Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Would you like to win an iPad2?

We knew that when we committed to Jackson that we were going to have to do some fundraising. So far, every penny that we have needed has been there. People have been so gracious and giving to us and we are so appreciative. We are thankful that people want to see Jackson come home. We made $280 on our keychain fundraiser which will be on-going until he comes home. We love YOU being a part of his story!

It's time for another FUNdraiser! For a $10 or more donation, you are entered into a drawing to win a brand new 32 GB iPad2 with wifi valued at $599 (first prize) or a Scentsy gift set valued at $100 (second prize).


The winner can choose either a black or white iPad2! It will be brand new shipped from the manufacturer to the winner's doorstep! The drawing for this giveaway will be December 1, 2011.

$10 donation- gets you 1 chance.
$20 donation- 3 chances
$50 donation- 7 chances!
$100 donation- 12 chances!

If you donate AND post on facebook or on your blog, I will put your name in for another chance! Please let me know if you do.

Please use the red chip-in on the right for the donations to this fundraiser.

These donations are not tax deductible.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Why not a child from the US?

Ever since we have announced that we're adopting Jackson, we have been asked (by people who I am sure mean well) several times:

"Why don't you just adopt a child from the U.S.?"

"Why go 'over there' when there are so many kids 'over here'?"

The answer is: Because that's where our son is. Seriously. That's it. We love this little boy. We want this little boy. It's not about where he is. We feel as though God has lead us to Jackson. This is about giving him the family that he needs. An orphanage is no place for any child. See, in his country, children with special needs (like Down syndrome) are given up at birth. It's believed that there is no place for them in society. They are put into orphanages and if they are not adopted by the age of four, they are transferred to a mental institution. Many of them die in the first year. No child should live that way, but it's the cold hard facts. I could never live with myself if we could have done something to save Jackson and we didn't. If he got transferred to a place like that, I couldn't handle it. I have a mama's heart for him. I love him just as much as I love my daughters but I feel a kind of desperation for him that I don't have to feel for them. He is 2 and a half years old. In a little over a year, that gorgeous, capable boy could be transferred to a mental institution.

And that is why we are crossing the ocean for him.

That is why we are working hard to get our paperwork together.

That is why we have to fundraise. This is truly a life or death situation.

If not us, then who?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We have our home study visit coming up on Thursday. We are moving along pretty well, it seems. We are hoping to have our dossier (big stack of paperwork) in his country in February.

My girls have made some keychains to sell to help to bring their brother home. They did everything except put them on the key ring. Tristen used my tools to crimp the ends together and Aislinn strung the beads. They wanted to use rainbow colored beads because we are adopting from Reece's Rainbow. We are asking $5 per keychain because of the cost of shipping. If you would like one, please use the chip in on the right side that says "Keychains". This donation is not tax-deductible because it is coming straight to us for some upfront expenses. If you could share on facebook, that would be great! Thank you!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who is Darren?

Our sweet boy is 2.5 years old. He is only eight months younger than Linden which will make for some pretty interesting conversations once he's home, I think. He has Down syndrome. That is likely the reason why he is an orphan. In his country, babies with Down syndrome and other disabilties are not usually taken home by their birth parents. They are sent to an orphanage. If they are not adopted by the age of four, then they are sent to an adult mental institution. He is almost 3, so he's likely only has a year and a half before that sweet baby would be sent off to a mental institution. I just cannot bear the thought of it!

He is in Eastern Europe and that's all that we're allowed to say until after he's home. He has no heart problems that we know of. We know that he has 'low muscle tone' but that is very common with babies with Down syndrome. It simply means that he needs a little exercise to get stronger. I love that it makes babies with Ds squishier. Those moms of kiddos with Ds know exactly what I mean. They are more cuddly and squishier than typical babies. And who doesn't love a squishy, cuddly baby?!?! I know that I do!

"Darren" is only his name on Reece's Rainbow. It's sort of a code name. His real name is something else. I happen to know his real name and nickname. Joe isn't very into his real name and while the name Darren is alright, we wanted to find something else to name him. I had a dream in the beginning of September. I dreamed that a friend of mine, Sarah (www.alongtheroad-adoption.blogspot), who is also adopting a little one with Down syndrome, her sister had these signs that she was posting on Facebook that were of a little boy looking for his mom. They said "Have you seen his mom?" and "Please find his mom!" They were of a little boy and I knew in the dream that the picture was definitely of Darren. In the meantime, I was also putting signs up on Facebook looking for my son. "Please help me find Matthew!" was written on the posters. In the dream, I called him "Matthew". When I woke up, I thought about the dream for a little while. A little boy was looking for his mama all while a mama was looking for her little boy. I knew that I was looking for Darren and he was looking for me, too, even though he didn't know it. I checked my email and had a message from Sarah, "Bianca, have you seen Darren's new pictures?!!? He is amazing!!" I immediately went to Reece's Rainbow and checked out his new pictures. Oh my goodness, who wouldn't fall even more in love with this face? I thought it was so neat that I dreamed about Sarah's sister who was looking for his mama and when I woke up I had a message from Sarah. After seeing these pictures, that's how I knew that I had to talk to Joe, but if you read the previous post, you'll see that it didn't go so well.



When we sat down the other night to think of names, I mentioned Matthew from my dream. Joe likes it but not as a first name. I just said "Why not Jackson?" Jackson has been my favorite boys name since I was a little girl. My mom had a Jackson Browne album that we listened to pretty often and I just thought that it was the coolest name. Joe agreed! So, his name will be Jackson _______! We are still trying to decide whether his middle name will be Matthew, Dean, Van, or something else. When I mentioned to my godmother that we were naming him Jackson, she said "Isn't that what you named all of your boy baby dolls when you were little?" Too funny!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

An introduction

Hi, and welcome to our adoption blog! We are the Olivier family and we're just getting started in the adoption process to adopt a precious little boy from Eastern Europe.

We are Joe and Bianca. We have three girls, Tristen (9), Aislinn (7), and Linden (3). During my pregnancy with Linden, we found out that she may have Down syndrome or some other chromosomal abnormality because she had a heart defect and had no nasal bone. We did not do any further testing (amnio) because we were going to love her no matter how she came to us. We continued to monitor her heart throughout the pregnancy. She was born, in the middle of a hurricane, and as soon as I saw her face when she came out, I knew. We both knew. She did indeed have Down syndrome. And, everything about Linden, from that moment on, has been a complete blessing! She is seriously a wonderful child, as all three of our girls are. A lot of it IS because she has Down syndrome.

The seed for adoption was planted a lot earlier in life. As a child, I always wanted my parents to adopt. I would scour the newspaper for the "Wednesday's Child" (a foster child of the week) and beg my parents to adopt them. I loved watching shows about adoption and just knew that I would one day adopt a child (or several!). I think that when I mentioned earlier on in our relationship that I wanted to adopt, that Joe didn't really take me seriously. When I found Reece's Rainbow in 2008, a non-profit adoption ministry for orphans with Down syndrome and other special needs, my two worlds collided, Down syndrome AND adoption. I was hooked. I had watched specials on tv about orphanages and institutions so I knew what these children were headed to if they weren't adopted. I fell for a little girl and after a couple weeks of feeling so burdened for her, I asked Joe about adopting her. He wasn't too keen on it at all. I think that Linden was only 3 months old at the time. I will admit that it crushed me. I wanted to help. Knowing that adopting wasn't in the cards for me, then, I continued to pray for his heart and advocate for the children on Reece's Rainbow.

In June of 2010, I was looking through a photolisting of children available for adoption in a particular country. One little boy caught my eye. He was wearing a sailor suit and had the most captivating blue eyes. I could tell that he had Down syndrome and he was only a year old. I remember emailing his picture to the director of Reece's Rainbow, and she told me that he wasn't available for international adoption. It made me so sad for him because with having Down syndrome, he would most likely not be adopted in his own country. I told myself, "If he ever becomes available, I want to adopt him."
I never stopped praying for him. He was just too beautiful to be lost in the system.

Sometime in April of this year, I noticed that a little boy on Reece's Rainbow named "Darren" had a new picture. Something about his new picture made my heart flutter. I decided to save the picture to my computer to post it on Facebook. When I saved the picture, it went side by side with the picture of little boy in the sailor suit. I literally gasped and burst into tears because they were the same child. The little boy who I had been praying for all that time was "Darren". I just had chills all over. Oh how, I wanted to be his mama. I just wanted to swim across the ocean to bring him home. That's how strong my feelings were for him. Over the next couple of weeks, I continued to pray for Joe's heart to change. I decided to write him a letter. I never ended up giving him that letter for whatever reason. He never gave me any indication that adopting was something that he wanted to do.

In July, when a new baby girl, who looked JUST like Linden was listed for adoption, he 'let' me inquire about her. We even went as far as sending in our family profile but we were not chosen.

Last month, "Darren" got another new picture. Oh, his smile makes me melt. His little fat knees just begged for me to tickle them just like I do with Linden's fat knees. I could not stand it any longer, I had to tell Joe. I don't know if it was bad timing or what, but he shut me down. He said that nothing would change his mind. Oh, how my heart hurt. I wanted this little boy to be mine more than anything. Something about hearning no again just really got to me. I gave up. I visualized myself handing "Darren" over to God and saying "Please help Joe to love him like I do."

About a month later after not mentioning anything about us adopting, Joe came up to me and said "What would make you the happiest woman in this world?" I said, "Um, to go to Disney World at Christmastime?" He said, "No, even happier than that!" I said, "To adopt?" He said, "Let's do it!" After about me saying "Are you serious?!!?!?!" and punching him in the arm a few times, he told me about his dream. He said that a couple nights before, he had dreamed that he and I had gone to get our son in an orphanage. When we got there, our baby was tied to his crib, helpless, and Joe said to me "Why didn't we do this sooner?!" When he woke up, he knew that he had to tell me about it, but he waited a little while, mulling it over, knowing that this was a very big decision. He realized that he did, in fact, want to adopt, too.

And here we are! What a wild, crazy ride! Thank you for coming along. Tomorrow, I will tell you all about "Darren".