Monday, December 24, 2012

Year Of Love Challenge!

We have a few fundraisers up and going right now! first off we are doing a change drive for Felicity's (Zadie's) adoption fund. Change can be dropped off to me just leave a comment and we will find a time to pick it up! Or you can put your change through one of the grocery store counters and send a check or use paypal to donate it to our fund here http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=newton  .

Next up we are doing The year of love challenge! Basically it is a calendar that will be up on display in our house. We are asking for a $5 donation to claim a day on our calendar. You can choose your birthday, favorite holiday, anniversary, a day in honor of a loved one who has passed etc. We are trying to fill this this calendar so that over the next year we will daily be reminded of all the people who helped love our little girl home. Also worth mentioning is that we estimate that we are only about 5,000 short of being fully funded!












Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big Brothers

My handsome boys! They can't wait for their little sister to come home!









New blog name

As some of you have noticed we have changed our web address to our blog and changed the name to something more generic. This is in an effort to afford our family a little more privacy and to keep our family safe. All past blog posts are still here and we will continue to update this blog with our adoption progress. Thank you all for your support and prayers.

Star Thrower


Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, so he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young woman, and that what she was doing was not dancing at all. The young woman was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young woman paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this the young woman replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young woman, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

As if she hadn't heard, the young woman bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she turned, smiled and said, "It made a difference to that one!"

The old man looked at the young woman inquisitively and thought about what she had done. Inspired, he joined her in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

DOSSIER COMPLETE!

Our Dossier is COMPLETE!!!! And it is en route to eastern Europe! I can't believe it!!!

On dec. 5th we got our approval for Felicity's immigration! That was our last document we needed to complete our dossier. Since there is still a small chance of winter submission deadline being moved to Dec 15th I decided to drive all the way to Olympia, Wa (12 hours drive time) to have it apostilled right away and send it out. If I had sent it in the mail like the rest of our dossier documents it could have taken two weeks to get them back and then shipping time to Eastern Europe. So in a few days we will find out if my road trip was all for naught or if our dossier will be accepted. If the deadline is not extended then it will be accepted Jan 15th.

Here are some pictures from our trip while going over Snowqualmie pass. It was a bit harrowing I won't lie.only four wheel drive vehicles were being allowed over the pass and there were long lines of semi trucks chaining up. I am so thankful my mom aka: grammy was able to go with me and Levi so i could sit it the back with him and entertain him. it would have been a rough drive if he had been in the back alone because little L HATES the car seat.


Well baby girl we are one huge step closer to you!! We have been moved to the "Almost There" category on   Reece's Rainbow! Our paperwork is all done and now we just wait for it to be accepted and to get travel dates! If you feel led to donate we would so appreciate it as we could be traveling as soon as then end of January and still need about 14,000 dollars. We are in need of a Christmas miracle :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

what this is and isn't about, FAQ

What our adoption is and isn't about

ISN'T

  • comfort
  • Self fulfillment / self glorification
  • needing more children
  • wanting to become parents
  • having a "martyr" complex
  • trying to one up everyone on the good people scale
  • ease of life
  • becoming wealthy
  • wanting to be super hero's
  • taking on someone else's burden
We are not Called to live comfortable lives. All the glory in this process is God's. We don't "need" more children to feel fulfilled, we are already parents, and we are still able to have biological children. We do not have a martyr complex. We want to follow God and to be the change we want to see in the world. We are no better than anyone else. No braver or kinder but we serve a god who is all these things. We are not super parents nor are we of the belief that "rescuing" this little girl will be glamorous. We don't see this as someone else's burden . In fact we don't see it as a burden at all. We don't aspire to worldly wealth. We aspire to spiritual wealth and this journey has made us wealthier on that count.


