Jun 16, 2013

Our Journey to Ollie.

December 2011, Joey and I had been discussing more children.  We had decided that we should think more about adoption after all that happened with Ava's birth, and my injuries.

We had been praying for a year about where the Lord was leading us, and had recently moved into an apartment to be more free to move should the Lord lead. We decided that if we were going to add to our family it should probably be in the next year, so that if we were to move we wouldn't be going through that at the same time.

I had found an adoption agency in California that I loved, they match families with children, and sometimes you can even adopt them right from birth, even be there if the mother so wishes. We had decided to move forward with adopting, and I was filling out a preliminary application with our information to start the process.

I distinctly remember sitting there and thinking, "what about Reece's Rainbow?" I hear so many others say I was just looking and I found my son, or daughter, I saw their picture and I just knew...
I smugly thought to myself, I've been on there a lot and I've never thought that. So...I clicked over to RR.

Thinking I would scroll through like always, and go back to the other application. (I know I know, i can hear you all laughing at me now!) I Clicked on the category Down Syndrome. Boys 0-2.

Scrolling...scrolling...and stop...keep scrolling...and then back up. Scroll..back up. Ollie....

Born October 2010. Just like Ava.  I think. I read the little info there is on him, but think back to the words of a friend, about having to adopt in birth order. I wonder for a second if him being the same age as her would matter. But I had also heard that they need to be at least 7 months younger than your youngest.

So I kept scrolling...just a few kiddos down, was Jaxon.

I scrolled up and down from Ollie to Jaxon, for a long time...

I prayed...& prayed...& prayed...

I ended up coming to the conclusion that we couldn't adopt Ollie, so I focused more on Jaxon. With Ollie in the back of my mind.

Most of you know the story of how I came up to Joey one day and said, " I want to show you something" I looked up RR and Jaxon's profile on his computer and walked away. He called me back right away, wanting me to tell him more. We talked all about what life is like for these children, and he said that we should pray about it.

After about a week or so, of prayer, checking finances and stepping out in faith we decided that we would adopt Jaxon.

We got the papers all in and began our journey. January 2012!

The rest of the journey is long, and complicated. We found out 8 months in that Jaxon passed away. We had lost a son, our hearts were broken. All this time I had also been praying for Ollie, watching his updates as a family met him in May, I held on to their every word, and the new picture. I wondered about Ollie. At the time when we found out about Jaxon, we knew it had been a misunderstanding in the beginning, and that we could have adopted Ollie. It was something that I struggled with, but handed over to God knowing he had a reason for it all. Maybe it was my job to pray and find him a family. So i advocated for him, loved him from afar, and prayed, continually.

When we lost Jaxon we were so far in the complicated paperwork process for Russia, that when I saw Micah while looking for Jaxon on the database, born the same month, etc It seemed like God would have us bring him home. Looking for Jaxon we found Micah. He was in the same region, but a different orphanage, we would pretty much continue on as we were but now it would be for Micah.

Meanwhile, another sweetie I had been advocating for was being adopted from Ukraine. His momma and I would chat often, you see she found out that Ollie was there. She would see him each day peeking over the edge of the playpen. Needing a momma. It took all my strength not to beg her to try and take pictures, something. I tried to control my need for information, and kept thinking, you are not adopting him. You have no right, to ask such things. But she is the sweetest momma, and she knew my love for Ollie. So she and I spoke often about him. It broke my heart to not be able to say "we are coming for you!"

But we were adopting Micah. I could never understand why I had such strong feelings for Ollie, whilst also adopting Micah. I never thought about switching over. But felt so conflicted sometimes, and had eventually decided in myself that if Ollie was still without a family when we had Micah home we would have to adopt him!

I remember telling Joey that one day, and he was unsure. I had not always shared my deepest thoughts on Ollie to him.

Then came the ban. :( We were once again heartbroken to think we could lose another son! A lot of people may have thought we made fast decisions, or didn't care. But those who know us best know the struggle it was to know that having only just sent our dossier to Russia, not yet being submitted or meeting Micah, our chances were slim to none, for continuing. We sought counsel from many, including our agency, and the facilitators over in Russia. It was all that considered that we decided it might be best to switch countries.

It was such a difficult time, it can hardly be put into words. To feel like you are giving up, on one boy. Only to rescue another whom you have so loved. We love them both. How do you go through with such a thing. The only way I can explain it was the peace of God. He calmed my nerves and spoke truth to me. I felt at peace that Micah would be ok. That we should pursue Ollie.

