Friday, March 30, 2012

Adding some new tabs

Hi everyone!  I'm trying to add some new things to the tabs at the top of the blog, so check them out!  More to come...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do you believe in miracles?

Taken near our home last spring.
Do you believe in miracles?  I think back to stories in the Bible, about Christ healing the blind, leper, raising the dead.  I used to think how the people who didn't believe he was the Christ must be crazy-how could you see such a miracle right in front of you and not believe?  But like my sister-in-law mentioned just the other day, all you have to do to see a miracle today is look around.  They are everywhere.  Life has taught me that so much depends on our perspective. I have seen miracles since committing to this beautiful little boy, Arnold.

The same night that our names were revealed on Reece's Rainbow, I received two emails congratulating us and saying how these people had been watching Arnold's story and hoping and praying for him.  One of them told me about the woman's blog who had featured Arnold as part of a week-long effort to bring to light the plight of orphans who are "transferred" to institutions.  It was this feature that spurred a kind-hearted and generous woman to donate a very large sum to Arnold's grant on Reece's Rainbow.

Later, I received another email from the woman who actually sent that story/picture of Arnold to the web site to be featured.  This incredible woman had already featured Arnold on her own blog, narrating a beautiful story she had created about Arnold's life.  She based her story on the stories of other orphans who had been in his same situation: nearing the age of transfer from the baby house to an institution.  For me, it was surreal reading her description, because it was almost exactly the same story we had in our minds as well.  How grateful I am that she will now be able to write the true story of Arnold-a story of redemption, a family, love, a home.

And finally, I received an email from the generous donor herself.  She told me of how she felt spurred to action to help Arnold.  It was so interesting, as we described our feelings, me at the time I saw Arnold and she at the time she was deciding to donate: we both felt agitated, like there was such an urgency.  It turns out that I found Arnold just days after she made the donation. Because of these dear women, Arnold will get to have a happy ending.

There are other miracles, too precious and close to my heart to share here, as I'm sure you have in your own life.  But I am so grateful to have eyes that can see them, to see a God watching over our family and our son half way around the world.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roots and Wings

In reading over my first post, I realized it probably came across as me being disgusted with the institutional system in Arnold's country in general, or the people.  I want to make clear that I have a great respect and admiration for the people in his country.  I feel so blessed to have been corresponding with a kind-hearted, genuine, good woman there, who is a wonderful representation of her country.  I don't believe the people in his area have a general hatred of people with disabilities.  I believe the people in Russia are just like the people in the United States used to be not very long ago: unaware that people with disabilities, Down syndrome specifically, are capable of leading happy, healthy, productive lives if given the support they need.  Even I wasn't aware how many individuals with DS lived on their own or with roommates, had boyfriends/girlfriends and even got married and attended college here in the US.  Education changes everything, and Arnold's country, I believe, will one day be as accepting of people with disabilities as people are here.

I believe many who send their disabled child to an orphanage in his country feel they have no choice.  It wasn't long ago that children born in the US with Down syndrome were quickly sent to institutions, the parents told by doctors to tell their families the child had died during birth.  "Go home, and forget this baby," they were instructed.  Can you imagine?  Mothers in his country have very little to no support for children like Arnold, should they even dare to take them home.  How can these women pay for extra health care, time off of work to go to therapies and doctor visits?  The child may not have the opportunity to go to school, a day care, or be accepted in church or the community at large.  I'm sure it would all seem so overwhelming, and given this or sending a child to a facility that may enable him/her to be adopted into a family and country that will be accepting of this child, the loving choice may be adoption, as heart-wrenching as I'm sure it must be.

I have no position of authority on any of these issues, but I didn't want to come across as judgmental about  the people of Arnold's country or their intentions.  None of us knows the hearts of these mothers who make the difficult decision to place their child in an orphanage.  I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt.  The conditions in the adult institutions there are so very devastating and heart-wrenching.  But it is an entire way of thinking that needs to change before conditions can improve.  I am praying and hoping that it is something I will see in my lifetime.  If not, I pray that my own children will advocate for change through sharing Arnold's story and their own stories, about how their lives have been blessed by the unexpected.

I am so excited to learn more about the rich heritage and history of Arnold's country.  To know more about its people, traditions, and landscape.  I never once in my life thought I would travel to this part of the world, so I consider this a blessed opportunity.  I am proud of my new son's heritage and plan to incorporate its richness into our lives as well, so that he will always remember where his roots are.  I'd like to think his roots are in Eastern Europe, but his wings are in America, and every child needs roots and wings.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Quick Photo

Dropping in for a moment to share a precious photo I received today from a dear friend of Arnold's.  This was taken last summer at his baby house.  I just can't stop looking at him!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


It just makes my heart dance to see your comments and watch the traffic to our site.  What a great community of people to belong to!!!  I have so enjoyed browsing around many of your own adoption sites, in wonder of all the goodness out there.  I think I finally feel something in my life I have wanted to feel for a long time.  So many times I have watched the news and have seen people in great distress, poverty, abuse, etc. and wanted to do something about it.  Our church has an amazing humanitarian aid side to it and I know that my tithing and donations have done such good, but none of it has been personal.  It is so incredibly humbling to be able to see the precious face of a child who will be saved by the generosity of others.  Adoption is truly possible only by the efforts of many people.  It is humbling and awe-inspiring to watch it unfold.  So thank you, for your kind comments, words of encouragement, acceptance and love.  


