"I prayed for this child and the LORD has granted me what I asked of Him" 1Samuel 1:27

Friday, December 24, 2010


The kids are all gathering at the house and soon our Christmas celebration will officially begin. But before i sit back and enjoy the sounds of laughing AND fussing, and all the chaos and fun that goes with  having 7 kids and 2 spouses plus 1 almost spouse and 1 more "we hope to be spouse!" (thats ELEVEN KIDS!!!), i wanted to take a second and throw this out one more time. For some of THESE kids, its too late to be a forever family for them THIS CHRISTMAS.......but.......if we start now, they could be home by NEXT CHRISTMAS .........that is IF they are still alive.  I just know that if you could ask them......and they could tell you........they would say this........ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A FOREVER FAMILY.    

 These are just a few that tug at my heart. There are many more.
Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and praying these little guys can hold on until someone goes and brings them home.


As i sit here reflecting on today, my vision is not very clear. The "whys" of life sometimes do that to me. Tonight two of the kids and i made Christmas cookies and just had a fun time. We had Christmas music going and for the first time this season, i began to feel some Christmas spirit. I know, call me Scrooge, but its been hard for me to get there this year. But, as we were doing our cookies and having a good time, i couldn't help but feel somewhat guilty. My mind kept going to the ones who were not celebrating joyfully tonight. My mind kept going to the services we had just come from where two families lives were forever changed by the death of their son, brother, husband, grandson, son-in-law, nephew, friend.  And when i would think of this, my vision would get blurred. How could this happen? Why him? Why are they having to go through this? Why now Lord, he was fixing to be a dad, why now???? I have no answers for those questions. But i do know Someone who does. This was given to me at one of those times when the "whys" of life tried to take me down. Did it take my hurt and pain away??.........no..........but then, and every time i see this in my bible to this day, it reminds me that i don't have to know the "whys", i don't have to understand.........i just have to believe..........and i do. Praying for the Urbanczyk and Welch families today and in the days to come.
Some things that come
into our lives
and some things that are taken out,
we do not understand,
But someday we shall
sit at His dear feet
and read the tender meaning
and praise HIM.....praise HIM.

"Now we see through a glass, darkly,
but then face to face."

Sunday, December 19, 2010


December 18, 1986......i remember it just like it was yesterday. i can't believe its been 24 yrs.

That day started out like any other day, but by mid morning, it was a day like no other. i was at work when i got the call.  On the other end of the line, after saying hello, i heard this, "kim, its r.s., did i catch you at a bad time??,"........i say,"nnnnno"(as my heart is about to beat out of my chest!) and then i hear those words.....those sweet, long awaited words......."well, we have a precious little boy for you all!"......OMGosh!!!! i just start bawling and running down the school halls telling everyone i saw! "We have a little boy, we have a little boy!!!!"   Wow,.....how was that for an early Christmas present!!!  See what you think........
Casey Joseph 10-10-86
MY SON 12-18-86
Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but nevertheless,
still MY OWN
Never forget for a single
minute you weren't born
under my heart but in it.

Lord, thank you for the one that chose the option of ADOPTION  and thank you for allowing me to raise this boy who has grown into a wonderful young man. i love you casey joe. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I bet Cole says that between 5 and 10 times a day to me. (OCD at its best!) Bless his heart, he reminds me daily that we CAN pray for anything and everything. It doesn't matter when or where or for who..... if he feels the need or the want to, we JUST DO IT!!. Now, i have to admit that i'm not always totally comfortable (i'm more of a private prayer if you know what i mean) in public to just stop and pray for somebody but this child of mine is..........and i have been humbled by his spontaneousness more than once or twice i assure you!) so if he says we need to pray, then by golly, we will.  So, this morning when we went out of the house to go to school, another one of our kitty cats was gone. T.J. disappeared last week (we have a bobcat that lives down the road.......not good....) and when Simon, who was here last night but gone this morning, didn't show up to eat, well, i knew the ole bobcat probably had him for a midnight snack. Simon was MY cat and i just wanted to cry. Of course Cole just said, "WE NEED TO PRAY." Me of course said, "Cole i don't think thats gonna do much good honey, i think he's gone just like T.J" But, he prayed anyway, and I joined in just to go along with him.(oh me of little faith!)

