Monday, July 30, 2012

News Story & Come Say Hello!

Christy and Aubrey were at it again and managed to get the attention of the local NBC news here to cover their efforts to help fund our adoption.  Here is the story:

[Yes, we wish they had used people-first language here "Orphan with Down syndrome" instead of "Down syndrome orphan.", but we know their hearts were in the right place]
We were all so nervous about this interview.  We only found out about it the night before.  As we drove there all I could think about was how I could use these few seconds to advocate for these kids the best I could.  The actual interview took a while, and we discussed a lot.  Of course they have to edit things, but I think the message still got across, and hopefully more people are now aware of the need to help these children.  A child is just a child, no matter where they reside or what nationality they are.  I believe it is our duty as adults to advocate for them regardless of borders.  Our situation just happens to put our attention on Eastern Europe, but there are needs everywhere you find children, including right here in the US.

The thing that surprised me the most about the interview was the reporter.  Every time I would start talking, he would get tears in his eyes!  So of course I became emotional too!  I thought it was really neat to see that he was touched himself by our story and the needs of these orphans.  He did a wonderful job!  And the cameraman was also incredible.  He was so good with the kids, even Jake, who wanted absolutely nothing to do with any of it!

Response at the play house since being at Edwards Theater in Boise has been incredible!  People have been so generous and kind.  I didn't know that there are free concerts on Thursday nights there.  We will be there this Thursday night to see the playhouse and say thanks to those stopping by.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

House Update- BIG news!

Oh wow, I have an awesome update to share with you regarding the Little Red Riding Hood house giveaway some incredible people are doing for us.

I just heard this morning that Christy and Aubrey have been in talks with the owners of Edwards Cinema in Boise and they have generously offered to house the playhouse in their courtyard on Thurs-Saturday nights until August 16th!!!!!!!!!!!!  That day we will be there to draw the winner of the playhouse!!  I am still in awe over the whole thing.  Christy has been on the phone for days trying to find a public place to put the playhouse to get more people in front of it, to share the situation for orphans with special needs and our situation in particular, but door after door was closed.  Well, I guess each door was closed so that this one could swing wide open!

After securing the spot for the playhouse, these hero women walked in to Channel 7 (NBC) here in Boise and told them all about it.  They want to cover the story!!  You may even see something about it this weekend on the news, so stay tuned!  Christy called me while they were on their way home from the meeting with channel 7, and we both were just a mess talking about all the little things that have lined up to make this possible.  She's going to post some of the stories of the many generous people she's met along the way to making this giveaway possible.  We talked about how many families there were, even locally, who would be more than willing to adopt one of these children, especially if the financial burden can be alleviated or eliminated altogether.

I also forgot to mention in my earlier post that donations are $5.00 per entry, or $20.00 for five entries!  You can enter the giveaway by donating here on this blog (click on the photo of Arnold on the side bar), or at Boise's Rainbow by clicking on the heart "donate" logo.  Just leave a comment on either blog telling us how many tickets we need to enter for you.  Your comments are moderated, so we don't have to publish them if you don't wish.  We know a lot of people in Utah, and are definitely willing to drive the house down to any who may win it!

I wish I were more eloquent with my words, or at least more organized with them.  I wish I could convey what my heart feels like at this very moment.  To be part of something bigger, greater than myself, is the best feeling I think one could have.  I am so grateful to be a part of this little boy's story. I am so grateful to soon be a mother again.  I am so grateful for the kindness of friends and strangers alike.  I will never forget each story or miracle I've been blessed to be a part of during this adoption. I am grateful to God for speaking to my heart, and to my husband's heart, telling us to step out in faith and choose this child.  I still remember the feeling I had when I saw him, my heart started pounding so loudly, I felt so unsettled, like I knew I was seeing something life-changing and of utmost importance, but I was so scared!  Who am I to say I will take this child, half way around the world, and give him the home he deserves?  Who am I to be so confident that I could love him like my own?  Who am I to believe I can juggle four children and their various needs?  So many doubts and questions in my mind, yet an unyielding pounding heart told me that in spite of all my fears, I had to do this.  I knew without a doubt it was right.  I knew that I could love this child because I've been able to love my own three as they each came along while not taking an ounce of love from the ones before them.

I've only had that feeling a few times in my life.  And I know that once I have it, I have to follow it, no matter how hard the journey, because coming out the other side has always been worth the faith it required. I have felt the presence of God in my life too many times to discount that he is the one who gives me these feelings.  I know that there may be huge challenges once Arnold is home.  I am not ignorant to the many possibilities of attachment problems, behavior issues, and on and on.  But I choose to believe that I will not go through them alone.  I have the best family in the world and we have dear friends who will be there for us.  And I will just hope that he will adjust beautifully and all my preparation for these issues will be for naught.  But if they do become issues, I will love him anyway.  I will love him just as he is.  I will do my best to make his transition as easy as possible, but if it's not, I will stand beside him until he is comfortable.  I will do whatever it takes.

