Monday, April 30, 2012

Two Times the Love Giveaway FSP Drawing!

Even though the Two Times the Love Giveaway is still going, the FSP giveaway ended today, and we had $430 added to our grant fund over the past month!

There were 260 entries, and chose #40, Tony P., as the winner of the $50 Amazon gift card!

Thank you to all who have given to our family's grant fund!

Monday Morning Update 4.30.12

Last week was one of those weeks where nothing adoption-related happened, so I should just be posting a big blank today.  Instead, I'm going to tell you about my children, my most precious gifts from God.

Ayden and Elijah are in AWANA, not in our church, but at a Baptist church close to our home.  Each week, I see my children grow in their knowledge and understanding of Scripture, and they so look forward to their time at AWANA, with friends, as well as strong Christian leaders.  We work on sections of their books at home, memorizing Scripture, and listen to the biographies of people in the Bible.  David, Elijah, Samson, Paul, Deborah (one of Ayden's favorite biographies), the list goes on.

The AWANA year is coming to an end, and last night was the last chance for Ayden to shop at the store (they earn AWANA bucks during game time, for bringing friends, for donating to the Adopt-a-Club program, etc.).  Elijah missed his store time last week, because we were late getting back from Tennessee, so Ayden assured him that she'd shop for him.

Elijah has been saving for most of the year for a remote control Harley Davidson motorcycle, with a price tag of $75 AWANA bucks.  Last night, he had $50 in his wallet.  Ayden counted her money, and she had $35.  Ayden knew how hard Elijah had worked to save up for the motorcycle, and she gave him $25 so he could buy the motorcycle, leaving her with $10.

As soon as she handed him the money, she turned around and saw a Webkinz sitting on a rack in the store.  She has really been wanting a new Webkinz, so she asked Sheila, one of the AWANA leaders, how much it cost.  The price was $25.  Ayden so badly wanted Elijah to have the motorcycle, but so badly wanted that grey horse.  She struggled over what to do, and Elijah didn't want to take the money from her, but was so excited about getting the motorcycle, and he was almost in tears.  I didn't offer to "fix" it; I wanted them to have this opportunity to work through the situation.  In the end, Ayden decided that Elijah should get the motorcycle.   

Lonnie, Sheila's husband, typically runs the store, so Sheila went to get him to find the remote control and charger for the motorcycle and to show Elijah how it works.  After getting an explanation of the controls, we were ready to leave.  Lonnie turned to Ayden and asked her if she wanted a Webkinz.  She shook her head and responded, "I can't."  He and Sheila told her that for her kind-heartedness, they wanted her to have the Webkinz.  At that point, I started tearing up.  Ayden opened her wallet to give them the last $10 she had, and Lonnie refused to take it.  Ayden just beamed!

When we got to the van, she said "I just feel like I'm going to cry, my heart is so full!"  The rest of the evening was a little emotional for her, and we got to talk about how good it feels to make others happy, and how good it feels to have someone do something so kind for us.  Most of all, she knows how proud I am of her selfless decision, regardless of whether she was rewarded in the end.

Yesterday at church, our pastor dug more into Galatians 5, discussing the fruit of the Spirit in vv. 22-25.  He held up a bunch of grapes, pointing out that not every grape was fully ripe on that bunch.  There were a few that were ripe, so sweet and ready to eat, there were some that were almost ripe, and there were still a few grapes that were small, hard and needed more time to grow.  But the grapes were one fruit.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Seeing evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in my children is so, so rewarding for me, because it means that my children are getting it.  And this mommy's heart is full, too.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Paying it Forward

James 1:27 commands us to care for the orphans and widows.  While my family was called to care for them through adoption, it's important to know that not everyone has to adopt to follow that command!

Who are the orphans and widows near you?  Maybe there's a single mom who's struggling to make ends meet, maybe there are children in your community who rely solely on their school meals for nourishment, and go hungry over the weekend.  Maybe there's a small, frail widow staring out of the window of her quiet nursing home room.  Maybe there's an infant, whose mother chose LIFE for them, but that mother doesn't know where to turn.

