Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yard Sale Date Change

6-7-0977 thunderstorm wyoming
Photo by northernplainsphotography on flickr

Well, the weather is still looking pretty glum for Saturday, but next week it's supposed to warm right up, so we're officially moving the sale to next Saturday, June 2nd.  If you have offered a table, or to bake something yummy to sell, we'll get those from you next week.  I guess the bright side is that we've got one more week to gather some more things to sell!  So get the word out there, let me know if you need me to come get anything, and most of all thank you for showing us the incredible generosity that exists in this community!  We will always be grateful.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yard Sale Update II

I've been watching the forecast and.....let's just say please pray for good weather for Saturday!!!  If it is going to be rainy, we'll have to postpone until the following Saturday.  I will make the final call early Friday morning.  In the mean time, think sunny thoughts!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good Timber

I came across this poem back in High School and loved it then, but with a little more life experience it has come to mean a great deal to me.  I think it can be applied both to us as we make this journey to Arnold, but also to him, in his few short years of life.  He will be a strong tree!

Good Timber

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To Heaven from the common soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow in ease
The stronger wind the tougher trees,
The farther sky the greater length
The more the storm the more the strength,
By sun and cold, by rain and snow
In tree or man, good timber grows.

Where thickest stands the forest growth
We find the Patriarchs of both,
And they hold converse with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars,
Of many winds and much of strife
This is the common law of life

-Douglas Molloch

Today we were fortunate to meet two wonderful families.  The first found us through Reece's Rainbow, and when she saw that we were local, contacted us to tell us she wanted to donate some items for our yard sale.  She also let us know that she had grown her own family through adoption, and had adopted two sisters from Ukraine just a few years ago. We spent several hours talking about many things, from travel tips, to cultural differences, and many things in between.  It is easy to see how her heart has been touched by these children.  I am just amazed and grateful for the people the Lord has brought into our lives through this process.  Before leaving, this generous woman also made a monetary donation for Arnold.  I have to say, my eyes well up with tears a lot lately!  Thank you, my sweet new friend, for your love and support and offers of help.  How grateful I am for you!

The second family is also local, and have a sweet 9-month-old little girl with Down syndrome, as well as three other adorable children.  When Brian spoke a little at the last Treasure Valley Down Syndrome Association meeting about Reece's Rainbow and our adoption, they found him after the meeting and talked for a while.  They, too, offered some wonderful items to sell at the yard sale Saturday.  Holy smokes!  What incredible people we have in our community; I can't wait to get to know you guys better and hold that baby!!!  For you to offer so much help for a family you didn't even know just speaks to your character and I will always be grateful.

We've had several other people in our church congregation drop some things off this week, and offer many words of support for our cause.  I am thankful there are people who see our intentions as they truly are, not to raise money for "us" or "our adoption," but literally to raise money for a little boy's life.  They are helping him avoid this fate:

Before instutionalization                                   After being transferred

or this:

There is hope.  There are many, many families out there who want to make these children their own, with money being the only obstacle.  Here  is what happens when they can overcome this obstacle: (images and info from,)

"Meet beautiful Kori.  Adopted at almost eight years old and weighing in at a mere 16 pounds!  Lifeless, sad, circles under her eyes, and in very poor condition.  But God could not leave her like that...He knew that her life had purpose and a destiny.  And so He reached down from heaven and gave her a miracle....a family to call her own.

Today...a picture of health!  Healthy, happy and growing in every way.  Adorable!"

"I know that so many of you followed Katie's amazing journey home.  Sweet, little, teeny-tiny Katie.  Rescued just three months ago--hanging on by a thread in a faraway orphanage. God had big plans for this angel! Katie also went straight from the airport to the hospital--weighing a measly 10 pounds 9 ounces at nine years old!

Oh, but just LOOK what a difference family makes!  Today...Katie is doing incredibly well.  She is a healthy weight for her height and is growing before her family's eyes. She now weighs nearly 23 pounds!  What an absolute JOY Katie is to her family!"

"And darling little Belle. Adopted at almost three years old and weighing only 15 pounds.  Belle knew nothing but a life confined to a crib...until her family heard the call and said, "Here we are, Lord!  Send us!"

Today...just 13 months later she is a happy, healthy little toddler who weighs 26 pounds."

"This is Dusty.  Adopted from the same orphanage as our girls just nine months ago--weighing just 20 pounds when he came home and was admitted straight into hospital for malnutrition.  

Today, only ten months later, Dusty weighs over 30 pounds!  I have been so blessed to meet Dusty in person, and to watch him develop and grow.  He is a little miracle boy for sure."

