Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stop and Shop Raffle

We have a beautiful home full of beautiful things made by and for very beautiful people:-) Please come by and shop our Stop and Shop! 4202 West Watrous Ave. Tampa 33629 (minutes from Westshore Mall). We are here from 1-5 today.

Can't come? Want to contribute to the 6 adoptive families and 2 missions families?

You can!

We have a raffle with so many wonderful items. You are able to buy tickets online- $1 per ticket.

All of these lovely items can be yours! Plus, all proceeds go to help us fundraising families to adopt or finance missions.

Items include:

  • Love tee size S
  • Bow holder
  • Sparrow ornament
  • Premier Jewelry bracelet
  • Premier Jewelry jewelry roll up
  • At Home America- candle and pillar
  • Stained glass ornament
  • Banana bread
  • Cheese board, knife and cocktail napkins
  • Tote with note cards, recipe cards, pencils and clip board
  • Leather belt with beaded buckle
  • Uganda beaded necklace

Simply click the link to donate, $1 per ticket.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Quick Update

We are now on the waiting list for HoA. We have almost all of our documents in for our homestudy (waiting on a few referrence letters and our fingerprinting)  to complete our homestudy.
Because we have no idea when our match will be, we are pushing forward to make some of the funds that we will need to pay once we have a match. Please join us for our Stop and Shop, December 10th. I have some awesome items to sell. If you would like more information comment with your e-mail and I will send you the information. You can also support us by giving a holiday gift of coffee, just click the button on the sidebar to go right to the shop. This coffee is amazing and it makes a great, quick, easy gift that everyone appreciates! We also have a Thirty-One party going now.
We thank you for your prayers, positive thoughts and encouragements as we enter the waiting phase.

Many blessings this holiday week! May you and yours find many new things to be thankful for!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Holiday Stop and Shop

You are invited to "Stop and Shop" at our Holiday Market. This event is helping at least 6 families to raise funds for adoption and missions.

Where: 4202 West Watrous Ave. Tampa, 33629

When: Saturday, December 10th. 1-5 p.m.

Items that will be available for your shopping pleasure:


Ethiopian Framed Photo Art

... Tee Shirts

Unique Items from Africa

Hair Flowers


Boutique Clothing


Bow Holders


Key Fobs

Camara Strap Covers


Sugar Scrubs

Doll Diapers

Appliqued items



-A Little Bit Of Pink

-Mary Kay

-At Home America

-Thirty One

And more!

Come, shop, eat some yummy cookies, sip some cidar and support adoption and missions this holiday season. Get your christmas list completed in one stop!

Hope to see you there!

Families that you will be supporting:

The Shubin Family ( with Lifebridge Church Missions )-

The Sobkowiak Family-

The Carlson Family:

The Viera Family:

The Mills Family:

The Shreeve FamilySee More

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wild Olive Tee's +Thirty One= Fundraising for our adoption

I love companies that have a heart for adoption! Wild Olive Tee's is supporting adoption by helping fundraising families through the sale of their beautiful tee's. Here are a few of my favorites:

Fear Not - Boys

Chosen - Girls

A percent of every tee purchased will go towards our adoption fund. To make a purchase please enter our family code: VIERA0805 at checkout in the coupon code box. If you don't enter the code you will still be supporting a great company but it won't contribute towards our adoption fund:-)

You can also support our adoption by shopping Thirty One! My favorite blogger Erica is helping us out with this one. Get your teacher gift (they LOVE the lunch bags), your family gifts, a gift or two for you (wink) and support adoption too! I will try to close this out about November 15th to get every one's orders in plenty of time for Christmas gifts. Feel free to pass along the link to friends that love Thirty One!

Our homestudy paperwork is going in by Friday and our application is going with it. We will be preparing our adoption profile for the agency and getting ready to wait for a match. We have raised almost $1900 with the help of friends and family. We thank you all so much for your support. We truly need it! Adoption is a costly endeavor. Worth every struggle, penny and moment of work though.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Still an ocean sized love, just not an ocean sized distance.

