Saturday, November 13, 2010

KISSES IN THE WIND...A waiting child's lullabye


I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, or at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are...what's taking us so long?
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin.
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring you kisses that I send to you each night.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rising Moon (to Melanie)

As the moon begins to rise

I catch a glimpse of almond eyes

Staring back from outer space

The moon reflects your loving face.

My heart begins to yearn for you

A love down deep that grows so true

I see the moon throughout the night

My dreams of you are taking flight.

So when you look upon the moon

Please know that we will be there soon

I pray reflected in its light

Will be our love for you this night.

The moon must now complete its course

Let’s not regret and show remorse

It soon will rise and start anew

Reflecting love meant just for you.

Author unknown

Thursday, October 14, 2010

That time of year is approaching...for most of us it's a time for parties, giving gifts, decorating our homes, buying that special dress or outfit to wear to church or that once-a-year holiday family photo, cozying up to fireplaces on cold winter nights with our significant others, drinking hot chocolate, making snow angels and having snowball fights, opening up presents, indulging in enormous amounts of food from old family recipes, thinking of where we will all ring in the new year...this is a wonderful time of year for most of us...but not for Melanie and all the other children like her. You see, Melanie lives in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. Melanie was born with Down Syndrome and has been deemed as inperfect and placed in an orphanage to be hidden away from society. Most children born with Down Syndrome in Eastern Europe are killed at birth and if not, they are thrown away in orphanages. "IF" they are lucky, they will stay there in the orphanage with the hope and prayer that a loving forever family will adopt them...but this does not happen to most. Most live their days in an orphanage until they turn 4. At that time they are placed in mental institutions where 85% die within the first year....alone...they die never having a mommy or daddy to hold and love them. It is an outrageous tragedy! Melanie can potentially be one of these children. She also is in need of medical care. She needs heart and intestinal surgery...she needs to come to the United States...she needs us. You can help us bring her home. So while you are preparing for one of the most celebrated times of the year, sitting in the drive thru of a Starbucks for the 4th time that week or deciding where to take the kids for dinner for your 'weekly' eating out excursion, maybe you can find it in your heart to think of my Melanie (and others just like her) and think where she will spend her holiday this year, where she spends all her days with no one to buy her presents, take her out for ice cream or McDonalds, no one to hold her, to love her like a mommy and daddy do, to kiss her boo boos, and make the boogie man go away at night. Please help us change this. My husband and I are adopting this precious angel. We are trying to raise the money to do so, which will be the only obstacle...but a very large one! We need $24,000 by February...won't you please consider donating?

All donations are 100% tax deductable. You can contribute using the 'chip-in' button on the upper right side of this blog or you can click on the link below to see how you can make a difference and save a little girls life, literally....

http://reecesrainbow.org/sponsorsader

If you choose to send a check to Reece's Rainbow, be sure to write our names (Sader/Melanie) in the memo section of your check, or attach a note. If you choose to make a donation via paypal, be sure to write in the message section of the transaction our name: (Sader/Melanie)

Thank you sooo much and God Bless You all!

"Once our eyes are opened, We can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's been quite a while since my last post...I'm not very good at this!! Obviously! But I better get better since we have officially begun our adoption process! YAY!! We've actually started the process, but today we are officially taking donations to adopt 'Melanie'. It's going to be a long road, but hopefully a smooth one. Paperwork upon paperwork, hoping a praying that 'rules' don't change along the way, that 'things' don't get lost, and that we are seen as sane and fit! LOL! The last part I really don't worry about! LOL! I'm so excited to begin this journey, to share our story, to see God work in our lives...this will be all for His glory as this story unfolds and we see His hand in it all! To think we may be a family of 4 hopefully by next Christmas...makes my heart well up! I look back on my life, I think of my earlier adult years and remember how I never really wanted children, it wasn't a priority, if I did, then fine, if I didn't, that was ok too...and now look at me, look at how God has changed my heart...He's turned it upside down and inside out!!! I have a gorgeous little girl who I'm CRAZY about...REALLY!...and now I want more! I visit the Reece's Rainbow site regularly (daily) and I want them all!! I realize that's not possible, but to have more than one child with disabilities is not impossible at all...with God we can do anything. I think of where my heart once was, and I know where it is today, and that in itself is a miracle! So I am, along with my husband (I will speak for him as we have talked about this many times, he probably more than me), looking so forward to our future, to see what God has in store for us and we feel in all our hearts that this may not very well be the end...Melanie may only be the beginning.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

