Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Anya at her pre-school Christmas Party
Mary Claire at her 2nd grade school party
Avery played Santa Claus in his pre-school Christmas skit!
Avery's pre-school parade float. The parent's put together the float and the kids ride on it in the parade. This was our 3rd year to have a child in this preschool and we have never worked as long on a float as much as this one....thank goodness we won!!!
More pictures of Anya at her Christmas Party
Anya with her teacher, Ms. Cammy. Check out all of the spilled juice and yummy cupcake all over her shirt....she sure did enjoy the food at the party.
Family pictures at the end of Avery's Christmas skit.
Mary Claire and Anya
Mary Claire all fancied up!!
Mom and Anya at Pre-school Thanksgiving Feast
The following 2 pictures were taken at a pageant that Mary Claire and Anya were in. Before, you start wondering if we do pageants and the thoughts of Toddlers and Tiara's come to your mind. The answer is "no" we do not do pageants. However, my 8 year old came home one day from school asking me if she could please be in the "prom"....what the prom???? She meant the pageant that was a fundraiser for our school. It was a "natural" pageant, meaning no makeup, no pageant dresses, no fake hair, and no fake anything for that matter. After asking a few more questions about the "prom" I told her yes and then decided I would also put Anya in it. We had no idea what we were doing, but they both did great....Mary Claire got 2nd runner up and Anya did too....Anya also got the People's Choice Award in her group. The audience voted in each category who they thought should win and Anya got it in her category. It was fun and my oldest enjoyed it. I've been told that the pageant is supposed to run on one of the next episodes of Toddler's and Tiaras, so watch for us!!!! Just kidding.
Granddad and Anya at the pageant
As I finish this post...and it's past time for me to go to bed. I just want to speak to any of you who may be viewing this and wondering about the thought of adoption for your family. To be honest; going through the process of adoption is hard. BUT, as I was looking at all of the pictures that I have from just the 3 months that Anya has been home with us I am amazed at how well Anya is doing. She is a complete blessing to our family. She is a blessing who was months away from being transferred to an adult mental institution. I am so thankful to God for giving us Ellis Anne and through her, opening our eyes to the children of Reece's Rainbow. Adoption is worth every bit of worry, every fundraiser, every piece of paperwork, every sleepless night, the travel away from your family; adoption is worth it and it changes lives. It changed Anya's life and it is changing our lives. We are blessed. It is worth it.
In case you missed the family that adopted through Reece's Rainbow here it is....
Posted by Stephanie at 21:14
Monday, 26 December 2011
Big News Tonight......
Reece's Rainbow is going to be featured on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer. Set your DVR's. A family who adopted a little girl whose name is now Mia was accompanied by the staff of World News Tonight through their entire adoption journey and it is airing tonight. Monday, December 26th.
This is great news for Reece's Rainbow and for all of the children who are waiting for their forever families....It should be good, so don't forget to watch!!!!
Posted by Stephanie at 10:10
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
She is described as very happy and gentle. She is not walking on her own yet.
She only has 2, 214.50 in her total grant fund.
A family would need $25 to $30 in order to complete her adoption.
And the part about all of this that makes me hurt the most is that this sweet little girl who has been rejected by her parents only because she has Down syndrome
and has lived her entire life in an orphanage is that she has had...
Now that my dear friends, makes my heart hurt and my eyes swell up with tears.
Only ONE measly inquiry.
Only ONE family has ever even thought about adopting her.
Only 10 more days.
Will you help me find Anastasia's family. I know that she will thrive in a family.
Can you please give this little girl a chance and maybe some hope this Christmas?
It's not too late.
Nothing is too little. You may give to Anastasia's fund by clicking on her picture which will take you to the Angel Tree page on Reece's Rainbow.
Please don't wait to make a difference in this Anastasia's life.
Posted by Stephanie at 14:40
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
This picture of Ellis Anne makes me smile....
Just wanted to share.......
She is super hard to photograph......
But we got her and I had to share....
Thanks to Jennifer Hood photography for working hard to capture this moment!!
