20 June 2014

Real gratitude

As I sit here on our porch, waiting for my husband and oldest son to come home from an overnight trip to NYC, (for musical enrichment, a la Daddy) I am full of gratitude.  This is real gratitude, the kind that comes on the heels of worry, when I accept that what I am worrying about cannot be changed and know that God will guide us as He has since the beginning of this journey 20 months ago.  It’s that guidance that can’t be seen, it is not tangible, but it is the most real thing I have ever felt in my 33 years.  It’s for that, that I feel grateful.  At a time like this it brings such peace to my weary heart.
We had some idea of what we were getting in to. We knew it would be mostly challenging with a few glorious moments of wonderful!  We thought about this for over a year and still knew it was right. We are so proud of our son and all of his growth in the past three months since he has been home.  We have had some really hard times, but some of the most beautiful moments as a family of six ever!
Raising a teenager is not easy; this is something everyone should know and believe me we knew. However the parts about being this boy’s mamma that are so exceptionally hard are the parts that are NOT “normal teen” stuff, and they are being mixed right in with some of the hardest “normal teen” stuff.  
With the children we have raised since birth there was trust almost immediately.  They grew inside the body of a mamma that loved them immediately and was proud to nourish them and provide a safe place for them to develop and grow.  They were born into wanting, loving and safe arms.  They have had basic needs met almost immediately as infants and have had boundaries and consistency in everything since they were born and perhaps, the most important, they have had Love from the first moment of their existence.  Fierce love.
With our son, trust has come, but it is shaky and love is there but he does not have any reason to know it is unconditional, he doesn’t even understand what that means.  So as these normal teenage “growing up and testing” issues come up, the normal parental response needs to be carefully considered and patiently pondered.  We need to come at this at a different angle.  When there has been deception and lies we must consider the effect of setting him up with success, with just one more opportunity to be open and honest, to watch him be brave and to trust that we love him enough for that.
Boundaries will tighten back up.  And with that we expect some pouting and anger, but we are confident that love and trust will grow again as it has in the recent past.
Parenting teenagers requires some serious creativity and patience.  But also, in a family where the concept of unconditional love is a work in progress, there are some really uncommon practices that come out.  This is the most amazing journey.
I am nervous about how this weekend will go.  How we will address these new issues just right, how he will respond to us.  In this gratitude though, I am reminded that we will grow, all of us, but especially our son.  He has such potential.  These opportunities are being guided by Him, I can feel His presence and for that I am most thankful.

06 May 2014

Shhh..It's a surprise!

This is R's first birthday with his family and in his new home! We want it to be unforgettable and feel so honored to celebrate this boy with all of you. 

When:  Sunday, June 1 at 4:00 PM  for more details please email or call, or just comment here and we'll get in touch with you.

His birthday is 5/22 but we are heading out of the country f
or our second of three trips to make this adoption official so please keep it on the DL!
We will provide drinks and meat, if everyone could bring a dish to pass that would be spectacular.Please RSVP by 5/20 by email or phone! Can't wait!!

13 April 2014

A warm evening of gratitude!

I can't help feeling the words flow tonight and feeling so grateful for it. I have been thinking about how to make this announcement since Friday night and have felt that anything will be lacking. This has been quite a week, to end quite a year!  We have our son here, sitting with us on our porch, spilling his feelings and history with a tender trusting nature.  It has not been a breeze this weekend, it has been challenging! In fact the most challenging yet, but we are growing, so much. We are experiencing progress every day together, trust is growing and truly Matt and I are having trouble remembering what life was like without R here.  He is sweet, he is strong, he is so smart.
Okay, so the announcement, WE ARE DONE FUNDRAISING!  I can't believe I am saying that.
We are still making pies this week, and if we have a surplus when all is said and done (there are always unexpected costs in this process) we will make a scholarship for a kid to be hosted.

Big day! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you. For praying, for loving and for donating so generously!  You are all why this has happened so smoothly, thank you thank you.

05 April 2014

Follow our Matching Challenge progress here!

Follow our progress here!

Gifts received:   $1000, $100, $700, $100, $100, $1000, $125, $150, $1000, $1000, $100, $100, $100, $100, $100

Potential match amount:  $1000, $25, $350, $25, $25, $1000, $31.25, $37.50, $1000, $1000, $25, $25, $25, $25, $25

Potential total raised :  $10, 293.75

Special thanks to: Don and Marie Henry, Deb Shaffer and 
Margie Lundy, The Worthington Family, The Berg Family, The Assimon Family, Anonymous, The Pavlov Family, Jason and Jeanette Tauvers, Anonymous,The Rossman Family, The Riedl Family, The Moynihan Family, The Jacobs Family, Deidre and Charlie Williams and Anonymous.

Our goal  is $41,759.  At this point we have raised $41,012.75, including potential match amounts for this Matching Challenge.  We will be fully funded for our adoption, including current and future attorney/adoption agency invoices and estimated travel expenses with approx. $746.25.

