Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The $1000 reward!

I promised that when you helped us get to $1000 on our fundraising, I would tell you more about J. Well guess what!

So here is what we know about J. As much as I can tell you while still protecting her privacy since she is not yet legally ours.

She is 9 years old, and yes, she has Down syndrome. She has the biggest green eyes you  have ever seen. For the first 8 years and 10 1/2 months of her life she lived in one of the most notorious institutions in Serbia. If you have seen this video, you have seen where she came from. If you haven't seen this video, please take the time to watch it. It will help you understand what we're dealing with when we bring her home.

But, a few months ago J was chosen by...I don't know who...dressed up in a pretty dress, her hair combed nicely, and a picture taken of her. She was listed for international adoption, and a short time later she was moved to foster care. Last week we found out she is in the same foster home where Axel spent 2 years.

Let me tell you this: Taking a child right out of an institution such as this, and teaching that child who has been raised with nothing to now function in a house full of people is HARD work. We know, we've done it. Like us, this foster family continues to take the kids nobody else wants and works to prepare them for life in a forever family. They involve them with the extended family, they celebrate birthdays and other special moments. They teach them to drink from cups and use utensils long after the child should have learned. And then, when that hard work is done, they do something I have never had to do...They let that child go.

When the foster family accepted custody of J, she weighed 12 kg/26 lbs. In the last 6 months she has gained 6 kilos//13 lbs and currently weighs 18kg/39 lbs. She wears size 4t clothes and a euro size 22/24 shoe which is somewhere between a US toddler size 6-8. (Asher, as tiny as he is, wears a 10 1/2) She is attending a developmental preschool, and is also very involved with her foster cousins, so she is getting to see how other kids play! She loves music, so she and Asher will get along great! She is still learning to chew since she was only on pureed foods in the institution, and she is learning to drink from a cup.

That's it. That's all we know at this point. We have $3000 left to raise. Really it should be easy, but I've learned that nothing about international adoption, or paying for it, is easy.  See that thermometer over on the right sidebar? When we reach our final goal I'll tell you her name.


  1. This made me cry, and I didn't even watch the video. You are amazing, Leah. She is one lucky, lucky girl.

  2. So happy for you!! I can hardly wait until she is finally home, you are the perfect mama for her!! <3