Saturday, March 31, 2012

Stirring the pot

I've been accused of stirring the pot sometimes. But today, I left the pot stirring to the experts, my dad and my brother. We made 164 quarts of brunswick stew today as a fundraiser. I made it to my parents' house at the unhuman hour of 5:15 to help my dad get started. It had started raining during the night, which didn't bode well for our yard sale, also scheduled today, but perfect weather for stew. My brother met us up there, and before he got started, he had the very healthy breakfast of champions. No, not Wheaties, leftover sesame chicken!
Yeah, Dad didn't get it either. I think he was slightly sickened by the thought. I was just upset J didn't offer to share. But anyway, soon the pot was bubbling away with chicken, beef, potatoes and onions. We took turns stirring, and soon some friends from church showed up to help stir. Once you add in the rest of the veggies (tomatoes, corn, crowder peas, butter beans) it gets really hard to stir. You have to continually keep stirring to prevent it from scorching. Here's my dad and my brother J stirring. Those are handmade paddles they are using. I think they could be used to row the Titanic!

Dad has been making a huge pot of brunswick stew for over 30 years. It's an annual tradition that he and his brother both do. We used my uncle's pot this time since it's bigger than Dad's 25 gallon pot. Yes, they are serious about their stew! Every fall, Dad does his stew, and invites family and friends over for a night of good food and fun. His friends from church help stir all day (it takes about 7 hours to make, constantly stirring the whole time). Once it's ready, everyone sits down with their saltine crackers and digs in. There are always plenty of desserts that the women contribute, and sometimes we have someone brave enough to play a little music, we play cards and board games. It's a night that we look forward to all year. As popular as it is, it's always a good fundraiser. We did one back in the fall for our girl scout troop and got more orders than we could fill! And even thought it's very hard work, my dad offered to do one for Sam and Duncan. Dear friends from church even donated money for the ingredients, so that we could keep every bit of money raised. They showed up today to help stir, and by 11:00 it was ready.

The rain stopped, the sun came out, and people start showing up to the yard sale! My wonderful mother in law  (my second mom) made some cakes and cookies, and they were gone quick! Her lemon pound cake, oh my goodness!! And my youngest was so excited to finally get her chance to help out in her own way for the boys, her coffee and lemonade stand. It was a big success, of course!

None of it would have been a success without our family and friends. We are so grateful to all of them for their help and support. There were two moments that really stood out for me. I have a sweet friend, a single mom raising her son by herself, which is hard enough anyway, and on top of that her son has CP and autism. If anyone could say, gee I'd like to help but just can't, it should be her. But she made a very generous donation, from her son to Duncan, and that meant the world to me. We had several very generous donations like that today, all from those who really didn't have it to spare. Medical bills for family members, limited income, all reasons to save their money. But they chose to help the boys instead. I'm crying again just thinking about them! And the other moment from today: Our 18 year old nephew came and stayed for a long time, hanging out, helping people carry containers of stew out to their cars, and doing whatever else we could find for him to do. He and I were talking, and he said "so when are we bringing them home?" I told him what we hoped the timeline would be, and we talked some more. A couple more times in the conversation he used the term "we", not "you" or "ya'll". I just loved that. He's as excited as we are, and so supportive, he knows this is something our whole family should be involved in. He's such a sweet young man, and I don't get to spend nearly as much time with him as I'd like. I know he will be such a great help to the boys, hanging out with them and showing them around.

Today was about family and friends helping each other. We couldn't have done it without them! Tonight I thank God for each and every one of them that came out today to help us. 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Kindle giveaway starts today!

We have had overwhelming success with the iPod Touch giveaway, and as a thank you I decided to start our Kindle giveaway early! Now through April 25th, donate or share to get entries to win this Kindle! And, if you enter before April 4th, you can get entries into BOTH drawings! You can specify when you donate through the chip-in if you would like all your entries to go to one or the other, or split between both. If you don't specify, it will go only towards the Kindle. $5 = 5 entries, $10 = $20, and $20 = 40 entries!! You can start following my blog to receive a free entry, or share my blog on your FB to receive an entry (1 per day on those, please, and be sure and either tag me or comment so I'll know to mark you down.)

And don't forget that our matching period is still going on over at our FSP at Reece's Rainbow. If you don't already know, we have had a generous donor to offer to match all donations, up through $2000, if we can hit it by April 4th. If you can, please help us out on that. We only have 5 days left, and still over $900 to go! All donations through Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


sometimes flies out the window when it comes to adoption. You tell your friends and relatives of your plans, and someone will immediately start listing all of the reasons why it's a bad idea. Your support system can crumble under you, and it is heartbreaking. Thankfully I only have one person that has done this to me. I have a family member who is adamantly opposed to our pending adoption. Her words: "I know you think you're doing a good thing, but you're in for so much trouble. You have no idea what you're getting yourself into". This from someone who has been there for me all of my life, and normally is my biggest cheerleader. She usually thinks I can do no wrong (HA!), but I knew what her reaction would be, even before I mentioned it to her. I know she will love the boys when she meets them, and she will be as good as gold to them. And I have it easy. Other families are struggling for emotional support because everyone around them tries to discourage them from adopting. Have you done this to anyone? If so, shame on you! They need you. Be their friend, be their family, BE THERE for them! 

You learn very quickly when you start this process that you have to develop a tough skin. You'll get rude comments from every side, indifference instead of encouragement, and it can really get you down. When people announce they are pregnant, they get congratulations. When is the baby due, what will you name it, etc. When you announce you are adopting, you get comments such as "Why not adopt a kid from this country? How much does it cost? Why adopt at all when you already have kids? What's wrong with them?" And the list goes on and on. Ok, so some answers. 1. Because kids in this country don't starve to death in an orphanage, kids in this country don't lie naked in a puddle of their own urine in a crib that's too small for them because their caretakers don't care. Kids in this country don't get sent to mental institutions just because they can't walk, or because they have an extra chromosome. And how much does it cost? They are children, not tv sets. How much did YOUR pregnancy and childbirth cost? How much money have you paid out since your child was born? Too personal questions? Yeah, exactly. It is expensive, and we do try to raise money. It's natural to be curious, but the way it's worded makes all the difference in the world. If you know me personally, you know I am the most un-PC person in the world. But I try not to be rude. I keep questioning a lot of the words and phrases I use on there, just because I'm used to being blunt. I don't want to offend anyone unintentionally. (Intentionally, that's a different story!) 

Anyway, off that soap box for the moment. My point is, your friend, your relative, whoever it is that you know who is adopting, they need your support. You may not agree 100%, but if you're their friend, you will help them anyway. Do you really want them knowing that strangers are being kinder and more supportive than you? The support that adoptive parents get from strangers is amazing! I know I've said it before, but I will keep saying it. The support we have gotten from around the world is unbelievable! I get emails from across the country, offers of donations for our giveaways, letting me know they are praying for us and the boys. People do still care in this country. Our area of the state is one of the most hardest hit economically, and our county has the highest unemployment rate in the state of VA. But there are three families here that are in the process of adopting, and the money being raised is phenomenal! People give money, they take time to sell their own possessions to be able to donate. Is that not what being a Christian is all about? We take care of each other around here. I am so blessed to have the circle of friends that I do. I know my friends support me (even if they think I'm crazy!), and I know they will do all they can to help make this happen. They share my blog with others, they help get the word out about fundraisers. I have one friend, Ethel, who even though she is about 17 months pregnant with her 52nd kid, has offered to take over my role in our GS troop and the planning of our upcoming community festival, so I can concentrate on the adoption. She saw a need, saw a way to help, and didn't wait for me to ask. My bestest friend, K, has been amazingly supportive, even though by all rights, she should have been the one to be adopting right now. 