IS

  • answering God's call
  • improving the life of another human being
  • Giving a child a loving family
  • providing excellent medical care
  • A future for her
  • a mommy and daddy to care for her when sick
  • pick her up when she cries
  • teach her about Jesus
  • give her a life outside of an institution
This adoption is not about what we will gain. All we expect to get out of this is another child to love and care for. I'm certain we will be blessed and learn many lessons from her just as we continue to from the children we already have. This adoption is all about what we can give to this little girl. We can give her love, family, a mommy and daddy, siblings, excellent medical care, therapy, plenty of nutritious food to fill her belly, and a warm home. We can teach her about Jesus and his love for us.


WE HAVE NOT

  • entered into this lightly
  • come up with this idea on our own
  • relied solely on others to fund our adoption
this may seem like it happened quickly to many. And in a way it did. that seems to be how God works in our lives though. We only dated 4 months before getting engaged, and only waited 6 months after marrying to become pregnant. We did however discuss this at length with each other. This was God's idea and plan for us, we are along for the ride. So far it has been a beautiful ride and we have learned so much about God and his provision. We have seen miracles. As a result of this process we no longer put God in a box. We can see how big he is.

WE HAVE
  • answered God's calling
  • Stepped out in faith
  • put another's needs before our wants
  • Done tons of research on Down Syndrome
  • reached out to our local Down Syndrome community
  • researched congenital heart defects
  • consulted with our pediatrician
  • discussed for cardio referrals for her
  • talked to the center for international adoption medicine in Seattle
  • taken adoption training classes
  • researched institutionalization and malnutrition
  • sought wise council
  • fasted and prayed
  • been given an opportunity to walk the walk as far as our faith and our duties as Christians
We have done our homework. We have learned ALOT. We have made plans for her care. We have done our best to prepare ourselves for her particular needs as far as coming from an institution. We have talked at length with fellow Christians that we know and love and are confident that they have given us wise council. We are so grateful for this opportunity to walk the walk and to treat "the lest of these" as we would treat Jesus.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • why not adopt from the USA? we have plenty of kids here that need families
We love the USA and are happy to live here and to be American. However i don't think that means we are un patriotic for adopting from over seas. We don't believe that the plight or struggles of any one orphan are more or less important than another. We don't believe any one orphan is more or less deserving of a family because of where they were born We are adopting from Eastern Europe simply because that is where God has called us, that is where our daughter is. If in the future he calls us to adopt from the foster system here in the USA we will be faithful to answer that call
  • why are you asking others to donate to your adoption?
We are asking for donations for the same reasons Schools and sports teams fund raise  This is not an everyday  expense. This is a special circumstance. If raising money to send a sports team to playoffs, buy new computers for a school, send kids to camp are worthy reasons to fund raise then why wouldn't saving a child's life be worthy as well? We have supported schools, boy scout's, girl scout's, sent a child to camp etc and have been happy to be able to help , we see fundraising for this adoption as much the same.We have the means to care for her day to day and even to get her the surgery she needs however we do not have 25,000 dollars to pay to spring her from the orphanage. We are not asking solely for others to pay for this adoption. We are putting money toward it ourselves and have spent money from our own pockets already and will continue to do that.
  • Aren't you kind of young to be doing this?
This one is kind of funny to me because no one seemed to think we were too young to have our biological children, and i fail to see the difference. So no we are not too young. ps. Josh is almost 30 ... don't remind him though :)
  • Are you sure you can handle it / won't you be overwhelmed?
We are sure that we "can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". I guarantee we will have our hands full and will probably be overwhelmed at times. But what parent isn't ? This is why we are so glad to have a group of people who support and love us to lean on when things get tough.
  • Don't you think this will take away from your boys?
Yes. I think it will take away some of the typical selfish human ways, it will take away any chance of them being prejudice against those with disabilities or differences. I think it will instill in them a more compassionate heart and will  teach them volumes about God's love.
  • Are you crazy?
Probably.
  • What happens if she outlives you?
Hopefully she will. We are responsible parents with good life insurance that will guarantee our children are cared for. The same people who have been asked to care for our children if we should pass before they are adults will care for her. She is our child just the same. If she is an adult when we pass there is money for her care like i said before. She would either live with a sibling should they want her to and should they be in a position to care for her. If not then she will live in a care facility and be visited often by family. We know for a fact the facilities in the USA are far better than those in the country where she lives now. She will be well looked after.
  • How is this adoption proceeding so quickly? i thought it took years to complete an international 
adoption
 
In the country where our little one lives the adoption process is actually fairly quick. Averaging around six months if you are able to secure your paperwork and home study quickly. We have worked night and day to complete theses things as fast as possible. We are very concerned about her health issues so we are even more motivated to finish this quickly.

