Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ethiopia-Dresses for Orphans update

As we packed up the dresses neatly, my daughter and I were talking about the little girls who would receive them, and we could imagine in our minds the joy they would feel. But now to see their photos, to see their faces is absolutely breath taking!! I have tears welling up inside of me. My emotions are high. I feel happy, sad, full of joy, heart broken, & I am burdened to do more...This baby girl is wearing a dress that was my daughter Gracie's...What an amazing feeling to see this sweet little miracle. Oh how I wish I could hold her and bring her to our family today! :-) I pray she has a forever family very soon.

(a little back story for those that don't know)...Last fall my heart was overflowing with a desire to do something for the children in Ethiopia. Soon God connected me with a wonderful group of people that are doing amazing things in Ethiopia. To hear all of their stories of how things are coming together for this organization (Look Development) is amazing to me. But then again God is amazing. I know one day I will take a mission trip to Ethiopia, but in the mean time we began gathering donations from families to collected Dresses for Orphans. God really had the number 200 in my head..and yes there were over 200 dresses donated by families. Today I got an email from my sweet friend Amanda showing us some of the dresses that made it on their trip this summer. This made my day and I know I will stare at these photos alot!  At the same time of their trip they were in the process of adopting and bringing home two children. It was a very busy time for them, but still they managed to get some photos of the girls. Since they had so much to pack the rest of the dresses will go with her husband Matt on their next trip in December. Of course I can not wait to see photos again this winter..
 Both my daughters helping pack all the dresses up neatly...

 I love this photo showing Amanda giving this sweet girl a bracelet, a flute, and her dress

A message from Amanda "Thank you with all my heart to the loving kindness you put to action to make dresses a reality for so many little girls! What an inspiration it was to these little girls to hear the story of your dance studio & to be given a dress and to know a little girl on the other side of the world had shared with them. Many of these little girls have never worn anything but rags... The excitement from the dresses was priceless! What JOY you all have given! "
"It was a little overwhelming as you will see in the photo's with SO many children at Look Development. We did the best we could being so consumed in the moment to get some photo's :) Thanks again for your making this happen for these little girls! More photos to come when Matty goes this winter!"
"THANK YOU and may the Lord bless you and your girls!"

Here is Amanda's husband Matt. While in Ethiopia they were bringing home two children..Here he is holding his sweet son Gideon! What a little miracle he is !
 SOme of the children waiving goodbye to the Desarro's
  This woman loves all the children and runs the orphanage! Bless her heart for all she does!!
Please continue to pray for the children you see here. If you would like to know more about Look Development, donate, or sponsor a child please visit there web site at www.lookdevelopment.org

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Colors..

The beauty of Fall is all around us. This weekend and next are the peek time for the colors to be at there richest. I am in awe every time I see what God does as he paints us a new picture for every new season. Here are just a few from this weekend. I hope to get out and get more this week and get some of my family and some new ones of the kids.

My sweetie went with me to capture some of the beauty...She always has her camera too..I guess she is taking after her mommy :-).
Amanda taking a peek at the view from this awesome old bridge!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Precious to me.....

(25 months)  Today Gracie wanted to wear her "owl dress"..I of course had to snap a couple pictures. Believe me she only gave me about exactly that. I can not believe she is just a little over 2 years old now. She talks complete sentences, and her and I have quite the conversations all day long. The other day she said "I have an idea".  I was like (laughing) "you do, what is your idea"?,  She said " I don't know" .  LOL !!  My sweet baby girl is so precious to me! I am blessed to be with her all day long. Even when I go to the studio to do work, she is with me and loves to be where ever I am!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

TomOrrow ?

