Reece’s Rainbow Reunion 2016

This is our second year attending the Reece’s Rainbow reunion.  And just like last year we had an awesome time!  It is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by so many families that look like ours while at the campground and even when we were out and about.  It is a great time for families to connect and share experiences.  The campground, Jellystone Park, was great as were the staff.  We really appreciate the opportunity for our older boys to make friends with kids who also have special needs siblings through adoption.  Sam and Oliver gave their thoughts on vacation with some arm twisting.

Oliver  loved “The pools and jumping pillow. I really like our cabin, and vacation is fun. All the kids are awesome, the activities were fun, that’s all.”

Sam loved  “The bouncing pillows. Well I really like the water pools and it was really nice at the water park.  I really like the kids.”

Simon loved it all.  He responded with “yeth!” when asked if he wants to go on vacation again 🙂

It is a refreshing time for all of us and we were were sad to see it end.  We look forward to the RR Reunion in 2017!

 

6 months

Simon has been home for 6 months and we just celebrated his fourth birthday.  During this 6 months he was home for the holidays, he has had 3 museum trips, enjoyed himself some Chucky Cheese, went to Great Wolf Lodge, attended several birthdays parties, had his own birthday party, got a haircut, and started preschool 2 days a week.  He has also been to the adoption clinic, urologist, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, hematologist, audiologist, evaluations for speech and occupational therapies, the down syndrome clinic and his pediatrician.  We are done with several “ologists”, including hematology and cardiology!  Clean bills of health and no need to ever go back 🙂 He is to have surgery next week on his hernia, then we will be done with the urologist.

A question we are often asked is if he is talking, the answer, not really, not yet.  He is saying mamamamama, all day it seems sometimes, and to anyone he wants to help him.  He also can say no, no, no, and his version of more.  The school speech therapist says he is doing well.  He picks up sign language quickly and uses it sometimes. We are using a couple speech programs on the Ipad at home too.  He is able to communicate his wants and needs clearly…very clearly.

He has fit into our family so well, and really so easily.  I don’t think it is always this easy for families.  It is hard to remember he hasn’t always been with us, it has only been 6 months.  His brother’s think he is pretty cool but also annoying, just like any little brother.  Sam was upset at Simon about a month ago and told me to send him back to China.  The next day Sam told me he changed his mind, not to send Simon back to China.  I said, “OK, we wont” , Sam said “whoo, close one.”  I have also witnessed Oliver and Simon holding hands in the car, and Oliver reaching over to give him a kiss on the head.  The cuteness, off the charts.

I recently heard a  couple statistics and thought it appropriate to share.  At the Dropbox film, they shared there are 300,000 churches and 100,000 legally free children in the US.  So if only ONE family from every third church adopted, there would be no legally free, aka, orphans, in the U.S.  I heard this second statistic at a special needs conference I attended in February.  Thirty percent of families say they have considered adoption, only 2-3% go on to actually adopt.  If someone reading this has considered adoption we would be happy to share our experience.  We also have family and friends who have gone through domestic adoption and foster to adopt, who I am sure would be happy to chat too.  It sounds scary, hard, and expensive and it can be these things, but it is so worth it.

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Update

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We are getting close to traveling.  We hope to actually be in China this time in two months, or if we are lucky maybe we will even already be home.

Above are pictures of a care package and letter we were able to send to Simon and his foster family.  I am pretty sure he will like the cookies best 🙂

We were super blessed to receive two grants toward our final costs!  We received grants from Show Hope and the JSC Foundation.  All we have to worry about now are the plane tickets.   Since we have garage sale items left over from our first sale and a kind friend offer us space, we will be doing the Route 30 Sale 08/07, 08/08 and 08/09.  If anyone has any stuff sitting around you want rid of let us know, we would be glad to take it off your hands!

We also still have CDs for sale.  $10 for pickup, $12 shipped, or $10 for a link to download the songs.  Please email/FB message myself to order, ggill@kent.edu.

Our continued prayer requests are for the boys’ transitions, all 3.  Sam will start Kindergarten just a couple weeks before we leave.  This will all be a big adjustment for our family, and honestly we have no clue what to expect.

Hopefully we will have official travel dates soon!

Ginny

Songs for Simon

Here is one of the songs (inspired by Sam, surprising I am sure! ) on our Songs for Simon album. We hope you enjoy it and thank you for your love and support!

The CD includes 7 songs ; I love Trains, Jesus Loves Me, ABC/Twinkle Little Star, Do you know your name, Really Quiet Song, Dance Dance Dance, and It is time to go to sleep.

Orders can be placed by donating $10 to our Reece’s Rainbow account  here.  Email your receipt to ggill@kent.edu and we will email you the download.

Locals or those who prefer something in their hands can buy a CD for $12 shipped.  We are taking orders through 6/22.  Same process please donate $12 here, email me the receipt, ggill@kent.edu.  We will ship you out a CD  in about 2 weeks.

Locals can also pay in person if you like 🙂

We received our LOA!!!  This means we will be traveling in 8-12 weeks.  Woot!

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Garage Sale

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Thank you all who have donated to our garage sale!  We have lots of great things including cribs, toys, slings, baby carriers, swing, pack n play, bakeware, dishes, holiday items, books, dvds, shelves, electronics, figurines, and much more!

 

We will be open 9-5 Tr-Sat  (5/1-5/3)  this week. 🙂

 

March Update

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We have completed our homestudy and dossier.  Our dossier was sent to our agency in California and I (Ginny) heard today everything is in order.  That means it will be on a plane on the way to China come Friday!  We are super, super excited.  The next step is to wait for China to translate, review and approve our dossier.  Then we will move on to more paperwork,visas and travel arrangements. This could take a while or not. We don’t really know.  We think realistically we will travel in September.

We also learned this month that Simon is living in a foster family with two foster brothers, so I guess he will be prepared for a life with brothers!  He has a wonderful foster mother.  He seems to be doing very well, to be cared for and loved.  This is great news!  My heart will be breaking to take Simon away from his foster mother.  She seems to really care for him and him for her.  Foster care in China is different from here.  They are not allowed/discouraged from adopting and it is more of a job from what I have been told.  I know they live in apartments attached to the CWI (orphanage).  I believe when we take Simon a new child will be placed in his foster family and will benefit greatly from being cared for by his foster mom.  I have had several families say how well their child transitioned into their family when coming from the Children’s Welfare Institute (orphanage) where Simon and his foster family live.

We appreciate all of our friends and family who have been praying for us.  We have had an incredibly smooth and speedy process so far!  I keep waiting for the other ball to drop 🙂

We would greatly appreciate continued prayers for Simon’s health, his heart to be prepared to join our family, our family to be prepared for him, his foster family, our paperwork to be processed quickly, and for our finances.  Quite the list!

Thank you!

 

Ginny