Jeff and Karen Barnes, who have been a couple of our biggest advocates, are making sure we don't forget those in need around us!  They are asking everyone to pay it forward, right where they are, to the people most in need in our communities, and it has really gotten me in the purging spirit!

Visit THEIR BLOG to find out the rules for entering, and then find someone in your community who could benefit from your extras!  Nothing to buy (unless you'd like to make a donation to any of the organizations mentioned), but lots to share!

Karen and Jeff, thank you for always thinking of others, for showing us that lots of little actions can make a BIG impact for those around us in need!  Now, everyone else, GO CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Be still, and let God move.

"Be still, and let God move."

These are the words I read yesterday, and the timing was no coincidence.  Since January, I have worked and worked at fundraising, and obviously it's been successful.  Scott and I have paid $3,300 or so out-of-pocket, another $8,000 has already been paid through fundraising, and $1,700 is sitting in our adoption account.  That means that, just since January 16, when a friend of mine made the very first contribution to our ChipIn, we have had about $13,000 pass through our hands, and almost $10,000 has come through fundraising.

Now, before anyone thinks I'm taking ANY credit for these funds coming in, I'm not.  At. All.  We are so blessed with friends who are willing vessels for God to flow through, who have given to us, advocated for us, and prayed over us.  We were contacted about our first few giveaways, and all we had to do was set up the ChipIn, the rules of entry, and push the giveaways like there was no tomorrow!  All of the glory for the money that has come in is God's alone.  

Last week, Andrea Roberts (founder of Reece's Rainbow) posted that "God can move mountains, but don't be surprised if He asks you to pick up a shovel."  Let me tell you, God has had me shoveling!  I don't think I have slept well since we started this process, and I'm even having dreams that people we've never met are approaching us with tens of thousands of dollars.  (By the way, if anyone cares to make that dream come true, we'd be happy to receive it!)

Back to the shovels.  Our current giveaway, the Two Times the Love Giveaway, is just that mountain that won't budge, won't chip, won't melt.  And it's really been a source of spiritual warfare for me.  All I can think about is the money we still need, the $3,470 we need in cash, and especially the $2,770 we need right now.  And after reading those words today, to "be still, and let God move," I've decided to do just that.  

So, I'm taking the rest of the week off.  I'm not checking my emails every 30 seconds to see if someone has donated or emailed, I'm not checking my blog stats to see if people are actually coming to my blog, and I'm setting down my shovel.  I'm spending the majority of the rest of the week in God's word, moving my focus back to my Father.  (I am not disappearing entirely, but it may take me a few hours to get back to you, because my Bible will be open more and my email/facebook/blog will be open less.)

Will you all pray for me?  Will you pray that I feel the weight of this attack lift off my shoulders, off my heart?  I have so much to rejoice about right now, and this attack has felt like a dark cloud, overshadowing my joy. And I'll be back next week, with a renewed spirit, and a refocused heart.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Morning Update 4.23.12

Last week was rather slow, but it meant I got to catch up on housework and schoolwork after a busy week getting ready for the Playing Them Home event!

M:  I made the deposits from the Playing Them Home event, and that added $710 to our adoption fund!

W:  My friend, Kate, hosted an Arbonne event for the adoption, and she stopped by with the check for our percentage earned, and just over $100 was added to our adoption fund!

R:  We were supposed to meet with our homestudy social worker, but with both of us heading out of town, we decided to move our meeting.  We'll have back-to-back meetings to finish our homestudy in early May.  We spent the rest of the week in Tennessee, working on my mom and step-dad's vacation rentals.  (I take care of the bookings/cleaning schedules for the homes, and I needed to do some shopping for the homes, as well as take new photos for their listings!)

F:  We hit $1,000 in sales on the Thirty-One party, which means we got 25% of sales ($250), plus a match of $250 from an anonymous donor, which was only available if we hit $1,000!  This has been quite a good week for our adoption fund!

