Monday, August 26, 2013

First day of 5th grade!

Well Ashlyn started the 5th grade today, hard to believe my little girl is a 5th grader. It's crazy that when she started kindergarten just a few short years ago she was our only child now she's the oldest of 5 soon to be 6!!! Wild huh?! 

She had a good day even though her BFF moved over the summer to another town about 20 minutes from here. She is excited that her teacher isn't giving spelling tests this year, Ash hates spelling tests! She's only missed like 4 words total from kindergarten through now! 

I took her to school today but she's going to be riding the bus this year both to and from school since Grayson and Callen will also be going to school and Kaeden to MDO 2 days a week it would be really hard for me to take and pick up everyone! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wordless Wednesday


Pics of the trip, random!

This is the luggage we took! It was heavy!!! Lugging it through Frankfurt was a beast.
This is our first visit with Pasha after meeting him the day before. It was freezing inside (no heat)
This is the first picture we took of Callen

Our first pic together in March 

Callen and Daddy in April

Trying some apple juice

Drawing on the magna doodle

Monday, August 12, 2013

Facebook auction and reminiscing here is the auction link for Facebook. It's to help bring Berkeley home ASAP. She is turning 10 in a few months that's a long time to wait for a family. She knows we are coming I'm told she asks daily when her mama and papa are coming to get her. That my friends hurts my heart, Masha was the same way. Yes we love Masha, always will there will always be a spot for her in our home if she chooses to come to America when she's older the difference between these girls is that Berkeley has NO family. Masha has some family that she visits, Berkeley does not. Masha did not spend her entire life in an orphanage just the last few years, Berkeley has been there her entire life. I'm dreading leaving the kids again but I can't wait to go get Berkeley so we can start showing her what a family is. I miss that country and I'm ready for the trip and seeing more of that country since I'll be in a different part this trip! 

This is up for auction check out the above link!

Another auction item

Necklace in the auction

These brand new Usborne books are also available!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The ones I left behind.....

Almost every family comes back with stories of the ones they leave behind that haunt them, I'm no different. Seeing those kids everyday for weeks and knowing how their lives are and will end up if not adopted is tough. I saw a lot of things there I will never forgot and it wasn't because it was a happy memory. Don't get me wrong where my boys were is a better place but its still an orphanage. It still has kids locked up with yucky food, no exposure to normal lives, no family, little medical care, no education and no futures. 

One little one in particular I think of often is "Beatrice" she was in Pasha's groupa and I saw her almost everyday I even got to hold her once. She has no future in her country because she has no eyes and no nose BUT she has a family working hard to get her home to them here in America! Luke and Melissa are working hard to hurry and bring her home and I couldn't be happier, I told her nannies and doctor that her mama was coming soon. They couldn't believe someone wanted her, sad huh?! She's an absolute doll, with squishy cheeks and soft hair. You can read about her family by going here.

There is also another little one I saw several times while there still waiting on a family, her name is "Ethel" she just happens to be one of Pashas best friends. He's mentioned both these girls several times since coming home. Her therapist begged me to find her a family, she's being transferred soon and she knows what that means:( So here I am trying to find her a family I have photos of her from a few months ago and 2 of my friends have younger photos of her so please ask! She is diagnosed with FAS, Spina Bifida, incontinence and a mental delay. 
This is Ethel......born aug 2009.

The older kids where Masha is also weigh heavily on my heart and mind. Several have families coming like Ianto. His mama is actually the one who led me to Masha and Pasha. She was actually with me in that country when he was listed on Reece's Rainbow. I saw her face when she saw him you see she has met him several times since she already has 2 children adopted from the same orphanage where Ianto is. She already loved him.....we sat in my little apartment in Eastern Europe not 30 minutes from where this boy lives and that mamas heart was aching. She realized that was her son and that they'd be coming back for him! They are a big family with 4 newly home kids so they need help this time you can read about them here, http://weretakingbabysteps.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Taking questions....

I've have had a few people ask me how Jared feels about our adoptions and how it came to be that this is how we chose to build our family. He is a FORMER reluctant adopter!!! Ok it's only half true because before we adopted the boys we did have 2 domestically adopted children BUT he was reluctant to international adoption and adding more children since we already had 3. So if you have any questions for me or him let me know and I will have him write a blog post in response! 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

About Berkeley.....

First off Berkeley is not her real name that's her name on Reece's Rainbow I do know her real name and we plan to keep it unless she wants to change it but I'm not going to post it publicly until after we are legally allowed to! 

I first saw her photo over 3 years ago, it's the one of her in a knit hat leaning against a fence wearing a peach colored jacket. We were just starting our adventure of adoption and I would spend hours looking at the photo listings on Reece's Rainbow, Rainbow Kids and the State of Texas' websites. We wanted a girl close to Ashlyn's age who was around 6 at the time. First we decided foster to adopt was the best route for us but a few months later decided we wanted an infant so we changed course and a started with a domestic adoption agency and in just a few short months had our handsome son Kaeden. Ashlyn still longed for a sibling close to her age since she is 7.5 years older than Kaeden so again we turned to the foster care system and started the process to adopt through them. We took all the classes and did all the prep work even had the first home study but never could get the agency to come out for the final visit after the fire Marshall had come and given us a passing report. We emailed and left voicemails for over a month every day with several different people and never got a response. During the process with them we found out they had a private adoption program for infants so we decided to do both the infant program and the adoption from foster care, well since we never could get the foster care side to finish our paperwork when we were contacted about an infant we of course jumped at the chance and that's how we got our Savannah Banana! 

During those years I had never stopped looking at the photo listings but I always thought I could never adopt internationally the travel while exciting was scary and the money!!! Wow crazy expensive but mostly it was all the unknowns that made me say no. I've written before about how we were led to her country through another RR family to host Masha last summer. Of course Masha led us to our boys and now Berkeley. 

After the heartache of having to leave Masha behind adding another child was the LAST thing on our minds, my only thoughts were getting the boys home and trying to come back for her. To be honest even though at this time it's impossible I still haven't given up hope of her coming to the US someday. In our hearts she is our daughter and always will be. 

While we were still there Berkeley was gifted $10,000 toward her adoption fees from another child's grant who's country is no longer open to Americans for adoption. I also had advocated for this child and even twice before we were so close to committing to adopting her but things always came up. Anyways when I found out Berkeley was getting that grant I mentioned it to Jared casually (ok hintingly) I had mentioned her several times in the previous months that if she was in region we were going to I wanted to bring her home too or if she had a full grant that would cover extra expenses I wanted to adopt her. He asked me how I would feel if someone else committed to her....I answered honestly "it'd hurt" so we talked about her and prayed about it and decided the $10,000 was a sign that she was meant to be ours:) So here we are plugging along trying to go get her home.