Monday, August 15, 2016

The Kid Is Grown... No Really, She Is

Every time I turn around I'm having to get used to a new transition.

I just signed a lease for an apartment for my first born.

And I purchased renter's insurance for her.

I can't even begin to describe the emotions running through me right now.

Sadness, joy, fear, hope, desire to cry, desire to be strong for her.  I am in shock and denial, yet so ready to see what she accomplishes.
I love her so much.  And I'm not ready for the grown up phase.

I feel like I have lost total control of my emotions.  Manny used to tease and say that the minute they turned 18 he would give them the boot, and I knew even then that I would be a wreck when the day came.  (And I'm going to tell you all a secret, he missed her like crazy this summer and was counting down the days for her to return.... but you didn't hear that from me.)  The summer semester at college was not as definitive somehow.  Maybe because it was a dorm, maybe because I knew a few weeks later she would be packing up, we'd be picking her up and she would be back.  But today, I'm processing completely different feelings.  As I'm sitting with her and talking to the insurance agent, my voice is calm, my actions are calm, but my heart felt like it was going to blow up in my chest from beating so rapidly.  There was a tightening in my chest, a queasiness in my stomach.

So I reacted the only way I know how, I bundled up all the kids in the van and drove them to get an ice cream.  I told them we're celebrating the first day of school for Becky, Alex's first week of school being successful and Yudith's return to college classes next Monday.  But in reality, momma just needed to watch them eat their ice creams and pretend that it was three little girls, with chubby baby cheeks, and sticky hands eating their ice creams.  Momma needed the comfort of imagining that time had stood still for a quick second.  When they were little, we always had an ice cream cone for a prize when they got a good great on a hard test, or to celebrate little events like the first day of school.  It didn't quite work out that way today, but I gave it a shot.

And now I'm listening to her go over what she needs to take with her.  Furniture.  People, we are discussing FURNITURE.  Decorating, cleaning, cooking.  REALLY!?  But she's only five.  I'm pretty sure.  I should know, I'm her mother.

And there in lies the transition that I'm having the hardest time with.  How do you get used to your child not being under your roof?  How do you get used to not knowing if she is safe, is she walking home at night from class, if she has enough cash on her for an emergency or even just a coffee?

She moves in this weekend, and I'm asking you all to please keep her covered in prayer.  For protection, for safety, for health, for success, for focus, for her tender spirit and heart.  And add a few for her momma, because driving away this weekend is going to be harder than driving away in the summer was.

Thank you friends.



Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Special Need

I wrote this several months ago.  I let it sit as a draft, praying and waiting for release to publish it.  It's also been difficult to think that my heart will be out there, once again vulnerable.  I know God values transparency, He's been working on that with me for years, and I 'thought' it was time to post, yet held back, because some people won't understand and it will create questions and comments that I'm not sure I can handle without more damage to my heart.  I guess, in this subject, I started to build a wall.  But how do we fix and work on the things God wants us to do if I hide, I ask Him to break my heart for what breaks His, so I have to have the guts to DO what He asks me to do with that heartbreak.  I thank my friend Ryan, because his actions of late gave me my answer, and reminded me that the reason God gave me transparency is not for me to have the excuse to be bold, but so I could give testimony to the things He allows me to go through, so others can find Him in the midst of hurt.



"A well educated man does not have more to teach than my son, his knowledge is not more valuable"


I watched this video today that I happened to come across on a friend's page.  It ripped me to shreds inside.  It was so REAL, so poignant.  It wasn't the most dramatic display, but it was raw and deep.  It made me cry with sadness.  It made me want to reach through the screen and hold him in his moment of pain.  I felt such a connection to him because we have one thing in common.  A child with Down Syndrome.  Before we move on, please take a moment to watch the video, I'm sure most of you have watched it, but for those that haven't, you'll know where I'm coming from.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMsMPON4Sxo

