Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Tulsa Family's story on the Today Show

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34361558#34361558

Grab the tissue, your gonna need it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ruslana has a Forever Family!


Is was back on October 3rd that I posted about a little girl named Ruslana. She is a 4 year old little girl (soon to be 5 in Jan.) who has Ds. She is currently living in an orphange in Eastern Europe. The post I wrote addressed the issue of her being transfereed before the committed family could get to her. I followed this families blog and continued to pray for Ruslana. I prayed the Lord would protect her and keep her from going to that other awful place, the mental institution. I do not have first hand experience with an institution but I know what it did to our dear friend Micah Malone in just 6 short months. It changed him. No child deserves this fate. Finally news came that the orphanage would in deed hold Ruslana until her family could arrive. I was so excited for Ruslana. It would only be a matter of days before she would be rescued. Plans change. The committed family was not able to bring Ruslana home. She would indeed be sent to the institution without a family to rescue her. I was heart broken once again for Ruslana. How many chances would she get? Our dear friends the Malone's were heart sick too. They knew what her fate was and did not want to see her moved. They answered the call only God could give and committed themselves to Bringing Ruslana Home! The Lord answered my prayers for her so quickly. It happened so fast. Just to think I have been praying for this precious child and now she is coming home, HERE. I can hardly wait to snuggle with her myself. She is just precious. I'm sure she and Macey will be great friends. (Ruslana is only a month younger than Macey). I am so excited to see the Lord work things together for His good. I am so very happy for Ruslana. She deserves a Forever Family!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

ABC has a new show we won't be watching.

Please click on this link to read an article to understand why.

http://www.rainbowkids.com/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=684

As I was channel surfing I found the tail end of this show, Find My Family. I was bummed I had missed the jist of it. Because it is produced by my favorite show, Extreme Home Makeover I thought it would be a good one too. Tanner walked through the living room only to say, "This show has too much drama." Out of the mouths of babes. After reading this article I'm glad I didn't waste my time.

Let me know what you think of the article or your thoughts on the show if you watched it in it's entirety. Just curious!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Annual Down syndrome Christmas Party



Today was a day to celebrate! We celebrated those who have Down syndrome. We were invited to attend the annual DSACO Christmas Party. We were thrilled to not only be invited (we have attended for years with the Malone's) but to be an active particpant. Marcus and Macey are HERE and boy did we celebrate. Last year we only had a picture to hold on to of Marcus and didn't even know about Macey yet. Boy does time fly when your having fun! This truly is the time of my life! Back to the party, we ate a wonderful dinner, won door prizes, took pictures with Santa and received a stcoking full of goodies too. I tell you, we are spoiled. This group did a great job putting on such a wonderful event for everyone. We felt priveleged to have 2 children of our own with Ds. We were able to share our adoption story several times today. Marcus and Macey looked adorable in their matching outfits. We were asked a couple of times if they were twins. I guess I asked for that one, again. Another exciting part of the afternoon for me was people watching. I love to watch others. It was great to see the older children and adults with Ds. I felt like I was looking into our future. Skies the limit for M & M! We have truly provided them with not only a loving home, life itself but every oppurtunity known to give them. It shows! We could not be more proud of the progress they continue to make and the time we were able to share with others just like them. We are blessed!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Eli Project has a committed family

Our friends, The Redman's have committed to adopting Victor through Eli Project. Michael, Denise and their 3 girls are friends of ours from church. They too are a home schooling family who love the Lord. After attending our debut of Eli Project they felt the Lord's calling to rescue a 10 year old little boy from Eastern Europe. We could not be more thrilled for them and Victor too. They will be changed!

Please visit their blog and welcome them into the adoption family: www.theredmanfamilyplusone.blogspot.com

It is my continued calling and passion to spread the word about the many orphans who need Forever Families. I have been given this opportunity through Eli Project. Marcus and Macey are no longer orphans, Praise God! We are still called to help defend the fatherless. I will spend the rest of my life sharing with others about those who can't speak for themselves.
Your welcome to join me!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We're in Metro Family Magazine




Click on images to read our story.

