29 April 2015

The Final Fundraiser before Finalization

***This Fundraiser is now Closed. Thanks to everyone who bought a tshirt!***

We will be finalizing Ira's adoption sometime in June. It miiiiight be the beginning of June or it might be the end.  We find out for sure soon.

This will be the end of our fundraising.
It won't be the end of us paying fees, but once we move back overseas it'll be really hard to fundraise.

So here it is... your last chance to get yourself an awesome tshirt or tank!

And because who doesn't love accessories... my friend Melanie has offered to give us 100% of the profit from a Jamberry's Nail Wrap party. Wouldn't cute red polka dots go with your fantastic new red tee?
Just follow the link and be sure to choose "Rivers Party" at checkout. If you order within the next couple of days, the wraps will be at your door by Mother's Day! Just the little extra for all the moms in your life!

We ship! Internationally too!

Leave a comment to order a Tshirt. Follow the link to order some Jamberry's.



Here's us in the first round of shirts. (On Easter...thus the eggs in the grass...)

Again, leave a comment to order yours!

28 April 2015

Our First Month with Ira Sebastien

  Ira Sebastien Rivers
March 27, 2015
7lbs 5oz, 20.5 inches

Just gonna go ahead and pull the "I've got a newborn in the house..." card and say I'm actually doing good- nay, I'm actually surpassing expectations- and getting a blog post up.

It's been one month and I've been awake for most of it.

But little man is awesome, and he WILL (so help me) get his days and nights back in order and me and my pillow shall meet again.



Excepting 1-5am, Ira has proven to be quite the perfect 5th child. He has dealt with the onslaught of affection that his sister Ivy has unleashed upon him like a deep rooted oak tree in a hurricane. Though if he could speak, he'd probably voice a complaint about the general noise-level of the older 4 i's. Alas, he's silent on the matter.


We will write more later about the hospital experience with him.



For now, we can't emphasize enough the strength, maturity, courage, and sweetness of his birth mother.  I will die for my children and if she and I took the situation to a grand jury, I think they would pick her as having the greater love. In situations like these, it's not the absence of love that a woman places her child with others, it's quite the opposite. We are happy to tell him all his life that he has never been without love. Aside from God himself caring for this sweet one, He arranged Ira's life to never have a lapse in affection.
And can I just say his dimples are almost too much?

I have hoped as each of mine has been placed in my arms that there would be a tiny bit of skin tacked down on at least one side in such a way as to melt every passerby in the universe. And yet I waited.

i1? i2?  i3?  i4?  Nada.  i5 has brought to our gene pool the most perfect set of dimples my eyes will see in a lifetime.
(when he starts smiling in the next couple weeks, there will be no end to the dimple pics)

 This month, Mr. Ira also tallied up the greatest number of "likes" and "comments" our facebook account has ever seen in a photo. Our Mighty Man owned it like a boss.


He also wins the "Largest baby feet" of any Rivers kid. They're not chubby yet, but there was never any hope for those tiny newborn socks.  So far 6 month socks are all that will stay on.


Here is his one month photo with his Chocolate Moose. Plus a glimpse of the dimples.
(so appropriate for our little Haitian I can't handle it)



We are blessed indeed. Though it's costing more and more to go out to dinner these days, I can't help but feel rich. The goodness of God is tangible when this one wraps those fingers around mine.


07 March 2015

When a Baby Boy is on his way Home...

*** The T-shirt Fundraiser is now closed. Thanks SO much to everyone who purchased one (or 5!) We will update soon-ish***

My world is spinning here folks.

We are matched with a Baby Boy due to arrive anytime. We met with i5's birth mother yesterday and we were so impressed with her. She is a tall, beautiful, shy young lady who has been through a lot. She is very sure she will be placing her baby with us and we are confident in her decision.

Baby is due March 23... whoa, sleepless nights headed our way SOON y'all.

We had this fundraiser in the works the last couple of weeks and didn't realize just how timely it would be. God is so good and we are trusting him for every nickel!

Place your order today and help us bring our son home!
Ask about shipping (international too!) rates if you're not local to us in our part of Florida.

Not a t-shirt kind of person, but would like to help us? Go to our GoFundMe page and donate!

Leave a comment for size and style and I will send you an invoice through PayPal. **You do NOT have to have a PayPal account in order to pay with a card/online!**


Think it's safe to say that hopefully the next blog post will contain a photo of Rivers baby #5!

20 February 2015

A Couple Days in Edinburgh, Scotland

(still waiting to be chosen-matched-picked by an expectant mother who wants to make an adoption plan for her baby...)

