Friday, June 29, 2012

Quick Takes - volume 6

Once again, thanks to Jen for hosting!


For those of you who regularly follow the blog, you already know this, but.....our USCIS fingerprinting is done!   Hopefully we'll get our approval soon and our dossier can be put in front of the government in Peter's country.    That appointment was probably the easiest government-related process that I have EVER participated in.   Seriously, it was a breeze.  I was very pleasantly surprised!!!


There are some pretty cool things going on out there in the adoption blog-o-sphere!  Here's a fundraiser that is not only incredibly creative, but it's just plain awesome.   What is it?  It's "Weighing Malcolm Home."    We all know Malcolm - he's the little boy that everyone rallied for so much this past spring.   Well, his forever dad has issued a challenge to all those out there - he will be losing weight before they bring Malcolm home - and you are being challenged to sponsor every pound.  What a great fundraiser, with so many positive outcomes!  


Another child that I've featured on here before, Thadius, is on his way home!  He has had a family commit to him recently, and I'm happy to say that I know this family, too!    He is very, very blessed to be heading to the Vanchura's home - and you have an opportunity to help get him there.   They are doing their first giveaway to help bring the little guy home, and it's a good one:  an iPad!

Check it out on their blog, here!


Speaking of giveaways, we've had an opportunity presented to do another one here on our blog.  So my question for you is this:  Which item would you be more interested in being able to receive in a giveaway?

an iPad (the new ones)
a Kindle Fire
a Nook Colour
a Macbook Air

Leave your preference in the comments below!  Obviously, there's a huge range of item value in those - so we're still working out the details.   But it should be coming soon - just in time for college students to head off to school!


We had to get our sprinkler system fixed the other day.   It usually goes off WAY before any of us are awake for the day, but we'd noticed that half of our yard wasn't growing back in (where we live, we have summer grass and winter's definitely summer - but our summer grass wasn't growing).   So, on a whim, we turned on the sprinkler system.  Turns out one of our sprinkler heads had broken and had turned that spot into quite the geyser....leaving no water pressure for the rest of the sprinkler heads.    We were flooding half of our yard - and totally leaving the other half parched.   So, on Wednesday, it was fixed.  What did we do to celebrate?   We played in the sprinklers, Arizona-style!   I wanted to share my favourite picture of the fun:

I can't wait to get Peter home to play with his big brothers!


It's time to show some faces!!  Let's start with Vonnie.....

Isn't she so cute?   Those rosy cheeks - she looks like she's just dying to play and laugh.  Maybe it could be in your home?


Wow, look at Justus.....

Maybe it's the sweater (my boys all had one that was, but I think it's the eyes.  Justus tugs on my heart, big time.   He needs a mommy and daddy to hug and cuddle with - someone to teach him how to sit on his own.    Could that be you?!?!

**** Man, that was a quick "Quick Takes" post!   Now, we're off to Ikea to get a few more things for Peter's room to celebrate our USCIS fingerprinting being completed!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One more task checked off of the list...

We had our fingerprinting appointment down at USCIS (aka Immmigration) today.  It was awesome - so very efficient, which totally surprised us!

We got there 20 minutes early, because we weren't sure what the parking situation was going to be like, with the address being downtown.   It ended up being a breeze to park, so we headed in a few minutes early.

We were walking back out to the car at the time we were originally scheduled for our appointment!  20 minutes to park, get in, get through security, get fingerprinted, and get back out to the car!  Fabulous!

One more to-do has been crossed off of the list.....I'm glad we waited until our appointment time to go in.  It worked out well with Mike's schedule, with our home life/travel plans, and was a breeze, overall.

Now we wait for approval, and then it's on to the next big step:  praying for matching approval from Peter's country!  :-)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quick Takes....from Michigan...

Thank you to Jen for hosting!


Okay, Mike and I are in Michigan for the weekend, so we're going to see how fast I can do these.  Five minutes, maybe?  Here goes!!


We went to the beach yesterday.  Oval Beach, in Saugatuck, MI, to be exact.  Google it.  I don't have time to link it for you.  (trying to be quick, remember?)  Absolutely gorgeous, and so very much what I needed.  I didn't realize just how much I missed the sound of waves crashing onto a beach.  It was perfect!


One reason for having to be quick?   I'm being hunted in the hotel lobby.  I'm not patient enough to do these from my phone, so I'm in the lobby on the shared computer.   Let's just say I feel very much like prey at the moment........lots of eyes watching the clock and how long I'm sitting here!  


Urgent prayer request, guys!  I received this from a friend today:

Please pray. A family went to Africa to adopt and were thrown in jail under suspicion of child trafficking. Their bio kids were put in the orphanage there. Just pray.

