Category Archives: Adoption

Scarlet

Scarlet

This little lady has epilepsy, well a brother too, but he’s been adopted and she’s left waiting for a family. While it seems so sad that Rhett’s been brought into a new home without his sister, I’m not sure if they were even together in the orphanage where they lived prior. Rhett, the older of the two in this Eastern Europeon sibling set is only 7 years old, Scarlet is 4 years old.

Scarlet is noted to have sever handicaps in her development and in addition to a non specified seizure disorder she has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

View her video here and her Reece’s Rainbow page, which updates according to any information that the orphanage may forward on to the adoption agency. Scarlet and Rhett’s page

He’s 9

He’s 9

AJ and Deeder, 2015

AJ and Deeder, 2015

Where’ve we gone, and how’d I stop remembering every day.

Yesterday I got to walk Deeder to his second day of summer school. Of course I remembered our long walks together in Vermont. He had his blue camouflage backpack on and green sneakers, a blue T shirt that had the characters from Mario across the front. We’d missed the bus yesterday because he’d taken a minute too long to tie his left shoe and along the way near the end of the block his right shoe’s tie became loose and he stopped to tighten it.

We were four minutes late for school, but it was pricelessly worth the potential tarty mark (although hopefully it is the only dock for the summer session). My son and I don’t get the time alone that we used to in which he feels free to voice his private thoughts and I just felt so blessed to be given this opportunity to hear from him. He called me Mommy and held my hand, talking openly and pausing to look at a squirrel scurrying along one branch and jumping to a nearby tree. That’s a morning I can’t live again or step back into to change a word that either of us said. I’m glad I let him take the second to look at the squirrel and that I fought the urge to pull him along and remind him of the need to hurry along to school. He has at least 9 years of school left, in that moment I thought What’s a few minutes? Yesterday was the day before my son’s 9th birthday. This is the last single digit number and Lord willing I have so very many years ahead to celebrate the amazing gift God gave me on July 15th, 2006 when I was 21 years old. We had 22 months together before his sister was born, and I’m thankful that I wrote every day and took about a dozen pictures each day, rooting even the smallest pieces of our daily routine into my mind forever. When did that stop being the most important thing to me? Deeder’s youngest sister turned 3 this past February and what better time than now to resume my postings of the basic things. It’s the basic things that make the memories that stay forever. Not the gifts, but the giving of time. The conversations, the involvement and caring. I remember sitting and building block structures with him, talking all the while, noting his cute life observations and taking him to library hour and music class, swimming in the summer and walking over the bridge to New Hampshire to shop at Walmart together. I remember all of this, not just because I was there, but because I took videos and pictures and wrote it down.

Fair 2014

Fair 2014

We’ve been in WA 6 years now and have traditions like going to the Northwest Washington Fair every August and love that as a family. This year will be the first that we don’t have to bring a stroller along with! Deeder loves being the leader in our touring of the barns and choosing which rides to go on. Since we’ve been there are new traditions as we’re a family of four kids, and love that our oldest got to have these siblings as much as he thinks he would appreciate less noise and excitement around him, it’s absolutely healthy that I’m not his only playmate at home.

North Dakota 2015

North Dakota 2015, with Deeder in the truck because he was feeling sick.

We’ve developed a tradition of going to North Dakota every summer to visit Darren’s side of the family, and what a terrific experience that is for all the children. Darren and I always talk about how wonderful it would be for Deeder to be on a farm daily and have chores to do, animals to love on and see grow. There’s an openness of land that our children just aren’t really exposed to here and we see that difference, absolutely, but when we make our return drive to WA it does feel like home. That said, we also would love to get back to Vermont one day to show the kids where our journey first began.

2006 napping baby Deeder

2006 napping baby Deeder

I remember looking over this sleeping baby thinking how great it would be to see him running around, riding a bike and telling me all kinds of stories and drawing pictures, painting and learning to read. He’s nine now, where’d that time go? He enjoys computer games, has some favorite YouTube channels that he tunes into daily. He watches Cartoon Network’s Teen Titan’s Go and in school writes about his cat, Tony Chesnut. He shares a basement bedroom with his brother and has the top bunk. He’s not a soccer star, or a math whiz, but he’s my son and deeply loved, cherished and celebrated.

