Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Auction Coming Soon!

Remember when I was yelling for Seraphina?  Well, her mommy found her!

I first saw Seraphina's file and picture the day I went to the courthouse to sign the adoption decree---the first time!  It was a horrible day and my facilitator tried to cheer me up by showing me pictures of cute children.  It worked and I fell in love with Seraphina.  I came home and started showing her picture to everyone that said they loved Sara.  I told them they could have their very own "Sara."

A couple of weeks ago, her mom found her.  Her mom was in the process of adopting from Russia when it abruptly halted all US adoptions.  I was already in love with Seraphina.  When I found out that her mommy was a single mom (Sarah) who has already had her heart broken in the adoption process, I knew I had to help in any way possible.  (You can check out her blog to follow her process.)

So, I am hosting an auction for Seraphina and her new mommy.  I loved the organizing/detail part of fund raising.  Sarah and I are both seeking donations for her auction.  We will take anything you want to donate---baked goods, gift cards, home made items, services you provide, kids clothes.  Pretty much anything that can be shipped.  Be creative!   If you would like to donate an item or a service, please leave a comment.  I'm hoping to start the auction on Mother's Day.  (Mother's Day stinks for childless women!  I'm sure this will be a hard one for Sarah.)  

If you want to make a tax-deductible donation to Seraphina and her mom, you can do so on her Reece's Rainbow page.

The auction can be found on facebook at the Auction to Bring Seraphina Home page.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I'm Not Done

Last week, I started packing up Sara's 2T clothes for a friend who is adopting two little girls.   I even sold a couple of things that Sara doesn't need/use in an online yard sale.  Then, I panicked.  I found myself staring at a little girl over and over and realized I'm not done.

I want nothing  more than to pick her up and hold her forever.  

There are a lot of parallels between pregnancy/childbirth and adoption.  One of them is that, when it's all over, you think:  That wasn't so bad.  I could do that again.  That's where I was this week.  I was researching her country (a different one than Sara was in) and it's requirements.  I tried to research different agencies that work in her country.  (I could only find one.)  I tried to figure out how to time things so I could travel next summer since I don't have any sick time.  I watched her grant grow and tried to figure out how I could pay for another adoption.  I tried to figure out how much harder two would be than one.  I contacted another RR family who is adopting from her country.  

After all, who wouldn't want to wake up to that little face every day.

Then, reality hit.  While Sara is doing VERY well and has transitioned better than I ever thought possible, it would not be fair to her to start another adoption right now.  We've been home for less than 2 months.  She still needs to bond with her mom and learn what a family is.  She has come so far and has so far to go.  While I want to be Lene's mom, Sara has to be my top priority right now.  While I'm not ruling out another adoption in the future, I can't pursue Lene right now.  

I pray daily that she won't still be waiting for a family when the time is right for me to pursue another child.  She'll be 3 this summer.  Her country seems to have a rather long process but, if a family committed right now, they could probably have her home for her 4th birthday.  Help me make her 3rd birthday the last one she celebrates without a mom.  Consider adopting her; donate to her growing grant; post her picture and info on your facebook; write a blog post.  Help this little girl find her forever family!  Don't make her wait for me.  

My little family--for now. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sara Met Tia

My sister flew in for a quick visit this weekend.  She was the last of the immediate family to meet Sara.  I knew they would love each other!

I had a hard time getting Sara to go to bed after we picked Tia up from the airport.  

On Saturday morning, we got all dressed up for a wedding and then went to pick up Sara's new glasses. 
Silly Tia!

Waiting at the eye doctor.

So cute!

Not quite the reaction I was hoping for but we'll keep working on it.  

Then it was off to lunch on the way downstate for a wedding.  

Someone had the wrong time and the wrong address for the wedding.  We ended up being VERY early so we went to the McDonalds playland to burn some energy before the wedding. 

Sara is in the pink.  
This scene made me very nervous.  I was afraid they were picking on her or something.  (I may be hypersensitive.)  When the kids finally came down, they were all talking about the little girl that doesn't speak English and how cool that was.  Big mommy sigh.  Sara really does charm people everywhere we go.  

