Saturday, April 30, 2011

Big Bang Winner!

The winner of the authentic, autographed script of The Big Bang Theory is JENNI PINARD OF OCALA, FL!!!!!!  She won it for $200- excellent!!!!!  Thank you!!!!!!  Jenni is also the manager of Easy Street Family Fun Center which is where we had Dima Day back in early March.  Thank you, Jenni, for being so helpful and supportive of our Dima!

In the meantime Eric and I are still waiting to hear from USICS for a fingerprint appointment.  It has only been 2 days since they received our application and today is Saturday, so no worries (yet!).  Hopefully we will be hearing from them next week.  In the meantime we are gathering the last few pieces of paper and getting things ready to be taken to Tallahassee to be authenticated.  The light IS at the end of the tunnel, we just need to pray that we are not held up after our fingerprinting.  Once we are printed we then have to been assigned a case office who will review our file and either approve or disapprove us to send our Dossier over to Dima's country.  I am not worried about that, it is the fact that some families are being held up at that stage because there is quite a back log (2-3 months!).  Eric and I plan on making some phone calls and being direct/persistent in order to get our file through.  Please pray that the Lord makes way for us.  Our dear Dima turns 7 in 16 days and still on borrowed time!  Remember, children are usually transferred to the other place at the age of 4....Dima has already surpassed that by 3 years now.  Later today I am going to reveal just how we are going to celebrate that precious boy.

Again, thank you to all who participated in the Big Bang Auction.  Thank you to Steven Holland, the writer, and to the cast members of The Big Bang Theory.  I am grateful and in awe at how God provides for our adoption.  If you haven't noticed, our thermometer jumped by $1,000 this past week.  We had a generous donor bless us.  The $200 that we will get will put us over the $8,000 mark! Amazing!

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Bang Auction - Holding at $200!

Jenni Pinard from Ocala, FL is the current high bidder of the script with only 3 hours and 15 minutes to go!!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Big Bang Auction Update

The bidding is holding steady at $129.  Pretty good, but I know we can get this puppy up to $200!  The auction closes at midnight tomorrow night.  $200 is my personal goal to close this out.  Now that we have submitted our I600 application, we should be doing our fingerprints within a week or so.  After that I will be making phone calls to get our file expedited and get our family APPROVED so we can send our Dossier over to Dima's country.  So Eric and I need to be diligent with our paper work and our fundraising to get to our sweet boy.  Will you help us reach our goal?  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Step Closer to Dima!

This morning Eric sent off our I600 application to USICS!!!  It should arrive on Thursday morning before 10:00 a.m. and then hopefully we will receive our fingerprint appointment relatively soon.  I was so excited last night I could hardly sleep!  I even dreamed about being over in Dima's country and meeting him for the first time.  It was so real and so happy- Dima was so happy to have a Mama and a Papa and the look on his face was priceless.  Sadly it was only a dream and it feels like that day cannot come fast enough.

The Big Bang Auction is still going on and the bid is now up to $129.  Do I hear $131?  It would make an awesome Father's Day gift for a Dad who loves that show.  I mean who has an autographed script just laying around to give?  I do!  And I would love for it to be auctioned off at a decent price and go to a good home where it will be appreciated.  The auction closes at midnight on Friday and the winner with the highest bid will be announced on Saturday morning.  Let's get this script up to at least $200!!

Eric and I are also working on our big fundraiser to celebrate Dima's 7th birthday which is on May 15th.  As soon as we have one more thing finalized I can unveil our next big fundraiser.  This next one will not be terribly difficult, and it will not take much to participate.  We just need 1,000 people!

On that happy note I had better get back to cleaning.  Jeremiah and Elijah are in Disney World for the week with their Grammy and Pa (Nathan has us all to himself!) and I must clean.  Did I ever mention that little boys are messy?  I must also sort through all of their clothing again and set stuff aside for Dima.  Now that I have seen him in action I can guesstimate his size and I am thinking something like a 4 or 5T.  Having 3 boys there is no shortage on clothing!  Have a great day!

