Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It Is What It Is ~ Pressing On

First let me apologize for not posting the winner of the iPad fundraiser. It is coming, I promise. But not until tomorrow. I am really, really sorry for keeping you waiting, but I can assure you it is not without good reason.

In my mind, this post was going to be very different. This was going to be THE post announcing that we were finally DTC. So, to answer the e-mails and texts I have received to day, NO, we are NOT DTC, and we have no idea when we will be.

We have hit a snag like no other.


The roadblocks, the hurdles, and the mountains are no match for what we are up against now. Never in a million years could I have imagined being where we are right now. Never. I wish I could shed some light on the situation, but for now I feel we must keep this to ourselves. I have struggled with whether or not I should even mention it. In the end, I felt like I owe it to you. Many of my followers and readers have been with us since the beginning of our journey to Mylee. You continued to follow and support us through our journey to Drew and Jaxon. And you have been right here with us every step of the way to Keliah. Your prayers and support have helped us over hurdles, through roadblock, and over mountains. So, it is only fair that I be as honest as I can and for now, the only thing I can say is this is a doosey.

I'm not gonna lie, I am terrified. I am heartbroken. I am in complete shock, we all are.

What I am not, is a quitter. I am a fighter, and I am going to fight like you cannot even imagine to bring our girl home.

Our agency is working with us, and are doing everything they can to sort this out. Obviously, their main concern if for Keliah. This is a unique situation and as much as it s#@cks, we completely, 100% understand their concern and will do everything to alleviate that concern.

Believe it or not, we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, but it is definitely not over, in fact, I think we have only just begun.

We have already been blessed beyond measure by friends and family who are continuing to support us. They are behind us 110%.

Right now I asking you, begging you to pray for our family. Pray for Keliah. Pray that this is resolved quickly so we can continue to move down that path that He laid out for us. You may not know the specifics of those prayers, but He will, and He will hear them.

It is what it is. Plain and simple. The only thin we can do at this point is to continue to move forward, which is exactly what we are doing. We are moving forward with a fire and passion like no other. We are trusting in the Lord that He is once again testing us, and pray that we will pass. We are giving up all control and laying it in His lap as He is the ultimate decision maker. No one, or no thing is too big for Him. In the end, if it is His will for Keliah to join our family, He will make it happen.

I will do my best to keep you updated, but for now, I may be MIA for the next couple of days while we sort this out. Please e-mail me with any questions.

Hang in there...

I just wanted to let you know that we are tallying up all the entries and the winner will be chosen and announced tonight! I am so excited to see who the winner is!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tick Tock

The clock is ticking. Today is THE last day to get in on a chance at winning one of these bad boys...


The all-new thinner and lighter design makes iPad 2 even more comfortable to hold. It's even more powerful with the dual-core A5 chip, yet has the same 10 hours of battery life.1 With two cameras, you can make FaceTime video calls,2 record HD video and put a twist on your snapshots in Photo Booth. And the iPad Smart Cover attaches magnetically and wakes up, stands up and brightens up your iPad 2.3
What's Included

* Apple® iPad™ 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G - 16GB

Product Features

* 9.7" LED-backlit display with IPS technology
* Dual-core A5 chip
* Front and back cameras
* Up to 10 hours of battery life
* Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
* 3G data service with AT&T (data plan sold separately)
* Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
* 16GB flash storage
* Over 65,000 apps made for iPad, available from the App Store

Plus, your choice of one these colors...


And of course one of these...


All you have to do is one of these, or even all of these. The more you do, the more chances you have to win.

1. For every $25.00 donated, you will receive 5 entries!
2. For every $50.00 donated, you will receive 10 entries!
3. Post about the fundraiser on your blog, receive 3 entires!
4. Post about it on facebook, receive 3 entries!
5. Become a follower, receive 3 entries!

This is really a win win situation. Not only do you get a chance at winning the above prizes, but even better, you will walk away knowing that win or lose, you had a hand in uniting a little girl with her forever family.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Seriously, I am screaming right now and on the verge of tears. I know there is a reason for everything, but come on! So much for being DTC next week.

