Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An update of the happenings of TODAY!!!

Today has been SUPER busy!!!  I was cooking for almost eight hours making food to put in the fridge so i have half the work done for future meals that are coming up!  I even used a few of my Bulgarian spices!!!  OH MY GOODNESS!!! SO good!!!  Made me think of Ethan and Bulgaria a LOT!!!  Praying for him, for Toni-our attorney, for our bed and breakfast friend who i was wishing was here to help me know how to cook something other then my just using the spices (oh how i would love to have her here to talk to and cook with!;)

Wanted to give those of you who don't use FB an update because it has been an exciting day!!!
Throughout the time since i last wrote this morning until about 4pm, the amount in Ethan's adoption grant was growing QUICKLY!!!  OH MY!!!  SO MUCH FUN!!!  Victoria, myself, or one of the girls....any one of us would check and see every once in awhile and we'd be so excited because it seemed that every time we would look the number would have gone up....sometimes by a HUNDRED and sometimes by TWENTY!!!  (we have no idea if it was ten people giving $10 or what) IT WAS THRILLING!
We have had ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FIVE DOLLARS left on Ethan's adoption fees since 4pm.
We have saved money for this final adoption fee check to be written, plus we have the money that people donated while the etsy shop fund raiser was happening and then today and the etsy fund raiser itself....and that is all that is left....$145 !!!

We just need TEN people to be able to donate $15 or FIVE people to give $30 or whatever way that it can happen....we are just so close.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for your generosity in helping Ethan COME HOME!!! ( PLEASE keep praying for our family!  Several of us started in again with drippy noses and sore throats this afternoon)
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew!

LEAP DAY......

An extra day to give:)  THAT is what i read on a FB POST :)  We would be SO thrilled to be able to pay all of our adoption FEES off  TODAY!!!  Do you think that it could happen?  WELL, i was giving us until the end of the week but within just hours last night of posting the last blog that i wrote....$240 came in and i have no idea in what increments but it came in within HOURS!!!
SO....i saw that post and thought that we could let you know that we are only needing $560 for our final adoption fees!!!!!!  It is LEAP DAY so an extra day to give??? 10 people giving $50? 2 giving $30?  Could a dozen people help us today?  OR 20 people give $28????
The only thing that would be left to pay for/raise money for would be our last trip!!!  Seeing this coming down to the end is just amazing!!! Praying that THAT part won't be a long way off!!!
Will you PLEASE PRAY...right now for our family?  Will you DO WHAT YOU CAN???  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What our eleven year old said that changed others hearts...

I wanted to tell this story as soon as our friend's etsy sale was done but even though it is later than i wanted....i AM getting to it!

I don't know if you all went to the etsy shop but i pray that you did because her etsy shop  "shotsibaby" is incredible!  Anyway, when i wrote one of my blogs at the end of the sale i saw that there were donations that had been made by other people...more people than just Krista, Krista's daughter, her mother and our friend Angel.  One of those items that was not made by these people was not selling.  I had noticed it but didn't say anything until our eleven year old spoke up in the last hours and said what i had thought all along.  Here.....

Our precious Catherine (11 year old) was helping me with finding hair bows for Grandma to give to Sophina when she said, "Oh Mom, i would feel so bad if i was the one who made those and no one bought them. I am sure that they worked hard on them and then to not have anyone buy them, i would be so sad."
Anyone want to make an 11 year old heart glad? For $18 you can buy them all!  (i did have the picture of the doll here but it isn't working so i will describe is a picture of a doll that is made out of a brown fabric, it is VERY simple with a black marker used for putting on a face.  It reminds me of an old rag doll.  Some have a tiny bow on the head or a piece of cloth on the bottom.  The arms and legs and body are just from the cloth being tied into knots.  VERY simple dolls.)

Within minutes i had responses.....two were almost immediate....." I just bought 2. They kind of remind me of orphan dolls. On the outside they might not look that special, but they have a lot of heart in them, and they're just waiting for someone to love them :)  I'm sad I didn't see their value the first time I ordered. I'm just glad I saw it before it was too late."

And then another friend said that she would buy ALL of them so that we could take them to the kids at our Ethan's orphanage......SOLD within minutes!!!  We now have FIFTEEN dolls to go to the orphanage with us!

Our daughters are having a heart for those who are hurting, for OTHERS
outside of our walls, for people who aren't like everyone else and i am so proud of them for having those hearts!  Ladies who write blogs about your children....if you see a MN address coming across your is probably our Victoria keeping up with what is going on with your adoption. She is 13 yrs old and LOVES keeping us up to date on all of you!  She lets us know when someone is in great need or someone has come home or all of the things that we write about on our blogs!  Then we have a daughter who is begging to come with to get Ethan so she can get the best photos of what life is like, of Ethan, of his leaving his orphanage...of his coming HOME!  We have another who has a husband who both have said that they are open to adopting children!  They haven't even been married a year and have had this discussion.
I am so very thankful for the road that God has brought us down through the gift of our precious Sophina!

Update on her...she is almost done with her antibiotics and is doing better.  We started feeding her through the mouth on Saturday afternoon (two days short of two full weeks being fed through the tube) and the first feeding was with our new was AMAZING....and the next feeding with our family doing it.... AMAZING.... and the next and then the next...etc..... There are VERY few people on this earth who understand what a miracle this was!!!  HUGE!!!  Last night, the fight started up again.  What is hard is not knowing if she is just not growing right now and is NOT hungry or if it is a eating battle!  We used to have to have music on or read a book or do a regular 'dance and party show' to try to get her to drink and eat!  THEN that didn't work so then Ally would use her phone to keep her occupied and then she was the only one who could feed her her was horrible!  I REFUSE TO GO BACK TO THAT!!!  SO, last night through all of today's feedings were HORRIBLE! Right back to the old days of REFUSING to eat!  I had never experienced anything like it with our other four daughters...but she just despises eating, drinking is right next to it!  SO prayer is still needed in this area as it is a HUGE TIME-CONSUMING ORDEAL that is EXCRUCIATINGLY exhausting!!!  No way to have you understand unless you have done it.

