Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bracelet Raffle

Three more days left in January and three more days left to participate in a raffle to win a bracelet with five charms of your choice from Marvielle's Jewelry (  I know that are a bunch of adoptive parents out there and maybe this is something that would tickle your fancy.  To be entered, just make a purchase with Marvielle's or donate to Altynai's Fund by the end of the month.   If you share this news with others on your blogs or FB then you also will get a second entry.  Please just send me an email or a comment to let me know what you are up to.

At church this morning, they sang one of my favorite songs, Blessings by Laura Story.  It is one that has especially touched me.  So to my Kyrgyz 65 family, I hope that this help.  Love you all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Need a Happy Post

I think that we could all use a little pick me up so I thought I would share some pictures of how domestic adoption forever blessed our family.  Two years ago this week, my husband and I held Drew for the first time.  We were in awe of that precious baby boy on that day and every day since.  I just can't imagine our life without him!  My heart still aches for Altynai especially when I think about all that she was denied but I also know that if we had brought her home that Drew would have never joined our family.  God's plan at work. 

Lots of things to get busy on if Altynai's Fund is going to flourish during the final push to get the remaining children home.  First, don't forget that through the end of  January,  Marvielle's Jewerly is going above and to help Altynai's Fund.  So for the next 4 days, over every purchase over $15, then will give 100% of the difference.  For example, if you spend $40, then Altynai's Fund will get $25.  Sounds great to me.  I got my necklace in the mail this week and I absolutely love it.  So please share this offer with others in the adoption community.   They also sell athletic charms and they will give us 20% of those purchases.  Please see the Fundraising page for more details.  Marvielle's has also given the fund several bracelets with 5 charms a piece to raffle off.   Let's raffle one of them off now!  Anyone that either makes a purchase or a donation to Altynai's Fund will be in the running for the bracelet! If you share the link on FB that will give you an additional entry.  Just send me a message here on the blog and your name will go in the hat.  Thank you Marvielle's Jewelry!!!  Click here to shop for the adoption charms or athletic charms at

My necklace from Marvielle's Jewelry
 I am also so excited about another new organization that has offered to help Altynai's Fund.  147 Million Orphans is a non-profit that was established by two adoptive moms and they have a fabulous mission including helping families fund their adoptions.  They sale necklaces made in Uganda and some super cool t-shirts and bags.  30% of the purchases made through the link on this blog ONLY will be given to Altynai's Fund.  Here is the link that will allow the proceeds to come directly to Altynai's Fund

Tomorrow, I will lay out the plans for Hearts for Hope!

The Loss of a Child

What a horrible title for a post.  Unfortunately, as a pediatric hospitalist and through my journey with Altynai, the loss of a child is something that I have far too much experience with.   Losing a child is never, ever an easy thing to wrap your head around. Tonight there are now thirteen Kyrygz families that are in despair because they have "lost" the child that they were so close to bringing home and that loss is a real one.  They have lost a loved one.  A child that they fell deeply in love with many years ago.  A child that they have fought dearly for.  A child that they had hopes and dreams for.   And to make matters worse, very few people they are close to will totally understand the gravity of this loss.  To be honest, I think that is only people that are within the adoption community, that can fully understand the gravity of the pain that these parents are facing.  I know that I learned that the hard way during the midst of our challenges with Altynai.  To outsiders, they think we are crazy and probably more than a little dramatic, but that is far from the truth.  It is because of the bond that forms between the prospective adoptive parents and the child they have been matched with that makes us so unique.  We have the ability to fall head over heals in love with a child that is not of our blood, and for that matter, often, not even of our own race or color.  We are drawn to adoption by a God that lead us there.  He opens our hearts and allows us to love these children like they are our own, even if we have spent little to no time with them, so when a referral is loss, it can be devastating. And the timing of this week's heart wrenching news could not have been more cruel and I am completely heartbroken for these families, including the, now five that were recipients of Altynai's Fund.  I just hope and pray that God has something wonderful in store for them and that these precious little ones are thriving in their new homes. 

In tribute to a mother's love....  Love you Lisa and Nargiza!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hearts Breaking and Hearts Singing

What an emotionally challenging weekend.  The announcement that Kyrgyzstan was re-opening it's program finally came!  You have no idea how long I have waited to type those joyous words.  It was a moment that we had all been waiting for and it is wonderful news!  However, it came on the heels of tremendous heartache for a handful of the waiting families.  For some of the Kyrgyz 65 (including one of my dearest friends), their journey to bring home their little one has come to an end that no one expected, leaving us all speachless and absolutely heart broken.  The cruelty of it all!   To finally have your child within arms reach only to have them whisked away.... To everyone out there that has followed along with the Kyrygz 65 and/or Altynai's Fund.  We are asking for your prayers, now more than ever.  Prayers for the children and families that were directly affected and prayers that happy reunions will follow for the remaining!

