Saturday, February 28, 2009


I have decided to challenge you all, yet again. You all recall my tax challenge a while back, right? Well, I still challenge everyone to participate in that. And, of course, I am still taking donations for our garage sale that will be coming up very soon (I haven't forgotten you Laura!). If you don't live close enough for me to get your stuff, feel free to have your own garage sale in Patrick's name and send the proceeds to our sponsorship page (link to the right!).

Now, for my new challenge. For those of you following, you will notice I am not very creative or original in my fundraising. Nevertheless, the need is here. I am asking for everyone to start collecting loose change and small bills in a jar. We started this at the beginning of our adoption process and have already collected close to $100, just in $1, $5 and loose change.

We are so close to our needed amount, and so close to being done with our paper work. But, I need every one's help to bring him home.

Thanks again to all of you for your ongoing prayers and support.


Yesterday I got an e-mail from my state-side representative. This is a big step to me, as she is the person who will assist me in completing my dossier and will see everything and make sure it is accurate before I submit it to Patrick's country. After e-mailing with her, I received an e-mail from my facilitator. I have officially "spoken" with him and he is in Patrick's country, he is the person I will work with side by side once we are in country. This might sound silly to some of you, but this was the most exciting e-mail yet. Do you realize he has met Patrick multiple times!!! He KNOWS him, knows more about him then almost anyone. To me, this means we are moving forward. We are getting closer. I will keep you updated as things start happening.

Here is what is happening now:
We submitted to USCIS this week
We are awaiting the arrival of our passports
Final Home Study is this Tuesday
Working on and almost done with our dossier
Need to raise just $9000 to go get my boy!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


At 8:30 this morning, Memphis received and signed for my 1600A forms. This was so exciting to get out of the way. Every step we complete gets us closer to bringing him home! This coming Tuesday is our final home study. I am actually very excited about this. I'm not nervous like I was for the first one. Weird, because this one being the final one means I have to "get it right", but I have a peace about it. I have finished all my dossier documents that I have control over. I have to add some information to all of the required documents, and will do so as soon as our passports come in. Other than that, it is time for me to "hurry up and wait". Admittedly, this will be the hardest part of the whole process. I am not a good waiter.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The 1600A is a major form in the adoption process. It is the form that gets your immigration approval (at least that's my understanding). I had plans of mailing it today, but thought I better make sure I am doing correctly first. So, I e-mailed wonderful Meredith to make sure I was doing it correctly, and she reminded me to actually sign it, not just have my typed name. I had completely overlooked this, so I'm glad she pointed it out. Bill had already left for work, so I will have him sign it when he gets home. I went ahead and had copies made of everything that needed to accompany the form, got my cashier's check for it as well. It costs $830 to file this form and pay for the federal fingerprints that are required as well. OUCH! While I was at the bank, I had them type up a letter I needed for my home study. I had them notarize it just in case. I am now hoping it doesn't have to be notarized because the banker that wrote/ typed the letter is the same person that signed the letter and notarized the letter. How frustrating! I thought it was wrong to notarize your own signature, but second guessed myself. I should really stop doing that! Oh well, I'm sure I can get that fixed easy enough, right? Now I have EVERYTHING together, in a neat little stack ready to be mailed TOMORROW! All I need is Bill's signature and we are ready for FedEx. Please pray that they respond quickly with fingerprinting dates. My home study will be completely finished in less than 3 weeks, so if I have had my fingerprints done by then, all we are waiting on at that point is for USCIS to mail us there approval. These next 3 weeks are super important! My goal is to complete my dossier papers by then, so that when we receive USCIS approval, we can then submit to Patrick's country. I am getting so excited just thinking about getting each step done!!!

