Thursday, December 31, 2009

So thankful.  


As I lay in bed this morning (after being awakened by 2 little boys who were wide awake at 4:00 this morning because someone left a light on in the room, I was still in bed at 7:00), I heard Micah trotting down the hall to go downstairs to eat.  I heard him saying papa, papa and then he was at the door…knocking away.  So of course I said come in and he bounded onto the bed and just wanted to lay down beside me and get under the blanket.  Then he inched closer and closer and put his head on my chest and just laid there with me and he was so happy.  He had a big grin on his face and said papa, papa, papa…  I’m so thankful that he is so happy to have a papa and mama.

As he has done for several months now…we were at Target last night and Mary had the other kids and I had Micah with me and as we were headed to the side of the store where Mary was, everyone we passed, he waved and said “hi” and them that I was his papa.  Man, that makes me happy.  (He does the same with Mary).  He is genuinely proud to have a papa and mama.  He get’s it.  It makes me so happy.  So thankful.

Matthew took unaided steps last night (he’s done it a few times – but last night he did it with “purpose” and did it repeatedly.  When we got him, he wouldn’t/couldn’t do this at all.

Just a while ago, he was getting ready to take a nap and he started making this really loud grunt/growl noise.  Did I mention it was loud?  It was irritating the fire out of me and I told him to stop.  He looked at me and made the noise directed at me, and louder.  Okay…I thought it was funny and didn’t take it as rebellion or disobedience.  (He’s about 18 month in development and all of his “disobedience” isn’t really rebellion and disobedience.)  Yeah, I was kind of irritated because it was a grating loud noise, but in the same moment, I was thinking about how when he first came home he didn’t make a peep.  I mean NOT A SOUND.  He is finding his voice and he is using it to voice an opinion.  He’s realizing that he has likes and dislikes and he’s learning to express it.  He expresses it like an infant right now, but it’s progress.  It makes me happy that he is getting comfortable enough with us to be himself and discover who he is in the safety of our arms.  It makes me thankful.

Last night, at snack time before bed, I called Eli and told him it was time for a snack.  He got up off the floor and came to me in the kitchen to get into his high chair.  Yes, he’s five and you may think that’s not a big deal, but have I ever mentioned that before the boys came home he was so withdrawn that he would not respond to us, much less obey simple commands?  This is a BIG DEAL.  It makes me so happy to see him coming out of his shell and not only letting us into his world, but he’s coming into our’s more and more often.  It makes me thankful.

Our 4 older kids have opened their hearts to these little guys and have given up so much to make it possible for us to give these little treasures a home.  They make me proud and humble me at the same time.  They have already accepted Ruslana and she’s not even here yet.  They are not just okay with her adoption.  They are excited.  This makes me so happy.

A couple of weeks ago, Mary and Hannah were at the grocery store and there was an older woman with her older son with Down syndrome trailing along behind her.  She mentioned that that was going to be Mary in 20 years.  Then she said, maybe it will be me (Hannah) because she wanted at least one of them to live with her family.  Then she said or at least I want to live really close so I can see them every day if they live with Mary and me.  THAT makes me happy.  She gets it and has already decided to make the sacrifice of her life for them.  The thing is (and most people just don’t get it) it is NOT a sacrifice for us.  It’s our life.  And we love it.  It brings us true joy.

I love you, Malone children.  You bring joy to my heart and give me purpose for waking up each morning (even when it’s at 4:00).

I am so thankful.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year  

The Malone's wish you a very happy New Year.  May 2010 find you growing in your relationship with God and may you focus your eyes on Him alone.

We will celebrate in a low key way.  In fact, we don't usually make it to midnight.  The little kids certainly don't stay up and they still get up the next morning at normal time.  :-)

Mary, Micah and I will leave at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning to make the trip to Kansas City, MO for the memorial service for Derek Loux.  What a very sad occasion, but so glad that he is in the arms of his Savior.  There's no doubt.  Very thankful to the Done's for staying with the other kids.  We won't get home til around midnight Saturday night.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

PS>>The post from "A friends blog" was written by Meredith Cornish...not a Malone.  :-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From a friends blog...  

This post was originally published on our friend, Meredith Cornish's blog. View the original here...

Once we know the plight of orphans...
once we know the treatment they receive...
once we know how many are waiting...
once we know the lack of medical care...
--- the lack of love...
--- the lack of therapies...
--- the lack of attention...
Once we know their life span...
once we know their destiny...
once we know that there's a way to help...
once we know that God can even use me...

What choice do we have but to act on it?

Or turn away.