I think that we all need a few days to re-group but please know that although several of the families that Altynai's Fund is helping have been directly affected, many have not. There is still much work to be done and still children to fight for and children to bring home!  Please stay tuned for the details on Hearts For Hope Valentine's Day fundraiser, a new partnership with an amazing organization called 147 Million Orphans and some authentic Kyrgyz jewelry that will be available for sale only through Altynai's Fund.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What a Handsome Young Man

Today post is a long one but so touching to read because it captures the beginning of one family's adoption journey and then ends with a recent post, almost 3 years later.  The DeLille's have one of the oldest waiting kiddos.  Emir ( Isaac) is 12 years old now, and that breaks my heart, because unlike the infants that most of us were matched with, Emir has known that he has a family waiting for him for over 3 years.  It is even more heart breaking when you learn that Emir's best friend was adopted by an American family 18 months before the DeLille's were matched with him, now almost 5 years ago.  Emir gets it!  He knows that he has a family waiting for him.  Can you imagine how frustrating that must be for this young man?? Let's hope that his days in the orphanage are finally nearing their end.  Please enjoy a few of his waiting mom's posts.

October 2008:
Relenting to God's will always seems to be a problem with me, though time and again, I see miracles when I do finally let go of my own will.

You wonder how I went from being convinced we should adopt in the U.S. to adopting a little boy from halfway around the world which will cost TONS of money and a trip or two over there.
I, plain and simple, wanted the easy way out. Adopt a child here( the US)-there are so many, it costs next to nothing, NO DOSSIER (paperwork that never ends with international adoptions-a real pain), no trips to USCIS for fingerprinting, no trips halfway around the world, etc, etc. On top of that, I felt sort of responsible to do a domestic adoption after helping to get the 150 children in VA who are available for adoption prayed for through our church. Doesn't it make sense to not spend the money? To not go through the pain of paperwork? To set an example by adopting here again? I'm getting old-I wanted the easy way just made sense!!

My story goes like this. I was searching for children here [U.S.]-nothing was happening. E-mails weren't getting answered, the Holy Spirit wasn't speaking to me. Then it happened...I was in prayer service on Sept 30 praying, asking for God's will in this adoption process-who Lord? Who do you want us to adopt? Guide us, let us be in Your will.....He told me to stop searching, that He had brought all the other children to us (wise words my husband had said to me so many times, but I had to hear from God), and he would bring this one as well. The next day, with great guilt, after hearing from Him, I'm on the internet searching....I felt like an alcoholic sneaking a drink, someone sneaking just one last cigarette after quitting, placing one more bet on the table after swearing off gambling. Oh, the guilt I felt as I'm looking and yet hearing His words ringing in my head over and over again-"I brought the others to you and I will bring this one too". I looked at two Americans and stopped and decided then and there I would believe Him and let Him bring the child to us. It took a great deal of self-control to let Him do the work.

The next day, I got on my e-mail and there was a personalized note to me-I had never gotten anything this personalized or specific from this agency before .... it was telling me about this boy, about 8 yrs born with a cleft lip/palate. He's Asian and watched his best friend be adopted 18 mos ago and is sad and wants a family in America. I'm reading this and thinking-wow, when I relent, God acts fast!! I found the boy's picture and realized I had passed him by oh so many times before-I was going to adopt domestically, not internationally and so though I passed by his picture with guilt in the past, this time I asked for info.

When adopting internationally, it's next to impossible to get information on a child except for what the orphanage decides to release. We have been blessed with some information on Amir-. We've been in contact with his best friend's adoptive family (they live in CO)-turns out there were really 4 boys who were close and the other two were also adopted into a family who happens to live IN Kyrgyzstan! They recently visited him [Amir] and even had an updated photo of him with their sons. I've e-mailed with two different missionaries who have also met him. He's sad, he's bullied, he's hungry, he's God's child and he needs us. I did ask God for a sign and I'm not a big one on signs, but out of nowhere, there sat a picture of Bob and I with Sam at his final adoption (5 yrs ago-we'll be going to the same embassy in Kazakhstan for a Kyrgyzstan adoption). A picture I hadn't seen in ages far away from where it should have been (in a photo album on the other side of the house)-ok, it might be cheesey-I guess we'll proceed with this adoption and see if it really WAS a sign