Yesterday I found out through e-mail that there is another problem with one of our documents, actually the same document from before. I got an e-mail from the courier in Chicago which I thought was a status update letting us know that she had dropped our papers off at the Consulate and would pick them up on Monday. Uh, no! This is what I got instead...

"I'm sorry to tell you that the date listed on the Sec of State document says it
was signed on April 15, 2011 by the notary, and the was actually signed on 4/18/2011...
The Consulate will reject this, so it will have to be redone, notarized and State Sealed."

Once again and I was on the phone trying to figure out how to get it there tomorrow. I called the bank to see if they are open today since it is Good Friday and YES, they are. So, my next call was to the Secretary of State's office to see if they were open. Nope, they are NOT open. Imagine that! So, it will be Monday before I can get it done again for the THIRD time assuming Matt or I can get off work Monday (especially since I just took off on Tuesday last minute).

Not only that, but I can't help but think of the extra money this is going to cost, again as well. With gas prices at $4.00 a gallon, it is costing quite a bit to make these trips to Indy plus the added postal expenses.

So, instead of being DTC next week, we are now looking at being DTC the following week which means we won't be DTC now until May!!!!! I am seriously irritated. I know there is nothing I can do about it. I just keep repeating to myself "there is a reason for everything, there is a reason for everything, there IS a reason for everything."

I know there are lessons in everything we do and I am really, really trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I am going to be honest, it is not so easy. I think my first reaction to this latest news was "okay, are we really supposed to be doing this?" With all the roller coaster ride this has been, it has really been hard at times to not wonder this. Once I was able to think clearly, I KNOW without a doubt Keliah is our daughter, and I WILL continue to do everything to bring her home. I also started thinking of all the lessons we are learning and testes we are being given through our journey to Keliah. Our patience is definitely being tested. Our faith is being tested. Our perseverance is being tested. We only see part of the picture, bits and pieces. We see the hurdles that need to be jumped and the mountains that need to be climbed. We wonder if there is light at the end of the tunnel, we question if we are doing the right thing. God sees the whole picture, he knows how this is going to end. He knows the exactly when we will be united with our daughter. He has known since the beginning of time.

I just got off the phone with our agency to let them know what was going on and to make sure that since we already had to ask for one extension that we were still within those dates. They have assured me that we are "good." I also asked about time frames again because we were really hoping to travel by the end of the summer and since we are re-using our dossier, we were told that that may be a possibility. After talking to them today, it seems like the time frames are 30-45 for LOA (letter of approval, China's final approval), then another 2-4 months form immigration. So, from DTC we are still looking at 4-6 months to actually travel which means IF we are able to get our dossier to China May 3rd or 4th, we won't travel before September and maybe even as late as November.

So, after yet another setback I am asking you all to pray that this will be the LAST setback. If everything works out, I will make another trip to Indy on Monday and with the turnaround from the courier, our dossier will go to China either May 3rd or 4th.

So, we will continue to jump these...

We will continue to knock these down...

And we will continue to climb these...

We are going to ride this til the end. We may not welcome the ups and downs, or the twists and turns, but they will definitely be worth it in the end.

We are moving forward with a determination like no other. We will not cower to the enemy, we will not let the detours stop us. Instead, we will take on whatever is thrown at us because Keliah IS our daughter and we WILL bring her home.

"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty..." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Roadblock #4,786...

Well, not really, but we have hit yet another roadblock. I know, by now I shouldn't be surprised, but seriously?

I called our agency yesterday to make sure they received the information that was mailed to them last week and to make sure everything was there. They got it, and yes, everything was there now they were just waiting on our authenticated documents that were being picked up from the Consulate yesterday. I reassured them that I would have them Tuesday and would overnight everything to them so they would have them in their hands by Wednesday which would be we would be DTC on Wednesday or Thursday. Sounds good, right?

