Monday, April 30, 2012

The Ripple.....

I want to thank you all for the total outpouring of love and support on my last blog post... After our visit last night, my faith was sent into a true spiritual struggle. There is honestly no way I could comprehend how God could allow children to live and die on this earth without ever knowing the love of a family. The post was a therapeutic outlet for me to try and make sense of all the emotions spiraling out of control in my head.
I completely understand the pain and sorrow many of you felt as you scrolled through the pictures of the beautiful children from Olivia's orphanage. Being here, living it, looking into their eyes is something that I will carry in my heart forever. Yesterday I was defeated. For the first time during this process I felt insignificant. Yes, rescuing Olivia has made a change in this universe and I would go through this labor of love a million times over again to save her life. And YES, "It did make a difference to this one.". Tonight, I have an issue with that statement! I'm guilty of using that famous "Starfish" quote over and over again, I am! I do agree with it, but the ripple effect isn't traveling fast enough!! People need to start picking up some bigger rocks to throw in. Rocks that they never thought in a million years they could ever find the strength to carry!
I have received so many emails and messages about the sweet boy from my blog post yesterday, I can't even answer them all! Here's the thing.....This beautiful angel is no more deserving of a Mama and a Papa than any other fatherless child on this earth! God simply worked through him yesterday to shake up my perfect life and open my eyes to world I only pretended to know about. He succeeded, my eyes are wide open now! Many of you are feeling led to adopt him and that makes my heart swell. I am doing all I can trying to find out who he is and if in fact he is actually adoptable. If you are feeling led to this little boy, maybe just maybe, God is trying open your eyes too.... Please allow yourself to look beyond what has been placed in front of you.
Almost a year ago to the day we found Olivia. Believe me when I tell you that we picked up and fell in love with many a starfish before finding her.... I fell in love with (at last count) 12 babies prior to committing to Olivia and each and every one of them is already or are in the process of coming home!! Moral of my rambling is that there are so many faces blessing the pages of Reece's Rainbow ( that are completely available and waiting for their forever families. Open your eyes to the possibilities and what you will find at the end of this rainbow will make you a millionaire a thousand times over!
If any of you want to chat with me about our incredible journey or have specific questions about adoption please do not hesitate to contact me. This is the most amazing experience in my very sheltered life and I'm so honored that GOD CALLED ON ME. My wish is to inspire someone else to pick up the biggest boulder they can and throw it in that pond. Before you know it that one ripple will flood the world, get it?
Gotta end the post with a picture of the most beautiful ripple in the world!!

Here's a couple more from the other day.... We don't do wardrobe changes yet, that'll come soon:)

Is she not just perfection????
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

A little heartbreak today...

I got a little taste of what so many Mama's that have gone before me went through. Today at our visit the orphanage was a buzz with people! There were several local families visiting their "perfect" soon to be adopted children. There were also many children with their nannies out playing in their groupa. It was a beautiful day and for the first hour of the visit, life in our tiny world with our amazing little princess was absolutely dreamy. My happy bubble was quickly popped when this precious baby boy in nothing more than his underwear came over to us. He was COVERED in bug bites and scratches all over his poor little body. What came next will truly haunt me forever. He put his tiny hand gently on my knee, looked into my eyes and asked, "Mama?" I've escaped this heartache for three weeks and I so wish (selfishly) that I escaped it forever:( Lee actually caught the exact moment on camera and it's a good thing that my face wasn't in the picture because I was sobbing...

I don't know his name or even why he's been left alone in this cruel world but his beautiful face and his angelic voice is forever embedded in my soul... He knew why we were there. He may be only 3 years old but he knew that we were there to be Olya's Mama and Papa and not his. Look at the complete sadness in his face!!I am having such difficulty processing all this grief, imagine what this sweet boy goes through every day that goes by and no one comes to visit him, to hold him, to love him... I'm devastated tonight.

Don't get me wrong this orphanage is a beautiful place filled with amazing people that love these children, but they can only give so much. I know that They feel the inadequacy of this place and I admire their strength. It must take a whole lot of faith to be able to walk out of there every night and forget.

Let's hope they don't forget.....

A few more shots of some of the other children we encountered today:

We came across this baby on our walk today. Although he's not a baby.... He's probably 2 or 3. Hard to tell, but as we walked by his eyes followed us. He couldn't move his head... I have a closer picture but I can't bring myself to post it.

In a window looking out:(

Okay now for a few pictures from our happier times today! Olya was a different baby today. Happy, chatty girl!!!

Pinching Daddy!

She's grown just since we've been visiting her. Incredible what love can do!

Sweet baby girl!!!

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It's almost May!!!

It's almost May and that means, that it's almost May 15, and THAT means we're soon hopping on Olivia's freedom flight home! We're especially excited because it worked out that we have an 18 hour layover in Atlanta and Miss Olivia will get Grandma and Grandpa Sweeney all to herself, with no competition from the Queen herself, Chloe Bea! I'm so excited to be able to share Olivia with my Mom and Dad! They have been cheering us and praying for us since day one and knowing they get to be the first ones to meet her and hold her gives me such joy! Here is Chloe with her Grandpa last year... As you can see, it was love at first sight for both of them!

Hold on Grandma and Grandpa...... Olivia is coming in 17 days!!!!!!
Poor Olivia has just not been herself, she is getting a new tooth everyday and tries her hardest to be happy but it's hard when all you feel like doing is this:

Look at the tear:( Even when she's sad she is still so beautiful! Look at those cheeks!
We had a few happy moments:

And, moments where she was just happy hanging with Dad!

