HELP US BRING THEM HOME!

To make a tax deductible donation to our Adoption, please go to www.reecesrainbow.org/artem-for-the-priest-family-mt-washington-ky

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Plane Tickets!

We have plane tickets today! They have been bought, that makes it offical right?
It made me a little nervous, but it is done.
Please be in prayer for us as we try to continue to fundraise for these last few weeks. We are still alittle bit shy of our goal and would love to see our FSP reach $5000.00 before we leave. That is our goal, and God is good so we are trusting He has this one.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

We got an extra special gift today while we wait. Videos of Artem on the move! He is walking!

video
video
video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We got NEWS today!

Our SDA appointment!
We will be on our way to EE in several short weeks!
On January 17th, 2011 we will have the pleasure of receiving Artem's referral.
I am full of emotion today. On one hand I was hoping to be there sooner, but am also so thankful that we simply have a date. We are so excited. I was hoping to not be hear for Christmas and just skip it all together, but I guess I better get Christmas shopping!
Artem here we come!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

As my Heart aches...

The waiting for the day when we can hold the child God so carefully choose for our family is horrendous. Brandon and I talk often of ways to cope and kill the time. So we started running everyday, we work on Artem's room (painting and shopping for furniture, etc.), and busy ourselves with the other parts of our life, trying only to think of him when I have to.
But, today I sat home alone thinking only of him, and calling out to our God to bring him home. I thought, "Is this the longing you had for me God? Is this the longing you have for your children." Because my heart breaks for the day Artem no longer has to be alone, and for a time he will know the love are family is waiting to share with him. Is this the heart break our Father in heaven has for us? Does he long for us and wait for a time when we will no longer walk alone, and a time when we can feel the love of our creator, and Father?
The words of Chris Rice so carefully explain my feelings today:
Cause I just want to be with you,
I just want this waiting to be over.
Cause I just want to be with you,
And it helps to know the Day is getting closer.
Every minute takes an hour,
Every inch feels like a mile.
Till I won't have to imagine,
And I finally get to see you smile!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Submitted!

We were submitted today! It is a great day!
Thank God! We are ready to go get Artem! Just waiting for our date!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Arrival!

Our Dossier was delivered to our facilitator Yulia on Monday by the UPS man! Thank you God. I was so nervous handing it over to the guy at the UPS store. I felt like I needed to threaten his life a little. But it made it. Now we are praying that it is found withough error, quickly translated and accepted by the SDA. We are hoping for submission next Thursday if everything on our paperwork looks ok. Until then... I have new pics from Andrea of our handsome guy! Doesn't he look amazing! I am so glad she is there to love on him for us. I can't wait to get my hands on him, he looks like so much fun!



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Golden Ticket Day!


'Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden twinkle in my eye

I never had a chance to shine
Never a happy song to sing
But suddenly half the world is mine
What an amazing thing

'Cause I've got a golden ticket

I never dreamed that I would climb
Over the moon in ecstasy
But nevertheless, it's there that I'm
Shortly about to be

'Cause I've got a golden ticket
I've got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it's a golden day

Yay! We got our immigration approval in the mail on Monday morning. I was at the dentist when it arrived, so Brandon got to have this experience on his own, but I got it in a text.
So we worked all day yesterday getting our dossier ready to mail. Now it is all faxed, signed, notarized, certified, and appostilled! We have it in a box, and we are just waiting to hear back from our team with the go-ahead and the address and the beast will be off!
I can't wait to get it out of our house, and to Artem's side of the world!
Be in prayer that it happens quickly!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Updates!

So many exciting things have happened recently! We had a wonderful dinner and silent auction. It was a huge success thanks to so many people that helped out, donated, and bid on items. We were able to raise $32OO for Artem's adoption. It was so much fun to spend time with everyone who is supporting and loving us through this process and just get to talk about Artem all night. We were blessed to have Diana Merzweiler as our guest from Down Syndrome of Louisville who came to talk about what they do there and all the things Artem will get to be involved in! Her support has been priceless.
We are getting so close to our goal. We are shy just a few thousand dollars and we would love to see our FSP reach $5000 before we travel. So head on over to www.reecesrainbow.org/artem-for-the-priest-family-mt-washington-ky to donate to our FSP.
We continue to wait for our USCIS approval. Our congressman has agreed to help us move closer to this goal. I was really hoping we would have it by today. We are really getting close to the November deadline and it is making me super nervous, so we continue to pray and wait and call out to God for this "Golden Ticket". It would be great to just finish this already.
AND I recieved the most wonderful gift this week while we wait. Updated pictures of Artem from a wonderful girl serving at his baby house! So I will share this gift with you...

