Julianna
God has spoken to our hearts through a little girl named Julianna.  Julianna was born in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, on June 3, 2002.  Born with Down Syndrome, Julianna's mother chose to raise her rather than give her up at birth as many mothers are encouraged to do in Russia when their child is born with this condition.  At the young age of 18 months, Julianna's world changed when her mother died. Julianna was placed in an orphanage until September 2006. In Russia, at the age of four, children in orphanages are either sent to a home for the “educable” or the “non-educable.”  With Julianna’s diagnosis, she was sent to a Children's Home that is considered a "non-educable” institution. 

We have observed and experienced first hand how our little Angelo has changed hearts and minds with his pureness and gentle simplicity.  We believed strongly that Julianna would do the same if given the chance to have a loving family, a mommy and a daddy.  Through the grace of God, we made the decision to pursue the international adoption process to bring Julianna home so that we can assist her in reaching her full potential.  On April 12, 2010, we met Julianna in person for the first time.  Playing with her for four days confirmed what our hearts had felt all along...she belonged to us...a member of the Licata family!  We knew that we had been called to be her mommy and daddy. 

Our children were a part of the decision-making process, providing support to the promptings that we had been receiving from the Holy Spirit to pursue the adoption of Julianna.  Gabby indicated a strong desire to “be in charge of Julianna’s wardrobe” and has had fun selecting new outfits for her.  Francesca, our nurturer, voiced a desire to have Julianna room with her and is thinking through the new room arrangement and necessary night lights that her little sister will need for early bedtimes.  Vincent demonstrates a keen sensitivity and understanding of children with Down syndrome.  He is very excited about the prospect of having both a brother and a sister with Down syndrome.  Dominic supports our family in the decision and has asked to accompany us to Russia when we go for our second trip to bring Julianna home, knowing that he will have another sibling with whom to develop a special relationship for life.  Angelo has actually verbalized his consent with "yes", and smiles and kisses Julianna’s picture when he sees it.

We feel strongly that God has led us to Julianna for a reason and that she will bless our lives abundantly.  Listening to this call and acting upon it has caused us to demonstrate more faith than we have ever exercised.  We look forward to the day when Julianna will be home with us and an integral part of our family.  Until that day, we ask all who are able to keep us in your prayers as we continue on this journey to bring our daughter home. 

You can follow our current progress from this web site by selecting the family blog , Russia videos, or pictures pages above.

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Julianna- baby picture from the orphanage
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Julianna - April 14, 2010
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