If before you were born, I could have gone to Heaven and saw all the beautiful souls, I still would have chosen you. If God had told me, "this soul will one day need extra care and needs" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "that one day this soul may make my heart bleed" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "this soul would make me question the depth of my faith" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "this soul would one day make tears flow from my eyes that would overflow a river" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "our time spent together here on earth could be short" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "this soul may one day make me witness overbearing suffering" I still would have chosen you. If He had told me, "all that you know to be normal will drastically change" I still would have chosen you. Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you. Thank you God for letting me be her mommy! ~Author Unknown

Friday, July 23, 2010

So the other day Ragen was upstairs playing in her room by herself. I went to check on her and she decided to escort me out and slam the door in my face...she's only 3 1/2 years old going on 15!! The things I did in my teenage years are coming back to haunt me already!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Had a first yesterday...Rob was feeding Ragen lunch and asked her where Mommy was...she pointed to me and said "Mommy". I was so thrilled! I've been waiting soooo long for her to know and call me Mommy...it's the little things. Something so many mother's take for granted and to hear those words that took so long to come...almost 4 years now...ahhhhh!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010






Wow...so I guess it's been a while since my last post! So much has happened, I don't even know where to begin! I guess the short of it would be, Ragen is doing well and has been healthy for the better part of the summer so far! YAY! Except for one ear tube surgery and a possible Mastoidectomy, but we have to discuss that when she sees her ENT in a couple weeks. I'd hate for her to go through such an evasive surgery, but if it will help her in the long run and help her with all her sicknesses, than I'm all for it. She has the best ENT in Chicago, Rob and I trust his judgement. We are only in the talking phase of this, so no definites yet. Rob's job is going well...praise the Lord. Although there are some serious changes going on with a lot of executives leaving, so he's a bit nervous, as anyone would be. He has a very serious pipeline of opportunities he's working on, so bringing on a totally new team of executives can be scary...introducing them to his customers, bringing them up to speed, and just getting used to their style of management and leadership. This is a serious test of his faith. We know that God will always provide, He has NEVER left our sides, not once. This is now an opportunity for Rob to grow in his faith when it comes to his professional life. He's getting there, but always a work in progress. I guess that's the way God works and that's the beauty of not being perfect...we always need God. As for me, I've started a new business...you can see the badge on my blog...Ragen Lynn Inspirations. I've started a line of tutu dresses and seems to be going well. I've been needing an outlet for my creative side...and something "just for me"...and this seems to be fitting the bill, AND I can make a little money on the side, which is always good, especially with all the medical bills that seem to be piling up and not going away any time soon. I'm in the process of working with someone to develop a website, but for now I'm just selling privately and through Facebook. The website will be up and running by the end of July. There is a story behind the reason why I started making these dresses, a story that Rob and I believe God has had His hand in all along. I will be telling the story in my "about us" section of my website...so watch out for it! Here is a sampling of a couple of the dresses I've made. These photos were taken yesterday compliments of a wonderful photographer, Carol Mellema from memoriesbycarol.com who we met through "Art through Inspiration" formerly "The Littlest Heroes Project". She managed to capture Ragen's personality perfectly! She is also going to photograph the rest of my dresses for my website....I can't wait!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a crazy week. Nothing like jumping back into the swing of things after being out of town for some R & R. Ragen had an awesome Endocrinology appointment yesterday. Finally a doctor that isn't so "black and white", but thinks outside the box. A lot of changes are going to be happening in the treatment for thyroid disorders. Changes that need to happen SOON! But they're on their way, slow but sure. Ragen's Endocrinologist practices medicine the new way (it's actually the old way of treating hypothyroidism before Synthroid/"Syncrap" was created and Abbott labs decided it wanted to rob people blind...but the people are speaking loud and clear and they don't want Synthroid/Levothyroxine...it doesn't work!). So Ragen's doctor will be treating her appropriately...thank God! She doesn't need anymore issues! Ragen will be having her ear surgery tomorrow at 10:30 am at Loyola Hospital. I just pray and hope that they can figure out what is wrong with all these infections she's been having. She's just getting over another one this week! It's ridiculous! I'll be thankful when it's all over with and we will have some answers.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Take a minute and read this...beautiful, inspirational, magical, spiritual...

And to think this man does not have anyone in his life personally with DS...WOW!

