Tuesday, May 31, 2011

YARD SALE this WEEKEND to benefit our SPECIAL NEEDS adoption!!

Here are all the details people!!

Share on Facebook....call your yard sale diva mothers, sisters, aunts and friends!

2820 West 97th Place
Evergreen Park, IL
Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4
9am to 3pm both days

Exercise Equipment! Baby clothes and Gear! Electronics!
Antiques! Baseball Cards and Sports Memorabilia!!

All proceeds to benefit our Adoption of Henry, a baby boy with special needs who we hope to travel to bring home from Eastern Europe this summer! He will probably need surgery and lots of physical therapy to be able to walk someday! Thanks for any support you can give!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Up a Tree

I have always liked to climb trees.

There was a big maple in my parent's backyard that I like to "hang out" in.... I even rigged a rope and a pail system so I could load in a drink, a portable radio and a book.... I would pull it up after I climbed to the comfy spot near the top and sit and read for an hour or two...

no little siblings bug you when you are up in a tree ;-)

We recently discovered (courtesy of my 6 year old daughter who must have inherited my climbing gene) that we have several very good climbing trees in our backyard.

My hubby came home from work one day and found me with the 3 little ones enjoying the day from a treetop and snapped the picture above.

Simple pleasures.

Climbing trees. Blowing bubbles. Popcorn and and a movie in a dark cool basement. Bike rides.

None of that will change by adopting a child with some special needs...

We will be BLESSED with more sharing....more hugs....

more love......

Another buddy to climb and blow bubbles and watch movies and eat popcorn and ride bikes with.

The kids and hubby and I cannot wait to have another little monkey up that tree with us.

Please pray that our little one remains safe and sound and that we travel to bring him home to his climbing siblings very soon!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My younger brothers used to have a "Stretch Armstrong" like this guy when we were kids in the 1980's.

He had green goo inside that made him stretchy....and when we stretched him too far....

as eventually happened....

the goo came oozing out.

God is stretching our family right now.

And some goo is gonna come oozin' out...

and it is going to be a bit painful (can you see the grimace on poor Stretch?)...

but with the support of prayer (our own and from some dear friends) and the sacraments and some plain old hard work...

we are gonna stretch farther than we ever thought possible!!!!

And we won't break.

We will soar.

We serve a mighty God who sets orphans in families (Kirill, Brady and Nathaniel)...

and who hears the cries of the poor.

Here we are Lord.

Stretch away....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quick Update!!

Tomorrow morning, our Home Study will be sent into US Customs and Immigration. They need to give us permission to get fingerprinted and then will issue an I-171H to allow us to leave the country to adopt and to bring Henry back with us.

We spent an extra day getting a letter from a physician  (thanks Dr. B!) asking for an expedited process due to Henry's medical impairments. A family down in Alabama received their I-171H in a bit over 2 weeks following this procedure, where the regular waiting period is usually at least 2 months!

Please pray that everything moves as quickly as possible to bring Henry home.

Children coming home from his country have been in poor shape, some requiring hospitalization as soon as they reach the US in order to teach their bodies how to absorb nutrients again.

It has happened to Carrington (www.carringtonscourage.blogspot.com)...

to Julia (www.schwenzerfamilyupdates.blogspot.com/2011/05/lack-of-updates.html)....

to Dusty and Sonya (http://godsarrowsinourquiver.blogspot.com/2011/05/this-is-our-story-this-is-our-song.html) - scroll down and see the picture of sweet little Dusty who is so thin!!

Please also pray for a dear little boy named Kirill whose Mommy and Daddy appear before a Supreme Court to beg to bring their sweet child home. And for Brady's Mommy and Daddy, rescuing him from an institution, who are also appearing in a court tomorrow, begging to be allowed to bring him home to the love of a family.

Finally, thanks to Nathaniel's (http://www.forthisone.blogspot.com/) family - you are the answer to fervent prayers. I cannot wait to meet you!!

So many needs, so many prayers, so much to be thankful for.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Where is your treasure??