Another prayer request that is tied in with a praise is that we have had TWO people donate $100 this week!!!!!  That means that we are SO CLOSE to being able to write out our LAST of our adoption fees!!! THEN all we have to raise is our last two and one-half airplane tickets, hotel and food costs!!!  WE ARE SO CLOSE TO FINISHING the fees part!!!  We only need $800 to finish our adoption fees because of these two people and others who gave on our blog RR donation spot (which is tax deductible), our friend's etsy shop fund raiser and our savings (that we have been saving for this last fee during this time).  I am praying that the $800 can come in THIS WEEK so we can write out our check!!!  

We would love it if EIGHT people would give $100!!! OR if SIXTEEN people giving $50 or THIRTY-TWO people giving $25!!!  PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN!!!  PLEASE continue to pray for our family---for our Ethan in his country and us here, for our finances,  for our health, for transition when Ethan comes,  for preparing for his arrival, for Sophina's eating,  and for this $800 to come in THIS WEEK!  We are ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew

Thursday, February 23, 2012

the week that came before the incredible night that rocked Ethan's world

Oh my goodness! There was so much that happened this past week! I want to tell you that our life is always an adventure.  Sorry that this is so long and "choppy" as i wrote this throughout the day as Catia did her Science, Vika did her math or while i ate my breakfast and then lunch and then tried to finish it while Sophina slept.
One more thank you first though....
SO many people were willing to SHARE our friend's etsy shop fund raiser on their FB walls and i was SO very grateful! SOME who aren't used to sharing such things as fund raisers for adoptions and some who are like me (you know the type....ones who will give you a new story EVERY DAY of why we need to be involved in praying, encouraging, giving and adopting) and do you know what was amazing?  MOST of those people who SHARED it on their walls had at least ONE person who went and looked at the shop!  SHARING this fund raiser was one of the greatest gifts of the whole week SO IF YOU did....THANK YOU!!!!!!

Before the afternoon of Ethan's birthday (was that just yesterday????) I need to tell you that the past week had NOT been one of my favorites overall.  I will tell you why.  Our family has been sick and while it is no big deal that Scott, Victoria and Alexandra have a cold, other than the fact that they are miserable; it IS a big deal when our Sophina gets sick.  When i wrote about my being able to sing two Sundays ago and how our Ally took care of Sophina so i could sing and then Sophina would NOT eat OR drink.  It may have been the beginning of her feeling ill. That day was the last day that Sophina got fed through the mouth.  She has been tube fed ever since.

For those of you who do not know it, our Sophina has a GI tube and she was fed through it for MANY MANY MANY months...was it two years even?  That Sunday that i got to sing i felt that the next day we were going to be introducing the next stage of food to her and i was thrilled that we were FINALLY at this point! is a VERY hard thing to know that this could set us back again...BIG time OR it could just be a bump in the road. She STILL is not at a stage of being able to eat through the mouth as i write this. PLEASE PRAY for this simple function that MOST of your children do that is taken for granted (as i did with our other four) that is NOT taken for granted with our Sophina.  SO Sophina was very sick and finally on the night before Ethan's 3rd birthday, we had to take her in to Express care where we found out that she had the beginning stages of pneumonia. When we got home from Express Care i found out that our Catherine was NOT well at all either! It was me alone that was well and the next day was Ethan's birthday.

I have to tell you that i stayed up late that night....and looked through the pictures of WAS his birthday at that time halfway around the world.  I wondered if they even celebrated.  I wondered if he even knew.  I wondered if i there would be a picture.  I wondered if he woke up early because it was his birthday.  The next morning, i was working on pleading for help on FB from friends.  I KNEW that the day was going to be devoted to the fund raiser and i was right.  BUT in the middle of the morning there was  a group of FIVE ladies sitting on our couches and on the floor with three of our girls, our PCA (new one-wooohooooo!!!!!) Becky, and myself.  They were there to assess our Sophina.  I don't know what i thought was going to happen but i was NOT prepared.   I wish that i would have been.

(OK, REMEMBER the week that i had had before this.....several sick children with one of them in NOT great shape at all, Ethan's THIRD birthday in an orphanage!!! and not with me and no signing of papers coming in the near future it seemed as all seems to be at a standstill for those before us) (OH and i also forgot to tell you that our Ally let me know that i had "more laundry to do because last night when we got home, i found a bunch of water in the basement that Victoria and i cleaned up as we knew that it was not something that you needed to know last night)

SO....i come in thinking that they all know and adore our daughter and see all that we see and instead was told.... 'i really can't understand what she is saying unless you tell me'....she doesn't say her words clearly'..."she really needs to get out more"..."she needs to go outside and learn to walk on different kinds of ground"...."she doesn't have as much strength as we would like to see in her core"...and much more all cushioned in around 'she has great expressions'....'she copies you all in your tones'...'she is doing better at...' I then was shown on a sheet of paper where she was at when compared to "typical children"...six months for feeding.....18-21 months for this....18-24 months for that so rounded out she is about at an 18 month old!!!  (she is 35+ months old)WHY did i let this bother me so!?!?!  It didn't bother me BEFORE i saw it on paper!!!  But the longer it went through my head, the more it bothered me!  ( HELLO!?!?!?!  Did you not just hear that she has pneumonia?  THAT is why i don't have her in nursery being with children her own age....EVERY single time she goes out and there is someone with even a sniffle OR someone comes in sick...she gets like ....THIS!  YES, she gets out BUT not in a nursery or at our home school group nursery.... the kids have colds and i would NEVER be able to do anything but bring her there then have her be sick then do it again! We already have her sick ENOUGH!  OUTSIDE??? Well, her fingers turn grey after being outside for ten minutes in FORTY degree weather (which, by the way, is WARM for MN)...her hands and feet will ALWAYS be this way!  They told me at Children's that she will not be able to be out in extreme cold or hot or humid temps...hmmmm....MN is not her friend.  We can't understand her....she needs to be stretched more.....are you kidding me???  Each of the girls read her 10 board books a day and i read her at least that much but closer to twenty!  DOES ANYONE ELSE REALIZE THAT YOU ARE COMPARING HER TO A TYPICAL CHILD?

