Monday, April 30, 2012

Wrapping up the auction..

...with a really big item! 

Especially if you have a little girl.   I mean, I was a little girl once, and I can tell you that this item would have MADE.MY.YEAR if I got it as a gift.  What is it?

An American Girls Doll.

Samantha Parkington, to be exact.  You actually can't buy these anymore - they've been "retired" and aren't available for new purchases.   All you can find are used ones on Ebay and places like that, and you have to trust that the condition the seller tells you the doll is really the condition it is in!

Well, you can trust me on this one - this doll is in AWESOME condition.   The only thing "wrong" with it is the original hairbow has been misplaced during one of our moves.   Everything else is perfect.  

See?!?!  Awesome condition!

These dolls are currently selling on Ebay and Craigslist for $300 on a regular basis.....right now, the current bidding on our auction is about 1/3 of that price.  Wow!  Go check it out here,  or follow the tab at the top of this page.

The other day (on Mike's birthday, actually) we launched our "Sponsor-A-Mile" campaign on this blog.  You can check it out here or follow the tab at the top of the page.  Thank you so much for jumping right on board with us!  101 of the miles have already been sponsored - you guys are awesome!!!   Thank you!!

We're still in the "waiting" mode here - waiting for that all important document to come from the Arizona courts.  Everything else for our dossier and USCIS paperwork is sitting, waiting to be sent off.   We're still hopeful that in the next couple of weeks (fingers crossed for mid-May), we'll be able to mail out all of that and be waiting on Hong Kong's response.   Our little boy is waiting for us - and we want to bring him home as soon as possible!  

Two plugs for friends here, guys.  We have some incredible families that are, locally, walking this journey alongside us.  You've all met Malcolm (Marat), and his family, the Smiths.   They are currently in the midst of an iPad giveaway on their blog, trying to raise funds for traveling to Russia this summer.  You can check them out here:

One More Smith

We've got another family that we are walking this journey with, here in town.  They are currently in the midst of adopting domestically, a little girl with spina bifida who should make her appearance this July.  We're all anxiously awaiting her "birth" day, but not as anxiously as her forever family: the Oertles.   Please check out their story and the adoption boutique.  Her mommy is making the most beautiful necklaces to help fund the adoption costs.  Check them out and spread the word!

Thanks, and have a great day, guys!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Yes, it is true.

Mike and I have birthdays just a measly 12 days from each other.

Today, we're wishing a wonderful birthday to the man that will become Peter's forever father.  He's the most wonderful man that I know, my best friend, and an amazing father to our children.  I know he can't wait to get our little man home, too, and so, in honour of his birthday, we're launching a new fundraising campaign here at Bringing Peter Home.

Check it out here:  it's a fun, interactive sponsorship that we will continue until we bring our little guy home to AZ.  

Here's the link:

Sponsor a Mile!

 We have been so incredibly grateful for the support and love you have all shown us and our Peter during this adoption journey so far.

We are about halfway there with our funding.  Coincidentally enough, the amount of money that is still needed is almost exactly the amount of miles that we will have to travel to meet Peter.  In recognition of that, we're starting a "sponsor-a-mile" option on the blog!

Can you sponsor a mile?

For $1, you can sponsor one of the 7546 miles we will have to travel to bring Peter home.   Each dollar will bring us closer and closer to traveling that mile to hug our little boy for the first time.  Just follow the "Donate" button on the right side of the blog, and make sure you specify "Sponsor-a-Mile" in the message section of the donation form.

Can you help?  

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012's time to....

...hurry up and wait again.  ;-)

Things were delayed - once again - because we received one more edit suggestion from Hong Kong, which meant an addition to the home study, and starting the certification letter request again.  Now, HK seems to be happy with the final version, and we're hopefully moving forward, as of tomorrow.   Hopefully, the 3 -4 weeks to get our certified copy will fly by (and maybe not take the full 3-4 weeks?  Hey, a girl can hope, right?), and our dossier will still be off to HK by mid-May.  Fingers crossed.

This edit involved our "child care plan."  I have to admit, it was a bit awkward writing out a child care plan.  I'm a stay-at-home mom.  We'd already discussed within the home study report that we had reliable babysitters who would be available to help, as needed, and a very supportive family and friends network.    But, since we homeschool our children, Hong Kong asked for a little bit more detail as to how I was going to be able to care for four children, one with special needs, and homeschool at the same time.

We knew, going into this process, that if there was one thing that could be a stumbling block for us, it would be our choice to homeschool.  It's a huge cultural difference between our lives here and where Peter is right now.   Homeschooling, we were warned, is not really understood or encouraged in Hong Kong.  We were prepared for this speed bump, and had already put a support system into place before even beginning the home visits, and Hong Kong just wanted a little bit more detail about that support system.

So while I'm slightly frustrated that we hit a bit of a delay again.....I'm not discouraged at all by the delay.   Things are still on track for Peter to come home, and that is all that matters.

Thank you to all who have been following our online auction.  Today's item has caused a bit of a bidding war, so those of you who see this post before midnight my time (PST), go and check it out!  Get in on the fun!  ;-)

This morning, I was interviewed for our local diocesan paper.  They're doing a story on adoptions, specifically special needs (Yes, I gave a shout-out to Reece's Rainbow!).  The reporter was quite kind and positive, and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished piece.   Our friends Charles and Eli, who are working to bring Malcolm home, are also being interviewed for the article.  Hopefully, it will give the children on RR a chance for increased awareness.   I'll be sure to link to it here once it is up.  

Overall, this is a post about more waiting.   My patience is growing, with each day that I spend praying for our little boy, and wishing to have him home.    The waiting is a challenge, but a challenge that we will overcome.   

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Remember that fun iPad giveaway..

....from awhile back?

It's happening again!

Just not for Peter.  :-)

You guys were so awesome when we rallied for Malcolm before, I thought you might like to know about the iPad giveaway being held by his parents over on their blog.    We had so much fun over here during our iPad giveaway, I'm guessing you want to go have some fun over there, too!  It's even one of the brand-new iPads, which I totally would love to have!!!!

They will be traveling A LOT to bring Malcolm home, and it could be starting in a few very short months!  (like this JULY!!).   Go over to their blog, check it out, and spread the word!  

While you're at it, don't forget to check out our silent auction items.  There are some pretty intense bidding wars right now for some pretty awesome items!  Check it out! 

(Full disclosure:  I do have a vested interest in bringing Malcolm home.  He's coming home to OUR hometown!   I really, really, really want Peter and Malcolm to be able to play together!! So, let's rally again and get some publicity for little Malcolm and his family!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thank you all!

Thanks for giving me the best birthday present ever!

I added a little thermometer graphic to the right of the blog page, so you can all see just how much you helped.  Some of the funds came through Reece's Rainbow, some came privately through Paypal, some were handed to us in person (like the matching check).   I've tallied it all up, and put it all out there for you to see - with your help, we were able to raise about $800 for my birthday!   Words cannot say thank you enough!!

I can't stay long today, blogging.  I gave myself a day off from housework yesterday (in honour of my birthday), and, well, laundry doesn't recognize birthdays, apparently.   Who would have thought that one day of no laundry or housework would amount to as much as it did?!?!

Oh right....I have little boys who spend a good portion of their days playing outside.  Who was I trying to kid?!?!  ;-)

Thank you all again!

Go check out our auction, if you get a chance!  Today's item is an amazingly cute handmade tutu - perfect gift for the little girl in your life! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's a birthday celebration!

Yes, that's right, folks!  It's Heidi's birthday!! 

(And no, I'm not telling you how old she is!)

Help us celebrate her birthday in grand style:

A donor has agreed to match donations TODAY ONLY, in honour of Heidi's birthday!  (There is an upper limit, but it's a really good amount).

So that means that today only, any donation towards bringing Peter home will be DOUBLED!

You can donate in one of two ways (both of which have buttons located on the right side of our blog):

1)  Our Reece's Rainbow family account (tax deductible)


2)  Our personal adoption fund through Paypal (NOT tax deductible)

THANK YOU ALL, and Happy Birthday to Heidi!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slight delay....

Well, my excitement in the last post was short-lived.  :-/

Apparently, this past week has been a lesson in making sure things are clarified before believing them.  I told you all last week that AZ had approved our home study, finally, and that we were hoping to have our dossier sent off this week.

That's only half-true, we've come to find out!

