Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life in KY, a year later

One year ago, we embarked upon a journey to our new state of KY. I went through many stages of what I would describe as "grieving" & I will be completely honest it's been HARD. I wrote about my experience of how hard it was to say see ya later http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/08/when-life-takes-you-to-unexpected.html & http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/07/when-saying-see-ya-later-is-hard.html & http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/09/girlfriends-how-small-groups-changed-my.html. Going through the emotions was hard for me & though it's much better with less tears than when we moved here a part of me still calls CA home & it's hard when every part of me longs for all that's familiar & when I just want to rush back to my dearest girl pals I can't. It hurts, that I can't give hugs to my friends there or can't cry on their shoulders or laughing together with them, or having a group prayer with them, or be there when they are going through a rough time. My room, is just filled with memories or pictures of my friends from little to big & I look at them every time I stare at my bulletin board, or look at my dresser, or look at my bedside table, or snuggle my handmade hippo my friend made me. 
It took me so long to truly build & form these friendships, that's why I so wish plane tickets did not cost a fortune so my friends could come visit me and I could visit them.
This past year has not been easy for me & I do know it takes time forming & building those friendships. I'm getting there, & very thankful to those that have opened their doors to being my friend.
It's still not sunshine & roses all the time for me but I'm getting adjusted still & enjoying some good parts of living here. Like my fantastic room with a comfy Queen size bed & I truthfully don't know why I did not get one before. I really don't miss my unstable twin iron bed that when it slid off would scare the heck out of me not kidding. Craigslist is not huge here & the only city that has one is about hr away so for the most part we have been having good luck on swap/sale sites, yard sales, & thrift stores. Bottom corner is my room now plus just added a bench by the window.
Then their is also the fact of being so much closer to family.
Experiencing new things such as horseback riding. My boots were $3 from Goodwill, can't beat that!
Then God's unbelievable views he has created,
And wonderful photography spots in our very own backyard or front yard.

As hard as this move has been & still is to me, no matter how much I'm homesick, & my heart aches with every breath missing my friends & church family, no matter how much I long to just be a bit closer to town/city life again, all that's familiar to me I know God's got me in his Hands. I trust & know he has a plan for my life & I look forward to what else he has in store! When I'm weak, HE IS STRONG! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quick update

I know most of you likely are my fb friend but for those that are not I wanted to update you on the following:
This girl, had her match met but they are still short on funding so feel free to send them some love here http://reecesrainbow.org/72173/sponsorcox-3

Remember Madeline?
SHE IS HOME WITH HER FOREVER FAMILY!! Guess who has been home for 3 weeks now?
IAN THAT'S WHO!!!

And the great news keeps going, Valera's family is FULLY FUNDED FOR HIS ADOPTION! I'm still their warrior gonna pray this boy home but while I do that I'm gonna make sure they can get funded for their other cutie they are in the process of adopting from another country!
If your on facebook be sure to check out the online auction we have going on here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1458262417785754.1073741828.1458259977785998&type=1 or if not consider making a donation here http://reecesrainbow.org/78790/sponsorschultz
And I think that's about it for now! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Break my heart for what breaks his

Ever since I began this journey of advocating, I never truly thought how much my heart would break over orphans I had never met. After the adoption ban I questioned & I wondered why? Was I suppose to continue? It broke my heart & I was not sure if I would come out from it. I was scared of falling in love with another child & having my heart be broken all over again. Slowly, I started to get back to advocating & fundraising for adoptive families. I started with the Kirk family who are home now yay! 

When my heart got broken I had to make a tough decision of where I wanted her grant to go, after many debates of where it should go I chose 3 girls, all 3 with such adorable smiles. I did not want to make that decision & with many tears I made it. One of those girls is now home & one soon to be home. Though it makes me happy other girls get to come home because of her grant it still hurts knowing she is stuck. 

