TEAM BARNETT ADOPTION 2014 ~ Felix's Heroes Wall

The following people have graciously donated to our adoption fund and have made Greta, Felix, & Romeo one step closer to becoming "An Orphan No More"!
Greta's, Felix's, & Romeo's Heroes Wall:
Linda Wade ~ TX; Tammy Johnson ~ TX; Brian & Carol Miller ~ NC; Karl & Beth Brennan ~ TX; Sammye Smith ~ TX; Barbara Balthrop ~ TX; Jeri Newman ~ TX; Shirley Bowman ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Kelly & Chay McClellan ~ TX; Heather Farester ~ VA; Terri Mauldin ~ TX; Sherry Hamby ~ TX; Laura Homan ~ TX; Cindy & Kelsey Cregar ~ MD; April Jurisch ~ TX; Danni & Rhaya Edison ~ TX; Brenda Baswell ~ AL; Anonymous ~ TX; Keshia Melton ~ New Zealand; Mistie Sutko ~ TX; Amy Epley ~ TX; Annie Trenda ~ WA; Jenny Raspberry-Martin ~ Canada; Amber Gilchrist-Anderson ~ NM; Bianca Montelaro-Oliver ~ LA; Sasha Fera-Schanes ~ CA; Gigi Glynn ~ NJ; Cordie Teddlie Everman ~ TN; Clydene Moore ~ TX; Peggy McAdams ~ TX; Kayla Groen; Kristen Abel ~ TX; Dandy Rivas Fleming ~ TX; Colleen Salinas ~ TX; Katy Pyle ~ LA; Sandra Lizcano ~ LA; Reby Lawler ~ TX; Charlette Flowers ~ TX; Mary Anne McCartney ~ TX; Colleen Krizak ~ TX; Rhonda Jackson ~ TX; Heather Woodall ~ TX; Heather Johnson ~ TX; Sherwin & Ann Lee ~ TX; Stacie Lee Mercer ~ TX; Anonymous; Wesley Barnett ~ MS; Anonymous ~ TX; Shirley Massey ~ TX; Jeremy & Mandy Danielson ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Debbie Goff ~ TX; Jamie Discher ~ TX; Carol Miller Wise ~ NC; Cherrisa Shelton ~ TX; Sheilah Chisum ~ NM; Debbie Marks ~ OH; The Stokes Family ~ TX; Wanda Oldag ~ TX; Lisa Smith ~ OH; Michelle Hughes ~ VA;
Reece's Rainbow: Andrea Roberts, Nancy Thornell, Debbie Hannon, Michelle Zoromski, & Lucille Brown

Friday, February 28, 2014

A Calling Reaffirmed through T-shirts and Hoodies

As I write this latest blog post, my heart is just bursting with joy.  I am so unbelievably overwhelmed by the beautiful outpouring of love that was just recently shown to my family ~ specifically to Felix!!  It further validates us, a family that has been built through adoption!  It tells us that, YES, many of you trust us and support us in answering the call The Lord has set before us.  You have given us a sure-footed reminder that, with Christ, all things are possible!  Most importantly, you have reaffirmed that when God promises you something, HE WILL FOLLOW THROUGH!

Last night our t-shirt fundraiser through Bonfire Funds ended, after three weeks, at exactly 11:59 CST (believe me, I was diligently watching until the end!).  When it was all said and done, we ended up selling 69 t-shirts & hoodies and raising $1040!!!  Did you catch that?!?

69 t-shirts & hoodies and raising $1040!!!

Even after I have written it in bigger, bolder, and red font, I am still amazed!  I am not so much amazed at the number or the amount of money as I am at the amount of love that went into every single dollar ~ no ~ that went into every single penny.  Our God moved mountains so that the world could see that His children, His precious orphans, deserve the love of a forever family.  They are worthy and they are capable of so much more! 

David and I will never get over the fact of how blessed we are that He would choose us to Go!  And, we will never get over the fact of how blessed we are that so many of our wonderful friends and family are choosing to GO! with us by trusting us enough to lend their support.  Our adoption support is not just through money.  Our adoption support is through prayer, love, the acceptance of our children, encouragement, comforting words, the sharing & re-telling of our story, the lending of a helping hand (figuratively & physically), the lending of a shoulder to cry on when things get rough or overwhelming.  I could go on and on about how support has manifested itself to us.  You see, every ounce of this support has been what it took to build our family and what it took to make our beautiful precious Copeland, Silas, Teague, Trenton, Maclayne, and soon-to-be Felix An Orphan No More!! 