Su:  Two friends of mine, Kristin and Stephanie, hosted a combo Scentsy/Pampered Chef fundraising event for the adoption!  And if you missed (or were too far away from) the party, you can buy online!  You can order your Pampered Chef HERE and your Scentsy HERE.  10% of all Pampered Chef orders and 25% of all Scentsy orders will go to our adoption fund!  (Just make sure you mention that your order is for the Pickett family adoption!) 

In case you weren't adding, I was able to deposit over $800 into our adoption account last week, and there's another $500 heading there soon!  Woohoo!  Will you please pray for the $2,200 we still need quickly to cover ALL of Cullen's agency fees?  We're praying to have that money by the end of the month, through our Two Times the Love Giveaway!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

We Now Interrupt This Blogging...

...for a quick trip to Tennessee.  As much as I would like to say we're going on a nice vacation, our trips to Tennessee are a mixture of business and pleasure. 

I manage the bookings for my mom and step-dad's vacation rentals in Pigeon Forge, and it's time for new photos for the online listings, and making sure everything is ready for a year of rentals.  There will be a good deal of shopping to do, for new dishes to replace broken ones, new small appliances, and somehow, things like pizza slicers always seem to disappear.

As much as I love shopping (and even better that it's not my money!), it's exhausting (okay, boring) for the kids.  So, their reward for surviving a weekend of Mommy working is a couple of hours at MagiQuest! 

All of this to say, I won't be in blogland as much, so I need to shout out a few reminders!

Our Two Times the Love Giveaway is still going, until the ticker is full!  Lots of great prizes, not so many entries right now.  There's a tab at the top of the page for the giveaway, so you can check out all the prizes and rules for entry!

Two of my friends are hosting a Scentsy/Pampered Chef party on Sunday evening, to benefit our adoption, so if you're in the Martinsville area, come by, and if you're not, you can still order online!  Follow THIS LINK to go to the facebook event page for all the details!

A young woman from my church, with a heart for adoption, is giving 50% of all her Mary Kay orders to our adoption fund for the next two months.  Why is she so passionate about adoption?  Because she has her own adoption story!  I need to get a direct link to her store, but if you need to order, keep me in mind!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Update 4.16.12

M: I mailed in our fingerprints for the homestudy, and they should be back within 4 weeks, right around the time we expect to wrap up the homestudy and move to the next stage.

T:  Because two sets of fingerprints are better than one, I mailed in a second set to the FBI for our dossier.  These are different, in that the FBI will authenticate the results of this criminal check, and the Dept. of State will need to apostille the authentication.  We're praying to have the letters in less than 8 weeks, so I can carry them to D.C. to be apostilled while I'm there for a trip. 

R:  I picked up our team t-shirts, and Caren at Freedom Prints did a fantastic job!  My kids wore their shirts for the rest of the day! The race bibs came in, so I spent the evening matching shirts to bib numbers and sorting shirts for the soccer game.

F:  I met Traci at the sports complex to make sure we have a plan for everything for our Playing Them Home event on Sunday.

Sa:  We had Mandy Rhodes' "Gotcha Shower" and our friend, Brooke, put so much love into planning the beautiful event.  She had a Reece's Rainbow theme, including fruit kebabs and rainbow cupcakes!  Mandy's boys' closet should be packed full of everything they'll need for a while after they come home, and there were a few gift cards for things they'll need later!

I got to meet the Rogers family, who are blessed with 7 children in their home, and another 2 coming soon (Bernadette and Mason)!  Erika and Mel, we would love to have you in Martinsville again, your family is just beautiful!  I got to meet another adoptive mommy that day, too!

Su:  I had the privilege of speaking at church, announcing the adoption of Samuel Dimitar Rhodes and Joseph Ivaylo Rhodes into the Rhodes family, and telling our story.  I was so nervous about speaking, but all that nervousness was gone after I began speaking, looking out at familiar faces, and seeing all the Team VikTory t-shirts!

