Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Want to win a Kindle?

I've finally gotten it together! We have had a bit of a difficult time publicizing this fundraiser so please help us out by spreading the word for this.  Not being able to advertise a fundraiser makes it hard to well... fundraise and I'll make it worth your while with extra entries!

This fundraiser is for Mariah's Orphanage: Kharkiv City Orphanage #2.  All funds donated will go directly to Life 2 Orphans, a non-profit organization that has agreed to partner with us as we try to raise money for the orphanage heating system that they are currently in the process of trying to repair and remodel.

God put it on our hearts while we were still in Ukraine that we were supposed to do something for the many children we had to leave behind.  We came home with a new awareness of what its really like to "need" something and what its really like to have nothing.

The amount that the orphanage needs seems daunting, but nothing is impossible with God!  Our goal is to raise at least $1000 for the orphanage and we aim to do so by offering a Kindle up for grabs!

Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, White, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers

  • All-New, High-Contrast E Ink Screen - 50% better contrast with latest E Ink Pearl technology

  • Read in Bright Sunlight - No glare

  • New and Improved Fonts - New crisper, darker fonts

  • New Sleek Design - 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6" size reading area

  • 17% Lighter - Only 8.7 ounces, weighs less than a paperback

  • Battery Life of Up to Two Months - A single charge lasts up to two months with wireless off

  • Double the Storage - Up to 3,500 books

  • Books in 60 Seconds - Download books anytime, anywhere

  • Free 3G Wireless - No monthly payments, no annual contracts

  • Built-In Wi-Fi - In addition to the 3G wireless, you can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots

  • 20% Faster Page Turns - Seamless reading

  • Enhanced PDF Reader - With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights

  • New WebKit-Based Browser - Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)  

  • Kharkiv Baby House #2: Home to 120 children ages 0-4

    The orphanage needs around $13,000 to complete the repairs and remodeling of the radiator heating units.  

    This is a sweet picture of some of Mariah's grouppa.  This little one in the front reminds me of Wyatt so much it makes me cry to look at him. These are the faces we caught glimpses of.  These little ones are just a few of the 120 reasons why we are doing this.

    This is the front of the orphanage.  Much of it was in disrepair and many rooms had no children in them because they were in such rough shape.

    So, here's how it works.  I have a chipin at the top right of my blog. 

    $10 donation gets you 1 entry.
    $25 donation gets you 3 entries
    $50 donation gets you 10 entries

    After you donate you can get extra entries by...

    Sharing this post on fb - get 1 extra entry
    Blog about this (must leave me a link w/ blog post) - 3 more entries
    Tweet this - 1 more entry

    Leave me a comment to let me know what you donated and where you shared!

    If you know me personally, you can write a check to Life2Orphans, put "Kharkiv #2 heat system" in the memo and give it to me.  Donating directly to L2O is tax deductible.  Donating to my chipin is not.  You can donate directly to Life 2 Orphans by clicking that link if you want to donate directly to their organization and are not worried about entries to the Kindle Giveaway.

    This giveaway will go live *NOW* and will continue until October 14.  That date one year ago was our SDA submission date for our dossier.  Seems like a significant date to end the fundraiser and declare a winner!  So while the chipin widget will remain open through December 31, the Kindle giveaway will end on Oct 14.

    I will notify the winner (don't forget to leave me a way to contact you!) and ship the Kindle directly to you.

    Thanks for helping us show God's love to the people and the children of Ukraine.  We were the face of not only America, but the church as a whole when we went here and we'd like to show the orphanage staff and the children that we haven't forgotten about them just because we went back to our comfortable lives in the U.S. 

    Thank you and GOOD LUCK!!  

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Mariah's 5th Birthday

    A Pinata!

    Picking up pinata treats
    Opening presents
    Princess Cupcake BD cake w/ tiara and wand.

    Since coming home with Mariah in December, we've all had a BD.  Wes' was February.  I was March.  Phillip & Wyatt are in May and we've been to a party for a couple other people as well.  Mariah had NO clue what a BD was when she came home but by the time hers finally rolled around, she knew!

    She picked a cake with a tiara and wand on it from Wal-Mart.  Actually she seemed good with any cake from Wal-Mart so long as it was HERS but she seemed to really like this one the most lol

    I really tried to go all out with her party.  There aren't birthday parties at orphanages and in some cases I think they try to hide that a child (particularly a child with special needs) has turned a year older.  It means transfer to a Detsky Dom or in Mariah's case, a mental institution.  She never had anyone celebrate the day she was born because really, when you're an orphan, what is it you'd be celebrating?  For 4 years, no one cared how old she was or that she'd been born on a particular day.

    So we made up for that.

    We had a Butterfly pinata and after letting all of the kids have a go at it (it was a STURDY pinata!) Mariah and her daddy finally smacked it open :)

    I made a huge pot of Borscht (and yes I will post the recipe for those who asked) and bought maaaany kinds of chips since chips to Mariah is food of the gods!