I wanted our son HOME for his birthday!!! (shocking me but it made my eyes water just writing it now)  I wanted our other children WELL!!!  I wanted a house that did not leak!!! (WHY was it leaking in the middle of February anyway!!!!)  I wanted our adoption grant to grow!!!  I wanted to be assured that our Sophina would be ok and would not die like i have seen so many do this past year!!!  I just wanted her to EAT!!!  I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE HER SWEET SPIRIT...(tears are flowing) I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE HER PRECIOUS GIGGLE ...I WANTED THEM TO SEE HER THE WAY HER MOMMY SEES HER!!! It was ripping my heart out! (tears are still flowing)

 I lost faith that the $1500 that i had prayed for was going to come in.  It was 2pm on the last day and we were at $1000!  My spirits were SO low!!!  My heart was aching for Ethan...for his smell, his giggle, his deep laugh, those dimples, to kiss him, to hold him, to wish him a Happy Birthday!!!  To KNOW that we were going to be able to bring him home SOON!  I had SO wanted to have him home by THIS day (yesterday) AND i could not believe how much THIS FACT was affecting me too!  It was all so much!!!

I finally just decided to get to work in asking my friends to SHARE about our friend's fund raiser and people responded....slowly at first.  I felt weird asking for help for OUR son this time.  I had not been afraid to share OTHER peoples' adoption needs but this was different.  YET, i SO wanted to bring Ethan home if the MOJ started signing papers and we weren't able to go yet...oh my!  SO i did what i had done for Constance last year EVERY DAY...i asked MANY people for help in the last hours and people responded more and more!  Pretty soon i was just so busy that i couldn't even keep up with answering questions and asking more to SHARE! THEN GOD ROCKED MY WORLD by MANY responding!  LATE last night the result of those people saying yes....the money that i had prayed for had come in.  That money brought us even closer to the needed $5250 that we are needing to write for the LAST adoption fees!!!

SO....that was where i was at until the last hours of the fund raiser when you all ROCKED MY WORLD because you rocked our son's future! As usual, we are ALWAYS BLESSED!!! Connie for the crew!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lord God, grow my faith!

This past week, the most extravagant gift of sacrifice that i have ever seen with my eyes happened, on our son's behalf! You can read it in our last post......seriously, if you don't know what has happened in this past week....stop and read the last post THEN come back for the 'rest of the story'.

I didn't tell anyone how much i had prayed for the etsy shop fund raiser to raise. I KNEW it was going to happen. THEN i wavered LATE last night!  I wondered if it could REALLY happen! I ALSO was completely overwhelmed with the fact that what i was really asking for was for these friends of mine to donate THAT much money THEMSELVES!   THIS, after they had paid for the materials and put in the was a lot of money that they had invested -have you looked at the cost of fabric lately????? Then there are different colored threads, needles, bobbins, upkeep, and i don't really know what else! I can guarantee though that it is NOT cheap!!!  I then didn't WANT them to give us THAT rude to be praying for that much! I was assaulted with doubt!  I had prayed that this etsy fund raiser would raise $1500!!!  Last night...well, this 'morning' we were right around $1000. THAT took SIX DAYS!!!

Krista's attitude is... the most selfless attitude i have ever met.  I know a lot of people that have other qualities that are "the most that i have ever met" but if you were to ask me who was SELFLESS - she would be the one that would come to mind!  WHY?  She doesn't make this a big deal at all!!!  She is not acting like i now 'owe' her or anything else. She is humble.  She was kind to EVERYONE who wrote her with questions and she did SO MUCH above and beyond what was even in her store!!!  She is not one who is going to look for a pat on the back but i am praying that you will let her know how grateful you are for what she did.  Also, will you PLEASE PRAY for her business to be blessed one hundred fold!? Yep, one hundred fold!  I am praying that she will be covered in blessings with her business!

There were others who gave GENEROUSLY too....Angel Larson is the one who donated ALL of those beautiful hair clips...yep, Grandma Lindquist made sure that Sophina will be sporting some beautiful ones!!!  Another mother who is using her talents and her time and her resources for the cause of the orphan.  These ladies LOVE the orphan and are in charge of our orphan ministry at our church!  Calvary Community Church is learning to love orphans because these women have taken ACTION!
THEN early this morning, i saw that there were even MORE people who had given...some that i don't even know who it was! SO GRATEFUL!!!

THOSE OF YOU WHO PRAYED!!!!!  OH MY!!!  Thank you!!!  Do you believe in the power of prayer to Jesus Christ our Lord?  Well, do you believe that Jesus Christ is mighty?  The prayers of the righteous......thank you to those of you who stopped what you were doing and took time to PRAY.... Dear God, i pray for this....... THANK YOU!!!  May i tell you that i CRAVE knowing that there are people who are REALLY PRAYING DAILY for our Ethan, our family, our transition that is coming, our finances that are needed, our HOPE to be kept, our encouragement to continue, etc..... How i value that gift!!! THANK YOU

Those of you who were BOLD and shared it on your FB posts! MANY were not able to, yet many of you did AND when you DID---OH MY!!! People bought!!! They saw the incredible prices and the adorable items that were there and they LOVED the shop!  I pray that they will continue to SHOP there!!! SO many of you shared very grateful!

Those of you who bought....oh my goodness! Especially TODAY!!!  WOW!!! Thank you so much! Thank you for getting excited and loving the items! Thank you for talking with me or with Krista! THANK YOU!!!