As promised, and in being good stewards to the money that our donors have entrusted us with, this is the breakdown of how the $1040 will be spent for Felix’s US Homeland Security adoption fees:

$720 ~ USCIS Application form fees
$ 85 ~ David’s biometric fees
$ 85 ~ my biometric fees
$150 ~ towards Felix’s $215 in-country medical exam fee

Finally, David and I would like to thank the following people who have donated to Felix’s adoption fund through our t-shirt & hoodie fundraiser:

Linda Wade ~ TX                             Anonymous ~ TX
Ginger Lambert ~ TX                      Barbara Balthrop ~ TX      
Jeri Newman ~ TX                          Shirley Bowman ~ TX 
Heather Farester ~ VA                    Laura Homan ~ TX
Sherri Hamby ~ TX                        Beth Brennan ~ TX  
Cindy Cregar ~ MD                         Kelsey Cregar ~ MD
Anonymous ~ TX                           April Jurisch ~ TX 
Brenda Baswell ~ AL                      Clydene Moore ~ TX      
Peggy McAdams ~ TX                   Kayla Groen
Danni & Rhaya Edison ~ TX          Kristen Abel ~ TX
Mistie Sutko ~ TX                          Dandy Fleming ~ TX        
Colleen Salinas ~ TX                      Sandra Lizcano ~ LA
Katy Pyle ~ LA                             Ann Lee ~ TX
Stacie Lee Mercer ~ TX                 Charlette Flowers ~ TX  
Carol Miller ~ NC                          Anonymous ~ TX 
Mary Anne McCartney ~ TX        Colleen Krizak ~ TX          
Rhonda Jackson ~ TX                   Heather Woodall ~ TX   
Heather Johnson ~ TX                  Reby Lawler ~ TX              
Anonymous ~ TX                       Cordelia (Cordie) Everman ~ TN
Shirley Massey ~ TX                   Keshia Melton ~ New Zealand
Wesley Barnett ~ MS

The fees above are being paid for because each of you willingly chose to love Felix and each of you wanted to give him the chance that every child deserves:  the chance to be loved and supported by a forever family and countless friends.  For that, our wonderful friends, we are forever humbled and blessed!  Thank you!

Isaiah’s Commission

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Weeping Wednesday ~ Velia: The Orphan Girl Who Cries As I Weep

I have decided that, each Wednesday, I will spotlight an orphan from the Reece's Rainbow website that is in desperate need of a family to come rescue him or her.  These regular segments will be referred to as my "Weeping Wednesday" blog posts.  It is my prayer, my hope that someone reading these posts will be moved to action and start praying about adopting one or more of these precious orphans "Because every family deserves the blessing of a child with Down syndrome..." (Reece's Rainbow).



I have chosen to spotlight Velia as my first Weeping Wednesday orphan.  This precious child was born in August 2000.  She has both Down syndrome and Cerebral Palsy.  The decision to choose Velia as the first spotlighted child was only natural because I fell in love with Velia over a year ago as I was on the Reece's Rainbow website one night praying for this beautiful organization and ministry and for all of the orphans (as a collective group) on the site.  As I was praying, my finger accidentally scrolled across my laptop's mouse pad and Velia's page popped up.  Was this just an "accident" that her page came up?  No.  Was it something more?  Yes!  

The first thing I noticed was that she did not have a Prayer Warrior through Reece's Rainbow's Prayer Warrior Program and it broke my heart.  She did not have someone committed to pray for her on a daily basis.  How could this be?  Velia, a precious child of God, deserved to have someone in her corner falling to his/her knees to intercede on her behalf.  So, I realized that the "accidental" swipe of my hand as I was praying for RR was not a mere accident. It was a Divine Appointment to make Velia a part of my life.  Therefore, to become her Prayer Warrior, I clicked the link to get signed up.  (Click HERE to find out how you can become a Prayer Warrior for a waiting orphan!)  Lo and behold, the very next day I got the confirmation email that I was assigned as Velia's new Prayer Warrior!  And, believe me, it has been an honor and a joy to pray for her regularly. 

