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Do you shop at Amazon.com or know someone who does? Click on the link below, or any Amazon link in this blog, to help us earn Amazon Credit in order to buy therapy equipment! Anything you order off Amazon counts! Please bookmark Madi, Ramya and Deena's link and pass it on... every order helps! http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=missmadi-20

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas

We had an amazing and blessed Christmas this year.  We were very lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that love us, and that we love.  Here's some photos from our special day!



Baking Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies


Spending time with our cousin, Micah



Aunt Angi and Cousin Lauren


Madi and her papa


Spending time with Cousin Nathan


Love this photo of the boys!!


Enjoying time with Grams and Granddad


Us being our typical selves



New fingerless gloves... perfect for zooming!


And some for Conner too, of course :)


Merry Christmas Ramya!  We love you and are preparing our home for you!!


Enjoying Christmas with Grammy and Papa


Our new Christmas gift.... yeah for Craigslist!  It is wheelchair-accessible


Another new gift... a sand and water table that has adjustable heights!



Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Local Spina Bifida Association Christmas Party

We attended the local Spina Bifida Association Christmas party again this year and had a great time!  Madi ran in to a few of her friends, including Owen, who is one of her favorites!!  Santa was there again and the kids had fun sitting on his lap.

Madi and Owen




One thing the Rifton Mobile Stander is great for.... DANCING!





Madi and her buddy Tanner 


Thanks to the local chapter for such a fun day!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Trial Run With Two Needing Medical Care

Kyla, the teen staying with us for a bit, has been having some health problems.  She gets attacks of very intense abdominal pains that leave her in tears and unable to lay down or fully stand.  They have landed her in the hospital twice, and so far, nothing big has been found to be the source of her pain.  She's on a very bland diet and medication to coat her stomach, but so far, nothing is helping. 

While I was in the hospital trying to help Kyla get to the bottom of her pain, my mom and David did an amazing job taking care of the kiddos.  David learned how to cath Madi (though we'll save him doing it for times like this) and even got the kids down for a nap.  My mom came in the morning when David had to get up for work, and did a great job keeping them asleep.  She, of course, did an awesome job playing with them too, but that goes without saying!!

For those of you I owe phone calls and "thank you's" too, I promise, they are coming!  Between this, the flu, and Christmas, there hasn't been much time to catch up, but I'm getting there!  (Sue and Petey.... two of these people are you... you guys are such a blessing to me!!)

Please keep Kyla in your prayers and pray they can get to the bottom of this! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas for Parents of a Child with a Disability

This is stolen from another mighty mom that lives locally, though I'm not sure where it originated.  It's worth the share, though!

♥ The Twelve Days of Christmas ♥
On the first day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a child with a disability.

On the second day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a heart full of love for my child with a disability.
 
On the third day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: an ache in my heart and a heart full of love for my child with a disability.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a tear in my eyes, an ache in my heart and a heart full of love for my child with a disability.

On the fifth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.

On the sixth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.

On the seventh day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a sense of humor, a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.
On the eighth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: supportive friends, a sense of humor, a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.
On the ninth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: remarkable doctors & therapists, supportive friends, a sense of humor, a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.
On the tenth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: an appreciation of small accomplishments, remarkable doctors & therapists, supportive friends, a sense of humor, a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me: a sense of pride, an appreciation of small accomplishments, remarkable doctors & therapists, supportive friends, a sense of humor, a ray of hope, an unsuspected strength for the tear in my eyes and the ache in my heart and my heart full of love for my child with a disability.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the good Lord said to me: Reach out and share your sense of pride, your appreciation of small accomplishments, your remarkable doctors & therapists, your supportive friends, your sense of humor, your ray of hope, your unsuspected strength for the tear in your eyes and the ache in your heart and your heart full of love for your child with a disability.


Monday, December 19, 2011

A Quick Update on Our Day of Surprises

The first surprise we got today was when we took Madi to get her HKFOs adjusted by Ron at Hanger.  He said she had just grown too much and there were too many adjustments, so she is getting new ones.  He casted her right there on the spot!  He's going to change things around a lot to give her less trunk support, but more hip support.  I'm excited to see what he comes up with.  I love that Madi loves Ron.  She gets so excited when she sees him and it makes the visit so much nicer.  He is really an amazing guy.  He was given an award at our local Spina Bifida Association party (more to come on that in another post :)) for a lifetime achievement award because of the many, many lives he has touched.  We love him!  Anyhow, Madi should have her new HKFOs in about 2-3 weeks!  We are going to keep the bottom half of her old pair to use as knee immobilizers at night, since she is supposed to wear those to keep her stretched out but they are a bit of a problem because they always pinch her funny and stuff.  Here she is getting casted...



She did great!  Of course, we had to keep Conner busy, so Ron gave him some scraps of the material they put under the casts so that the casts don't stick.  Luckily Conner is a very bright and creative boy and he got straight to work casting his Bionicle!  Conner gets drug around to a lot of appointments, and I'm thankful that he does so great.  He's such a great little boy!




Our second surprise of the day is that our dossier paperwork here is done and is officially on the way to India.  Well, I shouldn't say our paperwork is done, because it's not ever going to be done (the e-mail containing the information about our dossier came with many more papers to fill out :)), but it is finally on the way to India and that is HUGE!!  Please pray that our paperwork is processed quickly and that we are approved.

Yeah for a great day!

Celebrate with me!!

I have more to post about later, but I just came home to this...

I just wanted to let you know that I sent your completed dossier to Vathsalya today! Congratulations.

Our paperwork is officially on the way to INDIA!!!!  WOOO HOOOO!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sigh.

It's always something!

A few days ago I got a document in the mail from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services department.  The form basically said that they received my I-800A (an application for determination of suitability to adopt a child from a convention country).  The weird thing, though, is that it went to my parent's address.  Huh.  I figured it was an error on their part and assumed they just accidentally sent it to my previous, instead of current, address. 

I called Jessica, our adoption coordinator through WACAP and told her about the error.  She gave me an e-mail address to e-mail the correction to.  Today, after a very long day, I heard back from her.  They said that I had written that address on my application as my address.  Ooops.  I have lived at my parent's house most of my life (my dad built it when I was 3 and I lived there until I got married), and we did live there after we sold our old house before we moved into this one, so I'm not really surprised that I messed up, but obviously that was a dumb mistake.  They say it's "very unusual" for an application to come in with a completely wrong address and told Jessica that basically they are worried we are being dishonest about where we live.  WHAT?!?!!??  Why in the world would we do that?  So now they have to wait to hear back from Oasis, who did our homestudy, to confirm that we do in fact live where we say we do (we do ;)) before they will update our address and continue with the application.

I really hope this mistake doesn't further delay our already delayed paperwork.  It just always seems to be something with us, and this isn't the first time something "very unusual" has popped up.  I guess we are just really special like that!!

Please keep praying for our Ramya, and that we get her home quickly.  Thanks!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last Chance for the Arbonne Fundraiser :)

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY!

I am hosting an online Arbonne Party with a Purpose! Arbonne is a 30 year old Swiss health and wellness company with fantastic vegan products free of Petroleum, Phthalates and Fragrances. Arbonne marries current technology with botanicals to produce products that deliver results. Whether you are interested in skin care or cosmetics for yourself or holiday gifts for friends and family, your purchases will make a difference! Suzi Istvan, Independent Arbonne Consultant, will be donating 25% of all retail sales from this party to help us bring Ramya home! Suzi isn't taking any commission, and is donating all her commission to fundraiser for us! How awesome!! THANK YOU SUZI!

The instructions for ordering are below. Please be sure to e-mail or message me and tell me you ordered, so that your order counts for our fundraiser.


To shop online:

1. Click Here: http://bit.ly/tS7WW8

2. On the bottom right side of the page, use Sponsor's ID number 19689391

3. Register as a "Client" (first choice) and fill out all info on this page.

4. Submit and get shopping!


5. After you've made your purchases, (email, message, FB post- Jamie insert how you want people to get in touch with you here) and let me know you did so Suzi can count your purchase towards this party.


This party will be active this Wednesday 12/7- next Wednesday 12/14. These orders will qualify for ground shipping to be received by Christmas! For gift-giving ideas or product questions, find Suzi on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ArbonneWithSuzi.

Thank you for your support!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Come Read an AMAZING Update!

Our latest goal was $10,500 (I previously said $10,200, but had my numbers wrong) to raise for our adoption.  I paid $3,000 of the bill from money we had saved up from me babysitting three times a week and money we had put aside.  That left $7,500.  At our garage sale we made $1,800, but we also sold a trash compactor that was donated to us on craigslist for an additional $200, making our grand total $2,000.  That brought our money owed down to $5,500.  I posted about my friend Emily's mom donating $200 to us, bringing us down to $5,300.  She also told me the company her mom works for will match her donation, which will bring it down to $5,100.  My friend Monica donated $50, bringing us down to $5,050.  My good friend Mary told us she would be donating $100, bringing our current goal down to $4,950.  And on top of all of this, yesterday I got some completely amazing news......


Someone (whom wishes to remain anonymous) donated $5,000 towards our adoption.  Yes, you read that correctly, $5,000!!!!  We are SO amazed, thankful, and in awe!  What a completely selfless and amazing donation!  Words cannot express how much this donation means to us.  It brought me to tears!

With our recent donation, we have a surplus of $50 on our current goal!!  Praise God!
After this round of bills, we will still have a big chunk to raise, but we are getting closer and closer every day!  We will owe the agency about $4,000 more approximately, will need about $5,000 for a lawyer here in the states (India does not finalize the adoption in-country.  Instead, you finalize after you bring your child home.  It is recommended you get a lawyer for this), and will also need travel money (about $10,000....  $7,500 in airline tickets (since we are bringing the kids), then money for hotel, food, and anything else that comes up).  There may also be a few more fees here and there, but that is the bulk of it. 

Our initial goal was $40,000, and we are already down to needing just half of that!  We are feeling incredibly blessed and thankful for everyone traveling this journey with us.  Your love for Ramya and our family is so touching and we really cannot thank you enough!  We love each and every one of you!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Does it get any cuter than this?

Nope, it doesn't!


P.S. That shirt was David's when he was a little boy!!  Isn't that cool?!?!?!?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Love Arbonne? Join Us for a Fundraiser Just in Time for Christmas!!

I am hosting an online Arbonne Party with a Purpose! Arbonne is a 30 year old Swiss health & wellness company with fantastic vegan products free of Petroleum, Phthalates & Fragrances. Arbonne marries current technology with botanicals to produce products that deliver results. Whether you are interested in skin care or cosmetics for yourself or holiday gifts for friends and family, your purchases will make a difference! Suzi Istvan, Independent Arbonne Consultant, will be donating 25% of all retail sales from this party to

help us bring Ramya home!  Suzi isn't taking any commission, and is donating all her commission to fundraiser for us!  How awesome!!  THANK YOU SUZI!

The instructions for ordering are below.  Please be sure to e-mail or message me and tell me you ordered, so that your order counts for our fundraiser.


To shop online:

1. Click Here: http://bit.ly/tS7WW8

2. On the bottom right side of the page, use Sponsor's ID number 19689391

3. Register as a "Client" (first choice) and fill out all info on this page.

4. Submit and get shopping!

5. After you've made your purchases, (email, message, FB post- Jamie insert how you want people to get in touch with you here) and let me know you did so Suzi can count your purchase towards this party.


This party will be active this Wednesday 12/7- next Wednesday 12/14. These orders will qualify for ground shipping to be received by Christmas! For gift-giving ideas or product questions, find Suzi on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ArbonneWithSuzi.

Thank you for your support!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thankful for His Plan

God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.
-Peter Marshall



When we got the news about Ramya's transfer, we were very disappointed.  We were trying to be optimistic and see that this could be a good thing for her, but we were, quite honestly, feeling very frustrated and bummed about the news.  Then, we picked our heads up and did what we could.  We focused on the garage sale and the money we needed to make to bring her home.  Having our garage sale be so successful was really encouraging and reassuring for us.  The blessings haven't stopped there, though.  Kindness and generosity continues to pour in!  Today we went for a play date at our friend Emily, Dominic, and Mile's house.  We had a blast playing and when we were leaving, Emily gave me a check from her mother.  She has been following our journey and wanted to help us bring Ramya home.  AND, her employer will match her donation!!!  WOW!  We are so thankful for her and her love for Ramya!

When I think about how many people love and care for Ramya already, though they have never met her, it brings tears to my eyes.  Ramya is one special little girl, and every little child deserves to be loved and wanted this much!  We feel so blessed and are so thankful for the love and support Ramya is being given, and for each and every one of you.  THANK YOU!




Saturday, December 3, 2011

And the Grand Total Is......

