We are home with Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet! Meanwhile we have jumped in again for one last very special girl. If you would like to help with that, you can make a non-tax-deductible donation HERE that we can access immediately. You can also make a tax-deductible donation HERE that we can use once we receive travel dates. Or by donating HERE you can help provide her and other children at her orphanage the care and nutrition they desperately need. See all of our current fundraisers HERE. We are thankful for any support you can offer!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

On Aging Out And Keeping Doors Open

As August draws to a close, a boy I have seen is more and more likely to have passed his 16th birthday. He had a family coming but no longer does. I don't know the details, and I don't need to. Knowing those details won't change things for him. There is something that could change things though. Maybe there is a family out there who has already sent in their i600a, who is approved to adopt a 16 year old with Down Syndrome. Maybe there is a family out there waiting for Gene.

So many of you know our story with Barton. We sent in our i600a only a couple weeks before his birthday, but he wasn't even on our radar. I saw people shouting for him as he turned 16, and I was so sad when his birthday came and went without a family lined up. Slowly it became clear that there was no other family coming because we were his family. It was truly amazing the way everything worked out.

The big thing was that we mailed in our i600a early. Our homestudy wasn't done. We weren't planning on adopting a child who had already aged out. We had to send in those fees sooner rather than later. We did it anyway. We kept that door open. We kept other doors open too. We discussed with our social worker the wide range of ages and needs we were open to on a case by case basis. Our special needs list was very, very long. We were only planning on adopting older children, but we kept younger ages on our homestudy also in case there were younger siblings we did not know about, or maybe a child we hadn't been considering was the right one for us. Each of those choices to leave those doors open was done consciously. My husband and I talked it over, knowing how unpredictable the process is for the country we had chosen. That was why our homestudy met the requirements to add Barton, and later also Evan.

Please, consider the plans your family is making in your adoption process. Consider keeping your hearts open and keeping those doors open. Consider an older child who has waited for an unimaginable length of time for a family. One of our boys told me yesterday how sad he was in the orphanage. He said he would stay awake at night and ask God for a mama and papa. His brother said that he was so sad too. Wow. These are older boys, who so many people wanted to warn us would be dangerous, would be predators. They have blessed us more in the short time they have been home than I can put into words. My heart breaks every time I think of how long they waited, and how they may never have had a family if we had not seen them for who they are and been willing to step far outside the typical adoption box. We kept our hearts open and we kept those doors open, and it has made a tremendous difference in our lives and theirs.

Theo's First Birthday With Us!

Here are a few pictures and a video from Theo's birthday! He had an amazing time and so did we. It was his 15th birthday, but only his first with a family.  He loved his balloons, his cake, and all of his presents. There was a lot of Thomas the Train for this birthday. He loves to shout "Too-too" whenever he sees a train.

It was a big surprise to see how much he loved his balloons. When he had a balloon in the orphanage, he and the other boys all popped their balloons within a few minutes. These ones last more than a week!

Here we are singing happy birthday and he even blows out all his candles on his Thomas cake! He could barely believe the train decorating the cake was his to keep. He was covered with frosting by the time he was done eating cake.

These are just a few pictures of him with his presents. It was a little overwhelming for him to get so many things at once, but he did well. He loved everything, even the clothes.

Later all the kids got to play with glowsticks in the house and in the yard. We will always miss the memories that we will never have, of all the birthdays celebrated or not before we knew our sons. We are trying make as many new memories as we can. We already have so many, but we can't wait for all the memories still to come!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

We Passed Court For Barton!

Yes! Really! Finally! Barton is our son! We had to sit on the news for a few days until the papers were finalized, but I am so excited to be able to publicly share now! My husband will be going back in the beginning of September, after the waiting period has ended and holidays are over, to finish the last of his paperwork and bring Barton HOME! We are still not fully funded due to all of these extra trips, and we are very appreciative of donations. Our account HERE needs to read $32,000. Right now it is at $28,505. Thank you so much to everyone who has been supporting us. Don't forget to email me at to be entered into our Little Pim Thank You Giveaway!

Here are some of the photos we couldn't show anyone until after court. I hope you like them! These are from my husband's visit the day after the judge said YES! And yes, Barton really is that skinny...but not for long!

This is from when I was able to meet him before we went to court for the other boys. This was months ago, at the end of spring. He was so sweet and shy with me, but he also gave me a hug when we left.


Here he is looking at one of the books my husband brought for a visit. He loves to look through these comic books. He holds them very close to his face because it is hard for him to see, but he is so excited about them.


Here are a couple pictures of Barton with my husband. You can really see in these how small he is. It is hard to imagine that he is 16! You can tell how happy he is to see his Papa and spend time with him. 

And all of these are from my husband's first few visits with Barton, back in April. He loves to be pushed on the swing and play with clay. They put him in that sweater and dress pants for all of my husband's visits until the weather was so hot that my husband was afraid he would get heat stroke. 

The staff at the orphanage said that the change they saw in Barton from my husband's first visits to now have been huge. They said that he really came out of his shell after my husband spent so much time with him. I can only imagine how much he will grow once he is home with us. He is so excited about our house and his new family and how he will go to school. We can't wait to have him home. It has been a long, hard road. I am so thankful we are finally nearing the end of it!