The Family

The Family

Friday, November 23, 2012

With Thanks.....

There was SOOOO much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!  Who can even count all the blessings our family has received over the past year?!

We have a roof over our heads, heat in our home, clean water to drink and the ability to take a shower every day if we want.  There is electricity in our home, more gadgets than I care to mention, food in our pantry and fridge and clothes on our backs.  And these are just the material things, which we take for granted each and every day.

But we have been blessed with even more this year!
Four new children have been added to our family since last Thanksgiving.  Such a blessing!!
After all, children are a blessing from the Lord the Good Book says.
And the blessings we have received along the way throughout their adoptions has been incredible....
friendship connections, monetary donations, toys and clothes for the children, amazing support and encouragement, prayers, words of wisdom, I could go on, and on, and on!

Through our acts of trying to bless these children with a family, we in turn have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams.  But that is the way it supposed to work isn't it?  That is how God planned it in the first place.  Bless and you will be blessed.

And when our son Atticus got his horrible diagnosis of Leukemia on October 6th of this year, we were blessed again-- friends made us meals, helped with our children when I could not be there, said numerous prayers for us, came to visit us.
The hands and feet of Jesus.
Even through a tragedy we see Him, and we are blessed.

Yesterday, Thanksgiving, was a time to gather with family and friends and remember His love, and the blessings He has poured out on us this year. 
My heart is so full.
His love and grace abounds in our lives.
We have all we truly need, and much much more, and we are grateful.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our lives over this past amazing year.
And thank you to our incredible God through whom all blessings flow.

The Rowe and Joyner children-  missing are Schuyler, Bronwyn and Leo Rowe and Lenix Joyner

Monday, November 19, 2012

There Are Two New Rowes Today!

I am thrilled to announce that the Rowe family has now officially grown by two!!
Today at 11am our time the court proceedings began in an effort to make Vanya and Luda officially and legally our children.  What a nerve wracking experience let me tell ya!
But it was all worthwhile to be able to hear these two sweet children stand before the judge and witnesses and tell them how they loved us and wanted to come home to be part of our family.

"I have never had a family," said Vanya. "I want them to be my family."
"I love them very much," declared Luda.

Oh it made my heart melt and my eyes began to well with tears despite me trying to hold them back.
It was too much. To see these two teenagers standing there telling this stern judge that they LOVED us and that they WANTED us as their mama and papa was just too much. It really overwhelmed me.

They have gone so long without anyone to truly love them. They can't wait to see what it feels like to live in a HOME, with siblings and parents and love.
I can't wait to show them.

We thank God today for giving us the blessing and the privilege of being their parents!

So now that court is officially over, I can introduce you to our children and announce their new names, decided upon by them. So here are......

Bronwyn Ludmila Rowe
Leo Ivan Rowe

Our two newest blessings! We love them so much already!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Birthday??

We all love birthdays don't we? I know in our larger family there seems to be one every time you turn around! Almost every month it seems we are celebrating someone's special day with them, usually with cake, balloons, a party or dinner out. Birthdays are supposed to be a time of celebration.....a time to rejoice in the year you have just lived and look forward with hope to the blessings of the coming year.

And this especially holds true for your 16th birthday right? How many of us can look back on that day with fondness? I know I can remember mine. Knowing that now I could drive, date, go out with friends on my own.... it was a step towards independence.

Now just imagine if instead of looking forward to that 16th birthday, you dreaded it. Imagine if instead of being hopeful for all the good things that were going to come that year, you were terrified of the year to come. Frozen with fear about what lie ahead, the uncertainty and loneliness of it all.

Imagine for a moment that instead of being greeted with presents, cake and well wishes, the day went on like any other day. There is no mention if it being special at all.

Well this my friends is what it is like to turn 16 if you are an orphan here in Eastern Europe. There are no gifts, no happy birthday songs, no nothing.  But why should there be anyway? Turning 16 when you live here in an orphanage is nothing to celebrate. Instead it is a life sentence.

If you are without a family here at age 16, you don't have much to look forward to. Oh sure, there will be the gaining of responsibilities like I was anticipating, but it will be the responsibility for your own life on the streets.

