Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm having another boy!

"Don't allow the fear of "what if" ruin the joy of "what is". -- Melody
Beattie

Monday, June 28, 2010

This is Ann Marie


You can find more about Ann Marie on reecesrainbow.com...she is a beautiful little girl with Down Syndrome who will be aging out of the orphanage soon. Her photo was touched up to look so angelic by Heather on our adoption group. She is a professional photographer and is doing a special fundraiser of her own to help find a family to commit. You can also make a tax deductaable donation through her profile page on reecesrainbow.org.

Littlest one!

Our littlest one is growing up! She is losing her toddler look... trying to say words & doing a couple signs...She is very aware of what is going on..She loves to dance when the right beat comes on and just loves to get hugs. She is such a lover with this little growl thing she does when you hug her and she pats your back..so cute! We have decided to keep her home another year before starting school..we are not ready to part with her just yet..we will be doing some neat stuff this school year with the kiddos since we may have Marco home too..

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our 3 Ukrainian beauties were only 7 kilometers from their future brother!..Who knew? God knew..

Child Abuse Clearances are back already!

That was a pretty quick turn around...so off to the Social worker they go & Home study coming soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Update

Our child abuse clearances have been mailed! So I got the date they were issued and have given it to the Social worker to add it in the Home study...as soon as she notarizes it we can ship it off to USCIS..Then we wait & pray for a quick turn around.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thank You Ana & Yuri...


Hello Ana & Yuri..I see Kiev on the map! I wanted to thank You both again and also your Mom for the delicious meal you made for us while in Kiev. Also thank you again for picking us up and allowing us to be a part of your lives. Hope to see you again in September.

Marco & friends at the flea market

Glad to be home...

We had a great day yesterday together again as a family...I really missed the kids & Ruben while away. Had a lot of laughs and projections about our new son/brother. He will fit right in with us. I am praying there are no glitches & his arrival will be uneventful. We are cleaning & heaving excess things & furniture..I have been trying to become less cluttered for awhile now and it is happening slowly..The only excess items are clothing now..so I will tackle that next week..and of course the pile I have thrown out front! So on the weekend we can cart it away to salvation army...Junk is such a distraction from everything.

Also getting more documents in order for our dossier. Most of the paperwork is in Ukraine and waiting on an answer to a letter from us that was submitted last week to confirm Marco is free & clear for adoption. He is a beautiful child and we had an instant connection at our first visit. I thought that I may not be able to see him, but the director then allowed us and many visits after. On our second visit the translator, Marco & friends & I, walked to the flea market to purchase some fruits & veggies for the orphanage...We also purchased shampoo/dish soap/laundry soap/bar soap,cleaning products and sponges. The orphanage has less support for food & items during the summer so they were very grateful and I was happy to do it..

While we wereat the flea market, I asked if Marco wanted anything and he said Potato chips! So he ran back with his friends and 100 grivnahs (about $8) to get them. He is a giving child and shared with the others. He shared his soccer ball with the older boys and is not greedy for anything. I am very pleased with his behavior & personality. This orphanage is a boarding school, so the children wear uniforms and attend church and also take turns helping the Priest in services.. The main religion in Ukraine is Orthodox.

All of the children when passing look you in the eyes and most will say Good Morning or Good afternoon. Some wait for you to say it first. I thought this was very respectful.

Today I catch up on clients at the shop...should be a full day. I start at 7:30 am. I am missing Marco today and thinking he is reminiscing as well & day dreaming of his new future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Making a difference..

I am so thrilled to be making a difference in an older orphan's life. He was so happy when he finally got what the translator was saying to him about being adopted..I will never forget his expression and the joy & relief in his face knowing his answer to prayer would be coming true! It is such a different experience because the girls may not have felt all of this, not understanding..but an older child knows what is happening and will be forever grateful. I am grateful God is allowing me to be a part of adoption and saving an older child.

Considering an older child...


I never thought we would adopt an older child....but a woman who we adopted Yulia from once said..they are still children, do not be afraid of them. Well, now meeting Marco I understand, He is a child still climbing trees and playing ball and respectful. Despite the loss of his mother and having nothing..he is still a happy boy with a great disposition just wanting and needing a family.. There are 60 0ther orphans available in his orphanage. The other hundreds of children have families but they live there because they can not afford to keep them at home.


We are all anxious to get Marco home to join our family. He is going to make a great brother and son.

Marco

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Met Marco!

