Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lily's Surprise Visitors

Dearest Lily,

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,
Mama oxox


Dear friends,

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!!

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.



Ilisa Ailts said...

Truly heartbreaking. I will copy this on my blog...

Great birthday pics! What fun! I cannot believe that slew of children in the final pic, how great!

Unknown said...

What wonderful pics--I loved the Lilybird cake! :-)

Continuing to pray for Olga and Kareen, and now Peter. I will repost also as soon as I can.

Lori said...

What a great birthday surprise!! I am so happy everything turned out so good for her birthday - the pictures are priceless!! I am sad we weren't there - kiss her for me!! Praying for Olga - let me know if you fast - will post about Peter today!! Love you guys!

Elissa said...

How wonderful that Ashley and her family got to be there on Lilys birthday! I saw her dress was 3-6 months. I may have overshot the size on her gift. (I'm not very good at that even with measurements.) Maybe she can wear it on her second birthday! Hopefully it will arrive today.

Wren said...

What a wonderful birthday Lily had and such an amazing surprise! She looked darling in that dress and I don't thing I realized how tiny she was until you mentioned it being a size 3-6mo...such a cute little peanut!

May this second year be filled with more happy tears, milestones met and enough love to last a life time!

Anna Theurer said...


I recently discovered your blog through babycenter. Your letters to Lily are so moving and inspiring. Often I find myself with happy tears! Your little Lily-pie is just darling and I have been praying for dear Olga.

Unknown said...

What a special day! I'm so glad you all had that awesome surprise! SO exciting! It's amazing how the internet can bring people together.

I LOVE the bird cake. It is so stinkin cute! Looks like Lily enjoyed it too! And her party hat is adorable :)

Cathy said...

Happy birthday, Lily!! So cool that Ashley and her family came to town. I love being FB friends with them and seeing their love for the sisters! How blessed Lily and Laura are!

Shauna said...

What a wonderful surprise! I didn't realize they live in SoCal! When you come down we'll have to try and get together! I will re-post about Olga too. I'm trying to think how I can fast...thats a great idea, but I can't straight up fast with trying to get Reagan to gain weight :(

Rachel Bretbunner said...

Aw, that little boy has the same birthday as Cooper!

JC said...

What a great suprise!! Looks like Lily had an awesome birthday...The pictures were all so beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

I cried. Happy and sad tears. The girls together is just amazing, and I'll add Peter to my prayer list...

sunnylattegma said...

I do believe beautiful Lily had a very happy Happy Birthday! She was a princess, in a princess car with a princess hat wearing a princess dress. What a doll baby she is. I love her lilybird cake! How cute is that! What a special birthday she had, with very special friends.

I was just looking at Peter on RR, had read his blurb and began praying for him. How ironic to see him featured here. Peter is now on my prayer list.

Anonymous said...

I know this is random, but I just got done reading your birth story for Lily. You have an amazing way with words, first of all, and secondly, I cried. So very hard. I had a NICU baby, and you did an amazing job of describing everything about it. The picture of her lying in the isolette brought back so many heartbreaking memories for me. You are a strong, strong woman, and Lily is truly a miracle from God. No other words describe her better than that. God chose you to be her mama and to be born into your family because there is something special about your family. I’ve only followed your blog for a few weeks, but even I can see that. Just amazing…

Ashley said...

I love you guys and miss you so much! Kenzie took some amazing pictures <3 I am so glad that we got to spend such a special day with all of you!
When we were leaving Monday night, Kenz was telling me that she wished that I could stay with you guys til April. My dad told me this morning that that would have been cool. So I told him to send me on a plane back ;) haha
Love you guys so much and I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of April! Many more memories will be made.

Keri Jo said...

What a sweet and memorable birthday for Lily. I think your cake was so cute...no it was ADORABLE! I love it when baby's get cake all over their face....so cuuuute! What a fun surprise with the Quinn family!! I watch Ashley's blog too, so it looked weird to see both your families in the same picture!
Happy Birthday Lily... wish we could've been crazy enough to come too :)

innominatus said...

Patti, sorry we didn't make it to the party. We were waiting for word from Ronnie & Emily that they got back safe from the coast because the mudslide problems were right around where they were travelling.

Becca said...

Beautiful, memorable pictures! I think the cake is just gorgeous, especially smeared all over the hands and face of such a gorgeous 1-year old!

Deanna said...

Loved, loved the pics of sweet Lily's birthday! So happy that Ashley and Laura were able to surprise you...that seriously made me cry. (FYI, Addison's party is on Feb 5th...surprises welcome.lol)

Living for the Lord in 2011 said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful post and your marvelous blog, which led me to Reece's Rainbow....

