Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hurdles and Hugs

Peter had a great day today. He has enjoyed the sunshine, and all the fun running around with Zeke & Eli.

Each of the boys had a tick tonight at bed time.....can you imagine me trying to remove a tick from Peters arm-pit...he thought I was simply TORTURING him!!!

But the bath made it all better. He LOVES water, he washes his hands faithfully after every potty trip, just so he can have time in the water. Then he helped Shaun do dishes for nearly an hour....for the pleasure of playing in the water....He is so fun.

He ate 4 HUGE bowls of Baked Ziti for lunch. This boy eats.... Now if only we can get him to start gaining weight. He lost 7 lbs from the flu last month, he is so underweight any little illness just takes it right out of him.

I shudder to think of the worst case scenario, where we are not able to raise enough $$ to finalize his adoption and he is forced to return to Liberia.

Thanks again to everyone who has sent money. The amount we have to save/raise is HUGE and every little bit helps. I never want any one to feel like I am guilt tripping them, I sincerely hope I am not sending that vibe....My cousins near and far and my friends that have sent money to me....I just can't put into words how amazed I am.

Madi's preschool teacher from 1998 gave a paypal donation. Amazing.

Thanks again everyone.

Oh...we took the CUTEST photos of the boys all dressed for church. I will share tomorrow. Even though Peter did not attend church, he sat and watched a session of Conference in ASL with me on the computer!

Pennies for Peter!

Here is a Flyer I created with help from my friend Susanna. What do you think?

Are you willing to print ONE COPY and put it up for display at your local Grocery Store, or Gas station, What about a neighbors restaurant? Someplace like "The Smokehouse" or "Iggy's" or how about "Ernie's Deli" ?

Feedback appreciated!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bonding & Trust

Newborn babes...the smell intoxicating, they are tiny, and sweet and utterly perfect. Not at hing they can do (even scream all night long with gas) can not mar the joy and peace they bring to your home.
When a new mother gives birth, first an influx of congratulations, and Gifts, Meals, and offerings for support and help flood in. Mom's usually have a bit of euphoria.

All is right. All is well.

Within the first three weeks, a mom will nap, snuggle and bundle up her wee one just basking in that babes wonderful spirit.

It is a perfect time. Of course there are struggles, postpartum pains, or the depression that often sets in. But overall the Highs out number the lows.

When a new child is introduced into a family and the child is older. (Say older than 2) The bonding, snuggling, cuddling, and basking are a little more complicated. The Synapses that occurs to a newborn, developing their intellectual capacity, establishing their trust, and safety comprehension.

The fact that the people that WERE caring for this child, are no longer in their life, the damage to trust and safety has already been done. These kids have a battle to overcome. Other wise known as 'attachment issues' having a normal attachment to their caregiver (Mother & Father) is essential to the normal development of relationships throughout their lives. Without this many things are not understood. For example; Authority, accountability, remorse, trust. Can you imagine a life without the capacity for one or each of these?

When a new child is brought into the home in adoption, it is absolutely essential and imperative that people in their surroundings understand something.

Affection and Direction are ONLY appropriate when they come from the Mother & Father.

If others (who are well meaning) Hug, pick-up, snuggle, caress, cuddle or otherwise ANY PHYSICAL affection it Disrupts the Trust & Bonding that adoptive families work SO HARD to establish.

I understand these babies (even if they are 2, 3 or 4) are adorable, and so lovable.

For the first year affection (even hugs) Should be considered a violation of boundaries.

Please do not get offended! Please be supportive during this CRUCIAL time of adjustment and Please respect the parents desires to mend the broken chains of trust, love and affections.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What can I do....Today?

Many who feel like they would like to help, but Adoption is NOT for them, And that is OK. It is not for everyone.

But what CAN you do?

Birthday presents Can be purchased from places like :this:

You can write from the heart encouraging others to Speak, Act, and Move.

You could donate time and encourage others who are working on their own projects like this one

You can support groups in big ways or small. Just do something, the greatest gift you can give back to our Lord is to Serve another.






Thank you "GN"
Thank you "SS"
Thank you "LJ"
Thank you "HS"

My heart is overflowing with gratitude that others near and far would find the way to support our family.

It takes a lot of humility to fundraise and ask for help, and the outpouring has overwhelmed me with gratitude.

Thank you.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What a day.... March 21st 2012

Yesterday was our "Gotcha Day"

The plan started out that Shaun and I had an apt. to get our fingerprints done. (for the 4th time....don't ask)

These apts are only made once a week, and if we did not make it to this, we would have two choices, drive 3 hrs to the next location, or wait a week. I was anxious to get them done, as this is the most essential part of the home-study.
The plan was, as soon as we were done getting that done, we would jet out to the airport and pick up our boy!