Marco who is a beautiful sweet child! He is still boy like and not too old for a
great brother for my son. He is a good diciplined boy. His Mother died a few years ago..but he still remembers...I held it together until that info was given...he is so willing to be loved and have a Mama and a large family. He is eager to meet Benjamin and be a part of our family. He couldn't stop looking at the photos and smiling..I will try to upload pictures and video. The boarding school is very close to Vorzel orphanage and we never knew it. We passed it so many times on our way visiting our little ones.

Yesterday we went to Vozel and saw Ivanna, Liza and Igor/Ivan looking out the window..We saw Timothy..and some other little children we will find out later about..we are now headed to lunch be back later!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Headed to Kiev!


Well..I am headed to Kiev this afternoon! Everything is packed to the max for the orphanage and we will drive to JFK this morning to park just outside the airport and be dropped at the Delta counter! Sandie is filled with more than me..aside from the crafts/bonnets/toys/Sandie is bringing some child size walkers and crutches,,I have a few pairs here as well that were donated from Youngs Medical. Now just need to figure out where to put them! I know I met my 50 pound mark with my suitcase!

Looking forward to landing at 9:10 tomorrow morning Kiev time..but it will be 7 hours earlier here in the USA. Hoping to sleep on the plane so we don't miss a beat!
Sunday we will just relax and get reaquainted with Kiev and meet with other Americans at TGI Fridays at 5 pm for dinner. There are about 4-5 families in Kiev adopting little ones through Reeces Rainbow Down Syndrome Ministry. We will be spending some time with then through out the week.



We will be picked up in Kiev by Ivanna's parents.. Ivanna has been waiting so long to get out of that orphanage! Her new Mommy, Darlena will be close behind us hopefully with her travel plans to rescue her..and what a great day that will be..
The orphanage director has held Ivanna so long for her family..He has a big heart.

My real exciement for this trip is to meet a boy named Marco...well that's not his real name, but I have grown accustomed to it! He looks like a Marco now! I will be meeting him on Tuesday at his orphanage/boarding school...This is the hilight of my trip. He lives in the Bucha Orphanage just on the out skirts of Kiev. His mother died a couple of years ago and Marco was placed there due to no family to take him.
Praying Marco will be a great fit to our family..My son really wants a brother!


I am also looking forward to eating...my favorite pass time! The food is wonderful & cheap in Ukraine..Be back later from the iphone!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Local Ambassador for Easter Seals


By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer
June 10, 2010 Like most 2-year-olds, Giovanna Apel is learning how to climb up onto things.

Like the living room table or the couch.

"She's fearless," her father, Laurence Apel, said while he and her mother, Leonilda Apel, watched her play with her toys in their Middle Smithfield Township home as "Elmo's World" came on TV.

Giovanna is fearless now, but there was a time when her parents felt fear. It was when Leonilda Apel, 38, was pregnant with Giovanna in 2007, a year after the couple moved from their native Long Island, N.Y., into the Knoll Acres II development in Middle Smithfield Township.

"Mine was a high-risk pregnancy because of my age," Leonilda said, fondly encouraging Giovanna as she toddled over to her musical giraffe and pressed a button that produced a tune.

The ultrasound showed Giovanna had two holes in her heart. Doctors told the Apels there was a good chance she would be born with Down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that affects physical and mental abilities and strikes one out of every 800 babies born.

When Giovanna was born via an emergency C-section on Dec. 3, 2007, a pediatrician immediately noticed she showed the facial features of a Down syndrome baby. Giovanna's blood work later verified the presence of an extra chromosome that causes the disease.

"At first, I was scared and depressed and asking myself why it had to be my baby," Leonilda said. "Then, the doctors told us we lucked out in the fact that Giovanna didn't have the physical problems that some Down syndrome children have."

As Giovanna grew older, her parents noticed she wasn't using her hands and seemed to have trouble grasping and holding things. She wasn't aware of her hands, a sign that the disease has affected her mentally.

The Apels contacted the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program, which referred them to an agency that provided a speech therapist and special instructor for Giovanna.

When the Apels realized they needed more, MH/MR referred them to Easter Seals. The program provides medical, therapeutic and preschool services and relies on state funding and community donations so that client families pay nothing out of their own pockets.

Easter Seals is an early-intervention program for children up to age 3, but support and references go beyond that as needed.

The program provided three key people, whom the Apels now fondly call their "dream team."

Occupational therapist Amy Kromer started working with Giovanna at 5 months old. Then speech therapist Adrienne Westheim and special instructor Danielle Weiss came on board.

Kromer, Westheim and Weiss each come on a different days to work with Giovanna for an hour. They follow Giovanna's lead.

