Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Current High Bids

Current High Bids for Silent Auction-- Thank you so much!

#1Bib -- $5 LizD

#2 Soft baby Book-- $5 Emily $10 Kristen

#3 Flannel Mickey Blanket -- $10 Emily $15 Nicole N

#4 necklace-- $5 Mama Bear $10 Elizabeth

#5 pink necklace-- $5 Emily

#6 necklace-- $5 Emily

#7 necklace and earrings-- $5 LizD   $8 Sarah $10 LizD $15 Sarah

#8-- $5 LizD $10 Sarah

#9 necklace -- $10 Shari

#10 necklace-- $10 Robin's Nest

#11 green cuddlebug- - $10 Emily  $20 Vivian Bowles

#12 red cuddlebug- - $10 Emily $15 Kristen  $25 Tanya B

#13 tote bag-- $5 Dana  $10 GarolG

#14 Middle School Book-- $10 Robin's Nest

#15 (Just for Me Bible)-- $5 LizD $10 Maria G

#16 (Just for Me Friends) -- $10.00 Maria G

#18 redemption book-- $10 Amber $20 AllisonD

#20 collage-- $5 Julie B (Julie B Please email me for the decal) $20 Votemom

P.S. I will keep this updated as bids come in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Adoption Update

Okay, so I just checked with Reece's Rainbow.  It seemed like a coincidence when our grant went up the same amount that we raised for the giveaway. 
Now I know why.  They transferred the money in the giveaway over to our Family Sponsorship page.
The grant you see to the right includes the money donated from the giveaway that I ended early.
Thank you to all I emailed about the giveaway.  I sure appreciate your understanding on the whole issue.
I will try and mail out the items this week.
For all of the remaining items, I will be holding a silent auction.
An adoption update.
Our revised home study is in the mail-- free of charge!
Our invitation to be fingerprinted came in the mail today!

We Will Rejoice

We heard back from our facilitator.
It looks like both John and I will be meeting our two little boys in a few months.
He will be going with me.
At least we know now and can move forward trusting that our paperwork will be accepted.
I have already contacted our home study agency to change the wording on the last page.  There will most likely be a cost to this added change but the Lord is handling I am confident.
I wish I could understand why other families have successfully completed adoptions from this country with just one parent traveling and we have hit a road block.
I guess the Lord knows that John and I should travel as a couple and meet our two cutie pies at the same time.
Each time we travel to adopt we reconnect during these trips and fall in love all over again.  
 It's like a second honeymoon.  :)
After going over most of the paperwork it looks like we have to redo more than seven documents.
A lot of it was filled out in my name only.  After I redo it, we will have to have it notarized and apostilled and sent over via FEDEX all over again.
I hope to get it done tomorrow night.
I will keep my eye on the prize. 
Thank you for your encouraging words.  They buoy me in these choppy waters.
You have the special gift of encouraging words.
I addition, thank you for your love offerings that continue to come in.
Your friendship through this process has made me realize that though there may be a few who are out to tear down and destroy-- the majority of people are kind hearted, loving, and supportive.
Not only to our family but also to the plight of orphans.
For those of you who still want to order a decal-- you are an answer to my prayers.  
I still have 59 of those bad boys things to sell! :)

Psalm 118:24

 This is the day the LORD has made. 

      We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Making Ikra (a Russian eggplant recipe) in an attempt to eat healthier.  Caleb actually chopped the onions for me. :)
My grandmother made it and I loved it.  Hope mine turns out half as good.
As it simmers, I came and checked my email.
Thank you for your emails, prayers, and continued donations. They mean so much.
One of you asked what I meant about adopting without John.  It is not that I was doing this without him--  we were just hoping to fill out the paperwork so that only I would have to travel.  It means I would be adopting as a married individual where John would then readopt the boys once they came home.
This seemed like a logical way to solve childcare for the kids and allow John to continue working.
Logical-- yes.  Easier-- yes.
But at this point we have to wait till Monday to find out for sure whether it will be just me traveling or if John and I will both be going.
We are leaving it in the Lord's hands.
We are content either way.

