Today I'm thinking about a very special family. A very special adopting family. This could be long!
I was cyber-introduced (meaning we have yet to meet in real life!) to Shelly after she and her husband adopted three, yes THREE!, children from Ukraine in 2010.
I had just finished a successful (praise God!) fundraiser for a little girl named Tori, when a very large donation was made to Tori's adoption grant fund. I was very surprised when Shelly and her family committed to adopting Tori, considering they had just adopted Hudson, Owen, and Evelyn earlier in the year.
Since Tori had lived at Yolochka (where Theo and Zhen lived) for her first four years, she was very special to me. Truthfully, all the Ukrainian orphans really tug on my heartstrings, but the ones from that particular baby house shatter me.
Shelly asked me about the other children I met at Yolochka. I told her about a little girl named Anastasiya who was utterly ignored. She would sit (sitting is really too nice a word) slumped over in a highchair for hours on end. Every.Single.Day.
Well, that was that, Shelly and her family agreed to adopt Anastasiya in addition to Tori! It always warms my heart when a family chooses the overlooked children, the funny looking ones, the delayed ones, the truly sick ones, the ones that no other family wants to chance. But those are the sort of people Shelly and her husband Brian are. They look past the outward appearance. They look at the unwanted and unloved children through the eyes of their creator. And they love them fiercely.
So you have probably guessed by now that Tori and Anastasiya were both adopted by Shelly and Brian early in 2011 and renamed Reagan and....CARRINGTON!! Yes, THE Carrington!
Over the past year, Shelly and I have become close friends. We take turns holding each other up. We understand each other. I can call her when I have a child eating Styrofoam, or mulch, or...poop!
Shelly knows the particular sort of despair that I suffer concerning the orphans of Ukraine. She has been there, done that. She gave me the courage to go ahead with Project TLC when I wasn't sure if I had anything to offer.
Now Shelly and Brian are adopting again. Yes!! WOW!! They were moved by the story of another bunch of very neglected children in another orphanage in Eastern Europe. Isn't that just amazing?
I just want to publicly thank Shelly for being such a wonderful and faithful friend to me. And I would love for you to visit her NEW ADOPTION BLOG and give her some bloggy love (that's bloggy speak for kind words and encouragement). Oh my stars! Aren't they a beautiful family?
While you are there, if you are so moved, you may want to throw a 10-spot into the pot to help Shelly and Brian with their adoption expenses. You could be chosen to receive an Apple 32GB iPad2 that they will be giving away later this month.
This sweet family is lovingly raising 7, soon to be 9, children, some with significant medical and therapeutic needs. They are making a life long commitment, financial and otherwise, to these children. I believe that donating to this cause is money well spent. It is a labor of love for them. I'm proud to chip in to assist with their adoption expenses. And I'm proud to ask you to consider doing the same.