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Ch- Ch-Ch- Changes

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Ch- Ch-Ch- Changes

For some time now, I’ve been on a break of sorts, from fundraising.  For many reasons…  Time, some intense health issues, family, etc.   We’ve been in a crazy whirlwind riding on a seemingly unending rollercoaster.  Not a happy camper.

   I needed to make a tough choice… Do I keep going and run myself into the ground leaving my family in the lurch?  Or do I have to say the dreaded word “no” to these families who need help, just so I can step back, breathe and heal?  You can guess which I had to choose.

 Part of the reason for my absence is that I planned to move toward a way to help that was more manageable for my sanity and my family.   Auctions are LOADS of work and take so much out of me.  During one, my children get twenty percent of me and my husband -whose that?    I needed a better way.     

You still with me?  You’ll want to read to the bottom! Trust me. 

My heart really missed helping families, and I missed interacting with all of you, the amazing community of followers, supporters, cheerleaders, fellow bloggers, my Reece’s Rainbow peeps and the mama’s and papa’s!   Weather they are in the thick of the adoption process, or it’s in the rearview mirror.  I miss you, the updates on your kiddos, seeing photos of them thriving!  It was a difficult thing to go quiet for so long.  

There is still a long road ahead of me… Ahead of us.  But we will get there, wherever “there” is.  

 I decided the next chapter needed to be written.  Where was/am I headed with all of this?  How do I help and contribute to my own family?  

Opening an online store, where I could sell a variety of items to help make a living for my family,  and donate a portion of every sale to an adopting family or cause of the moment seemed a great option.  A boutique and flea market of sorts.   Unfortunately, I still can’t decide on a platform for my storefront.  There are a lot of options out there and it’s a hard choice.  I got antsy.  So, until I decide on the details, no more waiting.    

For now, I will use my usual Facebook page for the purpose I intend the store to eventually serve.  The items you see in my “Store Events” were originally intended for an online store I plan to open but haven’t officially.  It may function in an auction-like fashion, maybe it won’t.  A portion of the proceeds from sales will go to the family or cause I feature rather than the previous hundred percent.  The only way that will not be true is if I help a family run a traditional auction, and they have most of the items.  I may still do those very occasionally.

I have so many great items I’ve invested in, intended for the store.  I need to recoup some of that investment and help my family with some income as well.  So, for now it’s a “store”.  I’ll have store hours and use PayPal for payments.  In addition, I also started selling on EBay where most items list a donate amount to a family or cause.

Whew, it’s a lot!  

Most of you know from my many previous events that this is a legit way to help, and you end up with great items too!

I work hard to ensure everyone has a great experience, and will continue to do so.  Thank you all, for your support!

If you’re interested in learning more or keeping up to date on my store openings and events, go to Loving, Giving and Empowering.

Also check out my Current featured family and the event!  

The Willis family with their new daughter C!

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Daisy is with her mama!!
I Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone of you who shared, shopped, and bought from the amazing Kelly and Staci and their fabulous Lularoe fundraiser event they hosted for me!

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I also have to sneak in a thank you to Tori of Noonday for her tandem fundraiser which, btw has drop dead gorgeous stuff! Seriously, if you haven’t checked out Noonday, they have a heart for helping and really gorgeous merch, so do it!  Here’s some photos from our event!

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Because of all your support, and both companies graciously matching the money from items sold, a total of $625 was raised from both events!   And BECAUSE OF YOU, My friend Starr is now holding her precious new daughter Daisy!

 

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I have to let you know, that this mama and daughter are a match made in heaven! Starr says little Daisy is absolutely amazing and she couldn’t be happier!  Here is a direct quote from Starr: “Something about Daisy…
What can I say? This child is magic. She is calm, sweet and peaceful. She is gorging herself with hugs and kisses, she can’t get enough! She is loving and nurturing as she loves on her stuffed ladybug. She LOVES music and dancing. She loves reading books and loves to read them to me as she turns the book so I can see the pictures pointing to them like a teacher would. I showed her 3 signs…please, eat and drink. She immediately repeated them. She is so incredibly smart. She LOVES to be tickled silly!
She also chucks food when she’s done and bites her sister. Haha!
She is an escape artist and can scale the crib with bars on it. I still don’t know how she does it! She loves to run away while she laughs.
Some things to work on :).”

I just love that Starr is being real here!  Daisy sounds like an incredible cute little stinker and I can’t wait to meet her!

P.s. These fabulous ladies from Lularoe and Noonday can run fundraisers so if you’re interested contact either myself or see below for links to their pages.   OR just had head over to their pages to shop!