Up until yesterday I was still very nervous about leaving the kids at home while we travel. I knew the boys would be okay, they will be with there dad. I had already talked to him about it and let him know what is going on, so he was on board to keep them the whole time. It was the girls i was worried about. I didn't want them shuffled too much, but everyone in my family works, so that made it hard to find 1 consistent person. I had talked to our 2 babysitters that we use most often, but couldn't really afford to pay them for that length of time either. Well, yesterday, my prayers were answered. Bill's parents volunteered to take care of all 3 girls while we are away!! My family will take turns on the weekends to give them a break, but since they are retired, they will have them during the week. This has lifted such a HUGE weight off my shoulders. I know now that all my kids will be well cared for while we are away. Now I can fully focus on getting Patrick home!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Seeing the pictures of Patrick this week has really been great. It sure does make it hard to wait for our turn to go and get him though. Seeing him play and laugh makes him more real, it gives him personality. I want to hold him in my arms so much!

This morning, we were on our way to church, and Steven said "I wish it was summer already". I asked why. He said, "because when it's summer, you are going to go bring Patrick home from ______ and I will have a new brother. I really can't wait to have a new brother". Me: "I know, buddy, me too!!"

We are all waiting not so patiently for Patrick to join our home. To us he is already a part of our hearts and family.

I want to encourage all of you, again, to dig deep and help us bring our baby home. Our garage sale donations keep rolling in, and I hope this will help raise a lot of money. In the mean time, those of you with tax returns, please think about donating a portion of those through our support page (found by clicking on the button in the ride sidebar) and use it as a deduction next year!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Alison (sorry, no link for this one) adopted her son in December. Guess who was in the same orphanage? Yep, Patrick! So, here are some VERY up to date pictures of my sweet boy. These were just taken this past December! Isn't he adorable?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Progress update

We went this morning and finally applied for our passports. They should be in our hands in less than 3 weeks! Yesterday, our medical forms were completed, correctly! We are so close to being done with this section of paper work. Our HS is Friday morning. Things are really starting to come together!

Monday I had the privilege of having lunch with Amy . She lives very close to us. It is so nice having people near by that I can compare notes with and talk to about what is going on. I look forward to getting together with her again. Hopefully our boys will be lifelong friends when they get home (we happen to also have 3 children all the same age, so everyone gets a playmate!).

The best present EVER!

We have a weekly chat online every week. It is a chat for adoptive parents of Eastern Europe that are using Reeces Rainbow . Last night one of the parents hadn't been on there before. She just returned 4 months ago with her son. When she was there last April, she got to meet my Patrick (Vlad to her). She got to hold him and took lots of pictures of him. She sent them to me last night. I love how chunky he is! I love his sweet little smile. I just had to share this wonderful gift I get. It isn't often that we are privileged enough to get more than one photo of our kids. Some are very old photos that people get, so I am truly blessed to have so many recent photos! Thank you Mandy. i didn't get her blog address to link to, but she knows who she is, and knows what a great gift this was for our family!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thank you

I want to thank my anonymous donor this morning. I was very surprised to open my sponsorship page this morning and see $300 more than yesterday! Someone very special to me met my tax challenge. Thank you so much, and you will be reminded of your generosity next year when you claim this donation, and every time you see Patrick and know you played a part in him coming home. Every single donation is so helpful, every dollar brings us closer. I am so thankful for everyone who has donated so far. So, for everyone out there who has filed your taxes, when you get that return, think of Patrick. If you haven't filed yet, think of him when you do. He deserves a HOME, a FAMILY, a chance at LIFE and LOVE.


Friday, February 13, 2009

My SW made a new Appt.!

My SW e-mailed last night and set up our new time. We will meet with her next Friday in her office and the following week, we will have our second and final meeting at the house! Things are getting done, and I can't wait. Every step we complete gets me more excited and anxious to get Patrick. I can't wait to hold him in my arms and let him feel the love we have for him. Pray our HS goes well, and things after that move quickly and smoothly.

Don't forget about my challenge to you

Thursday, February 12, 2009

This week is looking up

This week started off a little frustrating. Monday, I still hadn't received the TN documents, the notary didn't show up to my doctor's appointment, my SW had to cancel (she had a VERY good reason) my HS. Monday was a very hard day. Well, since then, my documents came, the notary showed up to Bill's appointment this morning, and took care of all the medical forms (I REALLY hope they are done right!), and I will talk to my SW when she gets back on Monday. We got our taxes done, and some other things done. So, now the only paperwork we are lacking for our HS is Bill's verification of employment (no one knows who is supposed to write it, sooooo annoying) and one more letter of reference. The last letter of reference should be given to us on Monday, as we are having a double date with the couple that is writing it.

I started working on my dossier stuff. Don't know if what I'm doing is right, but I want to get things moving, and doing things that I have control over helps me wait. If it's not done right, that's OK, I don't feel like I am wasting my time, because if it is right, we are ahead!

After the tragic news yesterday, I want to get Patrick home faster then ever. Since he is already 5, we are living on borrowed time with him being able to stay at the orphanage instead of the institution. I can't describe to you the way I feel when I think about him being transferred. Please pray that he is able to stay where he is at until we get there. I am trying so hard to get things done as fast as possible.

Which brings me to another positive. Although it is not in the account yet, I know of some more money that is coming in. We have less than $10,000 to go. We are so close! The garage sale is coming along great. I have someone bringing more items today, and then again on Monday. There are 3 other people that I know are actively gathering things for me. Hopefully that will bring in some funds as well.

So, all in all, this week is turning out good. We have gotten a lot done.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Saddened but confirmed

Today, the Reeces Rainbow community learned of 2 little girls who are now in heaven. They died in an institution because of the flu. Because of the lack of money and resources, they didn't have a chance. I am so blessed to have the chance to save Patrick from the same fate as these girls. But please, don't let them have died in vain. Let them raise awareness for the children that are still there. The children that are still battling the flu and still need a mommy and daddy. Let these girls awaken someones heart to bring someone home. There are so many children, in so many countries, even here in America that need families. They all deserve to feel the warmth and love of a family. I pray that one day there will be no child without a home, a REAL home. These girls were loved by so many people that had never even met them. It's amazing how connected so many people get to these angels, just by taking them on in prayer. Join in the efforts, please. Pray for these children, advocate for these children, LOVE these children. Spread the word.

It's here!

ALL the documents came today! All 4 orders were in the same package. The are ALL notarized and apostilled. YAY!!!!

Don't forget about my challenge

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Still Waiting

The rest of my vital records were supposed to be here last Friday. I just got off the phone with Vitalchek to see why I don't have them yet. 3 of the documents have been sitting on someones desk, with a tracking number, since the 4Th, in Nashville, but they haven't bothered to actually give them to UPS. No reason at all, they just haven't bothered. This is NOT Vitalcheck's fault at this point, this is the Vital Records office! The other 4 documents haven't even been processed yet. They were supposed to be processed almost a month ago, but no, not yet. I was told if I didn't have them by this Friday to call back...AGAIN! How frustrating. Obviously calling doesn't do anything, I've now done it 4 times! I hope I don't have to call for a fifth time. I need these documents yesterday. Please pray that I have all of them THIS week.

Don't forget about the challenge

Friday, February 6, 2009

A challenge to my readers

As tax season is upon us, and we are all filing our tax returns and hoping to see money come back to us, instead of paying it out. Here is my challenge. For those of you who will be receiving a return, I challenge you to donate a percentage of it to help with our adoption. Go to and make a donation there. You can then use that money as a tax-deduction next year. See how nice that is!! You get to help us bring Patrick home, and you benefit as well. Isn't tax season great!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good Timing

After a aggravating afternoon, I received this e-mail. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. It simply says:

'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.' When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. Concentrate on this sentence... 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.' Something good will happen to you today; something that you have been waiting to hear.