On our way to Liberty, Denise called.... She and I understand one-another when we use our 'free flight privileges' they come with many many kinks. Denise had been trying to get out on a flight since Tuesday afternoon. They had been full, and the Wed. flights were not looking any better.

When she called and told me the chances were getting slimmer for an arrival we made a hasty decision to drive and meet each other in the middle somewhere.

So once we finished with our fingerprinting appointment, Shaun and I drove 3.5 hours to Fort Dodge Iowa.

We arrived in Fort Dodge and met up at the McDonald's. Melvin is such a cheerful easy going boy, he happily jumped into our car, got himself buckled and we were on our way.

We arrived at home late last night. the older kids were up waiting to meet their new brother, and after greetings and smiles everywhere, we crashed into bed.

At 7:30 a.m. we got breakfast made and said goodbye to Madi & Shaun who had to go to school. Zeke & Elijah woke up and came for breakfast, Eli was surveying Melvin and was rather unsure of his stance, after lots of hugs, and kisses from mommy reassuring him all was ok, he jumped right into playing and sharing everything with Melvin.

The day is nearly half way over, and I am still in a state of disbelief. The kids are all getting along, everyone has been prepped as much as possible, and we appreciate your prayers to lift us along the way.

Did you see the Fundraiser Thermometer? Did you see we are at $1185.00!?

THANK YOU! and thanks to the many who have volunteered to sell chocolate bars in our behalf as well. (pics to come soon!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Movers & Shakers

I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends who support my crazy life.

This morning I received a call from Susannah. I consider her one of my closest friends. She had a GREAT Suggestion!

Sam's Club Warehouse carries boxes of chocolate candy bars. 52 bars in the box. The boxes COST $20 (apx) The idea is to sell (peddle!) the bars wherever you can, selling them for $1-$2. These bars come with a $1 off coupon for Subway.

If everyone who is willing to pay for any amount of boxes, and sell the bars you could triple the investment! If your kids go to school, and are allowed to sell, they could sell a box in 3 hours easily!

I will create a flyer explaining our needs and you can use that as intro to the pitch.

I love it!

Who is in?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Move your FEET

Most of the time people are supportive, loving and kind. To our face. When I tell the story of our life, or I share the portion of the journey we are currently walking, they say things like "You are so adventurous!" or "Your much braver than I"

Occasionally I get people who are real. and they say exactly what they feel to my face. In one instance someone who I admire greatly asked why in the world i would adopt kids when I was capable of having them biologically (I think she said the easy way)


What do you say? My un-restrained thoughts are "Because God commands us to care for the needy, and an orphan fits that bill"

but my politically correct reply was, "We feel this is our calling"

For those who CAN NOT care for more than they have, you should not feel guilty. Your Quiver is full, and you are fulfilling your role. Please do not think I am referring to that situation.

The frustration comes to me when ADULTS address their concern and or unapproved opinions to my CHILDREN, who then have to defend ME.


if an adult has an issue with another adult, then the grown-up thing to do would be speak to that person, not through their child, or neighbor or friend. Because frankly, if you do not know me well enough to offer friendly advice, then maybe you should keep your opinions to yourself.

I do not judge others who have EXCESS, who can travel the world, buy brand new cars every few years, Pay cash for every whim, fancy or idea. They earned it, and they have a right to spend it how they see fit.

But why do others seem to think it is their place to question, comment or gossip about my choices, goals, life and intentions.

People the commandment is to LOVE one another.

Comfort those that need Comforting

Support the poor, Widowed, needy and Orphaned.

and Love thy NEIGHBOR as THYSELF .

Here is a thought that resonates in my mind.
"If not me....then WHO?"
"If not Now...then WHEN?"
"If not this....Then WHAT?"

Adoption is not convenient, cheap, or easy.

the negative comments that are made about me wasting my potential, or how we must be really wealthy, or I must have super powers that they lack...are not true.

When I see someone with a flat on the side of the road, I can think....."Awe, someone else can take care of their needs"


What can you do?

Who needs your hand?

Who needs your love?

if not adoption...then what
it not you...then who
if not now....then when

MOVE YOUR FEET. Do not judge the path I travel, and in return I will smile and nod as our paths cross.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have been looking around for ideas on fundraisers.
I have found a place that will DONATE a huge portion of the costs for producing 100 shirts.

These shirts we can sell for $10-15 for the 5k or for people who just want to support the adoption.

