Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Monday

Today we got to see Nina again! It was wonderful!


It started with all three of us (Andy, myself, and Frank) waiting for our girls in the doctor's office, it took them a while to bring the girls to us. Kellsey walked in the room looking for her papa, knowing exactly who she was going to go see. A worker walked in carrying Nina and had her stand there. She looked unsure, but smiled at us right away. I came over to her and picked her up, she let me, right away. I then gave her a few kisses.

I took her back to the couch where Andy was, we tried to get her to sit on the couch, we are discovering what she can and cannot do physically due to her CP. She cannot sit normal, but she could sit at the edge of the couch, and Andy handed her a piece of candy, she loved that!

Andy handed her a Matrushca (those dolls that you open and there is another one inside, and another one inside, etc). Nina loved it! We would get her to shake it, and eventually when we would say "shake" she would start shaking it too, along with smiles and laughs. We played and then we realized that Nina wanted to look at herself in the mirror. Andy took this as an opportunity to hold her (we had tried before, she would not let him) Andy would pick her up to the mirror and put her down again, over and over. Nina loved it. The reality is, she has never had a daddy throw her around, she has never had a daddy to swing her, has never had a daddy to love her. It was so sweet!

We then played some more, and Nina remembered to sign "more." We were impressed! Not only that, she said it! She said "more" while she signed it! She is one smart little girl. Her first English word is "more."

Nina is really fascinated by Andy's beard, so she was shy to touch it, but if I would, then she would too. So we asked her, "does it tickle?" and what does she do? She touches Andy's beard and starts moving her fingers tickling, while she says, "tickle, tickle, tickle." Andy and I just laughed! Her second English word..."tickle." So we had to play a chasing and tickling game. Daddy would get us, we would then get daddy. And all along Nina said "more" and "tickle" (Okay, a few times, but still!)

She looked at some of our family pictures, and a few times she points at Ellie's picture and says "Nina." She can even tell the family resemblance! And once Nina's hair is long, I am sure they will look even more alike!

Nina talked to us more this time, not just whispers but ventured to say more. So we are definitely getting to know each other! For now, she loves to be tickled!

When the doctor came in, Nina wanted to go with her. It is okay, I think we are definitely bonding, and she is definitely stealing our hearts!

We still do not have internet access in our apartment. Tomorrow I will try to upload some pictures from today and a video of Nina tickling Andy, it is way too sweet!

Our girls are with our cousins. Keep them in your prayers as they have a new adjustment to make. Ellie was really excited though, she knows she will get to do a few fun crafts with Cassia and Raessa.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday

Today we got to go to church, it was in English!!! It was great to worship.


Other observations we have made.

-Everyone smokes. I think we heard a statistic that 95% of people here smoke. So far we agree. It is crazy to see young teenagers smoking at a restaurant. Actually, restaurant menud have a cigarette section.

-Women here wear high heel boots everyday! Crazy since their streets are cobble stone.

-Men do not have facial hair. Well, let's say Andy sticks out in the crowd with his beard and tan coat.

-Lots of drinking. Vodka is cheaper than water, so...

-Water here is different, so after washing clothes, they are like cardboard. We finally bought more softener, I might have put a little bit more. Same with my hair. Oh well, I am sure here they know what products to buy for clothes and hair :)

-There are no dryers, only washers. Everyone hangs their clothes, and thankfully, we can dry ours on the heaters.

As for Nina observations

-Her legs are pretty stiff, but she can somehow pull herself up to a stand and move along furniture. This gives us hope that a good walker and physical therapy will really help.

-She can crawl some, but instead of moving her legs one at a time, she drags both of them. She actually kneels and walks on her knees.

-She can definitely get around.

-Her feet do not touch flat on the ground, her legs are bent, and one of her legs is kind of "in." Again, surgery will really help!

-She thinks being told "no" is funny and she should do it again!

-She loves to figure out how things work, and how things fit together. We got her crayons and a coloring book. Her sisters color all day, but Nina, oh no, she wants to get the crayons out of the box, and put them back in perfectly in a row :)

-She loves bubbles, and she is getting the idea of play-doh because we have a little toy where you put play-doh in and push a lever to make it come out (how things work!)