She did a pretty good job during the ceremony.  She loved watching the bride walk in.  It was pretty short so she was able to sit pretty well.  

She LOVED the reception.  There aren't any good pictures because she never stopped moving.  She is definitely a dancer!  She's not shy and has no problem dragging random strangers onto the dance floor.  (Yes.  We need to work on stranger danger and social boundaries.)  She had some crabby moments---usually when I had to get her off the dance floor for things like the bride and groom's first dance.  Overall, she was great and had a blast!

She even got in a dance with the bride and groom.  

Janelle and I had some fun with her this weekend.  Every time she said "Tia" Janelle responded and I ignored her.  It frustrated her a little bit sometimes but she hasn't really called me Tia since then.  She seems to have settled firmly on "Papa."  She can say "Mama" now but thinks Papa is much funnier.  

She was not happy when we took Tia to the train station on Sunday.  We'll get to spend a whole week with her in July!  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Your Questions Answered

I asked on my facebook if people had questions they've been dying to have answered.  I only got a few but they are all pretty good ones:

But have you ever had a moment of panic and been like, what have I done? Can I really do this? Aaaaaah?
Yes.  For sure!  I had a lot of those thoughts during the process.  Usually, as I was falling asleep at night, I'd have those thoughts.  After all, I knew that my life was going to COMPLETELY change.  
The entire trip to Colombia is a blur to me.  I know that every time I took the next step, I had to take deep breaths and make myself relax.  I don't think I even spoke to the friend that took me to the airport.  Each time I boarded a new plane, I had to calm myself down again.  I wondered if I was ruining my life and if it was too late to back out.  
The biggest panic moment was the morning that I was going to meet Sara.  I had a dream the night before that I found out she was HIV positive and it freaked me out. I know that some people are more than willing to adopt a child with HIV.  It's just not something I'm comfortable with.  I honestly thought about backing out that morning.  
I will say, that since I've had Sara with me, I haven't had those thoughts.  I had moments in Colombia where I wondered if I could go home and come back for her when the paperwork was done.  (Moments. I wouldn't have left her there.)  Since we've been home, though, I've had no doubts.  None.  

Single mom becomes parent for the first time and choose special needs adoption...that sounds like Lifetime more than real life...Does it look/feel like you thought it would?  Harder?  Easier? 
I love this question because it never seemed like a "dramatic" choice to me.  I have 2 brothers with special needs and I've been teaching Special Ed for longer than I want to admit here.  I've said for years that if God blessed me with a child with DS, I wouldn't be sad.  I just didn't know at the time that this would be how he would bless me.  A few years ago, I did all kinds of research trying to figure out how to adopt a child with DS domestically.  I got frustrated with dead ends.  Not until I discovered Reece's Rainbow did I start to understand how God will fulfill my desire for a child with DS.  
I would probably say that overall it's easier than I thought I would be.  I teach at a private special education school.  I work with kids whose disabilities are significant enough that they can't be served in the public school.  Because of that, I tend to lose sight of typical development and the fact that all disabilities have a spectrum of ability.  Sara is smart.  She can do things that I've been trying to teach my 20 year old students for years.  She sees something once and she gets it.  She's so much more independent than I thought she would be.  She's so incredibly sweet and loving.  She's more amazing than I ever would have imagined.  
I think the part that is harder than I thought it would be is leaving her.  I hate going to work.  I hate dropping her off at the babysitter.  (She has a couple of GREAT sitters!)  I hate that she goes to school every day and I'm not there to see it.  I've been surprised how much I genuinely miss her when I'm at work.  I'm so glad she loves people and loves school but it breaks my heart a little bit each day when she gives me a kiss and shuts the door at the sitter's house.  I've never been so glad to be a teacher.  Is it summer yet?  