After speaking, I went straight to the Smith River Sports Complex to begin setting up for Playing Them Home, the 5k and soccer tournament we held with the Morton family.  We had a great turnout, more than I expected for our first year, and I got to meet another adoptive mom, Tara Sartain, adopting 15 year old Rachel!  In case you missed the announcement, the event brought in a total of $1,000!  Even.  How cool is that?! 

Well, that's last week in a nutshell!  It was a crazy, fun week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Perfect Provision!

This morning, I was asked to speak at church, to tell our story.  As I stood at the podium, I saw blue shirts scattered throughout the congregation.  They all read the same thing:

Team VikTory
This is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 
I John 5:4 

Our church family is such a tremendous blessing.  I hear of churches who won't even acknowledge a family's adoption process, much less support them, and I have known from before Day 1 that our church body would cover our adoption in prayer and support us 100%.

An added treat at church was having Traci and Anna Morton (previously committed to Sam and Duncan) and Erika and Mel Rogers, with their 7 kiddos (adopting Bernadette and Mason) visiting today!

Today was our Team Sam vs. Team VikTory soccer tournament and 5k event, which took place at the Smith River Sports Complex in Axton, VA.  Hence all the blue shirts.

Kids' Soccer Tournament

I was wowed by the turnout at the event this afternoon.  We had 41 people registered for at least one event, and a lot of people came just to support us, even if they weren't participating.

We had a bake sale, two $50 Visa gift card giveaways (one for registered participants, one for anyone donating $5 or more to the jar), t-shirt sale, and lots of fun kids' events!

Hi Tonya!

Tonya is a very close friend of mine, and I joke with her that she has God on speed dial, because this lady continually has prayers answered, and usually very quickly.  I was busy adding registrations, keeping money separated between the two families, and then again between t-shirt cost and event profits, and Tonya told me she had been praying the event would be huge.

Today at the Sports Complex, she told me she had been praying for $1,000 to come in for the event.  I had no idea how much money was going into the different boxes, but I knew there were a lot of people there, and I cam home with only a few shirts.

I sat down to add everything up, and here's what we've got!

Team Sam Registrations (after t-shirt expenses): $110
Bake Sale, Gift Raffle, plus gift card to benefit the Rogers family: $180
Team VikTory Registrations (after t-shirt expenses), t-shirts, gift card: $710

I'm not sure about what you just added, but my calculator says $1,000!  To. The. Dollar.  So, Tonya, thank you for your specific prayer, you got a specific answer!

And a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out today, whether you were there to play or cheer from the sidelines!  We can't wait for next year, when we're Playing Them Home for another adoptive family!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fatherless Friday

To think that our children have been waitng 9 and 11 years for a family breaks my heart.  There are so many others who wait, being passed over time and time again.  There is one boy Scott and I cannot stop going back to, wondering where his family is.  We both wish he belonged to our family, but we're already committed to two children in another country, so we just have to pray for his family to find him!

Friends, I'd like for you to meet Jack.

May I tell you a bit about Jack?  He is 11, and will be 12 in October.  He would love to be part of a family with kids around the same age, so he has someone to play with.

He loves insects and worms, but dislikes scary movies.
He is soft-spoken and gentle with the other children in the orphanage.
He is responsible and intelligent.  He is in 4th grade.
Every one of his orphanage directors has spoken very highly of him.
He has a grant of nearly $6,000!!!

He has asked a question: "Do you know anyone who would like to take a boy like me?"  And I have no answer to that question!  If he were not in a different country, we would snatch him up in a heartbeat! 

How can he stand to watch as younger children are chosen, and he is left behind, time and time again?  Where are his parents?!

Can I tell you what's scaring everyone away (other than his age, and really, is not worrying about diapers and nighttime feedings so scary?)?  Honestly, I'm scared you won't read another word after I write it.  So, please be patient while I dispel some misinformation.  People with Jack's condition take medication to keep it under control, and while on this medication, the condition is undetectable.  It is important for people with this condition to eat healthy in order to keep their immune system boosted, but there is no reason they can't be active, be loved, and live a normal life.  His big not-so-scary condition?  He has HIV.