These pictures are bitter sweet due to loving getting to see him. But they also make me much more impatient to get to him. How I want nothing more than to hold him and touch him myself. Who knew I could love someone so much without ever even touching him. Who knew we could be capable and called to such a journey as this. We are blessed....

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reece's Rainbow New Website

Very excited to announce that Reece's Rainbow has a new and improved website!
www.reecesrainbow.org!
It is more user friendly and you can use the search engine to find our family!
Or you can go to www.reecesrainbow.org/artem-for-the-priest-mt-washington-ky
Go check it out!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fundraiser Weekend!

This Saturday we will be hosting a Dinner and Silent Auction at FBC Mt. Washington in hopes that it can end our fundraising efforts. Please be in prayer that many will come out and support us, and bid on our items!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flanagan's Fund Day!

Monday night Flanagan's Ale House hosted a fund day event for us! It was a lot of fun and we really appreciate everyone who came out to support us. We raised $1000!
Thanks for everyone's support!

Monday, September 13, 2010

USCIS Fingersprinting completed today!
What a blessing. I really needed some encouragement on the adoption front. I was starting to feel this was an impossible task and something that I could not handle. But my God can move mountains and today He moved a large one. I cried out to Him all weekend and on the first business day after He moved a mountain for us. Now we just wait. 5 small documents from a complete Dossier and about 6 weeks to get in mailed. Everything is possible.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Artem' s Birthday!

Tomorrow is Artem's Birthday! He will be 2 years old.
And we are finding out the Eastern Europe may be closing to new adoptions. So please be in prayer for Artem tomorrow, that he will have a happy birthday. Also please pray that our I600a will hurry so we can quickly get our Dossier submitted before November.
All in His time.
Happy Birthday Artem!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HomeStudy Complete, and what I would do to get it...

I recieved a phone call Tuesday morning from our wonderful social worker Sarah, informing us that she had completed our homestudy and that it had been reviewed, signed, and notarized for us and that I could come and pick it up! Amazing! That is what I have been waiting for!
She informed me that she had to leave in about 30 mins for an out of town appt., but she could wait until I got there, if I could make it fast.
I had called in sick on Tuesday because Monday I had been spiking a temp all day and was feeling like I had the flu (achy, cold chills, wearing lots of layers of clothing, etc.) So when I recieved this call, I had yet to attempt to move my body, and was hoping I wouldn't have to try. But alas, our homestudy was complete, so my body was forgotten momentarily.
My car had also started having some issues over the weekend and was still being worked on, so I had no vehicle, but that detail was also forgotten as I jumped out of bed and quickly found a t-shirt and some jeans. I just deodarized and brushed my teeth, and put my hair in a pony-tail. Done, ready, stink-my car was missing.
So I started calling people, first my husband, twice. No answer. Then my dad, at home, and on his cell. No answer. Dude. Then my mom. Score, she answered, but how could she help me, she was watching a room full of 2 year olds at work.
She told me to call a friend and if that didn't work, to call her back and she would find someone to stay in her room while she brought me her car. Well, that didn't work. At this point, out of desperation, I just took off on foot. Me, my flipflops, my big bag, and a ragging fever. I was going to run to church, just over a mile, right? Get her car and make it to Hurstbourne Ln. Ha. Its been awhile since I have run. But luckly before I made it out of my neighborhood, here comes my mother to pick me up. A miracle, or God's sense of humor, he wanted to see me run.
So the homestudy and our I600A application safely made it to the UPS store and were overnighted to Texas.
In conclusion, there may be nothing at this point I may not do, don't test me.

Monday, August 23, 2010

FBI fingerprints

Our FBI fingerprints are being processed and will be sent out no later that tomorrow! This is a miracle considering last week they told us it could take up to 4 more weeks. I am thrilled! So we are getting the package ready to send our USCIS out, and hopefully that will come back quicker than expected too. YAY!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dinner and Silent Auction!

