Saturday, July 23, 2011

It was a Good Day

Well, yesterday sure was one of the best adoption days we've had yet!  There have been a lot of slow times, but Friday wasn't one of those days.  A quick run-down of what happened---

*With some bonus money coming in and a couple of donations, we have eclipsed the $10,000 mark in our fundraising!  We still have a ways to go, but hitting that number was a great encouragement to us.  We hope that we will be approved for an interest-free adoption loan for $13,700 (the total of the adoption tax credit).  That would put us about 60% of the way to being fully-funded and that feels manageable.

*Our puzzle is now at 669 pieces!  Only 81 more to go!  As you have probably read, we are doing a giveaway...for every piece you purchase, you are entered into a drawing to win gift cards from Target, a restaurant of your choice, autographed sports' memorabilia, t-shirts, etc.  There are 81 entries left...if you want to give and you want to be a part of the giveaway, now is your chance!

*We received our I-797 notice...meaning that the U.S. government has received our USCIS forms.  In other words, they have our request to adopt.  Assuming everything is filled out right, we may have permission to adopt in 30 days or so!  (It could be longer, you never know with these things)

*We scanned our first set of dossier documents and sent them to our agency.  They will review them, send them to EE for review, and then let us know if they are completed correctly.  If they are, we will get them notarized, apostilled, and then sent overseas.  Once they have our paperwork, they will be able to give us permission to travel!  So, long story short, we could be seeing her in the not-to-distant future!

*We sold another t-shirt!  We have really cool "Superman was Adopted" t-shirts for sale, and we can order them in any size.  Let us know if you are interested in purchasing one...they are $15+$5 to ship up to four shirts.

*Tonight, we get to have dinner with some new friends who have adopted two kids from Kaylee's fact, when they adopted their daughter she was about Kaylee's age.  So, we are really looking forward to learning from all of their experiences.

So yeah, it has been a really good couple of days.  On the non-adoption front, I've been overseeing the gym construction at VCA and it is going great.  The wood floor has been laid and bleachers installed...sanding and paint should happen this week with everything done by the middle of August.  Really exciting time for me and for our school family.  I've also started writing on my blog again, which you can read here.  Alyssa has been working every day on her garden and she is doing a wonderful job---tomatoes, banana peppers, green beans, strawberries, green onions, lettuce and green peppers are all starting to come in.  She's also been working on some neat ideas for her Etsy store and should be launching them soon....The kids are starting mandatory volleyball and soccer practices this week and next and their teams are looking strong this year.  I really hope Kaylee likes sports, because we sure have a lot of sports stuff going on around here!

Thanks for checking in on our is a true blessing and encouragement to feel the support of our friends and family and the adoption community.  May the Lord bless you all---

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen."- Jude 1:24-25

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home Study in Hand and Off to Immigration!

GREAT NEWS!!  We received certified copies of our home study this past Thursday and today we mailed a copy off with our I-600A Immigration papers!  Yes! We are on our way!  Our home study was guaranteed to be completed in 8 weeks and we got it back in 4! Praise God!! Thanks to the Lord for Gateway Woods  for making that possible!  The Immigration papers basically give us permission to travel and let's immigration know we are traveling with the intent to adopt.  The next steps are to hear back from them about a date for getting our fingerprints done and complete more papers for our dossier.  As soon as we complete more of those papers we can send off our dossier to EE, but we cannot travel until we get our immigration granted.  Our agency is wonderful and we appreciate her support as we walk through this!

We have also heard about a new bill of a sort that was passed possibly to expedite adoptions between US and EE, I believe....and that there can be no more independent adoptions...all will have to go through an agency.  We already knew when we had researched about adopting from EE that they prefer to go through agencies, that is what motivated us to use one.