The title is descriptive enough.

After a couple of brilliantly sunny days in ol' London Town, we hopped a train to Edinburgh, Scotland.

Americans: Hear ye! Hear ye! Did you know there are four countries inside the United Kingdom?

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

In case you were wondering why England has it's own national soccer team, that's why. Though I have no clue why the Olympics isn't done that way. I refuse to Google it, and instead plan to ask a Brit.

So, here we are, aboard the train to another land.



For our first trip, we decided just to stick to the Old Town in Edinburgh.
Cool old buildings.
The castle where legends like Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (aka-Braveheart) roamed.
The streets and nooks and crannies where uber famous writers stalked, drank, and wrote and failed and succeeded.
The well-preserved brownstone buildings stacked one after the other lining the steep and soulful cobblestone streets.Even the touristy and obviously stereotypical, but ever-so-charming, Scotsmen dressed in full kilt and colors playing away on a bagpipe are there waiting in Old Town Edinburgh. {sigh}

Travel Tip: Old Town Edinburgh is not stroller friendly. We used ours to help haul our luggage from the train station and back again. Otherwise it was useless.  

And the place we found to stay was beyond wonderful and smack dab in the middle of Old Edinburgh with views that couldn't be beat.

If you go, stay here:
Blackie House 

It was MORE than big enough for our party of 7. A delightful "Sir" owns the flat. He lived there as a student at the University of Edinburgh and later bought the place. You won't be sorry.



 

Edinburgh Castle.


 Heaven help me I have hardly been so torn in my life.

My mind was blowing apart to be walking among something so old. A place I've read about in history books and a place so flipping cool that Hollywood makes movies out of it. It was every BIT as romantic and dramatic as anyone could hope an old castle would be.

And then there was the physical side.
I'm from Florida and live on the equator in the tropics.
My blood is apparently weak and thin and bows down in abject surrender to the slightest of chills. I had a jacket and scarf. I thought I was prepared.
It was July. JOOO-LIE.
When else are you supposed to go when it can be warmer? You can't. It's Scotland and its chilly and breezy. Even in summer. (though it was still twilight at nearly 11pm so I forgave the wind later)
I caved, y'all. And my warm, thin-blooded children caved too. It was all we could do to walk outside in the chilly breeze to take in the sights that Kings and Queens and warriors have beheld.  We stayed indoors to inspect all we could, then would dash outside to the next room. It was NO way to see a castle. But you can't fight the misery of your children whining about the cold wind when your own teeth are chattering.
Still. Here are some of the photos we managed.
I love this first one of Birdie and Mom. The smiles say, "Yep. I'm in a castle. I'm a princess!"


 That face. Full of angst about the war within. CASTLE! vs COLD!


The top left shield in this window is William Wallace's. It glowed with Scottish sunshine and pushed my history nerd buttons, simultaneously.




That dude is King James I. I stood in the room where he was born. nbd.

This concludes the castle portion. There's not a photo of the dungeons... Americans and Spanish were kept in it's dungeons people! H-I-S-T-O-R-Y-R-O-C-K-S.
-------------------

Travel is totally for kids.

Camera Obscura. An old "illusion" interactive museum that is literally neighbors with Edinburgh Castle. Encased in brownstone it is an unassuming fun-wonder waiting for you and your kids.



More tricks with mirrors and lights than you can fit into a morning. Modern and some great classics.

While we went to the top to see the actual "Camera Obscura" a rare-in-a-lifetime thing happened.

WE SAW THE QUEEN! (and by "we" I mean Mom, Ivy strapped to me, and I...the boys were running around and Anthony was with Birdie in the bathroom dealing with some sort of epic poo mess. We tell the truth.)

See that teeny row of about 7 guards in black next to the statue? Her car is passing by them...when she rounded that corner, we saw her wave (because of course she had on gloves). 

And since Old Town just can't disappoint, here's another view from on top of Camera Obscura.

This next portion is the eating section. It's not that extensive, but it does have haggis.





Thumbs up on the Haggis! We didn't know what to expect, but turns out it's like a smushy sausage.




Some sit in the grass time at the Scott Memorial. Tallest memorial for a writer. Apparently the Scottish are passionate about a good story!





Is it any wonder that J.K. Rowling got her inspiration for the look of Hogwarts while writing the first Harry Potter novel in Edinburgh?




The next morning it was back on the train to London.



These last two photos are NOT from Edinburgh. After the train, we hit up the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens. It was PACKED. But it was also fun! On our walk to the playground we passed the "Peter Pan Statue."


 The next morning it was back on a plane to Miami. See you next time UK!