Psalm: 90:09- We spend our years as a tale that is told


Friday, December 30, 2011

We have a winner!!!!!!

Bradley Arnold -congratulations!

Thank you everyone. This was an amazing giveaway and we raised ready for this....$720 in two weeks just for people that wanted to participate in the giveaway! The bracelet was donated to us so every $1 counted towards bringing Talia home. We are so thankful to everyone that passed on our e-mails and web address as well as posting on facebook, not once, but twice, as well as, those that donated twice! You are all angels on earth. Moreover, thanks for having fun with the holiday cheer and all its twists and turns! It really showed us the power of prayer and "our village" working together towards the goal of saving an orphan's life.

We are beyond amazed at God's hand in all of this. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and stay tuned for our next fundraisers and posts about our tales of two!

God Bless you all and Happy New Year!

In addition to the excitement of the giveaway, this week, we received a new picture of our baby girl! She looks so good and is finally gaining weight. At 2 1/2 she is 22 lbs., which is much better then the 18 lbs. she was at for a year! I find the picture priceless and the best Christmas gift ever!

Look how big my smile is Mommy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours

May your house be blessed with the spirit of Christmas all year long!

It was a great Christmas and I tried my best to keep my joy levels up but really wished Talia was home with us now.  Although my heart was here with Harper, my mind was with Talia. I know every adoptive parent that has a child waiting for them in China feels the same way.

Harper had a wonderful day and we can not wait until next year to have our house filled with even more laughter, love and chaos!  Here are my top five favorite moments from the past few days!

Baking cookies for Santa!
We actually found a gingerbread cookie that Harper can eat. She has a milk allergy so she was excited to have some cookies that her and Santa can enjoy! She is very meticulous. After she put the dough in each holder she would exclaim, "Perfect"!

Dance Party on Christmas Eve!
After our traditional Chinese food Christmas Eve meal we got comfortable and had a dance party with Harper's Music Together CD. It showcases music from different countries.  She loved playing with the instruments and having mommy and daddy dance beside her! As you can tell she is quite the dancing queen!

My Beautiful Princess
Harper loves to play with my make-up and always wants to get ready with me! She now has her own special collection and table:) A little girl that had nothing now has a lifetime full of make believe and make-up! A dream come true for our little princess.

Celebrating with Family
My parents live a few states away so it is always a treat for Harper when the grandparents come to visit especially because they shower her with gifts! What little girl wouldn't love that?! She was so excited for Christmas Day because she knew they would be flying in the sky just like Tinkerbell! The smile on her face when she saw them just brightened our whole day.

Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus
Harper enjoyed baking a birthday cake for Jesus and singing to him to honor his birthday! Pardon our beautiful (ha!) voices...ha!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Time for Giving and Receiving

In order to hear the song you have to put our playlist below on pause.
 Here are the words to this beautiful Christmas song.

Merry Christmas -Third Day
There's a little girl trembling on a cold December morn
Crying for momma's arms

At an orphanage just outside a little China town
Where the forgotten are
But half a world away I hang the stockings by the fire
And dream about the day when I can finally call you mine

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

As I hang the tinsel on the tree and watch the twinkling lights
I'm warmed by the fire's glow
Outside the children tumble in a wonderland of white,
Make angels in the snow
But half a world away you try your best to fight the tears
And hope that heaven's angels come to carry you here

It's Christmas time again but you're not home
Your family is here and yet you're somewhere else alone
And so tonight I pray that God will come and hold you in his arms
And tell you from my heart I wish you Merry Christmas

Christmas is a time to celebrate the holy child
And we celebrate his perfect gift of love
He came to earth to give his life
And prepare a place for us
So we could have a home with him above

It's Christmas time again and now you're home
Your family is here so you will never be alone
So tonight before you go to sleep,
I'll hold you in my arms
And I'll tell you from my heart, and I'll you from my heart
I wish you Merry Christmas

      Next year our baby will be home and I will be adding her "Chinese Stocking" to our mantle!  For now we are surely missing having her here with us and we pray that God continues to keep her safe and she can feel the peace and joy that we are sending to her on this cold December day.  It seems the cold illnesses are spreading throughout my house and while Harper got antibiotics, orange juice, a warm bed, frozen treats to ease her sore throat and cozy pj's to make her feel better, my mind can't help but wander to Talia and all the other children without these items when they are sick. Moreover, my heart sinks to think about the kisses and hugs they are missing out on.  Can you imagine to never have felt your mother or father's love when you were sick?  I remember growing up thinking my parents knew everything and could totally fix any problem, including when I had a stuffy nose or sore throat.  That homemade soup seemed to do the trick every time! Unfortunately, many children don't even know that type of affection exists.  They sit tied to cribs all day long longing for food or even a look from a nanny in the orphanage.  They would give anything just to be touched or smiled at.  I read a book a few years back that described a scene out of a typical orphanage in China.  The orphanage could only afford medicine for one child and three were terribly sick.  They had to decide who they felt would live and survive and that child would then be granted the small bottle of medicine. Can you imagine trying to make that decision?  

