Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Morning Moments

Our Lady of Mercy Christmas Show

Ryan sang in the Christmas Show at Our Lady of Mercy on December 18. Here are some photos and clips from that event.

Isn't he just so handsome?

Just want to kiss those cheeks!

Ryan's best Mercy buddy, Lucas.

Ryan at a classroom poetry event.

Annalea loves her cousin Katie!!

Here they are in their coordinating pj's.

Christmas Cookies -- An Annual Tradition

Every year, Ryan's two best buddies, Ashwin and Frazier, come over to help us decorate cookies to leave for Santa. It is always fun...and yummy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Annalea demonstrates her latest skills

"I'm not sure about this Santa character"

Annalea has not yet warmed up to St. Nick.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Annalea, meet Roxy

Annalea has a few words to say

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A special appeal for Aleksey

Today I received the email below from a friend I made through my adoption. I wanted to share it hear with the hopes someone who reads this could indeed by Aleksey's forever family.

Hi everyone,

Some of you may know I work with an organization now that advocates for special needs children needing homes....

I am advocating for a very special little boy named Aleksey. Aleksey is an orphan who is looking for his forever family. He is 3 1/2 years old with brown hair and big blue eyes. He was born with spina bifida and is described as very sweet with a great personality and very cognitively able. His spina bifida affects the usage of his legs, he is able to pull up and walk while holding on to something, but is not yet walking on his own. With physical therapy and perhaps a walker or braces, the prognosis for Aleksey to walk is very, very good. Unfortunately, Aleksey is in a country that institutionalizes special needs children the day they turn 4 years old. Once in the mental institution, Aleksey will have no schooling, no therapies, and no chance to be adopted. The death rate in this particular institution is quite high due to lack of food, lack of heat, and very little medical care. Currently, he is in a much better orphanage, but will be transferred in early March 2009 when he turns 4.

I know not everyone is in a position to adopt, but if you could forward Aleksey's information to anyone you think might be interested, I would really appreciate it. Don't worry, I won't be forwarding you anymore unsolicited appeals for the waiting kids, but Aleksey's plight has really touched my heart. If finances and circumstances would permit, we would gladly adopt him. As it stands, we know God has a family picked out for Aleksey... they just need to find him! If you would like more information on Aleksey, you can scroll down on this e-mail, check out his listing at, or e-mail Andrea Roberts, Executive Director of Reece's Rainbow at


Boy, Born March 4, 2005


This happy, precious little boy was born with spina bifida. He has brown hair and bright blue eyes.

One of our adoptive families visited with him in March of 2008, and describes him as " having a personality that will make you wrapped around his finger in no time. He was such a bright little boy, he appears to be cognitively very aware and able. He is a bright and sweet little boy and will be a joy to any family."

Another of our adoptive families visited with Aleksey (Alosha is his nickname) in July of 2008, and this is what they have to say of him: "He is an absolute sweetie pie. Out of all the children there, I would have chosen him, hands down if we were able to adopt another child at this time. He has such a sweet demeanor and his smile could be seen across the playground. It is almost as if he was flirting with me, the way we kept exchanging smiles and glances. I can tell that he has so much potential. He is able to pull himself up to a standing position and he can walk along the playpen railing if he can hold onto it. He can follow along in little games and he appears to catch on to things very quickly. When I took a picture of him and then showed it to him, he smiled and asked for more in Russian. I continued to take pictures of him and I could tell it made his day to have the attention. I bet he can live a near normal life if he just had a family to give him the love and attention that every child deserves. I hope that he finds a family soon or I might just have to go back and get him myself!!"

We do have additional photos, including one of his spine which you could share with a surgeon to inquire about correcting it for him.

Many children with special needs have been adopted from this well-taken-care-of orphanage, where the director truly cares about the children and desperately wants them to find families instead of not surviving in the mental institution. Aleksey is 3 now, so he is the perfect age to bring home and benefit from therapy and a loving family environment.

Won't you be the one to give him the life he deserves?

Married couples only may apply

No more than 45 years between parent and child

No stated family size restrictions

Total with travel approx $22k

Both parents for 2 1/2 weeks to attend court

Both parents return home for 3 weeks, and only one must return to complete the adoption for approx 4-5 days

Please contact Andrea directly for more information

I have $150 in my grant fund towards the cost of my adoption!

Kelly Shamsey, Program Coordinator
Reece╩╝s Rainbow Prayer Warriors Outreach Ministry

I need to install one of these in my back yard

Monday, December 1, 2008

Too Cute

Ryan lost his tooth yesterday and this is the note he left the tooth fairy.