Sunday, January 29, 2012

JJ Jump

Tonight we had a local fundraiser at JJ Jump. JJ Jump donated $3.75 per child that jumped and said they were there for us.
With my amazing friend Annie, and my daughter we sat at the table near the entrance with our sign, papers giving out info, and even some chocolate lolly pops. When people came in we asked them if they would jump for Sydney and Lucien (at no extra cost to them, they only had to sign on the fundraiser side of the jump form, that was it!).
I have to say our town is amazing! We ended up being able to talk to so many different people and most of them said that they would be willing to sign on the fundraiser side!! We even had a few people leave a donation in a jar we had set up! A friend of mine also called up some of her friends and they came down as well for the event. Annie had invited a bunch of friends as well and they came down for the event as well!
It was an amazing turn out!! What a blessing this weekend has been.
We are getting there my friends!!! God can move mountains and I can see them moving through you!!
God Bless!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Father's Love

Well now it’s my turn,

Where to start!. Well if 6 years ago you’d have asked me if I wanted Kids you’d have gotten one heck of a glare. Back in those days I used to get invited to parties and afternoon BBQ’s because of the affect I had on anything under the age of 5. See back then with the Hair and the beard I used to cause kids to become silent and sullen in my presence. Anything under the age of 5 didn’t really know how to deal with me; after all to them I was a mass of hair and quite the intimidator. BUT as with all things time has a strange effect on things. I met Rebecca and became a father figure to 4 kids overnight. Quite a daunting task I can tell you. One that I’m still learning to deal with on a daily basis, It’s quite an adventure. And now, You could see me as a responsible adult (something my friends reading this have either spilled their pints, Died of shock, or their eyes glazed over it so they didn’t have to read that statement and  if they didn’t have to read it, it therefore doesn’t exist) I love spending time with my Kids! I remember the first time I met them in person. I was pooping cinder blocks! Everything was riding on them, If they did not like me in person the relationship was over, Ended, Caput. (Rebecca let me know from the start that they are a group package and its all or nothing)
Tamara was the first to take to me, Hugging me in only the way she does and to this day she has never stopped giving me a hug, regardless of what happens, we can argue, or disagree on something and she can storm off in a huff, BUT she always ends up giving me a hug.
Brandon was next, again giving me a hug when he wanted one and was totally drawn in by my techy toys. He would (if I let him) spend hours on my Smartphone PDA (way before the iPhone and android) infact given the chance he still would be on my new phone playing Sudoku or chess or whatever game I happened to have at the time.

Ariel and Britney being the older 2 in this family agreed to put up with me for the duration. Ariel, I would like to think accepts me as an adult figure.  The verdict is still out with Britney. To this day I still don’t know really how she feels about me. All the others, at least one point either have said intentionally or in passing or out of politeness, have said they loved me. It gives a warm fuzzy feeling every time they do. It is great to know that even as we are in the teenage years with Tamara and Brandon they are still willing to tell me and are still willing to listen to me.