The second thing I noticed were the two pictures of Velia.  These pictures broke my heart as well. She has such a look of desperation and sadness in her eyes.  Her eyes are almost empty because she spends the majority of her day confined to her crib crying.  This is what someone who has met her said:  "She was in an almost empty room, just with another child next to her. She was rocking and gnawing at the bars of the cot and such a sad sight to behold.  My heart just collapsed for her!"  MY heart collapsed for her!  It immediately reminded me of what Maclayne had to endure the first 3 1/2 years of her life before David and I could bring her home.  Perhaps this is another reason why I am so drawn to Velia.  That was the first time I wept for Velia, my new Prayer Warrior Child.

The third thing I noticed was that there was a another website linked to her RR page.  I clicked on it and was redirected to "Happy Child" a foundation dedicated to finding families for the sick and special needs orphans in Zaporozhye, the area of her country in which she lives.  There I saw more pictures, read more information, and saw a video of her.  These things also collapsed my heart!  It was the second time I wept for Velia. (Click HERE to be redirected to this page.)

And I will continue to weep until Velia has the one gift every child deserves...the gift we so often take for granted...the precious gift of a FAMILY to call her own.

Click HERE to view her page on the Reece's Rainbow website.  Better yet, click HERE to vote for her to be one of the featured children in the RR 21 Days of Hope Campaign!  If she receives enough votes to become one of the 21 featured children, it could allow her to receive more money for her grant fund!!

Friends, readers of my blog, I implore you to join me in sharing Velia's story.  Join me in telling others about her.  Join me in being her voice!  Join me in praying for her on a daily basis.  Join me in helping to find her a forever family.  Join me in weeping for Velia, the crying orphan.  Do not let her cries go unnoticed any longer!  Help me silence those tears by bringing her a forever family who will dry those tears through their love!  That will change her cries into the most beautiful sound that comes from a child:  LAUGHTER!

From The Beatitudes
"Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh." ~ Luke 6:21

Friday, February 21, 2014

T-shirts, T-shirts, and more T-shirts ~ that's what we need, indeed!!

YAY!!  We have now sold 38 t-shirts and raised $839 for Felix's adoption!!!  We are beyond ecstatic!!!  We are slowly, but surely, reaching the required sale of at least 50 t-shirts through Bonfire Funds in order to receive the total amount raised.  We have exactly 7 days left to sell the remaining 16 shirts needed to reach the 50 shirt minimum and we are relying on faith that we will make it.  However, we are hoping and praying that A LOT MORE will be sold.  (If we do not sell the 50 t-shirt minimum by 2/27, Bonfire Funds will close out the fundraiser, refund all moneys to our supporters, & the t-shirts will not be printed.)  The amount raised from this fundraiser will be used toward Felix's US Homeland Security (USCIS) adoption fees.

We would greatly appreciate it if you would help make Felix AN ORPHAN NO MORE by purchasing a t-shirt and/or hoodie.  If you feel so moved, please click on this link here {} and then click on the GREEN "Buy a Shirt" tab.  From there, just follow the steps.  Please note that your purchase(s) will be shipped directly to you about 14 business days after 2/27 if the 50 shirt minimum is sold.   

If you aren't able to purchase a shirt, no worries at all!  But, would you please consider telling others about our t-shirt fundraiser??  Would you share our story & let others know how they could purchase a t-shirt??  We would greatly appreciate it if the word gets out there so that we can get these t-shirts sold!  Thank you!!

A lot of thought, reflection, and care went into the t-shirt/hoodie design.  For several days, I thought about what I wanted the t-shirts to say & I played around with several ideas and designs.  It was important to me that the shirts had these 4 things: 

1.  Info about Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation
2.  A Bible verse reflecting the heart of being An Orphan No More
3.  Felix's birth country (which is also Maclayne's, Teague's & Trenton's)
4.  My blog address because I try to dedicate a large portion of the posts to Down syndrome & orphan/adoption awareness

Most importantly, I wanted to glorify God in this design and I sincerely pray that He will be.  The first submission I made that included the Reece's Rainbow banner was rejected by Bonfire Funds because there were too many colors & graphics. I was pretty disappointed because the design was absolutely beautiful and captured RR perfectly. So, I did the next best thing and removed the banner and used one of the RR campaign quotes in its place. In the end, this is what I designed/created to be printed on blue t-shirts/hoodies:

It is also important to note that the t-shirt purchases must be made through Bonfire Funds from now until 2/27.  We ARE NOT selling them personally ~ our fundraiser is being handled by & is strictly through Bonfire Funds.  If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, but are not able to do so before 2/27, please leave a comment below with a way to get in touch with you personally.  We will try to work something out, but I cannot guarantee anything at this point (sorry!).    

