Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Advocating for Jenna

Like so many children all over the world, Jenna is in need of a family. Right now her file is with WACAP and it has been for at least a month. The first couple of times I saw her picture I thought she looked familiar, but didn't put two and two together until just last week. Even though the picture on WACAP and New Day's site looked identical, their birth dates were different which is why I probably didn't think too much about it. Until the other day.

I wasn't even on the computer and something told me to check it out again and compare their pictures side by side. I did, and I know without a doubt that these two pictures, were of the same girl.

I immediately contacted Rita from New Day's Forever Home (which is where Jenna lives) to see if she knew Jenna was on an agency's list. I sent her the picture and bio, and she too agreed that both pictures looked very similar but that the birth dates were off. So, she said she was going to look into it and see if it was in fact Jenna.

I just got an e-mail back from Rita that the little girl on WACAP's waiting child list is in fact Jenna.

When we were visiting New Day I was able to meet several of the kids and Jenna was one of them. I was told that Jenna is from the same orphanage as Drew and she hasn't been at New Day long. I don't know why, but since meeting Jenna I have not been able to get her adorable little face out of my mind. She has the same chubby cheeks as Drew, maybe that is why. Or maybe it is because she is from the same place as Drew. Jenna was very shy when I met her, but I remember the sparkle in her eyes. She needs a family, and some family out there needs her. I know she is not our daughter, could she be yours?

Because of Jenna's age she lives with Rita and her family at New Day's Forever Home. Jenna has been diagnosed with selective mutism. In fact, she has said several words, and continues to make huge improvements. For more information on Jenna, please call WACAP.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Black and White Wednesday ~ Gabe

Oh how I love this little boy. I simply cannot imagine my live without him. He is a true blessing from above. Gabe will head off to Kindergarten this year and this momma is going to be very sad. Granted he will only go for half a day, I am not sure what I am going to do with out him.

He is a hoot! He has no sense of humor, AT. All. In fact, he is about as serious as serious can get. That is what makes him so funny. He has absolutely no idea how hilarious he is. He is the topic of many discussions. I honestly don't know where he gets it from. I am hoping it is something he will outgrow for his sake. Despite his lack in the humor department, he is a delightful little boy.

Gabe is probably the most persistent, determined 5 year old I know. He never gives up. In fact, if he wants something, he will ask over and over and over. Now, I know most kids do this, but Gabe literally never gives up. No matter how many times you tell him something, he will continue to ask, and ask, and ask. The whole "broken record" method does not work with him. Someday his persistence will hopefully work to his benefit. Right now it is just driving me crazy.

If you ask Gabe how old he is he will proudly answer "5" (pause for a few seconds) "oh, and a half." Heaven forbid we forget the half. We were at the doctor's office today for his Kindergarten physical and when the nurse asked him how old he was he said the usual, "5...and a half." When he noticed she was writing it down, he quickly had to ask her to make sure she wrote down the half as well. She didn't, but she did after he asked.

Of all my kids, Gabe is the most loving, affectionate, and caring. He gives the best hugs. I talking big, tight, both arms around the neck hugs. He puckers his little lips like a fish for a kiss. I can always count on a hug and kiss from Gabe several times a day. He is the cuddliest as well. He will take any opportunity to sit next to me (or on top of me). He is learning that he has to share mom's lap with Drew now, which he does not like one bit. He simply is the sweetest little boy.

There is never a dull moment when Gabe is around. Recently he has taken it upon himself to "police" everything and everyone. If you are anywhere near him and are not doing the right thing, he will be quick to point it out. He is not mean at all about it, just very blunt, and to the point.

Gabe is absolutely, positively in no way shape or form a "thrill seeker." He is petrified of heights, only like to swim in the lake if he can touch, and you better not even think about going fast in the speed boat. Unlike the other kids, he will NOT go tubing, swim in the sandbar, or jump off the pier. He will however sit patiently waiting for a fish to bit his hook and then proudly let everyone know he caught a fish.

Gabe is my baby, no matter what he says, or how old he gets, he will always be my baby.

*Don't forget to head over to Stefanie's and leave a comment. Remember each comment left for the entire week is $1 she is donating to An Orphan's Wish.

She's At It AGAIN...

I am pretty certain you all know Stefanie from Ni Hao Y'all, she's pretty much a celebrity in the adoption community. Stefanie has 9 kiddos, 5 from China. She has an amazing heart for orphans. She is one of the many talented women at Wild Olive Tees and she works very closely with An Orphan's Wish.

