"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Bah Humbug Christmas

I admit that I started off this Christmas as a very unhappy little expat wife.  There were even a few tears.

Pity party, table for one! 

I had so many plans this Christmas.  Normally for birthdays and special occasions, I just ask for more money for my orphans from Nick.  But this year, with Isla getting older and finally starting to “get” it, I wanted Christmas decorations for Christmas.  I was so excited about them! I hadn’t bought any since before Isla was born, and I had so much fun putting them up. I had big plans for Santa (yes, we decided to do Santa, but that’s another story for another day), Christmas movie marathon, cookie baking and decorating, and then we were going to bake a cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to him!  Nick had saved one day so that he could take off for Christmas.

But then we had a catastrophe! Nick got put on a problem that he needed to fix and had to work, and not only that, go to Moscow.  Thankfully Isla and I were able to go with him, but I was so bitterly disappointed about this. I mean completely unable to put it into to any kind of perspective.  Please don’t tell me about orphans who don’t have families at Christmas or soldiers who are away from their families at Christmas.  I ran through all of those in my head, and nothing helped.  I was just plain old bummed.

Unfortunately this Christmas season in general has been sort of a sad one for me, and I am sure many other people.

  • Reece’s Rainbow Angel Tree isn’t doing well, last year we managed to get each any every child to their $1000 goal.  This year, people just aren’t giving as much.  If you have a few minutes and a few dollars, could you please stop by the Angel Tree and bless on of the babies that are at the bottom of the tree?  You can find it HERE.
  • And of course my heart is aching about the Russian adoption ban.  The last I heard yesterday, Putin had not signed the bill into law, but he fully intends to.  My heart is breaking over this.
  • And of course the Newtown shooting has everyone down.  There will be so many families missing a piece of their hearts this Christmas.

What a great attitude I have had during the season where we are supposed be celebrating the savior of the world! I know, I am terrible…  Christmas evening, I kept tearing up, and I just couldn’t muster up a whole lot of happiness.

Last Sunday at church, my pastor reminded me of one of my favorite verses in the bible -

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

And he went onto point out that our joy would be complete on that day.  Without ever having experienced any sadness or misery, we could never know full joy.  But one day in the fullness of Christ’s return, we will experience full joy, having experienced the pain of our pasts and yet knowing it is fully behind us!

I’m trying to remember and choose joy this season.

I think Nick could sense that I was a little down on Christmas.  He came back from work and suggested something that I decided to give up on last year – that we go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate Christmas!  Yes, my husband wanted to take ME to a fancy restaurant!!!! I knew this was a once in a life time deal – so I decided to say YES, YES, YES!

Nick took us to Chicago Prime, and since we went early, there weren’t many people there.  Actually, everyone there was American or British with small children and doing exactly what we were doing – trying to make the best of a holiday away from family.

I got to order my favorite fancy meal – Chilean Sea Bass and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  (I know mashed potatoes aren’t fancy, but I love them with fish!).  Then we got Sundaes and I asked for extra chocolate sauce – when the bill came we realized that the extra sauce cost $10!!! Whoops.  Oh well, Merry Christmas to me…


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Managing a smile Smile. I was way underdressed compared to the rest of the clientele.

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My two sweeties – have I mentioned that I am so grateful that Isla and I were able to come with Nick so that we could spend Christmas together???

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Isla enjoying her sundae!

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Walking back it was sooooo cold.   I realized this year that I hate cold, dry climates, and that I love hot, humid climates. If I never live in a cold climate again I will be fine with it! (Side note – when we called my mom Christmas day, she kept going on and on about how gorgeous Texas was, 75 degrees and just perfect… thanks mom, really needed that!)  Moscow is so dry that we are constantly causing static sparks wherever we go!  At night we are so awesomely romantic that we actually cause real sparks in our bed…  I’m kidding (…or am I?) but it is kind of weird to just turn over in bed and set off dozens of little electrical shocks.