He is also the same man that created the video posted above and has a new video on the way!

http://imdownwithyou.com/

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just got home from the emergency room. Rob and I were taking a leisurely stroll through Geneva, enjoying the beautiful weather, getting Ragen out and about to hopefully help her forget how bad she's been feeling these past few days...stopped to have a glass of wine outdoors at a restaurant, started to see little red bumps appearing all over Ragen's arms, feet, legs and mouth. I opened her mouth to look inside and it was full of red and white bumps. Needless to say, we didn't stick around. Went to the emergency room thinking it was the measles, low and behold, she has Hands, Foot, and Mouth Disease along with her ear infection.....poor baby! Not much we can do for her except the usual Motrin/Tylenol combo and a ton of fluid. They said she more than likely won't eat anything or drink much (although we have to push the fluids...using a syringe if we have to) because her mouth is just full of little sores, like canker sores...YUCK! Unlike most viruses, this one likes to stick around for 7-10 days...Prayers for a quick recovery. I just want my baby girl to feel good for more than a week!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Feeling very frustrated and defeated this morning. We took Ragen to see her ENT yesterday to see what's going on with her ears and all these ear infections. He looked inside and said everything looked fine, they tested her ear tubes to make sure they were open and all was fine. He said if she got another ear infection she will need another surgery to see what's going on, so all was good....we thought....

Woke up this morning and her ears are full of puss and brown, thick, sticky gunk! She is in pain and viola, another ear infection. Here goes ear surgery #5....


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well it's the second to the last day of school for Ragen. Rob and I are heading over to the school to watch her swim. They are inviting all the parents for the last day of swimming to come watch the kids. Of course we will take lots of pictures and video! We can't have too much documented as a proud mamma and pappa of a gorgeous girl! Rob will be taking me to Denver on a business trip next Tuesday (it's FREE! Free is good right now!) and I'm really anxious. Ragen has AT LAST really bonded to me. I've waited a long 3 1/2 years for her to connect and bond to me as her mom and VIP. So it's finally happened. She lights up when I come into the room and gets really excited. She walks fast (can't run just yet...only started walking a few months ago) towards me when she sees me. She reaches up for me to pick her up all throughout the day and just the other day she said "Hi Mamma"...Oh how I've longed to hear those invaluable words! My heart is overjoyed and full! But now I am left with a pit in my stomach thinking of her not having me around next week and me not having her around...her and I are two peas in a pod and I want to cherish every moment. She will be in good hands, I do not worry about that...I just have the fear that every mom and dad to a child with autism have...will she forget me and regress?? I guess I can't win. I can't take a break, and I can't be without my girl...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ragen had her first Special Olympic program at school today...it was a terrific experience...these are the moments that parents live for! Ragen carried the torch for the opening ceremonies, with a little help of course! We were so proud! I couldn't help but shed a tear along with another one of Ragen's classmate's moms who rushed up to congratulate me while making the comment, "why did I wear make-up this morning!?" as we were both in tears with pride for our kids. These kids work so hard at what you and I (and most people) would seem so miniscule...again, my eyes have been open to another world and my heart has soon followed...what a wonderful world having Ragen has exposed me to! I'm also in such awe at how hard the teachers, therapists, and aides work day in and day out with these kids...they work even harder than the kids do. Just watching them this morning made me exhausted! Teachers are so often unappreciated, especially these teachers who work even harder than most. If only we could give them the recognition that we give actors and professional athletes...what a world this could be. It's all about the "world's" priorities...I'm looking forward to a world that has it's priorities in check. Ragen's teacher, her aides and therapists are the true athletes and real angels walking on earth.

Special Olympics Young Athletes 2010

























Getting ready for one of our "firsts" this morning. Ragen has her first Special Olympic Young Athletes program at school today. We're so excited! I just received an email from her teacher stating that Ragen will be carrying the torch for the opening ceremonies...I can't wait! Rob and I will be one proud mamma and papa! I wish you all could come be a part of this with us. I'll be sure to take photos and video and publish them later this week. This is the kind of stuff that makes being a parent priceless!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just got home from the orthodopedic doctor. Rude awakening...Ragen's custom AFO's are going to cost us $2500. Something we did not expect! They require all patients to pay up front because insurance companies are notorious for saying they will pay and then renig. Which is something Rob and I are currently going through with our insurance company not wanting to cover the cost of a stroller that they originally approved. Classic insurance company move! This is a major reason why we personally are becoming an obsolete middle class. We make too much money to qualify for any medical aide or government programs, but can't afford the constant co-pays, and what our insurance doesn't cover or decides not to pay. We are being swallowed up literally! I'm so frustrated and to think that Ragen's only 3 1/2...we have such a long way to go...I'm just sick about this..."God will provide, God will provide, God will provide...."
Well it seems sickness does not want to leave this house...but the person that is sick this time has left the house. Rob may have the flu. He is in agony with the pain in his hips...I hope and pray that soon he will get the hip replacements that he so desperately needs. Another financial obstacle yet to come. He is in Maine today for business and I feel so bad for him to be away from home and not feel well. I know all too well what it's like to feel ill (I seem to get the flu at least 2 x's a year with Ragen) and I would hate to be traveling. He'll be home late tonight so at least it's a quick trip. Say a little prayer for a quick recovery for whatever might be going on with him. Ragen had a very successful dentist appointment yesterday. She was a trooper! Little did we know, her dentist goes to our church and volunteers in our Promiseland...he was actually in Ragen's room on Sunday morning...so he already knew who she was and was excited to see her! He was great with her....patient and gentle. I feel so blessed to have the team of doctors that help take care of Ragen. There are so many, and I am so grateful for them all. To live in an area that has some of the top docs for special needs in the country...what a blessing! We're off this afternoon to see her new orthopedic doctor. She will be getting fitting for new leg braces as the old ones were worthless. Lesson learned, not ALL doctors know what they're doing. These braces unfortunately will go up her leg to her knee. We're not looking forward to her having to wear plastic on her legs during the summer months. But it's a necessary evil I suppose. She needs them desperately to help prevent any possible complications with her bone and muscle development. So we'll see how she does with them. She's such a trooper with all that she goes through...she may cry for a minute or two but a smile immediately follows...always...I wish I could do that!