Some would gather money along the path of life, some would gather roses and rest from worldly strife; But, I would gather children from among the thorns of sin, I would seek a golden curl and a freckled, toothless grin. For money cannot enter in that land of endless day, and roses that are gathered soon will wilt along the way. But, Oh the laughing children, as I cross the sunset sea, and the gates swing wide to heaven, I can take them in with me. --Unkown

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Questions OR Excuses

I am feeling quite the cynical lawyer this morning.
I woke up to read posts on an email list from 2 awesome women working hard to earn and raise money to rescue their children with special needs from orphanages in Eastern Europe.
One family was interviewed in their local newspaper, and after publication of the positive article, was hit by comments online questioning why they are not helping children here in the US and that they should not have "signed up" for this adoption if they did not have the money needed.
The other family was turned down for a donation by the Board at their Church (where the husband serves in a leadership position) because the Church did not want to "set a precedent for giving to international adoptions,"
This past Sunday, while we were selling bracelets at our Church (with the full support and even promotion by our dear pastor Fr. Greg), a man did come up to me and sincerely ask why we would do this when there were children in need here in the US.
My response was:
God calls us all to do His work in different ways. If you feel called to help children here, I am behind you 100%!!
But orphans here in the US have foster parents. They go to school. They have government-paid medical care. Poor children here are fed breakfast and lunch in their public schools.
Orphans where we are adopting from (and in countries like Ethiopia), ESPECIALLY children with special needs, NEVER go to school, rarely get the level of medical care they need, and are often malnourished, tied to metal cribs, and will spend the rest of their life in institutions!!!
Then I told the story about how after their mother died, my friend P's oldest adopted boy from Ethiopia was left to care for his 3 yo and 1 yo sisters ALL DAY while their dad went to town to try to make money....
this little 5 year old boy would carry the baby on his hip all day going to cows and goats he could find to squirt milk in her mouth so she would not STARVE!!!!
THAT is why we do what we do....
if God is calling you to do something different to help the least of his children, AWESOME!
I'll send you a check right now....
but frankly, for MOST people, MOST of the time, this "question" is just an excuse so they can crawl back into their snug little worlds of denial and go have another $5 Starbucks and moan about how tough life is and they deserve it...
Cynical attorney signing off.
Positive and polite wife and mommy back on line!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cuteness - courtesy of international adoption!

My youngest in the middle, flanked by 2 out of 3 siblings my dear friend P adopted from Ethiopia in 2010.....

Can you stand the cuteness????

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Morning Blessings

Let me count the ways the Lord has blessed me already today...

1) Dear friends making a generous gift for Henry...we treasure your friendship and are humbled by your witness!

2) Supportive pastor + awesome parish family = successful bracelet fundraiser!
Thanks Fr. Greg and St. Anthony and my awesome bracelet-makers -
Ella, Sabrina, Sofia, and their mentor Granny!

3)Quiet time with Jesus at Adoration, followed by breakfast with faith-filled awesome women who promised to pray for Henry and our family all summer until we meet again for bible study in the fall!

4)Parents who 100% behind our adoption and who are planning a mega yard sale to benefit Henry!
As you can see on our fundraising thermometer, our goal has increased. This is due to the steadily increasing cost of of airfare (especially if we end up traveling at peak season this summer) and to the new computerized court system in Henry's country, which may make our stay in his region longer and/or necessitate a trip home to wait for court if a long delay is needed.

5) My loving husband and children...a gift every single day!

Have a blessed Monday!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Last night my oldest son's high school held a Jazz Dinner at a local banquet hall.

The level of musical talent in the teens in that room was almost beyond belief.

18 year olds writing original scores for jazz combo....

And adapting Katy Perry's "Firework" to a male/female acapella group (awesome!)...

As I heard the beautiful voices I thought...

Which child sitting in an orphanage in Eastern Europe has the voice of an angel?

Which child abandoned due to CP is a piano prodigy?

Which child shut away with downs syndrome might be the inspiration to a sibling to embark on a career in medicine that cures a dread disease?

We will never know...

Until we give them a home....

A family....

A chance.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tears of a Mother

This thing called international special needs adoption that we (and all the other prospective parents working with Reece's Rainbow and other amazing organizations) have embarked on is crazy...
humanly crazy!!!!
Huge sums of money.......
I was up last night at 3am in the stifling heat and humidity here in the south 'burbs of Chicago (after weeks and weeks of cold it switched abruptly to 94 degrees and disgustingly humid).
I got a coll drink of water and then went around to check on my 6 sleeping children, ages 18 down to 2. Ruffled curly hair in the humidity, adjusted blanket on a 6ft 3in teenage frame, moved a stuffed animal back into pudgy little arms...
and just as I thought "look at them all sleeping so peacefully!".....
it hit me like a ton of bricks.
My 7th baby.
I don't know if he is sleeping peacefully.
I don't know if he is healthy.
I don't know if he is even going to be mine....this year...or anytime.
And I cried.
Huge sobs in the bathroom so no one could hear.
Cried out to God.
For myself and for Henry.
This morning I know that the tears of a mother are NEVER WASTED. No matter what happens, here or in  Henry's country.
But last night I cried.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Abundant blessings

Our bracelet fundraiser at St. Anthony was an amazing experience....

