Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))

Welcome!! Grab a cup of coffee and visit with us! We hope you enjoy our story! (((HUGS)))
CLICK ON THE BOYS PICTURE TO READ OUR FAMILY BLOG

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No news

No news. :o(
It's 3:30 here and 11:30 p.m. there.
Maybe tomorrow?
We aren't the only family waiting.
Please pray with us. (((HUGS)))

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My precious Sister in Christ

Would you please pray for my precious Sister in Christ. She is having a difficult time right now. It hurts my heart more than I can say to know this.
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When a Brother or Sister struggles, it is so hard not to be able to physically help them. It's a small world and we are all connected so closely, all of us made by the precious hand of God.
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I know if we pray He will answer her needs for us! Please join me in prayer! She is very important to many many people. She touches others hearts daily.
Thank You!
Praising God! (((HUGS)))

Friday, February 24, 2012

Paul Follower

Pauly is named after my dear friend Pauline and Paul of the New Testament.
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Paul of the NT was a Follower of Christ. Our Pauly is a Follower of Christ too! Our Pauly loves nothing more than to listen to us sing hymns accapella! He rocks with joy!
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It still amazes us that the orphanage staff told us that this little boy "is very serious, does not laugh or smile". Because just from Tom's first visits, Pauly broke out into hysterical happiness! Totally surprising the orphanage!
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This is what I think. I think Pauly never "felt" anyone hold him like Tom held him. I think Pauly knew this was love. And I think he wanted to be loved desperately.
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When Tom and Gabriel took him to the hotel for 5 days before they could come home, Pauly was not happy. He had lost everything he'd ever known.

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And he let Tom and Gabe know all about it! Grunting, grinding his teeth, moaning- loudly! Then he came home and told me all about it! LOL!!
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I wish I knew the day things switched for him. I know it happened gradually. And now he has become that little boy that everyone stereotypes! When they say "Oh! Down Syndrome! Those children are SO HAPPY!!" And we roll our eyes thinking, not really, they are just like us. Some crabby, some happy, some quiet, some shy. But Pauly!!! He IS that HAPPY HAPPY kid who happens to have DS. He IS the smiling cheerful singing love that people imagine with DS. Every single day! Even Gabe wonders how this could be the same boy he was camped out in a hotel for 5 days with, because he was so grumpy! He didn't even smile the whole trip home.
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Even more interesting is that Pauly was aggressive when Tom took him from the orphanage. Pauly tried to attack Julius. Pauly pulled Julius' hair. Julius is the stronger, quicker thinker. So you would have thought Julius would have been aggressive towards Pauly. He wasn't. Now Julius will take advantage of Pauly's good mood. Julius is a thinker and Pauly is a feelings kind of guy! Love those feelings Pauly has!
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Pauly just started vocalizing "words". Tonight it was "YA" (a sound-like in apple) He says it really loud. For some reason both boys think loud is better! LOL! Boy thing? Orphanage thing? Who knows! We think it's o.k. Our Samson who could not hear the first 3 years of his life whispers his words. It drives us crazy!! LOL!
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Oh! the love Pauly gives with his entire chubby little body! He has amazing abdominal muscles, he is the sit up king! He loves to climb bunk bed ladders. But his all over muscle strength is alot of work for him to control! If he's next to me and wants to climb up. he can only shrug his shoulders up! I get the signal right away! :o)
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How can a boy from thousands of miles away, fit into my arms like he's always been here? Like I was just living my life waiting for something, not knowing what it was, and it was him! and Julius! How can people look at us like we've lost our minds when they won't even help one of these precious children find homes by donating supplies, time or money?
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God has overwhelmed us with blessings as we submit our will to His. Our eyes have been opened, we will forever be part of this in any way we can for life. There will come the day we can't go back to BG. But we can support the others as they go! All so little boys can let down their guard to love and be loved and LAUGH all day! Just like Pauly!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Julius Believer

