Winter Wonderland

We have had quite the winter in North Dakota. Thought I would post some pics of Daddy, Grace & me playing in the snow. (This is especially for you–Texas Cousins….)

Here’s Me Standing on a massive snow “hill”…..

Here’s Grace & Daddy sledding in the street:

Silly Grace! Just don’t stick that tongue on a metal pole!

MMMMMMMM…..Back inside, by our fireplace, with hot chocolate and ESPN in the background…..This is the life! (according to Kevin, that is….)

Texas Cousins

Introducing our Texas cousins: Alex, Kassie, Julianna, Victoria, and Natasha. Aren’t they adorable!!

We don’t get to see them very often. But they are very excited to have a new cousin. They are hoping to visit us this summer, so we are praying that Bella will be home with us when they arrive.

Poor Sam – outnumbered again! (only boy)

Bittersweet Birthday….

Our “Sissybeth” turns 15 today! We had her little birthday celebration early this morning (7:30 a.m.) because she is going to Kenmare after school to do stats for the boys basketball team. That means she won’t be back home until after 10 or 11 tonight.

Then, around 10:30 a.m. we received a phone call that my Granny went home to be with the Lord. She was 99 years old. We are glad she is at peace but still feel the loss.

So as we celebrate the birth of our oldest daughter, we are saddened by the loss of our dear, sweet Granny!

Dates and Stuff……

This post will probably be more for me than anything. I want to document what we have done and the costs to date. Here goes:

1/7/09 Committed to Brandi—————————Yay!
1/7/09 Ordered birth & marriage certificates———-$90
1/7/09 Took Taylor Johnson and parenting tests——$65
1/8/09 Family Support Page & app/love gift————$50
1/10/09 Passport pictures taken————————-$35
1/20/09 I600A mailed———————————-$830
1/21/09 Home Study Application/background———$380
1/28/09 TB test, bloodwork & labs———————-$100
1/28/09 Passports applied——————————–$200

Summer 2009 Bringing Bella Home—-$PRICELESS!

Daddy & Grace

Daddy and Grace are very close. They wrestle, go to SkyRocket games, and to the “ooo” office. (new office). They both like to play “ootball” (football). Here they are in a combo game of wrestling/football:

Won’t it be fun with two girls ganging up on Daddy!

How This Came To Be…….

Ever since Grace was born, we toyed with the idea of adopting a child with Down syndrome. Kevin would say that if someone dropped off a baby with DS at our door, he would adopt in a heartbeat.

We continued to think and pray over the years until we felt we just needed to do this. Through a series of events, we ended up on a website called Reece’s Rainbow. The ministry’s purpose is to promote the international adoption and rescue of children with Down syndrome. Here’s the link: www.reecesrainbow.org This organization is run by a gracious woman who totally volunteers her time and talents to bring families and orphans with DS together. ALL money donated goes to the children’s adoption–she is a volunteer and takes no salary! Thank you, Andrea!

After pouring over pictures, one little girl stood out among the rest. Here is what her description says:

Girl, Born February 17, 2005
SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!!
Brandi is a precious, healthy, high functioning little girl who needs a family ASAP. She has light brown hair and blue eyes. She is very active and mobile and loves to play with dolls. She is also able to “pretend play”, which is a wonderful skill and says a lot about her cognitive ability.
From her caregivers: “Brandi is very cheerful, tender, kind and calm. She smiles when communicating with others. Concentrates her attention on books, very interested in pictures/drawings. Interested in musical instruments. Understands when she is addressed by adults, performs tasks on elementary level. She dresses herself and eats herself, independently. Repeats certain words after adults. Likes to play with toys and especially Barbie dolls. A specific example: when she was recently asked: “Brandi, please put the doll to sleep.” In response, Brandi took the toy bed, put/set up bedding into the bed, put the doll into the bed, covered her with small blanket, started to sway/rock the cradle softly and sign a lullaby song. “

Please give Brandi the chance to blossom in a loving family, like all of the rest of our children have! She will be transferred soon, please help her!

We committed to Brandi aka Bella on January 7th. And now we are in the Home Study process with Catholic Charities of ND. Our social worker, Lisa, has been great to work with.

It is our hope to be able to travel this summer to bring Bella home. Thanks to everyone who has been so encouraging and supportive to us as we start this journey. We won’t be able to do this without all of our family and friends!