For the most part, I've stood up for my daughter.  And for the most part, the people around us have been God sent to provide love and support. But there have been moments of weakness.  Moments in which I'm already tired and feeling crushed under the reality of the hardships my child faces when I've let the "retard" comments or jokes slide.  I've been in a room with adults speaking as if they had mental delays, adults that know and love my daughter, and I didn't stop them.  I couldn't.  I felt completely overpowered with feelings of hopelessness.  Hopelessness that there will ever be a world in which my daughter and every other child with any special need will be accepted for who they are, treated and valued the same as other "perfect, normal" children.  Hopelessness that another safe place has now been violated by the practical joke at the expense of those less able than others.  I harbor anger and hurt because they joked about people like my girl.  People that read slower, or that have the inability to complete certain tasks.  I've allowed ignorance to breed.  I've harbored anger towards the other people in the room, which turned to look at me as I silently bowed my head, and they nervously giggle and encourage the practical joker's behavior.  But in reality, it's my fault.  Because I should have been stronger.  Courageous.  Like my daughter.  Who faces day after day of limitations and doesn't give up, keeps her smile and determination.  She lives each day to the fullest.  I harbor the most anger and disappointment towards myself in those moments and every time I think of them.  


I pray these words, this video reaches those people in the world that need to learn compassion, acceptance and that they are able to make the changes in their behaviors to impact future generations in a positive manner.  I pray that every parent that has a child with special needs, any special needs finds the support they need to raise a kiddo like ours.  My daughter may never leave my care, have compassion and help build my endurance as a parent.   Encourage the parents of special needs kids you know.  You know that moment of fear and loneliness that most parents usually feel every now and again when their kids are in danger, really sick, or in a bad situation?  We carry it every day.  We don't need or want your pity.  Our children are amazing!  We are blessed beyond measure for their presence in our lives.  What we would appreciate are your prayers,  understanding and cooperation in erasing the stigmas attached to our children.  And we share our kids with others in the hopes that they will attain those goals.

I'm hoping those that haven't seen the video, might because someone shares it with them now.  I'm hoping that if you know someone that makes ugly, hurtful "retard" jokes, that you share this video, maybe this small outpouring of my heart with them.  Let's make a difference.

This is my girl, Becky.  I look at her and I don't see "retard", I don't see disability, I do see strength, courage, love, compassion, empathy, determination, grit, beauty, backbone, joy, light, ability, jokester, capable, curiosity.  I see a little girl who's heart is so big, she loves everyone, her parents, her siblings, she loves that mail lady and leaves her notes and gifts in the mailbox, she loves the cashiers at the grocery store, she loves her teachers.  This girl inspires more people to love, and it's been an amazing thing to watch her impact total strangers.




























Friday, July 22, 2016

The last few weeks have been brutal!!!

We shipped Alex off to New York for the summer to visit her father and siblings.  We took Yudith to the university to start during the summer semester.  Becky went to Miami for a week to vista grandma, grandpa, her aunt, uncle and cousins.  And Manny and I took a deep breath, did absolutely NOTHING for several days.


With all the transitions in our lives right now, I have had a difficult time keeping my emotions in check.  I am still crying for everything.  But I feel so much PEACE!

I'm so proud of my girls, the maturity and responsibility they are showing.  They strength they exhibit, the tenderness and compassion they have to others.

What more can a mom ask for?  My heart is so full.

And yet, in a slightly selfish manner, I am still yearning for more.  I want my Lucy girl home!  That would make everything complete right now.

We have in the last month and a half, received I800A approval, mailed all our documents to the agency, went DTC, and just today I received an email that we were LID yesterday!  That's a mouthful!!!!

Every time I hear from the agency, I feel refreshed and my energy to keep plodding along with the fundraisers and yard sales is renewed.


God is so good, all the time!  He fills my cup every day, to overflowing, and every morning He renews my spirit.  I hope that in all the back and forth, in all the paperwork, leg work, sales and interactions with people, I can somehow manage to convey the importance of finding homes for these precious children.  I pray every night that one more child finds their forever family.

