Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Daughter

It is incredible how much we have been "GOING" lately!  We received pre approval for our girl, and before the joy set in we were already knee deep in paperwork!

Now, let me back track.  In case you missed it.  We received PreApproval for our girl!!!!!  YAYAYAYAYAY!!!  Praise God!

So, here introducing to you Lucy Ilisa Fleites!

We are so excited!  I haven't stopped crying since! LOL!  

I knew that I was going to be going through 'pregnancy feelings' during the adoption process.  I spoke to adoption mommas, I researched in the University library, I searched online for credible, scholarly sources that would prepare me.  I almost forgot my final paper to my class, because this was obviously more pertinent and fun! 

I was not expecting to cry for everything.  To forget almost everything.  To misplace everything.  

I was not expecting to feel loss.

That one took me by complete surprise.  As I started preparing for Thanksgiving, I started thinking of all the years she has spent alone, without someone to make a special meal for her.  Or bake her a special birthday cake.  My heart broke over and over again.  I found solace in the fact that God knows His children by name and loves them, I know she is covered by His love.  

So, the last month has consisted of purchasing large, wholesale club sized tissue boxes, and paperwork!  So much paperwork.  Also, selling and fundraising and working overtime (Manny) so we can cover the costs of bringing our girl home!    Here is Becky announcing our yard sale!  She's a hard worker!

We started a FB page, called Long Road Home.  You are all welcome to join us there to keep track of our adoption journey.  It is so much easier for us to post to in a hurry or on the go.  

In closing, I'll give you another peak at our daughter!

Please keep us in prayer as we work on bring Lucy home and for her protection!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Unexpected Turns on the Road

So, we fell in love with this adorable child and we were so excited.  We raised the money, filled out the paperwork, and prayed and prayed.  Then I wake up to an email that says she's disappeared from the shared list.  We searched all day, my friend and I.  Nothing.  

Then I was told another family committed to her.  So we mourned.  We cried, we got angry.  But we knew that God had placed that call on us, so we continued to look.  And look.  And Pray.  

And we found her.  Our Girl!  Everyone was terrified of falling for her and losing her.  But we each felt the pull to pursue her.  

We were granted one week to come up with a significant amount of money.  I prayed and asked Him to guide me.  If this is the path He was starting us on, I knew He wouldn't let us fail.  I continued selling on virtual yard sales, and I ran a raffle for a $10 Target gift card.  I asked for prayers and help. In one week's time to the day, we had the $1,700 that was asked of us.  Praise God!  

We overnighted all the papers and check, the pictures.  And we've been waiting.  I've never been a patient person.  And this process is most definitely stretching me in that area.  I've a perfectly clear mind as to how much my patience will be stretched over the next 9 to 12 months.  I'm prepared to do anything we need to do, because she is worth it.  

So tonight, as we sit and watch TV, instead of focusing on the punchline, I'm focused on names for Our Girl, one that fits her sweet smile, her cheerful visage.  I'm focused on researching the top of the line car seats, and the cutest clothes.  I'm focused on finding her a matching bed to Becky's since they are sharing a room.  I'm focused on learning basic words in Mandarin so our Precious Gift can understand her mommy and daddy when we go for her.  

I can't wait to have permission to share her picture and name with everyone.  I can't wait to shout to the world that I'm her momma!  

We are overjoyed, our hearts are full.  

Now, to go work on that patience as I stare at the computer screen waiting for the email to pop up with word from China...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Ok, maybe not a baby... a child.

Ok, maybe we're not "having" a child... we're adopting.


Manny and I, Yudith, Aly, Becky, Manny Jr. Fatima and Angie are adopting a new child into the family!!!

I can't describe to you all the feeling coursing through me at this moment.  I haven't stopped crying, smiling, laughing in days.  I have woken myself from sleep in tears.

I've felt such a strong feeling to adopt for so many years, and in recent months have had arguments with God.  I got really mad and frustrated and reproached Him.  "Why do you give me a burning desire to adopt but don't give the same feeling to my husband?"

I mean, come on!  That's just mean, cruel even.  I would show him pictures or talk to him about available children, and while we was never mean about it purposely, he would look and say something to the effect of "I hope his/her forever family show up soon."