Stefanie is having another one of her amazing give aways and this time instead of giving away a prize, she is going to donate $1 for every comment she receives this week to An Orphan's Wish. And the best part is there no limit so we can post as many comments as we want!

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Stefanie's and leave a comment. Lets rack up those dollars.

An Orphan'sWish

Monday, June 21, 2010

Is This Your Daughter?

You all (or at least most of you)know that Drew was blessed to be part of New Day Foster home. I cannot thank New Day enough for the care they gave him during his 3 1/2 years. Without New Day, Drew would have died. I know that is not something we like to think about, but it is a fact. Drew was born with several medical issues, one of which was a severe umbilical polyp (basically part of his intestines were sticking out his belly button). If the polyp had burst, Drew would have died immediately. Thanks to the New Day staff, they took Drew from his home orphanage in Inner Mongolia to Beijing to have the life saving surgery he desperately needed. During one of his surgeries the doctors told the staff that they did not think he would make it through the night and to begin making arrangements. Not only did Drew make it through the night, but he has overcome most of his other medical issues and unless you saw the scars yourself, you would think he was a healthy little boy.

We can only thank God for forsaking him that day, and for New Day for taking a chance and providing our son with the medical care he needed. Because of them, we are able to call him our son, and could not imagine our family without him. The minute I saw his chubby little cheeks I knew without a doubt he was our son. He is in every sense of the word, our son.

New Day does an amazing job of preparing their kids for their new families. The day we met Drew (at his foster family's home), he was exciting and waiting for us. He came to me right away with no apprehension and hasn't left my side since. He has been the same way with the other kids. He was so excited to get home to them. In fact, on the trip home every time we changed planes he would get off looking for Emma.

Because of New Day, Drew was able to speak and understand not only Chinese, but English as well. From day one he has understood everything we have said to him. He knows how to count, his ABC's and a boatload of songs. He is one smart little boy. Before we left New Day gave us a bag stuffed with all of the artwork Drew had ever done, three CD's with pictures and videos of Drew and an enormous amount of documentation regarding any and all medical procedures he has ever had or any medication he has ever taken. If you have ever adopted before, you know how important that alone is considering most parents get one sheet of paper that is supposed to reflect their child's entire medical history.

Pictured below is a little girl named Raegan. When we visited New Day we were lucky enough to get to visit the other kids as well. Most of the kids were a little hesitant to the "strangers," but not Reagan. She willingly let Blake and I hold her and she was simply the sweetest little girl. Raegan is currently part of New Day is and also on an agency's list. For more information on Raegan go here, here , or here.

Raegan is in need of a family. Could she be your daughter? Raegan is on the CCAI list.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hope is Fading

Like many adopting or adoptive parents, I have seen ALOT of adoption videos. But I have never seen one quite like this. This is probably the shortest video about adoption, but it gets the message across like no other.

Please take a few minutes to watch, you will not be disappointed. You may also want to grab a box of tissues.

Hope is Fading from Allan Rosenow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Black and White Wednesday ~ Blessed

Honestly, these pictures turned out better than I expected. As soon as I took them I know that no matter how they turned out they were going to be my Black and White Wednesday contributions. I know this sounds terrible but this is the first picture I think I have taken of all six of my kids, together at one time. Who knew it would be so hard to get 6 kids together to sit still long enough for a quick picture.

I love these pictures. I love that there are 12 feet dangling from the pier. I love that Mylee is practically sitting on Jaxon's lap with her hand in his lap. I love that both Drew and Gabe are not even looking at the camera, but instead looking as though they could either one jump (or fall) at any time. I love that Blake and Emma have the same smile (I don't think I have ever noticed that before). I love knowing that each and everyone of those faces were meant to call me "mom," or "momma," or "mommy." I love that each and everyone of those arms were meant to give and receive hugs from me. I love knowing that when I look at those faces, I know without a doubt I am doing exactly what I was called to do; be a mom. Mostly I love the feeling of absolute, unconditional love I feel for each and every one of these faces.

When I look at this picture I see 6 smiles. I see 12 pair of arms and legs. I see 60 little (and not so little) fingers and toes. I see round eyes and almond eyes. I see brown hair and hair as black as the night sky. But what I see more than anything are 6 very different yet very similar kids who are in every sense of the word my children. I could not be happier, prouder, or more blessed to call these my children.

And what makes me even happier, prouder, and blessed is to hear someone else say it. Matt's mom and I were sitting on the deck watching the kids play. Mylee was right in front of us playing with some blocks (I am not exactly sure what she did) when my mother in-law chuckled and said "she may not be your biological daughter, but she is definitely your daughter." She certainly is.