As for Manny and myself, we have talked and talked and talked until we are blue in the face about what our role in the adoption community will be after Lucy is home.  We don't have the exact answers from God yet, but count on us becoming more involved with the advocacy side of things.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  I don't have many answers being new to the scene, but I've met some amazing women with a huge wealth of information and even huger (that's a word, right?!) hearts for Jesus and adoption!  I can put you in touch with someone that can guide you!

If God is speaking adoption into your heart, please, please, please, don't hold back for fear that you won't qualify, or that you can't afford adoption!  We started this process without a penny put away for adoption... God grows our dollars every month, He has provided through fundraisers, gifts, and donations of stuff for yard sales.  Yes, I've had to do some things I didn't enjoy (like selling heirlooms that were special to me, manning endless yard sales in this Florida heat, scrubbing some toilets, and learning to ask for donations, giving up little luxuries that made my life easier or better).   But, what wouldn't you do for your child?  If your child was taken and put in an orphanage right now, what would you be willing to do to get her or him back?  That's how I feel right now.  She was knit in her biological mother's womb just for me, and I will move mountains for her.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I Could Choose


I've known I was meant to adopt before I even learned to discern God's will for my life.  Years I waited.  For years I told people around me I was going to have another child.  At one point in my life, I actually thought maybe it would be another biological child (a little difficult to do when you've had your tubes tied).  Everyone, family and friends, all looked at me with pity and disbelief, shaking their heads and silently saying a prayer for my sanity.  But I was convinced God was going to move a mountain in my life.

And He did.  Me.  He removed the obstacle that I was for myself.  Not because I lacked faith.  I have the faith in God.  I lacked the faith in myself.

The Josh Wilson song I Refuse came on in the car tonight on my way home.  I've sang it before, but honestly never really felt it touch me.  But tonight, as I was driving through the country roads, I was thinking about how amazing that we're on this sometimes frustrating, sometimes awe inspiring journey.  We're a little closer to our Lucy every day.  I was really thinking about His blessings.  And then the song came on.  Becky started singing it.  I began singing at the top of my lungs with her as we acted a little silly.  And it hit me.  This is why!  This is why everything is finally rolling!

I refused to continue to sit around and wait for someone else to to what God has called me to do myself.  I stopped second guessing my worth, my ability, and began to TRUST He knew what He was doing by setting my heart afire for adoption.

Tears.  Ugly, snot running, pull the van over to the side of the road and sob crying.... Becky thought I had lost my mind.  But I just felt such an awesome, overwhelming sense of comfort.  I know that doesn't make sense, I just felt like He was looking down and smiling and thinking "She finally got it!"  How I do when the girls realize a truth I know about them.

The fact of the matter is, it all began long before the adoption process began.  For years He has been molding and shaping me to be the woman He created me to be.  I've matured (stop that laughing, it's true!) and grown spiritually.  I've learned to have confidence in myself, to accept that I was given the same measure of the Holy Spirit as everyone else that accepts Jesus as their Savior and is baptized.  I've learned that its' not all about me, it's not about my family, it's not about anything other than giving God the glory for EVERYTHING that happens in our lives.  All these years I've watched and supported my friends through their adoptions.  And now I finally had the opportunity to step out and DO myself. I could say we're doing it together, Manny and I, however, the reality is that there is so much he hasn't been able to do because of his work schedule.  It has been mostly on my shoulders.  And that's ok, because God has called me not only to adoption, but He's called me to be the feet of this particular journey, same as Manny has been the vehicle of other journeys we've been on.  Manny is fulfilling his role in the process.  Obviously, there is more He needed me to learn through this ride, and I'm ready.

So, those are my thoughts tonight.  I'm posting the link to the song below, because I figured you all might like to listen and see how it touches you.


I REFUSE by Josh Wilson


If you'd like to donate to our adoption and help bring Lucy home, please follow the link below!  All donations are tax deductible.  Thank you!!

