The Family

The Family

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We're Baaaaaaccccckkkkk!

Well to say it has been a long time since I blogged would be an understatement! :). Going to see what I can do to start blogging on a fairly regular basis again.

Our family has grown by two since last I wrote. We were going over to EE for a 15 year old boy named Illiya, now named Elijah, and ended up coming home with TWO boys instead...... we also brought home an adorable baby boy with that extra designer chromosome whom we named Oscar.

Everyone has been doing really wonderfully since coming hime. There've been some if the normal issues with trust, lying, etc that I know most teens deal with when adopted, but nothing major and nothing we aren't equipped to handle. Both boys have fit in seamlessly into our large family and have found their niche, and their place in our hearts.  We are so grateful as always to the many people who helped us bring them home! God has blessed us so much.

So hopefully I will be able to fit some time into my days each week for blogging a little about our family and continuing my advocacy for the orphans of this world. Thanks for re-joining me!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Embrace the "Hard"

Now before anyone thinks, "Well who is she to preach to me??", I just wanna let you know that I was just preaching to myself about this subject this morning.  In the shower.  It is often where I do some of my best thinking  ;)  And this idea came to me.  Why don't we just embrace the hard?  You know, those difficult things in life that we all have to endure.

They are bound to come eventually, and they come in all shapes and sizes.  When you are young you are naive enough to think that you can duck around them, avoid them somehow, that nothing bad will ever befall you.  Eventually we realize of course that we can't.  Life is made up of hard things.  Hard choices, hard circumstances.  Sometimes, life is just hard.

So I got to thinking...... why don't we just embrace it?  Them.... those hard things.  Because you know, it is when we are going through those difficulties that we learn SO much.  Is it always fun?  No.  But it usually ends up being worth it in the end.  Sometimes those hard things are actually good for us.  And often they end up being blessings in disguise.  We grow, we change, we learn.

And I am speaking from experience here.  I know most of us could.  I have lost loved ones to sickness, I have gone through health trials with my children, I have had financial difficulties, we now have children with special needs and deal with issues on that end.......  You name it.

So I got to thinking today, we only have this ONE life.  It is a gift.  And sometimes it is the most amazing, miraculous, fun gift..... and other times not so much.  But what would life be without those challenges?  How would we ever test our mettle?  How would we ever grow, become stronger, more convicted??  We are put here on this earth to make a difference.  We have to be strong to do that.  We need to have experienced life.  The good and the bad. Many times, things we do in life would never get done without a previous experience propelling us forward.

If I had not lost my mother as a teen would I still have the same empathy for others who have lost a parent??
If Atticus had not developed Leukemia would I still know what I know about childhood cancers and be able to support other parents as well?
If I did not have children that struggle with learning disabilities would I still be an advocate?
If we had always been rich would I appreciate the things I have that we have worked so hard to obtain?

Some of these difficulties I would have never chosen-- I would much rather have my mother living and Atticus healthy.  Of course.  But so much that happens in life we have no control over.  All we can control is how we handle it, our attitude, and how we go on... what we do with that experience.

I know there are days for me when having a large family is just HARD.  The squabbles, the noise.  And  expanding our family through adoption has not always been a walk in the park.  There are seemingly insurmountable hurdles to overcome.  But I would not change it for the world.

There are days when having children with special needs is just no fun either.  I have heard parents say many times that they are overwhelmed at their decision to adopt kids with special needs because it turns out that now, life is just much more difficult and different than they would have ever imagined.  The way they envision their future is different too.  And you know, I get that.  Sometimes you just seem so engrossed in what is going on now  that it is hard to see the light.  But the light is there.  What you are doing is HARD but it is important.  That hard stuff usually is!  It is what life truly is made of......   not the shopping trips and dinners out with friends.  That is fun, but is it meaningful?  Does it give you a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Sure it is all about balance too, we've got to have the fun and the lighthearted sometimes in life right?  It keeps us sane. But I guess what I'm asking is is that all that we want?  The fun and the easy?  The stuff of life that lacks true substance?