79 bracelets went hone with mommas, grandmas,and little (and big!)girls...

Many generous souls donated, with no thoughts of a return...

An outpouring of love and support from the visible Body of Christ...

THANK YOU for your contributions, encouragement and prayers!

At Fr. Greg's request, we will return during next Sundays masses!

Friday, May 6, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday - Adoption Update

Thanks to Jen for hosting! She inspired me to update on this crazy thing called international adoption...

1) The good news: Our home study is complete and was submitted to Illinois DCFS for approval, which should take 1-2 weeks to obtain. PLEASE PRAY that this step is completed quickly, because as soon as the home study is approved, we can overnight it to USCIS (US Customs and Immigration) to wait to be officially fingerprinted and then assigned a case officer and then (hopefully) receive our "golden ticket" (as the 171H document is called) which lets us submit our dossier to Eastern Europe to receive their referral to adopt Henry....*whew* are you as tired from reading that as I am from writing it/constantly obeses....I mean, thinking about it?!?!?!

2) The bad news: Some families we know have been waiting for WEEKS for a case officer to be assigned to process their 171H.... Keep these families in your prayers, there is no rhyme or reason for WHY they seem to be stuck in limbo...

3) Just some news: We just heard that our facilitations in Henry's country will no longer be able to "request" judges they know are friendly to international adoptions. I cannot call this good or bad news at this point...
As a lawyer, I like to think that judges will follow the law no matter their personal feelings. And technically this new policy has been in place since earlier this year, and it does not seem like adoptions are getting held up or delayed or denied in Henry's country, so I choose to be optimistic on this one!

4) My Mother's Day plans are in two parts this year. I will celebrate with my Mom and 2 (of 3) sisters and 2 (of 3) nieces and 3 (of 3!) of my daughters at my mom's house on Saturday morning. We are having a lovely "tea party" which will include a reflexologist to give us all theraputic foot massages. Woo Hoo! Then on Sunday afternoon/evening, I am having my dear mother-in-law and my mom (and dad) over for some pizza and the Bulls playoff game (where hopefully they will clinch this series)....

unconventional for a Mother's Day, I know ;-)

5) On Saturday afternoon and all morning on Sunday, we will be taking turns at my Church, St. Anthony in Frankfort, giveing away our beautiful bracelets for donations to Henry's adoption fund! Thank You Father Greg!!

6) I had my youngest brother and his daughter, my niece (who is 2 weeks older than my youngest daughter!) over to go to the park, have lunch, play, etc.... It looks like a bomb went off in my house....how much damage can two 2-year-old girls DO????   ummm, a lot.......

7) Finally, I have been pondering in my heart these instances making real how the Lord provides...

My bloggy friend Catherine (adopting 2 little girls with special needs from Easter Europe in the next few weeks), received a Grant she desperately needed at the last minute...

Nicole, who is adopting a little boy with HIV, thought her fundraiser "failed", until a man showed up out of nowhere with the funds needed for their homestudy....

An amazing woman named Adeye who advocates for orphans, who raised $16,000 in ONE WEEK to find a family for an 8 year old boy who asks his caretakers EVERY SINGLE MORNING if his family has come for him today....and his family is on the way to him very soon to make his dream come true!!

These true stories help to increase my belief in a good God and the goodness of people everywhere....

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers -  biological, adoptive, spiritual - this Sunday!
The world needs your love!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ora et Labora

When I was "freaking out" a bit (Ok, a LOT!) about whether we would be able to bring Henry home this summer due to circumstances beyond our control in Henry's country, a wise priest (who happens to be my Uncle!) gave me those words of counsel:

Ora et Labora

This saying of the Benedectines is an excellent motto for the Christian life.

We need to PRAY for what we need....

and follow up our prayers with the WORK that supports our earthly needs.

I know God will provide the money we need for our adoption because we are following His will.

I know that I cannot sit on my backside waiting for the money to roll in because that is NOT His will.

The Dobrovits family is doing their part - ie. not splurging on a big fabulous dinner out on Mother's Day...

I am doing my little part - ie. switching from professionally highlighting my hair to a box of drugstore color...

We are being faithful, in both word AND deed.

Our dear pastor at St. Anthony gave us the green light to sell our bracelets after Mass this Mother's Day...

You can still order these handmade bracelets for mailing all the way through May - for graduations, First Communions (we have little girl sizes and styles), for any lovely lady you know who would like a little "bling" in her life....

Ora et labora.

Pray and work.

To bring Henry home.

To dispel worry....

because our great God is holding Henry in the palm of His hand.