We have begun to prepare for our Dinner and Silent Auction! We are planning for it to take place on Saturday October 16th at 6pm at First Baptist Church Mt. Washington. We are looking for donations for the silent auction and people to be in attendance. Soo invite your friends and let us know if you want to help us get donations for the silent auction or would like to put together a basket to auction. Thank you for your help! Its is going to be fun!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Art-y Quilts For Sale!

My wonderful mother and Aunt Peggy have been working so hard to be crafty! They have made several beautiful Art-y quilts that we will be selling/auctioning off to raise money for Artem. They are "biscuit" quilts and they are beautiful. I only have four right now. If you are interested or know anyone who is interested let me know. Lets raise some money to get him home.






Monday, August 9, 2010

Progress

We had our first home visit today with our social worker. It was wonderful. She is fabulous and I really feel like she is going to do her best to help us along in the process. Keep your fingers crossed that we will be homestudy ready in a few weeks!

Bake Sale!

Huge thanks to my friends at University Hospital for an awesome bake sale today. We had sooo many great donations and goodies to sale and a great turn out. Special thanks to Tara Beam, Jennifer Goldman, and Debbie for working so hard to organize it all. We are really grateful. We made $403.17. Yay!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apparently Eastern Europe closes to new dossier submissions from November 1st to February 1st. So we must hurry to get our dossier submitted before November 1st. AHHHH! Things are getting a little hairy. I am going to work to get out house homestudy ready today and get the paper work together for our social worker. Please pray for a smooth completion of our homestudy so that we can get our I600A going.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Waiting...

Good News today! I just learned that our homestudy Packet 2 has been reviewed and approved by Love Basket Inc. That is wonderful because that was a lot of paper work, and I am thrilled their were no snags in that packet. Thank you Jesus.
But, we are not going to get to start our home study visits until the first or second week of August . I was hoping to be done with our homestudy by August. But it gives us more time to complete our dossier documents, get that all ready to go, and to fundraise, I guess. (Trying to look on the bright side.)
So please be in prayer for us as we continue to wait and prepare. Each piece of paper for our dossier is a speedbump or a hurdle and we are working through them slowly.
Another small success, I got my passport in the mail today! Yay! I had to get it updated and that was slowing us down alittle as the information needed to go on several of our documents. So we are moving ahead alittle at a time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good News this morning! Our first set of papers have been recieved by our facilitator in Eastern Europe. Thank you UPS for their safe arrival. I feel like we are starting to make some progress today. Someone over there now knows we what to bring Artem home. And we have now given them permission to speak on our behalf. Now we are praying for our homestudy to be quickly completed!

Friday, July 9, 2010

YardSale Tomorrow

We are having a Yard Sale again tomorrow. Please be in prayer that we will get rid of lots of stuff, and raise alot of support for our adoption.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Here we go apostilling...

Wow, how difficult can we make this process. Today I feel like that is the name of the game. Its not that I don't understand the necessity, because I think I do, it is just making my life really difficult.
Every form I have filled out, and trust me there are many, I have to get it notarized. Then I have to take the form to the county clerk's office to have the notary certified. Then once the notary is certified I must take that to Frankfort to the Secretary of State to have it Apostilled. Lots of fun. Please pray for us as we work through all the forms, and rules and scrutiny of each piece of paper we fill out. I am struggling with it all.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Adoption EveryWhere


Welcome back, Brandon and I just returned home from spending an amazing week with the teenagers from our church at Crossings Camp. You'll never guess what the theme of the week was? Adoption! It is a running theme through our lives right now. It was incredible to spend the week learning about, and talking about Adoption. Even more amazing to spend the week listening to God's voice and hearing His heart for adoption. At the center of creation and the center of His plan for the world is the idea of adoption. The idea that He adopts each one of us into His family and makes us heirs to everything, to His throne. I can't wait to learn how deep my love for Artem will run and be able to better understand the love God has for me. What a beautiful picture of His salvation.
Someone made the comment about all the people they know that are adopting and how "trendy" it is becoming. At first my thought was, "its not trendy, it was God's plan before the creation of the world." But as I look around, I see it is becoming more and more popular and to that I say, what is God up to? What is he doing, I think this a grand plan, an awakening of His people, and I am thrilled to be apart of it. I believe He is bringing the orphans of the world into His family through adoption and reaching the corners of the earth. What an incredible God we serve.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We are leaving in a few minutes to head to the lake with some friends for some much needed down time, aways from apposilles, paper work. But I feel guilty not working on it every moment I have. Its weird. I feel like Artem is waiting on us, so I need to hurry up. But I am going anyway. Maybe at least I can get our books read this weekend. That is something on the "to-do" list.
We recieved our packet from Reeces Rainbow yesterday that was filled with more goodies that need to be notarized. Moving on, more to be overwhelmed with. If I just had a big "To Do" list to work down. I think that would help. That is how I think. I need to check things off.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Whew... Packet 2 for our homestudy is off! One more doctor's appt. and everything on our end will be complete for our homestudy. I am so afraid of the USPS. As I was handing the postal worker the package, I thought,"This better not get lost." I don't know what I will do if it disappears. I guess do it all again. So we have been finger printed, consented, notarized, read books, doing online courses, created a photo essay, autobiographies, accounted for all of our money, birth certif., marriage cert., all criminal background history addressed, everything I can think of. If there are anymore questions, I think I am out of answers....