Monday, April 25, 2011

1,000 Birthday Wishes for Dima

May 15th.  A special little boy wakes up to his Mama singing "Happy Birthday" to him and he smells chocolate chip pancakes being made in the kitchen.  The little boy sits up, blinks, rubs his eyes yet again and sees his 3 brothers standing behind his Mama.  "Happy Birthday!!!  Happy Day!!!!" they all shout.  The little boy jumps out of bed, races past his brothers and his Mama and sees his Papa putting a huge breakfast on the kitchen table: chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, orange juice and milk.  WOW!  Never has he seen so much food in one place for just 6 people.  Could he really eat as much as he wants and enjoy it?  Suddenly he sees Happy Birthday balloons tied to his chair and some gifts piled at his place at the table- was he dreaming?  What is this all about?  He runs over to the table and is not even sure what to do first; eat or open gifts?  The precious little birthday boy chooses the food and eats 3 plates worth of breakfast and could have probably had more, but his Mama told him it was time to open gifts.  His very own gifts.  Is this what happens when someone has a birthday?  They get hugs, kisses, special breakfasts, gifts and a day to do whatever they want?  Do grandparents come over later in the day for a day at the park?  And friends from church and school come to celebrate one special day for one special little boy? 

Sadly, this is not what Dima will experience this year on his birthday.  His 7th birthday.  Birthdays are not something that are celebrated in his world.  Birthdays are dreaded and feared.  Birthdays can only mean that they are one year closer to their transfer to the other place.  A horrible place that is not at all happy, safe, or secure.  Dima should have gone to that other place 3 years ago but for some reason he is still at the only place he knows as home right now; the place you see in the videos that I have posted.  It is not ideal, but it is still better than that other place.  But will this birthday bring about a change?  Will Dima get that dreaded call to the other place?  Will he go on a car ride thinking that it is something special only to learn that he is being dropped off at a place filled with horrible smells and noises?  Will he be terrified night after night all the while becoming depressed and lonely?  And just what is this other place?  It is a mental institution.  A place where Dima's country puts all of it's "defective" people.  A place where people are not celebrated.  A place where there are no Happy Birthdays.  A place where there are no hugs an kisses from family members.  No, it is like a prison where little ones are put to waste away, most of them not evening surviving the first year due to the shear trauma of it all.  What kind of a birthday present is that for an adorable little 7-year-old boy?  

While we have committed to Dima there is no promise of him being kept at Baby House 18.  He could easily be transferred before we can get over there making the journey to adopt him much more difficult.  That, however, would never deter Eric and I from rescuing him.  I would walk to the ends of the earth for sweet Dima just as I would my other sons.  He deserves to have a birthday filled with love, laughter, happiness, food, balloons, gifts, and being surrounded by people that love him for who he is.  Birthdays should not be feared, they should be celebrated and cherished.  This CAN be Dima's realty and YOU can be a part of it.

After the end of our Big Bang Auction we will be having a very special fundraiser to help us get over halfway funded.  Something to celebrate Dima's birthday.  To give Dima hope.  To let Dima know that he is worthy of love and a family.  And you all get to be a part of it.  The catch, however, is that I will need 1,000 people to participate.  With Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc... I think that my goal is possible.  Love always wins.  In the meantime you can help get a jump start on wishing Dima a Happy Birthday by participating in our Big Bang Auction.  The bidding is currently holding at $125.  The minimum bid to beat that is $127.  Anyone?  Anyone?  As Eric and I perfect the details of Dima's Birthday, think about what you would want to say to Dima if you had the chance.  If you where here to celebrate his birthday, what would you say to him?  How would you wish him a Happy Birthday?  Remember, love always wins:)

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Big Bang Auction

Eric and I are excited to announce our next online fundraiser!  Thanks to Eric's friend, Steve Holland, we have an authentic script from the CBS comedy The Big Bang Theory to auction off!  Steve is a writer for the show and he asked the 5 main cast members to autograph this script for our auction.  They so graciously agreed to do so and we are grateful to them for taking the time to do this.

