Archive for September, 2012

September 29, 2012

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September 28, 2012

It’s Official!

It’s official!

Jovia & Benja’s adoptions were finalized in the US yesterday morning!!  

It was almost exactly a year ago we were in Ugandan courts asking for guardianship of these babies.

Now they are ours forever!

Happy, happy, happy day!

Picture from yesterday at court with the judge.

A year ago in Uganda.   My goodness how they have changed! 





September 22, 2012

Happy Adoption Day Millen!!

This is a couple of weeks late!  Oops!  

Millen’s adoption finalization was a few weeks ago!  It’s always such a relief to have things officially official and DONE. 

Pictured below:  my parents with their three kids and their three grandchildren (my kids) with the judge.  CUTE! 

September 20, 2012

He’s waiting….

I want to share with you an amazing little boy in Africa who is waiting for a family.  

This amazing kid is about 11 years old and is described as a very special boy.  He is very loving and REALLY wants a forever family.  His orphanage director says he is always working to try and help people.  They report that he is fantastic with the smaller kids in the home and never acts jealous of them.   He is a double orphan and has been living in a children’s home for many years.


He has a lot working against him finding a family. He’s a boy. He’s older. He’s HIV+ and he’s in a country with long travel requirements.

Despite all of that, I just know there is someone out there who would love another little boy in their family!

By the way – If you are still scared of HIV, if you think it’s a risk bringing an HIV+ child into your family, if you still think it’s a death sentence…let me help you educate yourself on HIV!  SO many families are now adopting HIV+ children because they are realizing that it is a very manageable special need and their are so many kids who need families!   Your other children/family members/friends are not at risk of contracting it in a normal household environment.   With medicine he will be able to live a long, healthy life. Check this out:

From an adoptive family who recently met him:

“He has the sweetest most tender little heart you have ever seen. Just before I snapped his picture, a younger child came up to the lunch table and there were no chairs left. Without saying a word he got up and gave the younger boy his chair and then went and found himself another one.”

What a sweet little guy!

Do you know anyone looking to adopt a beautiful little boy?  Please feel free to share this post with them.   Interested in adopting him or want more information on requirements, country info, etc?   Leave me a message here and I’ll contact you!


September 15, 2012

Hearing Aid!

On Wednesday we headed to the hospital to pick up Benja’s {long awaited} hearing aid!

As I’ve mentioned before, Benja was born with microtia of one ear.   That ear is very underdeveloped and has no opening.  Weren’t quite sure what was going on inside until we had some tests done.  We found out a few months ago that Benja doesn’t have a functioning ear canal and has no hearing on that side.   When they tested the other ear they found that he had very little hearing in that ear either and labeled him essentially deaf.   We knew he could hear some things (he repeats certain sounds we make and turns his head when we call his name) but it probably wasn’t much and not very clear.  Benja is also non-verbal.  He makes noises/sounds but has never spoken a real word.  We (and his speech therapists!) have been really hoping that once he can hear, he may begin to try some words.

Anyway, back to Wednesday.  We drove up and picked up his Cochlear Baha with a softband.   I was a bit anxious to see how he did the first time with it on.  I had been warned that some kids freak out the first time they get their hearing aids so I was prepared for a difficult transition.   Benja wasn’t sure what to think when we first put it on (the hearing aid was still switched off).  He reached up to pull it off several times.  We turned the hearing aid on and he immediately jerked around and stared at us with wide eyes.  We talked to him and he smiled at us and reached for the hearing aid.  When he touched it, it squealed (as hearing aids do).  He started crying then.  I comforted him a bit and he stopped.  He touched the hearing aid again to make it squeal and this time smiled.  He would touch it several times in a row and laugh when it made a the squealing noise.  It was quite cute.   Then Jovie pushed a button on a (loud) toy which started making noise and I think startled him so he started crying again.  It must have been such a shock to hear all those loud noises after all this time!   We took it off in the car so he could sleep (he hadn’t napped yet).  That evening when we got home and put it back on him he smiled and started jumping around.  He hasn’t looked back since !  He doesn’t seem upset or disturbed by it at all.  He doesn’t even try to take it off.   If he accidently makes is squeal (leans up against a pillow or someone brushes it) he either fusses or laughs depending on his mood.  But otherwise I think he forgets it is there.

I’m so relieved it has been such an easy transition for him so far!  I can’t wait to see if we can make any progress with his verbal communication.   I’m anxious for us to really start communicating.  He’s been regularly signing “more” but that’s about all we’ve got so far even though we’re signing a good number of signs fairly regularly throughout the day.  We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks and months!

September 8, 2012

First Day of School 2012-2013

Mayer went back to preschool and co-op this week!   He’s in preschool three mornings a week and one day a week he goes to a homeschool co-op with my mom and siblings.  He’s a busy boy!

I had kinda forgotten how crazy mornings are around here during the school year – I got spoiled having Keith home all summer.  That extra set of hands is very helpful!   I’m getting back into the routine of packing everyone up and leaving the house by 845.   We were only late once this week so I think we’re doing OK.  :)


September 4, 2012

World CP Day!

Today, September 4, 2012 is the first ever World CP (Cerebral Palsy) day!

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for children, especially orphans, with cerebral palsy.   I remember the first time I spent time with an orphaned child with CP.   He was in Haiti and it was one of my first experiences in a developing country.  This sweet boy spent most of his time tied up.  He would be tied to the railings of stairs/porches or his feet would be hobbled so he couldn’t walk.  He was so desperate for attention he clung to whoever would show any interest in him.   I watched as visitors and volunteers spent hours loving on the cute, chubby babies but averted their eyes whenever they were in the same room with this little boy.  My heart broke for him.  Since that time I have found myself seeking out children with CP whenever I’m in orphanages or children’s homes.  Giving them extra love and cuddles that I know they are likely missing in their daily lives.

My precious son was diagnosed with CP after we brought him home from Africa.  He is only mildly affected, it causes weakness in his lower limbs.   He is now 2.5 years old and is learning to walk with braces and a walker.   While he is challenged with many special needs and medical conditions, he has made more progress in the past year than we would have ever dreamed possible.   He is a delightful, sweet and beautiful child.  We can’t imagine life without him.

There are many beautiful children with cerebral palsy waiting for families all over the world.   AAI‘s Uganda program is advocating for two children with CP on their waiting child list and we’ll have more children listed soon.   I’m know other agencies have children with CP on their waiting lists as well.   Reece’s Rainbow has a beautiful video of children with CP that they are advocating for.  Please consider providing a family to one of these precious children.

If you have any questions about what parenting a child with CP looks like, I’d love to talk to you and connect you with other families!

Happy World CP Day!!

Some of the many silly faces of our sweet Benja.  He loves to sit in his new big boy chair!



September 1, 2012

Kensia & Jovia doing gymanstics

(Sometimes my pictures and videos overlap on Facebook/Blog.  Sorry for those who get this twice!)