Monday, November 17, 2014

Here we go!!

We have our traveling dates and our appointment date. We will meet with the Department of Adoption in our girls country on November 26! We will get to meet her soon after! Needless to say we are very excited!! And very busy trying to get every thing done! We are still in need of funding and would be so grateful for your contribution to our adoption, as always we covet your prayers.
Because of the nature of international adoption we can't post any information publicly on our blog, but as soon as we have court and she's ours I will make a post!
We have named "Debbie" Viktoriah, and we are so excited to meet her! Thank you all for your help!
http://reecesrainbow.org/77751/sponsoranderson-3

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Movin Right Along

Well, we're still waiting, waiting for Debbies country to say,"Hey, come on over and meet your new daughter". But waiting can be good, we are anxious for our girl and her safety, but we know Jesus loves much more than we do, and His perfect will is working in all our lives, even hers, right this minute! We have a couple of fundraisers getting ready to launch in the next couple of days, you'll want to stay tuned for those!!
In the meantime we have been taking lots of pictures of our children to put in a photo book we will take over with us to show Debbie her family that's waiting for her. We are also finishing up the girls, (Elsah and Debbies) bedroom this week, we will take pictures of that too to show her! It's pretty exciting and Elsah is beside herself with anticipation, she has packed and unpacked Debbies little backpack a thousand times. She looks over each item and talks about how they will play together when we get back home!
We have all our current funds in our Reeces Rainbow FSP now and are still needing about $7,000 to be fully funded! Our little thermometer over on the right side of our blog is slowly climbing up!
We are working on more fundraisers and would like to ask your prayers for Debbies safety and our funding! Thank you all and have a great evening, enjoy some of the pictures we will be putting in Debbies photo book!











Monday, October 20, 2014

The Lesson of the Leaking Faucet or How to Be a Drip

Our kitchen faucet has a leak, sort of a drip...drip...drippity...drip.....drippity....drip. If there is a plate or cup in the sink it can almost sound musical. The other day my 12 year old, Rohan, paused and  watched the drip, "It's not a big drip, and it's not coming real fast, sorta slow and steady." Rohan is a methodical thinker by nature and I knew some sort of experiment was going to happen soon. He got a measuring cup, a pitcher and a timer. By now he had gotten all the younger brothers and sisters intrigued. He asked us all how long we thought it would take to fill the cup and the pitcher. He had


his own theories too. He thought the pitcher would take under an hour, I being older and ahem, wiser told him no, the pitcher would take hours to fill, the drip was small and the pitcher is a whole gallon! Well the experiment began, they all stood around the sink, in silence, watching each and every drop hit the cup, after a few minutes there was about an inch of water, Elsah, my 7 year old, thought the drips were coming faster or that they were bigger. No, Rohan told her, it just seemed that way because now there was some water in there it SEEMED like it was gong faster. The cup filled in about 20 minutes, I was shocked, that was much sooner than I thought. Now it was the pitchers turn, by now the younger children had lost interest in Rohans game and went off to play. I told Rohan he'd better leave the pitcher overnight, because it would surely take that long to fill. But he insisted it would be faster. With each drop Rohan sat there patient and calm, I think he enjoyed the quiet and the water drip, drip, dripping. When the pitcher was about half full, an hour later, he came and sat by me while I folded clothes. "Mom, remember last week when that family at church gave us $18 and told us to put it toward our adoption? I thought that was a measly amount, I mean why not an even 20? But you said it was probably all they had and that it was a drop in the bucket. I get that now, a drop in the bucket means that each and every drop has a job, to fill the bucket, to make it a bit fuller. Every drop counts." I stood in awe of my son, he got it, I don't even remember saying that it was a drop in the bucket, but it was. $18 or $5 or what ever may not seem like much, but it does add up, every drop has a job!!
Now the second title of this post is How To Be A Drip, or maybe it should be a Drop! You can be a drop in the bucket too! Reeces Rainbow has a wonderful 5/5/5 program in which 5 families benefit from a grant every month! They choose new families each month and all the donations to the 5/5/5 program for that month are given to those 5 families! This month we are one of those families! The neat thing is that you can set it up to be an ongoing donation, each month you can automatically give $5 or $25, or whatever size drop you wish to give. Let's think about $25 a month, that's about what Dane and I might spend on dinner out together. What do you spend $25 a month on? Can you forgo that? Can you sacrifice a bit, can you help fill the bucket for a family in need? Over the course of a year, you could help help a minimum of 60 children come home!!! 60!!! And that is only if those families are adopting one child, they might be adopting more, then your impact would be even greater! Every dollar that is given by you gives you a place in a childs history! For our part we look and see who gives to our adoption, someday we'll tell our girls about all the people who gave to get them home!
So pick an amount, whatever you're comfortable giving and make it a monthly contribution, be part of an orphans path to HOME!!!! Follow this link, and read all about the 5/5/5 program!! Trust me you want to be a DRIP!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Long Time No See!

