I am growing up so fast!

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Amanda

Amanda's age

Lilypie 4th Birthday PicLilypie 4th Birthday Ticker

God Doesn't Make Mistakes

For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

Saturday, May 31, 2008

and the grand total is...

I just purchased our airline tickets today, mine was more than his at
$1,490.85 USD, Tom's was $1,466.85 USD, for a total of $2,933.70. We have not purchased Amanda's ticket yet as we are not allowed to book it from here, we have to book hers through a travel agent. I am not sure if they work today or not, but I doubt it.

When we traveled to Ukraine in November, 3 round trip tickets were $2,694.00. Likely Amanda's ticket will be close to $1,000. Yes, we did pay another $2,500 to get back home from Ukraine because Delta canceled my return ticket, the holidays were upon us and they needed to make their huge profits! Let's hope Delta does not repeat their despicable actions this time.

I hope this helps other families who may be travelling soon, we went through Cheapoair.com.

Tom is sending the email to Romeo's to book our room. I bought some gifts for the caregivers yesterday, I hope they like them.

Feeling a little like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, uneasy because we still have no word about our grant..

Friday, May 30, 2008

Driving the God bus


I was talking to my dearest friend Becky. We were discussing how difficult it is for each of us to give our will over entirely to the Lord. We try, and I suppose that for me it can be a lack of complete faith along with control issues. Becky said; “You drive the God bus; you surrender your will to Him as long as you can drive”. She knows me too well!

When I went on-line to check the cost of airline tickets and saw the incredible increase in ticket prices since last November, I began to feel panic. Would it take all of the money we had so carefully saved and collected from donations just to get to Estonia? What if GOA said they could not help us, what if, what if; my stomach lurched, and I felt ill. So I closed my eyes, exhaled (was I holding my breath again?) and knew there was nothing else to do but pray and to let go of the steering wheel and let God steer. I went to bed after praying and woke up feeling much better.

Later I opened my email and saw PayPal notices from four friends and my heart leapt for joy! Debra, Kathy L, Susan and Kathy S, once again you have shown that generosity is in abundance in each of you. You answered my prayers, and you have done so before.

I am an emotional person (OK, no eye rolling out there) and I get happy as easily as I cry, and my favorite emotion some days is worry. I am a Mom, I worry about my kids, and I worry about how much more food, gas, and everything else seems to be. Therefore, I do not expect that people have a lot of extra income for incidentals and certainly not for raffles and donations. Yet these four women have given donations not once, twice or even three times, but more than this and each do have their own very important reasons for saving their money. This is what makes what they have done to help us get Kara, and now Amanda home even more amazing. Thank you, all of you, for all you have done for our family.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An inspirational video

It is important to all of us who have children that with developmental delays for people to see that they are first and foremost CHILDREN.

This young man embodies that hope we all have for our children and I hope will help people see HIM and how special he is. He inspired me and brought happy and proud tears to my eyes.

Airfare update-prayer request

I have been on-line and on the phone all morning, so far the best I can do is $4,272.00 for all three of us, non-changeable airfare and $4,470.00 for changeable.

Pluses, the first is through Delta and we do have Skymiles accounts, we could earn enough Skymiles from Ukraine and this flight to earn a free flight for later.

Minuses, it's Delta, if you read both blogs you will remember they canceled the second leg of my round trip ticket from Ukraine because I missed my flight on the 15th of December and my new flight was in the holiday block. Of course they did say I could use it January 20th instead, yea, that was helpful!

From my POV Delta owes my family the money back for that ticket...that would never happen.

We would appreciate continued prayers.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prayer request-

Oh goodness, I just got off the phone with the travel agent recommended to me and she said "Travel to Tallinn bad news, very expensive"
I have checked air fare all along, but not ADOPTION fare, though we did not travel using the changeable fare to Ukraine, so if we have to travel with economy fare to Tallinn, so be it. We cannot afford to pay $6,000 to fly to Tallinn.

Please pray that there is an inexpensive fare waiting for the Levario's.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY

We have our court date; June 25th!! I am so ecstatic, wow!! In less than a month I can hold my Amanda in my arms! PTL!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Arggggghh

Oh gosh, here is it Friday and no word from GOA or Estonia, that means another weekend of not knowing anything.

Every morning I rush to the computer to see if there are emails from our agency, nothing from them, nothing from GOA, but we did get a letter yesterday asking for a sponsorship. My heart was in my throat as I opened it, so afraid they would say what the first one did " We cannot help you at this time". At the time I did not know that the person reviewing the request forgot to get all of the required information, once I sent it, we did get approved!!

Still the week is gone, and so is the chance that we hear the great news that we get to adopt our Amanda. All in God's time, I learned my lesson about praying for patience! :o) I will wait and hope!

Kris

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What we made for Amanda

Click on the picture to enlarge it

Thursday, May 15, 2008

And the winner is...