My Why: Tubal Ligation

My Why: Tubal Ligation

cc81ad4fc3baa3652a78ec234cd14bd1 Three year ago I made the choice to get a tubal ligation. At different times I wish that I had not, despite my busyness with the children that the Lord already gave me I do feel an emptiness, which I knew that I would.

I first started thinking about tubal ligation 7 years ago. My view on birth control is simple: I always knew I would not take a pill or put a foreign object in my body to weaken the natural lining of the cervix. To be 100% pro-life IUDs and all forms of “the pill” are out. To space my children I used Cycle Beads and I knew that when I emotionally and physically believed that I was done having children I would get a tubal ligation. One week after my 27th birthday it happened. My fourth child was born and after a wonderful, normal delivery I had a 1 inch long incision made right below my belly button through which my life altering surgery was performed.

Inside I cried a little and I’m fairly sure a few tears fell down my face as my body was numb from the ribs down, but I can’t quite tell as I was in a state of heavy lethargic peacefulness. I’d had a good run: Two children born on the west coast and two on the east coast all within less than a decade. I had a 22 month gap, a 17 month gap and a 26 month gap. It just seemed so right. My husband 17 years older than me and epilepsy in my body, it seemed like our story was full and ready to get moving beyond the baby stage. In all senses of reason, it was time to go beyond the baby outfits, bouncy swings and cribs. Soon we’d sell the stroller and become, well just continue to evolve with the children’s interests. Perhaps get a couple cats and some day a dog.

2012 is ancient history now. My baby is potty trained, and while she can’t put more than two words together yet, she’s sassy, spunky and believes herself absolutely equipped to take on the world. We have two bunk beds instead of toddler beds, pack n play and a crib. We no longer own clothes under size 4T and donated even my favorite baby carrier over a year ago to a family bringing a child home from Ukraine.

8324111e5cc0c52d06afb4031b3779d3One reason I wanted a tubal ligation was that I didn’t want to be hurt by loss again. This was not a selfish choice. God gave me a son, second child who was not born alive, a daughter who came full term, a second son who made full term and a fourth full term pregnancy, my youngest. That’s 4 healthy and one waiting for me on the other side. I absolutely went into the surgery knowing that God is bigger than any plan that ever I could have. My child that died had a name and a face to me, and I expect to know her when I’m on the other side of the physical world. I think of her daily and know God is using her to help me forward in my earthly journey to strive to be present for my kids here. Perhaps that only makes sense to someone who has lost a little one preterm.

Going into tubal ligation I also knew myself. I am someone who does not stick with decisions. That being so, I had to have an escape route to fix my eyes on should I ever change my mind. That answer was then, and is now Embryo Adoption.

My doctor did not want to sign on my Tubal Ligation because of my age. He said he’d be much more comfortable with it if I were over 30, but I was very adamant about my choice and had it written into my hospital plan way back in the second trimester. He did assure me that my interior workings were perfectly intact, with the exception of being “cut tied and burnt” which rendered my fallopian tubes unusable which is just what I wanted. I did not want tubes that would grow back together with heavy scaring likely resulting in a tubal pregnancy which would statistically be likely if I didn’t have all three measures taken in the ligation.

bba329bdc574d113d7f573069d25c117If you’ve already judged me as someone who plays God, get this. I remember when I first was talking about getting a tubal ligation I said, “God will probably give us a child with severe birth defects as a result of my wanting this.” What a thing to say! Three months after I had the surgery, 5 years after making that statement, I discovered Reece’s Rainbow, the organization that helps parents adopting internationally pair with children who have special needs. God put it on my heart to want to be involved, and from the day I saw that website I became an avid advocate of exactly what I once wanted to act against. I so craved having a child in my life who needed a home. I’ve not gotten that, and accepted that it does not look to be part of our family’s story. But how wonderful that God put on my heart something to balance out my heart.

When the subject of Tubal Ligation comes up on parenting groups, I say that it’s the option to take when moms decide that they are done having biological children. I believe it’s a healthy choice.