Wrong! Not twenty minutes after I hung up with them I got a call on my cell phone and almost didn't answer it because I didn't recognize the number. I went ahead and answered it only to find out that it was the courier in Chicago that was supposed to be picking up our documents. She kindly let me know that the Consulate had rejected one of our documents for authentication. By this time I was pretty much freaking out. She said that they would not accept our application letter because the dates from the notary and the dates from our signatures were not the same. Not sure how, or what happened, all I kept thinking was this was just one more roadblock that was going to slow us down.

After talking to her for a few more minutes, I knew what I needed to do and was immediately in "go" mode. I called Matt, let him know what was going on and that we were going to have to meet at the bank to get the application letter (this is the letter we sent to China assuring them that we are fully aware that Keliah has medical issues and that we will get her the treatment she needs among other things) notarized again and that I was going to have to make another trip to Indianapolis to get it authenticated at the Secretary of State's office. I began making arrangements for our kids along with the two boys I watch during the day. Luckily, my mom was planning on coming up this morning, so she went ahead and came up last night so she could stay here and get Gabe from school. I am also pretty lucky that the parents I sit for are flexible and understanding.

After getting meeting at the bank, Matt and I decided to take ALL the kids to dinner which is something we rarely do so we decided on Chinese. There is a great Chinese restaurant down the road from us and the kids love it because one, all the workers are actually Chinese, and two, they get ice cream when they are done. As with all Chinese restaurants, when the bill comes out, so do the fortune cookies. Everyone gets a fortune cookie and we read it so everyone can hear. Once the kids were done, it was my turn to read mine. I opened it, read it to myself and started laughing.

How fitting was this...

And, if you do the math, our authenticated paperwork will be picked up next Monday (April 25th). The courier is going to overnight it directly to our agency so they will receive it Tuesday afteroon (April 26th). And as long as everything is correct this time, we WILL be DTC on Wednesday, April 27th (please see the lucky numbers above). No, I don't actually believe fortune cookies, but come one, how cool is that one given everything obstacle we have had to overcome. Success will come, I have no doubt.

So, this morning, Andrew and I took off for Indy to get the application letter re-authenticated. The plan was to get down there by 9:30 when they opened and turn right around and be home by noonish. All went well on the way down, but we hit some nasty storms coming home which involved downpours of rain, thunder, lightning, and winds that were so strong I was gripping the wheel so hard my palms were hurting. What normally takes about 2 hours one way, took us almost 3 hours to get home.

The third time is the charm right? I have driven to Indy and back 3 times to get this little gold sticker.

Here is my little travel companion

I was so glad he took a nap because with the weather the way it was, I was able to concentrate on driving and not entertaining Andrew.

So, that is our newest update. The good news is that we are getting closer and closer to our goal and are only in need of $4368.00 to be DTC. And as I said before, anything and everything we raise above and beyond our goal will go directly to Connie and her family who will be traveling very soon to bring home their TWO beautiful girls. See the post below for all the details.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Here's the Deal...

Y'all know by now we are hoping and praying that all goes well and we will be DTC by Wednesday or at the latest, Thursday of this week. Honestly, I cannot believe after all the roadblocks, hurdles, and yes, eve a mountain or two, we are FINALLY at this point. I simply cannot wait for this week to be over so we can finally sit back take a deep breath, and relax (to some extent) knowing we are this much closer to our beautiful daughter, Keliah.

So, I am sure by now you have all noticed the Chip-in button on our sidebar. That whoppin $6595.00 is the amount we need to raise before we can send out dossier to China. We are still $5228.00 short. To most, that is an enormous amount of money that still needs to be raised in only 3 or 4 days. But I know He has a plan, and that plan is bigger than any amount of money. I have seen so much more raised in less time, and I know that it can be done.

$5228.00 is all we need to get our dossier to China. I say all because that is nothing when you look at the big picture. (We are SO close, but I feel like we are still So far away). That's it, not a penny more. We will be doing other fundraisers, giveaways, etc. to help raise the rest of the money we need. Right now we are just going at this one step at a time.