So in January 2013 we officially committed to Ollie. No longer would I have to see people post his precious face asking where his momma was...I could finally say. "we're coming!"

I worked hard and fast to get everything done, this process was not without snags, but it was much smoother and easier than paperwork for R. So I am grateful.

I have wanted to share this for a while. Knowing that some may think we just randomly chose to adopt Ollie when the ban happend. But you see...God planned it all along. I may not understand why Ollie had to wait a whole year longer than if we'd began the process with him.  I try not to think about it, but trust that God knew the journey He put us on, and it is all for a reason.

I am so thankful for the friends I made during our process in R, for gaining a son, who is now with the Lord, for Him allowing me to always love and pray for Micah, no matter what happens! And now...to be with my son!

Our sweet Ollie...finally has a family to love him! He is just soaking it up, and I could not be more thankful that the Lord has led us here...

Keep Looking Up!


We are here in country visiting with our sweet boy. We cannot blog right now, but are keeping a journal and will update the blog once everything is finalized. For all to see. keep us in your prayers! 

May 28, 2013

Happy Birthday...to my "almost" son...

Some of you may be confused, some may have followed our journey this past year and a half.

It's May...Jaxon's Birthday has passed. Meanwhile a little boy sits, in an orphanage in Russia.

I don't know when his birthday is just that it is in May most likely he has turned two already, there are only a few days left in May. Maybe he will be having his birthday this week. Either way, he has been on my mind.

We thought we'd have him home by now, that we'd celebrate his second birthday together.

It was not to be...

It breaks my heart not knowing how he is, wishing he was being loved and cared for. I pray every day that someone will come for him, even though we cannot.

No matter what has happened, or what happens in the future, we will always love you and pray for you sweet Micah.

And in case no one else has told you...


Keep Looking Up!

May 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Jaxon!

As I sit here, I think about all we thought would have been, and all that has come.

This time last year we baked cupcakes, we celebrated you in hopes that by your next birthday we would celebrate with you.

What a year we have had!

Today would have been your second birthday!

But rather than dwell on what might have been, we will celebrate what is.

On May 14th, 2011...you were born.  You may have been celebrated, maybe not, but you spent your days in an orphanage. Not knowing the love of a mommy, or daddy, or big sisters...

While we grieve the chance to show you love, to give you a family, to celebrate with you. We will celebrate YOU! That you were born, that you were here on this earth, and that you made difference. In all the lives of those who saw your precious picture, those who loved you, and I'm sure those who cared for you and knew you were touched in some way.

We are gearing up to go get your big brother, practically  twin for Ava. Someday I will be able to tell his story too.

Today, I have a vision in my mind...however "make believe" it may be, it is a comfort to think about.

I picture you sitting on Poppy's knee, as he shows you how to play the drums, I can picture you looking up at him, and him smiling down at you. I picture Grandma Alta... and her big smile, I'm sure she'd love to pick you up and dance with you, and feed you birthday cake! Grandma sure loved to feed the babies cake and spoil them!

So much has changed in a year, and often times it is hard to think about, hard to fathom, just hard. But today, we celebrate. Your life. Short as it may have been, it made a difference.

We love you baby boy! Happy Birthday!

Keep Looking Up!

Apr 27, 2013

Apple Giveaway Winners Announced!!

The Winners Are: 

ipad Mini = Susan Dack

$15 itunes Gift Card = Christina Scott

$15 itunes Gift Card = Melissa Siebenthal

ipod Shuffle = Susan Dack

ipod Nano = April Davila

ipad 2 = Colleen Novit

Congratulations to all our winners, and a HUGE THANK YOU to all who gave, and helped in our efforts to bring our sweet boy home!!! 

Here is a video of us drawing the winners at our Pizza Fundraiser Night! Enjoy!

Keep Looking Up! 

Mar 12, 2013


Winners announced at our Pizza Event.

Thanks to a VERY generous Donor,
we have several Apple items that will be included in our
giveaway to help raise money to bring our boy home.

The Items:
iPad2 16G Wifi (Black)
iPad Mini 16G (White)
iPod Nano 16G (Blue)
iPod Shuffle 2G (Green)
2 - $15 iTunes gift cards

Donation Amounts: 
$10 - 1 Entry
$25 - 5 Entries
$40 - 10 Entries 
$100 - 30 Entries
$500 - 250 Entries

Please Share on FB, Twitter or your blog!! This also counts as an Entry! 
Just leave a comment below telling us where you shared and your name will be entered.