We will hopefully go see her tomorrow, so if we do, I will post more pictures and most likely another video :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Court Date

We have a court date, it is on Thursday December 3rd at 12:30 (most of you will be sleeping!). This is where the judge will pronounce Nina to be our daughter, and she will become Nina Stumbo, what a crazy thought!


After Thursday we begin our 10 day waiting period. This is a period of time where someone could come and contest the judges decision. Nina has no family, so we are confident nobody will contest this. Of course we wish the 10 day could be waived. We have heard in this region that sometimes creates problems because then someone will contest the judge's decision. And they say it has never been granted (so how do they know it creates more problems?).

Andy flies home on Saturday, day 2 of our wait.

After the 10 days I get to go get a new birth certificate for Nina. In this certificate, Andy and I will be listed as her parents. After that, we can apply for a tax code (not sure what it is for). They say this tax code can take 5-14 days to get. It is necessary to have this to apply for her passport. Once the tax code is here, we can apply for her passport. They say it takes around 10 days.

Nina then has to have a medical examination where to determine she can fly home. Once she is in the clear, we take the results with her passport to apply for a visa. Once we have the visa, we come home!

So this is what we have left in order
-Court
-10 day waiting period
-Birth certificate
-Tax code
-Passport
-Physical
-Visa

Somewhere in there we go to the bank and give Nina's money (all orphans have some money put aside by the government) to her orphanage as a gift. I think we have to have the tax code in order to do this.

So, at this point, me being home before Christmas is looking hard. BUT, we are asking you all to pray that the Lord comes before us and that all things fall into place so we can be home before Christmas! This would be cutting it short, but it can happen. So please, pray with us!

Prayer request
-That we continue to bond with Nina
-Wisdom regarding the 10 day waiting period, to wave or not to wave
-For things to move fast!
-That we are home for Christmas
-That we are witnesses to our translator and facilitator, how sweet if they got to know Jesus!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Today's Visit

Today we were able to go see Nina again. We saw her in a different room, I think this is where they play most of the time. She was shy again when she saw us, but recognized us right away as her "mama" and "papa."
She smelled pretty bad. Dirty and urine all mixed together. She was hesitant when they handed her to me, she looked at me and shoke her head "no." while pushing me away. We sat her at a little chair and she kept saying "no." Finally we pulled out some toys and she liked that.
We had our visit with our friend and his daughter, so I think that helped too. We had the girls sitting at a table and all was well as they both looked at each other's special toys from their parents. It was cute, Kellsey especially wanted to check out what Nina had making sure it wasn't hers. Nina then would kind of pull it away. Pretty typical kids!
Some lady thought she should stop by and check on us (we were meeting with NIna lone for the first time) Not a good idea! Nina wanted that lady and almost lost it. She grabbed me and was pulling up, she wanted to get down!
I picked her up but held her, she was not so convinced about it, so I sat on a table and finally she calmed down when Andy gave her our picture album. I think it helped that the lady finally walked out of the room.
She really did not want me to put her down anymore.
Another lady come back to check on us (sigh) Nina wanted to get down, it was good though because she held on to my hands and tried to walk. She does okay, her legs really are terrible, and she needs help walking, but it is amazing how well she can move.
We closed the door and Andy tried to hold her. She would not sit on his lap, she would cling to me. A reminder that as much as she likes him to play with, she has never ever had a man in her life. Kids here are scared of men.
(A little girl walked in the room, saw Andy and Frank and terror covered her face, she lost it, poor thing)
It was tough, it is such a small room and even with our toys we can only entertain for so long.
When we said goodbye she let us kiss her (okay, I kissed her a lot!) She kissed e back, but would not kiss Andy. She does find his beard pretty interesting.
She did tell everyone we are her mama and papa.
However, as soon as she saw her favorite caregiver, she wanted her and she was done with us. So we left. I came home and had to change my clothes, they smelled like urine. The orphanage here really cares for these kids, I know it is not neglect, but the reality that there are too many kids here, and not enough workers. I wish there was something else we could do. They do love Nina, there is no question about that, they love her!
Okay, I hope this does not sound negative, we really did enjoy our visit with her so much! We just cannot wait to have her with us all the time!