#ToriRaskNooday
Tori:   torirask.noondaycollection.com

I mean LOOK!  Such good stuff AND they are socially minded!

Also don’t forget…

#LularoeKellyandStaciVIPs
Lularoe Kelly and Staci’s VIP’s- Their shop is open 24/7 online! New inventory regularly, no tax and low shipping!: https://fb.com/groups/lularoekellyandstacivips/?fth=1

One more thank you to Mike and Cathy Novak for helping orchestrate this with Kelly and Staci!  It would not have happened without you!  Who are Mike and a Cathy?  They have an amazing little Lularoe shop as well… No tax, free shipping, new inventory all the time, and they are a dream to work with!  Their shop is also open 24/7!   Go check them out at : https://fb.com/groups/CathyandMikeNovakLularoe/?fth=1

I love my Lularoe!  You will too! No, really you will… I realize that sounded like an advertisement, haha!

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Alert The Media!

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Holy Moly I am publishing another post y’all!, can you believe it?!   Has it been six months yet?  Ha!  I keep saying I am going to keep up with this but alas I stink at juggling two little girls a teenager and a blog!  A girl can still try though!  Where has my mind been?  Let’s see…

Little Emi Roo…

Little Emira

Little Emira

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My Pookie girl, Ari…

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My new teenager…

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Notice a trend?  He calls Emira his baby.

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My Husband…

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The kidlets…

Like precious Hollis who just came home from Ukraine to be with his new mommy and daddy.

1005510_577601198963907_681898616_nHis parents, the Buhman’s are wonderful folks who I met recently and who helped me during my pregnancy/bedrest with Emi by bringing my family a meal.  They are super sweet and I couldn’t be happier that they live just minutes from me!!   Hollis is 2 and he was raised in a decent orphanage.  But even in a decent place, they still didn’t feed him anything but puree’d food so they could shovel it in his mouth at lightning speed.  He didn’t ever have time to chew, so he never learned.  Since gotcha day, his parents have been teaching him how to chew and sign and he is doing wonderfully.  He is adjusting very well and it is rumored he loves to snuggle with his mommy.  Isn’t he sweet?!    To read more about this amazing family and their journey, go here:  http://www.thebuhmanbunch.blogspot.com/

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Precious Reign…

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She is 14 years old, yes 14!  The extreme malnutrition and confinement to her crib has left her like this.  She is tiny!

Here is a short video of Reign.  You can see she seems drugged and the sad reality is she most likely is…  It is a common practice used to keep kids and even young babies “manageable”.  Sick I know, but the reality is there just aren’t enough hands to care for them all and so this is their solution even if it is wrong.   Poor Reign has possibly spent most or all of her life in a crib (her legs are probably stuck that way from laying), being fed this exact way, drugged and helpless.  My heart breaks…   You might also notice how she is intelligent by the way of her thinking twice about chewing in her shirt after being scolded a couple times.  These kids do have potential!

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Amazing little fighter Sophia!  Remember her before?

1003305_623799324305819_552575150_nJust look at her now!  This child has been home for around a year and look at how fabulous she looks!    Remember little Hollis from above?  Sophia had a little something to do with him finding his family.  It’s a pretty special story that  you can read here.   Go, read it!!!!

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And this precious child…  Keep in mind that this photo may be hard to look at, but it is reality.  The beautiful child shown on the left is Kyle, he is pure beauty, pure innocence, pure perfection…  Just look at those big brown eyes!   The neglected and starving child on the right is sweet Kyle just a couple of months after he was transferred to the mental institution.  This drastic transformation is not caused by disease or disability, but by mistreatment and neglect.  This child is literally dying in a mental institution in Russia…  There are thousands more just like this one.  Kyle has a family fighting to get him but with Putin’s ban on American adoptions, Kyle sits waiting and suffering.

UPDATE:  As I am writing this post, I have learned that sweet Kyle has passed away.  Rest in peace sweet one…  My heart is broken for this loss and for the family who wanted to make him their son.

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What will you do about it?  Share it or turn the other cheek?

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Finally, this guy…

OwenMany of you will recognize Owen, if you do not, please visit my beloved introduction of him on this page.  I have advocated for him many times and he holds a special place in my heart.    Everyday I wonder how he is doing.  You see he, like Precious Kyle picture above,  is in Russia.  I pray he has been found by a loving family in a “permitted” geographical location, that he is healthy, happy, and no longer waiting.  I dread learning that he has been transferred to a mental institution.  Please pray with me that this ban is lifted, that the children will be covered and safe and that changes will be made to improve the care they receive.  Love you sweet boy!

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So my brain has been all over the place and rightfully so, this isn’t even the half of it!  I do hope that some of you will be compelled to share and pray this blog, this post, really any part of my site you find moving enough to do so.  Sharing is really my main goal here.  The more people learn about all this, the more change can be made, the more prayers, the more good can be done!  God bless!

Well, It’s Official!

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Well it’s official, I am the worlds WORST blogger/advocate ever!  Ha!   I know it has been so very long and all I can say is that it would seem that God wanted me to back up and take some time off.  There are so many reasons that I have gone missing in action.  But the biggest one is well, let me just show you…

Our Newest Addition

Our Newest Addition

Meet Emira (em-EEr-uh)!  She was born a month early on April 19th after a very difficult pregnancy which included 2 months of strict bed rest.  I was not allowed to change my toddlers diapers, get her meals, bather her, or anything else.  I was told to sit or lay down, and that was it!  So there I was pregnant, sitting day in and day out with all this time on my hands, yet for some reason I could not seem to formulate a complete thought in my head concerning my blog.  I blame baby brain!  It happens every time I am pregnant, my intelligence and ability to think clearly goes out the window!  I am of course glad to lend my brainpower for the sake of my little one, but it nonetheless sucks a bit.

This pregnancy was one of the hardest times in my life, and that is saying a lot considering I was a single mom for 7 years!    I have never felt so isolated and helpless.  God definitely used it to teach me about being patient, gracious and humble.  He also used it to help me let go of my very uptight and uh, “particular” ways.  Okay okay, I am controlling.

In all seriousness, we were shown such love from the folks around us during that time.  We had sooo many meals brought to our family, our house was cleaned by strangers, errands were run for us, our kids were cared for by others.  So utterly and completely covered by Gods hand during that time, and we are so thankful to all who stood by us.

Before bed rest

Before bed rest

It proved very difficult trying to make sure someone was with Ari and I everyday to take care of us.   The doctor recommended that due to my history of fast labor, she did not want me to be alone, ever.  So here’s the breakdown;  I was put into the hospital at 28 weeks and stayed for a week, then my Mother -in -law came to take care of Ari and I for 2 weeks ( flew all the way from Indiana!), then my cousin came to stay with us.  For 5 weeks she took care of us as many days as she could while still having a full time job and a life of her own, somewhat.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

Being in the hospital on bed rest was so much better when we shared times like this.

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week.  My kidlets are so awesome!

I missed being a mom when I was in the hospital for that week. My kidlets are so awesome!

If I needed to make something, this was the way to do it.

If I needed to make something, this was the only way I was allowed do it.

Well, the day came and my water broke at 4:45am and 30 min later we were out the door.  I was already in full blown labor at this point and we still had a 20 min drive to the hospital ahead of us.  Lets just say, thank the Lord I went into labor before rush hour because I gave birth to Emira 12 minutes after arriving at the hospital.  In total my whole labor was just over an hour!   Yeah, fast! I have to say that typically when a baby is born, it’s a big adjustment and can equal stress and anxiety followed by a whole lot of uncertainty.  For us, it was a huge relief!  We could breathe again and stop worrying about the pregnancy and focus on this new little one.  Such a blessing! Needless to say, we are IN LOVE!!!  Emira Joy Marion Low is a precious little sweetheart baby.  We are now the proud parents of an almost 13 year old, a two and a half year old, and a two and a half month old!   Busy busy life, but one I would not trade for the world.

Family of 5!

Family of 5!

DSC01258 DSC01018 Having an infant again reminds me of when Ari was born, as that was the time that God opened my eyes to the plight of the orphan and rampant child abuse in our world.  I am remembering a time when I went to get Ari from her crib and felt God touch my heart and say, “Ari is no different than any child stuck in a crib in an orphanage, no different than that child whose been abused”.   I just lost it at that point and cried while hugging my infant. Emira is putting me back in that place when this whole journey began.  When that passion was stirred in my spirit, that love for the little ones who cannot choose, who have nobody to love them, and those who cannot defend themselves against abuse.   Earlier in this post I said that I had never felt so isolated and helpless which makes me wonder, how isolated and helpless do all those children feel?  When they are dumped into a crib and never held, how isolated do they feel?  When they are transferred to a mental institution, how helpless do they feel?  How helpless do they feel when they are tied to their crib for days on end?  When a child is shaken so hard he is mentally and physically impaired for the rest of his life, how helpless does he feel? My point is this:  How many times do we look at our own lives and think of how hard we might have it, how isolated and utterly alone we may feel.  But really, no matter what we are feeling, those kids are feeling it ten fold.  Because our worst is not even their best, ever.  They are UTTERLY HELPLESS and ALONE. Like sweet Sophia. Sophia before Did she feel so isolated and helpless when she was starved in her crib for four years of her life?  I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia, and she was the size of a 6 month old baby at 4 years old.   When I met her she had been home a month and had already gained 5 pounds, yet she was still so tiny.  She has become a valued and cherished member of her new family, and no longer has to suffer the way she had for so very long.  Look at her just a few months after coming home!