We need $5228.00 to get our dossier to China, and my dear, dear friend Connie is just weeks from traveling to get not one, but two beautiful little girls who are waiting to be united with their forever family. Kasidi and Kennah are adorable little girls who are about to have their worlds turned upside down, in a good way.

Here's what Connie wrote in an e-mail recently:

"Dear Friends~
We will be officially awaiting TA within a week! I'm excited and scared all at the same time :) Excited to hold my Treasures, scared to travel without my amazing hubby, scared of Kasidi's 'unknowns' with spina bifida, but so excited about what the Lord has done in our family and in our hearts.
As you know, we started this journey with nothing and surrendered to the Lord's plans, asking for His complete provision.
He's been so completely faithful, as always! Here we are at the end, bringing home 2 precious Treasures. With travel fees coming due, we are still short $17,000 to get both girls home without incurring more debt.
No doubt He will provide!
I'm emailing you to ask for your prayers as we reach the finish line.
The Lord has also taught us much about giving during this process. Every time we've given to another adoptive family He has multiplied the blessing back to us - so like Him!
I can't wait till we have our girls home and are able to 'pay it forward' by helping other families raise funds."

My immediate reaction after reading this e-mail was "how can we help?" We have a need too, but right now, they do too, and they are SO close to traveling. I sat in silence for awhile, thinking, and praying. "What can we do?" Sure, we could donate, but it would be much. I know all too well that NO amount is too small, but I really felt like we could do more.

So, here's the deal...

Anything we raise over the $5228.00 will go directly to Connie and her family to bring their two daughters home. Just today they found out that someone from their Church is offering a $5000 matching grant. That means anything that is donated to them is automatically doubled up to $5000! ANY amount we are able to raise over and beyond the amount we need, will go into Connie's matching grant fund. At this point, I just want to get out dossier to China, and at the same time, I feel like I need to help them as well. I KNOW this can be done.

Not only do you have the chance to win an iPad 2, your choice of cover, and an iTunes gift card, but more importantly, you will know that you helped unite THREE beautiful girls with their forever families.

keliah faith

connies girls

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moving Right Along

We got an e-mail confirmation last night that our documents were dropped off at the Consulate to be authenticated which means they will be picked up on Monday and we will have them in our hands by Tuesday.

As soon as I get everything, double check to make sure all is in order, I will overnight them to our agency and they will receive them on Wednesday.

So, what does all this REALLY mean? If all goes well, we will be DTC (dossier to China) by next Wednesday, Thursday at the latest!

What does DTC mean? It means we are that much closer to bringing our daughter home!!!!

So, you still have plenty of time for a chance to win the all new iPad 2, iPad 2 cover in the color of your choice, and a $50.00 iTunes to start loading up on new apps.




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lookey Lookey!

I am SO excited right now! I just finished checking my e-mail and was SO surprised to see we were sent two new pictures of Keliah, updated measurements and the orphanage's address so we can finally send our girl a package.

We asked back at the beginning of March for an update and didn't hear anything so I was actually giving up any hope of getting one and was seriously thinking of asking an outside service to get an update, pics, and sending a package, but didn't really want to spend the money.

She is so beautiful and I cannot wait to get her home!


Since we have several new followers, let me bring you up to speed on Keliah. I first saw her face last summer but didn't say anything to Matt because he was pretty adamant after we brought the boys home last May. So, I kept it pretty quiet but eventually started leaving little hints here and there that I really thought we had another daughter in China. He was not happy, and was certain we were done.

This is the picture I fell in love with.
Camp Tiger- Ming 208

So, a few months passed and I didn't bring it up again. I knew that Keliah was still available since I checked almost daily with our agency's list. In August, the kids started back to school and I simply could NOT stop thinking about her. I remember sitting on the couch watching some videos of her with a friend and I started tearing up. My friend asked me why I was crying and I said "because I know with all my heart and deep into my soul, that she is our daughter." It was about that time that I really started to be honest with Matt in that when I looked at her picture, I truly saw her in our next family picture. Of course, he thought I was nuts and reminded me again that we were done.

