Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Amazing Kids!

Katie Grace
Abby Jean
Jack Ryan
Chloe Bea

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our Village..

A little bit about the my Village................ In the days after Chloe was born my two sisters, Kathy and Colleen went into full big sister mode. They had had the entire weight of world on their shoulders and they carried it so very gracefully. They took care of our other kids, made all the phone calls, kept the house cleaned, did the laundry but most importantly, they became the two official residents of "Our Village."

I remember laughing when Colleen told me that Kathy told her "It takes a village Coll!" I laughed because Kathy has always been the bossy one, we jokingly call her the Matriarch of The Sweeney kids. She's the planner, the one who lights all the fires under our six lazy behinds!

Kathy had no idea that the VILLAGE she started building in the rocking chair on my front porch God had already populated long long ago. He filled this VILLAGE with amazing family and friends that love us. He filled this VILLAGE with my "Sisterhood" sisters, that walk next to me on my journey with Chloe but most importantly he filled our VILLAGE with each one of YOU! The people that we may not ever meet but come to our blog every single day to pray with us. Pray for a baby girl thousands of miles away laying alone in a crib waiting for her family to bring her home!

I feel like I will never be able to thank all of you who have moved into our VILLAGE. I will however, be able to promise you that on that glorious day God places Olivia into my arms for the first time I will tell her all about the people that made huge sacrifices, moved into her VILLAGE and worked feverishly to bring her home! I love each one of you and I thank you for the bottom of my heart!

Jack (Olivia's big brother) and I are working on a great idea for a fundraiser and it involves actually building a home for Olivia in her VILLAGE! Check back soon for the details, it's gonna be fun!

Happy Memorial Day!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let me introduce myself...

It has been brought to my attention by my super critical sister Kathy, that my last post "lacks the proper introduction of the main characters in the story." So let me start by saying that my life truly did begin on a rainy September day in Chester Vermont. The day that I married the most incredible man in the world, my best friend, Lee Roy! (yep that is honestly his middle name)

In the 16 years that Lee and I have been married I'd have to say that our most awesome accomplishments are the five beautiful children God blessed us with. Our Oldest, Katie Grace is 14 and starting her first year of High School in August. Leeann is next in line, she is 12 and going into 7th grade. Abby Jean is 11 and starting her fist year of middle school. Jack Ryan is 8 and has just successfully
completed 2nd grade (thank goodness!) Last but SO not least is our precious baby girl, Chloe Beatrice. Chloe Bea was born in July of 2010 and she brought with her an extra chromosome that has rocked our world in ways that we could never find the words to explain. She was walked to the gates of Heaven by Jesus himself and when he kissed her and sent her on her way she took with her enough joy, peace and happiness to spread across the world till the end of time. She is the light of our world and I thank God daily for allowing me to be her Mother. I will save her birth story for another late night and big bottle of wine!

I knew the night that Chloe was born that God had huge plans for my life. I would have never imagined that that those plans included a trip to an orphanage in Eastern Europe. I realize that those of you who know me are shocked because I am far from adventurous when it comes to traveling, but I would go to H...E... double toothpicks and back for one of my children! Sweet Olivia is my child and I have never been so excited about a trip before in my life! I may as well be going to Hawaii!

How'd I do Kath?

Monday, May 23, 2011

And So It Begins...