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's a Signing Times kinda day....rainy and dreary...where's summer already? Ragen is still also getting over another sinus infection and ear infection, but seems to be much better this morning. We (well actually just me) are gearing up for Ragen's first dentist appointment at 11:00 this morning. Not looking forward to that whatsoever! She hates having doctors look in her mouth. So we'll see what tricks he has for doing this. He's either got some fabulous tricks or he's missing some fingers as this dentist sees a lot of kiddos with special needs. Tomorrow she gets fitted for AFOs. She used to wear the SMOs but the ortho doc said they were doing nothing for her, so we're hoping the AFOs will do the trick and give her more support and proper posture. Then on Wednesday she has a Special Olympics event at her school for the kids ages 2-7. "Opening Ceremonies" are at 9:00 am and all the parents are invited. Rob and I of course will be there! This is when they start to get the kids prepared for the SO when they are age elligilbe. They will give us parents ideas for physical activities we can do with our kids...we're really looking forward to it! Busy week ahead so far...I'm hoping we can all get healthy and stay that way!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CHILD OF THE MONTH LOOKING FOR A FOREVER FAMILY...REESE'S RAINBOW

May 2010

EliEli

Boy, Born March 3, 2007
Eli is so cute! Look at that big smile and those giant blue eyes! Eli was born with Down syndrome and Atrial Septal defect (ASD), a heart condition that has not required surgery. He has suffered through frequent bouts of pneumonia. He says several words, uses gestures, and can follow simple directions. His report states he continues to make progress in all areas of his development. Eli is receiving speech and physical therapy. He walks with assistance.
  • Single parents and married couples may apply
  • Parents must be 30-48 years of age
  • No more than 3 children at home, preferred
  • Two trips are required.
  • Both parents must travel for the first trip until court (approx 14 days)
  • Only one parent for the second trip to complete the immigration process (also 7-14 days)
I have $1055 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

REGULAR MOMS VERSUS SPECIAL NEEDS MOMS

...if any of you that don't know what it's like to have a child with special needs and would like to know...or you do and want to laugh (and cry....) please read...this is sooo true!
by Christina Shaver

Regular moms tell their kids to wake up and get dressed in the morning. And they do it.
Special needs moms put on battle gear to get our kids ready to start their day.

Regular moms ask their kids if they brushed their teeth.
Special needs moms prompt, “Brush your top teeth. Brush your bottom teeth. Did you get the sides? Open your mouth. My God, give me that toothbrush! You’ve left half your meal in there!”

Regular moms wave goodbye as their kids run off to catch the school bus.
Special needs moms get awesome door-to-door bus service for their child.

Regular moms know the names of all their friends.
Special needs moms know most of their friends by their username.

Regular moms judge other moms when kids have tantrums in stores.
Special needs moms say to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder which disability he has?”

Regular moms complain about driving their kids to sports and recreation classes.
Special needs mom grin and bear the weekly trips to tutors, doctors and therapists.

Regular moms’ kids have a teacher.
Special needs moms’ kids have a team.

Regular moms talk about accomplishments.
Special needs moms talk about skills, as in play skills, conversation skills, life skills, social skills and vocational skills.

Regular moms relax with their kids during the summer.
Special needs moms start their second job as home teachers, therapists and skills coaches.

Regular moms think accommodations refer to hotels.
Special needs moms have memorized the top 20 accommodations for their child.

Regular moms hope their child finds a good career.
Special needs moms are hopeful someone gives our child the chance to work.

Regular moms soak in the tub when they want to unwind.
Special needs moms consider a bathroom break a luxury.