To my lovely FOLLOWER that loves to spell check my blog. I am so flattered that this is now the second time you have taken time out of your life to correct my spelling on the word tomOrrow!!!!  Thanks for caring so much about how I spell, but really my blog is for people who enjoy following our journey, and who appreciate my heart. It is NOT for people who are going to constantly nit pick me and how I spell a word as I journal.  I guess you do not have it in you to ever leave your name and hey that is all ok with me! But I do however know where you are from...since each message you leave tells me what state and town you are writing from. I hope that you could find more interesting things to do with your time from here on out.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Bonding"..what we learned & what worked for us....

I know this is a different experience for all families,but this is ours....I remember praying for so long that Gracie would bond with us right away and feel comfort in her forever family from the moment she would see us. Although I had faith, I also thought getting off the plane and being put in my arms would maybe bring her to tears. To my wonderful surprise she looked into my eyes and smiled. She loved the other two kids and thought they were funny entertainment. The first night she was clearly bonded to me (answer to my prayers) she would not let me put her down for one second. :-) I am not saying the first night was easy beans. There were a couple moments that she cried out to "ohma" that is mama in Korean. She was asking for her Korean Foster mommmy. Oh yes this broke my heart to pieces and I had moments of tears right with her. I held her all night long and prayed so hard that God would fill that place in her heart. Only he could fill it!  As we got home and settled in, she only had a couple more moments of crying out like that. I knew and read that this was hard for her , but also a healthy/natural way of adjusting to the changes. We had alot of visitors to come and see her, she was comfortable with everyone and a very happy baby! ...In church that week she went up and sat with one of my good friends and had no interest to reach back out to me. I remember that bothered me a just a little.  I think because of all the company, I was feeling like she thought everyone that came over and payed attention to her was her mama. I dug in and read more.  I learned how very important it was that only my husband and I do all the holding, changing, feeding, and all the care giving in order for her to know that we are the two that are mommy and daddy. Being home only one week it was easy to basically let everyone know what we needed to do and how important it was for her. It is not that she was not bonding at all, because she really was doing so well, but we did not want her to have any confusion at all. After all she has just gone through some major changes in her life. Leaving a birth mother and then leaving the foster family that took care of her for the first 8 months of her life. She was attached to my hip or she was in my wonderful beco baby carrier front pack. Oh my I love that carrier! I could do many things with her in the pack, and she loved it. She would even crawl to it and ask for it! I remember that being sooo cute!! She wanted to cuddle all the time. Very soon I felt she was completly bonded to us like glue. After about a month  I remember being out shopping and an old friend was so excited to see our baby. So excited that she just thought she would grab her right out of my arms... Gracie started to cry, and my friend felt bad. But I remember being so happy.  Happy that Grace was deciding on her own that at that moment she preferred her mommy. We stuck to our routine of just my husband or I doing all the caring for her for about 5 weeks and it was absolutly wonderful for Gracie.  Was this hard for some people to accept..sure it was...but it was more important for Grace at the time.  When I think about it, it really was not much different than the other two were. I was not ever one for other people holding my new borns either. I was selfish.

Today our little 2 year old bundle is totally outgoing, social and loves people. Her bond with her family is strong and is an answer to prayers. She just said the other night after we prayed with the kids before bed. .."I luv my famooly". She pointed to each of us and said "I love you, and you , and you". So precious!!

Here is a helpful letter that you can also use to give to your family and help to explain to them how important bonding is for your child! "Letter To Family" click here

Here is the site I found very helpful filled with adoption stories and bonding with your little one.
"A 4 Ever Family Site "

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How we began the Adoption Process......