One more question from Jack that I'd love to know if you can answer: "What do I need to do for a Mom to come? Do you know where she is? Is she looking for me?"

Please go look at Jack's profile at to see if he's your son.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thirty-One MATCH!!!

My lovely friend, Susie, who is holding an online party for Thirty-One Gifts for me, just sent me a message that 25% of all purchases will be going straight to our adoption fund! 

But she also shared that she has someone willing to MATCH her donation if we hit $1000 in sales!  That means that 50% of each order would head straight to our adoption fund!  FIFTY PERCENT!!!  

If you were on the fence about ordering before, you now have the opportunity for your purchase to go twice as far with helping us to reach our fundraising goal!  Have you seen the catalog?  There are some great items!  Here are some of my personal favorites...

This is my must-have for the summer.  It goes everywhere with me... to the pool, full of towels and snacks for the whole family, on a day trip to the zoo or mountains.  And even after all the beach towels are put away for winter, it is a great bag for stacking Christmas gifts to take to relatives' homes!

I have packed this thermal tote full of frozen groceries in the summer, used it to transport hot and cold dishes (laid on its side), and filled it with snacks and drinks for summer days at the pool or days we've got a lot of errands to run!  

This bag is small enough to carry lunch for one, and big enough to carry enough food for two!  Ayden and I recently went on a day-trip with Girl Scouts, and this bag was full of snacks, lunch, and water bottles, without taking up a lot of room in a van full of girls!

While I don't personally own this wallet, one of my friends does, and I have serious wallet envy!  She can fit EVERYTHING in there, but it's not big and bulky! 
We have been ready to leave on vacation, and I've had to tell Scott "Hang on, we can't leave yet, my flat iron is still warm."  No worries, just slip it into this sleeve and toss it in the bag!  It keeps your other items from getting hot, or um, you having to hold your flat iron while you drive down the road, waiting for it to cool.  Ahem.

So, please, please, please, if you were thinking about ordering before, make your purchase go twice as far, with HALF of your order total going to our adoption fund!  This party is only running through this weekend, so all orders will be sent directly to your home before Mother's Day!  Something for you, something for Mom!  And 50% for our kiddos waiting for us on the other side of the world!


Oh my goodness, I wish.

Just yesterday, I had a friend tell me that I'm amazing, that I should tell others how I manage to do everything that I do.  I had another friend say "Of course, if anyone could, it's you" in regards to a fundraiser I'm working on.

Oh, ladies, I wish I was really so remarkable.  As I sit here typing, I've just mopped my floor that I've neglected for several days (and white tile really canNOT be neglected without looking terrible).  I've got several stacks of paper on my dining table, all for various adoption-related tasks, and I'm one morning away from Sadie sweeping it all onto the floor and me having to re-stack and re-file everything.

There are still Easter eggs mysteriously appearing on the floor, my nightstand, and my bathroom sink.  And I'm a couple of days behind on laundry, thanks to a long weekend with Scott off work, and paper-chasing the past couple of days.

I really don't want anyone to think that I keep a spotless home 24/7 (seriously, a 15-minute warning is nice!), that I'm always crafting (I can't even muster enough desire to look on Pinterest right now), or that I keep all the plates spinning without one falling.

If I am in adoption paperwork mode, that means I am NOT in crafty creative mode, and if I am pulling together a fundraiser (or planning for Bargain Fair, or working on a Girl Scout meeting) then I am not focusing on something else.  And that yummy cake last night?  I had ZERO time to whip up a nice dessert for the League's social, so I ran to the store, bought a cake, sliced it up, and served it on a nice dish.

Some days I do feel like I've got everything running like a well-oiled machine.  And some nights I fall into bed, feeling like I've accomplished nothing.  I promise, I'm not special, remarkable, or amazing.  I'm just me, trying to juggle life, and not worrying too much if I have to drop some balls to keep the others in the air.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our First Homestudy Meeting

Last week, Scott and I (with tag-along Sadie) met our social worker to work on our homestudy.  We brought a stack of paperwork for our file, and had time to chat about our families, our kids, and the adoption.  We answered questions like "When did you first discuss adoption?", "Why special needs?", "Why an older child?", "Why two?"

