Friday, April 8, 2011

Coming full circle.

I'm just calling it Kirill's Army... you guys have raised over $15,000 in four days! Seriously amazing. Seriously a God thing. 

An update of sorts: the Davis family appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court and they expect to have a court date soon. Please check their blog for updates.

And seriously praying that Kirill finds himself in these arms again soon.

Earlier today I was contacted by Rachel Coleman from Signing Time... most anyone that has a child with Down syndrome knows her. We lurve us some Signing Time. Rachel caught wind of Kirill's story and immediately asked how she could help... and if donating an autographed Signing Time full collection would be helpful. Um, yes please!

You guys, this collection is valued at over $1,000... check out the 7 day blitz to see it added to our awesome prizes. And thank you to Rachel... your heart is gold and we thank you for what you do for our kids, each and every day.


A note from Tesney, Kirill's momma...

Almost two years ago, at the beginning of our adoption journey, I received an email from a stranger named Lisa. She had learned of our adoption plans and was hopeful that she and her husband would adopt a child with Down syndrome from Eastern Europe as well. As we emailed back and forth, she told me that they had been considering a little boy named Kirill from Russia. I was THRILLED for them. Kirill caught my eye back when we were pouring over pictures and trying to decide on what child we would adopt. We did not consider him seriously because he was a little older than what we thought we wanted at the time, since he was older than our biological son, Clayton. Lisa and I emailed and we even talked about the birth order thing because if they adopted Kirill, he would be older than their daughter. We chose Sarge and we were so excited to bring him home.

When Lisa told me they had officially committed to Kirill, I was so happy for them (and even a little jealous). ;) Kirill was just so cute! We continued to email and make our plans to travel to meet the child to whom we had committed, bouncing questions about travel off of each other. Lisa truly seemed like a kindred spirit to me and it felt like we had known each other for our whole lives. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I got a really sad email from Lisa. She told me that they were not going to be able to adopt Kirill because her husband had lost his job. Her pain was palpable. I knew from her words that the decision was a heartbreaking one for her family. I knew that she was so disappointed and I just hurt so much for her.

As Christmas approached, our family decided to forego the typical gift-giving fiasco and donate our Christmas gift money to a child or maybe two children from Reece's Rainbow. Kirill was one of the children we picked, along with another one of our favorites, Victoria. We got two Christmas ornaments from Reece's Rainbow, one with each of their names on them. Kirill just kept tugging at my heart and I even told Greg that if he was still available after we got Sarge home, I wanted us to seriously pray about adopting Kirill too. Since I look at the children on Reece's Rainbow often, Greg just kind of laughed and told me that we should probably worry about getting Sarge home before we started committing to other kids. But for some reason, a reason that we now understand, Kirill was always in the back of my mind.

On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, we got a call that would change our adoption path. We lost our referral for Sarge due to one of his biological family members objecting to the adoption. After a lot of tears and a lot of prayers, we felt so much peace. It was definitely the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Greg and I decided that regardless of what had taken place with Sarge, we would press on with our plans to adopt. It never really was a question with either of us, but we just needed to reassure each other that we were o.k. to regroup and move forward with considering other children. Kirill was already in the back of my mind, so we decided to just go ahead and inquire about him.

Our adoption agency was so positive about us moving forward with Kirill. Several factors seemed to be confirming that he was the direction in which God was leading our family. He will turn four years old in May. In most Eastern European orphanages, once a child with special needs turns four, they are put into an adult mental institution. Often, they cannot be adopted once they are transferred. Kirill is only about six weeks from his 4th birthday, so time was running out for him. He also is in a region that doesn't allow families with more than four children in the home to adopt, so that knocks a lot of families out of adopting from this particular region. We definitely met that requirement. We also loved the idea of him and Clayton being so close in age; we felt like it would be positive for both of them. Plus, let's just face it...Kirill is FLIPPIN' ADORABLE!

Greg and I spent some time talking and praying about Kirill. When we finished, we both felt that we just couldn't say no to him. Our paperwork was relatively done and we met all of his region's requirements. So, we called our adoption agency and committed to adopt Kirill!

I emailed Lisa and told her the news. She was so happy and we were so happy that she would always be able to keep in touch with Kirill! It's just amazing the way that God has woven our stories together. Not only does she share our love for Kirill, but she can also relate to the loss that we feel for Sarge because she felt that loss with Kirill. We have kept in close contact over all these months and she’s been one of Kirill’s biggest supporters! I knew the Eichers would adopt as soon as they could. Little did I know I would get to be a part of their adoption story just like they are a part of Kirill’s story.

The Eichers have committed to another child; a little boy they call Archie from Bulgaria. They are $6,000 short of their total adoption costs. They are in country right now meeting Archie. I would LOVE to surprise them with the money they need to complete the adoption. When I realized that we were going to reach the $15,000 we needed before this fundraiser was even halfway finished, I immediately thought of the Eicher family. They are so woven into our lives and we consider them to be Kirill’s family as well. We feel like using excess funds from Kirill’s fundraiser to help fund Archie’s adoption would just bring Kirill’s story full circle. It’s beautiful the way that God does these things. 

So THANK YOU for helping us reach our $15,000 goal to continue our appeal and Kirill’s adoption. Now let’s continue Kirill’s legacy and help another child with Down syndrome become an orphan no more. 


That said... we are moving into the 4 day blitz for Archie. And when we see 100% on that widget, we will keep going. Because it isn't a question of if we will get there... it is how fast can you do it?!

Prizes are the same, rules are the same. This is one continuous fundraiser.

And for those of you who really, really wanted to help Kirill and the Davis family, but haven't had a chance to do so... I will leave their chipin up. Even though it is past 100%... it still will accept donations. I could change the goal, but how cool is it to see that our goal was met?! Also, all donations made will continue to count for the drawing.

Please share.

*Housekeeping: Some people have said they cannot see the chipin widget. Please clear your browser's cache and you should have no problems. 


  1. So proud of you Bethany.Watching this God thing unfold has been simply amazing.Continued prayers for Kirill and the Davis family and now for Archie.

    *Couldn't get the donate button to work... will try again tomorrow.

  2. And you have me in tears all over again. How beautiful is this? Seriously. This is beyond words. How thrilling! I have a dream in the back of my head about bringing children home, too. You are just such an inspiration. Just amazing. Simply amazing.
    Big love to you, girlfriend!

  3. Donated! Beautiful story - great way to 'pay it forward' Tesney!

  4. I just commented on 'Special K's' too - this is thrilling news. So glad.

  5. I accessed your blog for the first time from Kirill's blog, because I wanted to donate the them for the "blitz". You are so amazing, and inspiring. We have started the process as well to adopt a little girl on Reece's Rainbow, and I am terrified of losing the referral like you did, or of the judge saying no like the Davis family. You have a particular talent for evoking emotion and making people want to donate, and I sure hope you would like to help us to bring in donations too once we have our FSP up. I'm worried that I'm too timid to be a successful fundraiser, but you make is seem so easy!

  6. Tears. Just beautiful. Just got home from a Ds mama's night out. Everyone's story is so unique and wonderful!

  7. Donated to help Archie. So glad Kirill's family met their goal!!