The Rules:
All items will be part of one big giveaway which we will draw 04/26/13
We will give away the items based upon donations received.  
$0.00-$350 iPad Mini
$350-$400 iPad Mini and 2 iTunes gift cards
$400-$500 iPad Mini, 2 iTunes gift cards, and iPod Shuffle
$500-$800 iPad Mini, 2 iTunes gift cards, iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano
$800+ iPad Mini, 2 iTunes gift cards, iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPad2

Every name drawn can be a winner so if you have multiple entries you have the chance to win multiple prizes.

Tax Deductible Donations can be made to our Family Sponsorship Page at: REECE'S RAINBOW
Please send your receipt to: bringolliehome@hotmail.com 

Donations can also be made in person, or through Paypal. Please send an email to the above address with the subject Paypal Donation in order to receive the Paypal email to send to. 

We will update this post with Giveaway Items available as Goals are reached! 

The iPad Mini, 2 iTunes gift cards, iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, and  ipad 2 are up for grabs! 


Keep Looking Up! 

Feb 6, 2013


While I have been feeling a little discouraged lately, there have been many things the Lord has used to build me up.

This journey is tough, I'll be honest...I am quite ready for this adoption journey to be over, and just get our boy HOME!!

Juggling maintaining a household, home-schooling, and regular life, PLUS adoption paperwork, planning fundraisers, and dealing with the many other things that pop up in day to day life, has been tough lately.

But I see the light at the end  of the tunnel...we are so close!

We have a goal of about $10,000 more to raise...

We can do this!

I don't often talk about the money, for one it can be a very stressful part of the journey, but also we have been doing our best to scrimp and save, and raise funds through many different fundraisers, praying we make it.

God has been good to us!

For  cost breakdown, and expense list/estimate you can go to the TAB at the top of the blog, about costs in adoption.

On to the blessings...

I have a dear friend who lives in Australia, we met when we were in school. I was in primary she was in high school. But we are about 4 years or so apart I think. I remember those days like they were yesterday, a couple of my friends and I decided to pick "big sisters" that we would each have, we we could write notes to them, give them gifts etc. I remember at times being upset that someone else had a certain "big sister" and deciding that I could write them a note anyway, and also not getting upset if someone else gave something to "my" sister.

Fast forward to now...turns out my "big sister" had her first child...a few years ago, around the same time I had my first child...the difference, her daughter was born with Down Syndrome. At the time we wern't in touch, but after a few years we found each other on fb and were able to catch up a little.

In 2010, when I had Ava, she was the first person I thought of. I was able to talk with her, and open up about everything that was going on. It was great to have that special bond of our daughters...I guess God knew what He was doing all those years ago pairing us up. :)

Needless to say, this dear friend of mine found out about our adoption, and wanted to do something to help. She shared with many friends about what we are doing, and since in Australia, they cannot adopt a child with special needs internationally, they felt they could do something by helping us.

She set a goal of $5,000. To raise for us. Little did she know, with all the craziness of the adoption ban, us switching countries etc. That amount is about half our goal now! AMAZING!! A lot of people might make a goal of an amount to raise, or set an expectation, that you might think, they may not reach. But knowing her, her friends, the DS community there in my "hometown" I have no doubts!
She told me herself, she will work til the goal is raised. What a HUGE blessing! TO help lift that burden of finances off this momma's shoulders, it's a beautiful thing.

I am praying that the big movie fundraiser they are throwing Down Under, is a hit, and that many are able to hear about the plight of orphans and not only help us, but the many other families in need, and children needing families!

Another sweet friend of ours, contacted me saying she was starting a Valentine Candy Fundraiser for us...didn't ask, didn't worry about the details just DID IT!! What a blessing! I didn't have to worry or stress about any of it, just share it with friends. Plus...who doesn't like chocolate!

Another blessing...I have been excited for a while now to attend a birthday celebration for some dear friends children. You see, their two kiddos, were born in another country, a country where children with Down Syndrome are not accepted, where they are left in orphanages, with no family to love them. These families came in and rescued these children and called them their own. One Family I have known for a long time...long before I was married, or had children, or knew much about Down Syndrome, the other I met because of our DS connection. Both families have blessed us so much, just being part of their lives. Seeing their children come home last year was a HUGE highlight for me. I couldn't wait to celebrate with them.