Our parents don't know about our adoption of Arnold yet. We wanted to wait to be able to tell them in person when we travel to Utah for spring break. I just don't know if I can make it that long! I had a miraculous thing happen today, and I'm hoping to be able to share some of it with you, I'm just waiting for permission from the person involved. In the mean time, I thought I could post some pictures of him, since we now have our sponsorship page up on Reece's Rainbow!

Isn't he handsome?! The photo is kind of strange because they had to blur out the other kids in the background, but just look at the beautiful color of hair!

This one was taken outside the baby home where he is living. This is the one that stole my heart, especially when I saw his chubby little hand signing "I love you!" Jake used sign when he was little and was quite good at it, so we're big signing proponents here! When I saw that little hand, it was like he was saying it right to me :)

And this one is just too cute. Look at that little face!

I want to write so much more, but there is paperwork to fill out and forms to mail.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Finally!  A chance to write!

Last night about 9:00 Brian and I were sitting on the couch together, waiting for the kids to finally fall asleep.  I was browsing the Reece's Rainbow website, and remembered that I wanted to show Brian a family who was adopting three children together because I thought their story was so neat.  I clicked on "sponsor a family, new commitments" and my stomach did a huge leap!  There we were, at the top of the page, "Arnold, for the Preece family, Nampa, Idaho".  We both shouted out loud!  For some reason, finally seeing our name with his, right there in front of us, seemed to "seal the deal" in our minds that this was really happening.  We probably stared at that page a dozen times before we went to sleep.  Neither of us slept well as we couldn't stop thinking about our boy and all that lay ahead.

Before we went to sleep I checked my phone and had already received two emails from people I didn't know, congratulating us and making connections for us with other people who played important roles in getting Arnold his grant money so far.  I just felt so grateful to once again be introduced to a community of people so loving, kind, and willing to share with us.

I just started getting this blog together, and it's still a work in progress, I really didn't think we'd be on RR so quickly!  But it is a blessing and we are so thankful to be on this journey.

One of the links a new friend sent me last night was the story of how Arnold got such a large grant.  I will post the link later (I have to get my kids to bed soon), but basically a woman dedicated a week of her blog to educating her readers regarding the abominable circumstances these orphans face when they are "transferred".  It is horrific to see these small human beings cast off to a place with such deplorable conditions.  Her belief was that people aren't doing anything about it because they just didn't know what happened to these kids.  She is right.  I consider myself an educated woman.  I graduated from college.  I'm an avid reader.  I stay current on news and world events.  But I had no idea that there were still places in the world who cast of children, treating them as numbers instead of human beings, the asylum workers helpless to help because of poor funding.  It is almost too much to bear.  But when we know, we know, and God knows we know, and we have to do something about it.  Anyway, one of this dear woman's readers read about these conditions, these defenseless children, and they did something grand.  Something life-changing, even life-saving.  She donated $15,000.00 to Arnold's grant!  FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.  I don't know their circumstances, whether this was their whole life savings or just a drop in the bucket, but it doesn't matter.  The gesture is beyond kind, beyond generous....I just don't have the words.  I hope that they will find this blog and see what a difference their donation has made.  It, along with the other donations so generously given on his behalf, has saved Arnold's life.

You see, Brian and I own our own business, and we don't have any employees. Between his day-to-day stuff and me keeping the books, taking care of our small children and home, we just didn't see how we would be able to come up with the time to fundraise $35,000-40,000 for a foreign adoption.  We looked into domestic adoption, which seemed such an easy course of action compared to foreign.  But something in my heart just knew that saving one of the children from the fate of the Eastern European asylums was what my heart wanted more than anything.  How often do we have the opportunity to truly save a human being?  Because of this generous donor, we were convinced that we could actually pull this off.  We could actually do the rest.  We were getting a good tax refund this year.  We could raise the additional $10,000.00-so much less than the total $35,000.00 required.  So I want to say thank you, to whoever took a leap of faith to save a child.  You did it.  He will be saved.  He will be loved.  He will be cherished.  He will grow up like a little boy should-surrounded by his family and friends and community who love him.  Thank you, ALL of you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How it all began

I guess the first post on our adoption blog should tell you something about how