Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last day for the breakfast prize package!

Last day to enter the Breakfast prize package--mmmm home roasted coffee! Like our Facebook adoption page, and don't forget to Share It! Also, click 'Follow' on our Blog, and/or re-post it to your own blog too!

We will use to draw a name in the morning!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Please take a minute to vote for Reece's Rainbow in the 3rd Annual Classy Awards! The prize is $15,000 and these people know how to use it well!

Reece's Rainbow raised more than $1.5 million dollars in waiting child, FSP, and other fund donations in 2010. That is nearly QUADRUPLE what they raised in 2009. They disbursed more than $750,000 in adoption grants for children with Down syndrome and other special needs in 2010 alone--TRIPLE what They disbursed in 2009!

In the first half of 2011, they have *already* disbursed more than $750,000!! All of that has come to fruition in the adoption of over 500 children in just 5 years!

Please read director Andrea Roberts' open letter regarding the Classy Awards below:

The Classy Awards are the country's most prominent recognition of philanthropic/charitable organizations each year. Reece's Rainbow has made the Top 25 Finalist list for Most Innovative Use of Social Media, and we need your vote to WIN!

We are very excited to be nominated for this award in particular, because it is our use of social media formats that has totally transformed this ministry in the last 2 years. The power of our newly designed website, family blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and now our iPhone and Android phone apps have truly catapulted RR into a position of even greater life-saving influence. We harness social media in a focused effort to save money on overhead so we are able to maximize all donations for the benefit of the children and our committed families.

The official description of this category is: "Awarded to the charity whose submission demonstrates the most forward-thinking, creative, and effective use of social media to spread the organization’s message or to build financial or personal support. The nonprofit that wins this Classy Award will be one that embraces new social media technology and seeks to build upon that technology in order to further its organizational goals." 500 children in 5 years is nothing to sneeze at, folks! MAKE THIS COUNT!

YOUR VOTES will give RR the opportunity not only to WIN and raise media visibility, but to give a more detailed speech/presentation at the Awards Ceremony in San Diego in September. People Magazine was BIG, but the Classy Awards are even more valuable to the future of this ministry!

This will be HUGE media exposure for RR, right ahead of the Buddy Walks and our Christmas Angel Tree, so we really need your help please! And if we WIN, it will mean a $15,000 prize for our Voice of Hope fund!

*** It only takes one minute of your time to click on this link, scroll down to "Innovative Use of Social Media", vote for Reece's Rainbow, scroll back up and hit submit my ballot. That's it! Unlike other contests, YOU ONLY GET ONE VOTE so MAKE YOURS COUNT for our waiting children! ***

Please share this with all of your friends, family, Facebook, blog, everywhere! Post it at the TOP of your blogs with our new Classy blog button! (AVAILABLE LATER TODAY) Trend Reece's Rainbow on Twitter with #CLASSYAwards This is some of our steepest competition yet, and we are honored to be included among all of these amazing "servants hearts"!

Again, the link to vote is

THANK YOU and HAPPY VOTING! Don't put it off, just do it now and pass it along! The children thank you!

Andrea Roberts, Executive Director
Reece’s Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wake Up Our Fundraiser prize!

Hi Everyone,

Since I was listing off all our fundraisers and details at once, I realized I was a big hazy on the prize for our first giveaway! So here it is:

The prize package includes a Red Velvet Pancake mix, mini whisk, heart-shaped egg and pancake molds, some freshly home-roasted coffee, and a double-walled acrylic tumbler--perfect for iced coffee on these hot summer days!

Entry is easy for this drawing and there are a lot of ways to get your name entered. You will get one entry for every: Facebook ‘like’ on our page at; everyone that becomes a Follower on our blog at; every re-post on a blog (comment on our blog with a link) and every ‘share’ on your Facebook wall. If we are not already Friends on Facebook, add me (Carli Saracino Call) we love to get to know our supporters!! The giveaway will run through the end of July and we will select the winner using

Friday, July 22, 2011

My birthday was ahead of schedule!