Isla is so funny in the cold.  She likes walking in it, but makes the funniest faces and buries it in anything she can find. Sorry for the poor picture quality.

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I am so glad that we are all together this year on Christmas Eve and Day, even if we weren’t exactly WHERE I would have liked to have been.

We are still in Moscow and we leave tomorrow to head back to Novo.  Here are a few more snapshots of our week here.

It takes quite a lot of effort to dress up little Hanna Andersson models!

1 Dressed Up

And the result?  She looks like a a little pink marshmallow cream puff – everyone in Moscow wears black or  maybe brown, she has been an adorable little bright spot!

2 Marshmellow

We’ve all gone swimming, even Mommy!  I really hope that one day we can move somewhere where she can take real swimming lessons…  she loves the water and is fearless.  Of course she jumped in without floaties AGAIN, almost causing a heart attack in both her parents.  Thankfully we made it to her very quickly!

3 Loves the pool4 So Sweet5 Gooberlicious

We haven’t made it out much because it has been so cold, but then it got less cold and it was just dirty and slushy.  This is Isla’s favorite spot in our room to sit!


We have met Daddy for lunch on occasion. Some street elves gave Isla this hat, which she promptly put on Smile.

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There have been a lot of street performers out to celebrate the coming New Year.  I love mimes, but Isla as turns out… not so much!

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And of course… we also had a visit to the Doctor to check up on little Two Baby.  But that one will get a post all its own… Spoiler – it was amazing!!!! Smile

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Prayer and Petition

I am exhausted so this might not come out very coherent.  We have had a good, but busy week that I hope to get to share with you.  We leave for Moscow tomorrow – not the way I wanted to spend Christmas, but it isn’t a holiday here since Russians celebrate Christmas in January.  Nick had planned on taking Christmas day off, but then he had to work at the last minute, and I have a Doctor’s appointment on Thursday so off we go to Moscow through Friday, possibly Saturday.  Please pray that Nick accomplishes the task that’s taking him to Moscow – it’s a pretty big deal.

But more importantly if you are my friend on Facebook – you know that I have been sharing about the Russian ban on US adoptions. 

It started because the US Government decided to pass the US Magnitsky Act – a bill that imposes sanctions on Russian citizens accused of human rights violations.  It was nothing against the Russian government – just a few Russian citizens who had done bad things and were storing their money in US banks.  The Russian government wanted to retaliate with a similar bill – only they knew that it wouldn’t really hurt the US since so few Americans accused of human rights violations store their money in Russia or own homes in Russia.

So they decided to give us a one-two sucker punch where they knew it would hurt the US the most – they passed a law banning US citizens ability to adopt Russian children.

Its so incredibly senseless – I cannot even wrap my head around it!  You would think that the Russian government would be happy that we are stopping bad Russians from fleeing to the US?  Right?

I begged my church to pray for this today.  I hope they understand.  I would love to have prayers coming from within Russia.  I know they are coming from all the way across the ocean.

You can read more on the situation HERE and HERE.

Will Sweet Sonny and Daphne and Suzanne have lost their chances at a family forever?

sonny after









There’s over 700 babies listed on Reece’s Rainbow that are in Russia.  All with special needs – some severe, some not.  All of whom have no hope for a family unless that family comes from outside Russia.

Children like sweet Jack. His only crime – being an older boy and HIV positive.  Jack has been asking where his mama is for a long time and wondering if she was coming for him.  He’s had several families fall through, but finally one that was coming to bring him home.  Now, who knows?


Things I am clinging to right now…

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Psalm 68:5

“The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” Psalm 146:9

Please PRAY.  It’s the best thing you can do.

And please also consider signing this petition!  This is something practical you can do.

Please take a second to read it before you sign it.  It was written by a disabled boy who was adopted from Russia at 15.  Now he is a student at the University of Texas, and is living a full life!  He even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!!! Amazing.  I tell you over and over – adoption changes lives!