The script is from Episode 83, "The Herb Garden Germination".  It aired Thursday, April 7th- a recent episode!  It is a full script with the week's production schedule, cast list, sound effects instructions, and of course the script for the show.  It is a unique auction and we are happy to be able to provide something different.








You will notice that each signature is authentic (signed with a black Sharpie)!  Yes, the script is also a little bent, but it had to survive being sent from LA to little old Ocala, FL.  Sorry about that.

So this is how the Big Bang Auction will work:  Eric and I are starting the bidding out at $25.00.  The next bid must be a minimum of $27.00 raising the bid just $2.00.  Each bid must be a minimum of $2.00 more than the previous bid.  You will make the bids in the comment section of this blog entry so that everyone can see how the auction is progressing.  The auction begins immediately (Friday, April 22nd) and will end on Friday, April 29th at 11:59 p.m.  The winner of the auction will be announced on Saturday, April 30th.  Whoever has the highest bid must donate that full amount to our Reece's Rainbow grant no later than Monday, May 2nd.  Once the money has been deposited into our Reece's Rainbow grant the script will be shipped to the winner.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comment section so others can see the question (you never know, you may ask a question that someone else may also have).  Also, please share this auction with your friends (especially if they love this show!).

Happy Bidding!!!!!  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

AND THE WINNER IS........!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



LISA WILLIAMS FROM HOUSTON, TX!!!!!!!!!

I carefully tabulated all entries and had a computer program randomly select the winner.  Thank you to all who entered and please know that we appreciated all entries no matter how large or small.

To our winner, please send me an email: jenny.monier@gmail.com so I can verify your shipping address.  I have it from your entry but I want to be absolutely certain before I order the Kindle for you.

Eric and I still need to raise over $18,000 to be fully funded so we will still be having various giveaways and auctions.  Our next online opportunity to help us reach our final goal will be a nifty auction, but if there is something specific that you would like to see in a giveaway (within reason, of course!) please let me know and I can see what we can do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN TOMORROW MORNING!

The giveaway will still be open until midnight if you want to enter, but we have met and exceeded our goal!!  THANK YOU to those of you that participated.  We are so grateful for the support that we have from our friends and family.  It means the world to us.  It will mean even more to Dima!


$116.52 Away from Our Goal!

I did not draw the winner for the Amazon Kindle this morning as we are $116.52 shy from our goal for fingerprinting fees.  The auction will remain open until Monday, April 25th unless.....  to up the ante even further, I will TRIPLE your donated entries until midnight tonight!  Only those that make a contribution from now until midnight tonight will have their entries tripled.  So if you donate $10, you get 3 entries!  Spread the word and hopefully we will meet the goal by midnight tonight.  To see the original entry about our awesome giveaway, click here.

The sooner we reach our goal for the fingerprinting fees the sooner we can move onto something new!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Adoption Journey Progress Update

It has been awhile since I went into detail how far along we are in the process so that will be today's entry.  I wish I could say that we were on our way, but I do not think that will be happening until July.  That is actually O.K. with us as our church's Vacation Bible School is at the end of June and Eric cannot miss that!  I don't want to miss it, either.  Also, the weather will be nice and hot over in Dima's country just like here which will be easier on us (meaning no winter coats needed!).

So yesterday Eric and I finally received a final draft of our home study.  I confess that I feel as though it took a little longer than I had wanted, but God is ultimately in control, right?  It was a very positive write-up about our family.  My heart was also touched by what our references stated in their letters to our social worker- wow!  Thank you, references!  Eric and I now must wait to receive official copies of our home study and have them approved by our overseas facilitator.  In the meantime we must apply for our I600- fingerprinting.  That will be one of the last big steps before we get approved by our own country to adopt overseas.  Once we are approved by the States, then we can get all of our documents apostilled and THEN we can send our Dossier over to Dima's country!!!  Apostilled, by the way, means getting all of our notarized documents "notarized" by the State of FL.  Basically a notary of a notary.  Eric and I will either drive all of our papers up to Tallahassee or pay for a service to do it for us.  We have yet to decide and we have several weeks before we have to make up our minds (hopefully less!).  Overall I think we are moving along at a relatively normal pace.  We had started out going fast, but our social worker kind of held us up for about 3 weeks.  Hopefully now we can get back on track and finish strong.