Just over $1,800 earned at our garage sales on Friday and Saturday!!  YEAH!  We earned just over $1,200 on Friday, then almost $500 today.  I had also forgot to total in a few checks, giving us a grand total of just over $1,800.  We couldn't be happier with how well we did.  This money is going to be a HUGE help with our recent round of adoption bills!

We couldn't have done this without the help of our amazing friends and family.  Those who donated items for our sale, those who baked items for us to sell, those who helped us price and sort, those that helped us run the sales, and of course, those that prayed for us! 

We are also very thankful for my parents, who were there to help price, helped set up both days, helped run the entire sale both days, and brought additional items to sell.  They are always so supportive and helpful, and we couldn't have done it without them!  They are so excited and anxious to bring Ramya home as well, and it's awesome to have such great support behind us!

There was a very good chance of rain on both Friday and Saturday, but we were praying BIG TIME that there would be no rain.  Both days, there were grey clouds and wind, but there was no rain.  On Saturday, we brought everything in after our sale.  About 10 minutes later, it started pouring down rain.  It was crazy!  It was as if God was reminding us that He is in control, and that He has our back :).

I'm also excited to say that this total does not include our two latest donations!  Today, my friend Mary, her husband George, and there adorable kiddos, Alena and Teague, dropped by the sale on their way out of town.  While they were visiting, Mary told us that instead of their usual Christmas donations, they have decided to donate to bring Ramya home instead.  YEAH!!!!  I'm so thankful for their friendship, and their generosity!!  They are always there for us, and it means so much!  I also got a note from my good friend, Sue, who has always been there to support us and somehow always knows just what I need to hear. She is amazing!   She told me she had some furniture to put up for sale and has decided to sell it for a donation to our adoption fund.  Whatever she makes on the furniture will go to help bring Ramya home.  YEAH!!!!  I am so thankful for such amazing friends!!

If you are reading this, and following our journey, thank you for your support!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Garage Sale Update

We had the first day of our garage sale today.  We were PACKED!  We sold most of our big items, and lots more too.  We had some generous and amazing people who gave just to give.  One man bought one bag of cookies and gave us $20.  A group of three women donated an extra $30 and someone put a $20 bill in our cookie money jar as well.  Then, tonight, as I got on to post this, I saw that my friend, Monica, send us an adoption donation as well.  Wow.  I was touched beyond words! 

I just wanted to say a quick "thank you" to those of you who donated items, baked goods, helped us set up, prayed for and with us, and who have been there to support us.  We are so thankful for you!!!

So without further ado.....


Our total today was $1,200 in sales, and that doesn't include the donation from Monica!!!!!!!!! 

We will go at it again tomorrow as well.  We won't have as much big stuff to sell, but we still have lots of great things.  A big thanks again to our village of support!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons....

.... Pray (and cry a little).  That's what we're doing right now, and we'd appreciate it if you would join us (though I don't recommend the crying part.  It's not too fun)!

I got some not-so-great news about Ramya that we are struggling with.  As we knew, Ramya's orphanage is trying to go to only offering domestic adoptions.  After the small amount of children they have now are adopted, the orphanage director is retiring and they are closing their doors to international adoption. 

Because our paperwork is taking so long, they have decided to transfer Ramya to a different orphanage.  The good news is that we can still adopt her. 

Unfortunately, this will, again, delay our paperwork as we will need to modify documents for our dossier.  Additionally, this will be Ramya's 3rd orphanage in her short years of life.  It, once again, severs any attachments she has.  When we do finally get her home, it will probably be hard for her to see it as "home" and not just another place she's transferred to, again.  My little girl just got out of a long hospital stay, where she was alone and probably very scared, and is now getting transferred to a new orphanage where she knows no one.  This breaks my heart.  I'm sure she will feel so sad and alone.  I just want to run and scoop her up and throw her on a plane, but I know they won't let me.  I wish they would send her to us and at least let us foster her until we can get her home, but they won't.  We are powerless to help her right now. 

There is, of course, one huge thing we can do for Ramya.  We can cover her in blankets of prayers.  Please join us tonight as we pray for peace, comfort, and understanding for Ramya.  Pray for a miracle in getting her home to us quickly.

Additionally, tomorrow is our big fundraiser sale.  Please be praying for no rain (I type this as it rains ;)), a great turn-out, and lots of mulah!

Basically, just pray a lot tonight for, and with, us!