Some Bad News

Please pray.
I got news today that there are some issues with our dossier paperwork.
Our facilitator is 99% sure that I won't be able to adopt without John because I do not work outside the home.   If this is true then we will have to redo about 7 of our documents including a home study revision.  
He will be coming along which means that we will need someone to watch the kids.
All of this means more paperwork, more expense, and more planning.
Lord, you are in control.  I am thankful for that because I know I certainly am not.  Two little boys are waiting. . . 
Lord give us strength and patience for the sake of Doyle and Fischer.
Right now, I'm thinking, "What?  Now, we have this mountain to climb?"  Looking back, "I thought we already climbed that one over there."
Trusting in the Lord.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What is a Cutie Patootie?

Isn't Doyle a cutie? Those cute, chubby cheeks I could just eat up!  As I type this Rachel is smirking sitting next to me but she knows he is a cutie patootie!  She thinks you will not be familiar with that term but I think you will be.  If you are, please leave a comment-- LOL!  (Rachel is laughing at me.)
Anyway, I wish we had more pictures of Fischer, but we don't.  I'm not too disappointed though because God willing we'll see him soon enough!
Yesterday I noticed that immigration cashed our check.  Hopefully that means we will be getting our fingerprinting notice in the mail soon. 
Every other document for our dossier is done!
I'm not sure how I got them done, but they are and that's all that matters.
Wooo-hooo!  Praise God!
Today over $200 was given to help with Doyle and Fischer's adoption costs.
Another window sticker decal was sold too!
A big thank you!  
 I wish I could give you a great big hug.
Today, the last package all the way from Germany came-- full of beautiful, handmade jewelry.
Soon we will be having a big giveaway fundraiser.
Check back soon.
P.S.  I'd like to start a blogroll of other families in the adoption process.  Please leave a comment with a link so I could include you.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This Friday

$140 later and our dossier is on its way to Ukraine.
I forgot how much international mailing was.  Hey, it's worth it when I think about who it is for. :)
God willing it will arrive this Friday-- at least that is what FEDEX says.

Donations over $300 came in over the last 24 hours.
Thank you so much!  Feeling blessed. Encouraged.
Each day we keep getting closer.
Closer, closer. . .  till Doyle and Fischer ride out of their baby house in a royal carriage stroller. . .

Monday, February 20, 2012

Three Things

Awesome news!
I'm talking awesome!
Three surprises. . .  three blessings!
And I can't wait to share with all you because you're traveling this journey with us.
First-- I woke up to an email from immigration saying they received our application!  This approval takes the longest and we are one step closer!
Second-- Overnight, we received two donations!
Third-- There was a knock on our door. Guess who it was?  FEDEX delivering our first set of apostilled documents!  This was the biggest surprise of all since today is a holiday.
After I scan them all, I will mail them overseas later today!
So excited!
Doyle and Fischer--we are coming for you!
Blessings my friends!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Worth Every Penny