As for our fundraising, we are 1/4 of the way funded!  Yesterday a donor blessed our grant with $3,000 which had me in tears.  I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed that someone would bless us that way; bless Dima, too!  Yesterday, for the first time, Eric and I really felt as though we might actually get the money together in time!  We are still going to be doing lots of fundraising until we are fully funded but we do want everyone to know that Eric and I have been kicking all that we can as we go along.  There is a fundraiser coming up that will be in lieu of Dima's 7th birthday which is on May 15th. As soon as we can close down our Kindle giveaway we can tell you the details of Dima's 10,000 birthday wishes.  We will also be having a party in our home on the 14th that will be a pasta supper/silent auction.  Details for that soon to follow, too.  My dear friend Cris is also still wanting to have a Yard Sale Part 2, and as soon as I have a date and details for that I will post all of that.  I truly believe that with all of the fundraising, a grant, and some other sources we will be fully funded in time.  Eric and I have had our faith tested and grown more in these past 2 1/2 months than we have ever had in our lives.

Eric, the boys, and I do ask for your continued prayers.  There are some changes being made in Dima's country regarding adoptions and while we honestly do not know the final outcome of those just yet, we know that prayer is of utmost importance.  I personally refuse to get all upset and stressed about it, but I know that there are some other mommas out there that are heartsick over all that could happen.  I want to lovingly remind my fellow adoptive mommas that God knows what is going to happen and He loves our children so much more than we do- whatever happens will not be a surprise to Him.  Do we want to remain vigilant and get our Dossiers over there?  You betcha!  But do not worry yourselves sick in the meantime.  Let's all keep this in prayer.

So with that I must get back to my morning routine.  Thank you all for taking the time to read our update and thank you for your prayers and encouragement!   

Monday, April 18, 2011

Amazon Kindle Giveaway: Raising the Ante!

Hey everyone!!  Please do not forget our Kindle giveaway!!  It ends a week from today!!  So many of you have generously participated and we have almost reached our goal for our fingerprinting fees!!  We are going to up the ante a little to meet our goal.  If we reach our goal by midnight tomorrow (April 19th) we will double everyone's chance who donated between today (April 18th) and our deadline tomorrow (April 19th) evening.  So in other words if you only donate $10, you get 2 entries rather than 1.  Be sure to read the rules posted in the giveaway entry so you know for sure what your entry would be worth.  I should add that we are only doubling the financial portion of our giveaway.  Posting the giveaway on your Facebook and blog still only raises you one extra entry per posting.  If we successfully reach our goal by midnight tomorrow night we will draw the winner on Wednesday morning and get that Kindle sent out to the winner!!!

Best wishes!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Most Favorite Video of Dima



This, my friends, is by far my most favorite video of Dima.  Rafaella & Luca so graciously sent this to me and I am forever grateful.  I am not exactly certain of what is being said but it is obvious that my sweet Dima is mesmerized by whatever it is that Luca is sharing on his video camera.  The best part is when Dima just yells out- I can hear his voice, his desire to want to be the center of attention.  Alas, he must share!  Eric and I have probably watched this video 50 times (at least!) and we know it by heart.

As I have shared before, these videos make Dima so real.  Dima is not just a cute picture that we gaze at, he is a living, breathing, little boy.  My heat aches for him, to hold him, kisses him, hug him, tickle him, play with him, and just enjoy him.  Last evening I shared with Eric that I think I almost need Dima as much as Dima needs me.  Nathan needs "his Dima", too!