video

Thanksgiving Day

We had much to be thankful for on Thanksgiving day!
Our referral allowed us to go to the orphanage and have our official meeting with Nina. Amazing what a piece of paper can do. The doctor and the workers were happy to see us and we realized how worried they really were due to the quarantine.
We were also given freedom to interact with Nina, and let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL!
She is very shy, and once she got on that little bike, there was no getting her off of it. We offered her to get down a few times and she just would shake her head "no."
Of course she had a lot of fun with her daddy, he is the funniest and the best!
She laughed so hard with him!
They also told us that Nina had been telling the workers all day that her mama was coming. Somehow she knew :)
We had a wonderful visit with her, we felt so encouraged and cannot wait for her to come home with us!
Here are some pictures and a short videos for you to enjoy!







video video

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WE HAVE IT!!!

We have the referral! Oh it feels so wonderful to have it. Finally we can move on!


This morning I was reading some verses in Psalms, oh how I needed to read those! I should have read them a few days ago.
Some of the verses that really stuck out to me were:

"I trust him with all my heart"
"I will praise you forever"
"May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you"

I was challenged, as I knew that had not been me the last few days, so I wrote in my journal.

"Am I living like I trust you Lord? Am I? With all my anxiousness and worry over getting Nina's referral, am I forgetting who you are? Am I sinning against you?
I trust you with all my heart, I really do. You are my strength and my shield and you hear me. You change my sorrow and sadness and change it into dancing and happiness.
I will praise you forever. I want my words and thoughts to be pleasing to you always, today and tomorrow.
Oh Lord you are my rock and my redeemer."

And so I gave it up to God, nothing is under my control, and my anxioussness was literally making me sick. I had to give it up, I could not carry such a load any longer. What a wonderful surrender.

I counted all the blessings and miracles He has worked in our adoption process. He is in this, and He is good (wise words form John Stumbo).

It was a few minutes later that we got the phone call, we could get our referral.

How good God is, oh how good. God is in this, and God is good.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Observations

1. Speaking Russian would really come in handy.

I have never been to a country where I just cannot communicate. Even in France I could understand most of what people were saying, here, not so much.
Last night we had dinner with 2 other Reece's Rainbow families. We got back after 10:00 pm and the lights in the apartment were all out, we had never been out that late, so we just assumed maybe they had a "lights out" thing. The lady that works security came after us and tried to talk to us. It is pitch black, we don't understand! So she laughs, grabs my arms and drags me out of the apartment, takes us to a staircase that is also pitch black. We cannot find any lights, so we use our cell phone to find our floor, then we get it, the power is out! No wonder the lady had a good laugh! At least we discovered we can get to our apartment other than an elevator! Power came back on as soon as we walked in.

2. Sidewalks are also street AND parking lots.
Well, this is self explanatory. And you better move out of the way when the car is driving behind you on the side walk and it is honking at you. Oh, and they actually have lines on the sidewalk for parking spaces.

3. People here prefer dark colors.
It is rare to see someone wearing bright colors. Occasionally we will see a woman wearing a red coat, and once, a bright orange one! But mainly, people here wear black or dark colors.

4. Fur is in.
Many coats have fur, even some men's coats. They look warm! And, if you are wondering, no, the midwest is colder than here.

5. It is okay to push people out of the way if you ar ein a hurry. Really, it is not rude, it is an every day happening.

6. Restaurants are places to hang out, once you walk in, you can be there and stay for as long as you want. We love it! There is no rush, no need to hurry. But, if you need anything, you have to find your server and ask! Not such a things a free refill here, you pay for it! And the glasses are not as large.

7. People here only have one child, maybe two. They are very protective of their children and they try to get the best for them in clothing, toys, etc. We have only seen one lady with two kids, mostly, it is really just one.