So tomorrow is my actual birthday, but I think I got a pretty good present a couple days early! On Wednesday afternoon we got a big chunk of paperwork back in the mail from being apostilled, our 3 official, notarized copies of the final version of the homestudy and the 2 boxes of free business cards that we'd ordered to help spread the word about our adoption and about Reece's Rainbow! It was like Christmas in a mailbox...or in this case, a birthday in a mailbox!
After a few scans on my new fax-scan-copy-printer (that was was also a birthday present), we were able to mail off our I600a to the USCIS to begin our immigration approval and our CSPs to Melissa's country, which has to proceed our dossier paperwork. I cannot explain the excitement of getting these documents out! Even though we'd already had the papers in motion, it feels absolutely fantastic to get them headed to their final destination! We have things in motion both here and in her country!! I can hardly contain myself!
I also got a nice big print of this little sweetheart to hang on our wall across from the wall with Lily's big picture on it.

I don't remember the last time a birthday gave me four days of celebration, but I am loving this one!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time to Wake Up our fund raising!

We have gotten our act together and have our first couple of fund raiser details put together. The first is our freshly home roasted coffee! We’ve developed a love/addiction for raw coffee beans roasted in our home into some of the best tasting, most delicious smelling liquid gold! This stuff is good! We have set up a ChipIn page and will be taking orders at . Click on the 'Our Coffee Fundraiser' page to the left for some photos of the beans in process from green to golden (okay, they are dark brown but the taste is GOLDEN!) and more details. It will stay as a Page listed on the left side of the blog so as not to get lost in the shuffle of the other posts.
The second fund raiser in the works is more of an event. We will be having a Bringing Melissa Home Barbecue on August 13th from 5:00pm to 9:00pm. We will be selling some of Robert’s infamous pulled pork sandwiches, have farm fresh corn, barbecue sauce and rub made from scratch, as well as other delicious goodies to fill your bellies as you fill our hearts! There will be some drawings and we have some great prizes to win! There were also some requests for another bake sale so I will be making a few baked treats, but if anyone wants something particular, email me at and I can have it for you at the bake sale. The address is 11836 S Hidden Valley Rd, Sandy, UT. *I tried to link the mapquest page, but it's not wanting to cooperate! Sorry!*
So back to the Wake Up part—we need help spreading the word! As an added incentive for sharing our blog and Facebook page, we’d like to hold a drawing for a Wake Up breakfast gift package. The package will include some of the home roasted coffee we love so much and some breakfast delights. Entry is easy for this drawing and there are a lot of ways to get your name entered. You will get one entry for every: Facebook ‘like’ on our page at; everyone that becomes a Follower on our blog at; every re-post on a blog (comment on our blog with a link) and every ‘share’ on your Facebook wall. If we are not already Friends on Facebook, add me (!/ we love to get to know our supporters!! The giveaway will run through the end of July and we will select the winner using

Thanks to all who have already contributed, our loving friends and family that continue to stand by our side, and our new extended family that we have yet to meet!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Our new ChipIn...kind of!

 So, we have set up a ChipIn page to receive donations and possibly run our future fund raiser efforts.  Since it won't add it's little button to the sidebar right now, here is a quick link to the page.
ChipIn Page

I'm extremely not tech savvy, so wish us luck getting that little button over to it's place where it should be! :)  Hopefully we can figure it out tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our notary, our friend

I feel like the notary at our bank just may come to be our best friend before this adoption process is finished.  I am very excited and proud to say that in the last three days--with visits on two of the three days--we got not one but TEN documents notarized and ready to take to the capitol to be apostilled!!  Yes, I am counting multiple copies of the same document to make myself feel good, but since they all have to get that stamp and that signature, I figure they count!  We still have many more ahead of us, but it just feels so darn good to be checking a few things off the to-do list! 

We will be getting nine more things notarized tomorrow, then all documents will be apostilled by the state and then we can send our first set of documents to Melissa's country!  It all sounds so surreal.