Once again, thank you for supporting us as we answer our call from God to make Felix An Orphan No More by becoming his forever family!!  We are both humbled and blessed that you would choose to join us on our family's journey.  Words cannot adequately express how grateful we are.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  Thank you for loving our son & seeing the true potential that God has blessed him with ~ the potential that can be reached through amazing love.

For more information about our adoption of Felix through Reece's Rainbow, please click this link to our RR Family Sponsorship Page. 

Now I leave you with these beautiful words of love written by the Apostle Paul ~ The Love Chapter ~ found in the New Testament.  I hope you see the truth and beauty in them.  May God bless you as you allow love to reign supreme in your life.

1 Corinthians 13

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Excellence of Love

13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014




“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” ~ John 14:18

We are adopting again!  Felix, our beautiful son, is  a 10 year old orphan living in Eastern Europe.  He was abandoned at birth because he has Down syndrome.  For the first few years of his life, he was living in a decent babyhouse & being raised around typical peers as the only special needs orphan.  However, he aged out of his babyhouse and was  transferred to an adult mental institution.  Our facilitators have reported that Felix has taken the transfer extremely hard and is losing some of his inner-glow.  This absolutely breaks our hearts because our son DOES NOT deserve to loose anything!  He is worthy and capable of so much more!!  Please join us on our journey as we step out in faith and answer our call by God to BRING FELIX HOME!!

1.  Pray Pray Pray!  Pray that God will protect Felix and keep him safe until we are able to bring him home.  Pray that our adoption process will go as smoothly as possible.  Pray that all funds needed for our adoption will be provided.  Pray that the Courts in Felix’s country will approve us & grant his adoption.
2.  Make a tax deductible donation to our Reece’s Rainbow Adoption Grant Fund:
3.  Purchase a t-shirt or hoodie ~ or both! ~ during our T-shirt fundraising drive from 2/7 thru 2/27:
4.  Like our Facebook page:
5.  Continue to follow our journey here on our blog. 
6.  SHARE our story and SPREAD the word to any and everyone who will listen!! 

Our precious Felix
Can you believe that he is 10 years old?!?

We are humbled & blessed by your support and extremely grateful!   
With love, The Barnett Family ~ David, Stephanie, Silas, Teague, Trenton, & Maclayne 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blog Under Construction & Posts Being Edited

Please bare with me as I am re-designing my blog to make it more user friendly and just plain "cleaner-looking."  There will be easier access to the information pertaining to our adoption of Felix (timelines, important dates, breakthroughs, news from Eastern Europe, etc).  I'm having fun playing around with different design ideas, but so far, none of them have popped ~ at least in my opinion.  I just cannot help it!  I'm a perfectionist to a huge default & very picky!

And, because of this fault, I am editing all of my older blog posts.  Eeek!  When I was rereading them, I found A TON of grammar mistakes and just plain bad writing!  I usually write so much better and take great pride in perfecting the words that travel from my brain to my fingertips, so I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED!!!  Oh wait ~ I guess it was the emotional roller coaster of adopting Teague, Trenton, & Maclayne from Ukraine over two years ago when I started my blog.  I was nowhere near being in absolute control of our adoption and it KILLED ME and it showed in my blog postings!!  I was constantly & consistently at the mercy of all who were involved in our adoption process.  From the US side (Homeland Security, US Citizenship & Immigration Services ~ the two big ones) to the Ukrainian side (the Ukrainian State Department on Adoption, the orphanage, the Court process, the judge presiding over our case ~ the four big ones).  Yeah, I'm going with that excuse!

Anyway, if nothing major comes up over this weekend (ha, I live in the Barnett household ~ something always comes up...), I hope to have my new & improved blog up & running by Monday.  Oh what a happy day that will beeeeeeeeee!!  Yipeeeeeee!!

AND, with a better looking blog, it will constantly be calling my name to WRITE WRITE WRITE!  That, my friends, will keep me happy happy happy and help relieve some of my stress.  I know David will be happy about that!  Hey, if I get into a great writing trend, maybe, just maybe, I'll start working on the book about our family & adoption experiences and the fictional novel series I have started.  THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE!!  At least I hope this small flame is erupting into a full-blown fire...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Precious Greta - The Orphan Who Has Stolen My Heart

Sweet Greta is still yearning for her forever family.  She will soon age out of the system in her country and will be forced to die alone, with no love, in the cold dark mental institute where she has been transferred to.  She is almost FULLY FUNDED - meaning there will be little fundraising to do!!  Other RR families & advocates have also committed to donating $$ to the family who will commit to bring her home.


Let me repeat that:  ARE YOU HER MAMA??  ARE YOU HER DADDY??

Please make her "An Orphan No More!!"  She is worthy of that and deserves a FOREVER FAMILY!!!  My heart aches for this precious little girl.  She has captured my heart 100% and then some.

Please click on her link here:  Greta's Reece's Rainbow grant page

I first saw Greta's picture on Reece's Rainbow when David and I got confirmation that God was calling us to adopt again several months ago ~ this time an older child.  When I first came across her picture and information, my heart melted and this familiar emotional rush from December 2010 came over me.

She is full of SO MUCH potential!!
Her finger placement reminds me so much of my Silas!!

{You see, that initial rush came over me when I first found my precious daughter "Leeza" on the RR website right after we started inquiring about "Igor" and "Tihon."  For two weeks, I sobbed, on my knees, and begged God to bring Leeza a mama to love her.  And He answered!!  Through God's grace and after several prayers, we committed to her, along with our two boys - all three of our children.  "Leeza" officially became Maclayne Faith Barnett (or Mackie for short), "Igor" officially became Teague Josiah Barnett, and "Tihon" officially became Trenton James Barnett in October 2011.}

David and I spent almost two months praying and talking about bringing Greta home, but, in the end, we knew that Felix was the one who we needed to bring home.  Felix (click here for our RR FSP page) is tailor-made for our family - in fact, God created him just for us and He has made that abundantly clear over the past several weeks.  However, we made a promise to commit to praying for Greta and advocating for her.  We are fully committed to making her An Orphan No More by sharing her story in hopes that a mama will find it in her heart to take a chance on Greta and bring her home.  We are also committed to praying for this precious little girl on a daily basis ~ actually, every time her name crosses our hearts and minds.

From what we have learned from other families who have met Greta, it seems that Greta will need to be placed with a family who has well adjusted children, whether special needs or not.  This family will need to surround this precious girl with an insurmountable amount of love ~ more love than usual.  It would be neat to see a family who has multiple children able to give Miss Greta this love and attention because she LOVES to be around children and was seen comforting them when they got upset and/or were crying.  It would be awesome if this family had an older sibling(s) who could step up and cherish a new sister.  She needs to be in a family that will give her a lot of one-on-one attention when she is first brought home and until she is secure and adjusted enough to thrive in her new environment.  Currently, poor Greta is desperate for love and attention and will literally use all of her strength to cling to (without letting go) anyone who will show her affection.  And, believe me, children with Down syndrome are extremely strong!  But, how can you fault this precious child?  She has spent 15 YEARS without love, affection, and attention - she has 15 years to make up for!!

This pic captures just how starved she is for love & attention - heartbreaking!!

To say the least, it has been a gut-wrenching decision to only bring Felix home, but we are thankful that God gave us the wisdom to discern that.  At the same time, we are at peace because we know in our heart of hearts that sweet Greta's family is still out there and they will step up for her soon, making her An Orphan No More.

This precious angel DOES NOT deserve to die in a mental institution!!!  So, I implore - no, I BEG - anyone who is interested in adopting to consider this precious child!  If you aren't able to adopt at this time or if she is not right for your family, please advocate for her!!  Pray for her!!  Love her!!  Post her picture and information!!  Share her story with whomever will listen!!  You will be forever changed, I promise!!

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it
- Proverbs 3:27