Sunday, April 3, 2011

a 7 day blitz for kirill. and now the 4 day blitz for archie.

Update 4/8/11: You guys have met our goal for Kirill in just four days ... eek! The 7 day blitz for Kirill is transitioning into the 4 day blitz for Archie ... click here to read more on the who/why/when/where. Rock it, you guys!

On March 17, 2011, the Davis family sat in a Russian courtroom and listened as the judge rejected their plea to adopt Kirill, an orphan with Down syndrome. "The judge said, “Your application to adopt is rejected.” The basis given was that Kirill was “not socially adaptable” due to his “medical condition” and he was better off in an institution than in a home with a family. As the judge read her ruling, she stated several times that we were a good family, that we met all the criteria to adopt a child, but that she would not approve our adoption because Kirill has Down syndrome. She told us that we could adopt another child, because legally our application had no problems according to Russian adoption law. She said she would approve our adoption for a “typical” child, but not this child. Why? The only reason? Because he has Down syndrome."

Being an adoptive mother to a Russian orphan with Down syndrome, I could expand on the million-and-one reasons Tesney and Greg's rejected application to adopt has deeply affected me. But that is not what is important.  

What is important is that they are appealing the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court of Moscow and they need our help.

The Davis family has been through so much already... and now they have been slammed with astronomical unforeseen financial hurdles in bringing Kirill home. In order to just begin the process of filing their appeal, they had to pay $2,500. They have been told that they should plan to attend the Supreme Court hearing, which is a trip to Russia they never planned to have to make... add $3,000 - $4,000. If the Supreme Court overturns the ruling, they will have to return home and wait for a date to travel to Kirill's region to reappear before the original judge in their case... add $4,000 - $5,000. Assuming everything goes as planned, they will remain in country for the 10 day waiting period and finalization of their adoption... add $3,000 - $3,500.

So how can you help? A few of us adoptive mommy bloggers have put our heads together to create a 7 day blitz for Kirill.


Our first prize...

Canon EOS Rebel XS Digital SLR camera
donated by Lisa, Charissa, McKenna, Renee and yours truly


$500 gift certificate to B&H Photo



Read all about the camera here.

And... a lifetime membership to ClickinMoms. An online haven of all things photography... tips and tutorials on everything from how to use your camera to editing your images to starting a photography business.

clickin moms
clickin moms2


Our second prize...


approximate gallery value: $3,400+
  • recently juried into the FMH Crestwood Gallery for the Celebration exhibition
  • completed in 2010
  • oil on canvas
  • measures 3 feet by 4 feet
Oil paintings by regional artist, Lisa Tarkett Reed, celebrate and explore the relationships and patterns in nature. Reed’s paintings are inspired by her growing collection of natural objects. Flowers, crystals, rocks, leaves, shells and bones, collected by Reed over decades, provide points of departure in her work. As Reed layers line, shape and color, she discovers and plays with the geometry, relationships, and patterns inherent in organic forms.

In October 2011, Reed will have a solo exhibition at The Artists’ Gallery in Frederick, MD. Currently, Reed has a solo exhibition at Les Idees Gallery, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Reed has had solo exhibitions at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Gallery Lascaux, Gallery 937 and View from Zenith Gallery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as well as at Shenandoah University, Leesburg, Virginia, Figure Five Gallery, San Francisco, California and the Walker Fine Arts Center Gallery at Patrick Henry Community College, Roanoke, Virginia. Reed has shown her work in group exhibitions at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mary Condon Hodgson Gallery at Frederick Community College, Frederick, Maryland, The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick, Maryland, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, New York, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, Pennsylvania.

Reed has taught drawing and painting for over fifteen years in regional art centers in Maryland, Pittsburgh and Virginia and at private schools in Brooklyn and Virginia.

Reed earned a BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and studied painting in Rome, Italy as part of the Temple University Abroad Program. Reed earned an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California.

In 2009, Reed founded Sister MamaCita, a Mothers’ Cooperative in the Arts and sister group to the Philadelphia based MamaCita, a Mothers’ Cooperative in the Arts founded by Melissa Tevere in 2005.


Our third prize...

Custom blog makeover (by yours truly).

You will get...
  • custom header
  • custom background
  • custom signature and sidebar headers
  • installation of pages
  • installation of facebook/twitter/rss feed widgets
  • and more!

Our fourth prize...

