Monday, July 30, 2012

Even Peter's big brothers get in on the fun.....

Our vacation was a prime opportunity to do a little fundraising to bring Peter home......according to his big brothers, at least!   Rascal #2 decided, on his own, to create masterpieces and sell them at a roadside stand over the weekend.  Rascals #1 and 3 couldn't be left out, of course, and so the three of them put their skills together and went to work, raising money to bring Peter home.   Enjoy the pictures!

The artist

Rascal #1 designed the stand and signs, Rascal #2 drew the pictures, and Rascal #3 was the salesman - yelling, "TWO DOLLAR PICTURES!!!" at everyone who went by.   haha

Making a sale

It was a successful venture - raised $14 to help bring Peter home

Don't forget that you, too, can help us bring Peter home.  Our puzzle fundraiser is still going strong - 101 pieces spoken for!   There are still quite a few more, though, and we still have a Macbook Air to give away.   Go and check it out!!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A glimpse into Peter's future...

Praying that Peter's next summer looks like this......

Exploring the lake on a drizzly day

Discovering the fun of playing jacks...

Visiting with Baba (great grandma)

attempting some lawn games

Summer fun

Working hard on a masterpiece

Water fun!

Aunts and s'mores...

quiet creative mornings

lots of boat time

quiet moments

making friends

seeing the sights

visiting our old home

cousins and tie-dying fun..

And don't forget about the Macbook giveaway!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quick Take Break

I know, I know, it's Friday, which usually means quick takes with all those awesome links to other giveaways and sharing some newly listed kiddos.

But.....we're on vacation this week, visiting family 2000 miles away from home, and access to a real computer is minimal (trying to post on my phone is a bit too technologically advanced for me!).

Forgive me if this week is one of light posts, including today's quick takes.  We'll be back to full-speed the first week of August!

Don't forget to check out our puzzle/MacBook giveaway here (or at the tab on the top of the blog).   We've had 101 puzzle pieces spoken for - about 20% of the puzzle has been put together!  When we get back home, I'll upload pictures for everyone to see.

449 puzzle pieces left to go, and then someone is getting a new computer!   Spread the word - I cannot WAIT to send this computer to one of y'all! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Celebrating in Style....

After receiving some exciting news yesterday about our adoption, we decided to continue our tradition of celebrating each little milestone, and headed to our favourite dinner spot.   Yes, we're dorks, but we do celebrate every single little milestone on this adoption journey.    It helps us hold tight to our hope and our dedication as we wait for our little guy to come home.

On our way home, it truly seemed like we had some extra help in celebrating.   We were one step closer to bringing our Peter home, and it seemed like the Heavens were rejoicing along with us.  

Here's the proof:

Isn't this amazingly beautiful?   It filled me with joy to see.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guess who just got USCIS approval in the mail?

.....we did, that's who!

One step closer to bringing Peter home!!  Woo-hoo!


Don't forget to check out our Macbook Giveaway!   70 more pieces need to be spoken for and then an adorable Hello, Kitty hat will be a lucky somebody's!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wow, that was quick!

This hat has already found a home!

You guys ROCK and met our 78 puzzle piece giveaway point within 12 hours!  Way to share and spread the news, everyone!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!

The lucky recipient of our thank you gift is Casey Hay!  Let's go green!  

Next giveaway will happen when we hit 156 puzzle pieces, and will be an adorable Hello, Kitty hat!!  :-)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hats off to Peter!

Hats off to Peter!!

That's what we say around here!

And that's what a generous donor at Memaw's Creations has told us, too!

She's graciously donated seven incredible, hand-created hats (well, eight, actually - the zebra hat has an adorable matching infant hat that comes with it) to help us bring Peter home to his forever family.

Would you like one?

Guess what?!?!   We're going to give them away!

As an incentive to spread the word and participate in the Macbook Air giveaway to bring Peter home,  we're going to start sending these out as thank you gifts to people helping to complete the puzzle for Peter's room.

For every 78 puzzle pieces claimed, we will take the names of everyone who has either donated or shared our giveaway in some way (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) and commented on the giveaway post and choose one person to receive one of these awesome hats in their mailbox.   The hats fit each of our rascals, so they'll fit a child or an adult with a small head.  ;-)  

We'll get the party started with our alma mater - Michigan State University.

Any Spartans out there?   Any Spartan fans out there that need an awesome new winter hat?   

Let's spread the word!   With 52 puzzle pieces already accounted for, we only have 26 more puzzle pieces to go before someone out there is getting a gift of green-and-white in their mailbox!!  

Check out all the details for the Macbook Giveaway here, or by following the link at the top of the blog.   I want to send this hat out to someone soon!  


...our new Facebook page!

Want to have up-to-date information about Peter's journey home sent directly to your Newsfeed?

Now you can!

Just follow this link and click on the "like" button.    You'll know everything as soon as it's posted!!  :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quick Takes - Giveaway edition!

