Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer's Here

Just a quick hello! I hope you're enjoying your summer--- swimming, movies, late nights, later mornings. Or are you super busy running from one fun activity to another? Either way, I hope you're having fun with your friends and family.
Be sure to come by next week-- we're happy to have a family of the week on our blog.

--Tonya:)

A picture from our recent trip to the zoo. I knew you would love it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting Stinks

Hey friends.....I hope all is well! No family on our page this week, but definitely check out the rest of the Give1Save1 pages.  And, if you haven't signed up on Pure Charity, do it! To fundraise or give, you'll need a page.

We've been matched with our daughter for over and year.  Someone asked me today if the waiting was getting the best of me.  Honestly, yes.  Some days, it's rough.  It will happen, we will travel and she will come home.  But, man, the wait is tough!  If you have friends or family in that long wait, take it from me.....they may be going a little crazy. And take it from me again, they know it! So, I'll apologize for all of us.  Sorry we're losing our minds! We want our babies home! To all of you waiting mamas, (and daddies) I hear ya! To all of our supporters, friends and family, thanks for the love:)

Thank you for reading--we'll have a family of the week very soon!

                                            

Friday, May 17, 2013

Time To Sign Up With Pure Charity/Dismukes' Week!

Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week.
We have families lined up for the next couple of weeks. Let me know if you want to be on our blog! We're partnering with Pure Charity and we're excited about it!  CLICK HERE to sign up with Pure Charity! You can create a giving account, too, which you should do since most or our families will be on there.....and you can shop from there, too.

Now I want you to tell your friends about us! We want more likes on our Facebook page and we want to have as many supporters as we can! Our Asia family is growing and it's great! Let's keep putting the word out there.

You still have time to support our family of the week, the Dismukes.  They are adopting 2 children from China and could use your support! The Dismuke family appreciates your prayers, as well, as their adoption journey has had some bumps along the way.  They changed countries after Russia was closed to international adoption.  Let's show them some love!
Here's their blog link.  They have a MATCHING GIFT that will be a huge help with upcoming fees!
Follow these easy steps to donate to that grant and have your gift doubled!
1. Go to www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number & Family Name Fields with "Preference Dismuke # 3342 adoption"


It takes about 2 minutes:)
You're a rock star. Happy weekend.

                                                


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

F.U.N.

Are you waiting for your approval? 
Are you knee deep in paperwork? 
paperwork-climbing-02
Are you checking your email every 10 minutes?
Wait,was that the phone ringing?

Oh, sister, I have been there! Someone once said adoption is, "hurry up and wait." 
Truth. They spoke truth. The naked, ugly truth.
If one more person told me that God's timing was perfect I thought I'd punch them in the nose.
Truth. That is truth. I am not perfect.
I restrained.
Waiting is hard.

Life gets so stressful while you are waiting for someone else to give you permission to hold your own child.
We need to remember to have some fun!
Here are a few things to help you pass the time. 

1. Have a marshmallow fight.


2. Break out the squirt guns or the nerf guns or paintball guns.

3. Play a good natured prank on your significant other.


4. Make a hula hoop. Seriously. 
(I just did this to add some fun into the "after the wait" part of this journey. Best.Decision.Ever.)


Laugh. Giggle. Cry. Laugh some more.

Today is so long and I get it. I really do. I won't minimize your struggle.

But put down the phone, tuck the computer away,
 and go do something fun!












Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Funding an Adoption



Let's face it: adoptions cost money! Lawyers, home-studies, background checks, social workers, dossiers, fingerprinting, immigration papers (and a lot more): it all comes with a price that needs to be paid. But on the other side of those fees is your child; the mountain you are standing in front of looks impossible and you need that thing to crumble! Ask any adoptive family how they could afford that $30,000 adoption and they'll tell you that God shows up big on adoptions. A phrase that we adopted (pun intended) around here is: "God funds what He favors and we know He favors adoption!" And He really does! After all, it was His plan for us to be adopted into His family - what a beautiful reflection of our salvation. Praise Him.

I will never say that 'everybody should adopt', but I do think more people should. It's a beautiful thing and a great way to grow your family! Many people have a heart for adoption and say they wish they could adopt - I hear it all the time. They are scared that they can't afford adoption and put adoption in that "one day we'll do that" file. But many people never move past that 'one day' and move it into the now. Finances are one of the reasons that people think they can't adopt.

I wanted to share some ways to afford adoption. As you pursue adoption or consider an adoption, I hope you find this post helpful!

Trim the Fat!

How can you make that paycheck S - T - R- E- T - C - H just a little more? What are some things that you can cut back on at home?


