Posts Tagged ‘ adoption ’


Last year at this time we wanted a baby. We were planning to adopt. We hung this Hope ornament on the tree.

Turns out it WE weren’t in charge.

This year I bought a new ornament. Joy.

What a difference a year makes.

While my heart is full this Christmas season, it is also heavy for the child that we didn’t adopt. For the child that doesn’t have a family this year. For the 163,000,000 (that’s 163 million) orphans of the world.

While I’m not sure that adoption is in our near future, I do know that some form of orphan care is. I’d love to bring home a child and give it a family. A sister. A home. But could the $30,000 that it would cost to do so be used in other ways? Ways that could save the life of more than just one child?

$30,000 = a family for 1 child or clean water for 1,500 people through Charity Water. Clean water for each of those 1,500 people for 20 years! “90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old.” – Charity Water. How many lives would be saved by all this clean water?

$30,000 would run the Mercy House for 8 months. From their site: The Mercy House exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in nutrition, housing, prenatal care, counseling, Biblical teaching and job skills for sustainable living. What’s that saying about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure? How many children won’t become orphans because someone cared enough for their mother to give her the means to care for herself and her children?

$30,000 = 1,500 cooking stoves for women in Haiti. Check out The Adventure Project.  $20 provides a family in Haiti with a charcoal-efficient cooking stove. From the founder of The Adventure Project: In Haiti, mothers bend over small cooking fires, 4-6 hours everyday. Such fires–nice on an occasional camping trip–actually emit toxic levels of smoke when used every day. Babies tied to their backs or playing nearby actually inhale the same levels of smoke as someone smoking two packs of cigarettes each day. Sadly, the resulting respiratory infections are becoming a number one cause of death in these children. Mothers desperately trying to prepare the very thing needed to sustain their children’s lives actually threaten their lives—unknowingly, unwillingly.

There are countless other ways to help. Compassion. Food for the Hungry. I don’t even know where I’m going with all this. How to choose? Save one child? Help thousands of children?

How would you use $30,000 to impact lives around the world?

Losing my mind

When I found out I was pregnant I thought it was going to be all fun and games. Compared to doing all the adoption paperwork, I thought pregnancy would be a breeze. I remember thinking, “All I have to do is lay around and grow this baby, pick a hospital, and then deliver.”

Only I hadn’t figured on losing my mind. Seriously, pregnancy brain is making me crazy. I’ve always been proud of my cognitive abilities, but lately I can’t even remember what I had planned to make for dinner, let alone whether or not we had invited people over to eat it with us. Did I already wash my hair tonight? Was that yesterday that I walked Jack or was that today?

My brain is so cluttered with baby research that I’m making myself even more crazy. Do we want a jogging stroller or a regular 4 wheeled stroller? What kind of cloth diapers are best? Do I like the Maya Wrap or the Moby Wrap better? Why am I waking up at night thinking about strollers???

In other news, I haven’t buttoned my pants for days. I’ve been wearing this BeBand from Target and it works like a charm. No, that is not my belly.

The only problem with this band is that it makes me HOT. It will hold up your unbuttoned pants, but it will also raise your core temperature by about 5,000 degrees. But it makes your regular jeans feel like stretchy pants, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is worth it. And so is investing in a good deodorant.

So far I’m enjoying every minute of being pregnant, even the minutes where I have to run to the bathroom 30 minutes after I just went. I even think my ankles may have swollen (a teensy bit) after being on my feet a lot today. It may just be in my head, but it’s a good excuse for laying on the couch with my feet propped up and doing more stroller research.

Adoption Update

I know some of you have been wondering what’s happening with our adoption.  And by some, I mean the 2 or 3 of you that remember our adoption announcement from way back in December.

Well here’s what happened.

This happened.

See that itty bitty bump in my belly? That’s the baby.  The one we thought we might never conceive. Ok, that’s a little drastic, but honestly, it wasn’t looking good. Needless to say, we were very shocked to find out I was pregnant. And happy. And shocked. And elated.

I spent my first trimester trying not to throw up, trying not to worry about another miscarriage, and trying to figure out what we should do about adopting.

We’ve decided to put the adoption on hold for now. The baby I’m carrying is due Oct 2, and if we were adopting, that baby would be coming home sometime around the end of the year as well. Now that Ethiopia is requiring adoptive parents to take 2 trips over there, it just all became too much. As much as I’d love 2 babies at once, I don’t like the thought of leaving 1, visiting the other for a week, then coming home and waiting 2 or 3 months til we can go back and pick up the other. Are you overwhelmed yet? I know I was.