BUT God......who is rich in his mercy toward sinners....of which i am definitely one!!!  BUT God... who loves with an everlasting love...even when i disobey and come back AGAIN...HE FORGIVES!!!  BUT God...who amazes me with his extravagant husband, our children.... including our son and son-in-law even when i doubt of His faithfulness....he shocks me with His grace and adds a cherry on the top just because....He loves me!  Jesus' sacrifice for me blows my mind!  His generosity is amazing!

He was amazing! My friends and their families were amazing!  You all were amazing who prayed, SHARED, gave and were INVOLVED!!! Do you want to know what happened?
Did we make the amount that i had prayed for?

Krista's etsy shop raised $1558.97!!!!!  GOD ROCKS as He lead people to give and YOU guys ROCK as you obeyed!!!
We also had people giving to our tax deductible Reece's Rainbow grant fund for Ethan this week and that was $216!!!  For a total of $1774.97!!!  We are ever closer to reaching our $5250!!!  Those are our last adoption fees that need to be paid!!!  We are SO absolutely thrilled with the help that this week has been for our Ethan!  I will be checking to see how close we are to being able to write out a check.
(i don't like it that i have to explain this but i do....the total amount that is in our RR grant that is showing right now is NOT correct.  They sent us the grant money that we had in it when we went on our first trip...BUT it does NOT get taken off of the total that is showing. Ethan really only has $846 in his total grant right now.  SO....the total is $2404.97 that has been raised!  We need to write out a check ASAP for $5250....i am praying that it will be under two weeks!!!

PLEASE #2 Tell Krista, her children, her mother, Angel and the others...THANK YOU!!!
PLEASE#4 Pray for our Ethan to stay safe, the MOJ to sign papers, for our family's transition!!!
PLEASE#5 Pray for our needed funds to cover our $5250 adoption fees will be raised SOON!!!
PLEASE#6 THANK GOD for what has ALREADY happened!!!
We are ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie (Ethan's mommy)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ethan's Birthday...his third in an orphanage

Our sweet boy is having another birthday in an orphanage! UGH! My heart! He may not even know that it IS his birthday....but his Mommy does :(  I see him.....feel him in my arms....smell him....hear his amazing laugh and my eyes arms nose and ears ache to have our son HOME!!!

This past week the most extravagant gift that i have ever been given outside of God's gifts to being given.  Krista, her children and her mother along with our friend Angel are donating not only their PRECIOUS TIME (BOTH of them are mothers of young children so TIME is almost worth more than money) BUT they also then are giving all of the items that they had worked on.... AWAY.... completely giving the money from it to our Ethan's adoption tonight!!! Keeping nothing for themselves!!!

I helped promote the sale that they did for Constance last year....a LOT, but even with all of my promoting i still didn't FULLY 'get it'!!! THEY GAVE IT ALL .....ALL of their profit!!! Not only one Constance but now this week they are giving it to Ethan! Do YOU 'get it'????  Have you taken TIME in these six+ days of the fund raiser to think about what they have done and ARE DOING TODAY!!??? (the etsy sale ends TONIGHT at 9pm) I am asking that you DO take time right now....on Ethan's birthday! I want to give that extravagantly!

I was praying for $1500 to come in this week and i am almost sure that the $1000 has come in in the six days of their etsy shop sales!  BLOWS MY MIND!!!  I STILL believe that the $500 will come into Ethan's account!

We have to write out a check for $5250 ASAP for our last adoption fees. I would say that Krista, her family and Angel have done their part!!!  ((although Krista told me that her prayer was that every dress would be sold in this week (there are ten left) and i LOVE it that her children even made things....SO i would LOVE to see the incredible water colors be sold (her daughter created them) and then...i went and looked under almost all of the items just now...there were more families that gave to this than i even realized (as i know that they must have asked to be anonymous) AND if you see Shotsi Granny on items-oh she did SO much and she doesn't even know me!!!)) AMAZING generosity!  What a wonderful gift they are giving to Ethan and to end it on his birthday....GOD DID THAT!!! Krista didn't even know!

SO we are in need of $4250 ASAP (with the sales from the etsy shop included)....if you would like your gift to be tax deductible, you may give at our Reece's Rainbow DONATE button here on our blog!  TODAY, in celebration of Ethan's 3rd birthday....i would LOVE to be able to finish his adoption costs!!! i would love for Krista to be overwhelmed by how much has sold but i also would love to see Ethan's Reece's Rainbow grant grow on his birthday!!! Will YOU be willing to donate extravagantly? Some of you already have and we SO appreciate that!!! THEN, will you PLEASE PRAY!? We cannot wait to bring our little one home so all of you who HAVE given, PRAYED, and helped be a part of this will see what the fruits of your labor are!!!!
We are ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew

Monday, February 20, 2012

Update on our Etsy fund raiser

Our fund raiser is going well and we are so thankful to those of you who have given!!!  Thank you to those of you who have SHARED this on Facebook AND with your friends! We only have 2 + days left in this sale SO please continue SHARING.....PLEASE PLEASE PRAY....stopping right now even-gather the children and your mate and take time to pray for our son, our family, this fund raiser and the other orphans who are in such dire need!
Have you taken a look yourself? The items are so great! The prices are fantastic!!!  PLEASE share with your friends! Remember ALL of the sales will go toward our adoption costs (minus the shipping costs, etsy and paypal fees)  ONLY GOOD UNTIL WEDNESDAY NIGHT at 9pm!!!  If you have questions make sure you look at my last posting!!!   ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


For those of you who don't know us, you may go to the bottom of the page and i have a quick take on who we are and what we are doing!

A dear friend (along with her family and a friend) who has a heart overflowing for adoption & has gone WAY beyond what i can grasp by creating, making, sewing, and working hard on being ready for this sale! She is going to be giving ALL of the proceeds to our grant!!! (minus the fees for paypal, shipping, and Etsy) YES, so that means she is going to give TWO time in her time and effort of creating it and THEN by giving the money to our adoption grant!!! BLOWS.  MY.  MIND.  SO, are you ready to help?  NOTHING can happen unless YOU buy ;)

If someone wants to pay with check or cash or money order then there is no paypal fee! She is totally fine with that. If someone lives in the St. Cloud area and wants to arrange pick up or delivery with me or with Krista they can type in LOCALDELIVERY to the "coupon code" on etsy and there is no shipping charge.