Go sign it HERE.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

When Your Heart Breaks

***I almost didn’t publish this, because as I have been reading, there have been so many people much smarter than me and much more qualified to discuss this issue than me.  I went back and forth but I am going to, even if I sound crazy. There are ideological reasons for the Second Amendment that need to be addressed beyond the practical.  The systematic, brutal treatment and at times murder of innocents is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night, much more than serial killers or mad men or criminals. Its why I advocate for Reece’s Rainbow. I believe in the constitution and when followed, the freedom, and yes, human life that it protects.***

I know that I am not alone in my heart ache in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting. It was such a horrible tragedy.

I wasn’t surprised by the shooting though.  We know we live in an evil world in even more evil times. Every day I read stories of child neglect and abuse; of people doing horrible things to one another... my heart breaks almost every day.

The hardest part in the aftermath hasn’t been dealing with the grief over the death of babies; its been dealing with the absolutely vicious rhetoric that has been going back and forth.  People are passionate about their guns – whether or not they want to own them.

I didn’t really want to have to write this post, but honestly I am tired of every single time some crazy sicko decides to abuse the Second Amendment, and as someone who firmly believes in the Second Amendment – I’m put under the attack.

Background on me – I don’t own a gun.  I have absolutely ZERO desire to go out and purchase a gun. If it looks like my right to purchase and keep a gun in my home is about to be infringed upon, then I will have to go and buy one, which I really don’t want to do.

I firmly believe in background checks to own a gun, no guns for felons or those who are mentally ill, registering guns, mandatory regular gun training – anything really that’s needed to ensure that responsible people are in possession of weapons.

As a law abiding person – yes, I’m a rule follower, there is only one reason why I would ever want to own a gun, and that would be for my own self defense or the defense of my family.  We don’t hunt in our family – I personally don’t understand hunting or its appeal – let’s go out and kill an animal, yay, what fun!  I’m glad my husband doesn’t hunt and would prefer to spend his weekends with us.  Obviously, I don’t intend to use a gun to commit a crime either.  So when I think about owning a gun, I always go back to my own self defense – selfish, maybe, but I don’t care.

Given that I would only ever own a gun for self defense – the only kinds of guns that I would have any desire to own are hand guns and/or yes, assault rifles.  You might think I’m crazy – again I don’t care.  There is a chance that I might have to defend myself or my family from criminals who wish to do us harm and/or the government should it ever come to it.  With over 100 million people murdered by their governments in the last century (all of them Marxist/Communist in nature) I don’t think that the idea is that far-fetched.

***Side note: All of my atheist friends, who are usually Marxist as well, love to talk about all the people who have been killed in the name of religion… and I think really “Khmer rouge ring a bell?  Mao Tse-tung? Joseph Stalin? Anything? No, nothing?”

People say that since our founding fathers only owned muskets, surely they didn’t mean for the Second Amendment to cover guns that can take out multiple people at once.  I would argue that that’s exactly what they meant.  Partly the amendment was put in place to ensure the availability of a militia, so that there would be no need for a standing army, but part of the intent of the law was to ensure that free people would always have a way to defend themselves against an overreaching government.  Remember, our entire constitution is designed around LIMITING government’s power over the rights of individuals.  Our founding fathers understood that in the history of the world, governments ALWAYS infringed on the rights handed down to man from God. Given the current sophistication of our military, do you really think that we would be able to defend ourselves with two-round shotguns???

Absolutely no school shooting could ever change the fact or the reasons why I want to keep my Second Amendment right to own a gun.

If people on the left want conservatives to be less paranoid, maybe they should look at themselves.  Do you think having a President like Barack “You didn’t build that” Obama who attacks entire classes of people and has also in the past spoken in favor of a “Federal Police Force” is likely to make us more comfortable or less comfortable with the direction that the government is heading? Crazy that he sees regular US Citizens as enemies, don’t you think?

