Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BIG NEWS: WE ARE GETTING SO CLOSE!

I have exciting news. Our dossier is in Ukraine.

I'm kind of in shock.

It doesn't seem real that our dossier is done and on Ukrainian soil.

We will probably travel to get Andriy near the end of July. It seems far off, but at the same time I know the time will go quickly.

Also our funding is almost complete. We need to raise just a few thousand (about $4500) more to cover "summer" airline rates. But other than that we have what we need. Thank you to everyone who has been so generous. Your kindness and generosity has been overwhelming for us. Thank you for loving our son enough to help bring him home so quickly.

So what will you do while you wait you ask. We will wait! HAHA! What we have to wait for is a date for us to meet with Ukraine's version of social services. That date can be anywhere from 8-12 weeks from now. So we wait.

We will also get Andriy's room ready. We bought a used bunk bed over the holiday weekend. We need to get that put together and get a dresser, desk and small bookcase for his room. We are doing a Hurricanes hockey theme in there. The walls are gray, the furniture will be black and everything else will be red, black and white. I am just imagining watching him walk into his new room for the first time. i just know he is going to shout, "Let's Go Canes!" when he sees it. He loves hockey. I also picked up a street hockey net, gloves and a a bunch of sticks for him for a whooping $5 at a garage sale a few weeks ago. So Chris is ready to help his son with his hockey skills. He was very adamant when my sister visited him that he wanted his Papa to teach him to play hockey.




We will begin to collect stuff that we need for the trip. I picked up a jumbo suitcase at Goodwill the other day. I also bought Andriy a suit to wear to court the day we adopt him. He even gets to wear a tie. He is going to look so handsome. I am really looking forward to that day.

I am starting to work on curriculum for Danielle and Andriy for school in the Fall. We are taking the homeschool plunge. I'm kind of freaked out about it but know it is the right thing to do for both of our kids. Please pray for me as I choose what classes they will have and their curriculum.

I am also trying to concentrate my efforts to help my sister, Nicole and her husband Joe fund-raise for their adoption. They are adopting this little Pixie. Taylor is so adorable and a very special little girl. If Joe and Nicole receive enough funding they will be leaving long before we are for their adoption trip. They are leaving June 16. They still need $25k for her adoption. If you feel led to help you can go here and make a tax deductible donation.

I am currently putting together a giveaway to raise money for them. I need donations of gift cards, handmade items, etsy store items, or just about anything you thing people will want to give a $5 donation for a chance to win. Let me know if you have something to donate.

So I have plenty to keep me busy until it is our turn to travel to Ukraine. I know that will make the time fly.

I started out this adoption process confident and excited. Part way through I started to worry over every little thing that seemed (in my mind) to go wrong or slow. I had a few weeks of sleepless nights over it. Then about 2 months ago God just gave me the most incredible peace about the whole thing. Peace I had not experienced in years. Instead of fretting over every little delay or paperwork mistake (mostly made by me because I was worrying and couldn't focus) I had peace even when things didn't seem to be going right.

I guess I surrendered some to the process, but really I think it is the kind of peace only God can give a person. I wanted so badly to get him home before summer. Before hosting or that "yucky" camp the orphans have to go to when not hosted. Well that didn't happen. #1 he can't be hosted this summer. Something about different plans for his orphanage. #2 Because he can't be hosted he will probably end up at that "yucky" camp. I am really afraid of that place. I've heard the horror stories. But strangely God has given me a peace about it. God loves my boy more than I ever will and He can protect my boy at that awful place. He has been taking care of him without my help for almost 15 years. God does not need my help to protect him until I get there. So I am at peace. It's kinda weird for me. I am a worry wart. I saw this quote today and it really reflects how I feel.

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
― Corrie Ten Boom

Wise words from a wise woman. I hope I am that wise someday.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in
heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
- Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

"So do not worry about tomorrow;
for tomorrow will care for itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own."
- Matthew 6:34 NASB

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take."
- Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

"And which of you by being anxious can add a
single hour to his span of life?"
- Luke 12:25

So we wait. We have plenty to do until then. We are coming soon my sweet boy. Hang in there.

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TEAMWORK TUESDAY: PRISCILLA

Meet Priscilla.


What a little princess she is.

She deserves a loving family.

Here is what we know about Priscilla:

Born February 2010

Pretty Priscilla! More photos available. Priscilla has many facial features of FAS. She is also struggling with "pre-leukemia", also known as congenital Myelodysplastic syndrome. She really needs to get home!!

From her caregivers: communicative; adequate reactions.

Character: cheerful, active, friendly, communicative, likes to play with different toys.

So basically she is a happy toddler that needs a family that can provide her good medical care and lots of love.

She only has $105.50 in her adoption fund. Maybe you can help make that dollar amount a little bigger.

If you want more info about Priscilla or any of the other available children at Reece's Rainbow please click here.


Blessings,

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SPARE CHANGE CHALLENGE

URGENT NEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Nicole and Joe Dewberry will be traveling to adopt Taylor in 2 weeks.

They still need to raise $26,000.

Why is the need so great and the time so short you ask.

2 reasons:

1) They were just in EE a few months ago trying to adopt. The young man they wanted to be their son decided he did not want to leave his friends. Now this is rare by the way. He is almost 16 and made this decision. Most kids don't say no. So because of that Nicole and Joe are financially tapped out.

2) Because their paperwork was already filed in EE all they had to do to adopt Taylor was make a few changes to the paperwork and submit it to the government again. Also their paperwork expires in August. So they are getting an appointment date in just a few weeks because of those 2 factors. If they do not travel in 2 weeks to start the process over there they will have to start all over again. They really need to not have that happen because in this particular situation it is important to adopt Taylor soon. She is considered "special needs" because of her HIV status and because of her age she could be transferred to an institution soon. Her care there will not be as good as the care she is getting now. In fact will not be good care at all.

SO THE NEED IS REALLY, REALLY, REALLY URGENT!!!!!




I CANNOT STRESS HOW URGENT THE NEED IS.

Now I have alot of friends. Lifetime friends, friends from churches I have attended, friends from school, friends from my neighborhood, work friends and even new friends I have made in the adoption community in the last year. I have alot of friends and acquaintances. I have asked for help with our adoption fundraisers and we have been so blessed with how generous people have been. We are 95% funded at this point. So I am not asking for us.

What I am asking for now if for you all to consider helping Nicole and Joe bring Taylor home. Nicole is my little sister. God has allowed both Nicole and I to be unable to have babies. I will not lie and say this has been easy for us. We both grieved in our own ways. But God has given both of us a heart for orphans from the time we were kids. Now we know why. God meant us both to grow our families through adoption. This is a work started in both of us by God a long time ago. I can't tell you how much Chris and I love that Nicole and Joe have the same heart for orphans that we do. What a privilege it is to have my sister (and my bestest girlfriend in the whole world) advocate for orphans and adopt right along side us. God has used our love for orphans to grow us closer as sisters. This is pretty amazing to me folks because as kids we could not stand each other. HAHA!




SO HERE IS THE CHALLENGE!

THERE ARE 5 WAYS TO PARTICIPATE!

#1 Save your spare change for a week. Collect all your spare change from your pockets, wallet or that jar of change you keep. Look under your couch cushions, the ash tray in your care and pockets of the jackets in your coat closet. Send your kids door to door in your neighborhood (safely) with a jar and a photo of Taylor and ask for spare change. Whatever amount of change you can find, beg for & save in the next week donate it to Taylor's adoption fund.

#2 Give up your Starbucks for a week. I know alot of you stop at Starbucks or some other coffee place almost everyday. Make your coffee at home for a week. Whatever you would spend in an average week on coffee donate to Taylor's adoption fund. I'll bet if some of you add it up you will realize you spend $20 or more on coffee a given week. Would you consider giving up that latte or frappachino for one week to give Taylor a Mama and Papa?

#3 Just give a donation of any amount you are able. All donations can be made online and are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. Even $5 will help them bring Taylor home. Please consider just making a flat donation.