Unfortunately, turn away is what many choose to do.

I consider it a huge blessing to help be a voice for these sweet children. To advocate for them both in this online environment of 'virtual life' and in my day to day life as we meet people along the street... in the mall... at the doctor's office... at the school... and we share our story. Our story. The story God wrote for us. The one He's allowed us to be a part of.

But more than just being a voice, more than living it out with our two adopted kids, I am touched more by the adoptive families that I work with and the children they are bringing home than I could ever return to any of them. It's an honor to be a part of God's plan for these kids to come into their forever families!

Now that we know, though, what do we do?

One of the parents I'm helping adopt right now posted a blog post about the orphan. About how adoption is often looked at as an 'ok' thing for people who can no longer have their own children. It's a great second try at parenting. It's a way for parents to have the baby they long for if they cannot birth their own.

Or maybe...

It's ok for a family that has decided not to have more biological kids. One that has that drive for a larger family but will not be giving birth again. Then the orphan is there to fill that void.

But the point she made is that the orphan isn't even a part of the story until there's a mother longing to hold one. Until then, it's about the parents.

There are 147 million orphans!! Seriously, One hundred forty seven MILLION.

And whether or not you're looking to hug one or hold one or send one a $1/month meal, they're still there. Still living out their reality and not knowing what life is like in a family or with people that really care about them.

Especially orphans with special needs that lay in their beds day in and day out with little or no interaction and often minimal nourishment.

So what will you do? How will you choose to act on the knowledge of these people suffering? How has your life changed knowing about the orphans? How might theirs be? What will you do with this knowledge?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our little darlins…  

Can you believe how much our Hannah… (many years ago of course)


looks like our new daughter Ruslana?

[ruslana - 1[2].jpg]

Hee hee hee…


Blessed be the Name of the Lord

Friday, December 18, 2009

Great time with friends…  

We had a great time with great friends tonight.  We had pizza (the kids), turkey chili (YUM), all kinds of side things and a VERY TASTY berry dessert.  I think it was called “Berries in the Snow.”  So good!

The kids had a wonderful time…because our friends planned it with them in mind so they felt very special…which made us feel very special.  Our kids are our life.  Literally…our lives totally revolve around our kids (and each other of course).  If we could be all by ourselves in a mountain retreat, just us, we’d be happy.  So when others think about our kids and make them feel special, it is such a ministry to our hearts.

Our friends also blessed our family with a financial gift that we couldn’t have imagined.  They gave our kids some money so they could have an opportunity to just buy something they wanted and they blessed Mary and me.  They said that several months ago, God laid it on their hearts to give us a monetary gift for Christmas and they prayed separately to hear from the Lord how much.  They came together and He had told them the same amount.  I don’t know how they were able to do it, but wow.  It blessed our socks off.  This has been the HARDEST WEEK OF OUR LIVES, really.  Today, we were really questioning whether we could take one more thing and were so weary from attacks from right and left.  I was really questioning even whether I had what it took to follow God.

I felt God impressing me to listen to the Michael W Smith song, “Help is on the Way.”  I listened to it and reached out to God once again.  Tonight, when our friends gave us the gift, it was like God wrapped a warm blanket around us and drew us into His lap.  I was speechless and just really wanted to weep.  God is good.

TO OUR SPECIAL FRIENDS>>>  Thank you for tonight.  It was a wonderful evening and your love for us an AMAZING BLESSING to us.  There are not words to express our gratitude to you.  Love you.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

PS>>>we hope to send our i600a on January 5.  Hopefully we’ll have our homestudy back by then.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


YA_DateNight_WebGRAPHIC.jpg Date Night image by BethanyEnews

I get to spend the evening with the bride of my youth…the woman I love.

It’s been a while since we’ve been out (just the two of us) for various reasons. This time of year is my busiest time because of events at church, but this week (following the events) is pretty much the LEAST busy week of my life so we have the opportunity to step out and be alone. <happy sigh>

Still working on adoption documents. Thank you for PRAYING for a miracle!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home Study Under Way...  

Our home study is officially under way.  Our social worker came last night and spent about 2 hours looking over the house, talking to the kids and the parents.  She's a Christian and she "gets" what we're doing but it is hard to put that in words sometimes that immigration will understand and accept.  She did tell us that if we had a social worker who wasn't a Christian and understood what was going on, we'd be hard-pressed to be approved.  I can understand that.  We had a good discussion and she is behind us, thankfully.

Today, our documents go out for background checks and child abuse checks.  We are hoping to get them back quickly.  Thankfully, our fingerprints are still good at USCIS so we won't have to wait on that.  We are really racing the clock to get everything in by February 1.  God is in control though.

