Archive for the ‘Jessica’ Category

  • Wish Me Luck

    Date: 2015.12.14 | Category: Adoption, Jasmine's Dream, Jessica, William

    One of the fun things you get to do, as a family that is waiting, is send care packages to your child. After a certain time in the process, your agency will allow you to do this. The agency will send you the address and you are allowed to send small toys, clothes, and other items. We have always enjoyed doing this, spending time shopping for just the right gifts to hopefully show we care.  We love trying to guess what their personality is like and find just the right gift.
    The problem is that none of our children, except Jasmine and Maisey, have received their gifts. I have no idea why they never received them. They may have been lost in the mail or customs or maybe someone took them. I don’t know but it is frustrating just the same. Jasmine was the only child who came with any of the stuff we gave her. We received Maisey’s disposable camera 2 1/2 years later from Show Hope when they found it at the orphanage in a drawer. We had no indication that Maisey had received anything else from us.
    Its frustrating because you send pictures and letters. You want them to know your family and be prepared, at least a little, when they meet you.  You take the time to pick out those special gifts and hope that they feel the love you are sending.
    Today Jasmine mentioned the letter than Dan had sent her.  She was talking about how much it meant to know that her daddy loved her and thought she was beautiful.  (Jasmine’s Letter)She said she reread that letter over and over again as she waited for us. Elyse said it must have been nice to get a letter like that. It was then that I realized Elyse never got our care package. We had sent her jewelry, hair accessories, clothes, toys, and tons of pictures and letters from everyone.
    I never even thought about it when we met her because Elyse did come with her locket and some of our family pictures. That locket and those pictures were hand delivered by another adoptive mama who had just adopted her daughter. I am thankful that there are other adoptive parents who are willing to ask for and carry items to the children who are still waiting. Thank you Krista for doing that for us. If you are adoptive parents who will travel soon, put the message out in the families of _____ orphanage Facebook groups.   I’m positive other parents will appreciate it too.
    Luckily, Dan had typed the letter and it was still saved on his computer. Today his little girl got to read how much her daddy loved her before he even met her. He told of falling in love with her sweet face when he saw her picture for the first time. He told her how much he loved hearing her sing and how he couldn’t wait to get her home to be his daughter forever. She cried reading these words. Her foster father didn’t treat her well. She thought she deserved this kind of treatment until she met Dan. She had no idea that she should be adored and loved just for who she is. She couldn’t grasp the unconditional love of a father when we adopted her. Elyse knows what that means now and this letter is just one more thing that proves she has always had worth and she will always be loved.
    I have heard that the orphanage that Jessica is in is hit or miss with packages.  Some people have said their child came with pictures and their items and others have said that their child said they never, ever received the package. It’s so frustrating because I would love for her to know we care about her.  I would love for her to know what we look like and be prepared for her new family.
    I wish I knew the rhyme or reason behind why some get them and some don’t.  I know there are orphanages who wait until right before the child is adopted because they have been burned before by a family backing out.  I can’t imagine what that would do to a child’s heart.  How horrible to wait for that forever family you heard you had, who never, ever showed up for you.   So I can understand the orphanage wanting to be careful.  I can understand somethings getting lost in the mail, but 6 out of 8 packages never making it are pretty bad odds.
    I think I may just take the chance that our children will get their packages.  I will pray that if they don’t get them, then the person who does get them feels all the love that went into the package and will have their lives changed by it.
    Wish us luck.  Maybe say a prayer or two that our newest family members actually do get their gifts so they know that they are loved and have a forever family that will be there soon.
  • Exciting News…

    Date: 2015.10.07 | Category: Adoption, Jessica

    If you are part of our Facebook group, then you have already heard the news.

    But if not here it is….

    IT’S A GIRL!!!!!


    We were so sure we were done.  So absolutely, positively sure we were done.  I honestly never wanted to do that 14 hour plane ride again.  I never wanted to do the two-three weeks away from home.  I was happy.  Our family was complete.

    The are many reasons I don’t like to travel.  I don’t like how jet lag feels. I am a bubbly, smile-at-everyone-kind of person and the busyness of big cities and people running you over, is more than I can take.  Plus, the truth is my heart just can’t take walking into the orphanages and seeing the faces.  The little hands grabbing at your leg saying, “Mama”.  The faces of children just waiting for a forever family.  Sometimes not knowing is easier on my heart.  Sometimes I think about leaving all the advocacy sites.  Sometimes I just want to shout that I’ve done my part.  I can’t take any more.  I have tears running down my face as I write this.

    Adoption is hard.  It’s hard healing little hearts.  If you think anything different than that, then you’ve obviously never been hurt in your life.  Because pain stays with you.  It never truly goes away.  You doubt.  You worry. It’s hard to trust.  You’re angry.  That is why they react.  They have triggers. They are in pain.  They have been alone and suffered in ways that we can never, ever possibly truly understand.

    So I wish I could save them all.  I wish I had a line of people waiting to see the pictures of the kids who wait all over the world.  I wish the waiting list wasn’t for the kids but for the families.  I wish there were so many people lining up to help that you weren’t even sure you would be lucky enough to be matched.

    I wish we could keep families intact.  I wish some choices never had to be made.  I wish no medical condition seemed too hard.  I wish no diagnosis kept a child from being loved.  I wish no label kept a child from finding a family.

    Even knowing everything I know, when my friend sent me the picture of this little girl.  I said, “No!”

