5 Months Home.
I can hardly believe the girls have been home for 5 months. These months have been filled with doctors appointments. It can be a bit overwhelming with how often we have gone to the doctor. They both have had dental surgery, they both have had there tonsils and adenoids removed, they have both started therapy 2 times a week. We have our up's and downs, but one thing that is constant is that they are both blossoming. Oh my goodness my precious Gracie. She is a different child, she is no longer the self stimulating child who wanted to sit in the window for hours at a time. She is talking, imitating more and more words daily. She is eating big people food (chewing food), she is going to school everyday, she roams around the house going up and down stairs. She seems to get taller and taller every day. She is joyful and always laughing and giggling. It is so wonderful watching her interact with her brothers, they all love her so much.
Miss Bella has had many ups and downs over the past few months. After her tonsil were removed, we have spent a great deal of time at the doctors, including a stay in the hospital for dehydration. She is such a fighter, and she knows she has our love even through all of the sickness she has gone through.
I can say I am amazed daily by these two sweethearts, they bring our family and those around us nothing but joy. Every bit of stress that we went through to go get these two was completely worth it. We are loving life and cant wait to see what the next 5 months bring. I have watched as these two with proper love, and nourishment have blossomed.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I didn't know how to come here and post, so here it goes we are HOME!!!! Gracie, and Bella are our daughters and are loved so much. Dan brought the girls home on December 21st, 2012. Our trip for the most part was smooth, and everything in country went ok. There are so many things I want to share, but I just don't know where to start, or what to say. So today I will share progress. We traveled to our girls and it was love at first sight. We waited so long and it was pure bliss. My heart was torn to see the girls in the conditions that they were living in, especially Gracie. Gracie was in an institution and there is so much to say, and I promise I will go there another time. The brokenness you see in institutions, well I still don't have the words to tell you how it has impacted me and changed me forever. Today's post is really to show the changes that have been made in just a short amount of time being home. Really all I can say is I saw the hand of God in this adoption, and REDEMPTION!! ADOPTION is HARD, I don't really want to say it has all been easy. (Because easy is the last word I would us to describe it.) But look at the transformation in my girls in a few months and you will see why adoption needs to happen. These girls lives have been saved, and it isn't all easy once you get them home to family, but it is so so worth it. These are only 2 of millions of children who have broken spirits, living in neglect, and conditions that you can not even imagine, even if I told you. This haunts me on a daily basis, my two are out but so so many more are left behind and even I will go through my day sometime and forget with the daily time consuming life of raising 6 children. I don't want to ever forget, and watching my girls heal from life of living there for 6 years is precious, amazing, wonderful, maddening, and angering to me at times. 6 years of institutionalized life needs to be broken, and they have come so far, but it is really really hard.
When we met Bella she could not crawl, or walk. She would sit in a spot and not move, she would zone, and when handed a toy she only had enough fine motor skills to throw it. She was only eating from a bottle, she didn't have the ability to chew. She was very floppy, her legs and her arms were like jello. It was hard for her to sit on our lap without falling off. When we met her she pushed me away she preferred to be by herself. She would harm herself with biting and hitting. Bella is 6 years old, and in the photos she is wearing a dress that is size 24 months. However, during our visits we noticed Bella start to get bigger. We were feeding her daily when we would visit her, she started crawling, and was interacting with us more at each visit. While spending time with her in the orphanage she learned how to drink from a sippy cup, she learned how to laugh, she learned patty cake, how to clap, and wave hi. I was in awe to see my daughter come alive before my eyes, all from 2 hours of attention a day.
When we met Gracie, she was a little ball of energy, and I called her my little koala bear because if she can get you to pick her up, you are going to have to pry her off from you. She was so little, and thin. In these pictures Grace is 6 years old. She may have been tiny in stature but not in spirit. I really think that is how she made it a year being in the institution. She was constantly on the go, but if we interacted with her to much, she would have melt downs. She coped with too much, with self stimming behaviors. She constantly had her finger pressed hard into her eye, and her thumb in her mouth, and she rocked non stop. We didn't get to visit her as much as Bella because she was so far out from the city. However, after a few visits she knew we were coming because of the routine of getting ready for us. Leaving our visits and giving her back was the hardest thing I had to do while we were there. She needed out immediately.
Dan made the long journey home with our daughters on December 21st 2012. We were reunited as a family after I made a long trip across Nebraska to pick them up from the airport in a blizzard. Our family was together for Christmas. So much joy to this mama's heart. Joyously I took care of there every need. They were like infants in so many ways, but I love them where they are at, and do everything I can to make them feel secure in there new life.
