Friday, October 31, 2008

What will you GIVE this Christmas?

Why not give the gift of family to a waiting child at Reece's Rainbow? Each year, Reece's Rainbow holds a fund raiser known as the "Christmas Angel Tree." From November 1st through December 31st, all of the "waiting children" (those who do not have committed families) with Down Syndrome are openly visible for grant donations (the Reece's Rainbow "Older Children" and "Other Angels" are also eligible for donations, but are not featured on the Angel Tree).

International adoption averages approximately $25,000. Finances are often one of the greatest reasons that families are unable to move forward with an adoption. Children with special needs, as well as children over the age of five years old, only have a 20% chance of being adopted. By making a donation to a child at Reece's Rainbow you are increasing their chance of growing up in a loving family and receiving the medical care and therapy that they need in order to meet their full potential.

If you make a donation of $35 or more, you will receive a beautiful porcelain ornament with the sponsored child's picture on the back. So, as you are thinking about what you will give your child's teacher, your coworker, your friends or family for Christmas, consider making a donation in their name for one of the precious children on Reece's Rainbow.

Each donation makes a difference, no matter how big or small. As a testament to what your donations can do, please take a moment to browse the profiled of the families at Reece's Rainbow who are already home with their children.

I have the opportunity to see what the gift of a family can do each and every day as I am blessed by the presence of this Reece's Rainbow Angel:

Won't you help bring another child home? Follow the red "Christmas Angel Tree" button on the sidebar to make your donation and to give your gift of family this Christmas.

*Reece's Rainbow is a registered 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Sneak Preview

We had a Halloween activity at church tonight and the kids got to wear their costumes. It is Josh and Evan's first Halloween experience and Evan is absolutely LOVING it (Josh is still a bit young to really care). This whole idea of dressing up for candy is pretty exciting for Evan who has a MAJOR sweet tooth. Here is a sneak preview of our busy little bees:

Five, very busy, little bees

The Queen Bee looking a little dazed

Lukas modeling his costume

Ready for some candy

This picture just makes me laugh! My baby bee with the bee keeper!

Our friends, the Kirchners, will be heading over to our hive on Thursday night for some hardcore trick-or-treating (okay, let's face it, with 7 children 4 years-old and under, I am thinking we will last about 30 minutes max). I'm sure I will have many more pictures to share!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One year ago today. . . .

One year ago today (10/23) I held my sweet baby for the first time! That's right folks, Joshua has been a Rieben for a whole year! Can you believe it!? In many ways it seems like just yesterday that I was holding him in my arms for the first time and at the same time, it feels like he has been part of our family forever! This smart, funny, determined, adorable little boy has undoubtedly been one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever blessed us with. He is pure sunshine and lights every corner of our lives and we thank our Heavenly Father each and every day for allowing us the privilege of being his mommy and daddy!

Meeting Joshua for the first time (10.23.07)

Signing him out of the baby house (10.26.07)

Joshua and I with my step-father who traveled with me to Uzbekistan (10.26.07)

Sleeping peacefully the first night I had him with me. I remember laying there for hours just staring at him. I couldn't believe that after almost 9 months of waiting for him, all I had to do was roll over and there he was, just inches away. Such an amazing feeling (10.26. 07)

Joshua a few days before heading for home. Poor little guy was so sick, but, even though he must've been miserable, he never stopped smiling (11.1.07)

Our crazy baby (as we affectionately refer to him) one year later (10.17.08)

I am putting together a video of his first year and hope to have it posted once we get back from Philadelphia. Joshua, Evan and I are heading out around 8 am (we will be driving this time) and hope to be back late Friday night! In the meantime, for a recap of our first week in Uzbekistan please click here.