Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thank You!

Ken sent out an email to some of his coworkers the other day that asked for donations in helping us raise funds for our adoption.  It was a very hard thing for him to do because he HATES asking for help......for anything!  I told him what Andrea, the director of RR, had told me.  If you don’t ask, you won’t get help.  People may not even know what you are doing and that you may need some help.  You may just find that once they know, they will help!  The worst thing that could happen is no one would help.  Well as you can see by our family sponsorship page, they helped!  It is very humbling, to say the least, that people would be so generous in helping us bring these two kids home! I don’t think there is a way for us to find out the specific people who donated, so please accept this HUGE THANK YOU from us to everyone that donated money to Dania and Josh!  You will know what you did when Ken brings them into work for you to meet.  You will see it in their eyes that they finally have a family and are truly loved!
Again, you will never know what your generosity means to us and thank you so much!! 

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!!!
I will leave you with some meaningful words from my one of my favorite parts of a Christmas show we watch every year!

Isn't There Anyone Who Knows What 

Christmas is All About? 

The best explanation I ever heard was the one Linus gave to Charlie Brown...

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them,

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

LUKE 2:8-14

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guess what we did???

So from the 8th of December until the 14th we have all been sick!!  And when I say All and Sick, that's what I mean.  Poor Charley started it and Ken finished it.  The only one not hit was James.  I kept him home for a few days hoping he wouldn't spread the nasty germ to his class mates.  I wanted to keep him home one more day but he was begging me to go back to school.  I think he was sick of being around sick people!!

On the 7th though is when you have to guess what Roxana and I did.  I will even give you some picture hints to help you. Hint 1:  Wee hours in the morning.  You can see Roc in the white coat with her two thumbs up!

Okay, hint 2:  We got inside where it was warm and a bomb sniffing dog went all around.

Still need more clues???

Okay, Clue 3: 

Yup, we stood in line to meet former Governor Sarah Palin and of course the First Dude.  Roxana was so excited to meet and talk with her it was crazy.  If you dont know us, you can say we are a pretty political family.  I read another families blog who is adopting through RR who met Ms. Palin also and blogged about it.  Man oh man the comments she received.  So whoever out there that doesnt like Palin or anything she stands for, you can just stop reading now.  We here at the Fritz Farm LOVE her and pretty much everything she stands for.  Of course the first thing Roc told her was that her grandpa loved her.  She got a big kick out of that!  While Roc was talking with Sarah that left me to talk to who else but Todd!  Not a problem for me!!  Roc and Grandpa were kidding me telling me that they think he may be married.  I just said, oh you mean that lady sitting next to him!  hehehe!  Hey, what happens and the Mall of America stays at the Mall of America!
All kidding aside, they were very nice to us and we even got to meet her aunt Katie and Trig!  He is sooooo cute!    Oh, and Roc was in the Star Tribune because someone their interviewed her. 

Crowds cheer as Palin arrives for book-signing: [Star Tribune, Minneapolis]
"I just really think she's inspirational," said Roxana Fritz, of Cottage Grove. The 14-year-old, who came to the mall with her mother, said she thinks Palin would be a great president -- she'd keep taxes low, drive down the national debt and do military policy right, Fritz said. "She would do a lot to help this country."
I don't think anyone was more proud of her than her grandpa!!  We had to go buy a paper for him so he could show anyone that stops by!  To Funny!!!
It was a very long morning, but we met some really fun people and got three books signed.   One for Roc, one for grandpa's Christmas present and one for our blog auction.  So if you want one be sure to check back in February for our auction!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Our Girl in Colombia

I don't know if you remember me talking about a 14 yr old girl in Colombia that we are trying to bring home.  A lot of problems are preventing us in doing so but we still consider her to be part of our family!  Anyway, she was going to be celebrating her 15th birthday along with 2 other girls.  Your 15th birthday is a big thing and they make a huge celebration out of it.  I'm glad she is in an orphanage that really takes care of these girls and gives them much opportunity to do the things one would do if they had a family.  She wanted us to fly there to celebrate with her and the other girls but unfortunately that was not an option for us!!!!  We told her we would send her a dress and shoes for the occasion and my search was on!  We found a 255.00 prom dress marked down to 40 bucks at Davids Bridal!!!  I had to do some minor repair work on the beads by sewing some back on tighter and then added a few here and there but all in all turned out great!  We just sent the dress, shoes and a note telling her to have FUN and that she was LOVED!!!
We just received this email from her letting us know how thankful she was and how happy it made her that we loved her enough to do this for her and that she loved and missed us!
What  a small price to pay to make someone feel truly loved and wanted!!!  One day she will be home!
What a BEAUTY, dont ya think?!?!?!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

$1 challenge!!!!

Here's a comment I just received:

I’m holding a $1 challenge over at www.findingkirilsfamily.blogspot.com, on the countdown to Christmas. Kiril is a little boy with significant special needs who has been waiting on Reece’s Rainbow for a long time, and has been bedridden in an institution for over 6 months now. My goal is to get as many people as possible to come and donate just ONE dollar to Kiril’s RR grant, and then pass this message on to just ONE other person of their choice.

Apart from people I know well, I’m contacting 50 people whose circumstances I’m not as familiar with - so if you’re in the middle of an adoption etc, I obviously don’t expect you to donate. But *please* pass along this message, whether you can give yourself or not.

