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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!

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
Marriage license--$55
MO background checks--$66
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


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.