Sophia just a few months later.

Sophia just a few months later.

No longer isolated, No longer helpless.  Just look at the beauty that can come from despair…

Some Updates!

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Just a couple things today.  I am so blessed to announce that as I went through my list of kids on here that were still waiting for a family to come for them, I was able to move 5 of them over to the My Family Found Me section!!!  Praise God!  So happy to be able to do that.  For some of you, these kids getting families is probably old news (it has been longer than I would like to admit since I’ve gone through).  However it is still worthy of a big WHOO HOO!!!!  One life at a time right?!

 

Payton

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Penny*

Archie*

Adam*

Zack

And…

Just a quick post to let you all know what I forgot to tell you earlier (oops!) about our little baby nugget.  We had our ultrasound some weeks ago but life has gotten the best of me again and I failed to let you all know the good news. (The photo is from our checkup the other day, got some 3D shots!) 

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Nugget 24 weeks

We are so happy to announce we are having another little girl!  She is just such a blessing to us already and we are so excited to meet her!

That’s all for now!

The Sweetest Day

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It’s been a long day and I am just now getting a moment before bed, while feeding baby nugget a fourth meal of frosted mini wheats, to sit down a perhaps write something meaningful.  But alas, I am so utterly zonked from the day and from pregnancy hormones and have no option but to shorten my originally planned agenda (yes, I hear all my readers out there quietly cheering- I still love you all though).

Today was the anniversary of a very special day, the day I married my very best friend.

Looking at my little boy during the ceremony

I know cliche right?  Well, even so, it’s true!  My Grant is always there for me, always loving, always understanding, always giving our love everything he has to give.  He is such a gift not just to me in my life, but for my son who had only me for so many years being both mom and dad.  That makes the memory of this day October 20th, so much sweeter.

Grant helping the little man get ready for the ceremony. They have so much fun together, can you tell?

Grant has given Athen, more than just a step dad.  He has given him the warmest love and the most beautiful father son relationship I have ever seen.  No matter how tired Grant is when he gets home from work, or the giant honey-do list he has looming over his head, he always makes sure to spend time hanging out with his son.

Athen has made comments about how much he appreciates how Grant is with him (in his own kid kind of way) over the years.  Quite honestly, we all know that it was God who broke through any potential barriers and facilitated this deep bonding they have shared.   What a sweet thing!

What a perfect day that was…

Sharing our first moment as a “family” afterwards. Just precious.

I am blessed beyond words to have shared such a sweet day, with such a wonderful man.

Newlyweds!!!

It feels like so long ago, yet just like yesterday…

But then I think of how much has happened since then, how much things have changed…

And grown…

and grown some more…

And continue to grow…

Baby nugget

I begin to realize that in this short time, our lives have become so much more sweet.  Even sweeter than I could ever imagine.  I cannot wait to see what God has instore for us!  I am so honored to be sharing this life with my Grant.  Thank  you Husband for EVERYTHING you do and EVERYTHING you are.  You are so very loved!  Wubboo!

Beautiful Things

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Today will not be a day of many words (for once!).   I am just here to share with you all some beautiful things!

Today we had our doctors appointment and God granted us the gift of being able to hear that beautiful sound of our tiny baby’s heartbeat.   What’s even cooler, we saw our little tiny baby nugget’s tiny arms waving at us!  So amazing!  I am so grateful that we are receiving another blessing from God.

So, number one on the list of beautiful things.

Baby nugget! Doctor said the baby is very curled up right now for some reason so it’s really hard to make out details.

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Next, my beautiful son.  12 years old and such an amazing kid!  On the verge of turning 20 on me in the blink of an eye, I know God has some incredible plans for this one.

Athen

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And, my beautiful daughter Ari.   Every time I look at her, I feel like I’ve just taken a breath of fresh air.  What a blessing she is!   She is so smart and absolutely hilarious.  I love this little ray of sunshine!

Sweet Ari

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This beautiful man is more than I could ever ask for!  My husband.  The most amazing husband, incredible father, and best friend.  God is so good.

Oldie, but one of my favorites!

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This last one is just as beautiful as the others, I love him!  Pray his family sees his beauty as well and that they find him soon!

Owen

 http://reecesrainbow.org/1585/owen-egxb-3

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