Mar 25, 2013

The waiting phase

Waiting for passports. Waiting for things to become official. Waiting for babies to finish growing. Waiting for the house to sell. Waiting for supper.

Waiting seems to be the new normal in this family.  The waiting phase itself is boring and frustrating. But at the same time I know that all the waiting will soon be over and then there will be no stopping the changes happening all around me. It's like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff just dying to dive over the edge, but there is something holding me back.  "not yet.  It isn't time JUST YET". Does that make sense? 

So I wait.

Excited.  A little nervous.  Ready. Oh so ready.  But choosing to enjoy this waiting phase. Because there really is no rushing things. Believe me, I've tried.
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[proof that waiting phases do end eventually...]

Mar 22, 2013

More on Shawna

Edit: I just got word that Seth [Shawna's brother] has been taken into domestic foster care. He is no longer available for international adoption and Shawna is on her own.  Shawna is still available for adoption and needs a family.

If you haven't already please go read this post: the fight is on. It explains more about dear Shawna and her brother Seth.  It's been said about Shawna..."She really enjoys spending time with younger children, the children that were the age of her brother. She takes very good care of them, she misses/worries about her brother very much but takes care of these other children." 

Shawna was born in November 2001. 
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[Shawna. 2010]

From a video interview with Shawna [translated from her native language].  I have seen this video and she was sweet. Soft spoken.  Reserved but confident. I honestly just loved her and thought there is something genuinely special about her.

Interviewer: What do you like at school?
Shawna: I like culture, drawing.
Interviewer:Why do you like those things?
Shawna:I just like them.
Interviewer: what do you do after school?
Shawna: I like songs. I want to draw, and to dance to songs.
Interviewer: Please tell me what you like to do the best?
Shawna: To dance.
Interviewer: Do you have any brothers or sister?
Shawna: I do.
Interviewer: Which one?
Shawna: A brother.
Interviewer: Is he older or younger.
Shawna: Younger.
Interviewer: Where is he right now?
Shawna: Thirty meters away. [I don't know what she means by this. As in the other video interview it was said that her brother is no longer with her. Maybe he has been moved to another part of the orphanage? Or maybe this interview was done before the other one...]

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[fall 2012]

The video went on to say that she has a lot of friends and she loves to read. Her favorite character is Pippi Longstocking. She wants to be a hostess when she is older.  

The interviewer asked her what she desires the most and she answered "I don't want to hurt anymore and I want a family."
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[September 2012. Beautiful and growing up!]

She doesn't want to hurt anymore.  She wants a family.  she misses her brother.  

Please Lord, bring a family quickly.

the fight is on

Edit: I'm heartbroken to share this.  I just got word that Seth has been taken into domestic foster care. He is no longer available for international adoption and Shawna is on her own.  Shawna is still available for adoption and needs a family.  Do you see these pictures?  Their bond is so very real.  My heart breaks that Shawna is on her own now.

Have you ever had one of those moments where you can feel your heart sink?
This is one of those moments.
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Meet Shawna (age 11) and Seth (age 9).  a brother & sister duo from Eastern Europe.
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For whatever reason they have been left as orphans.  They have no family except for each other.  A while back they did have a family interested in starting the process of adopting them but sadly the adoption never happened.  A blood test revealed that Shawna was HIV+ [read here] and the family backed out of the adoption. Whatever their reasons were for backing out, the situation was still very sad.  

So they still wait.  And wait.  And wait.  These pictures are old.  I have updated pictures of Shawna.  She is growing into a seriously beautiful young lady and I have a few updates on her.  As I was looking through new pictures though I noticed that Seth was no longer in the pictures.  I wasn't sure why at the time.  But now I know.

As if being orphaned in the first place and then loosing an adoptive family wasn't sad enough...

From a video interview about Shawna [translated from their native language]:

"She came to the group together with her younger brother, but he's somewhere else now, but she worries about him alot. she doesn't know a lot about herself. when the other children her age finished the first grade, she couldn't read and really didn't know very many letters. She had a really poor understanding compared to those around her (similar age). But she was put in a class where there was an excellent teacher. This teacher together with Shawna did a wonderful work and she caught up to her classmates. She now reads very well, not quite as well as her classmates of course, but she does very well. Right now she is a very shy girl. She's very intelligent, keeps house well, she loves it when things are clean and if others don't clean it, we can ask her to and she gladly complies. Of course it happens that her wardrobe is occasionally messy, but we ask her about it and she says 'i'm going, i'll do it'. You know, she's still a kid, but she does things very well, she's very intelligent. She really enjoys spending time with younger children, the children that were the age of her brother. She takes very good care of them, she misses/worries about her brother very much but takes care of these other children."
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These siblings are no longer together.  They've been separated.  How? How can this be.  I don't have words right now.  all I know is that we need to find these children an adoptive family asap.  One that will work to reunite them and allow them to become all that God intended them to be.  The fight is on. For Shawna. For Seth.