     Since we have been married, Todd and I have made giving back to various charities as part of our financial picture. We live off of one income and a good portion of our yearly income goes to charity. In fact it is our first item on our budget. In addition, we make Christmas donations (yes even though we are fundraising we still do this!)

"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

    This year we cut out all Christmas gifts and put it towards our adoption expenses but still kept our Christmas tradition of supporting adoptive families and orphans. Here are a few of the charities I would like to showcase this year. Of course everyone has a charity that is dear to their hearts so please add to the comments section the charities you supported this holiday season (even if it was just through prayer) and also include a link! Let's bring back the true meaning of Chritmas! I know with each donation we receive for Talia's adoption we feel enriched in God's grace and tremendously blessed by the love and support of you all! Thank you.

1. Brittany's Hope Holiday Gift Guide:
-$15 donation sponsors a child in Vietnam for medical check-up's for the entire year
-Harper's pick: $10 donation to give to an orphan in Ethiopia for their first Christmas present. Can you imagine the joy on their face when they see something just for them?!
2. Brittany's Hope-surgery for an orphan This child is in extreme pain and needs emergency surgery. See Asalafew's story here.
3. Madison Adoption Associates: Our amazing adoption agency
-In the the notes section tell them what you would like your donation to be used for. Examples include: Where most needed, set of coat, hat and gloves for an orphan in China, Toys for orphanage in El Salvador or Bulgaria, Clothing for orphans in the Philippines. $10 may not mean a lot to you but it can mean the world to an orphan.

No matter how hard things may seem for everyone in this economic climate it is even tougher for those that wait with no food, clothing or a mommy or daddy to call their own.  I never thought I would quote Brad Pitt but his words oh how they ring true!

"Let us be the ones who say we do not accept that a child dies every three seconds simply because he does not have the drugs you and I have.  Let us be the ones to say we are not satisfied that your place of birth determines your right to life.  Let us be outraged, let us be loud, let us be bold."

Through his holy name we can make a difference this holiday season.

Harper's first view of the newborn king, baby Jesus (Dec. 2010-her first Christmas home)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Holiday Giveaway-Tiffany's "Joy" Bracelet

All donations help to bring home our little girl in China!
Giveaway ends Dec. 30th! We are halfway to our goal!
This bracelet is exquisite and what woman doesn't love Tiffany's! And for all you men out there, think about your mom, girlfriend, sister or sister in law! Anyone will treasure this piece of jewelry!

Tiffany Olympian Charm & Round Link Bracelet:
Retail Value: $350
Tiffany’s exquisite Olympian charms are based on Tiffany holloware designs of 1878. This Cherubim double-sided charm in sterling silver is engraved with a message of inspiration "JOY."
The charm is attached to a large round link bracelet in sterling silver, 7.5" long.
So to add some holiday cheer to this giveaway! Here are the details:
The 5th person that enters the giveaways gets 5 extra entries, the 25th person that donates gets 25 extra entries, the 50th person gets 50 extra entries, the 75th person gets 75 extra entries. Should we hit 100, you guessed it -- 100 extra entries! Now that is inspiring! Should you be one of these lucky four folks, I will e-mail you!
Now to Enter. There are a few ways!
1. $5 for 1 entry, $10 for 3 entries or $20 for 7 entries to win this Tiffany's set. Just click on the donate button to the right. Please specify "donation" on paypal. You can also pay by credit card on the donate button. For those that rather not pay via the website but want to join in on the fun please contact me at for other payment options.
2. Post about the fundraiser on your blog, receive 2 entries!
3. Post about it on facebook, receive 2 entries! (You can do this more than once!)
4. Become a follower on our blog, receive 2 entries!
5. Send an e-mail to your friends, receive 3 entries (just cc me on the e-mail)
Just e-mail me if you do post it to your blog or facebook so I can add you to the giveaway list.
As a reminder for those that love jewelry, our Stella & Dot online jewelry party is still on from now until the end of the month. You can purchase via this link and then click on my name, Mary Jane Postiglione, as the hostess.
The last day for Christmas delivery is Dec. 21st but you can order up until Dec. 31st for us to receive the 10% proceeds from each order.  If you also contact Megan: you can receive free shipping over $75!
Thank you all for your support! Even though Talia Mei is 12,197 miles away she can surely feel the love this holiday season!
Wishing you all a joyous and blessed holiday season!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From a Child once an orphan

To watch Xiaoyun talk puts into words why we chose adoption to build our family. Won't you help support our cause to save an orphan this holiday season (and always)?

