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Thursday, September 4, 2014

buy a t-shirt today!!!!

Don't forget to go to this site an buy the below t-shirt. We must have orders of 50 plus to go to print on the deadline of September 21st!!! We are a little more than halfway to 50. Yes, let's hit 50 and then  keep going. ALL PROCEEDS go to the adoption of both of our "heart melting smiles" boys!!!

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/and-then-there-were-four

Comes in unisex, ladies, kids, long sleeve and sweatshirts!

FRONT OF SHIRT:


BACK OF SHIRT: All is blue and w/o the white dashed line on top


Please pray for another orphan that has gone to meet our maker as well as for the family that were in process of bringing him home.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Our boys today, this very day!!!



Yes, today!!! We have a friend in China right now picking up her little girl in the same orphanage as our boys (her second from this orphanage). She went in with the names of four kids shed needed to see and photograph (a very rare opportunity that someone can request kids and photograph them). She explained that our boys did not know they were being adopted because we are still fairly early in the process but the other two did know and she had small gifts for them from their family. Well, as she explained before she knew it , total chaos and they were telling our two boys they were being adopted and are brothers!!!!! YEAHHHHHHHH!!!! As she apologized left and right in the email she had no idea that we had been dreaming of this moment!!! It's an exciting thing for an orphan to find out they are being adopted and then to find out they are being adopted WITH their friend - double WOW!!!! It is not often that you can find out the exact time a child is told - it happens but not much from what I understand and it's even more rare that there are pictures. We are just so beyond excited to know that our boys know that they are loved by their family. I am waiting to find out more details of the chaos but for now I am just so overwhelmed with love for these two boys!!! We did want to make sure that our boys are being told that it will still be some time until we can get them. Our friend will be able to make sure this is very clear so the boys don't get upset waiting until early next year (hopefully late this year).

Our friend also added that they are CUTE CUTE CUTE with smiles that melt hearts. They gave a warm welcome to her son who once lived with them in the orphanage! She said I am one lucky Momma and that we have fabulous kids!!!!! (deep breath)

This week is now beyond special as yesterday was Anthony's two year Gotcha day and tomorrow is Gabriel's one year Gotcha day!!!!! So today too is a day we will never forget!!

Let's pray for the children in this orphanage that have yet to hear the incredible news about their adoption as they still wait for their forever family!!! Thanks for checking in!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

More great connections!!!

WOW, wow, wow.....we just received an email from the young man who was at camp with Matthew and our hearts just melted (this has been happening a lot with these two boys). I just have to share:

...I just recently got back from Yantai China! While I was there I volunteered at Bring Me Hope Summer Camp! I was granted two orphans to hang out with along with a translator! I had two older guys! However during the week I grew a little shadow! And his name was *****!  

I fell in love with ***** the first time I met him. Even though he was not part of my family group at camp, we became the best of friends. He is the sweetest kid I've ever met and this little guy has had the biggest impact on my life within a matter of a couple of days. **** was the sweetest kid you will ever meet and we became very close throughout the week at camp.  Every assembly he would walk all the way across the room to sit on my lap and wouldn't move unless I did. He would come to my table at dinner to check if I was finished eating the only meal I ever ate there "my bowl of rice". When we went to the beach he wouldn't go in if I didn't and wouldn't get out if I didn't. It soon came clear to me that this he loved me and didn't care where I was from or my past. Everyday my heart grew heavier knowing that this amazing kid lived in a orphanage and he didn't have a family to love him unconditionally like everyone should.

On the last day it was about an hour before we had to say our final goodbyes to all the kids! When he left he gave me the most heart wrenching letters I've ever gotten! He cried so hard and didn't wanna leave. Saying bye to ***** was very hard for me, but during that moment I got some of the best News ever! That he was getting adopted!

Mrs. Pellegrino I just wanna say thank you from the bottom of my heart! Knowing that ***** will get home, with an amazing family that loves him is the greatest thing ever! He was the greatest kid I've ever met, and I'm sure you will find out soon enough! Thank you so much Kim! God bless!



Seriously, do we know how to pick them or what?????!!!!!! Sounds like we will have four amazing boys on our hands!!!! We are so grateful that this young man got to love on our son at camp. It is just amazing to hear!!! We look forward to having him Skype with Matthew when he gets home!! 

And speaking of which....we got our I-800A approval this week. Once that gets sent out for I think county certification then all of our paperwork (dossier) goes to China!!! YEAHHHHHH!!!! So blessed.