In the beginning of our relationship, Rebecca and I talked about having kids and I was always on the Fence about it not really knowing what way to turn or where to fall to be precise, but spending time with our kids and spending time with Rebecca opened my eyes. The real clincher moment came when I had Tamara at work with me for “Bring your child to work” day and we were talking and the guy in the cube next to me told me that I was a natural father and it was clear that Tamara respected me and wanted to be with me. I tell you now my chest nearly exploded. So I got to thinking about wanting kids of my own. I mean I do feel envious of Rebecca having had the growing up period prior to me. I never got to hold them as a new born in my arms, Or be there when they fall over to put a Band-Aid on the scrape, I never got to hear their first words or see their first steps. Do I treat them as my kids? Yes, regardless of what they think our relationship is, they are always MY Kids and they get all the unconditional love that comes with that. You reading this now might not understand how I can do that, TBH I can’t really explain it it’s just how I feel about them.
Rebecca and I discussed the various options available to us, for Us to technically start a family. Adoption seemed the way to go. So we talked about domestic vs international and we Decided Domestic, it was a tough choice and we both thought about it long and hard and then as it does, life threw a curve ball and we changed route and went international. To make a bigger change we went Special needs international. One of the biggest things Rebecca was worried about was me being able to deal with a special needs child in the house. Having no real experience on a one to one basis all I could say was it will not be a problem at all. But then that’s just the kind of guy I am, I have always had a knack for just taking things in my stride. Dealing with issues as and when they arise. We were wondering what kind of Special needs we should go for so we prayed for a sign and boy did we get one. We were sitting in church when a group of about 20 teenagers to young adults with Down Syndrome sat right in front of us. Talk about a revolutionary Sign! It doesn’t get much bigger than that. Having had the sign we prayed for, Rebecca set about finding an agency to go through and again the curve ball appeared and she found Reece’s Rainbow. After many months of looking at orphans needing someone’s love, Rebecca called me at work and told me she had found the one!  *Queue celestial music* So she showed me a picture and one look at “Sydney” and my heart melted, just as it did the first time I physically saw Rebecca standing in the airport, to scared to look at me in case I didn’t like what I saw. Just like Rebecca I knew she was the one.
Life can be pretty wavy around us.. infact most of the time it can be compared to a massive tubular water slide as it curves itself around, going up and Down never really letting you know where it’s going to drop you. And Once more Rebecca was on the phone saying she had found Him.. Yes a HIM. And once more when I saw Lucien I knew he was ours. It’s kinda hard to explain it’s just something you know is a good thing.
I am already getting that New Father Feeling. I can’t wait to hold them. I can’t wait to feel them hold me back, I am even excited about changing my first diaper! While we are already a family with the children we have, I missed so much. Knowing I will be able to see so many of those firsts with Sydney and Lucien, it’s as if something that was once missing is now found, a void is filled. I never knew I could love being a father so much, and looking back, I do not know how I lived without it for so long.
So here we are today with me writing this for you to read. I am Happy, Over the moon with what we are doing, In fact, if given the chance to time travel and change one thing I would certainly not change a single thing, because if I did it would run the risk of putting me somewhere else, some when else. Im also scared about the daunting task ahead of us in order for us to bring our 2 children home. So, What am I going to do going forward? Well I am going to have Faith that God will provide, I am going to show that I have the courage and strength to reach the end and feel so proud to have Rebecca by my side to share this with.

Thank you for reading and I hope it gives a small insight into how I feel about all this.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paperwork, More paperwork, and Crosses

We were finally, after trying for what seemed like forever, able to get our bank to sign one of the papers we needed. Now we are working trying to get one more paper filled out. What should be an easy process isn't. Banks like to use THEIR forms, not anyone else's. And would you believe that they even have issues with writing up a letter saying that you pay "x" amount each month and that your home cost "x" amount?? One other thing we found out was that the county assessor's office did NOT want to say we "live in" our home, they are only willing to say we own it and have owned it since "blank" date. Sigh.
Mark is amazing, since he works nights, he is able to run around getting things done. I would love to help but since I work in the day, by the time I am off work, things are already closed.
This week has been trying to get one thing after another done. For Mark this means getting off work, him dropping me off at work, coming home to sleep for about 2-3 hours before he has to get back up to talk to people on the phone or run around trying to get people to sign paperwork, then picking Tamara up from school, doing some more paper chasing and phone calling, coming to pick me up from work, coming home, making crosses, eating dinner, and then going back to work. Whew! Just makes you tired thinking about that doesn't it?
So you want to know what the making crosses is all about??
We have set up an Etsy shop for crosses that Mark is hand crafting and hand painting/glazing after they have been fired.
They are so beautiful. In addition to the crosses he is also making some wall art plaques that have cute sayings, inspirational quotes, and even some really cute children ones, like the one he is making that has a cute little crown and says Princess on it. He will also be making a cute little boy one. We hope that people will start buying things that are in the shop The shop will be updated monthly (we have to wait a few weeks between firing and painting - so please check back every month).
We are so excited about it all, Mark is so crafty and ALL the money raised on our Etsy shop will go towards getting Sydney and Lucien home.
We are also having a BIG giveaway starting Feb 1st for the whole month of Feb!!
Please make sure you check out all the amazing things that will be given away!
I know for a give away to be really successful we will need to make our blog public, while I am worried about it, I know we need to do this for Sydney and Lucien. Once the giveaway goes live, I would love it if you could all share our blog with your friends and family and anyone you know who would be interested in helping out!
If you would like to check out our new Etsy Shop, just click on the picture below!
I want to thank you all again, so much!! Your love and support means so much to us. You give us strength just by standing beside us! What a blessing you are to our family.
For those of you who have been able to donate, or are planning on donating, your selfless gift will never be forgotten, we have been making, since the first donation, a beautiful shadow box with a world inside it and the names of each and ever single person who has helped bring our sweet little ones home. For those of you who are not in a position to donate but who have followed our story and prayed for us, we want you to know just how thankful and grateful we are to you! We never expected adoption to be easy, but we also never expected it to be this hard. Because of your love and support and prayers, we have been lifted up when we felt down, we could feel God working through you and have been given the strength we needed.
Thank You and God Bless You Friends!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

