Thursday, May 25, 2017

Noah Bear turns TWO

Two years ago today a little boy was born to a mother in Ukraine. Upon learning that her son had down syndrome the doctors told her she must leave the baby for he was not normal, her husband told her she must choose between this baby, or him and their other son, for they could not take this baby home with them. In an agonizing decision this mother had to leave her baby alone in an orphanage. Not having any idea what would become of her son, she walked away. But her heart never left that little boy, and she prayed and prayed that somehow, someway, her prayers would reach the heavens and find their way to a mother who could love her baby, and rescue him from the life he was destined to there. 

Noah was that sweet, innocent baby, whose entrance into this world has changed countless lives already.

When Noah was born, he was welcomed with tears, fear, heartache and a general consensus that he was worthless of life outside an orphanage.

Except God had a different plan for this boy and within the heartache and sadness of his birth that day, was hidden the beginning of a miracle.

Birthdays are a little different when you become a mother to a child through adoption.

I didn't carry him for 9 months.
 I wasn't there when he took his first breath, I wasn't there to hold him as he entered the world,
I wasn't there to hug and kiss him and marvel at the miracle of life with him.

I only have a grainy picture of his early days

and all I really know about the first of his life was that he was sick, lonely, sad and lost.

As I have thought about Noahs birth, and not having been there for it, I have had so many emotions......
but the greatest is gratitude.

Gratitude that his birth mother chose to give him life, that she chose to carry him and bring him into this world.
Gratitude that I was somehow blessed to be the mother that would find him and give him a family, because every step of this little boys life has changed mine

Gratitude that this little boy held on as he waited for us, that he endured things he shouldn't have, so that he could bless our lives.

Gratitude that we get to be a part of his hidden miracle.

As we thought about how we could celebrate his birthday this year,
as it is also commemorating his first year home,
I just kept coming back to the simple truth that we have witnessed first hand this year,

that love is the greatest gift.

Of course it is fun to spoil him with birthday presents and celebrations that he deserves, and we will do that,

 but the greater gift to honor Noah's life is to continue the miracle of love by helping another child who has the same fate Noah once had,

Lets celebrate Noah by changing another child's story.

Let's help another child just like Noah find their fairytale.

Starting today and running until midnight on June 5, we will be raising money for another child and I can't wait to share the miracle that is already weaving with that story!

Read about Noah Bear's birthday wish below and go to THIS link to donate and share.

If you have been touched by Noah's story, please read below and share. We would love your help to pay the miracle of love forward to another precious child.


Noah has been home with his forever family for a year
And now we get to celebrate with him as he turns two !
What better way to celebrate this little miracle then to help another waiting child find their happy ending like Noah did.
One of the hardest things we ever had to do was walk out of the orphanage, knowing that there were rooms and rooms filled with babies, and children, waiting to know what love is. Waiting to feel safe and comforted …waiting to feel like they belong.
Taking a child from an orphanage into a family, from lost to loved, is by far the most incredible, life changing, miraculous thing I have ever had the privilege of doing.
But with that life changing experience, also comes the haunting, heartbreaking reality of what we left behind.
When you have looked into the eyes of these lost children,
When you have walked the silent hallways
When you have heard little ones raise their hands and reaching for you say “mama? Papa?” and you cant save them all,
It changes you
It leaves you with a heartache you will never truly get over.
If you have followed Noah’s story this past year you have seen what a miraculous change has come about in him because he found love and a family. So in honor of Noah’s second birthday we want to challenge you to donate $2 –you can donate any amount of course—but if everyone who has been touched by Noah donated just $2 for his second birthday, it would help another child find their fairy tale.
Being in an orphanage changes you,
Your perspective changes when you know first hand that the many waiting children in those orphanage rooms are more then just orphans thrown away, they are actual children, children like Noah, and Mia, each of them with a story, a story waiting to be told.
The only way to try and heal from the piece of my heart that was left within those orphanage walls is to continue to help, even if its in a little way.
As Noah’s birth mother said “I think Noah is an angel sent here to teach people to love,” and we couldn’t agree more as we have been able to love him this last year! He has a spirit about him that touches people, so lets honor Noah Bear on this special day by helping another child who needs to know love.
Mia’s miracle did not end with her, and Noah’s miracle will not end with him as we all continue to share and be a part of what love can do.
We will keep our birthday fundraiser open until midnight on June 5 and then we will share which family and/or child the money raised will go to.
On behalf of Noah and our family, THANK YOU!! for helping us pay the miracle of love forward.

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!