Well we are excited about this process and look forward to the next steps.  Keep following us as we will post a timeline on the blog as well as each step passes and we get closer to having her home! :)

On a fundraising note...the Praise Dance Camp today raised $85 towards the adoption! That is 8.5 more puzzle pieces! [btw-we added an extra $5 so we don't have to cut a puzzle piece in half for those who were wondering].  We are almost complete on the puzzle!! Let's try to finish it out by August 1st!!  Those families that sent their child to dance camp will have puzzle pieces added to the puzzle with their names on the back!!  [PS--look for the unveiling of the puzzle when it is complete---we will frame it in a clear frame, take pictures of it and post them on here and fb so that you can all find your names!! Then it will hang in her room for her to see all those that helped her to have a forever family!]  Thanks to God for his provision and thanks to many donors, including $200 from my Aunt Roberta and Uncle Ron!! Thanks so much!! I know my Aunt has visited and helped in Guatemala's orphanages for the past 7 years. I have always wanted to go with her! It was a real blessing today to get to know some new praise dancers and to know that everyone of the dancers has had adoption touch their lives in one way or another! One was adopted, two are getting brothers and one of them has a parent that was adopted! It is amazing to see that God is a restorer of broken lives and puts the lonely in families. God ALWAYS brings good out of the bad.  Thank you God for that!  I was sharing that with the dancers today as we were studying about God's purpose for dance and worshiping Him.  I was telling the girls about a time that I felt really alone in my life (while being in single motherhood) and that is when God drew me very close and showed me His dance.  He showed me that He loves me and never leaves me. He showed me that I am never alone and He is always with me. He comforted me and showed me how to dance.  He showed me the dance and now I get to pass that on to others, like I did today!  :)  Praise God!

Looking forward to the next steps in the adoption!! At this time, I am reading a book called, What Every Adopted Child wants their Adoptive Parents to Know.  Its really good.  It is good to read all about adoption and hear stories of every kind. I want to be as prepared as possible!! I am also putting together an adoptive parent support group!!  I have about 3 moms interested now and am welcoming more!! Just let me know if you are interested!! I will keep you all posted about when/where we will meet so others can join us.  If you even interested in adopting someday this would be a great time to listen and gather info!!   I am so blessed to have so many people in our lives that are supportive and encouraging.  Love you all, talk to you soon! Alyssa

Puzzle Update---We are Getting Close!

It has been so awesome in the last few weeks to get some surprise donations!  We have been encouraged and lifted up at just the right times.  Thank you to all of you who are praying for our funding to come through...your prayers are working!  We are at 617 pieces...that means we are $1330 of donations away from completing are initial fundraising goals!  Continue to pray for the God to move on hearts and for the right people to come across our blog and story.

Don't forget---once we complete the puzzle we are doing a drawing for those who have given once we reached the $5000 mark.  Prizes include a $50 Target gift card, a $25 gift card to any restaurant, a John Wooden autographed print, and t-shirts/bracelets. Here is an update on the drawing entries:

Roberta Royhab- 20; Miranda Jordan- 10; Alex D- 10; Angela Misecko- 10; Monique Horb- 5; Jamie Woodall- 4; Becky Williams- 4; Jayne Oberstadt- 2; Joyce Zakula- 2; Sherry Chirch- 2; Jerry Chirch- 2; Lora Lyon- 2; Molly Cooper- 2; Robyn Walsworth- 1; Evan Duey- 1; Torrey Mullins- 1; Greta Schrader- 1; Jen Huber- 1; Hollie Huber- 1; Matt Stefanski- 1; Joyce Folk- 1; Claudia Thomas- 1; Rhyan Pawlicki- 1; Kody Lindgren- 1; Erin Kempski- 1; Angela Mullins- 1; Lori Pratt- 1; Donna Trimble- 1; Austin Niravong- 1; Kelly Costello- 1; Melody Swart- 1; Penny Beattie- 1; Nancy Trowbridge- 1; Gary Moss- 1; Cynthia Bennett- 1; Tammi Brown- 1; Linda Flener- 1; Bekah Podgorski- 1; Becky MacPherson- 1; Amanda MacBrayne- 1; Lisa James- 1

There are still 133 entries to go!  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Puzzle Update!

After lots of donations at our rummage sale, the puzzle is up to 562 pieces! I have a basketball camp paycheck coming soon and the puzzle will grow a whole bunch soon. Keep watching it...we are almost there!

Friday, July 1, 2011

WOW!! God's Hand.

Great first day of the sale! Despite the rain, God brought in $2,157 in sales and donations! Thank you to everyone who is supporting adoption through this sale. Tomorrow, beginning at 8:00 am we will be having a bag sale on clothes---everything you can fit in a paper grocery bag (we will provide) is $5! Let us know if you have any questions!!
 I truly enjoyed talking with other adoptive mothers today and know that God has brought you in my life for this! Thanks so much for sharing with me! :) Love, Alyssa