Friday, May 28, 2010

We've moved....

...from the "Home Study in Progress" page to "Compiling Dossier" page on the Reece's Rainbow website!  We received the rough draft of our home study last weekend, and should have our final draft in hand next week!  Then we will send it to USCIS and hopefully get our fingerprints done shortly after that.  I really really hope we can have our first trip to her country by August.

Each day that we wait, just makes me think that it's another dreadful and uneventful day for Darya in the orphanage.  The days are all the same for her, I'm sure.  She just sits or lies there waiting. For what, she doesn't know.  Her next bottle? Her next diaper change?  Are those the only sorts of interaction she has with her caregivers? Has she ever been outside the orphanage grounds if even for a walk?  Has anyone ever rocked her to sleep or just snuggled with her?  Has anyone read a book to her or prayed with her?  I doubt it.  It won't be much longer, sweet Darya!  We'll be getting you out of there soon!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I-5 at Rush Hour

Really, any day now the final draft of our home study should be in our hands!!  We are at a stand still until that's completed, so no news to report as far as adoption progress.  I feel like we're stuck on I-5 in downtown L.A. during rush hour!  I  can see our destination, but we just can't get there yet.  Soon enough, I know, soon enough.

I do have a couple of other blessings to share.  Some dear friends of ours, the Lims, who have two adorable little girls gave us a Britax Marathon car seat for Darya!  It still has 1-2 years before it "expires" so that is so nice to have already...and it's pink!  Super cute.  And today a package arrived in the mail from our dear friends, the Franciscos, with some super cute goodies for Darya!  I just adore that family. Their kids, especially Emma and Ethan, pray diligently for Darya and other orphans every day!  It really warms my heart :-)  Oh, and I made a $6 thrift store investment and made enough money on eBay to buy Darya's stroller.  

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Please Help Emory!

Andrea Roberts, the founder of Reece's Rainbow, has sent out an urgent request for the help of finding a little boy, Emory, find a home ASAP.  The following is taken straight from the Reece's Rainbow blog:

Emory Needs a Family!

Donations are urgently needed to help find a family for Emory!
A family able to help with his medical needs is urgently needed!

Emory is a beautiful boy. The family who chooses to bring him home must know how to handle G tubes and anal atresia. He will thrive when he is in a family but will need medical help. He was born with anal atresia but has already had one corrective surgery. He currently has a tube in and will require additional surgeries. 

He is affectionate and in need of a loving family! "The Doctors were surprised by his will to live". Can you give him the chance he is fighting for

Please scroll down to find Emory's Warrior button. Please put it on your blog and facebook and anything else you can to help his forever family find him! Again, thank you for all you do for these children!

Emory can be found here:

Emory  (10)
Boy, Born February 25, 2008
Emory is new to this orphanage, and can be adopted with David or Evan.  He was born with anal atresia, but has already had one corrective surgery.  He currently has a tube in, and will require additional surgeries.   He does NOT have a heart condition.  Developmentally he is doing very well.  He is happy and affectionate and in need of a loving family!
Emory is still young enough to benefit from early intervention therapy!  Please give him a chance! 
From one of our adoptive families who visited with him in May 2010:  " Emory had just returned from Kiev, where he had another corrective surgery. They built him a lower intestine and a rectum. He is very  frail and in desperate need of a family. The director told me that he almost didn't make it through surgery and that the Dr's were surprised by his will to live. The director wants very much to find him a  family and made a point to walk us down to where he was so we could get his pic.   She also showed us his corrective surgery....which caught me off guard, but she was so pleased funds were available to help this little guy!  His rebuilt rectum is at the site of where is colostomy bag was...on his lower left abdomen. He wore 2 diapers, one that went horizontal around the site and then a typical diaper. "
We are so glad to have new photos of Emory, and I am personally touched by the way he clasps his hands, as if he is just praying for his family to come for him. 
I have $731in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pray for Hope and Ella!

The Hollis's daughter Hope has just seen the cardiologist and the news wasn't good.  My heart is just breaking for them as they are having to face something no parent should ever have to.  Please lift the Hollises and especially Hope up in your prayers!  Here is Melanie's post:

Also, please pray for another sweet little girl, Ella, who is now battling cancer!  Pray for strength for her and her family, and wisdom for the medical team.  Denise - I am praying for you!

My heart just aches for these families and what they are facing right now.  I pray that the Lord would surround them with His peace and comfort their hearts.

Keep on truckin'

The craziness of all the initial paperwork seems to be slowing down a bit.  Phew!  There are still a lot of papers to be notarized and ultimately apostilled for our dossier, but for right now I feel like I can breath.  We're now waiting for our homestudy to be written up (hopefully we'll have it any day).  Then I can send it to USCIS and hopefully get our fingerprint appointments.  I'm starting to feel first hand the "hurry up and wait" that so many adopting families talk about.  I am just so anxious. But I need to stop and breathe and know that God is in control!  I pray that He will protect Darya.  I pray that someone in the orphanage will take notice of her and show her extra love and attention until we can get her!

In the meantime, everything else going on is keeping us plenty busy. The boys are wrapping up baseball/t-ball season which means practices and games most days of the week. I finished my first class of going back to school (algebra at that!).  And I'm trying to finish another year of homeschooling three energetic boys.  It's busy - but a good busy!!  Our lives are full but very blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for, none of it we deserve!