Only through God does one go from the easy way out to the tough stuff with a HUGE cost ahead (in many ways besides financial-including many surgeries!!) and feel such peace. Join me in praying that Amir will be protected until we get there (if indeed this is God's will), that he will be given the hope of a family, that we can handle any problems ahead. God has already provided us with all the money-a neat story in itself, but one I will keep to myself! Ahhhh, that quote of so long ago (Sam's adoption)....when we work, we work, but when we pray, God works!! When will I ever learn to ALWAYS relent to His will?? I am soooo slow.

December 2011:
Four years of knowing Isaac, three years of saying maybe this year he'll be with us for Christmas and here we were again, another Christmas without our son. Why God? I still don't know, and may never. I know Abraham and Sarah had no idea why they had to wait so long for their Isaac either. Sometimes I wonder, was I hearing the Lord wrong? But no. His plans are so much greater than mine and we must accept that. I watch my son's life disappear before us, day by day. I watch people bringing multiple children home while we wait for Isaac. It's not easy. I am TRULY happy for them all, but I will not lie, it doesn't seem fair and with that happiness, there is mixed in, jealousy. Our son has waited 12 years for a family and we have waited well over 3 years for him.
This years greatest gift to me was this:
I went to bed about 11:00. At about 12:00 I hear "Joy to the World", it's not angels in my room or even a dream, or wait, was it a dream? If it was a dream, it was one of the heavenly sort for sure! My ringtone on my phone is Joy to the World. When you have as many kids as we do, you don't ignore phone calls in the middle of the night (you don't rest even if they're adults!). I went to answer and it was an area code I had never heard of! Again, you don't just ignore these things. With trepidation, I answered. It was my very own, personal Santa Claus calling to offer me some Skype time with ISAAC!! John Wright was in the middle of throwing a party for about 150 orphans (including Isaac/Emir and his good friend Tilek. This party was made possible by the many who received a pie in the face (our Sam) to raise money for the kids-this was just one of MANY parties being put on for well over 1,000 orphans.
They were having so much fun!! THEY wanted to know when they would get to come to America (the THEY is for another posting). All we could tell them was we are trying. They were just so cute and other orphans would come up to the video and talk and wave-so many with clefts. It was so encouraging to see Isaac messing around when he didn't think I could see him, making faces at himself in the camera (when you Skype, you can see yourself). So cute to see him to healthily messing around being a boy. John walked me through the room and I could see them all dancing and playing! What a beautiful night it turned out to be.

~Carrie DeLille

Can you just imagine how beautiful the night will be when Emir (Isaac) is surrounded by his forever family??? I can't wait to read that post!  

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love Letters to Kyrgyzstan

How about sending a Valentine's Day card to help out Altynai's Fund and the waiting children????  Stay tuned but I think this is going to be a lot of fun.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

WOW, What a Great Surprises!

I just got the most unexpected email from Ann at Marvielle's jewelry but I before I tell you more, first you have to know that the waiting families got more good news yesterday.  The agencies that will be accredited to process adoptions in Kyrgyzstan have been decided by the committee and they are now waiting for the approving Ministry's signature.  They have not announced the agencies yet but it is fabulous news that things are moving forward and within the time line that they ( the KG government ) laid out.  As one waiting parent said, "we have gone from baby steps to toddling!"  With that, my fundraising is going to need to get moving again too and in a bigger way than before!  So for those reasons, you will see why this email literally brought me to tears and confirmed my hope that when things really started moving for these families, then Altynai's Fund would see even more generosity come it's way.  So for all of you adoptive families out there, this is a wonderful opportunity to help.

Here is the wonderful email that I got from Ann at Marvielle's Jewelry.  It explains what they are offering to do to help the 12 waiting families that Altynai's fund is helping!  Thank you so much!

