Monday, May 24, 2010

Decisions, decisions

 My oh my.  Many, many major decisions have now popped up at Chaos Manor.  The decision to move or stay has been made for us as of today.  Frustrated but at peace w/ it all.  Some of you may remember a few months ago, we were fortunate enough to just patch our roof.  We were hoping it was able to hold for at least a year so that we could then make a major decision next year and move & build a home.  Due to the market and other circumstances, we are now here for years to come.  another heavy rain came last night.  Roof is leaking... not good.  Patch will not hold it.  It HAS to be replaced.  We have no other options.  Once we replace the roof, we can not afford to sell the home.  We took a $30K loss on the last home we sold to move to this one.  Long story of a very crooked builder & shoddy building work that left us in ruins.  Again, a story for another day b/c it still pains me to talk about it.  Not our fault and I realize that but we were still stuck w/ someone else's criminal business ways and paid for it for years to come.  We had finally paid that debt off and most of our adoption stuff about last year.  Believe it or not, we are still paying off some adoption debt.  So, those newbies counting on that "tax credit,"  ...don't.  It does help immensely but does not even come close to paying it off.   All worth it in the end though.  That is a given.

So, first major decision... are we staying or moving.  Obviously, staying.  2nd major decision... what are we doing about the roof?  Well, we have no choice but to replace it.  This could NOT have come at a worse time during the middle of three adoptions but this is indeed life and we roll with the punches here.  We had gotten estimates before.  It will run around $8,000.  Now, if you noticed, we have not been doing much fundraising lately.  We had received a tax refund and borrowed a bit.  Thought we had most of it covered and we don't like trying to fundraise if we know we could do it on our own.  Well, hard truth is, we can't.  It will take a village to bring these 3 children home and that is just fact.  The $8K for the roof really was unexpected.  We were told the patch should hold for a year but there was no guarantee.  Now, this is not just one area of the roof either just to let you know.  The roof is almost 20 years old and has served it's purpose well.  We can't complain.  However, this is in addition to the window rot we have currently.  They are custom windows( aka..another word for expensive.  LOL) & are waiting to be put in.  It is only for the ones that seriously need it that are at risk for becoming structural damage.  Here is a glimpse of what I'm talking about:

Here's a view from the front.  This is one set of windows. There are two sets like this one and then one in the back.

This is a bit of a closer view.  You can click on any of the pics to get a closer & bigger view of the damage.  It is deeper than you can see.  

Another angle.  

As you can see, we have no choice, this has to be replaced.  We know that & do not mind.  The windows, yes.  We budgeted & expected that.  The roof, well, we had that checked out before we started this process.  Thought it would hold off at least for a year for us.  Nope.  Not happening.  So, because of that, we really do need to alter plans.  We are going to look into refinancing but everyone knows the US & banking situation isn't what it used to be.  Even w/ excellent credit.  Banks are reluctant to lend money for repairs/ remodels.  We're currently looking into all that stuff.  Meantime, our homestudy is being written up.  Loose ends getting tied so to speak.  Things are going to start happening quickly, that's for sure.  I know dossier paperwork is right around the corner.  I'm ready.  To do these three adoptions w/ the additional house repairs, we will have to fundraise.  This is really hard for us as the last 7 adoptions we have fortunately been able to do on our own essentially.  For Nik & Alyona we raised a little but not even a thousand I think.  So stepping out & having to raise a minimum of $10,000 is going to be new territory for us.  It really is.  But, to put it in perspective, that is only $10 ONE time donation by one thousand people to rescue 3 lives.  I do think 3 lives are worth just $10.  That's just $3.33 per child to allow them to truly thrive here in America w/ us & reach their fullest potential possible.  Who knows, you may be helping to rescue a future doctor who in turn rescues countless people everyday.  Paying it forward is huge. I know these 3 children are meant to come home just as my other 7 have been meant to come home.  We have the money to raise them, care for them, etc. but are a little short to actually bring them home physically.  Just think airfare for 6 people coming home.  The kids want to have a fundraiser this weekend by selling ice cream.  They did this w/ one w/ Alyona & Nik's adoption and actually raised $75 from their little stand at the road!  I was rather impressed.  So, I'll help them tomorrow w/ that as there is no homework due to testing week.