Monday, November 12, 2012

clarify

You have probably seen us call our baby girl by a few different names so here is some clarification on that. We do not know what her legal name is. On Reece's Rainbow they give all the children psuedo names as they are not allowed to use the children's legal names. Zadie is her psuedo name on Reece's Rainbow. We will be naming her Felicity Lark. Lark will be her nickname/ term of endearment and her middle name. So that is why you hear us call her a mix of Felicity , Lark , and Zadie :)

mountains to move and mountains already moved

I thought i would update y'all on the upcoming expenses we have left to tackle.




We have 1400 in our reece's rainbow account and 1400 cash donations so we need to raise a total of 18,140 more dollars. (These are all estimates as we do not yet know what our travel dates will be or how much advance notice we will have to book tickets and lodging)If there is money left over in our Reece's Rainbow account we will get the honor of gifting it to another family in the adoption process bringing home a child with special needs.
 Mountains Already moved (things that have already been payed for)


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

our little beauty!

This week we got an awesome and unexpected surprise, new pictures of our baby girl! Be prepared for cuteness overload!
I think she has red hair!! Awwwww isn't she a beauty?! I've always wanted a little one with red hair and my mom who has red hair couldn't be more thrilled :)I am so relieved to see her looking chubby and pink! With her heart condition it is harder to get oxygen to your bloodstream so some babies with Tetralogy Of fallot have a blueish hue to their extremities but her lips, nose, and fingers look pink. Praise God they also deemed her as doing well enough with her condition to be transferred from the hospital to the orphanage. I feel so much better knowing she is in decent shape, but she still needs lots of prayers that she stays that way! This last week has brought two large donations from some amazing friends! We had about 1600 dollars in donations! We are so humbled, blessed and thankful! Also good news is that our home study is days away from completion and we have almost all of our papers for our dossier in hand and about to be sent out for apostille. Then they will go to Eastern Europe! We are waiting to get our state police clearances back and Josh's medical form done correctly. i will be so relieved when these papers are all done and on their way! i cannot tell you how many hours i have spent on the phone, in the car, and waiting in line in various offices to get these papers done. Some i have had to have redone as many as four times. No fun at all! but in one month we have almost completed all dossier forms and our home study! That is a pretty big accomplishment! Today i will head out to fed ex the first batch of papers to Olympia to be apostilled by the Secretary of state and then head back to the doctors office to try again to get josh's papers. Its kinda funny the mistake on josh's form is a miswritten code. the code instead of indicating whether or not josh passed his physical says he has been in a bus collision, not exactly applicable to the question lol. I made good on my promise to donate my hair and here is the proof!
I will also be trying to find a time to go donate plasma as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