Wow, has it really been since August that I posted? Good Gravy! So sorry about that. Things got really busy, more/different paperwork was needed for our adoption, it was crazy around here for awhile. I was on a first name basis with the Fed ex guy!
BUT..... all our paperwork is in Debbies' country!!! This is very exciting! This means that everything we need to do on our side of the ocean is DONE! Now we wait, (ever so patiently) on the Department of Adoption on the other side of the ocean. We should have our dossier submitted in about 2 weeks, from there it can be anywhere from 5 weeks (unlikely, but a girl can dream right?) to 12 weeks (again unlikely that it would be that long)! Most likely we will travel in about 10 weeks!! Ten weeks may seem like a long time, but when you are needing to raise $15,000 it seems awfully short!! We are scrambling to raise funds.
Sofiah "reading" the information board we used at our Fundraising Shin-Dig
 We have had an online auction, we have had a fundraising shin-dig, we are making and selling bubble magnets and paracord bracelets, we are trying to sell things on craigslist and elsewhere. When it's time to travel we want to be ready to go!! When we adopted last year what funds we didn't raise we took from our savings. Needless to say, it took all of it. It was the best money we ever spent! Our two girls light up our family, they fit in so well. It's like they have always been with us! This year is different, we don't have the savings back up and to be honest things are tight around here. Dane started a new job, it has been such a blessing. We have amazing benefits through his company. Having children with special needs means you will have medical expenses, having help with those expenses through Danes benefits is wonderful. But to get those benefits we had to take a cut in pay. That means we've had to re budget and work on spending less. Which is fine, there were many places we cut excess, and we needed to. But just like in any adoption, there are unexpected expenses that jump up and grab ya! Our vehicles have had numerous trips to the shop, our generator, which runs our washing machine, died and had to be replaced, the list goes on. I don't tell you this for sympathy, just to let you know we aren't just sitting around in the lap of luxury expecting folks to pay for our adoption. If you feel led to donate and support our adoption of Debbie we would be most grateful. You can do that through our tax-deductible donate button on our Reeces Rainbow Family Sponsorship Page.


Right now as I type this a batch of Organic Elder Berry Syrup is simmering on my stove top, why tell you this? Because a jar of this yummy, health boosting elixir can be yours! I am making and selling elder berry syrup for our adoption.  This syrup is made from organic elder berries and raw honey, it tastes great and is so good for you. Elder berries can boost your immune system and have been shown to kill cold and flu viruses! You can take it as a preventative or when you first notice symptoms. Our family takes it and have noticed a reduction in sick days as well as feeling better sooner when sick. I am selling 8oz jars for $20 + $5 for shipping. This is a very competitive price for organic syrup! I will make each batch as it is ordered so you get the freshest syrup! You can email your orders to mamadear27@gmail.com . Just use this LINK,  to purchase your elder berry syrup and then email me the receipt, every penny goes to help bring Debbie home!! Thank you for your support!!

Don't forget to look on our fundraising page on Facebook, Hands to Work, Hearts to God!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

.....For My ways are not your ways.......