Well........after Cole got home from school today, he called me at work and this is what i heard:
"well kim, THE LORD DID GOOD!!! guess who show up at our house??? SIMON!!!!


    " and all things you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive"

thanks cole, for always giving me just what i need.   i love you to the stars and back!!

Monday, December 13, 2010


GOD ON THE MOUNTAIN IS STILL GOD IN THE VALLEY...........for this i am thankful.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I was watching TV last night when Rick said, "Gavin has been adopted????" and i replied, " no, i don't think so." (Gavin is the little boy whose picture is sitting on my kitchen window sill. The one that i see many times a day and wished many times that i was his mom) Anyway, then he, "Brady too, they both have families!" I quickly got up so i could see for myself. Sure enough, there it was, the SHOUTING FOR JOY post by julia. Of course i cried "happy tears"(for cole)  I don't know any details yet but can hardly wait to find out who is going for them. Both of these boys tugged on my heart BIG TIME.  Word is out......people are listening........God is GOOD.  Please, if you are reading this.... pass this on to someone you think might be
interested in learning about the plight of these kids.  Theres many ways to help out. Go to Reeces Rainbow and see what you can be a part of.  Here are TWO MORE LIVES SAVED from a future of nothing.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I borrowed this post from Julia. She and her husband brought home 6yr.old Aaron from EE a few months ago. He had been transferred to this mental institute from one of the baby houses. Julia has several first hand accounts of this institute. Go to her blogspot to understand what it is really like for these kids. This is her post for today.

We live a harried life.  Running here, there and everywhere.  We work, take our kids to this activity, then that activity, rush to meetings, juggle schedules and cook, clean and work side-jobs in our spare time.  We rarely have time to do Nothing.

     We love doing Nothing.  A day where we have no appointments, no meetings and no places where our children have to be.  An evening where we can stay at home, curl up as a family with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie.  An afternoon where we can take a walk or play in the yard.  Nothing.  Nothing so that we can do what we find pleasurable.  Reading a book, building a puzzle, playing a game.  Nothing has warm connotations, happy thoughts.  Nothing is what we live for as a family. 

For us, in America, Nothing means Everything.

For the Lost Boys and Girls, Nothing means NOTHING

This is what NOTHING looks like for the Lost Boys at Aaron's former institute.  This was Aaron's Nothing.  A shed with Nothing in it but carpets and benches.  Nothing. 

On warm days, 20 plus boys will be led to this shed.  20 plus boys will go inside this shed.  A bench will be placed across the door so that they will not be allowed to leave.   Then, those 20 plus boys will do nothing.  They will sit inside that shed.  They will sit.  They will rock.  They will cry out.  They will moan.  They will stare at the walls.  They will hit each other.  They will hit themselves.  They will sit.  They will sit.  They will wait.  After hours of sitting they will get to leave for another shed, to eat.  They will be forced to eat quickly so that they can be led back to this shed.  To do Nothing.  In the afternoon they will be led to their rooms.  They will be made to lay down on their beds.  For hours they will lay on those beds.  Some will sleep to escape.  Others will lay and do Nothing.  Staring at the walls, ceiling - staring at Nothing.  When it is time to get up, they will go back to their shed.  Again, to do Nothing. 

On rainy days, or cold days, they will stay in their buildings.  They will not leave those buildings.  They will not venture downstairs or get to visit the other boys in the other buildings or even in the other part of their building.  No.  They will stay in their section.  They will sit in the sitting room.  It is as empty as the shed.  Benches and carpets.  They will sit.  They will sit and they will do Nothing.  They will rock.  They will moan.  They will hit each other.  They will hit themselves.  They will sit.  They will wait.  They will stare at the four walls.  They will do Nothing.