For the record, I don’t trust Republicans on that particular issue either.  With all politicians, power is the end, politics are the means. Maybe my views are little skewed.  I’ve seen Venezuela, a beautiful country with beautiful people be completely torn apart by a mad man, who steals indiscriminately.  I live in Russia where people are finally starting to pick up the pieces of their lives after decades living in fear and oppression.  It could happen in the US, I don’t doubt it for a second.

And don’t think that I don’t care about the tragedy at Newtown.  If ever there was an incident to make me rethink my gun views – this one was it.  This doesn’t even compare to say, Columbine.  Columbine was a premeditated act – giving the two perpetrators time to find a weapon illegally or build a bomb if needed to carry about their carnage had they not been able to legally obtain a gun.  Their motive was clear – they wanted to get back at the people who had bullied them. To me, that just wasn’t a case for gun control, I’m sorry.  They would have a found a way no matter what. Guns or no guns.

This case is different.  You have a mentally ill boy whose mother kept these weapons in the home.  There was no premeditation, so yes, its possible that had he not had access to an assault rifle these kids would still be alive. I don’t feel qualified at all to discuss his type of mental illness or how to deal with mental illness in the US in the future, but from what I’ve read, he was a ticking time bomb, and it was only a matter of time before he was violent.  His family was afraid of him. He found out his mother was trying to send him away and he exploded! We can blame her for keeping guns in the home and teaching him to use them, but I doubt even she could have predicted what her son would do with them. She paid the ultimate price for her negligence, along with 20 innocent babies. Its heartbreaking.

But there are things that break my heart even more.

Things like this…belsen

And this…armenian-genocide-02-jpg

And this… khmer_rouge

People being lead away like sheep for the slaughter with no ability to fight back. It has happened over, and over, and over.  I found this article after I wrote this blogpost, but for an incredibly fascinating look at genocide as it relates to gun control, read HERE. Quote: “For example, so-called "assault rifles" are virtually never used in crime in the United States (they are used in less than one percent of homicides), but they are the best weapons for civilian resistance to a genocidal government.” I’m not sure how up to date that statistic is, but still…

I have always believed in the policy of peace through strength, so its always made sense to me that the more responsible people that own guns, the safer everyone will be.  I’m not saying that’s the solution, but I would certainly never think that disarming everyone would better. Evil people will always find a way to get guns, to harm, to kill, to mutilate, and innocent people should able defend themselves.  Sometimes I almost feel irresponsible because I so vehemently DON’T want the responsibility (and yes, it’s a huge one) of owning and maintaining a gun, and I’m putting my trust in others to keep me safe.

I don’t know what the future of gun regulation is for the United States.  I would have to do a lot more thinking, studying and researching and of course, praying.  It probably doesn’t do any good to compare the US to another country or cite another country in what we should or shouldn’t do or what works or doesn’t work.  Thomas Sowell wrote a brilliant article on the subject HERE because it has everything to do with the people of a nation and their psyche and less about their laws. (Although this TIME article on Switzerland  where it sounds like they are following the Second Amendment as it was intended, using a militia in place of a standing army, was pretty fascinating.)  I don’t know why the heck its so glamorous for disgruntled teenagers to kill other children in the USA – one nation under God. Is it because we have so little respect for human life in the US? Is it because we glorify the shooters all over TV? Is it because we have kicked God and his protection out of our schools? I don’t know. I have no answers right now. This is so horrible, almost every day I wonder, how much longer Jesus? And I pray for his return.

My friend wrote the other day that we should consider all factors to lead to this, and I agree.  I just have my doubts that liberals will do anything but focus on the guns and gun laws, when I think that there are a heck of a lot more factors than just that.

For now I know, almost every study that I have read on gun control when applied within the USA has shown that it doesn’t work very well, and tends to lead to higher crime rates overall.  I don’t know what the next step is, but I am willing to consider anything to stop the school shootings - anything short of completely shutting off the access of law abiding citizens to purchase and carry guns.

