Sunday, August 23, 2015

Time for an update!

Time for an update!


On August 11th, I mailed our i800a application to USCIS. We received the text/email on August 18th saying it was received and on the 22nd, we received the receipt letter in the mail showing we had paid the fee and that they had received our application. From following the timelines of other recent families, we most likely will receive our fingerprint letter by Sept 1st and our approval by Sept 18th. We plan on going in early to get our prints done. That is the last thing that is needed to complete our dossier!!


On August 11th, I also mailed our completed dossier (minus the i800a clearance) directly to our NGO in EE. That arrived there on August 18th as well. They have begun translating it so that once our final document arrives, it will be ready to be submitted quickly. It's likely that we could be submitted by October 5th, awaiting our verbal and then written referral and travel dates! Typically you travel 4-6 weeks after submission putting travel in November still possible, as long as there are no delays, and the IAC meets regularly.

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We just received the invoice for the rest of our placing agency fees ($5k), due when our dossier is complete, which may be as soon as 3 weeks from now...trying not to panic.

We also have our next set of program fees ($4k) due shortly after. We *think* we have a little more time to pay those, possibly until we receive our referral, which is usually only 1-2 weeks after submitting.

We thought we would have more time, which is why our next two big fundraisers were scheduled further out. We can not move those up because we are still collecting books for the book auction and the church gym is already booked every weekend between now and Sept 27th, when our event is scheduled. 


* We are moving forward in faith that the funds will be there when needed. We have completed 12 grant applications this past week, and have a handful more we can't do until after trip 1. 

* A sweet friend is holding a yard sale over Labor Day weekend to help with our adoption as well as another family's. Pray they have many generous shoppers!


* Our first round of the Super Hero cape & mask sets ends August 25th. Still time to get your order in! We plan on doing another round in Sept and November. We have 35 sets pre-ordered so far and our goal for this round was 50. These would make great gifts!
* I'm hoping to have some of our craft projects completed next week to share for our next fundraiser. I haven't had time to sit down and work on them, as they are time consuming, with everything else that is going on right now. 


* We are thick in the planning of our Spaghetti *Lunch* & Silent Auction. It is scheduled to start at noon on September 27th at Tabernacle Baptist Church in King George, VA. We have an event page on FB where we will be posting updates as we get closer, and I will share them here as well. Some of the items are coming in already for the silent auction part. I'm excited about what we have so far and hope we will be able to gather enough to fill the rest of the baskets we have planned. We plan on visiting many local businesses this week to see if they would like to donate an item or sponsor a table. Please pray that this will be a success! 


We are hoping to get our home school started with some of our children this week and the rest the following week. Esther and Ben are both staying home this semester and I will be teaching them together, along with their younger brothers. My goal is to help Esther master all the basic preschool concepts and for Ben to master the basic preschool and kindergarten concepts as he still has gaps. I will be working on very hard on comprehension and Wh questions with Ben in hopes that it will help with his speech challenges. Esther's speech and comprehension is progressing much quicker than his has so I think she will just soak up everything I will be doing in school with her this year. 
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Here are a couple pictures of Esther this week...she wakes up with her hair in her face like this every day (we are working on training it to stay back), and the back usually has a rats nest from her rocking and rolling in bed :) Fortunately she likes us to do her hair and asks for a pony right away. I have noticed her hair is getting softer since she came home. 

She's looking older!

We are working on putting some weight on our little lady. She lost a tiny bit last month now that she's so active and it's a big effort to get her to eat sometimes so we are increasing healthy fats and calories to pack more into what she does eat. Esther and Ben are complete opposites when it comes to eating. Every meal I have to remind her to eat after each bite and Ben has to be told to slow down every bite. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Superhero Cape & Mask Sets Ordering Post

Here is an easy way to order our superhero cape/mask sets!

**The current order closes on August 25th. Orders will be received within two weeks after that.** 


Superhero Capes and Masks
* $20 per set plus a flat $5 shipping per order

* Capes are 25" long and made of high quality satin and are double sided. They have a Velcro closure at the neck.
* Masks are made of premium quality double sided felt
* Would best fit 2-10yos depending on their size
* There are 16 styles available:Superman (Blue Cape and Red Cape), Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Spidergirl and Frozen (Elsa)
* Masks can be ordered on their own for $6 each plus shipping; and capes can be ordered alone for $15 plus shipping (just send us a message or comment so we can do a custom invoice)



Sets 1-8





Sets 9-16




Frozen (Elsa)

Ways you can help!

Some things I need help with and easy ways you can help! 




We have two big events coming up...A spaghetti dinner and silent auction in September and another book auction in October. 

Some things we are needing:
1. Used books for all ages in very good to new condition. We can cover media shipping to get them to us. If your church group, youth group, home school group or scout group would love a service project, they could hold a book drive to gather books to send us to help bring our children home!**
2. Unused giftcards in any amount we could use them!
3. If any of you are (or know someone who is) a representative for one of the home party type companies above (or one not listed as I know I left many out) and would like to help by donating a giftcard or product, we would LOVE to have it! We are hoping to have some themed baskets in our silent auction and need things we can add to them.
Thank you so much!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dossier *almost* complete...and Superhero Cape Fundraiser!


Today we are celebrating this accomplishment!! 
A huge step closer to our children coming home!
Tomorrow I am mailing all of this to EE to begin translation. 
I'm also mailing out our I800a form to USCIS. 
This is the last thing we are waiting on in order to submit our dossier 
and await our referral and travel dates. 


Well, that and another $8,000!

To celebrate, we are launching our newest fundraiser!

Superhero Capes and Masks
* $20 each plus a flat $5 shipping per order

16. 


* Capes are made of high quality satin and are double sided. They have a Velcro closure at the neck.
* Masks are made of premium quality double sided felt
* One size fits all (children)
* There are 16 styles available:Superman (Blue Cape and Red Cape), Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Iron Man, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Spidergirl and Frozen (Elsa)

We will be taking pre-orders from now through August 25th. You will receive your order with two weeks after that.
To order, just let me know which capes and how many you want. I will send you an invoice for your total and your capes will be shipped directly to you.



Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Person's A Person T-Shirts

**We made some changes so these are the new links**

"A person's a person no matter how small" by Dr. Seuss

That quote is from the "Horton Hears A Who" movie/book and is credited to Dr. Seuss. All proceeds from the sale of these shirts go to our adoption fund. 

Shirts are available in many colors and sizes, styles for men, women, children and babies.
Clicking on the pictures will take you to where you can purchase them.




Thursday, August 6, 2015

Auction Totals

Our total auction bids were...

$3,387!!

Praise the Lord for providing! 

We now have enough to cover our home study fee, our USCIS fee, our post placement fee and our dossier apostille fees! We can also start making a dent in the $9k due in September-wow!!

Now begins the hard part of sorting, packaging and shipping all the books...with 11 little helpers, one of whom prefers being in mama's arms and eating nonstop :)

Thank you to all the friends and family who donated used books, the authors/illustrators who donated signed books, friends (and their friends) and family who shared our auction, and everyone who bid on books.

**We are planning another book auction for October to raise our travel fees for trip 1 and would love any used books in very good condition that you no longer need.**


Friday, July 31, 2015

Auction Update and Go Fund Me



Just 4 days left to place your bids on some great books in our children's book auction. So many of them still have low bids, you are sure to get a good deal for a great cause! We are praying for a big finish to help us cover our immediate fees and to be able to start whittling down the amount needed for our dossier fees as well.


We would like to give a big thank you to all of the generous authors and illustrators who responded to our request for a signed book to go in our auction. We are so grateful for their willing hearts to help bring our children home.
Please take a look at all their names and support them!
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We decided to set up a Go Fund Me page to help spread the word about our adoption and to have a way to accept payments from the auction and our other fundraisers that are easy to access. Donations to our Go Fund Me page (called The Gift of Roots and Wings) are not tax deductible. You can find that at the link below. Please be sure to click on the 'heart' on the corner of the picture so you will receive updates once they are posted.


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We are working on preparing for an upcoming spaghetti dinner and silent auction as well as finishing up some handmade crafted items we are excited to share more about. 

Please keep checking back and as always, thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Funding Need Update and Current Fundraisers

**Bumping this with updates 7/28/2015**

Our homestudy is DONE!! Woohoo!! 

That means fees are due ASAP. We found out that we have to pay our post placement report fee to our placing agency before our home study will be released. That means we need to reach $2,100 in our PureCharity fund in order to cover that fee, in addition to the amount needed below. We are $758 short of meeting that amount. Donations to our PureCharity fund ARE tax-deductible. 