8. No, we have not seen anyone with any sort of a disability, child or adult. So, I wonder what it will be like being out an about with Nina, we will smile and wave (well, I will, she is too shy!)

9. Their alphabet is different! It is called "Cerilic"??? Anyway, we cannot even read signs. Andy can figure things out because he took Greek and I think it is similar, but me, I am lost!

Lastly, thank you for all the encouraging words and your prayers, it means so much to us.

Monday, November 23, 2009

No Referral

No referral. They said best case scenario we get it Wednesday afternoon. Most likely we will not gt it until Thursday afternoon (after 4:00) That was the day we had hoped to have court.


We wait some more, wishing we could have gone home last Wednesday and come back when the quarantine was lifted and were given a go.

We are very discouraged, pray for us.

Call to Prayer

It is 11:30 for us on Monday morning, I know most of you are sleeping.

We have received news today that the quarantine in the orphanage has been extended until Thursday and they still don't know if this will affect our referral.

To say that we are discouraged is an understatement. We have been waiting since our original SDA appointment last Wednesday for this referral. An appointment that lasted 10 minutes. Nothing has happened since then.

They say there is a possibility for us to get it today, if not, we will not get it until Thursday or Friday.

If you read this on Monday morning, PRAY, please pray that we hear good news at 3:00 pm (your 7:00 am)

We need this referral!

Lord, we are in the palm of your hands, all things are in your hands. Please, grant us the referral.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Not much to do

The last couple of days we have had nothing to do. Due to the quarantine we cannot go visit Nina and we cannot move forward in the process. We are hoping that we get our referral on Monday because that will allow things to start moving and there would be a possibility of having court on Thursday or Friday (this would be when Nina would officially become ours).


After court, the 10 day waiting period begins where someone could appeal the court's decision. In our case, we know Nina has no family, so it will be 10 days where we cannot do anything official or have her with us, but, we can go visit her everyday.

Yesterday our facilitator had said that maybe they would extend the quarantine until Wednesday! You can imagine how discouraging the news was, however, I do not believe ths will be the case as school and other activities will start again on Monday.

We have done sight seeing and lots of walking. Our friends were here adopting (from the same orphanage) and now we have been hanging out with Frank, who has been here now for 3 weeks and knows his way around pretty well. Andy is also quickly catching on when it comes to directions, me on the other hand....

So that is all so far. Tomorrow we will try to go to an internet cafe at some point and I will try to upload some pictures. Unfortunately our internet connection here is not very good and I loose connection when I try to get photos up.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask, and I will try to answer those. We have plenty of time for that!

Prayer requests
-that we receive the referral on Monday
-that we can be given a court date soon (Thursday or Friday)

Friday, November 20, 2009

First Meeting

This is a short video I took of Nina the first time we met her. This is when she was too shy to interact with us and would not make eye contact, but the camera made her smile, eventually I was ablet o get close to her and show her the video and a picture I had taken.

I know this is not much, but this is what we have of her.


video

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 4

Today was a long day.


It started out as a disappointing day for us. Last night we were told that we could go see Nina today, and so we went to see her along with our friend Frank, who is adopting from the same orphanage. As we walked inside, we were greeted by a shake of the head and a "No. no. no!"

We called our translator and the conversation did not sound very happy. She then talked to us and said that Andy and I had to leave and go wit in the car, and they would call us in when we could see Nina.

We walked out, disappointed, but hoping that we would still be able to see her. At least Frank had been able to stay to see his daughter. A few minutes after being in the car, we got a call from our translator, we could go in and see Nina, the orphanage director had approved. So excitedly, we walked back in. At the door we were greeted by a worker who told us she would go get Nina (well, at least we think she said that because she mentioned her name)

Franks' phone rang. We all needed to get out of there...NOW! The workers kept saying to us something, the only word we understood was "quarantine"

So we all left, not even a glance at Nina.

