Hinzes, they left today to go meet their son!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 14 early edition

Straight to the point this week:

1. Our friends the Hinzes are leaving THIS WEEK to go to Sterling's country to complete the process of their adoption.  Please keep their travels, appointments, court dates, and time getting to know Sterling in your prayers.  Here is a link to their blog so you can follow along: Sterling

2. Danny: as always!  Safety, loved, cared for...somehow knows we are coming as fast as we can!

3. Wes: is going to be on the East Coast for a while it sounds like.  Please pray for his safety, and that he continues to get opportunities which will help his career to grow.

4. My job: it's the end of the third quarter and the pressure is on!  We are praying for the deals I'm working on to complete this month, and for me to have restful sleep as my days are very hectic this month.

5. The paperwork monster!  Wes plans to get his USCIS printing done this week, and I will be working on the missing pieces of paper for our dossier.  Our goal is to complete it all in the next few weeks so we can get it all notarized and apostilled and ready to go.

Thank you (14 weeks in a row) for continuing to pray for us.  I can't imagine what it would be like if we didn't have an army behind us!

Friday, September 9, 2011

USCIS fingerprinting

Today I went and had my fingerprints for our Immigration Application done....I wish that said "we."

I was a little nervous, especially after my gps lead me to the wrong building!  But everything went very well.  When I walked in there was a rather abrupt security guard signing people in and giving them a form to fill out.  (Here is where I digress: I had already given them about 40 pages of information and now I had to tell them my height, weight and hair color?!?!?!?!)

So I took my form (and pencil - NOT A PEN) and filled out my little form and got back in line.  Mr. Security was away from the desk and the center manager came to give me my number.  He looked at me, looked at my form, and looked at me again and said "Didn't I get a letter from you?"  YES!  I explained that yes, we were requesting for Wes's appointment to be moved, and was there anyway to get a new notification today, or could Wes walk into the office in CT.  He told me that he was very busy, but to wait after I was done and he would see what he could do.

As I was sitting in the waiting area I read all the signs.  No cell phones! No loud talking!  Do not touch the tv!  So I was quietly reading my nook.  No sound, not bothering anyone.  My number was at least 10 down the line.  Mr. Security made me turn my book off!  Really?!?!?  And by the way, why don't they show movies like Coming to America or Terminal at the Immigration office?  That would be appropriate!

Watching random movie with Robin Williams, Jennifer Lopez, and Diane Lane (I think - must look this one up) which I couldn't hear!  FINALLY my number was called "Seventeen White!" And it was time to get printed!  One of my friends wanted pictures of my inky fingers and was disappointed to find out it's all digital now.  Hooray for clean hands!

The lady who printed me hadn't ever heard of someone adopting from Danny's country, so we talked a little about that.  Once I was done she had me sit to wait for the center manager.  At this point a lot more people were waiting, but as soon as he was done with the person he was working with he took me to the office.  After looking at everything and re-reading my letter he was able to get Wes's appointment rescheduled to a place within 8 miles of his hotel for two weeks from today!  He also told me that he would personally email the center manager there and explain that Wes would most likely come in early with an "un-official" notice to get printed, as the official one probably won't come until after the appointment!  I was so excited I could have cried!

I emailed Wes his form, so he will be able to go next week.  Thank you so much for continuing to pray for this part of the process....once his prints are done it will be a few weeks to process, and then we will have a case worker assigned who will review our request...and hopefully quickly....get us our approval form! We truly may be just a few weeks away from submitting our dossier.  Which reminds me...I need to get to work on those last few pieces of paper!

PS: We have a Scentsy fundraiser going on right the link on the top right side of the page that says "Scentsy Party" 100% of the profits go to our grant!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the kindness of strangers

I received a comment today on a blog I wrote months ago.  Thank goodness blogger emails them to you, otherwise I would have never known!  In it a very kind and wonderful person named Stephanie offered to host us Scentsy party and to donate 100% of the profits to Danny's adoption fund!!!  I can not tell you what this means to me!  Since I received the message we have been emailing back and forth to get everything set up.  As soon as I know more and Stephanie has it set up I'll be back with more info.

Praising God for his provisions, and the kindness of strangers!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 13

What a difference a week makes.  Wes left this week to work Hurricane Irene on the east coast.  We received our USCIS fingerprinting appointment...which does pose a small problem, re: Wes on east coast! Danny's room is beginning to come together since I gutted and re-did his closet, and mom ordered a rocker/recliner for his room.  (That's our Christmas gift!)  All in all it's been ride since this time last week!  Here are our prayer requests for this week, thank you in advance for praying with us!

1. Danny...I've often wondered if he has ever been prayed over and heard about God.  Please pray for him and about him as much as you can.

2. Wes...we have no idea how long he will be gone, so please keep him and his work in your prayers.  This is an amazing opportunity for him, so please pray his managers will be impressed with his work ethic, and that he stays safe while he is away.

3. USCIS: I will be getting my biometrics done this week, most likely Friday.  Please pray we receive a quick response for our request of moving Wes' appointment to CT.