406023_10151933086335434_992388590_nI believed that my plate was full with four children, and I knew about Embryo Adoption and had the promise from my doctor that little known option was a healthy possibility. God had now given me the heart for International adoption which I dedicate every November thru December 31st to. I am content, blessed, loved and appreciate the gifts that I have from God. My choice is not a cornered in dead end. I haven’t played God, I am and always have been open to His will in my life. My testimony continues to grow and my faith develop daily as I ebb and flow through this present realities changes and challenges.

This year’s raisers.

This year’s raisers.

Angel Tree, baby! And I’ve signed up. Please do too. There are so many children left needing warriors to sponsor and organize events for them. Here is a list of parties that I am hoping to work through, one already set with a date. Jamberry is happening October 17th!

Delivery room triage nurses always have quite the comments, or maybe it’s just that my senses all that I am conscious of are at their peek. Either way, I have extremely vivid memories of those moments when I first come in telling delivery staff that I’m ready to pop a baby into the world.

8 years ago I was told, “You hurt like hell now, but you’re going to forget it honey, if that weren’t true you wouldn’t be here for round 2 but you will be! If that we’re true no one would be here for round two. She laughed like that was the damn funniest thing she’d ever said.
I love delivery and learned that to be true hours later when my baby was in my arms.
It makes me feel super human. The pain is my gain, each fierce serge of pain getting lower and more consuming by the minute is getting me that much closer to meeting my new best friend and having the honor of being a part of one of those most amazing miracles that God ever thought to include in his incredible world. Four of my five babies have arrived perfectly, humbling me and just you have to experience to even comprehend what can’t be put into words. That nurse is right though, the pain is forgotten. For some more than others. I don’t like the process of recovering, I feel gross and wish everyone but my baby could just hush and not need me anymore for a while.

I’m getting carried away reminiscing. Today I’m talking about Angel Tree 2014.
Boring? No one attending my parties? Complete humiliation that will take me all year to overcome? Tears, tears and more crying when I don’t make my financial goal for someone I’m not even getting to adopt. All possible. That’s why I’m remembering that delightful nurse. She sent me home when I was seven cms dilated with advice to take a couple Advil and relax. My water promptly broke at home. Thank God we lived only five minutes from the hospital! My doctor had just left the hospital. I checked at 9 cms and had everyone yelling, “Don’t push!” for excruciating minutes on end. The doctor arrived just in time to say, “OK, go!” and catch the baby.

I like but do not follow the motto that says, “Not ready to adopt? Was ever a child asked if he was ready to be an orphan?” OK. That’s not exactly it. I feel that way about raising money during the annual challenge to raise $1,000 for an orphan. There are 200+ children who are to meet that goal, and as a year round advocate who prays and talks constantly about the plight of orphans overseas especially with special needs lacking home placements this really is the time to kick into high gear and do some concentrated work to boost funds.

Jamberry! Nails. Never worn them, but I know they are popular and got an offer for a sale from a mother so I know it’s something that I am meant to take advantage of. It will be a live party held online. That means people who have replied “Yes” to the invite will log in to the same Event page for half an hour to participate and take advantage of sales. I am so nervous! Will I be the only one who shows up?

I have an offer for a Trades of Hope party but did one last year with no sales so I hesitate on that one.

Damsels in Defense. No sales last year, but I will be doing it again and would like to become a vendor if I ever get to attend a training!

Pampered Chef. Yes! I know there is a good chance that Darren will make a few purchase. We own a can opener and a few other small kitchen items from them but not a whole lot yet. The thing is, it’s a popular fundraiser in the adoption world, so I do not expect much from my sweet friends in that world. Truthfully, I do want them putting money to their own adoptions. These women are my heroines who I lived through vicariously absolutely on a daily basis.

A lovely mama of two from the Yell Free Year Challenge page (Yes, there is such a thing!) on Facebook said that she would do a sale with Origami Owl, her home based jewelry business. I’m not familiar with that line, but am gushy with thankfulness for any all offers and plan to purchase from each and every!

We’ll be going door to door selling candles and pastries shortly. Only 15% of that will go towards our Angel Tree 2014 project, but both the children and I are completely stoked.