On the way back we connected with some missionary friends from the CMA. Some other missionaries from Russia were here getting their visas worked out and were touring the city. Frank, Andy and I joined them. We then went over to have dinner at their place and were able to meet more missionaries still :)

So that was our day, I will post some pictures and a short video of Nina tomorrow morning.

Thanks for all your prayers, I feel much better today. My throat is much better and so is my cough. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the prayers!

Prayer request
-that we get our referral letter tomorrow

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SDA Appointment

We just got back from our SDA appointment, the entire thing did not last more than one hour, and that is including our travel time!


We walked into a an office and met with a lady that had all our documentation in front of her. She asked for our passports and they just laid there on the table, she never looked at them. She then asked why we wanted to adopt Nina, so we told her.

She read us her file, and the medical file, the medical file was prepared by the orphanage doctor, the same doctor we saw yesterday. What she told us is different from what the lady was reading from the file. It is making us wonder if the orphanage is trying to keep information from us, afraid that we will not want Nina. If only they could understand that we are not going to change our minds, but it just does not feel right that we are being told different things.

What they said to us today is that Nina might also have a heart condition, and that she has developmental delays. Well, she is in an orphanage, of course we know there will be delays. The little we saw her yesterday was enough for us to see that she is delayed. They also said today that she has adenoid issues. So, what the doctor wrote is different that what she said yesterday. Sigh, it is a little frustrating. Andy does not care, the reality is that once we get her home we will have her seen by many doctors and specialists.

We did get her baby picture and maybe one from when she was two? We traded pictures, we got those and we gave them one that we had.

I think her arms and hands might be affected too. She can use them well, but I am wondering about that.

Also, we had put in our request for 2 children. Not really planning on 2 kids, but just in case. The orphanage does not want us to look at any other kids, they want us to just have Nina because they want her to have all the attention. So they definitely want her with a family. I wonder if they are afraid that we would change our minds if we knew of all the issues she would have. I suppose they see that often, people coming and not wanting her. But we do!

We did not get the referral. At this point they are saying not until Monday. Our facilitator was going to ask on Friday and see if they would give it to us.

Prayer requests
-for the referral
-My throat is sore and I have a cough, please pray I get better soon!

We met her!

Today we actually got to go meet Nina. It was a last minute thing and we are pretty sure we were not supposed to due to the quarantine. We are here with another family, (they took pictures for us before) so we got to go with Frank to the orphanage. As we walked into a little office a little girl came running in really excited! It was actually their daughter Kellsey, she came looking for her daddy and was such a fun little girl.


It took us a while to figure out that the worker that ran in after Kellsey was holding Nina, but there she was, with her worker!

Our poor girl, they gave her another haircut...we will definitely grow out her hair.

She is SHY, not just a little shy, but really really shy. She would not make eye contact with us for a while. Eventually she would kind of look at us from the side and smile, so that was good. A few times she did look at me while she was looking at a book and I would sign "duck" to her (there was a picture of a duck in the book)

I think she definitely will need glasses. A few times she looked to be cross eyed, and almost like she could not focus well on things (or maybe she was being shy.)

Her legs are definitely affected by her CP. Even though she does have use of her hands, we do wonder if they are affected some. We will not know until we get back and she sees a doctor. They said she can talk, but we did not hear her say much. At one point I took a picture of her and showed it to her, and she did call herself Nina while pointing at the picture. She then wanted to push buttons in my camera, so she was not being so shy.

We showed her pictures of her sisters, and I am not sure what the worker was calling the girls, maybe "sister"? maybe "girl"?

They did say that Nina told them this morning that she had a dream, and that her dream was about her mom :) That is sweet!

We know more about her. She was born premature which caused her CP. She was born at 27 weeks and was in the NICU for 3 months. Mom left her at birth. She has no family that they know off, and nobody comes to visit her. Sometimes kids do have family members come once in a while, but she does not.

They said all wonderful things about Nina. We are not sure about what they say, we think they might be trying to give us the best scenario so we adopt her. Maybe they don't realize that we want her regardless of her abilities. Even when we left the doctor said that now that we had seen her, we could think about weather we wanted her or not. Well, we do! We did not come all the way here to change our minds!