    Even when my children started praying for her and pleading with us.  I said, “No!”

    I told them they could advocate.  That our family was already busy.  That we were done!

    But they pleaded.

    They asked, “How I could say no when they were so sure that God was saying that this was their sister.”

    Elyse was the most outspoken.  She was so sure this little girl was her sister.  She had her picture on her I-pad.  She had the littles praying for her all day long.  She was relentless and brutally hard on my heart.

    One day I asked her “Why this little girl?  When we’ve seen so many children’s faces, why this little girl?”

    Her answer?  “Because she’s me!”

    I was shaken and I cried.  Daddy and I still said, “No!  We are done!  I’m sorry.  We can advocate for her.  We will find her family.”

    Elyse batted her eyes.  Grace and Jasmine pleaded.  Daddy said, “You’re killin’ me Smalls!” about a 100 times a day.

    Then things started to happen.

    People messaged me saying that this little girl we were advocating for looked like an Ellsbury.

    There were signs and we questioned why we were done.

    We sat on this for a long time.

    Elyse says, “If she dies, I will never, ever be able to live with myself.”  Those words pierce my heart.  Could we help one more child?

    I really started to think.  What would one more child in a wheelchair feel like during the day.  I added on the time that it took to do Elyse’s cares.  I asked our older children what they thought and they were on board.  They voiced their concerns and they said they loved her little face.  My mother-in-law said she has watched God work wonders in our lives and she knew we would never enter into anything lightly.  If God is leading, she trusts that.  She says she knows we will listen to His call.

    I know what people will think.  Our family is huge.  We have so many special needs.  How in the world do they think they can do it?  I know the concerns.  I’ve voiced them myself.   We are so far out of our comfort zone.  We wonder will this be the tipping point?  Will this be too much?  Will she feel loved?  Do we have enough still to give?  Believe me.  I know the doubts and the worries.  I have said them a thousand times in my head.

    We decide we need to make a decision one way or the other.  Dan and I sit outside and talk.   We really, really talk about what this would mean for our family and can we handle it?  We watch the most unbelievable cloud formations and feel a peace over what we are trying to decide.


    Dan says he needs to go for a drive.  He often does this when he needs quiet time to think.  I short while later I get the following text.

    Dan's text

    I gasp and scream.  Because I have been having my own thoughts.   I have been playing through all the maybes about what may happen.  Even though I know the reality of life is that our worst fears often don’t come to fruition and things we never even considered happening are what truly happen.  Plus, our family has been a part of some of the most amazing miracles.  Who am I to give up hope?

    She has special needs.  She has “S” curve scoliosis.  We’ve been through the back surgery with Jasmine.  We know what to expect.

    She has lower limb paralysis.  Just like Elyse.   We know what being in a wheelchair means for a child there as opposed to here in America.  We have three kids in wheelchairs.  We know the reality that the chair isn’t that big a deal.

    She has kidney issues.  RENAL FAILURE!  That is what her chart says.  How severe?  Will she lose her kidneys?  Will it be correctable?  We understand this issue because Gracie was there with her lupus.  Her kidneys were damaged but it turned around.  There is hope.  There are things that can be done.

    But the kicker for me was that my mom was on dialysis right before she died.  Her cardiac arrest damaged her kidneys and her liver.  I know what dialysis looks like.  I’ve talked with the people who set my mom up every day.  I understood the different ways to do it.  I know the time commitment.  I know what can be done.  It was like a gift from my mom.  I would have ran away from this before, but I understand it and like most everything else in life, once you understand it it isn’t nearly as frightening.

    Dan gets home and we celebrate.   I love her name. I instantly picture her as my daughter.  I can see us calling her JJ.  I imagine myself hugging her and bringing a smile to her face.  I imagine the overwhelming love she will feel from the girls who have fought so hard to bring her home.   We discuss our agency and the agency she is listed with (both are great agencies).  We decide that reusing our dossier may get her here more quickly.  We ask the other agency to transfer her file.  We are told there are families looking at her file but they will transfer if those families say no.  They understand a family needs to move quickly so as soon as they hear the other families say no they ask for confirmation that our social worker and our agency will approve us and they transfer the file.

    We make the decision not to tell the middles or the littles until we have PA just in case the answer is no.

    One day as I am scrolling through the advocacy site, I come across “Belinda’s” post.  Someone says that Belinda has a family.  Gracie reads it and instantly starts to cry.  Then, through sobs, she tells Elyse and Jasmine.  We have a big reveal party planned for when we receive PA.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  I tell the girls we should be happy that she has a family.  They bawl all night and wake up with broken hearts.  They say over and over again that they were so sure she was their sister.   It was horrible.  Dan and I decide we can’t let them feel this sad until we receive PA.  Cassie wants us to wait to tell them until she gets home from work so we decide to tell them that Dan will ask the agency who the family is.  Maybe we can watch her adoption unfold.

    Later that night when Cassie and Reece get home, we set them down to tell them the news of who the family is.  Dan says, “We have a picture of the family.  Would you like to see it?”  Jasmine and Grace understand almost immediately but Elyse won’t believe us.  Here is the video showing her unbelief.

    The ending of that video says it all.  We celebrate Jessica’s life and we love her.  The truth is we have enough love.  Your heart isn’t able to only love a certain amount of people.  Love multiplies. She will be adored and loved by so many people.  We will support her.  She will never be alone again.  She will have the love of a forever family.  We couldn’t be more excited!!!!