Fast forward to a few weeks later and I once again approached Matt about the idea of adding her to our family. This time, he did not say no, he did not say we were done, but he didn't say yes either. His response, "lets see what we can learn about her special need." That was good enough for me. I was on it.

Keliah was found at 4 months old and at 4 years old had surgery for a tethered cord. Her diagnosis in her file is tethered cord syndrome/spina bifida. I will be completely honest, this type of SN really did scare me (at first). Spina Bifida is such a broad medical issue. It can be very mild causing no problems, or it can be as severe as complete paralysis. We knew she wasn't paralyzed since we saw several videos from the agency camp she participated in. We saw her standing, walking, and even dancing (she told the agency she wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up).

Even though we knew she wasn't paralyzed, there are still several issues to consider with her medical issue. So, we asked for an update from the orphanage with VERY specific questions we wanted answered. They were very quick to get back to us, and we were able to send off the information that we had, and the info that we had just received to an International Adoption Doctor as well as local doctors who specialize in spina bifida. Of course they all started off with saying that they really couldn't give a 100% diagnosis without actually seeing her, but that from what they could tell, she would probably just have to be monitored to make sure the spine didn't tether up again. The adoption doctor even went on to say that she thought our biggest concern should not be her tethered cord, but adjusting into a family at such an "old" age. Well, that was obviously something we were more than willing to take on.

So, after a few more days of what ifs, we decided to do exactly what we did with Mylee, Drew and especially Jaxon's adoptions. We completely stepped out in faith and signed the letter of intent and sent if off the very next day, and got started on compiling our dossier. About a week later, we received our PA and were finally able to share our news with everyone.

When we first started our adoption journey with Mylee, we were pretty naive of the special needs we would consider, and those we would not even think about. Spina Bifida was at the top of the will not think about list. In our eyes, we already had three bio kids and didn't want to have to put them aside to care for a child with major medical needs. As I am typing this, I can't get over how shallow that seems now.

Mylee's special need was listed as clubbed feet. Matt and I didn't even really have to consider it much. We researched it and learned that it was a pretty easy "fix." Unbeknown st to us, Mylee's ortho needs were much worse than a series of casting to correct her feet. We still don't know if she truly had clubbed feet. And after surgeries, 10+ castings, and physical therapy, we still don't have a definite diagnosis. What we do have is one beautiful, spunky, smart, determined little girl that we love more than anything. Her special need does NOT define who she is.


I remember someone asking me once if we were angry because her needs were more than we thought we were getting into or if we had any regrets. Without hesitation I kindly explained to them that NO, we were not angry nor did we regret our decision to add Mylee to our family. I went on to let them know that there are NO guarantees in life and that any one of our biological kids could have been born with a medial condition. Was it because Mylee was adopted and we "chose" her that they felt like they could even ask those questions. Would they even consider asking those questions if it had been one of our bio kids? Why did they even think they could ask a questions like that? I don't think they expected the response they got, but hey, it's the truth.

So, our adoption path started out as a way to fulfill a dream I had as a child. I will admit that before we started on our journey to adopt, I had no idea how many orphans there were in the world. I had no idea the condition of the orphanages. I really didn't comprehend the impact of what being and orphan meant. I didn't even really get the role that God played in bringing Mylee home. And then my eyes were opened. I saw first hand what being an orphan meant. I saw firsthand the conditions of the orphanages, the massive amount of kids lying in their cribs not knowing what it feels like to be loved, hugged, or even touched. My eyes were open, and because of that, we have been blessed beyond measure to not only turn a dream into a reality by bringing Mylee home, but I cannot imagine our lives, and our family without Drew and Jaxon. Because my eyes have been opened, Matt and I have been able to step outside of what we thought our comfort zone was and look at special needs that we would not have even considered 3 years ago. Because my eyes have been opened, we are adding one more blessing from God to our family ~ Keliah Faith...