So please, be a friend, be the family, be the support that they need, if you know someone who is adopting. Even if you are praying for them every day (which is the most important thing you can do), they don't know that if you don't tell them. Not to brag, but to let them know you are behind them. They need it. We all do.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Back up! Maybe!

Ok, think I have it back up. Won't know for sure until someone donates. Not that I'm hinting around or anything!  Well, maybe I am. Just a little. We are currently working on fundraising for our facilitator fees. $8500 left to pay on that, ouch! I know we'll get there though. Donations here are not tax deductible, since you are being entered to win the iPod Touch. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, you can click here. See, I'm learning how to do this bloggy stuff. I still need a blogging for dummies book though. I hope to have the Team Duncan design by Friday, so that we can start taking orders. I do know they will be white with a jade green butterfly on the back, and Team Duncan on the front. Working with Freedom Prints to get the design just right, and I know they will do a beautiful job. If you're local, be sure and check them out on Facebook!

No big words of wisdom tonight for you, my brain has done all it can do today. I'm surprised I can keep a sentence going. Here's a good one for ya. Last night our girl scout troop was tie dying t-shirts. A lot of fun, and my hands are still stained today! Almost every time I tried to say the words "rubber bands", the word "band-aid" came out instead. I got some really weird looks. Leaving with that thought tonight!

Blog maintenance

Will have the chip in down momentarily while I update the chip in. At least I hope its momentarily. If I don't screw it up too bad!

Laurel and Harmony and Marcus and Carter and ....

Recognize these names? We need to get their families to them! Laurel and Harmony have such little time left. Think about the typical teenage girls you know. How much time a day do they spend on their hair? I know C, my middle daughter who is not much older than them, can spend FOREVER in the bathroom drying and straightening her hair. If Laurel and Harmony don't find families, they will have their heads shaved when they go to the mental institution. Easier to control the lice that way. And that's the minor thing they will have to deal with it. Laurel, who is so intelligent, is just like any typical kid mentally. She just can't walk like we can. That was what really got to Dave about Duncan. It was bad enough knowing that Sam would be on the streets fending for himself, but at least he would have a chance. Duncan wouldn't have, if he stayed an orphan. He knew Duncan deserved so much more. He knew, as imperfect as we are, that we could be the parents Duncan needed. All the kids do, no matter what, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that just because one is mentally on age level and one isn't, a distinction should be made. It shouldn't. Not at all.

You may not feel equipped to adopt a child with special needs, such as Down's Syndrome. You may not feel equipped to handle one in a wheelchair. If you could, Marcus needs a home so badly. He reminds me so much of my friend's son. Could you handle one with a walker? Maybe Carter is the one for you. Look inside yourself and see what you can do. Sure, it's scary. But if you stay in your safe little world where nothing scares you, are you even living? What are you doing? Maybe it's time you took that leap of faith. If you keep hearing that small still voice, but are blocking it out, ask yourself why. I'm sure you can think of 15 different reasons why you can't adopt. Dave hit me with every one of them at first. But you only need one good reason TO do it. There's a kid that needs a family. That family could be you. And let me tell you, there is support out there like you wouldn't believe. I've had emails and comments from all over the U.S., Canada, and even the UK (hi Emily!!). Every  single one in support of what we are doing. Other adoptive parents have emailed me, offering their advice and ears. I've had at least three 15-year old girls offering their support. One has two brothers, both with CP, and she's willing to answer all my stupid questions. There are families in the process right now, who, although they are short on funds and need to raise money themselves, will focus on you and help you get started with your fundraising. You will have the resources and support you need. Reece's Rainbow has some of the best people out there to help you along the way. If you're wavering, and thinking you would really like to do it but are scared, stop thinking and just pray about it. You'll know what to do. Email me if you have questions. I'm not that smart, I don't have all the answers, but I DO have resources that can help, and I can send you to the right person.

Monday, March 26, 2012

If I had a little bit more intelligence...

I would be dangerous. More so than I am now! Guess what I forgot to do last night? Draw a name for the prom tux giveaway! I can barely remember my own name nowadays, so I guess that isn't too surprising. and I'm not kidding about remembering my name. I had to spell it for someone the other day, and I said "t.r.a.c.i.kmmmph m.o.r.t.o.n. Used to spelling my email address, I suppose. But anyway, Debbie M of Ridgeway is the winner! This drawing was just for the locals, so we'll get something going in the next day or so for everyone, no matter where they live. We still have the iPod Touch giveaway going, through April 4th, so get your entries in! Donate, share on FB, or start following my blog for an entry.

I know my blog isn't the most eloquent or best put together. I wish I had a way of writing that many of my fellow bloggers and friends do. Check out the ones I'm following to see what I mean. Mine just doesn't hold a candle to theirs! But its ok, this is just me and we'll muddle through it together. I appreciate everyone that is following, commenting, everything, and especially those who have the boys in their prayers. They have sooo many people praying for them. I have a world clock app on my phone so I can easily remember what time it is there. I wonder what they are doing. I try to say a prayer for them around the time they are probably going to bed, and wish they were here so I could hear about their day. One of my most favorite parts of my day is having the kids come jump on the bed with me and talk about all kinds of stuff. I miss that with the older two who have moved out. One night all three of the girls were in my room with me, and I was reading Junie B Jones is Not a Crook to A, the youngest. If you haven't read this series, they are hilarious. They are about this little girl, Junie,B Jones and it follows her through kindergarten up through 2nd or 3rd grade so far. Well, we kept getting the giggles over the story. Junie B had some new mittens, and she was running around the playground showing everyone. This author, Barbara Park, has the funniest way of writing. So, A is trying to listen, K and C are both cracking up, I can't hardly read for laughing. Once A goes to bed, me and the two older girls (older teenage here!) keep reading to each other, waving our hands around like Junie is doing, tears just running down our faces. We get kinda really goofy around here. It's just fun. And I can't wait for the boys to be a part of it. I don't think we'll have to worry about the language barrier too much. And it's ok if at first they are laughing AT us instead of with us. We're used to it.

And another funny thing that my kids used to do. They don't do it so much anymore (which is a good thing to everyone around us) but it still cracks us up. Did you ever watch Mad TV? Remember Lorraine? She would go to the dentist, the store, wherever, and wind up saying UGHUGHUGH about 100 times during the skit. Well, B started doing it, and he would love to come up to us and do it right in our ear. Then the girls started it, all three of them. Then their friends did it. They even got some of my girl scouts doing it! just a stupid little family joke thing, but we love it.