Lucy

Friday, April 15, 2016

Next Phase!


Since September our family has been on this incredible journey to bring home Lucy.  There have been moments of disappointment, moments of loneliness and exhaustion.  It's not because we haven't had a good support system, quite the contrary really.  Lots of family and friends have stepped up in huge ways to pray for and support us.  I think the loneliness and exhaustion is a combination of the constant go, go, go to fund raise, organize, run and pull off each fundraiser, deliver sold or won items, pick up donations, complete paperwork, search for all the documentation required, and simply from the overwhelming amount of mental/physical/emotional energy that is expelled.  And you know, life doesn't stop happening for a family in the midst of adoption.  Washer and dryers stop working, AC's stop cooling, garage door openers decide to quit, unexpected bills come up, a kid decides to go to college, fundraisers for the three kids at school, team fees, field trips, work, school for momma, new job for poppa, etc.  Oh and I found out the hard way, I still have to feed them every night or I am likely to have a revolt on my hands... fair warning to any parents considering adopting, little people get hangry, too.

However, as stressful as all that sounds, let me tell you what.  This momma has had PEACE through out the whole process.  I know, that I know that I know that God has called us to adopt Lucy, I know that I know that I know that He has made a way, I know that I know that I know that He is going to be glorified through the works of this process.  

Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

That's amazing to me!  That He saw fit these two sinners, a man and woman who are both divorced, lived in sin, made mistakes, and He decided we were worthy not only of being SAVED, of REDEMPTION through His Son, Jesus.  But He thought we were worthy and through Him, capable of bringing another child into our home to love on.  He gave us Rebeka, with all her special needs and I believe now in hindsight that He gave her to us because He knew we would love her in spite of all the medical concerns, she is our daughter.  But I see now that it was part of a larger plan, His plan for us to not fear the unknown that special needs brings, a plan to break down our preconceived notions about people with disabilities, a plan to help us to see the child behind the diagnosis.  Why?

Because, how could we live James 1:27 with the child He knit together in her biological mother's womb for us if we could not put aside the fear, the stigma, the diagnosis?

James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."


To say that I am overwhelmed with feelings of awe that He would think us worthy of such a task is just not descriptive enough.  To say that I feel humbled that He would choose us for Lucy out of the billions of people of this planet, that He would move so clearly and mightily in our lives, just leaves me speechless and without breath.  

And now, the most amazing part of this story so far.  And yes, I'm crying right now.  From the first day I have been saying it, this is so much bigger than our little adoption.  There is nothing special about us in comparison to other families going through the process.  Nothing.  We are ordinary, every day people.  We struggle with finances, we struggle with parenting, we struggle with relationships.  So it just blows my mind that we get to SEE what Ephesians 2:10 was talking about, we get to see what part of the work that God prepared for us to do actually is!  

My amazing friend and sister in Christ, Gina, has a beautiful ministry, Worship At The Waves.  She began it after the Lord pressed on her that she was to travel from one beach location to another, and minister to the lost through music.  Let me tell you, when the sun is going down, the gorgeous colors of the sunset and the wondrous endlessness of the ocean are before you as you're lifting up your voices and arms to our Heavenly Father, you will understand and feel worship! 

Gina came to me the other day and over a cup of coffee God revealed to us both the next phase for Worship At The Waves and the Fleites Family Adoption.  He clearly presented the location and the plan.  We both got very excited (as did Yudith who was home early) and did our praying separately.  Gina went to the location God presented and asked if they would allow a "Worship At The Garden" event to benefit Lucy's adoption.  The owner agreed immediately!  And she's donating the venue!  

Praise God!!!  

An opportunity to reach hundreds of people through worship!  The perfect setting for ministering to the lost and reminding them that they are loved!  The perfect setting to introduce them to our daughter, so far away that doesn't know she is so very loved!  By a family and most importantly, by God, who sees her as precious a child as He sees us.  I can't wait to spend an evening just reveling in that knowledge with all our loved ones!