Hello Friends and Family! And a special Hello to my friends Joann and Misty!
Today I want to tell a story, not so much you but for me. You see, I'm a lot like the children of Israel, I keep forgetting the wondrous glory of our heavenly Father, I fret and worry, even when I know better. I wring my hands and stress out, even after I've seen with my own eyes how Gods amazing timing is perfect, EVERY TIME!!
 This is going to be a long post, so get a cuppa coffee or maybe a glass of sweet tea and sit down with me for a bit, as I tell you the God story of our Sweet Sofiah.
  In March 2013 after much prayer and discussion, Dane and I committed to adopt "Morgan".
"Morgan"



She stole our hearts and quickly became an integral part of our family. As we worked on our dossier and home study, we talked about her and how she would fit right in. We studied adoption and Down Syndrome, we talked with friends and mentors and prepared ourselves in every way we knew how. In May of 2013 while finishing up all our stateside papers we prayed again and felt God calling us to add a second daughter to our adoption. We committed to "Jolie" at that time. Now we were going for two, we were fired up and ready to go. Except one thing, we still needed one paper. One of our sons was born at home and we had a bit of a falling out with the midwife and she refused to apply for a birth certificate for him. I had let it go, thinking at some point we would need to get him one, but that there was no hurry. Our home study provider wouldn't release our home study without our sons birth certificate. Let me just say, it's not easy to get a birth certificate 7 years down the road. It seemed like we would never get it, they required all kinds of records and proof. I mailed things to them multiple times. Soon families we had begun our journey with were submitted to Ukraine and getting ready to travel. Not us, we were still waiting, hoping, praying for that certificate. It was so unnerving for me, I prayed, I begged, I beseeched my heavenly Father. Preform a miracle, I demanded and do it NOW!! I'm sure you know, God doesn't need us to tell Him how or when to do things. I was sure He was messing this up!
Finally, Finally! After several months we got our birth certificate and the rest of our stateside paperwork complete. We drove down to our state capital and personally handed our last pieces to be apostilled (fancy seals of authenticity) then we drove over to the UPS store and explained how very important it was that our paperwork be in Ukraine by Monday. How it was very time-sensitive, etc.... I got my tracking number, went our to van, sat down and bawled!!! It was such a strange feeling to let that hard won dossier go. And to know that we were very, very close to getting our girls!!
   All this time we were part of a Facebook group made up of families travelling to adopt. We prayed for and supported each other and grew close. Many of us had submitted dossiers the same week and we hoped to have DAP (department of adoption) appointments together. Monday morning, I woke up turned on my computer, ready to check my tracking number, and see my package had arrived safely in Ukraine over the weekend. Hmm....it said it was still in Missouri?! What?! I called the store, they checked and rechecked and called a supervisor. The young man who picked up the packages.......MISSED the plane!! I could not believe it! He was too slow and didn't get our dossier on that plane! I think I yelled, I might have even cried! I know I stomped out of the house, seething mad! There are only so many spots to submit dossiers each week, if our package wasn't there, we wouldn't be submitted until the next week. Now those of you who are of a more patient personality might think, no big deal, what's seven more days? To me it was a lifetime. I felt my girls had waited long enough to have a family and 7 more days was not acceptable!(I know, drama queen) I calmed down and call them back, they already had it on a plane and would be sending a courier to the airport in Ukraine to get our package and deliver it on Thursday!! Oh, sigh of relief! I was still perturbed at God though, why did everything seem to be so hard? Whine, whine, whine.......... We were submitted on Thursday and began to wait for our travel dates!
   For some reason, while that wait was long it was endurable, simply because I had no power over it. I could do nothing to make Ukraine move faster! After 5 weeks of waiting, families submitted on Monday were starting to get their dates, they all got appointments on a Thursday morning. We were next. I prayed we would get ours for that Thursday morning too, it would be so fun to get to meet these wonderful families we had prayed with and for and had shared our journey with. A few days later, our facilitator called with our date. It was several weeks away....sigh.....clear in November!!!