Something MAJOR was taken from my grasp today, and it has had me very upset, somehow these words comforted me. I know God is in control, and he can handle ANYTHING!
As the kids are taking there nap, I sit down to pay some bills. While doing this, I logged into my bank account to find some unexpected charges, and a much lower balance than I was expecting to see. Apparently, and I have since verified this, while I was on the phone Monday making the vital record order correct, they charged for some of the changes. I knew about these charges. What they failed to tell me was that they were creating completely new orders. What does this mean? It means that they have double charged me for everything, and it will take 5- 10 days for the original order to come off my account. Meanwhile, my balance is now low, and bills will be late. AHHHHH. Why couldn't they have told me this on Monday. I would have figured something else out, or waited to "fix" the order. The guy I talked to today said there was nothing he could do to fix it, even though he was looking at the transcript from the conversation and I was never told the truth about the money. Typically this wouldn't be a big deal, but all in all, it totalled over $400 coming out that we hadn't figured. To be honest, it wasn't there. How frustrating.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Next week will be busy!

Now that I know when the TN documents will be in, I felt comfortable talking to my social worker about getting the meetings lined up. There will be 2; 1 in her office and 1 in my home. I told her what documents I was still waiting on, but she felt comfortable getting things moving as well! So, here is next week's schedule...Monday, I will have my physical and the notary is meeting me there. Tuesday, we are filing taxes (nothing to do with Patrick, but it's part of the week!). Wednesday is our first meeting with the social worker! Thursday is Bill's physical. My youngest son's birthday is also on Tuesday, as well as my oldest nephew's. Going backwards; Sunday, Jordan has a faith class at church that I have to go to with him. Friday we actually have nothing, and Saturday brings soccer! I can't wait until next week is here. We will be getting a lot accomplished for Patrick next week, which brings us closer to bringing him home!

On that note, I want to post something that was written by one of the dads that is adopting through Reeces Rainbow. It was sent out in an e-mail to our "group" and I have permission to share it. I don't know if anyone could say how I think we all feel any better than this. When Chris wrote this, him and his wife were 10 days away from going to pick up there child. So, in the words of Chris:

I wonder...
when it was 10 days before I met God and He adopted me, was HE this excited?

I wonder if His stomach did flips and He got tears in His eyes when He thought about holding me for the first time.

I wonder if His heart ached when He thought about my life without Him as my Daddy.

I wonder if it grieved Him to know that I was living as an orphan and had no hope of a future without Him.

I wonder if He was as okay with paying my ransom as I am with paying our boys'.

I wonder if, for Him, there was no cost too high, no sacrifice too great.

I wonder...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Progress, I hope

I was getting a little concerned that I had missed something in the ordering process of our TN documents. I called the TN dept. of Vital Records this morning, they gave me the number to call Vital Check directly! I got to talk to a real live person, found out that they were needing one more piece of info on all 5 documents, and then they could be ordered. Why didn't anyone call and ask? I will never know, but I am now told all documents will be in my hand by Friday! I am so excited to have this out of the way.

A give away in the near future!

Lu did an "interview" on her blog not to long ago. She is a strong advocate for RR. One of the questions she asked me was about my background on Patrick's blog. She's the one that designed my blog, but wanted to bring awareness as to why that background was chosen. I wanted to give my readers a chance to know why as well. Here is an outtake from her bloggy interview:

One more question... the blog design and button have a very Asian feel to them. I know about the canvas' your niece made but I'd love for you to tell the story here!

For Christmas, my husband and I wanted to give our oldest son a really special room just for him. He is half Laotian, and loves hearing about his ancestry. He is drawn to all things Asian in style. After talking about it, we decided we would go with an Asian themed room for him and we picked out our color palette and asked my nephew to make a platform bed. He was thrilled to do it for us, and my niece wanted to help out as well. We talked about it, and decided she would do the artwork for the room. After thinking of which words would be most inspirational to him, I looked online to find the Chinese script for the words. She was able to duplicate them beautifully onto canvases for his room. I liked the idea of using this background for Patrick. I know Patrick is European, not Asian, but it is a way for everyone to see the diversity in our already blended family, and a way to recognize every one's heritage. As Patrick gets older, we will also celebrate his European heritage as well. But, for now, his big brother wants to be a part of his life, so we are using his room art for Patrick's background.

So, for those of you who like the canvas art that my niece did, stay tuned. She has offered her talents to Patrick's fundraiser. In the near future, she will do a painting, and it will be given at random to one of Patrick's donors. Stay tuned for more info on this!!!