At almost eleven o'clock on Saturday night we decided to switch your birthday party to Monday night... at least half of the forty something friends and family we had invited had gotten sick over the weekend. Mama was getting a little sad...okay, a LOT sad at the thought of celebrating with so many of our loved ones missing.
Saturday was already a hard day, because the family who was adopting Olga had to withdraw their application. I had spent the past two weeks emailing and talking on the phone with this amazing mama...we already felt like we had known each other forever. They live just a state away, and we were we already making plans to spend Christmas together. One phone call changed everything, and even today this mama and I were sharing tearful emails about the situation.
Sunday morning rolled around and we all decided to make the best of things. We would pray and believe God for either a miracle for the family who had to withdraw their application, or a new family to step forward very quickly. Honestly, Lily, I was hoping to "announce" Olga's family on your birthday. But this isn't a fairy tale..it's real life. So we picked ourselves up, put our trust in God, and determined more than ever to pray and act.
Sunday church service was pretty sparse with everyone sick. I went out to nurse you during the sermon and took my phone with me. I kept hoping to get an email from my sweet friend, telling me that things had turned around and they could go ahead with the adoption. I checked my text messages, and there was a message from your friend Laura's sissy, Ashley. We met Laura and Ashley and their family through blogging. Ashley is Mackenzie's age..they both love God, their sisters and photography, in that order:) Ashley texted to wish you a happy birthday, and said she hoped our day went well. I texted back and said that we had to switch your party to Monday night, as half of the people we invited were sick. She said oh too bad, as they were in town.
Lily, nothing in me thought she was serious- they live in Southern California, and we live in Oregon. I went back into the service, and only after church did I check my phone again. There was another text, asking me if I had gotten Ashley's last text. I teased back and said oh yes, we were on our way to pizza, and to come join us. She said which pizza place? I said "the one on Kings, meet us and save us a table."
A little while later we were munching away on pizza, enjoying fellowship with some friends from church...all of the sudden I looked up and in walked Ashley, Laura, and their entire family!!
Lily, in your birthday post I said I had never been more surprised in my life than when Grammi and Aunt Hopie and your cousins flew in for my baby shower unexpectedly. I think this little surprise took the cake!! I jumped and yelled OH MY GOSH! and ran over to hug Ashley!!
We have never met this family in person, but we have emailed, texted, skyped, etc. for almost a year- so it seemed like we were meeting old friends! We all exchanged hugs and tears and I just felt like you had just received the best birthday gift in the world! Ashley's parents, John and Sherry are the sweetest people, they are such kindred spirits, and we all just clicked instantly. They also have three boys: Travis is a little older than Josiah, and Cody and Landon are right around our younger boys' ages.
Laura and you were SO cute together!! We have plotted for months how to get our families together- we are going to southern California in April for my niece's wedding, so we thought that would be the first chance we had to see the Quinns. This was just the nicest surprise in the world, and it just completely changed the whole day for me- I am so very thankful for this wonderful family being as CRAZY as we are, planning something so extravagant.
I am going to post a ton of pictures here, because with TWO girls who are camera crazy, we got double the photos we would normally have:)
This is the princess car Daddy bought for you---you LOVE it!!
Here are the two teenage beauties, Ashley and Kenz..
Mama bought you a pretty party dress ...it was a size 3-6 month and it fit perfectly:)
Aunt Hopie sent all the decorations for your party ..everything was pretty and pink..
I looked for a special cake for you at a bakery..but nothing really caught my eye. I'm not going to start my own cake decorating show anytime soon, but your brothers and sisters were impressed, so that's all that matters:)
The beautiful Ashley and her equally beautiful sissy, Laura...
Two more stunning girls...
Sherry and I cried when we said goodbye that night- we're going to try to talk them into moving to SUNNY Oregon;)
Lovely Laura...she is a DOLL!!
Me and my Lilybird...
Daddy and his princess...
Getting ready to open your presents..
You loved the beautiful bunny our sweet friend Barb sewed for you...she is making one for Olga and one for Kareen as well!
Of course I got all emotional as we sung you happy birthday...what is it about first birthdays that always make me cry?! This one was even harder for me- it's been a glorious year, baby girl and these were happy tears of joy..
Lily loves her some cake!! No worries about what to do with it...
*thank you ashley for sending me this pic;)
We almost forgot the cute hat that Aunt Hopie sent- I have been waiting all year to put it on you!
We had a very happy night indeed, dearest Lily. The celebration was made even sweeter with the laughter and magic of dear friends old and new. And I kept coming back to the thought- if not for that magica extra chromosome, we might have missed out on all this...
As our dear friend Ashley would say...
Loving you to the moon and back,
Just wanted to let you know two very important things...
One is that Lilybuds is offering Lily's readers a ten percent discount off any orders on their website.. Just enter the coupon code Lilys1 (in honor of her first birthday) at checkout!
Lilybuds owner Kim designs the beautiful fingerprint necklaces that we did a giveaway for last week. Kim has a fabulous website, and I hope you take time to go check it out!
The second item is a plea from my heart...
Several friends have emailed me asking if we could call a fast for Olga. I know so many have already done so, but if you are able and willing, we are going to take tomorrow to fast for her specifically. I am so moved by all the bloggers who responded by posting about Olga again. If you haven't already read Stephanie's post about suggestions for spreading the word, please go do so- she had some great ideas about thinking outside the box.
We are still planning our big giveaway in February...if you have any desire to help with this, please contact me- we are looking at helping Olga, Kareen, and another precious child who desperately needs our help....
Boy, Born February 20, 2007
New picture from July 2010
Peter is a darling little boy with brown hair and brown eyes. He has so much to bring to a family, but he was born with multiple challenges in addition to his Down syndrome. From his medical records: severe delay of stato-motor development, congenital heart disease(ventricular septal defect with high degree of pulmonary hypertension), condition after closing of patent ductus arteriosus and coning of pulmonary artery, retinal angiopathy, farsightedness, nystagmus.
Peter needs a family right away, so his medical complications can be addressed by US physicians, and he can finally begin to live life as he should! Please give Peter this opportunity!!
PETER IS FACING THE INSTITUTION IN A FEW MONTHS, PLEASE CONSIDER HIM!
Andrea personally asked me to advocate for Peter...In her own words, "Peter has been listed with us nearly his whole life. I am surprised he is still alive. Not a soul has ever inquired about him. We have never had a good picture of him. So my prayer is that some visibility on your blog will help truly save his life."
My heart breaks for this beautiful and helpless child- how can it be that not one person has ever inquired about him? Please contact Reece's Rainbow if you are interested in donating to or adopting Peter. Please keep him in your prayers as well.
Thank you so much for all of the sweet birthday wishes for Lily..they meant so much to our family.
This is Olga's birthday month as well..I am praying with all my heart that her next birthday finds her in the safety and security of a loving family.