Our family was chosen to share this month, National Adoption Awareness Month, about our personal experience with adoption. This local magazine offers 35,000 copies throughout the metro area to its readers. Our prayer is that ONE family may answer the call as we did. There are many tiny lives that depend on it. I hope you'll enjoy reading our testimony as much as we did sharing it. We are blessed to be on this journey. Thanks for continuing to come along side us.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Specs 4 Us


When we chose Marcus we knew he was going to need some kind of assistance with his eye. It was crossed. He might need glasses or even surgery. It wasn't until we met him when I saw just how crossed both eyes were. I was sure that we would be making an appointment as soon as we got home. We thought maybe he just couldn't see a thing. From the moment we met him he has always swatted at our faces. While at the orpahange we thought her just was trying to "feel" us with his hands. We could not correct this behavior during our visits even if we wanted to. It wasn't until we got home and had him seen that we found out her would indeed need surgery to correct his eyes. It was not a vision problem but a muscular one. The doctor also added tht Marcus swatting at our faces was not a vision problem but a behavioral one. Great!His eyes could both be easily fixed with surgery. He wouldn't even need glasses afterwards. That was hard to believe but true.
We chose Macey at our SDA appointment, what they call a blind referral. All we knew was she was 4 years old with Down Syndrome. When we met her her eyes looked great. We never thought another thing about it. We went ahead and scheduled her an appointment at the same time with the eye doctor. You know check "just in case." Well come to find out she is near sided and would need glasses. We walked in with one child who obviously needed what we thought might be glasses to correct his issue and walked out with an order for glasses for the other one. Go figure!
I went home and Googled: glasses for children with Down Syndrome. I knew their features were not the same as everyone else so I was excited to find a company who specifically designed glasses just for them, Specs4Us. I was even more excited when I read the testimony of the single mother who desgined the glasses for her own daughter with Ds. She gave all of the features and benefits of the eye glasses and I was sold. If I could get the best fitting glasses for Macey while supporting the cause of a mom on a mission it was a Win/Win situation. Come to find out there were only 3 places in the state that sold Specs4Us glasses. Fortunately for us it's only 30 minutes away. Definitely worth the drive. They look great, were affordable and her doctor was pleased with them too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hippo Therapy











It was recommended by our OT that we look into Hippo Therapy for both Marcus and Macey. I asked, What's Hippo Therapy? I was told it was therapeutic horse back riding that would be good for the kids. It could help strengthen their core and balance too. God has truly blessed us with wonderful therapists who are looking out for the best interest of both kids. This was an opportunity I needed to pursue. Once she suggested the place, Coffee Creek Riding Stables I had an immediate flashback. This facility is only 1 mile from my childhood home. I actually volunteered there as a teenager many years ago. I just didn't know that when I was helping kids with special needs learn horseback riding that this was called Hippo Therapy. I was excited to call the director Joy and remind her who I was and that I now have two children that could use their services. It was an enjoyable conversation. Who would have thought that all those years ago the Lord was planting a seed in my heart for children with special needs of my own. I had no idea at the time. We went for our evaluation and introduced the kids to the horses. Macey did not like brushing the horses mane, too close for her. She didn't mind getting to ride the horse once she was on top of him. Marcus liked it all. Joy noticed that Taylor, who is now 14 was of the age that she too could volunteer during class time. This was way weird for me. My daughter was standing there in the same place I was many years ago. She couldn't be old enough to be there assisting other child like I did during my summer as a teenager. This moment truly brought things full circle. I knew we were in the right place at the right time. I am grateful for Joy and the many volunteers that staff the Coffee Creek Riding Stables. We will continue to enjoy our sessions each and every time we're able to attend. This is a meaninful, non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of the community for over 30 years at no cost to the students who attend. This facility is able to run solely on donations and volunteers. Please pray for Joy and the volunteers as they serve the Lord by investing in our children and the many others just like them.
www.coffeecreek.org

Friday, October 9, 2009

Preschool Family Fun Night










Tonight was a night of fun for preschoolers and their families in our church. The night was filled with inflatables, popcorn, movies, candy and Chick-fil-A for supper. Wayne stayed home due to his recent foot surgery but me and the 4 kiddos headed out for a night of fun. When we arrived the food wasn't quite ready so the kids got to play first. This never happens when we go to a restaurant with a Play Place. The rule is you eat first then play. There were about 60 families that joined in on the festivities. The event was held in our large atrium so the kids had plenty of room to roam and play. What impressed me the most was that this night was for the little guys. The moon bounces were just their size and the movies they showed were just right for them too, not that my kids stopped long enough to watch a movie. They were there to run and jump. Marcus and Macey both had a blast! Tanner was a great "helper" as he helped man the inflatables. He enjoyed helping the little kids have fun. Taylor was a huge help, as usual. We took turns keeping up with Marcus and Macey. Let me just tell you after 2 hours of fun those two slept until 9am this morning. That never happens! We are usually up early for school or church, not today. They got to sleep in. I wish we had a place for a moon bounce at home. It was so much fun and I'm sure they got some therapy out of it too.
There was a moment when I motioned for our preschool director to come see Macey. Macey was inside this inflatable with balloons floating all around. She came to the window and gave us both a smile and waved Hi. I told Ms. Deanna that this moment was worth it all. I wanted her to know how much we appreciated the time and work that went into planning such an event. Of course it would have been easier to stay at home and relax on a Friday night after a long week but I'm glad we came. We are grateful for our church family and the activities they provide for our families. It does not go unnoticed. It's the simple nights of just having fun that I'm reminded just how blessed I truly am to be a mother of FOUR.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Personalized license tag for my mini van




I was excited to receive my new personalized tag for my mini van. I had almost forgotten I had even ordered it. It took 4 months to make. It was worth the wait. It is definitely a conversation starter. It will allow us to share our testimony of rescuing 2 children with Ds. The Lord puts people into our lives regularly to share our testimony of His goodness in our lives. I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A message from God...



This is a billboard near our home. It spoke volumes to me. We chose Down syndrome through the gift of adoption. We already know how much adoption means to God. We thank Him every day for using our family to rescue both Marcus and Macey.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Near and Dear to Us - Eli Project


The Malone Family

We are excited to partner with our best friends, the Malone's as they debut Eli Project. I would invite you to their link to get ALL of the details. There are so many upcoming opportunities to help bring more children home to their Forever Families.
There is no doubt because of their son Eli (age 5) that we are were we are today. He has been our inspiration for wanting to have a child with Down Syndrome of our own. I was there when Mary delivered Eli. He was just beautiful. I will never forget the first time I saw him. His birth has been a life changing experience for our whole family. As we have grown to know and love Eli our hearts were growing even more fond of children with special needs. When we learned of Reece's Rainbow and there was an opportunity for us to adopt an unwanted child with Ds, we committed. Now I'm happy to say after just 6 short months we not only have one handsome boy but also a beautiful daughter who also has Down Syndrome. (That's how we Grew by 2) We are so grateful we answered the call from God to obey, to care for the orphans. Our children are no longer orphans, Praise God! They belong to a Forever Family, our family. We know our "job" is not done. It is our passion to spend purposeful time in helping other orphans find a family of their own. One orphan at a time.
I know Gods not finished with us yet. We are grateful for this wonderful opportunity to partner with Chris and Mary as we see others blessed through the gift of adoption.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Will Marcus and Macey be able to drive?



What a remarkable young lady named Kelly who is truly an inspiration, Enjoy!