So please give me some feedback is it worth SPENDING $250 to get shirts made to then SELL? Or does anyone know of a resource that will be willing to donate 100 shirts?

Thanks for the feedback!

A new day.

Sunday. the Sabbath. the hardest day of the week for mothers.

ahhhh..... How I love late church services. It gives me time to enjoy my children, and get ready for church at a slower pace.

The kids. They crack me up. Some days they beg NOT to attend church. Some days they CRY Their eyes out to go to church. (Same kids, different days)

As I contemplate WHY we attend church and what all the habits and rituals of the Sabbath are, I wonder which of them actually bring the spirit of Peace into our home, and which bring frustration and contention.
Again, depends on the day.
Today I was playing scriptures aloud from after we had listened to a few chapters, I turned to a YouTube video with the song "Holding Hands around the World." It has been going through my head as our theme for this adoption. (really every adoption)

When the song had played a few times and I was absent from the room, our son Shaun (18) changed the YouTube channel to one of his choosing.

I of course snapped at him, chastised him and immediately regretted the tone I used to correct him.

When we make mistakes what does our Heavenly Father SHOUT or Yell? I know that when I feel chastised it is a soft pressing upon my heart....A whispering. And then an understanding, of what I have fallen short on, and what I can do to improve.

I am praying today that I can learn these lessons of speaking softly sooner rather than later. that I can correct and teach these Heavenly Children how we are to behave, Do as I Do. To strive to be the Example of a Believer of Christ.

and yes. I will apologize to the child(ren) that I accost in impatience.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Thanks again...

The donations are slowly trickling in!
Thank you "SF"
Thank you "LL"

Here is a copy of the letter I sent to our family & friends.

Family & Friends

Each time we add a child to our crew we are humbled and a little bit overwhelmed. This time rather than a pregnancy announcement it is an adoption announcement! Wesley and I are honored to have these sweet spirits in our home and consider it our greatest honor and asset that we are being blessed with more.
Let me tell you a little bit about Melvin. Melvin had a severe medical need when the group from “Global Orphan Outreach” found him and brought him to the USA on an emergency medical visa. He was diagnosed as severely malnourished (24 lbs at 4 yrs old) and had Malaria and other urgent medical issues. Melvin was cared for by a very special family in Minnesota that covered all of his medical needs and physical needs while in their care. Melvin is also deaf, the remainder of his medical needs have been addressed and he is growing stronger.

Here is where our family steps into the picture. We have the privilege to offer respite care (foster care) for Melvin while we paper chase to adopt him from Liberia. In normal adoptions, the family spends time doing the paper work, and then fundraising and finally brings their child home. In our case, we are starting backwards.

The Dr’s who treated Melvin in Minnesota have said it is a death sentence to send him back to Liberia, where malaria is rampant, they felt his body was too weak from his multiple issues to withstand another infection. Melvin’s Medical Visa is being renewed until August, when we as a family must return with him to appear in the courts to petition to adopt him. We have from now until May to raise $8,000.00. Then we will have until August 2012 to raise the remainder of our expenses (including travel ) estimated at $8,000.00 Total fees will be $16,000.00.

This is where you come in!
We have planned several opportunities to participate in a fundraiser, and we appreciate your support. If there is a certain skill or idea YOU have, we appreciate the help in implementing those ideas.

Here is a list of what OUR family is doing to raise the money for his adoption:

-Walk/Run for Melvin: Hosted by Dee Dibal in Lenexa, Kansas (goal is $4500.00)
Each participant will pay $5 to participate and we will have T-shirts designed to sell for $15.00. You need not be a runner/walker to purchase the T-Shirt. (and designs for the shirt welcome and appreciated)

-TUPPERWARE Fundraiser Hosted by Various team leaders (we mean YOU) (Goal is $4000)
April 17th KICK OFF April 27th CLOSING party/event
We have catalogs or web orders available if customers order from the Tupperware fundraising catalog we get 40% of the money, if they order from the full catalog online we get 25-30% of the money. If you are willing and able to be a team leader we will do an orientation on what it takes to help (pass out flyers/catalogs, collect money, and then take shipment of orders in your area).

-Spaghetti dinner & Dance Hosted by Bear’s Aloha Grill (Goal is $5000)
June 8th 6 p.m. suggested donation $8.00 per plate or $50.00 per family
Looking for entertainment for this evening, singers, bands, etc cabaret style. If you have a talent you are willing to share, please volunteer. We also need people; to donate some of the foods, to help arrange a program and of course SPREAD THE WORD.

Of course if you do not feel like you have the skills or time to donate, we also have a PayPal account set up to accept donations. If you go to our family blog : , there is a “donate via PayPal” button . It goes directly to the savings account we have started for Melvin’s adoption.