A big big thanks!
Now 17 sticker decals have been sold.
Each one sold brings us closer to our boys.  For each decal sold, approximately $10 goes towards their adoption costs. You can't even begin to imagine how much that helps us-- so thank you again.
Praising the Lord that He continues to bring people into our lives that want to partner with us to bring Doyle and Fischer home as soon as possible.
When we first began this adoption-- we had it all planned out.
Of course that meant traveling in summer--- because you know-- that would be ideal for us.
But adoption is not about what is ideal for us.  Adoption isn't something that should fit perfectly into our lives in order for us to say yes to doing it.
Adoption is the Lord's plan and if He says you're going sooner, then we have to follow.
We have to allow our hearts to be shaped by the plans He has for us.
Funny how, this is a forever thing that I am still learning and will probably continue to learn for the rest of my life.
Knowing this, I still had my little ideal plan.
Kids would be out of school, some kids could go to friends and family, etc.
But over the past few weeks, we have learned that the possibility of traveling could be much sooner than summer.  With that realization, John and I have chosen to go when He says go.
Because honestly, Doyle and Fischer have already spent too much time without a Mommy and Daddy.
We trust God to work out all the details.
 Including finances even though we probably have less time to fund raise.
He will work out the timing.  He will work out the schooling.  He will work it all out for His glory.
He will work it out for Doyle and Fischer because He loves them more than we possibly can.
All of you have been a part of bringing two little orphan boys closer to their forever family 
Without you, it would be incredibly hard if not impossible.
Your prayers, your encouragement, your emails, your notes, your handmade items, and your financial contributions which I like to think of as love offerings have played a vital role in bringing us this far in the adoption process.
Adoption is not easy.  But you have been there walking this road with us.
Thank you.
The beauty of adoption is so much more than the redemption of a life.
It brings people together.  
It brings hearts together.
God takes the circumstances surrounding the need for adoption and turns it into something beautiful.
And together, we are all a part of it.
For those of you new to adoption and the costs associated with it, I wanted to share a breakdown of the costs of a Ukrainian adoption so you can get an idea of why it costs so much.
Homestudy (approx. $2,000)
Homestudy related paperwork (approx. $300)
Immigration ($890)
Notary and apostilles for Ca. (approx. $650)
agency/facilitator fees (approx. $15,000)
translation fees (approx. $1,000)
travel for two/ one trip (approx. $2,500)
travel for 2 kids (approx. $1,800)
daily driver in Ukraine (approx. $35 a day)
apartment in Ukraine (approx. $50 a day)
food (approx. $20 a day)
Child medical exam ($100 each)
orphanage donation (approx. $500)
immigration visa (approx. $400 per child)
child passports (approx. $500 each)
approx. $28,000  and worth every penny of it.
When I see this figure, I am amazed at how we always have enough come time we need to complete an adoption.  Not on our own-- ever.
In my own mind, I can't crunch the numbers to have it make sense.  If I tried, I think I would easily see the impossibility of it all.
And yet with God-- All Things are Possible.
This is how I know that God multiplies what we all have when its given to further His kingdom.  Just like the five loaves and two fish. 
In the grand scheme of things, the cost to get these two precious boys home is small compared to the price that has already been paid for our salvation.
I think of Doyle as two more precious souls to teach about the love of Jesus.
Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Directions For Applying Decals

Thank you so much for buying a sticker decal to help in our fundraising efforts to bring home our two little boys! We feel incredibly blessed by all of you who have contributed towards the boys' adoptions fund.

 Here are the instructions to apply your window decal sticker.

1. Clean window with windex. Dry and make sure free of lint and dust.
2. Very carefully peel back the thicker paper side of the decal to make sure you only peel away the backing and leave the sticker on the sticky side.
3. Position sticker where you want to apply before actually sticking it to window. Once it is stuck-- it's stuck!
4. Rub sticker with the back of a spoon.
5. Gently peel away backing leaving the white sticker decal on the window.
6. Step back and smile. :)

Thanks again!
13 14 stickers have been sold in all!
Little by little I hope we can sell them all!
With God all things are possible!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Update

11 decals sold in all so far!
Thank you to all who bought one so far.
Please continue to spread the word.
We still have 68 left.
Click here to check them out.
This past week has had its ups and downs.
John's police clearance letter still had not come back by this past Wednesday so I called the DOJ.
They said they could not control the mail.
I assumed it would come.
When our marriage certificates came in two days from the time they mailed them, and still no police clearance letter, I knew that it not coming had nothing to do with the mail.
I called back the DOJ today.
I found out that they mailed it to the address we lived in two houses prior.
Thankfully they got our new address and it is on our way.  I am so thankful I followed up again.
As to our apostilles-- well there was a small glitch too.
Thankfully that got straightened out as well!
We should get them by Tuesday.

 As I thought of this last week and all the ups and down, I walked into my third store looking for envelopes to fit the sticker decals.  I kid you not-- I walked into Staples and found the exact envelopes I needed-- on sale dirt cheap-- when no other sizes or styles were on sale.  
I smiled.
Call it coincidence-- I call it God's grace.
Thank you.
An old friend of our from up North was down in the area and stopped by for dinner.
He shared that they were planning on adopting.  :)
His news was such an encouragement to me.
Oh, and he bought a decal.
Thank you for the generous donation that came in over the last weekend-- every little bit continues to add up and brings us steps closer to our boys.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Our Big Fundraiser

They're here! The window decals came in the mail today! This is going to hopefully be one of our biggest fundraisers-- so please consider partnering with us. I put one the van to show all of you how it looks and what the average size of the decals are.  Oh and yes, because I really like the message. :)
If you order one I will include directions to make sure you apply it right.  When I first got them, I began peeling the wrong side and wondered why it wouldn't work.  I even called the company.
Finally a light bulb when off in my head and I figured it out.

Please check these out!   Please order one!  Please help spread the word. Please help us reach our goal of raising $1000 towards our two little boys adoption.
Only $20!
 There are four designs to choose from.  
If you would like to purchase one of these window decals which are approximately 9 in X 6 in. please email me at telling me which one you would like to order.  Since I have them in hand, I will mail them out as soon as you order them.
Other ways you can help-- repost or link this on your blog, Facebook, etc.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
So far five people have bought a decal, and I put one on the van.  I pre-purchased eighty decals.
That means only 74 more to sell!




I Stumbled

I stumbled across this by clicking on a friend's FB link.  Once again the message was a hard read.  A hard one.  I share with you because together we can make a difference.  I'm telling you-- we can.  One of our daughters and one of our sons was very skinny and malnourished when we brought them home. One of them seven years old and only thirty pounds.  Some of the stories we have been told are not easy to hear.  But I look at them now, because they were given a chance-- and boy do they make me smile.

Bless their hearts, Oh Lord.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting Closer!

We have been very busy on the adoption front.  Thankfully we are nearing the end of our paper chase.  Five different notaries, an overlooked sign resulting in an extra half hour of driving around, and a scan of our canceled check emailed over to county recorder so our marriage certificates can get mailed sooner-- it is safe to say we are now awaiting our first set of apostilled documents to arrive at the end of this week.

The same friend who gave us a twin trundle bed also gave us lots of boy baby clothes-- such a blessing!  Thank you!  Thank you to all of you have partnered with us to help bring our boys home.  Whether you have helped financially, praying for us, or just being there for us-- or all three-- your friendship has blessed us beyond words.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Last Chance!

Last chance to order your valentine heart earrings  in time for February 14th!
So far we have sold 12 pairs!
You rock!
Thank you!  
We will continue taking orders through the end of today.
Please email me at if you would like a pair.
Thank you to all who have donated.
Every little bit adds up.
Also, my hope is to begin a "Made With Love" fundraiser in the next week with all hand made items.
A few of you have offered to donate your handmade specialty items-- thank you so much.
It is a huge blessing to have a variety of beautiful items to give away.
Please contact me if you would still like to participate.
Together we can do this!
If the process continues as smoothly and as quickly as it has, we may be traveling in the next few months!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Heart for Each Boy

Just in time for Valentine's Day!  Here is our next fundrasier-- handmade red heart earrings by Julia.  Order today and they will be shipped to you tomorrow.  Just $8.
If you would like to order a pair, please email me at
I am very excited to announce that our home study came in the mail today along with our medicals!
That means that tomorrow we send off a check for $890 along with our application and home study to Immigration for approval.  We are getting closer!
Also-- hallelujah-- a friend has offered us a trundle bed with two twin mattresses!
Praise the Lord!  We are so thankful!
Don't forget to get your heart earrings-- one heart for each boy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

So Excited!

Our home study is in the mail!  If all goes according to plan we will send off for immigration by the end of this week!  Getting closer everyday!

Our Weekend

This weekend I didn't get much done on the adoption paperwork. Julia had her birthday, and Andrew had a pancake breakfast for baseball. He is our only boy doing baseball this year because all the other boys would rather sit in the stands and catch fly balls that they could redeem for a soda at the snack bar. Finding out that our mailbox key would not go in because someone snapped a key off in the hole didn't help-- because there are adoption docs in it! Ugh-- hopefully the post office will fix it soon and meanwhile deliver our mail to our door.
 This weekend I reconnected with a friend who has blessed our socks off!  Still leaves me speechless, and in awe of our Heavenly Father and how He loves to surprise His children.   Thank you for your new friendship.  I hope that it continues to blossom!
And praising the Lord for a $500 donation too!
The Lord is so faithful.
  What a testimony to His timely provision as you read our bit of disappointing news.
 Late last night I got an email that explained that we cannot do a simple readoption when we get home to include John on the new birth certificate.  John will be doing a regular adoption of the kids which will require four post-placement visits increasing the cost by over $1100.
This is not too surprising to us since we know adoption is full of surprises.  If anything, the timing of everything just confirms to us how in control God is.
I'll keep you updated!
Now onto a fun picture of a family that bought cookies last week!
Thank you so much!

Friday, February 3, 2012


I am so excited to know that so many of you have chosen to be a partner in bringing the boys home!
Over three hundred dollars in donations have come in over the last twenty four hours.
Plus three hand made dolls to be raffled or auctioned off-- which are adorable by the way, and three more offers for hand made items.
I can't forget the refund from our old auto insurance agency-- it all adds up!
Plus, the girls went around the neighborhood and sold $35 dollars worth of cookies!
Praise the Lord!
It amazing to know that these two little boys are already loved so much-- I think I can speak for them and say how much they appreciate it.
Today started out rough-- caught a child cheating on a test.
Not fun.
But by the grace of God, I remained calm despite her disrespect, and her attitude has already changed.  For this child, it is record time, so I am once again blessed to see God working in her life.
Today is Julia's birthday, so in preparation the kids did a lot of their work yesterday.
It freed up the early afternoon to make homemade donuts. . . which is what she wanted. . .
and homemade thin mints that are just as good as the Girl Scout ones.
I was emailed the rough draft of our home study.
I looked over it and made a few minor corrections with ages-- but the wording was perfect-- no changes necessary so hopefully we will have the finalized copy in hand next week!
I'm trying to bust out the dossier this weekend too-- so please pray that I find the time and don't pull my hair out in the process.
Lastly-- just wanted to let you all know that I ordered the window decals.
They should be here within 10 days.
If you ordered one, I will be in contact with you.
If you want to order one-- I still have 60 to sell.
Please spread the word.
Lastly, I thought this would be fun.
If you bought something like a bag or dish clothes or something, why don't you take a picture with it and email it so I can post it on the blog.
I'd love to put a name to a face.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Awe

Thank you for your thoughtfulness-- you know who you are.
As we march along this process, I am in awe of the amazing, loving, generous people that God has brought into our lives.
You more than cover the few that have stepped up to use this adoption to attack us to the fullest.  
For a while there, I was in defense mode, but it was not productive in the least, so I have stepped back from them... thinking I would be filled with loneliness--
only to be met with a showering of kindness and friendship.
That's our Heavenly Father.
He is our Comforter.  He is Our Strength.
He is our Defender.
He has given me the self-control to not respond anymore.  Thank you Lord for your provision in more ways than I can count.
Thank you for laying these two precious boys on our hearts.
Thank you for a husband who prays with me at night-- even when we both could hardly keep our eyelids open.
Thank you for children who are the argument for having more.
Thank you for holding my hand through this process.
Please be with our boys. . .  give them a hug for me.
Please be with those who have blessed me. . .  and those who have hurt me too.
Your power and majesty reaches to the heavens. . . 
from one outstretched arm to the other. . . 
enough for each and every one of us.
I stand in awe.
I am covered by your grace.
I am sheltered in the wings of your warm embrace.
As I share the story of our family on a journey to bring home two precious little boys, I ask that your words shine through. . . 
your love permeates. . . 
your Spirit overwhelms. . . 
and your passion for each and every one of us is made clear.
Be blessed today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

No More Cookies

I feel a little dumb.  I didn't realize how much shipping would be for cookies.  Sort of eats any profit.  
Oh well. . . live and learn.
It was still fun!
And I am still praising God for everyone who wanted cookies.
Carol, Dana, and Melinda-- your cookies are on their way!

This is Fun Too!

Thank you so much for your orders for cookies!
Five dozen sold and heading out today!
One person even wanted to buy the recipe-- which made me smile big. :)
As I wrapped them up to be mailed, it dawned on me that they may very well break in shipping.  
Please forgive me ahead of time-- they make an excellent ice-cream topping crumbled on top!