I didn't intend to get off on a tangent, sometimes they just come out!!  Anyway, if you are local and would like to help us in another way, here is your opportunity:  We need people to help "man" the playhouse and sell tickets on Thurs-Sat from 6-10pm.  If you are interested in helping us out, for any amount of time during those hours, please contact me at and I can call you.  Thank you so, so much for taking the time to read this and for any good thoughts you've sent our way.  We can't wait for the day we can pay it forward and help other families make this same journey!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Little Red Riding Hood House & A Birthday

Oh my, has it been busy around here.  Hold on, because this is shaping up to be a long post!

Remember the snow cone fundraiser we helped out with a while back for RODS Racing?  We met a lot of genuine, kind people that day.  Our friends the Tueller's were there, and they had some friends that came to support the cause as well.  Well, one particular friend, Christy, has had a heart for adoption ever since watching her friends the Cox's bring home their little Mia from Ukraine about a year ago.  Christy had an idea back then for a way to help them with the enormous costs of international adoption, and decided that she was going to put that idea into action for us!  With the help of Aubrey, this sneaky lady worked tirelessly behind the scenes, with us completely unaware, until she was finished with her great idea.

I'd love to introduce you to Boise's Rainbow, a local website dedicated to helping families adopt kids with special needs!


Christy's vision was to create a place where both adoptive families, potential adoptive families, and volunteers/idea makers could meet to help families get funded and bring home their children.  Like Christy told me the other night, she just wants people to rally and realize that it doesn't take a lot to help each other out.

Their project right now is to give away this adorable playhouse Christy (and many other volunteers & donors-you just have to read the story behind it and all the miraculous ways it got completed) designed as a Little Red Riding Hood House.  We went to Christy's house the other night and got to see it for ourselves.  Check it out:

There's Christy and the entrance side of the playhouse!  Look at the cute flower box!!  A home builder donated and put on the shaker shingle roof and cute wood trim on the outside!  Notice the birdcage, and there's even a doorbell that says, "sorry, I'm not home, I'm out visiting my grandmother!"

Opposite side.  Nice big windows!
Look at this adorable curtain fabric Christy had from IKEA.  Little hedgehogs  and nature scenery.
Another view of the front.
The inside.  Hardwood floor and baseboards.  Play food & other toys all come with it!  It's even tall enough for adults to stand inside.
Looking the other direction, a whiteboard and play phone, rocking chair and other fun accessories!  Do you recognize the cute boy calling his mom on the phone? (Hi Nash!)

Look at all the fun accessories in the house!  The Chandelier even lights up!

Want to win this house?  There are a few ways to do it.  You can enter here by clicking on the photo of Arnold on my side bar to make your tax-deductible donation to our FSP account.  Then leave me a comment on this post so I can fill out a ticket for you!  Or, you can go to Boise's Rainbow and click on the "donate" button in the sidebar to make a tax-deductible donation to our Family Sponsorship Page. For every $5.00 donation you make, you will get a ticket in the drawing!  Just leave a comment on her blog telling her how many tickets you purchased, and she will get you entered!  I also have tickets at my house for those close to us that would like to enter to win.  You can also mail your donation if you'd prefer, and we will enter you that way.  Just send me or Christy an email for the address!  We will make it as easy as possible to get you entered!

If you're in Utah and want to enter, we will be happy to drive the house down the next time we come to Layton.  That would probably be in September, but we could make other arrangements or meet halfway or something!  We could make it work.

This giveaway has the potential to get us fully funded!  Please spread the word, because who wouldn't want to win such a fun playhouse for their kids or grandkids???!!!  Thank you so much for your help!


As if this wasn't enough, Christy also threw us a birthday party for Arnold, as his birthday was this week!  We sang happy birthday, the kids blew out his #4 candle, we ate birthday cake, and she had a present for each of the kids to open for Arnold.  I was completely blown away!  Who knew there were so many people willing to do so much for complete strangers?  This adoption journey has brought the most amazing people into our lives.  Brian and I were talking about it on the way home from Christy's, how incredibly blessed we have been because we have taken this leap of faith for this child.  It is obvious that Heavenly Father had plans for this boy all along.  He is truly weaving a story that only He could tell, we are just lucky enough to be called his parents.






The Murray's, Tueller's, and Beal's & only a few of the kids that we had running all over the place!

This is going to be amazing!

Thank you, Christy, Aubrey, and all of those we haven't met yet or don't even know about that made the Little Red Riding Hood house possible.  We know you will be blessed for what you are doing.  You have blessed us beyond measure already!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting Closer....

Guess what I did today?  I ordered our travel visas!!!!

Our home study was severely delayed by a miscommunication between our placing agency & home study agency, but it is now finally done and ready to be sent to Arnold's country for translation and submission!  That means we need to get ready to travel.  Translation takes 2-3 weeks, so we will definitely be traveling in August!  Aaagghhhhh!!!!!  Can I just say getting emails giving us travel tips and what to expect for our first trip are probably the best emails I've ever received?!

I have so much more to update, but it is late (again) and I don't have my camera card in my computer right now.  I just wanted to pop in with the great news and to say thank you again for following along on this wild ride!