    We bought her new shoes, a Radio Flier My First Scooter, A Bitty Baby starter set, and some Leap Frog toys.  She got loads of hair accessories, lip gloss, nail polish, baby doll clothes, a baby doll bed, a baby doll stroller, and even a handmade tutu!  My favorite gift was the Dapper Snapper.  It solved our issues with pants falling down!  Now she can wear size 3T pants and all I have to do is snap on the Dapper Snapper!  Sweet!

    My thoughts lately have been kind of jumbled what with two kids in separate preschools and homeschooling Wes, but I wanted to make a point to document how important this party was for Mariah and for us.

    It was a BIG day!  Her first every birthday party celebrated with her forever family.  It was a day to let her know that we are so happy she is with us and we want to celebrate the fact that she is getting older and growing up in our family.

    We are really very grateful to those who were able to come and share this special day with us :) Mariah really enjoyed her party and did so well.  She was excited but never got overwhelmed or overly affectionate (which she can sometimes do).  She absolutely loved opening presents and kept yelling "Thank you!" Oooooooh dis is so cool! Ahhhhh!!  Oooooohhhh!!  Look!" Haha it was so much fun watching her open stuff.

    I will post more pics of her party as a separate post.  There are so many and my phone has a limit to what it will do at one time.

    I do want to mention that I kept wondering what her bio mom must be thinking on Mariah's birthday.  For four years she's known her baby girl was in an orphanage and this year she knew that she was with her family.  I just kept wondering what she must feel like... I don't have any hard feelings towards her bio family b/c I think in their minds they did what was best for Mariah and actually in reality, they did do what was best for her because it led to us adopting her.  I just kept wondering what she must be feeling.  I think I'm going to send some pictures of Mariah's party back to Ukraine.  I'm really grateful we have that link back to Mariah's past for her and for us.

    Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    My jealous babies

    These 2 think if one is loving on me that they have to claim their half as well.

    Sent via DROID on Verizon Wireless

    Mariah's 5 year old bling bling

    Mariah has been after me for several months saying that she "Wants to have her ears cut off just like mama!"  Translation: She wants her ears pierced.

    So I decided to take her to have them done for her 5th birthday.  Her birthday isn't until Wednesday and her party is going to be Saturday but I thought she'd like to have them for her party to show everyone.

    We talked about how it would hurt a tiny bit and she said she still wanted them for sure! I even explained how the little gun would go "pow" "pow" for each ear, but she was sure she wanted those earrings!  So I took her to Claire's on the mall and we picked out blue sapphire (September birthstone) for her first earrings.  She squealed a bit when the girl did her first ear and then again for the second one but she was really happy to have them done and picked out a necklace afterwards as well.  She says they don't hurt at all and has been showing them off.

    Last shot of un-pierced ears!
    After the first ear she needed to see how pretty it was.
    Two ears done.  Just finished sqealing but wanting to see them lol
    Cheese!  I've got pierced ears!
    In the car and ready to go show off to daddy, Wes, and Wy.

    Thursday, September 1, 2011

    A Look Inside Louisa High School During the Quake

    A Look Inside Louisa High School During the Qua - Flash Player Installation#.Tl_saTcmpkN.facebook

    Video shows Louisa High School as earthquake hit | The Hook - Charlottesville's weekly newspaper, news magazine

    This is how damaging the earthquake was for us here in Louisa, VA. Our home is very close to the High School so we are quite blessed to have escaped damage. Many of our neighbors were not so lucky and the High School was damaged beyond repair. All of the kids (including Mariah) have been out of school since the quake hit and won't go back until Sept. 12. Mariah's school wasn't damaged since it was farther from the epicenter, but the High School and Middle School students are going to have to rotate use of the Middle School until they get enough trailers set up for the High School students to use. Mariah's school was used as a shelter for those who's homes were condemed after the quake and then a few days later, for those who came inland fleeing Irene. Her school did have minor damage, but all of the students will go back to their normal classrooms and normal schedules. This will be the only school in the county able to do that.

    Louisa County has released an update on property damage which shows just over $70 million in total:

    •Public school structures: $57.5 million.
    •Residences: $11.5 million.
    •Religious structures: $400,000.
    •Commercial structures: $400,000.
    •Government structures: $500,000.

    Mariah walking without AFOs

    Mariah can actually walk quite well without her walker when she is wearing AFOs. Mostly, she doesn't do it or doesn't do it well, because she *thinks* she can't. I am really hopeful that we can get some articulated AFOs at her next visit and get her walking without that big green four wheeled thing. She walks much better without it!


    Crazy girl thinks she needs me to take picture of eeeeeeverything she does.

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    Week in pictures

    So far this week:

    We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson