--An Orphan No More--


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And the Winner Is.....

Patsy of Mt. Vernon, IL is the lucky winner of the 4 St. Louis Cardinal tickets! Congrats Patsy! Enjoy the game!

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sneak Peek at a Room Fit for a Princess...or Two!

Since certain people are getting impatient and are asking for room pictures (you know who you are!), I decided to give a sneak peek. Their room is about 75% done.


And still need to add photos to our Tree of Life frame....

A Glimmer of Hope

Our dossier has been delivered to our translation team.

We know we have done EVERYTHING we can do. We pray (and ask for your prayers) that it is enough.

Please pray that our dossier is complete and correct. Please pray we do not have to redo anything.

God's hand is guiding this......we have to believe that.

"When the world says "Give up"....
Hope whispers "Try one more time."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

God Doesn't Make Mistakes

Someone posted this on another site and I had to share. You may need to turn off our blog music (press pause on the iPod on the lower left side) to hear it.

It is time....

I know I said the blog would remain public until after the 1st of September, but the time has come to make it private. I have sent out nearly 75 invites to people who requested them.

I hope I chose my readers wisely and that you sincerely want to follow our journey to Eastern Europe and rejoice with us when sweet Everlyn is home with us where she was meant to be. If there is a "mole" in the group....well, God knows who you are. :o)

I am sure many of you are wondering why we are going private. Some of you already know because I have confided in you. I don't want to "taint" my beautiful blog with the ugly truth, but I will say this. I am afraid this is far from a "done deal"...even with our dossier sitting in her birth country. We have done everything we could do, as quickly as we could do it, and must leave the rest up to God.

As far as the Cardinals raffle goes, I will still announce the winner on 8-31 and the winner will get an email in case they may no longer have access to the blog.

We hope our readers will pray for us and our journey, which has been far more difficult that we could ever imagine. We are keeping our eyes on the prize and take comfort in the knowledge that God knows our hearts and how much we adore this little girl...halfway around the world...whom we have never met.

We will continue to fight for her, because in our hearts we know she has always been meant to be part of our family.

Kisses in the Wind... for our Everlyn Grace

I posted this in the beginning of our adoption journey and felt compelled to repost it. It has so much meaning to us...now more than ever.

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Every little girl needs a baby doll!

....and I finally decided which one I want to get Everlyn.

Introducing Baby Stella (by Manhattan Toys). Isn't she cute? I like her b/c she is completely cloth and can even serve as a "lovie" or a pillow on the long flights home. :o) And the cutest thing (not pictured) is her "binky" that is magnetized to hold it in place over her mouth. (If only "real" kids' binkies worked that way!) LOL!

And Baby Stella has big brown eyes like Everlyn.....PERFECT! We can't wait to meet our Princess and give her her first gift from her family...Baby Stella!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Making Progress!

Our dossier is in Paris! (Kinda wish I was too!)

Next stop......Everlyn's birth country! Hooray!

Keep those prayers coming!

UPDATE: It has now left Paris, headed for its final destination! :o)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pray for Fed Ex!!!

Pray that our dossier arrives safely in the hands of our facilitator / translator. Pray that there are no delays. Pray that all goes according to His plan. (I hope it is the same as MY plan. LOL)

And pray for the poor guy who waited on me today at Fed Ex. He got an earful.....

Fed Ex guy: "Is this just documents today, ma'am?"

Me: ((gasp)) "Just documents? JUST documents? Listen pal...this is 4 months of hard work...HOURS of paper chasing, 5 trips to the doctor, 8 trips for notaries, 6 trips for apostilles, countless tears and way more stress than I care to recall! This is WAY more than documents. This is what hopes, dreams, a forever family and a little girl's promising future look like...in paper form. JUST DOCUMENTS? Um, no."

Fed Ex guy: "Ok then." And then he proceeds to write "documents" on the shipping form. LOL!

I told him to handle it like it was his baby....because it is someone's baby. OUR BABY. And for nearly $200, they SHOULD handle it with care don't ya think?

According to the tracking info, it is on its way! Praise the Lord!

Beauty and "the Beast"

Here is our "Beauty".....