UltraHD Flip video camera.
donated by Joanne Charland, momma to Vinnie (a T21 friend)

Read all about the video camera here.


Our fifth prize...

Organic Bloom Frame

  • measures 16" x 20"
  • choose from a variety of styles and color combinations


Our sixth prize...
autographed by Conny Wenk

"Schmetterlingszauber is a book about the wonderful friendship of three beautiful little girls. Although they are colorful and unique like little butterflies, they have many more things in common that they don't.

They love spending lots of time together, whether they hang out at home or on the playground having fun galore. Sometimes they even have picnics on a beautiful meadow. They love dressing up like little princesses, polishing their nails, having little "imitation" tattoos, singing and dancing, telling bedtime stories to each other and of course, jumping on the bed.

They can be really wild ... but to me they are just three little butterflies."


Our seventh prize...

(3) handmade hats.
donated by Heather Randlett, momma to Bridget (a T21 friend)

1. Newborn/Baby Beanie-Style Hat... This crocheted baby beanie is crafted with a soft cotton/bamboo blend yarn, adorned with a shabby chic crocheted flower. Perfect for cute newborn baby pictures.

Women's Beanie-Style Hat... This crocheted beanie-style hat is crafted with a super soft alpaca/acrylic blend yarn, with 3 beautiful colors - celery green, mocha, and cream.

Women's Ski-Style Hat... This knitted snug-fitting ski-style hat is crafted with a soft acrylic/wool blend yarn in a rich cranberry color.

**All are hand wash only, lay flat to dry.


Our eighth prize...

$50 gift certificate to Uppercase Living
donated by Kristen, momma to Ethan (a T21 friend)


Our ninth prize...

Hand crafted jewelry.
  • Woman's 7 inch bracelet, crafted with sterling silver and Swarovski crystal beads. Adorned with a Baltimore Ravens head charm (may be removed for non-Ravens fans) and sterling silver toggle clasp. Donated by Melissa.

  • Down syndrome awareness and other hand crafted jewelry... (5) bracelets, (5) earrings, (3) necklaces. Donated by Lorie.
*All jewelry in this post will be split up among several winners.


Our tenth prize...

Signing Time full collection
autographed and donated by Rachel Coleman

valued over $1,000

Includes 34 DVDs, 6 Board Books, 8 Flash Card Sets, and 12 Music CDs!

The best-loved Signing Time products are now available in a big bundle of savings! Used by countless educators, pediatricians, home-schoolers, speech therapists, public schools, daycare centers, libraries and families across the globe, the Signing Time Full Collection gives you everything you need to bring the magic and fun of sign language to the children in your life.

This collection includes every Signing Time DVD, CD, Flash Card and Board Book currently available: 
* 4 Baby Signing Time DVDs created especially for infants and toddlers under 3 years old. Features delightful animation and songs that teach all the basic signs you need.
* 26 Signing Time DVDs with special features, music, and songs. 30 - 45 minutes each. Includes all 13 Series One and all 13 Series Two DVDs.
* 1 Story Time DVD. Listen, watch, read, and sign along with Rachel to six fun stories.
* Sing & Sign DVD: Rachel sings and teaches signs for favorite songs from Signing Time Volumes 1-6.
* 10 Signing Time Music CDs featuring all the original songs from the Signing Time and Baby Signing Time series.
* 6 Signing Time Board Books for reading time, quick reference, or additional practice.
* 4 sets of Signing Time Flash Cards for families on the go! Also includes an instruction card with flash card game ideas.
* 4 sets of Baby Signing Time Flash Cards that reinforce all the ASL signs taught in Baby Signing Time DVD Volumes 1-4.
* 2 Practice Time DVDs that teach and practice the alphabet and numbers 1-20 through randomized practice quizzes to test your skills.
* Good Night Baby Lullaby CD - beautiful lullabies sung by Rachel Coleman (co-creator and star of Signing Time) with gentle piano accompaniment by her father, Golden Globe Nominee and Composer Lex de Azevedo.
* Shine CD - A collection of favorites from the Signing Time Series - just for grown-ups.

Over 600 specific signs are taught in the full collection of Signing Time videos, books, and flash cards. With songs and other bonus features, you'll be introduced to over 1000 signs overall. This is the largest available library of entertaining sign language products of its kind. You and your child can start learning today!



