Friday, May 27, 2011

Faithful Friday - The Tam Family

So I've totally missed Faithful Friday the past two weeks, but here's to me being a more "Faithful" blogger! :)

This Friday, meet the Tam Family!

With three boys, they are working hard to add some pink to the family with Miss Paisley!

From their FSP page - 
Renee and Steve have been happily married and in love for over five years.  Along the way  God has given them three very  spirited but sweet little boys, Jack Avery, Dash Olivier, and Paris Auden.  Yet even with all of these beautiful, rough and tumble boys, their hearts still longed for a little girl.  Today we are happy to announce that they have found their daughter.  Valeria, (soon to be Paisley) you are loved and your parents can't wait to scoop you up.  Let there be pink!    
Follow the adoption journey of the Tam family on their blog at 
$10049.15 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Isn't Paisley sweet? Her mommy, Renee, is a huge part of the RR community! From a post by Amanda (adopting Andriy, more on them later) -
A bunch of us RR families have one thing in common we help each other out. So right now there is a special someone who needs us. One of my BFF's  Renee Tam. She begs for every family raising last minute funds before they leave. She has fundraised for me. She even did a "if you donate to Amanda I will match that donation". She is the BESTEST!!! I can't say how sweet Renee is.

Well the other day I noticed her comment on my blog sounded sad. It did not sound like the CRAZY Cajun she is. She is sweet and spicy with a side of southern. Shucks she could be part of my family and she would fit right it!! Well she is sad:( When she is sad I am sad:( She is having a hard time fundraising and to top if off she has learned she will not get to see her little girl Paisley at least until after summer is over. So she is lost right now. We want to show her how much we love her and Paisley and the whole crazy Tam family. We have a secret "Operation Surprise Renee Tam" group on Facebook.!/event.php?eid=213490122004893 

We are asking that everyone that joins donate $5 To She only needs less than $5,000 to be fully funded. That is our goal. I have seen things like this happen when RR families work together. I know you are wondering how in the world we are going to pull that off without her seeing it. Well she is so lost that she has taken a break from the adoption world. No Facebook, No Blogger, No Yahoo Group. NOTHING. She is lost and she needs your help. $5 is all that we ask for. $5,000 by Friday. Can we do it? Yes we can! (I think that is from Wonder Pets. lol) Please help them....

Bring home Her....

So, as you can see, Renee is a very special part of RR, and there are very few fundraisers that don't have her name in them. Please consider being part of her surprise when she gets back online! I'm not sure how much more they still need, but I know that if they raise anything extra, it will go right back out to RR families in need!!! PLEASE HELP THE TAM'S!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting Wednesday: Brody

This Wednesday, meet another one of the little boys in the orphanage I visited. I don't think any of our team members saw him. He has now been transferred, but that's a good thing in his case! Brody!

Boy, born April 2006

Based on the time that I was able to spend with him, I believe that Brody is autistic. Brody does not make eye contact however he shows no aversion to touch and actually likes to be held. Brody was transferred in December but while he was at the baby house, he exhibited a lot of self-harming behaviours, namely banging his head constantly, harder than I have ever seen before. Nevertheless, Brody is the child I saw the most progress with. During our one-on-one time he was calm and would often go the entire hour without engaging in any self-harming behaviour. He would smile, laugh, and explore his environment and sometimes even make eye contact for seconds at a time. Since being transferred to an orphanage for preschool-aged children (age 4-8) with special needs, Brody is doing much better. While at the baby orphanage Brody had what I thought were permanent bumps on his head the size of half a ping pong ball as a result of banging his head on the ground. Brody has since nearly stopped banging his head and when I last saw him in January those bumps had gone down considerably. The orphanage Brody is currently in is one of the good ones. Small with a good staff-to-child ratio (there are 6 kids to 2 workers in Brody's group). It is clear that the workers care about the children very much and show them plenty of love and affection. Brody can walk independently, is being toilet trained and is learning to feed himself. He does not speak and it's hard to tell what, if anything, he understands. Brody responds well to music (i.e. me singing to him) and his absolute favourite thing is playing with someone's hands – clapping them together, watching the fingers wiggle back and forth, etc. If you work at it a bit you can get plenty of smiles out of him and he has the best laugh when you tickle him.
Unfortunately, if he is not adopted by the time he is eight-years-old, Brody will be transferred to an institution. I know that Brody will become more and more troubled in an institution setting however I believe that with a patient, loving family he has the potential to be a truly happy little boy.