And there was nothing in particular to me today that made me start thinking about all of this, just pondering life in general I guess, contemplating all our own challenges and difficulties, as well as our blessings. It just got me to thinking, life without the hard is boring.  We accomplish so much more when we tackle those hard things head on.  We make such a difference in the world when we step out and challenge ourselves to do something difficult!!  Think of running a marathon...... or birthing a baby without medication........ or adopting that child that is going to just rock your world!  Hard.  But so worth it.  And such an amazing feeling in the end, that you did something extraordinary.

No one ever got that feeling by just coasting through life.  Nope.

It is like my friend who is contemplating a move to Ghana with her husband and young children.  She wants to make a difference, and she feels that God wants her to also.  Would it be easy to leave all that you know, your conveniences and your security of your home, job, etc to traverse across the globe to a country where you can't just run to the nearest Target whenever you desire?  Nope.  Not easy.  Hard.  And worth it.

So there are my thoughts for the day.  As much to myself, if not more, as to you.

Step out, embrace the hard.  Or better yet, when the hard stuff of life finds you, move through it with grace and acceptance.  Now that doesn't mean roll over and let it get the best of you.  Oh no.  Rather step up to the challenge and show it what you are made of!  Grow, change, learn.  That's life after all, and it is darn good.

Colossians 1:11

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.

James 1:2-4

Testing of Your Faith Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Almost There!

On the Reece's Rainbow website families who are adopting are grouped into categories.  There are "New Commitments" all the way up to "Traveling Now."  Well the page right before "Traveling Now" is the "Almost There" page, and that is where we have landed!

It is both an exhilarating and a frightening thing to be on that page.  On the one hand, you are crazy excited!  Being listed there means that you have completed one of the hardest parts of adoption.... your dossier.  It has been sent into the hands of the Powers That Be to be processed for your adoption, and the only thing left to do now is to wait until you get the call to travel!  On the other hand, it means you are in the home stretch and traveling for your child is not far off!  Exciting yet nerve wracking, thrilling yet scary.

Well folks, that is where we are, in the home stretch.  It is an amazing feeling to be here knowing that our child is eagerly anticipating our arrival and that we are sooooo close to bringing him home where he belongs.

We are soooooo close financially too!  Mere hundreds lie between us and being fully funded.  $224.00 to be exact!! We have had an amazing cheerleader in our friend Julia Nalle who for the past few weeks has highlighted us on her blog and included our family in her fundraiser.  Her SEPTEMBER SYMPHONY has raised THOUSANDS of dollars for families like us, already committed to children, and for children yet unchosen in hopes of getting the families funded for their adoptions and the other children seen so that they might have families coming soon for them as well.

And you know what made my heart just soar today???  What reminded me of the goodness in the world??  That today, knowing we are getting down to the wire with our fundraising, finding out that a teenage boy of 18 donated all the money he had set aside for himself...... to us.  To our teenage boy.  To get him home.  Because this certain young man has been to Ukraine, he has seen these boys who have aged out, he has seen their plight and their desperation.  And his heart was moved to help.  What a blessing to us!  This boy knows what our son will face on his own, because he has seen it with his own eyes.  He traveled with my son Evan and with Tim this summer when they went on their mission trip.  And he wants to help.  God bless him and every person who has helped us on our journey through prayers and donations.  It means so much to us!

Today is the LAST DAY of the fundraiser and giveaway.  It is the LAST DAY for us to get funds donated so that we can meet our matching grant.  A $3700 matching grant!  No small drop in the bucket that is for sure, and the difference between us being fully funded for our son, and struggling to bring him home.

He has waited a long time.  And we are ALMOST THERE.  Can you please help us cross the finish line today???

Thursday, September 19, 2013

So Far.......

