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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!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Fun Adoption Blessing

My friend, Cherie, whom I met on an Arizona adoption site, was throwing a big celebration party for her kiddos.  In leu of gifts, she asked people to bring a donation to our adoption fund.  She knew we met our goal, but wanted to give us a little extra wiggle room and/or a jumpstart on some of the medical things Ramya need once we get her home.  It was a really fun party; we had a blast!  It was an amazing party with jumpers and cotton candy and a clown, and so much more.  A HUGE thank you to Cherie, her family, to everyone who donated to our fund, we really, really appreciate your generosity and support!  Our adoption fund is now $260 larger!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Amazing Story of how the Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy Came to Be

I love this story and just had to pass it on.  A doctor and his family moved across the sea to provide neurosurgical care for those without access to it, and in the process, he invented the endoscopic third ventriculostomy procedure, so cool!!  What a great story!’s-story/

Thursday, June 21, 2012

We Are Happy To Announce...

That we can officially post photos of Ramya!  We are so excited to show off our beautiful little girl!  We haven't yet decided how many photos we want to post, but for now, here's a little teaser...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Free Adoption Book Giveaway

We have an amazingly written book called Motherbridge Love by Barefoot Books that we love.  In celebration of getting our NOC, we are giving away one copy. 

Here's a little about the book:

Cherish the special bond between parent and child with this beautiful, anonymously written poem. Through the exchanges between a little girl and her adoptive parent, this poignant selection celebrates love and family.

Text royalties from this book are donated to Mother Bridge of Love, a charity that reaches out to Chinese children all over the world in order to develop a connection between China and the West, and between adoptive culture and birth culture. Xinran, the acclaimed Chinese author, broadcaster and journalist, is the founder of Mother Bridge of Love.

You can enter by following the steps below. Good luck!

a'>">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hip Hip Hurray! Help Us Celebrate Today!!

I got a call today from Jessica, our adoption coordinator at WACAP, and....

Our NOC is approved!!  We are one step closer to bringing our sweet Ramya home! 

We still have quite a road ahead of us to bring Ramya home, but we are getting closer!  The remaining items that need to be done to get her here is the India court process and applying for (and obtaining) her passport.  The court process can be anywhere from 3-6 months long and the passport process takes another 1-3.  Our best (though unlikely I am told) time frame is 4 months.  On the longer side, it could still take 9.  The good news is that we can now send her gifts and letters, so at least she will know we are here waiting for her and wanting her. 

PLEASE pray that our adoption moves supernaturally fast through the court system at a speed only God can provide!

In other news, Madi's wheelchair is officially adjusted and we have about 2 1/2 months off before we have more appointments.  WOOT!  Today is a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our New HKFOs Are Here!

Today was appointment 1 of 2 this week, and thankfully, after tomorrow's appointment to get Madi's wheelchair adjusted, we are done for THREE months (other than therapy)!  WOOT!  Today we went and picked up Madi's new HKFOs.  Ron Whiteside, at Hanger, worked really hard on them and they look amazing! He finished in record time for her too!  Madi was being a bit of a stinker and not wanting her picture taken, so I'll have to get some better photos tomorrow.  Poor Ron was trying so hard to get her to smile, but she just wasn't having it.  We're so excited to have her HKFOs (aka "up-ups") back!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

LOVE this!

A fellow mom with an amazing little guy with spina bifida wrote this and I love it!  Thanks Joanna Penny, I just had to share!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whew... Only 2 More to Go!

We are almost done with our few weeks of appointments.  It's been a rough few weeks for sure!!  We've seen the orthopedic surgeon, the neurosurgeon, the urologist, the pediatrician, the dentist, and we've had multple tests.  Next week we get to pick up Madi's HKFOs and get her wheelchair adjusted and then we are DONE!  WOOO HOOO!

Conner had to get a spacer put in a spot he had an absessed tooth that had been pulled.  We went in last Thursday at 12:20 pm.  He did great and is very proud of his new silver spacer. 

The poor guy couldn't eat or drink 3 hours before his appointment, though, and was really hungry.  I decided to take him for his first visit to Sonic and he LOVED it.  He sat in the front seat with me and we ate together and talked.  We were there about 45 minutes because he kept deciding he was still hungry and ordering more food :).  I spoiled him and let him get a nasty cherry slush that was probably full of red dye, lots of sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.. YUCK!  He sure loved it, though.  He has decided that every time he has to go to the denstist, he and mommy need to have a Sonic date.  He's such a cute and sweet little boy!

The wait to get in to see the doctors have been long, and it's taken lots of creativity to keep Madi entertained.  Here we are checking Mr. Potato Head's head circumference.  He seems to check out ok ;).

Of course, we tried on his glassess too.

Although the waits stinks, I am very glad that Madi has a team of doctors who spend time with us and really care about her as an individual.  Seen here is Dr. Moss, her neurosurgeon.  He is really an amazing guy and has fought for Madi since before she was born.  He is happy with how Madi (and her shunt) are doing and doesn't need to see her for another year!  He feels her seizure was most likely caused from the MMR vaccine and does not recommend further testing at this point, unless the seizures continue.  I am also happy that he has a special place in his heart for Ramya and is eager for her to come home.  His daughter has two adopted boys from Korea, and he is one proud grandpa!