"Did you ask for an expedite?" she asked. Yes, of course, Misty the impatient always want an expedite! Let me call you back she said. So I waited, I took the boys to school and went to gas the van. My phone rang while I was fueling up, "Are you ready to move quickly? Because you need to be there next Wednesday(it was Thursday, 5 days til travel)" YES!!! of course.  I spilled gas all over my shoes in my excitement! Our appointment would be at 2 in the afternoon. Disappointment again, everyone elses appointments were in the morning, whine, whine whine. At this point I wonder why God just didn't throw up His hands and declare me a ridiculous fool! But there wasn't much time to stew on that we had to get ready to go!!!
   This is getting long, so I'll spare you all the packing and travelling details. We arrived in Ukraine and were beside ourselves with excitement! We woke up the next morning walked around our neighborhood for a bit and were driven to our appointment. First we were given "Jolies" (Catarinah).
Catarinah(Jolie) on Metcha Day 
They read it to us, her medical info and a bit about her family. and we were asked if we wanted to see her. YES!!!! Now on to "Morgan" Our facilitator stepped out of the office for a bit, came back talked with the woman there and came and told us "Morgans" file was not there, she was not available for adoption. Her social worker had not filed her papers to be adopted. I felt like someone had punched me. It suddenly became very hot in that tiny room. How can this be? I prayed over that sweet girl and memorized her every feature I stared at her picture for months, she was my daughter!! "We will find you another,yes?" He said. We nodded, of course, we were her to adopt two children, we were here to provide a lifetime of love and care to an orphan. It wasn't so much about which orphan. We knew this was a possibility. Our team had educated us well, but still it's a severe blow. Without being too dramatic, it felt like we'd lost a child, it felt a lot like a miscarriage. a child we loved deeply, but would never see. But there was no time to mourn, our appointment was only so long, and we had to find a second child!
Binders filled with children available for adoption
There are binders FULL of files of children available to adopt. They had to find one that matched the criteria we had in our home study. A child birth to 4 years old with down syndrome. They looked and looked and they paged through those binders with lightening speed all the while talking very fast and very loudly in Russian! Finally they pulled a file, "Here is a boy, he is almost 3 he has down syndrome and is in the same region as "Jolie", you take him, yes?" Um....we looked at his little face, he was cute, of course I think all children are cute. Um.....I looked at Dane, I looked at his picture again. Um....God? Dane talked first, "Yes, we can take him, can't we Misty?" It didn't fell right, somehow, we were going to get two girls, we had two white cribs in a very pink bedroom, we had matching baby dolls. Um.....Yes ok, we can take him. Just then our facilitator, got up and went in the directors office. He was gone for a few minutes. Dane and I talked about how Gods plans are not ours and how a boys would be just fine.
 Our facilitator burst in the room with a file in his hand, "Here, just on the directors desk, for one hour, a brand new file, a brand new child!" We looked at the file on the table, there she was, a sweet 4 month old baby girl. Sofiah. My heart skipped a beat, I looked at Dane, he had a smile on his face. Our facilitator read her file. then he got to her birth date, now were a bit strange in our family with our birth dates, we like them all to go together, and we have all kinds of odd ways to make them fit in, she was born on May 26th!!! We have several May birthdays, and hers fit right in, it was as if God said, this one was born for your family! They wanted us think about it and make sure we were sure! We walked around a bit, and prayed a bit, but really we knew in our hearts that she was ours. We went back in and told them, YES!
  I have never felt so bad as I did saying no to that little boy, my heart ached that I couldn't take them both, or all, I would have taken every orphan in Ukraine, if I could have!
That evening we were tired, drained emotionally and jet-lagged. Dane fell asleep and I tossed and turned.
 I finally got up and sat on the couch. "....just on the directors desk, ONE hour.....", a brand new file. It all came to me in sharp focus!! All the delays, all the time spent waiting, all the hours I raged at God for not making things go lightening fast, ONE hour!! If we had finished our dossier early in the summer, we would have missed, Sofiahs file, if our paperwork had gotten to Ukraine on Monday and we had gotten an appointment in the morning, we would have missed Sofiahs file, if we had not been there at GODS appointed time we would have MISSED Sofiah!! It came down to minutes, if I had gotten my way, Sofiah would not have been ours. To say I was humbled would be a major understatement. I bawled and prayed for forgiveness, My selfish impatience was too much to bear, I could not believe God would still bother to bless me after how I had behaved! But there she was, and she needed us, she was in the hospital and was being painfully neglected. She was sedated and already displaying many behaviors associated with neglect. God knew! God KNEW!
Sofiah on Metcha Day at the hospital

That sweet little boy? He is at HOME with a family that he fit into perfectly!! God is awesome, Praise be to God!!!


