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!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

6 months home

Amos, Daisy, Lee and Violet have been home for about six months now. (Plus Theo, Orion, Barton and Evan have been home for about 3 years!) How is everyone doing? They are all amazing! Here's a brief photo recap of the last few months.

Daisy is starting to grow hair! It's long enough that it needs to be brushed now. She loves to have it brushed, but she hates it if I pull on any tangles. She is so sweet and affectionate. Daisy was very sensory seeking when she first came home. She still spends a lot of her time stimming, but it is much calmer.

Daisy lost a baby tooth and was very excited for the tooth fairy. Yeah, that is an excited face! She didn't really understand what all the fuss was about, but she had fun with it!

Evan turned 14! He loved his birthday celebration. His favorite part was when everyone sang for him. Birthday parties weren't part of his life before he came home 3 years ago, but now he loves them. Birthday cake is one of his favorite foods!

Orion is doing a great job with adding and counting. One of his younger sisters loves to help him practice.

Lee is showing off a photo of Sealey. If you haven't seen it yet, go read about Sealey's Summer of 2017! Lee's life used to be a lot like Sealey's, laying all day in a crib. Now his life is awesome! Sealey's could be too!

Lee also gave us a bit of a scare a little while ago, but he seems to be doing better. He is going to be doing more testing to figure out his seizures. We've been tweaking his medication dosage as he gains weight, but he might need to add other medications too.

Violet has new glasses! She looks so grown up in them! It took a little while for her to get used to them, but now she really likes to wear them. It's nice to be able to see more clearly! 

The kids have had a lot of fun outings this summer! Amos, Theo, Orion and Barton had a great picnic lunch at the nature preserve! It makes me really happy to see how well they all get along and how excited they are to do things together. There are parts of older child adoption that are very, very hard. But most of our days are awesome. Our older boys are all so much fun to spend time with. We are so lucky to have them here in our family!

Lee has had a few more follow-up visits to keep an eye on him. Everyone says he looks great, especially compared to when he came home! You can see how much bigger he is and how much older he looks!

Theo has a new gait trainer he is trying out. He is SO excited. He has come so far! It's hard to believe that he used to stand with his feet upside down before surgery. He is so determined to walk, and he puts in so much effort every day. I'm really impressed by what he has accomplished. We also have a smaller gait trainer that Daisy and Evan are spending time in. Daisy likes it and Evan does not! 

Violet celebrated her first birthday here! She loved it! She was so excited to see that this birthday was for her! She was also very happy to put her toys in her own bin in her room.

This bouncing ball has been one of her favorite toys! She likes to sit on it and bounce, and she giggles when she tumbles off. She is getting new braces for her feet soon too. She has been growing so fast! Everyone loves her at therapy.

Amos has blossomed into a completely different child than the one we brought home six months ago. His transition was so hard on everyone. It was absolutely the best thing for him to be here in our family though. Now he is turning into a boy who is kind, and thoughtful, and gentle. I think he always was that boy, but it took time to recover from the damage and stress of the institution. We are very proud of him.

Last but not least, we are hoping to travel very soon for our adoption of Yulia. Her adoption has been very long and complicated when we hoped it would be quick and easy, but a year ago we didn't even think she could be adopted. We've come a long way since then, and we can't wait to get her home.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2 months home!

Things are still very busy, but starting to get calmer. Everyone is doing really well.

Lee has been working hard on gaining weight! He has gained about 7 pounds since he came home! That's almost a quarter of his starting weight! He is so much happier and so much more comfortable. He is just perfect.

Amos has been doing great with his new routine. He loves going to school and talking about his medical appointments! He is also requesting a trip with his Papa to visit the ocean, by train if possible. He is also doing so much better with adjusting to our family.

We celebrated sweet little Daisy's first birthday in a family! She loved her cake! She is doing so well adjusting and learning new things. She can drink from a sippy cup now, and we are slowly adding in new tastes and textures to her meals. She keeps us on our toes and loves to explore. She is the perfect princess!

Last but not least, Violet is still just as sweet and gentle as ever. Everyone asks if she is always as sweet as when they meet her. Yep, she is! She loves meeting new people and going to new places. She is also growing like a weed! 

We even had time to squeeze in a quick family photo! We aren't all looking at the camera, but we are all there! (Minus one who we are working hard to bring home next!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Longer updates will follow, but for now here are some photos of everyone! All of the kids have made so much progress since they came home!

Both Lee and Amos needed to be hospitalized when they came home. Lee was in for refeeding syndrome, which we expected. Amos was in due to side effects from his withdrawal from the orphanage medications. They are both doing much better back here at home now!

We also changed Lee's seizure medication while he was in the hospital. He was having breakthrough seizures on the previous medication, but they are much better controlled by the new medication. That's one of the unfortunate realities of institutional care. All the kids with epilepsy are given the same dose of the same drug. It works for some and doesn't for others. I'm so glad his brain is getting some rest from the constant seizure activity he was having before.

Lee at admission, extremely malnourished.

He has also gained weight and is much happier!

Looking better Lee!

Amos has started at our local school. We are thrilled with the placement they have him in right now! His institutional issues run deep and wide, but he is making a lot of progress. He was also started on a medication to help with the withdrawal symptoms and it has greatly improved his quality of life. He is SUCH a smart kid, but he has been through Hell in the last few years. I'm thrilled for all of his potential in the future, but all I really want is for him to be healthy and happy.

Amos loves to dance at school!

Daisy has made a lot of progress also. She loves attention and interaction, but also didn't know what to do with it at first. She was so desperate for affection that she would climb all over you if you walked within reach. She is so much calmer now. She likes to sit still on your lap and give hugs now. It is amazing what a difference a few weeks have made!

Daisy the princess!

Violet is great too! She has been so much fun to add to our family! She is sweet and gentle with everyone, and so excited to have someone to put up her hair every morning. We have already talked with one of our doctors about casting her feet. She walks on her toes now, but we think she is going to be running on flat feet pretty soon!

Sweet Violet

Please keep praying for our "+1" we are going back for. There are some new changes and unknowns in the country's adoption program right now. We don't know what it will look like once she is ready, but we are praying! Her condition continues to improve slightly thanks to the orphanage allowing charity assistance. She is still far too thin, but she is a lot more alert than she was a few months ago.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Hey there everyone. Our kids are home, safe and sound! Hooray! I am going to be a bit quiet over these first couple weeks about our kids and their medical situation. Rest assured that they are getting excellent medical care! But for their safety, and because there are some scary people in the world, we are going to wait to share this information until they have been home for a little while longer. Thank you so much for understanding that we are doing this for the safety of our kids and our family first and foremost, and for helping us protect our kids.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Passed Medicals, Waiting On Passports!

All four kids have passed their medical appointments! Phew! Often kids in this country are given a vaccination for TB. Later on that will cause a false positive on the skin test commonly used to test for TB. Two of the kids needed an x-ray to confirm they did not have TB, but everyone passed! Hooray!

They won't be able to leave until passports for all four have arrived and visas have been placed in them. That is all they are waiting for.

Now the fun part. Pictures!

Amos has a new music toy that he loves. He likes to turn it on and dance to the music. This is such a huge transition for him due to how much more institutionalized he has become over the last two years. After 17 years in institutional care everything is new. Everything. So many simple things we take for granted are very stressful for him. It will get better.

Daisy is absolute sunshine. She is very happy to have a playpen to sleep in at the apartment now. One of her favorite activities at bedtime is to slowly shimmy it across the floor until she can bump it into the wall. She is adorable and tiny and loud! The orphanage tried to warn my husband that she might keep everyone up. She does! But as my husband told me the other night, "They are noisy and I am tired. And I wouldn't trade it for anything." She might be loud, but she is ours.

Lee is doing very well so far. We are monitoring him and in constant contact with his medical team. We are maintaining his diet until he can be seen immediately upon arriving home, and he is tolerating that well. He loves his papa so much, and especially his new sister Violet. She is very gentle with him, and likes to check on him and see how he is doing.

And here she is! I cannot put into words how sweet she is. It amazes me that for all she has been through, she is so kind and loving. She is an absolute gem, and I can't believe she waited for 13 years. She is so precious. 

Meanwhile we have been busy here at home! Theo had a new cast placed shortly before this pickup trip. He was not weight bearing for a month after his surgery, so it is taking a little bit of time to work back to his pre-surgery leg strength. His leg and foot placement are so much better now though. He is also very happy to be getting back so much of the independence that we have worked so hard to give him. 

Orion also just had his birthday! He had a great time getting new toys and eating chocolate cake! Special days like birthdays can be very difficult for a lot of kids. I was so impressed by how well he did and how much he was able to enjoy his day. It is a huge milestone in his maturing and healing, and I am very thankful for it. We are very proud of him and how hard he has worked to get to this point.

Now we are all eagerly waiting for all of the new brothers and sisters to come home!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Daisy Is Free!

Daisy was our fourth and final child to be picked up for this adoption. (Yep, we are still heading back for one more girl once these guys are home!) She did amazingly well with all the travel, both from her orphanage to the regional city and from there to the capitol. She is handling it all much better than we expected.

Tomorrow is the first embassy visit and the first medical appointment for all four. I have to say we couldn't have done this without our helper. He has been absolutely great! We are still hoping they will  all be ready to come home next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lee And Violet Are Free!

Two more kids are free!

Getting dressed to leave!

Violet went to the passport office and then they were able to pick up Lee when they were done. They are both in the apartment with Amos, my husband, and our amazing helper.

Lee was very happy to have a bottle, although we are being cautious about what he receives until he can be seen by a doctor. It is hard to believe he is 13 to see my husband cradling him.

Violet settled in very easily. She was a bit tired from all the travel, and ready to go to bed.

Amos is still adjusting. Out of all of the kids we have adopted, we expect this transition will be most intense for him. I think it will be easier when he is home and his environment and routines are more stable.

Hopefully everyone will be ready to leave at the middle or the end of next week! The last pickup is for Daisy and will be very soon!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Amos Is Free!

Amos was picked up today. He is spending his first night out of an institution in his entire life. He is excited and happy to have a family, but this is also a very big transition for him. In addition, he is far more institutionalized than he was a few years ago. It may not be easy for any of us, but it is worth it for him to have a chance to live.

Amos getting dressed to leave

Ready to go!

Amos getting ready for bed

They have applied for a passport for Amos. Waiting on that will take the most time. Now they are heading to pick up more of the kids tomorrow!