Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday

People who live the most fulfilling lives are the ones who are always rejoicing at what they have.
-- Richard Carlson

We continue to be blessed in so many ways.  This week I am thankful for...

~USCIS fingerprints DONE! I can't explain how thankful I am for this.  I was about to throw up on my shoes in the car on the way there full well knowing that I talked Jason into taking the day off to do this and IF they said NO, he wasn't going to be really happy with me.  As soon as we got there I saw these two huge security guards.  Jason had already thrown me to the lions telling me I could speak on our behalf (thanks honey!)  I handed the guards our appointment notice for April 19th and they said, "OK come on in"  I couldn't believe my ears.  I started explaining why we were there early and they stopped me and said it was ok and we were ok to get our prints!  I had been praying for God to give me the right words and he words at all.  I didn't have to plead our case, I didn't have to show the pictures of Dariya and cry I just had to be silent and know that God had it all under control.    PEACE!

~ Truly thankful for Amy & Kim this week.  Amy gives up her Monday mornings to hang out with Alayna (ok I know she enjoys her time but, she gives up LOTS of Mondays) so that I can volunteer in Aidan's classroom.  Kim not only volunteered to keep Alayna so we could get our fingerprinting but, she got up early and drug her 2 year old, Eli to OUR house at 7:15 am to keep both kids for us so we didn't have to find someone else to take Aidan before school.  Thanks girls for blessing us.

~God is bringing awareness to the kids on Reece's Rainbow.  This week Patricia  Heaton (Everybody loves Raymond star) donated $10,000 to RR and is helping spread the word about this great organization.  Thank you Patricia!

~A little extra provision - I work from home a couple times a year doing some admin work for a local business person when his full time admin person is on vacation.  

She continues to walk, walk, walk!!!
What are you thankful for this week... please share one or two!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fingerprint SUCCESS!!!

Thank you for all the prayers for our fingerprint walk in attempt this morning.  They definitely paid off.  We entered immigration at 8:10 am and were greeted by two of the kindest security guards ever.  They had no problem with us being there weeks early for our appointment.  We were numbers 8 & 9 and were fingerprinted and on our way back home within an hour!

I shared with the guards that they were blessing us and definitely an answer to our (and your) many prayers.  About 30 minutes into our wait one of the guards came over to tell us how touched he was that people were praying and that they were part of our adoption journey.  I love how God uses everyone!

We are grateful to Kim and Eli for coming over at 7:30 to stay with the kids so that we could be at immigration early!

Thank you all again for the many prayers! Can't wait to get our "Golden Ticket" (immigration approval).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Prayer request...

To all our prayer warriors out there we are humbly thankful for you.  We are asking for prayers for us as we "walk in" to immigration on Tuesday morning for fingerprinting.  Our appointment is April 19th but, we have been urged to try walking in to speed up our immigration approval which is the last piece to our dossier.  

We know God's timing is perfect and completely see His hand guiding this adoption however, we know the power of prayer!

Once we receive immigration approval our paperwork will be sent to Dariya's country for translation and we will be given a court date to appear before the judge!!!  YES we are THAT close.

All this to say instead of waiting a month for an appointment we hope to be receiving our approval by then IF all goes well in the morning.  So please pray with us and for us.

And just in case you need a reminder of why we would attempt to walk in....

The closer we get the harder I am finding it to bear another day without her...we love you Dariya!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart

~Beautiful, breezy spring days enjoying hours of time outside with the kids.

~Our immigration notice for our fingerprint appointment arrived!!!  (unfortunately it is for April 19th, pray that they take us when we "walk in early")

~Friends who have taken it upon themselves to raise the remaining $8000 for Dariya with a golf tourney, silent auction and dinner on May 14th (come join us if you are around town!)

~A date night with the hubby, sushi then Godiva cheesecake for dessert.  Birthday happiness!!! Also, very thankful for my sister who came and stayed with the kids so Jason & I could go out.

Notice her lips pursed so she can make the light saber noises!  LOL

What are you thankful for this week?  Come on share one or two....

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day

Today people all over the world are celebrating those with Down Syndrome.  Down Syndrome is the triplicate of the 21st chromosome, therefore World Down Syndrome Day is on 3-21!
Yeah, a celebration!  This calls for ice cream!!!!

If you follow our blog you know that we celebrate all the blessings God has given us, especially in our children.    Down syndrome is just a small part of Alayna.  It in no way defines her.  She continues to amaze us each day with her sweet personality, trust me she has a way of drawing you in.  Her toddler antics amuse us and she has proven that she is going to grow, learn, excel and soar in this world.

Alayna has truly opened our eyes to the beauty of down syndrome, which is one of the main reasons we began our adoption journey.  We are so looking forward to having Dariya home with our family.  Next year we will have even more reason to celebrate the day. 