Thanks to the amazing generosity of others, we have raised
$1303 towards our adoption in just the past few days!!! 
Yet again, we are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of love and support which will enable us to travel for our son in just a few months!!!!! 
Thank you!
We are well on our way towards our goal of $3700, and since that is a matching grant opportunity that we are looking to meet, that $3700 can then turn into a whopping $7400 towards our adoption!!!
So we will keep praying, and thanking everyone who is reaching out to enable us to meet that goal.
Don't forget, every donation you make to either our RR FSP or our You Caring site, both linked above in the right hand margin, gets you entered into a drawing for some fabulous prizes if you just go to my friend Julia's blog and leave a comment about your donation! 
 The link again is HERE
AND for each donation of $30 to our You Caring site, you get your choice of
 Pumpkin Nutella Fudge or Walnut Pecan Bars
delivered to your doorstep just in time for the arrival of FALL!!! 
Just email me at with your order confirmation, which one you want and your address.  Easy peasey!!
So a HUGE thank you to everyone!!!  We are hopeful that we will reach the goal for our matching grant soon!!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We are getting SO close!!!!
We sent off the remainder of our dossier paperwork to the Secretary of State's office yesterday!  We are praying that it comes back this week so that it can take its long awaited trip across the ocean with another adoptive family who is traveling this weekend!
 We are hoping to be submitted NEXT WEEK! 
This is real folks.  Really real.  We are almost to the point where it is just a waiting game..... waiting and wondering when we will
Our boy is waiting for us.  But I think being at the trade school is taking its toll on him.
We have spoken with friends over there and it just is not a good situation.
He needs prayers, lots of them.
And most of all he needs US.  There.  Now.

Please help us be ready to travel when the call comes!

REMEMBER....... we have that AH-Mazing MATCHING GRANT opportunity going on right now over at our friend Julia's blog.

Go take a look!!  :)

For just a $10 donation to whatever family or families you like, you will get entered into a drawing for a ton of

It is a win-win situation!  Help get an orphan home to their family, and maybe get a little somethin'-somethin' for yourself!

ALSO....... don't forget about Rowe-Made Desserts!!!  Take a look at my previous post for all the details.  Scrumptious pumpkin nutella fudge and walnut pecan bars await you!  Perfect for Fall, and delivered to your door for only $25 plus shipping!!!
Such a sweet deal.

So please, consider a donation to our Reece's Rainbow FSP (at the top right hand corner of this blog) and then go to Julia's blog to let her know and get entered into the amazing drawing. OR make a $30 donation to our You Caring site ($25 plus $5 s&h), send me an email at and have some tasty sweets sent to your door just in time for the cooler weather of Autumn.

Thank you for prayerfully considering our son and our family, and all the other families trying to bring their precious children home.
We are all truly grateful!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rowe-Made Desserts is Open for Business!

Ahhhh......the scent of Fall!  Crisp Autumn leaves drifting from the trees, cool evening breezes, campfires and s'mores, pumpkin spice and everything nice!

Can you smell it???    Well me neither, it is still around 90 here during the day!!  :)
But that doesn't mean that I am not craving Fall and all the comfort and homey feelings the season brings.  I am ready!

Well, if it is anything like here in your neck of the woods and Fall hasn't quite arrived yet, allow me to help and send you some scrumptious tastes of Autumn to put you in the mood...............

Walnut Pecan Bars

Just about the oooiest, gooiest, yummiest bite of Fall that you will ever taste!!

Chunks of walnuts and pecans layered over a creamy, buttery caramel sitting on top of a flaky buttery shortbread crust.  
Can you say YUM!?

This is seriously one of my favorite desserts ever.  It satisfies ALL of my cravings in one bite.  I love desserts with substance and texture and this one fits the bill!  The crunchy nuts, the sweet caramelly filling and the cookie like crust......
Well it is just PERFECTION!

Now, if nuts are not your thing, or you are just craving something a tad bit sweeter, a little smoother, let me introduce you to....

Pumpkin Nutella Fudge

Aaaah, fudge!  Take one bite of these golden little nuggets and you will see why each is a piece of heaven!
Not too pumpkin-y and laced with that glorious Nutella that we all love so much!
This fudge has all the flavors of Fall in one tiny bite-- it is creamy with undertones of vanilla and it will make you crave the crunch of those leaves underfoot and the holidays to come when you get a taste of that pumpkin spice blend sprinkled throughout.