"We let Giovanna decide what she wants to do, what toys or games she wants to play with or what kind of activity she wants to do," said Weiss of Saylorsburg. "Then, as she's doing it, we make it educational as well as fun for her. That's how she learns, grows and develops.

"But, the important thing is to let her choose what she's interested in, not force her to do something she doesn't want to do or have her sit somewhere for an hour."

A mother herself, Weiss has started a weekly play date support group for Giovanna and other disabled children, providing fun-based learning activities for children while allowing the parents to network with each other.

The specialists also suggest activities the family can do with Giovanna to keep her engaged and learning.

"They help us to help her," Leonilda said. "It's a great partnership."

Giovanna has progressed into a confident, curious, energetic toddler. "If she's determined to do something or learn something new, she doesn't give up until she achieves it," Laurence Apel said. "She wouldn't be where she is today if it wasn't for Easter Seals. They're very personable and genuinely concerned with her progress and how she's doing."

Giovanna gets to help raise public awareness about Easter Seals, having been selected as one of three child ambassadors to the annual Easter Seals Walk With Me benefit, supported by area businesses, on Wednesday on the Lehigh Parkway in Allentown. Festivities start at 4 p.m. and the walk starts at 6 p.m.

Families have the options of taking a one-mile walk or three-mile walk along the parkway. Participants are organizing walking teams to solicit sponsor donations.

The event's other two child ambassadors are Ricardo Rivera, 9, of Reading, and David Wint, 2, of Hellertown.

Leonilda Apel said, "If you have a child under 3 with a disability and don't know where to turn or if you want to see children get the proper help they need, please come out and support the walk. Giovanna and other kids are counting on you."

For information, call 610-289-0114, ext. 222, or visit www.easterseals.com

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"We are not all called to adopt these children into our families. But we are all called to look at them, even though it makes our eyes burn, and be willing to let their needs disrupt our lives."
~Kristin Swick Wong



"Realize that life, not stuff, is what matters. Objects are just objects — if you lose them, if they get stolen or destroyed … it’s not a big deal. They’re just objects — not your life. Your life is the series of moments that is steaming through your consciousness right now, and how you use those moments and what you fill them with is what truly matters, not what you fill your home with. At the end of this short journey, you’ll look back and remember your experiences, the people you loved and who loved you back, the things you did and didn’t do. Not the stuff you had."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.
Irving Berlin

Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010
Leaving soon!

I will be heading to Ukraine this Saturday! Praying for a good flight..Should be nicer traveling this trip flying straight to Kiev without a lay over..and hoping to sleep on the plane so I won't miss a beat... leaving in the afternoon from New York and arriving in Kiev in the morning! Don't want to have to waste our first day there..but somehow we will miss time I just know it and I'll want to crash in the bed in the afternoon! Planning to meet at TGI Fridays at 5 pm with the Reeces Rainbow families.. This will be great!

Hoping Monday to get to meet Marco on my blog..Not sure if they still have school this time of year...we will be taking soccer balls to the orphanage for the kids. This will be an excuse to go there because normally people cannot just show up at an orphaange without a missions team or doing an adoption. So praying I will have a long visit to get to know hime with the translator..I have lots of questions. Praying he will like me and want to go to America one day soon. We will try to get pictures and profile info on other children at this orphanage as well.

Then Tuesday we will head to Vorzel if not Monday morning too..all depends when we can go to see Marco.

Please pray for a safe trip and productive finding new children to put on the Reeces Rainbow website. We want to get updated pictures for all those who will be going to Ukraine soon for their children..

Leaving soon!

I will be heading to Ukraine this Saturday! Praying for a good flight..Should be nicer traveling this trip flying straight to Kiev without a lay over..and hoping to sleep on the plane so I won't miss a beat... leaving in the afternoon from New York and arriving in Kiev in the morning! Don't want to have to waste our first day there..but somehow we will miss time I just know it and I'll want to crash in the bed in the afternoon! Planning to meet at TGI Fridays at 5 pm with the Reeces Rainbow families.. This will be great!

Hoping Monday to get to meet Marco on my blog..Not sure if they still have school this time of year...we will be taking soccer balls to the orphanage for the kids. This will be an excuse to go there because normally people cannot just show up at an orphaange without a missions team or doing an adoption. So praying I will have a long visit to get to know hime with the translator..I have lots of questions. Praying he will like me and want to go to America one day soon. We will try to get pictures and profile info on other children at this orphanage as well.

Then Tuesday we will head to Vorzel if not Monday morning too..all depends when we can go to see Marco.