Madi wasn't too fond of the urodynamics test to see if she still has renal reflux.  She actually did great during the test, but walking in the room and seeing that big machine just did her in.  Poor baby.  She wasn't fond of the wait for that test either.  Lukcily Child Life came with an iPad in tow and she lit up.  She layed completely still for the entire test while she watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  I've decided iPads are the BEST!  I'd love to get one some day!  It would sure make our appointments go smoother!

Today we saw the urologist and we discussed Madi's urodynamic test results.  Madi still has grade 5 renal reflux on the left hand side, which I already knew (I saw it on the screen during the test).  I'm bummed about it, but it is what it is.  He isn't ready to try and correct it yet and wants to watch it a bit longer before doing anything.  He did say her bladder was holding a good amount of liquid and he was very pleased with that.  Yeah!  The wait for urology was actually pretty short, thankfully.  Child life also came back with the iPad to entertain Madi, which made her VERY happy!

We seriously need one of those things!!

I've tried to have lots of fun with the kiddos when we aren't at our appointments.  We've seen movies, gone out to yogurt, gone on treasure hunts, finger painted with pudding, and lots of fun things like that; it seems to help.

(such a goofy little guy)

In other news, Kyla, the ntee we have staying with us for a bit, officially graduated highschool... YEAH!  We are VERY proud!!

We are still waiting to hear back on our NOC and hope to have it soon.  We have our little gifts for Ramya all packed and ready to go.  Once we get our NOC, we can send them off to her.  I can't wait for her to know we are here waiting for her!  My awesome friend, Kimberly, gave me a code for a free shutterfly book, so I made one for her all about our family with lots of pictures in it.  We also are sending some books on adoption, a book about plane flights, some knee pads, leg warmers (her poor knees were so sad looking :(.  Hopefully these will help!) a stuffed animal, a little blanket, and I think that's it for now... Oh, and a photo album.  We only have a set amount of space to send things in, so we have to limit what we send.  There is one thing I know for sure...
That's all for now!  Stay tuned for photos of Madi's new up-ups (HKFOs) next week, and please keep praying for that NOC to go through.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's Up With India?!?!?!

That's the million dollar question today.  If you have the answer, please let me know!  I am so darn frustrated lately!

I am not sure how short I can make this, but I'll try ;).  CARA is the organization that oversees adoptions in India.  I have posted about them in the past, talking about how they were revamping the system and how, because of that, they weren't processing new applications until January.  That was part of our paperwork delay.  They did start taking them again like they said, and I was SO hopeful that meant our adoption could move through quickly.  Wrong.  We are STILL waiting on our NOC (no objection certificate) and can't even go to court to make her ours until we get it.  Even once we get to court, that process could still take 3 to 6 months, then there is the wait for her passport, which is a whole 'nother story.  Some passports have been taking over 3 months to come in.  Sigh.

So what is the hold up this time?  I'm not completely sure, but we think it has to do with a database they are working on.  The plan is for them to get all the available kiddos (or maybe those with special needs, I can't remember) up and going on this site/database that would be used to help match families.  This sounds great, but unfortunately, for us,  it's not.  There is a good chance that children, like Ramya, that have already been matched and have pre-approved families will go up on the site as well.  WACAP is watching the site very, very closely so that they can get kids taken down that already have matches.  They aren't sure if CARA will comply, but they want to try their best.  In the meantime, they are processing NOC's verrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly, all while not using time appropriately by listing kids that already have matches (insert a picture of me banging my head against the wall right here).  I know they are trying to do their best to help all of the children that need families, but for those of us matched and waiting, it just seems... wrong.

I called Jessica, our adoption coordinator at WACAP, and talked with her about the situation.  She's hopeful that we will have an answer by the end of June, but has no grounds for that guess; it's just a guess.  The end of June is still 3 weeks away, though, and feels like an eternity!!  I did ask her if she thought there was a chance they would deny our NOC and she said she didn't think that would happen.  Based on our ages, number of kiddos, experience, etc..., she feels we fall right into exactly what India wants to see from families.  She did say, however, that a family that was preapproved, like ours, and had their NOC denied and now they are trying to fight it, which is delaying their adoption.  Please pray that doesn't happen to us! 

Right now I'm not sure what to hope for, but I am praying we have our little girl home by Christmas.  I am trying to have a good attitude about all of this, and I'm not doing so great.  Every time I walk in the closet and see all of those adorable little dresses sitting there that I bought for her to wear, it just makes me sad.  I want to see her home, wearing them.  I want to hold her and kiss her and love on her.  At a very minimum, I want her to know we are here waiting and longing for her.  I do understand, though, that this time to her feels very differently than it does to us.  I also understand God has a purpose in all of this.  I know that one day I will look back and this will all make sense.  I just hope that day comes soon :).