What I want to shout to the world is despite the many times I want to quit, God keeps me going. 
I love this passion of mine & really wish everyone understood & got it like I do. Sometimes I feel like no one hears & why bother to try? It's because of the former orphans I have met that I do. My heart longs to be able to adopt but for now I do what I can to help. If I had all the money in the world I would fund every adoption & I'm always torn to know which family God wants me to help. At this time, it's these two families & I'm pleading to the end of the earth for them both cause THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME & GOD!
Meet Maria,who is being adopted by the Cox family
After the adoption ban, I saw this little girls smile & it reminded me of the other girl I love so I shared her face on/off on my blog & on fb. Her joyfilled grin gave me a reason to smile. Not to replace my feelings I had for the two girls I so dearly loved but to add a new butterfly to this "family". Her family absolutely adores her & are still short $9,000 for the adoption of her. I have seen their family work hard to raise the funds to go get her & more than anything I want this girl to be honored even if she never gets to experience a family. 
So sweet Celine, you touched my life even if you never realized it & your apart of Maria's story so much. An anonymous person worked hard with no expectations & was blessed with a gift from someone they love. This gift was never about the person giving it but was truly given out of love. A $150 matching grant has been offered & no far no movement. Trusting God will provide, Celine you showed me how to love despite being oceans apart, & through this adoption ban your giving love to another little girl so she can know what love is so this is not any ordinary match this one is in your honor. Once their grant reads $3,553.41 it will be matched. 
To donate visit HERE http://reecesrainbow.org/72173/sponsorcox-3
No donation is too little or too big! PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD CAUSE EVEN IF CELINE IS STUCK WE CAN MAKE SURE MARIA COMES HOME!


And meet Valera, pictured here with his adoptive mama
His story is truly unique & special as it's not often orphans with special needs are allowed to be a part of hosting programs. God guided these two together at the Reeces Rainbow Reunion & I'm so thankful I got to meet them both. Valera is truly a special boy! It's one thing to see a picture but a whole new one when you meet them face to face. I am signed up to be their family warrior just like I was for the Kirk family who is home now. The Schultz family is not only in the process of adopting Valera but also another cutie in another country.
THEY NEED HELP! PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TODAY! I have no prize to offer but know it does not matter about prizes cause it's all about love. 
http://reecesrainbow.org/79583/sponsorschultz-2

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pressing Onwards

Last week was truly emotional with the good & the bad of this crazy world of advocating for orphans. I was just emotionally exhausted from it all crying tears of Joy seeing this boy become fully funded & joining his new mama.

 & some of sadness (see here & here). I thought could this week become more emotional? Yes, it did my sweet Brandi lost her committed family due to her city currently closed to adoptions because of all that's going on in her country. It just sickens me to a core that one certain guy does not care & I'm still praying he will have a change of heart or be kicked out of office. 
I was desperately wondering why? what now? Why do I keep advocating & falling for precious girls then to be heartbroken? Yet, he used a friend to yet again remind me that the faces I saw at the Reunion despite the pain & the devil wanting me back in the dark hole I was at after the Russia adoption ban, was worth it still & keep going. 


I'm pressing onwards taking one step at a time to help families bring home more precious lives like the ones I met.
You remember Maria another girl I advocated for who was one of the ones I chose to get Celines Grant? Well, she has a family who still is not funded & needs help!
On this Sunday would you consider skipping a $5 starbucks or that after church lunch for Maria? To donate please visit their link here http://reecesrainbow.org/72173/sponsorcox-3
Would you also care to send a few dollars to the Chellson family? They are in country & short $1,000. Please help them too! http://reecesrainbow.org/70626/sponsorchellson-2
Pray I will be able to let go & trust God's plan, lastly another post that truly helped me with what emotions I have gone through http://babynumber10.blogspot.com/2014/08/guardrails.html 
It's not easy this roller coaster ride I have been on, but yet I do it again for these in heartbeat.
And of course my buddy Quinton,


Saturday, August 9, 2014

A living Miracle

Among the Many I met at the Reece's Rainbow Reunion was a sweet girl who is truly a living miracle. Almost 2 years ago she finally came home to her forever family. I followed their journey, & was a small part of her coming home so if ever their was a surreal moment as this was finally meeting face to face with the adorable fighter, Lyla. I don't remember when it was but at some point in the crazy awesome fundraising that took place to help bring her home their was two different shirts made to help bring her home. Though now I wished I had gotten both (and had a backup cause mine is too worn out to wear anymore!) I'm so glad I was able to get this one which says Lyla Love will Bring her Home. It sure did!
(please note not the greatest picture but I think it's the only one I have wearing it when I first got it.) 