#4 Give a matching grant. I have seen challenges like this go a long way. If you want and are able to give a large sum of money like $500 or more contact me and we will set up a matching grant challenge. For example. You want to give $1000 to the adoption fund. But hey let's see if we can up challenge a little more. We will ask people to help us match that amount in a certain amount of time (like 72 hours). So if we raise $850 in that time you match it and donate $850 also (unless you want to give the full $1000). But we would set it up so that you only had to give up to $1000. People love competitions. They love challenges and matching grants. I have seen folks raise alot of money this way in a short amount of time. So if you are interested in offering a matching grant challenge then let me know ASAP.

#5 Share this blog post everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media outlet you use. Please help us get the word out.

HOW TO DONATE:

Nicole and Joe have partnered with a few organizations that can accept TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS.

The first is Project Hopeful. You can donate to Taylor's fund by clicking here.




The second is Reece's Rainbow. You can donate by clicking here.


Grab This!


It does not matter which one you send your funds through. Nicole and Joe will get the funds to adopt Taylor. Both organization are 501c3 non-profits. You can write off your donation at the end of the year.

For those of you doing option number 1, I would love to know how much change you can collect in a week. Please (if you're not too shy) share it in the comments below. I have always been amazed how much change accumulates around the house and car. Just the other day I counted up over $29.

Again from the bottom of my heart I am so thankful for everyone who has helped us so far and who is willing to help Nicole and Joe bring Taylor home. She is a very special little girl who desperately wants a forever family.

If you want to follow the Dewberry families adoption journey you can at www.andthisonematters.blogspot.com.


Blessings,

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

TEAMWORK TUESDAY: DARRYL

First off I have to say that I have seen Darryl's profile many times and I love this kid. Every time I see his photo I can't help but smile. This boy looks like he knows how to have a good time. He has a contagious smile. I know when you see his picture you will instantly love him too.

So here is Darryl.


So tell me you aren't smiling right now after seeing his face.

Darryl is described as a sweet, sunny boy. YEAH we can see that!

Here is some more info on Darryl from the Reece's Rainbow website:

"Darryl is going on 5. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Darryl is growing well, physically active, friendly and sociable."

His region allows single moms and older parents to adopt.

Because Darryl turns 5 in just a few weeks he is in danger of being moved to an institution soon. I hope somehow this move is delayed and his forever family finds him ASAP.

Maybe you are his forever Mama or Papa and you are seeing a photo of your son for the first time. Maybe you cannot adopt but want to help somehow. Please consider sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter.

This boy seems to be so happy at his orphanage. He must be at one that has great staff. I wonder how happy he would be in a family that can provide him more attention, better medical care, more healthy food, and lots of hugs and kisses. I can just image Darryl running around at a park with his Papa kicking a ball or sitting on his Mama's lap getting tickled so much he squeals with happiness.

I would love to bring Darryl home but right now we only qualify to bring our Andriy home. So until we are able to adopt more I will just have to keep on advocating for other kids like Darryl that deserve to have a family too.

If you want more info about Darryl or other orphans with special needs please click here.

I'm going to leave you with one more photo of Darryl.




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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TEAMWORK TUESDAY: KYLE

Meet Kyle.



The first thing I noticed on Kyle's profile (after I saw his adorable face) was this: SIGNIFICANT RISK, PLEASE ADOPT ME SOON!

Why "significant risk"? Because in Kyle's country children with down syndrome and children with disabilities are at risk of being transferred. I don't mean transferred to another orphanage either. I mean transferred to a mental institution with lots of people of all ages and care that is so substandard if you saw what goes on there you would want to scream and get all the kids out of there ASAP.

Kyle is 5 years old and could be moved very shortly. His time is running out for a family. He needs one ASAP.

Please share this post all over Facebook and Twitter and help us find a family for Kyle.

So far a little over $3900 has been raised towards his adoption. But that won't help if someone does not step forward and commit soon.

More about Kyle: He has striking blue eyes and bright blonde hair! Kyle is medically healthy outside of his flat feet and strabismus. Please give Kyle a chance to grow up in a loving family of his own!

