Saturday, June 16, 2012

So Much to Post!

Things have been wild around here lately-many places to be and things to do.  But it's all been good.  I had to pop in and share with you some of the most heartwarming experiences we've had over the past week or so.

My sister lives in Utah and was getting her hair done by her friend, Andrea Barentsen, who works at Artistic Look Inc. in Clinton, Utah.  While she was visiting with Andrea, she began telling her about our adoption and about the conditions for kids with special needs in Eastern Europe.  Andrea was touched and pulled out $20.00 to have my sister send us for our adoption expenses.  Amazing!  I sent Andrea a thank-you card expressing how profoundly grateful we were for people like her-willing to help a complete stranger with a cause dear to our hearts.  Andrea had the thank-you card on her mirror at the salon, and since then has shared our story with other clients who have come in for a haircut.  Four more customers also donated $20.00 each to our adoption!!!  Can you believe this?  Complete strangers wanting to do something good in the world.  We have a friend who works for the DEA (drug enforcement agency), and when we visited about why we were adopting Arnold and what kind of awareness we were trying to bring to these defenseless children, he emotionally said, "this brings me great hope for the world."  This person sees the very worst of humanity, and it lifted him up to know there is also so much good going on in the world.  It lifts me every day too in so many ways.  This is one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done in my life, and I will be forever grateful that this has been a part of my life.  Thank you, Michelle (my sister), Andrea, and your clients who have touched many people by your selfless act of giving.  Anyone needing a great haircut down in that area, head on over to support this great woman!


Today we helped out our dear friends Brady & Andrea Murray with a free snow cone day to raise awareness for RODS Racing (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome).  It was an incredible day!  When people would come up for their free snow cone, we would give them the little postcard we have about RODS Racing and explain to them about the video contest Brady is currently in to race in Kona, Hawaii for these kids.  Everyone was so supportive and kind about it and promised to get on and vote for him today, tomorrow and Monday.  Brady is in second place, creeping up to first. The contest ends Monday.  If he wins (the top two win), he will not only get to go race in the biggest Ironman there is, but he will also get a spot on NBC's national coverage of the event.If you've ever watched the Ironman, or the Olympics on NBC, you're probably familiar with the little biography snippets they show during the events, highlighting the athletes "story" about how they got to this point.Brady will get one of thosespots during the Ironman coverage, which would be huge for Reece's Rainbow.

Can you imagine what national coverage would do for these orphans? How many people would look up their website out of curiosity, disbelief, etc.? It would be an awesome launch of greater awareness for these kids who so desperately want a family of their own. I am so proud to call Brady and Andrea our friends. How could I not believe God has placed us here in Boise, each with the same desires to help these kids, each reaching out in different ways, now united in our cause and working together to do all we can to find homes for these children? It is truly miraculous.

At the snow cone event, Andrea told me about a sweet family in her neighborhood who came to her house with some money their kids had raised for us doing a lemonade stand!!!  How amazing is that?!

Aubrey's sweet baby girl at the snow
cone event today.  One boy asked if she was
one of the orphans! :)
Another awesome couple we have gotten to know recently are Aubrey and Mike from Meridian.  They have four beautiful children, the newest of which is a baby girl with Down syndrome.  They were friends with the Murray's and have also been raising funds for orphans with Down syndrome.  The little guy they're raising funds for now is Heath, a ten-year-old boy with Down syndrome.

This dude caught my eye early in the adoption process too, so I was excited to find out they were doing this for him.  You'll notice that he has over $9,000.00 in his grant money to be used for adoption costs for any family who wants to adopt him.  I would love to see this little guy (he's tiny for a ten-year-old!) find a family soon!!  I am so impressed with Aubrey and Mike.  When my Jake was 10 months old, I think I was still in a haze of therapies, doctor appointments, and adjusting to our new normal.  And here they are, advocating for orphans with Down syndrome like they've been doing it forever!!!  Aubrey, I just think the world of you and have loved getting to know you better!

On our adoption front, here is the latest:  I believe (cross your fingers) there is one final edit to the home study left that can be done tomorrow.  Then we're just waiting for our background clearances to come in from Utah, Montana, and Washington.  Once the home study has a final date on it, we can go get the rest of our docs notarized and apostilled (this is like an international notary done by the Secretary of State in Idaho), then sent to Arnold's country to be translated!!  After translation, it will be submitted to the appropriate officials, who will then send us a travel date!  Please pray this will go quickly and that we can travel soon to formally accept Arnold as the one we want to adopt!  This finalization of the home study has taken so much longer than I anticipated.  It is so hard to wait and wait and wait....I have been following several families who have recently traveled or are soon to travel, and it makes me so excited to get on that plane!  I cannot wait to meet our little boy and see his country.  I will think of all of you when we're there, knowing it is all because of you that this is possible.

Our family has been so supportive and wonderful.  I have talked to many fellow adoptive families whose own families have not been so welcoming to the idea of adopting a child with special needs.  I know much of their disapproval is really concern.  As a parent, I know I want my kids to have to struggle as little as possible in life (even knowing this is when we really learn and grow), and I'm sure these family members just don't want their loved ones to go through any possible difficulties that may come with an international adoption.  I'm sure my parents and loved ones have felt this same concern.  I just want them, and all of you, to know that we are so grateful that you show your support anyway!  Thank you for trusting us to trust ourselves and our Heavenly Father to help us through whatever may come.

Good-night for now.  I promise I will be better at posting to this blog.  Thank you for stopping by and thank you again for your prayers, well wishes and support!  We can feel it all and we are so thankful!   


  1. This is so wonderful. The RR community has really grown my faith in people. Beautiful.

    I'm sorry about all the waiting. I want you to get to sweet Arnold asap!! I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. I am officially a blog stocking addict because of your sweet, inspirational, and incredible family! :0) I'm never going to sleep once you get to post pics of seeing your little Arnold in person!Can't Wait!

  3. Praying for fast papers!!! Love to you all and our Arnold!! Can't wait to add to his story!