Oh, and Monday the boys "surprised" me with a trip to Disneyworld's Magic Kingdom for Mother's Day!  We had volunteered and received free tickets during Disney's give a day/get a day promotion, so decided that would be a good day to go. It was so much fun! The lines were short and the weather was beautiful.  In California, we have been to Disneyland countless times so it was fun to compare it with Magic Kingdom.  For the most part, the theme parks are very similar.  But we were surprised at the magnitude of the whole Disneyworld size with all the parks, hotels, etc.  Disneyland/California Adventure are tiny in comparison!  We hope to go back again one day and check out some other parks, but alas unless we sell a kidney or something I don't think that will be anytime soon!  For you Californians I will say that Pirates, Small World, and Autopia are much better than their Orlando partners. Also, Magic Kingdom did not have Indiana Jones or Matterhorn!  They must be at a different theme park.  But there were more shows to enjoy during the heat of the day and the food was better.  Oh, and the ferry ride over the lake to the park was a neat way to start the day.

Okay, I didn't mean for this to turn into a Disney review :-)  But one day we'll be taking our little princess to see the castle for herself!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A long overdue post

Many of you have followed the Hollis family's blog since Lydia, their 11 year old daughter, started fundraising for Darya.  Yet some of you might be wondering who they are.  This post is long overdue, partly because I didn't know how to give them proper thanks and was afraid my words wouldn't give justice to the gratitude I feel, and partly because it's been a whirlwind of a month since we committed to Darya.

Around Thanksgiving last year, a lovely young girl was smitten by a little orphan named Darya who was listed on the Reece's Rainbow site.  Lydia has a younger brother and sister with Down syndrome and it broke her heart to think about the neglect that little Darya endured, knowing what joy she would bring to a family.  She asked her mom that if she could raise the $20k needed to adopt her, if they could bring her into their family.  Well, her mother said "yes" and so it began.  With the amazing faith, love, and determination of a child, the Lord provided the money above and beyond their goal - IN JUST A LITTLE OVER A WEEK!   People from all over sent in their financial support - from little children to elderly women, from local families to people in other countries.  It was truly the hand of God orchestrating it all. They committed to Darya and started working on the adoption process. You can read the story first hand on their blog - the excitement and emotions will be better experienced reading it from it as it happened.  I'll share the link below.

Fast forward about 5 months into the adoption process.  The Hollises had to make the painful decision of letting Darya go.  I can't pretend to imagine how difficult that must have been.  I was heartbroken and prayed for them.  But little did I know that the Lord had used them to pave the way for our family to step up and bring her home.  Three boys will now have the joy of a baby sister - a very special little girl!  A little girl who has never experienced the love and warmth of a family, the embrace of her mother's arms, the way only she can make her daddy smile, will be joining the Fick family :) The Lord had put it on our hearts to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome for a while, and though we had no idea how and when it would pan out, we were trusting Him.  It all seemed to happen so quickly and we are so excited to be bringing her into our family.  For this we are so thankful to the Hollis family, and for Lydia's heart in taking special notice of Darya. We are forever indebted for their love, kindness, and generosity.  They made the decision to give the entire amount raised ($20k) to Darya's grant!  When we committed to her, there was already over $8k in her grant (several people had donated directly to RR), yet we knew of the Hollis's story.  Shortly after we committed to her they sent the rest of the money they had raised to go directly to Darya's grant!  They insisted it was to stay with her. They could have used it many other ways, but selflessly gave it to Darya. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled that it pleased the Lord to provide for us through their family. Because of that huge grant, most of the adoption costs are covered.  Amazing, huh? 

Chappy, Melanie, Caleb, Lydia, Natalie, Hope, and Charlie - we promise we will love and cherish Darya. You will always be remembered by our family and we are forever indebted and grateful for you!

Without further ado, I encourage you to read the beginning of Darya's amazing adoption story as it unfolds on the Hollis' blog.  It is best read through their experience first-hand so you can fully sense the emotion and amazement of it all. Grab some tissue!  It begins in November of 2009 (start with November 16):

And for another tear-jerker post about them letting Darya go: 

It is through this family, and their amazing faith in our mighty God, that has been instrumental in writing the beginning of Darya's life autobiography.

Thank you Hollises and thank you to each and every person who gave selflessly to Darya's adoption grant!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Puzzle Complete!!

Wow!  In just a little over two weeks Darya's "Puzzle o' Love" fundraiser is complete. All your support has helped us tremendously and we are so thankful!!  Thank you to the following individuals and families who will have pieces with your names on the backs in your honor for Darya (the other contributors are in another post - so thanks again to all of you!). We are so grateful for your love, prayers, and support!!:

Maria Falvo
Taya (a RR orphan who now has a committed family!) I just found out the Maria is going to be Taya's mom!!
Vollmers (Denise and girls)
Reeves (SSMG)
McNeills (Brett, Jen, and girls)
Beisners (David, Leigh, Mike Powell, Susan Powell, Kilby, Paul Austin, Becky, Peter, AJ, Grace, Cal, and Debbie)
Harrisons (Greg and Bonnie)

The boys have been having fun helping to put the pieces together. They got so excited every time they got to add more to the puzzle.  Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning of them finishing it (I will post photos when it's all glued and ready to hang):