I am making plans to pitch adoption to my DH in the next few weeks and I am asking for prayers...like your family we are spread out in kids ages (6 total, ages 18 down to 1, whom I am also still nursing, you rock!) and my husband is stressed out about paying for college for the one starting next year and all the ones after that!

All is know is that God has told me to rescue one of his precious ones and that He will need to convince my hubby!

Blessings to you and your beautiful birthday girl!

Rochelle said...

What a beautiful birthday celebration Lily for a truly beautiful girl!

We will definitely fast tomorrow for Olga and keep praying for God to provide her forever family.

Kelly Marin said...

I don't know why this post especially made me cry but it did... Myabe its realizing wow a year of praying for Lily and seeing how far you've all come. She is so beautiful! I can't wait to see you at E's wedding and see her in person! How long will you guys be staying?

How neat to have Ashley and her family visit, what a blessing friends are.

Just so you know my kids are all clamoring for bunnies too:) Every single one of them!

Race Bannon said...

Wait, I'm totally confused. These Internet-people are real? They can visit you?!

...I thought we were all cartoons?

Patti said...

race..not everyone is as cool and age-defying as you.

Ginger said...

Those pics were awesome! Totally enjoyed that.
So, was the party at church or where was that? Something about the big exit sign makes me think it's probably not a home. ;)

my family said...

a family is in my prayers for peter. What a wonderful surprise and a great way to spend the day. Beautiful pictures as always and sweet big sisters too

Kellan's momma said...

Happy (belated) birthday to Lily! I'm not surprised Ashley's family came to see you...I'm ready to hop in my car and come too! I love reading your blog, Lily and Kellan are both tiny little angels, he is 15 months and in 9 month clothes (still 3 month pants!!) I also love RR and all those babies, I wish I could bring them all home! It was so rewarding to raise over $1000 for one at Christmas! You do such awesome work for them, you are very inspiring to me!

Heather said...

Of course I've already said how adorable Lilybird is, but now I'm in love with this Laura girl! Redheaded babies are my favorite thing ever... OMG I could eat her up!!!!!

Race Bannon said...

When you have 10 kids in Oregon, they government makes you post EXIT signs in your house...and just to make it easy, Patti has BOYS and GIRLS rooms designated as well.

Race Bannon said...


nicole said...

Patti ~ You couldn't have found cuter cakes than the ones you made. Glad it turned out to be a great day for all of you. It sounds like none of Race's internet friends come to visit him ~ that should tell him something.

Ginger said...

Race, are you serious? I can't tell. I wanna laugh, but I'm not sure if you're kidding. Good grief, you guys are confusing me! :p

CM said...

OK, 2 things...#1, can Lily get any cuter?!? I don't think so. LOVE the picture of her with the party hat on! #2, the pink birdy cake is adorable! Who needs a bakery?

Sydney said...


Hi! I just love your blog, it is so amazing and inspirational! Happy Birday to Lily! I wrote a post about Lily, your family, Olga, Kareen, and Peter on my blog. I am praying!

My post: http://faithfulalwaysblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-birthday-to-perfect-lily.html

Julia said...

Happy Birthday Lily!!

Patti said...

Ginger- Race is never serious. Don't believe anything he says.
The party was at the rec room where my son and his wife live:)
Sydney- going to look now!!

Stephanie said...

UGH! lost my computer for a few days, just catching up. The pics are beautiful and how amazing were your surprise guests! So glad everything went well.
Saw your fast request, very cool
i fast every Tuesday for our Dumplings. I was never big on fasting until another bloggy friend started it on her blog. Now I am a true believe! I've seen some incredible ,miracles happen when people join in together , fasting and praying.

Stephanie said...

BTW, that cake was beautiful!

Virginia Revoir said...

Chaz walked in on me looking at Lily's pictures and he said "Oh, that's a cute baby." He NEVER pays attention to babies so I was surprised he wanted to stop and see her pictures. See, I knew it. Lily is just a cutie patootie.

NikkiB said...


I meant to tell you that I LOVED the "Lily-bird" cake!! It was adorable and you did an AWESOME job...I have a special place in my heart for homemade cakes!! So precious!!!! Also... so coveting that black/red tutu and ladybug outfit. OH MY!!!! LOVE LOVE!!!! That Lily gets cuter each day!!

Race Bannon said...

Ginger - we mock what we do not understand. Oregon is not funny, its sad. Yes...those are jokes.

My motto (well, one of them, I seem to be collecting them) is "If we can't laugh at ourselves...lets laugh at somebody nearby".

Race Bannon said...

Heck...lets laugh at somebody all the way across the country!

Love ya Pat! Ho Ho Ha Ha He He Ha Ha!