More pictures available.

$0.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

A post from the missionary who spent time with him:

My relationship with "Brody" took a little longer to develop than it did with some of the other kids. He was a favorite of one of my roommates who I was going to the orphanage with for the first several weeks so I held back while she played with him and focused my time on the other kids. It wasn’t until I started spending time inside the orphanage that "Brody" really grabbed a hold of my heart.

Outside, "Brody" does ok. He spends most of his time in the outdoor playpen but he doesn’t really seem to mind being in there. There was one time when I took him out of the playpen so he could walk around a bit and then made the mistake of turning my head for a second at which point he plopped down into the sand. The workers were not happy about him getting dirty and swiftly snatched him up and dumped him back into the playpen which resulted in a very upset little boy. Aside from that however, my observations from those first few weeks were that "Brody" seemed to be fairly calm and content.

Inside however, was a whole other story. "Brody" did not do well in the chaos and noise that took place in his room. He dealt with it the only way he knew how, by repeatedly smashing his head on the floor. "Brody" wasn’t the only one of my kids who banged his head but with "Brody" it was different. He would sit with his legs spread apart and throw his upper body forward with the full force of his weight, banging his head on the hard floor over and over again until I was sure he would knock himself out. The workers did nothing to stop him, they just say back talking and laughing as if they were oblivious to what was going on. Out of all the things I saw inside the walls of that orphanage, watching "Brody"suffer day after day without being able to do anything about it was the hardest thing for me.

 LOVES hands!) and even making eye contact for seconds at a time! On those days I feel like I got a window into who he really is, a glimpse at his immeasurable potential if only someone would give him a chance.

The day "Brody" was transferred my heart sank to my stomach. Knowing how he reacts when he is upset, afraid, etc. I was heartbroken thinking about him trying to cope in a new environment and, not knowing anything about the facility he was transferred to, I was afraid to think about how the workers might be responding to him. As it turns out, second of course to finding a family, being transferred was the best thing that could have happened to him. When I was finally able to visit him a month later, I couldn’t believe how well he was doing! "Brody" used to have what I thought were permanent bumps on his head the size of half a ping pong ball but when I saw him at his new orphanage those bumps had gone down considerably. I asked the workers about him banging his head and they told me that he did at first but that wasn’t doing it very often anymore; sure enough, he didn’t hit himself once during the entire hour we were there! There was more to it than that though, he just seemed so much more peaceful and content. He was free to walk around and do what he wanted and every once in a while one of the workers would stop and rub his back or scoop him up into their lap.

I’m so thankful that God allowed me to see "Brody" in his new orphanage and ease so many of my concerns. One concern remains however; if "Brody" is not adopted by the time he is eight-years-old he will be transferred again. I don’t know where he will be transferred to but, knowing the country he is living in, it is extremely unlikely that it will be as good as the place he is in now. I have seen how "Brody" reacts in an institutional environment and can’t bear the thought of him being subjected to that again. He needs a family. Again, I’m asking for your help. In celebration of their five year anniversary, helping over 500 children find forever families, Reece’s Rainbow has launched their 5/5/5 Warrior Project to bring greater awareness and grant funds to all of their 5-year old children. Being that "Brody" is 5-years-old, he is a part of this project and has a “warrior” who is trying to raise $5000 or more for his grant fund HERE IS THERE BLOGLet’s rally together and help them out, shall we? Right now he has $205 and I would love to see that number go up over the next few days. At the same time, would you help spread the word about this little boy and join me in praying for his family to step forward soon? Together we can see this little boy’s future changed for the better. For more information or to donate, click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

JUNE 9TH!!! :D

I haven't posted very much about our adoption, but I will be more in the next few weeks! Why? Because we got our SDA (State Department of Adoptions) appt date!! Also called our travel date! My parents will be leaving two weeks from TODAY! :D In the words of my mom on her blog -

I was shocked to check my email just a few minutes ago and find out that we have our SDA APPT!!!  JUNE 9TH! PRAISE THE NAME OF JESUS!!!!!!!!!

I guess this is really going to happen! LOL And I think the next 2 weeks are going to be a bit busy! Holy cow!

THANK YOU FOR PRAYING for us to get an appt date. God answers prayers!!!!

More later! Gotta go start our day!  Oh and maybe start packing or booking flights or something...

Hang on buddy! Mama and Papa will be there soon!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Is on the My Family Found Me page on RR!!!


Boy, Born August 2010
Good grief, I do not know why they must leave these children left to suffer like this!    Maybe they do not feel comfortable enough with their own surgical expertise, but this child needs surgery and a family of his own, and NOW! 
From his medical records:  hydrocephaly
More photos available, married couples only. 

$10551.90 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

I know I haven't blogged about him at all, but he was on my Waiting Wednesday "waiting list". :) I am SOO happy he found a family! :D He desperately needs it! More about a giveaway for him to come... Stay tuned! (Maybe one of these days I'll get my long overdue Faithful Friday post up too! Sorry Amanda!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Waiting Wednesday: Ryan

This Wednesday, I am posting about another little boy at the orphanage I was at. I didn't get to hold him, but several members of our team did (see last picture at the bottom of this post). Meet Ryan!

Ryan (14)
Boy, born January 2007

From a volunteer who spent several months at this orphanage:
According to the workers, Ryan has a life-shortening illness which is preventing his organs from growing and developing as they should however I have had no way to confirm that. What I can say is that he is tiny and I would be surprised if weighs even 15 pounds. This tiny little boy captured my heart from the first time I saw him. He does not interact much but sometimes you can get him to smile. He is capable of pulling himself up at the side of the crib but he mostly stays sitting or lying down and is usually banging his head on the side of the crib. He resists being held but over time he warmed up to me, wanting me to hold him when he was sick and occasionally he would even make his way to the side of the crib when he saw me coming towards him. I also learned that he loves the "airplane game" (being lifted over my head as I was lying on my back) and I even got him laughing on several occasions. Heartbreakingly, Ryan receives no attention from the caregivers and, since being transferred to a new group, he spends most of his days alone in a tiny soft playpen, rocking back and forth. I don't know if what the workers said is true but I do now that, no matter how many days Ryan has left on this earth, he deserves more than the loneliness and neglect he is living right now. Oh how I pray for a family for this sweet angel boy.

More pictures available.

A post from the missionary who spent several months at his orphanage:
On the first day that they brought all the special needs children outside, he was the first one I noticed. He was the first one I held, the first one I sang over, the first one I prayed for… the first one to capture my heart.

There he was, lying amongst the others in the outdoor crib. Tiny, frail, ribs protruding from his chest. You have to remember that I had never spent any real time with special needs kids before. I didn’t know what to do with a child like this, he looked so fragile I was afraid I would break him and yet I was drawn to him… I picked him up and he squirmed in my arms, so unfamiliar with what it felt like to be held. He was clearly uncomfortable and to be honest, so was I but I rocked him, I sang, I prayed and by the time I placed him back in that crib, he had taken a piece of my heart with him.

The workers couldn’t remember his name and it took a week or two before someone bothered to look it up for me. His tiny frame made him look like a baby but his features told me he was likely a lot older than his size would suggest. Several weeks later, when I had my translator with me, I found out that he was indeed four-years-old however I was not prepared for the news that followed. The worker told us that "Ryan" had a disease where his organs were not growing and that as a result, he would not live very long. I know to take what the workers say with a grain of salt. They are often not fully informed of the child’s situation and even if they are, doctors over there are not exactly known for their proficiency. Still, their diagnosis made sense and it broke my heart.

"Ryan" was one of the most challenging kids for me to work with. He did not like to be held and he spent most of our time together sitting on the floor rocking back and forth while I sporadically stroked his back, etc. He liked to hold a ball or balloon in his lap and bounce off of it as he rocked back and forth and I discovered that if I had a ball/balloon he would be content to sit on my lap, rocking and bouncing. Then one day I decided to try something new. I lay down on my back and placed him on my stomach, curious as to what he would do. He wasn’t a big fan but for reasons I still don’t know, I decided to lift him up in the air and sort of “fly” him back and forth over my head. That’s when I heard one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard – he laughed! He loved it! I kept going and he kept laughing and smiling. He still didn’t really like to be held but I had finally found a way to interact with him.

While in his group, "Ryan" spends his days in either the large communal playpen or alone in the small, soft playpen (if you look back at the orphanage video on the side, he’s the one by himself in the playpen off to the side). When I first started volunteering inside the orphanage, "Ryan" didn’t seem to care or even notice whether I was there or not. After some time however he would occasionally make his way over to the side of the crib when he saw me coming. A couple of times he even reached out his hand towards me and it melted my heart every time.

Our biggest breakthrough however came just a couple weeks before I left. I took "Ryan" downstairs for our one-on-one time and it quickly became clear that he had a fever and was just generally not feeling well. Because I knew the workers wouldn’t do anything about it until the nurse made her evening rounds I decided to keep him with me so at least he wouldn’t be alone. I placed him on the floor as usual but he was fussy and as I started stroking his back, he actually crawled into my lap. I decided to try holding him and much to my surprise and delight, he actually let me, just relaxing into my arms. For the next hour I held him in my arms and paced back and forth across the room, singing to him, praying over him and hiding my face from the workers passing by so that they wouldn’t see the tears trickling down my face. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my entire trip and I am confident that I will remember it for the rest of my life.

After that day, "Ryan" allowed me to hold him more often, no longer fighting to get out of my arms. But the days passed by too quickly and before I knew it, it was time for me to leave. He was one of the hardest for me to say goodbye to and in the days and weeks after I got home, he was the one I thought of most often, the one I shed the most tears for, the one I most longed to have back in my arms. This sweet angel boy had finally learned to accept love, had finally experienced what it felt like to be safe in loving arms and all I could think was, would he ever get to experience that again?

I don’t know if the workers’ diagnosis is right. I certainly don’t know how much time "Ryan" has left on this earth. What I do know is that he deserves so much more than the loneliness and neglect he is living right now. He deserves a mommy who will hug him and kiss him and hold him close, showing him what love is. He deserves a daddy whose strong arms will make him feel safe, secure and protected. That’s where I need your help. Would you help me spread about this tiny angel? He needs a family now. The day after he was listed on Reece’s Rainbow he already had $36 in his grant fund; looks like I’m not the only one whose heart he has captured. The more money in his grant, the more attention he will receive and the faster he will be able to come home once his family steps forward. Every dollar donated, every prayer uttered, every person you tell about this sweet angel, it all makes a difference. For more information or to donate, click here.

Marci, one of the members of our team, and Ryan

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lawn Mowing Musings

I had meant to post this last night, but Blogger was still having issues.. :(


No, I did not mow the lawn like this.. :)

Tonight, I was out mowing for the first time this year. My musings:

Dad was out of town for the night, and mom and me needed to jump start the mower. Should be easy to do with a engineering school graduate (my mom), right? Haha! She isn't a engineer anymore, she's a stay at home mom. Good thing dad had his cell phone! :)

Our lawn mower of over 10 years works pretty well most of the time.

Whoever invented the riding lawn mover is a genius! Next time just add a few more springs please. :)

Elijah loves the lawnmower and escaped from mama several times to come chase it and attack it. Rachel, on the other hand is scared of it.

Sun glasses don't work very well at dusk even when the intent isn't to keep the sun out of your eyes. You can't see what is cut and what isn't when you have them on!

As far as yard care goes, I'll happily live in a apartment in EE! (I'll happily live in a apartment over there no matter what! :))

If you come to our house anytime soon, please don't pay attention to the quality of the grass in our backyard...

But really, being out there really got me thinking. Why are we so concerned about how our yards look? I suppose it's because we have nothing else to worry about. But let's take a moment and think about those whose lawn is the farthest thing from their mind. They aren't even worried about it they have a yard. But they are worried about where the food for the next meal is going to come from, or if there even is going to be a next meal. We are blessed. Very BLESSED.

Waiting Wednesday: Logan

Boy, born October 2007

From a volunteer who spent several months at this orphanage:
This little boy is an absolute treasure! Based on his physical and behavioural characteristics, I believe that he has fetal alcohol syndrome. When I first met him he showed some signs of aggression (hitting, spitting, occasional biting, etc.), directed towards adults when he didn't get his way. Over time however, those behaviours all but disappeared. Logan has a real desire to please and before long the little boy who would resort to spitting to get my attention was blowing me kisses instead! Despite a lack of stimulation/attention from caregivers, Logan is very smart and loves to learn, soaking up every opportunity he gets. He enjoys imitating others and I found him picking up some of my expressions and mannerisms (ex. because of the language barrier, I use the word "wow!" a lot and that quickly became one of his favourite words… and he always used it appropriately!). He does not speak much but does say some words in Russian such as "bye", "thank you" and "uh-oh". He nevertheless communicates well through gestures and has a good understanding of Russian and even began to understand some English words as I was working with him. He walks/runs well, feeds himself with minimal mess, goes potty during "potty time" and only rarely wets his pants. He loves peek-a-boo and tea parties, balls and barrel of monkeys, music and dancing… and he loves to be tickled! I truly believe that he would make the perfect son for any family, large or small.

More pictures available.

$90.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Look at this sweet boy! He was just listed on RR very recently. I am head over heals in love for him, and you will not get me to bequiet about him he has a family and they are fully funded! :) You know why I love him so much? Because I had the opportunity not many advocaters for children have. I got to meet him, and hold him and love on him. I can't add much onto what his profile says... it's all so true! Though I only got to be with him for a short time, I know that he will adjust very well into a family unlike some of the other kids there (me maybe?). Like Andrea (the missionary who was there) said, he is a people pleaser and just loves attention! Please contact me (forhisgloryhandiwork (at) gmail (dot) com), and I can give you more info about him, and the orphanage and city, and put you in contact with Andrea who is a wealth of info! PLEASE, isn't he your son? Like I said, I ain't gonna be quiet about him!

Me and Logan :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This sweet boy... the My Family Found Me page on RR!

I am thrilled for this sweet boy! Because he is coming HOME to a family who loves him! I posted about him here and here. The family who wanted to get him, the Plummer's (their FSP, their blog), are the ones bring him home!

Matthew's sweet big sister, Barbara, who the Plummer's are also bring home!

I can not wait to see Matthew HOME, and the Plummer's don't live that far away, so I'm hoping Rachel and I can arrange a visit! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Faithful Friday - The Silva Family

Noah is now HOME and thriving!!!

I've been a little quiet here the past day or two... All the action is happening over on my other blog - Handiwork for Noah, but more about that in this post. :)

I am going to start posting Faithful Friday posts about families that have stepped out in faith to adopt and are believing that God will be faithful! I figured since I have Waiting Wednesday about kids who are waiting, why not have a weekly post about the families.

So this week meet the Silva family!

They are working hard to bring home sweet Noah!

From their FSP (Family Sponsorship Program) page -
Mike and Grace met in a small Wyoming town.  After only a year of dating they were married and immediately started a family. 
Mike spent five years in the Army and then four years in Iraq as a private contractor for the Army.  He knew he would rather be with his family than have money so he quit his job in search of another.  In 2005 Crista Ministries hired him in their IT department.
The Silva family continued to be blessed and added more children to their family, seven in all.  One day, late in 2009, Grace stumbled upon the website for Reece's Rainbow.  She felt compelled to pray for the children whose pictures she saw there.  As she prayed the Lord began working on her heart, one of these children would belong in her family!  As the Silvas work towards bringing Noah home they continue to watch the Lord work in their home.  The children grow each day learning about the way God wants us to have compassion for all people.  They are waiting eagerly to see how the Lord will provide to bring this very special little boy into their loving home!   
Follow the Silva family's adoption journey on their blog at

Their dossier was submitted to the government of the country they are adopting form yesterday! YAY! Now, it will be about 4-8 weeks until they travel! :)

For those of you who are not familiar with my other blog - Handiwork for Noah - I have been selling my crocheted items on that blog for quite awhile, ever since we started fundraising to bring my little brother Elijah home - back in September of 2010. After we were fully funded for his adoption, I raised money for several more children including Carrington (Anastasiya at the time), and Eddie. Then I changed my blog to Handiwork for Noah, to help the Silva's bring him home.

If you go over to my blog you will see that I am in the final days of raising money for Noah, and will no longer be accepting orders for Noah's family. So please, if you find time tonight of tomorrow, go over to that blog, and consider helping to bring Noah home! They still need over $7500 before they travel.

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Waiting Wednesday: Victoria

Meet Victoria:

Girl, Born November 13, 2005
Victoria is too cute!  She has brown hair and blue eyes, and is in the same orphanage as Andriy and several other children with Down syndrome.  Victoria is a smart little girl and very *able*.  From her medical records:  congenital cataract of both eyes (blind), microphtalm, delay of psychological development.   Outgoing, can walk independently, knows her way around in her group, is interested in studies, responds well when adults refer to her.
From a missionary who has spent time with Victoria:  "What a sweetheart! Gentle, calm, outgoing, and very affectionate. She has made a lot of progress since she was at the baby orphanage. Vika has had some self-harming tendencies but the workers have been working with her on that… Whenever she would start banging her head they would pick her up, lay her across their lap and start massaging her back. Now, when she gets upset she goes to them and lays across their lap all on her own, no longer resorting to self-harming behaviours. Vika is independent and was walking around all over the room hardly ever bumping into anything. She doesn't speak much but she does say "Mama". She also knows how to let the workers know when she needs to go to the bathroom. They also said that her fine motor skills have greatly improved as well. Finally, she is a real snuggler. First thing she did when I called her over to me was climb up onto my lap. I tried to get better pictures of her but all she wanted to do was cuddle in close… how could I say no to that???"

This orphanage is one of the good ones. Small, with all higher functioning special needs children of "preschool" age (ages 4-8). There were only 6 kids in Victoria and "Andriy"'s room and two workers caring for them. It was clear that workers care about them very much and showed them plenty of love and affection. The director is not only open to adoption, she is actively looking for families for all of the kids so that they don't have to be transferred once they turn 8-years-old! Unfortunately, "Andriy" and Vika are in the lowest functioning group and they usually have a hard time finding families for those kids… but maybe that's something RR can help with :) 

$1045.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Umm... Who was watching Elijah?

Umm.. Who was watching Elijah?

"Alright, enough with the camera!"

Sorry, bad picture, but it shows his spiky hair. He would not hold still!

Mom, you might want to find a new spot for the lotion.. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pray for Japan!

Please take a minute today to watch this four minute video, and then say a prayer, even if it's just quick, for the surviors of the earthquake in Japan.