Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eco-Friendly Neckaces from Uganda!

Looking for the perfect gift for- Graduation, Mother's Day, Birthday or just because? We are delighted to be selling necklaces from Uganda!

Sue, a missionary in Uganda, has provided us a hundred necklaces made by a Ugandan widow with one child. The money used to purchase the beads becomes income, food, school fees/uniforms, medicine and hope. The beads are hand rolled from newsprint, magazines, or old calendars that would otherwise go into a land fill. Since each bead is hand made all the necklaces are unique. The necklace is glazed to make it durable, shiny and water resistant. But please, do not soak them in water.

The short and long necklaces have screw clasps:

E-mail me at
Here is a sampling of the necklaces we have-
Short necklaces $10 - hang 7-10" when worn:

Long necklaces $12- hang 10-18" when worn:

Extra-long necklaces $15 (no clasp) 20-26" long when worn:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Orphanage dust and a new order

Over the last few years I have written about Orphanage dust that has entered our home. Last January the air was thick with dust and it was a very unstable time for our family- particularly Igor. A new family order was being established and Igor had to face some of his past in order to move into the future. So here we are over a year after the Dust Bunny the size of Kansas covered our home and we finally feel like a family. We still have hard days but they are spaced further and further apart. I look at Igor and I see how far he has come. The harden shell that formed while in the orphanage is peeling off layer by layer. I am seeing an amazing boy becoming comfortable in his new skin.

A sweet friend sent us an e-mail this week saying she too has noticed a change in Igor. She wrote:
I was enjoying some of your recent photos and all of a sudden it dawned on me that in many of them, Igor has a real smile on his face! He's obviously making huge progress, I'm sure you see, but sometimes it is nice to have someone else to acknowledge it.

Today I am rejoicing that our family FINALLY feels like a family. I also thank God for the growth in Igor. I pray Igor will continue to grow more confident in who is not who he was.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


We were able to participate in a 30 hour famine with several youth groups. Even though the boys aren't teens we allowed them to be a part of the event without fasting.
Igor enjoyed directing traffic:

Henry checking out the sleeping arrangements:
the youth spent the night in/on cardboard boxes.

The candles represent the 25,000 children who die each day from starvation, unsanitary conditions and dirty drinking water.

All the money raised from the event went to Haiti relief.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NPR show- Global adoptions

If you want to know more about the complexities of some adoptions, I highly recommend listening to this NPR radio show. I thought they did a great job sharing all sides, including issues around children being institutionalized. They provided some insight on children are adopted with complex issues.
Here's another good book to read it you suspect your child has RAD:

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Adoption and the hard realities

The story in the news about the boy adopted from Russia makes me sick to my stomach. My husband and I look at our son, Igor, adopted from Russia and wonder how you can give up on a child after 6 months.

I am heart broken for the adoptive mom, I am heart broken for the little boy and I am left wondering how the system failed for this family.

If you have never adopted from Russia, let me tell you, it's not easy. You must provide mountains of paperwork- everything about you is scrutinized. A home study is completed by a social worker which includes everything from your relationship with your family growing up, discipline style, your marriage and so on. You must attend parenting classes, complete Hague training for international adoptions, have criminal background searches done at state and federal levels. You need references from friends and family members, all your finances are reviewed, and of course you are required to have a medical exam in the USA and Russia. You may have to go to Russia 2 or 3 times in order to pick up your child. We have adopted from Russia and Ethiopia. When we received the package outlining what we needed for Ethiopia I called our agency to confirm that was all we needed. It felt like the paperwork for Russia was much more extensive. No one chooses to adopt from Russia because it is easy or inexpensive- it is neither.

For days I have sat here wondering what happened to the family that is on the news. No one has an unplanned adoption. This family prepared for this little boy. I'm sure they were excited when they saw his face for the first time, aren't we all? Not only is adoption an emotional commitment, it can be a financial burden.

My husband and I talk about it and think how did the system fail? Obviously, this family's social worker felt they were qualified to adopt, a judge in Russia agreed. Where was this family's social worker when they came home from Russia? What did the family's agency do for follow up? Where was the adoption community? Did anyone see any warning signs or reach out to this family? What were the adopted child's issues and were they evaluated by a International Adoption Doctor when the family returned home?

What the adoptive mother did was wrong. There is no question about it.
Like the adoptive mom in the article, I know what it is like to adopt a child who is hurting, full of anger and rage. We too adopted a child where the full range of medical issues and delays were not fully disclosed. I know what it feels like when you don't know what to do or how to handle your child. I know what it's like for some people, teachers, professionals- including family members to say I'm exaggerating our son's issues. But then, finally, they see what we are going through and they too are overwhelmed by our situation. Yes, I've been the mom at nursery school, you know the one... The one who has over heard parents saying, "I cannot imagine.... I'm glad I'm not her..."

If you are reading this blog and you have felt some of the things I have shared- DO NOT GIVE UP! You can do it with help!
The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family

Help for the Hopeless Child: A Guide for Families (With Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child), Second Edition (Paperback)

When Love Is Not Enough

Have your child evaluated by an international adoption doctor ASAP - click here for a listing
And then DO what the doctors tell you to do!

Talk to someone- a counselor, your social worker, a therapist, clergy- find someone who will listen to your concerns, your hurt, your anger and disappointment. Allow yourself to grieve what you thought your family would be like but move forward. Call your agency, find out if there is an adoption support group or if there is another family on the other side of what you are going through.

Don't be afraid to ask friends for help around the house. Sometimes having someone help with meals, laundry, errands, or cleaning can help with some of the pressure/stress at home.

We have two beautiful boys who are adopted. Our adoption journey has not always been easy but it has come with some of the greatest rewards I can think of:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Russian adoptions

Dear Friends who have successfully adopted from Russia, please act! The Joint Council on international children's services needs our help.

Check out http://www.jcics.org/Russia.htm

or read below:

We Are The Truth

A Campaign and Call to Action

The outrageous treatment of Artyem by his adoptive family has rightfully resulted in outrage by the Governments of Russia and the United States and all who care about children. The tragedy has cast a light on intercountry adoption that says it is not safe, the system failed and adopted children cause insurmountable problems. The heartbreak of Artyem Saviliev’s abandonment has once again elevated a singular incident to a level which may result in the suspension of intercountry adoption. Suspending adoption, even temporarily, will only cause thousands of children to suffer the debilitating effects of life in an orphanage.

You, the community of adoptees, adoptive parents, adoptive grandparents, child welfare professionals and child advocates know that the outrageous and indefensible actions of one parent are not indicative of how children are treated by adoptive families. You know that families who encounter difficulties do not simply abandon their child. You know that help is available, that solutions are found and that families can thrive. And you know that suspending adoption does not protect children but only subjects them to the depravity of an institution…and an entire life without a family.

You, the adoption community know the truth. You live the truth. You are the truth.

Join our campaign to bring the truth to light and help children in need find a permanent and safe family.

What You Can Do

1) Sign the letter to President Medvedev and President Obama: The letter asks both Presidents to ensure that intercountry adoption continues uninterrupted and to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone involved in the abuse of children. You can sign anytime, but doing so before Tuesday night would help us get the letters to both Presidents before President Medvedev leaves the U.S. Click here to sign the letter.

2) We Are The Truth – an adoption blogger day: To ensure the world knows about every successful adoption, on Thursday, April 15, 2010 blog about your adoption or the adoption of someone you know. It doesn’t matter if your adoption is with Russia, domestic or otherwise international. Let the world know your truth!

3) Tell Your Truth with Video - make sure the world sees, hears and feels the thousands of successful adoptions from Russia by:

a. Send Joint Council your successful Russian adoption video via email to alexa.m@jcics.org.

i. Video should be a maximum of 3 minutes.

ii. A release must be sent to Joint Council or we cannot accept your video. For a copy of the release, click here.

b. Joint Council will translate the video into Russian and post it on our YouTube Channel.

4) Tell Your Truth with Words and Photos

a. Send Joint Council your successful Russian adoption story via email to alexa.m@jcics.org. Send us your stories through:

i. Photos (please do not send more than 10)

ii. Essays (maximum 500 words)

iii. A release must be sent to Joint Council or we cannot accept your story and/or pictures. For a copy of the release, click here.

b. Joint Council will then compile the stories and pictures, translate them into Russian and post them on our website and/or blog.

5) Share Your Truth

a. Joint Council will post, forward and share your stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Joint Council will be updating our YouTube Channel and Facebook page as the stories get compiled and translated, please subscribe to us on YouTube, Twitter and Fan us on Facebook.

b. You do the same by posting on your Facebook, Twitter, blog and website!

Want to help more?

  • Are you willing to speak to the media about your Russian adoption? If so, please email betheanswer@jcics.org with the following:
    • Your name(s)
    • City, State of residence
    • Contact Phone Numbers
    • Contact Email
    • Short 4 sentence bio about your adoption
  • Do you speak Russian?
    • We are in need of individual volunteers who can help our staff translate the videos and text quickly. If you are interested in helping, email Joint Council at intern@jcics.org.
  • Do you live in the Alexandria, VA area?
    • Joint Council is in need of short term volunteers over the next two weeks, email rebeccah@jcics.org if you would like to volunteer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring is here

Last week we enjoyed spring break. The days were filled with outdoor activities, coloring eggs and celebrating Easter. Each morning Igor and I went outside to look at the trees. Everyday something was in bloom or revealing vibrant colors.

Spring break gave Igor a taste of summer- warm weather, sleeping in, running barefoot. He is now counting down to summer vacation. Only 8 1/2 weeks to go.

We cleaned out the sand box and filled it with fresh sand.
Henry could not help himself- he had sand every where-

his hair

his pockets

Rob is giving Henry the sand "shake down" before we go inside.

God has been amazing by providing sponsors for the children at Grace Baptist Church! We are still seeking sponsors for these amazing children. Please e-mail me if you or your church is interested in sponsoring a child.