As I sat here typing this, C came in and sat on my bed with me. She says hey to everyone! She's my hummingbird, the one who will come in and out fifteen times telling me goodnight, and going to her room, then back again to start it all over. Just like a hummingbird. lol. She's tall, about the same height as Sam, and I think they look a lot alike. She doesn't see it though. I can't wait to get a pic of the two of them together. Duncan reminds me so much of B, so I can't wait to see them together. They are both skinny as can be, but B is about 6 foot tall. I can't wait to see where their place in the family will be, what role they will fill. Will one of them take over as the head clown of our circus? lol.

Ok, enough rambling, or chasing squirrels as I call it. I have to get some sleep!! Good night to all, sweet dreams, and thank your for including the boys in your prayers.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

How blessed we are...

to live where we do. Where it doesn't matter what you look like, how many fingers you have, how fast, or even if you can run. We love to talk about how we have so much freedom in our country. But we take for granted some of the things we have freedom with. Look at your hands. How many full-length fingers do you have. Are they spaced normally? If not, thank God you live in America. Look at your feet. Can you walk without assistance? Can you walk at all? If not, thank God again. Because in some countries, if you answer no to these questions, you are discriminated against. Have you been to the store lately and seen a family, one of whom has Down's Syndrome? You don't see that in some countries. I'm not placing blame on them. 50 years ago here, you would rarely have seen someone with DS in public. Our country used to encourage institutionalizing them too. It was for the best. Families didn't know how to take care of them (so said the medical establishment). Thankfully, it's not like that now. But it hasn't always been that way.

Just in my little corner of the world, I have the best examples of just what you can do with a disability or impairment. I go to church with a friend whose fingers are similar to Sam's. He is a valued member of our congregation who leads singing and is always willing to help out. He has a great job for an internationally known manufacturer. I also go to church with a friend, who is extremely short. Not a "little person", but he's in his 20s and is about 4 foot fall. I don't know exactly his official diagnosis, but it doesn't matter. He's one of the most active members of our local volunteer fire department. He's sweet, funny, dedicated to the FD, and nothing stops him! Another friend from church is mentally handicapped. He's a few years older than me, we grew up together and he is the most amazing person. He always has kind words to say to everyone, is so outgoing and friendly, and you can't help but be cheered up when he speaks to you. He is truly a blessing to everyone who knows him. Our insurance agent has CP. One of my daughters works with a girl with DS. I could go on and on, and I'm sure you could name just as many in your corner of the world.

The point is, disabilities, impairments, special needs, whatever you call it and whatever the actual diagnosis is, doesn't mean a thing. We're learning not to put people in categories, and hopefully we can be a good example to other countries. My dream for Sam is that he winds up on a world famous soccer team (Olympics maybe??), and shows the world just how special he is. Not his needs, just him. My 88 year old grandma uses a walker to walk. She's not classified as special needs, she's just an old lady with a walker. (And no, you will not hear me say that to her face. She would smack me with that walker for calling her old. Even though she admits buying green bananas is stretching her optimism.) So why is she not special needs, but a kid who needs a walker is. We need to stop with the labeling. See people for who they are, the sum of who they are, and not focus on one part. My boys will not be called special needs or treated as such in our house. Not because I am ashamed of the term or anything about them. The exact opposite. Save the term for when it counts. When someone truly has a special need. Sam's fingers may not be typical. But I can guarantee he will be texting as fast as the other kids as soon as he can get his hands on a cell phone. Dave will have both boys out on the golf course as quick as he can, showing them how to play golf. (Apology to the boys now, I am sorry! But we've all been subjected to it, and like I just said, you don't get special treatment! You are entering the house of a golf addict.) Duncan may not be running up and down the soccer field with Sam, but he'll find plenty to do. My middle daughter is already plotting to get him to join the FFA so they can go on trips together. I don't know what his special hobby is, or if he has one. But it doesn't matter. The world will open to him, to explore and find what he does love doing. Because for both of them, they won't be held back from anything here. I can't wait for the day when it finally hits them just how normal/typical they really are.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend goal and dreams

Here are our goals for this coming week (and we have lots!):
Local people, we have a giveaway ending tomorrow night for a free prom tux rental from JD's Tuxes in Fieldale VA. This is an $80 value, and I know there are tons of local boys going to the two high school proms in our county next month. Someone will win it Sunday night!

Also for the locals, we are doing a brunswick stew and yard sale Saturday March 31st. Stew is $7 a quart, and will be ready at noon. We are making 200 quarts, and we still need orders for 130 quarts. It freezes great, and will taste so good on a chilly and rainy April night! Yard sale starts at 8:00, and we have had donations from several families, so it should be a good one! My youngest is also doing a lemonade stand, and she is SO excited about it!

One more local event real quick. We are doing a soccer benefit day Sunday April 15th at the Smith River Sports Complex in Axton VA. I need 11 players for Team Sam!! We can't let Team Tory win the thing by forfeit!! Check out Clever play on words there by our own Martinsville's Cheerleader (and official cheerleader for Team Sam!), who also does the blog at This site has been instrumental in getting the word out about the boys orphanage and as a result of so many people praying, 7 of the 15 kids listed from there have already have families committed to them! We need the other eight families. Also, from a different orphanage, Laurel. She is running out of time!! She has a limited time to find a family, just like Sam and Duncan, and desperately needs a family. She has a huge grant already, so you just need to have paperwork started, you're halfway there with funding already!! Look at this sweet girl! Is she yours?

The giveaway for the iPod Touch is still going on, and we're getting lots of entries for it. It ends April 4th, and you can donate or share my blog on FB for entries. Can we hit $1400 by then? You can donate to the FSP so it will be tax deductible, and still be entered in the drawing. Just send me a comment or email letting me know that you donated there, and we'll get you entered. (I use the term WE very loosely. Dave's participation in all of this is looking up the two sites each night and giving me an update. Like I don't check it 15 times a day. Oops, forgot he reads the blog too, shhh!)

Our FSP goal was to be at $1000 by Sunday night. Right now we are just $110 away from that. We have a donor that is matching all funds up to $2000, if we can get there by April 4th. Can you help us reach both goals? We've had so many people emailing and saying, we're sorry that we can only give $5. Don't be sorry!! We appreciate each and every donation the same, whether it's for $5 or $100. It's knowing that you took money that you could easy spend on something else, but chose to help the boys instead. If you haven't been in this situation, you have no idea what it means to get an email from a complete stranger, offering their encouragement, prayers and support. It means the world to us. It really does. I don't know how to properly express my thanks. I know you aren't doing it for the thanks, but still...

And I mentioned dreams, didn't I? Have to tell you about my dream last night. I dreamed (dreamt? I don't know when to use which) that I found Sam on Facebook. I could see all of his postings, which were written in  his language, but with convenient translations into English. Weird, I know. But in my dream, he was having a conversation with a friend about how bad he wants a family and how his birthday is coming up and it will be too late. It was not a happy dream. I know we won't get there before his birthday, and doubtful we will get there in time for Duncan's. Ohh, have I told you the really cool thing about his birthday? He shares his birthday with one of my daughters, and my cousin is due ON THE SAME DAY with her first child! Is that not insane? Very blessed day indeed!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Making time to relax

Relax? With an expedited adoption and deadline looming over our heads? Are you kidding me? Nope, not at all. Like I told a friend today, there isn't one minute of the day that I am not thinking about my boys or doing something for the adoption. It literally consumes every feeble brain cell I possess. Even in Walmart this evening (ugh, Walmart!) I couldn't even pick up groceries without swinging through the home section to check out comforters they might like. Resisted the urge to buy two I thought they might like, because we want them to get to choose what goes in their rooms. But, back to the subject, I know I have to make time to relax, so I don't go completely bonkers. No, it's not too late. Maybe.