God placed adoption  in my heart a very long time ago. But he started the big time stirring about 8 years ago. You know that feeling that you can not ignore!! I remember seeing families with Asian children and my heart would melt. I have always been drawn to this beautiful culture and I just knew in my heart that one day we would adopt. I was the one that started to talk about adoption and believe me I talked about it ALOT through out the years. As my heart was seriously swelling with the desire to adopt, It got to the point of when I would even see an asian child I would get tears that would swell up in my eyes. Looking back now that was sooo God working in my heart. So now I really started praying for my husband. Yep he was not totally for this idea. He was not totally against it either. I knew that if this was the plan for our family that God had to complete this in his heart as well and we had to be totally on the same page.   So I prayed and waited for a couple of years. And one day he came to me and said I think it is time we look into adoption more. I was soo excited and so were the other two kids. They knew my desire, and they shared it with me too!  At last we were both on the same page,  so we started seeking families in our area that had experience with adoption and could give advice on agencies etc.. Turns out there were only two agencies in our area. We visited both of them and we knew with out a doubt which one we were comfortable with. This happened to be the one that our friends told us to go through too. We picked Holt International. (http://www.holtinternation.org/ ), next we met with one of the social workers. She was amazing and very caring. Asked many questions. We filled out the application and were accepted with Holt. Next step was choosing a country. This is where it gets interesting. Korea was our first pick. Well Korea program was closed, so we picked China. Well this was right at the time that the China program was gradually getting longer and longer. Instead of marking off a month on the calendar, we seemed to be adding more time, more waiting.  We were in that program for one full year until finally we had no peace at all about this. We went to talk to the social working again and with out a doubt since now the Korea program open and was moving smoothly we switched to the Korea program. Yippy!! I always say that God needed us to take a little one year detour so that we would have our little Gracie in our arms just as He had planned all along!!!!  About 5 months later we got our referral of our baby girl and when she was 8 months old we got the call that we all wait for..she was coming home to her forever family!!!

I would wait a million years for my sweet little baby girl!!! Just look at her sweetness!!

**MY Next Question I will be answering is
"Bonding and what worked for us"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Age Gap ....between kids

I thought this was a great time to answer some of those questions I have been asked before. Plus it gives me something to talk about. So I have been asked before how the age gap has been between our kids. I get many comments that say they see the love in our kids :-). 

It seems when couples are thinking about adding another child to their families they (we) usually consider the ages of the other children. Most the time I think people assume that the closer in age they are will cause them to be emotionally closer to on another. But if you think of the people you know now as adults some that are close in age are close in relationship and some can not stand eachother. I also know some people that have many years between their sister or brother and you pretty much have the same statistic ....really it must be a 50/50 chance of sibblings being close through childhood and into adult hood and I really do not think years between a siblings makes or breaks it.  I feel it has more to do with how they are raised!  For us, we knew God was leading us to add a third child to our family through adoption. We knew this for many years until we knew when it was right.  Yes we definetly talked about the age gap and wondered how that would be. After all one being 10 and the other 13 was a big gap for sure! :-) But the feeling of knowing we are to have another child over road the fears of the age gap. I guess we just knew it would work out. Both the older kids have always totally been on board with having a little sister..there excitement has always been amazing! The day they saw their little sisters photos they were  100% in love. It has been awesome to see our two older ones love for her. THey adore her, and she completly adores them. She has them wrapped around her little tiny pinky!!!  So for our kids...the age gap has been nothing but a great thing.

For my husband and I.....It would be a lie to say it is not a change going from being use to two older kids to now having a little one again..But honestly it is nothing major at all.  When your heart is ready for another child, a baby, you adjust your life to make things work.  Some of those changes that stand out to me were at first the lack of sleep (thankfully that phase did not last long at all),  not getting out the door as quickly as we use to and packing  all your baby stuff with you, (that is also much better now that she is 2 ) and for me not being able to just come and go as I was use to doing.  I would have to say I am still getting adjusted to that one. All of this is really nothing major. It is just the things you change for a short time.  They truely are only little once and it goes very quickly. I cherish the little color time, playing on the floor with farm animals, taking walks to the park, playing dolls, and having tea party's .  These are the times you cherish and these are the times that go wayyy to fast! 

Thank you for letting me share my heart.

My next question I will answer will be
"How did you start the adoption process?"

I love this photo so much because they did not know I was taking  them....:-) So precious!!