~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~

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We're here!!!!

I'm going to try to stay up to date on my blogging while we are here. I know that I've been a slacker lately with the blogging and that has been because for a while we were in limbo, waiting for a date and so forth. However, we received our date three weeks before travel and now we are actually here!!!!!

Before I go on, I just want to say that I will be blogging while we are here and will probably include pictures at different points of the country and different things but not the children. All pictures will however be posted in our private Facebook group!!!! This is to protect the privacy of the children while we are in country and until we have court :). If you are not already in the private Facebook group, please comment on the blog here, or email me at jsgamiddleton@gmail.com.

It is very surreal being back in this country. For those of you that don't know, we were here in 2010 and adopted our sweet Gabby from here! This time, Gabby is at home with my mother and her husband. It's wasn't always the plan but because of financial reasons and for safety purposes, we felt it would be safer and less risky for her to stay home. It was a hard decision but one that was necessary. We have been able to Skype with her as much as we would like and it almost seems like we are home with her. Yesterday I told her that I loved her and she screamed into the computer "I wuh woo"!!! It was the sweetest sound I had heard since we left! We miss her terribly and I would be lying if I said we hadn't shed a few tears for her but it is getting easier and Skype is awesome!!!!

Now for a little bit about our trip....
We left our home yesterday in TN at around 11:00 a.m.  We took off from the airport in Knoxville at 2:37 p.m.  This flight would be a little more than an hour and a half. We arrived in Washington at 4:10 p.m. and took off for Frankfurt Germany at 5:40 p.m. (A little more than an hour an a half layover)We arrived in Germany at 7:45 a.m. (Germany's time...the flight in total was nearly 9 hours). We have a couple hour layover and then left Germany at a little after 9 a.m. We arrived here in the girl's country at 1:05 p.m.  We are seven hours ahead here in this country than those back at home in TN and KY.  All of the flights went very smooth! For those of you that do not know, I am terrified of flying!!! I especially do not like flying over nothing but ocean!!! I would only do it for these girl's! Foreign vacations are not worth it to me, haha.  I cried a little when we took off in Knoxville because I was scared and had a bit of a panic attack but after that I was fine. No lost luggage and everything went really well! We flew Lufthansa during our overseas flights and they were as awesome as the first time we adopted! Jason watched "spider man", "total recall" and "what to expect when you're expecting". I watched "The Lucky One" which was AWESOME!!! You have to watch it! Then I watched something else (can't remember the name) and it was ok. I found myself a little upset when I realized I had forgotten to pack some books that a few friends had sent me to read!!!! I guess I was so busy trying to fit all of th "have to have" items in our luggage without going over the weight and size limitations that I just forgot! Ughhh.

When we arrived in the at the airport, a driver was waiting with our names on a piece of paper. He spoke very good English (better than expected) and was very professional and courteous.  He drove us to get an international cell phone to use to call in country to our facilitator and such. He also drove us to exchange American money for the currency here. Then we went to get a few basic groceries, pay for a few days rent in our apartment, and finally then we were able to settle in to our apartment after nearly 24 hours of traveling!

The apartment is small but very sufficient. It has mostly everything we need! It is very cold here so we have not gotten out to wonder around yet. We rested last night and part of today. We have extreme jet lag and it is not fun because we are sleeping at very odd times. As the same with the first time we were here, my allergies are not coroporating and something I ate is not agreeing with me. Ughh. Anyways, we need to try to get on a better schedule because we have an early DAP appointment in the morning for the verbal referral and information on the girls. After the appointment we will probably wonder around and about taking some photos. We expect to get the official referral to visit with our girl's on Thursday and then take the overnight train to their region (13 hours) on Thursday night. We would arrive Friday morning in the region and meet the girl's immidiately. Not sure which orphanage we would go to first.

We are so excited to meet them and to be able to start our visits with them.  It's going to be strange going to Ava's orphanage because it is also the same orphanage Gabby was in! I will probably be an emotional wreck!!!!! I feel like I have been waiting on Ava for a lifetime! We have wanted to return for her ever since we left in 2010. We didn't find out about her in 2010 until it was too late in the process and we couldn't stay longer. I cannot wait for Gabby and Ava to be reunited!!!!

I guess I should tell you all that we have decided on names for the children so you are not confused as to who I am referring to. Ava will be the first name of the youngest girl. She will also keep her birth name as a third middle name (the same as we done with Gabby. Her actual middle name has not been 100% determined.  We have not  decided what to name the little girl (oldest) that is referred to as "Elaine" on Reece's rainbows website. I will let you know shortly on what we have decided.  We can't wait to meet or big girl and show her exactly what having a family means.

These girls are very loved and have already changed our lives in more ways than I can even describe!

One last note: I just want to mention that we are not fully funded for our trip yet. We have the funds we will need for now but we are still short about $2,000 for the later part of this trip. We have been offered a matching grant of $300! We need donations badly!!!! Please don't leave us now.  We are here and doing all of everything we promised to do to get these girls home. We have sacrificed alot and shed many tears. We've lost alot of sleep, fundraised our hearts out and we are sacrificing Christmas with our daughter (although she will still have a good Christmas) it is very hard. we just need the last bit of help. No amount is too small and with the tremendous amount of followers on our blog and private facebook these should be easy peasy for us :) If we get the $300 in donations, the donor will match it which will double it to $600!!!! Please considering donating by clicking the donate button on the right upper side of our blog!

Also, you're prayes are much appreciated!

Until next time.....

Oh yeah, I should probably mention that I am too tired to read this post over so please ignore any mistakes :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I know I have been absent for a while. To make a long story short....we had a brief mess up with paperwork and our process got postponed about 5 weeks or so. BUT the AWESOME news is we now have an official date given to us. we are leaving in less than 2 weeks!!!!!

We are still short $3,291.00!!!!!

We have been given a wonderful opporunity by ANONYMOUS ANGELS for $550! If we can get this amount by Friday donated then anonymous angels will match it! This will take care of a huge portion of our needs!

For all of you that has followed our story for the past 7 months, you know it has been a long journey. We are so close now and as I suspected, money is in the way! Its so frustrating for that to be the case.

If there was ever a time to show your support or donate, now is the time. These girls are so close to coming home!!!!!

please donate, please share, please pray.....