Don't forget, there is still plenty of time to get in a chance to win the iPad 2, cover, and iTunes gift card. We will be sending our final documents to our agency next week and would love to send in a check as well so our dossier can go to China. The sooner we get our dossier to China, the sooner we can bring Keliah home. She has been in the orphanage for exactly 9 years this month, lets not make it too much longer.

So, instead of buying one of these on the way to work,

or going through here on the way home,

Think about this face, and what that $4 or $5 could do to change her life...

january update 2

If 263 people donated only $25.00, we could meet our goal. If only 131 people donated $50.00 we could meet our goal. I know that more people than that read my blog every day. The clock is ticking, the countdown has begun. After working for almost 8 months, the time has come to send in our paperwork to China so we can be that much closer to adding one more child of God into our family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Uppin the Anty...

Well, things are continuing to move along. Last week on Thursday we finally received our I-800A approval. I am certain our mail lady things I am certifiable after I spent all morning trying to find her and finally did around noon. She was super nice and searched for our mail and luckily, after all that, our I-800A approval was in the stack.

So, I came home, grabbed Mylee, Emma, and Jaxon and we took off for Indianapolis to get it authenticated by our Secretary of State. On the way I called to find out what time they called and was told not until 5:00, which gave me plenty of time to get down there. I was already making plans to take off on Friday morning for Chicago to get it authenticated at the Chinese Consulate. Jaxon really wanted to go to Chicago so we could go to Chinatown which I told him we could for a little bit then we would have to head back home.

We arrived at the Govt. building about 4:15 and made our way down to the Secretary of State's office to get everything authenticated. Once inside the office, we waited in line for our turn and was totally thrown for a loop. Apparently the original I-800A cannot be authenticated but a copy can. I was told I could make a copy in their office, but that I would also have to get it notarized saying it was an exact copy. No biggy, right? WRONG! There is only one place in all this huge multi city block Govt building that can notarize and wouldn't ya know it, they closed at 4:00! UGHHHH, I was SO frustrated. I explained that we drove over 2 hours to get this done and asked if there was anywhere else that could notarize it and was told that the banks in the building might do it, but they too closed at 4. By this time it was 4:30 so we took our chances and started asking anyone and everyone we say with a badge on if they were, or knew of anyone who could notarize something. Like I said earlier, apparently there is only ONE office in that building that can notarize and they were closed.

By this time it was 4:45 and we gave up. I asked what time they opened the following day so we could get there and get it done. My original plan was to get up at 7:00 the next morning, drive to Indy, get the authentication done, and then turn around and head up to Chicago which would be another three and a half hour drive north. Yes, I am crazy, but I really wanted to get this taken care of while I had the time off.

Once we got home, I started researching the courier services and it was actually cheaper for me to send it to a courier and have them drop it off at the Consulate. So, that is what we did and everything went into the mail this morning. The courier will get it tomorrow, take it to the Consulate on Thursday (she doesn't go on Wednesday) and will pick it up the following Monday. We will get it back on Tuesday, and will express mail it to our agency so they will receive it on Wednesday.

We are so, so close to being DTC. The good news is that we could be DTC next Wednesday or at the latest next Thursday depending on what time they receive our paperwork on Wednesday. The not so good news is that we are still short quite a bit of money to get our dossier to China.

I'm stressing, no, I in panic mode now. We have been waiting 8 months to get our dossier to China. When we first submitted our LOI back in September our goal was to be DTC sometime in January or February. One we received our PA, we were told we had to be DTC by February 4th. Who knew we would have to jump through so many hoops to get Matt's physical released, that alone took 3 months. Ridiculous! Then, February came and went and our agency had to ask for an extension to get our dossier to China.

We are SO close. We are within days of being DTC. This is the point we have been looking forward to for so long. Being DTC is huge in the adoption process. It basically means that everything is now in the hands of the Chinese (and to be honest, they move faster than our own govt.). It is the time when we can actually sit back, and sort of relax, knowing that there is nothing else we have to compile, sign, authenticate, etc. It is the time that we are that much closer to bringing our daughter home. The only thing standing in our way is now is of course, the money. Why is it that when it is all said and done, it always comes down to the money? I simply cannot imagine getting to this point and not having the money we need.