I wanted to give you an update on our fundraising for the HelpKG65. I learned more about the plight of the 65 through my a friend of mine. She informed me of the urgency of your mission, the struggles, the manuevering of agencies, and how basically everyone will have to start over again after waiting 3+ years. It appears as though the end is very near and from now on out, fundraising is probably reaching a critical level.
As a result, from now until the end of January, I want to run a special fundraising promotion to increase what we give to your organization to make sure we can help the families bring home their children.
Normally our fundraising donation is 20% of the purchase price. A bare necklace (or bracelet) is $5 and one charm is $5.. making a simple piece of jewelry with one charm $10.  Most necklace orders have 3 charms (total price $20) and bracelets around 5 charms (total price $30). For all orders of $15 and under, we will maintain our 20% donation. However, for all orders over $15, we will donate 100% of the purchase price minus the first $15. So, if an order is $20, you will receive $5. If it's $30, you'll receive $15. If it's $100, you'll receive $85. So on and so forth. We've taken two orders already and those will be grandfathered in.
On top of that, I'd like to donate three bracelets with five charms each to you for any other fundraising/auction event you may have for Altynai's Fund.
Please let me know your thoughts on these two items.
 Please check out Marvielle's site at
UPDATE:  WOW, this is so exciting!!!  Just got a second email from Marvielle's Jewelry and they are offering to help even more!

You know what... let's go for a bigger audience to raise more money to help the KG65 families! We have a sister site on etsy that targets athletes (runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, sailors, surfers, yoga...) called Marvielles 
We just opened it two months ago as we had been selling exclusively to running and bike shops in the Midwest and at marathon expos and recently decided to take it online.
If you have friends and neighbors that really don't want adoption jewelry but wouldn't mind one honoring the athlete in them or a loved one, tell them to write KG 65, Atlynai's Fund, Lifesong, KG, 65, or anything of that nature in the comment section of the purchase form and we will donate 20% of the purchase price. We are running a MLK promo of a 30% discount this weekend and our donation of 20% will be of the actual full price (not the discounted price).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bermet Has Been Forced to Wait

Forced to Wait....  what a poignant title for the story that you are about to read.  Bermet has been waiting over 3 1/2 years to be reunited with her mother, Pamela Allen.   Hopefully, their wait is almost over.  The Kyrgyz government is planning on announcing the agency accreditations at the end of this month and so far, it sounds like everything is going as scheduled.   If so, I am really going to have to get busy with some major fundraising!

Forced to Wait

Why are some children born into this world without a family to call their own?  Why is the child that I have committed to love and nurture not in my arms?  Why must she endure orphanage life when, for 3 ½ years, my family has been waiting to provide a permanent, loving family for her?  Why?

I find myself asking these questions on a daily basis.  My sweet little Bermet is the reason why.  Bermet was born in June 2008 and abandoned at birth.  She has no known family.  I first learned about her when she was 3 months old.  She’s now 3 ½.  She still lives in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan.  She’s been forced to wait.

Bermet was born prematurely, a pale, skeleton of a child weighing barely four pounds with medical issues that could have addressed early on in her life had she been allowed to become my daughter.  She could have received medical treatment for the neurological, muscular-skeletal, gastrointestinal, and other physiological issues that plagued her.  She could have received early intervention from occupational and physical therapists who could have helped her overcome the fine and gross motor delays she continues to experience (she didn’t walk independently until about a year ago).  But, she didn’t get that support because she’s been forced to wait.

More importantly, Bermet has missed out on the love and nurturing that only a family can provide.  She doesn’t get to cuddle with her mommy or play with her little sister.  She doesn’t get to visit her grandparents and listen to them read stories to her.  She doesn’t get to play in the backyard or go for hikes in the woods with her cousins.  She doesn’t have the opportunity to learn about the beauty of her Kyrgyz culture or the amazing wonders this world has to offer.  She has only gets to learn about orphanage life and orphanage culture.  She has learned how to survive in an institution because she’s been forced to wait.

This injustice is what drives the advocacy efforts of me and many of the other families whose children have also been forced to wait.  My child and other orphans have been served a great injustice as they wait for the political climate to calm and bureaucratic obstacles to be removed.  Political will.  Bureaucratic road blocks.  That’s what keeps Bermet and the other children from joining the families who wait for them.  That’s why they’ve been forced to wait.

Please pray for Bermet.  Pray for all the orphans in Kyrgyzstan.  Pray for all children who don’t yet have families to call their own.  Along with your prayers, please consider supporting the efforts of my family and the other waiting families by contributing to Altinay’s Fund.  Your prayers and support will help us remove the financial roadblocks that have now surfaced as we continue to work to bring Bermet and the other orphans home.

May God bless you as you discern your roll in the future of Bermet and other children who have been left in this world without parental care.

~Pamela Allen

Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvielle's Adoption Jewelry

The art of fundraising....  The challenge of fundraising.....  The joy of fundraising....  The frustration of fundraising....  Seriously, it gives me palpitations!