So here is the big reveal!!!

WORSHIP AT THE garden: 
YOU ARE LOVED BENEFIT FOR LUCY
JUNE 16, 2016
6:30 PM TO 9:30 PM
LIVE BAND
SILENT AUCTION
DINNER 
FAMILY FUN
INFORMATION BOOTH ON ADOPTION 

More details to follow!!! We have the date and times confirmed, but we're still working on the catering.  I'll update as we receive confirmation from vendors!  If you would like to be added to our event invitation page, please click on the following link:


Please be in prayer for our adoption, for our event, and for the lives that will be touched that night!

Thank you to the Shabby Chic Barn for the amazing donation to help our adoption!  Please check out their website and consider them for your next event!  Let them know Gina at Worship At The Waves is how you heard about them!



Thursday, April 7, 2016

So Much Fun Stuff Happening!

The paperwork is moving, we're getting closer to bringing our girl home!!

We have several friends stepping up to help in various forms!

If you're local, a friend is holding a one week summer camp for kids ages 6-12.  Ask me for details!

My daughters have pooled their money together and purchased some cute items to raffle.  More to come on that later!

And a friend has purchased a Kantha Quilt, worth $65, for us to raffle!  You can see pictures in my previous post.  

These quilts are handmade in India, they go for $65 each.  I am selling tickets at $5 for one ticket, 2 tickets for $9, or 3 tickets for $12. 

Mother's Day is around the corner, this would be a lovely gift for that special mommy!  

All the proceeds to go fund our adoption and bring Lucy home!  

Please send your raffle money to our paypal account (adlin26@yahoo.com) or to our FSP account with Reece's Rainbow.  You will have to let me know in the comments when you send the money how many tickets you would like.  It's easier for me to keep track that way!

Thank you! 


Monday, March 7, 2016

Kantha Quilts

We have received notice from Homeland Security that they have our paperwork!  I'm so excited and nervous and anxious! LOL!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is becoming so REALLLLLLL!!!

Last week we received Lucy's measurements.  She's wearing a 4t and a size 10 in shoes.  She has 18 teeth!! 18 teeth, y'all!  I didn't even think of that before, but I now KNOW my little girl has 18 teeth!  My heart just wouldn't stop pounding as I was reading the paper.  Such intimate knowledge of our girl!  (Yes, I did pick up an outfit and some underwear for Lucy when I went grocery shopping!) It was so difficult to restrain myself from buying her a whole new wardrobe, the only thing that kept me was knowing we're still $25,500 away from being fully funded.

On that note, GUYS!!  $25,500!!!  God has delivered $10,500 in 5 months!!!!  Talk about incredible!!    It's an amazing feeling to know that He is watching over us and pouring His blessings so directly into our lives.  It really is an awe inspiring thing to witness.  He has pulled for us so many times, and we have been abundantly blessed over and over, but this time He has blown me away.  I've prayed and petitioned Him for this child, and He has granted my heart's desires!  And He has faithfully navigated every step.

So, back to the business of getting Lucy home!  We have a fundraiser that we began to look at a few months ago, and we advertised it.  However, the timing just seemed off.  So I put it on the back burner and kept praying about it.  It is now time!

We are doing a Kantha Quilt fundraiser.  They are twin size, hand sewn in India.  Not only do you receive a beautiful quilt to adorn a room, or pass down as an heirloom, you help bring Lucy home, and help a group of ladies in India provide for their families.

It's a win-win!

Please check them out and let me know if you're interested in one.  I will be placing our initial order next week.  They do need to be prepaid, $50 (normally $65) a piece, through our paypal, or cash if you're local.  My paypal address is adlin26@yahoo.com.

The shipping is separate and I'll let you know what that is once it's here and I can determine the best, most cost effective method to ship it to you.

As always, Thank you for all your help and for the prayers!!  We appreciate every single one of you!  <3


1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30