 Also if someone has questions about an item- She put limited info on the items to get them up on the site quickly but she's more than happy to answer any questions!  GO and SHOP!!!  THEN PLEASE PRAY!!!

Scott and i have five daughters and one son-in-law!  We will have our 25th wedding anniversary THIS YEAR!  Our eldest daughter is twenty, our next is 17, then 13, then 11 and then an almost 3 year old and she has Down Syndrome.  Ethan and she will be fifteen days apart from each other!!!
Our daughter changed our lives and we found out that there are hundreds of families on waiting lists here in the states waiting for CHILDREN with DS!!!  HUNDREDS are waiting for babies with DS! We found out that there are HUNDREDS of children with DS in EE who are often malnourished, unloved and uncared for BECAUSE they have DS. We found a site called Reece's Rainbow and i was hooked...i have never cried so hard and so long for anyone.  I couldn't imagine a child like ours being unloved! I never dreamed that we would adopt but then the Lord brought us through an incredible journey of listening to His breaking heart and we finally said YES!
Ethan is in a most beautiful country in Eastern Europe!!! We were able to go on our first visit this past December...coming home on the 23rd.  He is amazingly handsome, cuddly, playful, and looks like our family even!!!  We are waiting on our final paperwork to be taken care of in his country so our attorney can go to court on our behalf and we can get our final dates to go and bring him home!  We are in need of @ $8,000 yet for our last fees and airplane tickets, hotel and food for our last trip!  We are praying that we will be able to bring home in April but are waiting to see what happens and PRAYING!
If you would like to know more our blog is  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My bittersweet day

THIS MORNING I GOT TO SING ON WORSHIP TEAM!!! The utter JOY of doing this is indescribable.........but you know me....i will try my best to describe it! ;) 
I have sung so little since Sophina was born....first not being able to sing at work...the Cafe Renaissance was a place where i used to be able to sing with Chris Stone during the Christmas season...O HOLY NIGHT or if someone would ask for a special. I miss that!!! (O HOLY NIGHT is one of my all time favorite songs whether Christmas or otherwise) 
ANYWAY, THEN i used to sing almost EVERY Sunday up front for almost two years and before that...OFTEN for MANY years....i LOVED it because I GOT TO WATCH THE PEOPLE WORSHIP!!! WHAT DELIGHT!!! (Better is one day in God's courts than a thousand elsewhere)  THEN to sing with some of the people that i got to sing with...doing majorly beautiful parts.....oh my!  I miss hearing that 'FULL' sound! Today I was asked after the sermon if it was my first time singing up front :(   It has been way too long!
This morning i had chills watching and partaking in the worshiping of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with fellow believers. I saw a friend overcome in tears as she tried to sing, people with smiles, others with arms raised in awe of our God! I could care less if there was a just be able to turn around from my front row seat where i normally sit every Sunday and see what i got to see was AMAZING!!!  I just had this thought (which i have had MANY times while helping lead worship of music) but it must be a little taste of what it looks like to God!  (except for the fact that He gets to watch hundreds of thousands at once ;)) came at a price. THIS is where YOU come in....our Sundays are ALWAYS hard with Sophina....will YOU please remember to pray for us on Sunday mornings.....feedings are always a fight BIG TIME!!!  THIS was just Ally. Ally tried and tried and Sophina only drank 1 Tbsp of milk! NO food...ZERO!!! UGH!  Our Sophina does NOT do well with little food but today we are grateful that she did do fine with no food.  All of our girls changed their Sunday morning so that Mommy could sing up front today and i am so grateful!  Ally took over the care of Sophina COMPLETELY. Victoria woke up early so she could come with me AND instead of her staying for the meeting with her friends she came home with me to help get all of our stuff home and help feed the baby (without my asking her to). MAN, i so very much appreciate that!  Catherine needed to get a ride with someone else in order to get to Sunday School and i am very grateful for Taylor's family for doing that for us!  Liz and Nate needed to help us get Allly and Sophina to church so they changed their life for me too!

Today there is a meeting going on at church where there are going to be people sharing what God has done in their lives and i will be missing it!  I TEACH a class called Life Stories....because i am PASSIONATE about people's life stories!!!  Oh how i miss being able to BE WITH the gathering of the saints with all kinds of different things that I was able to do!  It is so very hard to not be able to do this and i SO want to BUT GOD....  

My life is not about this right now in my life!  THEN when we bring home precious Ethan...well, it will be a REALLY long time before i can do it again.  MY LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME!!! My life is about serving Jesus by serving my family! i am so thankful that the Lord blessed my life....yes, i mean specifically MY LIFE with Sophina.....not my husband's nor my children's lives but MY LIFE....God brought Sophina into my life to open my eyes bring perspective to LIFE!!!  Things that used to be REALLY important are NOT as important!  Things that were important aren't ask for an example?   I LOVED FOOTBALL!!!  YES, ME!  If you don't believe me ask our girls, or Scott or Nate for that matter.  I grew up watching Monday Night Football, Sunday night football and Sunday football all day and i LOVED THAT!!!  Now, it doesn't even matter to me and i don't miss it one bit!  My life has become more focused on things that will last for eternity!  Children who need families!!!  People who need Jesus!!!  People who need prayer or encouragement!!!  Playing games as a family....LOVE to do.  Give me a game of Mexican Train or Rook or Settlers with the family any day BUT playing a game on an electronic device by myself....a waste of time!  We have such little time left....i am not going to live am i living my life?!!?!   Go read a book with your child!  Take one of your children out on a date...or just bring one child with to the grocery store!  Catherine and i are reading our Bibles together every day!  SHE ASKED!!!  She said that she would love to do that so she doesn't get behind on her daily reading...she is going to read the WHOLE Bible for the first time this year and she wants to discuss what she has read!!!  OH how i have been convicted of not wasting the things that the Lord has given us....not just the 'stuff' BUT our TIME!!!!!  (ok...WOW that was a HUGE bunny trail) ALL of that to say that our Sophina has brought such perspective!!!!  ETHAN will be worth any sacrifice that will be do i know???  Sophina is worth the changes that were made in my life!!!!  FOR SURE!!!!  Do i miss a lot of things.....YES!!!!  Would i trade it if i could do life all over again.....NEVER in a MILLION YEARS!!!  

