Monday, May 30, 2011

Deja vu all over again

 We had a cook-out at Uncle Dave and Auntie Meg's house for Memorial Day. Matt is at the beach for the week so he missed out, but there was LOTS of great food and even a little football for those who could still move after eating.

Nathan is working on his football skills but he had the pre-fight stretch thing down. Both arms out in front, head to the left, head to the right....okay, he's ready. Don't know where he learned that but it was pretty funny.


The last time we had a summer-time cook out at Dave's house was when Matt was the size Nate is now. He was about five at the time, and the sport was soccer, but other than that it was a real deja vu moment. Can't believe that was nine years ago. He was so cute!

Back to the present...Nathan loved, loved, loved all of the fruit that Booch brought. 

The root beer float...not so much.

Once we took out the nasty liquid he was quite happy. 

The fruit was even a big hit today too. I love that he requested cantaloupe for breakfast.

And just because we miss him, here's a picture that is all Matt...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Pledge Allegiance

Nathan's first school work. Do you see the irony? :)

He even managed to color Virginia. Not sure why Florida was shaded too...but I guess it's close to Georgia!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Did you know...

There is a group of kids that have been on my heart for a few weeks now. I'm not sure what God is leading me to do yet, but I know that I have been very ignorant.

Did you know that there has NEVER been a case where HIV was transmitted through regular family contact?

Did you know that you do NOT have to fear contracting HIV through casual contact...including sharing food and drinks, helping kids with bloody noses or giving kisses to your little ones?

Did you know that the HIV virus is actually very fragile and dies immediately upon contact with air?

Did you know that with treatment, children with HIV are expected to live a normal lifespan?

I didn't.

And there are millions of orphans around the world who are not being adopted only because they have a scary-sounding virus.

Check out this video from the Truth Pandemic...

As they say, The truth is contagious. Spread it!

Also check out Project HOPEFUL...a great group whose mission is to Educate, Encourage, and Enable families and individuals to advocate for and adopt children with HIV/AIDS.

It is time we put an end to the misinformation of the 80's. Share this with everyone you know and we can save so many.

Boston's got nothin on DC

Almost every day on the way to take Matt to school we see one particular goose family. Today we rounded a corner and had to slam on the brakes because these little guys jumped out in front of us to head over to their pond. (I love camera phones!)

They were the geese equivalents of Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and a few extras. (11 goslings in all)

And if you haven't read Make Way For Ducklings, the classic story of the little ducklings who lived in Boston, well... I would strongly encourage you to!

Monday, May 23, 2011

They don't speak English in Kazakhstan

It's finally here. That great day when your little tyke heads out the door for his first FULL day of school! Whohoo!! Okay, he's almost 7 but that makes the accomplishment that much more significant somehow.

He was so excited about his new Transformers backpack! Things he wanted to take to school: college-ruled notebook, large picture of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, and (of course) Richard Scarry's Best Word Book. Funny.

What with 5 whole minutes to explain to the teacher who Nathan is and what his background is like...well, we are praying for the best.

His new teacher asked where Nate was skill-wise since, as she pointed out, the other kids are reading and writing complex words and sentences. Uh...  I told her that he can say the alphabet (go Nathan!) but that he doesn't yet recognize the letters. We were looking at a large banner on the classroom wall that had lowercase letters on it, and she said "So, he knows uppercase letters but not the lowercase ones?"...uh, no.  Did I forget to mention that they don't speak English in Kazakhstan?

Can you read this??

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prayer for Kazakhstan

Kazakh Police Break Up Worship, Arrest Pastor and Family

Police arresting pastor and his family in Kazakhstan
AKTUBINSK, Kazakhstan (May 3, 2011) - Christian Aid Mission leaders in Charlottesville, Virginia have put out an emergency prayer alert for a congregation here which experienced police persecution over the weekend. The missionary pastor and his family were arrested, and are being secretly held in custody according to leaders associated with ministry to former USSR states.
Along with the pastor and his wife and children, the police also took away the church administrator and cut power to the church building during worship services. No word has been heard from those who were arrested - nor was any reason given to break up the legally registered church services. 
(read the rest of the article here)

I'm not sure what has happened since I received this message, nor even about the validity of this story, but I am feeling very burdened to pray for the pastor, his family and all of the other people in Kazakhstan. There are so many precious souls in this large, large country that is virtually unknown by most Americans....and they need our prayers!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Richard Scarry is ALWAYS right

Does anyone else have one of these?! An ultra-rigid thinker who can't operate without instructions or a picture to follow...EXACTLY. He's come a long way but still must have extensive guidance for every art project that he does. I'm not sure if it is his personality, genetics, or maybe an entire childhood spent at the baby house but it sure is an interesting something to ponder

Today we were doing some little bead designs...  please note the picture/instructions clutched tightly in his right hand.