If you are Kyle's Mama or Papa and you are seeing him for the first time and want more info about how to adopt him please go to Reece's Rainbow.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Teamwork Tuesday: Quinten

This is Quinten.


Isn't he a cutie pie?

Quinten is one of the sweet Reece's Rainbow orphans with Down Syndrome.

Here is what we know about Quinten.

Date of Birth: August 2009
Gender: Male
Eyes : Gray
Hair : red
Character: noisy, active
Down syndrome

Diagnosis: DS, delayed development, protein-calorie deficiency, non-malignant growth

We don't know much about him but we do know he needs a Mama and Papa soon. Or even a Mama as his region is open to single Moms.

We also know he is noisy and active just like any 2 year old boy should be. Too bad he is in a orphanage instead of at home with his forever family. I'm sure he would have so much more fun in a loving home were he can get all that 2 year old energy out, get dirty, play with lots of stimulating toys and get tons of hugs and kisses from parents, brothers and sisters. I'm sure it would be so much more fun to grow up in a loving home where he knows that he belongs, is valued, cared for and loved by a forever family. A home and family that will never send him off to an institution when he gets just a little bit older. He needs a place he can thrive, receive and show love and grow.

Please pray for Quinten's Mama and Papa to read this post and find him soon. Please pray for the necessary funds to come in so that when his parents find him there will be monetary help to go get him.

You can find out more about Quinten and all the the other precious Reece's Rainbow kids here.

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Papercuts and Dough!

God is so good! He has been providing for our adoption of Andriy in amazing ways. We are in the home stretch. At this time we are only waiting on our US Immigration approval to be able to submit our paperwork to his government. I am what people in adoption circles call "paper pregnant". There is no baby in my tummy. Our baby is 14 and lives half the world away. But we are having a boy and I have the papercuts to prove it.

Here is the dough part: Our adoption fund is only short about $4000. God has raised $24k for our adoption. YEP! You read that right!!!! $24,000 in less than 4 months.

Originally we had a goal of $26k. We are having to add a little bit more to that because there is a very high chance we will be traveling during a huge soccer (futbol) tournament that is going on in Kiev this summer and lasts several weeks.

Travel prices including accommodations have gone through the roof. Many hotels are charging 10 times their normal nightly rate. So we need a little extra just in case our time in Kiev coincides with the tournament. So our new goal is $4000. Also on that note we would love to stay with missionaries instead of a hotel (at this time most hotels and furnished apartment rentals are booked up anyway). We would be happy to pay them the normal hotel rate for their trouble. If you know of any missionaries that live in Kiev and you think would be willing to have Chris and I stay with them please share this post with them.

We are also no longer able to accept tax deductible donations and have maxed out how much money we can raise through Live4hope without it becoming a tax liability later. So I set up a Chipin button again here in this post and on the right side of our blog. The money will go through Paypal. We will have to pay a small fee. If you want us to avoid the fee you can send us a check directly. Just email me privately for our address.



I don't like writing "money" posts when we are asking money for something we are doing. But I know some folks wanted an update. I don't mind begging for money for other people's adoption funds (like my sister who is adopting again), adoption grants for waiting children, scholarships for orphan hosting or other people's missions trips. I hate asking for money for what we are doing and wish we had a money tree in back yard or were independently wealthy. But God knows our need and so far His provision has blown our socks off. So we are not at all worried or concerned about the need. God will provide in His timing and in His way. I have never heard of any family adopting that has had their adoption almost entirely funded within 4 months of starting. We are confident He will finish what He started. A few people have asked us our secret. Well we have no secret. God did all this. He moved hearts and checkbooks. Although we have held fundraisers and did a little work, He really did it and He moved the hearts of generous people including many people we do not even know. God gets the glory! AMEN!!!

We covet your prayers are we finalize our paperwork. Waiting for one envelope to come in the mail is hard. I always bend over and look into the back of the mailbox after I reach in and take the mail out. Hoping it's stuck in the back. Gosh - we are sooooooo close. Please pray that it comes soon.

Thank you for being on this journey with us. We feel so grateful for all the prayers and support. Our son is coming home soon.

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