Thank you and Merry Christmas!
- Christine

I know that we are in the middle of an adoption that is costing us plenty!  And I know that we are asking for any donation amount to help us bring these two little ones home.  But if you could find it in your hearts to just give 1 dollar for Kiril that would be great!!!  Think of it,  if we all gave only 1 dollar it just may help Kiril find his forever family!!!        Thanks

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

James, Jerlin and Charley

James, who is now 7, knew what he wanted and wanted it badly!  Once they told him a family was coming for him he would go in every day to the orphanage office and say, "You told me my family was coming, where are they?"  The night before we got to Colombia they took the kids to where we would all be staying and James wasn't about to leave.  He said he was going to stay and wait for us to get there.  About a week after having the kids with us we went to visit the orphanage to say good bye.  James walked in to this quite hallway and yelled, "Hey chiquitinas (the name of the orphanage) Im here to visit!"  then looked at me and said that he used to live here but no more.  He left that life and has never looked back.  He looks at it as a place he was staying until his mom and dad came to bring him home.  He talkes of all the kids fighting there and of the food they got to eat at lunch time and of the kids that he lived with, that he was not very fond of. Once he was with us he was ours and we were his.  James is the most compasionate, loving little boy.  He loves our animals and is so gentel with them.  He sees a dog running on the side of the road and wonders if he is hungery!  A boy after my own heart!!!  He also loves to help tata in the garage to fix anything and everything.  He has a passion for life.  He wants to try everything there is to try.  Even with food.  He saw some black olives at one of our get togethers with friends and asked what they were.  He wanted to try them to see if he liked them.  He popped one in his mouth, tasted and tasted it.  thought about it for a little bit and decided that no, he didnt like them.  But he tried it!  Pretty good for a 7yr old if I do say so myself.  I would say without a doubt that his adjustment was the easiest!

Jerlin on the other hand was a different story.  She is now 6 and wasnt to sure of us.  Out of all the kids she was defentaly the one who took the longest to bond.  She cried every night when going to bed for about 3 weeks.  She didnt really want much to do with us.  So it made having her brothers and sisters there a huge blessing!  Even the foods we made she wasnt to sure of.  It was everything about the change that made her unsure of what was going on.  Now, one year later, things are much different.  She loves, loves, loves the attention she gets from mama and tata and her older sisters!  She is relizing that she is not going anywhere and that we are ALL a family.....forever.  And she knows that we will all be there for her through good and bad, no matter what.  She loves to show off and I would say her two favorite things are dancing and talking!!!!

Charley did not talk or smile or laugh at the orphanage and they told us this.  He has had ear infections his whole life and because of that has some hearing loss.  He has already had one surgery and is going to have another next year.  He tested positive for TB so he was on meds for 9 months.  Now that he is done with the TB meds and the ear meds he has finally started growing and gaining weight.  3 inches and 5 pounds in just the last 2 monts!  We have seen the biggest change in this little one.  He talks ALL THE TIME (even though we have a hard time understanding him), laughs, giggles and is one happy little camper!  His 2 favorite things are to take little play bugs and spiders and scare the heck out of mom and her friends!  And the other favorite thing that I think is so cute is that he has to dress like tata.  A blue flannel jacket every day like tatas and he has to wear a tie to church, just like tata!

They are all your typical little kids and love to taddle on each other.  Or when you ask who did it they all point to one of the other kids.  They love bath time, supper at the table together so they can all talk at once, playing outside on the trampoline and going to grandpas so they can have pie and ice cream for breakfast!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

ONE reason we are doing what we are doing

When I contacted Andrea about Josh she was not sure if he was transferred to an institution yet or not.  Josh was in the same baby house as Benjamin.  They may have been buddies.  Its hard for me to think of.

This is Benjamin. He is 7 years old. He has Down syndrome and was in an orphanage in Eastern Europe. He was in need of an adoptive family. He still has the need for an adoptive family, but no longer has the chance for one.

 You see, in many areas of Eastern Europe, kids with disabilities that age out of the baby house are transfered to mental institutions. Many of these institutions block adoptions, and a child has no way out. They are left to die, and many of them will meet that fate quickly. These institutions are not looking to save lives, but to be a holding place for those that are so forgotten that no one will ever know of their passing, let alone care!

Now, some may say "Life is so unfair, why would God let this happen to an innocent child?"... Be careful if you ask this question of God for He may very well say "Why did you?".

What prevented someone from coming for Benjamin? Time? Money? Room? His disability? The paperwork involved? The baring of ones life to social workers and various agencies? The risk of heartache? The risk of standing out, of being different? Do you really think these things are BIG problems for God?

This childs light has been dimmed, so much so that most, if not all of us will soon forget that he even existed. That is a true tragedy. A child, so precious, so dear to Jesus, so much a part of WHO God is... and we just let him linger and die alone! Like an animal that has become to prevalent, and whose numbers must be thinned, many view this little brown haired beauty as a worthless commodity that has no value. He is just a nuisance that stands in the way of something greater. The lottery of survival of the fittest in the world of an orphan is ugly, brutal, and an everyday reality. And little Benjamin lost the lottery... tough draw kid. :(

God is a specific God, and Benjamin was created with love, care, and intricate detail. HOW DARE THAT THE WORLD REJECT THIS PRECIOUS GIFT GOD SO FREELY BLESSED US WITH! HOW DARE WE!!!

Did he ever know his mamas loving embrace? Did he ever hear a lullaby as he drifted off to sleep? Was he ever held when he was scared or sick? Was there ever anyone who gave one little smile or felt one tiny sense of pleasure when he accomplished something for the first time? Was he ever held in the arms of one whose heart was singing praises of thankfulness to God for just being able to hold him close? The reality is most likely no to all of these questions.

NO! NO? How can a child be born and never know any of these things???? How can we care so little? HOW?

Did you know that despite being full of children a number of orphanages are eerily silent? How long does it take for the heart of an innocent child to finally realize that know one cares so they stop crying? stop playing? stop laughing?

My heart is sad. Is it wrong to hope he dies quickly and painlessly so that he will know these things wonderful and loving things in heaven? That he will be perfect? That he will never know loneliness or fear or suffering again? I think it is wrong, it shows a lack of faith and trust in God. Or maybe... in some circumstances and just for a while, it is okay....

I will be praying for you little Benjamin. Praying that your Saviors arms rock you to sleep tonight. That he is in your dreams, showing you his love. And that human arms are sent your way and are able to hold you close praising God for your life!

This was written by another family adopting two little ones from Eastern Europe.  You should really check out their blog!   http://trustedwithmuch.blogspot.com/

Thank you Kelly, for writing this so PERFECT!!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

3 weeks since last post!!!!