How is she going to learn English?  
She only hears English at the babysitter, church and school.  She's getting speech and ESL services at school.  I still mostly speak Spanish to her but she hears me speak English to others all the time.  I've gone back and forth with whether or not I will try to maintain her Spanish.  I'd like her to be bilingual and keep that part of her heritage but I'm not sure how realistic that is since Speech is her biggest struggle.  

How on target is she developmentally?  
That's a great question and something I'm still wondering myself.  I know that she's developing very well for a little girl who has had very limited services and no parenting.  She is very independent and physically developing very well for a 4 year old with DS.  She has very limited basic knowledge, though.  I'm not sure if anyone ever sat down with her and tried to teach her things like shapes and colors.  
Language is her biggest struggle---both the English piece and just speech in general.  She has about 20 words/phrases in Spanish.  A lot of kids with DS develop speech later than their typical peers so I'm not worried by that number.  I can't wait to see where she is when she learns English and has had some intensive therapy.   She's been talking so much more since she started school.  The problem right now is that it's not in English or Spanish.  I think she's still trying to figure this multiple language thing out.  
She also has some pretty significant vision issues.  I can't help but wonder if she doesn't know things like letters, numbers, colors, and shapes because she just can't see the differences with her vision problems.  I'm hoping her glasses will increase her development drastically!  
So, ask me this question again in a month or two.

Do you feel like she knows who you are?  Obviously she calls you "mama" but do you think she's emotionally attaching to you and is aware that "this person loves me and is going to be here for the rest of my life?"
Good question.  She doesn't actually call me "mama."  M is one of the sounds that she struggles with.  (They are working on it in speech.)   She calls me Papa or Tia.  
I do think she is attaching to me.  She is excited to see me when I pick her up at the sitter or from church.  If she's in a group, she will run and play but comes back and checks in every few minutes.  If she's hurt or upset, I'm the one she seeks out.  
I hope she knows that I love her.   I tell her multiple times a day in both English and Spanish.  Even if she doesn't understand that, I do think she understands I'm a secure place for her.  
I don't think she knows that I will be here for the rest of her life.  I don't know that she grasps that concept.  I am her fifth "placement" in her 4 1/2 years of life.  How could you develop a concept of forever when nothing in your life has lasted more than a year?  

The last question was a Day in Our Lives.  I'll save that one for the next post.

If you have other questions, post them here and I'll answer them in another post.  I really want this blog to be a good resource for other families.  I'm willing to answer the tough questions if it helps another family be prepared for life after adoption.  (I will not, however, entertain mean spirited or hurtful questions.) 

And just for the fun of it---a whole bunch of pictures of Sara sleeping.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Meet Seraphina's Family!!!

Seraphina's family was revealed on Reece's Rainbow on April 11.  Her new mommy was in process of adopting from Eastern Europe before her country closed.  I can't tell you how happy I am that she chose to continue her adoption with Seraphina.  So happy I'm sitting here with tears running down my face.  Meet Seraphina's mom:

Sarah has always wanted to be a mother, she knew she wanted to adopt and wanted to raise children with special needs. Growing up in a family where she got to witness children come and go through the foster care system, arriving alone, learning to be a part of a family, and leaving to spend the rest of their lives with a new forever family, was such an amazing experience. Even as a teenager, she knew that she wanted to give children that feeling of belonging to a family, when they had none. Now as an adult, she is ready to take that step.
Sarah had been looking into adoption and following waiting children’s stories for quite some time when she first saw and fell in love with a little girl on Reece’s Rainbow. She knew instantly that this little girl was meant to be her daughter and committed to bring her home, but this past January, the country where this little girl was born, closed it’s doors to American adoptions. Sarah still feels committed to that little girl, but acknowledges that God is in control of this journey and after lots of consideration and prayer, she is moving forward to give another child the love of a mother and hopefully, down the road, the joy of a sister. Sarah has fallen in love again, with another sweet girl known as ‘Seraphina’.
Bringing ‘Seraphina’ home is truly a blessing. She will be loved and cherished by everyone who meets her and already holds a very special place in Sarah’s heart. Your prayer and financial contributions towards ‘Seraphina’s’ journey home, is truly appreciated.

If you want to help Seraphina come home, you can make a tax deductible donation here.

You can follow their journey to become a family on her blog.

Stay tuned for future fund raisers!  

As of April 9, 2013, Seraphina has a committed family.  As far as I know, the family is adopting outside of Reece's Rainbow.  I doubt that her mom reads this blog and I won't pretend she found her because of my post but I hope I can find her.  I'd love to connect with her!!  I'm so excited that this little girl is going to have a family so early in life.  

I can't tell you how badly I wish I could put a huge picture of Seraphina here but I can't.  So, I'll let you read her description from Reece's Rainbow:

The baby has developed high social abilities, using gestures, smiling, caressing the persons that will come close to her, calling for attention without creating dependence from adults; she looks straight into the eyes of the people. She grabs objects that are close to her, explores them by putting them into her mouth. She is happy in all her activities (Therapeutic), enjoys music, and concentrates watching cartoon TV programs.
In December, the evaluation diagnosed her with a gross motor development of a 6 months old baby and hypotonic muscle tone. But since she’s been receiving therapy she has evolved positively. She receives speech and language therapy directed to stimulate her to interact and communicate, she begins chewing.
She searches for the people in her visual field, will try to call their attention, loves to be carried, will stretch her arms to that person, loves to watch the animals through the window and will cry when she’s left on the floor again. She sends kisses and loves toys with lights or those that make sounds.

She sounds a lot like a certain someone I know well.  A LOT like her.  She is just 2 years old---the perfect age to join a family.  She's already benefiting from some therapy and would probably thrive with some Early Intervention Services.  I look at where Sara is developmentally and I wonder how she would be doing if she'd been adopted sooner.  For a two-year-old with Down Syndrome and limited stimulation, she is developing so well.
I have seen pictures of her.  She is beautiful!!  Almost as beautiful as Sara.  She would be an amazing addition to a family.  If you've followed the blog and thought, I could do that or I want to do that or I'd like to help someone else do that, now is your chance.  

*Seraphina has $0.00 in her grant currently.  That's where Sara's grant was when I found her.  It would be so encouraging for Seraphina's future family to see an amount there.  If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so here.  
*If you order something during the month of March from my Scarves and Skirts for Sara page, you can choose for 50% of the sale price to go to Seraphina's grant.  
*If you are interested in adopting Seraphina, or another child with special needs, you can find out more at Reece's Rainbow New Family Info page.    The specific requirements to adopt Seraphina's country are:
  • Single parents may adopt
  • No family size restrictions
  • Both parents must travel to the country and stay until completion of adoption — approx 5-7 weeks (one parent may leave after a week or two)
  • Estimated total cost $21,000-24,500
  • Multiple unrelated children may be adopted together

(As a side note, I will do everything I can to help her family.  Fund raise, advocate, encourage, ANYTHING!) 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blessed to Know the Dobrovits Family

Carla and her son Henry were the first Reece's Rainbow people that I met in real life.  I had lunch with them in May of 2012 when I was still very new to the adoption whole process.  It was such a blessing to meet someone who knew what I was going through and was such a huge encouragement to me.

I continued to stay in touch with Carla as I worked through my process.  She came to a fund raiser for work.  She put together an Illinois Reece's Rainbow photo shoot.  She became my personal notary and helped keep me sane during the longest year of my life.

In November, her dear Henry passed away from complications related to a surgery he had.  I was devastated.  This little boy was just beginning to experience life in a family.  Life the way it was supposed to be!  In his short life, Henry greatly impacted so many people.  There were several people at work that had connections to Carla and Henry that mourned along with the family.  I was shocked how famous the little guy was!