Well, in conversation about something totally unrelated a few weeks ago, God gave me clarity.  My friend commented about the differences in our husband's reactions from our own.  How upset it made her.  I was shaking my head, ready to Amen her comment and high five over this.  Instead my mouth opened, but I'm not the one that answered.

"I'm a realist, but I still have a soft center.  Paint me a picture and I'm sold.  I'm all in or not at all.  Manny balances me out.  He remains stoic, he takes his time to make a decision.  Usually, it's not the answer I want, but it's (almost) always the answer I need in the long run."

She curled her lip like I asked her to lick the floor.   I wanted to slap myself, because REALLY?!  How submissive did that sound?

However, the reality is that it's the truth.  One hundred percent.  Even if I'm loath to admit it.

Now, fast forward a few months after my meltdown with God.  I changed my prayers.  "Lord, if it's your will that we adopt, then please soften his heart.  If not, take this desire in me and redirect it."  Friday night, I'm casually checking my Facebook on the couch while he's watching TV.   My friend posted a link to a site I've been on for years, Reece's Rainbow.  They advocate adoptions of children with Down Syndrome.  I passed it, then decided to go back and open it because I felt pulled to it.  Just one more time, I told myself.

As soon as the link opened and I saw that adorable little face, those gorgeous eyes, and that smile!  Oh, man!  My breath caught in my throat and my tears started flowing.  I felt that most complete love instantly.  Exactly like the love that floods you when you look at your newborn for the first time.

My heart recognized 
her as mine.  

Manny was worried and asked what was going on.  I turned the phone to him and showed him her picture.   He took one look at her and his face transformed.  He got the goofiest smile on his face.  His eyes took on a soft, dreamy look.  I finally got myself under control.  I told him how I felt, I read her description to him.  We briefly discussed attempting.  He didn't commit to anything, and instead we decided to just pray on it.

The next day he went to work, I was doing homework... and researching agencies.  And looking at her picture.  And dreaming.  And crying.  And lying to my mom (she called and when she heard my voice she asked why I was crying, I couldn't say anything so I said I wasn't feeling well.  Which I was, because I just lied to my mother.).  And crying some more while looking at her picture.  And asking my friend that has already adopted about the whole process in detail.

Manny came home from work, took one look at me and with the most amazing smile on his face said, "Let's bring my girl home!"

And cue more crying, and hugging, and kissing and crying and hugging.... you get the picture.

That was step one.

Then I sent emails to the agency, and so began the wait to see if the country she's in would even consider us.

Yesterday I called after work and spoke to a sweet lady that said based on our initial, preliminary answers, she didn't see any red flags for them to not consider us!

So I won't bore you with the details now, I'll do so later as everything unfolds, but I was about to come out of my skin!!!!!

Manny walked in the door from work and I just about tackled him! LOL!  Seriously, I did!

So now we've informed the family... the kids all know, the parents know.  The extended family knows.  Our friends know.  Fundraising efforts have begun.  It's becoming more real.

And my excitement level just keeps escalating.  I've made some of the dumbest mistakes in the last few days.  Pregnancy brain without the pregnancy.  Hee hee!  But I'm so overjoyed that it's ok.

I know the path ahead of us is full of long nights, running around in sudden bursts of activity, long waits, and patience being tested.  It going to be full of worry and working extra hard to earn the money to bring her home.  But just like all the obstacles we faced with the other children, she is worth everything and anything that comes.

I would like to ask you all to join us in prayer.  That the country accept our paperwork, that they match us to this precious angel, that no one else commit to her before we can get the funds for that step.  Please keep us in prayer that we keep our calm, the peace He has filled us with, that the added stress of the adoption process bring us closer and not come between us.  That all our children, those at home, and our angel abroad, are safe.  That soon we can send word her way that her Forever Family has found her and is working hard to come get her!

Thank you!

If you'd like to donate to our adoption, please do so through my PayPal account!

We appreciate it!

Sunday, September 13, 2015


Becky has become way more verbal lately.  She does a pretty good job of expressing herself. Here are a few of the funnier things she has said to us in the last few weeks... Most of these I'm copying right from my FB feed, so if you follow me there, be warned!  Some repetition is about to occur!l

Enjoy!!  We sure did!!!

