Friday, October 30, 2009

31 for 21: Day 30 {Prayer and Support}

I know I have mentioned before how overwhelmed I am ... in a good way ... by the power of the internet, the blogging world and the Down syndrome community as a whole. Along the way, I have met some of my best friends, made acquaintances and maintained resources.

And I want to highlight two of them here today.


I met Gillian several years ago on Downsyn, an online forum for parents of kids with Down syndrome. I remember when she joined so clearly ... she, her husband, Sergei, and their three girls had just moved back to the United States from Ukraine. Their youngest daughter, Polly, has Down syndrome and she is close in age to Payton. For some reason I was just totally intrigued by their family.

Fast forward to 2008, when we were trying to decide whether or not to adopt Nika. We had some Russian medical documents that we wanted translated and Sergei did that for us. We were so thankful to have him as a resource! Fast forward several months later and I found out that Gillian and Sergei had decided to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome from Ukraine ... a little girl that is just six days younger than Nika.

Sounds weird, but we are connected in more ways than one. Their little girl from Ukraine, Evie, has been home now for a couple months and they have been spending this time trying to adjust to their new little one.

A couple weeks ago, their world was rocked when Polly was diagnosed with Moyamoya Disease.

"The Doctor explained that it had to do with blood vessels in Polly’s brain progressively narrowing, resulting in strokes. The disease worsens with age. And the only way to combat it is brain surgery.

Please pray with me as Polly and her family go through this difficult time. Polly will ultimately need two brain surgeries ... one for each side of her brain. I know Gillian and her family would appreciate all the support that we can give them.


I also met Renee several years ago on Downsyn ... popular place, I know! Okay, okay ... we have even met in person twice, I believe? Ha.

Renee and her husband have four children, one of which has Down syndrome ... that would be Kennedy. And now ... they are getting ready to leave ... as in today ... for Eastern Europe to adopt Kellsey, a little girl with Down syndrome.
Bringing Kellsey Home
Kellsey sort of holds a special place in my heart. Before we had learned about Nika on Reece's Rainbow, I always had my eye on Kellsey. She was such a cute little girl and I wanted her! Unfortunately, at that time, another family was committed to her and had planned to adopt her. And either way we ended up finding out about Nika and adopting her ... obviously.

The family that was committed to Kellsey ended up not being able to adopt her ... so now Kellsey is being adopted by Renee and her family! I could not be more ecstatic and I can't wait to meet this little princess.

As I mentioned, Renee and her husband are leaving today! Having been in their shoes, I know how ridiculously expensive adoption is, so I wanted to try to help them spread the word about their fundraising efforts.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation. I know Renee and her family are so appreciative of your support!
Get It Down; 31 for 21


  1. This is Joyce. Everyday I too am more and more in awe of the power of this web. I don't know how I survived our first sixteen years without it.

    I read Gillian's story earlier today and I have to say I had not heard that Moyamoya was linked to Ds. I just can't imagine the panic she must have felt watching her little girl in that situation and driving for 50 miles. Our hearts and prayers are with them.

  2. Thanks Bethany!!! We SO have to get together after we get home and settled!!! I can't wait to see all the kids together, finally!! :)

  3. FYI: The link for Renee's RR fundraising page is coming up with an error.

  4. I did not know that Kellsey had another family at the time you were adopting Nika. I am so glad Kellsey found her forever family. Sounds like she was a favorite amoungst many!

  5. I'll add Polly to my prayer list - Renee is already there :)