Forever Young

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fundraisers and Home Study

Along with the key chains we are selling, we are also selling these bracelets that Todd is making. He has ordered several different colors of paracord so he can make them in team colors or whatever color you like! We are also selling these for a $10 minimum donation. We are also collecting lots of donations for a big yard sale. We are so thankful that our friends Scott and Liz have allowed us to use their basement to store our stuff in, and they will let us have the sale at their house. Their home is in a much more visible location with more traffic than we get at our house. Plus, we have nowhere to store the donations aside from the middle of our living room floor! We are hoping to have our sale one Saturday in April, depending on the weather. We are so blessed with so many supportive friends who are willing to help us. Our friend Allison has offered to have her girls and Bekah make some baked good to sell and our pastor, Roger, even offered to cook some BBQ to sell! We are praying that God will use all our efforts to allow us to bring home our daughter! Wednesday evening will be our home visit by our social worker. We have been preparing the best we can, but don't know really what to expect. I've talked with one friend who recently had a home visit and done some reading to try to find out what to do. We have checked to make sure we have working smoke detectors, I went through the medicine cabinet and threw out any outdated medicine, we made sure we have fire extinguishers within easy reach, we purchased gun cases and locks and locked up the guns, we moved Todd's knife collection to a higher shelf, we purchased child safety locks for the cabinets (we don't have to install them since we don't know when we'll get our daughter but we have to show that we have them available), we made sure we have outlet covers in our outlets, we have cleaned and organized, and I'll clean some more on Wednesday before she comes. She is planning to arrive around 5:30 and she said we can eat dinner while she is here. She said we can expect the visit to last at least 3 hours. So, we are preparing and praying and look forward to being one step closer to meeting our daughter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adoption Fundraiser!

We are having our first adoption fundraiser! We are selling these three different keychains. For a minimum donation of $10, we will give/ship you one of these 3 options! I know the pictures are small and hard to see. The first one says, "I helped someone adopt!" The second one says, "Support Adoption," and the last one just says, "Adopt." Please let us know if you are interested in one and we'll get it to you! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Patricks Day and Adoption Update

On St. Patrick's Day, the kids had their traditional breakfast of green eggs, green toast, and green milk. (Bekah always opts for white milk, though.) The kids got up and put on green shirts and then ate in the living room while watching the Veggie Tales - St. Patrick Story. It's a fun treat for them to do something a little different before school! This year we had a field trip with our science club on St. Patrick's Day, so that made it even more fun. We went the the Farnsley-Moremen Riverside Landing. I'll post pics of that soon!

In other news, we have completed all of the paperwork for our home study!! We had our first round of interviews at the home study office yesterday, and next week they'll be coming out to our house for our final set of interviews! Then, we'll hopefully get our approval from them to adopt! We also have applied for our passports and are awaiting those. Now, we need to work on our dossier and apply to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office! We are making progress!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why China?

I have had several people ask me why we are choosing to adopt from China, so I just thought I'd answer that here. When we first decided to adopt we looked briefly at domestic adoption. I'm not sure I really gave it a fair chance though, as I was apprehensive about the birth mother issues that could arise in the future. I didn't want to be fearful of a birth mother changing her mind or coming to find her child someday or even of my child finding her birth mother some day. I'm sure we've all heard horror stories, and I'm sure that things like that don't happen often. However, we just decided we'd rather pursue an international adoption and not ever have to wonder about any of those issues arising. So, then we looked online at many different countries and their programs. Each country has its own set of regulations and criteria to adopt from there. So, we basically decided to search for the country with the lowest costs for adopting and the shortest in-country stay that we qualified for. Through this process we ended up narrowing it down and trying to decide between China and Ethiopia. Originally we weren't sure if we wanted to adopt 1 or 2 children, which can make a difference also when choosing a country and a placing agency. Things can be different when adopting siblings or 2 unrelated children versus just adopting one at a time. So, finally we decided we wanted to adopt one little girl, and since China as a whole does not really value the life of females, it just seemed like the right choice. So, no, there was no voice from the sky telling us to choose China! Really it was just a process of elimination and following the desires of our hearts! We can't wait to meet our daughter from China!

Marengo Cave

Yesterday we went on a field trip to Marengo Cave and had a great time! We went with some of the other homeschoolers at our church and had a group of 4 moms and 11 kids. We took 2 tours in the cave and also had an indoor picnic lunch. The first tour was an hour long and the second was about 40 minutes. We also took a short walk outside to the site where the cave was first found. Then we all left for home with some happy and tired kids!

We saw lots of cool cave formations.

We also saw several bats!

This was a wet part of the cave. These are actual cups that the original explorers used to collect water to drink!

The whole gang in the cave!

The whole gang outside at the original cave entrance.