Once in a while, on weekends, they will get to hear music.  The bigger boys will get to do jobs.  Some jobs that are heart-breaking.  The best behaved boys will get to kick a deflated ball sometimes.  Sometimes a stick can be found for drawing in the dirt.  Sometimes they will even let a child or two play in the sand pile that is often used as a toilet.  Sometimes.  On really rare days, when visitors come, they may even get out a hidden toy or two.  Rarely.  Most of the time, they do Nothing.

Nothing for the Lost Boys and Girls in Eastern Europe means Nothing.

Two worlds.  Our Nothing.  Their Nothing.  Can we just sit by and do Nothing?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


This is what my Cole says as he watches the kids playing basketball. He learned several idioms at school but this is the only one that stuck with him. He says this mostly at games but on occasion he has said it here at home. I can't remember exactly what I was doing the other day but i guess i was showing some frustration at whatever it was and i just remember him saying, "Kim, you want to throw the towel????" He wanted to know if i wanted to give up......was i wanting to quit. Honestly, i don't remember about that day. But i know about the last several days. And yes Cole, i want to throw the towel.

Ever been there???? Just totally frustrated with everything. Husband, kids, siblings, your work, husbands work, finances......LIFE.......


Ahhhhhhh, life.......the one where i wake up in the morning in my nice warm comfortable bed, next to a kind and loving person. the one where theres a good hot pot of coffee and whatever i want to eat for breakfast. the one where i can get the kids up and get them ready for school, put my arms around them and tell them i love them and then send them on there way. the one where i have a washer and dryer to do loads and loads of clothes that we really don't need. the one where i can feed the dogs and cats and love on them while doing it. the one where i can sit down and enjoy my cup of coffee and see what is happening in the world around me. the one where i can get in my car and drive to the job i have. the one where i get off work at 3 and have time to go to the grocery store and buy whatever food i want, for whenever i want it. the one where i  get to eat a hot supper, and talk to the family i have. the one where i have a hot shower each night and that warm comfortable bed to crawl into. the one where i have loving arms to wrap around me anytime i want them or need them. LIFE.......LIFE..........i really have it tough, huh.


Forgive me Father when i think i have it tough. Continue to break my heart for the things that break Yours.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit, and thats just not me. I always look so forward to this season. I love the music, I love the lights, I love getting the REAL tree and decorating it, I love all 7 kids plus 2 spouses (and 1 almost spouse) being home at the same time, and I love watching Cole having so much fun with his most favorite time of the year. But this year i just can't get past the heaviness, the burden i guess you could say, that i feel in my heart for these kids that i can't get off my mind. I even said to Rick the other night that i wish He (the Lord) would just take all of this away from me. Take away my caring and my passion for them, just let me forget about them. Then the guilt hit me that i could even think that......much less actually say it. Bottom line is.....i want to ACT on my feelings. i want to jump in with both feet. i want to take another leap of faith. For me the question of what should we do or what would God tell us to do has already been answered over and over. Some say i should be content with the fact that i did act 15 yrs.ago when i brought Cole home from Lithuania. That somehow that should exempt me from feeling led to do this again. But it doesn't. The past 15 years i have never once forgotten or not thought about doing this again. But to be honest, there was no way then and i knew that. Having Cole has been life changing. Not just for me but for others in my family too. The blessings he has brought to us are unmeasurable. BUT, it has not all been easy. It has been physically, mentally and emotionally draining at times. When he was younger it was especially hard and many times i found myself sitting in the kitchen floor in tears. (don't know why the kitchen?!!) But let me tell you, it never failed that just when i would break, this little boy would come to me and sometimes only sit beside me and take my hands in his and cry with me, while other times he would crawl into my lap and wipe away the tears rolling down my face and also the tears rolling down his own. I will never forget the night that, after having several rough days and nights, i was at my wits end. I lost my temper with him, yelled, spanked, shook him and put him in his room and then collasped in the floor crying. Now my mom had always told me that God would never give you more than you could handle and this had always proven true for me, but i was beginning to really question mom AND the good Lord on this particular matter. But as i sat there trying to figure out HOW I was going to manage this child by myself for the rest of my life......God showed up.  Really, He did, in the form of a little blonde haired boy. Cole came in and looked at me and began to cry again. He got in my lap and in a broken sentence, he said, " i sorry..............Jesus die cross for me...you", and then he smiled, hugged me and off he went to finish his numbers. Just minutes before this, I sat there wondering how i was going to do this.........raise and manage this mentally, emotionally challenged child and keep my sanity. And in walks Cole and answers it for me........by way of the cross.......thats how. The same God that started this journey and put he and i  together, was going to see he and i through each and every day. And He has. Being Cole's mom has gotten easier as he has gotten older and he can now understand and better control some of the challenges that he faces on a daily basis. We now live where he has space to run around and play and not have the distraction and lure of things that caused some of his problems.  Maybe thats why this heaviness, this burden i feel is happening again, now. I think God knew my hands were full for a long time. But now i'm at a place in my life where i could do this again. My older kids say i'm too old, and i have to admit i have also questioned that. But my heart doesn't feel old.......my heart feeels heavy because of the plight of these special needs orphans but it also is full of love and it wants to be shared with one more of "the least of these."  Will it happen???? Well, i'm workin on it! But for now, i'll advocate for them, i'll send what money i can (only if its $5) and i'll pray without ceasing......i'll pray that if not me again........then maybe you. Maybe you will be the one to go for Brady, or Heath, or my little Gavin.  Take God's adventure.......get out of your comfort zone and say "YES".............it will be the most rewarding yes you will ever say. I promise.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