A couple of weeks ago, Sara and I met with Carla and her girls for a play date.  She shared some amazing news with me and I've been waiting very impatiently for it to become official so I could be publicly excited for them.  Carla and her husband are adopting again!  They can never replace Henry but they have so much to offer to a child that has nothing---except they aren't adopting one child!  They are adopting a sibling group of 3!!!!  I am so excited to walk through this process with them and help anyway I can.  I'm even more excited to get to know these kids and watch them thrive in their new, amazing family!

The Dobrovits family is going to need help.  Their adoption of Henry was less than 2 years ago.  They incurred huge medical costs with all of Henry's surgeries and hospitalizations.  Funerals are not cheap.  Carla wouldn't mention the money she has spent in the last year but it would drain anyone's savings and resources.  Even if you can't help financially, you can go over to their blog and leave them an encouraging message and pray for this great family and their new children!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Meet Lene

How adorable is this child?  I love her little pig tails.  She's not even 3 yet!!!  I hope she doesn't wait much longer for a family.  She has some health concerns that should probably be addressed soon.

Here is the description of her on her Reece's Rainbow page:

Lene (pronounced like Renee)
Girl, born August 2010
Down syndrome, congenital heart disease, language delay
What a doll baby!  Love her little pigtails!
Lene responds to expressions of affection from other persons. She can adapt to any social environment.
As of February 2012, her report said that the she attends therapy 3 times a week.

I love that she can adapt to any social environment.  That will make her transition to a home so much easier.  She is just 2 years old---the perfect age to join a family.  She's already benefiting from some therapy and would probably thrive with some Early Intervention Services.  I look at where Sara is developmentally and I wonder how she would be doing if she'd been adopted sooner.  
She would be an amazing addition to a family.  If you've followed the blog and thought, I could do that or I want to do that or I'd like to help someone else do that, now is your chance.  

*Lene has $3148.50 in her grant currently.  She had a great person working to raise money for her grant a Christmas time.  What a great start for her future family!    If her grant gets to $5,000, she can move onto a page of children with large grants and get some more exposure.  If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so here.  
*If you order something during the month of March from my Scarves and Skirts for Sara page, you can choose for 50% of the sale price to go to Lene's grant.  
*If you are interested in adopting Lene, or another child with special needs, you can find out more at Reece's Rainbow New Family Info page.    The specific requirements to adopt Lene's country are:
  • Single women or married couples, age 25-55
  • Couples must be married 2 1/2 years
  • Both parents, one trip of 4 weeks
  • After the adoption finalization and new birth certificate, one parent can go home early (about 2.5-3 weeks); one parent remains for final visa exit interview and new passport
  • Approx 9-12 months from dossier submission to travel
  • No set restriction on family size
  • Parents with mild mental health history may be considered on a case by case basis
  • Two unrelated children in the same orphanage can be adopted together
  • The agency seeks Christian adoptive parents
  • Total cost approx $27,000 (additional child, add about $5000)
(She is in Latin America but not in the same country that Sara was in.) 

Don't you just want to pick her up?  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Letters to My Daughter - One Month Home


When I started writing these letters to you, I addressed them to Mija. I don't think I've ever called you that.  You know now that your name is Sara but I still prefer to call you Sarita.  (It doesn't sound pretty in English,though, so I introduce you as Sara.)  Most of the time, I call you Bug---as in Love Bug.  You seem to know that I'm talking to you but I'm sure you don't know why I call you that.

It's hard to believe that we've only been home for a month. There have been so many firsts and so many changes. You have done so well.  I saw everything catch up with you at the end of last week but you're usually pretty flexible.
*You took your first plane ride a month ago.  I was amazed at how well you did.

*You have met soooo many people.  You love people but you always come back and check in with me when someone else is around.  I love that you want me around!

*You started school.  I've seen so many changes in you in just the first week.  You are talking so much more---too bad it isn't English or Spanish.  (I think that you are convinced you are speaking this gibberish language that you keep hearing here.)  You LOVE school and always want to go.  You're so proud to get your backpack in the morning.