Her absolute favorite thing to do is to go for a stroll!

See how she's dressed? It was 80 degrees yesterday!!! This poor baby had 4 layers of clothing, tights, socks, booties and a hat on! No wonder she was so cranky! Little does she know that very soon she'll be lucky to have any clothes on at all (besides a diaper:) It's swimming season in the Herrington home and that means sunrise to sunset bathing suit attire only!!
Please keep us in your prayers and specifically pray that the next 2 weeks fly by! Stay tuned for our Gotcha Day date. Our 10 day wait is up Monday but with all the holidays we wont get our court decree until Friday the 4th. We should be able to bust our sweet Olivia out maybe the 9th or 10th!
On our way out the door for our afternoon visit! Hopefully we will end our day with some Olivia smiles!
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Just pictures:)

Spectacular isn't she?

"Dad, what do you mean I won't meet my sister's and brother for 2 more weeks?" "That's not going to fly with me!"

Olivia has changed so much! Love is a powerful medicine!
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Monday, April 23, 2012

A Rough Patch

There were some tears today! Mostly happy ones for a sweet boy whom I've come to love so much. The Chellson's had court today and beautiful Misha is an orphan no more! Being witness to another one of God's miracles is something I won't ever forget. What a special bond the four of us have! Our lives will be intertwined forever because of our little Ukrainian Prince and Princess. What a story we will have to tell them. I see a children's book in my future!! Just look at God's handy work:

Love this family and I can't wait for them to get home to Misha's big brother, Ryan!

Okay, so now for the pity, poor me party. I knew going into this adoption that it would be the hardest thing I've ever done but it went WAAAAAAAAY beyond hard about 2 weeks ago. I miss my kids! I want to go home! I am truly homesick. We found out today that our plans for getting Olivia's passport, visa and medical exam fall smack dab in the middle of three holidays here, IN TWO DIFFERENT WEEKS!!!! So what that means for us is no Gotcha Day (the day we break her out) until the 9th of May and we won't be on that plane home at least until the 13th or 14th. I've moved on though and I'm sure tomorrow will be a brighter day! How could it not when I know that this is waiting at the end of the rainbow:

Spectacular isn't she? Even though she's dressed in a boy's clothes!

A few more pictures from today's visit!

Again with the Olya faces!!!!

Peek A Boo!!!!

Yea.... What's wrong with this picture????Little gender confusion?

So all in all it the day ended exactly how it needed to for everyone. Especially for my sweet girl and I!


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Shining Through

So sorry for the lack of posting the last couple days.  Poor baby is getting 4 teeth and is just not feeling like herself.. She is however surprising us more everyday with how much she is thriving!  She is gaining strength with each visit and her personality is shining through!  

Friday, April 20, 2012

She is ours!!!

Olivia Mae Herrington was born today! This child of God was created and gifted to this imperfect world. Knowing that I was chosen once again to be the Mother to one of his most marvelous gifts is an amazing feeling. Olivia looked different today, the director of the orphanage even noticed. She is different! She is a daughter, a baby sister, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter and a friend! All of this awesomeness is bound to make a change in a little beautiful body! Sometimes it may just be a little overwhelming to be the center of the universe!

Ha,ha!!! We were getting her dressed to go back to her groupa and she wasn't quite ready...

It was a great day! I woke up this morning with an amazing sense of peace. We arrived at the courthouse and escorted into the courtroom at 2:15 pm. The room was filled with representatives of Ukraine Social Services, a prosecutor, 2 jurors, our adoption facilitator, Yulia and of course the judge herself. Lee and I were both asked to speak about why we wanted to add another special needs child to our already large family. The prosecutor asked us about the services we will have in place for Olivia when we get home and if we were financially able to care for her.

I held complete composure until Lee stood up to speak. It's no surprise to anyone that knows my incredible husband that he can capture the attention of any
audience. He had most of the room in tears and thankfully totally distracted by the time it was my turn to speak! I was lucky enough to be holding the photo album my girls made to show off our beautiful life waiting for Olivia back home. The judge asked to see it immediately and by the time it made it to the jurors I'm pretty sure Lee was the only one not crying.. Totally got me off the hook and we were all dismissed! Maybe five minutes later we were brought back into the courtroom and listened as the orphanage director told the court that he and Olivia's caregivers have noticed a change in Olivia. He said she is a happier child and is excited to see us everyday. He also said that he saw an instant bond with us and was overjoyed to see Olivia become part of our family! Once again, tears all the way around... The judge then declared before the entire courtroom that Olga is no longer an orphan and that her name be changed to Olivia Mae Herrington!!! It was a beautiful day indeed!!!

Yep, I'm wiping tears as we walked out of the courtroom.. (thanks to my personal photographer David for catching this moment!)

Lee and I with Yulia outside the courthouse.

We headed over to the orphanage to see our new daughter!

Welcome to the family baby girl!

The day wouldn't have been the same without our partners in crime! David and Melissa... The four of us have by each others sides every step of this "pregnancy". I cannot wait until Monday when their sweet boy joins his forever family. We are planning a big celebration Monday night! We will be forever bonded as will Misha and Olivia! We love you guys! Pease pray for Melissa, David and Misha as they prepare for their day in court!

Goodnight!!! I know I will be having sweet dreams;)
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