Let me tell you that singing up front is not something that i take lightly....what an incredible honor! What a delight that my children and friends allowed me to partake in!!!!  SO grateful!!!  Thank you Chris, Liz and Nate, Ally, Vika, Catia and even Sophina!!! was a glorious and wonderful day but bittersweet! I CHOOSE to focus on the sweet i am ALWAYS BLESSED!!!  Connie for the crew who cannot wait for the day when Ethan is finally HOME

Friday, February 10, 2012

Time of prayer and fasting....

FEBRUARY 14th is going to be a day where quite a few of us parents who have children in BG are going to be praying and FASTING for our children....for their safety, for warmth, for the weather to make it so the families can go and see their children who are often in remote places in high foothills, and very specifically for the Ministry of Justice to start signing paperwork that needs to be signed. WILL YOU JOIN US? PLEASE let me know...i can not fast from food as i would get a horrible migraine SO i am going to fast from FB.....the day before our new fund raiser....yep, can't lie...that is going to be hard!!! BUT nothing could be harder than not getting to see our children due to waiting for signatures or weather to clear. Will YOU please fast and pray with us on VALENTINE's DAY and if you have plans with your honey then have it be from something else that will make you remember to pray ALL throughout the day! Thank you and again...please let me know if you will be joining us
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie (Ethan's Mommy) for the crew

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I have had quite a few occasions to be told of people giving HUGE amounts of money in this past month.  One big amount went directly to an orphan who is STILL needing a was over $5,000!!!  Another to a family who is already adopting ....$15,000!!!!  Another family $4,000!!!  Families receiving BIG HELP from families who could have used that money for a new car or a better car OR they could have put it into their savings account for those upcoming days that may happen...just to be SAFE! INSTEAD, they stepped out in FAITH and GAVE SACRIFICIALLY!
This made me ask....i wonder what my friends are doing with their tax returns?  Are YOU giving an offering from that?  If you are then may i tell you to not forget these orphans that are waiting for families to adopt them! There are children who may LITERALLY die because they are not in the care of a family.  Just yesterday i read of a family who is WILLING and WANT to bring a needy child into their home but they cannot because of the huge amount needed.  They WANT to step out in faith and care for the least of these but cannot because of money.
THEN there are families....i gave you THREE just last week that are in the process of adopting....they NEED HELP!  Would YOU be willing to give of your tax return.... put in a donation for Charity...not charity but her name is Charity! ;)  Her family needs help!
Then there is Charlotte...her mom is with her right now but has to come back home one more time...she will be coming home on the 15th of this month. She goes back to bring Charlotte home on St Patrick's Day!!!  They need the final few thousands of dollars yet.  No more chances to "win" anything but the knowledge that you helped a family!!!
Then, my dear friend, Mandy and their soon to be boys...Samuel and Joseph! There are necklaces that you could buy for friends or you could just give to help...straight up!!!
Look back a couple of posts here and you will find their blogs so you can GIVE to help them!!!
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie (Ethan's Mommy) for the rest of the crew
PS OH and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not forget a blog or two before that one where i talk about Shannon with her Shannon Jr.....they are going to their first visit SOON and are in great need too!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BLOWS MY MIND...such generosity!

In exactly one week from today we have been given an opportunity to have a HUGE fund raiser!  I couldn't  sleep last night due to my thoughts screaming through my brain as to the generosity of this dear friend....BLOWS MY MIND!!!  It makes me wonder if i could ever do such a thing for a friend....WOW!  I haven't even told my hubby or even most of the kids ;)  Every day i will add a little more to what it is going to be but i pray that you kick this to the moon!!! I pray it will rock our world and my friend's with your generosity! Her generosity well, i am going to say it blows my mind!!!  Keep reading and i will keep telling more!
Until then, will YOU PLEASE PRAY for this upcoming fund raiser? Will YOU PLEASE PRAY for our Ethan and our family?  Transitions, travel, preparation, etc.....
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie (Ethan's Mommy) for the crew

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


When Scott and i were in Ethan's country....a BEAUTIFUL country, it was absolutely wonderful weather.  The temps were in the 30's and 40's. When we were in Ethan's orphanage visiting him, they would bring him down from wherever he was at into the one of two rooms that we were allowed in.  The first day we were there, they made sure that we kept the door shut as they had it so warm in our 'visiting room'. If they would have only known that we keep our house at 65 degrees! (not the 'typical' American family's temperature setting)  Our precious Ethan was brought to us with a coat or a vest coat on almost every day. THEN they would take his coat off once he was in 'our room'. After they saw that we had taken off sweatshirts, then our long sleeve shirts, that first afternoon they turned down the temp....a little. That afternoon our son was dressed in a coat but under that coat was a wool flannel button down long sleeve shirt, then a turtle neck, then two shirts under that PLUS he had on heavy tights under his corduroy overalls!! Because i loved that outfit so very much, they put it on him again the next morning so he could have that be his visa picture outfit! LOVE <3 Thankfully, every day they turned down the temp a little more each time. I did NOT want them to waste their heat on us!  I wanted the heat to be saved for those precious 38 children!
When we got out of the van the first day, i immediately searched for the children outside because i could hear them as if they were playing out in the beautiful sunshine. They weren't BUT i could hear them as if they were right there.  By the end of the week, i had counted over a dozen windows that looked like they were covered in such a way that must have been how we were hearing the children.  The last day, as our van was leaving the orphanage, i looked back and i strained my neck to watch the orphanage way up on the hill and it appeared that there were windows that were missing or were covered in such a way that it didn't have a glass pane.  The windows on that side of the building were dark so i assumed that they must not use that side of the building and they must close it off. I have no idea for sure. i DO know that our orphanage was a nicer orphanage.