Well, that was a long story! But I needed to hear it, I needed to write it. As you know we are going back, God called and we answered. But we're stuck, again, we are waiting for a piece of paper from our government giving "Debbie" permission to immigrate. They have made some new policies at their office and what used to take a few weeks is now taking 90 days! This has really thrown us for a loop, we were not expecting this kind of hold up. We really thought we would be travelling in Sept. But it looks like it will be much later now. I will admit, I have prayed and all but demanded a miracle, I have cried and questioned Gods plan, but then I thought about Sofiah, and God placing her file on that desk at just the right moment, an I am humbled, and excited to see what "Debbies" God story will be!

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Debbie before transfer to institution
http://reecesrainbow.org/77751/sponsoranderson-3


"Morgans" paperwork is still not completed and now the region in which she lives is under sonstant threat from Russian forces. In fact her baby house has been evacuated. Please pray for her and all the orphans living in fear.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Catarinah!

I thought everyone might enjoy an update on us and our latest transition to a family of 11 children. I think I will start with Catarinah. We call her Catyah and she lights up a room!
Catyah turned two right after we got home. Her addition to our family hardly seemed like an addition. It felt like she had always been here! She quickly wrapped everyone around her little finger and all her brothers are still at her beck and call!


Catarinah on Metcha Day
Children should not be warehoused and being an orphan takes it's toll on even the sweetest child. When Catyah came home she weighed 19lbs, and was in 12 months size. Six months later she is a whopping 28 lbs and wears 24mos and 2T! Once she figured out food was plentiful and she would be fed regularly and that you could touch your food, she took off! This girlie LOVES food! Her first sign was "more" as in more food now! When we got home she couldn't bear to see food sitting out, like on the table or cookies coming out of the oven, she wanted it all now. This is very common behavior for children raised in a situation where food is not plentiful. She would cry and moan and throw herself on the floor, and bang her head fiercely. She was afraid that 1, she might not get any and 2, that others would get it before her and 3, who knows when there might be more? It was tough to watch her go through this, and it taught us a valuable lesson in understanding just how good we have it. Want an apple? Sure. Need a sandwich? No problem. When there's not enough to go around or when you go to sleep hungry, you learn to do whatever it takes to get nourishment in you!
At over 6 months home, we rarely see these behaviors any more.
Catyah was also chronically dehydrated. Little ones in the orphanage just don't get enough to drink. We went back to a bottle with her and found she was so happy to get a bottle of water whenever we were willing to give it. We rock a byed her and really treated her like a new baby. It might sound silly to you to treat a 2 year old like an infant, but it was really what she needed. We lavished her with attention and we played silly games and gave her bottles. She matured very quickly while we did this, although there are still facets of her personality that still need babying. And that's fine with us, we missed out on two years of loving on her, so we'll make up for it now!
Aliviah showing Catyah that yogurt can be fun!

These two! Rubbing pounds of Vaseline into each other!!

Catyah has begun speech and physical therapy. She is doing great in both. She had tubes put in her ears in April, these drained the fluid stuck behind the eardrums and allowed her to really hear for the first time. It was so fun to whisper in her ear and watch the look on her face! She could hear that whisper, she was so impressed! One of my favorite things to do with her in church is whisper, "I love you," she always turns right around a plants a big kiss on my cheek! She is a wonderful mimic and can make lots of sounds, Mama and Dada are about her only "real" words, but she has about 10 signs she uses to let us know what she wants!
Aliviah and Catyahs first meal together!
How about her relationships with her siblings? Well lets start with Aliviah, her "Big Little Sister". Aliviah is actually younger than Catyah by 5 months. But of course she is more mature and advanced than Catyah. Aliviah has been one of our earliest talkers and she is a great mother to everything that will allow her to mother it! The girls got along great from the get go. As long as Catyah was willing to do Aliviahs bidding;) As Catyah got more comfortable with her place in our family she got a bit bolder. We have had a few tussles involving hair pulling and biting! They are very typical sisters and often want what the other has! But all in all they do love each other and Catyah has done things I don't think she would have done with out Aliviah there to cheer her on and set an example! For instance, Catyah was taught at the orphanage to NEVER touch her food. She was lost when it came to eating grapes or puffs. She would hold her hands out away from any food. But after a few days of watching Aliviah she tried it out for and found feeding oneself to be great fun!
Mothers Day picnic