Xiaoyun has scoliosis just like our daughter, Harper. Xiaoyun was adopted days before she would have aged out of China's adoption system. In china children can only be adopted until the age of 14 then they are suppose to survive in the world by themselves with no money, no food and no family. Xiaoyun's scoliosis was so severe that it was impairing her lung function and eventually she would have went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, beginning in January she will start a series of 4 surgeries within a 6-8 week timeframe that will allow her to live a long life. Please keep this phenomonal young lady in your prayers.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Peace and a Little Joy

Some days that is all we can ask for.  

When you step out publicly and boldly about your faith you are at your weakest self.  True or not true?! Think about it. Religion is one of the topics you are supposed to avoid, right? Well, is it we are afraid we are going to insult another person with our religious views or do we not believe enough in our views to let our thoughts about God be told loud and clear. Well I can tell you that on this blog there will be lots of faith talking! After all God has lifted me up in so many ways throughout the years. He restored my health when all the doctors told me that I would probably never get better or feel “normal” again. He brought me two beautiful babies out of the depths of hell so that we could care and love for them. He made the most perfect partner for me that loves and cherishes me for who I am. He held my family’s hands during deep sorrow and sadness. All this He did for me so in return I am listening to Him and His whispers to my heart. Maybe you are reading this and have felt that whisper but didn’t want to do what He was asking or maybe you did listen but didn’t follow through and so He cast you another stone until you listened. At the moment the stone is cast, it may just feel like a ripple in a pond or sometimes it can feel like a rip tide in the ocean. It can turn your cozy little world upside down. It can lead you down another path you never thought you would ever be on and quite possibly a path you never believed in or supported. This week a close friend of mine confided in me a secret she had been keeping. She had kept this secret for a very long time and just one day it overcame her and she spilled it. The interesting thing to me was that the “secret” was actually something I use to support and my thoughts on the topic have changed throughout the years. It doesn’t matter what the secret was or what the topic was. What matters is that when she told her secret she was worried about being judged, as any of us would be when we have kept something private.  There is a reason why we keep things private. Some things should be kept private such in the case of sincerely hurting another person’s feelings or sharing information when your best friend in fifth grade swears you to secrecy :)  I am probably as open as they come. There is no question that I will not answer and there is no topic that I won’t talk about. However, it also makes me an easy target. Many people can feel well, let’s just say uneasy on some topics or situations. But that is the beauty of living our true self. No matter what has happened in my life I have always stayed true to myself and it has made all the difference! We should be able to state what we are feeling and more importantly live through our hearts, not our minds. This beauty of this blog is that they are my words, my thoughts and my heartfelt song. I believe there are no barriers except those that we create for ourselves. As for this moment in my life, when I look to the side I see that vine and it seems daunting, but I also know that I am doing God’s work and His love for me and my family will see us through to the top of that vine. Sure fundraising and applying for grants is out of my “comfort zone” but through Him I find my strength and through Him we will see the glory in our daughter Talia’s eyes when we meet her for the first time. So for this week, step out of your comfort zone try to find that peace and joy you have been searching for. It is there and at your weakest moment this week pray for that peace and joy to be a part of your life and in it you will find restored hope.
This week was filled with surprises, some good and some life changing, but what I learned from everything is that God never leaves us for one moment. You know the old saying when one door closes one door opens. If you add prayer into the equation when one door closes you are doubly blessed and in our case this week, we were overwhelmingly blessed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Introducing Talia Mei Youngerman born on May 1, 2009

Our Precious Angel

     These three little pictures accompanied her file that we received and our world was forever changed! Ready or not here comes toddler #2! It is uncanny how much she reminds us of Harper.  

Those sweet cheeks and big eyes

definitely a sweet soul

and she appears to be a dancing queen as well!