I am NOT crafty. I dream of it though and in my earlier days tried a few different things. This year I want to make Christmas ornaments with the children. It’s a great plan, but there has to be a reason that no one else is doing it. So far I’ve bought the plastic ornaments, three of them and modge podge. I have a couple other things to purchase before I start the project, as soon as I get one that looks right I’ll buy more balls and get the children involved if that still seems like a good idea.

AuroraWho are we raising money for? A twelve year old girl from Latv!a. She sounds a lot like little me, and has been in orphanage since about the same time I got married. She’s one of the only children on Angel Tree 2014 that does not have Down Syndrome. Signing up you list two other choices, in order mine were “Silvia” and “Fernando” If Aurora goes to My Family Found Me before December 31, 2014 I will be assigned to the one of these that does not have an Angel Tree Warrior, which right now is the sweet boy called Fernando…he’s been waiting so long for a family, and will hopefully get a warrior who can sky rocket his fund for that future couple to bring him home with.

The one last thing is a T-shirt. I REALLY want to do that. It’s quite popular now, so I am not sure how sales would go. It has to be gorgeous or not at all. We’ll keep imagining and keep drawing. Fundraising officially starts November 1st, so it would have to be finalized by then.

$35 spent by

Birthday Launch!

Birthday Launch!

Plus Baby Bram. He’s a little guy living an Eastern European orphanage. There is no information available about which orphanage he lives in, but he is alive and needing a family. I’m praying today on my happy birthday and one week before my own daughter turns 2, that 2 is Bram’s last as an orphan.

Bram the Birthday Boy

Bram the Birthday Boy


It’s 2:16 and my gift to myself is a little time alone to sit and write while A.J naps.
My morning was relaxing with the kids before school, I tried to get through the afternoon housework to have these two hours which I’ll use to polish up my new blog and write this entry.
Over the past little while I’ve been voicing excitement over a new program called the Family Warrior Project where individuals can sign up to follow and help fundraise for families who are going through the adoption process to bring home a special needs child from overseas.

I have been anxiously awaiting Keegan‘s family reaching the New Commitments page so that I can participate in this new program with them. Their adoption will cost $25 to 30K, the length is usually around a year but in cases it is sped up quite a bit for medical reasons, or on the other hand, delayed for medical reasons.
Anything could happen, especially when we are dealing with special needs which is the situation with all of these kids.
It was a couple of mornings ago that I realized that I never really asked God if this was what I was meant to do, maybe He does want me to Family Warrior for Keegan’s family. I also see advocating for the other families, instead of isolating on one, which is the purpose of the program. I will talk further with Keegan’s adoptive mama.

At any rate, I am launching a new blog to follow the Family Warriors and needs of adopting families.

The new site is called Family Warrior Program: Everyone’s Story the blog URL is monkeytree.oraeley.com
Visit that and add it to your blogroll.

I have put in the simplest interface that I could find in an effort to focus as exclusively as I can in families stories. I will begin with highlighting children’s stories who are February birthdays as this is my daughter and my month also.

Today is my birthday actually. I’m 29. Whatever happened to 19?! I wish I knew where that picture of my twin and I was. It was a great evening, the last one together before everyone started leaving home.

Today I want to write on here about Bram from Eastern Europe. His fund went from zero to $22.50 in December when I mentioned him on the official Facebook page. There are plenty of kids of course who deserve recognition, more than ever the audience that I will reach. Let me give you as quickly as I can the reasons that I chose Bram especially to celebrate in February. Bram is the Birthday Boy! I don’t know the exact date of his birthday, but he is two this month. I don’t know if someone is getting him out of his crib with a special birthday hug on one special day this month. If I could, I’d give him a snuggle and hope for a smile. Some of these children do get visitors; perhaps he only looks so despondent because he was woken from a nap for his picture to be taken?

Please, if you know someone who could adopt a little boy like Bram do not hesitate to share him. Debbie(at)reecesrainbow(dot)org for more information on how to begin the process of bringing home this darling young man. Happy birthday, Bram baby. May this be your last alone. You’re 2!
Bram does not have a family committed to adopt him yet, his profile is found under Other Angels Boys, 0-5. Where he has a fund open for donations, ultimately 22K will fully fund an adoption for him.

As for the Launch!! It’s Monkeytree.oraeley.com our first two stories will be on young children coming home from Eastern Europe and will be written shortly.