Stacy Bush, congratulations Stacy!! Our heartfelt thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket. Your generosity has helped to fund part of Amanda's air line ticket home!

GRAND TOTAL with mailed in donations was $380.

Thanks to Gayla, Kathie F, Susan L, Debra M, Dawn W. Phyllis B, Carol N, Steph B, Christy Z, Stacy B, Linda F, June B, Amy B, Michele H, Karen C, Melonie, Kathy L, Eev R, Dolores W, Patrice M, Sarah M, Angela Q, Yvonne R.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Someone is missing

I continue to feel like one of my children is missing; you know when you are at a store and one of your wanders away (this has not happened since I had little boys) well I will look up to find her, but of course she is in Estonia. Still I get that adrenaline rush and think, "Where is Amanda?" and then I feel silly.

We eat dinner and I feel like she should be eating with us, we go somewhere and I wonder why she is not in the car. I keep feeling like it could be anytime now, and have that mantra going in my head; any time now, any time now, any time now.

Please pray with me that everything falls into place for Amanda's adoption, I know God is letting me know she will be here soon. I spent the day in her room getting things ready. we still need to set up her crib. I feel like I should pack her things!

Any time now!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

More Down Syndrome Connection logos

Friday, May 9, 2008

I couldn't sleep at all last night

Just for thinking of Amanda. :o)

I keep watching Meghan and Kara playing and think; "Someone is missing" and that someone is Amanda.
Big brother Terry came over today and both girls were climbing all over him. All of the big brothers say they are not jungle gyms. Kara thinks her brothers need to help her turns flips and somersaults and as soon as she sees them she has her arms up to be held. Meghan asks to be carried, at 47 pounds that is getting harder to do.
Amanda needs to be here in this mix! I can picture her asking to be held too, with 4 bothers there will be plenty of arms to hold all of them!
More importantly, Mamas arms are aching to hold her too! I feel like we could get the call at any time, and often feel like I did when I was 9 months pregnant and waiting for labor to begin.

Terry, Kara, and Meghan playing

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Welcome to Holland-Celebrating Holland

WELCOME TO HOLLAND


by Emily Perl Kingsley.


c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved


I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......


When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.


After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."


"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."


But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.


The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.


It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's.


But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."


And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.


But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Celebrating Holland - I'm Home By Cathy Anthony

A follow-up to the original "Welcome to Holland" by Emily Perl Kingsley


I have been in Holland for over a decade now. It has become home. I have had time to catch my breath, to settle and adjust, to accept something different than I'd planned.


I reflect back on those years of past when I had first landed in Holland. I remember clearly my shock, my fear, my anger - the pain and uncertainty. In those first few years, I tried to get back to Italy as planned, but Holland was where I was to stay.


Today, I can say how far I have come on this unexpected journey. I have learned so much more. But, this too has been a journey of time. I worked hard. I bought new guidebooks. I learned a new language and I slowly found my way around this new land. I have met others whose plans had changed like mine, and who could share my experience. We supported one another and some have become very special friends.


Some of these fellow travellers had been in Holland longer than I and were seasoned guides, assisting me along the way. Many have encouraged me. Many have taught me to open my eyes to the wonder and gifts to behold in this new land. I have discovered a community of caring.


Holland wasn't so bad. I think that Holland is used to wayward travellers like me and grew to become a land of hospitality, reaching out to welcome, to assist and to support newcomers like me in this new land.


Over the years, I've wondered what life would have been like if I'd landed in Italy as planned. Would life have been easier? Would it have been as rewarding? Would I have learned some of the important lessons I hold today?


Sure, this journey has been more challenging and at times I would (and still do) stomp my feet and cry out in frustration and protest. And, yes, Holland is slower paced than Italy and less flashy than Italy, but this too has been an unexpected gift. I have learned to slow down in ways too and look closer at things, with a new appreciation for the remarkable beauty of Holland with its' tulips, windmills and Rembrandt's.


I have come to love Holland and call it Home. I have become a world traveller and discovered that it doesn't matter where you land. What's more important is what you make of your journey and how you see and enjoy the very special, the very lovely, things that Holland, or any land, has to offer. Yes, over a decade ago I landed in a place I hadn't planned. Yet I am thankful, for this destination has been richer than I could have imagined!


Cathy Anthony is a parent, advocate and presently the executive director of the Family Support Institute in Vancouver, BC

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Down Syndrome Connection Website

My husband and I have been working on this today, he has done a lot of the work for the past few months, I think we work best together, at any rate, we are building the site slowly.


We need more pictures, if you are a DCS member, please send your pictures to Kris. kkbl7befit@yahoo.com

Thank you Melonie!

We received your package yesterday, it will be a Godsend in Estonia. Still looking for the right nipples for Amanda's bottles.
I am so thrilled to hear your good news too. I hope we are in Estonia at the same time. Congratulations!

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once