Julius is named after the Centurion, a Roman soldier who was very kind to Paul in Acts 27. Because of Paul he even became a believer in Christ. Our Julius Believer.
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Julius is precious. He's very active when he plays with his sibs, and very calm when he sits with me. Tuesday night the 4 as we call them because they are so close in age, (LOL!!!) went to bed early. They were in trouble. So it was just Julius & Pauly and me.
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I like to crochet and Julius likes to help pull the yarn from the skein, to "help" me. :o)
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Pauly likes to play with Julius, but Julius does not like to play with Pauly. He becomes annoyed by Pauly's autistic behaviors. Which is odd because lately he has been copying a few of them!
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This night Julius suddenly decided instead of "helping" me, he'd grab my crochet hook and make a mess! But I saw him coming and caught him! :o) He turned away from me and did a little cry out of frustration from being caught. But quickly stopped and resumed helping! That was a big milestone for him since he likes to cry for attention. He recovered quickly.
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Pauly went to bed first that night and Julius and I were alone. Julius loves one on one attention, Pauly thinks the more the merrier!! That night Julius did something he's never done before. He laid down next to me on my bed as I was crocheting. He felt my fleece sheet was soft like his blankie. He likes to touch his tongue on his blankie and make little sucking noises when he falls asleep. He started doing that to my sheet. It was the closest thing to him snuggling with me!
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Normally he will lay further from us. He'll just plop himself down. He usually doesn't seek closeness like Pauly. But this night he was closer to me than usual. I could stroke his back and head. He smiled and laughed softly as I did this to let me know he liked it. It's about as affectionate as he likes to be right now.
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After about a half hour it was his bed time. I carried him to bed and lay him down. As I covered him I put his blankie near his mouth. He smiled and resumed his little sucking sounds. He went right to sleep. This was the first time he's ever gone right to sleep since he's been home. It was precious because he now knows the routine and this night he participated in it. He has a home, he has a bed, he has a blankie, he has a mommy, he has a family.
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Every day I thank the Lord for bringing this beautiful boy into our lives. This boy, who is now my precious son. A precious gift from God. Created by God for good. Created to worship God in his own special way. His heart is opening up daily to accept the love of Christ! What joy to see him learn to trust and love! What joy to be his family!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time flies when you are having so much fun!

In one week the boys will have been home 6 whole months!! *shock*!!
Where has all the time gone?
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I made these 2 collages for Bulgaria. The top one is Julius. Top left corner photo is from March 2011. First visit with Dad. The rest from home!
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The bottom collage is Pauly. Top left with Dad 3/11 first visit. The rest from home.