I know, I know! I'm not very good at keeping up with my poor blog!! I'm just so busy working 2 jobs, keeping up with 6 kids and we have been busy sewing up a storm to sell things at craft sales to help raise money for this adoption. Its big craft sale show time here in Minnesota and we are trying to hit as many as we can! A lot has been happening in the Fritz family but nothing more exciting as deciding to bring Josh home with us as well as Dania!!! Everything just seemed to fall into place about this little boy! When we first found Reece’s Rainbow, which I hope everyone reading this checks out!!!! www.reecesrainbow.com, there were five little ones that totally touched my heart. Dania of course, Dennis, Dolly, a little girl from Bulgaria who is no longer listed, and Josh. I couldn’t pick just one because in my mind if I picked one I would be leaving the others behind. But with lots of prayer and conversations with the family, we decided on Dania. She just seemed to be the one that was already part of our family. The problem, I could not get the other four out of my thoughts!!!! Then I saw that the little girl from Bulgaria was gone, not listed any longer. Then Dolly, from a different country than Dania found her forever family, and then sweet, precious Dennis from a region far from Dania found his family. That left my Josh, with the sweetest face in the world! So after talking with Ken and telling him only Josh is left he assured me that Josh would find his family too! A few weeks past and Josh still didn’t find his family and he was turning 6 in a couple of weeks and I knew his days were numbered! We knew we couldn’t afford to bring another one home with not only the cost but also the travel from one part of Dania’s region to Joshes region if they were even in the same country!!! We knew it would cost us thousands of dollars more to adopt a second child. And then there was the fact that Josh has Down Syndrome. I know nothing about DS and I am embarrassed to say I was scared! Ken was even more scared. For some reason Thursday morning I asked Andrea where Josh was. That’s all, just a simple question. Well come to find out that he was in the same country as Dania and surprisingly, unbelievably, he was in the same orphanage!!!! And he had some grant money! But Andrea did not know if he had been transferred to an institution yet or not so she would have to check. Late Thursday she got back to me that Josh WAS still in the baby house! Coincidence......maybe? Gods hand in all this.....I think so! Now all I had to do was convince Ken! No small feat! He knew nothing, absolutely nothing about DS and told me that he would have to read and search as much as could before making this big of a decision. And that he has to have the best interest in the kids that we have and what is best for them. That he didn’t want to "burden" them with taking care of Josh when we all got older! All these were real concerns for him but he was not telling me the truth!!! Friday morning he had talked with Andrea to tell her to move him to the committed family section under Fritz Family! All day I kept emailing and calling Ken to try to convince him why all along he had already committed to Josh! When I got home from work I kept looking at his picture and showing Ken at just how down right adorable he was! He kept saying he wasn’t sure and that something about his eyes that he was worried about. Just a way for me to go back into the RR website to look at Josh again! When Ken talked with Andrea on Friday morning he had asked her to wait until I got home to actually move Joshes picture over to our committed family section. Once I got home he had emailed Andrea to say move it now she is going on the RR site to look at Josh. I went into RR because Ken was so concerned about something with Joshes eyes! I went in, and there he was. My sweet Josh right next to our sweet Dania! What a guy! A very sweet thing to do. Love you Ken!!! I think Josh will teach us all something about life! Not that all of our kids haven’t taught us things but Josh, well Josh will teach us things that I don’t think we even know we have to be taught!!! The kids are beyond happy! For myself and Ken......Scared, a little! Excited, yes! Blessed, VERY!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kaylee part 2

Since Kaylee has only been here less than a year it obviously wont be as long as Licas or Rocs.  But I do have more to tell you about Kaylee!  She is a very artistic girl.  She draws like you would not believe.  She makes little things out of paper......she can make anything out of paper.  She makes things out of beads, yarn, and rope.  And she is just now learning how to sew with a sewing machine.  She designs a outfit she likes on paper and then takes bits of fabric and sews them by hand for Jerlins barbie dolls!  Cool!  Because she was older when she came home we thought her language transition would be the most difficult.  Not so, she wanted to learn English so bad she was speaking and writing within the first two months.  She doesn't understand and always asks me why I am so emotional.  I see a sad movie, I cry.  I see all the orphans, I cry.  She tells me her story when she was younger, I cry.  I see a dead dog on the side of the road, I cry.  And its not just sad stuff......I see a movie with a great ending, I cry.  I see my kids do something sweet, I cry.  A woman at our garage sale gave us a 10 dollar donation, I cried!  She just doesn't get me.  But then again most people don't.  I think the thing I LOVE about her most is her sick sense humor, like mine.  Grandpa tells her the joke about the guy going to the doctor and says doctor, doctor it hurts my arm when I do this.......doctor says, don't do that.  Guy says, I want a second opinion.........Okay the doctor says, your ugly too!  She cant get enough of that stupid joke.  She tells everybody and laughs like it was the first time she heard it.  She asks me "mom, don't you think that is funny"?  I tell her Maybe the first time I hear (not so much) but defiantly not the 100th time I hear it!!!  Grandpa is in heaven cuz he finally has someone to laugh at all his silly jokes!  When we switched her to private school she learned that she has TONS of homework every night.  Unfortunately I need to help her, every night.  So when she walks in the house I look at her and say, do we have homework again tonight????  She answers, well you sent me to that school!!!  To Funny!

Kaylee is very sweet and caring and is sooooooooo happy to be in a family and have a real mom.  One that is really there for her.  She loves to hear about mine and Kens past on how we met, why we dated, why we married.  She even made me get my wedding dress out so she could try it on.  Once she saw it she asked how I ever fit into it......told ya she was FUNNY!

Then she made had Lica try it on.........

The she really had to scream beg for Roc to try it on.......

