Monday, June 25, 2007

Searching for Jessie

It looks like no matter where in the country you live you have heard the recent story of missing pregnant woman Jessie Davis. Jessie lives about a mile from our new home here in Lake Township. For the past week our little town has been consumed by this story. From what I understand, by Friday it was the nations largest volunteer search & rescue effort ever.

On Saturday, I got to witness our towns incredible compassion first hand as part of the American Red Cross Disaster Services Team. When searchers reached into the thousands the sheriff's department called us in to handle mass feeding and first aid. I arrived at the Greentown Fire Department at 7:00 AM and the line was already forming. The entire operation was amazingly organized. Searchers lined up wrapping around the exterior of the firehouse and entered into a rear bay doors. First stop was registration, each searcher presented their drivers license, and filled out all the necessary forms. Next stop was us, the American Red Cross Chow Line. We had just about every quick breakfast food under the sun. My mom & I worked the line handing out fruit and granola bars. After us they head down the 5 foot tall tunnel of bottled water, donated by Walmart & the Cleveland Indians. Once they were all loaded up they were assigned to teams and packed onto city buses. The most touching part of my experience happened when I watched Jessie's Dad brief the groups. I wasn't close enough to catch everything said but found it incredible that he could compose himself enough to express his gratitude to each volunteer. What motivation that must have given them as they headed off to their assigned section of the search grid.

Once the morning teams had all been dispersed and the fire station fell quiet again the Red Cross switched into lunch mode. There were ladies busy assembling hundreds of lunch meat sandwiches but most would not be needed as delivery after delivery arrived at the fire station door. TGI Fridays, Ponderosa, Bob Evans, and every pizza parlor in the county delivered their donations. Dillard's even donated boxes of Godiva Chocolate Bars. Wow! If the TV stations even hinted at a needed item within the hour we had a hundred of them. The outpouring of support was unreal.

I left around 2:00 PM just shy of the sad announcement that Jessie had been found. I wish it could have been a joyful announcement but I think all of us knew from the beginning that we were working to bring closure for this family.

Please keep Jessie & Chloe's family in your thoughts & prayers.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ballet Recital

Our little ballerina took the stage today. She was all decked out in her gold tutu and heavy stage makeup. I not sure which she loved more. From the moment she woke up this morning she was asking when she could put her costume on. I held her off until noon then we started working the hair. The studio provided written instructions on how to make a proper ballet bun. Amazingly Sydney sat there for 20 minutes while I pulled, twisted and greased her hair. Most days she screams before I even touch her with a brush. Grandma Fran arrived with flowers, she was out of town for the last recital and teared up at the sight of her little ballerina. After a few pictures we were off to the Palace Theater.

The remixed version of "If That Mockingbird Don't Sing" began to play and out came the six smallest ballerinas in the show. The crowd ahhhhed and giggled at their awkwardly adorable moves. They were all smiling even though they had their faces turned towards off stage where their teachers were coaching them along.

Madalynn, Hannah, Kristi, GiGi, Sydney, Anna

Saturday, June 09, 2007

FAC Picnic

Our morning started with a mini rescue mission. My dad was outside last night when he smelled smoke and then noticed his neighbors house was on fire. Apparently it was struck by lightning in the storm. They are out of town so he ran in to see what he could do but it was too involved so he called for my mom to dial 911. Soon the Jackson Fire Dept was busting out windows and tearing down walls. Poor Alexandra lost her bed & bathroom all its contents. My dad called their cell and delivered the bad news. With all the fire, water & smoke damage they will be out for several weeks. This morning all of us went over to rescue what we could from their refrigerators since they will not have power for at least three days.

Now smelling of smoke we headed off to the Family Adoption Consultants annual international picnic. Its a chance for all of the families who have used their services to bring children home from Korea, China, Guatemala & Philippines to get together. Andrew met up with his foster sister Rachel while Sydney enjoyed the Chinese Ribbon Dance demonstration.

I had the opportunity to see Kate & Aaron which are two of the four babies we brought home in April. They are both adjusting nicely to their new families. It is amazing how resilient children are. You would never know they had been through so much only a month earlier.

After our full day we headed home and enjoyed a bonfire smores roast at our new neighbors house. Everyone has been so friendly and the kids are having a great time with all their new friends.

Friday, June 08, 2007


The boys worked hard this week putting on a new deck. The existing stairs to the patio were steep and appeared to be only temporary. So, my dad drew up plans for a platform step down deck. Matt & Dad along with help from the kids made the drawing a reality this week. THANKS AGAIN DAD!!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Happy Graduation

After two years at Rivertree Sydney earned her preschool diploma. Her teachers Ms. Jodi & Ms. Marsha invited all the families to an ice cream social & graduation ceremony.
Mom, Andrew & I watched as the names were read and they marched up to the front of the class with the traditional Pop & Circumstance playing in the background. Each received their diploma & told what they wanted to be when they grew up. Most girls said a princess, and I was quite surprised Sydney didn't follow suit, instead she whispered in the teachers ear, veterinarian. I guess she has mommy's love for animals. :)