Mia's Homecoming Video

At last I see the light

One Less Orphan: Mia's gotcha day

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We're Expecting....

that is how this blog started. THIS post about how we were expecting a toddler....

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little Kareen. This picture of this little orphan with the dark haunting eyes was what started this blog and now
Mia Kareen has a sparkle and glow about her that she never knew before.

Mia has been home for one month and I have been trying to decide how to "close" this blog, this chapter of our lives. I will not completely close the blog because I want it to be a source for others who are traveling this road or wondering about traveling this road, (not to mention that I love to go back and remind myself of just how miraculous this has been) and I will also use it from time to time for advocating for other orphans and other topics, but for the majority of the time I will now be merging this blog into our family blog.

It is a little emotional for me to transition this blog into our family blog because this blog has been the place I have gone to for the last 8 months. It has been my sanctuary.

The place that has documented the miracles that have FOREVER changed us,
The place where people came together in a common cause to do good

the place I have made many, many new friends, and been supported by many, many old friends

the place where we all got to witness one little girls' life be changed forever,

and I hope that ALL of you will continue to follow Mia's journey now that she is home at our family blog Enjoy the Journey.

I have to say another HUGE thank you to ALL who have been a part of Mia's miracle!
We honestly could not have done this without each of you loving us and supporting us and our new little girl. It has been amazing to meet people and hear of the stories of how this journey has affected others. It seems everywhere we go we learn of new people who have followed this journey and have been touched in some way. I will always treasure the comments and messages we have received through this process. I hope to continue to share in other's stories and continue to witness these miracles now that our lives have been woven into the lives of so many others.

THANK YOU for all the packages and gifts and cards that were brought or mailed to Mia! She feels so loved by all of you! She has recieved clothes, toys, books, handmade hat, jewelry, a photo collage on canvas of her welcome home moment, and a gift card to enjoy the chilis' chips and dip we so missed while in Ukraine. THANK YOU to all of you!!!

Mia received a sweet package from 2 little girls ages 2 and 4. Inside they had written notes about how they chose their own "favorite things" that every 4 year old girl should have and they wanted Mia to have these special things of theirs. These sweet girls gave Mia their most valuable and treasured possessions......including a photo album that had been theirs, so that Mia could keep pictures of her own family in it now.....so so sweet!

Mia's miracle has taught us all to give a little more

One of the best things about this journey is that we have been able to witness how Mia's journey home has affected so many others. So many others are now paying it forward because they were touched by Mia's story. Some are adopting through Reece's Rainbow. This was a comment left of Kris' facebook page "Congrats on your new addition!! She's so beautiful! My friend is currently going through the adoption of another little girl from the same organization thanks to you and your wife's blog :) thanks for all of your sharing!, Some are looking into adoption in other ways, some are spreading awareness about these orphans, some are just spreading awareness and understanding about down syndrome and special needs, some are raising money for these orphans because Mia touched their hearts. One of Kris' coworkers who now lives in Idaho is one of these people paying it forward. This is an email she sent out to her family and friends:

Dear Friends and Family,

My birthday is coming up and believe it or not, I am turning 30!!! I have been trying to decide how to celebrate this big day and I realized that nothing would make me happier than to help find a forever family for a little special needs orphan in Eastern Europe. So...I am organizing the Starfish 5K run/walk to raise money for Alissa. Alissa is a little Down Syndrome orphan who lives in Eastern Europe.

At the beginning of the year my manager at work announced that they were going to adopt a little Down Syndrome girl from Easter Europe through Reece's Rainbow Adoption Ministry. I was very interested to find out more and started to follow their adoption process very closely. It didn't take me long to find out that in these Eastern European countries, orphan children with special needs like Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy are transferred from their orphanages to mental institutions at the age of four or five. The conditions in these mental institutions are scary. They are dirty, overcrowded and the children are not cared for. Approximately 90% of children die within 1 year of being transferred. As Brett and I browsed through all the sweet angels waiting for family's on Reece's Rainbow (www.reecesrainbow.org) tears came to my eyes and I knew that I had to do something to help. We began to feel overwhelmed however as we saw how many children needed to be saved but we realized that we could make a difference one orphan at a time and so we created the Starfish Fund. Please check out our website at www.starfishfund.com.

I want to be a starfish thrower and I want to save one orphan at a time but I need your help. Please come and be a starfish thrower and participate in my 5K race. It will be held at Kuna High School (close to Boise, Idaho) on August 27, 2011 at 8:30 am. We are also going to have a 1/4 mile race for children 8 and under starting at 9:45 am, a jump house, prizes, face painting and balloons. See my 5k poster attached and my website www.starfishfund.com for more information. All race day proceeds will go directly to Alissa's adoption fund with Reece's Rainbow. I know that many of you don't live in Idaho and won't be able to attend but you can still help by passing this email on to all your friends and family and asking them to pass it along too. Eventually it will get to someone in Idaho .

I'm not only trying to raise funds for Alissa, I'm also trying to create awareness for Alissa. Who knows...the next person to read this email might be her future forever family so please pass it on.