At 16 you better be able to care for yourself, because without a family, no one else will.

Sure there are the certain few who will be able to attend trade schools, but positions in these schools are few and far to come by. So what happens to the others?  You can probably imagine.  Drugs, prostitution, living under the streets. These things are not exaggerations, they are real.

The church here in the city we are adopting from just did a presentation on orphans this past Sunday. They work firsthand with these kids. They see their real lives. They know the hardships these kids are up against if they are not adopted. They live in this world with these children, and try to help them the best they can.

But the system fails them. The government fails them. Families who come to adopt but refuse to take a chance on older children fail them.

This is S. Tomorrow is his 16th birthday. We will be bringing him a cake and a card, and a few gifts to show him that someone out there cares. That he matters. That he is celebrated on his day. But no one can give him the gift he wants most...... A family.

Tomorrow, many dreams he has will be lost forever. Many hopes will never be realized. He will have a much bleaker future to look forward to than before. This birthday is life changing for him.

So tonight will you say a prayer for S? And for the thousands of children just like him? Every child deserves a family. The young babies right up to the teenagers. And they have SO much love to give! If only you could see it in their eyes as we do EVERY time we walk on to those orphanage grounds. They just want someone to care. They want someone to love them. They want a family to call their own.

"One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody." ~ Mother Theresa

So many are becoming just another number, a statistic. So many are being lost to the streets. What can we do???


Every child deserves a family.  Every child. Every child should be able to look forward to their 16th birthday with happy anticipation, not dread.

What can you do?

"Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty"
Mother Theresa

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quick Update!

I have been lazy about keeping this up the past couple months and I apologize!  There has just been so much going on, it has been hard for me to take the time to blog.  But, I wanted to share a few things....

Firstly, I wanted to give a praise report!  Our son Atticus is in remission with his Leukemia!!!  His levels had to be below a .010 to be considered in remission this past Wednesday and he was at a ZERO!!  The doctor said you can't get any better than zero.  :)  So we are very grateful that we get to continue down the normal path for course of treatment, rather than embarking on a new path of "high risk" treatment which would be a lot more intense.  We love our little man so much and just want him to get better as quickly as possible, and the Lord so far is hearing our prayers!

Next, I wanted to give an update on our adoption!  So far, so good!  I have been home since October 30th and am actually getting ready to leave again tonight to return for court.  There are many things we need prayers for...... safe travel, that we still have court this next week as planned, and that the judge rules in our favor.  We are so anxious to get our two newest children home where they belong, and we are praying there are no delays.

Tim and Schuyler are still there with them and have been enjoying their daily visits very much.  They have done crafts, gone hiking, played volleyball in the gym and soccer on the field.  It is getting colder there, but they are still hanging out outside most of the time.  I can't wait to get back and see all of them.  My husband especially!!

I also wanted to share this most wonderful card I had emailed to me the other day from Sacred Selections!  They have been so instrumental in helping us get all of our kiddos home. Frst Gideon, then Charlotte and Atticus, and now our latest two children as well.  We could not have done it without them!  And just look at this gorgeous card showing ALL the children they have helped to get to their forever families this year!!!  Amazing.  Can you find our kids 4 precious faces???  LOVE!

And one more big praise report, on the adoption front this time!!  I was just informed today by a friend of ours from church, that we have been awarded a $1,000 grant from Wells Fargo.  Our friend Margaret works for the bank, and put forth our name and the story of our adoptions for consideration, and we won!!  I tell you, when you are trying to help the least of His children, He will provide a way.  God is good, and our friends are wonderful!  I feel so blessed and so humbled that she even thought of us and our adoption finances and put our name out to be considered.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we are truly grateful!!!

So for now, here are a few pictures, and yet again I am signing off until I get over to the other side of the pond!!

Halloween was so much fun!  So glad I didn't miss it!!

Me and my ladybug!

My last night there before I came home

Typical street market

We had so much fun making these paracord bracelets.  They were a hit!

And my ipad is a hit too  ;)

Love this picture!  Our first day there.

Me and my boy!  Can you tell I am happy to be with him???