So what say you?!  Are you ready for a little bite of something sweet and homemade?  AND ready to help a sweet teenage boy get home to his family at the same time???

Well here is what you have to do!

Place your order.....

One pound of fudge is $25 and $5 s&h
Ten Walnut Pecan Bars are $25 and $5 s&h

 Please make your payment to our You Caring site listed on the sidebar of this blog.  This way I can keep track of the payment for the orders more easily.


Send me an email to with details of your order and proof of your payment.
Make sure to include which item you want and how many orders of each AND the address for me to ship it to.

ALL orders for each week will ship the following Monday.
The first batch of orders will ship out on Monday September 23rd.

So come on!!  Place those orders!

Order a few for yourself, for the next-door neighbor, for the friend who needs a pick-me-up, for your kids' teachers.....
Everyone needs a little taste of Fall, and the fact that it is helping one more child find a home
makes it all a little sweeter.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Symphony of LOVE

You know those times when you are so surprised, so overjoyed, that you just can't speak?  Those moments in life that truly take your breath away, humble you and just bring you to your knees?  Well this folks, is one of those moments.
We have been offered a $3700 matching grant!!!!
Yep!  You read that right!  $3700 is being donated by an anonymous angel to help us get Ianto home-  out of the trade school, off of the streets, and into the arms of his new Mom and Dad.  US!
Wow.  I mean really.  WOW.  Such generosity isn't found much anymore. 
And I will say it again, we are truly, deeply, humbled.
To think that someone would be so generous.  Someone who does not even know us.
But it is the love of the orphan that spurs people to move.  To donate.  To help.
But there is MORE folks!!  Can you believe?!?
Our amazing friend Julia has written a post all about it on her blog.  There is something amazing going on, a sweet interlude, a melody being sung, and all of you can play a part.  In her latest blog post entitled September Symphony she explains it all.  You have to go check it out!  It is spectacular!  Truly.
Julia is not only helping us fundraise, but she is helping THREE other families with precious children waiting across the ocean to get to their children as well.  All four of our families have matching grants!!  AND as if that were not enough, four precious orphans with no families yet have been offered $1000 matching grants as well!
I mean really......   How great is OUR GOD!?
SO you ask, what should you do??
It is simple really, go visit JULIA'S BLOG.  For a mere $5 donation to one of the families who are featured and another $5 donation to one of the individual children, you will be entered to win one of the largest collections of amazing prizes I have ever seen!!  An Ipad, an Ipad Mini, a $500 Visa gift card, a Cannon camera..... the list goes on and on! 
Five dollars might not seem like much, but to an adoptive family it is everything.  I can tell you that from prior experience!  And the beauty of it is, it all adds up!  Your $5 gets us one step closer, then another, then another, and before you know it..... all these kids waiting patiently for their Mamas and Papas are HOME!  Right where they belong.
We are so honored that Julia chose our family to be included in this amazing fundraising event.  Every little bit brings us closer to being fully funded. So let's
 get our boy home!
Won't you please help us meet this match?
Do you know how Ah-Mazing that would be to know we are fully funded?!  That the biggest, hugest obstacle of all has been moved out of our way?
All these hearts, full of the goodness of God, coming together in one beautiful melody, helping one another, helping these precious children to get home to their families.  It is beautiful music indeed.
Won't you please choose to be a part of the Symphony? 
And the simply AMAZING thing about it is........... are you ready??
Once our FSP hits $4924.00 the matching grant will be met and will be FULLY FUNDED!  
Yes!  You read that right.  Fully funded.
And, if you would like to read yet another beautiful post that Julia has written about our family and our inclusion in this giveaway go here.
Her loving kindness towards us is truly extraordinary.  We are blessed.
I tell you, when God asks you to step out and adopt, it is big and it is scary.  And the scariest part is always how and where will we get the funds?  But God and His people have provided each and every time, and we see now that this time is no exception.
We are so grateful.