If you ask any adoptive parent if their adoption journey was easy I am sure that their answer would be some variation of "no". Adoption is not easy. Adoption is not even close to easy.
We knew this going in this time around, of course. We knew that adopting internationally would prove to be an even bigger challenge than domestic adoption.
If you have followed my blog for a while you would know that coming to the decision to adopt from China was a very difficult choice. We started out wanting to adopt through the Foster/Adopt system. Then we considered China. Then we considered domestic African/Bi-racial adoption. There is a need for parents for all of those types of situations. We ended up deciding on China for a number of reasons, one of them being that a friend of ours started working for CCAI and I share her passion for orphans. I felt good about working with her to find our son.
We applied, were approved and started the process. We filled out some paper work. Fundraised. Waited. School began and what started out as an exciting adventure became a heart struggle. There were circumstances that made us re-think our plan to adopt from China.
I will not get into the intimate details of our choice to switch back to domestic. There were new challenges that we faced shortly after our journey to China began. Challenges that cleared our path, helped us to see what the right choice was with more clarity than before.
Many families are called to adopt in many different ways and I truly believe that no child is more deserving than the next. A journey to China would have been amazing, I'm sure. Perhaps someday we will make the journey. Right now though, we know that our son is a bit closer to home.
We are now trying to determine what agency/attorney to work with. We have our home-study update packet and plan on beginning the process right away. We will continue to fundraise and will continue to covet the prayers and support of our friends, old and new.
Our hope is to provide a loving home to a child who needs one, and gain a son, a child that we (our whole family) want so badly. If you know of any agencies/attorneys or resources for domestic adoption we would love for you to pass the information along.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just a bit busy

People have been so sweet and encouraging in regards to our fundraising and our adoption in general! I wish I had more updates for you all! I have been in over my head as usual with back to school. I am working on getting all of the auction winners their items and trying to figure out how much more we need to get to our goal for our first agency fee : $3500.
As soon as I have some time I will be working more on our paper work and setting up the next fundraiser. My lovely sister has made some amazing jewelry for us to sell and it should all be up soon!
I will give a better update soon!
Thanks so much for all of your support and care!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Jennifer Chase! You are our winner. I will contact you later today with details on how to claim your prizes! 

Thanks to everyone who donated and helped to spread the word!

- Sarah

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thank you and all of the winners!

Thank you so much to all of you who participated in our auction and giveaway! We could not have done this without the many wonderful donations and our awesome friends who bid and helped to spread the word.

Below is a list of all of the auction items and the winning bidder. If you would like to make a check payment please comment and let me know so I can get you our address. Otherwise you can just click on the donate Paypal button and donate the winning bid. For custom items I will be e-mailing you with details and contact information to help you get your item(s).

Uganda Necklace- Kristin Lemus. Winning bid: $10.
Dinner Done $25 gift certificate- Amber Gonzales. Winning bid: $15
Where You Live Tee- Adoption Mission: Possible. Winning bid $21
King Sheet Set- Darbi. Winning bid: $40
Queen Sheet Set- Elizabeth Sobkowiak. Winning bid $30
Ethiopian Cross Pendent- Jessica Ann. Winning bid $6
Fish Purse- Tara. Winning bid $15
Caiti Belle Dress- Tera Tichy. Winning bid $100
Two Dozen Cupcakes by Amber- Dawn G. Winning bid:$18
Darcy's Botanicals- Kiersten. Winning bid $35
Daisy Girls Doll- Tracy Hanson. Winning bid $25
Chartrouse Hair Flower- Cydnee. Winning bid $5
Red Fabric Flower - Cydnee. Winning bid $4
Pink Hairflower- Kristin Lemus. Winning bid $4
Flower with feather- Jenn Wright. Winning bid $10
"M" pony-0- Cydnee. Winning bid $2
"E" pony-o- Cydnee. Winning bid $1
"L" pony-o- Franny Tough. Winning bid $1
"K" Pony-o- Kiersten. Winning bid $2
"E" Pony-o Adoption Mission: Possible. Winning bid $5
"M" Pony-o- Cydnee. Winning bid $1
African Safari- Jen chase. Winning bid $25
Snowman Pillowcase Dress- Krisin VdB. Winning bid $10
All Tangled Up- RB. Winning bid $10
All Tangled Up Jewelry-Jessica Ann. Winning bid $8
Cherry Blossom Hat- Stacy. Winning bid $10
Cherry Blossom Hat- Lisa. Winning bid $8
Purple Flower Earings- Deborah. Winning bid $7
Ethiopian Art by Canvas Heart- Toni Lee. Winning bid $50
Bieber Necklace- Raquel Blair. Winning bid $4
Mickey Mouse Necklace- Cydnee. Winning bid $4
Red Thread Bracelet- Tera Cox. Winning bid $5
House Rules- Christy. Winning bid $125
Two Prince Bakery Cookies. Franny. Winning bid $8
Mommy's The Lucky One- Adoption Mission: Impossible. Winning bid $30
Dark Cycle Octopus Tee- Jonathan. Winning bid $50
Dark Cycle Dino Tee. Sherry. Winning bid $20
Meeting Momma Print. Adoption Mission: Possible. Winning bid $10
Plush Owl. Amber Gonzales. Winning bid $20
Adoption is the new Pregnant Tee.. Tera Cox. Winning bid $10
Adoption is the new Pregnant. Jen Chase. Winning bid $10
Jars of Pie. Franny. Winning bid $12