So, we're back to trying to fundraise a bit of this to help get our children home from the orphanage forever.  Please pass this blog onto others, or mention on facebook if you could.  Some may actually be looking for magazines over the summer.  We have a site for that on the sidebar.  40% goes toward adoption costs.  I'm babysitting to help out w/ costs as well.  I do it full time about 4 days a week now and will be taking on at least one more child over the summer when school ends.  All funds will go towards the adoption.  If we happen to raise more than we need(though highly unlikely), we would then set that money aside for another family in process of adoption of a special needs child.  We will try to apply for grants but it is difficult to receive a grant and we are well aware of that fact.  So, the magazine fundraiser, ice cream stand(kids' idea), babysitting, gift card giveaway( another post), and the chip-in buttons will have to be a start to getting the kids home.  So, we need to campaign for $10 to $10,000 over the next month.  I'm estimating when much of our other funds will be due and it will definitely be soon. 

I hate asking for money.  My feeling is there should never be a pricetag w/ kids finding a home.  However, I understand why there is.  There are many attorneys involved, translators, coordinators, hotel stays, etc.  Whether we were to do a domestic adoption or international, we would still be incurring many of the same costs.  And for those wondering why we don't do foster or foster to adopt, we can't here.  They limit it to 5 children and only want one of yours to be special needs.  Yep, we blew those #'s outof the water.  LOL.  So, that is why we are adopting internationally one last time.  Yes, I said LAST time.  I finally feel like we are becoming a complete family and goal once home w/ill be to focus on really living w/ the kids and experiencing all kinds of things together.  That, and we will have to pay it forward.  I feel if people are to help us out w/ this set of adoptions, it is our responsibility, our duty to pay it forward to others going through this same experience.  I know we can't change the world for all children.  But if just some of the many of the 147 million orphans can come home, think of what a wonderful world it would be.  Think of the potential that some of these children have & what they could do w/ it if only they lived outside those orphanage walls & in w/ a loving family to guide them and love them. Think for just a moment.  Some of my kids were headed to the institutions had we not adopted them.  I can tell you exactly what would have happened to some of my kids had they stayed.  Right now, IRina would have been dead.  That is just fact.  Her orphanage kicked them out at 16.  In her region, it was just survival once kicked out(told this by one of the caretakers there).  Irina will most likely not be able to live fully independently as an adult.  Her having to roam the streets at age 16... she would not have made it.  She is 17 right now and not able to make decisions.  Can you just imagine having to make those big survival decisions on a day to day basis for survival?  I can't.  This is just one example.  I have 7 here to give.  I think you understand now why we feel it is just vital to get the three home that we know are ours and help the ones left behind.  We used to host a Halloween Party every year and pick an item for folks to bring.  This was before customs & security got really overbearing.  Anyhow, we'd pick a necessity item like socks and underwear and then a "luxury" item like gum or puzzles.  We'd send the whole box over then to one of the kids' orphanages.  We use a line from Lilo & Stitch(the movie) that we love:  "Ohana means family & family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."  We will never forget the faces of the ones left behind.  I remember Warren saying as we were leaving Yana's group "Okay, which six are we bringing home?"  That was a tough room to leave.  It really was life changing what we saw & experienced that trip.  It really was.  I know we'll make mistakes w/ our 10 kids.  We are not perfect.  Far from it.  We do the best we can w/ what we have been given.  We try to instill morals in our children and values that we think will make them good people and adults.  I want others to see the great gifts our kids have to offer.  Okay, this is getting way too long & I apologize.  Bottom line, we need to raise a minimum of $10,000.  We need a word of mouth campaign of sorts to help bring these children home.  If more is raised than what we need, ALL would go to help another family bring their child/ children home.  More tomorrow on the gift card giveaway.  More later on the EOG's & how the kids did.  Thanks for listening.  And, if any ideas that you have, please do let me know.  I'll be watching 11 kids weekdays during the summer so something that planning can be done on the weekends would be great. Thanks for all the support.  You really are changing lives. 

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