Friday, September 30, 2011

Corn maze anyone?

Alright, friends, family, strangers, anyone that possibly knows someone that lives in Utah, we need help rallying some troops! 
On Wednesday night, I stayed up late trying to do math and plan out a fun little game for a fundraiser booth that we were going to be able to do at a local corn maze.  On Thursday morning, I read an email that very quickly made us change our plans!  See, it'd been a few weeks since our paperwork had been submitted to the government.  As time passed, we got little to no information on our progress, which though expected, was still discouraging.  So when we opened up an email that morning that said we'd need to be halfway across the world in TWELVE days, the fundraiser (along with many other) plans changed.
Nevertheless, this amazing local company has again extended their help!
As a very quick, last minute fundraiser, Black Island Farms Corn Maze and Nightmare Acres is hosting a fundraiser effort for us this Saturday, October 1st! $1 from every ticket sold will go to helping us bring Lily's big sister home from Eastern Europe and keep her out of an institution! 
Visit for more information!
Black Island Farms is a great place for any age group, with a petting zoo, slides, playgrounds, paintball, corn cannon, corn slingshot, kiddie maze, the biggest maze in the state of utah, great food, pumpkin rides, and one of the best haunted houses/haunted corn maze in the state!  It really is such a fun place and we are thrilled to make multiple trips up there each year.  What can I say? I am a sucker for miniature donkeys and baby pigs races! :)
Please, please, please help us spread the word!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A week's notice and off we will go!

We got our coveted appointment with Melissa's government today...and it's in 12 days!  Yep--1-2! Twelve!  A week and a half!! 

We will be leaving the country in about a week!  We are beyond thrilled right now!  Not to mention scrambling to prepare ourselves and Lily and the house and our baggage and our babysitter(s).  Hopefully I will have a much more eloquent post later once I am more put together and not all crazy on adrenaline and coffee. :)

Off to make more lists...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Adventures in packing

So while we wait for news from Melissa's country on whether or not they've approved our paperwork and how soon they would love for us to hop on a plane and come get her, we just sit and patiently wait....Oh, how I make myself laugh sometimes!  Quite the opposite, we've been spending most of our spare time deep cleaning (probably going to be a while before we can get to that again), making lists and searching for secret bra pockets.

Yep, you read that last part right--Bra Pockets.  Secret ones no less.  I think it was scrolling through pages of secret stash ideas to hide your money and was onto the bra section that I just had to pause and laugh at some of the things we've come across and actually sought out as we get ready to travel.

There are many, many things for us to consider preparing for right now.  Not only are we leaving our 3 year old daughter in the States, we are packing for a 3+ week trip to a foreign country we've never been to, but also bringing home a daughter that we have practically no information about!  The result has been lists.  Lots and lots of lists.  And yes, I can practically hear my mother chuckling at reading that part.  Me and my lists for everything. 

I've got one for my carry on, a separate one for Robert's carry on, another for Lily's activities while we are gone, another for in-flight survival--both there and back, and one for Melissa's flight.  Once I actually get to purchasing and putting things into bags I should be set.

Speaking of putting things into bags, we came across a lot of people that said how amazing the zippered Big Bags are...apparently I am not that coordinated!  That was another one of the adventures that inspired this post.  Me wrestling a giant storage bag with a blanket in it just to see how much I could get into it.  Then me wrestling it just to get it sealed.  Then me wrestling it to see if once 'closed' I could stop it from letting all the air back into the bag.  I've mastered the small ones.  Don't think I am completely inept because I can squeeze a pair of socks down to nothing, but I don't think I'll be getting along with the big ones.

On that note, I just remembered to go add more small sized bags to a couple of my lists!  Back to it!  Hopefully next time I write, it will be about our paperwork receiving a thumbs up or, even better, a date to mark on your calendars!