So, we're going to up the anty...

Not only will you get the awesome iPad 2


You will get the iPad cover in your choice of color

And if that wasn't enough, we are also including a $50.00 gift card to iTunes to get you started with the apps of your choice.


These were the original ways to get entries for the awesome iPad 2 we are giving away.

1. For every $10.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $25.00.
2. Post about the fundraiser on your blog then come back and post telling me you posted about it.
3. Post about the fundraiser on facebook.
4. Become a follower

Here are the NEW ways you can receive entries.

1. For every $25.00 donated, you will receive 5 entries!
2. For every $50.00 donated, you will receive 10 entries!
3. Post about the fundraiser on your blog, receive 3 entires!
4. Post about it on facebook, receive 3 entries!
5. Become a follower, receive 3 entries!

I know times are tough, and there are alot of great fundraisers going on right now, so please don't feel bad if you can't donate monetarily. We will definitely accept any and all prayers that we will raise the money we need by next week. There is nothing too big for God!

One final note, we have received some e-mails about people not wanting to donate through paypal, but would rather send a check. If you would rather do that, please e-mail me at and I will get you our address.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and the AWESOME!

SO, where shall I start? Do you want the good news, the bad news, or the awesome news? Hmmmmm....

Okay, here's the good...

After literally calling USCIS EVERYday for the past two weeks, I finally got some answers. Let me back up a bit. Remember me telling you that I knew of a couple of families that were getting their approvals before us even though they had sent in their application and were fingerprinted after us. Well, this past Friday I got a call from yet another parent letting me know that there approval was put in the mail Friday. I was excited for them, but once again frustrated for us. They turned in their application about a week after us, and were fingerprinted a day after us. According to USCIS, there is NO way this could happen because they have to go in order of the receipt. Do you see my frustration?

Well, me, being me, and not being able to give up control to easily called USCIS again first thing this morning. Once the officer got all my info he said "let me transfer you to the officer in charge of your case." WHOOO HOOO, finally (was pretty much all I was thinking). Well, that excitement was short lived when the officer who answered the phone was our officer from last time, NOT our current officer. She was very nice though in telling me that we were still pending and had not yet been assigned an officer. I thanked, hung up, and called right back. This time, I explained again that we other couples were getting their approvals before us and was told again, that there is no way that is possible. That is when I kindly asked to speak to a supervisor.

Once the supervisor came on the line, I explained (again) what was going on and how I just didn't understand what was taking so long. He tried to tell me that it could take up to 90 days to get the approval. That was when I decided to get a little more how shall I put this, pushy (not exactly the first word that came to mind, but I never know if kids might be reading this). So, I politely said this to him "I understand that is your policy, and that is how things are SUPPOSED to work, but you and I both know the approval are NOT taking 90 days and that that is just a number you give out so people like me won't bug you everyday." After a couple of seconds of silence from him, he chuckled, asked for my call back number and said he would see what he could find out.

Ten minutes later, he called me back to let me know that somehow, our paperwork was still sitting in the record office (whatever that is) and that is pulled it himself, and was going to personally assign it to an officer today and ask that it get looked at asap. That was good enough for me, I thanked him, and apologized for being so "pushy." Before I hung up, he said "ma'am, sometimes it pays off to be pushy." Yes, yes it does.

Again, even though I had his word, that he was going to take care of it, that just wasn't good enough for me. So, I decided to wait until later this afternoon and call back to see if I could at least talk to the officer in charge and maybe persuade him to look at our file today. I called back and spoke to a super nice lady with the cutest little Southern accent who kindly told me once again, we had not been assigned an officer. She did say that since the supervisor personally put it on a desk, it may not show up in the system until the officer was actually working on it. I thanked her and said I would call back closer to closing time to check again.

This time, less than minutes later, I got another call from the Southern accent lady letting me know that she walked around to everyone's desk and was able to locate our application and that she was going to transfer me to the officer in charge of our case. My reply to this, "oh, I could just kiss you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"

So, she transferred me to the officer in charge of our case, and after hopefully the last time explaining the whole story to him, he assured me that he would look over it today and as long as there were no problems, it would go in the mail tomorrow. Now, last time I checked neither Matt nor I have been convicted of a crime, and Officer **** did not call back, so that must mean our approval will go out tomorrow. YIPPEEEE!!!!!

Just to ease your minds, YES, I will most definitely be calling again tomorrow morning just to make sure we have been approved and it is in the mail.

If it is, my biggest prayer will be that we get it by Thursday so I can take it to Indianapolis Friday. The kids are on spring break this week and I am off Thursday and Friday so, please pray that we get it Thursday.

I e-mailed our agency to let keep them updated since we have already asked for an extension because of Matt's physical taking so long. Her response, "You're tenacious...I love it!" Tenacious, I like that much better than pushy.

I just keep telling myself, "everything happens for a reason."

So, that's the good news, now for the not so good news...

In order for us to be able to send our dossier to China, we need to come up with $5965.00. That is $5965.00 that we unfortunately do not have right now. Why don't we have it? Well, Matt has been out of work since February 3rd (again). Luckily, he has been busy with his side business. The only bad news about that is that the money we had set aside and planned to use from those side jobs has gone to pay our everyday living expenses.

We had a plan. In our eyes, it seemed realistic. But obviously, our plan and God's are a bit different. Matt is finally back to work and we can finally start putting his "extra" money towards bringing Keliah home. But for now, we are really under pressure to get our dossier to China especially since we have already asked for an extension. Obviously, the sooner we get our dossier to China, the sooner we can bring our girl home.

Now, for the awesome news...

This is not exactly the fundraiser we wanted to have (I am that is going to be down the road), but under the circumstances, we are putting something together quickly so we can be that much closer to bringing Keliah home. We have several other fundraising ideas in future to help pay for travel expenses, etc. We are planning a garage sale in June, we will be hopefully be getting our tax refund back soon, we are also talking about doing some sort of local fundraising. But right now, is what we need to focus on. One day at a time.

After alot of research we have decided to auction off one of these bad boys...


This my friends, is the newly released iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G - 16GB

The all-new thinner and lighter design makes iPad 2 even more comfortable to hold. It's even more powerful with the dual-core A5 chip, yet has the same 10 hours of battery life.1 With two cameras, you can make FaceTime video calls,2 record HD video and put a twist on your snapshots in Photo Booth. And the iPad Smart Cover attaches magnetically and wakes up, stands up and brightens up your iPad 2.3
What's Included

* Apple® iPad™ 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G - 16GB

Product Features

* 9.7" LED-backlit display with IPS technology
* Dual-core A5 chip
* Front and back cameras
* Up to 10 hours of battery life
* Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
* 3G data service with AT&T (data plan sold separately)
* Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
* 16GB flash storage
* Over 65,000 apps made for iPad, available from the App Store

Now, you must be asking yourself how you can get your hands on this beauty. Well, you have several chances to win, just see below.

1. For every $10.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $25.00.
2. Post about the fundraiser on your blog then come back and post telling me you posted about it.
3. Post about the fundraiser on facebook.
4. Become a follower

So, my friends, we are one again stepping out in faith and asking for your help. The adoption community is an amazing community of people. I have made so many friends through adoption and I cannot imagine my life without them. Adoption has taught me so much and opened my eyes to so much. Much more than I expected or bargained for. It has taught me to relax and be patient. It has taught me to give up control. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and let faith lead the way. It has shown me that anything, and I mean anything is possible with God on your side. Adoption has also shown me and made me apart of a very small (but growing) community. A community that sees the importance of every child having a family. A community that bands together to help each other. A community that I am SO proud to be a part of.

We need a total of $5965.00 to send our dossier to China. That total plus the $630.00 for the iPad, we need $6595.00 to continue on our journey. I have seen much more raised in a much smaller amount of time. So, as I like to say to my kids when we need to get something done,