Regular moms enjoy reading the latest best selling book.
Special needs moms should receive an honorary degree for all the disability books they've read.

Regular moms go out for dinner and a movie with their husbands every month.
Special needs moms have a date night with their husbands every…wait, what decade is this?

Regular moms complain their kids won’t eat their vegetables.
Special needs moms are so desperate we consider chicken nuggets to be a legitimate meat product and throw in ketchup as a vegetable.

Regular moms’ kids go to play groups.
Special needs moms’ kids go to therapy groups.

Regular moms meet for a ladies night out.
Special needs moms get together at support groups and forums.

Regular moms have medical claim forms that fit in one file folder.
Special needs moms will tell you a small forest was cut down so we could receive our claims.

Regular moms think OT means overtime.
Special needs moms know more acronyms than a NASA engineer.

Regular moms have time to cook a full dinner every evening.
Special needs moms will never admit how many times we've picked up fast food.

Regular moms complain their husbands sit on the couch and watch TV while they do all the work.
Special needs moms...well how about that? Some things do stay the same!
(Just kidding dads, we know you do your part!)

Regular moms worry about fat and sugar in their children's diets.
Special needs moms worry about gluten, casein, oxalates and have a working knowledge of (FDA approved) food additives.
--Anonymous

Regular dads spend a week teaching their sons to pee in the potty and maybe a month teaching them to poop.
Special needs dads keep trying, sometimes for several years.
--From Michael

Regular moms look forward to an "empty nest."
Special needs moms wonder who will take care of their kids after they're gone.
--From Elizabeth

Regular moms have the numbers of their friends programmed into their cell phones.
Special needs moms have the numbers of their child's specialists programmed in theirs.
--From Kate

Regular moms’ kids are mildly afraid of the dentist.
Special needs moms’ kids are so terrified, 9 out of 10 dentists will ask them not to come back.
From Judy

Regular moms get annoyed when their child won't stop talking.
Special needs moms would do anything to hear their child utter one word, 'Mom'.
--From Elizabeth

Regular moms cringe when their daughter misses a step or gets confused during a ballet recital.
Special needs moms cry a special kind of tears as their child painstakingly holds up one foot while leaning on a chair and says, “Look, mommy, I’m doing ballet.”
--From Kimberly

Regular moms rely on children's vitamins and common cold medicines to meet their kids health needs.
Special needs moms are busy being medical detectives using medicines and supplements a pharmacist can barely pronounce.
--From Melanie

Regular moms budget for new clothes, a new size every season for their children.
Special needs moms know the anguish of three winters in the same size.
--From Heather

Regular moms drive their kids to the pediatrician for their annual exam.
Special needs moms arrange for an ambulance to transport their child to their annual 12 specialist event that lasts a week at children's hospital.
--From Elizabeth

Regular mums complain their kids are under their feet during the summer holidays.
Special needs mums hope to find a school where their child can stay for longer than a term (semester) before being thrown out.
--From Laurie

Regular moms send Christmas cards to their friends and family.
Special needs moms send Christmas cards to friends, family AND the medical team and specialists that helps take care of their child.
--From Kate

Regular moms show up to their kids' activities.
Special needs moms get to work prompting and herding their child in each activity.
--From Ann

Regular moms rarely get calls from their child's teacher.
Special needs moms expect it's a call from the school everytime the phone rings.
--From Anonymous

Regular moms worry about their child being picked on in school.
Special needs moms know their child will be discriminated against their entire lives.
--From Elizabeth

Regular moms are on a first name basis with other moms in their neighborhood.
Special needs moms are on a first name basis with their child's pediatrician, neurosurgeon, gastroenterologist and other specialists.
--From Kate

Regular moms bring their kids to the doctor without any advance preparation.
Special needs moms have prepped their child all week with books and practice getting a shot. They come in armed with favorite CDs and children’s books and it’s still a traumatic experience for both child and mom.
--From Judy

Regular moms forward funny mom e-mails to each other.
Special needs moms can only send this list to other special needs moms--regular moms would be offended if we suggest they don't understand what we deal with everyday.
--Anonymous

Regular moms occasionally worry about one or two allergies.
Special needs moms have memorized the top 75 allergens, preservatives, chemical additives and toxins.
--From Michael

Regular moms hunt for the best clothes bargains and trendy styles.
Special needs moms hunt for that one manufacturer who makes clothes that fit our child's fine motor or sensory needs.
--Anonymous

Regular moms' stress levels raise from a 3 to a 10 if their child needs stitches or tubes in their ears.
Special needs moms' daily stress levels are already at an 8 so stitches or tubes in ears can actually be a step down from the day to day stresses.
--From Kate