If you would like to help but you don't want to race, you can also make tax deductible donations. These donations will go directly to Reece's Rainbow and Alissa's adoption fund. You can make these donations through my website: www.starfishfund.com/donate.html (which will link you directly to Alissa's paypal account with Reece's Rainbow) or you can donate through Reece's Rainbow: http://reecesrainbow.org/?s=alissa

I am truly blessed to have such wonderful friends and such a great family. I appreciate all your support and help to make my birthday wish come true. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like any more information.



THIS link on her blog goes to Mia's story and why she decided to do this.

How amazing is that? So let's help her, help little Allissa find her family! Like she said it isn't always about how much you raise for these children but rather about getting their pictures out and finding their families....just like Patti did for us with Mia!

Since I started this blog with the "We're expecting" news.....it would be appropriate to end it with the same news.......

YEP! You read that right!

Exactly one week after Mia was home with us, we found out we are expecting a baby, due at the first of March!!!

From the very beginning of this journey, we knew that our Heavenly Father had a plan and that Mia needed to be brought to our family at this time. Last summer (exactly this same time) I was pregnant, later to miscarry in August at 13-14 weeks. We of course were devastated and overwhelmed with the "why" of something like this (it was my 3rd miscarriage) and now we know our "why" was so that we could rescue Mia and bring her home to our family.

Had we not lost our baby last summer, we would not have gone to get Mia
and now it's like Heavenly Father is saying "ok, now that Mia is home safe, you can bring this other little one who you've been trying to have for 4 years, into your family"
It is a little, ok a lot, de-ja-vue of last summer....just weeks different of where I was last summer.....sick for 2 summers in a row.... so I can't help but get anxious and nervous that something will go wrong with this pregnancy, but I am trying not to let my mind go there and instead just believe that things always work out how they are supposed to.

On one hand we didn't want to spread the news of this pregnancy yet because it is so early, and with the history of last summer, but on the other we are all too excited and figure we can use the extra prayers anyway!
Once again it ceases to amaze me how the Lord works in our lives. Miracles are all around us and the way our lives our weaved is amazing!

So, before we have even adjusted to 4 children we are now wrapping our mind around 5!

Nothing like adding 2 kids to your family within 10 months time! Needless to say keeping up with the new addition and adjusting to 4 girls while feeling REALLY sick with morning sickness aka ALL day sickness, has been an adventure to say the least.

I will still use this blog from time to time but PLEASE continue to follow the next chapters in Mia's life with us on our family blog as we enjoy our journey together!

In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.
janos arany


  1. Wow! Heavenly Father sure does crazy things with our lives sometimes! Good luck with this huge transition! Of course we will be praying that all goes smoothly with this pregnancy! This has been such a great experience to be a part of and what a great way to end Kareen's Journey Home! Next time I'm off to see Kirsten, I want to sneak over and meet you guys. This just gives me chills, it just makes me think about the woman at church that told you you would be giving birth to another child. WOW! So awesome (and hard and busy and tiring for you!!), who the Lord calls he also qualifies!!

  2. Congratulations!!! Look forward to watching your family grow again.

  3. Congrats!!! Ummm all I can think is that woman in church in Ukraine who said she knew you'd get pregnant and have a bio baby again....wow!

  4. i have goosebumps!!!! i am so thrilled and will be along for your journey as long as you allow us to! it has been an inspiration and an honour! your girls...what can i say, they are as beautiful as their mamma! its just so lovely that the story has rolled full circle and we end with a we are expecting post. you will be in my prayers xxx much love x

  5. Beautiful post and congratulations!

  6. Congratulations!!! I can't explain how excited I am for you and can't wait to read about new baby on the family blog :)

  7. That is the best news!! I guess when we follow our promptings from the Lord he sends blessings beyond measure!

  8. You and your posts ALWAYS bring me to tears!!! Congrats!!! I am so HAPPY for all of you!

  9. You stinker!!! I can't believe it, I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!! Blessings abound, our Heavenly Father, all of Heaven, must be rejoicing!!! So very, very happy for you and now Mia will get to witness firsthand how a baby is supposed to be welcomed into a family, you just keep teaching her about love over and over again...love your heart, and just tickled "pink" for you!

  10. Crying again. Mia looks so beautiful in her princess dress. I am so excited for your new baby.
    I can't wait to get our little girl home and watch her shine just like Mia. I just hope the institution hasn't sucked the life out of her already :( Thanks again for sharing. I am sure I will be rereading a lot of it while we go through ours.

  11. Wow ~ how unbelievable! Congratulations to all of you. Can't wait to see Bree & Mia with a baby, they are going to just adore him/her. I can totally relate to the all day morning sickness. After enduring sickness through six pregnancies, someone told me about taking chromium and how it really helped them manage their morning sickness. I haven't had another pregnancy, but I would definitely try it and thought maybe you would be interested in the info.

    God bless you all!