As always, thanks to Jen for hosting!

In honour of our own little fun giveaway that's going on, today's Quick Takes are going to be a special "Giveaway Edition."  There are SO MANY fun things to check out right now.  Make sure you click on all of the links below to check out all of the fun!


There are some AWESOME items being given away over on this blog.   Check them out and help to bring Claudia home!  (Although I have to warn you, the handmade scarf is MINE!  haha)


Help to bring Kenzi home by checking out this fantastic giveaway.    Ipads, cameras, Kindles, HUGE donations to your child of choice on Reece's Rainbow - so many fun items to walk away with.   Go check it out!


Go check out the giveway to help bring Thalia home!   You can find that on this blog.   Three words for you:  CUSTOM ROASTED COFFEE.

Can there be a better item to get in exchange for helping to bring an orphan home?!?!


Do you ever feel like you just don't have "enough" to donate that will really make a difference for all of these families?  As in, "My measly $5 isn't enough to make a difference, they won't even notice it.   Why should I even bother?"

Here's a reason why you should bother:  At this giveaway, the adoptive family has been giving the opportunity to match up to $6K of all donations received!!     Not only do you have a chance to get an awesome thank-you gift, but your donation will be DOUBLED!  Woo-hoo!   It's a win-win!  :-)


You're invited!  To what?   A virtual baby shower for two little girls who are on their way to their forever family.   They adopted a little girl, Gabby, and are going back not only for Gabby's best friend from the orphanage, but an older girl, too.   There are so many ways to help them bring the girls home - and awesome thank you gifts that you might get in return!  Check it out!


So those are the giveaways for the kiddos that already have found their forever families.  Now, time to meet a few orphans who are still hoping for their families to find them.   

Shane tugs at my heart.  He's the exact same age as Rascal #1.   He looks like he could be one of my boys.   And he has HIV.   His quality of life with good medical care can be amazing.   Please share his picture - spread the word.  Become Shane's advocate.  Help him find his family.



Think a having a large family means that you can't adopt one of these little ones?   Not so!  Some countries make allowances for larger families.  Asher is in one of those countries.   He needs a family - could it be yours?!?!

Do you want a MacBook Air?

Like this one?

We'd like to give one to you!!  To be exact, an 11 inch, brand new, shipped to your house MacBook Air, valued at $999.

We're on the last "push" for funding for Peter to come home, and to help achieve that awesome "fully funded" status, we've been given the opportunity to have a little fun!

We'd like to invite you to join us in having some fun! 

You see, we've got an amazing room coming together for our little boy to come home to.  It's full of toys, stuffed animals, and other goodies from friends and family.....but it's lacking a bit of decoration on the walls.

This is where you guys come in.

We've got an amazing, 550-piece puzzle that is going to be put together and framed to hang on Peter's wall.  It's a tribute to the organization that helped him find us.....and is helping us bring him home.   What organization might that be?   Well....Reece's Rainbow, of course!

The puzzle is an 18.5 x 14.9 representation of one of the beautiful logos for our favourite non-profit adoption advocacy group.    This one, to be exact:

Reece's Rainbow DID make a difference to this one little boy.  Our little boy.  Now it's your turn to do the same!

Here are the "official giveaway rules":

There are multiple ways to make sure that you are eligible for the MacBook Air.   To participate in the giveaway, you MUST do one of the following:

- Share this blog post via social media of some sort (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc).   Sharing the blog post will get you one entry into the giveaway.  Sharing the blog, however, does NOT earn a puzzle piece.  

- Make a donation to our personal (not tax deductible) Paypal account.   Each donation of $10 will earn a puzzle piece, and one entry into the giveaway.  The link can be found to the right of our blog.

- Make a donation into our Reece's Rainbow grant (tax deductible).   Each donation of $10 will earn a puzzle piece, and one entry into the giveaway.  The link can be found to the right of our blog.

After doing one of the above:

Comment on this blog.   Commenting on this blog post is the ONLY way to ensure that you will be part of the giveaway.   Tagging one of us on Facebook, or sending a random message to me is not ensuring your place in the giveaway.    It is very hard to keep track of all of the shares or donations without one, central list of supporters.    We need your help to make sure that no one is accidentally left out - so once you share or donate, come back HERE and leave a comment letting us know that you did.   

Once all of the puzzle pieces have been earned, the MacBook will be given to one of you, as a way of showing our thanks!    There is no end time limit to this giveaway - it all depends on how quickly those puzzle pieces are earned.  Once all 550 of them are gone....the MacBook Air will be on its way to someone out there.    The sooner that the word gets out about our giveaway and the sooner that those puzzle pieces are accounted for.....the sooner that the MacBook Air could be on its way to YOU!    Motivated yet to get the word out?

Not quite?  How about this little piece of info:   By the end of this giveaway, as the MacBook is on its way to its new owner, we'll only be about $1000 from that coveted full-funded status.   That's it.   Helping make this giveaway a success will do more than just send a computer on its way to'll mean that as soon as we get our travel dates from Peter's country, we will be able to go. Finances will not be a stumbling block in getting our little boy home to his brand-new bedroom with his awesome, brand-new wall art!  

So let's get going on the fun!  Help us bring our little guy home!  Help us give YOU a MacBook Air as a way of saying "thank you" for joining us on our journey to bring Peter home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Into the arms of God...

“Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if he wants anything of you, He will fit you for the work and give you strength.” (St. Philip Neri)

Holding tight to the comfort of these words tonight, with a heavy heart.  If you can, please say a prayer for some very dear friends of ours as they go through a heartbreaking situation.

Thank you.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick Takes - vol 7


Not much happening around these parts right now.   I hate not having more to update for you guys, but it is what it is, right?   Those of you who have been through this before know just how much silence goes into preparation for bringing home a little one, so I know you understand.   It's hard to live through so much waiting and silence, but it's giving me a lot of time to pray my way through the process, which is good.


All this quiet time has given me something else, too:  time to do lots of reading.   There's a problem, however:   I don't know what to read.  I've already checked out a few blogs, read Dr Ray's book (fantastic, by the way), but what else?   What say you, adoption-experts?    What book or blog would you suggest?    Where do you turn for adoption information, as well as information regarding Down Syndrome.   Send me to your favourite resources!


hmmm.....what else can I say here?   Let's see.   It's hot here.  Super-duper hot.   Even the tap water is now hot.    I no longer have to fill up the kids' plastic pool and let it sit in the sun to warm up before the kids climb in to play - now I can spray them directly with the hose and I get a "Mom, it feels like I'm taking a shower!!" out of them.   It's icky hot.  Yuck.  


Remember our friends at Let Us Begin?  Guess what?   Baby Girl was born on Monday, and has already made it through her first surgery.  She's doing very well, and her mommy and daddy couldn't be more in love!   Introducing Seraphia Caritas (which means ardent charity):

Isn't she beautiful?  Head on over to their blog to send your congrats!


Don't forget about our friends, the Vanchuras, adopting sweet Thadius from Reece's Rainbow.   Their iPad giveaway is still going strong, and there are some great opportunities for other goodies along the way to that iPad.  Go check it out at their blog!  


Time to meet some new faces!   

Look at this sweetheart!  She looks like she is just itching to get out and explore and run and play.  Such a twinkle in her eyes!!  

Piper only has a few months before she's transferred to a mental institution....but yet she's described as "clever" "speaking in full sentences" and "understanding new concepts easily."   She's a sweet girl, gentle, and loves to sing and dance.   Does a little girl like that really belong in a mental institution?  Let's find her a home!!


Meet Jude.   I have a little boy almost exactly the same age as Jude.   My little boy loves to run and play, build with legos, draw, make up stories, build mud pies in the backyard, and laugh with his family.  I bet Jude would like to do things like that, too, and it kills me to think that he's in an orphanage instead of with a family.    Hearing loss isn't a prescription for an orphanage or an institution in our country - sign language is even taught as a foreign language in many schools and colleges (including my alma mater, where I took 2 years of ASL).    I'd love to see Jude in a family who helps him communicate with the world around him and grow to reach his full potential as a child of God.  Could that family be yours?  There are SO many resources out there for parents of deaf children - you would not be alone!    Help me to find Jude a family, quickly.  


That's it for this week, folks!   Thanks to Jen for hosting, once again!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

We had a relatively relaxing Fourth of July celebration here at the Czerkes' house.    Everyone slept in (gasp!), and we ended up spending the entire morning sitting on the back patio, in our pajamas, watching the rain.

Yes, we sat outside and watched.the.rain.fall.   

This is a big event here in AZ!

We played in the rain...we danced in the rain...we got totally and completely soaking wet.  Even the dog got in on the fun, trying to catch raindrops:

Then, it was time to come inside and do a little bit of schoolwork.  We've decided to keep a year-round schedule here with homeschooling, for various reasons.  It helps us keep a daily routine (which makes the rascals happier), and it will allow us more freedom to take time off when Peter comes home.  

Today's activities included some artwork - Rascal #2 was supposed to paint what he imagined the fireworks to look like at the 4th of July celebration we were attending.  He did a pretty good job predicting it!  Take a look:

It was finally time to head out to our town's fireworks celebration.  This year, they'd found additional viewing sights, one of which was about 5 minutes from our house and a conveniently included a concession stand, a real, working bathroom, and beautifully mowed, fenced in soccer fields (where we threw blankets down and lounged around with friends).  The boys had a blast - and so did we!  

The night ended with pajamas and sparklers on the back patio....a fantastic day, all-around!

How was your Fourth of July?