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In 6 months we still see spitting, teeth grinding, and Pauly still bites. But not with the frequency and intensity of September. We encourage Pauly to "chew" on chewie toys. Sometimes he tries to take a bite of us too. But now it's slow enough we can stop him!
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They both used to be very LOUD!! If they were afraid to be out of the house, they hummed and groaned loudly. It was loud enough that we could not hear other people talking to us! Now Julius just has short outbursts of loudness. We think he's using the tone of his voice to get attention. And Pauly is pretty quiet unless he's cranky!
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Julius attempts to "talk", but does not like to mimic or copy sounds and words with us. Pauly doesn't attempt to talk, but he sings! He sings and sings and sings! He is an extraordinarily happy boy. He loves to laugh and be ticked and hugged and kissed. Julius likes affection too, but his trust issues cause him to hold back. Pauly just melts. Even with Pauly's autistic behaviors, he'd rather melt into one of us than do his autistic gestures with his head, hands and feet. Every once in a while Julius lets his guard down and shows us his happy side!
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They both know we are family now. They don't say our names or call us anything, but when they hear our names they know who we are. They don't fear new people as they did before, they seek us instead for comfort.They now love and trust us. And as my sweet Sister in Christ Sonya mentioned in a comment- "love grows". Their love for us grows each day. Oh what joy it brings us all! How did we ever live without them? Our love for them is HUGE!
Our 8,8,9 and 11 year old thank us every day for their brothers. We tell them God sent us these boys/blessings! We thank God!
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Julius still likes to rip and break things. We can now predict what will catch his eye and re-arrange, that helps stop the damage! He fools Dad easily when he grabs things he shouldn't and laughs when he does something naughty! He is a stinker. He doesn't dare do that with Mom! He likes to "pretend" cry when he can't have his way. He'll stop when I tell him no, otherwise he'd cry all day- he thinks he should get his way all of the time!! LOL! (hmmm has he been watching me??? LOL!)
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Pauly doesn't really do anything "naughty" other than drool and spit food. He even spits out foods he likes if he doesn't want to cooperate! He'll drool and slime his toys. One thing he hates is a room temperature wipie on his face to clean off the spit. A wipie near by helps deter him from coating himself and his things with spit and drool.
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The boys tolerate each other much better. No hitting or hair pulling. They sit side by side during church. Julius may take Pauly's toy, but Pauly doesn't seem to mind. Julius does not share his toys, he holds them with an iron grip. During church Pauly loves the singing. We live stream church on our computer because we are miles away from a Church of our faith. The boys sit nice and are quiet for the sermon!
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Too bad they can't tell you how I have improved as a mom since they have accepted me as their mother. Too bad they can't tell you how much I've grown in understanding little boys who come from orphanages! Because I think they would remind me that I had alot of challenges in the beginning with trying to reach them and calm their fears. I wasn't always successful in explaining "why" spitting, grinding teeth and biting was "ishy" and something we shouldn't do! They had to teach me things that I wasn't expecting to learn. Things like it's o.k. if little boys don't like cake or sweet treats. That it's hard to "sleep" at night without making your bed party central when you previously lived with lots of kids! That the way to a little boys heart is sometimes just sitting next to them, without expecting anything from them. And that when they are ready to trust, they'll let me know!
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We've sure come a long way in 6 months! And I'm so glad that they put up with me AND love me too! I just know in the next 6 months we're going to learn lots of more fun stuff about each other!! :o)
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(((HUGS))) to all! :o)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Auction model MA

We just can't tell all of you Thank You enough for making our auction a HUGE success!
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These 3 pictures below are MA modeling three of our contributions to the auction!
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She loved modeling them for the three boys who will soon be a part of her life.
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She likes to ask me "They have DS like I do?" and I tell her "Yes! MA they do! Isn't it wonderful!" and she smiles because she knows no other life and she's loved hers!
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MA was an orphan in a way also. Her mom was killed in a car accident

when she was 4 years old. She went to live in foster care. Life was hard, but she persevered. Thank goodness she at least had good food and a warm home even if others weren't always kind or a mom and a dad.
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For the last 24 years she had had a stable life with us.
Our daughter Grace is her Guardian. MA has known

Grace since she was born and we adopted her in 1990!! MA has birth family that she loves and we respect that.
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She is very much a big part of us too!
God created her perfectly in every way!


Thursday, February 9, 2012

sloppy kisses are the best!


Pauly isn't the best climber. He's a little clumsy and he huffs and puffs as he manipulates his adorable little chubby body climbing onto big brother.
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He's all boy. Wrestling and physical contact are his kind of fun!
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He can't help but express his joy with a nice sloppy kiss.
His kisses are straight from his heart! And his heart is 10x bigger than he is!
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It took a while, but he made it to Isaiah's lips. These two brothers know that real brothers show each other affection!
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These boys know that being brothers is the BEST!
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These boys know that their mom adores them!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

THANK YOU!!

We just ended a very successful auction for Noah, Moses and Jacob at Hidden Treasures.
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You can watch our chip in to the right to see the grand total! (our chip in had $195.00 in it prior to the auction)
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Thank You!! for sharing your LOVE with our boys.
((((HUGS))) and prayers to all of you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our little pack rat! :o)