4. RAIN!!!  I can not stress this one enough.  Texas needs rain!

5. Dossier: This is the packet of paperwork we will send to Danny's country.  We are asking for prayers over it, as we still have a few items to collect, and want it all to be done when we receive our "Golden Ticket" from USCIS.  (The golden ticket is our approval to bring him to the US.)

God's blessings on each of you this week!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Well if you don't already know I think it's important to share a couple of life things going on right now!

1. Wes has been deployed to the East Coast to work some of the damage left behind by Hurricane Irene.  We don't know how long he will be gone, and he has no return ticket!  What we do know is this is an amazing opportunity for him and we are so thankful it came along.

2. We got our USCIS fingerprinting appointment notification!!!  And it's next week on Friday....which is awesome...except that Wes is on the East Coast.  Funny what God does in our lives, huh?!  Not a huge concern, I spoke with a very helpful man at the state department yesterday and he walked me through how to get Wes's appointment moved to where he is.  The request is already in the mail.

3. Since he's gone I decided to go ahead with a little 'home improvement' project we had planned for Danny's room.  Today I demolished the shelves and bars on the inside of his closet and then painted over the scars left behind.  Tomorrow I'm going to install this (sans lady clothes) so he will have lots of room for all his fun new stuff!

Zoomed: Rubbermaid Custom Closet Kit

Hope the world is treating you well, and you enjoy this holiday weekend.


PS: Remember JOSIE?  She has a family!!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 12

I can't believe I have been writing under this title for three months now.  Time has in some ways flown, and others draged!  We made the difficult decision this week to cancel our dinner & silent auction fundraiser which was scheduled for October.  To make what is a very long story short, things just weren't falling into place for us to make a profit on the event.  We do still have some fun donations to the silent auction, so continue to follow the blog in order to be able to bid on these items....details to come soon.  Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Danny: there was some minor drama in adoptions in his country this past week, please pray that our process continues to go smoothly and that we can meet him very soon.

2. Toni: our in country facilitator. Toni has some health problems, but devotes her life to helping people like us bring kids like Danny home.  In addition to her health please pray for her safety, as she has been personally under attack (via email and phone) by people who are not happy with the way she, and all of her families, advocate for adoption.

3. RAIN!!!  Today it's 111* where we live.  This is pretty extreme, even for south Texas, but later this week there is a significant chance of rain and cooler temps.  Please pray we see this rain, and it can help nourish our parched land.

4. Our Jobs: we are both entering into a time of hard work, and possibly extreme stress.   Our prayer is that we both are the best we can be at what we are doing to pay our bills, and that those around us see Christ in how we handle ourselves.

5. Fundraising/Advocating: since we have cancelled our dinner please pray another opportunity presents itself for us to tell the story of the orphan.  We can only bring one home (for now) but hope to help other families find a way to bring His children into the light.

6. USICS application: currently we are waiting for our finger-printing appointments, and hope to get the notice this week.  Please pray we receive our appointments, and our approvals as quickly as possible.

Thanks for joining us in prayer!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 11

I'm learning I can't count as I write our Sunday Prayers posts! (and I checked, this is in fact volume 11)

This week has been crazy busy, and I fully expect the next few weeks to be nuts too.  We have lots of weekend events which leaves little time for rest and relaxation, much less planning a major fundraiser.  Thank you so much for keeping the items below in your prayers.

1. always, please pray that he is safe, cared for, well fed and loved.
2. Our Jobs: I got some news on Friday about a deal we really thought was going to happen this of Friday we didn't 'win' their business.  Please pray that I can find the words, as well as the reasons, why our products are better....and that I can gently change their minds.
3. USCIS approval: we got our receipt on Saturday, so next we are waiting for our fingerprinting appointment.  Please continue to pray we get our approval back as quickly as possible so we can move forward with our dossier.
4. Fundraising: we have a big dinner & silent auction planned for the end of October...but we don't have a caterer, entertainment, or enough donations to our auction!  Please join us in praying for these things to work themselves out.  Also, please pray that we can find some compelling entertainment to help tell the orphan story.
5. The Barnett Family will be meeting their children for the first time tomorrow morning.  Please continue to keep them in your prayers as they await a court date, make travel arrangements, and go through the adoption process.

Finally, thank you to the folks who have continued to support us through this crazy process!  Every time I look at our Reece's Rainbow grant and see it has grown my heart jumps with joy.  It's such a blessing to have the support we do.  Thank you!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Our USCSIS application was received at their Texas office on Monday of this week (thank you FedEX tracking number for that nugget of information.)  And TODAY... a mere 5 days later we received our receipt!

For those of you not in the 'know' that means we have a number we can use to reference if necessary.  The next thing we are waiting for is our invitation to get fingerprinted for this approval.  Our prayer is that we get the invitation/appointment notification this week or next.  The appointment is normally a few weeks out, but we hear from our friends that we should walk in as soon as we can.  Luckily for us there is an office here in San Antonio, so we won't have to travel for this.