1) Every $10 donation using the ChipIn below or in my sidebar will earn you an entry into the drawing for one of the prizes.
2) All prizes (except the painting) can be shipped overseas, thanks to Crystal who would like to cover the shipping fees if the need arises. Thanks, Crystal!
3) Donations will be accepted through Monday, April 11th.
4) Winners will be announced Tuesday, April 12th.

Please blog it. Please facebook it. Please tweet it. Please share.

We have a lot of love to give and $15,000 is nothing when compared to the army standing behind the Davis family. Update: let's take it $6,000 higher for Archie!

*If things do not go as planned for the Davis family, any leftover funds will be properly allocated in support of international adoption of children with Down syndrome.


  1. Love, love, love you guys! Kirill's official "aunts"! :)

  2. This story breaks my heart as I have gone through hell to bring my biological daughter into this world. To make a long story short, there are only a few other women in the world with my disease who have been able to have children. I risked my life for my daughter, to carry her I put her health and existence above my own. I cannot imagine the heartbreak this family is experiencing. It warms my soul to see what you are doing for them! I am sharing this on my blog, twitter, and facebook. I hope against hopes they will bring kirill home.


  3. You don't know me, or my family. We were blessed with a child w/ Ds of our own and we've made wonderful friends because of it. One of our closest friends arein the process of adopting a child from the Ukraine with Ds, and they have touched all of our hearts. What you are doing for your friends is awesome.. I can only do a small part, but I hope it helps and they get to bring Kirill home. You have an amazingly beautiful family.

  4. This is so awesome, Bethany! Just donated...let's get this little one home!

  5. Amazing. Heartwarming to see mommas come together. My thoughts continue to be with Kirill's family. I see him coming HOME very soon. Heading to donate now...

  6. I thought we were supposed to keep quiet about Kirill? Are you sure it is alright to post this?

  7. Thank you for your concern, Cindy, but yes it is fine. I have talked with Tesney at length and the hush factor has to do with discussions of the judge, etc ... not fundraising. :)

  8. This is all so absolutely unbelievable... I mean, I know it's true because there has been so much about Kirill on fb/babycenter,but... wow.

    What you are doing is wonderful.

  9. Maybe I just can't see it. I'm on my iPhone, but how do you donate?

  10. Diane, there is a chipin. You will have to get on a PC I guess, I can't see the chipin from my phone either.

  11. Just donated friend.You all are so awesome.

  12. Bethany, I am going to donate. As a fellow IAG mom I know IAG doesn't work in their region but I wonder if Larisa could help at the federal court level. This is such a bunch of garbage that seems like the agency should have not let them travel for court until the judge was going to say yes. Is their agency helping them?

  13. I don't know you or the Davis family. I am a high school friend of Erin Harlan who posted a link to your blog on Facebook. This story is so sad. She has shared other links recently and I find myself reading them all. I am amazed at Erin's daughter's progress and love reading about her antics.

  14. Is there another way for me to donate other than paypal? post a comment on my blog ( so I can donate :)

  15. donated, tweeted, facebooked. Bring that baby home!

  16. I blogged it, facebooked it, and tweeted it. I know you stated things can't be shipped overseas, but how about to Canada, on the off-chance a Canadian wins something? :)
    You are so fantastic for putting this together. Just fantastic.

  17. Oh, and my fellow Canadians might be happy to know that to donate $10 USD only costs us $9.94. :)

  18. Ok...I SO want the 3rd prize! Thinking about switching my two blogs into ONE! Gonna donate!!!

  19. Donated! Wish I could do more! Please let the family know that we are all holding up the prayers until Kirill comes home!

  20. Posted on my FB, my husband and I have a daughter with Down's, she is the funniest, most outgoing burst of spontaneous energy!! We is our 6th child of 9 and we pray that your efforts will go well beyond your thoughts! May God see fit to bring the little one home to a family.


  21. I love reading Tesney's blog and seeing her faith in God. We could only help with $20.00 but I am sure she will appreciate anything she receives. I pray often for their little boy and that they will get their happy ending in this life :)

  22. What a wonderful story...Happy to chip in a little and will be praying alot!!
    I saw this on facebook on my daughter's page.

  23. Donated! Off to tweet! (AUKatie1)

  24. Donation sent! I hope they meet their goal and get their sweet son back soon!

  25. I am behind you 100%

    I DO NOT think a child would be better off in an institution than in a loving home. Especially if he needs one on one care. I'm praying things work out for you and the child!

