Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Reveal

Based simply on others' timelines from their completed adoptions from the same country, I'm estimating that we have 9-10 weeks left before I travel to bring our daughter and son home!

And, based on our budget for plane tickets, food, our apartment, kids' visas, and other travel expenses, I'm estimating that we need $3,000 to finish.  (You can find a complete listing of all our adoption expenses HERE.)

So, to make it fun to hit that final amount, how about a little game!  See these blocks?

I originally hoped to have a picture reveal, where you could buy blocks to reveal the kids' pictures underneath, but that plan is tabled until our court decree is issued, probably in 8 weeks or so.  I know, I know, it's been a year and you're desperate to see their beautiful faces, and I'm so ready to be able to show them to you!  (Keep reading to the end, there WILL be pictures under these tiles eventually!)

While I can't do a picture reveal *now*, I can do a PRIZE reveal!  And who doesn't love prizes?!

Here's how it works:  Each block is labeled with a specific letter (T for Tory, D for Denny) and number (1-100).  Each block is worth $15.  You have a couple of options for how you buy your blocks, whether it's a tax-deductible donation to our GRANT or by purchasing a beautiful necklace (in-stock or completely custom) from the 2:12 Designs Etsy page, like this one...

If you donate to our grant, please forward your Paypal receipt to scottandchandres at gmail dot com, and include the letter and number of the block(s) you want uncovered.  If you purchase a necklace, just include the letter and number of the block you want uncovered in the "notes to seller" part of the checkout process!

What am I forgetting?  Oh yeah, PRIZES!!!

Underneath random blocks (okay, it's not really random, but it is predetermined), there will be prizes!  Sort of like Double Jeopardy, only without having to say, "What is an Amazon gift card?" in order to win!

Here are the prizes up for grabs:

TEN $10 Amazon gift cards

TWO sets of handmade jewelry from our kids' country
(Items pictured not available, but I will purchase more jewelry while in country, and you can choose from what I purchase. )

ONE more handmade doll before I travel to bring the kids home, then I'll probably never have time to sew again!
(These are the dolls I made for the kids before we travelled to meet them, and are only a sample of what you can choose.   Embroidery/monogramming is not available.)
 I've got other fundraisers coming, including another auction, but I didn't want to wait on this fundraiser anymore!  So, shop, give, and choose your blocks!  As soon as that court decree is in, there WILL be pictures behind the remaining tiles!  So, clear them now and you'll see their beautiful faces as soon as I can show them!

Next Step: Visa Interview

I got an update today that our Article 5/Visa Interview is set for tomorrow, January 23!  I had put on my timeline estimate that I thought it would be done by January 25, so being two days early is exciting!!!

That's one step closer, which means we'll be waiting for the Minister to sign off on our paperwork and assign us to a judge, for the judge to assign us a court date, and then to travel for pick-up after all court documents are translated.

If neat little timelines mean anything (and they don't, really), we could seriously be looking at traveling in 9-10 weeks!  EEEEEEK!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Working out the Details

I posted on facebook that I was out of fundraising ideas.  We've done vacation giveaways, YMCA membership, free Chick-fil-A for a year, an indoor "yard" sale, a soccer/5k fundraiser, another giveaway, handmade dolls, two facebook auctions, a quarter auction, and selling on eBay and Amazon.  Did I forget anything?!

It's been twelve months TO THE DAY since we sent in paperwork to commit to our girl, and I've barely stopped fundraising the entire time.  Friends of ours, as well as people we don't know, have been so generous with donating their talents, their unused items, their money, and I'm overwhelmed when I think back on the support we've received this past year.

Since I hit "post" on my facebook status, I've been overwhelmed with support and ideas for fundraisers, so I'm working out the details on that right now.  Let's just say that I believe we have one more facebook auction coming, and some items for direct purchase.  I can't thank you all enough for continuing to pour into us and our adoption when my faith falters and I feel like this is NEVER. GOING. TO. END.

I know you all want to see our girl, and our boy, and I'm working out some details on how to help you all do just that!  In the meantime, know that every penny you sow into our adoption is going to help bring this ponytail...

and this spike...

... home to our family!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Funding and Fundraising... ALMOST DONE!

Scott and I came home from our trip to meet the kids, and got down to business talking about the rest of our funding.  We knew his employer offers a bit of reimbursement for adoption expenses (though we're not sure if it's $2,000 or $5,000, and if that's total or per child... so we're looking at anywhere from $2,000-$10,000 being reimbursed, which is amazing!), so we decided to take out a loan to cover the biggest chunk of the remainder of our expenses.

Prior to travel, we had put in about $5,000 of personal money and raised somewhere in the ballpark of $20,000.  We came home and got the loan, then paid another $12,000 in expenses, and continued to fundraise.  We have somewhere around $1,500 in our Reece's Rainbow grant (the amount listed there includes what we had transferred to us before we traveled to meet the kids, and does *not* yet show a check that was mailed in... a HUGE gift of $1,000), and a little bit left from our loan. 

Here's what we have covered:

$3,000 - Two round-trip plane tickets
$   500 - Reimbursement to our agency for covering Tory's diabetes supplies
$   500 - Various in-country expenses (driver, gas, medicals, diapers, etc.)
$   460 - Visas for the kids
Here's what we still need:

$2,000 - Two one-way plane tickets
$   680 - 8 nights x $85 in our apartment
$   320 - 8 days x $40 in food expenses

I won't know an exact cost for the plane tickets until we know when we're traveling, but everything is a fairly close estimate.  I keep thinking about how much money we have left to raise, and I realize that we're $39,000 down (including the loan) and $3,500 left to go, and that over $20,000 has not come from us, but from others who have sown into our adoption.

I don't know how to raise this last bit, because I've sold everything I can sell in the auctions, and my last few giveaways have not done well.  I talked with a friend about doing an online adoption shower, so that may be our way to go for this last bit. 

Three months, three thousand dollars.  God's got this.  And...


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ready to Go Back

I am so eager to go back to my kids' country.  Of course, to pick them up, to hold them again, to bring them home; but also because part of my heart is in that place, and always will be.

I long to walk from a tiny apartment to the little market, or to the tiny restaurant nearby, or past the other apartments for a walk in the park.  I long to have a stray dog follow me as I walk past the fountains.  I long to have stray cats rubbing at my ankles, staring expectantly for me to drop a bit of my pork onto the ground.  I even long to trip over the uneven sidewalk tiles.

Soon, I'll be back, and I'll have two children to share that beautiful place with.  I cannot wait!