Our amazing, stubborn, sweet, strong, Gabe. WALKING down the aisle for his Kindergarten Graduation.
As stated on the paperwork giving Gabe up for adoption, "We the parents acting on our free will, being in sound mind and clear memory, give up on our parental rights towards him
because of bad material condition".
"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. To give you HOPE and a FUTURE"
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Our amazing, stubborn, sweet, strong, Gabe. WALKING down the aisle for his Kindergarten Graduation.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
We have been home 10 weeks now since going to Ukraine to adopt our newest little man.
Can I just tell you how absolutely amazing my Kole is. Man I love this boy. There are moments that I sit and wonder how I got to be so blessed to be his mom. I think about him growing up and picture all the laughs and smiles he will bring and then remember that he is MY SON.
Here are some recent facts about our boy:
Kole is 5 years old and has down syndrome.
He is super smart. Dresses himself, eats by himself. He loves to pretend cook and clean.
He is non-verbal but loves to imitate so I am sure he will be talking in no time. He has actually already said the word "hot" and will touch a coffee cup or bowl and say hoooooootttttt.
He has a few signs, his favorite one being "help" which he does in slow motion and very exaggerated.
He is not potty trained but will go if I put him on the toilet. We will be working on time training soon.
He is busy busy busy all day. He always has something in his hands and usually a hat on his head.
He loves clothes. If you leave anything laying around he will put it on.
He is VERY sensitive and will cry loudly at the smallest fall or when being told no.
He is very bossy;) He "tells" all his siblings what to do and not do all day by pointing his little finger at them and shaking his head.
He is shy with new people but once he gets to know you he loves you.
He will pass me during the day and hug my leg, and will randomly plant kisses on my cheek all.day.long. I melt every time.
He is a great sleeper. Although he wakes up most mornings and starts playing in his kitchen and recently has been undoing Levi's lock on his bed tent and letting him out! Silly boys.
Life around here is busy. Having 3 boys in diapers, non-verbal, and needing help in many areas is like having triplets most of the time. Guy is starting full time college in January while still working full time. This will mean that my main helper and support will be gone for the next 2 years. Yes, I am having anxiety already! My plan has been to get as organized as possible with school and all our daily activities so hopefully I can be a somewhat sane mother;)
I am so blessed that God allowed me to be Kole's mommy and look forward to days full of kisses, laughs, and new adventures.
A little late, but I have finally made Kole's Coming Home video which also has photo's from his last 10 weeks being home. Enjoy!
Posted by Lindy at Saturday, December 08, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
We are still here in Ukraine. Our adoption of Kole is almost complete and we are totally IN LOVE.
Thank you SO MUCH to all of you that helped make this happen!!!!
Words could never express how grateful I am.
I've dreamed of this for a year.
I love that when you give your heart completely to God, He will give you what you desire.
"This Love" by Mandi Mapes
Posted by Lindy at Sunday, September 23, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
I've always enjoyed naming my children. I like different kind of names, and one's that have a special meaning
Genesis Lin = "Beginning" She is our first and the Beautiful Beginning to our family. Lin was after me
Jude Steven = "Praise, Thanks". Steven means "Crowned" and is named after my Dad and my older brother
Zane Adrien = "God is Gracious". Adrien is his Daddy's middle name
Gabe Artem = "God is my Strength" Artem was his given first name
Levi Vitalik = "Joined in Harmony" Vitalik was his given birth name
And our newest little one we have named....
Well first I have to tell you how we came to name him!
All my kids have a story behind their names, so of course I have to share his.
You know we have been calling him Kole and that is because after hearing the nannies all call him Kolya last year, which sounds close to Kole, we decided that he recognizes his name and we should keep it close to what he is used to
We will be keeping his given name on his birth certificate which is Mykola, pronounced = mi-cola
But we will call him Kole
And for his middle name we decided to name him after my two younger brothers,
Luke and Adam
My brother Luke
My sisters, Tanya & Kara, Luke and Me
I'm sure he is sick of hearing me tell this, but when he was a baby he would call me, Mommy Ninnie. He couldn't pronounce Lindy, thus the Ninnie
I was a second mommy to him. Dressed him, fed him, and changed his diapers
Nice thought huh Luke?
The comedian of the family. From a very young age he had the ability to make anyone laugh. He is the only sibling out of 6 that could get out of a spanking by waving his bottom back and forth and saying, "Hit the moving target"
Witty, hard working, generous, selfless, compassionate, comforter
That's my brother Luke
I cannot wait to see what God has in store for him cause I know with God, Luke is gonna do some amazing things!
Watch out world
There is no stopping the moving target
Then there is the baby of the family, Adam
Amber and Adam's Engagement Photo. Their wedding is next month!
There are 15 years between the two of us
I practiced my mothering skills on him too when he was little
Dressed him, fed him, and yes, you know the rest
I learned early on that he was a carbon copy of my older brother, which is crazy since he was only 1 year old when my older brother moved away
I also learned quickly that when you are on the road and he asks you how much longer, do not say a couple minutes. Because after 2 minutes he will tell you that it has been exactly 120 seconds and we aren't there yet like I said we would be. Adam at the age of 5 could add and multiply better than any adult in the room
My Jude man is a mini Adam. His humor, gentleness. And my Zane has Adam's obsession with numbers
Adam has a passion for learning but most importantly, a passion for God
Strong, smart, caring, focused, patient, giving
I am supper blessed to have Luke and Adam as my little brothers
I love that I can call them friend
So it is with great pleasure I introduce to you,
Kole: Victory of the People
Oh yes, this boy is gonna rock this world!
Posted by Lindy at Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
You know that parable where the Shepherd leaves his flock to find the one lost sheep.