Octavian loves his little sister and is always "helping" often when Catyah would rather do something herself. He worries for her safety and won't let her out of his sight when they are outside. Like Aliviah, Catyah has all her big brothers in the palm of her hand, both girls get to swing for hours, because there are so many brothers to push! Story time is great too, because you just move to the next brother and get another story!
Ileigh and Catyah have a great relationship, if I'm not available, Ileigh makes a fine substitute!

Gotcha Day for Catyah
 
I will admit, I didn't know what life would be like with a child with Down Syndrome. There were times I was worried and scared. But to be perfectly honest, she's very much like any other two year old! She is very fun, loveable, quite typical. She has fits when things don't go her way, she pulls her sisters hair if she takes away her dolly, She needs kisses on her boo-boos.
I know I speak for our whole family when I say, we would be lost without Catarinah!! We are so glad God led us to adopt!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Little Debbie


Oh! It feels SO good to let our little secret out! Thank you all for your encouragement and your well wishes! We are well on our way to getting Debbie home.

Do you have a few minutes? Let me tell you a story.

Once there was a little girl in an orphanage across the ocean. She was small, and smart and couldn’t walk. She enjoyed learning new things at her Baby House. Then one day it was decided that her and one of her friends must be transferred to an institution. They could no longer remain at the Baby House. Her little friend had special needs too. Her face looked different. Both little girls were moved to the institution and their lives were changed there. The girls were different, crippled and strange looking. The staff at the institution decided these little ones must be bad omens, or maybe demon possessed. They were treated badly, abused, neglected, and malnourished.  Gone were the days of learning and playing. Now they sit and wait. Sit and hope they won’t be hurt. That they will be fed. 

One of these little girls is Debbie. She was transferred earlier this year and our facilitation team in the same country our Catyah and Sofiah are from, begged for a family to be found for her. They feared for her safety. I heard this story and it pricked my heart, I shared Debbie and her story on Facebook and with my friends, hoping we could find her a family. I wasn’t thinking we might be her family!! I talked with Dane about her and it just felt right to inquire about her.  We prayed, oh how we prayed! We prayed that if this wasn’t Gods will then He would shut the door. We kept walking though, kept putting one foot in front of the other, cautiously, waiting for Him to shut the doors. Although it seemed for a time that that was what He was doing, it wasn’t. The door has remained open and we are still walkin’!!

 

We weren’t really looking to adopt again just yet. But we have also been praying for God to use us as He sees fit. So we weren’t really surprised. Once you have seen the look of neglect and longing on a child’s face, you cannot un-see it. Once you have heard orphans calling to you, “Mama, Papa” to you as visit with the child you are adopting, you can never un-hear it. Once you have seen a child neglected and un-fed laying for hours with nothing to look at and no one to be with, you can’t just look away, go on with your daily life. You want to shout it from the rooftops, you want to shake people from their selfish apathy, and you want them to see and hear, and witness the pain and sorrow and dismay, just like you did!! Children are suffering, 147 million to be exact. That’s how many orphans there are in the world today. Dane and I know we can’t save them all, it’s a big number, but we can save one. We can make the difference to one. We must make a difference. As Christians, we have no choice. Christ asked us to be His hand and feet. We do that by our actions, by moving, by putting one foot in front of the other and walking with Him, doing His work.

 

The other little girl, Debbies friend, she has a family coming for her too!! Praise God!
I can’t wait to see the look on the staffs faces when they see us coming to get our girl, the one they deemed unworthy!!