Mar 21, 2013

House for sale

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It's official!  Our house is on the market and are praying it will sell quickly. On the other end we are praying we can find the perfect house on the other end.  We are not looking at a major move.  Just closer to my dad's work so his commute is a little shorter.  But it is still pretty intense to pack up a whole house.  Especially when we really do love this house.  It is perfect (except for the location!) and the chances of us finding a house this nice in the location we are aiming for is pretty slim.  

Praying for a miracle!

Mar 19, 2013

I am who I am

Thursday (March 21st) is World Down Syndrome day!
And this is about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

You're welcome.

Mar 12, 2013

The disappearing curls

Gergana has such beautiful curls.  As her hair has grown longer we thought her curls might start to grow out.  That did not happen.  She has the fullest head of ringlets I have ever seen and as her hair grows longer the curls just seem to multiply.  We are extremely in love with her curls don't mind that she has curly hair.

So it shocked us all when she came home last week with straight hair! She had been spending the afternoon with a special friend and they had spent over an hour working the flat iron magic on her hair.  Such a difference.  All evening she commented in shock "Look!  I'm brushing my hair with my fingers!" She looked precious. We all [including Gergana] love her natural curly hair. But this was just to fun.  Straight hair? I think she may start coming home more often with it.
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Mar 9, 2013

flip a coin

For the past several months I have felt like I was living in a fog.  I had no direction, no idea where to turn next.  I banged on doors but nothing opened.  I literally begged God for direction.  Any direction. I felt so desperate and it truly was a low point for me. Especially when well intending people would ask me "so what are you doing now?  What are you up to?  Where are you going next?" And I honestly could only shake my head and answer "I don't know!"

Finally [finally!!] the fog has cleared.  At least for the moment.  I am so thankful.  It has cleared enough for me to now see a path forward, It cleared enough to renew my shrinking faith and trust. The problem? I now have two paths in front of me. I can see both clearly. Both paths are close to my heart.  I'm passionate about both, I love both.  I want to go both ways.  Either way would be the right way to go.  I honestly believe that.  I don't think I would regret either path and God would turn either one into something amazing. I know that.  But how do I decide?

One of my oldest friends told me to flip a coin.  And I may have to take her up on that.  How do you chose between two pieces of your heart?  I just don't know.  But however this ends up, I know it will be amazing. Prayers for wisdom and direction would be grand. xxx
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Mar 8, 2013

Our family is getting bigger..again!

Big families rock.  This is one of those times where I really like having a big family.  The cute 6 yr old sister is sitting next to me asking "Joanna, would you rather eat a frog or a live fish?  And just so you know, the frog is alive too so it would be jumping around in your stomach if you ate it."  But at the same time I have older [slightly more mature] siblings who are off getting married and making babies.  Variety is the spice of life.

So it's with a big smile that I can now share that our family is getting even bigger.  Our crazy mix of a family is adding some more little people to it.  And we really couldn't be happier.

Older brother and his wife are expecting baby #2 this fall!  
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& Older sister and her husband are expecting their first baby this fall!
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(Sister started blogging a while back!  Check out her blog: Through this Forest. )

Both babies are due to be born within weeks of each other.  This Auntie can't wait! If these babies turn out to be anything like the current Baby Niece they are going to be showered with more love than they know what to do with.  Another win for big families!

Mar 4, 2013

The reality [part three] || Reece's Rainbow waiting child

If you haven't already, go read these previous two posts.
-The reality
-The reality [part two]

This BBC documentary really hits home.  It shows the reality children like Kanani face in her country.  In those institutions. It's heart breaking.  It makes me sick.  It's reality.  This documentary does not mention Kanani, and this institution is not her institution.  It isn't even located close to wear she is living existing.  But the similarities are there.  It's worth watching.
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