 Yesterday me and my youngest daughter went by the doctor's office to pick up some forms we needed. I knew we would have to wait for a while while they filled them out, so I made the best of it. We needed some one on one time, without all the hustle of the daily routine. We sat in the waiting room and played a game. (Silly confession time, ever since I was a kid, if I was sitting somewhere with nothing to do, I would find a sign and see if I could find all the letters of the alphabet. I still do it.) So we grabbed a magazine and I showed her how to play. Then we got really silly, and gave each other hard pages to do. Like an ad with only about three words on it. We couldn't get past the letter D. We laughed and had fun and actually enjoyed the time. I did anyway, and I think she did. She sure giggled enough. It was really nice making the best use of the time we had to spend there. It was a very nice change from fussing over homework (this child's teacher deserves a medal of honor!) and reminding her to do her chores or stop arguing with her sister. We just got to BE with each other.

Today, I got to spend time with two of my best friends. P and I met up at Hardee's so she could get her Team Sam shirt, and we wound up sitting and talking for over an hour. We used to work together, and spent LOOOONGGG hours at work with nothing to do, so we have perfected the art of yakking on and on. This was the first time we have really had to sit down and talk since we started the adoption process, and I got to fill her in on everything that's been going on. Keeping up on FB is nice, but it's nothing like actual face to face conversation.

And then as a double bonus tonight, I got to spend time with my friend D. Her dad passed away early this week, and between adoption appointments and two of my girls being sick, I didn't get to make it to the funeral or visit with her during the process. So I invited her over tonight, and we sat and talked and laughed for about 2 hours. She has done so much for her family during her father's illness and has run herself ragged then and since he passed, and has had no time for herself. Sometimes a person can spend so much time doing for others, they don't get a chance for themselves. And that is important. So it was especially nice that she got to sit and relax for a while, not having to make decisions, or be the strong one, or even DO anything at all. Hoping that helped her at least   a little. I know it helped me. We sat at the kitchen table and ate buffalo dip and just rambled about everything and nothing.

So find time to relax this weekend. The housework and yardwork will still be there when you're done. Take the kids out to play, or go visit a friend. Facebook has nothing on real faces. Don't substitute bits and bytes for laughs and hugs. Seeing the expression on your friend's face and their eyes light up as they tell you exciting news. Being there if they need to vent. I'm not discounting online friends at all. I have people that I count as friends who I've never met in real life, I have far away family that I keep up with on FB, since we can't see each other often. But if your best friend lives 3 miles away, shut down the computer and invite her over. Go hang out somewhere together. How many of you have ever said "remember that online chat we had 2 months ago? That was so fun, let's do it again sometime". Now remember the the last time you and your friend really had fun together. Do THAT instead. Now go! Shoo! Have some fun! Enjoy your day!!!

Why are you still reading? I said GO!!! LOL

Chip in is back up!

The chip in is finally back up again! Nothing worse when you are fundraising than to see your means of donation not working. Remember, just a couple of days left on the tux giveaway for our locals! iPod Touch giveaway is still going on, so get in your entries! Donate here to the chip in or to our FSP, if you would prefer it to be tax deductible. We've had a nice jump on both but we have a long way to go. We appreciate so much all the donations from everyone!! Whether its $5, $50, or $100, it all means so much to us and helps us to get that much closer to bringing home the boys!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Details on Duncan

So, yes we have officially committed to Duncan. If you've been with me from the beginning, you know we had originally wanted Duncan and Sam. But, as we were about to commit, we felt the need to back away from Duncan. There were other families that we knew felt led to him, and we felt selfish actually for going for both of them and denying someone else that chance. So we backed away from Duncan. We wanted him to have the best family for him. It was hard to do, and it really hurt to do it. But we recently found out that the family who was so devoted to him would not be able to adopt him. They were devastated, and I hurt for them. Please keep them in your prayers, as they are feeling the loss of their future son.

I hadn't changed the name of our blog from eight down to seven mortons, because someone was missing! God knew that someone was Duncan. He will be such a blessing to our family. With the support of his brothers and sisters (we'll now have three boys and three girls!), he will be able to build his confidence, see that his physical limitations have nothing to do with how much he is loved, and have opportunities he has only dreamed of. Please keep us in your prayers!!

Of course, this does add to the expense! Please help us get the word out about our fundraisers, as we will need approximately $5000 more than what we have been planning for! We hope to have some Team Duncan shirts made up (did you know the cerebral palsy awareness symbol is a green butterfly? How awesome is that? They will also be $15, ($5 shipping for out of towners) and we hope to have them available for purchase next week.


HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!! We have committed to Duncan also!! Will explain more in a later post, but couldn't wait to announce it!!! Team Duncan shirts coming soon!!!

urgent request (not for us)

Needed to take time out from our own fundraising to ask for prayers and help for another family. The Jenks family are in the process of adopting two sweet little ones from EE. They are much closer to their travel date, which is a wonderful thing, but they still are not fully funded. Please head over to and see if there is anything you can do to help them out. I know they would appreciate all prayers and financial support. You can also find their story at Reece's Rainbow to make a tax deductible donation.

When we first started the adoption process, I was not very familiar with it, but I knew great things were being done, in particular with some friends of mine and their blogs. They raised so much money for Bernadette in such a short amount of time. The actuality of it, for us, was overwhelming. We have received blog comments and emails from all over the U.S, Canada, and just this morning a very special one from the U.K. People we haven't met, and probably never will meet here on this earth, are coming together to help. People taking to heart God's message to help each other, care for orphans, and living a life of service to others. You all are a great example to me, and one that I am trying to emulate. We can talk all we want about how we love God, what's right or wrong with churches and Christians, but what matters is what we DO. And people are doing it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Comedy of errors, episode 2

And it continues! We went today to get our tb skin test checked (all were fine, of course) but... the lab lost my youngest daughter's paper, so they had to redraw her blood again. Of course it was the 9 year old who is deathly afraid of needles. She did great though, she didn't even cry. She told me not to blab to everyone about how brave she was, so this is just between us, right? ;) And for some reason other daughter's shot record was missing all of her polio vaccines! I called the doctor's office where they had been done (not the one we go to anymore), and they informed me that her records were destroyed since she hasn't been in 7 years. Is that even legal???? Getting copy from the health department tomorrow, so praying that will finish up our medicals. Hubby still has to get his, we'll see how that goes!

