Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fashion Show!

This year Munni and I were honored to be the cover family for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital fundraiser for the International Adoption Clinic.  Dr. Staat is responsible for saving Munni's life so this was an emotional experience!  I can't say enough about how amazing Dr. Staat is!  Munni of course, was thrilled to be in a fashion show :)

This is program.  The invitation was the same!  The photo was taken by my talented cousin, Anne Gregoire
First, we went to the salon to get her hair done…

This little girl was all smiles from the moment we walked into the salon!  Thank you Molly for styling Munni's hair so beautifully!

Next, we headed to the event so the children could have a dress rehearsal.  If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, I strongly encourage you to attend this event!  The silent auction has so many wonderful gifts and the raffle is amazing too!  My dad won a raffle by putting all of his tickets in one basket :)  He won the Valentine's Day basket which he ended up giving to us since Valentine's Day is our Forever Family day :)
This year's theme was India.  The drinks were a Taj Mahal (a delicious concoction of liquor and fruit juices!) and a shandy.  The food was "around the world" theme and uh-mazing.  They also had a woman there from Mumbai doing Henna.  My mom, my sister, my niece and I all got henna tattoos.
This woman was amazing and whipped these designs out in less than 5 minutes!
After the appetizers and silent auction were finished, it was time for dinner and the main event!
Munni was the first one on the catwalk!  She was a little disappointed that she didn't get to do her little hip fling and hair toss that she had been practicing all day lol!  But that didn't stop her from looking adorable :)  I made the hard decision to NOT bring my camera…I wanted to be able to be in the moment and I can get carried away when taking pictures so these are all from the event photographer.

She was so in her element!
I did run to the front of the stage to video it though….I couldn't help myself.

This is her glam shot :)

We had SUCH a wonderful time and I can't wait until next year when Baby R can join in the festivities!
If you are in need of a year end tax write off, I can't say enough about the International Adoption Clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  Literally, ^^^that beautiful, smiling, happy girl is proof positive of the amazing work they do!

I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with the ones you love the most!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Orphan Sunday 2014

Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.”  -David Platt
She was ignored.  
Passed over many times.  
Too scary.  
Too many unknowns.  
And yet,


This is what was lying underneath, waiting to be discovered.  Waiting to be loved to the point that she could blossom.  Waiting for a family that would allow her a safe place to finally let go and become all that God intends for her to be.  Hoping for a day when she could live a life that every child should live- with a family.  

Munni and Marleigh -  BFFs :)
Munni was 6 years and 9 months old when we became a family forever.  In the year and 9 months since she's been home, she's grown 6.5 inches, gained 14 lbs, and went from an 11/12 shoe size to a size 2.  She has gotten straight A's in school and has made many friends.  She's involved in soccer, swimming, tennis, golf, art, and floor hockey.  She has flourished in so many ways, but it has not been without struggles, pain, and difficulties.  However, you will never, ever hear from me that she wasn't worth it.  The agonizing wait, the gazillion hurdles, the emotional healing, the medical unknowns…. SHE WAS WORTH ALL OF IT.  Anyone who has followed our story - you have seen the amazing transformation that has taken place in Munni.  

That kind of transformation is still out there.waiting. for the 160 million orphans worldwide today.
I know that number is staggering and at least for me, impossible to grasp.  You hear that number and I get why it's easy to ignore it because it feels so overwhelming.  How can I make a difference with a number like that?  Well, you can.  ALL of you who supported me whether through prayer, monies, encouragement, hugs, emails, letters, ALL OF YOU made a difference.  You made a difference in Munni's life.  And because of that, her life has made a difference in countless others.

This year, I am advocating for a sweet, precious, Chinese girl who goes by the screen name of "Jessalin."  She will be 5 next month.  I became aware of her late last winter.  I, along with many others, advocated for her.  There is something so sweet about this little girl that has grabbed our hearts.  And yet, she is so sad.  She reminds me so much of how Munni was when I found her.  Every time I look at Jessalin's sad eyes, it breaks my heart because I KNOW there a scared, lonely child in there who NEEDS to find her forever family quickly.  Two families have come forward for her in the past but due to unexpected circumstances, both families had to stop their adoptions.  I pray for this little girl daily- hoping that she will find her family soon.  What I would give to be able to see her transformation into a beloved daughter.  Her official diagnosis is that she is Hep B +.  She was also visited by a western doctor last June who thinks she may also be suffering from Speech Apraxia.  I have pictures and videos of this sweet girl.   Are you her family?  Do you know someone who you think could be her family?

I know that not everyone is called to adopt and I know that not everyone is in a place where they are able to adopt.  But there are many other ways that you can help.  Here are a few:

Advocate!!  Get the word out!  If you know someone who is adopting, help spread their story!
Pray! I can't emphasize this enough :)
Encourage- notes, messages, texts…. they mean more than you will ever know.
donate money
donate  your stuff - I know many families who were able to raise a ton of money through garage sales!
donate your time - once they are home, life is CRAZY.  Help walk their dogs :), rake their leaves, etc
If you are creative, help them brainstorm fundraising ideas!

Adoption is not easy- by any means.  It literally takes a village.  I would have been completely lost without all of the support I had.  YOU are invaluable to a child who still waits for his/her family.  How will you change the world for one today?  Let's stop ignoring that huge number and instead focus on making a difference - one child at a time.  Let's link arms and raise our voices together to advocate for these precious ones.  If you are interested in Jessalin or know someone who might be, please contact me for more information.  Let's join forces and fight for these children who are so worth it.  Every. Single. One.