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
I did not think he would find a family so quickly & 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
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-
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.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Family is More than Blood:Ray family

 If your new to my blog, this is a series I just started on adoptive families. Each Friday I will feature One family who has adopted & One who is adopting currently. Some weeks I may combine the two if the family is adopting & has adopted then I will just do that family on that Friday. Today's featured family is the Ray family. To learn more about the Ray family you can visit their page. They are in the midst of their 2nd adoption & If you even have just $5 to spare every little bit helps! here

What Brought you to adopt?
We felt led to Micah instantly when we saw his picture on Reece's Rainbow in November 2010. We prayed about it & committed to him 3 days later. We had never seriously considered adoption before seeing his picture.

How has your life changed since bringing home your child?
Life has gotten more exciting! Micah is full of life & curiosity. We have learned how to work in the special Ed system, be successful in IEPs, and fight for everything he needs to succeed in life.

How has your child changed since coming home?
Micah has changed in every way. He has tripled in size in 3 years. He has learned ASL and is very communicative now. He asserts his desires and wishes where he never had a "voice" to do so before. He is more loving. He "plays" with toys and is able manipulate things to do what he wants them to do. He can sit still longer and focus on tasks. He responds appropriately. He shows true LOVE to his family & friends. He is not as afraid of heights like before (he will jump on the trampoline & swing high on the swings & climb up a ladder & slide down the slide). He was too scared to do those things before. He has a light in his eyes & smile that never go away.

Whats the Hardest part of life after bringing home your child?
Trying to communicate with a little man who doesn't speak. We've had to learn each other well enough to get our points across & know when he understands us. He's made huge strides, but at 6 years old, he still is only signing 99% of the time. 

How is the 2nd adoption process compared to the first?
The 2nd process is so much easier. We know what to expect, we are more relaxed & not as stressed. We saw God control the first process & know He's in control of the 2nd, so we just give it all to him. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Family is More than Blood:Chellson family

Family is more than Blood, I have that phrase on my shirt & as I was thinking of that phrase I decided I wanted to use it as an opportunity to bring awareness of adoption. Each Friday, I will be using this opportunity to introduce you to 1 family who has adopted & most weeks an additional family who is currently in the process of adopting. This week I introduce this first family who has adopted & is adopting currently. Meet the Chellsons, I have had the personal privilege of getting to know them a little bit while I lived in CA & luckily I got to be a part of their journey to Misha & got to meet him.
 What brought you to adopt?
I first felt the desire to adopt (or foster) after my little sister Lizzy was born. Lizzy was born when I was 13 & has Down Syndrome & she forever changed my world for the better. When David & I got married I knew I wanted to adopt (or foster) but it would most likely happen after my biological had grown up and moved away.That plan quickly changed once David & I learned we were struggling with secondary infertility. After a handful unsuccessful fertility treatments we were given word it was time to move onto trying IVF & we felt that my body had been through enough with all the fertility drugs & that it was time to look into other options for expanding our family. That was when our adoption journey got started.

How has your life changed since bringing home your child?
Life is wonderful having Misha home with us. From the moment we saw his picture we knew he'd fit in with us just perfectly! We have our moments when some frustrations or stubbornness kicks in but it's nothing we can't handle. Most of the changes we have felt has been in our daily schedule...Misha receives therapy 3 times a week along with attending our amazing county special ed preschool & you add this into our older sons baseball & school schedule it just makes for more time in the car. We've all adjusted to the schedule & it honestly feels like it's been this way forever.

What's the hardest part of life after bringing home your child?
The hardest part of life has not been the adjustment but it is the lack of knowledge we have on his medical or family history. We have some medical records but they are not very clear & it tends to leave the doctors scratching their heads. Which leaves us having to guess on things & making assumptions about his previous care. Thankfully we have a great team of doctors that provide amazing care for Misha & it helps the struggle of his unknown past.

How is the 2nd adoption process compared to the first?
Since we are currently in the final stretch of our second adoption I can say that adopting this time around is way less stressful & moving much faster then the first adoption. The paperwork the first time was so overwhelming and sometimes confusing for a newbie & took us about 6/7 months to complete because of things needing to be redone due to errors we did not see. This time around we felt way more confident in what we were doing & reached out to our resources from the first adoption & it made it all go much quicker & our paperwork was finished in about 8 weeks this time.

Why Special needs international adoption?
When we set out on our adoption journey we actually began looking at becoming foster parents but with Davids work schedule & having a young son at home we found it was not a good fit for us...we then looked into going the birth mother route but found no solid help or answers for our questions so we moved on...we then looked into domestic adoption of children with special needs & were again met with unhelpful answers & no one really willing to help guide us in starting the process...after all this we were told about Reece's Rainbow & found an amazing local family in process who were able to answer our questions, ease our minds & guide our hearts into starting the process...and the rest is history.
 I have witnessed first hand how much they love this sweet boy, now let's help them bring home another precious sweetie! They are still short on funds to bring Baby C home. They will be doing an auction on Instagram on the bringingbabychome page shortly. In the meantime you can go make a donation to their Reece's Rainbow page here

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Let Freedom Ring

Yes, I know this is a day late but I don't care cause I want to share this message. Some of this I wrote on my fb page yesterday but still want to share with the pictures.
What is Freedom?
Freedom is the chance to be able to run & play. Freedom is the choice to be yourself. Freedom is having a choice of religion. 
Every year we get the chance to celebrate that freedom but yet we tend to forget how blessed we are with that freedom. 
While we get to run & play their are orphans laying down in cribs & beds all day.
While we have a choice to be ourselves & in what we say, what we eat, or when we go to sleep, orphans don't have those choices.
Freedom is having a choice of religion & for them they can't truly experience how much God loves them. On this day each year I can never help to remember the orphans stuck in orphanages & mental institutions who might never know what true freedom is in this lifetime. 
I pray someday I can give a child that freedom but for now I do what God wants me to do.
Please take a moment to thank God for the freedom you have but yet also say a prayer for those like orphans who don't have that freedom. Now just look at how much these kids are enjoying freedom!

Freedom is the priceless act of love to belong & be loved & willing to do whatever it takes to help someone experience that freedom. Adoption is not easy, it's not perfect but if these families could I'm sure they would do it all over again in a instant.
Would you do anything to help a child experience this freedom like these girls have?
Here's some suggestions of ways you can help in the world of adoption:
1.Organize/host a yard sale or other fundraiser
2.donate items/time to support a yard sale or other fundraiser
3.Offer up to watch other children (if any) so they can get paperwork or other things done. Or help out when they travel to adopt said child(ren)
4.Prayer support-it takes nothing but time
5.Make a meal/buy a meal to take to the family once home with their child.
6.Be an encouraging family member or friend to those that make that choice to adopt. 
7.Reach out to your church to see if you can find a way to support adoption even if it's just hosting a fundraiser and/or having an adoption support group.
If your thinking of special needs adoption might I suggest visiting

And this family is giving Ian that freedom
They are about to head on their pickup trip to bring Ian home & are still short on funds to bring him home. Please consider donating even just $5 can make a difference! Let's make freedom ring for this boy so next year he can be home celebrating with his family!