Awhile back I even got asked about it, who Lyla was & I told that person it was an orphan I had helped. 
As I was thinking of how best to write about my experience & how much of a miracle she is I thought I would ask her mom & she shared this old post from March 2012 with the Story of Lyla from their blog, Lucky to Love Lyla (read more of Lyla's story on their blog linked here) entitled Dear Lyla:
Dear Lyla,

It has been almost 2 years since I first saw your beautiful face on the Reece's Rainbow site.  I was so drawn to your picture, it was if your eye's just screamed for me to come get you!!  I knew the instant I saw you that I wanted to be your Mom!!  I knew that you were meant to be a part of our family. 

I remember the day we committed to you like it was 5 minutes ago.  It was one of the most Amazing days of my life. I was so insane with EXCITEMENT that I was running in and out of the house like a complete lunatic.  I wanted to SCREAM to the world that you were going to be my daughter!!!

I made many promises to you that day.  I promised to do what ever it would take to get you home.  I promised that you were about to be BLESSED with the Best Daddy in the whole world.   I also promised that you would never ever live a day with out being loved once I got my hands on you!!! 

I am so sorry that almost 2 years later, I have not kept even one promise to you. 

As miraculously as it might sound because of YOU we have added two precious treasures to our family.  When you were very sick and we were not permitted to bring you home we decided to continue our adoption journey.   This was not easy!!!  As a matter of fact it was AWFUL knowing that you were not coming home.  It was horrific knowing that you would go to HEAVEN with out ever knowing the LOVE of a family.  Your little heart was failing and we were told that you would only be leaving the ICU to go to HEAVEN.    I remember thinking that GOD must of misunderstood my prayers to help you get home.  I never meant HOME with Him - I meant home with us!!!! 

I wasn't sure if I could love another little girl the way I had already LOVED you.  I have to be honest though, I knew the moment I held Belle that she was absolutely meant to be my daughter.  I knew that I loved her with all my heart and soul just as I loved you!!   I had no idea how it all happened.  I couldn't begin to figure out how in the world that you being so ill led us to Belle!!!   How, could the obsession of adopting one little girl and her getting sick lead us to our "meant to be" daughter?????  I realized it was God's plan - HE knew all along that Belle would be the 6th addition to our family.  I sure was GRATEFUL!!!!

We had promised (yes, again) that we would return for you in the spring if you had survived.  We had inquired several times.  You were still in the hospital and still not expected to survive.  We grieved!!!  We finally realized that you were not coming home to us.  Our dream of YOU being a part of our family came to and end.  We were heartbroken. 

We still felt that we were being called to adopt.  This time we were going to bring home a very handsome little boy.  Again, it was so obvious that GAVIN was absolutely meant to be part of our family.  It's just that Amazing!!!   You, sweet girl, led us again and we are so very grateful!!!!

When the news was revealed that you had SURVIVED, we were over the moon EXCITED!!!  It was a Miracle!!!  You were a Miracle!!!  So many people had been praying for you to survive and YOU DID!!!  It was so surreal!!!  We all quickly realized how very strong and determined you were to know the LOVE of a forever family.   You were a FIGHTER!!!!

But now what?  We were already in the process to adopt Gavin and we couldn't adopt two children.  We were SICK!!!  We were so torn with what to do.  Should we abandon Gavin and proceed to bring you home???  Or do we continue with our journey to Gavin and abandon you???  Oh it was awful.  Not to mention that Gavin was in the same orphanage you were.  Daddy had no idea when we first committed to Gavin that he chose a little boy in the same orphanage as the little girl he had loved with all his heart!!

We decided that we would continue our journey to bring Gavin home and PRAY like crazy that a family would commit to you as soon as POSSIBLE!!!  I can't even ever explain to you how guilty I felt about this but it did feel right for some reason.

A family committed to bring you home.  A beautiful family that we are very close friends with.  We were so RELIEVED that you would be a part of their fabulous family.  We were so GRATEFUL that you would finally have the life saving surgery that you so desperately deserved!!! 

On our first trip to Gavin, we walked by your little room 4 times a day, every day for over 2 weeks.  We didn't know that we were so close to you but we knew you were in the orphanage somewhere.  We did not ask to see you during our first trip.  I am so so sorry.  I just couldn't.  I was WEAK WITH GUILT!!!  I couldn't face you.  You had done so very much for me.  SO MUCH!!!  AND I HAD DONE NOTHING FOR YOU!!!  How could I face you???  I had made so many promises to you and not kept one.  I was ashamed!!!

