Sunday, March 12, 2017

Where there is great love there are always miracles

A year ago today.....
Our driver drove us up to a large building 

Hidden behind a grove of trees and surrounded by a fence on all sides

Behind those gates, was a building full of children,
children who were hidden away from the world,

in dark rooms, in dark quiet hallways,
There is a gut wrenching silence within an orphanage, a silence you never forget, a silence that changes you forever and brings you to tears long after you have left its walls.

You do not walk down the orphanage halls and hear laughter, or the joyful squeals of children,

you just hear silence....

an eery, lonely, silence.

We walked down that dark hallway eagerly anticipating the moment we had waited months for,

the moment one little boy had waited his whole life for,

Was this finally real? What would this first moment with our son be like? What would we feel? What would he look like?

The moment the nanny walked into the waiting room, carrying a tiny fragile baby in a white terry cloth pajama, my heart wanted to leap out of my chest! Through my tears and my joy I knew my heart was complete.

The minute I saw his lost sad eyes in person, I knew all the worry, the work, the money, the heartache, the doubts and what ifs, were all totally and completely worth it.

At that moment when I finally held this little boy in my arms and he melted into me as if to say
"thank you for coming for me! ".....nothing else mattered.

Because HE mattered

Suddenly this little boy filled a place in my heart I didn't know was empty.

He mattered.......and a year ago today All was finally going to be right in his world

As a friend said "So many parts of his reality before us were hard and life altering and scary"

Yet he held on

He was sick, He only weighed 10 pounds , He had been aspirating for 10 months, had constant colds and congestion affecting his lungs, he made loud sounds in part due to the sickness and in part due to the fact that for 10 months he had not had any other form of stimulation or comfort other then his own sounds and his little hand

When we got a little more time with him later that day in our second visit it was extremely apparent how He had never been held with love,

never felt the touch of love,

Being held and cuddled is something that comes naturally to babies, but was foreign to him,

A year ago when we stroked his cheek for the first time, he flinched and pulled away, not knowing the touch of love.

Now he pulls in closer when he feels your cheek close to his,

A year ago, he didn't know what a kiss was, and had no expression at all when he was kissed or when we tried to interact with him those first days.

Today not only wants to be kissed, but he blows kisses to others.

 A year ago, he could only hold his head up for a few minutes, could not sit up or use his legs at all....the only world he knew was the ceiling above him .

Today he wont sit still as he is continuing to discover the world around him and strengthen his body to take him there,

A year ago he had so much buildup of junk in his tiny ears that he couldn't even hear the world around him.

Today he feels love from the sounds of a family around him

A year ago today Noah began to feel the touch of love, a feeling that was just beginning and was now here to stay.

We may have saved him that day, but when all is said and done, I believe he will have been the one who saved us.

If you ever question whether miracles still happen, try falling in love with an orphan

There was a deep beauty in this boy that was waiting to be unlocked and I am so grateful we were chosen to get to hold the keys.

This past year we have witnessed the miracle that is love,

This day will forever be as important as any of my childrens births, because on this day Noah entered our world.

On this day we joined hearts and started a new path together,

a path full of unexpected miracles
a path that continues to change us all for the better,
through its ups and downs, the constant is love

and "Where there is great love, there are always miracles"

Happy Family Day Noah Bear!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The gift of family

This picture came up on my feed today from last year and I couldn't control the floodgates

This Christmas season has meant a little bit more, having spent last Christmas season yearning for this little boy to be home and then watching the miracle of so many people rallying around us to make it possible....

And now he is home for Christmas and its pure magic!

 The Christmas season holds a special place in our hearts with regards to both Noah and Mia.
In Dec 2010 I came across a special friend who was trying to find Mia a family, trying to raise money for a little brown haired 4 year old who was about to be transferred from her orphanage to an adult mental institution.

That Christmas of 2010 we hadn't committed to this little girl yet but I spent that holiday season thinking about the picture I saw on that blog , the picture of a little girl that had brought me to tears, and sent me down a path I had never planned on. I pictured her that year as I watched my other girls open their presents that christmas morning, and as they danced in their new dance room that year , i knew that little girl across the world was supposed to be there dancing too. That christmas season my heart was realizing Mia was supposed to be in our family.

Who would have guessed that another Christmas 5 years later would be spent yearning for another lost child to be with us. Mias Miracle that began that christmas season in 2010, continued last year

As I have been able to hold, hug and kiss Noah and reflect on where he was last Christmas and how unknown to this little boy, or his praying birth mother, their was a miracle unfolding that brought hundreds of people together to help give the greatest gift one could ever receive.....the gift of a family.