MA and I are the same age. We are complete opposites in one area of our life right now!
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MA has become a pack rat and I hate to admit it, a hoarder.
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Me, I'm wondering what in the world ever made me think we needed so much stuff! I am donating things left and right. And giving things to any adult child I have who will haul them away. And I'm still not happy. I have too much! I've become a minimalist! ;o) I can't even watch hoarders on TV, they make me nervous, and I want to start throwing more out!
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Most of my stuff is from the 90s. Things I was sure I'd need or crafts I wanted to do. Now they are going out the door as fast as I can bag them up! Most of MA's stuff is from recent shopping trips, the Senior Center (she "borrows their magazines") and"gifts" from her peers!
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This is MA's bed. Every weekend she puts all of her favorite things on it. I don't know how she chooses from all she has! LOL! This takes her hours. When it is "complete" she puts her CD head phones on and sings her favorite songs with her pretend microphone! She stands on that side of the bed so we can't see her from the door way!! It is good for her to stand because she develops clots in her legs easily. She thinks we don't know what she's doing. :o)
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At this time in her life seasonal decorations stay out all year! Christmas stockings still hung in June. No order. I say she's deserves it. This is the time in her life when she can relax. She has worked hard. Each day is a holiday!
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Every night (just about all night long :o) she reads her big Bible story book and her Bible. She underlines alot of her Bible and she copies verses. Her heart is for the Lord! She was one of the first students to attend school in our area, graduating in 1975, the same year as me! But we never saw each other, the SN kids were not mainstreamed. (We moved here when I was 16. In the Mpls./St. Paul school district they were not mainstreamed either.) The nuns here were allowed to come in and teach them everything about Catholicism. (It is a very Catholic town.) MA says long beautiful prayers in her mind. She reminds me daily "I pray for you! and your family." With a big smile on her face!
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I am blessed that MA is in my life!

We buy them freedom


First trip airfare- $1,000.00-$1,500.00
hotel-$550.00- $600.00
VISAs for 3 boys- $1,212.00
airport taxi- $150.00
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2nd trip airfare- $2,000.00-$3,000.00 for Tom and Gabriel
3 boys airfare- $3,000.00
Extra luggage fees- $140.00
Exit physicals- $150.0
hotel- $600.00- $1,000.00
Food for boys and 17 yr old Gabriel ?
parking fee at our airport- $150.00
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Homestudy fee $3,500.00
Program fee- $13,250.00
Incidentals- (apostilling- about $100, I800A $720.00 plus $85.00 x 6 for fingerprints, I800- $720.00 x 2 fee for 2 xtra boys, Dr visits to fill out forms- $1,000.00, UPS-expediting and mailing documents- about $700.00, etc. etc. etc.! :o)
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This all adds up to well over $30,000.00
Didn't we just pay this last year (2011) for Julius & Pauly?
Yes.
Are we crazy to do it twice?(2012)
No.
And Lord willing, are we going to do it again next year (2013) for Belle?
Yes.
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God calls us all. He called us to go. None of us can help these children alone. We are the body of Christ. Some of us help in ways that no one can see. But God sees! Never for one second do we forget all of you who are helping- you are the wind beneath our wings- all of you who pray for our boys and our family, all of you who helped us with our auction and donated to our auction, all of you who donated your hard earned dollars to our family support page, all of you who cared that these 3 little boys gain freedom to live the life God intended for us all. A life where they know God and serve Him. A life where they are freely loved by all of us. (including you!) Never forget that God called us All to help them, to do our part, to love them in any way we could.
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It is beyond a blessing when God calls us all to do our part. Our family can't adopt every child, but we can help many other families bring home more children with mostly our prayers,and if we are able our donations, or money. God doesn't just use one family to do this alone! He calls us all!
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Thank You! For being a HUGE part of our boys and daughter's life!
We LOVE you all!

Monday, February 6, 2012

He's not heavy, he's my brother.

This top picture is Pauly's very typical autistic response to human contact. It overwhelms him, even when it is his choice.
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And then, he relaxes and he LOVES his big brother, and his big brother LOVES him!
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There is no greater joy!


Thank You God!




Saturday, February 4, 2012

PLEASE make sure to vote for us! Please post our link!

Please post this link on FB or anywhere you can think of!
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American Family Insurance is having a contest- could you vote for us please!
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When you click Vote it will tell you to register. The green upper button. It asks a few questions.
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Yes, Tom is going back to EE after our 3 boys come home. He is going back for our daughter. We are all in agreement, we are adopting a little girl! This money would help with her adoption costs. The prize is $10,000.00 before taxes.
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PLEASE! vote for us!
Thank You!
God Bless!