It was to much fun!!!  The sweetest thing she ever asked me was "Mom, why do I love you so much"?  Because I love you more Kaylee, I love you more!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kaylees Turn

Our four nino's from South America!  About 2 years ago we started talking about adopting an older child.  We started out in Ukraine and ended up in South America.  Ukraine didnt work out for us but we were told of waiting children in Colombia.  We were told of an older girl that was available for adoption but she had three younger siblings.  In Colombia they do seperate the children if need be and Kaylee, the oldest of the four was willing to be seperated so that her siblings could stay together.  So this post will be about Kaylee, the little girl that has gone through to much in her short life and has a heart of gold!
One thing about adopting an older child and one that has taken care of her siblings is that they one, come with alot more memories of what exactly has happened to them and not always wanting to just open up about it.   And 2, they have a hard time letting go of someone else taking care of the siblings.  We were told this by many people and to prepare ourselves for this.  Well, not the case with Kaylee.  She was more than willing to let someone else take on the responsiblilty to have someone take care of her siblings.  And as for not wanting to talk to us about her past, she is so OPEN about her past that I just sit there with my jaw hanging open in amazement on how reslient this kid is!  She had her birth mother that was in and out of her life, mostly out, 2 older sisters and one older brother.  She does not know who her birth father was.  Her older sister took care of Kaylee and her older brother a lot of the time.  When her sister got sick of that, she left leaving Kaylee alone with her older brother.  Soon after her older brother decided to leave also, which left Kaylee alone.  But not for long as her mother would be having babies for Kaylee to take care of.  Kaylee was in and out of foster care and the last time was when Kaylee, a 8yr old, was taking care of her 1,2,and 3yr old siblings for quite some time.  One day the neighbors saw that the 3yr old, James, was out and about in the streets and called the authorities.  When the authorities got there they saw things that most of us cannot even imagen!  Here is this 8yr old girl living in a "room" trying to feed, keep clean, keep in line 3 little babies!  How in the world???  Needless to say the children were not in the best of condition.  She was 8 for goodness sake!!!  She remembers James screaming as they sperated Kaylee from the three little ones.  This has haunted her and has made her feel guilty beyond belief!  She thinks she should have been able to not let this happen to her family, she thinks that she didnt work hard enough, that she should have been watching James more and then this wouldnt have happened!  She has so much hate towards her birth mother and doesnt understand why she could have done this to her.  Heres the part thats hard for me not to say, Boy are you so right!  How could she do this to you, I hate her too for doing this to you!  But I dont.  I tell her the truth.  Your mom is your mom and you dont know what she went through when she was a little girl or a teenager or a young adult.  You dont know what pain she had in her life or what addictions she all had or what it was like to walk in her shoes.  She is who she is, she did what she did and unfortanatly you get stuck with all the bad memories and all the bad stuff that happened to you.  But you can make it such a happy ending if you choose to!  You have that ability to do with your life whatever you want.  You get to choose to let it run your life or not!  You have the choice.  The three little kids were put into foster care together and Kaylee was put in an orphanage.  Why, I dont know.  After 1 year the 3 little kids were put in an orphanage 3 hours away from the orphanage Kaylee was put into.  After being in the orphanage for around 6 months, she asked the director where her siblings were.  They told her that they were and from that day forward Kaylee fought every day for 21/2 years to be reunited with them.  She actually fought the Colombian government to get back to her 3 siblings!  They told her it could not be done because the siblings were in an orphanage for small kids.  They told her that it just is not done.  She would not, did not, accept it.  They were her brothers and sister and she wanted to be with them.  After 3 years of forming realationships with the other girls and caretakers in her orphanage she was still willing to leave them for her siblings!  I cant even imagine at 8,9,10 and 11yrs of age doing this!
When she finally was able to get to her brothers and sister in their orphanage, she knew that the possibilty of her being adopted was slim!  They didnt even really remember Kaylee.  They were to young when they were all sperated to remember.  But she remembered them!  With the age difference between them 11, 6, 5, and 3, she knew that they would have a better chance of being adopted without her.  She thought who would want an 11 yr old.    So she told the director that it would be okay for them to try to find a home for the 3 and she would stay behind.  After all those years and all that work!  It so reminds me of the story in the Bible about King Solomon having to know who the true mother is.  And the true mother giving up her son so he could live.  She is such a good, wonderful girl.  I love her so much and I am very proud of her!
Since I have to keep things FAIR, I will do a part two for Kaylee also.  Until next time....................

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Weekend

Well we finished up our garage sale for Dania. We were going to have it Thursday through Sunday but Thursday it was raining all day with some snow. So we had it  for 3 days.  We made $500.00!   I think that is really good considering it was a chilly Friday and Saturday. Sunday was so nice I think people just wanted to get some last minute yard work done before the snow came!!!

After the sale today we wanted to do something fun with the kids so we decided to make some caramel apples.  First things first so we had to unwrap all the caramels and try not to eat them instead of putting them in the pan to melt!

Step two, melt the caramels.
Step three, get the apples ready for dipping.

Step four, dip.

Step five, EAT!

And we only had a couple of mishaps while having our fun.  One right before we started.

And one during step two!

All in all a really GREAT weekend!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Roc - Part 2