Our Link to Talia

    So you may wonder how this all came to be so fast? We are still wondering as well! No, this was not our original plan but the one above determined what He had in store for us way before Todd and I realized that adoption again would lead us to our second child. I have read countless stories of how once you adopt you will never look at things the same way again. For us this was true and our hearts and minds were with the children left behind. When we first came home with Harper I wanted to get on a plane and go back there as fast as I could to bring home another child. In reality, though, we were jet lagged, overwhelmed, paying our adoption bills, living at Harper's doctor’s offices and adjusting to life with a toddler. By the middle of last year, while sitting in one of Harper's appointments the doctor leaned into me and said, "You know if she stayed in China she probably would have died by the age of four." Yikes! My mind then went back to the countless children we saw in China on the streets, on adoption websites and the faces of the children that I know never made it to their families in time. How could I ignore it? So the yearning was there but being so engrossed with Harper's needs I found other ways to help the children left behind. I would advocate on adoption sites for children that needed homes, stayed in touch with the adoption community and talked to people all over the country via phone and e-mail on the best way to find their child and the fastest way to get them home. This was my way of volunteering so to speak.  I began to put the idea of adopting child number two out of my mind until one day my travel partner from China called to see if I looked at the new list of children that our agency posted. She was interested in a child and we began to chat, and chat, and chat (almost daily) and I began to help her. I got reacquainted with agencies and the latest requirements with the China program. Basically, with China's new Special Focus Medical Needs Program you can pick a child from the waiting list and reuse your paperwork but you have only one year to do so. I literally had one month left and I thought to myself there is no way we are adopting again so soon. The timing is not right, the money is not there, Harper has too many medical conditions – basically any negative thing you could think of surrounding adoption was in my mind. At the same time I was so inspired by my friend's personal journey with God and her dedication to learning from the bible that I decided to start really setting aside some of Harper's nap time to read. Now being truthfully honest this was a big deal for me as I don't normally sit down with a bible and do a lot of reading in my spare time:)

      So what happened next? It came to me that what happens if everyone said the timing is not right or we don't have the money? Then no one would ever adopt or move forward with their dream and to me once you have that fire in your heart you need to act on it. As adoptive parents I think we are all given a gift to accept a child we know nothing about and to make a commitment to them that we will love them forever. For us this comes easily but for others it does not. So why not take our gift of love and bring home another child? It just seemed like the obvious choice for us. Now to convince Todd that we needed to choose "love" again so soon! That to me was going to be the battle. I knew he wanted to adopt but if I told him what I was thinking he was going to tell me I was crazy. So I made the decision as a modern wife (ha!) not to tell him. Yes I know that was not so nice but I was still so uncertain myself. I needed a sign and a huge one! I knew we only had one more month to reuse our dossier documents and that could save us some money in the overall process. China produces a shared list of children that are eligible for adoption every 4-6 weeks. Our agency matches fast but I didn't know how many people would be in line in front of me. So with a nervous stomach I wrote to my agency asking if they would look for a little girl under the age of five. I told them the special needs I would be open to which is a much longer list now then it was a few years ago. Harper's medical needs have taught me that I can handle much more than I ever thought! My agency wrote back to me saying that it would be unlikely since they had ten families ahead of me. I really felt in my heart that if it was meant to be it would happen and if I was completely off base in my gut feelings then I would not get a file to review. I was completely at peace either way. I knew if I didn't get a file then Todd and I would wait a few more years before the topic of adoption ever came up again. I knew which night the shared list was coming out and that night I heard nothing. It is very hard to get a match on the shared list as every agency frantically tries to lock a file before another agency does. The system is a bit chaotic to say the least. After 72 hours, any file that another family declines goes back to the shared list and then the agencies stay awake all night trying to lock those files for their clients. Well at the 72 hour unlock, I went back to my bible and read for a few minutes – I knew this was my last chance. At 9:04pm I went back to my laptop and there was an e-mail from my agency saying, "What do you think of this beautiful girl?"  When I say I got weak in the knees, well that is an understatement! My body was shaking! Luckily Todd is in charge of bathing Harper and putting her down at night so I gave him some line about how I was going to be up late talking to a friend. I disappeared for the whole night and like a giddy teenage girl I called my friend in Indiana and whispered, "I got a file!"