*You started hanging out at Kate's house.  (Sadly, I had to go back to work.)  You love her cats--even though you insist they are dogs.  You are so tired from all the fun by the time I pick you up.  Unfortunately, you tend to be a little crabby in the afternoons when we get home.  It makes me long for the weekends and summer vacation.

*You flew to NY to meet your grandpa, uncles, aunt, and cousins.  You loved it there.  Grandpa is smitten with you.  You got to see Claudia again and seemed to recognize her.  Nana loves to spoil you.  Their friends were all so excited to meet you.

*You started going to church.  You love any excuse to get dressed up.  I love peaking in on you at the end of the service and seeing you hanging out with the other kids and doing exactly what they are doing.

*You went to lots of doctors appointments.  You're a trooper with things like eye exams and blood draws.  I've been inundating you with eye drops.  You were ok with them at first but I think they've gotten kind of old.

*You had your first McDonalds fries.  You're sold.  We haven't done the whole Happy Meal thing yet.  I hate McDonalds so I don't want you to be too addicted.  

I've seen so many changes in you.
*You are talking a lot.  It's not always understandable but you are trying so hard.  You will repeat sounds and words now which you wouldn't do before.

*I haven't measured you since we went to the pediatrician but I'm convinced you are taller.  You've outgrown almost all of your 2T clothes.

*You are maturing so quickly.  You will hold my hand and walk with me now.  (This is huge!)  You will come back when I call you and follow directions.  You aren't as impulsive.

*You aren't biting any more.  Sometimes, if you are really frustrated, you will open your mouth and glare at me but you haven't actually bitten in weeks.  (Don't make a liar out of me, please!)  You now growl instead of hitting when you are frustrated.

*You aren't napping during the week.  This isn't really your choice but it helps you get to bed earlier which helps you get up in the morning.  You are not a morning person.  Neither am I.  We survive.

*You love to dance now.  I couldn't get you to do it in Colombia.  Now, you yell "baila" and throw your hips around any time you hear music.  Any time.

I know it sounds cliche but I really am more in love with you every day.  I just grin and hug you countless times a day because I just can't believe that you are here.  With me!  You are funny, sweet, caring, hard working, determined, smart, sassy, goofy and I am in awe of you.  I can't believe how blessed I am.

I can't wait to see what the next month holds!

Tu Mama
(Someday soon you'll master the M sound and I can stop being Papa.)  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Insights on Turning 35

I'm going to veer off the adoption topic a little bit and let you get some insight into the mind of a single woman in her mid-thirties.  I don't claim to speak for every single woman.  I'm sure we all feel differently about birthdays and aging and marriage and kids.  I also imagine that some of these feelings apply to women who are struggling with infertility as well.  Since I haven't been in that situation, I can only assume.  

There are lots of blogs by single, Christian woman about their thoughts and feelings about their "situation."  I have no intention of turning this blog into another one of those.  (Not bashing them.  Some are really good and interesting.)  I just have no interest in boring anyone with my lame insights and perspectives.  I am, however, going to try to get some of my feelings out about my birthday this year.  I have lots of thoughts and feelings about it rolling around in my head.  Bear with me as I try to articulate them.  (Or, skip this post and come back when I'm posting cute pictures of Sara.  I'll never know.)  

As a single woman, birthdays can hit really hard.  Bottom line:  there are only so many child-bearing years available and every birthday means you now have one less year.  (Let's not beat around the bush.  This is what we're thinking.)  

I tend to spend at least a part of every birthday doing some math:  If I meet someone this year, we could date for 6 months, get engaged and married next summer.  If we wait 6 months and then get pregnant, I'll be ____ years old.  If I have a kid every two years, I can have _____ kids before I turn 40.  (I can't be the only one that does this!  Right?)  It used to be date for a year, engaged for a year, wait 2 years for a kid, etc.  The older I got, the shorter those time frames got and the fewer kids I was "ok" with having.  A certain amount of panic sets in.

Some years, I took birthdays much harder than others.  I was ok with turning 30 because I was getting ready to move to Mexico.  (I thought that was my new life plan.)  I had a hard time with 26.  My my mom got married at 26.  Growing up, I thought that was SOOO old.  I couldn't believe I was 26 with no prospects.