Speaking one-on-one is so not my thing.  Put me in the front of a room with a prepared speech and I'm good; set me up with a pen and paper, and I'll write you a book.  But answering questions on the spot, that's hard. 

The first three were easy.  We've talked about adopting "one day" for years.  We started seriously discussing it when Sadie was born, and my OB sat in the NICU with us and said "You're done."

My home away from home, in Sadie's pod in the NICU.  Kangaroo time was her favorite!

And children with special needs, especially those who have Down syndrome, are not valued in their culture, locked away in institutions.  We told her about the markers for Down syndrome when I was pregnant with Sadie, and that we felt our hearts were softened to children with Down syndrome through that.

As for the older kids, they're the least likely to be adopted.  And our hearts are burdened for the older kids.  We told her it felt more weird to think of replacing Sadie as the baby than it did replacing Ayden as the oldest, and our kids agree with that.

The tough question was "Why two?"  How do we answer that?  I couldn't come up with anything other than "That wasn't the plan!"  The plan was one now, one later.  None of this has happened how we thought it would.  But that's the point of letting God do the planning, and not us.

We saw Cullen's picture, and knew we wanted to make him a Pickett.  Yes, we know it's going to be harder.  Yes, we know the adjustment will take longer.  But we also know that he's worth it.  We're preparing ourselves, reading every resource we can find on adopting an older waiting child, their specific challenges, and their blessings!

We're not building up this fantastical image of the kids immediately bonding to us and showering us with love and affection, but we're praying their minds and hearts will be ready for becoming part of our family.  We're aware that they will need to grieve over the loss of their "normal" and especially the loss of the caretakers they have bonded with.

We've come to realize over these past few days that our social worker questioning our decision was very important for us to work through the "why two" question ourselves.  And it has put us even more at peace with our decision, more excited about bringing home our two children!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, 
not lacking anything. 
James 1:2-4

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Morning Update 4.9.12

M:  Our Thirty-One Online Party is OPEN!  Order through my event by April 15, and 20% of your total purchase will be given to our adoption fund!  And just in April, spend $31, and choose any purse at 50% off!

T:  Our 'Two Times the Love' Giveaway is OPEN!  Ten prizes for the ChipIn, plus a bonus prize for donors to our FSP, and we're raising the money to add Cullen to our adoption!

W:  Fingerprints are done!  And thanks to technology, we didn't even have inky fingers!  The kids were with us, so Scott and I took turns going back to the holding room.  Ayden and Elijah GRILLED me on what was through those doors, and wouldn't let up until I told them that, yes, I saw a criminal back there.

R:  We had our first homestudy meeting with our social worker.  It was so much more relaxed than I had imagined, though it was still intimidating having someone question our decision.  (It's her job, though, so I don't fault her a bit, and she was really positive through the whole meeting.)

Sa: We went to the sports complex to make sure we had our 5K route down... it's going to be a great run!  We came home to discover that my dad had brought more hand-crafted walking sticks for us to sell to raise money for the adoption!  I sold 5 within hours of posting this photo on facebook:

Su:  We celebrated Christ's resurrection, gave thanks for our adoption into God's family, for the incredible sacrifice He was, and for our undeserved redemption.

This week I'm focusing on pulling together the rest of our paperwork for the homestudy, and beginning to look at the rest of the dossier check list.  I want to always be ready for the next step in the process!  And looking forward to getting everything ready for the Soccer Tournament and 5K!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

28-Hour Challenge!!!

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be harassing everyone about MY fundraisers, MY needs.  But when someone who is so close to the end of this journey is given a wonderful gift that would get them financially TO the end, I can't push my giveaway.  I have to push for them instead.