Through someone else adopting from the same orphanage we were able to get the orphanage website!!! With a little help from Google translate we are reading all about the different things are boys are doing. There are many pictures of Matthew on the site (I think maybe one of Michael) but it's so great to keep getting these special tid-bits of information about our boys! The orphanage seems to do many outings with the kids - one of the better orphanages for sure!

I hope to get to share some more pictures soon. Please pray for a special family that is heading to China at the end of the month. They are going to bring home their little girl - that same little girl that our Michael helped at camp (last post)....thank you Jesus!!!!




Saturday, August 2, 2014

Amazing connection!

Yesterday we received word that our oldest son Michael was at a camp and that we were getting put in touch with his volunteer. Quickly we received multiple emails filled with kind words about our son. And pictures to boot! I have to be the proud Momma already and share what his volunteer said about him. He is called Daniel in this setting:



I don't even know where to begin with Daniel (let me know if you would prefer me to call him by his Chinese name). He is the most exceptional child I have ever met. When I first met him he was very quiet, but he didn't shy away. I didn't know what to expect when it came to me trying to hug him and love on him, but he never once turned me down or shrugged me off. He receives love very well, but even more incredibly is that he gives it back two fold. My family group for the week also included another girl from his orphanage. She had a disability that really hindered the use of her hands. The way Daniel helped her was incredible. He never had to be asked, he just did it; he opened her bottles, carried her belongings, served her food, etc. He actually was very conscious and aware of everyone's needs. When I lost a card game by losing all my cards, he gave me half his deck so I could continue to play. He carried my water bottle around for me, as well as bags. He was always kissing and hugging the other children with disabilities and helping them. He has the heart of a servant. He never once misbehaved in the slightest. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before. Now not to say he doesn't misbehave, but disobedience is definitely not something I think you will see often. 

Besides having the sweetest heart, he is brilliant. He has a very good memory and such a drive to learn. His English is pretty impressive considering his age. He knew common phrases, the entire alphabet, and numbers up to 20. He can also write in English if you tell him how to spell it. He constantly was asking me how to say new words and took pride in remembering them. He told me he wants to learn English and be an English teacher when he is older. 

Lastly, he really likes to play sports. He really blew me away with his hand-eye coordination and how well he could kick a ball considering his prosthetics. Honestly, I didn't even know he had them until he took them off, I just thought he had a limp. They don't hinder him in anyway though. He was very strong and never once fell behind, even when going on intense hikes or climbing up stairs. He needs new ones though. He keeps one on with a single Velcro strap and he ties the other one on with a rope. It killed me and I instantly wanted to fundraise for new ones. He is a champ though and never once struggled. He can also walk without them though! He has enough of his legs remaining to do so (they end about midway/lower half of his calves) and ran around the water park for hours without them. Once again, he is awesome. 

I don't say this out of bias, or to flatter, but he is literally the most outstanding child I have ever met.
.....Today was my last day with him, and he cried all the way to the bus. While loading, he smiled through his tear-streaked face, flashed a thumbs up, and said "okay?"  This was our secret way of communicating we were all right, and it is amazing how appropriate it was at that time, because yes, he will be okay, and I am so thankful for the comfort I have knowing he will be cared for, loved, and raised up in a loving family. I was able to confidently respond "okay." 



I am absolutely melting!!!! I am speechless. I am moved by how much love this volunteer has for our son - how she loved on him. I am feeling so blessed!!!

By the way, the girl that Michael was helping while at camp is being adopted by a family we have been in touch with from Pennsylvania!!! They will meet again!!

We are waiting to hear from Matthew's volunteer but here are some pictures from Michael's volunteer:




Please pray that this process moves along forward and swiftly!!! We are so grateful. Thank you Lord Jesus!
(ohhh yeah, Home Study is done and we are waiting the first USCIS approval while our papers are being prepared for our dossier. Still looking at the end of the year or early next year).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reece's Rainbow

So yes, things move v e r y  s l o w in the adoption paperwork world! We just had our visit from the social worker and it will be about two weeks until the home study gets to us for review and then our agency for review. After that comes our dossier (dossier = more paperwork = more time). 