***After reading this, my husband wanted me to point that HE does not dislike hunting, he just rarely has the opportunity.  I don’t like it, and I think it’s a weird hobby. Glad we cleared that up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update on my babies

I have a lot of updates I need to do… I have a lot of Reece’s Rainbow advocating I need to do… I have a lot of holiday preparation to do… and a lot of friends to write.  I am so blessed to have such a full life, I just wish I were better at managing my life!  Yes, I am a SAHM and I have a housekeeper and I still suck at it… don’t judge.

First, please be praying for my beautiful Mother.  While I was in the states, she completely shattered her heel, and she goes into surgery today.  The recovery is going to be long and will require several surgeries and probably a year before the swelling goes down. I’m praying for wisdom for the Doctors, a steady hand for the surgeon, supernatural healing for my mom, and also peace for her as she goes into surgery.  I love her a lot.

Mom and Isla

Now, onto the most important things in my life besides my husband – my little rascals.

Oh and what rascals they are!

Yes, even little Two Baby.

After experiencing infertility with Isla for so long, I will always be incredibly thankful for my pregnancies, but at the same time – I would not say that I just LOVE being pregnant.  Some women really do and I think that’s so cool.  My sister is one.  My penpal is another.  They just love it.  For me – its my means to a baby, and that’s it!

From week 23 until just last week, little Two Baby gave me the worst heartburn that I would venture to call severe acid reflux.  It got progressively worse to the point where last week, when I was leaving the US to return to Russia, everything, even water caused very painful burning.  I had to take medicine to be able to eat even bland foods without throwing up and even with medicine if anything was the tiniest bit spicy – up it came!

On the up side, my Doctor says I’m doing amazing with my weight gain!  She asked me “How is it you lost a pound over Thanksgiving?” I’ll tell you lady – the bulimic way… and it sucks.

I realized a long time ago I’d rather be fat than hungry. 

Thankfully things have really calmed down the past week, and today I haven’t taken any medication, and I even had chocolate after dinner!  Hooray.

Thank you little Two Baby for providing your mama with relief!

Here I am at almost 29 weeks.  I am 29 weeks and 2 days as I write this post.

Almost 29 weeks

I was all dolled up for Nick’s company Christmas party!  It was fun to get all dressed up and I used the opportunity to leverage my giant belly into the chance to wear a tight, tight dress.  I would never wear something that accentuated my belly when not pregnant but right now I figure what the heck!

What else to say about little Two Baby?  He or she is soooo active.  I LOVE it.  I think that this baby is way more active than Isla.  I love Two Baby so much! Still no hiccups – Isla never got them either, either that or I just don’t recognize them.

Ok, this “he or she” thing is getting annoying quickly, and I refuse to refer to Two Baby as “it”, so I am just going to call him or her “he” for the time being.

Everyone thinks Two Baby is a boy.  Everyone.  Everyone.  If you think it’s a girl, speak now or forever hold your peace – then if it’s a girl, you can have that wonderful feeling of being right when everyone else was wrong over something totally trivial.  Don’t you just love that feeling?

Back to Two Baby.  I think he might be transverse breach based on the location of the kicks I am feeling.  I am looking forward to figuring out exactly what position he is in at my next Doctor’s appointment in Moscow… which I am trying to schedule.  January 1 through 10th are holidays in Russia, so hopefully I can get in before the first.  We will see.  I am not looking forward to seeing Dr French… oh I so want to call him Dr Frog I dislike him so much!  But I will wait until after he is no longer my Doctor, call it a weird superstition, but I want to keep my thoughts toward him as positive as I can as long as my life and the life of my child are in his oompa loompa hands. Trying to remember grace, grace, grace.  Why is it so hard??? I just don’t want him to make me cry again. Or be rude to me again.

My next Doctor’s appointment in the states is at 36 weeks on February 4th, so I will head back a the week or so before that.  D-day will probably be February 25th via scheduled c-section. Just a little over two months away!

Now for my Little Frances.