There has been some news from Dima's country regarding adoptions. So far nothing too horrible, but more uncertainty for those of us adopting.  On June 12th the branch of government that currently handles adoptions will be dismantled and a new branch will be taking over.  If anything, what it means for us is that we must have our Dossier completed and sent over no later than June 1.  Please pray that all of our paper work is in order and sent over well ahead of that date!

This morning someone at church asked me what happens if we do not raise the money necessary to adopt Dima.  To be honest, we do not allow that thought to cross our minds.  If we did, nothing would get done and Dima would not be adopted solely based on fear or doubt.  For those of you that have gone through the process and raised your support, would you be willing to leave a note on this entry to share how God moved on your behalf?  I think it would bless people that are not familiar with the process to see how God provides.  It would encourage me, too!

Thank you to those of you that have recently participated in our Kindle giveaway!  We have raised over $400!  That puts us well over the halfway mark (I would say even over the 3/4 mark!) and we will soon be ready to have those fingerprints done!  There is still a week left to participate so spread the word.  We have more fundraisers coming up that will be fun.  We also have something very special to auction off that I think will appeal to many.  It is something unique.

On that note, have a blessed Palm Sunday!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What's In a Name?

So did you all get to see those amazing videos of my sweet Dima?  I contacted the family that took the videos and they promptly responded with their excitement that we are working on bringing Dima home.  Eric and I are so grateful to the family for their openness with us about Dima and Baby House 18!  We also rejoice that their precious little one has found such a fantastic forever family and now gets to live in a beautiful country- Italy!

As many of you know, however, we had planned on changing Dima's name to Daniel David.  We agonized over choosing the name and everything!  After seeing the videos, however, and watching him respond to the name Dima, Eric and I have decided to keep his given names (first and middle).  Dima is not his full name and I cannot share that until he is legally ours, but Dima is his REAL nickname that he knows and loves.  He just looks like a Dima to me, too.  So we are pleased to share that with you all.

In the meantime, our Kindle giveaway is still going strong.  We are over halfway to our goal!  Thank you to those of you that have participated so far.  Even if you cannot donate, would you please at least pass our giveaway along to your friends?  Not only do we want to raise the money, but we are also hoping that a family that is considering adoption would choose one of the precious Reece's Rainbow kids.  Thank you!

I will now leave you with the latest pictures that I have received of our Dima.  The woman that you will see in the pictures is Raffaella and the man is her husband, Luca.  They adopted sweet Anja:)  Thank you Raffaella, Luca, and Anja for the pictures and videos!!!  And can you see how loving Dima is??  Oh how he needs his Mama and Papa!!!!!







Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Found a Treasure & I Have a Plea

Last evening I found a treasure.  Something more precious than gold or silver.  Last evening I saw Dima!  I saw DIMA!  I saw him playing, and laughing, and having fun.  I saw Dima's sweet, smiling face and heard his laugh, his voice!  Dima is a REAL, living, breathing, and active little boy that so desperately needs his Mama and Papa!  For months all he has been was a still picture.  Albeit an adorable, sweet, smiling picture, but just a picture.  I would show everyone his sweet face and while everyone agreed that he was cute, he seemed like a far-off concept rather than a real, living, breathing, little boy that needs a family.

But not now.  Now I have videos of him with his groupa taken last summer.  Now you can see Dima; see that he is happy, healthy, and sweet (obedient, too!).  So why would he still need a Mama and a Papa?  Because if Eric and I do not adopt him he will live in a horrific environment and that sweet, happy, little boy that you are about to see will turn into a sad, depressed, scared, and lonely little boy.  And more than likely a little boy he would remain as his chance of survival at the institution dramatically drops to almost nothing.

Dima deserves more than that.  So much more.