In the meantime, we also got our rough draft back on our home study and have a few minor changes to make; mostly where we need to just be more specific.  After we make those changes, we can submit our forms to the USCIS and get going on our I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition.  This is pretty much our form to the government, asking them to let us skip US soil to adopt an eligible child from a foreign country.  Once that is complete, we get to find out miss Melissa's elusive city of current residence!  I can't even hardly talk about that without getting over-excited, so we'll leave it at that for the night. =)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Slava Bogu!

What a great couple of days we've had!!  My heart is just dancing!!  In chronological order, here goes:
On Thursday, we got to have our second home study meeting with our fantastic social worker.  It was a really good meeting and she has every confidence in us and our adoption of a special needs child like Melissa.  Our social worker is just a fantastic lady and mother to 11 special needs children herself, so a vote of approval from someone that has been there and done that is nice to hear.  She is finishing up the home study, collecting the needed license copies, etc. and we should be able to wrap up the actual document soon!  She also provided us with some contact information for other families who have completed their home studies through her and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a name and email that I was familiar with through the Reece's Rainbow community!  We are excited to introduce ourselves to other families that have traveled similar journeys.
Then on Friday we got some really big, really wonderful news!!  Melissa's current country has decided to go forward with processing the international adoptions that still qualify under their new laws.  From what we understand, we should get to forgo the 3-month waiting time!!!!  
The timing of both just about had us on cloud nine!  We no longer have to just spin the wheels and watch them not really move.  Now that we have the homestudy pretty well complete, we are getting the USCIS in motion and getting some power of attorney and a letter of intention over to the country.  We will be doing some additional online training to meet Hague requirements.  (A combined 40 hours of adoption training in 7 months isn't bad!)
We also have to get the ball rolling on the fundraisers.  It sounds like they may be trying to move the processes along quickly going forward.  I still just have a cluster of ideas that need to be formed into organized events/sales some how, so news will come of that once I get my act together! 
It feels SO fantastic to go from stalemate to actual progress.  We can't wait to hit the ground running--once our feet hit the ground, that is! :)

P.S. My husband so kindly unlocked the ability to add comments to the section for Memos to Melissa.  We had a good laugh at the page that I added solely for the purpose of people being able to write notes to our beautiful daughter and then I never noticed that people couldn't write anything on it...Sorry, folks, I am new to this blog thing!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today is a big day!

Hi Everyone,

I know this might be a somewhat dry post for most of you, but today is the day of what I believe will be our last homestudy meeting!!  Only 16 hours to go!  I am excited, but of course, (because I am a worrier) there is always that tinge of anxiety.   Our social worker loved us the first time and was pleased with our time together, but I am the kind that always bounces the 'what-if's around in my crazy little mind!
Please pray for us, wish us luck, send us happy thoughts/texts/emails, anything you don't mind managing for us! :)  I don't know why but I just have this scared little pit in my stomach that needs some support right now! 


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Anxious for some action!

Since our adoption process for Melissa kind of got stuck in neutral for a little while, it feels like we're still pushing the peddles, the wheels just can't move as fast.  Call it our molehill battle, since we are still pretty well at the bottom of the big hill. 
However, we are thrilled to have our mandatory second meeting with our social worker on Thursday afternoon!   Once we meet with her, our homestudy can be updated and completed to meet the requirements of Melissa's current country!  This is usually a fairly expensive and lengthy part of the adoption process, so it's going to be very nice to have it done.  Plus our first meeting with the social worker went great and was actually pretty fun to look at ourselves and our experiences in a sort of third person fashion.
It will also bring us closer to a very exciting piece of our little puzzle.  It's RR's policy for the protection of the child's privacy to withhold the exact location of the orphanage until the homestudy is completed and we attain USCIS approval.  It will be so exciting to know what part of the country she is in right now and where we will be traveling to!  Hopefully after that we can connect to some other families that have been to the particular orphanage she is in, though there hasn't been much mention of her's amongst the forum chatter and other blogs.  I am excited to get any kind of glimpse into her that I can get!!
We are also not sitting idle on the fundraising efforts either.  I am working on getting some prizes and events coordinated as well as the possibility of selling some items online.  I'm trying to navigate that whole arena without getting overwhelmed and having things cemented a bit before I make any announcements of plans.