As i am writing this post, Gavin has 590 dollars in his Angel Tree fund for his adoption. My friend Julia is his Christmas Warrior and is trying to raise $1000 for his account. I have given, she has given and others too.  I know what time of  year it is and i know money doesn't grow on trees.(at least not in goree, tx!) but i also know that if Gavin had $20,000 in his account, his chances of finding a forever family would increase greatly. $5 dollars here and there can make a big difference for this little boy. To the right of this post there is a place where you can donate. Its safe, its quick and it could amount to BIG things for this little guy. I thank you, Julia thanks you and if Gavin could........he would thank you too.

Monday, November 29, 2010


A few weeks back, i posted something from a bloggin friend who just returned with their son from an EE institute. Julia and her husband spent 6wks. in Aarons country and witnessed day in and day out the lives these boys lived. This is not an easy read but it is the truth and it is necessary to get this out to as many readers as possible. WE can make a difference. Its what we are suppose to do. Please read this and search your heart to see if YOU could help.

There is more to the story of The Sad Reality. I didn't want to write it, and just by thinking about it, I am already slipping into a funk that only God can heal. But the story needs telling. So here it is: The Sad Reality, Part Two.

We walked the mile to and from Aaron's institute sixty-five times before we were finally allowed to cart him away to freedom. Sixty-five times we entered those shoddy gates and trod those uneven walks. Sixty-five times we struggled to accept the sights, sounds and smells of a hidden world that shook us to the core. Sixty-five times we walked, watched and grieved.

It is difficult to describe the despair I felt every day as we passed a shed filled with boys who had absolutely nothing to do. It filled me with grief when some of them cried out, "Mama!" hoping that I could offer them the same escape I was offering Aaron. It was hard to process this world, in which survival of the fittest reigned and played out every day between boys of widely varying sizes and ages-- a world in which hitting, fighting and abuse is normal and goes largely unchecked. Beyond that, how could we face the reality of the hidden boys, the ones we only glimpsed, the ones whom we knew lay behind closed doors in their cribs-- silent, lonely, attention-starved, stiff, far beyond any hope of release-- dying?

We couldn't. We just walked back and forth to and from the institute, holding hands, supporting each other, joking about anything we could find, scheming about our blog posts, biding our time until the wheels of bureaucracy turned far enough to allow us to go back to our safe, predictable world with Aaron in tow.

Aaron's institute housed older boys from a wide area of his country. So far as we know, only a few had any family in town, and only about two or three of these had any visits during our time there. Because of this, his institute wasn't well set up for visitors. There were no indoor visiting rooms at all, and for outdoor visits there was only one designated area: a painted steel gazebo with rotting wooden benches, situated just outside the administration office's door.