Update: If there is a line through your name that means I have record of your donation. I am shipping items out today for those of you who bid on items in my possession. I have also contacted the donors for winning bids that are being shipped from donors. If you have any questions about your items, or making a donation please e-mail me at and I will do my best to get back with you within a day. Thank you!-Sarah

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Paper Beaded Necklace from Uganda {by Erica Shubin of The Road Less Traveled}

Paper Beaded Necklace from Uganda {by Erica Shubin of The Road Less Traveled}

Single long strand paper beaded necklace made by loving hands in Uganda. This necklace is versatile and so pretty! Wear it long, or double it up!

Minimum bid: $10

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dinner Done $25 gift certificate (Includes pick up meals!!!) Great Gift Idea

$25 Gift Certificate for Dinner Done (Carrollwood, Florida)

This gift certificate includes pick up meals! What a fantastic gift this would make for a new mom, dad, sick family member or friend! Hate to cook? Love to cook but have no time? Bring your gift certificate in to Dinner Done and leave with a fresh, delicious and ready for the oven meal!

Minimum bid: $15

"Love", "Where you live should not determine if you live" Tee Size Small {by Erica Shubin of The Road Less Traveled}

"Love", "Where you live should not determine if you live" Tee Size Small {by Erica Shubin of The Road Less Traveled

My pictures do not do this tee justice. It is a very high quality fitted tee size small with a powerful message supporting adoption and Africa. I have a tee that I bought while Erica was fundraising to bring her daughter home from Ethiopia and I LOVE my tee. It's the best fabric and comfortable fit. 

Minimum bid: $15

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Egyptian Cotton King Sized Sheet Set {by Lori's Linens}

This beautiful set of King size sheets are made of 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton.  Softer with each wash, you will love the feel of these sheets.  The color is Gold and will coordinate easily with many color themes.  Set includes fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillow cases.  Fits pillow top mattresses.  Donated by Lori's Linens -

Minimum Bid: $25

Egyptian Cotton Queen Sized Sheet Set {by Lori's Linens}

This beautiful set of Queen size sheets are made of 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton.  Softer with each wash, you will love the feel of these sheets.  The color is Bright White and will coordinate easily with just about any decor.  Set includes fitted sheet, flat sheet, and 2 pillow cases.  Fits pillow top mattresses.  Donated by Lori's Linens -

Minimum bid: $25

A genuine Ethiopian cross pendant {by Rachel Walser of Walser Adoption Adventures}

A genuine Ethiopian cross pendant {donated by Rachel Walser of Walser Adoption Adventures}

Minimum bid: $5

Friday, August 12, 2011

How do you know?

We reciently had to face a choice that I wasn't prepaired to make. How is someone supposed to choose an adoptive child?

Ultimately I believe that God has formed our family. I know that my children were selected perfectly for us. We didn't have to really SEE them and make a choice. We looked at their birthfamily history (medical and otherwise) and considered the legal risks and {obviously} said yes. We've never had to say no. Now of course international adoption doesn't work in quite the same way.

With international adoption you are given a file to consider. Within this file there is limited health and medical information. A bit about the child's development and patterns through out the day. There is a lot that is not included and the medical information is at times either impossible to understand or limited information.

When we were presented with the opportunity to review a file I was in my "momma bear" mode- calling specialists, asking family for advice, looking for local resources to help our son (if he was the one) and doing tons of research about his medical needs. In the end we had to make a choice. I was totally unprepaired for how hard that would be so I asked some of my new BFF's in the Tampa Bay Adoptive Families group on Facebook (if you are local you should totally join, amazing support and some of the best ladies on the universe are on there!). Here is what they had to say:

{"I think this is a pretty sensitive subject. having worked with hundreds of adoptive parents prior to retiring, i can tell you that a great many of them rejected referrels because their expectations were not realistic. having said that, a ...great many of them throw all expectations out the window and accept any referrel given them, even if the child would impact their current family very negatively. I think that if moms and dads listen to their guts, BUT also get realistic counsel, they will be ok when it comes to 'knowing'! :-)" - Patty}
{"In short, when we saw *C*'s picture and file we could not imagine NOT bringing her home. There were a lot of scary unknowns but we knew she was meant to be ours. And in the weeks and months following God provided in miraculous ways and and over again HE proved to us that we were meant for her and she for us. Next weekend will be 2 months since she was placed in our arms forever and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that she is perfectly made just for us! With *E*, she was just 3 weeks old when she was referred to us (Vietnam, *C* is from China) and when we saw her face is was like there was just something familiar about her. We knew she was was a perfect match " - Jessica}
{"I have to say for me, with both kiddos, I received the referral and was numb. I think it was my defense mechanism at work. I knew that nothing was for 100% sure until we went to court and they were granted ours. With my ds, I was coming off of 9 yrs of infertility and I did not think anything was real (sounds strange, I know). With my daughter, after we received her referral everyone was so excited for us (it was a long wait for her) and kept saying this over and over and how beautiful she was and how excited they were. I remember just going through the motions and saying, 'oh, yes, we are very excited" but in reality, I was completely numb. I would have to say that in both adoptions, after the judge granted them ours and I burst out crying both times, it was then that I felt they were my kids and that I could breath again and finally realize they were mine. With my son, we were only with him in country for about 6 days, then flew home. When we got home, it was as if I had never been without him. With our daughter, we were in country 30 days (with her) and I never felt "truly" attached to her as my son was here in FL and this child had never even been with a babysitter before let alone without me for 30 days! As soon as we got home and I had my son and daughter together, in the good ole USA, I felt like it was complete and at that point. I know some people fall in love right when the receive their referral, but in all honesty in the 9 yrs that I have been counseling families through the process, I have told them to try not to fall in love with the photo and nothing is a sure thing until it the judge grants the adoption. It is hard to say that, but I have seen families have their hearts broken bc they "knew" that the referral was meant to be theirs, but turns out the child was never meant to be theirs." - adoptive mom}
We ended up having to say no to this particular file. It was hard. Hard on both my husband and I. Adoption is HARD sometimes. So worth it, but not all peaches and cream. I know that having gone through this experience has made an impact. I'm praying that the next file...will be LB (little brother) and we will know that we know that we know. I pray daily for the little boy who was not meant for our family. I pray that his "perfect fit" finds him soon and that he is adored and cared for in the way that he needs. I don't think I will ever forget him.
Have you faced a decision like this? I would love to hear from you! How did you know? How has the choice impacted you and your family? If you would like to guest post about your choice please contact me at or comment below with your contact information.
Sweet blessings to you!- Sarah

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tastefully Simple Variety {by Rachel Walser of Walser Adoption Adventures}

Tastefully Simple Items {by Rachel Walser of Walser Adoption Adventures}

"Tastefully Simple offers "the food you love, the time you deserve!" Convenience driven gourmet food products require less than two additional ingredients for their preparation. Enjoy a savory sauce and some sweet treats!"
Minimum Bid: $12

Beautiful Handmade Fish Purse {by Jaiyin Designs}

Fish Purse

Donated by Jiayin Designs, to celebrate good and beautiful news

In China, the fish represents wealth and prosperity; the actual word in Chinese for fish also translates to “abundance”. The carp is noted for its strength and bravery because it swims against the current. And, according to legend, the carp turns into the revered Celestial Dragon when it makes a final leap over the rapids.

Celebrating that symbol, this purse is handmade in Beijing with fabrics from Dali city in Yunnan province. Winning bidder may choose the main color of the bag depending on what is in stock at the auction end.

Minimum Bid: $15

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Gift Certificate Giveaway

In addition to our wonderful auction items you can also enter to win a giveaway of some amazing gift certificates donated by friends of our adoption. To enter the giveaway, donate $5 for one entry or $10 for 3 entries. In addition to your donation, you can earn extra entries by:

1. Sharing the auction main page and giveaway on your blog or Facebook

2. Tweet the auction and giveaway: { An Ocean Sized Love, Adoption Auction. }

3. Become a follower of AnOceanSizedLove

Please leave a comment letting us know you have donated and leave one comment for each extra entry. Include your name and e-mail in each entry so that you can be notified if you are the winner. The winner of the giveaway will be announced September 2nd. If the winner is not local to the Tampa area a new winner will be selected for local area gift certificates (Red Elephant).

Each and every donation will go 100% to fund our adoption from China.