Please do not feel bad if FUNDS are not available to donate, we are asking for your support as well as donations, there is no way we can pull this off without help, Thanks For EVERYTHING you do!

The road we have started is a long one and has many twists and turns. Already the 6 weeks since we have decided to adopt have been a HUGE roller coaster. We appreciate your SUPPORT and PRAYERS as well as any other ways YOU feel like you can help our efforts. Any POSITIVE feedback appreciated (since we are WELL AWARE of the hurdles we have to face).
Much love and appreciation!
Wesley & Deanna Gordon & Family.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A countdown

We have a date!

Tuesday March 20th Melvin will arrive with his host mom.

I am thrilled, excited, nervous, anxious.


We had thought that we could easily raise the funds for travel and the adoption expenses by August. Now we are being told that we need to have all our necessary documents in Liberia by June. Two months before we were planning.

I am feeling the pressure. Paperwork galore, and the fees that go along with it are adding up quickly.

Seeing his sweet, mischievous is all worth it.

When I met Melvin, I took him to the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America. here is a few photos from our weekend together.

So amazing...

I HAD to adjust the funds thermometer THREE times today! tomorrow I will wait for the end of the day. that way it may seem...more dramatic! ;)

Thank you "S"
Thank you "A"
Thank you "L"

Our First Donation!

So Exciting.

Thanks to those who have responded in support.

I have been trying to think of more ways to help you feel connected. So i figured I would make a running tally of the expenses thus far.....

Trip to Visit Melvin in MN
Gas $250.00
Food $112.00
Museum $55.00

Background Checks
MO State $35.00
AK. State $55.00
FBI$ 48.20(x3)= $144.60

Home study
Home study Fee $1395.00
Travel expenses for Home Study Worker TBD

TO DATE SPENT: $2350.60

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What next...What now?

One year.

What can change in one year? You can gestate a new life in less than one year.

You can build a home in 1 year.

You can change your habits, therefore changing your life, you can create new traditions.

So much potential in a year.
Last year I had a goal, I was intensely focused on, and I was working SO HARD to accomplish my goal to obtain my CPM.

There was a trade off. The hours are brutal and the expenses involved were draining.
I was in love with the women I worked with, considered it an honor to call them my friends & comrades.

I still love these women. they are an inspiration to me.

This year is different.

Change is good.

Life is change.

And for now I re-group, re-assess, and pray that my heart will accept the path that is set before me.

I adore my life, I am in love with my husband, I am honored to parent my wonderful children.
And I accept the challenge to follow this path wherever it takes me, do not pity me, for I choose this path. I accept all that it entails, I know it will not be easy, but that which is easy seldom produces excellence.

The LEAD program I have been developing for years will continue to be developed, I will seek out opportunities to encourage the youth and the downtrodden, i love to see hope ignited in the eyes of those who felt there was no hope.

I enjoy seeing the potential of youth pushing beyond the norm and reaching for that which will bring them freedom, and peace, and their own definition of success!

Success for me is knowing that my children feel loved, supported and challenged.
Success is seeing my husband feel cherished and supported.
Success is knowing I have pleased my Father in Heaven with the work I put forth.
Success is feeling the love of those around me.
Success is sharing my testimony in word, deed and action.

Success is knowing that today I am closer to my goal than yesterday, it may not be as rapid as I originally scheduled, but a step in the right direction is still right.

And so I slow my pace, I evaluate what is Good, what is Better and what is Best.

My best is supporting my family and my Savior.
My best is praying earnestly for the courage to do what is necessary.


I am living, loving, learning to be adaptable, to be obedient, to be humble.

Pray for me. As I pray for you.

Friday, March 02, 2012

One day at a time....

Life and its twists and turns can feel like a violent storm at times.

When I think of all that has waved over me in emotions, thoughts, feelings, and direction, I am in awe. I love waking up with purpose, I love surrounding myself with friends who lift, honor, serve and love others.

It has been almost 9 years since I have struggled with severe debilitating depression.

It has been 9 years since I have vowed to immerse myself in service and love to all those I meet. I may not meet this goal on a daily basis, but I aim to be an encouraging face and a loving friend to all i meet.

This does not mean that I do not have my moments, weaknesses and frustrations overwhelm me at times, and I get down on myself or others.

Then I return to my journals and I evaluate what I am doing and where my energies are being spent, and this helps bring me back into alignment with my life goals.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself and to feel safe around you.

it is always enjoyable to know I can be strong or weak, and feel accepted and loved no matter what i am enduring.