Read the blog linked above.  Pray for a quick solution.  I have children those exact ages as the American children.   I cannot imagine them thrown into an orphanage in a country that they don't know, in a language they don't understand.   Please pray.


Thanks to all of you, Brady Murray is going to Kona!  

Check out his blog at:

for the update and details.  You guys rock!


I feel badly about it, but I don't think I can copy and paste pictures of orphans who need a home on this won't let me save pictures, which is how I usually do it.  Forgive the lack of pictures, and just click on the links, please!  These children need homes and forever families!

OH MY GOSH, Micah is so very cute!  Look at him - don't you want to just pinch those cheeks and cuddle with him?  Check out Micah here:


I'm one minute over my self-imposed deadline, so this has to be quick.  Take your time looking through the babies who need homes, though - there are so many!!

Start with Rylee - she desperately needs a home and a medical system like ours that can provide for her needs.   Could her home be yours?

And we're out!  The other hotel guests will be much appreciative of our abbreviated Quick Takes this week!  Be back to normal next week!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daddy Dearest.....a few days late!

It's been crazy around here the past few days (our a/c apparently wanted to stop working, and it's 106ยบ every day this week, so we're working hard to get that fixed!), and I missed posting this on Sunday.  Sorry for the delay!


Dear Daddy,

Thank you for always "being there," even when you're at work.  Thank you for keeping us, your family, at the center of your world.

Thank you for making us a priority.  Always.

Thank you for being goofy with us and being willing to get in on the fun.

Thank you for making us smile.

Thank you for encouraging us to try new things.

Thank you for making us feel safe and secure, enough to be brave.

And on those times that we don't feel as brave and courageous...thank you for being by our side to support our journey.

But more than anything else, thank you for loving us so deeply and unconditionally.    We couldn't ask for a better dad - you are the perfect dad for us!

We love you, Daddy!

*** your rascals***

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick Takes, vol 4

Thanks to Jen for hosting!


Okay, you guys HAVE to go and check this out.


Voting ends on Sunday - we need to make sure this happens! 

Go here and read about the video, watch it, and vote!  Then go and share!!


We got our fingerprint cards!   Yay!   We have a appointment that actually - believe it or not - works with Mike's schedule.   We're trying to decide if we should just try and walk in and hope that we can get it done more quickly that way.....or if we should just do what they tell us and show up when we're scheduled.  What are your thoughts, oh wise adoptive families out there?   Would you just keep the appointment, since it's convenient, or would you try to walk in before that date?  (for what it's worth, the appointment is about 10 days from now...)



Don't forget the iPad giveaway - you can go here to find out the details.  It ends tonight, so make sure to go and get involved!! 


We're doing a bunch of traveling over the next couple of weeks.  Last week, we took a long weekend to go back to Maine and see my old youth group kids graduate.    This week, we're heading to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a long weekend.  Things will be quiet around here while all that traveling is going on - sorry!   I'll try to come back and keep updating during all of the chaos, but no promises (In addition, I'm sorry this is so disjointed.  I'm pooped from the trip to Maine!!)


Because it's fun - this one is in honour of Father Nathan.  :-)   Enjoy.


Look at Hadley!!  How beautiful is she?!?!?  So young - just barely over a year old.    Her mommy and daddy are out it you?


Look at Rosemary!   I'm instantly drawn to this little girl.  So much can be found in those eyes of hers - she wants to laugh and cuddle, I can just see it.   She's looking for her forever family with those eyes - could that be you? 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quick takes, 3rd edition

Thanks to Jen for hosting, once again!


Don't forget to vote every day for Brady Murray's advocating for Reece's Rainbow!  You can follow this link to find out more information.  He's still in first, but the other videos are gaining ground - go take 2 seconds and vote for him.  Don't worry, I'll wait for you to come back.  


You've still got a week to get in on another iPad giveaway, and your chances are still really good!  Go check out the story at Journey to Reunite Two Angels and get into the fun!


Our updates aren't really updates....haha.   Nothing new on the home front.  We got the official letter from USCIS stating that they'd received our application and it had entered their "lockbox"....and that's it.   We're hoping for our fingerprint appointment cards to come within the next two weeks, and then we'll go traipse downtown to get our fingerprints taken, once again.   I think by the end of this adoption journey, we will have been fingerprinted by every organization in this country!!