Last year at this time we were so richly blessed by so many who were coming together to help make sure Noah never spent another Christmas alone.

We felt the true meaning of Christmas last year as were were focused on giving the gift of a family to this little boy. And were humbled to witness the love of friends, family and strangers in helping us give that gift.

And now this Christmas he has all he wants for Christmas .... a family......

and family is something you don't take for granted once you have looked into the eyes of an orphan.

As Kyra said "we must be grateful for what we have because somewhere in the world there is a child still waiting to find it."

Every time I hold Noah and watch in amazement as he learns, grows and thrives each day and as he experiences the magic of Christmas and the magic of a family this holiday season, I am brought to tears.

Tears of gratitude for the many people who gave of themselves last Christmas for his sake,

Tears full of love so deep it hurts

Tears of happiness that he is actually safe in our home, and in my arms this Christmas

Tears of humility for the lives he connected to ours

and tears of sadness for the many others, just like Noah....still waiting for their gift of a family....still waiting for their happy ending

When our friends did THIS video last year for us, we were working to bring Noah home and hoped it would help that cause, but even more so then that we hoped this video would be a way to share the story of why we were doing this and why its important to continue sharing for the other children who are still waiting..... other children can find their families too.

All too often my heart aches for those left behind, and I feel an overwhelming sadness for all the children I can't save.

I watch Noah and think of him being sedated and laying alone in a crib last Christmas and my heart hurts for of all those sweet children who are doing that very same thing this Christmas, when they deserve to be where Noah is....home for Christmas.

And so I continue to share our story in hopes that it leads to another child being found.

You see the threads that connect us all are meant to create something as Our tapestries are purposefully being woven together.

You may remember a few months ago when I posted about little Domenic and how he needed a family.....

Soon after that i received a message from someone on IG who had stumbled upon my account and seen his picture and was inquiring about him. She found out that he already had several inquiries ahead of hers so she assumed it wouldn't be the answer she thought  but said "at least finding your post about him got me actively pursuing adoption". Well a few weeks later I got another message saying they were adopting Domenic!
She shared with me how it was not coincidence that she came upon his picture because she knew when she saw him that he was supposed to be theirs!

The night I shared Domenic's picture I told Kris that I felt a push to share his picture that day and that the only thing I can do to help the hurt of leaving all those other babies behind is continue to pray and share and try and help find families for those still waiting.

At that time I had no idea Domenic was actually one of those sweet children left NOAH"S orphanage! It turns out that Noah and Domenic were in the same orphanage, in the same groupa for a time and we probably saw Domenic sleeping the day they let us into Noahs' sleeping room! Its no wonder I felt a connection to this sweet boy

And now this sweet little Domenic is coming home! This is the last Christmas he will spend alone. His parents will return for him to take him home for good after Christmas! It makes me cry just thinking about it and how miraculous these threads are that weave us together, if we let them.
Domenic is also the 7th child for this family, just like Noah!
As Domenic's mom and I have been conversing and we have watched her sit in that very same room with Domenic as we sat with Noah, I realize that it just takes one...

One person to see the face of a child and feel something they never planned on feeling.....something that says "this is your path....this child needs you, and you need them "

So today I am sharing sweet Paulson

Paulson is Noahs age and is spending another Christmas alone this year

Paulson started his life the same way as Noah, and Domenic, an orphanage ....alone...

But Paulson still waits....

Paulson is still waiting for the gift that is greater then any other...

The gift of a family.

I have a feeling his mom and dad are out there and if we can share this post, and share his picture I have faith that his family will see it and they will know its time to alter their path and go bring this boy home.

This Christmas lets continue the miracle of the true meaning of this season by sharing, praying, or even donating to little Paulson and let this be the last Christmas he spends alone.

I have had this little boy on my mind so much it brings me to tears even typing about him, as I feel an urgency to share his picture.....with a prayer that his family is going to see it and know that he should be with them.
On sunday as we sang "Away in a manger " this verse hit me hard and I couldn't stop my tears as I sang and thought of all the children spending Christmas alone this year....
"Bless all the dear children in thy tender care ..."
and then the tears changed to gratitude for the blessing it is to have Noah home for Christmas this year .

Last year, you all helped Noah get his Christmas wish

Our little lost elf came home for Christmas and there is no greater gift.