Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Feeling Blessed

I have to admit that by the end of last week I was really feeling stressed. I had just realized that our marriage certificates needed to be appostilled in NY because that is where we were married. I also realized that if and when I get my proof of home mortgage I'll have to send that out of state as well to be appostilled. Needless to say I was feeling pretty bummed.

To make matters worse I found out yesterday morning that my home study wasn't going to be ready by the end of the day like we had thought. So I was even more disappointed. That is when I got an email from my husband and I realized that we were so blessed to have such amazing people in our lives.

Chris's work had taken up a collection for us to go towards our adoption of Milana. His bosses said they would match whatever was donated. So we found out yesterday that we got a really great donation which will be heading to Reece's Rainbow to go into Milana's account. I just can't say enough how excited I am about this. Not to mention how much I appreciate everyone at Kennedy Office for helping us in our fundraising efforts to bring Milana home!

I can't stress enough how blessed we are to have the friends we have who are always thinking of ways to raise money for us - Lydia, Kristin, Martha, Alene, Alice, Jess, Jess's Mom, just to name a few. It means so much to us that we have your support and your ideas. I'm sure you have all figured out I am not creative by any means and need all the help that I can get :)

Thank you all for all you do for us!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Bundle of Emotions

In some ways an adoption is very similiar to being pregnant. For instance a friend of mine had brought up at one point the cravings. At first I thought no way, she's nuts. How could you be having all these cravings if you aren't really pregnant, but boy was I wrong. I have never in my life craved so much junk food!

Then there are the emotions that go with it - very, very similiar to those pregnancy hormones. One minute you are feeling great and everything is going well and then out of nowhere something happens to set you back and you start to feel a little discouraged.

Then there are the stories. I have heard stories where the bonding between an adoptive parent(s) and their child does not happen right away. That it can take awhile. I'm not really worried about that at this time. I'm more concerned with just gettting her. It is amazing how much you can love someone you have never met before. Sort of like when you are pregnant. You love that little bundle of joy without ever laying an eye on him or her. Lucky for me I at least have a picture of my sweet girl to look at all the time.

As excited as I am to bring Milana home the one thing that I worry about right now is the money. I go through periods where I am so confident it will come. I'm praying, my friends are praying, people I have not met are praying and I am so thankful for all of the prayers. I know in my heart the money will come. I just have to learn to be patient.

It is so hard to have to be patient though. It is possible that I could have my dossier (all my paperwork) sent to Eastern Europe in the next 3 weeks. That would be fabulous because if I do get it sent by then I could be travel in June. This is our goal - to travel in June once school is out (or close to it). It is just scary that looking into our account we aren't even close to raising the $24,000 we need. I am thankful for what we have, but again this is where the mixed emotions come in and I start to worry a little.

I did send out a request for fundraising ideas and got several. I am in need of a fundraising committee (I think) in order to pull off some of the ideas. Who knows maybe I can pull some of the things off on my own. We'll see. One idea was to find someone to donate the money - all of it. That would be in some ways the easiest way, but I don't know how to go about it. I am not good at asking people to donate money. In my initial letters that I sent out to get donations from people it didn't go so well. I think people think (or thought) I was asking them for like $20,000. I would have been thrilled with whatever they sent me whether it was $5, $10, $20, $100, etc.

I guess I'll just have to keep on praying and try to be patient. A good lesson yes, but I'm not sure I can handle the lesson right now and the stress that comes with it. Not when I am concerned with bringing our newest baby (ok she's 2 1/2, but like my other children 19, 8, and 8 they will all always be my babies) home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I have to admit that for the most part I don't like surprises. I'm serious. They totally stress me out. If anyone is ever thinking of throwing me a surprise party - I'm begging you not to. I can't stand being the center of attention. It just isn't my thing. I am more of a hide in the back of the room or blend into the wall kind of girl.

As much as I dislike surprises I got a couple REALLY good ones today. Last week I had to re-fax two forms to two different places because they were filled out incorrectly. I also had to drop off Chris's and my medical forms back to the doctor's office for the third time because they were also filled out wrong. I feel bad  doing this, but when you need the paperwork for an adoption - especially for another country you need to do things the way they want it done. So off the papers went to be redone. 

As I was walking to my classroom this morning one of the ladies I work with told me that the courier just dropped something off for me and asked if I was expecting anything. I couldn't think of anything I might be expecting and just figured it was something related to summer school. I figured I might as well check my box and see what it is. 

I opened the envelope and noticed a smaller envelope inside of it. That was when it hit me. It was my employment verification form. I faxed it right away to Lydia for approval and it was good this time. (Last time the notary was touching a line and believe it or not the country we are adopting from would not be happy with that).

Once I got that form I thought I had better put in some phone calls to check on the other two forms I resent last week. Unfortunately the mortgage verification form I needed wasn't even logged into their system. So of course I faxed it again. (I have faxed this to them at least four or five times. It took two times before they even got moving on it). I'll call back again tomorrow to see how it is coming along. Not sure I should get my hopes too high though.