In this first video you will clearly see Dima splashing in the pool, laughing, smiling, and enjoying himself:


This next video also provides a clear glimpse of Dima though you will not see him until they pan over to where there are some little ones splashing in 2 little baby pools. Again, he is laughing, smiling, and happy:



This next video does not show as much of our sweet Dima, but you will see him nonetheless. He is the last little one on the right:



And finally, here is a video of his groupa listening to some special music and singing. Dima is the 3rd boy from the left:



Did you see him?  Did you see how happy he is?  Do you now see why Eric, the boys, and I love him so?  Do you see that he is a living, breathing, human being that deserves all the love and happiness that our family can offer?  If you know our family well, can't you just imagine him playing with our boys?  He would be on cloud 9 having 3 brothers, a Mama, a Papa, a dog, his own bed, toys, a REAL pool, friends, a church family, air conditioning (they have no AC where Dima lives and it gets beastly hot over there in the summers- which is why you see all of the little ones in their undies), love, security, etc...  He would have a life!  Dima would have the opportunity to grow up and live out his life surrounded by people that love him for who he is!

That being said, if you have not yet participated in our Kindle giveaway, would you please considering just making a $10 donation?  Just $10.  Isn't this precious little one worth far more than $10? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boy From Baby House 10/Boy From Baby House 18

This past Sunday Dateline aired a program called Boy From Baby House 10.  It tells the true story of a little boy that survived the Russian mental institution- only by the grace of God.  The salvation came through his adoption by an American woman.  If this woman had not heeded the whispers in her heart from God, this little boy would have surely died scared and very much alone.  While Daniel does not reside in Russia, he resides in a country that is no different than this situation and he will be turning 7 next month.  If you wonder what will happen to Daniel if we cannot raise the funds to adopt him, you can get a very realistic glimpse of what his life will be like if you watch this.  It will be hell.  A nightmare.  He will most likely die.

My 6 year old, Elijah, watched this with me and he got it.  He fully understood why Eric and I are are jumping through hoop after hoop, living on a super tight budget so we can pay what we can towards the cost of this adoption, and giving up things of value (yes, I have basically given up all of my jewelry sans my wedding rings- for now) without so much of a second thought.  Elijah gets that no child should have to live out his or her life in a place such as this.  Elijah has given all of his money towards rescuing his brother and vows to help find other orphans from Baby House 18 a home.  What are YOU doing to help the least of these?  Anything?  Why is it that a 6 year old can grasp this concept so much better than you or I?  Yes, I include myself in there.

Six months ago I would not have ever dreamed of doing what it is we are now doing.  Life was good, it was easy and and steady.  My boys are able to do so much for themselves and Eric and I were enjoying some of the freedom that comes along with that.  All 3 boys are healthy, active, strong, intelligent, well behaved, etc...  Every parent's dream.  Then we saw him.  We saw "Dima".  God confronted us with the harsh reality that there are children in this world (not just in Russia or Eastern Europe, even here in the States) that without our help have no chance of survival.  With that knowledge comes responsibility.  God will hold Eric and I accountable for what we do with that knowledge- if we do nothing it is disobedience.  Plain and simple.

Of course we were scared and uncertain as to what it would be like adopting a child with Down Syndrome.  Eric has more experience with that than I since he had been a special education teacher before going into the ministry.  We could not ignore the promptings in our hearts.  We could not ignore that adorable little boy from Baby House 18.  Eric and I knew that we had to take a leap of faith and if we did so, it would not be easy.  We would, however, be blessed beyond measure and grow in our Christian walk.  Our boys would learn an invaluable lesson on love- crazy love.  The kind of love where you put yourself out there fully vulnerable.  The love that we have for "Dima" (Daniel) is that crazy love- we are willing to do just about anything (legal, of course!) to bring him home and make him a part of our family.

So last evening as I sat and watched Boy From Baby House 10, I saw Dima.  I saw what his life is currently like and what it could be like if we do not get there.  It terrifies me and motivates me all at the same time.  We will fundraise until the cows come home, we will fill out every piece of paper a million times over if we must, we will travel to a country where we do not speak the language, we will allow ourselves to be burdened for these children, we will not look at the world through the same eyes....   Whatever it takes.  Whatever it takes to save that little boy from Baby House 18.

