Monday, August 27, 2012

Stationery card

Lovingly Welcome Boy Birth Announcement
Personalized cards for babies, Valentines, Easter and Mother's Day.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Part 2 of Jonny's Story, plans to prosper

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

I will not get into Jonny's birthfamily story. That story is his to tell someday, if he wants to. I will say that it was so clear to me that God has big plans for this little boy. From our journey with "An Ocean Sized Love", the support from strangers, family, and loved ones, to the nurses in the hospital who cared for him when I could not. 

We got a call just a few weeks before Jonny was born from my friend Kelli. I call Kelli my angel. She is that person in my life (maybe you have a Kelli too) that is always uplifting, inspiring, and giving of her heart, life, gifts, and time. She is an amazing person who has such a heart for adoption and adoptive families. I could go on and on but mostly, I owe her a debt of gratitude that I will most likely never be able to repay because without her in my life we would never have met our daughter. 

Kelli asked me where we are with our fundraising because at that point we had (what we thought was) a month to come up with $20,000 which was the rest of our $26,000 fee towards our adoption. I told her "I don't know how we are going to do it, but I know God will provide". We had applied for grants, loans, we had done tons of fundraising. We honestly didn't know how we were going to be able to pay our fee when the baby was born. 

Kelli asked me to sit down and told me that a family had approached her at church. They wanted to help a family to pay their adoption expenses. They ended up choosing our family to help. They made a donation through No More to our family in the amount of $15,000. 

You have no idea how big this was. Not only did God provide for us in our time of need...He gave us peace,   rest, hope, faith, and so so much more. This family inspired us. I know in the future that inspiration will spread to many more. In addition to knocking our socks off with provision, it came just in time. 

Jonny was born three weeks early. We literally picked up the check from No More the day after he was born. If you have been following our story you have heard me say that I know God provides "just enough in just enough time". He has done just that.

In addition to giving us that time to be with our son without worrying about what we were going to do about the funds, only God could know what the week following Jonny's arrival could have brought for us. Only He could have known that this provision was such a gift to us during such a difficult time. 

Tony's father passed away just a week after Jonny's birth. He never got to meet him. He saw him on Facetime once, left messages on our phone telling us he loves him already and can't wait to meet him...
 This was a very bitter sweet time for us. We had the gift of a beautiful baby boy and Tony lost his father. 

I said to Tony after the memorial of his dad that I knew God providing that way was like a sweet gift of love and care for him. Only God could know how much Tony needed that peace. Only God could know how to make a stranger reach out and touch our lives forever.

Because of God's provision, the verse Jeremiah 29:11 has been on my mind for my family, but specifically for Jonny. From the womb God worked out His plan to provide in a miraculous way for Jonny. I cannot wait to see the plans that God will continue to work out in his life as I get to watch him grow up.

6 weeks of bliss...time to tell the story.

Six weeks ago this morning I got a call from our adoption director letting me know that our son was on his way into the world. So much has happened since then and in the year leading up to his birth. Here is part one of Jonny's story.

It was my birthday, a year ago on July 13th that we finished our application to adopt from China through CCAI. China you say? Yes, we started off on our journey to China. Many things happened in the following months. We felt God pull our hearts closer to home. We decided on domestic adoption close to the holidays and began our home-study. In March we finished and began waiting for a match but we were told by our agency that it would be a long wait. Of course, me being the most patient person in the world (sense sarcasm) I began to "throw out the adoption net" and expand our search for our son. We spoke with some adoption attorneys, other agencies, and even searched for available children through foster adoption. We were open to age, and ethnicity. 

Towards the end of May we got a call from one of the resources that we reached out to. The adoption director told us she had 5 profiles to show a new birthfamily, and would we like to be shown as well? I was sort of in shock that so soon we were waiting on the call to let us know if we had been chosen or not. It was a busy time, I had just finished with my full time semester and the kids were still in school. I told my husband and he sort of just assumed that this would not work out. Much to our surprise we got a call from her that evening letting us know that they had chosen our family! I'll never forget it. We were all outside doing yard work, Tony was raking up leaves, I was pulling weeds and the kids were playing in the sandbox. I got the call and ran to the patio. The director said "they chose you guys" and my mouth dropped open. When I got off the phone and told Tony he was in shock! He just said "help me throw these leaves into garbage bags". Haha. It took a few minutes to sink in. 

Shock, disbelief, amazement, excitement, joy, and fear about how it would all work out (financially and otherwise) were the emotions that I felt. The baby was due August 1st and we only had two months to come up with all of the funds that we would need. It was overwhelming but both my husband and I stuck to our belief that God would provide for this adoption. Stepping out in faith in this way was a huge faith step for both of us and it was no easy step. We worked hard to back up our faith with our own efforts and started applying to all sorts of grants and fundraising for adoption. 

We met the birth parents two weeks later. We loved them. They were right for us, we were right for them. Then we began the waiting. I registered for baby things. Started planning the nursery. We waited until Father's Day to tell the kids. They were so excited. 

There was never really much "drama" with this match. I kept waiting for something to go wrong. For our bubble to pop. We were wondering how we were going to come up with the funds but everything else was just falling into place beautifully and rather easily too. The waiting was peaceful. I could feel the prayers that we asked for. I knew God was working it all out. 

to be continued...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ipad Winner

I just wanted to say thank you so much to

Because of you we have raised $1247.63, $550 of which is purchasing an ipad for....