Good friends of ours here in AZ are working towards adopting a baby girl with spina bifida who should be born within the next month (domestic adoption).   The story is amazing, and they are trying to raise funds to help finance Baby Girl's adoption, before she is born and has the first of what will probably be many really intensive surgeries.   Please go check out their blog, read their story, and make sure to check out their adoption boutique!  Alison is making awesome birds nest necklaces to finance the costs, and you definitely want one! 


Because it cracks me up, I'm sharing this here.  The past two weeks are a blur, mainly because I had what we thought was a medical issue that was diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia.  To make a long story short, after many specialist appointments, tests, medications, ended up being a tooth that needed a root canal.   My dentist went out of the way to meet us on a weekend and take care of it, so the boys and I put together a care package to thank him (and his family) for making me feel better.   My oldest wrote this card to put in the package:

It cracks me up that he messed up the spelling for "fixed" but got the apostrophe on "mom's" correct.   Silly boy!


Time to meet some new faces!!
Look at Landon!  Isn't he beautiful!   Seeing my friend prepare for the birth of Baby Girl with spina bifida has shown me just how much medical treatment is available here in our country.  Babies like Landon can flourish here - if they can just get the treatment they need.   His family is out there - could it be you? 


Oh my gosh, look at Atticus!!    I just want to pinch those cheeks - they're so adorable!  Can you just see how amazingly beautiful that face would be with a smile on it?  His family is out there, and he's waiting so patiently for them.  Could it be you?  Could you be the one to put a smile on his face?  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Can you take a second to watch this and vote?

Check out this awesome way to support Brady Murray, a man trying to advocate and raise awareness for Reece's Rainbow through the Ironman World Championship in October!!


   My family and I have loved being able to work on behalf of the children on Reece's     Rainbow since finding this great organization.  It's for this reason that I had a hard time sleeping because of the excitement after hearing about this announcement!

Two months ago, Ironman announced a contest called Kona Inspired.  How it works is they have given the general public an opportunity to submit a 90 second video based around the theme, "Anything is Possible".  Winners receive a spot to race in the Ironman World Championship in October, but most importantly, they will race as a media athlete and have the opportunity to share their story on NBC's nationally televised broadcast of the championship this year!  THIS COULD BE OUR OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THESE PRECIOUS CHILDREN'S STORY WITH THE WORLD!!!

After reading Ironman's press release we immediately went to work.  This is an opportunity to help these children in a way that I never imagined possible!  The video came together with the help of many wonderful people and we submitted it.  105 videos were submitted.  After over a month long preliminary public voting, we just received word that we are one of the top 15 videos and will compete in the final round of voting June 4 - June 18!!!

Please take a moment to WATCHVOTE, and SHARE our video as much as possible throughout the day from your home computer, work computer, laptop, phone, etc!  We need to be in the top 2 videos at the end of the day on June 18.  


Thank you for your time and willingness to make the dream of these orphans of finding their forever family a reality!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

7 Quick Takes, a day late


Yes, I know it's a day late.  Sorry.  It's been a bit crazy over here - without going into too much detail, we've had some more illness and it's taken over pretty much every single waking moment of my life.  Sorry!!


We do have SOME good updates.  Like this email we got earlier this week:  
Dear Applicant/Petitioner:

USCIS application/petition has been received and routed to the National Benefit Center for processing. Within 7 - 10 days by standard mail you will receive your official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) with your Receipt Number ************. If you have any questions please contact the Hague Unit at (877) 424-8374 or NBC.HAGUE@DHS.GOV



In another good update, our dossier is completely compiled and our agency has sent it to the agency in Peter's country.    I'm hopeful we will get our USCIS approval within the next month (it seems to be running about 2 weeks from the fingerprinting date right now!) and then our dossier can go to the government in his country.  Fingers crossed! Our agency here is cautiously optimistic about things moving quickly, so we are trying to be the same!


Bidding Malcolm Home has begun!!  Go here to check out the awesome items that are up for grabs!!   Hurry up, though, because bidding ends tomorrow.



Look at Megan!  She's so cute!  Her region had been closed down for awhile, but it has re-opened, and children are available from there again.  She's got nearly a full grant available to whomever steps forward to adopt her.  Could that be you?!?!


Meet Justin.

Justin's forever family is doing a really cool event for the month of June (Justin's birth month)  over on their blog.  It doesn't involve any fundraising - but a lot of praying!   Go check it out - I love the idea and will probably be stealing it in the future (sorry, Megan! haha)


Meet Lawrence.  He's already in an adult institution, but is only 6 years old.   He's got a huge grant available to his forever family.   Could you help get the word out about him?  He needs a home! 

Alright, folks, that's it for today!   Hopefully I'll be able to get back into the blogging routine in a few days!!  :-)  Thanks to Jen, for hosting!