Friday, October 30, 2020

October 2020

 Zoo fun!  A friend took me to Busch Gardens and ai got some amazing pictures!

We've had some gorgeous weather and are spending more time on the porch again

Steve celebrated his 25th birthday in Alaska with some friends!

These pictures are so funny to me! 
That was Steve when he was about 15 months old in his first snow suit in NYC

Steve and his buddies! 

Shad is doing great in college- he'll be home for break in a few weeks and we are looking forward to having him home with us for about 6 weeks.  Most colleges are starting their breaks right before Thanksgiving and continuing them well into January

I'll try and catch up more later-lots of health issues going on

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Mille- Meet the Browns

 Today I'm sharing about a family that has just adopted a 15 year old severely handicapped daughter from Ukraine.  

Both of these children are 15 years old.....

This is the family's story in their own words.  

We are the Browns! We are a family of 14 hoping to add one more to our crazy, wonderful life. Daniel and Svetlana met in Russia. Daniel was serving there as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After a year of being back in the United States, Daniel asked Svetlana to come here and be his wife. They have been married for over 22 years and have 12 amazing children ages: 5, 8, 9, 9, 12, 13, 14, 14, 16, 18, 20, 25.

Daniel is the oldest of 10 children. So, a big family is not a big deal to him. Daniel is also a high school teacher, and a Robotics Club Coach. Which, of course, helps in dealing with lots of children and the chaos that can ensue.

Svetlana grew up in Russia and is an only child. She always dreamed of a big family and adopting from an orphanage. She has taken several medical classes to help prepare her for the special needs of each child.

Their children are excited to have new siblings to love. Although the three oldest children are out of the home; They come back to visit, and help out, as often as possible. All of the children enjoy being able to love, work with, and watch the development of those less fortunate. They are looking forward to the great service of compassion that they will be able to give these special children.

They got through the whole exhausting process of court and adoption  only to find their legally adopted daughter is unable to come into the US because she has a suspicious  spot on her lungs which could be TB or something else.  They now how to wait two months for her to be allowed to come in and she must have more testing  (DISCLAIMER this is NOT a new policy so do not blame President Trump.  This policy has been inn place for decades!)  

In the meanwhile the family has to return to the US because they have other children and work.  They were able to find a private hospital that will take her and care for her.  This hospital has taken other such cases in the past and have successfully cared for them and begun the healing process and refeeding.

More of their story

After working on our adoption for over a year we finally got an invitation to Ukraine to meet our child. We were going to meet a little 3 year old boy. A week or so before we left for Ukraine a little girl was tagging on my heart…..a little, a young women…..she supposed to be 15 years, but in reality she was a size of a 3 year and maybe 20 pounds…….how can it be… can she still be alive? After arriving in Ukraine and a week of quarantine and DAP appointment we drove 4 hours to meet our new daughter. She was tiny, she was drugged and so contracted that holding her was almost impossible. Her eyes were so sad, years of neglect and abuse were all over her face. Her tiny hands were so deformed it was painful just to see them. It didn't take much thinking to say yes to her because we both knew she needed to get out and be saved from that place. We said “yes” to her and a month long wait for court began. In 30 days we finally had our court and in that instance she became our beloved daughter and sister. Within a few hours after the court decree was signed she was in my arms forever…….that's what I thought anyways…....but the bureaucracy of the government put a stop to a happy ending pretty quickly…...Few days after we got Millie we had to do a medical exam that every person that enters the USA must have. Our sweet little girl failed her x-ray by having a small dark spot on her lungs and now has to have a Sputum TB test done which takes 8 weeks to complete. We were heartbroken, how can it be? A new plan needed to be made quickly. I have been gone for 7 weeks already and our children at home were ready to have their mama home. With the help of several amazing people we were able to find a room for MIllie at palliative children hospital in Kiev. It was absolutely devastating to leave her and go home without her, but I knew she was going to be safe there. She now has an amazing nanny Elena with her 24/7. Millie has been out of the orphanage for 20 days and she has changed so much already. Where there was sadness in her eyes, no there is now light. She is so happy, she is learning so much. She is learning that no one will hurt her, that she doesn't have to be hungry anymore. She will always be clean…..and most of all she will always be loved. We cant wait to see her again and bring her home FOREVER!!!
Nanny $20/day Formula $15/day Food for nanny $5/day Medications???

We can help this precious family by giving to pay for her daily needs.  The cost for a daily nanny- someone who will work with her is only $20 a day.  The cost of her formula is only $15 daily!  So for $35 a day she can be cared for until the family is able to bring her home.   So I'm asking for your help!

I've committed to pay for her care for one week!  That's only $250- she'll need at least 7 more can give by going to the family's paypal account or if you are like me and still not comfortable with giving online, you can mail a check to: 

the Brown family

301 University Ave 

Gooding ID 83330

Please help meet this need!  Thank you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Off to College!


So the last few days have been all about Shad leaving for college!  One night the guys took a boat trip on the Chain of lakes in Winter Haven.  I LOVE this picture!

He had to say goodbye at work!

It was Selah's birthday- so for 1.5 months we have 3 kids the same age-this time it's three 16 year olds~

When we came home from China we stopped at this Denny's off I-4 so our family and friends could meet Shad.  Ironically it was the best spot for Steve to pick Shad up to leave for the airport as Steve had a meeting that morning.  

We had about 5 seconds to say goodbye!  That was probably good!  We had one last prayer as a family and they were out the door!

Since Shad is going to school in Phoenix they had the opportunity to do some sight seeing at the Grand Canyon.  I LOVE this picture of my two cowboys.  They rode a mule into the canyon.  

And even at the GC they found an animal to help!  Poor squirrel wanted their water.  

They have tons and tons of amazing pictures-it's hard to chose which ones to post!

Please pray for Shad as he is starting school two years early and is quite far away from us!  He has almost all his year paid for thanks to several scholarships he's gotten.  Pray that he will make the transition to college life and keep his grades high!  Pray that he will draw closer to God and find his calling for his life!  

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Family Beach Pictures & Shad's Party


Pictures are so important to me, especially as time goes on and kids grow up....

For many years I was not a very nostalgic person.  But as I grow older I began to  miss everything about the past.  In the past few months I've found myself really missing my "Boot Mama" my great aunt that raised me.  For most of my life I only looked forward to the future and didn't pay too much attention to the past.  The way I looked at it, there was nothing I could do about the past and I was too busy to think deeply about the it.  Now with one son grown and basically on his own & the second one leaving for college in a week, the past is a happier place for me!  Not that I'm not thrilled to see them pursue their dreams and have fun but I miss the simple days.  We had a great time for many years and we still have a great time but it's different  And it begins when they leave for college.... nothing is ever the same.  So knowing that in the back of my mind I get ready to watch another one leave.  Every day I think "this is the last time" for this or that.  Shad is a VERY strong willed kid believe me we have had our moments!  One of my close friends loves to tell me that I met my match and had to go to China to get a kid as stubborn as me LOL  She is right!  Despite that, I will miss him very much!  

Last weekend we had a combo Grad/Going Away to college/Birthday Party for Shad.

We rented out our local theater & surprised him :)  We watched Jurassic Park in comfort.  the theater is renting out it's smaller rooms.  It was great and we want to do it again.  

But this is what I see.....

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Beach Day


The hotel was so sweet and offered us a motorized beach didn't work too good for us.  Sam ended up having to walk and I ran along side of it guiding it... and it got stuck....
it's hard taking our little folks to the beach!

But once we are there.....

THIS!!!!  I love it so much!  Shad took all of these pictures

I love her sandy Florida girl feet!  Sarah is a beach girl!

And she know how to chill

My babies!

Today is the 17th anniversary of the day I found out I was  pregnant with Sam.  Remembering that day, way back then at our old house with just one child in it....  Little did I know what was about to happen to me and my family!  I credit Sam with every thing that has happened since that day.  Having him turned my world upside down in the best of ways!  Because of him our eyes were opened and we saw the need for families for special needs kids, especially internationally.    About a week after he was born I had an epiphany in the hospital corridor & determined I was not going to become bitter about Sam's disability-and back then I JUST thought he was blind and premature..... I was so innocent....  But Sam toughen me up!   And in dealing with his life I realized there were kids like him going through life without two parents holding them.....  Now we have 3 adopted kids, we've been involved in helping other families adopt, we've supported orphanages and ministries to children around the world and meet some amazing folks!  I look back and am grateful that God keep my heart soft as I grieved the child and family I thought I wanted.   ***** Theologically speaking I do not think God CAUSED Sam to be born with all his challenges, but we live in a fallen world and things happen.  God has been faithful to walk every single step with us and I am so grateful for that!  I've come to Know God in a way I never did before.  Before I did not need to depend on God but now I know my Help comes from Him....  I didn't need a Comforter.... but now I do.  Even the hope of heaven is so much brighter to me than before. 

So with thankfulness we celebrate the beginning of our relationship with Sam all those years ago :)  Thank God for keeping him safe through a terrible pregnancy and an early birth and all the complications that arose.  We love this boy so much!  And by the way he weighs in today at 95.6 pounds!  It has been so hard to get him to gain weight and we are proud of every ounce.  He is about where his endocrinologist wants him to be weight wise since he is only 4'10 and is done growing.  He was stuck around 82-83 pounds for a long time and we did worry.  We also had to deal with a gastrologist who wanted to put in a g-tube.  That was not going to happen!  Now the endocrinologist has written a letter explaining Sam's growth plates are finished and due to his chromosomal issues he is not going to grow any taller and the doctor does not want him to gain too much weight!  We have been feeding him more junky food than he has ever had before as we normally eat low fat.  For some reason it does not keep us as skinny as it kept him. LOL   We've even given him some soda since that's the only sweet thing he likes.  He hates cake or ice cream or candy so those obvious higher fat/calorie foods are no use to us.  He used to drink pedisure but we can't get him to drink it anymore.  He loves vegetables and we are so happy about that but it's hard to gain weight on veggies!  We've started putting butter on his food.  that's something we would normally never do but we were getting so worried about his weight.  Now we will back off and see if he can keep the weight up.....before anyone freaks we discussed his diet with several doctors!  They all wanted us to add fat and some sugars for now.  He has low cholesterol and there was no concern about it for short term

There are still more beach pictures to come:)  For years I kept up our photo this blog has replaced them  I'm 8 years behind on picture albums!