Thursday, March 31, 2011

Christian and All the Children of Region 6

last night i decided that it was time to share the information about CHRISTIAN again on facebook.   he's the little boy from russia who has captured my heart.   christian was born just 1 day before wyatt on july 5, 2009, but his mama didn't take him home from the hospital.  she left him to be taken to an orphanage, simply because he has Down syndrome.   what did she feel when he was born?  the same sadness that i felt initially, when we were given wyatt's diagnosis?   does she think about him even now, when he's almost 21 months old?   has she gone on to have other children?    does she regret her decision?   

i was thinking, "oh that he had been born in another country, a country who believes that ALL children are worth bringing home from the hospital."   of course, that statement isn't really true, is it?   because here in america, we let parents choose to kill their babies before they are even born, if those babies are inconvenient, less than "perfect," or for any reason that they want to.  a shocking 92% of parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Ds choose to abort those babies.   oh the blessing those families have missed, and oh the heartache that abortion brings, the longterm regrets and pain, the guilt and doubts.   

so i went over to reece's rainbow to find christian, and share his information on facebook.   he wasn't there.....
i tried the link over and over again, with the same response, "oops, this link is invalid." i was scared....petrified and in tears, actually, as i looked through all those sweet faces, just trying to find this one precious boy:
dob:  7/5/09
i looked in the "my family found me" CHRISTIAN.   i looked through all the "Ds boy babies" CHRISTIAN.    with much dread, i clicked on the link to the "in loving memory" section....those babies and children who are now with their Heavenly Father, who finally know the perfect love of "ABBA".....CHRISTIAN WAS NOT THERE.    of course there were so many other little ones there who we have lost .... including dante, who was born the same day as wyatt.  he and christian had both stolen my heart.   i was devastated when i learned of his passing.  

so i emailed my contact at reece's rainbow with my fears and concerns.  and i prayed.   and i went to bed.  this morning, as soon as i could, i checked my email, and was so relieved to get this message:  "Christian is fine!! Please don't worry about him. The trouble is bureaucratic -- and unfortunately we've had to put all the children in region 6 on hold for a while :( So, please keep praying for Christian -- that not only can we find him a family, but we can reopen that region for all the children."  i was so very relieved that he is OKAY.   at least for now.....yet saddened that all those children in region 6 are not available for adoption right now.   so i ask you, please pray for CHRISTIAN, and all the children in region 6....that they will be safe, healthy, and loved by their caregivers, and that soon they will be able to be found by their "forever families."  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pray for "The Least of These"......

today many people around the world are praying and fasting for precious KIRILL, who i posted about earlier.  he's the precious little boy with ds, who the russian judge has denied the right to have a forever family.   today's blogpost by tesney (kirill's forever mama) starts with these verses, which are some of my favorites....
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up."  Hebrews 12:1-3 
tesney shares that she had a dream recently in which she ran a race, and won, only to discover that she had not paid the race fees, was not officially registered, and did not receive the prizes.   she says that "no matter what happens with Kirill, I am simply called to run the race. I'm not guaranteed any kind of earthly rewards. My prize is Jesus and being with him in Heaven. My race is to run to HIM. So I will keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the pain. I will keep my eyes focused on the prize and run the path that Jesus has paved for me. Because the race is won and victory is in HIM."  
the davis family...
tesney, kirill and greg
please pray with me for this family, as they follow God's leading to adopt kirill.  pray that kirill is safe.  pray that the supreme court of russia will reverse the decision of the regional court, and that this family will be allowed to adopt kirill.   also pray for the hook family as they go before the same russian judge tomorrow to adopt evan, and the moreno family, whose daughter is baby j, their court date has not yet been set.  these children are all in the same region....pray that these adoptions will be granted, and that this region will then be more widely opened to allowing adoptions of children with special needs.....

above all else....MAY GOD BE GLORIFIED......   peace....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Danny's Downs....How Many Families Have Lived These Lyrics?

i was over on kelle cryderman hampton's facebook page this afternoon, and i found a reference about this song that i had never heard before.  it is from peter, paul and mary's 1999 album songs of conscience and concern.  these are the lyrics....i know it's not politically correct, people first language, but the story the song tells brought tears to my eyes.....
Michael Blanchard- Diadem Sky/Gotz Music (ASCAP)

On the day little Danny arrived
His father stared and his mother cried
They knew his name but they didn't know why
He looked the way he did
This thing happens to other kids
How in the world are we gonna live
With a boy like that?