We would still love to adopt in the future. We’ve already done all the agency research, we have a lot paperwork done, and we know so much more now than we did when we started. I think we’ll be pretty well prepared to start back up sometime in 2011.

But meanwhile, we have shifted gears to expecting a baby the old fashioned way. Which means it’s about time for me to go eat something again. This is one hungry baby.

We’re clean.

Just got our background checks from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations – we’re clean!

Oh yeah. Officially notarized and everything.

And here’s a fun story: We paid $60 for those 2 little pieces of paper. I kept looking in the envelope and checking to make sure there weren’t more pages stuck to the backs of these 2 until Dave made fun of me.

“Honey, that’s all. It’s just those 2.”

“Are you sure? This paper feels thick. I think there’s another piece here.”

“Now you’re just being ridiculous. Gimme that paper.”

So I did. And those 2 little pieces are now in safe keeping. Where I can’t keep messing with them.

Raffle Winner!

Hey, January is over! Did you notice?  And that means……

We have a raffle winner!

Each entry (entrant?) was given a number, then I used to randomly (get it?) generate 1 of those numbers.  Just like a raffle, no? And the winning number is……35!

Collin and Jenna Stoddard, will you please step forward to claim your $25 Starbucks gift card?

What’s that you say? This is the internet, and you’re not actually present at this time? I’m all alone here in aloneville? Sigh. Oh well, I know where you live. I’ll drop it off to you!

Thanks for playing everybody! You all raised $350 with this raffle, and we couldn’t be more grateful. You covered the cost of our background checks in 5 states, birth certificates, online classes, and some of our application costs. Wow. We couldn’t do this without you.

A little armchair reading….

….and baby boy’s blanket.

Because you can’t read a good book without a good blanket to keep you warm. Unless it’s summer, or spring, or January and it happens to be 55 degrees outside. In which case, you should probably get out there and wash your dog. Because he smells. Like corn chips. And winter will come back, don’t you worry, and there won’t be another chance to wash the corn chips off him til the real spring shows up.

I’m sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. The dog needs a bath, but I’m procrastinating. I wonder how long I can keep this up? Want to find out? I’m sure you don’t, but if you’ve stayed with me this long then it looks like you’re going to find out anyway.

Ok, enough chit chat. Down to business.

I’ve got some books to read. And when I say books, I do mean books. Not magazines.  Real life chapter books. Non-fiction. Look, I’ll prove it to you.

I think I’ve started 3 of them, but that picture is kind of far away so I can’t be sure. But yeah, I’m making good progress. Because I’ve got nothing if not free time on my hands. Between looking for Dave’s W-2, getting my background checked in 3 states, getting fingerprinted by the FBI, oh and washing the dog, I’m a veritable bank vault of free time over here. As in, the free time is there, I just can’t get to it. It’s locked down, like a vault (name that movie).

In other news, I’ve started a blanket for our little munchkin. It’s given me no end of trouble, so he’d better appreciate it! I think I’ve got in under control now, but I sure did rip out 2 hours worth of work on it.

Definitely a work in progress. But look at the cool ripple pattern…so retro-y….I think.

Well, that’s all the time we have for today folks. Todays show was brought to you by the letter….procrastinate.

Don’t forget to get your raffle tickets here! Only 1 week left.

A quick Adoption update

The paper chase has begun! We are chasing papers all over – in Arizona, Illinois, and Tennessee. I’m really glad we haven’t lived in any other states in the last 10 years. 3 is enough. Phew.

We’ve got a big ol’ list of required documents and we are whittling away at it.

Birth certificates – Check. Does sending in the forms count? I guess that won’t be an official check until we actually have them, but it’s a check on my to do list. C’mon, AZ and IL Health Deptartments, send us those birth certs!

Marriage Certificate – Check. We actually already have 2 copies of this, so I’m sending one and keeping one. Caught a break on that one. Since we got married in WI, that would have been one more state to deal with.

Police Clearance – Not check. This is where those 3 darn states come in. Pretty sure this is going to cost us. 5 different background checks (3 for my 3 states, 2 for Dave’s 2 states). Fun fun.

TN Bureau of Investigation – Not check. I do have the form though, so that’s a little part of a check. Ah, just looked at that form. $29 for each of us.

4 Letters of Recommendation – any takers? I’m pretty excited about delegating this one out to you.

Anyway, that’s just a little peek at what we are working on. We also need letters from our employers, letters from our bank, letters from our doctor (wish we had one, anyone know a good family doctor in our area?) and letters from God. Not really but, seriously, that might just be easier. “I told them to adopt. Love, God”

If anyone wants to come over and make copies of tax forms, water bills, driver’s licenses, and more- feel free. We’ve got a printer/copier that is about to run out of ink so that will make your job that much easier!