Taylor has asked me if Marcus and Macey will be able to drive. I didn't know how to answer that question. I know it's fresh on her mind since she will be earning her drivers permit next year, YIKES! I told Taylor I didn't know what the future holds for either Marcus or Macey. I can't think too far into the future only because there is not a book like there was for Taylor and Tanner, "What to expect the First Year" and "What to expect the Toddler Years." I have learned the spectrum of Ds is so wide. I truly don't "know" what to expect. I do know, Sky's the limit! We will continue to do ALL that we can to help them reach THEIR full potential with the help of their teachers and therapists. They have both come SO far in just the short amount of time they have been home. Who knows maybe they WILL drive. Stay tuned...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pray for Ruslana


No Greater Gift

Please pray for Ruslana right now. Her fate is an institution in just 2 weeks. This is the fate of all orphans not adopted from the baby home. She has a committed family going through the process as we speak. They have even been approved through their paperwork. Ruslana is planned to be moved before they can possibly be there. The family is told they can not "hold" her any longer. My heart sank as I read this mothers post. It is not right and it is not fair. I do know however that we serve a BIG God and with Him ALL things are possible. Please pray for Ruslana and the family who is just waiting for the word that they can indeed rescue her from this awful fate.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Welcome To Holland

"WELCOME TO HOLLAND"
by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip -to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.'

' Holland?!?' you say. 'What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.


What this poem means to the New Dickinson Family:
Because of our "trip to Ukraine" we have been blessed with Marcus AND Macey.
Praise God!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October is Ds Awareness Month


Welcome October! In honor of Down syndrome awareness month I have committed to blogging everyday for 31 days about Down syndrome. There may be days when it's just pictures of the 2 that have taught me so much, so far. I would love your input and comments or suggestions of what you want to know about Ds. I will do the research or you can send it to me yourself and I'll post it. I'm looking forward to learning as I go. This month is about the ones who have Down syndrome and the ones who love them.
Stay tuned...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

M & M's very 1st Buddy Walk

















Today was the day we have been looking forward to. Marcus and Macey participated in their very 1st Buddy Walk. We were ready to go! The t-shirts that Wayne made for our family and the Malone's turned out great. Taylor packed our lunches while I packed the van. As Mary pulled up with our dear friend Wartha to follow us we opened our front door to pouring down rain. No, not today. We had a Buddy Walk to walk, outside. We drove North to downtown OKC in the pouring rain and prayed that the rain would stop long enough for us to enjoy our time together. I decided to pull right up to the gate and drop off the kids, the wagon and ALL of our belongings. It seems like we packed a lot of stuff for 4 kids and 4 hours of fun. I parked my car several blocks away with my umbrella in hand. Only I didn't need my umbrella, the rain had stopped. Just like that it was over, Praise God! We were excited for the fun to begin. Today was filled with games, moon bounces, prizes, a sack lunch and of course pictures. We enjoyed watching our dear friend Brianna and her cheer leading squad perform at the beginning of the day. They looked like they were having so much fun. When we arrived at the moon bounce there was our friend Leah. She works with our physical therapist and chose to spend her time as a volunteer today. She enjoyed playing with Marcus and Macey in the moon bounce. Both kids loved it. Neither one of them wanted to get out. I'll have to remember that. By then my sister Jennifer and her kids came to join in on the fun. It was great to have them there. Rylee, my niece even gave up a soccer game to be a part of Marcus and Macey's big day. All of our kids had fun together. This was a day geared just for them. There were training dogs and the Redhawks mascot, Rowdy milling around too. Wayne arrived from work just in time to eat a ham and cheese sandwich with me and the kiddos before the walk. We then ventured around towards the front of the park with the Malone's and my sister for the big walk. Our friends from church, the Littlejohns also joined us in time for the walk. It was great to have them there. They are a precious family who are very supportive. When the balloons let go into the air the walk had begun right at 1:30pm. We walked around the outside of the ballpark. It was quite a sight. One I will not soon forget. ALL those with Down Syndrome and the ones who love them. It was a privilege to be a part of something so special. The day was a good one. My kids were both exhausted and ready for a nap when we got home. What am I saying, we all were. I am already looking forward to the next time we're able to walk proudly in support of our kids and the many others who have a little something "extra" special.

Bumper sticker: "My kid has more chromosomes than your honor student." Too cute!