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Do you shop at 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!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Team Ramya... I Need Your Photos!

If you have prayed for Ramya, donated items for one of our sales, donated towards our adoption, given time helping us with a fundraiser, purchased a bracelet, or have done anything else to help us bring Ramya home, I need you!  I would love to put together a little photo book of all the people who loved Ramya and helped get her here so that I can share it with her one day.  I know there are TONS of you out there!  If you can please mail me a photo of you with a little letter or note or something like that written to Ramya on the back in permanent marker, I would be forever grateful!  Send an e-mail to (jamie _ lugo @ hotmail . com without the spaces) and I will give you our address.  Or, if you prefer, you can e-mail a photo and a typed little note (don't forget your name :)) and I will print it off myself for her.  Thanks SO much!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What it Means to be a Girl/Woman in India and Insights in to Our Adoption

This is a guest post from my good friend, Amanda, about what it means to be a girl/woman in India.  Thanks SO much Amanda for sharing!!

When Jamie and her family started their journey for adoption, I was amazed – I was in elementary school when I saw some video news magazine show on kids in Romanian orphanages and how desolate their situation was. I grew up poor, I didn’t necessarily know it at that time, but I had a family rich in love. Jamie and her family are doing something great for the girl they’re adopting. My husband is from India and I’ve been there three times and the abject poverty among the poor in this third-world country is overwhelming. I first saw real poverty in Mexico DF while a college student, and to this day, I try to remember what is “real” when it comes to needs. I try not to be overindulgent, but I know I fail miserably at keeping things minimal/necessary for my family.

Jamie’s bringing a new daughter into her family is more than just adding Ramya to her family – she’ll be lifting a girl up from an orphanage which may or may not be loving and giving stability. She’ll know joy and love. She’ll know the caring life for her. Even if Ramya was with her own family, there’s a good chance she’d face poverty, child marriage, abuse and illiteracy. While India has a growing middle class, 50% of girls are married by age 18. Child marriages are illegal but common. While India has multi-national corporations setting up shop (more than just call centers), they have the world’s largest number of illiterates and girls are most likely to be taken out of school and instead do menial jobs. India may be known for non-violence through Gandhi, 55 percent of women suffer violence and every 6 hours a woman is killed or commits suicide. While your doctor or someone in the office is likely Indian, education of the “girl child” is something India is working hard to push for (education of girls is free), but families still see education as a cost rather than something that will better their daughter’s life. While dowry is illegal in India, it is still extremely common.

Here in the US, we had a nanny for a short time who was well educated. Her family had spent their life savings to educate her well enough to go to a good university, so she could marry better. Her husband’s family asked for dowry and the had to give. Now she feels like a burden. She was sending the baby sitting money back to her dad so he could have his medicine that was sustaining his life. She had a daughter but didn’t want to get pregnant again in case it was another daughter. Her husband wanted another child and said he’d accept a boy or girl, but wanted to be able to get pregnant in the US so she could abort if she was pregnant with a girl. I am extremely pro-life and it was hard for me to hear this. Female infanticide is still common in India, even among middle-class city dwellers. Each life is not innocent and protected – instead the burden of poverty, high population and mentality of the worth of women prevents girls from really having a fair chance.

What we see here is a journey for a girl to have a real life. A real chance. A real hope. I admire this family for what they are doing and am in awe of all the support they have had.

Check out Amanda's blog!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our Final Tally

I realized I never came back and updated on our last garage sale day!  That just shows you how behind I am :).  

Saturday was a pretty busy day.  It wasn't quite as busy as Friday, but we had a steady stream of traffic.  We also had some very yummy bake sale items donated (THANK YOU KIM AND EMILY!!!), so we had yummy treats to sell too.  Our total from Saturday was $580, making our grand total $2,332, YEAH!  This puts us OVER our goal!  I'm actually pretty excited to have a small buffer, just in case we end up needing more than I budgeted for with the adoption.  If we end up not needing it, it will give us a little bit extra to put towards her medical bills once we get her here (new AFOs and a walker will be needed ASAP, as well as many appointments with the urologist, neurosurgeon, pediatrician, dentist, and orthopedic surgeon.  We have insurance we will be adding her to, but it's not amazing so big things can add up fast) or other little things that she will need when she gets here (like cloth training pants, clothes, bedding, and all that fun stuff).

Oh, AND, this does not include a $40 check I got Sunday for some items someone had bought and paid for or a check my mom is giving me for items she bought.  It also doesn't include the money from a treadmill that was donated that we are buying ourselves for Madi.  We are paying for it out of Madi's Amazon Associate's account (so a big "thank you" to everyone who purchases using her link!).  Tami, Madi's PT, was VERY excited when she saw the treadmill.  It goes to a very low speed, so we are able to use it with her for therapy.  It will help with circulation, bone density, bowels and bladder, weight-bearing, and all of the other things standing/walking helps with, but will also help with her gait, posture, weight shifting, and endurance, among many other things.  So far Madi loves using it and has used it many times.  I'll post a video here shortly of her using it.

Again I just want to say "thank you" to everyone who donated items, helped us sort through things, helped us run our sales, brought us bake sale goodies, and prayed for us.  You guys are the best!  We love our little (well, actually pretty big!) adoption village :).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feeling So Tremendously Blessed!

Today was day 1 of our 2 day garage sale weekend.  Today we had a HUGE day with tons of traffic.  We still have lots of goodies left, but we sold many of our big items.  I am SO happy to report that after today we are fully funded!!!  We will still do our garage sale tomorrow and our Peter Piper Pizza fundraiser, as our fundraising goal is just an estimate and we could very easily need more (or hopefully less ;)).   We will also have lots of therapy items and medical items (such as a new set of AFOs) to buy Ramya as well, so any extra money will definitely be put to good use.  Anyhow, today we made.....