For the life of me I don't know how some of you find the time to blog. It seems like I have no time at all. But here it goes. I have about 1/2 hour before I leave for work so lets see what I can all fit in here. I keep telling Roc that she will need "5 Parts" instead of just 2 like Lica.
Roc started turning around at about the 4th grade. One of the first things we did when she was 9 was enrolled her in a private school, the same school I went to when I was 9. We still had to be "on" her every minute of the day and night but the different school seemed to help. Its a christian school and I remember asking our Pastor if he could work on putting the fear of God into her!!! Just to help us out some. By 6th grade she was actually becoming aware of the outcome of her actions. She was turning into the girl that I had hoped and prayed she may become. She seemed more confident and comfortable with herself. She has always been outgoing and not afraid to get involved with anything, but she was just much more at ease with herself. She knew right from wrong, good from bad, and how its nice to be nice (grandpas saying)! And believe me, this was HUGE! In the middle of 8th grade she switched back to a public school because she hated being the only 8th grader!!! I remember when I was in the 8th grade and I didn't blame her one bit and knew It was time for her start spreading her wings in a much bigger school!
Roxana is such a unique girl. She does things that either make me cry (when she was younger) or laugh till I have tears in my eyes!! She is very open with me and always has been. I find it kind of odd though that she would be this open with me at the age of 14!? Hey, not complaining here, just so happy she know she can come to me about anything. Not to say she is not your typical 14 yr old though. She came to me the other day informing me that she was going to prom. Oh, really I said, and who are you going with? Well so and so asked me. Well Roc remember you can't date until your 16, tata (dad) says 30, but I will let it fly at 16. "Oh mom, its not a date its "hanging out". Are you kidding me Roc??? Oh, I'm sorry for explaining it to you wrong, my bad. NO HANGING OUT till 16!! How dumb am I for not explaining it correctly??? She got my drift. She will just be in the homecoming parade this Friday for soccer and then spending a quite evening at home with her family. Love ya Roc, I know you are reading this before you go to school!!!
Roxana is a good kid. She gets A's and B's on her report card now. And that's with her taking some honor classes. She has many friends including the girl she grew up with who lived down the street. She knows the meaning of paying it forward and lending a helping hand. She grows her hair out for about 3 years and then gets it cut off to donate. This will be her 3rd time in doing this. Good kid!!! She is a hard worker and doesn't stop with something until it is finished. She wants to go to college to become a nurse/missionary. I hate the thought of her living in some 3rd world country, far away from me, doing this kind of work. Ken tells me that she is only 14 and she will change her mind over and over again. But I know Roc, and she has talked about this for a couple of years now. Deep down in my heart I know that one day she will indeed do this. Where does she get these crazy ideals from. I mean really, living in a 3rd world country taking care of needy orphans???? Oh, that's right, we have 6 soon to be 7 of them living here with us!!! And if you check the little button, AMAZIMA, I have posted to the right of my blog you will see a young women who is doing this kind of work. She is amazing, truly amazing. I'm joking when I say she is crazy for wanting to do this. Roc just wants to do it a little different than we did. Instead of helping 7 she wants to help 7000!!!! Leave it to Roc to up me one! I'm so Proud, Happy, Lucky, Impressed and Amazed by her! I'm so glad tata picked you!!! We love you Roc!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Roxana: Part 1

First I would like to thank you for the donations for Dania. We don’t know who you are but you will never know what it means to us and how much we truly appreciate it!!!

Okay, Roxana......actually it started when we went to go get Lica. When searching for Licas birth parents, which we had to do in order to adopt her, we found her grandmother. What the process was back then is that you put an add, yes a add, in the newspaper for the birth parents. If they do not come forward then the child is claimed an orphan. In the process the orphanage told us where the grandmother lived. Ken traveled to where she lived and talked with her asking if she knew where we might find Licas parents. There was a little girl standing next to the grandmother holding tightly to the grandmother’s dress. She looked just like Lica so Ken asked who she was. It was Licas older sister. We thought of adopting her also along with Lica but she so attached to each other that we decided not to. While other people on the streets were trying to sell their kids to us, the grandmother never even mentioned to us in adopted both children. We knew that they had each other and could not imagine separating them. Even though they were dirt poor, they seemed well fed, content and happy. They had a roof over their heads, food, and most importantly each other. So we left it alone but never forgot. In fact in was in our minds and hearts for years. Then in 1997 Ken flew over to Romania for one of our new family members wedding. While he was there we decided to make the 3 hour ride to the grandmothers to see how they were doing. We had concerns if the grandmother was still living and if not what happened to Loradana, Licas sister. If they needed anything, or if it would be possible at this time to adopt her if she wanted or the grandmother wanted. Sadly we found out through the grandmother that the mother returned after many years to sell Loradana for a pair gold earrings to "some man in a big car". We knew what that meant so Ken proceeded to bring one of our new family members to the, lets say, bad part of town! Mircea, needless to say, did not want to go with Ken and really tried talking Ken out of this. He told us that this is not a part of town even Romanians go to. But Ken prevailed and they went looking for Loradana or someone that might know about her. In Romania it is VERY difficult to find someone, especially a Gypsy! But Ken and Mircea looked for days anyway. We never did find her and Ken came home heart broken. To this day we wonder if we should have taken her when we had the chance to. It was much harder on Ken because he saw little Loradana and remembers her face. I still believe that I could have never split her and her grandmother up. An orphan is one thing but splitting up a family I just couldn’t do unless that is what everybody thought would be the best. And at the time Loradana and the grandmother did not want to be split up.
Once Ken came home we thought about things and decided to go get another gypsy from the same orphanage that Lica was in. We wanted Lica and our new daughter to have some things in common so that is why we went for a child from the same orphanage. No one was allowed in the orphanages without special papers. We knew we could get in because every time we traveled to Romania we brought duffle bags and suitcases full of donations to Licas orphanage. I worked in a hospital at that time and received many donations of clean needles, medicine; first aid kits to you name it. We also sent cloths for both the children and the caregivers. We had a special connection with the director and the caregivers.
So Ken traveled once again to the place our Lica came from. They were so happy to see Ken and told him that "only you Ken Fritz would come for another gypsy!!!!" Funny! They had three little gypsy girls, 1yr old twins and a 2yr old. After much thought we figured that the twins would have a better chance of being adopted because they were younger and a lot of people like the ideal of twins. So we went for the 2yr old. It took us a year and many trips to bring her home, but so worth it.
When Ken first met Roc she was very lethargic and delayed but we knew this was from being institutionalized. The benefit we had was that they liked us and knew we would be back for her so they worked with her. For 1 yr while we were trying to bring her home they worked with her. After raising a child that had nothing for her first five years we knew the importance of this!
Roc is so different than Lica!! When I tell you about the "naughty" things Lica has done, she just thinks its funny and loves reading anything about herself. When I tell you about Roc, well she is pretty much a typical 14 yr old and doesn’t really appreciate me blogging about her "naughty" things!!!! But to be as honest as I can be and to let other adopted parents and future adopted parents know, that some kids can be very, very, very difficult. Roc was one of these kids! I had many nights were I would cry myself to sleep! I cant tell you everything because Roc does not want me to and that is fine with me. Other things she said I could blog about because it just may help someone out there.
Roxana was not only a handful but 10 handfuls! The kid did not sleep. And Im not just talking about the first few months, or the first year, but for about 3 years. She slept around 3 hours a day! At first the doctors told us, well if she is not tired during the day its just the kind of child she is. WHAT?!?! I should have known I was in trouble when in first grade she forged my name to go to some field trip that I told her she could not go to for a consequence of something she did the day before. The teacher called me to tell me this and sent home the signature she had done. I explained to Roc that if she is going to forge my name in the future she should at least get the spelling correct. Its Nance not Nancy!!!! Then another doctor said she had ADHD and prescribed ritalin, which lasted about 2 weeks. I hated the way it changed her personality. After doing my own research I knew that she could sit and watch a movie, sit and eat supper without any problems and sit and do projects that interested her without any problems. So off the pills we went. It was, she was hard. Never physically mean to anybody or anything just into everything! Her mind would never let her think of the consequence of anything. She would lie about the silliest things and about everything, she horded food for years and years never did any school work and lots more that she wants to keep between herself and her family. Then when she was around 8 or 9 I brought her to a psychologist for her to talk with. I told her I could leave the room or stay with her. It was just a outlet I thought she might need. Well after a couple of months she had convinced the doctor that she had OCD. She told the doctor detailed things in her life that she needed to do to get through the day. I wasn’t sure because I never saw her doing these things and Ken was absolutely sure she was lying. It brought some tension between Ken and I because I thought no way would she lie to a doctor and get medicine to help her if nothing was really wrong with her. Well before we started her on the medication I had to make sure for myself. One of the many things she said she was doing was 12 jumping jacks first thing when she woke up. It had to be right away in the morning before she even left her room. So, sneaky mom that I am, I went into Licas room, right across from Rocs room, early in the morning before anyone was awake to see what exactly Roc was doing first thing she woke! I watched her for a good 20 min before she headed upstairs to eat breakfast. Once she realized I was following her upstairs and that she was busted she tried to pretend nothing was wrong. I asked her if she wanted me to do the twelve jumping jacks with her or if she wanted to wait till after breakfast. (I know, mean mom!!!) She broke down and it came out that she knew something was wrong with her and she thought taking some kind of pill would make her better. After explaining to her that NOTHING was wrong with her and that she could have done some serious damage to her body taking medication that she did not need she calmed down. On that day I realized 2 very important things and both Roc taught me! One, Roc was Roc. No matter what she did or did not do, it was who Roc was. If I were to accept this child I would have to change me, not her! Second, If she could convince a doctor that she had OCD it would be a slim to none chance that I would ever believe what a doctor has to say about any of my kids! Not saying I wouldn’t take advice from them. I just would realize that no matter what they say, Ken and I know are kids best!!!! I don’t believe in labeling kids. That’s just my opinion and how I feel on the subject. Roc has taught me so much about myself through many a sleepless night and through many many tears. There were times when we thought there is no way we can help this kid and she is to much for us! But we never gave up on her or ourselves and Im so glad we didn’t!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lica - Part 2