"And beautiful Carrington. Adopted in March 2011 and taken directly from the airport to the hospital.  Carrington was nothing but skin and bones--weighing only ten pounds when she came home. Doctors told the family that Carrington's organs had already started shutting down and she had just 24 hours of life left in her.

But God...!  Just look what He did!  Today, almost one year after coming home, Carrington is healthy and thriving--weighing in at 27 pounds.  Glory to God in the highest!  Another little miracle."

So tonight I feel "filled up" with thankfulness and have been humbled once again by the generosity of others; it is easy to see that many people want to save these children from having to live a life inside an institution (which is no life at all).  I am proud to say that Brian will be joining another wonderful cause, RODS Racing (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), a group of triathaletes who dedicate their races to raise awareness and funds for orphans with special needs. How amazing is it that this group happens to be based in Boise, and that Brian has only begun doing triathalons last year?  Some pretty divine timing, I'd say.  Brady Murray began this group after hearing about the plight of orphans with Down Syndrome in Eastern Europe.  He too has a son with Down Syndrome and couldn't imagine his own son in a similar situation.  Their goal is to raise funds for a particular orphan, which Reece's Rainbow then holds as a "grant" for that child, to be used by the adoptive family to help pay the enormous fees associated with international adoption.  What an amazing organization, and I know Brian is wearing his RODS Racing tee with pride!  Brian's next race is the Boise Ironman 70.3, so if you're out watching, look for him! 

Whew!  A long post, I know, but so much in my heart tonight. Thanks for taking the time to visit, and I hope you feel a hope for these children as well.  There is much you can do to help them, not only by donating towards an adoption, but by praying for these precious children as well.  Just getting the word out about their dire situation can be a catalyst for change, which is what this is all about.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yard sale update!


Our yard sale fundraiser is coming together!  We've had several people bring things by the house, and more that have said they will bring things during this next week.  We're also planning on having a great bake sale, with otter pops and drinks as well.  East Valley Middle School has generously allowed us to hold the sale on their front lawn, which will provide lots of parking.  It's not too late to donate!  We will take items right up to the morning of the sale.  We hope to be setting up about six a.m.  Hope to see you there!!!  Feel free to email me at for any questions!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My New Mantra

I am only one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I CAN do.
~Edward Everett Hale

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A birthday

2 months old-Independence Day
2 months old-Independence Day 2006
Jake turned six yesterday. Oh my, what I could write about our adventure with this boy! Because I only have a few minutes, I will just say this: Jake, I love you. I love that you joined our family with a big "Surprise! I'm not what you expected!" I am only sorry that I had to go through the process of accepting our new path; what I wouldn't give to be able to go back and love you with the knowledge I have now, the anxieties calmed, the doubts quieted. You have taught me more about myself, the world, and the value of life itself than anything else in my life. Because of you, I have had the privilege of reflecting on what it is I place value on, what "accomplishment" really means, and the true virtue of patience! Six years old for you means a time of pushing the limits, asserting your independence, and realizing you're a "big boy" after all. It has also meant longer talks at bedtime, shared joy as you balance on your bike, watching you enjoy being friends with other kids, and being amazed at just how huge your imagination is! I love you Jake, and I love God for sending you my way.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Passports Never Looked so Good

[When I wake Jake up for school in the winter, he always wanders out and ends up here while I'm waking up his sister.]

We got a wonderful surprise in the mail Saturday....our passports arrived!!!  It felt like another very big step forward to finally have them in our hands.  I flipped through all those empty pages, just waiting to be stamped as we enter Arnold's country!

Our first home study visit went great.  Our social worker is very nice, and is excited to do an adoption through Reece's Rainbow.  We spent a lot of time talking about why we want to adopt, how we "chose" Arnold, and what kinds of issues/questions we had.  She is coming again tonight to talk about our autobiographies (we had to write them up as part of the home study paperwork) and parenting plan (okay, how many of you have a "parenting plan?"  It kind of makes me laugh, because if there's one thing I've learned in the short 8 years I've been a parent, is that you can't plan anything!  Life is full of twists and turns, which is what makes it so great.  But I know she just means in general, how do we parent, what are our values, priorities, etc.  The term just made me laugh.

I also received a wonderful note this weekend from my grandma, with a very generous donation to help bring Arnold home.  I just can't say enough positive things about my grandma-she has been a very important person throughout my life.  When I was little and my dad was very sick with cancer, we spent a lot of time at her house.  It was easy to forget the troubles at home when you're surrounded by unconditional love, homemade play-dough, and freshly baked cookies :)  Grandma still to this day always makes sure everyone leaves her house well fed and well loved.  Her initial response when we showed her a photo of Arnold and told her he was going to be her new grandson was, "wonderful!  I will love him just as if he were born into our family!  There is no difference!"  What else can I say?  The best grandma ever!