I don't know if you have paid attention to the weather in the Eastern European countries but they have been hit VERY hard with cold weather and snow that is now flooding in areas.  Our little sweetheart, along with hundreds and even thousands of other little ones are living in orphanages that are probably not funded highly and heat is a HUGE blessing that may be rare.  Many of these children are in poor health or are low in weight and so this kind of weather is VERY VERY scary for our children and the children who are waiting for a family to claim them as their own.

Will YOU PLEASE PRAY specifically for our son Ethan? Pray for his health as we do not want him even getting a cold as they said that his breathing is not great already due to his "third tonsil".  Before we went to him, they told us that they would not want Ethan to have any kind of respiratory issues as that could not be good for him and could even be serious.
Will YOU PLEASE PRAY for the orphans of Eastern Europe? Will YOU PLEASE PRAY for the children who are waiting for their families to come and bring them home? I know of SO MANY who are just waiting for their last visit from their mommy and daddy so they can go home.  PLEASE pray for the people that work with our children in EE from the orphanage workers to our attorney and her team who are experiencing weather that is NOT helpful to these precious little ones and makes their job even more stressful.

How i covet the prayers of the righteous on behalf of these sweet treasures! I am ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie (Ethan's Mommy) for the rest of the crew

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chapter THREE- dire needs

There are MANY MANY reasons why i haven't written but one of them is that there are just SO MANY OTHERS who are in GREAT need and it has been week after week after week. SO i just kept putting it off and off and off. I have already put up a blog about my dear friend Shannon for her Shannon! Thank you so much for all of you who helped her out! They could still use help if you would like. I am going to give you three for this next week though. These three are in desperate need! First is Kelly ...they are leaving in just a few days and are in need of thousands of dollars yet before they can bring home Charlotte. Kelly is the lady who brought our paperwork to DC for us without even knowing who we were!!! They have an incredible way to have a chance at winning some amazing things with your donations at.... but THAT is not why we give!

Second, there is Deanna who is bringing home Charity...they were hit hard with some unforeseen financial hits and are going to be needing their money very quickly as their country goes VERY VERY fast! Charity is a little girl that we have prayed HARD for since the VERY FIRST week that we found out about Reece's Rainbow! There isn't anyone that cheered louder than our family when we saw our friend say that they were the family adopting Charity!!! (ok...i KNOW that we don't know that for sure but i am not kidding when i say that we were LOUDLY CHEERING!!!!) Another CHANCE at receiving..... from your donation BUT again...NOT the reason that we give.

Third, well i have talked about this friend a LOT! Her name is Mandy and they are adopting Joseph and Samuel. She is near and dear to my heart! She is an incredible woman of God who is more like Christ than most twice her age! They will SOON be getting their dates to go and BRING HOME their two boys from the same country as our Ethan! They are still in need of thousands also. Mandy has a friend who is giving a HUGE portion of her earnings to Mandy's fact, $25 goes to help fund the boys' adoption for every necklace sold. Go to her blog.... and follow the instructions of how to order your necklace for your Valentine or for yourself! They are BEAUTIFUL!

Yes, i know that we still need around $8,000-$10,000 yet....there have been SO MANY who are in greater need...their money is needed sooner and some have even more needed than we do! IF you are able to help a family who is adopting....PLEASE help one of these three OR ALL of these three!!! Our day our need will come soon enough but it is STILL not now. PLEASE PRAY and then give generously to these families!
ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie for the crew

Chapter two.....uffda

When Scott and i got home from seeing Ethan we were tired but we knew that we only had those two days to get the paperwork done...Christmas Eve and Christmas. We whipped through and worked hard and made copies and worked on it until the very last minute...literally! Scott has never cut it so close.
I sent the paperwork to the USCIS and was thrilled that we were finally DONE!!! What i found out days later was devastating....i had sent ALL of the paperwork to the USCIS when we should have sent only HALF of it to the USCIS and the other half to Ethan's country!!! It was too late and there was nothing that i could do but WAIT....another FIVE and one-half WEEKS!!! IT KILLED ME!!!

We also found out that our medical paperwork had been done incorrectly. I guess that the date is supposed to be written in the European way (it IS written under the line but NONE of us saw it!!!) not the American way. SO, when my Dr. wrote that she had seen me she put the date as 10/06/11 SO in Ethan's country they saw it as 6/10/11....outdated dates then!!!! Oh my goodness! I was about to lose it....after all that had gone on physically and now this! I had one of the biggest struggles of my flesh to trust the Lord with His timing that i have had so far on this journey! OH how hard this was!!! I finally allowed myself to not only KNOW that God knew what was going on but to FEEL that God knew what was going on and that He knew best! HE sees the WHOLE picture...i don't!

I had one friend who knew ALL of what was going on...MORE than what i am telling here and way harder things then what i can share here. She told me that i needed to get a full physical and find out what in the world is going on. She prayed for me, she encouraged me, and she loved me through all of these very hard things! i thank God for her!

I had the appt. on Wednesday of this week and according to my Dr. i am just fine;) Just getting old...hee hee! Probably had a bad virus that caused the two illnesses. He did a whole bunch of tests too. I got hit with the jet lag for those first two weeks and my body probably was in an easier position to catch 'bugs'...NO PUN intended;) Waiting on a couple of tests yet but so far they have called and all is well and they are not concerned at all. I didn't think so BUT i do have to say that it was nice to KNOW!