We had a nice jump on funding today, thanks to two very generous blog readers, and also some to our FSP. Don't forget all matching funds through April 4th to our FSP will be matched, up to $2000. If you want to donate to the FSP for tax purposes, you can still be entered into the drawing. Just send me an email, or comment on the blog, with the amount so I'll know how many entries to put you in for. Let's see if we can get to $1000 by Sunday!! And don't forget that you can still be entered by just sharing the blog on your Facebook page. Let me know that you did so we can enter you into the drawing for the iPod Touch. Thanks to all who have enthusiastically supported us so far. It means so much to us!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learning Who is in control

Murphy's law has been in full force around the Morton household this week. Nothing new there, I call it the Morton curse. lol. Yesterday the four of us (parents plus the two younger kids) went for our physicals. We need them for both the home study and for our dossier. Realized once we got there that my husband wouldn't be able to come back in 48 hours for the tb skin check, so he went ahead and left, rescheduling. The girls and I sat and waited and waited. Finally, they call us up to the front and tell us that Dave's insurance info was only showing him, and not the family. I called the insurance company, and found out we had NOT been added on back in January. As you know, we are having to RUSH to get everything done in time for Sam, so finding out we have no health insurance was very traumatizing. I immediately called the HR manager where Dave works, and as soon as she answered, I started crying. Couldn't hardly talk for sobbing into the phone - The insurance company says we aren't on Dave's policy and that means we have no insurance and if we can't get these physicals then we can't get Sam and I don't know what to do (crying and hiccuping all the way through). Well, bless her heart, she was so nice. She looked it up, verified that she had all the info (and that we had been paying it since January!), and said she would get to the bottom of it, but not to worry, she would fix it. I hung up, in complete panic mode, of course. Within 5 minutes she had called me back, found out the insurance company screwed up and was in the process of fixing it right then. Whew, catastrophe averted! It took forever for our physicals, maybe because all three of us had on our Team Sam shirts (shameless plug: have you ordered yours yet? They are so cool! Beautiful jade green color, and $9 from each one goes to the adoption fund) and had to tell everyone just who Sam was. I love this doctor's office, because they are very Christian oriented, and are soo nice! The nurses loved hearing all about our adoption and asked lots of questions. Altogether we were there four and a half hours!

And then today. Today was our home visit from our social worker (who I love! She's awesome!!) and it went really well, but not before Murphy's law kicked it's way in. The girls had taken my car to school today, and they called on the way home, the car had gotten a flat! My oldest daughter was at the house, so she left to go get them. We just left the car there until we were done with everything today. After the sw left, we headed into town to get some papers notarized. My friend who had planned to do them fell and cracked her ankle yesterday (keep her in your prayers please!) so we found someone else to do them. While we were there, my brother called. He drove by and saw my car sitting on the side of the road and stopped and changed my tire for me! By the time we finished our papers and got over there, he was done. He's so good like that, he'll do it for anyone (he has such a giving heart!).

So, a comedy of errors, but it all turned out. I call it Murphy's law, but really it is God showing us He is in control of this. Some days it takes things like this for me to remember that. He started us on this road, and He will be the One to stay in the driver's seat. I'm also trying to remember this for our fundraising. I haven't had internet (other than on my phone) for the last couple of days, so I haven't been able to do a lot. Our FSP donations seem to have stalled, and although we've had some donations/entries for our chip in iPod giveaway, it's not been what I had hoped. Don't forget that all donations to the FSP through early April will be matched if we can get to $2000! And I am extending the iPod giveaway until early April also. Please tell your friends, repost on FB if you don't mind, help us get the word out! God will provide, but He doesn't mind us being His hands and feet! :) Please continue to pray for us that things will go smoothly. I can deal with the minor irritations, as long as the important stuff gets done!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Non random act of kindness (the blessings of friendship)

Today our girl scout troop did our big yearly service project, 100 random acts of kindness for our community. We took girl scout cookies to the police, fire, and rescue personnel, visited the assisted living facility, left money taped to drink machines, baggies of detergent at the laundomat, passed out cold bottes of water at the walking track, and lots more!! It was a great day knowing we were just doing good deeds expecting nothing in return, and the girls loved doing it. That's "making the world a better place", part of the philosophy behind Girl Scouts. GS is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year! 100 years ago, Juliette Gordon Low wanted to give back to the girls of her community. She started with 16 girls, and a century later its still going strong. She lived about 10 years or so after she organized GS in the US, so she saw some of the impact it made, but I think even she would be surprised at how much a part of our lives GS still is. So many successful women were a girl scout growing up. It really does teach girls to become leaders and not be afraid to push yourself. It also forms precious bonds between its members, and girl scouts really do live up to the part of the GS law "be a sister to every girl scout".

I met one of my very best friends a few years ago through GS. My youngest daughter wanted to join, and I volunteered to help with a troop if needed. The council put me in touch with K, who needed a co-leader for her new troop. From the moment we met, we really hit it off. Same sense of humor, same visions for the troop, similar morals and values, I couldn't have special ordered a better friend if I had tried! And as our troop grew, we added another co-leader, C,who is now a very dear friend to me also. She is also in the adoption process (

Well, to continue the story from today, (yes I am eventually making a point of all this, bear with me!), we split up into several groups and hit different areas of the county. My group was the last to arrive back at our meeting place (no surprise there), and all the moms were still there. We stood talking for a minute, and then one of the moms said "I just counted and we have only done 99 RAKs, we need to do one more". I was slightly confused, because K had everything organized on this, down to the last detail. Hw did we miss one? Then they asked if I would help with it. Of course. I went over to her car to help, and they started pulling boxes of food out of the car. They told me to hold one, so I did. Then they took the rest of the groceries and started loading it in my car. The 100th good deed was for me! I had mentioned one day that I hadn't bought groceries since we committed to Sam, as it was taking almost every penny. K listened, and told the others. They just wanted to help, even though the troop had already given us a generous donation for Sam. They also handed me money for milk and other cold stuff. I cried, of course, and K even got a pic of the girls all giving me the best hugs. I've said so many times that we have the best moms and girls in our troop, and they continually outdo themselves. I am so blessed. This is what Girl Scouts is all about. Taking the initiative to make something better, to take care of each other. Girl Scouts make special women, but special women also make Girl Scouts what it is.

I even realized tonight that we wouldn't have found Sam if not for Girl Scouts!! It was our co-leader C who sent me the link about him. I wonder if Sam will consider being an honorary Girl Scout? Lol.

So when you see some cute little uniformed girls selling cookies, remember that by helping them, you are helping yourself and your community. And there are lots of ways to help, other than buying cookies. Troops always need financial help, of course, as they depend solely on donations and fundraising to finance their budget. But they need other things too: volunteers, whether its for a year or one night. What's your talent? Your passion? Whatever it is, there's a badge for it. I can guarantee it. And the girls would love someone to show them how. Contact your local troop, and if you don't know where one is, google girl scout council office for your town, and call them. They will help you find a troop. Troops need everything, from snacks/napkins/drinks to art and craft supplies, office supplies (you wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of paperwork troop leaders have to do! K does ours and is a saint for keeping up with the forms for EVERYTHING, and making sure nothing gets left out.)

Girl Scouts is worth it. Every penny, every second of time. We're finding some incredible girls in GS. And they will be even more incredible, and unstoppable women one day! I can't thank my GS family enough for what they have done for me. The support from them is overwhelming. They really are family to me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What would happen if...