(if you live in the Texarkana, Texas area I would suggest Jennifer...
she was super patient with us and her prices are reasonable)
Posted by Stephanie at 22:27
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Well, I guess I should apologize for the lack of updates, but my twins (not really twins, but it feels like it) around the house have been keeping me on my toes. So here you go....a update jam packed of pictures of what we have been doing for the last 3 weeks. I assure you we have not been doing a bunch of nothing. It has definately been busy going to all kinds of doctor appointments and also fitting in all of the fun stuff too. So, in a nutshell we have started school, gone to the dentist and then to Chuck E Cheese afterwards, taken a trip to the pumpkin patch, celebrated a birthday, gone to speak at a youth group about LIFE and our adoption journey, carved pumpkins, attended the Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk, gone Trick or Treating (sorry, those pictures have not been down loaded yet), and gone to ENT and Nutrition doctor appointments at Arkansas Children's Hospital which is 2 1/2 hours away from where we live...so that makes for a long day. Since we have been home I have been averaging 1 trip to Little Rock a week, some for appointments, one to speak to the youth group, and one for pleasure...to take my oldest kids, Mary Claire and Avery, to the pumpkin patch. I am hoping to slow down, but knowing what is coming down the pipeline with both of "the girls" doctor appointments, I don't think is am going to get much down time. "The girls" is now my official name for the girls, Ellis Anne and Anya. Well, without further delay.....oh wait, I did not want to leave this out because I was a proud mama....Anya has gained 3 lbs since we have been home!!!!! I knew she was eating good, but I had no idea she would gain weight that fast. Now, we are hoping that she doesn't just grow out, but up too!!!! OK....now here are the pictures....
A few pictures from the youth group that we went to speak to.
Below is a picture of Ellis Anne and my doctor, Dr. Wendel.
Dr. Wendel was my doctor when I was pregnant with Ellis Anne. Besides being a doctor to me, he was a great encouragement to Reed and me. When I was devastated about Ellis Anne having Down Syndrome he convinced me (some days :) ) that is was going to be O.K. This man goes beyond his duty of just being a doctor. It was his youth group that we spoke to about our journey with Ellis Anne and adopting Anya.
Ellis Anne turns THREE!!!!
Anya and Aunt Scarlett
My dad and Ellis Anne.
My dad and Anya (yes she only has a diaper on) I could only seem to get clothes
on the birthday girl that night and Anya did not seem to mind it one bit.
These two little girls, Ellis Anne and Anya, have stolen my dad's heart.
The Birthday Girl!!!
This is Ellis Anne's "CHEESE". Thanks Barney...you know, the purple dinosaur.
I had no idea what to get Ellis Anne for her birthday. We have too many toys, and Ellis Anne is still struggling with playing with toys appropriately. On top of that, when you have children with learning disabilities, you want ALL of the toys to help them developmentally. So, after much searching I got her this....
A WATER TABLE
Yep, she is IN the water table and she LOVES it! Yay!!!
Anya loves it too.
Big Kid's and Mom take a trip to the Pumpkin Patch!!
Avery goes to a preschool called "The Happy House" Mrs. Jen, the teacher/owner is amazing. They take field trip once a week and have 2 BIG trips a year. One is to the pumpkin patch. It is a big field trip because it is 2 1/2 hours away and she makes a full day of it.
Families are invited and encouraged to come.
I always look forward to this field trip with my kiddos. We had a great time
Ellis Anne and Mary Claire
Well, to my surprise, Anya acted like she had carved pumpkins all of her life, but I am certain that this was her first time. The kids showed her what to do and she got right in there.
First Trip to the Dentist for Anya and Ellis Anne!
Anya made friends with her dentist.
And then what a better treat, than to go to Chuck E Cheese afterwards. Whew, I sure am glad it wasn't crowded, because after this outing I was pooped out.
In the orphanage, they went on and on about how obedient Anya was.
Hmmmm..are you serious?
Look closely at the above photograph. Do you see Anya making her way under the plastic sheet of that game. And in a few more pictures down, she is doing it again on a different game....and then guess who followed??? Yep, Ellis Anne.
This is the other picture of her going under the plastic sheet.
I have told her NO in this picture and she thinks it is funny.
Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk
We did not form a team this year, due to the fact that we were in Russia, but we attended anyway. It is always fun to see friends and make new ones....and great to talk to families who have so many things in common with you.
Our family photo...
This might prove to be a challenge from now on. Not sure there is a decent one of all of us together, but hey....here it is
Anya's First Day at School
I had not intended to send Anya to school so soon, but I also had no idea that she would adjust so well. I started her in school because I thought she needed the social interaction and I did not want her to regress. She is going 3 half days a week and she LOVES it. I am not sure what her teachers would say, but I think she is doing great. She is in the 3 year old class, because that was all that was open. I would send her 5 days a week if I could.
She LOVES being around the other children.
Do you see how small she is???? This was when we first arrived.
She just stood there and stared at everyone.
Posted by Stephanie at 21:31