Doctor said,"Dan's the first bad news
Second is his heart won't make it through
It must be fixed unless you choose
To send him back where he came
Starve the boy from his name
Just six short days of pain
Or maybe less"


Danny's Downs but Love is up
It's been known to be more than enough
For more and more of us
Danny's downs but Love is up

"I'm not that strong," his father said
"The dreams are gone, the hopes have fled
Won't be long after he's dead
We'll try again to find
The child we had in mind
Where the hell are those papers to sign?"
And the man broke down

In a private room Danny's mother wept
As an old Jamaican woman swept
And not by chance their eyes met
(And she said)
"God's gifts are only good y'know
And there ain't no Love the Lord can't grow
Aw honey, take that boy with ya when ya go
Back home


It's been eight years since the surgery
His sister's 5, his brother's 3
He goes to school and he knows how to read
He takes the bus home by himself
Puts his lunch pail back upon the shelf
And he hugs his Momma till she melts
To the floor

They're more than a home, they're a family
'Cause blood and bones are still souls y'see
And someone's baby's just another Danny
And in the guest room in the back
Lives this old Jamaican black
'Cause when you give a gift
God gives it back again.

i could not find the origins for this song, why he wrote it or anything else, but i did find the songwriter's webpage, Michael Kelly Blanchard, and this links to a post from a 16 year old boy named danny, who has Down syndrome.  he wrote to tell michael that he used this song in a high school report that he gave in his youth leadership class!   

i'm so thankful for the advances that have been gained in america, that we are not given such a choice when we give birth to our precious babies who have Down syndrome....but what about all those babies with Down syndrome who are born in other countries.  whose parents are told to leave them at the hospital, because their life is not worth the effort.....  

or like the Davis family, who were told just last week by a russian judge that their adoption of Kirill, who has Down syndrome, was DENIED:  "The basis given was that Kirill was “not socially adaptable” due to his “medical condition” and he was better off in an institution than in a home with a family."  to see this child hug his mother, it breaks your heart to know that they are being denied the opportunity to take him home. please follow their story on their blog Our Eyes Opened.    

PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY AS THEY APPEAL THE JUDGE'S DECISION;  PRAY THAT THE JUDGE'S HEART WILL BE SOFTENED, AND THAT HER EYES WILL BE OPENED TO THE TRUTH.....  tesney asks that we pray for "God to move the mountain that is standing between Kirill and us as we appeal to the Supreme Court in Moscow. There are also three other families who are in various stages of adopting children with Down Syndrome from Kirill’s region; one of the families has a court hearing set for next week."    and pray that above all else, GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday....

tallulah gorge....

forrest enjoying lake junaluska...

ethan and jay heading out....
wyatt's first time up close to ducks!

my guys....
traditional family pic!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Boys.....Wyatt and Christian

2 years ago i had no reason whatsoever to be concerned about "world down syndrome day....."  i didn't even know there was such a day!  and along came wyatt.....our precious surprise gift from God.  totally unexpected, pretty shocking to us, actually!   a baby, at our age?  really.....

wyatt....our sweet, precious, funny, busy little boy who is so loved by so many!   completely adored by his brothers, grandparents and extended family!   completely adored by our church family.....there are folks at our church who do not let sunday go by without speaking to/loving on our precious wyatt!   we are so blessed!   and continue to thank God for knowing exactly what we needed far better than we did!  so thankful He's in control, and we're not.....