  26. so amazing how much is being raised! I'm honored and happy to be a part of it!

  27. as an adoptive parent of a sweet precious son, i am floored by this story. how can anyone say that an institution is better for a child than a loving in which the parents are making the choice to adopt, love, and care for this child who will need a little more than the average child...i am so glad you are doing this fund raiser for the family. bless you.

  28. Such a sad story!!
    I just donated to kirills cause!

  29. Donated at the beginning of the fundraiser.....glad to see everyone jumping in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. As a newly adoptive mother I can't imagine falling in love with a child and then being told that you couldn't have him. K's story totally breaks my heart but, I KNOW we have an amazing God who will be the ultimate winner in this case! Praise God for Tesney and her husband and the amazing amount faith they are showing through their journey!

    Wish I could give them all they needed! Just donated.

  31. We're fundraising right now to adopt in Ethiopia. I cannot even imagine being thrown such a curveball. And for such a ludicrous reason. Beautiful baby, beautiful family. We'll be donating as well. Blessing over this incredible family as they do everything they can to bring their child home.

  32. This is one amazing fundraiser! We just chipped in!

  33. Just donated for this wonderful cause! Thanks for doing this!

  34. This is amazing!!! Just sent a little in to help. I'll bet you'll reach the goal way before the 7 days is up!! Awesome job!! You guys seriously rock!!

  35. Donation SENT! Fingers are crossed for this family!!

  36. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help!

  37. Praying, fb, donated, blogging about it tomorrow. I'm so glad you are doing this. The cost of adopting is such a mountain. That doesn't even count the appeal process. My family will be praying, praying, praying.

  38. just donated!!!! hoping he can come home this time!

  39. Praying for God's favor with the Supreme Court of Moscow and the in-region judge so Kirill can finally come home!

  40. Praying that the light of the Lord would wash over the judge, court system, social workers and institutions of Kirill's country - that the love the Lord has for each of His children - whether children with Down Syndrome or employees in a system - would be felt and known. I don't know you directly, or anyone who does know you, but as an adoptive mom of 10, my heart goes out to your family! Lord, have Your way and may lives be forever changed by Kirill and his faithful family.

  41. Hope all go's well .I just did what I could thru Paypal and reposted this on Facebook.Well have you all in my prayers.

  42. Praying for you today. We've been through international adoption in Russia, and I know how hard it is to be 1/2 way around the world from your child. Constantly praying they know you will return for them. Then to add this complication, oh my. Hugs

  43. How can anyone not donate after they read this? What an awesome loving family. Best wishes to Kirill and his waiting family. Glad to be a small part of this. Prayers and donation sent. Special love to all involved.

  44. Happily donated and anxiously awaiting the day that Kirill is home with his family!

  45. Donated again. Thank you so much for helping the Davis family bring their son home :)

  46. That total just brought me to tears. How amazing that a community of people can make something like this happen so quickly.

  47. Tes, can't wait for you to bring your boy home... Thinking of you, lifting you up, my friend.

    Love wins,
    Renee Tam

  48. You are so awesome! Hope the goal is exceeded!! :) (I am sure it will be - this community is just so awesome!)

  49. Just donated- I feel honored to be able to do something to help Kirill and his family. They have been on my heart and in my prayers. Looking forward to witnessing a happy ending with this fabulous family.

  50. You totally rock!! Your children are lucky to have such a wonderful mama and Kirill is blessed to have you in his corner!! Janet Pearson

  51. Facebooked it: once for Kirill and now for Archie :)

  52. donated $10 for each of them, too! :)

  53. donated x2

    Amber Taylor

  54. donation sent for archie and kirill! you are the best bethany!!! i get tears in my eyes every time i think about this and can't wait to read the best blog update ever - that kirill is coming home with the davis family (and hopefully very soon that archie will be home with his family!!!)

  55. I am in! Donated yesterday!
    God bless,
    Dara Z.

  56. words cannot express my sincere respect and "awe-ness" that I have for you & McKenna, not only for this incredible cause that you are leading, but for you just being "you". I love you ladies and am so inspired by your undying dedication and love! I'm happy to help push this over your projected goal. xoxox!

  57. Sneaking in at the last minute, I guess! But better late than never when it comes to helping RR families! Great job, girls, on putting together an awesome fundraiser!