Our journey to Olivia truly began in our hearts on a hot August afternoon at our very first Down syndrome function in down town Sacramento. Many things happened that day... Let me start by saying that I really didn't want to go... At all! Thankfully, Lee pushed and I eventually gave in. As I look back on that day I remember walking in and bursting into tears (which as many of you know wasn't out of the ordinary for me at that time.) It was a beautiful,joyful sight!  It was as if we pressed the fast forward button and saw our beautiful Chloe, running around with her friends like the crazy  princess I know she will someday be. We felt so much peace, like we had just walked into Heaven.. The kids were nervous at first but it didn't take long for Jack to find the game room and the girls to meet friends and really start settling into what will become their new lives!  I love being able to look through Gods eyes and feel what he was feeling that day. He had planned this moment and it was working out beautifully! He lead me straight into the arms of my "Sisters", the women that will become, honestly, the most important people in my life. These incredible women know a part of me that no one else ever will.. It's so simple, they know what it's like to have a baby with Down syndrome. We share the same fears, the same shock, the same disbelief more importantly we all share the same JOY, the same LOVE, the same PRIDE, the same HAPPINESS, the same BEAUTY...  See a pattern here?? I'm leaving out so many adjectives, I actually don't think there is enough in the world to describe our beautiful children. Probably the most important part of Gods big plan for us happened when the beautiful Sofia Sanchez came out of the music room in her proud Papa's arms..  I was so drawn to her.  Now I know why!  She was the grandest of his plans that day I'd say!  We headed out shortly after that and on the way home my daughter Katie told us that she had heard a conversation  about how Sofia was adopted from Ukraine.. The seed was planted!  Awesome job Sofia....In the months after that, every night I would tuck all my babies in bed, jump on the computer, log immediately onto Reece's Rainbow.  I had all my  special little Angel babies that I would check on.  I would look for any movement in their funds and I would just ... cry..... and I would pray and I would whisper to each of them that they mattered and that I loved them.  Very often I would get so angry with God!  It is such a test of my faith.  I do have to be honest with myself. Even today I questioned God and asked him why do these babies have to suffer why does it have to be so difficult? I'm waiting for his answer and I know it will come. 

The Saturday before Mother's day, while on my daily/hourly (shhhh) check on Reece's Rainbow there she was, Olivia, a four month old baby girl with Down syndrome that was left by her parents in the hospital simply because she has an extra chromosome..  My heart broke...  Leeann and I were sitting together and we both knew she was ours! I turned the computer around and I showed Lee.  He, for the first time actually took the computer out of my hands and looked at her picture. (He's NEVER done that before, and I've shown him hundreds before Olivia.)  We went to church on Mother's day and listened to the wonderful Missy Vaughn (one of my Sisters) share her story about her beautiful son Logan and their journey with his diagnosis. It was up there with one of the best Mother's days ever.... Missy ended her emotional sermon with a slideshow and an equally emotional plea for all the orphans of Reece's Rainbow  She introduced another Sister of ours to the congregation, Hansina, along with her husband Mark and their gorgeous adopted baby boy John David.   Poor Lee, it was over for him at that moment and he knew it..  Hansina and Mark have been called once more to save the life of another child, precious Lydiah. Mark stood up and poured his heart out and there wasn't a dry eye in that church, including my big, tough police officer of a husband.

Later that night, after the kiddos were all tucked in Lee finally said the words that I've been waiting for 10 months to hear, "Let's go get her." 

Ladies, don't ever give up on your husband if he's not on your same page in this adoption novel..  I'm telling you I would have NEVER thought in a million years that Lee would jump on my bandwagon..  Not only has he jumped on and buckled his seatbelt , my amazing husband has grabbed the steering wheel and completely rerouted our journey across the world to bring our baby girl home!

And so it begins....  Our mission......  Operation Olivia (as Jack calls it)  We are just beginning and I know that we have a very long, hard and incredibly expensive road to travel but we are blessed with amazing friends and the BEST families anyone could ever ask for and we know that we are not alone on this trip!

The cost for our particular adoption will be about $27,000.  It seems unachievable , I know but we will raise every penny through blood, sweat and tears and the best part is that most of you reading our blog will be right behind us every step of the way!  Please share our story with anyone who will listen.  Our biggest dreams go far beyond the day Olivia Mae lands on American soil.  We hope to be an inspiration other families who may think that this is an impossible feat, to that person who says "Why just save one?"  We want Olivia Mae to live as the perfect example of how totally amazing just that "one" can be!

I will keep you all posted with every detail on this extremely curvy road. Keep your eyes open for some fundraisers.  We are in brainstorming mode now.  If you have ANY ideas please let me know.

Sorry for the long winded post.....  They won't all be this long I promise..