If we didn't get to Sam in time. If no one cared enough. For him or the other teens that are so close to aging out of the system in Eastern European orphanages. Read this and you'll see. This is a family that is in a similar situation to ours. Jonathan is about to age out, and they are trying desperately to get to him in time. If you can, please help this family. Donate if possible, and above all, please pray for them and Jonathan. I don't know what kind of orphanage he is in, or even what country. I have heard that Sam is very well liked by the director at his orphanage, and I pray that will be enough to keep him there until we can get there. These boys, and all the kids there, deserve so much better than the depressing but correct statistics in her post. Please take the time to read it.

Team Sam vs Team Tory - Playing Them Home

Yes, I'm just full of posts today. Lucky you, right? So, as you know, we have a lot of money to raise and not a lot of time to do it. My friends and I (Team Sam) have been thinking of fundraisers, and we have a great one coming up! We live near the Smith River Sports Complex, located in Axton VA. It's a beautiful soccer complex that hosts our area high school teams, the PYSL teams, and lots of tournaments. Running trails, picnic shelters, playground, a lake, it's a beautiful place to hang out. I can't wait to show Sam! He will love it!

Sunday, April 15th from 2-5 pm we will be hosting Playing Them Home, to fundraise for our adoption and for our friends'. is her blog, please check her out! We need soccer players for both teams! $25 registration for adults, which includes a t-shirt for either Team Sam or Team Tory, your choice. We will also be doing a 5k (same price, includes choice of t-shirt), and a 1 mile fun run for the kids ($5 for them, or $15 if they want a t-shirt). There will be a nice prize for the winner of the 5k, and maybe something for the winning team, besides bragging rights of course! Fun games for the kids to do too, a bake sale, t-shirts for sale. It will be a fun day!!  You can get a registration form or more info at, or just email me! Hope to see you there!

iTouch giveaway

I promised an awesome new giveaway, and I think this delivers! We have had a donation of a black 8GB iTouch to use for a giveaway. How cool is that? It's brand new, in box, retails for $199. See ----> for entries/donations.

You can enter for both the iTouch and the tux giveaway. Just let me know which one you want to enter for or how to split your entries. Thanks to our sponsors (an anonymous donor for the iTouch and Sandy Weaver of JD's in Fieldale for the prizes. I can't tell you too many times how much it is appreciated. So if you are local, be sure and stop by JD's for your prom rentals (they do great pics as well!!) and tell Sandy we sent you!

We have a winner (and a new giveaway!)

Congrats to Cathy G, the winner of our Cricut giveaway! We appreciate all the donations and people sharing the blog with their friends. It has helped us sooo much. The generosity of people, including ones we have never met,  is overwhelming.

So, now we have 2 new giveaways! One is just for our local people, and one is for everyone. #1 is a free prom tux rental at JD's in Fieldale VA. ( giveaway will run through March 25th. Just in time for MVHS and Bassett's proms! Tux will need to be ordered by March 30th, so if you are the winner, you will need to get measured that week! And everyone can go to their website to get 40% off their prom tux. Donate or share to enter, one entry for every $5 donated, one entry per share per day. Be sure and comment to let me know which giveaway you want to be entered in.

Stay tuned for our other giveaway, it's gonna be great! Waiting on specific details, but it's someone everyone will love!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lots of great news!

I can't keep my mind in one place tonight for a coherent post (not that any of them really are, though, right? lol) So try and keep up as I chase squirrels all around the page.

My last post I mentioned my friend Mandy and her journey for her two boys. She got great news today that she has been waiting on. So happy for her and all of her family that her boys will soon be home where they belong.

Don't forget tomorrow is the last day for the Cricut giveaway! We will be drawing a winner at noon. As soon as that is done, we will start a super spectacular giveaway. You don't want to miss it!

Spent some time today planning a fundraiser event. I can't wait for this one! We will be doing an exhibition soccer game to benefit our adoption fundraiser and my friend's adoption.  Team Sam vs Team Tory! If you are in south central VA or the piedmont region of NC, please come out and support us April 15th at the Smith River Sports Complex in Axton, VA. We will each bring a team of soccer players (registration to play is $25 and includes a t-shirt) and face off on the field. There will also be a 5k on the trails in the complex and a kids 1 mile fun run. $25 registration for the 5k (includes t-shirt), and $15 for the kids run ($5 if they do not want the shirt.) We'll also have some fun games for the kids to play, have t-shirts for sale, and some yummy baked goods. There will be other soccer games going on that day, so hopefully I can learn at least something about soccer that day! I don't want to look like a total idiot to Sam. He'll find out I am soon enough, but he'll be stuck with me by then. lol If you're interested in joining us that day, check out for more info, or email me at Hope to see some of you there!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Missing them

Today I've really been missing Sam, wondering what he's doing, what he's feeling. I sat and read the blog posts about him over and over, hoping to find something I hadn't read before. Crying because I miss him. Weird maybe, since I haven't even met him yet. But he's such a huge part of our life already. I can't carry on a conversation with anyone, at any time, without working him into it. (Sorry for my one track mind!) I was having a pity party. But then I read my friend Mandy's blog. Read it here:  And I felt really ashamed of myself. Her family has been on a very long road for their two boys. She has been to their country, met and held them, and then had to leave. They have been waiting for months for their court date to finally come, so they can go get their boys and FINALLY bring them home. Compared to that, my 3 weeks since I found Sam is nothing. Mandy is an incredible Christian. She truly lives it. I still haven't got to meet her in person yet, even though we live maybe 15 minutes apart. But we've talked several times, and she has helped me so much already in our journey. And if you have been following Reece's Rainbow, you've heard of Bernadette. Even though Mandy and her family still aren't fully funded, she devoted her blog to fundraising for Bernadette, and raised about a gazillion dollars in a week. That is so incredibly selfless of her. Bernadette still hasn't found her family. Please read about her here: She has over $10, 000 in her grant. Please please consider helping Bernadette find a family, getting fully funded, and if you can, help Mandy and her family with the last bit of funding they need so they can jump on the plane when they get the call. And please pray for them to get that call quickly. These kids belong in their mother's arms.

Fixing a bug

Found out last night that my blog was not letting anyone post a comment. (Had wondered why I didn't have any, not even from the trolls! lol) Hopefully it is fixed now, if not please email me and let me know. Thanks to Gail for letting me know what the error message said! Apparently the blog template I downloaded wasn't a good one. I'll see what else I can find with a soccer ball and do a new design soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fundraising match!!

OK, the story that will knock your socks off (It sure did mine!!) Last night I received an email from an amazing woman. She shared her story with me that she had also been affected by Sam's story, in the same way it did me. As in, she felt like she was looking at her son on the screen! He would have been a perfect fit for her family, brothers that also played soccer. But it was not meant to be for them. I cried reading her email, because I can't imagine how hard that was for her, knowing how she felt about him. She loved Sam just like I do. Or does, I should say. Instead of just giving up, and trying to forget about him, she decided to contact me and offer her help. Remember the story about King Solomon and the two women with the baby? Instead of being mad, upset, and feeling hopeless, this woman, M (she wishes to remain anonymous) decided to help. She will match all donations to Sam's FSP (, up to $2000!! Yes, I said $2000! The generosity of M doesn't stop there though! She has ALSO offered to donate a Kindle AND an 8GB iTouch for a giveway! We will start those next week, as soon as the Cricut giveaway ends on Wednesday (at noon). Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for what she is doing. There's no way I could ever repay her for what she is doing. But people are led to do amazing things for Sam. I know it isn't for us, and I wouldn't want it to be. I don't like asking for help for myself, but I don't mind one bit asking for Sam.  If you feel led to help Sam get here, please consider donating. The matching period will end Wednesday, April 4th. All donations made through Reece's Rainbow are tax deductible too!