Arizona DID approve us.  That part is true.   However, there was a footnote to that update, apparently, that we didn't know when our social worker told us.   I guess that it takes 3-4 weeks MORE to actually get the certified copy of the approval from the state.  Nothing can happen until we get that certified copy.  So, long story short, we're still waiting.....'s already been almost a week, so we're down to 2-3 weeks on that wait, and so we're still holding on hope to getting our dossier out in the near future.   Our original hope when starting this whole process was to have it out by May, so it looks like we might be right on target for that.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Other than that, things are relatively calm around here.  The auction is still going strong, and there are still some amazing items up for grabs.  (Follow the link at the top of the page).  

Malcolm's had some big news - go check it out

In other news, our friend Leila has created a new advocacy blog, and is posting up a storm with all kinds of information and guest writers.  Go check it out, too

And last, but definitely not least, HAPPY EASTER!   Christ is risen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Praise report!

Ladies and gentlemen....YOU DID IT!

Malcolm officially hit $15,000 today, and is still going strong.  He's at $15,552 and change, and officially has a family page now (that has another $50 on it!).  You guys ROCK!  I am so humbled and grateful to have been able to be a part of this crazy Lenten journey for the Smith family.   Thank you all so much.  God is good!

Another quick piece of good news on our front.   We received word yesterday that our FBI clearance came through, and Arizona signed off on our home study (in AZ, they have to be approved by a court before we can even send it to Hong Kong, so we were waiting on that step).   The official copies are being sent to the adoption agency, and with any luck, our dossier will be on its way to Hong Kong next week!   (and our I-800A will be able to be on its way, too).   

We're hopeful that within a year from now, we'll be able to bring Peter home!  (still have fingers crossed for sooner, but are trying to remain realistic....).

Thank you all so much for your support!  It's been a good day here!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Can we do it?

( many of you just shouted, "YES WE CAN!!"  in your heads when you read that post title?   Thank you, Bob the Builder!)

But the question is still there:  Can we do it?

Can we get little Malcolm's fund up to our Easter goal?   A week or so ago, there was this crazy idea to try and get Malcolm's fund up from just over $7,000 to $15,000 by Easter Sunday.   You see, the family that is adopting Malcolm just so happens to be friends with our family.  We live in the same metropolitan area.  We see them trying to find the funding - - and they need A LOT more than we do to bring their little boy home.   

So the blogging world rallied.  We saw posts all over the blogosphere, including on New Advent.  Patricia Heaton tweeted it to 73,000 followers...not once...but TWICE!  

We watched the fund jump from $7159 to $14,427......where it has stalled.   We only have a few days left before Easter.   Can we find that last $600 to get him up over the mark?!?

His forever family would be incredibly grateful.  I can promise that.   

Mike and I are so thankful for the support being showered upon us on our adoption journey.   The auction is going wonderfully right now, and I know how amazing it feels to be wrapped in this incredible compassion and love from so many people.   I want Charles and Eli to feel that same shower.   They desperately want to bring Malcolm home, and are working frantically on getting to that point.

Help us to help them.  Spread the word.   Let's get Malcolm's fund up to $15,000 by Sunday.

I know we can do this.

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Have you seen this blog yet?

Maybe you should go read it today!  :-)   

We did a guest post for Leila over at Orphan Report, and it's running today.   We're still fumbling our way through this adoption process, but there were a few very wise pieces of advice given to us before we even officially contacted an adoption agency.   We wanted to share that advice with anyone else who was contemplating adoption.  Enjoy!

Our April auction is going strong - make sure you go check it out!  You can get there by following the tab marked "Auction" at the top of this page, or by clicking on this link.  New items are being added every day, and some of the items available are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself!   Congrats to our two highest bidders for day 1 (a $25 gift certificate for a ham!) and day 2 (an awesome handmade baby hat!).

Have a great day, all!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 1 is drawing to a close..

...over at our silent auction.  Have you checked it out yet?

If not, here's the link!!

Here's how it works:  Each day has been assigned an item (you can find the list of items and their days by following the links at the top of the page).  

The auction for that item will close on the day it has been assigned.  So, for example, today's item is a $25 gift certificate off of an Easter ham (found all over - and in all WalMart stores).  At midnight tonight (PST), that auction will close.   Tomorrow, the item is an adorable pumpkin hat.  At midnight tomorrow, the auction for that hat will close.

Got it?

Great!  Now go check out the awesome items up for grabs and get in on the fun!  :-)  Share the link and spread the word.  The more people we have bidding, the more fun it will be!  (I love the excitement that goes along with auctions!!!)

Thank you so much for your support!