Our first appointment is tomorrow. This is our official SDA. They usually give the referrals that same day, but because of the quarantine, we are not sure they will until Monday.

Prayer requests:
-That we do get her referral ASAP (they could I suppose give it to us tomorrow, once we have that we can officially continue to move forward in the adoption process)
-That our internet works (we are sitting in an office)
-Health! I am getting a cold.

Thanks

We Made It!

So far we have been unsuccessful at getting internet in our apartment, so I am writing this and saving it to post later, hopefully by the time I post it I will also have more exciting things to share.

We arrived yesterday and our facilitator was waiting for us with a little card that read “Stumbo.” I waved at him as soon as I saw him, and even through the mask he was wearing I could see some confusion on his face. But we did walk to him and once we called his name he knew it definitely was us. At the car, he looked at us and said, “You two are a very young family!” So I realized that he was expecting someone older!

We had been e-mailing back and forth before we came, and I am sure he pictured us very different. We were lucky to have a picture of him ahead of time so we knew what he looked like, but, before we saw his picture, we too pictured him to be a lot different!

Driving here is a lot like in Mexico City. And I mean a lot! As a matter of fact the city reminds me of Mexico quite a bit. The problem is that in Mexico I can read the signs and I understand the language. Here, we are clueless! Not only are we clueless about the language, their alphabet is so different that we cannot even read the signs!

We got our apartment and our facilitator took us around a little bit, showed us where to go eat, where to exchange money, etc. He gave us our cell phone and took us to buy a SIM card. Just a note, if you ever travel and get a SIM card, calling the US will automatically use all your minutes in a matter of what feels like seconds! After our unsuccessful internet connection attempts, we called my mom to tell her all was well, and our card ran out right before we got to talk to Ellie!

We were of course exhausted, traveling all day and ready to sleep. But we knew that if we gave in to our natural rhythm (which was telling us to sleep now!) we would not sleep at night! Some friends that are here through Reece’s rainbow had called and invited us to go out to eat. We almost went, excited to be here, but realized, we just wanted to lay down and hang out.

After a while however, we realized we needed to venture out and find a grocery store or something like it. We had nothing in our apartment and for sure we would need something to eat or at least some water to drink. Andy’s parents have good friends right here in Kiev, and they had called offering help. Well, they came all the way to our apartment and took us out, showed us where to go shopping and gave us a few tips. It was wonderful having them with us! We said this morning how great it is to have someone here to be like our “mom and dad” because we know that if we need anything they are only a phone call or a bus stop away! They brought us back to our apartment and we tried to stay awake as long as we could.

Finally at 8:30 pm we went to bed. At 2:00 am I was wide awake, and I know so was Andy, I tried to talk to him but he insisted we try to sleep. We both eventually fell back asleep. So at 6:45 am we finally got up!

Well, how was that for a summary? LOL

We might be able to go see Nina today, we are not sure, this is a wait and see deal. For now we better start getting ready for the day, go get another SIM card and venture into the cold.

We hope to have internet access later on in the day.

Please pray for my health, pray pray pray! I have a cough and a somewhat runny nose, I would not want this to stop us from meeting our sweet girl! And pray for Andy too, so he does not get sick! Thank you all for your love and support. Until later J

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The last leg of the race begins

It is late, very late, we are excited, and we are ready.

Tomorrow (later today) we are flying out! I have to admit I hate flying, but I cannot wait to go see Nina and bring her home.

Please pray for us as we travel today. For most of you, we will be traveling all day Sunday and on Monday when you wake up we will hopefully be there!

Please pray for a safe and uneventful travel.

Please pray for health for us and for our girls.

We have missionary friends that will help us get settled as soon as we get there. They will take us grocery shopping and show us our neighborhood. God continues to provide for us. We are so thankful for these friends.

I will update as soon as we get there!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reece's Rainbow

This is worth watching! Andrea has done something remarkable, just one mom, with a high calling. With God going before her, beside her, and around her. It is because of her that we found our daughter.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog Going Private

On Saturday our blog will go private. If you want an invite I need to have your e-mail address. If you received an e-mail from me today, you are okay, but if you did not, it means I do not have your e-mail address.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

10 Days Away...and I'm Wondering


I wonder...when it was 10 days before I met God and He adopted me, was HE this excited?

I wonder if His stomach did flips and He got tears in His eyes when He thought about holding me for the first time.

I wonder if His heart ached when He thought about my life without Him as my Daddy.

I wonder if it grieved Him to know that I was living as an orphan and had no hope of a future without Him.

I wonder if He was as okay with paying my ransom as I am with paying Nina's.

I wonder if, for Him, there was no cost too high, no sacrifice too great.

I wonder...


(Poem by Chris & Mary Malone and used by Reece's Rainbow families around the country.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

We know more about her!

My friend Renee is adopting a little girl from the same orphanage as Nina. She is there right now and of course I begged her to get me some pictures and gave her a list of questions!

She got to see Nina today and sent us some pictures! We also know more about her now.
So far it appears like Nina's hands have not been affected by her CP. She also does not require tube feedings and is able to eat table food. She can talk and she likes dresses (just like her big sister Ellie!)

From pictures we can see that her legs are affected. She can only stand with support and when standing her feet do not "come down" and touch the ground. (Almost as if she was standing on her toes). I also don't think that regular shoes will fit her. I would say her legs look to be bent as well even when she is standing. All of these things we expected as are common with Cerebral Palsy.

By looking at her pictures we are guessing that it will be a while until she can walk on her own. She might always need special equipment like a walker or crutches. However, who knows what will happen when she starts receiving PT and when there are surgeries available to help her.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rummage and Bake Sale Fundraiser

Yesterday we had our Rummage and Bake sale fundraiser. It went amazing!


But let me back up a little bit. Two weeks ago I was trying to figure out if we could do a rummage sale and had posted about it on facebook. After asking Andy if we could use the youth building for this, he let me know that there were no days available. I then posted on facebook that the rummage sale would not be possible.

However, my friend Dora got to thinking and called a friend who owns a building where they hold auctions and asked if we could use it for our sale. Not only did he agree, but he also said we could use it for free! The sale was on!!!

My friend Dora then suggested we also throw in a bake sale, after all, we only have so much time to raise money! So we went ahead and planned on that too!

So many people contacted us to let us know that they wanted to help. Our cousin even got crafty and sent us some pretty sweet scarves that we could sell. The news spread and many people from our community and others close to us were donating items and even time!

Our local newspaper also went the extra mile, and when I called wanting to place an add for the sale I got to share our story with the editor. Well, not only did he place an add, he ran a short story about our family and what the fundraiser was for.

Thursday we got the place ready to be set up. On Friday we spent all day (literally all day!) setting up for the sale! Amy, Kris, Darla, Dora, Gretchen and Jody helped me set up and let me tell you, we worked hard! Steve helped Andy pick up donations while Jenny watched our girls.
I cannot even name all the people that showed up to bring baked good or all the people that showed up to drop off their donations! Some of these people we did not even know, but they had heard about what we were doing and why, and they just wanted to help. Humbling, very humbling!

Yesterday was the sale day, lots of people came and they brought along their generosity. We feel so blessed. My friend Brigitte came to help us too with her many baked goods. She just adopted a little boy with Down syndrome from the same country as Nina. We have not really known each other very long, but what a dear friend she has become to me. Also, my friend Amy who I also met through our on-line boards for parents of children with Down syndrome showed up and we finally got to meet!

At the end of the day, our friends (their family) showed up to help us clean up. That was a lot easier to do! LOL

We came home exhausted, but feeling so loved, so encouraged. We really are blessed. Our rummage and bake sale was a success! All that hard work was definitely worth it!

Thank you, thank you so much for all of you who helped, all of you who made this happen. there is no way we could have ever pulled this off on our own! Thank you!

And once more, God shows us His overflowing of love through other people. We are humbled, we are grateful, and we are praising God for who He is.

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