Ok....backing up. The Monday, after that second Sunday that we missed, we left for Scott's parents house...without Scott;) It was a wonderful time of watching the grandparents with Sophina and the girls! THEN we went down to my Mom's house for our FIRST Christmas of the season! Yep, it was mid-January! It was a WONDERFUL weekend! We missed another church service though and oh how i was feeling like we had been gone for MONTHS! The time together with family was VERY sweet though!

Monday, we had home school group. We had come home very late on that night before and we were exhausted. It WAS however, wonderful to SEE people i hadn't seen for such a long time. We barely had time to unpack, do laundry, etc....when Scott came and we got him in the van and went back up to his folks this past weekend for his family's side for Christmas! It was another WONDERFUL time of hauling wood, eating great food and watching Sophina be absolutely HILARIOUS 'running' from present to present to help open everyone's gifts! Oh MY WORD...there is no way to describe how funny she was!!! She was SO LOUD in her was as if she was pulling cement out of the gift bags and mortar off of the boxes! LOADS of giggles and laughter!

We came home and IMMEDIATELY started unpacking and organizing and then PAPERWORK! Monday we had a field trip for the two girls then we worked FURIOUSLY on our paperwork...nail biting times and finally getting it all is now about to get on an airplane to fly over to our attorney!!!! The relief is overwhelming! We are praying that it is the end of the paperwork until he is home (then we have MORE paperwork).

I cannot wait to be in church this see our home church has been SO VERY VERY LONG!!! I don't know how people do it without a church family! I miss shaking hands, i miss giving hugs, i miss the conversations...that gathering of the saints (who are not saints at all -just forgiven people who are now saints due to their repentance of those sins and Jesus' forgiveness)!

THis has been WAY long overdue....another quick chapter will be following this one....ALWAYS BLESSED, Connie

This past month - first chapter...uffda!

These past days have flown like crazy. We came home from being with Ethan and the jet lag hit me hard. My skin itched like crazy (still does) from my head to my toes! After around two weeks of checking my head, on a Wednesday night, i went to the laundromat and Sophina and i were about to leave i leaned over and a bug fell into Sophina's white blond hair! I grabbed it quickly and squished it and went on. (i think because of the stress of what had happened to our family three years before made me put it out of my mind because otherwise i went into shock) I had completely wiped it out of my mind by the time i got home and could have had Ally check me. The next night however, at 9:30pm, i remembered. I had Ally check and she saw two bugs...i ran to the bathroom and saw one in the mirror!!! Vika was checked....found one almost immediately....Catia next (i couldn't look) Ally found one in hers too. Yep, i went into immediate shock. You should have heard me. Complete monotone voice walking around like a zombie. For once, i had been ready for getting to bed i was still exhausted at that more to have that happen....

"Ok, we need to strip the beds, vacuum all the couches and chairs, wash a ton of laundry, and go through heads. The baby needs to go to bed. It is only me and Ally....ok..." I don't even remember how Holly T. knew about it but she called and said that she was coming over. I had called Bob and LeAnne to see if we could use their 'bug zappers' and she came and instead of dropping them off...she said that she was staying to help with a loving force that made me step back and listen! I was just so out of it!

LeAnne had brought TWO 'zappers' and so the two of us went piece by piece through the LONG hair of our girls and then she did mine....only to not find a single thing in any of our hair!!! THEN Holly came over and she went through the girls' hair tiny strand by tiny strand...NOTHING!!! Then Holly went through all of our hair again but this time with our oil concoction that i have given out to MANY people who have gone through this ordeal. STILL NOTHING!!!! I couldn't believe it! We KNEW lice at our house!

Three years ago, lice hit our house with a vengeance! I was pregnant with Sophina. All five of us females had it with one of us having it so bad that they were jumping out of the hair!!! It was LITERALLY weeks upon weeks upon weeks of laundering, going through box after box of every concoction possible then oiling our hair, picking and picking and picking then cutting hair that had been absolutely beautiful and LONG! Thinking that it was gone only to find another. I actually started spotting from the stress! Scott was home quite a bit at that time and then Bob and LeAnne would come over and help pick and pick with us! It was one of the hardest times of my life...i am not kidding!

THAT is why i totally believe that we were given a miracle!!! My head and body STILL itch like crazy but there has never been A THING found!!! We check often and now it has been weeks of checking with NOT A THING found!!! A miracle you ask....YES!!!! HALLELUJAH! A MIRACLE!!!!

We missed church because we still did treat it as if we really did have it by not being in public and vacuuming and washing but we didn't have to do it over and over...thankfully. Oh how i missed church! I couldn't wait for the next week!

The next week came and there was illness! I was sicker than a dog on a Thursday and i started a migraine almost immediately. I have had migraines every day and every night for a full year...i KNOW migraines. THIS one was the WORST migraine that i have EVER had! It was VERY long lasting. The pain of it was overwhelming BUT the nausea was WAY worse! Ally was in WI. helping to get ready for the youth retreat that weekend so the oldest person other than me was our 13 yr old. and she was FREAKED out. At one point, i couldn't even think straight and i thought that i was in big trouble. Looking back (and the nurse was VERY unhappy hearing what i told her the next day), i SHOULD have called someone but i wasn't thinking straight. I KNEW that i just needed to "lose" what was inside of me and i would be fine and sure enough...i lost a HUGE amount and sure enough...i was all better IMMEDIATELY! WEIRD! Yes, i was weakened but fine! OR so i thought....

Friday afternoon i took Vika and Ally to church for their trip to WI. for their youth retreat and went home. We had Bob and LeAnne over (as normal) that night and all was well. We had our amazing popcorn and had a wonderful time visiting and having conversation! Oh how i treasure their time at our home! ANYWAY, the next morning before i could even say a word...i. was. sick.
I got SO SICK that i couldn't sit!!! THEN it got even worse and i couldn't even walk! Remember the only other people in the house were Sophina and Catherine! UGH! It lasted all day long!!! SO again, i missed church the next day! OH HOW I MISSED the people, the music, and the teaching!

There is more that happened.......i will have to write again!