Monday, February 13, 2017

The Little Things

2017 is in full swing, with one month under the belt and the second racing towards the end.

While the rest of the country seems to have lost their ever loving mind, the Fedell house is just quietly plugging away.

And that is is not a bad thing.

Because it is in the little things that grow to be the big things, the most important things, the most influencing things.

So here are a few of my favorite little things of late....

We took the kids to a dog show. It was...interesting. Apparently you can bring your own dog to the dog show. When you bring said dog to the dog show and you are wondering what it is thinking about, you can actual find out. Pet pysics, who talk to dogs (and other animals, of course) can communicate with your pup. Quite miraculous.

We did manage to come away unscathed and puppy free, so it was all in all, not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

This handsome man celebrated another circle around the sun and we celebrated with Thai food, as any proper celebration should be done.

This year, the first grade class at the boys' school partnered up with a school in Detroit that was in need of some warm winter supplies. The kids had to pick a product or a service that could be offered in exchange for hats, mittens, socks and toothbrushes. They were divided into groups of 3 with one person being the project manager. They did everything on their own and decided what they could do or sell.

Colin was the project manager for his group and they decided to offer the service of joke telling, because jokes are funny and people will like it.
And like it they did.

Both of Colin's partners were sick, so my brave little guy had to man his joke booth all alone. In exchange for one of the items listed above, Colin would tell them a joke.
And he had some great jokes!

Here is the thing. Colin spent 2 years in speech therapy. His preschool teacher could not understand some of his stories. His kindergarten teacher had to ask for him to repeat himself often. He would not speak up in front of adults, especially if he did not know them. He would mumble and barely be audible. He would just hide behind me when we were in public.
But Colin worked hard and he tested out of speech in first grade.

Here is he, telling jokes all alone, jokes that he researched, studied and practiced the perfect punch line delivery. The whole night he delivered his jokes, picking out new ones all the time, to adults and children alike. He was clear, he spoke loudly and he was confident.

I stood back and watched him work hard, raised supplies and never shirked from his responsibilities. I was so proud of him. He blew me away. 

Soccer fields, basketball courts and Disney princesses fill our days and nights and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Life really is filled with all those lovely little things.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

For yonder breaks,

A new and GLORIOUS morn!

May your Christmas be filled with joy, laughter and love.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Advent: In the Waiting

It is Christmas time. The stocking are hung by the chimney with care, with one little sock missing, waiting from afar.

Not missing from our hearts. Not missing from our minds. Not missing from our prayers.

But missing from our home. Missing from our arms.

It is difficult.

This season of waiting.

To know that NEXT Christmas will be different.

One more Fedell stocking.

Will it be a girl stocking or  boy stocking? It is like the world's longest ultrasound...waiting to find out. Waiting for a peak at our Little One.

There is also the longing in the wait. Is our baby safe? Is our baby warm and fed and loved? Every night that is our prayer. Keep our baby safe, protected and loved.

But there is hope in the waiting. An expectancy.

As this season of Advent is winding down and the birth of our Saviour approached, the joy increases with the impatient waiting and longing.

For while we wait, while we hope, there is GREAT joy! Joy in knowing that our arms will soon be filled, that our home will soon be open and that,regardless of our plans, God is in control.....

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

* We are still doing our Puzzle fundraiser to help bring our Little One home. If you would like to make a tax- deductible donation before the end of the year, please click HERE. We are so honored to have you partner with us in the journey.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#GivingTuesday: Kids Need Families

 After giving thanks on Thursday followed by the material gluttony that is Black Friday, small business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it is time to detox from accumulating and focus in on my favorite aspect of the Christmas holiday season. Giving

Today is #givingtuesday and it is a time to give back to those in need, to make charitable contributions and to invest in the future of those around us....both here in the United States and those abroad.

When we decided to adopt, we initially looked into the Foster Care system. Due to some square footage restrictions and other such things,and very wise council of a foster care social worker, we had to put that idea on the back burner. Foster Care is something that is near to our heart, but it was not the next, best step for our family. Maybe it can be your next step? If you are local and would like to help out, click here.

When we moved forward with international adoption, the plight of the orphans laid heavy on our hearts. Most of the children are not placed in a home-like foster care systems. They are in large, sterile orphanages, usually with a large number of children to workers ratio.   Amy Eldrige, CEO of  Love Without Boundaries, wrote about the importance of international adoption here. It is worth reading, especially if you have questions about the validity of international adoptions.

"None of us should kid ourselves or try to make our own hearts feel better by saying that a nice orphanage nanny can take the place of a mom or dad. Would any of us want our own babies raised in an institution? Of course not. And if it’s not okay for our OWN children, why then is it okay for the kids currently living behind orphanage walls? We all know that the longer a child stays in an institution, the more they will suffer cognitive, physical, and emotional delays which can have lifelong implications." Amy Eldrige, CEO of Love Beyond Boundaries

Here is the bottom line. There are children that need families. We are a family that is going to make room. It is that simple.