We have a friend who's son is an architect school graduate and is an apprentice (or whatever that would be called) and he's coming after New Year's to help us draw up some plans.  We'll go from there.  We are reconsidering re-financing and financing in an addition.  (Where we will put Ruslana is one of the things we discussed at length with the LSW last night).

But again...GOD KNOW'S!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Praying about something…  

We talked with a good friend of ours tonight about his suggestions for more living space at our home. We have discussed converting our garage and changing the office/computer room/piano room/practice room into a bedroom for a short term solution. Our friend is in commercial building and has a lot of knowledge.

His assessment was that we needed to add-on. That’s something we have thought about, but quite frankly we are unsure of whether we want to borrow money in order to do it. We are praying and asking YOU to pray too. God knows' what we need to do…we just need Him to show US…even if it’s only one step at a time. We just need to know what the next step is for us right now.

Tomorrow night, we have our homestudy appointment. We then need to get our USCIS (immigration) paperwork in and get our background checks done.

Lots' to do and not much time to do it in! Please keep praying. Ruslana is waiting. She has no idea what all we are doing to bring her home. We love her already and can’t wait to hold her in our arms.

Micah’s surgery went well. It took about an hour and twenty minutes. He has a red cast from thumb up to his arm pit (so he can’t get his hand to his mouth and chew on it). He’s on tylenol with codeine so he’s groggy and sleeping well! He’ll have the cast for at least two weeks. I hope it doesn’t cross his mind to use it as a weapon or a baseball bat. You have to watch out. He has trouble controlling that arm because it’s so heavy! Since it doesn’t bend, it swings wide! Ouch…that would hurt.

When we were waiting on them to take him back, he was asking for food (of course he hadn’t eaten since last night). I told him that after his thumb went bye-bye, he could have a cracker. He started waving goodbye to his thumb again, saying bye-bye, and kissing it…then he proceeded to try to pull it off. He pulled and twisted over and over. He REALLY wanted that cracker! As soon as I got to recovery, he was sitting up, very groggy and he asked for the cracker! He just held it for about an hour before he ate a bite, but he had his cracker. He’s smart and cute! Thanks for your prayers today.

Blessed be the Name of the LORD!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1 day closer to Ruslana  

We have one more performance of our Christmas program tonight at 6:30 and then it's time to tear it all down. So it'll be a long, late night!

Early tomorrow morning, we check in with Micah at Children's for his surgery to remove his extra thumb. There's a technical name for the procedure and the extra thumb, but I don't know what either of those are so suffice it to say they are cutting off his thumb! :-)

I was talking to him this afternoon and told him that tomorrow his extra thumb would go bye-bye (I showed him the thumb I meant). So of course, he started waving at it and saying "bye-bye" and kissing it. Too cute. I hope it's not too traumatic for him. You never know with that guy. He will be in a cast for a while (to keep him from messing with it or, if you can believe it, chewing on the stitches! That's just plain gross!). Thanks for your prayers. It should be pretty simple.

Boy...I could use a nap! Too bad for me.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We are VERY excited to bring our daughter home. It's like she's just away from home and we are waiting on her to come home. :-)

God is mighty and able to to this... please pray. We have so little time. We have our social worker coming on Tuesday night and I've explained to her the reason we are in a hurry and hopefully we will get it back sooner than normal. We've got to get our USCIS stuff in QUICK!

Gotta go to BED. It's been a LONG 3 weeks getting ready for the Christmas program. Last night was opening night. Tonight's performance went great. One more tomorrow night and then we have to TAKE IT ALL DOWN! <>

Jesus Reigns.

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Saving Ruslana  

We have had our boys (Matthew & Micah) home since March 2009. God has begun a new journey in our lives to bring home Ruslana.

Ruslana was due to be transferred from the orphan baby home to a mental institution (she has Down syndrome) several months ago, but another family had stepped forward to bring her home. For various reasons, they returned the United States without her in early December of this year. Because they had already held her in the baby home longer than they should have, they made plans to move her immediately. December 7, we answered God's call to go get her and bring her home.

If you have followed our family's journey this year, you know that Micah was adopted from a mental institution and the difficult process that was (since we were the first family to do that in the region he was in). You also know the terrible conditions he was living in. We are still reaping the emotional damage it caused him. We were preparing to do the same for Ruslana. We would have been the first to adopt from the institution she was going to be transferred to.

On Tuesday morning, December 8, we were sent word that the baby home had made a way for Ruslana to stay in the baby home IF we could get our paperwork submitted by February 1 (when the country's adoption office reopens). If not, she would be transferred.

