Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Year at Thanksgiving...

I'm thankful that last year at this time I stumbled upon this website:  http://www.reecesrainbow.com/newsite/  and learned of the plight of orphans with Down syndrome in Eastern Europe, whose destiny, if not adopted by age 4, was to live a greatly shortened life span in a mental institution.

I'm thankful that God had already planted the seeds in my and my husband's hearts to expand our family prior to stumbling upon this website. 

I'm thankful that we kept coming back to this little girl's picture on  Reece's Rainbow and that Josi kept pointing to her and saying, "I want her for my sister."

I'm thankful that God had all along been preparing this man's heart to love and raise not just one, but two daughters with special needs.  (If you're newer to our blog, you need to pause here and read my husband's heartfelt, and only, blog post written while in Ukraine getting Nadia:  http://seeingtheupsideofdown.blogspot.com/2010/06/fathers-love-february-11-1998.html)

I'm thankful that Nadia is now home and is sharing sweet moments like this with the sister who 'picked' her for her own.

But mostly I'm thankful for the opportunity to give this little girl a family and to be used by God in such a tangible way to fulfill one of His many purposes as His hands and feet here on earth. 

I'm especially thankful that this Thanksgiving, Nadia is playing in a pile of leaves instead of rocking back and forth in her crib, pulling her hair and banging her head, which at that time were her only sources of amusement.  

In my moment of reflection on being thankful that Nadia has found her way into our hearts and ours into hers as her forever family, I can't help but grieve for the MILLIONS of orphans who spent their Thanksgiving exactly how Nadia did last year--unloved, stuck in a crib, waiting for a family to step out of their comfort zone and bring them home. We all have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed all of us abundantly.  Is it time for you to step out of your comfort zone and reach out to an orphan in need? Perhaps it's not time to bring one of these children into your family but ALL of us can do something. 

Reece's Rainbow is in the midst of their biggest fundraiser for the year.  Please consider donating to an orphan's fund here http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=angel+tree&x=13&y=18 so that those who want to add another blessing to their family can do so...and so not one more orphan has to spend another Thanksgiving alone.  We are God's hands and feet.  He doesn't NEED us to rescue the orphans but thankfully He allows us the PRIVILEGE to be part His plan for their lives so we too can receive the blessings that come along with what He considers to be "pure and faultless religion". 

James 1:27:  "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

We're Having Way Too Much Fun...

...for me to take the time to do a thought-provoking Thanksgiving Post.

So I'll save the "what I'm thankful for this year" list for my next post.  In the meantime, join in with my family and share a few laughs as you look at these pictures.  We can all use a good laugh right?  And I think the research says that laughing burns more calories than just looking at pictures and smiling. I know I could sure stand to burn off a few extra calories after the past few days of feasting!


I think most of you know that this little one will be at the top of my 'thankful' list when I finally get a chance to write it! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"From Ukraine, With Love"

We're all in Pennsylvania celebrating Thanksgiving with my family but apparently this article showed up in our North Raleigh newspaper this morning.  Enjoy!


Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Anyone else having homemade lasagna like we are? (Crazy Italians that we are!)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Spent Our Weekend...

...Watching soccer,

...Cheering for goals scored,

...Holding babies,

...Sliding down slides,

...Enjoying being outdoors,

...Watching this boy turning into one handsome young man,

...Finding a bonnet that had been missing for 4 months and is Nadia's only tangible tie to her life before us.
Want to know where it was?  In the glove compartment of the boat at our lake place where we haven't been in...you guessed it...4 months! 

That's how we spent our weekend.  How did you spend yours? (Warning: Those of you who are Ohio State Fans may not mention anything about a certain game where you beat a certain team as part of "what you did this weekend"...got it???)  Not that I'm bitter or anything...it's just I already know that part of your weekend so you don't need to mention it. ha ha

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Raising Awareness

Below is a link to the Triangle Down Syndrome Network (TDSN) Newsletter where an article featuring our adoption of Nadia, as well as the adoptions of 2 other cuties with Ds into Raleigh area families, can be found on pages 8 and 9.  I love how God is allowing more and more coverage of Reece's Rainbow and the extremely critical situation of the Eastern European orphans with special needs.  Make sure you check out the cover page to see a picture of Andrea Roberts--the founder and director of Reece's Rainbow.

And in other VERY EXCITING NEWS...JOE PATERNO just won his 400th college football game to add yet another milestone to his infamous career at PENN STATE!!! (He is already the winningest coach in Division I Football).  And to think he'll be turning 84 in December!  Makes me think back to my post about acting your age.  You can read it here if you want to: http://seeingtheupsideofdown.blogspot.com/2010/04/act-your-age.html