Will you please take some time today to watch this episode of Dateline?  If you have been following our journey and do not fully understand why we are doing this, will you please take a moment to see for yourself why we are putting ourselves on the line?  Even one step further, will you please help us?  Will you please donate to our cause?  We have a fantastic giveaway going on and even $10 makes a difference.

Without further ado, I give you the Boy From Baby House 10.....



Monday, April 11, 2011

Amazon Kindle Giveaway!

After some "market research" on Facebook, Eric and I have decided to do a Kindle giveaway!  It will be the Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology, brand new, shipped directly from Amazon.com!!  There will be several ways in which you can win so read carefully:

$10 = 1 entry
$15 = 2 entries
$20 = 3 entries
$25 = 4 entries
$30 = 5 entries
$50 = 10 entries
$75 =  20 entries

Please make your donation to our personal Paypal (located on the left-hand side of our blog and labeled Donations for Immediate Adoption Expenses) as we are raising money for our UCIS, i-600a and fingerprinting that must be done before we send over our Dossier.  In all we need $1,000 for this next step; currently we have $400 available to us which means we need $600 more to reach this goal (to clarify, this is part of the $25,000 that we need to complete this adoption).  We can make it with your help!!

To add to your entries and help spread the word, you can do one of the following:

*Promote this giveaway on your Facebook = 1 extra entry
*Promote this giveaway on your Facebook AND blog = 2 extra entries
*Promote this giveaway on your Facebook, Blog AND grab Daniel's blog button (located on the left- hand side of this blog) to put on YOUR blog = 5 extra entries!!!!!

To verify your extra entries I will need to be able to see your Facebook and blog so please leave me a note in this entry so I can verify your additional entries.

The winner will be chosen at random on Monday, April 25th and the Kindle will be ordered on that day and shipped directly to the winner!!

Any money that raise above and beyond our goal will then go towards our overseas expenses, so please don't be shy- ha ha!!

Our paper work is almost complete and we will soon be done with that leg of our adoption!  There have been some changes made in the adoption process in Daniel's country that indicates that we need to get this whole process completed as quickly as possible before any changes are made that could put a halt to our adoption or delay it for an extended period of time.  Daniel is already on borrowed time and we want to get to him before he would be transferred to an institution.  Will you please help us get there?  Will you please help make the difference in one precious little boy's life?  


**EDIT**

To get one more chance to enter (after the initial donation to our Paypal) you can tweet this entry on your Twitter.  Thank you to Kristen Marble for doing this and reminding me that there is Twitter, too!!!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yard Sale = Success!

I had wanted to write an entry 2 days ago, but we have been busy and exhausted form this past weekend.  Eric and I really hustled from Friday night through Saturday.  All of our efforts paid off!

Our yard sale was a major success!  We raised $1,410.00 which is going directly to our adoption grant with Reece's Rainbow.  This success, however, could not have been possible without the help of my friends, church family, and those that came to make a purchase or two at our yard sale.  If you are reading this and purchased something from our yard sale, thank you!  You helped make the difference in one child's life which is priceless.  To those of you that donated items to be sold I thank you, too.  Without your items this yard sale would not have been possible.  Eric and I are not pack rats and we give things away regularly via Ocala Freecycle- we had nothing left to sell!  But with the generosity of our church family we were able to pull off a super successful fundraiser.  We were speechless when we did the final count of our money as I had underestimated by over $200 just how much we made.  Eric and I also could not have pulled this off without the help of Cris Kelty and Diane Harth.  They helped put everything out, price items, and were available to keep an eye on things as people browsed. They freed Eric up to grill hot dogs and I was then able to share our adoption story with anyone and everyone who would listen.  THANK YOU ladies!!!!

There will be another yard sale thanks to my friend, Cris.  She and her husband will be hosting it at their home in the coming weeks.  When she gets a date set I will be sure to share the details.  While there will be some left-overs from our yard sale, there will be a fresh selection from her cache of items.  Again, I am beyond words and so grateful.

In the meantime we are actively working on our Cash for Gold fundraiser headed up by Ms. Carol Holzschuh.  If you have any broken, old, or mismatched pieces of gold jewelry please give Carol a call at (352) 208-2606 for details.  All gold is being kept in a safe (not at Carol's home) until it will be sold to the gentleman with whom Carol is working.  If you do not live locally, you can mail it to her.  This fundraiser has the potential to make us a few thousand dollars which would be so very helpful.  We have not yet hit the halfway mark in our fundraising efforts.  Eric and I are both making our own donations to this fundraiser and we are excited to each little piece of gold multiply.

I am also still making Key West Key Lime Pies and will deliver them right to your door!  If you do not live locally, you can purchase a pie for a homebound member of our church.  Each pie is $15.00.  So far I have had very positive feedback on my pies so give them a try!

Some of you have asked how our Pampered Chef fundraiser went.  I am happy to announce that we made about $100.  Thank you to those of you that ordered an item or two!  And also a thank you to my consultant, Colleen Kudis, for putting it all together!  YAY!

In non-fundraising news, we are moving right along with our paper work.  Today we are chasing down the final piece of paper (please pray that everything is correct!) and our home study should be complete, we are just waiting on our social worker to get it to us.  I am somewhat surprised at how quickly that part of our journey went.  I expected it to be much worse and take much longer, but my persistence has paid off.  People keep asking me when we are going overseas to get Daniel, but I have no idea on a specific date.  Eric and I are guessing that it will probably be late June/early July.  We also will have to make 2 trips and Daniel will not come home until the second trip.

In the meantime, please keep Daniel and our family in prayer.  We still have hoops to jump through and it is not really over until Daniel walks through our front door and is home for good.  That day cannot come soon enough!

Friday, April 1, 2011

147 Million Minus 1

There are 147 million orphans in the world.  Can you fathom how many little ones that is?  Eric and I are trying to make the difference in one child's life- just one.  We are filling out paper work, baking pies, fetching various documents, having fundraiser after fundraiser, and that is just for one.  Could you imagine if just ONE family, just one, from every Christian church from around the world took in just one  orphan, do you know what the result would be?  No more orphans.  There would be no need for families to jump through hoop after hoop, no more fundraising, no more praying at all hours of the day and night.  No, instead we could rejoice that there are no more orphans, that every child had a forever family!  Could you imagine?

Instead so many families in our churches today do not think that they are capable of adopting or that it is not their problem.  That or they do not want to be faced with the harsh reality that children are dying everyday.  I hate to break it to you, but it is your problem.  If you are reading this entry, it IS your problem!  It is my problem, too!  Eric and I have chosen to step out in faith and commit to one child.  Just one.  We are making sacrifices and stretching ourselves beyond what we ever thought was capable....but we cannot do it alone.  We need more families to step up and open their homes, their hearts, their lives to children that so desperately need a mommy and a daddy.  It doesn't matter wether it is from another country or from the same city...we need more families to take a stand for the orphans of this world!  GOD needs families to live out their faith, to be Monday morning Christians.  Let's not just talk the talk, let's walk the walk and live out our faith!!  Life is too short to just sit on the sidelines.  Time is short for 147 million little ones.

Not every family can adopt, but you CAN be an advocate for an orphan, for an orphan ministry, or be a Guardian Ad Litem in you community.  You CAN help a family that is willing and able to adopt by praying for them, helping them plan and execute fundraisers, donate to their adoption, watch their biological children as they go to court, etc...  At the very least you can ask God how He wants YOU to be a part of His magnificent plan for the orphans of this world.  James 1:27 is very clear about what "pure religion" looks like.  God loves children and wants us to be the hands and feet to love them.

147 million minus 1.  That is the equation that we need to solve one orphan at a time.