And yes, I plan on buying a Bra Pocket.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I know I have been a big quiet on the blog lately.  I really do have a lot to say, believe me, but time is quickly moving in faster increments than it used to!  And sometimes, other people can just say it perfectly for you!  
One of our dear friends wrote a blog entry the other day that really struck a note with us.  As we are working so hard and so fast to expand our family through adoption, we sometime land on how significant that word is--Family.  Here is her post from Asking with Faith
I am so thankful for my family.  
Not because they are funny (which they are) or they are cute (which they are) or even because they love me (which they do...most of the time).  I am thankful for them because I have them.  I really cannot comprehend how I have a family and 163 million children do not.  163 million.  That is more then the population of Canada people.  Why me?  Why not them?
Why not Alex?
{not to be confused with "my" Alex on the right of this blog}
He is 7 years old and  "would love to have a family of his own."
"Alex is extremely curious, and wants to know about everything. He loved our camera, and while all the other kids wanted their pictures taken, he wanted to figure out how every button worked. He is one of the older kids at the orphanage, and he has seen so many other kids come and go.  He needs a family so badly."
Why not Sadler?
He is 6 years old and he "very much wants a family of his own."
 " Sadler is a typically developing child.  He is smart, healthy, active, and friendly."

Why not Yelena? 
She is 7 years old and "So badly wants a family of her own."

"What a beautiful, glowing smile Yelena has!  Beautiful blonde hair (all hidden under her kerchief)."

These children are just that, children.  And there one wish?  A family.  How can I not be thankful when I have the one thing so many children and teens pray for?

So that is my light bulb moment of the week.  Be thankful for your family.  
Just because they are your family.  163 million children would love to have one.

And because they are cute and funny and I love them, here is a picture of my family.  
Oddly, this is only half of us.
Alex, Sadler and Yelena are all waiting for families.  Do you have room in your family for one of them?  They aren't picky and you don't have to be perfect!!
*Thanks for letting us 'borrow' your post, Joanna!  I am glad I have my family and I am so incredibly, overwhelmingly lucky and excited to be able to give something so precious to an adorable little girl across the world who needs just that--a family.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Acting pregnant. and a Day Spa promotion in Melissa's honor!

Okay, so I'll admit it.  I pulled a pregnancy move the other day.  I held out on all of you for a bit. In a very pregnant move, we got big news and I felt like we had to personally deliver it to a few people before we posted it in the blogosphere for everyone to see! 

So here it is--on Thursday, our dossier got submitted to the State Department of Adoptions!!!
This is a huge milestone in our process!  It means that their government officially has all of our documents in their hands!  Now we wait for the dossier to be approved, which usually takes about 2 weeks.  After that, we wait for our SDA appointment--in her country!!  It usually takes about 2-3 weeks after approval to get the appointment.  That's right, after some quick math on my fingers and frantic page flipping of the calendar that means we are leaving to go get our little girl in 4-5 weeks!!!

The process happened way faster than we expected!  After all, our dossier had only arrived a week ago.  In fact, we were actually writing our stateside helper to see if she'd found out any additional info on Melissa like her name (still no, by the way).  I was tempted to copy and paste the whole email exchange to illustrate what a blubbering fool I was and how excited we are to have this news!

Along with the excitement came a touch of panic.  We were expecting to have an extra 2-3 weeks while the dossier was translated and put in order before it was submitted.  We have a lot to do to get ready for her! 
We are in the process of assembling the room.  We still need to completely guess what size of clothing she'll be in so we can pack for her.  We need to pack us.  We need to get everything arranged for Lily.  

Another great thing that happened on the same day that our dossier was submitted was we found out that a local Day Spa has agreed to do a promotion in Melissa's honor!!  The Shirodhara Day Spa is selling $75 gift certificates right now for just $50!  AND they will donate $5 for every certificate purchased!  This news came with perfect timing as we are now in the home stretch of raising funds before we head over.  So, that being said, if anyone in the Salt Lake City area can spread the word to anyone and everyone about that promotion, it would help us SO much!  Besides, Christmas is just around the corner!! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


We've been thinking a bit lately about some of the pieces to our puzzle and some of the amazing people we've been blessed by in our lives that have intentionally and unknowingly moved us to action.  Sometimes the inspiration comes as tears, sometimes as an upset elevated heart rate, sometimes as a simple 'hello' on Facebook.  Whatever the action, we've found that a few people have inspired a big reaction from us.
We just wanted to share a couple of the blogs and websites that have prompted us to not sit idly by, but to have the courage to move forward and start changing some things in us and around us.