loving the outdoors!

attacking mommy!

typically happy boy!

i wish you could hear the chuckle that
goes with this sweet expression!

this is where i found wyatt
this afternoon,
"reading" and playing with his toys!
and then there's little CHRISTIAN....born just 1 day before wyatt....across the ocean....worlds apart.   i'm christian's world down syndrome day warrior....i've been praying for him, sharing about him on facebook, in hopes that his forever family will find him, and go get him.   his world is so different from wyatt's world.  he has no mommy and daddy who meet his every need, often before he realizes he has a need!   no brothers who play with him, no grandparents who adore him, no church family loving him...... 

are YOU his forever family? 

there are so many who need homes.....   are you called to adopt?  if not, can you give to help those who are called?   click any of the buttons in my sidebar to help those families who are adopting.   can you pray?   please pray for these families who are called to adopt, that their financial needs will be met; pray for these babies and children who are abandoned in orphanages, and then transferred to adult mental institutions around the age of 5.....   pray that they will one day be loved as much as our precious wyatt is loved....

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Mansion, A Scenic Drive and SNOW!!!!

i know that "all good things must come to an end;" i just wish that did not include VACATION!!!   we have had such a wonderful time in the great smoky mountains, and have really enjoyed our time with our friends!   don't you hate when you have to pack back up to head home?  ugh!   but we get to visit our good friends, the pickerills, on our way back home!   he is our former pastor, and we look forward to seeing them again.  the last time we saw them was for wyatt's open heart surgery last february!  

so what else have we done since we "gem mined?"   we visited the biltmore house on a rainy cold day.  that was a great choice....we really enjoyed the history there.  it is amazing that a home of that magnitude (250 rooms) was built over 110 years ago!  

our family!
the biltmore house

 beautiful home....amazing
architecture and furnishings!

on wednesday we drove through the great smoky mountains national park, which is the only national park who charges no admission fee!   it is one of our family's favorite places!  

we stopped at the oconaluftee mountain farm museum and visitor center outside of cherokee, north carolina.

and then we drove on up to newfound gap, where we found some old snow in the parking lot! old snow or new, my boys had to have a little snowball fight!  

me and my guys! 
 we drove into gatlinburg, tennessee for a quick stop at the rock shop, then into pigeon forge to eat at the applewood farm grill....YUMMY!    we ended the day with a real "guy" thing to do....the smoky mountain knife store....a highlight for them!   it was a great, exhausting day!   and wyatt handled it like a trooper!  

making memories here.....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meandering, Mining and Maggie Valley

well, we enjoyed our first full day in the mountains of north carolina today!  we arrived at our wonderful cabin north of maggie valley last night around 7:30.  you never know when you rent a cabin online if it's going to be just as beautiful in person as it is in the pictures....this one definitely is!  and it has wifi too!  ☺

our good friends the thurmans moved up here about 2 1/2 years ago to be near david's parents, who are aging.   their oldest son and our ethan have been close friends for several years; our forrest is good friends  with 2 of their younger sons; and kym and david are terrific friends to me and tim!   we miss this very much in panama city!  they are the couple who recently adopted a baby boy, tyler, making a total of 8 children, ranging in age from 21 to 2 months now!  

wyatt's first mining experience!
today we decided to fulfill one of the boys favorite things to do when we visit the mountains, gem mining.  we've done this for several years now, and we all enjoy the "thrill" of "what will we find?"   one year we found a nice white topaz that we had cut into a faceted 12 carat stone, it's quite pretty.  so today the guys found some tiger's eye, pink quartz, and garnet rough stones, to name a few!  it was fun, and kym and some of the kids joined us!  
ethan and forrest checking sifting their dirt!
then tim, ethan, wyatt and i went in search of some local barbeque for a late lunch, while forrest headed home with the thurmans.   fortunately  the barbeque place was closed on mondays, and we ended up at lulu's on main in sylva, north carolina.  what a treat!   not what we expected for a small town restaurant, quite unexpected actually!   tim and i had pork tenderloins with an orange glaze and mango chutney, accompanied by frijoles negros over basmati rice, topped with jicama and scallions, and grilled plantains....oh my......simply delicious!  a really unexpected treat!

we then made our way back to maggie valley to the thurman's home for a fire in their firepit, complete with roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and making s'mores....YUM!!!   we had a wonderful time wandering all over their property, down by the creek, visiting and having fun!   it was a fantastic evening with great friends!   forrest is there now, having a sleepover!  fun times....great memory making!    here's a few pics of this evening's fun!   
hanging out with ms. kym and baby tyler
enjoyed his first roasted marshmallow!
kym, david and tyler
by the creek!

enjoying the fire!
OH....and the "meandering?" might think that we would only miss the right turn once in a day, maybe twice....NO....make that 4 TIMES in one day!!!!!   lots of excessive MEANDERING....but at least in a beautiful area!     peace....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Day for Education and Advocacy with Fantastic Fourth Graders!

if i knew exactly how to do the "happy dance," i would be doing it right now!   what a nice surprise.....forrest just came home from school loaded down with some terrific "stuff"!  last week, forrest's teacher, ms.allen, allowed me to bring wyatt and talk to their 4th grade class about Down syndrome. i was thrilled, and a little nervous, to have this opportunity! the kids were so attentive and respectful....they already knew wyatt from our visits in their class for parties, but not all of them knew that he had Down syndrome.  in fact, one of forrest's good friends is adam, whose mom is wyatt's physical therapist, joanna.   that morning joanna told adam that i would be in class talking about Down syndrome and wyatt, and even adam was surprised!  he never realized that wyatt has Ds; he knew that his mom got to "play" with wyatt every week, but didn't realize why!  that was quite funny to both joanna and me!

i took the opportunity to read the books we'll paint the octopus red, and its sequel, the best worst brother written by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. i actually had to borrow those books from my friend carol, and i'm so glad i did!  they really helped me talk to the kids about Ds!   i shared many facts about Ds, and those books have great question and answer sections in the back that were quite helpful!   i also received some great advice and materials from amy allison, the executive director of the Down syndrome guild of greater kansas city.   i had the kids cover their ears with their hands while i whispered to them to show how it's sometimes hard for kids with Ds to hear, especially if they have fluid in their ears.   i also gave each child a large marshmallow to put in their mouths, and then had them try to tell their neighbor their name and favorite color, to explain sometimes how hard it is for kids with Ds to speak, due to the size of their tongues, shape of their jawbone, etc.   the kids really enjoyed the interactive time.....and i know it helped them remember some specific details about Ds! 

the day i shared with their class also happened to be "spread the word to end the word" day, and you can bet that i took that opportunity to talk to the kids about committing to not using the "r" word...and why i didn't want them to use it!   some of them seemed surprised to learn that using that word was hurtful to us! 

all in all, it was an awesome experience, and i'm so thankful that forrest's teacher was open to me sharing!   she also had the kids write 5 sentences about Ds as a homework assignment.  and i didn't realize that they had made posters that they put on the walls outside their classroom, with facts about Ds, the buddy walk,  "spread the word," etc.   these are the posters that forrest brought home this afternoon:

aren't they awesome?

i also gave the kids bookmarks with wyatt's picture on them that say "Friends Don't Count Chromosomes" and a little more information, including asking them to be a friend to someone like wyatt as well! 
and ms. allen also had the kids write thank you notes to me and wyatt.....they are so sweet, and full of the information that i gave them!   and creative as well!   here's the pic of these beautiful cards!   what a blessing!  i'm so thankful for ms. allen, and her willingness and desire to teach her kids about Down syndrome.  i do hope that the kids will remember that wyatt is "more alike than different!"

so very precious and beautiful!  

