The Aftermath

Oh Sweet Girl! You would be so excited to know how many people are so happy you are coming home soon! I know it’ll be very overwhelming to have to meet everyone and personally thank them for their prayers and support so I’ll try to get it done before you get home for you!

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The most common statement I’ve gotten in the last 18 hours is, “I’d love to adopt one day!” If you are interested in international special needs adoption of a waiting child, Reece’s Rainbow (reecesrainbow.org) is a fantastic resource. It’s where I found sweet girl and they are the driving force being allowing us to offer you a tax deductible way to contribute to us financially.

The next most common question is, “How can I help?” Honestly, the thing we need the most in this is for you to spread our story and our journey far and wide. Email your co-workers, share the blog on facebook, etc. The thing we need 2nd most is money. It’s a sad reality and one we don’t want to talk about much. We weren’t planning on adding to our family so soon after the girls were born but we’re on the path of following God now. In the last 24 months we’ve gone through a high risk and very expensive pregnancy, a high risk and very expensive birth, a 3 and 5 week stay in the NICU (that costed my insurance more than my house and us personally enough to buy a cheap new car) and to add the icing to the cake, I changed jobs. Yes, this was my choice, but I took a small pay cut to take a job that would require 5-15 fewer hours a week so I could spend that time with my young family. When we made all those financial decisions it was not looking forward that the very next year (or month as the case turned out) we would need to find $50,000 in cash to ransom a Sweet Girl from an orphanage. And $50k in cash, pronto. We are using every available resource to make this process go as fast as possible so she doesn’t spend one single NEEDLESS hour without a family. That costs a little more. Could I have sent some things standard fex-ex and not overnight? Sure, it would have added 2 weeks to our journey just so far though. 14 days of going to sleep without a mommy and daddy, 14 days of not knowing what true love feels like, 14 days of being one of many, 14 days of subpar health care, 14 days without a family.

Have I ever talked about what life is like for an orphan in Eastern Europe? At age 4 with special needs, Sweet Girl is very very very unlikely to ever be adopted by someone in her country. Without the advocacy of Reece’s Rainbow and other sites like it, no one would have even known she existed. She would have turned 18, and been cast out into the street with no support system, no housing, and a small piddly sum of money that would last her less than a few weeks. For Sweet Girl, being female there is a 50% chance she would turn to prostitution. A 40% chance she would be forced to other crime to survive. A more than 50% liklihood she would be homeless and a 10% chance she would commit suicide within one year. Is adoption always the answer at fixing the system? Never. Even if everyone I know adopted one of these children, it wouldn’t fix the system. The change needs to happen at the family level. Prevent teen pregnancy, educate the youth, and support mothers who want to keep their children with special needs. The change hasn’t come fast enough for Sweet Girl though so we are opening our family to her. It will be a huge adjustment for her. I’m ripping her away from her home, her culture, her language, her food, her friends and the only caretakers she’s ever known. But “caretakers” aren’t enough for a child – she needs access to better medical care and a family. This wasn’t a decision we took lightly. If I thought there was a way that she could have a family in her own country, that would have been better for her. The sad reality is that she won’t ever have a family in her own country. So with that, we’re bring her here.

But really, I’m not doing this for her, I’m doing this for me. She doesn’t know I exist, but I’m the one that can’t live without her now.

Anyway, back to how to help. The big things coming up are the Giveaway next week (Prizes include iPad, Kindle Fire, a dozen gift cards, pay it forward chances, homeade goods!) and if you are local to us, we’re having a yard sale in July that we are accepting donations for (we’ve got a truck! we’ll come get them! even if you are embarassed to be giving it away, someone might want it!). Also running constantly are our resale of gently used baby clothes gear (sorry, mostly twin girls since that’s what I’ve got) and soon our Sweet Girl Shop. Something very easy also is donating us your Hilton Honors points. It takes less than 5 minutes and we can use them while in eastern europe or redeem them for airline miles.

You got through the words, here are some pictures to reward you ­čÖé These are the many faces of Cranky┬áin cell phone pics. I’ll work on some of just Happy┬átomorrow, but that child moves so fast it’s hard to catch her. Praying the day comes quickly for me to share photos of Sweet Girl’s many faces too ­čÖé

5 days old
She is so excited to be a little sister and very excited for her pigtails!
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I’m Sorry Sweet Girl & Facebook Official

I’m so sorry Sweet Girl. I got so caught up that I didn’t remember. I have spend the last week doing things I felt were important. I have been so busy doing things I felt were so urgent, that I forgot to remember you. Oh, I think about you all day. You are on my phone background so everytime I look at my phone I see your face. It still makes me catch my breath when I see you on there too! You are the reason that I spend my night when we get home from work blogging, fundraising (well, preparing for fundraisers), researching, facebooking, filling out paperwork, researching flights and on and on. These “things” have started to consume me and they made me forget that you are what is more important. I stopped talking to you, I stopped praying as much for you, I stopped wishing you a good night when we all go to sleep. I got so caught up in bringing you home, that I forgot that you are living a world away from me right now. I promise Sweet Girl, I will remember that the focus here is you and not all this other stuff.

And with that, I want to introduce you to some people. Mama and Daddy made you “facebook official” today. That means that right now, lots of people from our lives, and soon to be your life, are reading this right now. They might be a little confused by what’s going on too. So with that said, facebook, meet Sweet Girl:

Sweet Girl is 4 years old and lives in Eastern Europe. She is soon to be our daughter as we are in the process of adopting her. If you’d like to follow us in this journey, we’d love to have you along. We would also love your support and your prayers. On the right sidebar, you can follow this blog. I will also start sharing new posts on facebook. There are several posts in here already about where we are in the process and some about what led us to Sweet Girl so go back and read if you like. If you have any questions about why adoption, why Sweet Girl, why we aren’t sharing her country or real name, the adoption process, etc, let us know – we’d love to share more – we just aren’t sure what people want to know!
And STAY TUNED, we are launching a HUGE giveaway on Monday 6/4. There will be tons and tons of great prizes and it should be very exciting!