This giveaway includes:

{$100 gift certificate from It's Written in Vinyl}

{$50 gift certificate from JunkPosse}

{Think Garnish $25 dollar gift certificate}

{$100 gift certificate from Red Threads}

{$40 in El-Fun-Bucks for The Red Elephant Restaurant}

{Two Buy One Get One Free (Burrito, Bowl, Salad or Order Of Tacos) cards for Chipotle AND a Free Chips and Guac Card}

2 Dozen Cupcakes by Amber

This listing is for 2 dozen cupcakes of your choice delivered by Amber (local  Tampa bids only please):

1. Traditional Red Velvet w/ cream cheese frosting

2. Mocha w/ espresso buttercream frosting

3. Peanut Butter w/ whipped chocolate ganache

4. Carrot Cake w/ cream cheese frosting

5. Chocolate dream w/ orange zest butercream

6. Very Vanilla w/ whipped vanilla buttercream

7. Snickerdoodle w/ cinnamon buttercream frosting

Special requests area also accepted. This listing is for the local Tampa area.

Minimum Bid: $10

Organic Hair Care Products for Ethnic Hair {by Darcy's Botanicals}

Organic Coconut Butter Styling Pomade
One Jar of Organic Coconut Butter Styling Pomade {by Darcy's Botanicals}

"If you have been looking for a light styling aid to help you provide you with sheen and to condition your luscious curls, then look no further. Our Organic Coconut Butter Styling Pomade will provide you with the much needed nourishment your curls require along with lovely sheen, softness and conditioning. This styling pomade is not a heavy, waxy pomade but more of a light coconut hairdressing with a touch of beeswax. It is excellent for styling twists, braids, locs and waves. It will not leave a heavy build up in hair:)
Excellent for many natural styles like twists, braids, afro, and waves. Our pomade is also great for relaxed hair as well. It is naturally scented with the aroma of fresh organic coconuts. 8 oz. PET Jar"  

Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme (Vegan) - Hair Butter
One Jar of Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme {by Darcy's Botanicals}

"This has become one of our favorite naturally curly hair styling butters. I use it on my (4a/4b type) hair and on my daughter's (3b/3c type) hair. This one is EXCELLENT for type 3-4 natural hair types:)
Our Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme is a highly moisturizing hair butter that will give your natural curls the extra conditioning and moisture they need. It has a butter-like, thick & creamy consistency with a vanilla aroma that is just heavenly. You only need to use a small amount since a little goes a long way."

Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Hair Conditioning Oil 4 oz.
One Bottle of Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Natural Hair Conditioning Oil {by Darcy's Botanicals}

"A wonderful blend of Organic Hibiscus flowers in Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and other natural hair conditioning oils.
Our Organic Coconut & Hibiscus Hair Conditioning Oil can be used as a truly muli-purpose oil.
:: Can be used as a pre-shampoo conditioning oil for hair
:: Use as a bath oil
:: Use as a body oil for after bath and/or shower
:: Use as a hot oil treatment
:: Use as an oil rinse
:: Use as a light conditioning oil for everyday styling of twists, afro, locs, curls, braids, waves and relaxed hair styles.
:: Can be used for men and women:)
This listing is for a 4 ounce PET bottle. "

Combined retail value: $34

Minimum Bid: $18

Beautiful Handmade Doll {by Daisy Girl Dolls}

Beautiful Handmade Doll {by Daisy Girl Dolls}

"This adorable 17 inch (43cm) handmade doll, dressed in her bright and cheery floral dress is sure to be a little girl’s new best friend! Her cheerful face is my own one of a kind design, which makes her truly unique! She is made from a cotton/knit material for easy care and softness. I have added a wafer thin lining to help keep her shape and to prevent stuffing from coming through. She is machine sewn together using a thick, quilting weight thread and shorter stitch length for strength & durability. Her stuffing opening is hand stitched closed using the same quilting weight thread, doubled over and knotted with a professional seamstress technique. Her stuffing is 100% hypo-allergenic. Her hair is soft 100% cotton yarn, also triple stitched by machine to form her part. It is attached using 3 strands of thick hand embroidery thread down her part and attached to the sides of her face. Her hair flowers are also hand sewn on. Her dress is made from 100% cotton. The seams are all triple stitched for durability and lots of playtime!"

Minimum Bid: $25

Pretty Petals Red Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Pretty Petals Red Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $3

Red Double Flower Hair Clip with Sparkle Center {by Eden's Garden}

Red Double Flower Hair Clip with Sparkle Center {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $4

Chartreuse Green Flower with White Feather Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Chartreuse Green Flower with White Feather Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $5

Red Fabric Flower with Toile Accents and Sparkle Center {by Eden's Garden}

Red Fabric Flower with Toile Accents and Sparkle Center {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $4

Red Carnation with Feathers and Toile Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Red Carnation with Feathers and Toile Hair Flower {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $5

Purple Hair Flower with Ribbon Accents {by Eden's Garden}

Purple Hair Flower with Ribbon Accents {by Eden's Garden}

Minimum Bid: $4