So what can you do?  Pray.  Pray that God will protect her physically, psychologically, emotionally, etc...  while she is in the orphanage and for her health.  Pray that we can bring her home by Christmas and that we receive our NOC quickly, with no glitches.  Pray for strength and peace for us as we wait.  So, basically, PRAY!  I know God is listening!

Thank you for walking our journey with us, and for always being there for us.  We are so thankful for our "village".

Isaiah 40:31

 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Little Giveaway, Take 2!

Congrats Analisa!

Pick the WinnersAnnouncing...

Here's my second little giveaway for the night (I'm sure I'll find more soon!).  This is a new, in the package, pair of girly newborn Babylegs.  You guys all know how much we love our Babylegs!!  Here's a picture of what they look like:

Follow the directions blow to enter the giveaway.  Good luck!

a'>">a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Little Giveaway Take 1


In my effort to declutter, I found this adorable little hand-made felt pizza playfood that I bought for my kiddos a few years back.  Unfortunately, they like the wooden Melissa and Doug one we got free much better (go figure!!).  This cute little pizza is in need of a good home, so I thought I'd give it away on the blog for fun.  Here's a picture of it...

Just as a warning, we do have a dog and a cat, so I can't promise there won't be stray hairs on it.  If you win, I will cover shipping, so it is just totally free!  Follow the directions below to enter :).

a'>">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Awesome Shirt with a Purpose

My wonderful friend, Kimbery and her family are hosting an orphan in their home this summer through a program called New Horizons for Children.  Not only are they taking in a boy named Sasha for the summer so that he can see and know the love of a family,but they are also working very hard to get him medical treatment (and maybe even a forever family!!!) while he is here.  Sasha has spina bifida and is in a foster home with 14 other children.  Though his foster mom loves and cares for him, she is unable to get him the medical help he needs. The Dill family has been faithfully fundraising to bring him home and also has been working on finding him free or reduced medical care.  You can help Kimberly, Sasha, and the rest of the Dill family by purchasing a "That's How I Roll" shirt or by donating at  I got a shirt for Madi and I and they are seriously AWESOME!  We love ours!  Here are ours in action:

For each shirt you buy, $10 goes towards helping Sasha get the care he so desperately needs.  You can purchase your shirts by going to  If you don't want or a need a shirt, even donating $5 would help get Sasha here to the US and in to the Dill family.  Here is the link for donations:

Please be praying that Sasha can get the care he needs while he is here and, more importantly, please be praying that he will find his forever family.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Yummy Gluten and Dairy Free Cake Pop Recipe (and a Regular Recipe too!)

Last week we decided to tackle making cake pops for the first time ever.  We may never make them again (they are a bit time consuming) but they were really yummy and fun to make.  Here's what we did...

1) Get a box of cake mix and make it just like the box tells you to . We used a gluten-free cake mix, but if you don't need gluten-free, just use regular obviously.  I used chocolate, but in hindsight, would have used something like vanilla, as we also used a chocolate coating and it was VERY chocolatey!

2) After the cake comes out of the oven and cools a bit, crumble it.  We smashed it with a masher, but you could use a food processor as well. 

3) Make a recipe of icing, or you can use half a can of icing from the store.  We made our icing using vegan butter (earth balance soy-free version), gluten-free vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Cream-cheese icing (or mock cream cheese icing, like the one I use for my GFCF carrot cake) would be super yummy too!  Here's the recipe we used (it is from the Bakerella cookbook):
  • 3/4 cup butter at room temperature (dairy-free if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (gluten-free if needed)
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar

4)   Get a package of oreo-type cookies (we used gluten and dairy free obviously) and smash the heck out of them.  Then add them to your frosting.  I didn't use the whole bag full, but could have and probably would next time.

5) Add in your cake as well, and mix it all really well.  Next, roll the mixture in to balls and place them on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.  Refrigerate them for at least 1 hour, but a few hours is better.

6) Before you take them out of the fridge, melt either GFDF chocolate chips or those melting candy wafer thingies that you get form Michaels in a double broiler.  You will probably need 2 bags of whatever you choose.  Or, you can do half and half, like we did, if you are making them for a crowd and don't need them all to be GFCF.  If you are using the chocolate chips, add in a little (maybe a tablespoon or so) of vegetable shortening as well.  Get lollipop sticks from Michaels and, one at a time, dip it in your chocolate and then insert the stick in to a cake ball.  It works best if you take a few balls out of the fridge at a time, versus the whole tray, so that they don't start warming up too much.

7)  Put the pops back in the fridge for at least an hour again, though a few hours works better.  After they have cooled again, re-melt your chocolate or wafer thingies in your double broiler again.  Or, if you are like me and don't have a double broiler, just rig one up. 

8) Take the pops out a few at a time and dip them in the chocolate or in the wafer thingies.  You can decorate them if you would like.  My awesome Aunt sends us amazing sprinkles, so we went to town and decked them out.  Next, prop them up in Styrofoam or a cup to dry.  After they are dry, put them back in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.

These freeze really well and work great if you have someone on the GFCF diet that needs the occasional treat or a substitute treat at parties.  We bagged a bunch and froze them for future use.