Ohh and my mom and I were shopping today and bought Artem some really cute PJ's. Is it bad that I have started buying him things? I have to start sometime, right?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Are we the disabled ones?

I believe that God made man in His image and that His will is perfect. I have often thought that the disability labels we give people are problems with the way we see things, not always problems with them. I was once given the opportunity and blessing to spend a summer serving at Cerebral Palsy of North East Florida and meet many amazing people with different "disabilites". I left that summer knowing that each and every one of those people was perfect, exactly who God made them to be. If any one of them was any different we wouldn't be learning from them, and have perfect experiences with them.
So I ask, who is disablied here, them or us? We give them this term because they don't fit inside the culture we have created, not because there is something wrong with them.
Brandon and I were talking about how awesome some of our friends with Down Syndrome were and how we wish we could see the world like them, and be more like them. We thought, "wouldn't it be funny if we got to heaven and our heavenly bodies had down syndrome?" That we have it all wrong. Not them and not God. So why is it we are trying to wipe out an entire group of people that God has perfectly sewn together? People that teach us so much about how to see the world, how to love others so freely, and how to forgive so quickly...

Push for Human Perfection?

Mohler: 80-90% of Down syndrome babies killed in push for ‘human perfection’


Posted on Jan 27, 2006 | by Jeff Robinson
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--Recent statistics show that as many as 80-90 percent of all babies found to have Down syndrome through pre-term testing are aborted, an alarming reality demonstrating contemporary culture’s fixation with human perfection and consumer choice, R. Albert Mohler Jr. said Jan. 22 on the “Coral Ridge Hour” television program.

The very fact that such pre-term testing is offered to expectant parents under the guise of “making informed choices” insinuates that they really only have only one choice to make: whether or not to abort, said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

The Coral Ridge Hour is a syndicated weekly program featuring the teaching and cultural analysis of D. James Kennedy, pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“Parents are being offered these genetic tests in order that they can ‘make the right decision,’” Mohler said. “What decision is there to make? The only decision that is implied is a decision to abort. Once we are confronted with a test that will identify whether an unborn baby is carrying the mark of the Down syndrome, there is no treatment. The only choice is whether or not to abort.”

The number of abortions performed on children with Down syndrome is especially disconcerting because of the consumerist mentality that drives the decisions, Mohler said. Parents are now choosing life or death for their unborn children, he said, based on the perceived “quality” of the child developing in the womb.

“We really have entered that brave new world of medicine where all things apparently are becoming possible,” Mohler said. “Right now these parents are having tests done on their unborn children and even in the embryonic stage in order to determine whether these kids meet their expectations.”

The broadcast also featured the story of Bob and Laura Reisert of Miami and their 7-year-old son David who was born with Down syndrome. Bob Reisert said watching his son learn and grow has made him realize that young David is not merely a boy who suffers from a severe handicap but a viable person whom God has fashioned in His own image.

David participates vigorously and joyfully in worship both in the church and home along with his older sister and younger brother, Bob Reisert said, noting that David provides his family with a perpetual illustration of the sanctity of human life.

“David’s spiritual life is wonderful,” the father said. “It is very difficult to know with him being mostly non-verbal right now exactly where he is in his walk and relationship with God and just how much he does understand.

“But you can see through his eyes when we are in the church service and a hymn or worship song comes on, David springs to his feet with his hands up in the air. You kind of get a sense that there is a special spiritual connection going on—that God understands his weakness and is communicating with David in a way that David can understand.”