From the preliminary totals I've added up so far, we should have enough after the auction ends to cover the fees detailed below-which is wonderful! 

Our next fees:
$1700 Home study 
$890 USCIS
$100 Apostille and shipping fees
-$300 PAID
-$500 PAID
$1,890 still needed by end of next week 

Donations need to go to our Paypal as we won't be able to access what is in our PureCharity fund for these. If you want to help, our pp address is: amsutton@va.metrocast.net (please choose friends/family option if possible so fees won't be taken out.) Or you can leave a comment here or email the same address above to get our mailing address. 

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Our current fundraisers:


Please share the link and go take a look!!





(Go to the link to see the progress)



We should have some of our craft items ready in the next couple weeks. 
I'm excited about them and hope they turn out well and will be of interest! 
I will post more about those soon.

Thank you so much!


Virginia PER Radio



Our state radio station agreed to share our book auction info on their event calendar every day from now until it ends on August 4th!

Here is tomorrow's listing:

Please pray it will be seen and people will come check it out and bid!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Story About a Book Addict

Something you might not know about me is that I love books. Makes sense that we would do a book auction, right? They say to do what you know and since I do not have a lot of crafty skills we had to get creative.

Back to the books, though...

I spent every free moment growing up reading-historical fiction being my favorite. During chores, when I was supposed to be sleeping, even during my breaks at work after I finished high school, you would find me reading. I refused to break the spines of books by opening them up all the way. I would hold them open just enough to be able to read the words but tried my best to keep them looking new. I loved the smell of new books, asked for them at every birthday and enjoyed seeing collections all lined up in order together on the shelf. You better believe my siblings liked to bug me by borrowing books and opening them just a bit too much or rearranging my shelves to see if I noticed.

As we began to start our family, I spent a lot of time researching good quality books, character building books and worked on building a library for our children to read one day. I dreamed of having a room just for books that had one of those attached ladders that moved around the shelves to reach the books up high. One series that I loved were the Lamplighter books because they are older stories, packed full of scripture and character lessons and look so nice on the shelves. I read them and looked forward to when our own children would be old enough to read themselves. They all have really enjoy the audio books made by the same publisher using these stories but I hadn't yet felt most of them could be trusted to care for them carefully and to understand the older language in the books to fully enjoy them yet. So the books sat...waiting.

Now that we have been through two adoptions, having to fund-raise the majority of both and selling everything we could find that had value...there is very little left to sell. Then I realized my prized books were still sitting there...and that I needed to use those to help bring our children home.

So I added them to our auction in hopes that someone else would love the stories as much as I have and that it would bring us a little bit closer to reaching our next funding goals. I can always get more books but our children are waiting for us and every day without a family will affect them for the rest of their lives-we need to get them home ASAP!



Please take a look at these great books! Clicking on the picture will take you to the first book on the list and then you can just click on 'next' to move through the rest, or you can go to specific titles below:

House of Love
The Giant Killer
The Lost Ruby
The Bird's Nest
Untamed Thistles
The Grinder's Apprentice
The Battle
The Stranger At Home
The Brave Heart
Venture & Valour
Worth More Than Gold
The Vanished Note
Charlie's Choice
The Little Lamb
The Passage: From Darkness to Light
Tom Watkin's Mistake
Stick to the Raft
The Boy Who Never Lost A Chance
Rosa of Linden Castle
Daring Deeds
The Robber's Cave
The Children of Cloverley
The Boy of Mount Rhigi
The Unexpected Guest
Winter's Folly
Jack the Conqueror
The White Dove
Always in His Keeping
Enoch Roden's Training


Sunday, July 26, 2015

6 Months Home

Esther has been home 6 months!

She's doing so well :)

I missed getting an update written but thought I would share a short video clip instead. 


Friday, July 24, 2015

Usborne in Our Auction

A few of the Usborne items we originally listed in our auction are back ordered and unavailable so the generous donor found some wonderful substitutes and I will share those below.

Bountiful Blessings & Books Auction

Don't forget to 'like' our auction page for updates! I'm trying to spotlight a different auction item every hour as I know it is time consuming to look through all the items in one sitting and we don't want you to miss anything!

(This first set of pictures are the new items and clicking on the pictures will take you to them.)



 




(The items that were removed were the 15-book First Reading Set, the Find a Duck book and the Big Book of Things to Spot book.)

The Usborne books below are still available in our auction (but these pictures aren't clickable) and you can find them here: