Archive for January, 2013

January 31, 2013

A Chariot for Princess Sadie

I want to tell you a little story. 

Almost two years ago I wrote this blog post and told you about a precious baby girl named Princess who was in desperate need of an adoptive family.


I prayed for Princess, hoped her family had been found and then never heard anything else about her.

Fast forward a year later.  I was in the hospital with Benjamin getting an echocardiogram completed.  His technician was chatty and was telling me about her aunt who was in the process of adopting a little girl from Ghana with special needs.   We had a nice conversation about special needs adoption and that was that.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I emailed a woman who has been advocating for a little boy in Ghana with special needs.  I told her I would love to feature him on my blog.  We started chatting and we realized that SHE was the aunt from the conversation with the echo technician!  Her niece had told her about our family (adoption connection after all) but who would believe we’d ever “bump into” each other on Facebook.

Just today I put all the pieces together and realized that her daughter (now named Sadie) is precious Princess who I posted about in April 2011!



Would you read Princess Sadie’s story below and consider helping this family afford a wheelchair accessible van for their daughter?

I know just how hard it is to manage transporting a wheelchair without a proper vehicle.

And I also know that our community can do amazing things – just like when you all raised enough money for our handicap van!  

I can’t wait to see this family blessed the way we were!  I am so excited to see little Sadie riding tall in her new wheelchair in her new van.

Please consider donating to help make this families dream a reality.

A Fairy Tale usually begins with the words, “Once upon a time”, ends with, “happily ever after” and is filled with all sorts of things that don’t happen in real life. I want to share with you a real life Fairy Tale that begins with, “Once upon a time”, ends with, “happily ever after” and is filled with all sorts of things that don’t usually happen in real life but because the Author of this story is God, well, anything can happen. This story is about a princess, no really, her name is Princess. She was born in Ghana, West Africa after surviving a late-term abortion. There was an heroic rescue and she was given the name, Princess. Through a series of extraordinary events, Princess was adopted by a family in a far-off land and she became, Sadie Mae Beute. Now, our princess’ new family didn’t know it at the time but the name they chose for their precious new daughter actually means, Princess. I told you anything was possible in this kind of Fairy Tale! So Princess Sadie made the long journey to her new home and began her “happily every after” with her new family, her forever family. Sadie’s story has been full of ups and downs and twists and turns. It’s not been easy but I can tell you it’s beautiful. You can read all about Princess Sadie and her precious family on their blog I think you’ll find it to be beautifully and honestly written. Because of Sadie’s special needs she will soon be using a wheelchair which will not fit into her family’s current vehicle. The reality is that vehicles with wheelchair lifts are very expensive. This dear family is a long way off from affording this type of purchase but their precious daughter will begin life with her wheelchair already this March. This is where we come in! I believe that during the month of February we can reach 4,000 people who are willing to give just $5 toward the cost of a “chariot” for Princess Sadie. Sounds almost impossible, I know, until you remember Who is writing this Fairy Tale! With God, all things are possible! Please take a moment to read Sadie’s story, donate $5 and then share this opportunity with your friends. Sadie’s Chariot Fund, an account at Chemical Bank has been set up for receiving donations. You can drop off or mail donations to 5980 Lake Michigan Drive, Allendale, MI 49401. Checks can be made out to Audrey Beute and/or Sarah Butterfield. Please write “Sadie’s Chariot Fund” on any donation so that it will be deposited appropriately. Donations can be made via Paypal on the Beute family blog.

Thank you for helping this sweet family!  

January 28, 2013

Waiting Children

I want to take a few minutes to share with you two precious boys who have been on my heart lately.

These adorable little guys are in the same country in Eastern Europe (not Russia).
They both need families ASAP, but one little guys situation is especially urgent – he will age out next year and no longer be eligible for adoption!

First – meet Emmitt.


Emmitt is 15 years old.  He was born with Spina Bifida and his legs are deformed.   I’m told that Emmitt is typical mentally (though I’m sure he has orphanage related delays) but because he has a physical disability he was placed in a mental institution and has been there for many years.  Yes, you read that right….a mental institution.  Only because he’s physically disabled.

Just think about that for a few minutes….

Do you want to know what life is like inside many mental institutions in Eastern Europe?

Watch this video.  It is powerful and heartbreaking but this life is very real for many, many orphans in the world today.

(The boys I’m sharing with you are not from the country protrayed in this video but places just like this exist in many countries around the world)

Some adoptive families have met Emmitt while at the institution and have wonderful things to say about him.

His adoption description reads in part:  “He is living in one of the mental institutions, and has been for many years, yet he remains sweet, intelligent, and kind.  Ttwo of our adopting families met him while they were there, and are pleading for a family to save him…” Emmitt has a severe deformity of his legs.  He cannot walk at all.  He is very friendly, funny, and talkative. He desperately seeks out attention.  He was talking to my husband, and holding Zack’s hand, which he then put on top of his head for Zack to rub his hair.  He is extremely intelligent, and just precious!  I brought him paper and crayons, and he drew me a flower….He is clever. He keeps some books and toys in his bed, and talks about his life to volunteers. I think he desperately needs parents and better life, if it is any hope for him.”

Emmitt needs rescued NOW.    Could you be his family?


The second little guy I want to share with you is Bowen.

Oh my goodness, just look at that little face!


From his picture it looks like Bowen has one arm with an elbow (he will be able to do SO MUCH with this!!) and possibly one full leg?  If so, he should be able to do so much with those two limbs! It looks to me like the residual limb on his other side might be long enough for a prosthetic too.

This little guy has SO much potential!  He’s so young and just ready for a family!  I can’t believe he’s still waiting…I’ve been watching him for a few weeks and can’t wait to see him moved to the section of the website for children with forever families.

If you are interested in either of these boys (or any of the other hundreds of precious children on the Reece’s Rainbow website) you can send an email to Andrea  – – for more information.

Feel free to share this link with anyone who might be interested in these little guys!

January 18, 2013

5 years old!

Can you believe it?

Our sweet Mayer is 5 years old!

We celebrated his birthday last week with a small party here at home.  He also had cupcakes at school and got to wear a crown while his classmates sang to him.

He was so excited he could hardly contain himself!

I can hardly believe how blessed we are to have been given the gift of parenting this amazingly smart, charming, funny, and loving boy.  He is such a joy to us!

Happy 5th birthday Mayer !!!!


Mayer 5th Bday from sister haiti on Vimeo.

January 16, 2013

Benja medical update

Yesterday morning Benjamin was sedated at the hospital for some more testing of his jaw issues.

For those who are new to my blog or don’t know – Benjamin was born with Pierre Robin Sequence. Pierre Robin causes an abnormally small jaw, large tongue set far back in the back of the throat and breathing difficulties.  He has a very large cleft palate.   In addition to his tiny jaw it became clear when we adopted him that he couldn’t open his mouth very far.  Just a few centimeters.  From what I can tell this isn’t a Pierre Robin issue but something different.  He has been examined many times by many specialists to try and determine what they are going to do to fix his jaw.  He for sure needs a distraction (google it – ouch) but they haven’t been able to figure out exactly what is causing his jaw to be stuck in the shut position and how to fix it.

So yesterday they hoped to have our answer after they examined his jaw under sedation.

The surgeons came back after they were done and shared with me that they are about 90% certain that it is a problem with his condyle.   There is a 10% chance it is a problem with his coronoid.  (you can google pictures of those if you want to know what they are – I had to.) Since they aren’t 100% sure (and they are very different surgeries and procedures to fix them) they want to wait and have him seen by another specialist in July (yes, July) who has just been hired by our hospital.  Our main surgeon (who I really like) assured me that if it was his child he would wait until this specialist could see Benja and be involved in the surgery.

I told the surgeons I wasn’t in a hurry for him to have surgery (what mom is?) but I do want him to have the best chance possible to learn to talk (if he’s able) and chew.  I just feel like the longer he isn’t able to do these things the harder it might be for him to learn them later.

They did say that they think they can do the jaw condyle or coronoid surgery at the same time as putting in the mandibular distractor so that would mean (hopefully) only one jaw surgery instead of two.

So we got some new information but now we’re back to more waiting.  They told us one of the defects is an “easy fix” and the other is a “serious surgery” and if he does indeed have a problem with that part of the jaw he’ll need extensive follow up care and possibly more surgeries as he grows.  We’re hoping it’s the “easy fix” problem but prepared that it may not be.

Thanks for thinking about and praying for our little guy.  Benja, of course, charmed all the ladies he encountered and we got to share our story (and talk about special needs adoption) with several sweet nurses who were very interested.  One asked me to email her more info!  Maybe another precious little one will find a family through all this??  :)




January 7, 2013

and still he waits….

Two years ago I walked into an orphanage in Africa and met a precious baby boy.

Elias* was about a year old.  I was told he had seizures and low muscle tone.  He had reflux and was considered “failure to thrive”.  His caregivers asked me if I might be able to find a family for this precious baby boy.

Of course, I answered.  Of course this precious, adorable baby boy would find a forever family.


Two years later…Elias is still waiting.

His chances in Africa aren’t good.  If he survives he will spend the rest of his life in an institution.  He has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and they have a hard time controlling his seizures with the limited medical care available to him.   He is being fed through an NG tube (in his nose) because he aspirates his food.  While the orphanage he is in is a great one, it is still an orphanage and Elias NEEDS a family.  There is nothing that can replace a loving family.

Last time I was at his orphanage I went looking for him.  I had been warned that he looked a lot different.  “Like a holocaust victim” is how a friend who works at the orphanage described him.  Apparently he had been sent to the hospital and came back to the orphanage is worse shape than he was in before.  I was heartbroken.  He had changed so much.  He smiled at me as I held him and I smiled back with tears in my eyes knowing how much harder it would be for him to find a family now.  Now that he was older, gaunt, stiff and spastic.  I was heartbroken that this little boy with SO much potential is wasting away without a family or the medical attention he so desperately needs.  Wasting away because no one will step out and say YES that they will rescue this precious child.

Elias is a beautiful, innocent 3 year old boy who needs and DESERVES a forever family.


I know it’s scary.  I know.  Elias needs someone willing to take a leap of faith.  Someone who see’s what I see:  a sweet little boy who longs to connect with you but who is stuck in a body that is working against him.

Parenting Elias isn’t going to easy.  Especially at first.  There is no doubt about that.   But I can tell you, this little boy is WORTH IT.  He will make the most amazing son for someone willing to step out of their comfort zone and bring him home.

Please friends, won’t you consider if you are this sweet boy’s family?  

Elias has waited far too long.

*name changed to protect privacy

Little E from sister haiti on Vimeo.

January 5, 2013

Top Posts of 2012

It’s 2013!  Happy New Year!
I know….I’m late.  {Sorry}

But better late than never, right?

Just for fun, here are the top ten posts of 2012.

  1. New Faces of International Adoption 
  2. Waiting Children in Liberia
  3. …a family for me? 
  4. Some days…
  5. New Faces of International Adoption Part 2
  6. Never say never. 
  7. New Faces of International Adoption Part 4
  8. New Faces of International Adoption Part 3
  9. A big, white 10 passenger miracle…
  10. Ahhh!