Before two weeks ago, Isla spent several months going through the sweetest little phase.  She was such an angel.  I felt like we were connecting and bonding in new ways – in my head I would say to myself, “Wow, I really feel like I am finding my stride as a mother.” We went to dinner with friends who were so impressed with how well behaved and adorable she was. She was obedient, funny, loving… in short, she was a delight.

Then I made the mistake of telling my friend how good Isla was being and how easy this age was.  Then the very next day “BAM!”  The spirit of me as young child that must dwell inside her decided to reveal its naughty little spectral cabeza.  She has been soooo bad.  Even Nick thinks so.  I know part of it is the travel from the US to Russia and dealing with jetlag and tiredness, but its not all of it. She has been disobedient, stubborn, and determined to do what she wants, when she wants to do it. Oh and BOSSY!

Of course she’s happy – she is the happiest child, even when she’s naughty, so that’s the silver lining.

Anyway, we love her, all sugar and spice that she is, and she comes by it honest so I can hardly hold it against her. Smile

Talking - She has been so funny lately.  Nick and I just laugh and laugh at everything she says.  She speaks very well for 2 and 8 months, and makes very few “baby mistakes”.  Mostly its just funny to hear her say such grown up things in such a baby voice.

Sleep - We are trying to get her sleep patterns reestablished after coming back from the US.  I am not sure if she needs her nap or not anymore. Some days I think no, but then other days I think yes…

Favorite Toy - She is in love with a little Beanie Baby puppy dog my Uncle Ty gave her last year.  It seems to have replaced One and Two Baby in her heart!  One and Two Baby had a very long run.


Television - She’s loving television.  For someone who was not really allowed to watch TV in her first two years, except when we traveled or were about the travel, it is all she wants to do.  I limit it as best I can.  She watches nothing educational, in case you’re thinking I’m “mom of the year”.  We do enough educational activities together that I figure I’ll let it be fun time for her.

Play – She loves to rough house.  I used to blame on the fact that she plays with a lot of Russian, older boys, and her Dad who has always rough housed with her, but just today Vanya and Lyosha came over and she was too rough for even them!  She is very active.  This is right now probably the thing I worry the most about with her.  She’s rough, and we work on making her more gentle, especially with her affection.  It will come in handy with her new brother or sister, not to mention me, with my c-section recovery.  She still is not sure how to play with other kids since she doesn’t get any kind of consistent, playtime interaction with other kids because of our travel schedule.  Hopefully I can get her into a Mommy’s Day Out or something for the three months I will be in the states for the birth.  I think that would go a long way towards to teaching her how to interact with other children. I really fret about this, and it’s the biggest downside to living here in Russia as far as I am concerned.

We are getting back into Independent Playtime and she is transitioning back to it very well.

She is so active that getting a good picture of her is nigh on impossible these days!


Learning and Aptitude - We are still working on her letters, words, and numbers.  She doesn’t like studying numbers or words yet.  She loves her United States map puzzle, and she’s quite adept at putting it together and naming the states.  Its so good for her fine motor skills, which I have always worried about a little bit.  She is generally more interested in puzzles and problem solving toys and Legos than she is into dress up or “mothering” dolls.  I try to give her a wide assortment of toys to play with to see where she shows interests.  I have been reading a lot on childhood development and I want to make sure that she has access to “boy toys” to help her develop her spatial/mathematics/problem solving skills IF THAT’S WHAT SHE WANTS.  And for the most part, those are the toys she gravitates towards.  She does LOVE jewelry and putting bows in her hair.  Not wearing bows mind you, oh no, the second I put a cute bow to match her outfit in her hair, she rips it out, but she loves to get out all of her bows and put them in her hair, like this…

Precious Bow

Right after she put all of the bows in her hair she asked “Mommy, can I show Daddy how beautiful I am?”  Haha.  Of course.  Because she is.

Here’s some more Isla pictures.   Its been so fun celebrating Christmas now that she’s old enough to somewhat understand what’s going on.