Aaron quickly got tired of this gazebo. After a year of confinement, he was ready to explore, and we were his passport to freedom. For our part, we preferred the gazebo. It was our assigned visiting area, the only place anyone ever really gave us permission to be. We were safe there. No dogs bothered us there, and no one shooed us away there. Each time we followed our wandering fugitive out of that gazebo, we knew that we were setting ourselves up for trouble. And we did get into trouble, more than once.

We finally reached a compromise with Aaron. We gravitated toward a neutral spot at the center of the institute, a sort of crossroads from which we could see nearly everything that was happening there. We could see the main gate, so we wouldn't miss the arrivals and departures of the institute's vehicles-- in Aaron's opinion the most important events of any day. We could see the dining sheds in which the boys took meals and snacks (picture below, at Rob's back). And we were on the paths by which all three groups of outdoor boys reached these sheds, so we could watch and join their parades to and from meals. Just down the path (to Rob's right) was the shed filled with the moaning boys, the lowest-functioning of the outdoor boys. Beside us was the building in which they slept. We didn't really like being there, but Aaron was happy there, and at least when we were there no one could accuse us of spying.


And so the crossroads became our new home at the institute. By accident or design, we received an unspoken, tenuous permission to spend three hours every day at the center of a secretive facility. We saw nothing of what went on behind closed doors, but everything that happened in the open, we saw. That's how we came to see the second part of our sad reality.

In that lowest functioning group of outdoor boys, there were three older ones whom we got to know. They had a job carrying things back and forth from their shed area to their building, strange benches with multiple holes, so we saw them every day. All three were precious. One laughed and called out to Aaron and to us with glee every time he passed. His vocabulary was limited, but he always spoke with gusto. His legs were bent at odd angles, and one was much longer than the other, so he hobbled up and down the path each day; but he always laughed and clapped his hands, filled with joy. The second was silent, lost in his own world. He stared at us from a distance and gave us crooked smiles. The third was a sweet angel with Down Syndrome. He was short, bowlegged and as gentle as can be. Alone of the three, this one would wander over to spend time with us. He gently handled and played with Aaron's toys. He spoke to us softly. He was a perfect gentleman in his behavior. Unfortunately, in his person he was anything but gentlemanly. His smell was overpowering, and when he offered his hand for us to shake, we could see why: his hands were stained with excrement.

At first we assumed that he simply didn't know how to take care of himself. We also assumed that the caretakers gave older boys like him much less help in taking care of themselves than they gave the younger ones. It wasn't really surprising that a boy of his age and in his condition would need a bath.

But later, we began to understand that all three of these boys were dirty every day. And we knew that Aaron's institute had a good staff that wouldn't put up with filth. One day, every boy at that institute got new clothes in preparation for a visit from a psychiatric professional, but these three boys were still dirty. It took us forever to understand, finally, what was happening: The mysterious things the boys were carrying every day were potty benches. These boys were washing out potty chairs every day and moving the benches back and forth from the building to the shed. They were responsible for cleaning up after 20 boys every day, probably twice per day. They were the boys from "the picture," all grown up and graduated to the next logical step in their sad existence.

We already knew that the older boys performed essential jobs there. Aaron's institute was poor, and needed every available resource. They had to put the boys to work. We had seen some carrying water from the outside well, carrying laundry and setting tables in the sheds before meals. The luckiest ones worked with the hired caretakers on the grounds, bringing in food or keeping things neat. The unluckiest, our three friends, scrubbed the potty chairs. They did their job with an innocent willingness that brought tears to our eyes. And they carried the marks of their job everywhere they went, in the form of filth that in their circumstances was just too hard to remove.