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cliff/Joshua's Puzzle....

have you noticed that button to help bring precious CLIFF home over in the right hand margin?   my facebook friend, lisa, is in the process of adopting this precious boy who is not yet 1 year old!   isn't he a doll?  
here he is, waiting for his momma and daddy to come get him!
if you can spare $10,  you can buy a puzzle piece in his "puzzle" to help bring him home!  you can read about their puzzle fundraiser by clicking here!   this fundraiser ends on march 14, so please think about giving!  every dollar helps!   you can make a tax deductible contribution through reece's rainbow for the warner adoption fund!  you can also follow their story by reading their blog,  building our village!  

why do i keep blogging about these adoptions?  because proverbs 24:12, paraphrased, says ""Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act."   maybe we're not called to adopt, maybe we are, but we are called to help our brothers and sisters in Christ, as they follow God's calling on their lives to rescue one of these "least of these" children!  

and because we have been blessed by God with wyatt, and with the ability to raise him in a country that accepts and embraces the differences in all of us.........

Saturday, March 5, 2011

We ♥ Lunch Bunch Day!

today was our little lunch bunch day!   i love getting together with this group of moms!  our common bond of younger children with Down syndrome is what has drawn us together, and we have become great friends!  the group varies every month, as moms have sick kids, tired kids, busy lives!  today was fun as we gathered at my house with my sweet friend april providing lunch!   we had 4 moms, 1 grandmom (who was visiting from out of town), and 3 kiddos!   just had to share some pics since we had a pretty little girl here today too!   annabella is usually in preschool, but her mama kept her home today to join us!   the kids had so much fun together!    wyatt has had quite the social life this week!   enjoy!

april leading the kids in song!
the kids are drawn to april....they just love her!

best buds clayton and wyatt
beautiful annabella!
looks like bella's about to get a kiss!

just precious!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

True Confessions of an Overprotective Mommy....

true confessions time.....i HATE to leave wyatt!!!!    anywhere!     okay, i've only left him with tim (no problems there) and my mom and dad.   and ethan, if he's sleeping (wyatt, that is!).     actually, i think susan kept him for about 30 minutes one day too.    suffice it to say, i don't leave wyatt very much!

SO, we're at church a lot....really a lot!    between sunday services, sunday school (adult Bible study), wednesday night prayer meeting and ladies Bible studies, we spend at lot of time there!     and wyatt has stayed with us 99% of the time in his 20 months of life!!!!   he's been the best little guy in worship services; it's amazing!  but he's starting to get a little more verbal (a GOOD thing), and i'm afraid he's going to start answering the pastor when he asks a question...well, i think he's already done that!   one wednesday night when the pastor announced prayer time, wyatt started jabbering i got up to take him out, our pastor said, "but i was going to ask wyatt to pray!"   very cute!   our pastor is MOST understanding about wyatt-he actually has a sister with special needs as well. 

all that to say....TODAY WYATT STAYED IN CHILDCARE THE ENTIRE TIME I LEAD LADIES BIBLE STUDY!   yes, this is worthy of caps!    just last night i left him for 30 minutes and he cried probably 22 of those 30 minutes!   today was much better; they said he didn't even cry the last hour he was there (he was in there almost 2 hours!).  he cried on and off to begin with, but then he PLAYED WITH THE OTHER KIDS!!!!    praise GOD!   i am so thrilled.  not that i plan to leave him all the time now, but he actually needs the interaction with other children for his own development!   i would never leave him to make him feel insecure, but i want him to see what other kiddos are doing and can do!  

so that's it...just wanted to share this great news about wyatt!   he didn't even start crying when i went back to pick him up, which is terrific as well!   no teary, red eyes, just a HAPPY BOY!!!   yay, wyatt!   thank you God!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


just some of my favorite pics on this beautiful wordless wednesday.....

my favorite of me and my boys!

wyatt and this one!

tim's favorite baby pic of wyatt!

"spread the word to end the word!"

leaving the scene of the crime!

aha!  i found the yogurt!