Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's finally time to get our boys!!!

We are finally off to get our boys.  Sorry about the lack of updates!  We waited a long time for our travel date, a little over 8 weeks.  When it finally came, we were given less than 2 weeks notice.  Hey, no complaints here:)
We will be unable to post updates or photos of our trip until after we have court in-country.  This is to protect our boys and our adoption.  We have set up a secret group on Facebook to let friends and family see pictures of the boys and to follow our journey.  Feel free to comment below if you would like to be added. 

Today in church I was given a quote to read during Sunday School. 

 

"Quiet spiritual promptings may not seem as spectacular as visions or angelic visitations, but they are more powerful and lasting and life changing.  The witness of the Holy Ghost makes an impression on the soul that is more significant than anything you can see or hear."  True to the Faith p. 141


It really touched my heart and made me quite emotional.  We are here in this moment, ready to get two sweet little boys because of quiet spiritual promptings.  We have learned so much as a family in the past 9 months.  But the most important thing we have learned is that our Heavenly Father loves all of his children and he desires for them to have families.  He led us to seek out Edik and Justin and to bring them into our family.  We are so very grateful!  And, we are so grateful to all of you who have cheered us on and supported us both financially and with prayers.  Thank you!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Webster Thomas Cross Country Team's 12-hour Relay Run for Edik and Justin

This past weekend, our family got to be in the presence of some amazing young people.  Members of the Webster Thomas High School cross country team spent the majority of their Saturday running! We were humbled by their kindness and willingness to give of themselves for two little boys that they have never met.  They ran from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm through the heat and rain, only stopping briefly to take cover during some thunder and lightning. 

The team's coach, Jim, and his wife Jennifer, adopted a little girl with Down syndrome from Russia 15 months ago.  Jim started this charity event 3 years ago as a way to help raise awareness and funds for waiting children on Reece's Rainbow.  This year, his team chose to run for Edik and Justin.

Our family arrived at about 5:30 pm with Subway sandwiches and chips for the runners.  The sandwiches were very generously donated by our good friends who own a Subway near the high school.  After eating a bag of chips, our kids were given a baton and started running the track.  As you can see in the photos, they also had a great time bouncing around on the high jump mat.

We just can't emphasize enough how great this cross country team is!  It was so apparent that they genuinely enjoy spending time together and that they are good kids who do good things.  These young people were able to raise almost $1,200 for our boys.  Next year, we hope to be able to come and support this awesome cause with Edik and Justin!

All of our kids running the track! 

 Our little runner with a baton.  She ran 5 laps and was still smiling.  Pretty good for a 5 year old!
 
 This guy was mostly interested in the puddles.
 
 But he did make it around the track a few times.
 
Look at her running in those sandals:) 

Go Titans! 

 Our little guy was very excited to have "guys" to hang out with, that's what happens when you have 3 sisters.

 Bare feet!

Frisbee fun to kill the time between runs. 

What a great bunch of kids!!!

What a happy little runner:) 

Still going strong and all smiles! 

This is awesome! 

 
 
 
 Thank you so much Webster Thomas Cross Country Runners!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Introducing Justin

We would like to introduce you to a sweet little boy who is called Justin.  This is a picture of him at around 4 months.  Doesn't he have the most soulful and wise eyes. 

 
This is a more recent picture of Justin.  As you can see, he has grown up quite a bit.  Justin is in the same country and region as Edik.  And . . . we are happy to announce that we are planning to bring Justin home too (along with Edik)!
 
You read that sentence correctly.  (No need to go back up and read it again to make sure that you missed or misinterpreted something.)

Our kids are thrilled!  We are a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of two sweet little boys so we are anxiously trying to prepare and organize all that we can in order to help things run as smoothly as possible when we get them home.  (One good friend, when she found out, just said, "You should do your Christmas shopping now."  We are taking her advice.) 

Little Justin has a very serious heart condition and he will almost surely require surgery when he gets here.  We are praying that his health will be sustained until we can get him home and get the medical care that he so desperately needs. 

The story of how we were led to add Justin to our plans and to our family is very personal for us.  We won't share all of the details, but we want you to know that we feel that Heavenly Father led us specifically to this sweet little boy.  We also want you to know that thru the kindness of others who love Justin too, he already has enough money in his adoption grant for us to bring him home.

That doesn't mean that we have not prayed, fasted and wrestled through many concerns.  Specifically, we have asked, "Would Heavenly Father really want us to adopt two little boys at the same time with Down syndrome who are just one year apart in age?  Are we really prepared enough to do this? How will this affect our other children?  Are we strong enough to take on the added responsibility and the major health issues that Justin will have because of his heart conditions?  Over time, we have come to the conclusion that Heavenly Father loves Justin very much and that He has prepared a way for us to bring him into our family.