Talia's File

     There is no such thing as an easy adoption file. They send you two documents: one all in Chinese and one in English. You hope they match up and things were translated correctly but you never know! Of course I went straight to the picture and as I viewed her for the first time so did my dear friend on the phone. She was talking more then I was as I was still numb that I even got a file. I then began to scroll down frantically through the 20 page document to find out what her special needs were. The email from my agency said it seems like a pretty manageable condition. I saw something that said G6PD and thought to myself what in the world is that? I quickly goggled it and learned that it was a blood disorder affecting mostly the Asian population. In the world of special needs you tend to look at the worst case scenario and you don't want to accept a file unless you are prepared for the worst case. The worst case of G6PD is that she will require a blood transfusion should she have interaction with certain drugs. Okay I thought I can just keep her away from this list of drugs and she will be fine. That sure seemed easy to manage to me!  Then I began to read her story and her "easy" file seemed very daunting. Her backstory was that she was left abandoned with the umbilical cord still attached outside a factory outlet. She was taken to the orphanage and after a few months she became very ill. She was brought to a hospital (which is a miracle itself) since most children in orphanages are not properly taken care of and when they turn ill, they all too often pass away. It listed her as going “blue” upon admission and her pneumonia was so severe she was kept in the hospital for a month. It also listed her as having an increased heart rate and then it read that she had a heart attack. In addition there was a picture of a four inch scar on her buttock from some sort of surgery that had no explanation. Now my legs were really shaking. All sorts of thoughts were running through my head mainly, what in the world happened to this baby? As I read the file there was no echo, no CAT scan of her heart yet it said her heart was failing. I thought to myself, dear God I know I can handle a lot but really how can I handle a child that might possibly die on me as soon as I bring her home? I just didn't think I could truly handle that. Just as I had that thought in my mind my agency e-mailed me again to see what I thought and I thought to myself I didn’t  know since her needs were much greater than I thought I could handle. As I was e-mailing and reading as quickly as I could, my friend on the phone was asking what I was going to do. My head was spinning and I literally just didn't understand why I got this file (of all files out there) and especially because I just had prayed to God please don't ever send me a file I can't accept. Give me the sign I need. More importantly give me a sign that only I would be looking for. If I declined this file then my agency could look for a new file for me but something told me to keep reading and then there was my sign, big and red and highlighted: October 14th. Of all days of the year this is the one that had the most significance for me. My closest cousin passed away two years ago on October 14th and when we were in the process of waiting for Harper's file I had prayed to him to find me my daughter. We previously had turned down a couple of files before Harper's and it was gut wrenching! When we got Harper's file I knew she was meant to be ours because the date she became paper ready and eligible for adoption was my cousin's death date – October, 14, 2009. There was no doubt in my mind that he is her guardian angel looking over her and he was with us every step of the way in China. The statistics of Talia's file having the same exact date just one year later is just unbelievable. There is no way to explain it! Call it fate, call it chance or call it God’s plan. China has no clue who receives these files. Whatever you believe I think it is comforting for all of us to know that when people pass away they are still a part of our lives. We may not be able to see them but if we just listen to our hearts and quiet our minds we can find evidence everywhere in our lives that they are still there watching over us.

     Well the rest of the story is simple. The date is all I needed and in my heart of hearts I said yes not knowing any further information or what Todd would think. I knew she was ours and I knew that I had been called to adopt again and the time was now.

    So you still want to know what Todd said right?! He found my laptop open the next morning with Talia’s file open by accident from the night before. I had stayed up all night organizing her file and getting it ready to be sent out to various doctors. He came downstairs for his coffee then looked me right in the eye laughed and said, "So who’s the new girl?" He had opened her file while I was away from the computer. It was the prayer of all prayers answered because he was open hearted and when I told him to look at the dates he was stunned and he instantly knew she was our little girl as well!

Journey of Faith

     When you sign up for adoption you hope, at the end of it, you will bring home a child but you never imagine the impact the journey could have on your life, especially spiritually. On our last adoption the journey to China, enduring 22 hour flights (my labor pains as I like to call them!) staying in a foreign country, and becoming new parents via adoption was my journey of faith. However this journey of faith is not about my "labor pains" or being on foreign soil. This journey is about relying on God to provide like His stories in the bible of the mustard seed. A mustard seed is small, but it's alive and growing. Like a tiny seed, a small amount of genuine faith in God will take root and grow. Almost invisible at first, it will begin to spread, first under the ground and then visibly. Although each change will be gradual, soon this faith will have produced major results and we will all watch in awe of how God’s work has been done to bring Talia homeI have always been a religious person, but until you take a leap of faith and truly rely on God you will never know his power. We are truly relying on him and we know without a doubt that we never would have received Talia's file if she wasn't meant to be ours. We have seen His hand work miracles this past year with Harper. As we look forward to walking through this journey of faith, we hope you will follow along as well and enjoy our tale of two!