We try to encourage some creative thinking but don't want to overwhelm him...he gets really upset when you ask him to do things "Nathan's way". Thankfully he has found a "guide to living in America".

When we first got home he was given the classic Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever (thanks Uncle Dave and Aunt Meaghan!). According to Nate this is "the best book ever" and it shows a bear getting ready in the morning....wake up, get dressed, brush teeth, then go eat breakfast. Well, he quickly insisted that we were doing it wrong at the Brogdon house by eating breakfast first, then brushing teeth, etc. He has just FINALLY become flexible enough to stray from the "instructions". Even a little.

So seriously, does anyone else have one like this? :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

help grow The Sparrow Fund nest

Try to imagine this scene…

You have been filling out papers until your wrists hurt, having fingerprints taken, reading books about adoption, about the country where you hope to be traveling soon…to bring your child home. Perhaps you have had to go through a list of diagnoses and check off “yes,” “no,” or “maybe.” You may have started 6 months ago or you may started 6 years ago. Either way, you are nervous, anxious, excited all at the same time. 

Late one night, you receive a call from your agency saying they have a child for you to consider. You rush to your computer to open the email with this child’s file. You can feel your heart beating in your chest. In the email, you see the child’s picture first—and you pause--and then you find a lot of information—some personal and some medical. What’s there is scant and you don’t know what it all means anyway.

And, there you sit…quiet…wondering if this is your child.

Perhaps you start searching online for information, looking for families who have parented children with the same type of story. You are seeking answers…an answer. Is this your child.

You know you need to have this file reviewed by someone who can make sense of it. Maybe you realize that your general practitioners can’t tell you too much given the information you have; they aren't experienced with looking at files like this. Maybe your physicians don’t recognize the time pressure involved and wouldn’t return your call anyway. Or, maybe you recognize that a 15-minute phone conversation with their opinion is just not enough support.

Someone online tells you about a program for adoptive families—a doctor specializing in adoptive medicine will review the child’s file, they will offer you pretravel support, in-country support (even through skype if needed), and postadoption support and advice. This is exactly what you need.

But this program is not cheap. And, you have spent so much already and are saving as much as you can just to pay the upcoming expenses once you accept a referral. You need these services; but, you any expense not required right now cannot be justified.


On January 18, 2010, we saw our daughter’s face for the first time. We had joined a program like this early on and were able to benefit from the full-range of their services. They helped us understand every detail of information we were given about the child who became our daughter. They helped prepare us for travel. They worked with us when we were in China and our daughter was sick. And, they have offered us ongoing support for the year since we’ve been home. 

And, that has been invaluable to us and played a major role in the founding of The Sparrow Fund as we sought to answer the call to actively support preadoptive and adoptive families. 

The Sparrow Fund, just launched in April, is committed to supporting adoptive families by providing grants for this purpose—grants to pay for preadoption counseling and support, medical reviews of the file of the child they are referred, and postadoption support as their child becomes part of their family. 

We want families to have the most support possible so that the adoption experience goes as smoothly as possible for the family and the child becoming part of their family. 

The Sparrow Fund needs your help – (1) Give families who may benefit from these program the information. Let them know we’re here and want to work with them. (2) Support The Sparrow Fund via a private donation on their site or through a unique opportunity this month.

In support of the work that The Sparrow Fund is doing and to help get that work rolling, the following retailers have very generously agreed to donate to The Sparrow Fund 10% of their total sales during the entire month of May! (They totally rock.) Please visit these retailers' sites, personally thank them for supporting adoption and the work of The Sparrow Fund, and start buying! And, feel free to come on by my personal blog to read about these businesses--I'm featuring at least one everyday, highlighting some of my faves from them.

Girly Girl BowtiqueWild Poppy
Two Broads design button
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A big Thank You to guest blogger Kelly Raudenbush for this post and the awesome work she (and her family) are doing for orphans and adoptive families! Check out how The Sparrow Fund "hatched", like her on FaceBook...and be sure to go buy something extra fabulous for your little chickadees.

Much love, L