This is for Tara! - So remember, Ken was gone for three months getting Lica.  No email and phone calls were very limited!  There was once when we went 2 weeks without talking and me not knowing what was going on.  Lets just say I was going CRAZY!  We just about lost our house because my paychecks were not enough to cover the mortgage.  I ended up driving with my dad to New York to pick Ken and Lica up because the gas money was cheaper than the airline ticket.  I swore I would never adopt again.  But I suppose like childbirth, the pain of it all fades. 
So when I first met Lica in New York she didn't trust or like anyone but Ken.  Of course she didn't, thats all she knew.  She didn't speak any language and only understood simple "commands" that she heard from the caregivers.  She walked like a baby just learning to walk even though she was almost 5.  She liked to bite and have her way.  We stopped for breakfast on our drive home and we ordered her scrambled eggs and toast.  She picked up bits and pieces and threw them on the floor.  Thats what she knew.  The only thing she liked was opa (water) and brea (bread)!  No butter, peanut butter nothing.  She was very much into her "own" world.  But she was home!  When she woke up in the morning she would just lay in bed not knowing she could get up.  She was so used to laying and doing nothing she just didn't get it.  In the orphanage they would sit all the kids on pots to go potty at around 10am and so for many many years she would not go to the bathroom when she woke up.  We even put a little potty chair in her room and let her know she could use it any time she needed.  Since she was afraid of the toilet at first this seemed to work for other times in the day.  Once her fear of the toilet was gone she became fascinated with it.  How it worked, why it worked, everything about it and would spend hours trying to figure it out.  She had to smell everything before she ate it and she didn't like human touch.  She NEVER cried, even when in pain.  Again, its all she knew.  Once when she was about 10 or 11 she had strep throat and never told us she didn't feel well.  We didn't realize it until she was throwing up all over the place with a fever of 104.  She still did not complain and wanted to go to school!    Emotions of any kind were unheard of in her world.  She slowly warmed up to the ideal of someone tickling her back and arms softly and LOVED it!  For the first couple of months we treated her as if she were a baby.  We would rock her and sing to her at night with a bottle hoping this would give her some things she had missed.  The bottle only worked for a few nights as she would look at us like we were NUTS!  She didn't want anything to do with that.  She loved the rocking and singing though. 
When she was not with us, like at school or grandmas, she would act out.  We would get calls from kindercare telling us that she had locked herself in the bathroom and was playing in the water.  She would try biting the teacher all the time.  She hated that place because I think it reminded her of the orphanage.  A group of kids all in one place.  She lasted there about 2 weeks.
We fought with the school district all 12 years she was there trying to get her what she needed.  She didn't fit into any "group".  She was tested for autism but the conclusion was she did not have that.  The University of Minnesota saw her for at least the first 4 years of her life and when she went in one of her last visits they were amazed because of her head growth.  I guess when your that age you head does not grow.  Hers did.  She was crammed with so much in her first year and learned so much it is unbelievable.  She was a baby in a 5yr old body.  She graduated with her class and I think, I know, that Ken, grandpa and myself were beyond happy.  We had worked with this girl day and night.  We would easily stay up until wee hours of the night with her trying to explain her homework to her.  I mean think of it, when doing lets say history with her we would have to explain what the word history meant before we could even start the lesson.  We had to explain words to her every word.  She was good at spelling and math.  Spelling and math is black and white.  Her world is black and white.  You can SEE math.  She has always been good with numbers and memory.  She knows everybody's birthday.  And when I say everybody I mean the cashier at the grocery store.  She always would ask people when their birthday was.  She puts names on my calender of birthdays to help me remember.  There was some names on their of people I didn't know.  I asked her who is this?  She then proceeded to tell me it was someone I had worked with years ago.  To Funny!  She knows what day your birthday will fall on and what day it was on last year and what day it will be next year.  Without even thinking!  I don't know how she does it.  The only explanation of how her mind works was giving to us by the U of M.  Most people think from A to B to C to D.  Part of Licas brain was not used the first 5 yrs of her life so it shut off.  She thinks from B to A to D to C so it takes longer for her to get the answer.  But she usually does get the answer.
One of the many things I love about Lica is her pureness.  She looks and treats everyone the same.  No one is different.  And everyone remembers her and loves her.  We cannot go anyplace without someone saying hi to her.  From teachers, to teachers aids, to cheerleaders, football players, the "nerds" from school, SN kids, valedictorian to the people she works with now.  Everyone just loves this kid!  I picked my 7yr old up from school this past week and Lica came with.  She saw the principle standing in front of the building.  She got out of the car to say hi to him and he gave her a big hug and asked her what she was up to.  How many people can say that their grade school principle would do that?  Not me.  And the thing is that this is how all the people she meets treat her. 
Lica has turned out to be one Great, Smart, Loving, Careing, Hard Working, People Loving, Animal Loving,  Jesus Loving, Hug Giver and Hug Taker young lady.  She has worked enormously hard to get to where she is today and the world is hers for the taking.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Two Girls Who Want A Family