Please pray for a safe trip and productive finding new children to put on the Reeces Rainbow website. We want to get updated pictures for all those who will be going to Ukraine soon for their children..

Sunday, June 6, 2010

TURN OFF MUSIC BELOW TO WATCH VIDEO

"Orphan Lullaby" by Lindsey Teefey (Adoption Song)

http://www.lotsofkids.com/index.php




A website for Large families

Good Article

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The contempt shown to parents of large families

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Posted: March 02, 2006
1:00 am Eastern


By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
© 2010 WorldNetDaily.com





A funny thing happened to me the other day when my wife and I had, thank God, another baby (a boy). Many of my friends didn't seem all that happy for me. Sure, they went through the motions of smiles and congratulations. But it was evident that many thought me insane. Why would a young man and his wife ruin their lives with eight children? Who could afford the Jewish day-school bills? Didn't we want to live life a little, and not just be burdened with kids?

It got downright surreal when a European film company, pressed me, while my wife was in labor, to finish shooting a segment that had an urgent deadline (I obviously told them they were insane). And the next day, I was mildly criticized by a Jewish organization which was supposed to be hosting me for a lecture for having to cancel on them because the lecture clashed with the baby's bris.

I don't mind that the world doesn't really love babies, just that it pretends to. It's time we got honest about our priorities. Most people get a new car every two or three years, but one or two babies through the life of their marriage is plenty. You can get drunk on an airplane, laugh hysterically with your mates, and still not really anger people. But if you dare bring a crying baby on board you will be given malicious looks as if the little thing is a package that ticks. If you walk your dog along the street, people will stop you to tell you how cute he is. If you walk down the street with a baby, you might find a woman or two who coos, but for the most part, you'll be utterly ignored.


Indeed, the contempt shown to parents of many children is the last acceptable prejudice in our society. As a father of a large family, I find myself apologizing wherever I go, as if I committed a crime. The frequent and loaded stares from scornful onlookers imply that the famine in Africa was caused by my selfish insistence on overpopulating the earth. Long ago my wife and I discovered that few hotels were prepared to accommodate so many children, even if we took three of four rooms, which is why we bought an RV for travel.

How strange to live in a world where loving children casts one in infamy. Having a family with many children implies a backwardness and primitivism that is deemed unbecoming in the developed countries of the West. Large families, it is thought, exist only among religious weirdoes or the teeming hovels of the Third World.

Rich countries, by contrast, prefer to increase their standard of living rather than the number of the living. Looking at Western birth rates for the year 2001, the United States averaged only 14.2 births for every thousand Americans, and the birthrate among white Americans is so low that the United States will soon lose its white majority. Indeed, one can go for days in a wealthy city like Manhattan without encountering a single pregnant woman. Riches and children have become inversely proportional such that the more of the former, the less of the latter.

Hence, the high birth rates of extremely poor African nations like Uganda – at 47.52 births per 1,000 – or Niger with 50.68 births per 1,000, are deemed to be prime causes and indicators of their penury. The abundant fertility and unconstrained sexuality of these countries confirms the unspoken Western mindset of these country's inhabitants as being just one step above savages. Contraception has become a synonym for civilization.

A Christian mother of six once wrote to me, "I find it troubling to worry about getting pregnant again ... because I don't want to face the criticism of friends and family. Why do people not see children as a blessing?" A fair question which deserves a fair response.

Why is it that even many snagogues today are not children friendly? Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let's not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who "tie you down."

They can go fly a kite.

By just looking at my children, I become more innocent. By loving them, I become more noble. By spending my money on them rather than myself, I find transcendence. And by being a father and liberating all of the love in my heart, my spirit soars free. I work hard to support a large family and I give up no pleasures in doing so because my children are my foremost pleasure.

I am often asked by women dating men how to tell whether they are marriage material. I tell them, "See if he enjoys children." A man who loves children is playful. He will spend his life joking with his wife because he loves to see her laugh, and will flirt with her because he loves to see her smile.

There was a time when husbands and wives worked hard to ensure they could afford the blessings of a large family. Today, the higher your earning bracket the fewer children you have, but then we always knew that many turn money from a blessing into a curse.

Before he died, the Lubavitcher Rebbe launched a campaign asking parents to have one more child than they originally planned. It is a campaign that a dwindling Jewish community should revive as it continues to disappear.

SHUT OFF MUSIC BELOW TO WATCH VIDEOS

Pictures of The Bucha Orphanage Boarding School

Vorzel Orphanage (Kitchen)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ukraine Orphanage

Tuesday, June 1, 2010