And here is "the Beast"! (also known as our adoption dossier)

Off to Fed Ex we go!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Our 171H is here! This is a BIG DEAL! Think Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, folks!

Our dossier is now off to Ukraine (by fax tomorrow) and by Fed Ex plane on Friday.

I wish Everlyn Grace could understand that her Mommy and Daddy are coming SOON! She has no clue how much her life is going to change! :o) Hang on sweet girl....we will be there before you know it!

I have so much more I want to say but it is late....so stay tuned for more blog posts in coming days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A few things....

--Reminder: This blog is going private after 9-1-10. Email me at ashli smith @ mac . com (no spaces) to ensure I have your email address. I will need it to send you an invitation to view the blog. I will reply letting you know you are on the list. If you don't get a reply, email me again! :o) Please a tell me a little about yourself - how I "know" you, your interest in special needs adoption, etc.

--We will be announcing the lucky winner of the Cardinals tickets on 9-1-10 (before the blog goes private). Don't miss your chance to get in on this! They are AWESOME seats! The winner will get an email, in case for some odd reason they aren't religious followers of our blog. :o)

--We are still contemplating a few more fundraisers. If you have ideas, we would love to hear them! We do plan to have another yard sale - we have some left over "treasures" and have come up with quite a bit of new "stuff" too! It would be awesome if we could raise another $1000 at this sale!

--We are starting to think about our orphanage donation. They desperately need clothing for boys and girls up to about 4T (gently used is fine), diapers, wipes, shampoo, soap, etc. If you wish, you can contribute to this. Details will follow....

Thanks everyone! We are getting closer to having our Princess home!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

3 Brothers and a Sister

That's what Everlyn has to look forward to! Oh - and a Mommy and Daddy too! :o)

The kids are very, very excited about a new sister. Even Elliston seems to know who she is and yells "Baby Everlyn" every time he sees her picture. It's pretty cute and I am not sure he realizes he is YOUNGER than she is. And I am not sure he realizes she will live here and he will have to share his toys. :o)

And of course Emersen is over the moon to have a sister! "Finally!" she says... LOL! Originally, both girls were going to have their own rooms, but Emersen insisted that they should share. The more we thought about it, that might just be the way to go. Everlyn is used to sharing a room with several kids and having "company" at night might ease the transition. So, the room is just about done! We need to set up the second bed and we will be good to go. I am VERY pleased with how it turned out! A perfect room for Daddy's Princesses! (Don't worry - I will post pics soon.)

So, I thought I would dedicate a post to the brothers and sister waiting....probably more patiently that Mommy and Daddy. I am sure I will have plenty of helpers!

Here's some pics of Everlyn's siblings-to-be:

Easton James - 8 years old

Emersen Elyse - 6 years old

Elijan Brooks - 4 years old

Elliston Cash - 2 years old

Friday, August 20, 2010

280 by the 28th!

Our FSP fund with Reece's Rainbow is sitting at $1720. We would LOVE to see if grow to $2000! :o)

Our goal is to raise another $280 by the 28th of the month! Can you help? No donation is too small and they all add up....and each one brings us that much closer to getting our Everlyn home!

And remember, contributions made through the last Chip In (named Everlyn's Adoption) are tax deductible since they go directly to Reece's Rainbow. :o)

Friday, August 13, 2010

I have really struggled with this....

....but I have decided that after September 1, 2010, this blog will be private.

I am doing this for a variety of reasons - some involve privacy issues for little Everlyn, some involve our travel, SDA appt, court....and some involve a "comfort factor."

I have resisted privatizing the blog for quite some time. I think awareness is key for these children and I want to share our adoption journey with the world! But for reasons I won't go into here, the blog needs to go private.

So - if you are a loyal reader and would like an invitation to continue following our journey after September 1st, PLEASE send me an email requesting an invite and please include your name, email address and a little about yourself (ie - how do I know you or why do you wish to follow our journey, etc). Please send emails to ashli smith @ mac . com (with no spaces of course).

Thanks for your understanding during this time of transition! Hopefully once our Princess is home and settled in, we will feel better about making it public again!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Today was a good day!!!

Our yard sale / adoption fundraiser was a SUCCESS! We "de-cluttered" quite a bit and earned about $850 towards Everlyn's adoption fund! We still have some things left over so when our city has a "city-wide sale" in September, we plan to try to sell what we have left...and I am sure I could find more "stuff" we could part with! A few things left over from the sale will be making their way to Ebay shortly.....so that should bring in a bit more. :o) We also sold a few more bracelets!

We were humbled by the generosity of strangers. Some told us to "keep the change" after making a purchase...others gave us a donation even if they chose not to buy any of our "treasures." It was heartwarming to say the least. One person even mentioned doing a fundraiser for us through their school - she is a teacher at a local high school. Amazing. Simply amazing. And so very appreciated!

Perhaps the best part of the day was all of the adoptive families and children that stopped by to show their support! We met families with cuties from Belarus, Russia, Vietnam, Taiwan, China and the United States. Very very cool!

And of course EVERYONE that stopped by had to "ooooh" and "aaaah" at Everlyn's pictures. I had made a poster with her name and pictures on it so people could see her sweet little face....

"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."-- David Platt

Yes, today was a good day!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


We have a lot of "stuff" at our house.

I discovered while preparing for our yard sale / adoption fundraiser on Saturday that we have a LOT of stuff...I mean a ridiculous amount of stuff. I blame it on the 4 kids..... :o)

But, it feels GREAT to get things cleared out of here and make room for another little person! (who will inevitably create the need for more "stuff." ((sigh))

A friend posted a quote on FaceBook today and I (of course) had to borrow it. It said:

"Children don't need "stuff." They need to know you'd travel across the ocean for them, at any cost....literally."

Very fitting indeed!

So, we are clearing out the "stuff" around here and raising money for Everlyn's adoption fund. She needs a forever family FAR MORE than we need this "stuff."

If you are in the St. Louis metro area and might be in need of any of the following, let me know. Leave me a comment and I can get in touch with you re: our address.

Smith Family Yard Sale/Adoption Fundraiser
Saturday, August 7, 2010
7am - 11am

Items for sale include:
--Kids clothes / shoes
--Gymboree Halloween costumes (18-24 months)
--Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Kitchen, House & Piano
--Fisher Price / Microsoft IntelliTable
--Activity Cube with wooden beads (like doctor's offices have)
--Pottery Barn Kids Ice Cream Truck Tent / Playhouse
--Pottery Barn Kids Twin Size girl bedding (quilt, shams, bedskirt and sheets) - we redid the rooms and the girls are going to share so Emersen's bedding is for sale
--Christmas decoration
--Home Decor
--Photo frames
--Books, DVDs, VHSs
--Giant tub of MegaBlocks
--Even "more giant" tub of GeoTracks
--Pottery Barn Kids ironing board / iron
--Kids coat/hat rack
--Huge dog kennel - 4x4x6 ft tall
--Folding dog crate (wire)
--Small pet kennel (plastic)
--Cloth diapering items
--Glassware, vases, etc
--Too much more to list...especially in the "toy department"......

So, if you are in the area, stop by! We'd love to see you and we'd appreciate the support for our adoption of sweet Miss Everlyn!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Update for Those Asking for One...

....and you know who you are!

Everything is status quo, so I haven't updated much on the process recently. Our dossier is done, just waiting for USCIS to send our 171H. Our dossier will be mailed to our translator in Everlyn's birth country THIS WEEK! :o) Yay! It will be translated and once the 171H is ready, it will also be translated, added to the dossier and then our dossier will be submitted to the SDA for review. Once submitted, it generally takes the SDA 2-3 weeks to review it and either request additional documents, clarification, etc OR to give an invitation to travel and SDA appointment. This very special appointment is when the "official" referral is given. We are hoping we can skip the "more documents / clarification" option and move straight to the TRAVEL and referral appointment at the SDA! :o)

It is amazing to think of the progress we have made towards bringing her home...to her forever family. Her brothers and sister are SO SO SO excited to meet her and love on her...and Mommy and Daddy are a wee bit excited too!

My birthday is in October. I can't think of a better gift than meeting our Princess!

Your continued prayers throughout this process are greatly appreciated!