Oh, and here’s a little secret for you. According to the little box on our paperwork……..It’s a boy!

We have bracelets!

163,000,000 minus 1.

According to UNICEF, there are an estimated 163 million orphans living in our world.

Let’s do a little fun math. The earth is 24,900 miles around. If you took all the orphans in the world and had them stand in a line with their arms outstretched, hands touching, how far around the earth do you think that line would stretch? Don’t want to do the math? Don’t worry, I did it for you.

163,000,000 orphans would wrap around the earth……5 times.


163,000,000 is such a large number that it’s hard to really grasp. But 1 is an easy number. 163,000,000 minus 1.

We are selling these bracelets for $5 each. All proceeds from the sale go directly towards funding our adoption of a baby boy from Ethiopia. If you would like to place an order, click on the “Add to Cart” button on the right hand side of the blog. We really appreciate it. And so does a little baby on the other side of the world.

Adoption and Nesting

I’m not sure, but I think I may be nesting. Either that or I need to work more. Or just get out of the house more.  Or get a hobby. No, it can’t be that, I have lots of hobbies.

So. Nesting. Not having ever experienced traditional pregnancy induced nesting, I can’t be positive that am indeed experiencing “nesting,” but I’m a confident self-diagnoser. I have nesting. Adoptive parent nesting.

It all started last week in my sister-in-law’s bedroom. She innocently mentioned to me that she needed to organize and get rid of some of the clutter in her room. It was like somebody flipped a switch in me. I immediately started pulling things out of the closet, opening her armoire, pulling notebooks off shelves, and before she even knew what had hit her, I had two piles already started in the middle of her floor: donate and throw away.

Ever since that fateful night I have had the strongest urges to organize! I do like to keep things pretty organized and neat, but anyone who has been to our house recently knows that we have 2 junk baskets in the living room, a perpetual pile of junk mail and bills on the piano, and books, Bibles, pieces of paper, and remotes on the coffee table.

Not anymore.

Oh no. Even the junk baskets are organized now. One is for Dave’s keys and whatever else comes out of his pockets at the end of the day, and the other, quite practically, holds scarves and gloves.

The really sad part of this story is that I can’t find anything else to rearrange, organize or throw away! The guest bedroom (future baby room) is immaculate. The closet (which used to hold anything that I didn’t want to find a permanent home for) is empty.  All of our fine china is finally out of that closet and in our kitchen cupboards.  I had to rearrange all of our dishes to make it all fit – and I was glad to do it!

I’ve gone through all our clothes and bagged up all the excess for the consignment store. I reorganized my dresser drawers. And the linen closet. And our walk in closet. And the tupperware drawer. Yes, the tupperware drawer.

And today, at a new all time low, I took apart the toaster oven and scrubbed each piece.

Somebody, please, anybody, stop me! My house can’t take much more of this.

Adoption Fundraising

Introducing….our first raffle!

Before we get to the raffle, let me just say that talking about money and fundraising is never easy. But, in the interest of keepin’ it real, here we go.

We will need around $20,000 for our adoption. Yikes.

In the last 2 months, we have managed to save $1,541.37 out of our personal budget.

If we continue to save around $700 per month (barring cars needing repairs, etc, etc) we’ll have saved $8,400. $8,400 out of $20,000.  Yep, that leaves lots of room for God to provide.

And that’s where you come in! If you would like to support our adoption, here’s a way:

Buy a raffle ticket!

We are raffling a $25 Starbucks gift card. 100% of the money donated  will go directly into our adoption account. Nothing like a little legal addictive stimulant to get you through your day.

Here are the details:

TICKETS: You will receive 1 Ticket for every $5 you donate. There is no limit to how many tickets you can have in the drawing. For every $5 you donate, we will write your name on an actual ticket to be used in the drawing.

PRIZE: The prize is a $25 Starbucks gift card.

TIME FRAME: Begins at 12 Noon (CST) today, January 6, 2010. Runs til Midnight, January 31, 2010. You have all month to buy as many tickets as you want!

HOW TO WIN: Donate! We will hold a drawing of all the Tickets and the winner will receive the prize. Simple as that. The winner will be drawn on February 1.

HOW TO BUY TICKETS: Click on the “Make a Donation” button at the top right hand of the blog. You can pay via PayPal or Credit/Debit card. Or, if you prefer you can mail us a check (contact us for address) or hand us some cash in person.

This is a win-win for all of us. If your ticket is drawn, you just got 5 trips to Starbucks for the price of 1. If your ticket isn’t drawn, you just helped bring an orphan home. Either way, you win.

Good luck, and stay tuned for our next (bigger and better) raffle starting Feb. 1!