Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just another bump is all....

It's really kind of an understatement to say that adoption is like navigating a bumpy road. You are quickly going side to side...slowing down, speeding up....just to make it to the end and on to a smoother road.
I'm not sure I have yet to read an adoption blog that doesn't blog about their adoption being tough or bumpy or something to that effect. If you are reading this and have had the smoothest adoption ever...please don't comment (just playing.. but really, don't!)

If you remember, I have been mailbox stalking over the last few days (ok weeks)
On Friday Clint handed me an envelope from USCIS....I was SUPER excited. I quickly opened it and cleared my throat to read it aloud.
From first glimpse, I knew something wasn't right. It was on pink paper...like saying, "CAUTION" or "WARNING"....NOT what I was expecting at all!

I read on and saw that we needed to submit some additional information regarding a court case Clint was involved in (not his own...one that he was supposed to testify in) back in 1995. Yep, that's right...16 years ago!
It was Friday afternoon, so there wasn't anything we could do about it until Monday. BLEH!

Monday morning Clint called the court house and drove over 100 miles to get the certified court documents we needed. I am overnighting everything back to CIS today and hopefully we will have the approval letter in the next week or so.

What a bumpy road this is, but we know that God has blessed our path.... this is His plan.

Silent Auction Items Sneak Peak

The Hearts for Adoption Dinner and Silent Auction is fast approaching and we have had some amazing stuff donated for the silent auction. God has provided in a BIG way for this event! We are trusting and praying that ticket sales will come pouring in over the next 2 weeks.
Clint and I, along with the Linck's and Habuda's, are super excited about this event.

Remember that tickets must be purchased by April 8th so that we can turn in the order to the caterer. You can purchase the tickets through our blog.

Here is a sneak peak of the stuff we have for the silent auction!!

Picnic for Two
Picnic basket with plates, tablecloth, etc.
3 bottles of wine
Wine glasses
Subway Gift Card

2 Handmade Necklaces from Juhree

Golf Package
Wilson Golf Clubs
Golf Balls
Golf Tees

For The Guys Basket
Golf Balls
Buffalo Wild Wings Gift Card
Round of Golf for 4 people and 2 free cart rentals

Italian Night Basket
$50 to Johnny Carinos
$10 Il Dolce Gelato
Wine and wineglasses

Texas Weekend Getaway
2 Night Stay at Hotel in Sundance Square, Fort Worth, Texas
$50 gift card to PF Changs
7-11 Gas Card

Date Night Basket
$40 to Charleston’s
Warren Tickets
2 coupons for free sundaes at Freddy’s Frozen Custard

Fiesta Night Basket
$20 On the Border
$20 to Pablono Grill

Family Fun Night Basket
Board Games
Pizza Gift Card
Chili’s Free Kids Meal coupons
Sonic value cards
Free sundaes from Freddy’s frozen custard
Video coupons
$20 video rental coupon
Gift certificate for bowling
Hey Day gift package- free mini golf and laser tag, $10 gift card

Photography Session from Art and Soul Photography ($150 Value)

Steak Night Basket
$25 to Outback
$25 to Longhorn Steakhouse and a free appetizer coupon
$20 to Logan’s Steakhouse

Body and Soul Boot camp Gift Certificate

Dinner for a Week
$30 Red Lobster
$25 Cheesecake Factory
$20 Interurban
$25 Outback
$30 Hideaway
$25 Logan’s Steakhouse
$25 to Swadley’s BBQ

Lunch for a Week
Louie’s Coupons
Earl’s Gift card
BJ’s Gift card
$20 Cafe 7 Gift Card
Sonic value cards
$20 Logan’s Steakhouse
Free Bowel at Genghis Grill
Chick Fil-A gift basket

Lindsey Lou Creations Basket and Gift Card (handmade items)

Signed OSU Football

Signed OSU Basketball

Africa Basket
Ethiopian scarf
3 Ugandan necklaces
1 adult Africa t-shirt
1 children’s Africa shirt
Bracelet from Lesotho

Customized Ceramic Pumpkins

Dessert for a Year

Cupcake Basket
½ dozen cupcakes
Gift Card to Gigi’s cupcakes
Cupcake stand
Cupcake magazine
Cupcake liners (several packages)

Scentsy Basket

Thunder Basketball signed by the entire team (we have 2 of these!)

2 autographed Thunder jerseys – Durant and Westbrook

Area rug

Custom Cake

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday Stones!

I had some very exciting plans for Saturday. Jennifer and I were going to go thrift store shopping to find her a dresser (and maybe a little something I couldn't live without).... but instead, I awoke on Saturday morning at 1am to a horrible pain in my right side. I wasn't sure if it was just a back ache or what...so I laid there and tossed and turned until about 8am when the pain was so bad it left me doubled over the toilette. Ick.
I told Clint that I thought maybe I should go to the ER (last year at this exact same time is when this happened and they took my appendix out and found my endometriosis).
So off we went.....
Shortly after arriving, the nurse piled this on my bed....

Hmmmm. I was hoping that pain meds were part of that little vile party!

So, as the pain meds kicked in, Clint waited patiently as I went in for a CT scan...
Yip, kidney stones....
A few hours later and with prescriptions in hand, we were out the door.

Needless to say, my thrift store shopping was cancelled! Booooo.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend and Thunder Gear!

We are really excited about our upcoming Dinner and Silent Auction on April 16th. Last week us three girls got together and worked on the canvas Africa centerpieces. It was fun to sit and chat and decorate together! Sarah and Jennifer are such special ladies!! I am so happy to be sharing our adoption lives with each other.

For part of the table centerpieces we are going to have these cute 8x10 canvas's. We loved how they turned out!!

Friday night Clint and I babysat our sweet twin nephews. Well, we really only babysat one of them....Brooks was asleep the entire time :(
Here's Jackson....those cheeks are SO kissable!

Also while we were there, my sister in-law gave me this Thunder stuff to auction off at our dinner on the 16th (of April). We were so excited!!!!! YAY Thunder stuff!

On the Adoption front:
We are still waiting for our CIS approval letter so that we can send in our Dossier. It really should be any day now....still mailbox stalking!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wanna Get Away??

We are SUPER pumped about our latest donation for the silent auction!!

You could win a 2 night stay at the beautiful Blackstone Courtyard by Marriot, located in downtown Ft. Worth, TX!

YES, that is 2 nights FREE people.....

Our friend Matt Habuda (Living Love for the sake of ONE and is married to my sweet friend Sarah) is a frequent guest at this hotel. He stays there for work and recently asked them if they would donate something to our silent auction. WOW! It was AWEsome to find out that 2 free nights is what they had to offer!!

So, get your tickets for our dinner/silent auction and don't forget to bid on this fantastic trip!

Mailbox Stalking

Yes, this is what I do daily (especially if my mailman comes on my lunch break!). I drop everything and head to the mailbox when I get home from work. Sometimes I get lucky and he comes when I am home for lunch..bonus!
What am I stalking it for??? Well, our CIS approval letter of course! We should only be about a week away from receiving our letter, and once that is in I can send off our Dossier (foreign paperwork) to Gladney and then it's off to Washington DC...and we will officially be on the WAIT LIST!
Unfortunately today this is all I got from Mr. Postman....

Until tomorrow mr mail box!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Adoption Update!

This is an update copied from the Joint Council website:


Various blogs and listservs are reporting that the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs has announced a revised plan which includes the processing of 20 adoption cases per day. While Joint Council has also been provided with this information, it is our understanding that no decision has been made or announcement published by the Government of Ethiopia.
We believe that it is premature to speculate on the intentions of the Ministry but rather seek to continue to partner with the Government of Ethiopia and use this opportunity to increase child and family protections while continuing intercountry adoption. Joint Council fully supports the government’s efforts to increase the capacity for regulatory oversight of service providers, strengthen the review of each adoption case and expand social services to Ethiopian children and families."

Silent Auction donations needed!

We are all so very excited about the dinner and silent auction coming up on April 16th! We have been working hard to get items donated for our silent auction. If you know of someone (or yourself) that would like to donate an item, a service, etc...to our silent auction...please leave me a comment. We would be so grateful!

I think it's going to be an awesome night and if you haven't purchased your ticket, please do so on our blog before April 8th!

Just some of the auction items include:

Gift Certificates to Logan's, Chili's, Eve's & Lulu D's, Cottonwood Salon & Spa, Elements Massage, Double Dave's Pizza, & much more.

We have also had generous people donate items to the auction!

NEW Wilson Profile -2 Titanium Woods, one hybrid wood, irons 5-9, pitching wedge and sand wedge and putter.

Scentsy Baskets, OKC THUNDER items, OSU signed basketball and football, Body & Soul Fitness class, area rug, hand-painted canvas pictures, and more!

We are just so blessed to have people that want to help us make this a big success! We hope to make this a yearly thing to be able to help other families who are adopting!


Baseball in Full Swing

This past weekend we traveled to Mansfield, TX to watch Blake and the "Bad News Bears" play in their first tournament of the season. They won both games on Saturday, but lost in single elimination on Sunday. We enjoyed the trip and even took Penny with us. She was a great travel dog!!Blake played great and it was fun to watch the team in such a cool ballpark. Big League Dreams has fields that are little league replicas of major league fields. Very nice! Going back to our lawn chairs and port-a-potties will be hard! League starts next week with two games and then an away tournament over the weekend! Let the fun begin!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Adoption Update

I really don't have the words to express how I feel about all of this. I'm staying out of all the back-and-forth emails regarding this decision and just don't have anything positive to say right now.
I do believe that ALL things are possible through God. I do believe that everything is in His timing, like it or not.
I'm trying to focus on other things right now. Our fingerprints were one week ago tomorrow, so hopefully within the next 2 weeks we will get our approval letter from them and we can submit our dossier.
I just wish we would hear from our agency in regards to all of this! I know our wait will increase because of this decision, but by how much.... I need to know SOMEthing!!!

In the meantime, our family is traveling to Mansfield, TX this weekend for a baseball tournament that Blake has. Should be nice to get away from the norm.

Below is the "alert" posted on adoption.state.gov
Just prayer, that's what we need now!

Adoption Alert
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

Government of Ethiopia Plans Major Slow-Down in Adoption Processing

March 9, 2011

Citing the need to work on quality and focus on more important strategic issues, the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) will reduce to a maximum of five the number of adoption cases it processes per day, effective March 10, 2011. Under Ethiopian adoption procedures, MOWCYA approves every match between prospective adoptive parents and an Ethiopian child before that case can be forwarded for a court hearing. The U.S. Embassy is working with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to learn more about this change in procedures. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Given MOWCYA's current caseload, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that this change could result in an overall decline in case processing of some 90 percent. If this change is implemented as proposed, we expect, that parents who have begun the process of adopting from Ethiopia but have not yet been matched with a child could experience significant delays. It is not clear if this change in procedures would have any significant impact on cases in which MOWCYA has already approved matches.

Prospective adoptive parents should remain in close contact with their adoption service provider to obtain updates on individual cases.

Monday, March 7, 2011

CIS Fingerprints DONE (with a little help from Roz!)

Friday the 4th we went and had our fingerprints done. The LAST thing before we get to send in our Dossier and get on the WAITlist!
I didn't take the ever so popular "CIS Fingerprint" photo that day, not sure why...but I didn't. Kind of kicking myself for it.
We had this whole crazy fiasco leading up to it....I LOST our appointment letters! Not even kidding. I'm not one to lose anything, so it was beyond frustrating. I always know where things are (you couldn't tell that by the way I keep my sewing room) but for some reason the two most important forms for this day were MISSING! I ended up calling the 800 number and begging for a solution. The lady on the other end of the line sounded like Roz from Monsters Inc. She was not impressed by my sweet talk, nor my sob story! I started getting worried! Then I just broke out in tears. Yep, that's right....sobbing over the fact that I would have to wait even longer to get my fingerprints done and get on the wait list to bring my baby home from Ethiopia.
Either she got sick of listening to me sniffle, or she reached down deep for some sympathy...she just interrupted me and said (in her Roz voice)..."What's your fax number". I just started laughing and was so happy she was going to do this for me.
She let me know that it was going to be a while because she's stuck at the front desk answering phones! I told her NO PROBLEM.
So...Roz faxed the appointment letters and we were set!
All in all it was very easy and laid back. There's not a lot of jokesters or excitement at the Dept of Homeland Sec in Oklahoma City!
Oh well...our prints our done...so now we wait for the letter and move forward! YAY!

Get your Silent Auction tickets!!!

Tickets are now available for the dinner/silent auction that we are having with the Linck's and the Habuda's. They can be purchased right here on the blog. All the proceeds from the event will benefit our adoptions from Ethiopia. God has faithfully provided an amazing facility to have our event and a great deal on catering. We already have a lot of great silent auction items and more are being donated.

Please join us for this fun night of food and music to raise money to support adoption!

Hearts for Adoption
Dinner and Silent Auction

When: Saturday, April 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Christian Life Fellowship

1400 NW 12th Street in Moore, Oklahoma

Dinner will be catered by Primos D'Italia. Cost is $15 for adults and $6 for children over 5-years-old. Kids 5 and under eat free. Tickets must be purchased by April 8th so that we can put our order in with the caterer. Would you please help us spread the word about this event?? Post it to your Facebook, invite all of your friends. It's going to be a good, good, night!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our God is an AWESOME God!

I almost don't know what to say....shocking, I know :)

Last night I received a message on Facebook from a guy I didn't know. He said he knew my sweet friend Jennifer Linck and had heard about our financial need in the next two weeks. I read on about how he belongs to a group of college aged young adults and how they prayed for Clint and I last Friday when they met.
I was so touched by that.

I continued to read on and realized that this group...this group that doesn't know my family from the next....just pledged to contribute the amount we need to send in our Dossier and get on the wait list!

I gasped. I screamed. I was IN SHOCK!

I told Clint he was "never going to believe this".


I emailed this guy back on Facebook. I'm sure I was just rambling on and on. But really, how do you say "Thank you" to someone that has done such an amazing thing for you and your family...and doesn't even know who you are!!!!!! That is truly the work of GOD!

Ephesians 3:20-21
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory....."

Matthew 21:22
"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive"

We are amazed and just feel really blessed. We know we still have a long way to go....but for now, we can rest "easy" knowing that nothing stands in our way of getting on that wait list and being one step closer to our baby!!!!!!!!!!!!