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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…….

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Just thinking….

Once our eyes are opened, 

we can't pretend we don't  know what to do. 

God who weighs our hearts and 

keeps our souls knows that we know, 

and holds us responsible to act. 

Proverbs 24:12



Holding tightly onto this verse……praying for direction…..for all of us…...

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Birthday"

Although this blog was set up for Gabriel, I have to stop for a moment and share Anthony….Friday was his 5th "Birth" day……as we celebrated his day I can't help but have these moments of sadness…you see we don't know and may never know if it is actually his "birth" day, it's an estimate ….. you see TODAY, the 13th of January - 5 years ago - a sweet little infant was found in the residential area of an industrial park…..how long was he there for? we will never know…did his birth mother or father leave him there or was it a family member or a friend? we will never know….he was found with a blanket, a bottle and a half of bag of formula….he was maybe 48 hours old but  HE. WAS. FOUND….. he was left because he was born in a country that has decided that a child that doesn't look perfect isn't permitted to have the love of a family, that he isn't acceptable, that…-WHO THE HECK KNOWS - who knows, who knows…..HE. WAS. FOUND.  and he is one of the most beautiful boys I have ever seen….one of the most beautiful boys I have ever known….on occasion I pray for his birth mother……I mostly pray that she knows that her little boy is good, REALLY GOOD…that he is smart and funny and so freakin' cute…today I want to pray that she remembers his BIRTHday, that she remembers his precious face, that she remembers the moment she last saw him, that she REMEMBERS, period!!!!!

Anthony never knew his birthmother, Gabriel "knew" his for an estimated month. Who gives up a child after a day, never mind a month because something just isn't right? I'll tell you who does - CHINA - an entire country, that's who. I walked around those streets in China and anger just flooded through my veins…..and I wondered which woman also did this - which person could be a relative of my boys. In speaking with a friend the other say we talked about how because there are so many people in that country and so many orphans that everyone must know of someone who did this at least once- sure it's probably not spoken about but it is THERE - I pray that someone gets the strength to stand up against the crime, the sin, of leaving a child because they aren't up to some ludicrous standards.

I did not "birth" my boys, but instead hand picked them! Hand picked from a seemingly endless photo listings of beautiful children who deserve families. God put these boys in our hearts and I am eternally grateful. God didn't intend for these children to be abandoned, but he built a special place in our hearts for each of them - to be able to, among many other things, wish them a Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday to you, Anthony ZiHao Pellegrino, MY SON!!!!



 He has a favorite "Billy" bear (beanie) and he asked for a Momma and Dadda bear for him (so sweet)!



 Waking up to Birthday balloons!

Hmmm, what to do with all those balloons? STATIC- yeah!!!!!

Teaching my son how to steal a bit of cake before breakfast (& before Dadda comes back in the room)!

Monday, December 23, 2013

CHRISTmas blessings



















As CHRISTmas is almost here I can't help but feel extra blessed this year! I am so full of love for my two boys and my husband. It's been a crazy journey……yet, a beautiful one! Our lives are so full right now. The craziness (aka loudness) of two little boys running and laughing around the house is just - I dunno - the greatest thing ever!!!! Gabriel has really become part of the family and although I'm not sure that Anthony would admit it - he is happy to have a little brother! He is ecstatic about it! Gabriel is one VERY HAPPY little boy now. He has - ok, get ready for this - begun to hug back!!! And I don't mean just put his arms around you as he's been doing that for awhile. Now he is actually hugging - tightening his arms around me!!!! It is one of the greatest feeling that God has ever given to me and I know God gave me this child - both of these children. I couldn't help but et myself a little something this CHRISTmas and it makes me melt every time I read it:


And boy have they stolen my heart! And the most perfect gift from my husband for my birthday:


Ok, so he did this too for my birthday (note the number on the cake):


We are so excited to be spending our very first CHRISTmas home since moving to Maryland! We will certainly miss a lot of family and friends but we are excited to start our own family traditions and continue to build on them year after year! We are so blessed - sometimes it takes my breathe away. I thank Him for each and every one of them - while I pray for those children that still wait for their forever families. I look at each of my boys and I see what love -even for just a short time so far- has done for each of them. I've watched them grow into lively little boys - when I watch them laugh and run in circles around the house - a pinch of pain goes through me imagining what their lives were before love and a bigger pain is felt for so many who are still waiting for the same love - even a pinch of it. (deep breath).

As CHRISTmas eve is tomorrow, I will be living in the day and not on the computer……I want to thank you for "stopping in",  for all of your continued support and for all of your love. I do ask this - please continue to pray for the many children without families this CHRISTmas, for the many new forever families that need the strength to continue their journey and for all of the families waiting to start their journey to bring home their special family member. From our family to yours…..Merry CHRISTmas with love and blessings!

Monday, November 25, 2013