These two girls who are now 3 and 11 are looking for a home, a family.  Please help get the word out for these two beauties!!!  The older girl, Sabine is very close to her younger sister Daphka.  Time could run out for Sabine because of her age and they may split the girls up to give Daphka a better chance at being adopted.  You can get more information from Mindy at A Love Beyond Borders.

Please keep these girls in your prayers!!!


Gender: Girl
Age: 2
Gender: Girl
Age: 10
Country: Haiti
Description: These two beautiful little girls are living in Haiti and waiting for their forever family. We know it will be difficult to place two children, especially so different in age. But we do believe the right family is out there. They are currently in the process of having all of their medical testing completed. Those results will be available soon. We have more pictures of these little ones for interested families.
Each trip to Haiti always leaves me with at least one experience that changes me forever. On my most recent trip it was meeting these two children. These little girls are sisters. I spoke at length with the older of the two girls, with the help of a translator, to see if she really understood what being adopted means. I wanted to be sure that she understood and wanted this for herself because of her age. She assured me that she did want to be adopted, and her biggest concern was making sure that her little sister was safe and well cared for. She has made the decision to be adopted, not out of a dream for a better future for herself, but out of the love of wanting to be with her little sister. She shared how she helped to get her sister dressed to come to the orphanage the day we met her. I don't think she understood my tears, but she certainly understood my promise to her to do all I could do to find her and her sister their forever family. These little girls have been raised in a Christian family, and therefore we are seeking a family that will continue taking them to church and celebrate their beliefs.
For more information, please contact:
A Love Beyond Borders
2022 Hudson Street Suite 100-B
Denver, CO 80207
Phone: 303-333-1572
Email: haiti@bbinternationaladoption.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fundraising,Employment and the Cost of International Adoption

Okay, its time to really start the fundraising! We have a garage sale scheduled for the 15th through the 18th. We will be selling bracelets, well, Roc will be selling bracelets and I'm sewing some quilts and matching pillow cases to post on the blog for donations.

I FINALLY found a part time job and start next week. I work full time at a big health insurance company, but with the economy the way it is, things are not looking so hot. Kinda scary when they all ready had 3 big layoffs in the past year. But at least Ive been promised a position till the end of the year. After that, its all up in the air. Ill take till the end of the year though and hope for the best after that. Hey, every dollar helps bring Dania home quicker!!! Well every dollar left after feeding the six chow hounds I have living with me........man they like to eat! a lot!!! Good thing I have a big garden and they love everything in it!

With our past adoptions we never fundraised or asked for donations. Its kinda weird and humbling to ask and then receive. I feel so "bad" when someone gives us money. We had a garage sale earlier in the year, and when people paid for their items plus donated an extra 5 or 10 for our cause, I felt both appreciative and that we should be able to do this ourselves. But the reality is, we are still paying off our last adoption. That adoption cost us more because we had to pay an agency a lot of money to do, well to do.....I'm going to just leave it at that. Its only been 10 months since our four kiddos from South America have been home. So why adopt so soon after your last one? Well, we met a 14 year old sweet heart in South America that we knew we would try to bring home. But after 10 months of trying, we were told she cannot be adopted. She has a mother that visits her every now and again (long story) and that puts a hold on her availability. Both her and our family were devastated but promised to help her get a visa when she turns 18 to come here if she wants. Then we found Dania and the rest is what they say, history. No turning back. You have to admit, she is pretty darn CUTE! The cost of international adoption, even after 3 under my belt, amazes me. I always find myself asking why on earth when their are so many orphans the cost should be so much. I guess I have just come to accept it. Ken, not so much! The kids are all excited and helping out sooooo much and I'm proud of them for the way they talk about this experience and the love they have for orphans. Even Charley, our four year old, when looking at a photo of Dania says, oh ma (yes ma, it started out with mama, then mom, and now just ma.....ugh!!!!) oh ma there is my friend! I tell him that is your sister. He then tells me yes I know but she is my friend too! To cute. Man I LOVE my kids!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Licas Turn

