Monday, April 29, 2013


Brothers are family,
And brothers are friends,
Brothers stick together,
Brothers have no end,
Brothers part from time to time,
But come together again,
And be themselves,
No need to pretend,
Brothers are family,
And brothers are friends,
Brothers stick together,
BROTHERS have no end.
(Brandon Sigourney)

The two sweet boys you see above, are biological brothers. Because they both have special needs, they both lost their family and are now separated at different orphanages, though still in the same city. They are available to be adopted separately, but wouldn't it be so much better if they were adopted together?

I have met Brody, the younger one, on the left in all the above pictures. He NEEDS a family so badly. They both do! He is tiny, and has many institutional behaviors that he does for stimulation, because no one has shown him what it means to be loved. He was soaking up every little bit of love we were giving him. I haven't met Auggie, but it sounds as if he is the same way.
Brody on the day I met him

There is a young lady who has met them as well, and spent a lot of time with both of them, and has taken many pictures and videos. Let me know and I can put you in contact with her.

With each day that passes, their institutional behaviors become more and more engraved into them, and become harder habits to break. Not to mention a lot of them are self harming, and they are hurting themselves. These sweet boys need a family to love them so badly!!

More about them:

Brody, born April 2006
Auggie, born March 2005

Rough mental delay, partial atrophy of eye nerves, cerebral palsy, episyndrome
From someone who met Brody in 2011 and Auggie in 2012:
Brody and Auggie are sweet little boys who appear to have some sort of genetic disorder that causes developmental delays and self-harming behaviors. They are not aggressive towards others, only towards themselves, and these behaviors can be halted temporarily by picking either boy up and spinning him around. Brody is able to walk, and can drink from a cup without help. He is not quite able to feed himself, but is willing to try. Auggie was in a laying room for over a year, but after only 3 months of physical therapy is now sitting independently and working on learning to stand. Both boys have wonderful, heart stealing smiles. Brody appears to be in his own world much of the time, and loves things that crinkle or light up, and things shaped like sticks, as well as hands, gloves, feet and socks. He shows numerous signs of autism, which may or may not be environmental. Auggie loves things that crinkle or light up, slinkies, music, and tv. He is more interactive than Brody, and appears to lift his arms up to indicate he would like to be held. This is the only form of communication I observed from either of the boys. The boys are currently living in separate orphanages. I pray a family will reunite these brothers together in one family, where they can receive all the love and attention they need to meet their full potential!
We hope a family will consider adopting them TOGETHER.
More pictures available.
$1150.00 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

R2D2: Me vs. Pinterest

How's that for a title?
And how's that for an R2D2 cake?

My little brother is turning 9. This afternoon he had his 'friend party'. Last night as I was making the menu plan as we were going grocery shopping, I for some reason decided to get on Pinterest and look up 'easy Star Wars cakes'. Yes, less than 24 hours before the party.

(Pausing to define something before moving on.)
Getting on Pinterest:
       a) making a supposed-to-be-simple-party not so simple 
       b) signing yourself up for spending hours working on projects
       c) ensuring that you'll get frustrated because yours doesn't look like the pic

I soon decided on this one, with Isaac's approval. The lego storm trooper was a close second. I wanted these awesome Leia cupcakes, but it wasn't approved for a party of boys. :P

Side note: While looking at Star Wars party stuff, I decided that we are going to do a Star Wars themed benefit for Grace's adoption. Thing is, spaghetti dinner is already in the talks.. anyone know anything Star Wars related that rhymes with something spaghetti related? Oh and I also decided that we are adding a boy to Grace's adoption, and naming him Jedidiah! Get it? Jedi-diah. hehe And yes, I decided both without parental agreement.

Anyways, back to the cake. Last night after we got home from the store, I baked a 9x13, a 9" circle, and 8 cupcakes (from the leftover batter from the circle).

Today, the fun part. I ended up not cutting the feet from the second half of the circle like the example, instead I just cut them from the bottom of the 9x13. 
Cut - the black is just decorating gel. :)
Mostly frosted! Just needed some touch-up.
Almost done! - The red is cables by the way, not blood.
My designs were also slightly different from hers, and if you pay enough attention, you'll notice mine is flipped or like a mirror of hers. That would be blamed on my brain for not flipping the image correctly when R2 was upside down and I was working at the top of his head. ;)
I used aforementioned cupcakes to spell his name. (Aforementioned?? Geez, can you tell I've been reading Pride and Prejudice as of late? I love that book! Is that weird??)

It was a whole lot of work, a whole lot of putzy, and I tend to be a sort of perfectionist without having the skills do be such. That said, I can conclude it'll be awhile before my next R2 cake! Maybe the benefit??
This, by the way, leaves the score at Sarah: 0, Pinterest 1.

Once again, Pinterest won by making me do something beyond my baking/cake decorating skills, and I'm left to figure out how long it takes to come out of a sugar coma.

On the other hand, brother liked it, his friends thought it was cool, and it was cheaper than a store-bought cake would have been, so maybe I won the "war" of R2D2??

See cupcake in bottom left corner? That's supposed to be the top of R2's head. Had to do something cool with the leftovers!  ;)

Updated to add the score changed... it's now Sarah: 0, Elijah: 1. Said child decided to place the iPad he was using on top of the cake (which had cling wrap on it, so the iPad is fine), push down, and pull it towards him. Grrr. At least it's still edible, even if you can't tell what it is. :P

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Heavy Hearts

Tonight my heart is heavy, and I'm sad.


Yesterday was the last day Joseph had to find a family... he didn't find one. His only hope for a family now is someone in country will adopt him (they have until 18, I believe). Please pray that is so. If that doesn't happen that an organization like Max and True Hope will come into his life and save him from the life that otherwise awaits him.


Also yesterday, with heavy hearts Reece's Rainbow announced they are relocating the grants of the children in Russia to other waiting children in other countries. This followed a meeting last week in Russia to discuss the ban, and the outcome of that meeting basically was Russia is not reopening anytime soon. [tears]

This news is breaking so many hearts and taking away the last bits of hope many families and advocates were hanging onto. Please pray for these families and advocates, the children stuck in Russia, and that God would move His mighty hand in this situation.

I put this video together last week... these are some of the faces that are now banned from having a family. You will probably recognize some faces.


And there is all the tragic events in the news. The Boston Marathon bombings, the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, the earthquake in China, the building that collapsed yesterday in Bangladesh, the barge explosions in Alabama... I could go on and on.

My heart is heavy tonight... so much evil, so much sadness. I'm grateful I know and trust the One who holds the world in His hands.

Do you know Jesus? Do you trust in Him? Have you asked Him to forgive your sins, and asked Him in into your heart? Do you know for sure that you'll live with Him in heaven someday? If not, I strongly encourage you to get to a point where you can answer those questions with a yes. (Email me if you want help inviting Him into your life, contact info on sidebar.)

Life with Jesus isn't a free ride, and no where does it promise bad things don't happen to those who believe in Jesus. But choosing to know Him is the best decision you'll ever make, and He will help you through the hard times and carry you and your burdens when you just can't do it yourself anymore.

There is a heaven and a hell, you don't want to spend eternity in the latter. Get ready, Jesus is coming back soon!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting Wednesday: Angelia

You know that feeling when you leave your computer cord at your best friends house (because I had to have something to email her with while I was there - neither of us like texting) and then only realize it after you ran your previously full battery dead? And you are slightly upset about it? Then you realize "oh sweet, I can check email and read blogs on the iPad, and I now have a GOOD excuse why I haven't blogged, and not to do the school that's on the computer?" Ever have that feeling? No? Must just be me.


This is Angelia.
Sweet princess is in the same place as Emmitt, whom if you follow a couple other advocates blogs, you might have seen him advocated for.

She has spent soo long in an institution without a family. She just turned TWELVE. Can you imagine that? A little girl living 6+ years in an insane asylum??

She needs someone to rescue her from the horrid place she lives, and who will love her. Who will be her family and help her become the QUEEN she was made to be!

When we love the least of these, like Angelia, they will become Kings and Queens!

More about her below. Visit her profile here!

Girl, Born April 7, 2001
Diagnosis: Down syndrome
Angelia has been living in an institution for 5 years. Yet she is healthy, active, happy and SO ready for a family to love her and show her what her life is supposed to be like. She does have some strabismus, but no heart condition. The orphanage staff tell us she does like to play with toys, is interactive and affectionate, and has “potential to improve”.
Angelia is in a place where we have successfully adopted several children out of, and those families can tell you horror stories about many of the other kids there. Angelia is strong and healthy, despite her surroundings. What a miracle it would be to save her!
 $1140.19 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Help her become a queen! ♥

Thursday, April 18, 2013

One FOUND, one still LOST.

For the past week... every time I have clicked on the My Family Found Me page, I've held my breath, praying that this would be the time I would see these two faces on it.
I am VERY happy to announce that it happened last night!

I opened up the page, and was soo very happy to see sweet Dennis on the top. And then I scrolled down some more and saw this face.
That's when I squealed. Like a pig. No shame. In fact, loud enough that Rachel, who is 20 mi away from me, heard me. (So maybe I typed it as soon as I could see out of my ears, which were leaking insane amounts of liquid. Weird.)


PRAISE GOD!!!!!! Just DAYS from aging out, he has a family!!!!!!

And the icing on the cake?? I kept scrolling down, and "Ianto" does too!!! He is two months older than me, and will age out in just over a year. I had planned on advocating for him, but now I don't have too! And, I assume, he and "Sebastian" are going to be brothers! Yay!


But, the sad part - Joseph wasn't on there.

He has a bad picture, and doesn't have as much info as Sebastian did, but he's no less deserving of a family. It's not his fault no one got a good picture or no one who met him wrote a bio about him!!


PLEASE spread the word about him, and pray for a family and for him!! A family needs to file paperwork to USCIS for him on or before April 24th!! Only 7 days left (including today).


Please email Debbie at for more info about adopting him and getting submitted to USCIS. Serious inquiries only please.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting Wednesday: Violetta

Today, I want to introduce you to a sweet princess by the the name of Violetta.
Isn't she beautiful??

Violetta will be 5 in September, so is still little! However, she has most likely been transferred to an institution already, and if not, she will be very soon! She is/was in the same orphanage as my little brother Elijah was in.

She has a whole host of medical issues, but nothing very serious. She does have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome like "my" Logan, so she needs a family that will have patience with her, and help her become who God made her to be, despite her mother's mistakes.
Every day she waits is another day lost. Please consider adding this sweet princess to your family!


Girl, Born September 2008
Oh sweet girl :(  Violetta is 4 now and is facing transfer this year.  She urgently needs a family!
From her medical records:  FAS, syndrome of movement disorders in form of two-sided pyramidal insufficiency, condition after surgery: abdominal incision, bowel resection (September 19, 2008), end-to-end abdominal anastomosis as a result of enterocolitis and serous peritonitis, examination stage and assumption of partial optic atrophy, slight protein-energy malnutrition, defficiency anemia.
$2693.80 is available towards the cost of my adoption!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Feeding Casey, Simon, and Bobby

This morning I found out that sweet Bobby HAS A FAMILY!!!!!
Praise God! I can't wait for them to rescue him from that horrid place!!


My friend Julia Nalle, is hosting the second Mulligan Stew over on her blog. And this year she is feeding three of the boys I've advocated for - Casey, Simon, and Bobby!
Today is the last day of the stew... and there are still some goals to be met! (Even though Bobby now has a family, he is still part of the stew.) There are lots of amazing prizes and lots of families and children to choose to donate to. Go check it out, and be a part of something amazing!

Oh, and as an added incentive, if you donate today, you can be entered in a drawing to win this amazing piece of art done by the famous Aaron himself!
The Motorcycle
Aaron has no real working muscles or tendons in his arm, he somehow manages to weave the pencil through his fingers and uses his shoulder to move it. Amazing.

Ok, now go help feed these children and families! :)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ch-ch-changes! (WW: Maria)

As I'm sure you've heard, in late December, Russia closed to their adoption program to Americans.

The US government passed some legislation the Russian government didn't like, and in retaliation they closed adoptions, and the children are left to suffer. (I'm still not sure why that was a good retaliation tactic, as I'm not sure there are a lot of people in the US government who care about the orphans???) Anyways, they closed.

Some families who had court were allowed to bring their children home, but most in the process, even a lot of families who have already met their child, weren't able to bring them home. And of course, new families can't commit to a child or start the process to bring them home.

Many, many people were affected by this ban, all the advocates for Russian orphans, all the families, and all the children who are now stuck in orphanages and institutions. PLEASE PLEASE pray that this ban is lifted soon, or that a special needs waiver is passed so special needs adoptions can continue. The lives of many children hang in the balance.


I have advocated for many children in Russia, and while I will still keep praying for them, I will not be advocating for them anymore until they are adoptable. You can find them all at the bottom of my sidebar where it's split into two columns. Please take a moment to pray for their precious lives.


Lilly and Owen are two children you will find in that section of the sidebar, as they are in Russia, and I have advocated, a lot, for them here.

Rachel and I were fundraising for them over at Handiwork for Orphans, and of course we were and still are devastated about the situation and the fact they, and all the other children can't have the loving family they deserve. Both actually had pretty interested families right before the shut-down.

Since their grants closed on RR (please note all grants for Russian children are currently on hold and will be saved for that child), we had no place to send people to pay for our items. So we needed a new child to advocate and raise money for.

After many prayers, we found our new child (who is not in Russia). While it hurts so much to not be able to help all the ones we want to help, we feel this child needs it most right now.


Meet Miss Maria:

This precious girl will be 11 years old this year, but is the size of a toddler. She has Down syndrome, and needs a family quickly because she is already living at an institution. 

(Two fun facts about her institution - I visited there while in Ukraine, but only for an afternoon and didn't see her. And also, she is at the same place, and even the same grouppa that Maxim and Ryan were in (who are both now home and thriving in their awesome loving families, both of whom I've met!)! 

She is described as spunky and a bit of a drama queen, and even though she has been living at a bad institution for quite awhile, she still has so much life.

Here's some more about her from her profile:
Girl, born 2002
Down syndrome
Maria is a bundle of sweetness and pure energy! She lives her life sort of like a game of bumper kids, not afraid of crawling over, through, or into other children to get where she wants to go. She is otherwise all girl, giggly and sweet, loving to blow kisses or play with dolls.
She is not speaking, but uses some sign language she may have made up to communicate her basic needs, such as thirst or needing to go to the bathroom. She also makes some of the most hilariously adorable facial expressions. She is not able to stand or walk, and she appears to have problems with her hips. She is very flexible, and often sits with one foot above her head. She can get around quite well in a very unique way of holding her feet and scooting along on her bottom, she moves at a very fast pace. She is a sweet girl who does not know about personal boundaries (such as crawling around instead of over the other children) but is nonetheless very loving and would probably do great in a family where she was the youngest.

We are so excited to be raising money for her... go check out the things we have up for sale! 100% of the proceeds go to her adoption fund which will help her find a family and pay for her adoption when she has a family. Come visit us at Handiwork for Maria!

Monday, April 8, 2013


I wasn't planning on blogging until Wednesday, due to school stuff I need to focus on, but I'm breaking that rule to share with you this urgent need.

This is Sebastian.
Read more about Sebastian here.

This is Joseph.
Read more about Joseph here.

Sebastian has 17 days to find a family.

Joseph has 16 days to find a family.

A family must file paperwork with USCIS for Sebastian by April 25th. And by April 24th for Joseph. 

SEVENTEEN DAYS!!!!! SIXTEEN DAYS!!!!! Friends, do you see how urgent their need is?? To make it even more urgent, here's some statistics. Don't skip them.

Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT

Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home

In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18

60% of the girls are lured into prostitution

70% of the boys become hardened criminals

Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.

Sebastian and Joseph both turn 16 in just over two weeks, and they have two possible futures.

#1 - Get turned out on the streets with nothing. Becoming slaves. Becoming criminals. Becoming drug addicts. Fighting for their lives daily. Commit suicide or be murdered.

#2 - Get adopted. Becoming part of a family that loves them unconditionally. Who care enough to not want them out on the streets. Who will teach them through actions that they matter, and they are wanted. Who will help them become all God created them to be!

The scale is even right now. In two weeks life will tip it towards #1. We have a chance to tip it towards #2, but it's not going to be easy. These boys are so worth it though.

When Sebastian and Joseph turn 16 in just over two weeks, they will have aged out. Lost their chance for a family. We can stop that from happening. We NEED to stop that from happening.

How you can help:
SHARING. Share their need and pictures everywhere possible. Facebook, blogs, email, Twitter, Google+, etc. You name it, their need has to be on there. We need their family to see them!

PRAYING. Don't stop them up to the Father until they have families! Pray, pray, pray! Prayer can move mountains, and there are two huge mountains to move!
Feel free to use this picture to share them!

Friends, I am absolutely sick over this. We just can not let them age out without a family. Max has told us horror stories about kids that have aged out and what they go through, he works with them daily. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help find them a family!!

Their very lives depend on it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A story about my shirt.

Background of story: Last July I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to go to the National Down Syndrome Convention with the Zoromski family. While there I bought a new shirt.

It says "My Brothers hasve Down Syndrome. On the back it says "I'm just cool by association."

Fast forward 7 months.


There was snow on the ground, the sun was shining bright. Mom and I had to make a quick run to my favorite fabric and craft store store down the road.

On the way she said that today was February 15th, and if there was anything happening today that I could add to my list. (The 15th is my favorite day of the month, things, good and bad, always seem to happen on that day.)

I told her I didn't think so, but we'll see at the end of the day. "Maxim has been a Nance for 1 month. Lyla has been home 5 months. 6 months since Selah's accident. 31 months since I met Logan."

On the way home she says, "I have something you can add to your list for today..." What she said next, resulted in me changing my shirt to this.

Moral of the story: I need a new shirt, I'm running out of room!


Yes, we are adopting again!!! And very excited about it!

A little girl with Down syndrome. Who the world sees as worthless. But who we see as worthy. Worthy of a family, worthy of love. And we are going to give those two things to her. And a new name as well: Grace. She, Lord willing, will be my new little sister by the end of 2013. We are looking at traveling late summer right now.

Follow the journey over on my mom's blog: My God is Lord

Here we go again, back to the country we love to bring home another child who doesn't know love. I can't wait!!! :D

Pssst.... I know you are wondering who she is, but we aren't sharing that at this point in the process. Sorry. :( I wish I could show you her adorable face! My mom kinda explains why here.