Many in the contemporary culture, Mohler lamented, do not share the Reiserts’ high view of life but hold a radically different understanding of children who, through prenatal testing, are diagnosed with maladies such as Down syndrome.

“I think we in this culture have bought into the idea of human perfection,” Mohler said. “We have bought in also to the idea that we should have consumer choice in all things. And let’s face it: Most parents would be praying for a child that is physically perfect in every way. But we live in a fallen world in which that is simply not going to be the case for many of us. There are babies born with all kinds of genetic issues.”

Mohler alluded to several recent stories in national newspapers celebrating the fact that fewer babies than ever are being born with Down syndrome.

These shrinking numbers are hardly a cause for celebration because they can only be caused by one thing, he said. “I want to ask a question: Is that [fewer Down syndrome babies] good news or bad news? It would be good news if something were being done to help these babies overcome some genetic difficulty, but that’s not at all what’s being talked about.

“Instead, there are fewer babies being born with Down syndrome because at least 80 and as many as 90 percent of these babies are being aborted before they are ever born,” Mohler said.

Leigh Byers, director of the children’s ministry at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami, the Reiserts’ home church, said she is thankful that David’s parents are among the 10-20 percent who have chosen life.

“Children with Down syndrome have a life worth living,” Byers said. “They are very special. They are human beings and ... I don’t believe any child is conceived by accident.

“God knows every child and He knows them by name and He has a purpose for them,” she said. “Regardless of the difficulties, regardless of the struggles or challenges of the child or the parents, God has a purpose for that life just like He does for every life.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fundraising quilt

So I decided to make a quilt or what i thought would be quilts to auction off, or sell to raise money to bring Artem home. Ha! I had no idea, this is my first quilt. In the process of cutting like 150+ squares, I realized that someone was going to have to pay like $1000 to get this quilt out of my hands. I will post some pics of this quilt learning process, and if you know anyone who wants to spend $1000 on a quilt just let me know.

And if anyone has any better fundraising ideas, I am open to suggestions.

Artem's family found him!

http://www.reecesrainbow.org/myfamilyfoundme.html

The My Family Found Me page! Artem (14) made the page, because we found him! We are going to be his family! Swing by and take a look at his sweet face. We can't wait to hold him!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Yay! Our homestudy application has been reviewed and approved! Which really just means we get to begin the homestudy. But this is exciting, its a step, however small.

I also get a lot of questions about why adoption cost so much. It is hard to explain but today I found a breakdown of the cost:
App. Fee-- $90
Donation to org.--$275
Home study--$1250
Passport renewal ($75 ea)--$150
I-600A--$830
Marriage license--$55
MO background checks--$66
Medicals--$48
Apostilles--$200
Shipping dossier to UA--$28
Facilitator fee--$10500
Travel to/from Ukraine #1--$4000
Lodging in Ukraine #1--$360
Travel to/from region #1--$250
Lodging in region #1--$475
Travel to/from Ukraine #2--$2315
Travel to/from region #2--$120
Lodging in region #2--$105
Lodging in Kyiv #2--$210
Kids medicals--$220
Kids visas--$800
Kids flights--$1170
Follow Up Study--$900
Food while in country-- $250
= $24,642
This is a very rough estimate that is obviously subject to cost of airfare, ect. But helps explain where all the money goes.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

HomeStudy

We have applied for our home study through Love Basket, Inc.
It is such a waiting game. Now we wait to hear back. We hope to update you with a picture of our little man as soon as we can commit to him. Can't wait!

Here We Go!





This is the start. We are beginning a journey to grow our family. This journey we felt started long ago, for each of us seperately. God began a love in each of us many years ago; for the world, for adoption, and for special, perfect people that just happen to have down syndrome.

God grew Brandon's heart many years ago through a relationship with our dear friend Mitchell. Brandon and Mitchell are best friends and this relationship developed a passion in Brandon for special education and for people with down syndome.

God grew my heart through a tiny person named Toni and others in a program called Special Friends. And then gave me a passion for the world and ministry. Together we found ourselves with a common passion which began our search for ways to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. This search lead us to an organization called Reeces Rainbow. For months we have prayed over and loved each child pictured. We have waited for God to call us to the children he has created us to be the parents of.

This is a long and expensive process and we believe that God will provide through each and every step. We feel so honored and loved by God to be chosen for this task. Please be in prayer for us as we begin to walk through the home study and fundraising efforts.