Much needed break

Today I had to switch gears from future soccer mom (I'll finally be one! lol) back to Girl Scout leader. Well, co-leader, our fearless leader K is awesome!! Plans were to to travel two hours to a different part of the state for a dog sledding event. Well, the event organizer didn't show up, she FORGOT! The dogs did though, and the troops there pulled together and still had a great day. The moms all wound up playing on the playground with the girls (will insert embarassing photo of me almost falling off the slide soon!). It was a very relaxing day that I really needed. Got to spend time on the ride with my bestest friend A. We don't seem to get to spend enough fun time together, so it was nice to have 4 hours of riding time to catch up. As much as we could with two chatty 9 year olds in the back seat, that is! I knew I was tense, but didn't realize just how bad. Swinging on the playground swings with my daughter was just what I needed. I did accost a group of strangers in Wendy's though. Saw a vehicle out in the parking lot that had advertising all over it, with a set of numbers, a Bible verse, and other stuff. Thought, hmm, a radio station maybe? Free advertising for our fundraiser, yet? No. It was a young man who rides motorcross, and his sponsor is a Christian clothing company. Very nice young man, late teens, early twenties maybe. C and I shared our stories about adopting with them (See for her story!!) and asked them to share our blogs on their Facebook pages. Yes, I will ask complete strangers for stuff like that. You never know what will happen! And speaking of that.... hang on for my next post. It will knock your socks off!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Vocabulary quiz for today

Quick, what does apostilled mean? Dossier? Don't know? I didn't either until a few weeks ago.

To apostille something means to get additional authentication for a document, like a marriage/birth certificate. It comes from the Greek French word for notation. Adoption papers have to be notarized AND apostilled. All these papers will then compile our dossier. A dossier is a "collection of papers giving detailed information about a particular person or subject." Also from the Greek French. (French for bundle of papers with labels on the back). We will have a very meticulous dossier compiled by the time we get ready to leave for EE.

It's killing me that Sam doesn't know anything about us. He doesn't know we had to scramble to find an agency who could get our homestudy done in time. He doesn't know about all the people praying for him, donating money to help bring him, doesn't know about the cool t-shirts we'll all be wearing (insert shameless plug for money here --> Jade green, with Team Sam on the front, soccer ball and Psalms 97:5 on the back, $15, order yours today!) in support for him. Doesn't know how much we already love him. Doesn't know Dave has already ripped out a wall to make his room bigger. He has no idea. He's in an orphanage, been there for years and years, possibly his entire life, and wants a family. Doesn't know his brother and sisters are anxiously waiting for him. (I'm sure the first thing Bubba will teach him in English is to call me old!) He doesn't know his oldest sister has been cleaning out her apartment, selling a lot of her clothes to help with his expenses. (another shameless plug --> Need any junior sizes small/med clothes? Aeropostle, Old Navy, Mossy Oak, lots more) Doesn't know his youngest sister has been drawing pics to try and sell for his expenses. Doesn't know we will move the world to get him home. I wish he knew.

An apology to my friends

I try to be a good friend. I know I fail a lot, and don't devote enough time to my friends. I'm not one for long chatty phone calls, especially not since email and texting were invented! The older I get, the more I enjoy the solitude that comes from being alone and quiet. I get distracted in conversation, even when I'm the one talking. One of my best friends, P, had to deal with this irritation daily at work for 6 years, and she's a saint for not murdering me in my chair. (I think the loss of company benefits was probably more of a deterrent than the thought of prison!) And this was BEFORE we started Sam's adoption. Can you imagine how I am now?

I try really hard to wait on God and be patient. Psalms 37 and the last few verses of Matt chapter 6 are how I TRY to live, but I fail. I worry and stress and cry. The other day one of my oldest friends needed my advice and help with a family situation. I was on my way to help, got there and couldnt go in.  I wound up sitting in the bank parking lot across the road crying my eyes out. I didn't go help. She needed me, and I let her down. What kind of friend is that? And yes, part of me says I wouldn't have done any good by going in, I really had no idea how to help, ddn't know what I was doing, but she needed my support and friendship just as much as any actual knowledge I could have provided. So, I apologize. I'm not even listing her initial, out of respect for her privacy. She knows who she is, one of my oldest (but younger) friends. I hope she can forgive me for not being the friend that she has always been to me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The next generation

No, not the Star Trek version, the version in which today's teens show up us adults in their journey following God. Tonight I met 2 teenage girls, (through email) both of whom take time out of their lives to blog about Sam, Duncan, and all the other orphans who desperately need our help. They aren't like me and the other families who are blogging about our own families and trying to fundraise. They do it just to spread the word. And change the world. Yes, these young ladies are doing just that!! How? As Ashley put it, on her blog at, "how do you save 147 million orphans? One at a time."

And Kaitlyn and a group of about 40 (yes 40!!!) teens work together to help orphans on her blog at They even started a FB page to help Sam and Duncan find their families. So the next time you hear someone say the younger generation is different from ours, tell them they are exactly right! They are putting their faith into action. James 3:18 But someone will say "you have faith and I have works". Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". I am so proud of Ashley, Kaitlyn and all the others!

Cricut Giveaway!!!

Ok, for our first giveaway! I will be giving away my Cricut Create scrapbooking machine. It's almost brand new, only used a couple of times. Retail price was $150 back in the fall. Included with the machine are 4 cartridges: Sports Mania, Graphically Speaking, Doodlecharms, and Don Juan. I am also included a lot of scrapbook paper, a whole pack of sports-themed paper (if you win, would you make Sam an soccer thing for his wall? lol), some vinyl pieces, a paper cutter, and maybe a few more things I find that would be good with it. Donate or share the link to this entry to enter. The more you donate, the  more chances to win!! $5 gets you 5 entries. $10 gets you 20 entries. $20 gets you 50 entries. You can also get an entry (1 per day) by sharing my blog on Facebook. Don't forget to come back and comment so I will know you did!
Drawing will be held on Wednesday, March 14th!

We will also be ordering some t-shirts this week, so if you are interested in one, let me know! $15 to order. Still working up the design, but it will have a soccer ball and Team Sam on it!

Officially committed!!

No, I haven't been committed (some would say I need to be at times), but we are officially committed to Sam!!! Since the second I saw him, I knew he was my son. We are tickled to death today! I am so excited, I can barely keep my fingers on the keys! Stay tuned for our first giveaway!!

As some of you know, we had hoped to commit to Duncan also, but we feel his real family is still waiting for him. Please keep them in your prayers, and watch for Duncan to be added to the FSP page as well!

