Friday, April 27, 2012

Update... Sarah's Smile

Sarah has a forever family!  Just as time was running out for her a family has committed to adopt sweet little Sarah!  Thank you to everyone who has prayed and advocated for this sweet little girl!

Jigsaw fundraiser!


We are building our family, one puzzle piece at a time, literally! You can help us construct a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and bring our daughter home.

For just $5, you can have your name inscribed on the back of a piece of our adoption puzzle! Once it's completed, the puzzle will be framed between two sheets of glass, so that Christiana can see the beautiful picture on the front and the names of all the people who helped to bring her home to her forever family.

We look forward to showing you the stages of building our jigsaw puzzle and to sharing our journey of adoption. Through our blog, you can post comments and prayers, view photos and updates and make online donations.

If you look to the right side of this page, you'll see a "Chipin" button and a Reece's Rainbow FSP donation button.  You can donate to either by clicking on the "donate" or "chipin" buttons.  The Chipin link helps with our immediate adoption costs and isn't tax deductible.  The Reece's Rainbow button will help us with our later costs (like travel, visas, etc) and is tax deductible. 
Please remember to leave a comment here or email us after donating so we can put your name on your puzzle piece! 

If you'd like to mail a donation, please email Jason or Lisa at or

Thank you for helping us grow our family and give a precious little girl the gift of a loving home and family!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A simple baby doll

On Tuesday, as I was shopping for groceries I happened to walk down the toy aisle.  I thought it would be fun to look at the pretty, girly toys and imagine buying them for my Christiana. 

As the mother of three sons, I've missed out on all of the girly fun.  From pretty dollies to princess costumes... I've always been a bit sad when I've looked at the girls' toys.  From the moment I discovered I was pregnant for the first time, I've had wistful dreams of eyelet dresses, tea sets, and dolls.  I think at some point, every mother daydreams of having a daughter. 

As I smiled at the bounty of pink in that aisle a small, soft "baby's first" doll caught my eye.  It seemed just the thing for our Christiana.  Small and soft... simple and cuddly.  A perfect first doll for our tiny girl. 

But then the realisation hit... this "baby's first" doll would really be her first doll.  Children in orphanages don't have toys of their own.  They don't have clothes of their own.  They don't have anything of their own at all.   The only things these children own are their names. 

In the "better" orphanages the children have toys to play with.  They don't have their own toys, but they do have toys to play with.  Christiana hasn't grown up in one of those "better" orphanages.  The orphanage where she's spent the first four and a half years of her life is at the other end of the spectrum.  Not only do the children there not have toys of their own, they don't have toys at all.  None. 

Can you imagine a small child being deprived of a simple ball... or a stuffed animal to love?  Can you even imagine how sad that is?  I can.  I did. 

As I stood in that toy aisle, holding that small, soft baby doll... it suddenly hit me just how little my daughter has had in her short life.  No mother, no father, no family.  No toys.... not even the comfort of a small, soft doll to hold when she's alone. 

So if any of you saw a lady in HEB on Tuesday, standing in the toy aisle and crying... that was me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Woo Hoo!  It's official folks!  We are finally able to announce that we are officially adopting our Christiana and we are so excited.  Our Family Sponsorship fund has been set up on Reece's Rainbow and we're finally free to shout our joy from the rooftops! 
Meet our future daughter... Miss Christiana....

Sarah's smile...

God’s people are commanded to care for orphans. To see an orphan afflicted, and to turn a deaf ear, is sin, even rebellion.
· Exodus 22:22, “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.”

How true this is.  I don't understand how people can turn away from these children... from this child. 
This is Sarah.  Isn't she beautiful.  She's so precious.  She's in the same orphanage with our girl.  Of all the children who have been listed for adoption so far, she's the only one who has had NO ONE inquire about adopting her.  Why, you may ask... because she's blind.  She was born with cataracts on her lenses. 
But just look at her... so lovely... so sweet.  Should the fact that she's blind make her less deserving of a loving family... less lovely or sweet? 

Isn't she beautiful... didn't I tell you?  Now let me show you a different photo... a photo of the same girl, but showing how sad.. how desperate and frightened she is.  This is a frightened child... without comfort... without a mama to tell her it will be alright... to hold and comfort her.

Please someone let this child into your heart.  She's crying out for a family and she only has until May.  Then the agency will have to return her file.  Please don't let this be the only little girl who isn't rescued from the "bad place".  What you may not realize is this... where she is, she has no future.  Because she's disabled, she'll be placed in an adult mental institution.  When disabled children are placed in those places... over 80% of them die during their first year.  How much of a chance do you think a tiny little blind girl has? 

Please, please consider opening your hearts and your home to this precious girl... to Sarah.  Don't turn your back on this little girl... don't be the reason that one more child in this world has to suffer.

A busy week so far

This week has already exhausted me... and it's only Tuesday! 