whirlwind

Whew so much has happened since i last wrote! We have committed to our little princess you can find our family sponsorship page here http://reecesrainbow.org/48399/sponsornewton and here is our only picture of our beautiful little girl
I wish we had more pictures! We dont even know what color her eyes or hair are. I guess that just shows how God can take one picture and one sentence " girl born july 2012 ds, and tetralogy of fallot" and make you completely fall in love! He can use that limited information to cause you to claim an orphan as your child. We have been furiously working to chase papers and complete our home study. It should be done by the end of next week! And i cant believe it but we are starting to compile papers for our dossier. which is what we send to her country in order to be approved by them to adopt and to receive an invitation to travel. We are applying for the boy's passports tomorrow and shipping out our fingerprints to the FBI. We are working as fast as we can to try to make the deadline for winter travel. This week we also got to have dinner with our pastor and his wife, and it was so encouraging. Our church is going to help contribute toward the cost of our adoption! Such a blessing as we are needing more funds for the next few steps of our process. We also sent out letters to some local churches sharing our story and asking them if they can help pay an orphans ransom. Please pray these are read by hearts moved by the plight of the orphan. Oh and in case you didn't know November is adoption awareness month and Nov. 4th is orphan Sunday. Would you consider sharing our cause with your family, friends , co workers, and church in honor of this? I know a little girl in an orphanage right now waiting for her mommy and daddy who it would mean the world to . I have spent hours and hours compiling papers, standing in line for papers, and filling out papers. I think i have nightmares about papers!!! But it will all be worth it when this stack of unending papers turns into our little girl in our arms. Our little girl home. Our little girl healed from surgery. Our little girl happy, healthy, loved, and part of our family. Please keep her in your prayers, and keep us in your prayers too. And of course please pass on our story and if you can, contribute towards bringing her home. no amount is too small, literally every dollar counts!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Incentive to Donate

If our chip in account reads 1,250 by 11-17-2012 i will pay it forward by overcoming two of my fears to help others. First i will face my fear of having short hair , i will cut it off and donate it to locks of love! Second I will overcome my fear of needles and i will donate plasma (ouch). As an added bonus we will make videos of me doing these things and post them to our blog for you all to enjoy! Just think your donation will help an orphan get home, a cancer patient get a quality wig, and someone who has been injured receive a life saving transfusion. Talk about your donation making a BIG difference!

Home Study

This last Thursday night we had our first home study visit with our social worker! We called on Tuesday to get an appointment and couldn't believe our luck that he would already be in Spokane Thursday and could get us in. Things went very well he was easy to talk to , explained the paperwork and process to us, and took a little tour of the house. We are pre approved and our home study is on track to be finished in 4 weeks!

Friday we spent some time at our bank getting paperwork notarized and finishing the stack of papers he gave us to fill out. Our next step is to order birth certificates for our family, marriage certificates, and the last 3 years tax returns, and get fingerprinted for the FBI. Things are moving right along!

Any donations would be greatly appreciated as more costs are coming in our near future. We also hope that in about a week we will have our family sponsorship page through Reece's Rainbow set up where you can make tax deductible donations to our adoption! Once that page is up can can share our little girl with you all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

a father's journey

Josh decided to give everyone a glimpse into his journey with our adoption thus far, and at the end is a big announcement!