Growing up I would hear that story and wonder if the Shepherd cared for that lost one more than all his others.
Was it easy for him to up and leave the rest behind.
As I sit here hundreds of miles away from my 5
sheep children I wonder about that journey the Shepherd made.
This journey to Kole has been a long one.
It's cost so much financially, emotionally, physically.
Leaving my children behind for many weeks was one of the hardest things I had to do.
I love my children. Adore them.
Not a day on this journey goes by that I don't think about my kids.
How much I miss them and would love to be back with them right now.
But Kole needs us.
He needed us to come searching for him and to bring him back, home, where he belongs.
Now I know.
On those days that I feel like my Shepherd isn't near. When it seems that He is spending all His time with someone else that is hurting. Lost.
He is thinking of me.
He loves me. Adores me.
Sometimes though there are others that are hurting and need my Shepherd.
The great news is that in the end, we will all be HOME. Where we belong.
Spending Eternity with our Shepherd.
Posted by Lindy at Thursday, September 13, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
My heart broke this morning.
As I walked into the front office of Kole's orphanage I saw a father sitting on the couch holding a beautiful baby boy. One look at his almond shaped eyes and adorable stubby fingers and I knew right away that the baby had down syndrome. He looked to be about a couple months old. He was cooing and looking at his daddy's face smiling while his daddy stroked his arm. The mother was sitting beside them, tears pouring down her face.
My facilitator said it was a sad moment because they were leaving their baby at the orphanage.
Beside the couch were bags full of baby blankets, toys and diapers.
I wonder if there was a day that that young couple was overjoyed to have a son. I bet they excitedly got a little room all ready for his arrival placing those fuzzy blankets and colorful toys in his crib.
When did that joy turn to sadness. Did they know right away that their long awaited son had down syndrome. Did they look at their son and think that maybe it would be ok. Maybe they could parent a child like this.
Just look at him. Look at his sweet face. Listen to his laugh. How can this be a bad thing?
Maybe he has a heart condition they can in no way afford to have fixed. Maybe a family member is telling them that this kind of child is no good. That children with down syndrome are violent and have no chance of having any kind of future here in Ukraine.
Whatever the reason, one thing I know for sure. That mommy and daddy WANTED and LOVED their baby boy. It was ripping the mothers heart out to place her baby in a strangers arms to now care for in this institutional setting.
What can we do to change this mentality? It wasn't long ago that children with down syndrome were institutionalized in America. And even now we put to death 90% of children that are diagnosed with down syndrome while still in the womb.
I wanted so badly to tell this mom that down syndrome is not the end, it can be the beginning! These children are wonderful and beautiful. They can have a great future.
I pray that precious baby boy will know love. I pray that years will not go by living in the orphanage causing him to bang his head just so he can feel. That he will not form the habit of gouging his eyes or rocking strongly back and forth, back and forth. I pray that he will soon have a family that will help him to grow into all that he is meant to be.
I pray for his birth mother and father, that God will heal their broken hearts.
Posted by Lindy at Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Last night at 8pm we boarded a train (I was in shock about it the entire time, will blog about that later) and headed to Zap. We arrived at almost 6am. It was pouring rain and cold out. We ran to our car and drove to our apartment (which I was also in shock over and will blog about later) where we unpacked and showered and enjoyed a cup of coffee.
At 9am we left to do some running around getting papers signed, and then finally off to the orphanage.
Driving in to the orphanage felt very surreal. I looked at the Ukrainian flag that Levi loved to come out to to sit under and watch it blow in the wind. Memories flooded my mind as we walked past the colorful bench that we sat at for hours holding our very frail, crying, terrified little Gabe.
After meeting the director we met with the orphanage doctor. There she told us all the history they have on Kole. He was born at 36 weeks via C-Section. He was 4 pounds 6.5 ounces at birth and they said they could tell right away he had Ds.
His records say he has an extra "string" in his heart, bowed legs, flat feet, and of course Down Syndrome.
They report Kole to be able to repeat a few syllables, but say he doesn't talk much. He can follow directions, like if you ask him to stack the blocks. He feeds and dresses himself and they said he loves music and loves to dance!
The social worker and doctor both expressed how thankful they are that he is finally getting adopted as no one has ever inquired about him his entire life.
My facilitator cannot understand why it seemed that in the past Kole had been unavailable for adoption since his records clearly state that his parents signed over their rights and had him placed in an orpahange right after his birth.
She said to me, "The only explanation is that God saved him for you"
Yes, yes He did.
Oh how I longed for this day
First time meeting Daddy. I think he was a little unsure, maybe because they don't see men very often, or maybe he's not a Vikings fan;)
They took him away right at lunch time to meet us. He was very ready to get back to his meal!
Another lefty like Levi and Papa
The Nannies LOVED looking at the album I brought of Levi filled with photo's of him this past year. The Nanny here said she recognized us from last year. They all looked, laughed, and smiled, remarking that Levi looked totally different.
Right after lunch the kids each take their chair and line it up at the back of the room
Kole seemed to be a stickler for the routine so he was anxious to get his chair in place and get undressed to go potty
It was time for the kids to all take their naps so we had to leave. We will be allowed to visit Kole everyday from 9am - 11:30 & 4pm - 6:30.
We will visit until we have court which should be in about 2 weeks. After court, we will get Kole out and he will stay with us while we wait for his passports. Once the passport is in (2-5 days), we will take the train back to Kiev where we will finish up paperwork for 2 days, then head home!! I am thinking if all goes well, we will be home by the end of the week of September 17.
I am in awe that God has allowed me to be this child's mother. This whole adoption so far has been amazing. I can't wait to get back to him tomorrow!!!
"And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name" - Luke 1:47-49
Posted by Lindy at Wednesday, August 29, 2012