Ready for Halloween!

The kids have been taking homeschool tennis lessons this year.  Did you just raise a snooty nose at the idea?  I did initially, too.  But, the community tennis center is overflowing with down-to-earth people who aren’t playing at country clubs for a reason.  Because they love the game.  And kids.  And kids playing the game.  And kids waiting for their siblings to finish their lessons.

Can you tell that I love this place?

Tonight, they are holding a free lesson, pizza and movie party.  I am so excited, and apparently so is JR, as he woke me up asking “Are we late yet mom?” and wearing this:

Don’t tell his great grandma…it’s a Jeff Gordon coverall.

No son, this time, you are ready 10 hours early. I think we’ll have just enough time.

Be Strong. Rock on.

As many of you have seen via Facebook, we have an auction going on right now to bring little Thadius home.  Two of the many amazing items up for bids have been generously donated by Andrew Banar of Group Hug Apparel.

Andrew was born with Down syndrome, and an irrepressible zest for life.  One day, when his cousin was going off to college, Andrew decided he wanted to go, too.  He needed to raise some funds, however.  His mom, Karen Pickle, suggested taking one of his rock and roll sketchings and turning it into a t-shirt design.  They have used much of the funding received to support various charitable organizations.

Any t-shirt from the website and infant onesie in our auction feature Andrew’s own artwork, and are sold by a company he owns.   To keep up with the many adventures of Group Hug Apparel bringing joy, fun, and rock-star status to events all over Canada, click here: Group Hug Blog.

Imagine how you could help Andrew change the world by sharing his story and his message, one t-shirt at a time.  Be strong.  Rock on.  With friends.

A Church Family

The idea of a church family seems silly to someone who isn’t a part of one.  We are very fortunate to be part of one.  Today we were able to share our story with our whole congregation, through a “Stories from the Pew” flyer we were invited to write.  An excerpt:

Sometimes Catholics feel like they are limited in doing mission work.  Our examples of Mother Theresa and devoted priests seem to indicate, even at a subconscious level, that we regular people, working a full-time job could not possibly achieve anything big unless we take time away and immerse ourselves in building a house for hurricane victims and the like.  Well, Britt and I have chosen to become missionaries, and we have one full-time job and 4 children ages 7 and under between us.

…When we saw Thadius on the website for the international Down syndrome adoption ministry, Reece’s Rainbow, we were at a loss.  Could we do the impossible for him?

…Sometimes, when we’re not too late to mass, or wrangling a child in the entryway, we hear this song.  In it, we hear God’s voice, which has helped us to love our Thadius like He has loved us:

Without seeing you, we love you.

Without touching you, we embrace.

Without knowing you, we follow.

Without seeing you…without touching you…we believe.

Our church has supported us with a generous donation to our adoption of Thadius.  They are also donating space for a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to be held this fall.

We are looking forward to the day when Father Dale will baptize our precious little boy, with all of the children of the congregation splashing in the water, scaring their parents in the pews by leaning in just a little too far.  This church is home, because when our little boy is in our family, he will be welcomed in this family, too.  We have evidence already.  Our children are welcomed at Mass, and we will drive the half-hour for the sense of belonging we feel there.

Stopped by the State Rec area for a picnic and some play time. This may be our first full-family photo since May, and Lumpy still isn’t smiling. It’s going into the dossier, anyway!

For people who are just viewing this blog for the first time, I would invite you to read our Adoption Story so far.  It will take you through the most important posts.

If you feel called to help, please take a look at our Adoption Fundraising and Giveaways.  If you are also in the Saginaw Bay region, feel free to send me an email to biglittledays @ gmail dot com about more details on the spaghetti dinner.

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See yesterday’s post if you’d like a (very good) chance to win $50 Disney Dollars by welcoming home a member of our Armed forces by supporting his daughter’s adoption fund.