My Journey,

I remember the day my wife told me she wanted to someday adopt.  I was totally on board.  As a Christian I understand that we are called to care for the widows and the orphans, and what better way to care for an orphan than giving him or her a loving home.  I also remember the first time she said she was ready to get pregnant.  I was like "no way, we've only been married a couple months".  Of course her response was "well I'm ready, so I'm just going to pray that God changes your heart".  I can not express how firmly my feet were planted against this.  One week later I came to her nearly in tears telling her I was ready to try and have a baby.  Two kids later I can tell you God is good, and that I wouldn't replace my boys for anything in the world.  When our youngest is only two months old she then tells me she wants to adopt.  My response was "yes, yes babe.  We are going to adopt.  Once we are done having kids and I'm some rich guy and can afford it we will most definitely adopt."  Then she hit me with the whammy.  "No, I'm ready to adopt now.  And I feel like God is calling me to a  girl with down syndrome out of Eastern Europe."  I love my wife.... a lot..... but who springs that on somebody.  Needless to say I was again firmly planted against this.  I told her that if this was truly God's plan for our life he would need to change my heart.  And again he delivered.  I remember the week I finally gave in.  It had been on my mind for weeks.  I was taking my youth students through the book of Jonah.  For those of you who aren't familiar Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh to call for repentance of the city before it would be destroyed.  Jonah, like myself, refused.  This is where I learned from Jonah.  This man did everything he could to not go.  Did everything he could to hide and run and escape God's will and God's plan for his life.  When I finished the book of Jonah with my boys I realized what a hypocrite I am.  See, we are called to care for the widows and the orphans.  I've known for years that it was our calling to eventually care for an orphan.  But why not a baby with down syndrome?  Really what it came down to was fear.  Fear of the unknown and the different.  Fear of having an imperfect child.  What I failed to realize is that we are all imperfect, whether physically, mentally or emotionally.  We are all imperfect.  There are so many children out there that will be adopted into loving homes.  These children aren't down syndrome children.  By saying yes I would be taking a child's life and saving it.  I'd be taking a child out of a foster home or institution where they are barely fed or clothed, barely held or rarely smiled at, certainly not loved.  And embracing them as my own, as one of MY children.  So God once again changed my heart.  Broke it more like.  I still held onto the thought that this is a slow process.  These things just take time.  I looked at probably 200 little girls available for adoption over the next two months.  Not a one of them moved the needle for me.  I told God to show me which child was mine.  I remember being at work and Brittany sending me the email with baby girl's photo in it.  My heart was like "oh crap, its her"  My head was like "no, this can't be her.  It is way too soon."  Not to mention she has a heart condition, I'm just not equipped to handle any of this.  So started the fasting and praying.  Britt already knew she was the one.  She knew she was the one the first time she saw her.  Fear took hold of me though.  I again firmly planted my feet in the ground and told her that God would once again have to change my heart and show me the way.  This time it was just not a matter of me saying yes.  This time I had some backing with the lack of financial support.  Let me tell you something.  When God has a plan he makes it happen.  Every single thing that I have been worried about has been taken care of.  The home study, the love offering, the insurance.  I'm sitting at work right now writing this.  I'm going to tell my wife that I know she is ours.  I have never been more scared in my life.  But I know one thing for sure.  I can not, and will not, fight the will of God any longer.  His will is like a river, the closer you get to the middle the stronger the current.  But even hiding on the banks eventually I'll get tired and get pulled down stream.  There is one thing left to do.  Baby girl, I know you are mine, my heart has broken for you since the first time I saw you.  I can not wait to hold you in my arms.  Daddy will be there soon to bring you home, wrap you in a warm blanket, and love you like you never thought possible.  I am sorry I've waited this long, but I promise you won't have to wait much longer.  I love you.


Yep you read right we found our little girl! we cant share her name or photo with you yet. There is still paperwork that needs to be completed but as soon as we can we will be excited and proud to show her off to all you!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Five minute free write about our adoption

Sweet baby girl . I don"t know you yet, but i love you. My arms ache to hold you. My love would cross oceans for you. Hold on little one mommy is coming for you! I will swallow my pride, beg for the money i need to bring you home, sell everything if i have to. My love will find you. Not bone of my bone or flesh of my flesh but loved and wanted none the less. It will take a village of people loving you to bring you home to me. No, i can't save all the orphans. But i can save YOU. I miss you my darling. You are valuable to me. You are a child of the king of kings, created in his image. Deserving of love amd family. I cry for your birth mother. That she lives in a society that believes she should give you up. That wont support her keeping you. She has no resources , no one to tell her she can do this. I'm sorry she will miss out on seeing you grow. You are a blessing. You will be a jewel around my neck, a sharpened arrow in my quiver. Hold on baby doll mommy is coming for you! Your Daddy is gentle, kind, strong. He provides for us. Your brothers are funny, loud, sweet, and crazy. We will protect you. You are fiercly loved. Hold on sweetheart mommy is coming for you!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Orphan no more

Hello friends and family! We are creating this blog to keep you all updated on our adoption journey as well as to fundraise to bring our baby home! As most of you know (or maybe your just finding out) God has called our family to adopt a child with down syndrome from an eastern European orphanage/institution. these children desperately need families. the conditions they live in are lacking to say the least. We appreciate your prayers and support as we step out in faith. for more information on what we are doing visit www.reecesrainbow.org     Hosea 14:3 In you the orphan finds mercy