The second trip I was stronger and ready to meet the beautiful girl that I had dreamed about and tell her that her Mommy & Daddy were coming for her soon!!!  I am not sure if you remember meeting me but I will remember the day I met you for the rest of my life.  I walked in to your  teeny tiny room and there YOU WERE!!!  You were laying in your crib just staring up at the ceiling.  The caregiver picked you up and held you right in front of me.  I couldn't believe it!!!  There you were - the girl I had dreamed about being my daughter.  There you were - the sweetest little girl I had ever seen.  The girl that had given me so much and I hadn't done a thing for in return.   I asked to hold you.  The nanny handed me the most precious gift I have ever received.  The opportunity to hold you, love you and tell you how very sorry I was.  I felt like I was spinning - I really wasn't even sure how in the world I was holding you.  You smiled at me!!  If i thought I was spinning before I was a tornado at this point.  I looked in to your gorgeous eyes and knew instantly that I had been right all along - YOU WERE AN ANGEL!!!

I pulled my self together so I could talk to you.  I told you that you had to stay strong because your Mommy and Daddy were on their way.  I told you how LOVED you were by so many people!  I told you that I couldn't be any prouder of you!!!  I gave you a gift that Christina had made for you and it was embroidered with your name.  I told you that Christina and her family adored you endlessly!!   You just kept smiling!!  I felt like you absolutely understood everything I was telling you. 

I was told I couldn't stay any longer because you were too sick to have so much going on.  I did NOT want to let you go.  Everything inside me said RUN, take her and just RUN!!!!!  I knew I couldn't take you and run even though it sure seemed like a much better option then turning my back on you!!!

The thought of leaving you was KILLING ME.  Oh My - It was something!!! 

I kissed your very sweet little head and told you how much I Loved you.  I told you how very sorry I was for not being able to bring you home!!   I handed you over and tried to exit the room as fast as possible.  When I came out of your room, Conor & Nick looked so scared.  I don't think they had ever seen me like that.  I was a MESS.  I walked away knowing that I left a very large piece of my heart with you!!!

Shortly after we returned home with Gavin we found out that the family coming for you was unable to continue with your adoption.  Oh my they were just sick as they LOVE you so very much!!!!

I knew that GOD must have one serious plan for you. 

Well, my goodness sweet girl, people started to rally for you like CRAZY!!!  I had sent a plea out that we could not afford another adoption but if we could there would be no question that you would be a part of our forever family.  So many of your warriors started messaging me.  They were doing everything they could to raise your ransom.    It was something to witness I tell you!!!  So many people have been praying for you for 2 years, so many people love you so very much!!  So many people are willing to do anything to bring you home to a forever family. 

Our very best friends in Switzerland, Christina & Christoph (Your Prayer Warriors since you were first listed with RR) offered to help us financially.  Christina also offered to come and stay with our family while we  traveled to you.  She also offered to be here and take care of everyone while you were hospitalized.   Another beautiful family offered us their tax refund if we needed it!!!  Can you believe it?????  Also,  A group of wonderful ladies are doing an amazing giveaway for your adoption fund. 

Well, It was a NO BRAIN ER!!!!!
WE COMMITTED TO BRING HOME OUR DAUGHTER!!!!!


WE COMMITTED TO YOU!!!!!!!!

So, the lady that held you 2 months ago and told you that she LOVED YOU!!!   Well sweet girl, that was your MOM!!!!!!! 
I LOVE YOU LYLA - I LOVE YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!

 We are working at lightening speed to bring you home beautiful girl!!  Please stay strong!!!!  Please stay safe!!!!  Please know that we love you so very much and we are all so crazy excited that you are finally coming HOME!!!!

It's FINALLY Your Turn Sweet Girl!!!!!!
GLORY TO GOD
                     (Lyla in her orphanage)
I am in complete AWE 
that the picture I took 
 of a precious little girl
with blond wispy hair and big blue eyes
was actually my
DAUGHTER


Oh YES, GOD IS GOOD!