Thank you for continuing to lift this part of the process, as well as Danny, up in prayer!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I am not a patient person.  Most of you realize this is a pretty obvious statement!  This adoption business has  tested my patience more than any other experience of my life. 

So to sum up where we are right now....we are WAITING.  At this moment we are waiting to get a receipt for our USCIS application, as well as an appointment to get (more) finger printing done.  After we do that we will be waiting to have an officer assigned to our case.  Once that is done we will be waiting to receive our approval.  All this waiting can add up to around 90 days.  This is where you can help!  Please include us in your prayers.  Wes and I are holding onto the hope that we can have Danny home by Christmas, but if the USCIS takes the full 90 days it just won't be possible.  Specifically we are praying that our application be expedited and we have the approval back by early September.  What I do sincerely request is that you not pray for me to have more patience!  Have you ever heard that praying for patience results in more trials?  :)

Thank you for joining us in praying for our approval to come back quickly!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 10 (early edition!)

I've got so much on my heart right now I felt that we needed an "early edition" of Sunday Prayers this week.  This is a pretty long list, but there is just so much going on right now!  For those of you who like very specific requests here goes:

1. The Barnett Family: will be leaving Monday morning for Eastern Europe.  Please pray for safe travels, a speedy process, good bonding time with their children, safety and protection for the two they leave at home, for Stephanie's mom (who will be staying here with their two children), for Trenton, Igor, and Leeza to immediately trust and bond with their parents.  And for anything else I'm missing right now!
2. For our USCIS application.  It will arrive at the office on Monday.  Please pray for it to be handled as soon as possible.  Wes and I are still hoping and praying to have Danny home by Christmas, and this will only be possible with God handling everything for us!
3. The Eicher Family: just got home TODAY with their son, Archie.  He is a beautiful child who came from the same country Danny is in!  Please pray for rest for the entire family, and good loving bonding time to come.
4. The Rhodes Family: have been waiting 70+ days for their USCIS approval.  Prayers they receive their "Golden Ticket" this week.
5. Danny: while he is not at the top of this list, he is always at the top of my heart!  We continuously pray that he is healthy, safe and loved.  That he is sleeping in a warm bed and has plenty of good food in his tummy every night.
6. My friend Crystal's dad will be under-going open heart surgery this week.  Please pray for him, the doctors, and Crystal and her family.

Thank you (a million times) friends for loving and praying with us!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Prayers PLEASE!!!

Tomorrow we will be shipping our USCIS application to Lewisville TX.  From there it will go on to either Kansas or be honest my brain is so full I can't remember!

From what we understand the state department has up to 90 days (calendar, not business) to process our application....obviously, this is THREE months.  In my mind way too long.  So please join us in praying that we have our approval, also know as the "Golden Ticket" back by mid-September.  We realize this is a long shot, but we want every chance possible to have Danny home by his December 26th birthday.

Tonight some of our friends and family are gathering to literally lay hands on our application. Please pray blessings on these people, and join us in our request for expediency.

Thank you again for following our journey, and praying with us.  BIG love!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 9

Hum...did I somehow skip 6?  I may have! (edited...I had two 7's.  thanks K!) Just goes to show that I can't keep up with anything else in life right now.

Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. USCIS application: Will be ready to go on Thursday.  Please pray that we are granted favor and receive an answer back quickly.  This is a notoriously long process and the sooner we receive our "Golden Ticket" the sooner we will be traveling to meet our son!
2. always, he is in our hearts.  We pray that he has good rest, meals, and love.
3. Travels: I am on the road most of this week and would appreciate safety and protection.
4. Our Jobs: please continue to pray that we both are in the positions God needs us in and that we can find a way to show Him to others on a daily basis.
5. USCIS application...oh, wait!  That one is #1!

Thank you again for praying on our behalf.  We can't tell you how much we appreciate you thinking of us!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

a quickie

Just wanted to provide a super fast mid-week update.

Our FBI background checks have now been apostilled by the US State Department.  This means they are completely ready to go to Danny's country!

We are waiting on one final thing for our Home Study, and it will be done.  Please pray this is received today so that we can get our USCIS application in as soon as possible.

Thanks for following along and praying for us!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Prayers vol. 8

This past week has been one of extreme spiritual warfare!  For starters my company car was hit last weekend in the middle of the night.  More than half of the appointments I'd set up for work cancelled, or no showed on me.  Wes and I both are feeling very pulled by our jobs and careers.  I have a giant bruise on my backside and an eye infection!  And those are just the things that come to mind quickly!!!

Here are this week's prayer requests:

1. Health and restful sleep for both Wes and me.
2. RAIN...we got a little more this week, but I'm still praying for more.
3. Danny.  As always he is at the front of my mind and the top of my heart.  I love him so much and yet I've not met him.  How is this possible?
4. USCIS application: we plan to put this in the mail this week.  Prayers for a speedy return are greatly appreciated.

I'm going to keep this one short and sweet.  #4 on our list is very important, so if you choose one, I ask that be it!

Thanks for loving and praying with us!