Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bring on the Dossier

I have struggled with whether or not to post about this because it's quite personal but, I do want to be real during the whole process.  I don't want to just post our struggles but our triumphs as well.  We will count today a blessing and a true gift.  Brad received a bonus from work that is almost exactly the amount we needed to move onto the dossier portion of our adoption.  We gave payment today so let's bring on the Dossier! 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Check out our story

Wild Olive Tees has featured us on their blog.  Check it out here.

Don't forget that if you want to order a tee to support us you must use Code: SUND513.  Thanks!!!

Here is Ashley with her "Transform your Mind" shirt

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wild Olive Tees

We applied to be a part of a wonderful fundraiser called Wild Olive tees.  This company was started by three adoptive moms who wanted to help offset the cost of adoption for other families.  They produce beautiful inspirational t-shirts for women and children.  Tees must be purchased through the Adoption Fundraiser portion of the website and you must use our family code of SUND513 for us to receive credit. To view the numerous styles offered on the Wild Olive website and order a shirt click the Wild Olive button to the left of our blog.  We hope you love the t-shirts as much as we do.  Nothing will make us happier than seeing our loved ones around town wearing their shirts in honor of our child.  If you do end up buying a shirt please send us a picture of you wearing it so we can post it on the blog. 
Happy shopping!

**side note: we have asked the team at wild olive if a few of the styles could be considered unisex if ordered in the non-fitted style.  We will update when we get an answer.

This shirt is no longer available as an adoption fundraising shirt :(
There are many other beautiful styles available on the website that you can choose from.  We will update the blog with more pictures when our shirts arrive.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Homestudy: a step forward and a moment to pause

Our social worker, who I loved thank goodness, came to our home yesterday for our homestudy.  It went really well and was much less stressful than I anticipated.  (On a quick side note: I do believe in spiritual warfare and I do believe that the stomach virus and bout of vomiting I had the night before was from the devil himself.  He was not allowed to sabotage the homestudy and it went on).  The social worker looked around our home, wrote notes about where the baby will sleep, made sure we had fire extinguishers and spent about two hours interviewing us.  When she walked in the house the kids greeted her with smiles.  When she asked their names Brooks slyly said "my name B-ster Boo".  To which I quickly looked at Brad and said, "We really need to teach him his real name."  The social worker interviewed Kyrie separately to ask her age appropriate questions about our home life.  We were in the other room the whole time but did hear Kyrie tell the social worker that she really wants a baby sister but Brooks doesn't because he's "a boy".  I actually think that part is true.  Brooks might have a really hard time with this.  He loves being the baby of the family. 

After the social worker left we started talking about all of the paper work we still have to fill out for the homestudy (medical exams for all, pet vaccine records which means actually taking the cats to the vet, and letters of recommendation).  In addition to that we have to pay our remaining homestudy fees.  We also just sent 50 more pages of forms to the adoption agency and owe them another large amount of money.  As we were talking we decided finishing the homestudy is our priority.  That has to be finished for us to apply for grants or low interest loans.  So at this point we are going to push pause on the agency moving our paperwork forward to the dossier process.  We will finish our homestudy and apply for financial help then move forward.  I think that since we haven't yet been matched or seen our child's face it makes this decision easier.  It should only set us back 3-4 weeks but, in the adoption world 3-4 weeks seems like a long time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fundraising Yard Sale

The thought of beginning this adoption is so exciting to us however, the fear of finances is truly testing our faith.  After we had Kyrie we decided that we would go down to one income with a little help from part time work from me.  This has resulted in tremendous cut backs and financial sacrifices for our family.  We live on a strict budget and don't allow ourselves many "extras".  We know we have been called to this adoption but, we aren't quite sure how financially we will make it happen. 
God is proving that he is bigger than our doubts.  Since we sent in over $6,000 in initial costs for our homestudy and adoption agency fees I have received 2 different phone calls from past employers asking me to cover long-term leaves this summer.  Thankfully, we have a wonderful sitter who is willing to step in and help with the kids so I can make some extra adoption money.
In addition, we plan to set up some fundraisers throughout our journey.

Our first fundraiser will be a yard sale on Saturday June 16th from 7:30-12:00.   Our dear friends the Swistaks have offered their yard to host the sale.  Currently, we are looking for donation items to sell and anyone who is willing or able to help with setting up the morning of the sale.  Please pass this along to any friends.  We are able to pick up items before the sale if needed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

So...why a blog?

The thought of a blog is honestly very daunting.  One of my least favorite tasks is uploading photos.  However, this blog will be instrumental in keeping our friends and family up to date with this whole process.  We will post information as we move through our homestudy, paper work, various approvals as well as when we are in China.  While we are waiting to bring our daughter home we will use the blog to update prayer requests as well as fundraising opportunities)  Adoption is expensive, emotionally taxing and overwhelming.  We are like most others, we hate asking for money or any type of assistance for that matter.  However, we truly feel like this is a call from God and he will provide in larger ways than we could ever imagine. is our first official blog picture.  Kyrie was so excited to mail our homestudy applications and fees yesterday.  She knows she is going to have a little sister from China and can't wait.  In addition to having our homestudy underway we also have chosen an adoption agency.  At this point that agency is reviewing our profile and searching for the daughter that will best fit our family.  The day after the agency received our information we read their newest blog entry.  It said, "Our China Director is currently visiting Changsha #1 Social Welfare Institute, where we are starting our newest partnership program with the orphanage. She has been sending us the cutest pictures of the children there! Those of you who have just applied or are applying are in for a treat once we get those files! Time to get those dossiers done to be eligible for these cuties."  We can't wait to see our cutie's face!!!  I felt like that blog entry was speaking right to our family.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We are adopting!

     It's hard to know where to begin writing this blog or even this post for that matter.  Our journey to adoption began many years ago.  As a child I (Caitlin) would beg my parents to bring home an orphan or to be foster parents.  I believe God planted this seed in my heart long ago as he knew I would need time to nurture it until he was ready to begin this journey in my life.  With the constant thoughts of orphans running through my head I chose to write my Master's thesis on the deprivation that occurs in childrens' sensory systems when they are confined to an orphanage during critical years of development.  Fast forward 10 years from the time the seed was first planted to where Brad and I find ourselves having difficulty conceiving a child.  We choose to attend a local adoption fair and begin researching our options.  We were both fully open to what God may have in his plan for us beginning a family.  Just a month later we conceive our precious daughter Kyrie.  Two years later Brooks enters the world and we feel overwhelmed with parenthood.  I grieved the loss of my desire to adopt.  I remember confessing this to friends at our church life group but, feeling that maybe God was just giving me a time of rest.  Sure enough just before Brooks turned two my heart for adoption came back stronger than ever.  Brad and I talked over the next few months and began planning and praying about how to make this happen.   
     I will never take for granted that I have a supportive and Godly husband who fully supports this journey.  He truly believes that although God first planted this seed of desire in my heart, however God has done amazing things in Brad's heart as well.  When I find myself in a place of doubt, frustration or simply feeling overwhelmed Brad is the first to reassure me that God has already hand picked our daughter who is waiting on the other side of the world.  He is going into this journey with such a sense of peace and trust that I find myself in awe. 
    To those that are reading this we thank you in advance for your prayers, love and support.  Although we have not yet seen her face, we know there is a beautiful gift waiting for us.