I received the official invite in the mail. It's adorable, I was "oohing and ahhing" over it, when I saw "see back" so I turned it over, and there was my boy. (Now' I'm crying again, just remembering) They had written a little bit on the back about how helping him come home to his family is what their kiddos would love for their birthday, and how they would love people to make donations to our adoption on behalf of their birthdays. Be still my heart! We are SO blessed to have friends like this! I cannot tell you enough how my heart grew receiving that invite.

Just the other night another friend posted on Facebook about how they made brownies and were selling them to raise some funds for us, because they had seen the birthday invite too. The Ripple Effect... I love it!

It looks like God has it all laid out, we are praying with our efforts and the blessing of friends efforts and sharing our story our goal will be met. Then we can focus on getting our boy home.

To all of those who have helped us along the way so far, we THANK YOU! To the dear friends who have made these efforts recently, we THANK YOU! Many people are seeing this, and not only moved to donate, or help us, but will see the truth of what is happening to these dear children, I cannot wait to see this ripple continue outward....

We are planing a big IMAX fundraiser for Early April, so stay tuned for that. It's gonna be a blast!

Thank you Lord...for blessing us in this journey, there have been many hard times, but in the midst of it all...you BLESS us!! Thank you!

Keep Looking Up!

Jan 18, 2013

Find A Family Friday ~ Chad

Chad needs a family URGENTLY!!! His file is only available for a few more days!

If you are interested in adopting him, PLEASE do not hesitate.

His diagnosis is Developmental Delays...he could THRIVE in a family, with some love and care...

You can see more information on Chad HERE.

Jan 17, 2013

Candy Fundraiser!

Please read below for details of our Candy Fundraiser from our friend Sheri. 

Keep Looking Up! 

Valentine Day Candy Fundraiser.

I will be offering up my candy making skills to help bring home Ollie.  All proceeds will go to help these friends of mine, trying to adopt this sweet boy.  I will be offering Truffles, Chocolate Molded Candy, Pecan Turtles and Chocolate covered Oreos.

I can package in sets of 3, individually or I have small boxes or small chocolate baskets where we can combine suckers and truffles.  The truffles are standard round, molded or heart shaped.  I will package nice enough to give to a loved one, upon request.

I have the following flavors available for truffles: Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Lemon, Peppermint, Cherry, Crème de Menthe, Cinnamon, Raspberry, Tangerine, Blackberry, Blueberry, Coffee and Hazelnut. 
Chocolate covered Oreos

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Pecan  Turtles
I will have the following molds for lollipops only: single heart, double heart and roses.  If you just want molded pieces of chocolate I have lips, cherubs, and roses.  I also a large mold for a Hershey kiss type mold.  These make good accents for baskets.  
Pictures do not reflect the actual product

For the suckers I offer Dark Chocolate (this turns out the shiniest and best), Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate. I can do colored chocolate, too. To submit orders contact me via email sheriwest@sbcglobal.net or if you have my number call or text me. Last day for orders is February 10, to ensure delivery by Valentines.

Jan 12, 2013

A commitment

Hi Blog Readers,

I apologize for not being very active in the blogosphere lately.
Things have been quite busy!
We have recently switched countries that we are adopting from, and
are moving forward with ourpaperchase.

Prayerfully we will be able to get it all done quickly and get things moving to bring "Baby Brother" home ASAP!

I am writing today to make a commitment.

Last year I had the idea of Find a Family Friday posts.
As Joey's schedule at work goes, he works extra hours for 9 days, and has every other friday off.
So, we typically used his off days to work on adoption things or try to have some family time. Also that is Ava's music therapy day.

Each of the children I shared on one of those posts now has a family...

That being said, I will begin doing Find A Family posts again, but I am committing to doing them for one child each month. When I wrote my first one, I set a challenge. A challenge to us all to commit to praying for the child for the next 30 days. Just 5 minutes a day, to pray, and possibly help save a life....

Doing one post a month will relieve the pressure of having to do a new post every week, while in a busy season of our lives with this adoption process, but it will also allow the focus to be on that child for the 30 days, to pray, share and advocate for that child. Prayerfully by the time we get the the next Find A Family post the child will have found a family.

Will you join me in this journey? Help me share the needs of these precious children, whether they have been abandoned because they have Down syndrome, HIV, CP or any other "special need". Will you help?

I have declared this year to be a Year of Hope. I pray it will be so... 2012, wasn't the greatest year for us...but after the storm comes a rainbow.

Continue to pray for us on our adoption journey, we are so encouraged by your support! 


Keep Looking Up!