Don't get me wrong.  I have enjoyed my single years (when I wasn't counting and panicking).  I've lived in Mexico, vacationed, traveled, lots of things that aren't feasible to me any more.  I bought my own house and made enough money to be able to take summers off.  I was comfortable.  Still, I wanted to be a mom.

I thought 35 would be hard.  It really hasn't been.  It definitely snuck up on me.  (I've been a little busy for the last three months!)  I've spent a very low key day with MY DAUGHTER!  She has made all the difference in my life.  I have a new perspective on so many things---including my age.  I'm not just living day to day and working and looking forward to my next vacation.  I'm not waiting for my life to start when I meet some guy that can give me what I want in life.

Would I still like to get married?  Yes.  Would I like to have more children?  Yes.  Would I adopt again?  Probably.  Even if none of those things happen, I get to spend the rest of my life raising my amazing daughter.  Right now, that's enough for me!  35 is going to be great!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Bruno Family

The Bruno Family is adopting a beautiful girl.  

I noticed Rose as soon as she was posted on Reece's Rainbow.  Look at that adorable face!  I instantly fell in love.  (There were a few days when I was trying to figure out if I could handle two at once.)  I was thrilled when a family came forward for her.  I've been even more excited as I've gotten to know her future mom via facebook.  Rose has a beautiful family working very hard to bring her home.

Here is what their Reece's Rainbow profile has to say about the Brunos:

After dating for 9 years, Katie and Paul were married in Birmingham, Alabama on July 26, 2003. Katie’s occupation is a stay at home mother to their two sons. Paul is the owner of a classic car restoration business.
Soon after they married they wanted to have children, but Katie was diagnosed with an uterine anomaly and was told not to have children. At this point they began their domestic home study. Soon after they had completed their home study, they became pregnant with their first son, Paul Vincent, born on April 13, 2006 at 4 pounds, 7 ounces. He just celebrated his sixth birthday. Three years later, they welcomed their second miracle baby boy, Christopher, born May 24, 2009 at 3 pounds, 2 ounces. He will soon celebrate his third birthday.
This past Christmas, they learned that they were pregnant, only to suffer a devastating miscarriage shortly after. They know that God has a plan for their family and they feel a strong connection to Rose. They both feel called to adopt her and feel confident that she will receive all of the love and services (as a child with special needs) that she desires! 

Katie and Paul have been working tirelessly to complete all the mountains of paperwork and meet all the requirements required.  Yesterday, they were informed that they would need to complete even more paperwork.  How frustrating!  They want nothing more than to bring their little girl home to her two brothers who ask daily when she will be there.

Can we encourage this wonderful family?  Even if you can't make a donation, head over to their blog and leave an ENCOURAGING comment.  Adoption is hard.  It's exhausting.  Encouragement and support are crucial---even when they come from complete strangers.

If you love adoption blogs like I do, you can follow their journey  here.    
If you feel led to donate to this amazing family, you can make a tax-deductible donation here.   

If you want to purchase a hand-knit item to help with adoption costs, you can do that on my Scarves and Skirts for Sara's Friends page.  (50% of the price of the item will go to the Bruno family.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Many Firsts

Sara has had many firsts lately.  Here are the ones so far this week....in pictures!

Our first Easter together!  (It was a little chilly and windy.)  

Her first day at the baby sitter's house.  She loves slides!  (So far, so good with the sitter.)  She must play hard because she comes home exhausted.  

First trip to an American park.  We spent lots of time at the park in Colombia but it has been way too cold here.  I think she's glad to be outside again!

First day of school.  All dressed and ready to go.  

Waiting for the bus at the sitter's house.  (I can't find sunglasses that stay on that tiny nose!)  

First ride on a school bus.  (They wear harnesses instead of using car seats.)  She got off the bus a few hours later in different pants, with one pig tail and sound asleep.