$1,752!!!!!  WOW!  God is SO good!

When we started our adoption, the idea of needing $35,000 to $40,000 seemed very daunting.  I never stressed about money, though, because I knew that even though that amount of money we needed seemed overwhellming to me, it was nothing to God.  I truly belived that God wouldn't have put Ramya in to our lives without already having a plan to bring her home.  Sure enough, He has taken care of it, and our goal is met!!

We are so thankful for each and every one of you who made this possible.  We really cannot tell you how much we appreciate you! 

Be on the lookout for antoher update tomorrow!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Two Generous and Unexpected Gifts

Have you seen our ticker lately?  We are only $1,000 away from our goal!!  We are SO excited!  On Sunday, we were given a very generous over-payment for some of our garage sale items from some good friends at Church (THANK YOU!).  Today when I went to the mail box, I found a very unexpected $500 check from my amazing Aunt (THANK YOU!).  We are so blown away and touched!  God is working in big ways!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In Leg Warmer Heaven!

Look what arrived at our house today!

New legwarmers, YEAH!!!  We use leg warmers pretty much every day for Madi, especially in the summers here.  We've had most of ours since she was a baby, and considering they are all about three years old, it was time for a new stash.  Hers were getting thinner and dingy, but I have to say, they have lasted amazingly well for how long she has used them and how hard she is on them.  She likes to wear them on her arms, we put them on her legs under her HKFOs, and we put them on her so she can crawl around without scraping up her knees.  We also put kneepads under them sometimes.  It's nice because they protect her legs, but at the same time, they are lightweight and don't make her overheat.  They also look cute with dresses, skirts, and shorts. 

Our legwarmers came from (thank you Sara, we LOVE them!!).  They have an amazing selection, fast shipping, and best of all, the store is owned by the mom of a sweet and adorable little girl with spina bifida, Ruth.  One day I'll have to sit down and post about all of the different brands out there, as well as which ones are our favorites and why, but that's a whole different post :). 

Madi was VERY excited to get new legwarmers, especially when she found out that they were from her buddy Ruth.  She is also excited to get to share them with Ramya.  I asked her if I could take a picture of her with them, and she insisted on picking up and holding every single pair for the picture. 

If you need any legwarmers, babysnazz is having a buy-four-get-one-free promotion.  If you have an older kiddo, they do have some brands that carry bigger kid sizes too! 

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our Latest Blessing and a Madi Update

We have had some amazing blessings lately that I just had to share.  One of our missional communities at Church has decided to target orphans and widows and do mission work in those areas.  Because our adoption falls in that category, they have come beside us to support us in the last stretch of fundraising efforts.  We have a Peter Piper Pizza fundraiser coming up (more details on that soon!) that they are helping us organize and plan, and of course we also have our big garage sale coming up April 20th and 21st.  Last night their group came to help us organize and sort through some of the goodies we have received.  They were a HUGE help, and it was such a blessing for us!  Additionally, a few people bought some of our sale items, and then gave us generous over-payments to help us along.  Thanks to them, our garage is caught up on (until we get more donations in :)) AND we are $71 closer to reaching our goal.  WOOO HOOO! 

We also got a check in the mail from one of my very best friends and her hubby as a donation for two of our fundraising bracelets.  They were very generous and giving, and their thoughtfulness really touched us!  Thanks to them, we are an additional $50 closer to meeting our fundraising goal.  YEAH!  We are SO close now!!

It is such an amazing blessing to have so many loving, caring, and selfless people in our lives.  God has truly blessed us beyond measure!  When times are hard (like they were with Madi in the hospital this last week), their words of encouragement, prayers, and love keep us going strong!  If you are one of these people in our lives, thank you for walking this journey with us and being such a great support.

In other news, we saw the pediatrician today for a follow-up to our hospital stay and Madi's seizure. The doctor said he's pretty sure the seizure was not from the UTI (the urologist also agrees that it most likey was not from that) since she was not symptomatic for the UTI, etc...  He did feel, though, it could have been from the MMR vaccine or from getting hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and basically said there will be no way for us to know for sure which one caused it.  The MMR is a much harder vaccine on the system because the rubella portion contains a live strain.  Of course, they don't have them separately, so the only option is the combo vaccine or not at all.  We won't give her any more MMR vaccines, for obvious reasons, but I am torn on what to do with the other vaccines she really should get before going to India.  Right now our options are not to take her, to give her the remaining 4 vaccines she needs to be covered to go (1 Hep A, 1 DTAP, and 2 polio (spread out by about 6 months each), or go without being fully protected with the ones that are recommended for India travel.  Her pediatrician feels she would do fine with these vaccines since she's had them before (except polio) and none of them are live.  He also feels that, as long as I bring her seizure medication so I can stop it, it would be safe to take her, even if she does end up needing to go in the hosital there.  I'm not convinced yet, though, on doing any more vaccines, and plan to talk it through with our naturopathic doctor about it on Thursday.  I'd hate to leave her behind, but I'd hate to do anything that could cause her long-term issues as well.  Please pray for us as we make this decision.

Unfortunately, when they did the EEG, they saw that she is predispositioned to seizures.  They think that there is a good possibility this could all happen again.  Hopefully it would be few and far between (or never, which I am praying for!!), and not a regular occurrence (which would require seizure medications and extra care).  Either way, they gave me dissolvable tablets I can put in her cheek if she is seizing again so that I can stop the seizure myself.  Please join us in praying that this was a one-time thing and that it won't keep happening.  I did purchase a video baby monitor to put my mind at rest.  I kept going in the room when she was sleeping and made any noise at all, so being able to see her and know that she is safe will give me a lot of necessary piece of mind. 

That's all the updates for now, hopefully we will know more from India and our adoption paperwork soon!!