The girls are doing so well, learning so much, and growing!!!!!!!!! I can not believe how tall they are, it almost seems physically impossible to me but they really are just shooting up, and getting taller.
Bella has learned 3 signs. She can sign eat, please, and more. She can say the word eat. She crawls all over our house, and usually makes her way to the laundry room because she likes the drier. She has a preference of toys and knows which ones are her favorite. She loves baths, and smiles non stop. She is such a JOY. She interacts and wants attention now. She is LOVED so much. She is making progress.
Gracie is doing so well since she has been home. She is a little fireball. She is so funny and always has us laughing so much. She came home and loved being in the sun. She would sit in the sunlight so much. She loves music, and hums tunes. She has learned 2 signs, eat, and please. She has learned how to chew, and feed herself. Her progress is slow but we have seen gains in 2 short months .Her balance is so much better now, and she knows she is LOVED. I keep telling myself down syndrome isn't a problem for her, if only down syndrome was the only issue. Her issues stem back to being left in an orphanage for 6 years, she has learned ways to cope with no love, and no interaction and it will take time to a lot of time to break through all of the institutionalization. We are making progress.
Today is 2 months home, and look at how great the girls look. I really believe that there lives have been saved. I am amazed daily, and thankful, and honored to be there mom. I am extremely blessed to call these two precious children my daughters. Our family is better because of them, who new how much two little girls could teach me in a matter of a few months. They are LOVED, and TREASURED forever.
Gracie Maria Cole
Bella Anastasia Cole
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
We have a date, we need to be in country on November 5th. We have plane tickets and will be leaving on the 2nd. Things are starting to fall into place. I never thought this day would come, it almost feels like a dream. So much has been thrown at us, and it feels good to know we persevered, we made it through even when there was little to no chance that we would. The Lord held my hand down a road that was painful, and asked me to do nothing but to have faith in Him. Yet, he opened the doors to allow us to go back down this road. I am so completely blessed to be here now. One last thing standing in the way of me and the girls. Please please share our need. I would be lying if I suggested I wasn't concerned. I'm concerned. But while being concerned I know it will work itself out. I have no more fundraisers nothing, nothing left. After readjusting what we need to be fully funded we still need 4475.00 in 15 days. That is 298.00 a day. I hold on to faith to get us through this as our tickets are here, our bags are packed and we are so so ready to bring home the girls. They have waited so long. While in country I will be updating on a group on facebook. If you would like to be included in that group let me know. It will tell of our journey, and have photos. I will leave you with recent pictures of them now. I humbly ask you to please pray, share, and donate to help them come home.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
My heart is heavy tonight with gratitude. I don't even know if I have the words to express how I feel. When I am overcome with emotion, my words always get twisted and I never seem to say adequately what I am thinking. Tonight I am just so so thankful. I know I have said it over and over again but really I am just astounded as to how others have helped us through this process. It was a humbling experience before to have people, strangers hand us money because they wanted to help us get our girls. However humbling and unbelievable it was before, it is even more so now. To think we were fully funded and almost traveled five months ago, to needing more to be able to travel again. It was hard before but this time it is even harder to ask others to help out. I am just so shockingly amazed every time someone thinks of us, and blesses us with a donation. Don't think your donations go unnoticed. They are appreciated and we rejoice everytime. I completely understand what our economy is like right now, and know that your gifts could be used somewhere else, yet you choose to help us, and everytime I think about it I get teary. I so don't deserve all of you shouting out to the world for our little (well soon to be big) family. We are just one ordinary family, nothing special about us. We don't live in a huge house, we don't drive fancy cars, we are even known to eat boxed macaroni and cheese a few too many times during the week. We are just a family that listened to the whispers of our God, who told us to go. I know that there is at least 1 of you out there that wants to do the same. Please don't wait any longer. Please make the choice to save another life. There are others that will support you, I will support you. Please I am asking you to ask yourself if you have room in your family to love just one more child. If the answer is yes, then adoption is doable, and so absolutely worth it.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
I don't really have anything profound to say. Today is a good day. We are submitted again. We will have a travel date soon. Girlies we are on our way soon. So blessed to be this far. Please check out our current fundraiser. If you have little girls, I have the coolest auction on facebook. Please check it out. So far there are 40 outfits new from Gymboree, all different sizes and I have made matching bows to go with each outfit. Come check it out here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gymboree-AuctionHair-Bows-Help-Nellie-and-Katelyn-come-Home/376569449078999