So far this week we've compiled and notarized our commitment paperwork to send to our daughter's birth country.  Yesterday I had to drive those documents to Austin to have them apostilled.  For those who don't know... apostilling is basically having an official government seal placed on notarized documents.  It's necessary for any documents that we have to send overseas.  For state and local ones... we have the apostilled at our state capital.  For others like our FBI background checks, they have to be sent to Washington DC to the Secretary of State's office to be apostilled. 

So yes... lots of printing papers, filling them out, getting them notarized and then driving for hours to get them apostilled.  ha ha. 

We've also gotten fingerprinted and sent them off along with our request for an official FBI background check. 

This morning... I took our apostilled commitment paperwork to the post office and sent it "next day" to a family who is also adopting from the same country that we are... and using the same adoption agency.  They'll be hand delivering our papers to our adoption attorney when they arrive in that country to see their own child.  I'm so very grateful to them for this.  First... because this means our paperwork won't get "lost in the mail" and second because this will save us a lot of time.  Because unless you want to pay a small fortune to FedEx... international mail is S-L-O-W. 

These are all the things I've accomplished just on Monday and Tuesday!  lol  For the rest of the week... I get to start more paperwork, start compiling our letters of employment and reference, and start the online adoption classes that are required for our adoption.  We each have to take a series of classes on topics like "attachment issues", "medical issues with internationally adopted children", and others.  Lots to learn. 

Although we're only required to take 10 hours of classes, I'm considering taking all of the classes offered.  It can't hurt and can only help, right?  More education is always a good thing and if it means I'll be better prepared to welcome her home... I'm all for it!

So that's it for the nuts and bolts post this week.  It's been busy, but so rewarding.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

We're adopting!

I've had a couple of surprised friends who missed our announcement. 

We're adopting!  

We're trying very hard to adopt a sweet, tiny little four year old girl.  She has some delays like Deacon does, but that's not what matters.  What matters is that she will hopefully become a Matthews.  What matters is that we want her and are willing to go out on a rather thin financial limb to get her. 

Friends, we're discovering that adoption is a difficult, expensive adventure.  So in the future be ready to see announcements for fundraisers, giveaways, contests, tournaments... you name it.... we're going to be doing it in order to bring our sweet little bird home. 

While you're looking around at our blog... you may notice a Chipin button on the right.  All it takes is a click to donate to our adoption fund through Paypal.  Give it a try.  lol  It's super easy!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


We've all had them... those days when everything is chaos. Those days when your four year old cuts his own hair, the two year old decides to paint the sofa with pudding, and the 6 year old argues like a southern lawyer who's billing by the hour.

Days like that sometimes make us want to put the kids to bed at five and then collapse into a twitching heap on the bed. And while many people would want to trade away those days... I wouldn't.

As trying as those crazy days are, they're also rewarding and precious.

Take a moment to look at the things that happen on those crazy, stressful days in a new light.

Sure it's aggravating when the four year old cuts his hair, but it's also a show of independence - a way to say "hey - I want shorter hair" or "I can do it myself". For an autistic 4 year old with developmental delays... it's a big step and an important milestone.

The two year old painting with pudding... well, I would be happier if he would paint something that could be wiped down instead of steam-cleaned, but still... My little man is creating art and expressing himself. He's exploring textures and learning to change his environment. He's joyous and happy when he's painting the furniture. I mourn for the stains and dread the tedious cleanup, but his smiling, joyous face more than repays any stress his creative tendencies cause. When he says "sorry mama" and hugs me... all is forgiven.

The six year old's sassy mouth is probably the most aggravating of all. This child does NOT like to "take no for an answer" and will try to convince you to see/do things his way. He'll keep trying for hours. The boy is tenacious. The flip-side of this is... he's clever. He's very intelligent and is becoming very eloquent and very persuasive. His vocabulary is expanding and his grasp of how to use logic and reason to persuade is amazing. He'll be a huge asset to his high school debate team someday. lol

My friends, beauty can be found everywhere and so can joy. I've been asked many times how I keep my sanity in such a small house with 3 small boys, a husband and four dogs. I've been told that I'm crazy for wanting to add another child to our family.

The thing is... I love my family. I adore my husband and I am absolutely in love with my children. They make me happy. Motherhood makes me happy... it fulfills me.

I can't wait to add to our family... to be able to share this wonderful, chaotic, loving life with a small, sweet soul from eastern Europe.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dear Friends

Many of you may know from Facebook that I'm not very eloquent. Expressing myself with words is sometimes hard for me, so things may start out a bit awkward and slow as I learn to write and decide how to share this journey with you all. I would like to thank all of the wonderful ladies of the Reece's Rainbow group for helping me set up this blog.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Three Little Birds

"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin': "Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right!"

Rise up this mornin',
Smiled with the risin' sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin' sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin', ("This is my message to you-ou-ou:")

                                             - Bob Marley