Sunday, February 24, 2013

{Stuck} An International Adoption Documentary

Have you heard about Stuck?  Watch this trailer. 

STUCK TRAILER from Both Ends Burning Campaign on Vimeo.
 From Both Ends Burning:
STUCK steps into the complex human experience of adoption, exploring the challenges faced by birth parents, prospective adoptive parents – and children.

STUCK PosterArt small 150x150 The Movie

The film follows Tihun from Ethiopia, Nate from Vietnam, and Erickson and Therline from Haiti on their individual voyages from orphanages in their native countries to their homes with families in the United States. Filmmaker Thaddaeus Scheel tracks the chapters in the lives of these four children, and the three couples seeking to be their parents, revealing along the way the intense hope and disappointment they experience on the odyssey to unite as families. Some stories are heartwarming, showing incredible examples of kids who blossom after joining their families, while others offer insight into the emotional and physical impact institutional life can have on these kids.
Through the lens of personal, real-life stories the film asks how the global community can take care of these children, safeguarding them from the very real dangers of child trafficking and corruption while also answering their need to move from institutions into loving homes and a normal life.
STUCK is a testament to the power of human love and the inexplicable connection between parent and child – even when separated by thousands of miles and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a love story of a different kind that celebrates the indefatigable human spirit, the loyalty and the devotion that bonds these parents and kids together as families.
Find out more about this movie, and find out how you can help.  It's showing in 60 cities in the next 3 months.  Pray that people will get involved, that change can happen, and that God would be glorified through this film.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Bebe!!

Happy Birthday Momma!
We love you very much!

It's your first birthday as a Bebe, and we want to celebrate ALL that makes you such an amazing person!

 Here are just a few things: 
  • You are very genuine.  
  • You love to laugh and can even laugh at yourself. 
  • You love to care for others. (You've been a mom, a red cross volunteer, a nanny and are now a caretaker for an elderly couple.) 
  • You love being a Mom! 
  • You love to travel!
    (You've been to Russia, England, France, other places in Europe, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Guatemala... and Israel soon!) 

  •  You like to have fun and be silly! (And to embarrass your daughters!)
  • You know someone everywhere you go!
  • You have never met a stranger. 
  •  You love animals, especially dogs.
  • You like guns (and just won a free gun at a gun show!) 
  • You're a good shot!
  •  You are a wonderful mother-in-law!
  •  You are a wonderful friend!
  • You are a loving daughter, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, niece, and aunt!  

Thank you for being such a beautiful example of a woman who loves the Lord and loves others so well!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Puzzle Piece Party Fundraiser!

I remember waking up two days after finding out we had a son and being intimidated by the remaining expenses.  But almost immediately after thinking about the remaining costs, God brought an idea to mind. 
We had seen the idea of a puzzle piece fundraiser in a few places (and also some variations on this idea, such as a 'block party'.)   And we felt that this was the way to go... a "Welcome Home Baby Boy Flagler Puzzle Party!"  I quickly calculated that we had $5,000 remaining so could do a 500 piece puzzle for $10 a piece. 

So, we created a fundraising page and shared the exciting news that we had been matched with a boy! 

The page read: We've just been matched with a Boy! He will (prayerfully) be coming home in January 2013. We cannot share many details at this time but are trusting God for the remaining $5,000 to cover his adoption.

We are having a "Welcome Home Baby Boy" Online Puzzle Party! We are asking for $10 donations, and for each $10 donation, we will put your name on the back of a puzzle piece. When each of the 500 pieces has a name on it, we will frame it and place it in Baby Boy's nursery. And, our funding will be complete!

Please include your mailing address in the comments so we can send a Thank You note! Thank you so much for helping us welcome home our son!

At the time, we couldn't share that he was already born... that during the time of this fundraiser, we MET HIM, we HELD HIM, we told him he is LOVED!  During our times in the waiting room, in between visiting with him, we would see emails of "so and so" has donated $xx amount to "Welcome Home Baby Boy Flagler".  I cannot tell you how special those emails were at the time. 

Each and every fundraiser we've done has been special.  This one was extra-special.  So easy, so meaningful, so perfect in the timing!  

THE DAY BEFORE Adoption Day, we celebrated that God had provided ALL of our adoption funds!  We were beyond excited!  This was my Facebook status, and you can see all of the feedback... 

Once we got home, we were excited to start on the puzzle... 

Friends and Family helped
Almost a month went by... we took a break once we caught Zoe eating a puzzle piece and realizing she had eaten more than one (we thought several at the time)...

2/13 all put together... and you can see the missing pieces...

But, thanks to Amazon, we found the same puzzle.
And now it's complete!!! 
$10 puzzle pieces x 500 puzzle pieces = $5,000!  A wonderful "Welcome Home" Party indeed!

P.S.  I always loved this puzzle, but then I found out that elephants are pregnant for 22 months.  Now I love it even more. :) 

First Month Home

Time is flying.  I gather from other friends' posts that this is normal, but wow... I do wish it would slow down.  We have now been home for a full month--as a family of 3, well 5 including the dogs.  

We have settled into a wonderful routine (for now) and are learning how to balance all things involved with this new life.  I'll let you know when we have it all figured out. ;)   

Matt and I were both able to be home for the entire first week.  We had lots of visitors, lots of meals from friends, lots of gifts, and lots of JOY!  We weren't even tired... just still euphoric over this tiny little blessing who is such a HUGE blessing!  

Matt returned to work one week after we got home, and I returned later that week as well.  We alternate work days so that one of us is always home with him.  This also means we alternate night-time feedings, so at least one of us gets a good night's sleep.  Matt works 4 days a week, and I work 3.  It has been WAY harder to leave Tyndall at home than I thought it would be.  I miss him during the day and often cry joyous tears when I get home to him.  I'm a nerd. 

It is so, so, so wonderful that Matt is such a wonderful, hands-on Daddy who feels comfortable and is competent enough to care for our mini miracle.  I LOVE seeing Matt with him and especially like catching them in their father-son moments when he thinks I'm not paying attention.  Watching Matt love our son has made me fall in love with him on a whole new level.  

Typically, on the days when Matt is working, Tyndall and I run errands, go to appointments and visit with friends.  Some days, I realize that we do too much, so I'm still trying to figure out how to balance being out and about and getting things done with resting and bonding and getting things done at home.  On the days when Matt is home with him, they do a lot of housework, napping, and watching cartoons and movies. 

Little Man has lots of nicknames and is developing his personality.  Overall, he's a very sweet baby and very easy-going.  He has recently started (right around the 6 week mark) looking clearly into our faces.  He also loves watching his mobile and the ceiling fan.  He likes his swing a lot and has recently noticed the toys hanging above the swing.  

As of Tuesday, he weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, so he has finally doubled his birth weight.  He still wears preemie diapers, but they are getting small.  He has outgrown (length-wise) most of his preemie clothes.  I can't believe his due date isn't even here yet.  I'm so, so thankful that he's here.  I'm so, so thankful for this last month!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy 28th Birthday Matt!

P.S.  You just got your diploma in the mail.  Congratulations!