Why do I share this? Why is poop so important? Because of the indignity of their situation. There is nothing wrong with requiring the boys to work; in fact, it is probably a benefit for most. But for these three sweet boys to end up in this sad situation, doomed to hold the least desirable job at the institute for who knows how long, is just deeply sad. It lowers them to subhuman status. As we said before, their plight is a result of poverty, not of neglect. Those caretakers do the best they can with what they have, and they work hard. Where there are no plumbing facilities for so many boys, someone must scrub potty chairs. The only practical way to solve the problem would be to remove these boys from their untenable situation. They simply shoudn't be there in the first place. If so many boys were not cast off at birth, doomed for life to impoverished institutions, then no one would have to scrub potty chairs for 20 boys at a time. If more people in their country and ours would open their homes to these children who have been orphaned through no fault of their own, then no one would have to suffer degradation like this. If the nutty bureaucracies of their country and ours didn't set up so many hurdles in the adoption track, then more of these poor kids could find homes and families of their own.

Nearly every child in the Eastern European orphanages (baby houses) who has a mental or physical disability is transferred to an institution like Aaron's by the age of four, five or six. All are stowed away in these underfunded institutes, in villages far off the beaten path. They receive no education and no therapy, so they make no progress. They will live and die at these places or the even worse adult institutions that await them.  They have little to no hope of ever leaving. It is their sad reality.

And as long as they live in such places, the unlucky ones will get demeaning jobs like these. When we finally realized what was going on, our next thought was that this would probably be Brady's fate. He fits the profile. If no one rescues Brady, then he may very well spend his days scrubbing potty chairs and carting benches-- when he could be doing so much more. Poor Brady. How sad to have so little hope for the future when you're only six.

That's why we're still shouting about all of this months down the road. It's why we often find ourselves discussing, agonizing, praying and struggling with our memories and stories.  It's why we want the church to march into these places.  Where the church has entered, there have been life-giving changes for the boys and girls inside these institutions. We need the church to march into Anani*v. We have no idea how it will happen, or when. We are two very small people with a bit of knowledge and little else. We don't know where to turn. We cry out again and again for God to send families for Brady and Heath. We can't believe that God would open those gates for us, leave us there far longer than need be, show us all of this hurt and then leave the situation forever unchanged.

All we know to do is pray, advocate, yell, holler, scream and shout. It takes a lot of time, and it's exhausting.  Sometimes it seems pointless and fruitless. But those poor boys need a voice. They need someone to cry out for them. The Lost Boys of Anani*v need to be found.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Please....we need you

This is Marina and Yuri.......they want and need a family so bad........could it be yours??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010





Monday, November 22, 2010


The Ukrainian legislature is in the process of voting on a bill that would suspend all intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements with them. This includes the United States. The bill passed a first reading and vote, but must still pass a second reading and be signed into law by the president. News is that the second hearing and vote will come the week of DECEMBER 14-17. It is also understood that if it passes, it will include suspension of all adoptions in progress.
The entire situation is complicated and messy. A bilateral agreement is a good thing in the long run but the way the bill is written adoptions would stop until the agreement is worked out and that could take months or yrs. and bottom line is many of these kids don't have months or years. Just afew weeks ago a Reece's Rainbow family brought home a precious little 7yr. old girl and she weighed only SIXTEEN POUNDS. She had been drugged in her crib to keep her calm. The doctors on our side of the ocean cried when they saw her. She didn't have months or years. Right now there are families IN COUNTRY, with their kids, waiting for court dates and holding their breath that they receive their court dates BEFORE this vote. Others have all their paper work in and are waiting for travel dates. They too are holding their breath that they get to their kids before this vote. Many families and many childrens lives are riding on this bill. So, i am asking that you
mark this date on your calendar and every time you see it PRAY.
Pray for the families who are sacrificing so much to get these kids out in time. Pray for the men who will be voting for the bill that they will have the grace to consider the "least of these" in their country- both the special needs and the harder to place older kids- that they would spare their lives and futures by placing into bill, wording that would allow adoptions to continue while they continue to work towards a better system for all. Pray that God will move in their hearts like He has moved in the hearts of the families who are trying to get these kids out of these institutes. PRAY PRAY PRAY!!
The little ones below ALL HAVE FAMILIES WHO WANT THEM. These kids are being affected RIGHT NOW. Their families are on their knees. WE can join them and pray these babies home.