  • Goodbye 700 channels! We cut the cable a little over 3 years ago. We still have TiVo to record our shows and we have Netflix to do instant streaming. Honestly, we haven't missed it much. We can find most of what we want online or on Netflix and we really don't need to spend much time watching TV anyway. This saves us $70 a month. 
  • Eat at home more! Grab a newspaper, cut some coupons, and plan a week's worth of meals based on what is on sale in the grocery store this week. You'll save a ton of money by eating at home. Eating out is expensive - limit eating out to once per week and make that one affordable - use a coupon, drink water in restaurants, and even choose a place that has a Kids Eat Free night. We usually eat out on Tuesdays. There are several local restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays and our family of 5 can eat for around $15! 
  • It's spring right now and it's gorgeous outside. We have the air turned off and the windows open to let in light and a cool breeze. Save running that air in the summer when it's too hot to open the windows. 
  • Think of other ways you can cut back on your monthly expenses. Cut your internet speed back just a tad, shop around for your house and car insurance and make sure you're getting the best rates. Maybe you don't need the latest and greatest gadgets as soon as they hit the shelves. The sacrifices are worth it! 

Put the FUN in Fundraising! 

This one can be a lot of WORK, but a lot of FUN too. God could just drop $30K from the sky if He wanted to, but He doesn't usually operate that way. God has a plan to bring your child home. You just have to find it and obey. Pray for creative ideas, ask for His guidance and jump in and do it! I'm going to give SOME fundraising ideas. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I am going to share some things that I have done and some friends of ours have done that worked well. Get creative and have FUN fundraising to bring your kiddo(s) home! 

  • YARD SALE! What a great way to make room for your new child! Clean out those closets, playroom toy boxes, and the garage. Ask your friends and family for donations and put some signs in the yard. My friend Wendy had a sale about 3 years ago that topped $12,000. Just this past weekend, she did it again! Her family paired with two other couples and they went BIG! They asked a church on a main road if they could hold their sale on their lawn for four days. They secured storage units with 1 month rent free and asked everybody they know for donations of their junk! They ended up filling up FIVE large storage units, a carport, a garage, and an extra bedroom full of donated stuff. Over the four days, they made a whopping $16,000!!!! They'll split that among the 3 families, but that is a substantial amount of money! 
  • T-Shirts - I have to admit that about 90% of my t-shirts are adoption fundraiser shirts. Contact a printing company to create a custom design for your adoption - take pre-orders for shirts from your friends and family. Typically, you can get shirts for about $5 - $6 each when you buy 25+ and you sell them for around $20 each. It's also a great way to spread the word about your adoption! Actually, I have a t-shirt fundraiser going on right now! Go check out Summer's Coming and You're Going to Want a Really Cool T-Shirt! to see how I set mine up and feel free to grab a shirt or two while you're there! You can also sell shirts that are already designed and made specifically for fundraisers.  147 Million Orphans, Chrome Buffalo, Adoption Bug, Wild Olive Tees, and Ordinary Hero all offer t-shirts that you can sell as adoption fundraisers. I'm sure there are many more, but these are a few of the bigger and more well-known ones. 
  • Adoption Benefit Dinner (or Breakfast) - Pancake Breakfast or Spaghetti Supper - or whatever you want to serve. Get a location, arrange your food - you might cook it, you might have it catered, maybe you have some awesome friends and family who want to cook for it. Sell tickets and people can come EAT and help you bring your kiddo home. I've seen some that even had silent auctions and cake-walks. The possibilities are endless and it's so much fun to celebrate with family and friends the anticipating arrival of your child. It's a date-night with a purpose - getting your kiddo home! 
  • Online Auction - These have become really popular on Facebook! Create a page on Facebook for your auction and post photos of your items. I'm sure you are friends with a crafty mama who makes things and would be glad to donate an item or two. Maybe your sister is a consultant for Pampered Chef or Thirty-One bags and they'd donate something. Maybe you paint - get creative and gather donations for your auction. Start bids low and people can comment on the items they want to bid on. I've seen some items get into a bidding war and go much higher than the item was actually even worth. In the caption on the photo, make sure to include who donated it and a link to their website. I've seen these auctions bring anywhere from $500 to $5,000 in a matter of days. The key here is to get some GREAT items! 
  •  Sell Coffee - I know I run on coffee - especially when I'm in the throws of an adoption. This staying up late to do paperwork wears this mama out! There are a couple companies that will let you sell their coffee as an adoption fundraiser. The two that I know of are Just Love Coffee and Coffee for Hope. I think you can usually make about $5 a bag on this coffee.
  • What can YOU do? - Tutor kids in the afternoons, teach an art class or private music lessons, babysit for a friend, mow lawns (husbands - listen up!), do some fix-it-up jobs for people: think painting, landscaping, cleaning, etc. Make yourself useful to others and take the money you earn and put it aside for your adoption. 
  • Puzzle Fundraiser - get a 500 piece puzzle and sell the pieces. I've seen pieces sold for $5 and for $10 and both seem to go over well. We did one of these to finish paying for our son's hosting fees for this summer. We had the puzzle made with a picture of him and sold the pieces for $5. Our puzzle was only 252 pieces, so we made $1,260 in 10 days to finish up his hosting fees. 
  • Cookbooks - gather recipes from friends and family and create a cookbook and sell them for your adoption. My sweet friend Elissa recently did this one and sold 100 cookbooks pretty quickly. The cookbooks cost them about $6 each and they sold them for $20 - that's a pretty great profit. And she even included their adoption story in the book. I love it! I've cooked several things from it and prayed specifically for her Ethiopia child while I was cooking. 
  • Host a Raffle - I actually just launched one of these this week. We asked a friends for donations to raffle off. We actually had a 1 week vacation at a 5 bedroom beach house donated by our awesome friends! We also have an iPad, and 2 pieces of custom artwork. We're selling tickets and set a date for our drawing. I posted it on our blog and on Facebook and we're praying this is our biggest fundraiser! Go check out our Adoption Raffle Fundraiser over on our blog and feel free to buy some tickets while you're there! 