She helped us decorate the tree!  She didn’t quite get the concept of “scattering” the ornaments .  For once, Nick was the one trying to get her to do things right, and for once I was not my usual anal self and told him to leave it.  She did it perfectly.Smile

Well done

We have been doing a lot of baking activities together since it’s the Christmas season.  Like her Mama, she’d rather eat the cookies, the dough, the decorations and not leave anything left over for anyone else.  Usually I have to cut baking short so that she doesn’t make herself sick.

YummoDecoratingMy CutieFavorite Dough

She does not love getting all bundled up for the Russian winter!

All Bundled Up

That’s about it for now.  Hopefully I will be updating my blog more in the weeks to come!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winners Announced!

Hi everyone,

Sorry I didn’t get this out last night!

Thank you to everyone who entered and donated.  It is going to make such a difference in the futures of the children you helped!

16 GB iPad with Retina display – a $500 value!

WINNER: Dawna Barker



Kitchen Aid 5-Quart Stand Mixer – a $430 value!

WINNER: Melody Irene

stand mixer

A $150 gift to card to your choice between Best Buy, Pottery Barn or Home Depot!

WINNER: Sheri Martineau

best buy cardpottery barn gift card


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Eyes Opened, Part 2

This video is a reshare from last year, but it cannot be shared enough.  It takes you inside one of the places that I have been telling you about – the Eastern European and Russian ADULT mental institutions where children with Down Syndrome and other special needs are sent to somewhere between the ages of 4 and 6.  It even takes you inside the dreaded “laying down” rooms that so few people have access to.

Watch it if you dare – you cannot watch it without being changed.  You will see not only children in agony, but the adults that they become!  These children have no hope and no future without a family to rescue them.

This is the video that inspired the Musser family to adopt little Katerina, named for the little girl in the video.

Of course, I have shared little Katie-bird with you before!  Her transformation after just a year home has been nothing short of miraculous, and shows what a difference a loving family can for a child who has been written off as less than nothing.

This is Katie last fall in the Pleven orphanage that she was adopted from, weighing in at just 11 lbs at 9 years old.  The only life that she had ever known was life in that crib.  It cannot be stressed enough that severe neglect caused her to be so small and delayed – Down Syndrome did NOT cause Katie to be this way.

Katie then

This is Katie one year later, weighing in at a whopping 33 pounds!  Just click HERE to find out about all that Katie is doing.  She is saying some words, almost potty trained, and even learning to walk!  Talk about ABILITY Smile.

katie now

Please, please consider donating to Sonny, Suzanne and Daphne! Help them find the love of a family – let’s make their after pictures a reality!

“Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter!

If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?

Does not he who guards your life know it?

Will he not repay everyone according to what

they have done?”

Proverbs 24:11-12


  • Use the links below to go to the sites where these precious children are receiving donations. Follow the directions there to make your generous donations.
  • THEN, come back to this blog and leave a comment to let me know two things: (1) that you donated to Sonny, and (2) the total amount that you donated to ALL THREE of the children (if you chose to donate to more than one child).
  • If you prefer not to comment, you can email me at slwann@gmail.com.
  • The giveaway will end on December 15th and the winner will be announced on the 16th.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to leave one in the comment section or email me at slwann@gmail.com.

Please use these links to make your donations.

Donate to Sonny.

sonny beforesonny after

Donate to Suzanne.


Donate to Daphne.



16 GB iPad with Retina display – a $500 value!


Kitchen Aid 5-Quart Stand Mixer – a $430 value!

stand mixer

You will be able to select the color of your choice – there are 25 options!

A $150 gift to card to your choice between Best Buy, Pottery Barn or Home Depot!

best buy cardpottery barn gift card


Please let me know if you have donated even if you don’t want the prizes! If you win and you don’t want the prize, you can choose to donate the equivalent cost of the prize to the child of your choice. BUT please feel free to keep the prizes if you win! Smile

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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