Mandy, with sweet Joseph

Everyone knows and loves Mandy.  A faithful daughter of God, a wonderful wife, mother, and friend.  An advocate for her children waiting in Eastern Europe, an advocate for other adoptive families, and other waiting children.  What I love most about Mandy is that she is a "Yes" woman.  When God says to go, she goes.

Just a short while ago, she was being shown that she needed to give up the idea that she was David, fighting her Goliath (a.k.a. adoption funds), and gave that giant over to God to defeat instead.  At the time, she had an $8,000 giant, so giving it up wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do.

Within days, she started receiving money.  God was melting that mountain, and we laughed that He was showing off.  She just had to recalculate her expenses, since airfare has gone up so much, and she is now $1,280 from being fully funded.

Fully funded.  Two of the sweetest words adoptive families could ever hear.  And two more sweet words are "matching challenge."  And that is exactly what Mandy heard yesterday.  She was offered a $500 match, with only ONE DAY to pull it off.  From 8:00 EST today to MIDNIGHT EST TOMORROW.

That's 10 people giving $50, 20 people giving $25, or 50 people giving $10.  What can you give?  For one day, you can double your money, and make a real difference in the lives of two little boys who are on their way home within WEEKS.  That $500 will become $1,000, and put Mandy just $280 away from the Fully Funded status.

And if you don't know what happens when she hits that, some lovely women in PA have donated a massage to Mandy, so she can take care of herself after taking care of so many others.  Let's get her there!  Click HERE to donate to the Rhodes family's FSP for them to get the match.  And let's go past $500, all the way to $780, so they'll be FULLY FUNDED.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We're Having a Party!!!

A Thirty-One party, that is!

Susie Townsend (another adoptive mommy) emailed me to see if I'd be interested in hosting an online party, with 20% of all sales being donated to our adoption fund, and I had to say yes!

You can go straight to the party by clicking here!

The party is running through April 15, which means your order will be ready in time for Mother's Day!  Thirty-One always has great specials... this month, when you spend $31, you can choose any purse at 50% off!

And don't forget our 'Two Times the Love' Giveaway, where you can win two bags, also donated by Susie!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Two Times the Love Giveaway Is Open!

The "Two Times the Love" giveaway is our biggest giveaway so far, with 10 prizes up for grabs (plus a bonus prize, just for the FSP donors)!  Because posts are listed in date order, the giveaway would be buried by just a few days' posts, so I decided to make a page just for the giveaway!

We have an impressive goal of $3,575 to cover Cullen's placing agency and foreign agency fees, which will be almost the last of what we need to pay up front.  We're also saving for our post-adoption report fees ($700), USCIS fees ($890), and apostille fees (~$100). 

Once we have paid all these fees, we'll be $16,486 into the adoption, at the halfway mark!  Please pray for us and pray we'll receive the funds we need to continue moving forward.

You can go to the giveaway page here to get all the details and see all the fantastic prizes!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Morning Update 4.2.12

Recap from last week:

M: We spoke to our social worker, and our first meeting is scheduled for this week! If all goes smoothly, we'll have our homestudy in hand in 8 weeks.

T: We spoke to our placing agency about adding Cullen to our application in their country.  We found out the fees for adding a second child to the adoption are $3,575, which includes our placing and foreign agency fees.  We began praying about fundraising for those fees.

I found out that my passport was entered into the Dept. of State system on 3/20, and taking care of the passport at the post office means I should have my passport back within 4 weeks of the date it's entered, hopefully 2 weeks from now.

W: Our Family Sponsorship Program is set up on Reece's Rainbow!  And because we can't share our kids' real names, we're calling our daughter "Katrin", which will be her middle name, and our son "Cullen", since that's his alias on RR. (We can't share their real names until the adoption is finalized, for their privacy.)

R:  Prizes for our fundraiser started coming together, and I'm amazed at the generosity of both friends and strangers.  Our FSP is already at $160!

Sa:  My passport came in the mail!  (That was fast!!!) A copy has to be included in the dossier, so this is one more item to check off the list!

Su:  $260 on the FSP!

Happy Monday everyone!