Regular moms look forward to their children going off to college.
Special needs moms do not look forward to deciding whether or not to put their children in state run homes they become adults.
--From Elizabeth

Regular moms know their child will eventually pick up reading in their own way.
Special needs moms must tackle reading skills with a sense of urgency and with all the research resources they can muster.
--From Jeri

Regular moms are asked to chaperone for field trips.
Special needs moms are required to be there just so their child can go on the field trip.
--Anonymous

Regular moms put their children to bed and get a good night's sleep.
Special needs moms monitor CPAP machines and masks, Apnea monitors, suction tracheotomy tubes, oxygen tanks, reset pulse oximeter alarms, and feed their children through feeding tubes through the night.
--From Elizabeth

Regular moms try to get their child toilet trained by preschool.
Special needs moms try to get their child toilet trained by high school.
--From Nancy

Regular moms take their child's developmental milestones for granted.
Special needs moms realize what a miracle the human body is to be able to do what it does after spending hundreds of hours teaching our kids to roll over, crawl, walk, eat, play, etc.
--From Kate

Regular moms agonize with their child if he or she doesn’t make the elite soccer team.
Special needs moms would cry tears of joy to see their child play soccer, just once.
--From Kimberly

Regular moms ask the local babysitter to watch the kids on date night.
Special needs moms call a nursing agency when they haveto leave her child home for emergencies only.
Ragen has now begun her 7th ear infection in less than 4 months, accompanied by another sinus infection. This is exhausting. Rob and I are going to talk about seeing a specialist at Childrens. I trust her pediatrician for the most part, but this is getting ridiculous. I feel so bad for her. I just wish we could catch a break...

Monday, May 10, 2010



The BEST Mother's Day Present EVER!

"Future's so bright, she's gotta wear shades!"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some Mothers Get More by Lori Borgman

Expectant mothers waiting for a newborn's arrival say they don't care what
sex the baby is. They just want it to have ten fingers and ten toes.

Mothers lie.

Every mother wants so much more. She wants a perfectly healthy baby with a
round head, rosebud lips, button nose, beautiful eyes and satin skin. She
wants a baby so gorgeous that people will pity the Gerber baby for being
flat-out ugly.

She wants a baby that will roll over, sit up and take those first steps
right on schedule (according to the baby development chart on page 57,
column two). Every mother wants a baby that can see, hear, run, jump and
fire neurons by the billions. She wants a kid that can smack the ball out of
the park and do toe points that are the envy of the entire ballet class.
Call it greed if you want, but a mother wants what a mother wants. Some
mothers get babies with something more.

Maybe you're one who got a baby with a condition you couldn't pronounce, a
spine that didn't fuse, a missing chromosome or a palate that didn't close.
The doctor's words took your breath away. It was just like the time at
recess in the fourth grade when you didn't see the kick ball coming and it
knocked the wind right out of you.

Some of you left the hospital with a healthy bundle, then, months, even
years later, took him in for a routine visit, or scheduled her for a well
check, and crashed head first into a brick wall as you bore the brunt of
devastating news. It didn't seem possible. That didn't run in your family.
Could this really be happening in your lifetime?

I watch the Olympics for the sheer thrill of seeing finely sculpted bodies.
It's not a lust thing, it's a wondrous thing. They appear as specimens
without flaw -- muscles, strength and coordination all working in perfect
harmony. Then an athlete walks over to a tote bag, rustles through the
contents and pulls out an inhaler.

There's no such thing as a perfect body. Everybody will bear something at
some time or another. Maybe the affliction will be apparent to curious eyes,
or maybe it will be unseen, quietly treated with trips to the doctor,
therapy or surgery. Mothers of children with disabilities live the
limitations with them.

Frankly, I don't know how you do it. Sometimes you mothers scare me. How you
lift that kid in and out of the wheelchair twenty times a day. How you
monitor tests, track medications, and serve as the gatekeeper to a hundred
specialists yammering in your ear.

I wonder how you endure the clich├ęs and the platitudes, the well-intentioned
souls explaining how God is at work when you've occasionally questioned if
God is on strike. I even wonder how you endure schmaltzy columns like this
one -- saluting you, painting you as hero and saint, when you know you're
ordinary. You snap, you bark, you bite. You didn't volunteer for this, you
didn't jump up and down in the motherhood line yelling, "Choose me, God.
Choose me! I've got what it takes."

You're a woman who doesn't have time to step back and put things in
perspective, so let me do it for you. From where I sit, you're way ahead of
the pack. You've developed the strength of a draft horse while holding onto
the delicacy of a daffodil. You have a heart that melts like chocolate in a
glove box in July, counter-balanced against the stubbornness of an Ozark
mule.