This girl truly has exceeded expectations including heart surgery since she came home! A picture is worth a thousand words & seeing this "picture" in real life was truly joyful for me. It was so funny the way in which I finally met up at the camp ground with their family but I could not just leave even if I was going to see them the day I came back. Even though my shirt has worn out I knew I just had to bring it to get a picture with her & the shirt. 
It was a joy to meet your whole family even if I did not get to see much of you I hope to see you next year! Lyla, girl never stop fighting cause you are so worth the fight! So blessed I got to meet this spunky fighter girl!



Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Happy Ending, Meeting Quinton


What title truly begins to grasp of finally meeting Quinton? I truly thought of many but finally came to this one. 3 weeks ago, at the Reece's Rainbow Reunion at Yogi Bear Campground in Cave City, KY I met the boy I first advocated for. I was so anxious, yet excited walking down towards the pool when I saw in the corner of my eye him & his parents. I did not know if I would cry or not but yet I was overwhelmed by all the people that I just was so darn happy. I wish I had gotten that first glimpse & a few other memories on camera but I do have them in my heart. I never could have imagined I would get to meet him let alone it be in KY. I had tried to plan out a time to go visit them in NC but it just never worked out. God made this dream of mine, a reality & I'm just so thankful. I did get to treasure a ride on their golf cart with him sitting on my lap that I will cherish always. October 31, 2010 is when I first signed up to be his Christmas warrior for the 2010 Angel Tree http://myblessedlifejourney.blogspot.com/2010/10/christmas-warrior-for-quinton.html
I did not think he would find a family so quickly http://myblessedlifejourney.blogspot.com/2010/11/quinton-has-found-his-forever-family.html & that I would ever get to meet him in this life. It's tough when things don't go as planned but this happy ending was such a joyful time! Seeing an orphan you played a small part in is always exciting & reminds you yet again all you have gone through is so worth it! Carol, Brian & Quinton it was such a blessing to have finally met you! Wish we could have had more time to visit but hope to see you next year at the Reunion! Now here's the Happy Ending so many of my friends played a part in! Thank you for helping so I can have this precious meeting! I can only say so much without tears so I will just let the picture say the rest of the words.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Meeting a friend named Julia

Where do I even begin on how this Lady has been such a blessing to me?
Such a kindred spirit she is! If she lived close to me she is one I would love to be dear friends with. 
I first found her blog Micah Six Eight http://covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/
her words in how she describes her son's institution he had been in still brings me to tears. Her blog was among the many that brought me to my advocating journey & I'm truly greatful for her story & words that brought me on this journey. 
It felt so surreal when I met her at the Reeces Rainbow Reunion almost two weeks ago, this person who has been non-stop encouraging since I started advocating for orphans. It truly felt like a dream being able to finally give her a hug in person. Sometimes I would have private email conversations with her whether it was asking for prayer on a fundraiser or something, or just being encouraging when I was down, this girl was being so sweet to me & would let me know she was praying. 
Julia, God brought you in my life for a reason & am very thankful for that. Their are many people I have been hopeful to meet in this life & I'm so greatful that one of them has been you. Meeting you in person made it even more real to me & I just wanted to write out my appreciation of you. You truly have been an inspiring person to me. 
This is what I wrote on my Facebook about it:
Among the many people I had the Honor of meeting at the Reece's Rainbow Reunion, was fellow advocate, adoptive parent, & blogger Julia N. & her son Aaron. She is one of the many who started me on my journey for advocating & has been such a big encouragement to me in my own journey what started with the two girls I love now stuck in another country. She has been a true friend & is as much kind in person as she is online. I so wished I had more time to chat with her but I was so blessed to be able to finally meet. Reading her blogposts about the Lost Boys & their story of adopting Aaron is what truly got to my heart about the reality these kids live in daily-http://covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2011/09/closed-world.html
Thanks Julia, for truly being my friend (even behind private emails) & from just this crazy internet world I see the positive side of it meeting inspiring, encouraging people like you & your son. Even if the Journey has been rough for me I thank you for writing your story out on an open blog & supporting me in all my ups & downs with Celine & Cora Lynne whether prayer or encouragement, or helping spread the words about the fundraisers I was doing. Words can only began to describe how greatful I am for you & that God allowed us to meet.


Only God could have allowed this dream of mine to happen about an hour from where I live. My mind is still in a daze from almost two weeks ago & I will be posting more soon.