You may have also noticed that our "chip-in" has gone up a lot in the last week or so.  My mom made an incredible donation, as well as my new friend in Colorado.  I have a hard time trying to piece together words to convey the gratitude in my heart, but I feel so blessed and humbled and warmed inside when I think of it.  I know we all work so hard for the money we have, and there are many things we want to do with whatever "extra" we have.  Sometimes these donations come when there isn't really any "extra" at all,  and so I want you to know how much it means that you are willing to sacrifice on our behalf, because you believe in us when we say that this is our child, as much as any that I gave birth to.  We love you so much.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Some Thoughts

Leah giving dad some love last Independence Day

How do you thank someone who literally is responsible for you getting  your child???  I suppose it is a lot like trying to thank the person who gives you an organ for a life-saving transplant, or someone who saves you from a fire.  There really aren't words for those kinds of situations.  I am counting on the wonderful human emotion of empathy-the ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes.  My angel in Colorado, I hope you can feel what it's like to be in my shoes, to feel the happy, grateful tears as they come at random times when I think about you and what you are doing for my family, and most importantly, for my son.  I can't wait for the day we can meet in person-hopefully along some wonderful red-dirt trail near Moab :)  Until then.....


A friend on a Facebook group I belong to full of adopting mothers who are adopting from the same country as us and also through Reece's Rainbow posted about the difficulty she has when someone tells them how "amazing" they are for doing this adoption.  I have thought about that a lot today, because I have heard the same thing from many good friends and even strangers.  I know exactly what they mean, too, because I used to be that person, looking at others doing something just as "amazing" and thinking to myself "wow, I couldn't do that, I'm not [insert appropriate adjective: brave, strong, enthusiastic, humble, faithful. etc] enough to do such a thing.  But here's the thing-WE are not amazing, WE are not brave, WE are not full of some undying energy, WE didn't go looking for some super sacrificial way we could show our faith in God.  HEAVENLY FATHER is the amazing one.  HEAVENLY FATHER is making us brave.  HEAVENLY FATHER knows we can do this, with his help and faith in us.  He isn't helping us because we are perfect, he is helping us because he is perfect.  We are just average people. I know that sounds sorta preachy and bible-thumping in a way, but it's true!  And I believe every single person on earth has done or is doing some amazing thing that the rest of us couldn't fathom doing.  I have a good friend whose child has a physical disability, and I have no idea how she gets through the day just physically, lifting him and bathing him and just seeing to his basic needs.  But she is amazing at it.  I have another friend who has a child who has ADD, and I have no idea how she handles the constant distractability, and the kind of patience that requires.  But she is amazing at it.  I remember overhearing some friends of mine commenting on me and my son who has Down syndrome, saying, "I don't know how she does it," implying I'm super human or that having Jake is some kind of big burden.  Well friends, we all know that none of us are super human.  We do what we have to do, sometimes even when it's not our choice, such as when a child is born with a disability, or sometimes because we choose to follow a path we feel is right for us.  What matters is what we do with what we have been given.  And I know you can relate when I say that sometimes, it is those great "burdens" (which Jake has certainly never been) that become our greatest blessings.

The point I'm trying to make is that I know your comments about being amazing come right from your heart and are so kind, but I hope you also see the amazing things about yourself.  I know many of the people personally who are reading this blog, family and friends, and I can honestly say that each of you amaze me in some aspect of your life.  The cool thing is, when we put together all this amazing-ness, we have one pretty awesome planet of people.  And for that, I am so grateful.


I have recently been in contact with a family here in the Boise area who are a prime example of amazing: they have started an ironman team who race to bring awareness about Reece's Rainbow and the plight of orphans with special needs.  They are in the running to win a spot to advertise their cause during the national televised coverage of the Kona Hawaii Ironman Championships this year (the mother of all Ironman races).  This family was touched to do this after having their son, who happens to sport that extra chromosome, and after learning what happens to these kids in orphanages half-way round the world.  What an awesome thing to do!  If you have a moment, watch his video and vote for it so the cause we are so passionate about can help these children languishing in orphanages just waiting for their forever families!  I promise you'll be touched, and besides, he uses a Journey song for the background music, so you know it's going to be good :)  Best of luck Saturday at the St. George Ironman Brady, I know a lot of people who will be cheering you on from way up here in Boise!!