~Welcome to the story of our journey to save another Eastern European princess with down syndrome and an older child! In 2010, we traveled half way around the world to adopt a twenty month old (now three years old) precious girl with down syndrome, Gabby. Now, less than two years later, we are on a mission to adopt another precious little girl that is in the same orphanage Gabby was in, Ava. Not only Ava, but yes....one more "Elaine". That means we are trying to adopt two more children!!!! If you are unaware of the situation in most, if not all Eastern European countries, please continue to read. In these countries children with down syndrome and special needs are most often placed in orphanages and if not adopted by the age of four or five (depending on circumstance), they are transferred to institutions where the likely-hood of them ever seeing outside of the institution walls remain slim to none. Many will live very short lives due to lack of appropriate care. Please don't allow this to happen to our sweet Ava! "Elaine" was fortunate enough to escape a very bad institution but nonetheless is in an institution and is an older child whose chances of coming home if we can't adopt her are not good. Having adopted and fully funding ourselves the previous adoption such a short time ago, we will need all of the help we can get to reunite these two angels and bring their big sister home. We utilized all extra resources with our first adoption and so fundraising is essential with this adoption. Whether it be from your prayers, helping to fundraise, buying from fundraisers, donations, etc...your help is much appreciated and is very much needed in order to make this dream a reality. Thank you so much for following our journey~

Monday, June 4, 2012

~GABBY...before and after~

I decided to make this post about our sweet girl that we already have at home, GABBY! As most of you know we adopted Gabby in 2010 from the same orphanage we are adopting Ava from. As a matter of fact, they were in the same room together and therefore likely shared a crib being there were only two cribs in a room for 13 or 14 children (in their group)! Obviously, we are working extremely hard to reunite these two and now save Ava's life.  Now...I'd like to share with you a little about Gabby. I want to do this to show you the difference that adoption can make. I want to show you why we are fighting so hard to bring Ava home!

Lets Begin....  :)

The first day we met Gabby in the orphanage.... She was so small, so "colorless", so limp,
and I will admit...I was scared to death! I was shocked to be holding a 16 lb 20 month
old baby girl! I was worried that she was "too sick" for us to be able to care for....gosh, little did I know
this child would be the easiest child to care and love for that myself or anyone in my family
had ever cared for!  Yes, it was love at first sight! Scared love..but nonetheless LOVE!

What did we notice over our next few visits with Gabby? We noticed a very
thirsty and hungry baby! She couldn't get enough to drink! She tried to eat the banana peel
           with the banana! She LOVED spaghetti! She loved anything! We watched her grow in a months
 time from 16 to 21 lbs!
We noticed a baby girl that LOVED to be rocked to sleep but who possibly
had never been rocked to sleep!

We noticed a little girl who just LOVED attention, kisses, hugs but who most likely
never got it. Definitely not from a family of her own!

Did you see her growing as these pictures were taken? I sure did and can!

Its crazy to think that she never knew what it was like to be experience Christmas! To celebrate
the birth of Jesus, see the decorations, receive gifts of her very own!
But she does now!!! This was her first Christmas in 2010 :)

First snow :)

She had never experienced a birthday that was celebrated in honor of her! As a matter of fact, her birthday
was only seen as the day she was abandoned and deemed unworthy of love and parents. She now knows
what it is like to have family and friends celebrate the day of her birth!

This was her first birthday at home although it was the day she actually turned 2! :) In 2011!

First Valentines day :)

She had never experienced even a real bath! She had always been "washed off" and was actually
terrified of water! The first time I tried bathing her, she clinched her nails into my chest and screamed
to the top of her lungs! I had to continue "washing her off" for the next several weeks. Finally, I see that
this couldn't continue and she was going to have to get use to it. After only four times of toughing it out, this is what we got :) Notice the belly :) haha

First Easter :)

Not only a bath..but this too! Swimming... :) This was her first summer home in 2011!

One HUGE and very significant thing she didn't know before was what it was like to have any
small amount of Freedom/Independence! She most definitely had never celebrated Independance Day!
She has now :) This was her first indpendence day in 2011! Does she look adorable wearing red, white, and blue!!!

She never knew what it was like to go out for the evening in the mountains and just have a day
with mommy and daddy :) She knows now!

And some extra love and attention :)

She never knew what it was like to go on a family vacation! She knows now!!!

She never knew what it was like to dress up for halloween and have fun :) She knows now! Her first halloween home! Isn't she the cutest little lady bug ever??? :)

Another Christmas has passed. Her second Christmas home! Christmas 2011!

She never knew what it was like to go to the park for a day, play, and have her picture taken! Fall 2011!

Another birthday passed :) Our baby girl turned 3! Not such a baby anymore :) 2012!

She never knew what it was like to have someone LOVE her and celebrate Valentine's Day with her!
She knows now!

Second Easter :)

She never knew what it was like to have her own room! She knows now! This was this year in the spring!

She never knew what it was like to have her own yard to play in. She knows now! These were taken recently  except for the first one :)

She never knew what it was like to have someone spend time doing her hair! She knows now :) And
look how long it is now!!!!

Now I am going to pretend you are not completely tired of reading and seeing pictures and give you some more to read and look at :) haha.

The reason for showing and telling you all of this is (1.) I wanted to show off our little beauty and how far she has came. (2.) I wanted to show you the potential in that Ava has and what she needs to get home to!

Did you see that little girl in those pictures up there? Did you see how cute she is and how very capable she is? I have seen first hand just how capable Gabby is! 

Now do you see this little girl?

This is Ava! How bad do you want to see a post like I have given about Gabby, for Ava? I know
this would be a dream come true for our family! I also know that Gabby would be thrilled
to have her "meant to be sister" home! You can make this happen! You can help! As a matter of a fact,
this can't happen without you! Not only can you help bring Ava home but you can help save an additional
life as well! YES YOU HEARD CORRECTLY! If we can get funded quickly enough for Ava, we
will commit to and adopt an additional child, bringing home Ava and one more child to add to our family and save. But this all depends on you!

PLEASE HELP BRING OUR GIRLS BACK TOGETHER and save Ava's life and possibly the life of an additional child!


  1. I love this post! Gabby is such a sweet and beautiful child, it was so amazing to see her change through the pictures! And yes, I want to see Ava have a post like this too!
    And what's this about another child? So amazing! So glad that these children have found your family!

  2. Gaby is a real doll!!! She's so pretty, with such a wonderful smile and such a sweet look in her eyes!!! Let's pray that soon you'll have pix of two more little ones to share!!! God bless, Lillian Godone-Maresca