Retro Spring


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.