You are the mother, advocate and protector of a child with a disability.
You're a neighbor, a friend, a woman I pass at church and my sister-in-law.
You're a wonder.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We went to the cardiologist this morning... she's all good til next years checkup!!! Great news!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God Sent to Me an Angel

Written by Paul Dammann

God sent to me an angel,
it had a broken wing.
I bent my head and wondered
"How could God do such a thing?"

When I asked the Father
why He sent this child to me,
the answer was forthcoming,
He said "Listen and you'll see."

"My children are all precious,
and none is like the rest.
Each one to me is special,
and the least is as the best.

I send each one from Heaven
and I place it in the care
of those who know my mercy,
those with love to spare.

Sometimes I take them back again.
Sometimes I let them stay.
No matter what may happen
I am never far away.

So if you find an angel
and you don't know what to do,
remember, I am with you,
love is all I ask of you."

Monday, May 3, 2010






This is what happens when a child is left unattended on a school bus with her leftover lunch....Pasta anyone!?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ragen had her first official field trip today. They went to the zoo ALL DAY. I was a bit apprehensive, but I knew it was best for her and she would have fun. Her teacher is so good with her and I trust her. Ragen has such a strict schedule and regime at home that I was afraid of her being out of her element....lesson learned....TRUST! (But always follow up!) A letter from her teacher....just made my day!!!!!

Deanna,
Just wanted to give you an update on the day!! Ragen did great! She was so busy talking and loved the wind (hope it doesn't bother her ears). When she saw the giraffes she did the sign for the long neck and when she saw the elephant she did the long nose!!!!!!! So that just made my day and the speech therapist was jumping!!! She ate her lunch and said done before she ate it all so we did not push her. She had some crackers and drank her juice. Did NOT sleep on the way home...got kind of crabby so i changed her and left her pants and shoes and socks off (did not take her out of her car seat, in case you were wondering!!) and just sang songs and she quieted down. Then was happy the rest of the way home. I tried to send you a picture at lunch but it didn't seem to want to go through. We were so darn busy and they have the zoo so cut up right now that you have to do a lot of walking. Sure glad none of the kids were walking because I was exhausted and they would never have made it. Great day and a great day for you. Thank you for trusting me with your daughter.

Nancy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Special Drop of Love

A special drop of love was deposited in my womb with care
The unconditional love you give to me is so very rare
When you were born, Oh! What a glorious day!


I never knew there could be a love so strong
I am so blessed, because in my heart there is a song
A song of peace and assurance
A song of strength and endurance
When I look into your eyes, my heart feels your love
A Special Drop of Love came from heaven above


Your smile gives your face that special glow
Whenever you look at me, my love for you continues to grow
The Hugs! The Kisses!
These are moments of pure gold
They are treasures I have hidden deep within my soul
Many told me you would not make it this far
But look at you now, gleaming like a shining star
Every sound you make is like music to my ears
The look you give me helps wipe away my tears


Many have wondered, "Why me?"
I looked at you and wondered, "Don't they see what I see?"
Many have wondered, "What am I going to do?"
But when I look at you, I know I can make it through
Yes, I get tired sometimes and the tears begin to flow
But then you reach for my hand and that's when I know
That healing comes after the pain
And the sun comes after the rain


God trusted me with such a treasure
The joy I feel is beyond measure
As each day turns into night
I feel the strength to continue to fight
As each night turns into day I know that God hears every prayer I pray
My hopes and my dreams are far beyond me
Your encouragement and joy allows me to be free


A Special Drop of Love came from above
A precious little package for me to LOVE
I know I am strong and can conquer any trial
When I look in your face and see your smile
Ragen is off to school this morning with many smiles as she watches the bus approach our driveway. I'm now left with a little time to post some thoughts and refections that are on my mind this morning.

I was paging through my news feed on Facebook this morning (for those of you not on FB, it's a page that shows the postings of your friends...essentially what's the latest news in their lives) and I feel so blessed to have the friends that I have made because Ragen was born. The countless stories of moms with other children with down syndrome, their struggles, triumphs, losses due to death, their small little milestones that would seem trivial to a family with typical children, I am in awe. These stories are slowly revealing God's plan for me...He knew exactly what he was doing when he blessed me with His precious little girl. He gave me a second chance...and I will be forever grateful.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

kare11.com | Twin Cities, MN | Teacher abuse reporting bill moves forward at Capitol

kare11.com | Twin Cities, MN | Teacher abuse reporting bill moves forward at Capitol
God's message to us...