The first is the Cox Family.  We were introduced to their blog through a longtime friend of mine just as they were getting ready to go get their sweet little girl, Mia, from Ukraine.  This is how we first found out about Reece's Rainbow.  They wrote very openly about what they saw, both good and bad, and are just so genuine in their love and determination to bring their sweet little girl home. 

Next is the organization that is helping us make this happen!  What an incredible group of people giving a voice to the voiceless!  Started by and run by parents who work tirelessly to help unite orphans with loving families.

One of our favorites has always been Joanna's blog.  A teenager with a huge heart.  I don't know how else to say it!  This gal has an incredible passion for helping orphans around the world.  She was also Melissa's prayer warrior before we found her.

Robert's heart in particular has been clutched by Joe and Susanna and their family.  We've both been extremely moved in following their journey of adopting Katie, all the while celebrating their large family at home and advocating for many other children that need families. 

And last, but definitely not least.  If you have small children in the household, whether special needs or not, you may be familiar with Signing Time or Baby Signs!  What you may not be familiar with is the back story of the Rachel Coleman, the co-creator and actress at the forefront of the Signing Time shows and products.  An amazing woman determined and driven to give her daughters the best opportunities in life whether that meant changing herself or changing the world around them!  Definitely worth reading, particularly the category called 'Strong Enough'.

These links will remain in a box on the left side of this blog.  I don't know if these blogs will impact others the way they did us, but we never know if we are piece in someone else's puzzle or even just connecting people with a message they need to hear.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our labors of love this Labor Day Weekend!

I'm pretty sure that within an hour of that dossier being received, we were springing into nesting mode!  We have hit the ground running in preparing for Melissa.
First order of business was scratching the itch that Robert has had for months--getting the room ready!  Our first step was to paint. 
I am terrible at remembering to take before pictures, but picture if you will white walls and one gold textured wall.  And now this...

It's not a great picture and I'll ask you again to use a bit of imagination with me.  The color picked up a bit off when being taken from an iPod at 11:00 at night, but the closest comparison of color that I've been able to come up with for the walls is a sticky note!  It's a very pale yellow.
Robert loves it, I love it, but best of all, Lily LOVES it!  For over an hour, she ran in and out of the room saying "It's yellow now!" and "New room!  I love it!".  She was pretty thrilled with the whole transformation.

Painting was fun, but now I get to move onto the part I like even more--accessories!  Time to pick out wall decor, curtains, and all that fun stuff that turns it from a room to her room!  When Lily was born, I went all out with painting picture frames to match her bright walls--15 frames in all.  This time around, I have got a thing for birds and trees and owls, with bedding that has all of those on it so we'll see where it takes me! :)

As for updates on the adoption progress, not much is new to update.  We are impatiently just waiting to learn anything new about our little daughter hopefully any day now!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Okay, I realized after I typed it that the title may be a bit misleading, especially this time of year. But for anyone that was lured here with the false hope that there would be football talk on here--welcome anyways! :)

Just had to do a quick post with a big announcement! Our dossier has touched down in the capital city of Melissa's country! Let the hourglasses flip, the calendars turn, and the timers begin--now we start the real waiting game! Here's our updated 'now what': gather documents we need for travel and wait for our travel date! Don't be tricked again, it's not the only thing we are doing. We have a pretty short amount of time to do any last push for fundraising, we are in the clear to start prepping our home, and then there is all the packing, unpacking, repacking, etc. to do. We were running the marathon before, but all of a sudden, we're sprinting for the home stretch!!!

Please continue to cheer us on along the way--it means so much to us! Also, we have a lot of money to raise still, so if you don't mind helping us spread the word about our story, we are hoping for some more generosity from the kindness of strangers, friends, family and the like to help push us along.