So Proud

This is one of those bragging mommy moments. For those of you who keep up with my blog after we have Sydney and Lucien you can expect a LOT!
So last year about this time we sat through high school open houses so my daughter could figure out which high school would help her the most. Which one would help her get ahead in her goals for her future. She was very brave and ended up going to a school that had the best educational program yet none of her friends would be attending. This year, it is my son's turn. Tonight we toured a high school he felt would best fit the needs for HIS future. We encourage our children to think of what they want to do and then pursue that goal. My son wants to be an architect. He has found a school, not our home school, that will help him towards that degree, and not just help him towards that but will offer many different opportunities to earn college credits and network with people already in the industry. Like my daughter, because it is not our home high school, it would mean walking away from "comfort" of being at the same school as all of your friends.
I am SO proud of both of them! It is hard to believe they are growing up so fast. Hard to believe they are so mature that they are looking forward into a future already. It seems just the other day they were little, and now they are growing up so fast right before my eyes...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Compiling Dossier!!

Yahhh!!! Finally!!! We are now officially on the Compiling Dossier stage!! What does this mean? A LOT of paperwork, a lot more out of pocket expenses. The next stages will involve getting a lot of paperwork apostatized. This is $15 per page in our state, ouch! We will also be sending in the money for the USCIS, which is $85 per adult over 18 living at home (so just me and Mark) for biometrics, and then $720 for adopting. We will have to pay the second $720 once we are in country. 
The next few weeks will be super busy for us trying to get all the paperwork taken care of and hurried along.
Today was a wonderful day today, I was able to make an announcement in church about our upcoming fundraiser at JJ Jump, which will be held next Sunday from 5-7pm. If you live in the Portland or Vancouver WA area, and are able to make it we would LOVE to see you there!! JJ Jump will donate half of the cost of a ticket to Sydney and Lucien, we will also have raffle prizes for those who are able to make it.
While on that subject, there has been so much love happening lately, I have been blow away! Several very sweet ladies have donated items, or have rallied to get items donated for a giant Giveaway!!!
The giveaway will start Feb 1st. There are so many amazing items that I am going to ask that you tell a friend and have the blog set to allow everyone. We need all the help we can get if we are going to raise $25k by April. So excited about this and can hardly wait until I can show you all these amazing items!!
So I want to give a super big shout out to these wonderful ladies...
For privacy sake, I am only giving first names...(in alphabetical order)

These ladies have been going above and beyond to help.
Annie lives close to me and has been gathering items to help with our giant garage sale and helped get JJ Jump set up for us, she has also been working her tail off with helping set up a raffle for the event as well!!
Breanne donated several items that will be entered into the giveaway. When I saw some of these items I thought my eyes would pop out of my head, trust me you don't want to miss this.
Patricia has been getting ahold of all the people she can think of on Etsy to help by donating items. This lady is amazing, I don't know how she does it!
Rhonda is wonderful. We are adopting HER into our family and she is going to be Sydney and Lucien's adopted grandma!! hehe. Rhonda has been in my prayers and I hope you will pray for her as well. This beautiful and lovely lady has an amazing degree but has been unable to find work in her area. Even with this going on, she sent a beautiful donation to help with the Giveaway! Please pray with me that she will be able to find a good job in her area!
I am so honored to call these ladies friends!

In other news, our puppy finally graduated from puppy school!! Now he will get to move into the next classes. We are going to be really working with him a lot so when the babies are here he will know not to jump up on them. He does not know how big he is and thinks he is a lap dog, lol. But as an almost 80lb chocolate lab, sitting in the lap of one of the babies would NOT be a good idea. The trainer is really helping us work with him and I can not wait to put into action the commands he is teaching us. Our next step is to teach him that when someone knocks on the door, he is to go to his bed and NOT come greet them, but to ignore them. This will really help when we have the phyical therapist here at the house working with Sydney and Lucien. We also are working on teaching him that their room is off limits at all times.