Monday, March 5, 2012


Another thing about making this decision to adopt. IT.IS.TERRIFYING. There are so many things that could go wrong. Are we making the right decision? Who are we to say we are the best parents for these boys? What if we can't raise all the money we need to complete this? What if we don't get approved by the home study? What if that goes through, then we get over there and the boys have been transferred and we can't find them? What if we get there and the boys don't like us? These aren't little babies that will have lived with us for several years before realizing they are stuck with us? These are young men that will be adults in just a couple of years. And #2, with his physical disability, even though he is doing good, there can always be complications. I don't know much about CP, how can we know we we will be able to do everything he needs.

In other words, we feel just like brand new parents. This is exactly what we felt like when we found out we were expecting for the first time. All the doubts, the worries, the insecurities, it's normal. Still terrifying, but normal. And most parents don't know ahead of time if their child is born with some kind of special need. So, even with #2's CP, we do what every other parent does when they find out their child has been given a diagnosis. You read, you ask questions, you learn. And above all, PRAY.

Am I telling you all this, or am I telling myself? Umm, some of both, of course.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Urgent prayer request

Please keep young Cooper in your prayers. He just arrived in the States and is in serious condition. See more info here:

Baby steps and pregnancy symptoms

If you are thinking about adopting, it's like lots and lots of baby steps. You have to learn to be verrrry patient, because it is a LOT of hurry up and wait. There is very little you have control over. You have to do your part then sit back and let God have control over the rest. (Side note - how do atheists do this? You have to have a LOT of faith and trust to do this, knowing which facilitator/agency to use, knowing when to wait, etc. I'm sure they muddle through somehow, but good grief! Side note to the side note- I need footnotes or something so I don't keep distracting you with my ADHLAS thoughts and squirrel chasing. ADHLAS:Attention deficit, hey look a squirrel. Yep, that's me. And it's worse when I'm talking! Ok, where was I?) You pray while you are waiting and soon enough (ok NOT soon enough), God will give you your next tiny baby step. If you are like me, impatient, needing to be in control, and hating not know what is going on, well, tough! Just gonna have to learn to get over that. I'm not saying be passive, because there will be times you have to be a mama bear, but realize what things are out of your control. Got it? Good!

And pregnancy symptoms, what in the world? I've heard the term paper pregnant in reference to adoption, but I didn't know they were serious!!! Mood swings, crying jags, tearing up over the slightest thing, whether it's good or bad, nausea and lack of appetite. It's all here. I had been trying to diet, and was doing fairly well at it, but got sidetracked and fell off the food wagon. Shocker, right? But then this started! I've lost 5 lbs this week. Just can't eat. Either I'm emailing texting or FB-ing, or I'm stressing/praying and just don't feel like eating. Not that I am complaining about this part! It would be nice for the boys' first impression of me NOT be of a cow. Lol let's just hope this doesn't end up like my other pregnancies and I gain 50 lbs in the next few months.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A small still voice

But I said two boys, didn't I? He's an even more amazing example of what God does. Once this boy's information was on the blog, I started wishing we could get them both. But when I mentioned it to Dave, he said no, absolutely not, we're only doing one and don't ask. But of course I did ask again. And again. And every time, he would get madder and madder, stop talking about him. So I stopped. And then a funny thing. He started asking me about him. Has he found a family yet? No. What will happen if he doesn't? He will go to a mental institution for the rest of his life, even though mentally there is nothing wrong with him. So I knew God was working on him. With great difficulty, I kept my mouth shut. Then, the other night, something happened. On my laptop, I had saved all the pics I could find of #1, and used them as a slideshow for my background. I booted my laptop up, and while it was S-L-O-W-L-Y coming up, a passage from I Kings 19 popped into my head. Don't know why, hadn't read it in a while. It's the one where God told Elijah to go stand on the mountain. Here's the verse if you're not familiar:
  1Kings 19:11-13 (KJV)
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Hmm, ok. Kind of random. Then my background finally came up. There was #1 standing tall and stong and handsome, confident. But peeking out from around him was a much smaller #2, just as handsome but in a quieter, meeker way. It was like that verse all over again! (I so wish I could share it with you!!) So then I knew. God would make it happen. I just had to give Dave time to listen to that small still voice. The next afternoon, he asked again about #2. Has he found anyone yet? nope. Then he said it. We can't let him be sent to to an institution. I can't let that happen. We need him. I still break down in tears thinking about it.

Our God is an Awesome God. 

Long lost son?

As I mentioned, we had no intentions, had never discussed the possibility of adopting. I've always loved the idea of it, in theory, and I knew I could love an adopted child as much as my own, but knew Dave wasn't open to the idea. Then a few weeks ago, a friend posted another friend's blog on FB. I don't usually read blogs, just not my thing (and I'm sure you're thinking "writing one isn't your thing either. True, I agree. But let's suffer through it together to the happy ending!! lol) So, don't know why I clicked on this one to read it, but I did. It was a blog about a young man in EE who was nearing the age limit for adopting. U.S. law doesn't allow foreign adoptions of anyone over the age of 16. I started reading, and it concerned me, but in the way it does when you are reading about someone else's child.

But then I saw his picture. What was my son doing on that page? That was the immediate reaction I got. At the same time this emotion was jumping out, the other side of my brain said where did that come from? I couldn't take my eyes off him. He looks enough like my middle daughter that they could be twins, except for the eye color. (we have 4 kids now. Birth kids, is that the term? I dunno.) I knew there was NO way Dave would ever go for it, but I couldn't get him off my mind. The more I prayed about it,the more convinced I was that he was OUR kid. If it hasn't happened to you, you probably won't fully understand that, so just take my word for it. I finally prayed and asked God if it was meant to be, if He wanted us to do this, He would soften Dave's heart towards it. Amazingly enough, that's just what happened. We discussed it for a long time that night, and he brought up legitimate concerns that we had to work out. He's the realist, who has to bring me down from the clouds most of the time. But he knew this was different. Then we were told since we didn't have a homestudy and I-600a completed (aka "paper ready"), there wasn't a chance of getting him in time. Broke.My.Heart. The more posts I saw about him, the more I cried. One night I was reading her blog, she had a new post about him and another older boy, and I just bawled. My 16 year old daughter sat hugging me letting me cry it out, I felt like my child had been ripped away from me. That was on a Tuesday night. On Wednesday night, I got a call from a dear friend. C asked if I had seen the blog that afternoon, and gave me a quick update on what it said. There was still time!! And even more amazing, her friend T, who I had never met before in my life, wanted to donate a significant amount of money to help. I was in shock!!! So I spent the next several days finding an agency who would be able to do an expedited home study. And finally did, and we are on our way. But there's more...

A world turned upside down

If 3 weeks ago someone had told me that we would be adopting two teenage boys from EE (Eastern Europe), I probably would have laughed at them. But now, that's exactly we are trying to do! At the beginning of a very long process, and it's by no means a done deal, so it's very nerve-wracking. It will be worth it in the end though. Because of rules of most countries when adopting, I'm not allowed to post their names or pics, or even exactly which country they are in. If you care to repost about them, and we would love for you to do that, please make sure you don't give out that information. We don't want to tick off the government of a foreign country right off the bat! lol Can't wait to post when they are officially Mortons! Please pray for the boys that everything will work out and we can get them by early summer. We have sent in our application for the home study, gotten our fingerprints for background checks, so now we are waiting to hear from our social worker! My next post will be a little about us and how we came to decide on doing this.