Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What Can YOU Do to Help? "6 Day Miracle" Guest Blogger Patti Rice

my friend patti (a perfect lily), is at it again! a family desperately needs to raise a lot of money in a little bit of time, and she is doing what she can to help! read their story, as shared by patti, and give what you can!!!!
I read the words of a friend last night, and as is typical of posts written by mamas rescuing their babies from orphanages across the world, it cut me to the heart. I read it with my girl tucked safely in the crook of my arm, her golden head laying softly against my neck, and I gulped back hot tears trying to read the words out loud to Sam.
"You read it," I said, because I knew it was pointless to go on. There is something beautiful and powerful about mamas and daddies sacrificing finances, time, and energy to rescue a child who is going to require extraordinary amounts of care and effort once they are home. There is something amazing and rare about families who will put everything on the line, including and especially their hearts, for a child who by the world's standards is broken. There is something pure and noble and absolutely right about that kind of love- the love that says it doesn't matter what it takes, I am going to rescue this child, and nothing is going to stand in my way. The love that faces seemingly insurmountable costs and mountains of paperwork and risks what family and friends will think about traveling across the ocean to save a child you've never met before, one that many people might say wasn't really "fit for life" in the first place. So when I read this mama's account of the very first time she met her little girl- it didn't matter that I've read several dozen similar stories- they get me every time. I want you to read this account, that of a mama rescuing her daughter. I want you to listen to the words spoken by a five year old little girl... ...and if you're a parent, imagine your child saying them... About 5 minutes in, the door opened and someone pushed our girl in the door and shut it.
She was stunned. It seemed she had not been made aware of what was happening or why, and she regarded us quizzically at first. We were stunned.  The picture had turned in to a person! My mind was literally swimming, I could not remember a.single.word. of Russian. I couldn’t remember how to greet her, or how to tell her she was absolutely gorgeous, or how to say I am your Mama.  Nothing. Just complete shock.

Then I remembered I had a Disney princess doll in my bag to give her. I pulled it out, and she smiled.  I asked if she wanted to sit on my lap, and she did.  The director and doctor began talking again, but all I could do was stare at the sweet, brown pigtails swishing in front of me. Her little hands turning the doll over, as she began to speak a little bit.  She began to realize what was happening.

We were there FOR. HER.

Our sweet little Vi.

She looked up and asked me “What is your name?” in Russian.  I told her “Lora. Mama.”  She looked straight to Dean, “What is your name?”  He told her “Dean. Papa.” She looked to the director and smiled “Mama! Papa!”

Everyone was absolutely beaming, and perhaps had just a glint of tears in their eyes.

“I kept asking for you!! Mama? Mama? Mama? When will you come??” she said, according to our translator. 

Five years is a long time to wait for this. Or this...
Or this...

I can't imagine Lily never knowing the security of having a mama to tuck her in every night, to hold her when she's hurting or comfort her when she's sad, never knowing how it feels to be desired and loved. I can't imagine what goes through a little girl's mind for five years, wondering when her mama will come take her home, waiting for the day she will walk through the doors of her orphanage, dreaming about that elusive, imaginary angel.... Mama? Mama? Mama? When will you come??
Yesterday I received an email from a friend...another amazing mama who traveled last year to rescue not one, but two children. Patti, I wanted to see if you could help me out by posting on your blog about the Dirkes family. You see she contacted me today just heart broken and at her wits end. Her faith is shaken and my heart has gathered her burden. She leaves in one week. Yes, 7 days and she still needs at least 7k for this trip. Grand total is still about 17k. I am asking for your help because I was in her shoes not long ago and it is heart wrenching. It takes all you got to get through a day. The tears seem to never end. You pray there will just be one person who hears your cry. You pray until you have no words left just hoping someone will help. Patti, financially I cannot help her, I have made donations but not nearly enough to help. I have heard her cries and I cannot just sit back and hope she gets her funds. Her daughter Charlotte holds a special place in my heart; she was the one I would of chosen if we didn't choose Varvara. So, this leaves me to contact people who I know can help. Please go to her blog and see if you can help. Post a story, anything you can think of.... Ann Plummer I went to Ann's friend's blog, and recognized a sweet little face I donated to a few months ago...and again a few days ago, in honor of another friend's birthday wish. Little Charlotte met her mama and daddy last November. They are traveling in six days to see her again, and go to court to make her theirs. Six Days.
 Six days to make a miracle happen. Do you think we can do it? With God's help, I believe we can. Charlotte's mama, Kelly, emailed me yesterday, after I said I would do everything I could to help. There are no words to thank you and the others who have stepped up and spoken out for us and for my girl. I knew this journey would give me the opportunity to learn a great deal about being a momma and about Down Syndrome...but I didn't know just how strong this community is. Well, Kelly- you're about to find out. I say that not because I have confidence in Lily's blog, or in my own words, but because I serve a BIG God. And I'm part of a faithful and generous community, one who rallies around its own. Charlotte is our own, friends.
 She's been waiting for her mama all of her life, waiting and hoping for someone to come and take her home. “I kept asking for you!! Mama? Mama? Mama? When will you come??”
 Lily's readers have responded so many times to the needs of orphans. You've given so much to help these families find and rescue their children. Will you help me again?
Will you help us make a six day miracle happen? Will you help save a little girl? Because Charlotte is our own.
I know Lily's readers, and I know it doesn't even take a giveaway to move you beyond compassion, and into action. I know the face of one beautiful little girl who desperately needs her mama is enough to move you to give. But a giveaway full of amazing prizes is always nice too:)   (and thank you, Kelly, for letting me hijack your giveaway!)

Here's how it works....
1 chance=$10 donation
5 chances=$25 donation
20 chances=$50 donation
All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to the Dirkes's grant fund through Reece’s Rainbow.  They can be made using the Chip-In at the top of my sidebar on the right.
Canon Rebel DSLR camera (with lens)
Petal Knot Dress from Willow Bean Creations
Custom made t-shirt from If You Say Sew
Starfish necklace from The Vintage Pearl
Pearl, bracelet, and earring set from Kay Jewelers
Insulated Tote from 31
Autographed copy of Alton Brown’s book “I’m Just Here for the Food”
Autographed “Hopkins” from Rachel Coleman of Signing Time
$150 gift card for Kimberly Wilson's TranquiliT (an amazing line of clothing for anyone who loves yoga...or comfort)
$50 gift card for Planet Jill
$50 gift card for Scentsy
$50 gift card for Hanna Andersson
$50 gift card for Target
$25 gift card for The Adopt Shoppe
$25 gift card for Wal-Mart
$25 gift card for Starbucks
$25 gift card for Olive Garden
A jar of Renee Tam’s famous toffee
A batch of oReshki, traditional cookies from Charlotte’s country
Kelly sees who donated on her chip-in, so you do not need to leave a comment to be entered to win. She will announce winners on her blog on February 6th, the day they leave to see Charlotte.... We need that chip-in to be at $13,300 for the Dirkes family to travel on February 6th. I believe in miracles. Do you????

Monday, January 30, 2012

We Did It!! Check Out Wyatt's Play Kitchen!

a couple of weeks ago, my dear friend cathy, who has the crafty blog "exploring my creative side," "pinned" a picture on "pinterest" of a play kitchen that someone had created out of an old entertainment center.   pretty much the same old empty entertainment center that we have had for 17+ years, that was sitting in ethan's room collecting "junk" and DUST!   i knew immediately that i had to create a play kitchen for wyatt!   he loved playing with his girlfriend brennan's at Christmas, and i knew that this would be a fun project! 
this is what we started with! 
we were so proud of it all those years
ago when "country" was in!

as soon as i showed tim the pictures of the various play kitchens, he was IN!  i could hardly wait to get started!   even my dad helped out by cutting out the hole for the sink. tim was in orlando last week and made a FLYING trip as i talked him through IKEA to get the
knobs, "faucet," and handles for us! 
my daddy cut the hole for the sink, and tim and i primed the unit
and the painting begins!  we wanted to make the end
magnetic..... that magnetic primer was a HUGE FAIL for us!
oh well...... i'm taking it back to the "orange" store!
look at that RED!  (leftover from our dining room and kitchen!)
it only took 2 coats over the grey primer!
tim drilled holes and installed knobs and handles!
he's got a little helper here!
wow!  it's very cool!
all done!  stainless mixing bowl is the "sink." 
a garage hookfrom IKEA is the "faucet." 
silicon coasters from IKEA are the"burners."  
drawer knobs and handles are from IKEA too! 
tim painted the doors (the oven and the fridge) metallic for
the "stainless" effect!   we still need to install a shelf and
add all the fun details.... but it's almost completely finished!

what's in here?

PRETTY COOL, HUH???    tim and i had a lot of fun repurposing the entertainment center into this cool kitchen that wyatt and his friends will play with for years to come!   still have a few details to finish up, but we're pretty proud of all that we got done this past weekend!  

A Great Day for a Mid-Year IFSP Meeting!

you can see that wyatt is very concerned!
shanina, wyatt's family service coordinator!
most of the team!
friday was wyatt's ifsp mid year meeting.   it's something that i could just do over the phone with his social worker, but i prefer to get the entire team together, if i can, so that everyone can talk and share what they are doing with wyatt!  since noon was the best time for everyone i decided to have a light lunch for them!   they all said that i didn't need to do that, but they are such a blessing to us that i was glad to do it!   we had a great time visiting, eating, and talking about our precious wyatt!
watching wyatt play with vicki's shoes!
wyatt playing with taylor's boots!
 it was a great meeting!  it was NOT the meeting where they give wyatt's developmental age (YAY)!   during this meeting everyone talked about all the great progress that wyatt has made in the last 6 months!   each therapist also talked about their goals for wyatt for the next 6 months.  they were also able to talk to each other about how they can support each other's therapies and goals for wyatt.  and THAT's why i like for them to all meet together if at all possible!   the TEAM approach is so much better than everyone going about their own therapies.....  

taylor is one of wyatt's favorite people!
as we wind down the last few months that wyatt has early intervention, i wanted to make sure that we are doing everything that we can for him!  i so dread the day we transition out of this wonderful program!   it has been such a blessing to us; i have learned so much through this terrific group of professionals who are like family to us.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday.....Wyatt IS A Ladies' Man!

this is wyatt's greeting. he is NOT hitting (praise God);
but gently touching her beautiful hair! soooo precious!
so i told y'all yesterday that wyatt met marissa on monday..... here's their story!
waiting patiently for food? playtime?
marissa climbed right into the booth and wyatt followed!

on to the playplace!
where are you, wyatt?

i'm here!
where are you, marissa?
he made it!  yay!