So all in all it was an amazing day, tomorrow we do battle with our bank as we need them to fill out a paper in OUR format rather than theirs. From what I understand a lot of families have had this problem with this bank. We pray that we can get it all sorted out quickly.
Of course my Sunday post would not be complete without a little saying in honor of my paw-paw.
This is actually one he had in his home before he passed away. I love and miss you Paw-Paw!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting things Done...

We are so excited!! Just the other day my passport came in the mail!! This is a big deal because most of our dossier paperwork has to have my passport number on it! We were also waiting on my employer to write a letter stating that I worked there and what my income is. I really felt bad about asking because the HR department is run by one lady, not a group of people, and she had already written two of them before. The first one she made was for my homestudy and did not need a lot of details. The second one she made a typo in and we were unable to use it. So I had to call her back and get her to make another, for the third time. After two emails to her and one phone call, I got the news that she has now has it written up and I can pick it up today. (the first email I sent asking for this was BEFORE Christmas!!)
So what are our next steps?
We have to get our bank to fill out a form saying we own our home, not as easy as it sounds because they do not like using anyone's forms but their own so we have to go to the top and have called the President of the bank hoping that he can sort things out for us.
The GOOD news is that things ARE getting done, and we are that one step closer to bringing home our little ones.
We have several fundraisers in the works. A local fundraiser is being held at JJ Jump in Vancouver Washington. Anyone with children, grandkids, or anyone who wants to come are bring children who can Jump for Sydney and Lucien are invited! JJ Jump will donate $3.75 per child that jump to Sydney and Lucien IF the family that shows up says they are there jumping for Sydney and Lucien. We have some great door prizes and a raffle.
For those of you who are not local, we have an online Avon sale going on where anywhere between 20%-50% will be donated to Sydney and Lucien. The % all depends on how much is sold. The more sold, the bigger % we will get. If you are interested in the Avon fundraiser you can check it out at
We will also be having an amazing Giveaway starting Feb.1st, so be on the look out for that. We have had an out-pouring of love from many different people wanting to help us bring Sydney and Lucien home by donating items. I want to add a large item as well but I am stuck between two different items and I would love your comments on which item you would rather see in the giveaway.  Let me know what you think... I will end up adding the one that has the most comments on it to the give away.
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G+Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display
OR Would you Rather see This in the Give Away??
Cricut Expression 290300 Personal Electronic Cutter

On another topic, a friend told me that we will need about a weeks worth of clothing for our little ones while we wait between having picked them up and coming home. Since we do not know their size yet I have been reluctant to run out and pick anything up. However, we had something wonderful happen! A few weeks ago we noticed an ad on a store's website that was selling a $150 item for $15!! Of course I ordered TWO, lol. I am sure everyone else did as well because a week after I placed my order I was told they were already sold out (poor person who ran the ad and left out the 0 on the end, yikes I would NOT want to be in their shoes). I was a little sad but it was ok. I was expecting that to be the end of it but then on Tuesday I got a letter in the mail saying how sorry they were that the item I was trying to purchase was no longer available and they were giving me a special code so I could buy $50 worth of items from there store. I went ahead and last night ordered $50 worth of clothes (which were on sale so I actually got quite a bit) for both Sydney and Lucien. They now have a week of clothing to last us while in country! And all it cost to get that? $7 YAHHH!!

Each day brings us closer and closer to April when we are expecting to fly out. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome Friends!

Thank you for following me to my new blog. There are so many things I can hardly wait to share with you.
Tomorrow I will be getting my medical done for my dossier. They will be running tons of blood tests and I will have to have a physical. While that does not sound fun it means we are getting closer and closer to being able to bring our little ones home!
In addition to that we should have our homestudy completed any day now. We heard from our social worker that all the fingerprints are back and we should have the draft next week! YAHH!!
Mark has been working very hard to get the dossier paperwork ready and Nancy (our stateside facilitator) has been amazing with making sure we are getting all our paperwork to fill in!

****Unlike my other blog this one is private, you are welcome to share my blog with your friends, but please make sure you know them before you tell them about my blog. I will not be posting this blog to Facebook. I would love others to follow our blog but I do not want to invite others who will be posting hateful things to this blog, thank you for understanding.****