I could write a book on Licas (Leeka) adoption! So just to warn you this will be a long post. The photos are from her graduation scrapbook that I made for her so that is why you can see some stickers and stuff on the one photo. The first photo was taken only after her being here a little over a month. You can see how scared she is and unsure of life. But just look at the joy in her eyes in her graduation picture! In 1990 after being married only 5 years we were talking about having kids. We were going to have them the old fashioned way until our lives changed after watching a TV show. They were having an episode on 20/20 about Romanian orphans. I wouldn't let myself watch it after seeing some of the previews for it. 2 weeks later on our local nightly news WCCO, they were advertising a week long series on The Iron Crib, Romanian Orphans. This time I watched with Ken every single night for a week. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! It was awful, gut wrenching and just plain sad. I found myself waiting during the day for the series to come on to see how this could actually be happening in the world. I was young and naive! During our time watching it and calling everyone I knew to watch it, I told Ken we had to do something. Now adoption was never talked about in my family growing up. I really didn't know anyone adopted nor did Ken. So when I said we should do something, Ken responded with we could send some money or something. I said no, the money might not get there. I told him we should really just go get one of those kids. Without thinking, he said simply replied OK! You got to love a husband like that!!!! Now here comes the fun part! I knew which kid I wanted. The one where the nurse was shoving food into the mouth of this poor little child. So not knowing anything about adoptions or the rules of the country, we took a photo of this child off the TV, wrote down what orphanage and city the reporter said they were at, got a home study in record time and Ken flew to Romania the end of April 1991 to find OUR child! He found a interpreter, Radu, and traveled 3 1/2 hours to the city and orphanage that we had written down. He walked in the orphanage and showed them the picture. They told him that this child was back home with her parents. So Ken got the address and went to the house to see if it was OUR child. It was not, but that did not stop the parents to try to persuade us to adopt their child. Nope, wasn't going to happen. Ken went back to the orphanage and told them that this was not the child in the picture and asked if they would look again. They called the workers, aids, nurses, whatever you want to call them over to take a look and sure enough one of them said yes that is Vasilica. Ken followed her to the tiny room of iron cribs and saw OUR child, sleeping just waiting for us. We thought when we first saw her on TV that she was a 2yr old little boy. But she was a 4yr old little girl, OUR girl! Ken talked with her through Radu and asked her if she wanted to fly over the big water to come live with us. Things were sure allot different back then! Ken then had to drive back to Bucharest to start the paperwork. I wont even try to tell you the nightmare of the next 3 months while Ken was there. But what I will tell you is we made some of our best friends there who we now refer to as family! Without the help of these people, Lica would not be home! Neither would Roxana but its not her turn yet so I cant say anything about her on this post. Lica was very much delayed due to laying in a crib for almost 5 years! And I mean laying in a crib! That's all these children did. No toys, no touch, no love, no nothing! She has come so far in her life and we are so PROUD of her! It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears but was soooooo worth it! There is not another person like our Lica. She is the kindest, sweetest, most honest person I have ever met in my life. I have learned so much from her and I'm glad that God let me be her mother!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What my kids asked for

Okay, so my kids thought I should write about how we adopted each of them so I'm going to start off with how we came about in moving forward with Dania. We knew we wanted to adopt again. We were thinking of an older child around 10,11 or 12. We knew we didn't want to pay an agency for doing the work that we knew we could do ourselves and have done ourselves. After checking all the countries that let you do independent adoptions (not many) and searching out blogs of people who were going through the process we decided on Ukraine. The SDA (State Department for Adoption) shows files of available children in different regions of the country. The stay in country can be very long while waiting for your court date but we went ahead with it anyway. Once we paid to have our home study done, ran around getting all our paperwork and fingerprints done and everything in between to complete our dossier, Ken and Roc flew to Ukraine in April 2008 to have everything translated. They then proceeded to go the the SDA . They went to hand in our dossier and the ladies working there looked at him like he was crazy!!!! They didn't know what to think. No one ever does this. They always hire a facilitator to do this work. They even let him talk to the director. He was told to come back in two days. Outside he talked with several facilitators working for other families and got a lot of advice for them. They said that it would be better for him to hire a facilitator because they know where everything is once the "running" starts to get all the paper work for court. They would be your translator, guide, and get things done quicker than he could. Oh if only they knew what we went through with our first two adoptions in Romania!!!! So Ken and Roc went back in two days only to find out that they would not accept it but that they should fly home and call in two weeks to see if they could in fact do this himself. After a couple more tries at the SDA, they flew home and in two weeks we called and of course the answer was no. Once home we kept searching the blogs and found out a lot of families were coming home with no kids for one reason or another. This is when Ken decided Ukraine was not for us. Mostly because he knew I would NOT turn a referral down, no matter what condition the child was in! I think knowing me so well when it comes to orphans made him just a wee bit nervous. While wondering where we should go from here I found a little 11 yr old girl. Called about her and found out she was from Colombia South America. That story to come in another post, but she is our daughter now. Which brings us here. I kept reading those blogs of families going and coming home from Ukraine and Russia and other Eastern Europe Countries. When a little 4 yr old gypsy girl(I know its probably more politically correct to call them Roma but we have two gypsies living with us and they refer to themselves as gypsies) showed up on Reese's Rainbow looking for her forever family, we ALL knew she was meant to be ours. You see, we started out adopting a 4yr old gypsy cutie from Eastern Europe and we only find it fitting to adopt our last child the same way! Here we go again!!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Our First Blog

Well this is our first blog. Lets see, I got the kids ready for their first day of school tomorrow. Lunches are packed, baths are done, hair for Kaylee is straitened, Roc FINALLY found what she wants to wear, I trimmed James hair up a little and now I get to sit for a little bit.
We committed to bring Dania home yesterday, her 4th birthday. Filled out the application for Reeces Rainbow and wrote my first of many checks to bring this little girl home! I'm tired! And to think, its only just begun!! Hope everybody had a great Labor Day weekend, I know we did!


About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.