We have grown so much during this adoption process. We are continuing to learn and our hearts have been opened to new understanding and new experiences. We are so excited to be given the blessing and opportunity to parent these two precious little souls. We cannot doubt the love that God has for all of his children. He knows each of us individually and He will bless us and our families according to the desires of our hearts and our own personal choices. It is a testimony of His love for his children that he would lead our family on a search for two little souls thousands of miles across the world. We are so grateful to have found our boys.  We know that we can’t do this alone. But, we also know that the Lord will bless us with the power and strength that we need to do what he has asked us to do.  So, with deep breaths and small steps of faith, we move on.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“I have learned a truth that has been repeated so frequently in my life that I have come to know it as an absolute law. It defines the way obedience and service relate to the power of God. When we obey the commandments of the Lord and serve His children unselfishly, the natural consequence is power from God—power to do more than we can do by ourselves. Our insights, our talents, our abilities are expanded because we receive strength and power from the Lord. His power is a fundamental component to establishing a home filled with peace.” ~Richard G. Scott


 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Enduring the Wait

Two families who submitted their paperwork 2 weeks before us, recently received travel dates for the end of July.  If the trend continues, we should receive our dates within the next 2 to 3 weeks and travel sometime in August.  We are excited to find out when we can travel and meet our Edik.  We have set up the crib in his room and are now anxiously waiting to fill it.  Luckily, we still have many things to do to get ready including packing for ourselves and preparing our other kiddos for an extended stay with their grandparents.  It is a blessing to have work to do, otherwise the wait would probably kill is.

Another adoptive mom recently said "I don't know what hurts worse, my aching heart or my empty arms."

The waiting is very difficult, in fact, it is by far the most difficult thing this mom has had to endure.  Hoping, praying, worrying for a child who is already mine in my heart is very, very, hard.  I find myself pausing to pray for our sweet baby many times each day.  I sometimes go into the room he will share with his big brother and hold his teddy bear and rock in the chair where I hope to someday soon sing him to sleep. 

A concerned friend recently asked us if the reason we have had delays in getting Edik was due to a lack of funds.  We were quick to reassure her that that is not the case.  We truly believed we would have him home with us by now or if not home, that we would be travelling in Edik's country by now.  The delays have given us time to raise more money than we would have had otherwise, which is a blessing.  But, if we had to choose between worrying about money and getting Edik more quickly-- of course we would choose our son!!! 

While we endure the waiting we have to be careful to be present for our other four sweet children.  They keep us on our toes and bring so much love into our home.  The are anxiously waiting for their baby brother. 



 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Our Paperwork Was Submitted

This week our paperwork was submitted to Edik's government for review and approval!!!  It has been a long 3 months since our dossier arrived in his country. This now starts what we have been told will be an 8-12 week process before we can travel to meet our son!  Unfortunately, Edik's paperwork isn't finished yet, but our adoption facilitation team expects it to be ready by the time we travel.  They are trying to time our paperwork's approval with the completion of his paperwork.  We will continue to pray for Edik's paperwork to be completed by the time we travel.

One thing that we have learned in this process is that absolutes and predictable outcomes are for wimps (or magical people who live in far away make-believe places).  It helps us to remember the following quote from newspaper columnists Jenkin Lloyd Jones (and later recounted by President Gordon B. Hinckley):  

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .  Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

This week, we are happy to have a beautiful vista as we near another station in our journey to Edik.  Woot . . . Woot . . . . 

We would like to thank everyone for all of their support and help, it means the world to us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dolls for Downs Give Away!

UPDATE:  The Dolls for Downs Fundraiser has been put on hold. We did not receive many entries and are hoping that we can combine this fundraiser to give another family the chance at some fundraising. Details to come soon, but don't worry, those of you who put in entries, they will still count!
 
Our friend Angie is hosting an online give away to benefit Edik!
Here is the link to her blog:
 
Have you seen Dolls for Downs yet?  It was started by a mother of a daughter who has Down syndrome.  The daughter asked her mom "why don't any dolls look like me?"  Her mom then set out on a journey to create dolls that have Down syndrome.  It has been a work in progress for some time now and the dolls are almost ready for production.  The dolls are the same size and quality of American Girl dolls.  You can order them to look like your child.  There are many hair colors and eye colors to choose from.  You can even choose to have your doll have a scar for heart surgery if you would like.  Down the road there will be more clothing options and accessories.  Please visit the website for more information and pictures: http://www.dollsfordowns.org/
  
 
Here are the prizes:
The First place prize is the winners choice of one of the Dolls for Downs dolls.  They winner will get to choose the doll they would like. (Visit www.dollsfordowns.org to see the choices)
 
 
There is also a second place!  The second place winner will receive a beautiful handmade afghan.  See the pics below!

 


Here are the rules:
For every $5 donated to the Braithwaite family's FSP here: http://reecesrainbow.org/51441/sponsorbraithwaite you will get 2 entries to win!  In order for your donation to count, please Forward the Paypal receipt to: simplyvintagefun@gmail.com This way we will know how many entries you have.
 
You can also get 1 entry by posting a link to the fundraiser on your Facebook page or blog but you must remember to come back here and leave a comment that you shared the giveaway.
 
At the end of the give away a winner will be drawn through random.org.  The winner will be notified through this blog and/or through Facebook or through email if they left an email address.