In the mean time we need to start coming up with some fundraising ideas. We just got connected to Reece's Rainbow where any donations made to them on behalf of us are TAX DEDUCTIBLE for the donor! When we receive donations outside of RR, it's wonderful for us YES but the donor doesn't get the benefit of a tax deduction. So please share our blog and the link on the right side to anyone who might be interested in helping us with the fees associated with providing a home for two boys who may not have had the chance to call someone Momma or Dadda without this opportunity. Yes, because these two children are 1. boys 2. older (9 years old and one soon to be 10) and 3. special needs - they are most likely to NEVER have been able to have a family!!!!! NEVER!!!!! When we inquired about them the agency told us we can take our time in deciding because no one will look at them primarily because of they are boys and they are older. Yeah and the special needs part - China already "dismissed" them because of that! Did I mention that China only recently filed their paperwork to be adopted. Our agency went to the orphanage in 2011, saw these boys and asked the Chinese Government to process their paperwork as THEY ARE ADOPTABLE!!!! China decides what children they feel are adoptable and process that paperwork for them to be seen and available for adoption. If there is no paperwork processed someone has to "see" them and push it to be done which often takes years. So these boys waited in an orphanage for NINE YEARS until someone decided to make a file for them! That's when we saw them - when their paperwork was filed!!! UGHHH!  I seem to have gotten off my original introduction of Reece's Rainbow. Check out this interview about RR that we got the opportunity to be part of: (don't forget to come back here to us)


Here is our family page on RR (can also click on the right side of the page)where you can make a tax deductible donation on our behalf. Please know that every single dollar counts! Please don't feel like a few dollars won't make a difference because it DOES! 
You can also mail a check made out to 
Reece’s Rainbow and mailed to PO Box 4024  Gaithersburg, MD  20885. Don't forget to put our name in the subject line. We receive ALL of the money you write the check out for. If you use the link below, RR must pay 3% to Paypal:   

http://reecesrainbow.org/76298/sponsorpellegrino-2

(PS....thank you to someone who opened out family page with a $10 donation!!!! THANK YOU!!! We get a list of names unless anonymous every few months or so. Thank you again!!!)

And yes, we can't share them but we did just receive the videos from when the agency visited the orphanage in February. It is a bit heart breaking because they are just sitting in a chair being asked all sorts of questions - tough to understand with so much talking going on - and they know why they are there - they are just being stared at. Anyway......Michael spoke English!!!! It is his favorite class in school (Matthew loves PE) and he counted to 11 and said "Hi, my name is"...then hesitated when someone said something to him and he said "Daniel". DANIEL????? No, that can't work - we already have two brother in laws named Daniel!!! I asked the agency about it and she said they definitely call him by his Chinese name and not that name for class. Shhhwwewww!!! :) (nothing personal to the name - which is quite nice - there are just too many Dan's - kinda like John in our family). So although Michael only spoke a few works in English it was certainly more than we know in Chinese. We will definitely be investing in two of those BESTA translators for the boys! 

Please let us know if you have any FUNdraising ideas or if you want to help us run one!

Thanks for checking in..... Today's blog prayer goes out to the many children in China who do not have their paperwork processed by the Chinese Government meaning their forever family can't find them because of that!!! 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yeah for PA (pre-approval)!!!

Yeha!!! Our second PA (pre-approval) came in last week (sorry for the late announcement) so I can now share his picture as well! 

Here he is:



So handsome!!!! Here is the first picture I saw of him:

And here is one of my favorites:
He just turned 9 early April and we are hoping to bring him home BEFORE his tenth birthday. The process takes a long time and we aren't able to reuse any of our paperwork again (crazy - we live in the same house and had to have our water checked again and the fire department come in again, etc etc). 

And just to make it fair, here are some more favorite pictures of .......hey, I think we can announce possible names.... you already "met" Matthew above and now "meet" Michael:


Seriously, this kid is handsome!!!!

Thanks for checking in! Please continue to pray for us and the many kids who are aging out (for their 14th birthday they are no longer adoptable according to China)....keep in mind that these two boys only just had their paperwork processed - they were in orphanages for 9-10 years and no families ever even had the chance to call them son...until now...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

YES, we are going back to China!!!!

We can't officially announce anything yet……well, we can't post pictures or identifying information but we have just begun the paperwork to return to China. We are super excited to be opening our hearts and home to more orphans. We know this is where God has lead us and we couldn't be happier to be chosen!

Sooooooooo……are you sitting down??????  For many reasons, we have decided to go back and bring home TWO older boys!!!!! One of our boys will be nine next week (his last birthday without a family) and the second boy will be ten in July! They both know each other from living together in the same orphanage and are friends. We've been able to get some great information about each of them from many different people.

We did receive our PA (pre-approval) for one of them today and should have the second one soon. We are finishing up the paperwork on our home study as we aren't able to use any of the previous paperwork for these adoptions. We don't have any timeline yet because we are so early in the process but keep checking back for pictures and information.

Although we can't share information yet - we thought at least a tiny introduction was in order considering we've opened up a link to make donations if your heart is calling you to do so!

Well……here is a picture I think I am allowed to share considering we do have our PA:


Seriously - this boy is sooooo handsome!!!!! More to come!!! Peace…….