Thank you to each of you who have given so generously, every dollar has made a difference, we feel overwhelmed with gratitude.  So many of you are giving generously for the second, third or forth time, it's amazing! There is true potential to be fully funded and done worrying about fundraising at the end of this week. Remember to participate in this matching challenge you need to make your donation by this Saturday, April 12th.  

Big Day, Big Challenge, Big Love

We have really big news, our latest fundraiser could be the biggest and could be our last. How you ask? Well listen here.  Today we launched:


We have recently been offered a matching challenge from a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous. For every dollar we raise, from April 5th through April 12th, he will match it! This is a chance to double the impact of your donation!

For all donations received this week only:
From $100 to $499, he will match at 25% (making $100 = $125)
From $500 to $999, he will match at 50% (making $500 = $750)
From $1,000 on up, he will match IN FULL! (making $1,000 = $2,000!)

Our anonymous donor is someone that shares a lot in common with R. As a child he too spent years in foster homes,without parents, facing a life of hopelessness. However, at age 15, a loving couple took him into their family and changed the trajectory of his life forever. Our donor is really just an acquaintance, but has apparently kept a close eye on our progress through two hostings and our adoption, feeling a special connection to our journey. He is not a family member, or even someone we know well. However, his level of commitment to offer this matching challenge is astounding.

This morning, we sent out letters to those that have already been able to donate above a given threshold, asking them to consider donating more, before the matching challenge deadline of April 12th. We know those people believe in what we're doing and that it is the right thing for our family.

Since sending the letters out this morning, we have already seen some donations. So far, we've seen $1800, which means after the matching, we have raised $3175 total, from folks who have already given so much to us.

Asking for money is hard. If we were rich and famous, we'd just keep this to ourselves. But we aren't rich or famous. The only way we can do this is to put our egos aside and keep asking for help. We thank all of you who have donated, who are donating, and those who are following along with us, wishing us good progress towards the final goal of making him a real, official, bonafide Synborski.
We'll post progress throughout what I hope will be an awesome week.

Thank you for reading, praying for our family and sharing our story.

Lots of Love.

26 March 2014

As my sweet husband said a few posts back, I like to put it all out there....

Here it is, out in the open, what we have spent all of YOUR money on and why we still need more....

There still is no amount too small to move my heart, every single donation makes me stop for a moment. Every.single.one. Thank you.  And truly, since our boy is home (can't wait to call him our son publicly) it is even more moving.  We know how confusing it must be to know we have him here, under our roof, in our care but it is quite complicated still and quite unfinished as far as adoption legality goes.  So, friends, we continue to fund-raise!

As you can see to the right, we have raised about $27,500 but our estimate of need is accurate at $41,759 now.  We had not considered the true cost of travel before and our estimate includes the expense of all three trips now.  Crazy huh?!

We still have to raise $14,250 for two more trips (airfare, food, lodging) and the rest of our attorney's fees (~$8K)  and after so much waiting we are now moving so fast it makes us a bit nervous.  We have seen God move mountain after mountain.  We have seen the most mind-blowing generosity and love from far and wide. We know that this is nothing to Him but to us, right this moment, it seems nearly impossible.  That's because it is humanly impossible. It will continue to "take a village" and Gods amazing power and grace.

What did all that money go to before? Caseworker fee, agency application, Hague adoption management, Hague home-study, post adoption reports, apostilles, translations, USCIS fees, visa fees, DHL/FedEx, airfare/lodging/food for trip 1 and summer ‘13 re-hosting.

Please continue to pray for us, but also please continue to share our story, it's gotten really good in the past few weeks.  I mean come on, the impossible has happened, this boy is living with his family, learning what it is like to be a part of a loud, smelly family that will love him forever!

You may have seen this on our Facebook page this week, I had to share it again here.  This is what it is all about. Totally. 

and please, if you have made a donation and do not see your name to the left and wish to, please email or message us on our Synborski Family Adoption Facebook page.  It's been a little harder to keep track lately and we haven't appreciated any of you less.

Thank you! XO

24 March 2014

What's next?

In case ya'll are wondering, we are home and doing very well.  It's hard to remember life without all four kids in our home.
I remember the first night home, I woke up the next morning for the first time in almost a year and a half and realized my heart was at total peace.  I had woke up every morning prior to it thinking, what do we need to do today to get him home? What did he do today? What did his director do today? Is he safe? Is he healthy? Will we ever get him home?
We have started homeschooling, in small doses and we are ironing out kinks in it each day.  We've never been teachers and he's never been taught by two teachers who love him so much so it hasn't been easy but we are getting through it just fine.