Apply for Grants!

There are a TON of grants available out there to help adoptive families. Your agency might have a grant for waiting  or special needs children. There are really too many to list, but your agency might have a list for you or you can do some searching online. Some of the popular grants are Brittany's Hope, Show Hope, A Child Waits, One Less, Lifesong for Orphans, and JSC Foundation. I recently learned about Both Hands and I think this one is really cool. They serve both the widow and the orphan and I love the idea of doing a work day at a widow's house to raise money for your adoption! 


It's hard work to raise money for an adoption, but it's so incredible to watch friends, family, and complete strangers rally around you to support you on your adoption journey. It's really amazing to watch God show up big time and provide time and time again. When we were bringing Zoe home, my hubby got an unexpected bonus that was EXACTLY how much we needed to pay for her immigration papers. I remember laughing and saying I knew exactly what God wanted us to do with that! Maybe you've tried something and it didn't go as well as you'd hoped or perhaps you applied for a grant and were denied: don't lose hope! He's got this. He sees you and He sees your child and He has a plan. Keep it covered in prayer and get to work! 

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

~ Paula


Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer's Coming!

School's almost out! My kids are so excited--so am I, actually.  Any big summer plans?? Hitting up all of the VBS' in your area?? Beach? Lake? Daycamp? Sleeping late?

CLICK HERE to sign up with Pure Charity.   You can be a family of the week and you can have a giving account.  Nice!!

Want to know us better? Check out our blogs!


                                  Tonya (that's me!) blogs at Peaceloveandcaffeine 
                 
Can't wait to hold this sweetie again! (Temper, and all!)
                                          




                                                        Paula is at Super Sloans!
The Crafty, Homeschooling, Adoption Lovin' Paula



                                            You can find Katie at Rivers and Miles.
Recently home with the handsome Simon, mother to 4 cuties!

Have you given to the Dismuke family yet? Here's how to donate to their matching grant--it will take about 2 minutes!
1. Go to www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number & Family Name Fields with "Preference Dismuke # 3342 adoption"
                                                                       
                                                                 Thanks for stopping by!

                                               



                                                       




Sunday, May 12, 2013

New Week--Meet The Dismukes!

I love having a new family to feature on Mother's Day! How was yours, by the way? I hope it was fun and filled with gifts or nice and quiet, with plenty of relaxation.....whatever you like best!  I know for some, it can be difficult, so to all of you mamas, soon to be moms, moms that have lost their sweet babies, birthmothers who love their children from afar, those whose mothers are already with Jesus and those of you who struggle with motherhood, happy Mother's Day. And to all of the women who have loved our children along the way, this day's for you, too.

Let me introduce you to the Dismuke family. Heather and Michael had originally planned on adopting a sweet little girl from Russia.  But, as you know, that is not possible right now.  So, the Dismukes have allowed themselves to fall in love again with a beautiful little girl from China.  They are matched with Johanna and are being matched with a second child, as well.  Right now, the Dismuke family has a matching grant with Lifesong.  Can you help them meet their grant? Your dollar turns to $2.....$5 turns to $10.  The Dismukes have been on their adoption journey for a while and it's taken some twists and turns.  Let's show them lots of love and support this week!
Here's a picture of the beautiful Miss Johanna...

Aren't I sooo cute????


READY TO DONATE????? 

Here's how YOU can give to their grant.....it's super easy, don't worry!