I also called the doctor to see if they had redone the forms. The nurse wasn't sure so she said she'd have to call me back. Initially she thought I had picked them up which I had, but they weren't correct. She didn't realize I dropped them back off to be redone. That wasn't a good sign. 

 The last couple times I dropped them off it took well over a week and a half to get it back. I was pleasantly surprised when I left work and had a message that it was completed and ready to be picked up.  I checked it out and it looks good to me, but I still have to send it all to my state side coordinator to get the okay. (Please pray it is correct this time)!! 

Now we just need that mortgage verification form AND our home study. Once we get our home study we can send it off to join our I600A (which we mailed last week). We are actually hoping to hear from them soon so we know they received our paperwork. Then they will give us our appointment to get our federal fingerprints. After the fingerprints are completed they make sure we are not criminals and send us something saying we are good to go. 

Then we can send our paperwork. Hooray!!! Of course all our notarized papers need to be appostilled first. Shortly after it gets to Eastern Europe they give us an SDA appt. (Can't wait to go meet my baby and bring her home to us)!!!

We are still a long way from raising all the money we need in order to bring Milana home so please pray for us! I've been given a bunch of amazing ideas for fundraisers, but we'll save that til next time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Never A Dull Moment

What an adventure this whole process has been so far and of course continues to be. We have been working hard to raise money to bring Milana home. We had a great turnout last week at Texas Roadhouse. It was so nice of our friends to come. We also met some new friends.

Our yard sale on Saturday was amazing! We were fortunate enough to raise most of the money we needed to send out our I600A. I can't tell you how happy this made me! I went to the bank yesterday, got a certified check, and mailed that baby out yesterday!!! Hooray!!!

Of course with our baby steps forward there are also those baby steps back. I do have to redo a bunch of papers that I had completed. Unfortunately, they weren't exactly correct :( From what I understand this happens and there are others out there who have to redo forms. Better to get them right now than pay the price later!

I am going to be attending a preschool transition meeting. Although Milana isn't here with us yet she will be soon enough and we need to be ready. So...I am looking forward to all that new information.

All in all things are moving along. There is just so much to do!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010


We had our first fundraiser last night at Texas Roadhouse in Wake Forest. They were really great and have just been so helpful and supportive of our efforts to raise money to bring Milana home to us. So a HUGE thank you goes out to them. Especially Amanda who did a ton of work to make last night happen! We should hear from her soon to find out how we did! Still praying for good results :)

Tomorrow morning is our second fundraiser. We are having a yard sale at our house from 7am-12pm. The money we raise from the yard sale will also go towards bringing Milana home. So we are really hoping it goes well!!

I have to say I am very lucky to have such great people in my life. I have had several friends donate things to our yard sale in hopes of us making some money to bring home Milana. A big thank you to Kelli, Kristin, and Lydia for donating items and also for helping me prep tonight ;) We also had some friends and neighbors show up to support us last night which was really great! Those who couldn't make it but wanted to gave us donations. We had many people trying to get the word out for us about our fundraiser. We truly appreciate that!!

We were also lucky enough to meet some new friends last night. Thank you to Alison and her family for coming out and supporting us. It was so great to meet you and your family. Peyton and Riley are really looking forward to getting together with Nicole and playing!!

Please wish us luck and say a few prayers that our fundraiser last night turned out well and also that our yard sale tomorrow turns out well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Things Are Moving Along

I am so excited! My passport came in the mail last week. And even more exciting than that - my husband's passport came in the mail yesterday! Now we can finish up all of the paperwork we need for our dossier. Well, at least the ones I can control.

We are currently waiting on our home study report and some information we need from our social worker. Hopefully that will be ready soon. We also need our medical forms back from the doctor. I am hoping to have those by Friday. (Keep your fingers crossed)!

I am very hopeful that by the end of the week/beg. of next week we will be able to FINALLY mail out our I600A. We are having a fundraiser on Thursday April 8th at the Texas Roadhouse in Wake Forest. They are being kind enough to give us 10% of all food purchases, gift cards, and take out orders for that night from anyone who presents our flyer. On Saturday April 10th we are having a Yard Sale. Hopefully between those two fundraisers we will bring in enough money to get our form sent out. That will be such a big relief to get that sent out!! So PLEASE say a few prayers for us that we are able to raise the money for that!

Yesterday our family all headed down town and my husband, (oldest) daughter, and I all got fingerprinted. Unfortunately, it wasn't the fingerprinting we need once we send out our I600A, but it was something to check off our list of things to do for our adoption. It is so funny that you need to have state and federal fingerprints completed. You would think the federal would be enough. I obviously don't know anything :)

I was able to get a ton of forms completed yesterday (and got them notarized too). I have already added our passport numbers to the rest of the forms we need to sign and have notarized. I am hoping to get those all notarized tomorrow. Wish me luck and say a few prayers for us! We are getting closer and closer to bringing Milana home to us!