Many of you know that this process includes three trips, one is done but we have two more trips to his home country this year! We need to continue asking for your help, fundraising and this is hard to do with him home.  It may appear confusing to many because it looks all done, he's home, right?  He is here on a visitors visa, for a fostering period.  It is no where near finished and two more trips can be an overwhelming expense to think about.  We have seen so much generosity and faithful support of so many all across the country and we thank you! Words will NEVER be enough! Please know how much we appreciate each of you.

For our next trip we are starting the fundraising with Easter Pies!  Key Lime, Sweet Easter, Apple and Pecan.  All can be made gluten free.  $30 each or 2 for $50.

Place you orders soon and please share this with your local friends and family.  We appreciate it!

21 March 2014


Hello everyone!  We're putting on another delicious pie fundraiser for Easter (April 20).
Orders in by April 15th, please.

Thanks for your support!
-Matt and Danielle

17 March 2014

Good job, mommy

I don't take enough time to fill your bucket.  Life is very busy and occupies us both so much.  This isn't a good enough excuse to miss saying that you are an incredible woman, and you are a star of a mom to our now 4 kids.

Out in the open, for everyone to read.  Just how you like it:


27 February 2014

What a beautiful experience

I wish we could share more details, this is such a beautiful country, some day when it is all finalized.
Please remember when you are posting about our family not to include the country we are in (even though many of you know) or his name.  We have to protect his privacy and sharing anything identifying could ruin this whole thing!

We had a very smooth, long day of travel.  Slept a lot on all three flights and ate surprisingly well.  We arrived in the afternoon on Tuesday and took a cab from the airport after we grabbed our luggage.  (Feels like we have too much stuff but our attorney said no way, many families have traveled with way more.  Hard to pack for international travel for three people for three weeks)  The Old Town of the capital city is just so beautiful.  Cobblestone streets, cozy architecture and the people are really very kind.  We have found that almost everyone speaks more english than we speak of their language.  We checked in to our hotel and head out to get a sim card for Matt's phone before anything else.  Once we had that we could contact the owner of the last apartment we are staying in to meet him and get our keys.  We got a quick tour by his property manager and visited with both of them for a little bit.
We headed back, washed up and had dinner in our hotel.  Really spectacular seafood, salads, bread (they know how to do baked goods here) and a little wine and went to bed.  We were in bed around 7:30! Slept until 9:00! Wow!  I didn't think I would be able to with all the anxiety I was feeling, but thank goodness.  Matt didn't sleep as well, but pretty good.

We ate our hotels complimentary breakfast, again amazing! Baked goods, a little meat, beans and eggs, yogurt and fruit and some juice and coffee. Any of you who know Matt and I well, know we always come for the food and the food is so good here!

We were both nervous! So nervous! preparing for the worst in all ways.  We tried to square away a car rental, but no luck finding a rental place and wifi wasn't working so that made us even more nervous.  Right on time our attorney arrived at our hotel lobby.  So many had told me she was amazing and gosh were they all right! She greeted us with a warm hug and the first thing she said was "are you nervous?"  which we admitted we were and she said well he was told last night that you are here and he was so very happy. Those words brought tears to my eyes and the nerves melted away.  Can't understand why, but for days I was so unsure. Probably because we haven't had any contact with him in so long.  We grabbed our luggage and she threw her arm around my waist and said "come on, let my son help Matt, we are ladies"  made me smile. She was just so wonderful!

We had a few hour ride and talked much of it, about what she knew of R, of some of the things we had been wondering about his past year that she validated and about what to expect in court.  Again, nerves were melting away.

Court was in a cozy, sweet building, I think we have a picture of r as a little boy against a window in the room we were in.  It felt very warm.  His orphan court director was a really wonderful lady who has known him most of his life and really loves him.  These are just really good women!  Our attorney translated and we chatted a while, R was coming, but was late and we had arrived early.  A few other members of the court came in and sat around the table.  After a little while a very hospitable spread was laid down, three plates of the most beautiful and delicious pastries. (Yes, the food again, it's the way to my heart) Nerves were gone after this.  They offered coffee and juice and lit a candle.  One of the members turned the candle so carefully and we noticed there were two angels printed on it that she was facing them toward us.  We were feeling so loved.  We started the hearing, they asked a couple questions, Matt asked a couple and R arrived! We all hugged and kissed and cried.  There are no words.  Just perfect.  God was there.  We sat back down and they said, we are ready to make our decision! :) Guess we were pretty convincing.  This hearing was to approve us to have a fostering period here in country until March 11.  At that time we will go back to the capital and get his visa to come home.  Of these ladies a couple will visit us several times to evaluate how we are doing as a family.

He is trusting and open and our son in every way.  Like no time has passed. He seems a little thin and pale but nothing a few hippy vitamins and good food won't fix.(we hope)  He's already eating non-stop! Gosh that makes my mamma heart happy to watch.  We played dutch blitz (he's better than I remember), watched a zombie movie and went to bed.

Really this has gone more than well, better than we dreamed and way better than we prepared for.  Thank you for all the support and prayers.  Love to you all!