We hope you will join us today in celebrating everyone who has down syndrome.  God made each and everyone perfect.   
If in your celebration you decide you can live without your Starbucks (or whatever your vice may be) and donate to Dariya's fund we would be humbly thankful.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more
~ Anthony Robbins

~Spring break with both kids!  No school, no therapies, no place we  "have to be"  AHHHH I do so love it!

~Paperwork for the adoption is finished, just waiting on immigration clearance. (Now maybe I can get my house in order)

~Great weather to take the kids to the park and meet daddy for lunch dates.

~Alayna continues to walk more than she is crawling!

Here is Alayna showing off her colors (she is pointing to the pole and saying RED)

~Jason's route is so close to home that he is home early every night, giving us lots of fun daddy time!

What are you thankful for this week?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The paper pregnancy continues....

Our dossier is complete (all those documents Dariya's country needs to have for court), we have everything apostilled (those pretty bronze seals from the secretary of state's office) now all we are waiting on is our USCIS (immigration clearance) and we can send all these lovely documents to Eastern Europe to get our court date to meet our beautiful daughter.  (Prayers accepted and appreciated!)

Our timeline (if we hit no bumps) could look something like this:  Immigration approval by end of April, file dossier to EE (2-3 weeks for translations), dossier submitted to SDA (mid to late May), court date given (mid June).

We have had a pretty smooth "pregnancy" although I have to say this one has been a whole lot more work that my two biological pregnancies.  We have had the occasional pg heartburn (ie. having to redo a few documents or having the notary redone) and many sleepless nights (can't sleep knowing my daughter is not tucked into her bed in our home at night).  However, I will take our fairly smooth, quick process so far. 

We have been blessed by a 4some of folks at our church (with many more helping) spearheading an
"All for Dariya" day on May 14th.  We start at noon with a 4 person scramble golf tourney then from 5-8 pm we are having a silent auction and pasta dinner at Kaw Prairie.  If you are in town, come join us it will be a great day!  Prayerfully we will raise our last bit of money needed to complete our fundraising so we can travel to meet and pick up our beautiful girl!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayers for Selah PLEASE....

A year ago I happened upon a blog, All are Precious in His Sight written by Lorraine Patterson.  At the time their daugher, Chrissie whom they had adopted from Serbia was undergoing heart surgery.  The sad news was Chrissie didn't survive after surgery and is now dancing with Jesus. 

You would think a family would fall apart but, this sweet Patterson family was just the opposite.  God called them to adopt even more children.  With their strong faith and amazing perserverance they answered God's call and brought Selah into their family this year.

Fast forward to this year when we were searching Reece's Rainbow and praying over which child God was calling us to adopt.  When I announced we were Dariya's family, Lorraine Patterson contacted me and let me know that their family had been Dariya's prayer warrior and Christmas warrior and had raised $3003 for her adoption fund.  Coincidence???? Absolutely not! Lorraine also advertised our iPad giveaway just a few weeks ago to help us fundraise and spread the word about Dariya.

Now I am asking begging you to pray for their sweet Selah.  She is only a few months old and is having brain surgery Monday morning 7:30 am CST.   Just reading her posts I can feel her anxiety about handing another child over for major surgery.

I can't ever repay Lorraine for the love and support she has shown our Dariya and our family  (and she would never expect me to) but, I can pray and hold them up during their trials and invite you to join us in prayer.

Please go over to her blog and let her know you are praying for them, she reads all her comments and with a long surgery and recovery ahead I am sure it would give her some peace to know how many are praying for them.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

A date with my handsome 7 year old

As Aidan started his spring break yesterday and Alayna had her 2 hour preschool class, Aidan and I took full advantage of two hours of Aidan & Mommy time (which if you have more than one child you know is hard to come by).

We dropped Alayna off and ran to the UPS store to send off our last documents to be apostilled then headed straight for Krispy Kreme (come on we had to have enough energy to run and play at the park!)  I skipped the pictures because my fingers were covered in a chocolate gooey, delicious mess!

Then we headed to the park to enjoy the beautiful day.

We climbed...
we played....

we laughed....

we fed the geese....

and went on a long walk. 
What a great day.  I love date days with my sweet boy!

P.S.  Alayna had a blast at preschool and yesterday was the first day I can say she walked more than she crawled! WOO HOO!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Those who put their hope in the LORD will not be disappointed

~The season of Lent, when we prepare our hearts and minds for remembering Christ's death on the cross and celebrate the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ!

~That God is in EVERY tiny detail of our lives.  He is sweetly and quickly carrying us through this adoption.  We are waiting on USCIS approval (immigration) so we can file our dossier with EE!  Keep praying it is working!!!

~Our amazing total from our iPad giveaway, we are so humbly grateful for everyone; those we know and those we don't who gave so that we can bring our daughter home.

~Alayna is walking more

~The sibling bond between Aidan and Alayna continues to bring me joy.  He is the first person she wants to see and hug in the morning and the last person she wants to see and hug at night.  Love!!!  When he is off to school she bids him farewell but always asks for Aidan at naptime and I assure her he will be home after she gets up.  She joyfully sings, " Aidan, Aidan, Aidan" as the bus is coming down the street!

~Aidan begins spring break tomorrow and with Alayna's new "preschool" schedule at toddler class Aidan and I get to have a date morning to ourselves.

What are you thankful for this week? Please leave a comment and share a thankful or two I love reading them. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

And the giveaway winners are...

NOW for what you have been waiting for...

The real winner here is our family.  We are SO incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support that we have received in helping us bring Dariya home.  We have only about $8000 left to raise!  Thank you God!

1.  The 16GB wifi iPad - Cynthia Vertefeuille

2.  $150 Amazon gift certificate - Amy Hantla

3.  $50 Walmart gift card - Kelly Sneed
4.  Leaf necklace & earring set - Dan McKnight

5.  Necklace & earring set - Jennifer Applin

A SUPER HUGE thank you to Michelle Zoromski, RR donations coordinator.  She tirelessly works all hours of the night to make sure all the donations are handled properly.  Thanks Michelle!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A fundraising catch up

As our I Pad giveaway has been running I have used the time to take a blogging break and work on all our adoption paperwork.  Tune in Monday for the winners and a HUGE thanks to everyone who donated, prayed, blogged, FB'd and told their friends about it!  We appreciate it.  We are in awe of the total number of people who have helped us bring Dariya home.

***For those of you who have asked, we still have plenty of fundraising to do and will continue, no rest for the family that needs help with their adoption =).  You can always make your tax deductible donation at our link on our sidebar!  Tell your friends "skip a Starbucks and help bring Dariya home!"

So here in our intermission I will give you a brief run down to catch you up on what we have been up to for the past couple weeks. We have been SUPER busy!

Alayna and I spent several days under the weather and were thankful for Urgent care and antibiotics that kicked our sinus infections and coughs.  AHH we can all sleep again!  I don't function on very little sleep well.

I have been tediously doing paperwork, checking, rechecking, praying and having everything verified by our stateside team.  I think I have about driven Jason over the edge with my obsession to make sure we don't miss one thing.  I sure don't want a hold up on our dossier because I forgot something!

I have been working for nearly a month just to get documentation of our home mortgage from our mortgage company...ah you think it would be easy for them to type out a letter, put it on letterhead, notarize and send it to us. But, even though I am working with a great guy who is working as hard as possible to make sure this document is acceptable per EE standards we still don't have it in hand.

Jason & I both had our physicals and all bloodwork and compiled that paperwork for the dossier, had to go back and have everything renotarized due to a wrong date entered on the form.

My fingerprints were rejected by the FBI, so I had to make a trip over to Topeka (an hour away) late in the afternoon to get reprinted.  Thankfully those prints were accepted and I was cleared in less than 24 hours. 

We had our final meetings with our social worker and she came to meet the kids and do the home visit.  She has completed the homestudy and we should be ready to file our immigration paperwork early next week(once we clear immigration we can file our dossier with EE)!!!!

Adorable Gingerbread house
 Aidan & Grace ( my niece) had their 2nd grade musical, This Old Gingerbread house.  He was part of the camera crew and Grace was a beaver. 

Aidan & Grace pose before the show.
Seriously adorable!  One of the songs they sang was titled "Sorry" (for eating the house) and as they sang Alayna was dancing around and signing sorry.  Cute.  I have tons more pictures but, I will refrain as I don't want to put other kids on our blog without parental permission.

Molars...we have the bottom 2 in now just need those top 2 to hurry up.
Alayna has added many new words including her own name and many other people's names (even Dariya), she can manipulate tiny zippers, walk backwards (holding on to your finger of course I still don't classify her as a walker yet), identifying colors, and helps count to 10 (she adds 2,3,5,6,and 10 so far), she also is singing along with the ABC song and putting letters or their phoneme in, she has also mastered unrolling complete rolls of toilet paper in seconds.  =)

I see her morphing from a toddler to a preschooler right before my very eyes.  At school they have begun phasing the parents out and making it more like a preschool setting.  Two parents stay each week and the rest leave.  I didn't think she would have any issues with preschool but, this just seals the deal for me that I know next fall she will be super prepared to step out completely on her own and go to school.  She loves it and is soaring!

And as you can see from the video she has musical talent and is aspiring to be the conductor at the Boston Pops!