I dropped off the girs to my sister's house and they were giving me kisses. Yudith says "be safe on the drive back". Becky adds, "yes, behave and don't die mommy". I call now to tell them I made it home and she says "good job not dying!!" I can't stop laughing! This kid!
You know, it works!  We understand each other.  

Yudith fell the other day and hit her head, thank God she is ok now, but she did have a slight concussion. So this afternoon, I went grocery shopping with Becky.  And it typical Lynn fashion, I tripped.  Luckily, I didn't fall because I grabbed my cart, when I went to stand up straight, I touched my forehead (no reason, just did) and Becky says "oy, did you break your head, like Yudith?"

Becky is watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. She comes laughing and says "Mommy, it's you! On TV!" I look to see what she's talking about and Jack Skelington is cuddled in bed with a stack of books! I said "I look like Jack?" And she says, "No, he read in bed lot of books, like you!" 
Well, she's not wrong!!!

Becky: (looking at Yudith, holding her mug in front of her mouth) so, how's math going?
Yudith: it's good. I had a quiz yesterday and I got an A. I had a lot of math homework but I got it all done 
Becky: uh huh. It's going to get harder. You're good. 
Yudith: thanks. And you? How's your math? 
Becky: math is good. My teacher helps me. I like math. 
All the while she's sipping from her mug. I can't take this level of cuteness!!!! 

Mom, my purse is empty.  I need your money.  Please.
Yeah, kiddo.  That's cute but no.

Becky has a stuffy nose and her head hurts.  She climbed into bed with me early this morning and said, "Mommy, my head, it hurt.  And my nose, it doing bad thing."  I'm partially awake as I ask "what bad thing?"  Her response "no let me breath.  Hello, nose, I die!"

I don't think she was amused that I was cracking up while she was obviously in the throes of death!

If you're planning of purchasing Disney's Cinderella, please shop this Amazon link!  It will help us raise funds for our cause!  The big one I'm not supposed to tell you all about just yet!  LOL!    Thank you!!  I promise you won't be disappointed when you find out why it is!

What a ride!!!

The last few months have been, what's a good word?  Hectic, tumultuous, amazing!

First, we began the summer with a long car ride from Brooksville to New York, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.  Yudith was invited to the Future Physicians of America Congress in Lowell, MA.  So we fund raised like crazy and got her there through the efforts of some very generous and amazing friends!
Aly didn't look like she was into it, but I promise you she was.... maybe!

Having spent several years of my youth in Ft. Bragg, we decided the mandatory bathroom break should happen here!

Since we were already traveling, and it's our last summer with a full house before kiddos start going college bound, we decided to make a family vacation out of it!  Hence New York and D.C.  We took two days to visit family and walk all through Manhattan.  The girls were so giddy!  I thought for sure Yudith was going to go ahead and sign a lease on a flat.... She did decide that John J was now in the running for her college choices.

For me, the best part was seeing my grandmother's sister and her husband!  I've missed them so much!  It had been at least eleven years since I last saw them.  Crazy how the time flies.  We were going to go out that day as well, but each of us was more than content to stay in with the two of them and enjoy them.  We got good old fashioned cooking with a healthy dose of verbal recounting of family history!  Just the way Grandma used to do it!  I think that was the second time I cried through the vacation (the first being at the 9/11 Memorial).

Quite possibly the best piece of 'art' ever.... just saying!  

Then we headed to Lowell, for her Yudith's Congress.  She was STOKED!  She came back to the room every evening rearing to go!  She witnessed a surgery using robotics, got to speak with the top doctors in the nation in different specializations.  She was in all her glory.  And the journals she filled with notes and steps to attain her plans, priceless.  It was worth every minute of the ride and fundraising to get her there.
 And here she goes, for day two of the Congress, being a clown!  Good to know the little girl is still in there!!

Although, the best part of the trip for the rest of us was spending time with our oldest son and second daughter and their families.  Another time that really reminded us how fast time goes, seeing how much the kids have grown.  They are GORGEOUS!  And so grown... :(  Holy cow, and so energetic!! LOL!
                    Exploring the little town of Lowell, MA!  It's gorgeous!  I loved the antique shops!