My learning curve over the last five months has been incredibly steep.  So after taking a little break, I am up and running again and I will be curious to see how the next round of ideas goes over.  To start with, in addition to some new big "events",  I am hoping to add several ongoing fundraising options to this website.  Honestly, I have been looking for ideas that are simple and easy and yet will allow people to help Altynai's Fund by making an adoption related purchase.  After a few great recommendations,  I started researching organizations that not only sale adoption or orphan themed products, but also partner with families to help them raise money for their adoptions.  Tonight, I will introduce you to the first company that has been incredibly gracious with their willingness to help.  In fact, when I introduced myself to Marvielle's Jewelry and explained the plight of the Kyrgyz 65 and the goal of Altynai's Fund, they replied back in less than 24 hours!  They were already very familiar with the delays and heartache that these families have been through and were very excited to be able to help.  Thank you Marvielle's Jewelry!!!

Here is the information they have provided:

Marvielle's Jewelry is an adoption-centric jewelry business, run by two adoptive mothers, that believes every adoption is unique and has its own narrative.  We provide a large selection of charms covering adoptions from six continents, including domestic, and create beautiful necklaces and bracelets for you.  All of our charms are $5 and include free shipping! For every jewelry piece you create and purchase, we will donate 20% of the sales to Altynai's Legacy Adoption Fund help to them assist adoptive families bring home their children from Kyrgyzstan.  It's a win-win purchase!!!

Their website is  During the check out process, all you need to do is leave either Altynai's Fund or Krygyz 65 in the comment/memo section and 20% of the purchase will go to this fund.  I love it!  Thanks again Ann and everyone at Marvielle's Jewelry!

If anyone out there knows of other companies or organizations that I could contact, please let me know!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Huge Italian Following

Fascinating fact that I hope someone can explain to me.  I have been paying attention to the blog's statistics and I am shocked at how many Italian hits it has.  In fact, at this point and time there have been more Italian pageviews than US pageviews over the last month.  And they are coming from numerous locations all around Italy.  Are there any Italians out there that could explain this to me?  I know that prior to the Kyrgyz moratorium on adoptions, there were several families that had adopted from Italy but I didn't think that their were that many.  Maybe I am wrong???  Are there some waiting Italian families out there too?  If so, please let me know if I could help spread the word of your family's/orphan's story???

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Alek Manas is Half a World Away

Another week has past, and another year has begun.  May 2012 be the year that the Kyrgyz 65 have been waiting for.  Below is the poem that was shared by Chistina and Tom Lunn.  Please meet their son, Alek Manas. 

A half a world away
Most days it seems we are so far apart
But a half a world away
Is not too far for a journey of the heart

My little one, my bundle of joy
I continue to wait for you
My precious son, my sweet boy
I know you are waiting too

A half a world away
A child waits for a family of his own
While a half a world away
A family waits to bring him home

My little one, my bundle of joy
I am whispering a prayer
My precious son, my sweet boy
I hope to soon be there

I hope that we one day
We will no longer be
A half a world away.....


Phenomenal is the only word that describes the day that Ansley and I spent together today.  It was the perfect mother-daughter day and one that I am sure that neither one of us will forget.  We were able to bask in a full day of each others company and enjoy the amazing production of Wicked.  Ansley's homeroom teacher the last two years is the most dynamic and talented teacher that we have experienced thus far.  One of her many passions is singing in the opera here in Jacksonville and directing the school's drama club.  She organized an "unauthorized" field trip to see the musical and what a treat it was!  In fact, I was shocked during the show to hear Ansley and several of her classmates signing along with several of the songs.  I had no idea how she would have known the words so I asked her.  Her simple reply was "recess, Mom".  Mrs. Leinecker ( Ginger ) has been immersing them in Wicked music for a quite some time and they were proudly singing along.  Love that!  I found myself particularily moved by the song "For Good".  I realized that by knowing Ginger, Ansley has been changed for "good" and I am so grateful for the impact that she is making on my daughter.

Then I sat down to work on Altynai's Fund tonight and I realized that the song applies to so many people that I have been blessed to know through our adoption journeys, including many of you who have shown me so much love and support throughout the last 4 years.  I am undoubtedly a stronger and better woman.  So please enjoy the music video and I suspect that as you listen, you too will realize all the people in your own lives that touched you and changed you for "good".

One more phenomenal piece of news.... I got an update from Lifesong today and $20,800 has been donated to Altynai's Legacy Adoption Fund!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!