We have been blown away by your generosity and kindness, each and everyone of you that shared, donated, and supported us through prayer! We have $697 of our $1000 fee due July 1st covered and that is a huge blessing! Thanks so much!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The wait and the work

These past few weeks have seemed like such a blur. Here I was afraid I would have too much time on my hands (who was I kidding!). Summer is officially here and our waiting time is full. Full of fundraising, applying for grants, visits with the birthfamily (they live an hour and a half away), and preparations for baby Jonathan.

Many people have asked how we've managed to fundraise so far and because it seems we are always working on a fundraiser I'm sure people imagine that we have raised huge amounts. The truth is, in total we have raised less than $5000. That it with garage sales, online auctions, i-pad giveaways, jewelry sales, coffee sales, Thirty-One fundraisers and more. $5000 is a huge amount- nothing to sneeze at for sure! But it is a small chunk of $26,000 (the total cost of our adoption).

Adoption is expensive. I can honestly say though that I have seen God glorified more through folks walking along this journey and He's provided "just enough in just enough time" (source unknown). We have seen this in our own adoption journey. We have raised just enough or received just enough over our budget to make every single payment on time so far. I am not going to lie and say that I'm not nervous or stressed out about the huge chunk due at the birth of our son, but I know that our God is bigger.

 We could not do this alone, and so we are humbly thankful for those of you with big hearts and open minds who have given so selflessly. We thank you and ask for your prayers. Prayers for a healthy baby. Prayers for our birthfamily as they walk through this terribly difficult time. Prayers for our fundraising efforts. Thank you so much for supporting our family through this process!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

News AND another FUNdraiser giveaway of an Ipad3

Boy do I have news! Exciting, fun, and oh so good news!

On Monday last week I got a phone call. It's the kind of call that a waiting family like ours dreams about. Our adoption Coordinator wanted to know if we would like our profile shown to a new birthfamily. I had little information other than that it was a boy, due August 1st. I of course said YES! But I figured that the chances were pretty good that we wouldn't be chosen. She was showing the family 5 profiles (or 5 families).

I got a call later that evening while Tony and I were outside doing yard work. I answered the call expecting to hear bad news but that is not what happened. The Coordinator told me they looked at all of the profiles and they picked us!! They didn't even need time to think about it. They were sure that we were the family.

What exactly does that mean? It means that we are expecting to become parents to a baby boy due August 1st. It means we are excited, working hard to get ready and busting our patooties to raise a large amount of money in just two months time.

So...we are applying to Lifesong Both Hands, various grants and adoption loans, and working on some FUNdraising ideas. We had fun with our last Ipad giveaway so we are doing another one!

This time there is a twist!
  • For any piece of jewelry purchased you will receive 1 entry.
  • Each purchase of 4 or more bags of coffee from Fresh Cup of Hope will get you 1 entry.
  • Each donation of $15 will get you one entry.
  • Each donation of $30 will get you 3 entries.
  • Each donation of $50 with get you 6 entries.
  • For anyone that has donated, each friend that you refer to the FUNdraiser with get an extra entry and you will get 1 extra entry as well. Simply comment to let me know if you were referred and by whom, or if you purchased jewelry or coffee.

The not so fine print disclaimer: In order for this FUNdraiser to happen we must raise at least $550 for it to be ON! If we do not we'll refund everyone and there will be no giveaway. We will announce when we hit that point and once we do the giveaway will end 7 days later. This is NOT a r-a-f-f-l-e, please do not mention that it is. This IS helping to bring a child into his forever family!

To make a donation, please click the donate button located at the top of right side bar ------>

The winner will be selected through a drawing and posted to the blog. This giveaway is on through June 25th.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Adoption Quilt

We have done everything we can from our end to find our son. Homestudy, check. Profile, check. Networking, check. Stash of diapers and formula, check.

I am two days away from finishing finals. I have 6 weeks until the kids are home for the summer. I am feeling the need to occupy my anxious heart with a project that will help me feel connected to our future son and will also help us to raise some additional funds (need all of these projects we can think of! Drops in the bucket!).

So, I thought what better way to keep me busy than making a community quilt for our little man. This is a project that will allow friends, family, and the adoption community to love on our baby boy and also keep my hands busy! Win, win!

stacks of Max and Whiskers
Photo Credit: The Knottygnome Knits

What is an adoption quilt?
It is a quilt that is put together one piece (donation) at a time. It is a twist on the "adoption puzzle" that you may have seen. Each square will help us get a little bit closer to our goal of raising $15,000.

Here is how this is going to work:
Each donation of $10 will provide a square for the quilt which will be sewn together by me- mommy in waiting!

You may choose to:
1. Donate $10 per square via the "donate" button on the top right side bar of our blog, or mail a check with your square, and provide a 5 1/2 X 5 1/2 square of any pre-washed, 100 % cotton fabric of your choice. Upcycled fabric (old tee, blanket, ect...), scraps, or quilt squares are great choices. Feel free to embroider, decorate, or initial somewhere in the center of the square (make sure it is a permanent addition that will not wash away!). Mail your fabric to 15905 Countrybrook St. Tampa, Fl. 33624.


2. Donate $10 and just comment letting me know you want me to choose from my stash of fabrics (or you are welcome to let me know a color, theme, or style of fabric that you would like me to use).

***For both options, we would love for you to write a note and attach a small piece of the fabric you chose (so that we can match your square to your note) for us to put into a scrap book for our little man.

Feel free to share this blog post so we get enough squares to complete our quilt!
I will be posting pictures as the quilt begins and keeping you updated on the process.