1. Go to www.lifesongfororphans.org/give/donate
2. Select Give to an Adoptive Family
3. Complete online form and fill in Family Account Number & Family Name Fields with "Preference Dismuke # 3342 adoption"

Take a few minutes to visit their blog.....we don't have to have a video, right?? Visit Heather and Michael's blog ....Living According To His Glory.    (I happen to know Heather sells Pampered Chef, by the way!)

Enjoy your week! Thanks for being awesome!



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Raven and Lily


Um, does anyone else feel like that is just about the most awesome name ever?

The products are even more awesome.

I feel cool just looking at it, as if it can by osmosis make me much cooler than I am.



And I just used the word osmosis, which knocked me out of the "cool league" is one fell swoop.

Did you know "one fell swoop" came from Shakespeare? Macbeth, read it.

 But I digress.

But seriously, look at this stuff...

What's even cooler is there mission.

"Raven + Lily is a socially responsible lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women through design partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities."


AND...they specifically have programs in India and Cambodia.
Which happen to be in Asia.
Don't worry if you didn't know that tidbit of information. I googled it. 
Cuz, I'm cool.

Go, check them out. They are awesome. 

Come back and share your favorite item!







Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gotbeters on Pure Charity

Support the Gotbeters!

Our family of the week is on Pure Charity! Woohoo! Go take a look at their page and drop them a few bucks. Thanks, friends! You're awesome.



If you want to be a family on our blog, go to Pure Charity and set up a fundraiser and apply through them.  We would love to have you!











Need some cool stuff for Mother's Day? Or yourself? Shop my She Does Justice link and support our adoption!



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Unsung Heroes

There are many out there that have a huge heart for adoption, but for a variety of reasons never find themselves on the path of adoption.
You know who you are, and so do those close to you.
You give and you sacrifice for an orphan to land in the arms of someone else.
You ache for them and your heart is heavy with the burden.
You feel like you never do enough.
You feel less.

God bless you.
You carry us.
You lift us up when we say we can't go on.
You remind us that God is Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider.
You remind us to tell mountains to move.
You bake cookies for our sales.
You show up to our garage sales.
You give your last $1 every single week.

God bless you.
We get called heroes.
We get to be in the spotlight.
We get to fill our arms.

Can I just say thank you?
You are the unsung heroes.
You are not less.
You are a huge part of orphan care.
You are just as important.
You amaze me.

Someday in heaven when you stand before Christ I have a feeling you will hear the laughter of a thousand children and you will feel their arms surround you. You will hear those precious words, "Well done. You have been faithful."

And you have. Thank you from an adoptive mommy who has watched a village save one boy. You have not gone unnoticed. Your dollar meant the world to me.

You are my heroes. Be blessed, my friends.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

New Week-Meet the Gotbeters!

It's time to meet our family of the week! Tommy and Brittan Gotbeter and their family are adopting a beautiful little girl from China. She is 2 years old and will join the other 3 cuties waiting for her at home.
                           

                                          Ahhh! Don't you want to kiss those cheeks??

Their video is below.....watch it and be sure to donate on their blog! They have a DONATE button and a "ticker" so you can keep up with their progress. The Gotbeters have been having a $10 challenge and are still in need of a big chunk of money.  You can help, right? Here ya go! Time to learn more about Molly's needs and how you can help.

                                                        
                                     
Watch their video...

                                                     

 Isn't she precious? All of their children are! They are so ready to have her home and part of their family.   Thank you for being a part!

                                                           

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

West Meets East

I'm back! I'm also slowly starting to feel a little more like I might survive. We were in China in March getting our incredible son, Simon. We are so very blessed and he is slowly adjusting to life in a family setting.

Here's the thing. I learned a few things while on the other side of the world and in my generosity I have decided to impart my wisdom to you. You can thank me at any time.

Warning...this is meant to be funny!! I loved China and its people, its always an adventure when cultures clash!

#1 Learn to laugh at yourself, at others, at life. 

#2 Practice your hackey sack skills.


#3 Ask your friends to all spit randomly within your presence in preparation for this trip


#4 Don't ask what is being served for dinner.


#5 Practice your swimming skills or crash diet quickly and severely. 


#6  Practice your squats before heading east. Trust me on this one. 


#7 Repeat with me, "Rain is beautiful, rain is cleansing. We love rain."


#8 Learn how to slip carefully. I need to work on this one.


#9 Realize that this is such an incredible journey and be thankful for every single second.


 #10 Remember these moments and hold them close to your heart.


Seeing his smile reminds me that every single moment of heartache in this journey couldn't compare to the joy  we receive from having him in our lives. 
Isn't he just amazing?


Glad to be back....