We began praising God! He had answered our first prayer (in a matter of hours really). The enormity of this task has begun to sink in and we need help. First of all, we need your PRAYERS that our mighty God will direct us and help us get our paperwork completed and submitted on time. It's a matter of life and death for Ruslana. Secondly, we need you to PRAY for God to move financially. We thought He did miracles last time (and He did). But this time, we have SEVEN WEEKS to raise the funds ($25,000) to rescue this precious baby. God can do it. Please PRAY.

IF YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEBSITE OR FACEBOOK, please add this button and spread the word. We are planning on having our daughter home at the end of March or early April 2010. Simply COPY ALL OF THE CODE FROM THE BOX BELOW and insert it into your blog (as an HTML GADGET) or on your Website.

The code will produce this on your website:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A story to tell you…  

Once upon a time, there was a family who God called to serve Him.  The family thought about it and the dad and mom said, “Yes.”  When they said, “Yes,” they didn’t know what God wanted them to do, they just knew that they wanted to do it.

The family found that even though they had told God that they would lay down their lives to follow Him, there were times when it was unclear exactly what He wanted.  So a few years ago, they felt God calling again to surrender to Him at an even deeper level.  They had a child who had Down syndrome, they had visited Ukraine several times, they had seen the terrible plight of the orphan there (especially the special needs orphans and the older orphans – both completely unwanted by society).

They came home from a trip to Ukraine and thought they had figured God out.  They started getting their house ready to sell and were preparing to move their family to Ukraine to work with special needs orphans.  They imagined they would have a private home for orphans with Down syndrome – in Ukraine.

After several months of preparations, God said, “No.  That’s not what I’m asking you to do.  Just wait on me.”

A couple of years passed and even though the family had said, “God, anything You want, You can have,” it was becoming more and more difficult to wait on Him.  But finally, He called again and the family knew they were to adopt a child with Down syndrome from Ukraine.  So the family started the process and one child turned into two children.  The family saw God do AMAZING miracles to make the adoption possible.  They learned more about their Heavenly Father than they had ever known before.  They found out that God’s heart is bent toward the orphan.  They remembered that they, too, had once been orphans and that God had adopted them…saved them from certain death.

God had called them to do the same.  So they did.  During the entire journey toward adoption, a little girl had caught their eye, but God lead them definitely to two boys, hand-picked for them by God, Himself.  The little girl with pig-tails had been chosen by a couple of families but for reasons known only by the Father, those adoptions did not happen.  So once again, this precious cherub was on the at risk list because she was in danger of being sent to a mental institution to wait for certain early death.

Finally, another family stepped forward and started the process of getting the paperwork done and the orphanage made the decision to keep her in the baby home instead of moving her to the institution.  And everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

The Father had another plan.  The new family went to Ukraine to meet her and bring her home, but something happened that changed their plans and they were unable to complete the adoption.  She was to be transferred immediately to institution since she was not going to be adopted.

A few months ago, the family that had thought they would one day have a private home for orphans with Down syndrome in Ukraine realized that maybe God was building that home here in the United States.  God cultivated this in their hearts and when the girl became available again for adoption, they said, “she’s ours.” 

So…yes.  The Malone Nine is about to become the Malone Ten.

Our hearts ache for the family that was unable to adopt her, but we know that God’s plans are always much better than ours even when they are gut-wrenching.  We have NO DOUBT that God has always meant for little Ruslana to be part of the Malone clan and that He had planned everything so that at just the right moment, it would happen.  We don’t understand His hand sometimes, but we trust His heart.

We have SO much to tell, but for now, please meet our little girl, Ruslana (we have another name but we aren’t ready to share that yet).

ruslana - 4 ruslana - 1 ruslana - 2 ruslana - 3

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!  Check back soon for more exciting things God is doing.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Down Syndrome Christmas Party  

Today was the annual Down Syndrome Association Christmas Party.  It’s a chance for families in our metro area to come together and celebrate with each other the wonderful blessing of children with Down syndrome.  It’s an event provided by our association with a meal and gifts for all the kids.  In addition, there is a local photography studio that takes family portraits as well as photos with Santa.

Now we’re not big Santa people, but for some reason, Micah is taken with Santa Claus.  Who knows why.  Maybe it’s because of the red suit and the hat.  He loves red.  And he loves hats (on other people, not himself).  We had a great time with the couple of hundred families that got together this afternoon.


I didn’t really think that Micah would sit in Santa’s lap. He’s kind of skittish about certain things.  But when he saw him, he ran to him and said “hi” (his new word) and jumped up in his lap.  The smile on this santa is genuine.  The boys really made him smile.

DSCF7011 DSCF7012  DSCF7003


 DSCF7004 DSCF7005 DSCF7006 DSCF7010

For some reason, there is not a single picture of Bethany from the event.  Hmmmm…  she was hiding, I guess.  That could be one reason.  The other reason is…  I had purchased a package of duracell batteries for my camera and of course when I tried to find them to load it up before we left for the party, they were no where to be found.  Undoubtedly, the kids had taken them.  So I ended up with batteries from dollar tree.  These pictures are the ones I got to take before the batteries died.  Yes…they died after just these few pictures.  Hope the kids enjoy the duracells.  Argh!

It is an UNDERSTATEMENT for me to say that we were an oddity at the party.  Everyone thinks the boys are triplets and everyone asks…which we like, because it gives us a chance to tell them about our journey and it will only help to let more people know about Eli Project and others will surely decide they want to rescue a child, too.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

PS>>> If you’re in the area, come to Celebrate the Light 2009 at FBC Moore December 11, 12, or 13th at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, December 4, 2009


DSCF2055 DSCF2040

This was the day before we left to come back to America (after being in Ukraine for almost 6 weeks).  Matthew hasn’t really changed that much in appearance (surprisingly).  He’s grown taller and has a more healthy look about him, but his features haven’t changed at all.  Micah has changed a lot physically.  His undernourished distended belly is normal now.  The veins in his head are hardly noticeable and he has turned from a scared, skittish  boy into a happy and confident-in-our-love boy.  His deprived-skinniness has been replaced with normal body tone.  He’s grown in height too.  Both boys have outgrown their clothes that swallowed them when we got them.  The pajamas we brought them in Ukraine will barely button now.  But we still put them on them because it’s a reminder of what was and what is now.

They’ve been home for over 8 months now.  Most of the time, it seems like eons ago that we were nervously waiting to meet them for the first time.  As hard as it was being away from our kids while we were there in Ukraine, it was such a sweet time with each other and with the Lord.  We saw literal miracles happening before our eyes and the blessings of God were being heaped on us to the point where we were actually weary of being so “high” all the time.  We learned truly what it meant to be overwhelmed by God.  I, personally, miss that feeling of God being right there.  I know that He is always right there, but my relationship with Him was much stronger during those days because He was LITERALLY ALL WE HAD to depend on.  Everything else was uncertain and changing as often as minute by minute.  He was the only constant in our lives.  I want that back.  I know that it’s my fault that it’s different.  There is so much that distracts me in this life.  I’m so busy at work, there is always something someone needs from me and I have little time to just rest in His arms.  I MUST take more time for that.  I have gotten pretty good at saying NO to people to protect myself from total burnout, but whatever time I have gained, has been sucked up by something else.  But God is right there.  I’m so grateful.  A dear friend sent me this verse on Tuesday (although I didn’t see it til today—which is when I needed it the most—I was sitting in the doctor’s office waiting on test results to find out what was wrong with me this time—more on that later)… Be encouraged! The One who loves you the most and sees all your good deeds done for His Glory, lives within you giving you access to the power, the same power that raised Him from the dead.  (Thanks Sally!)

All the kids are well finally.  I was well on my way to being over pneumonia and feeling quite good.  Then, last Friday, I crashed and burned.  By Sunday I was feeling worse than I had with pneumonia.  This is the busiest two weeks of my life (getting ready for Celebrate the Light (our Christmas program at church)) and each day I felt worse and worse.  Today I went to the doc and he did tests and found that while the pneumonia was nearly gone from lungs, I now have the flu (regular, not H1N1).  He also said that my blood work showed that my body was actively trying to fight allergies.  So I’m on Tamiflu and a steroid pack (to stop the allergy problem).  Supposedly, I will feel great tomorrow.  We’ll see…  :-)  But regardless, God is on His throne!  For that I am grateful!

We had such a wonderful time celebrating Thanksgiving with the boys for the first time.  Everything was new and it’s wonderful to experience things with them for the first time.  We got our tree up last night (finally) and Micah woke up this morning and went crazy over it.  Every time we turn on the lights, he claps!  What a joy.  Matthew hasn’t torn it down…yet.  He’s a destroyer.  I’m just saying…

Sorry we aren’t doing so well keeping up with posting…  life is so busy.  Eli Project continues to move forward and God is going to do great things (more great things, I should say).

Blessed be the Name of the Lord!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Redman Family Adoption Button  

The code will produce this on your website: