The Family

The Family

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baby Shower Pictures!

Our sweet, sweet friend Amanda and her hubby Brian are expecting a little girl this October!  I was so happy to be one of the hosts for her shower and to have it here at my house!  Below are a few pictures of the party to honor Amanda and shower her with gifts for little baby Grayson Faith!!

Some onesies as mantle decor spelling out BABY and a sweet bow holder for her room.

A cute fabric banner in gray and yellow, the colors of her nursery.

Adorable paper poufs handmade by Amanda .... not the guest of honor ;)

Yummy cake made by Cheryl- banana cake and a creamy vanilla frosting.  Yum!

Beautiful wreath hand crafted by Melissa.

Some of the ladies that stopped by gathering to watch her open some presents!

She got such adorable things for baby Grayson!!

Congratulations Amanda and Brian!
We can't wait to meet her!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beach Pictures!

Our family just returned from our annual week long vacation at the NJ shore with my husband's side of the family.  It was a lovely week with great weather, and it was Charlotte and Atticus's first time experiencing the  sand and waves at the ocean!  They both seemed to like it pretty well, scooping the sand up with the shovel or their fingers (and Atticus even eating a little), and splashing in the shallow areas of the water.

We got to take some fun pictures while we were there, so take a peek below!  Hope everyone is enjoying the last remaining days of their summer.  The time is fleeting, school starts back next Monday for my non-homeschooled ones here, and it all goes by just way too fast.

The wagon was great for transporting the little ones, and all our gear, to the beach!

My three eldest children!

Posing in front of the Avalon lifeguard boat

This picture cracks me up!  And it was so unintentional.

Just digging away!!

Sweet puggie little hand digging in the sand

There were MANY sandcastles to be made this week!

And then, the long-awaited nighttime shark fishing with Grander RH!  The boys were thrilled!

Time for some evening photos on the beach......

All my babies!

And posing with Nana Sherry and Grander RH...

Another fun week comes to an end.  Avalon, we were sorry to say goodbye, but we had a great time!
Thanks to the grandparents for a wonderful week at the shore!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Big Announcement!!!!

Just wanted to do a quick announcement on here for everyone who has not heard through our church or Facebook......................
We Are ADOPTING Again!!!
We have planned this for awhile, since we were still in Ukraine actually adopting our last two.  We got preparations like USCIS approval and home study updates done while we were still in country actually, but we wanted to get Charlotte and Atticus home and settled and adjusted a bit to family life before we made another big announcement.

This time we are returning for two older children, teenagers in fact.  They are not special needs children in the truest sense of the word but they are considered such by some simply because of their age.  In Ukraine children age out of the orphanage system at age 16.  They are then sent out onto the streets, alone, with little more than a few utensils, maybe a sleeping bag, and a little money.  It is impossible for me to think of our Evan, who is 16, completely fending for himself right now.  Especially if he had not ever been raised with the love of a family, or any kind of true direction and guidance in life.  It would be like throwing him to the wolves.

This is the exact reason why many of these "aged out" children find themselves homeless, hungry and alone.  They lack basic skills to survive in life because no one ever taught them any.  They become prostitutes, druggies, vagabonds.  They often find themselves HIV positive.  They are without hope, living on the streets and in sewers, with no future, let alone hope for the next day.

We ask you all to please PRAY for this next journey we are embarking upon.  Pray for our family and our ability to yet again have all paperwork processed correctly and efficiently.  Pray for the hearts and minds of our children as they wait for us in the orphanage.  Pray for everything to fall into place as it should and no setbacks.

We have already been hard at work since arriving back home and our dossier is already in country waiting to be submitted.  We are simply waiting for a few pieces of paper to send over, and then that will happen.  After submission it is an average of 2 mos till travel, which really isn't a lot at all.  I am praying we travel sometime around the end of October.

That being said, we are also in need of funding.  Being that we just arrived home in May with our two youngest children, and will be returning so soon, resources are low.  We were really hoping to put our tax return toward this adoption, but considering we have not gotten it back yet because of disputes with the IRS over adoption tax credits (like many have experienced) we cannot count on that money being in our account by the time we need to travel.

An FSP fund has been set up again through Reece's Rainbow as we had before.  Andrea Roberts who runs RR has been gracious enough to allow us to have that account knowing that although these children are not sn children like many on her site, their time is limited as I mentioned above, and the possibility of aging out in the future without a family is NEED enough.  We thank her for allowing us to have this FSP again to make it easy for people to donate to our adoption.

Here is the link to our FSP account with Reece's Rainbow- 

ANY amount is appreciated!!!!  Every dollar gets us one step closer to our children, and helps alleviate our fears and worries about not being able to travel when it is time.

Please search your hearts and see if there is any way you can help us, we are truly grateful to each person who has helped us bring our children home in the past, and this time is no different!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lovely Luda

The time has just flown I tell ya!  Unbelievable how quickly it passes when you want it to stand still.
Sweet Luda will be returning home to Eastern Europe on Sunday.  It has been a wonderful adventure having her here, and I know she has enjoyed her visit here as much as we have loved having her!!

These children are just amazing and resilient individuals, I am truly in awe of their courage and good spirits.  They came to a strange country, put themselves and their emotions out there in hopes of finding a family and ultimately finding LOVE.

I am happy to report that most of these children HAVE in fact found families!  Praising God for this!  I have gotten to meet a couple of the other families and they are just wonderful people, chomping at the bit until they can get over there to bring their kiddos home.

I know our family has experienced so much joy having Luda here with us!  We have gone to the pool, the zoo, horseback riding, for rides on the motorcycle, for ice cream, to soccer games, on bike rides, and over friends' houses. Lots of amazing memories have been made, and tucked away to be cherished for a long time until we can see beautiful Miss Luda again.  We do love her so!!

So with that, I leave you with a few pictures of our most recent escapades.  And I ask that you please pray for safe travel for these children as they return home.  Pray too for the families who will begin the process of bringing many of these children home.  And pray especially for those children who did not find their forever families on this trip.  May God watch over all of them.

Enjoy the many photos below!  We sure did have fun while we were taking them!!!!

Here are some from the zoo....

Charlotte sure did fall in love with Gulya!  

And a visit to Tim's work....

And a random self portrait  ;).........

And the pool.............

Our breakfast at IKEA.................

And some random wacky faces  :)  ...................

Watching Schuyler horseback riding.....................

And then having a turn herself! ..................

Going to ride Fudge!!

The amazing Ms Boo.  We love you!!

Tie-dying tee shirts.......................


And after!......

Out to Cabarrus Creamery for ice cream...............

All the kids together-- Fun times!!!