Off we went to Washington, D.C.  We drove all night and arrived mid morning.  We had a delicious breakfast our friends had ready for us, and off we went to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum!  Again, the girls were giddy.  I don't know how I managed it, but I birthed nerds, and I love it!  Every single plane, every nut, bolt, engine they examined and photographed.  And then, the highlight of the day.... yes, we got to see the Spaceship Discovery!  I hope you're oohing awing and applauding because I totally am right now!  Oh, wait, that's how I managed to birth nerds..... hee hee!!

The next day we walked all of the Capital Mall.... all 10 miles of it.  Oh man, Becky was worn out and whinny and so over us.... then we went to Arlington Cemetery... she was ready to leave us when she saw we had to walk some more.  But once she saw the Tomb of the Unmarked Soldier, she was enthralled.  We arrived there just in time for the Changing of the Guard.  The rest of the day she was marching and asking us all to keep silence.

Well.  That was Phase 1 of our Summer!  Whew!  I'm exhausted, are you?

We came home, jumped into work the next day, and two days later had a house full of family to celebrate the Fourth of July.  That's how we roll!  Then the girls took off for two days in Orlando and a week in Miami with Grandma and Grandpa.

We decided that it was too quiet in the house, so we tore up the living room, took out the carpet, installed tiles and painted the living room, kitchen, dinette area, two hallways, and the girls' bathroom.  Let me tell you, the most fun part of that was shopping for the stuff.... but my hubby did an awesome job of getting it all done before the girls came home.  He worked the late shift that week, so he worked on it all from about 9 pm to close to midnight.  Every single day.
                                                             Our Foreman, Grizzly!!

We settled into some routine daily activities.  And then the bad news.  There always has to be some of that mixed in.  But bear with me, I promise it has a happy ending!  My dad got sick.  My sister took him to the hospital Friday night, and by Wednesday he was not improving.  She sent me a message that freaked me out more than a little bit.  I took off with the girls immediately that same day.   Thank God my boss is a pretty cool guy and there was no hesitation in whether I should go or stay.

So, I'll spare everyone the gory details on that, and to protect his privacy, I'll just say that I thought my dad was going to be going home, but Praise Jesus!  He was finally treated for the correct ailment and his recovery began in earnest.  God is so, so good!  I got a day to spend with my nieces, and off we went back en route to our little home.

That Monday, our adventure continued!  Yes, there's more!!!

For the first time in 7 years, I did not have a homeschool child to teach on the first day of school!  Becky was accepted into an amazing private school on a scholarship and she spends her day working on physical, occupational, and speech therapies while doing her school work!  Again, can you say it with me?  God is so, so good!!  I didn't think I was ready for this step, and the first week was rough, for me not her!  However, I couldn't be happier with her progress, her excitement, and her teachers!

Aly is in her first year of high school, Yudith is in her senior year.  I am in my senior year of college.

We had Yudith's senior year photo shoot.... yes, I cried.   We've begun a series of photo shoots for Aly's Quinces... again, yes, I cried.  Today was Aly's actual 15th birthday.  Her QuinceaƱera will be soon.  Yudith will be 18 next month.  I look at my girls and I can't believe these beautiful young ladies are the same babies I had in my womb.  My heart is full of pride, love and tenderness for them.  But its also breaking a little because my babies are not my babies anymore.  That's another blog post however!

Manny finally made the move to a new job.  Now, instead of driving nearly two hours to get to work, he is 30 minutes away.  What a relief that is to both of us!  He comes home every day at a more decent hour, with a smile on his face, and I get to take a deep breath because I have him home before the bone deep weariness sets in.  I've been praying every day for months that he make it to work in the mornings and home in the evenings safely.  That long drive was wearing him out!  It's nice to have him around earlier, to actually catch up on our days the same day instead of cramming the important things in to one session at the end of the week.  Date nights are on again!  Woo hoo!

Time is progressing.  We are all moving forward.  And we are open and prepared for whatever God sends our way next!  And it's big!  Huge!  Fantastical!  You'll have to stay tuned to see what it is!!!

BTW!!  If you are planning on purchasing Disney's Cinderella for your kiddos, please shop through this Amazon link!  It will help us gather donations for The Big Surprise!!!  Thanks!  I promise it's a worthy cause!   qj7wuxv