Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fundraiser 1 ...done!/ next step in process

What a day!  Or was that night?--LOL.  Hard to tell as we were pretty much up 24 hours trying to get everything done.  I can really not say enough about the amount of help we had.  It was wonderful to see so many w/ caring hearts & soul.  Very touching.  One of our neighbors and her husband baked 4 whole pies for us!  BTW, they sold.  Thanks Martha & Rob, you're the best!  Hope I can try a pie soon.  They baked tons of cookies as well.  I wish I could name everyone that helped up, I really do but honestly can't remember them all.  Donations, baked goods, time, etc.  Michael and his mom were simply fantastic.  Just couldn't have pulled this fundraiser off w/out everyone's help.  Meant a lot to us for sure.  As Warren said, we're just about a 100 yardsales away from our goal.  We made $316 yesterday which isn't bad considering the small turn out of customers.  We learned later that right up the street on a local farm there was a mini market of a yardsale of all yardsales.  Stiff competition for sure--LOL.  either way, we still made enough for us to renew our passports.  Now, it is a race against time to get the homestudy done.  These kids really do need us to get them home soon.  Very soon.  Can't do that until we have the necessary funds.  Homestudy is vital and $1700 will be needed for that.  I know, inflation.  When we did our very first homestudy for Irina and Max, it was $600.  So, we'd like to do fundraisers that others can take something home with them or something similiar.  We have received some donations as well which are greatly appreciated.  I think later today we will be announcing 2 more fundraisers which anyone can do.  Possible 3 fundraisers.  First will be a gift card giveaway just in time for Christmas!  So put in your requests please.  I think we'll do one for Target, Walmart and a restaurant of some sort.  we're thinking of doing $50 increments or $100 increments.  With it being so close to Christmas, this will be a great way to shop.  I will let our kids draw names out of a hat for the winner from all the entries.  Also, had thought about an IPOD giveaway but not sure about that one.  There will also be a magazine fundraiser online.  This is a great way to get Christmas presents for those who are hard to buy for.  We did this last adoption and folks really did enjoy it.  Trying to get all the details together.  In the spring, we will probably do a bulb fundraiser as it is really enjoyable to see the flowers come up.  If anyone has other ideas, please do feel free to share.  I am also going to be advertising my babysitting services.  Doesn't pay much but hey, every little bit helps for sure.  May even attempt a parent's night out sort of event.  The more creative, the better it will be. 

Meantime, I will concentrate on paperwork today & prepping the house for Thanksgiving.  For paperwork, filling out passport applications and registration w/ the agency.  For those new to international adoptions, you must have a passport to travel.  This is the first time we've had to renew our passports for adoptions.  Honestly, I thought they ran out in 2010, not 2009.  URGHH.  No big deal.  After this, we register w/ our agency saying we know the risks of international adoption and agree to take classes.  Yeh okay.  Even though at this point, I'm sure we'd qualify as instructors of the classes--LOL.  After the registration, it is onto our homestudy.  For that, we need funds.  We have some of the amount necessary but need a bit more.  Once all in, our social worker is wonderful as she is FAST.  That is mainly b/c she knows us well.  Plus, she was just here last month for a follow up on Alyona and Nik.   She stayed 3 hours.  We like her a lot.  And, she's not scared off by all the kids.  Her mom was from a family of 10 kids too.  Our first homestudy, we were terrified.  Made sure everything was spotless, dressed nicely, etc.  Last homestudy, I'm pretty sure one of the kids was even in their pajamas.  Not joking.  Our house is cleaned, we do that every Saturday & Wednesday.  However, it is also lived in.  I"m sure there is always laundry on the floor or dishes in the sink.  One dishwasher is not the most brillant remodel idea.  We have 2 refridgerators, two sinks and 1 dishwasher.  Just doesn't add up.  We never claim to have the perfect house and I am no June Cleaver.  However, we do love the kids, do things as a family and pick our battles wisely.  We don't fake anything for the social worker.  We want her to see us as we live.  With the normal trials and tribulations of life.  I remember one time a worker came here and the dishwasher had broken.  We kept up as best we could but failed on that task miserably.  She said life happens and glad you can roll with the punches.  Important in family life.  That's when I realized they want to see how you handle situations, not the pristine mantel in the living room.  Getting sidetracked as usual. 

Homestudy is next.  Can't wait.  That's when you know you are really getting started on this process.  After the homestudy, we do the I-800A.  That is approval from our government saying we can adopt.  Adoption is a long process.  So easily forgotten if you haven't done it in years.  Hint, hint.  Adoption, especially international, has rules that change from year to year.  Sometimes, from week to week.  It is always different.  Process is about the same just many added steps.  Now, you have Hague Regulations to follow as well.  This is true of Bulgaria.  It is in the best interest of the children though so I thoroughly understand.  Adoption teaches you the ends justifies the means for sure.  Teaches you to be patient.  To be kind.  There are many lessons in the process of adoption itself.  Many I have learned and many I have yet to learn I'm sure.  Come along with me as I learn these lessons.  First lesson is choices.  Some choices you have, some you don't.  You can choose your social worker agency.  Many times you can choose your child.  For us, the children seem to choose us.  It has always been that way.  We see a child and just know they are meant to be with our family.  I can not explain that.  Nor will I even attempt to.  Just know eveyrthing happens for a reason.  That I truly believe.  Stay tuned as we have many more things to say.  I will definitely write Alex's transformation today.  It is one of my highlights for sure.  After that, it will be onto Yana.  I will keep you posted on some fo the adoption paperwork trail.  Pretty dull.  Necessary though.  Can't wait to tell you more about my kiddos.  Alex is next.  You won't believe his story or his transformation. 

I do just want to take a moment to thank my kids even though they don't read this.  Irina babysat for our neighbors yesterday.  She got paid.  She came home & put it in the donation jar.  I said "honey, that's your money, you keep it.  spend it how you wish."  She then said, "but mom, I am.  I'm getting my brother and sister home."  She is our oldest and does understand about orphanage life & what it is like.  She wants them home just as much as we do.  I made her take the money back.  I told her she could help with fundraisers instead.  Get this.  If you don't think asdoption touches people.  Alex, who you'll hear more about later, has RAD.  Reactive Attachment Disorder.  Many of these children find it hard to show compassion w/ this disorder and are pretty much out for themselves for a better lack of terms.  They have severe issues trusting people.  Yesterday, Alex said " I want to make money."  I said "really, what do you want to buy?"  I was guessing he'd say bakigun or soccer ball or whatever.  No, he did not.  He said I want to help you get my brother home.  Yes, that did indeed come out of one of my RADish's mouth!  I was stunned.  That is purely a testimony for adoption if I ever saw.  Alex's heart clearly does demonstrate compassion for others.  He can see the bigger picture of things.  Really was touching and really did show me that these kids can overcome so much.  I was extremely proud of Alex.  He showed compassion and generosity.  I told him too he could volunteer at some of the fundraisers.  Okay, I really do need to do cleaning up and prepping for Thanksgiving.  Will chat more later about Alex.  So much to say about that one.  He has come beyond a long way and beaten all odds.  Enjoy your weekend!  Read more this afternoon. 

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