  12. Wow that was a wonderful post Kecia! We are continuing to pray for you! Lots of love and prayers!!!

  13. Congratulations!
    I have read every entry on your blog. I had to go back and get caught up once I found you but I did and I have to tell you that your blog along with a few more are the ones that the Lord used to show us that this was what He had for us. So, your Mia is special to us. My daughter and son (but especially my daughter) have watched your videos and looked at your pictures and she knows Mia by sight. If she walks in and sees her on the screen she knows that's Mia. In fact, it took her a little while to be able to tell Mia and her new little sister, Albina (calledyoubyname.blogspot.com) apart on the computer screen. So, I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us because you helped bring not only your Mia home but our Albina and probably a lot more that you may never know about.

  14. OH MY GOSH!!!! Congratulations!!!! We are so happy for you guys!! oxoxox from Oregon!

  15. I am so excited!!! I clicked over when I saw the title of the post all excited that you were expecting and then thought that you were just using that title to close out this bog. What a surprise to see your cute girls with the sign! Congratulations Kecia! What an amazing journey your family is on! And Mia looks like she’s been with your girls since the very beginning. We have to get together soon! Maybe I could take your girls and give you a break so you can get some rest during the first trimester yuck. xoxo

  16. Yes....crying AGAIN. But as always they are tears of joy and excitement for the love that I know Heavenly Father has for your and your family. Congratulations on the wonderful news. YOU are amazing, Kecia.

  17. That is so exciting!! About 9 yrs ago, a friend of mine was in the process to adopt a little girl from China. She already had 4 biological kids, and her husband had a reverse vasectomy, so that they might have another. Well, we were both 40 at the time, she found out she was pregnant & then I found out, by surprise, that I was too! :D She and I had our babies 3 days apart, and they went to pick up their dtr 6 mos. later! They are 6mos apart in age. Anyway, I know from experience about being sick all day, but you'll rejoice when that's over! :D Take care, and the Lord bless you!

    Elk Grove, CA

  18. God Bless!
    So happy for all of you


  19. Wow!!! What wonderful news for an amazing person to wake up to (meaning YOU are the amazing person and I am the one waking up...).
    Congrats! Praying for an easy pregnancy for you and a healthy baby at the end. I love Mia, I have to say (and I think I've said it before) that by now I have seen several sets of videos, pictures and blog posts for RR adoptions and homecomings, and Mia has touched me the most. I'm not sure why she is my favorite, but she makes me cry...and think more about my own journey and how badly I want it to move forward. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Congratulations, what wonderful news! And what a perfect and fitting end to Mia's journey home. I hope you are feeling better soon!

  21. Oh my word! That is so exciting! You are amazing. I still want to come and see you and meet Mia. Maybe this week....

  22. Congratulations! I'm thrilled for you guys! Your news brought me tears because it solidified to me how much Mia belongs in your family and how right you were to follow your hearts to her! You couldn't have been where you are today with out that little girl! What a beautiful journey!

  23. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I am laughing, Kecia, because we got home YESTERDAY and confirmed this morning that we're expecting, too! ;) Congratulations, my friend - I am so, SO happy for you!!!! <3 I know Bree and Mia will love being big sisters! {{hugs}}

  24. Wonderful news. I'm so excited for you and your growing family. You are an amazing person and mom. I've loved reading all your posts. I'm sure grateful Rochelle forwarded me your blog... I've been following before you started on the adoption journey. This blog has touched my life in so many ways. I will forward the starfish 5k ...I have a few distant relatives in Idaho. Ya never know... Thank you Kecia. I still have something for your 4 girls, my daughter picked it out and she keeps reminding me that we have not given it to you. :)

  25. Congrats!! Such exciting news, and of course we will be following along on your family blog.

  26. Congratulations!!!!! That is wonderful news and I hope your all day sickness gets over soon! Thank you so much for this blog. I've been following it and I've looked forward to it with every post. I found this blog through one of your fundraisers back in March (the online auctions). I actually won one of of the items and I have the receipt and email confirmation but I never received the package. If you know who I might be able to contact to get this worked out that would be great. I've written emails but haven't heard anything back, except for the original one saying I won and that it would be sent soon. If it got lost in the mail or even if it was a misunderstanding that's ok the money was well spent just by being a small part of of helping bring little Mia home. However if there is still a way to get the package that would just be an extra bonus :) please contact me a estrelladelluz@yahoo.com and I'm sorry I had to bring this up but I haven't been able to get ahold of anyone else. I am truly happy about your wonderful news! Congratulations!

  27. Congratulations! I have loved reading your journey to get Kareen (I found you through Patti's blog.) I wish you and your family the best.

  28. Praise the Lord! What wonderful news!!
    Children are such a blessing. (Psalm 127)

  29. OH! I've been so swamped this past week I MISSED this until now! CONGRATULATIONS! Please know our family will be praying for you and that even though Mia was probably closer geographically to us before you brought her home you are ALL so close to us in our hearts!

    BLESSINGS to you!

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  31. I know I am a little late to the party, but I just got referred over here by an amazing Utah friend of ours... She is in Country right now bringing her sweet girl home. I am hoping to be a newly committed RR mommy very very soon... If they would just update that darn list already ;) I hear we live near each other, and I would love to hear a little more about your journey... We can have a Utah RR family party hehe.


  32. I wandered back over here tonight and can't believe how much Mia has already grown and changed! And you should add a post to this blog announcing you're not adding one baby but TWO! Awww I just love your little family!