Yes there is a woman I will bless with a child 'less than perfect' She
doesn't realize it yet but she wil be envied. She will never take for
granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When
her child says Mama for the first time, she will be present at a
miracle and KNOW it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-
ignorance, cruelty, predjudice- and allow her to rise above them. She
will never be alone. I will be at her side everyday of her life
because she is doing my work.

Monday, April 26, 2010

In Memory of Carly

In Memory of Carly

Posted using ShareThis

Ragen getting in her chair all by herself!

Ragen walking

“HE HAS MADE EVERYTHING APPROPRIATE IN ITS TIME.” ECCLESIASTES 3:11 NAS

The Roller-Coaster Ride of Life

Giving up in mid-ride isn't an option - it's foolish! A depressed church member told his pastor, "I'm tired of trying. I've been down so long; I can't muster up the faith to believe God for deliverance anymore." The pastor said, "First, you can never justify quitting, because you have the Lord on your side. He won't quit on you, He promised He'll 'never leave you nor forsake you [so]...do not be discouraged' (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). Second, His Word says, 'If we believe not, He abideth faithful: He cannot deny himself' (2Timothy 2:13 NKJV). It's not just a matter of your faith; it's a matter of His faithfulness. When you can't seem to believe, instead of focusing on your faith in Him (or the lack of it), begin to focus on His faithfulness to you!" What great counsel for the roller-coaster ride of life. Now, let's add some more encouraging observations. Third, God doesn't owe us an explanation so we shouldn't look for one, but He promises us an exit. He "will with the [testing]...make a way to escape, that ye [might] be able to bear it" (1Corinthians 10:13 NKJV). Until He gets you out of it, He'll get you through it. Your part is to stay on the roller coaster. Fourth, He's producing good in all your circumstances. "And we know that all things work together for good to them...who are the called" (Romans 8:28 NIV). God puts pits and peaks together, and out comes your good. Fifth, while He does so, the Son and Spirit intercede with the Father for you, daily (Romans 8:26-32 and 34-39 NIV). With all that going for you, how can you fail to make it?

The longest version of the word "teletubbies". November, 2009

Ragen and the mirror. Summer, 2009

Melanie-Reece's Rainbow....I would love to make us her forever family...

MeApril 2010
"
Melanie
November 2008

Ragen creating havoc in her room

Precious Lera lost her family...

Lera Needs a Family!

Lera is a precious little girl and she is in urgent need of a family. If her face looks familiar, it should. She's been here before and had three families commit to her and now for the third time, that has fallen through.



This is what Andrea has said about Lera today:
Lera has yet again lost her committed family. There is no hope to save her from the institution at this point, but she can still be adopted, assuming the US delegation is able to convince the Russians to leave their program open to American families. Her grant is still over $10,000.

She CAN be adopted by Canadian families, if anyone out there is watching!

Because she has lost so many families, only home study ready families will be considered by her agency. No match can be made on the site until initial agency fees are paid. Very very sad day for our beautiful Miss Lera.




And Jill, from Reece's Rainbow's after adoption support group wrote this about her on her blog:

The basic idea is this: Lera is currently living in a baby house where she is treated like all the other children in the orphanage. They have three meals a day of barely passable quality, they play outside in a crummy little play area, they have a few toys, they nap daily, they probably go to the bathroom in a little plastic pot after each meal, scrubbed down with cold water 'baths' and they don't get lots of hugs.


Doesn't sound nice, does it? I may be slightly wrong about her exact experience, but that is what I saw at Alex's and Vera's orphanages.


It's a garden spot compared to what's coming for her. One day soon she will be plucked out of her little place in the world with no warning and no transition. She will go to sleep surrounded by the kidlets who have been her friends for years and awaken to a world filled with emaciated adults prone to strange outbursts, no playground, just a bed, meals occasionally, baths less occasionally, and caretakers who were overwhelmed with the endless needs of the variously handicapped residents years ago.


Alternatively, she could come to YOUR home. Do you see how much you have to offer her? Think of your home, with a soft bed for her, a warm, nutritious meal (yes, even a kid's meal with chicken nuggets and fries is better than what she had and what she's going to get), a warm bubble bath, medical care from your friendly pediatrician, a toilet that flushes (!), toys of her own, maybe even a baby doll or an stuffed animal. Best of all? YOU! A parent to hug her, bandage her scraped knee, fight for her educational rights in school, tuck her in each night when she's scared, play music so she can dance, give her a new name to call her own, give her a future with a family to catch her when she falls.


Believe it or not, the life you save will be your own.



To see if you qualify please CLICK HERE and read about the financial and other requirements for international adoption.

Please pray for Lera and if you or anyone you may know is able to be Lera's family, please contact Andrea Roberts, Director of RR