 "Every child on this earth has a basic human right to be raised in a family, regardless of country. Children are NOT supposed to be raised in institutions. It’s really not rocket science. Kids need families." ~ Amy Eldrige

" Every time we fill a bed here{their home in Va Beach, VA}, that's one less orphan's bed that is full." David Daulton, adoptive father to 9 children, all with Downs Syndrome.

So, on this #GivingTuesday, I challenge you to partner with those who cannot speak for themselves. Every life is valuable. Every life is important. While the number of children that are orphaned may seem daunting, to be able to change one life, to give that one precious soul a family...that is something we can do. If you would like to help us on this journey, you can click HERE.

Whether you are interested in domestic, fostering or international adoption, I urge you to get involved. Foster Care centers are always in need of supplies and manpower. The cost of an international adoption is at least $30,000. Don't let the cost stop one family from bringing a child home. Show Hope, Love Beyond Boundaries, AdoptionBridge, Adopt a Lovestory, all of these organizations can offer support, information and help for all types of adoptions. 

So get involved, imagine what could happen?! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

In All Circumstances


What a year.

In this year, I have been reminded more than ever to give thanks in ALL circumstances.
The good and the bad.

It is so much easier said than done.
I have struggled at times to truly, honestly give thanks.
Personal and selfish desires are such strong emotions.

It is easy to give thanks when things are going well, when blessings seem to pour forth.
It is not easy when things are not going your way, or the way you planned.

So, today, I am challenged again.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances.

Because when the dust settles, the blessings are so abundant. So excessive.
Health, family, love, laughter. They are all there. They are all around us.

So, on this Thanksgiving day, I choose to give thanks in all my circumstances, today and every day forward.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Logged In

Well that was fast.

We are in.

We got our Log In Date today from China. They logged our paperwork and now we are able to start receiving referrals and our agency is going to start going through them looking for a match for our family.

We sent our Dossier on Friday.
We were logged in on Monday.

 There are still a few more steps that China will do with our dossier that includes translations and reviews, but we are eligible to start looking  for a child and be able to be matched.
We made it.

 One BIG piece of our story was completed today.

So now we are waiting and hoping and praying. Referrals can take anywhere from 3 months to 9 months.  Since we do not have a gender preference, it will probably be shorter for us, but nothing is exact in adoption...or life. Patience is a virtue, right?!?!

If you want to be apart of our adoption story and would consider buying a puzzle piece, we would be so grateful. From this point on, we will be saving and working and fundraising so that finances will not stop or hinder us from bringing our child home. One less orphan. One happy family.

Click HERE to go to our puzzle fundraiser page.

Friday, November 11, 2016

A Piece of My Heart: Dossier to China

It is an exciting day for the Fedell family. Right now, a little pile of papers, which just happen to be anything and everything that you would want to know about us called our Dossier, is jetting it's way across the ocean. It's destination is the Peoples' Republic of China. Once that little bundle of papers make it's way to China, careful hands will delivery it right over to the CCCWA (China's Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption) and then...we wait.  We wait to be logged into the adoption match system and we will wait to get a referral. A referral is a child's file and paperwork that is a match for us. It means ONE LESS child will be an orphan and we can bring our son or daughter home. It is an exciting step, this Dossier to China.
We have passed the State and Federal level approvals, and now we are onto China, the home of our baby.
We are getting so close!

To celebrate this great big step across the oceans we are launching a new fundraiser.
 The puzzle above is something that we created to be apart of our Little One's room.  We love that it shows our heart here in Michigan and also our heart over in China. For a while our family's heart is in two places, but soon we will all be together. It is a long distance love story that we are piecing together, day by day. And we want YOU to be apart of this story. The story of our new child coming home.  The story of love, hope and redemption.
Our next adoption payment is over $4,000 and then we start to tackle the cost of travel, lodging and orphanage donations. It is a seemingly impossible mountain to climb, but we are trusting and working and ready to move mountains.
We want you to join with us.

Here's how it works.

1. There are 252 pieces to this puzzle we created.

2. We are "selling" each puzzle piece. You can buy one for any amount.  It can be $10, $20 or $100. It doesn't matter to us. Anything helps. No amount is too small or too big. We are grateful and thankful for anything.  (If you're wondering, the total cost of adopting from China is approximately $35,000.  We are still trying to raise around $25,000)

3. For every donation we receive, we will write YOUR name on your puzzle piece. (For those that have donated before, we will write your name on your piece!)

4. Once every single puzzle piece has been "sold", we will put the puzzle together and hang it in a double-sided glass frame in their room. It will be a beautiful reminder of who had a "piece" of bringing them home, and all those that joined together with us and became apart of our own love story.

5. If you would like to buy a piece of our puzzle, please click HERE. There are buttons on the right side of the page for any size donation and every donation is tax deductible. If you do not want your name on a puzzle piece but would still like to donated, just let us know.

We are so grateful for your help in our journey of adoption. We love having people join with us and bring one more orphan home, one puzzle piece at a time!