Monday, September 27, 2010

Help Rescue Yulia

I have an amazing story to tell you. This little girl is in the same city that Laurel was adopted out of. She has lots of "issues" by the world's standards. The family that visited with her adopted 2 little girls out of the room she was in. These children never get out of their cribs, only to be fed (at lightning quick speed) and never go outside. Toys are few and far between in this room.They are special needs children, forgotten children. However, this amazing mom who visited with her fell in love with her. The Lord has placed this child on her heart to advocate for her. She is forgotten by her world but not by the Creator of this world. Little Yulia desperately needs a family. She will be transferred out of this orphanage and into an institution where there is no hope. She will not live. You see little Yulia has a condition called Cockayne Syndrome which causes premature aging. Her life expectancy is from 4 yrs-20yrs. She needs a special family to come forward who is willing to love her and hold her for this short time she will be on this earth. NO CHILD deserves to die without knowing a Mother and Father's love.

Knowing it will take a special family called by God to love her, this special mom set up a Chip In on her blog to hopefully raise enough funds for the family to have their adoption completely paid for. Well let me tell you the Lord moved in a great way!!! In just 5 days she has raised over $20,000 for this precious angel. I beg you to go to her blog and read the first post on Yulia. The address is www. nogreaterjoymom.blogspot.com . God is using this sweet lady in great ways. She doesn't believe in just sitting on the sidelines cheering. Nope, she's leading the charge. I wish we could all be more like that. There would definately be less orphans in the world. So...... the challenge... pray for sweet Yulia. Pray God would raise up a special family for her, and go to www. reecesrainbow.org for more information on her or to help another precious angel get a family or a grant. What is God telling you to do?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes!!

The first time we met Laurel
Our first day visiting her at the orphanage

"GOTCHA DAY" One year later: We celebrated with McDonald's
which is what helped us make it through the 6 weeks away from home.
Miss Priss at the Zoo for our Gotcha Day Celebration


The Big Brother- He's a working man now

Just look at them changing out those brakes!!


Never in the midst of all insaneness of last year would I have believed we would be doing a "ONE YEAR LATER" post but.... here we are. Sunday officially marked "Gotcha Day" for our family. Laurel and Mike walked out of the orphanage and she walked into a family. She has grown 10 inches and gained 11 1/2 lbs. in just one year!! I can't believe it. She and Noah wear the same size clothes!! So much has happened in that year. She really isn't even the same child. She is confident, loves to laugh, has a strong spirit and is ready to please. Did I put stubborn as a mule sometimes in that list also? :) Laurel is a true joy. I love to watch her soak up new experiences. Noah is the best big brother EVER!! They are really learning the art of communication with a hearing impaired sibling and I am so proud of him. He had to endure a lot of changes in a very short amount of time and he has been a champ.
Laurel Update: Laurel turns 3 on October 12th. SHe will transition from her Early Intervention therapies to therapies through the School System. I will admit I was very hesitant and unsure of what to expect with the school system. We have had 3 meetings with her IEP team and have had a wonderful experience! They truly get her and the issues that we want to address. I praise God for putting this wonderful team of professionals together. About 3 weeks ago Laurel had a full speech/language evaluation and a Cognitive and Developmental evaluation done by the school system to see what services she would be eligible for. Our IEP meeting was yesterday and PRAISE THE LORD from their findings her only delays are speech and language. In fact their exact words were "The sky's the limit for this little girl". She will be receiving Speech/Language Therapy once a week in home and Speech therapy twice a week at a local school. We will also continue our once a week parent session at another organization for Language therapy. So..... back to 4 therapies a week but it seems to be paying off! She won't be going to a preschool yet. We visited the one she is eligible for and it is phenominal but about 45 min. away. Her therapists and all of the team agreed that "she's in the best preschool right now..... HOME!" That was pretty awesome to hear!
Update on Noah: Poor little Noah is having some major teeth issues. He is following in his mother's footsteps of chalky, weak enameled teeth..... compounded by the fact that he LOVES sweets!! Anyway, he's already had one crown (or a gold tooth as he calls it) and will have to have another. Then he'll have about 6 more cavities filled! All this after brushing twice a day. We've now added flossing and a flouride to help prevent this from happening again. He's a trooper I'll tell you. He got a filling and a "gold tooth" all in one sitting. When we left he kept looking at it in the mirror and said... "Mommy, I want a lot of gold teeth!" I replied, well I don't b/c they are about $350 a piece!!
Noah is doing really well with learning his letters. He has become interested in what letters are and what they mean so we are going with it. He has also mastered drawing all sorts of shapes lately. Smart litle boy.
So that's about all in our camp. Busy Busy as usual but still taking time to Praise our Wonderful God who has made all of it possible....... In the words of one of my favorite songs....
"How Great is our God..... Sing with me.... How Great, is our God..... and all will see
How Great, How Great, is our God!






Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BEACH TIME

Laurel seeing the beach for the first time (notice no clothes b/c she fell in)
Noah & Dadat going boogeyboarding
He's so brave!
Baywatch here we come!
Noah learning how to fish from Poppy
Ocracoke Lighthouse- where it all began.
This is where Mike proposed to me over 10 years ago!!
Silly babies!!
video

We went to the beach with Nana & Poppy about a month ago and I am just now posting the pictures. Noah has had a love/hate relationship with the beach but thankfully has really grown to love it. This was Laurel's first experience with the ocean. We weren't sure how she would take it but we haven't found much that she is afraid of. I took the video of her first time seeing God's great creation. I love how she stops halfway and just stands. You can't see it very well in the video but she has her eyes closed and she is just feeling the wind on her face. I love that about her. She relishes every little thing. It made me so happy for her but broke my heart at the same time. She went 2 years never really "feeling" anything. She has just in the last month started to really even act like a silly 2 year old who does goofy things and laughs constantly. It makes me want to rescue them all and give them these wonderful experiences.

Noah loved riding the boogey board. This boy just might be a surfer! He also loves fishing with Poppy. Actually, I think he likes to hear fishing stories from Poppy better than the fishing itself but that will come! He'll keep you laughing, that one.

Anyway, please keep Noah in your prayers as we are working through some Asthma issues. He's been diagnosed and it trying to kick a yucky cough. The nebulizer works some but it hasn't gotten rid of the entire cough. Also, Laurel's IEP meeting it next week. Looking forward to a new chapter in her therapies. Thanks for visiting the blog!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TreeTops















I have taken my sweet time in updating this thing lately and for that I apologize for those out there who actually read this. It hasn't been because I've been lazy but incredibly busy lately.... I know, I know no excuses.. we are ALL busy these days. :) Anyway, first things first.... sweet Madeline from Reeces Rainbow finally has a family!!!!!!! Thank you all who prayed for her family to find her. I can't wait to follow her journey home.


I still haven't put the pictures up of our beach trip a few weeks ago. I couldn't get the video to upload of Laurel's first time at the beach and it was priceless. Even though Noah has been several times, he was just as excited as she was. I promise I'll work on that update.
So, what has been going on in our house you ask? Well, daily therapies continue but are winding down for Laurel. This is her last month of therapies b/c she turns 3 in October and her therapies will be through the school system. Wednesday we had her evaluations for the school system to see what she is eligible for. Right now, I think they are leaning towards a placement in a deaf/hard of hearing preschool which is 4 days a week for about 3 hrs. a day. It is a bit of a drive for us so we aren't sure if we'll take the placement yet. However, if we don't take the placement, she will at least get a speech therapist coming into the home once a week and she'll continue with another speech therapy once a week. So far we have been very pleased with everyone in the school system that we have come in contact with and they seem to really understand our families needs as well as Laurel's needs. They were all so amazed at her progress already! And by the way, she officially weighs more than Noah now by 2 1/2 lbs. (and she's a year younger!). Please pray that the Lord will guide us and the team as we have her IEP meeting in 2 weeks.
As for Mr. Noah. He is doing great. Talking up a storm. Sounds like someone I know... oh that's right... ME! (poor child). He has been in heaven lately because we've had lots of playdates and friends his age over and the boy loves to play. We have been taking walks in the evening and today it was so nice that we went to a local park and hiked. We went about 3 miles which was about 1 mile too much but we all still had fun.
That's about it around here. Summer is winding down and lots of decisions coming up with Laurel but all is well.!! God is so Good.