Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thank You

I am so excited and humbled that there are people who have started helping us reach our fundraising goals. Thank you so much! We have raised $175 from people helping us chip away at that surprise adoption! We had to send off another I800A supplement 3 today to get a new...NEW I800A approval..haha. Our officer at the National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit, MO is really getting to know my family well! Our last I800A update only took about 3 weeks and that was during the Christmas Holiday, so maybe we can get this bad boy done by the time the Chinese New Year Holiday is over. CNY starts this friday and everything will be closed for 2 entire weeks. I think in the adoption world families are mostly cringing over this 2 weeks of additional waiting on everything....It is almost like a safety 2 weeks for us to keep trying to get together our funds! After this 2 week period is over, we will likely have our I800A approval update back and everything is going to kick into crazy fast whirlwind mode. We are ready....and completely NOT ready at the same time. Mostly I think we are ready...there are lots of logistical things that are probably not ready...bedrooms needs to be changed around, stuff like that. I think that our lives are going to take a wallop on this one...our lives are going to change a lot when we bring home the boys. We live at a crazy pace...homeschool, scouts, work....we are about to really slow down and spend time with each other and learn quickly how to refocus our lives on home. I am looking forward to it and I know I need to make that change before the boys come home so it isn't so much of a change! I also need to start sleeping a little better and a little more...so off to bed with me! Thanks again to everyone who has share with us some of their hard earned money to help get my boys home. I am really honored and grateful!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unplanned Adoptions?

My family does a lot of planning. We have to...with 7 kids everything takes a lot of planning. My husband is an eagle scout, an engineer, he has personalized 11x17 graph paper...it's personalized people...his name is printed on the pads of graph paper. Planning is an integral part of our lives. But it happened. We find ourselves in the whirlwind of an unplanned adoption! Yes we started the process...we planned on adopting. We found Ulysses and were cruising along with everthing completely under control...we were looking at a smooth little process with some grant money from Love Without Boundaries (who totally rock), we had 6 months or so to save up the rest that we needed. No stress, no problems. Then BAM...Crash...we found Holden who is aging out in June. This entire process has surprised me...from the moment my heart told me Ulysses worst case scenario was no big deal up until the moment Keith agreed with me to jump all in and get Holden home. Our agency submitted out LOI on Thursday evening and we had or PA in less than 24 hours people...less than 24 hours! I know that the wait to get kids home is terrible and long and I have been there. Today, I am faced with the reality of the opposite. I am scared that this whirlwind of getting Holden home before he ages out is going to happen too fast for us to save enough money to pay for it. I am truly not the fundraising type. I don't feel like I deserve anyone's help...I don't feel like there is anything I have done to be worthy of anyone's donations. As parents, we will do anything for out kids...and as adoptive parents know...we will do almost anything to get them home. If you feel led at all to donate to our crazy whirlwind, unplanned adoption...we have started a fundraising page here Please pray for our family and a quick and completely uneventful process! Thanks!

Friday, January 24, 2014

PA's in hand (so to speak)

Yes we have 2 pre approvals from China. Last week we saw a post on a young man who is aging out in June and when I read his advocacy post, I saw a child who loves and is seeking out love. I saw a little boy who was only had 6 months to find a family to give his love to and to shower him with love. When Lily was around 4 she said she wanted a million brothers and sisters because that meant there would be more people for her to love and to love her. I saw that same spirit in Holden's post. So boom....meet our soon to be sons...Ulysses and Han (as in han solo...we are such star wars geeks). Of course, adopting 2 instead of 1 has been a little off our plan! We will need to travel in about 4 months and we are significantly short on funds....I believe that we are moving right inside of God's will and I am sure that both of these little boys are our sons. Both of our boys have grants cooking and we would feel so blessed if anyone would be moved to help us out....even just a little bit...everything will help! Han is listed as Holden at Reeses Rainbow here Ulysses is listed as John at Love Without Boundaries here you might have to specify John from Fuyang because there are 2 johns on that site! We are so excited...now that we have our PA's for both boys...our dossier can head to China. I am not sure it made it today but next week for sure!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Moving right along...

We officially have our amended !800A approval and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our dosser from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC in order to send it off. I am kind of skeptical that we will get it logged in before Chinese New Year...oh well! I am teaching a class for my homeschool coop in 2 weeks on Chinese New Year...I downloaded some worksheets from Panda Express...haha. I can probably find a better resource. I will have to look around a little bit! Our care package should have made it to Ulysses this week. I was kind of hoping to get a couple of pictures of him receiving it. I guess I am pretty spoiled from my previous adoptions where we had lots of people visiting or bringing the care packages. I am still holding out hope that we might get a picture or two. It would have been fun to examine his expression at seeing the items and getting the photo album and dream about what he was thinking.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Homeschooling help...

I love homeschooling my kids. We knew going into this that Alex and Zoe were going to be difficult. They both have great attitudes and work ethics...but I feel like they are having a hard time learning anything. Especially Zoe. She has come a really long way...seriously. We started off the year with her completely paralyzed by writing anything. Now she will write her name and pretty much anything. We are having a really hard time with her being able to put letters together into words. Ben and Zeb are almost at the end of their explode the code's and she is on page 16. She is so excited for school and really wants to work on schoolwork..but her brain just isn't ready to learn new things maybe....maybe it is a trauma thing...or an I-almost-starved-to death-when-I-was-a-baby thing..or if she just isnt' ready for school. I have been thinking about trying to get some sort of evaluation...maybe find an education consultant who specializes in special needs for an eval. I have not idea where to find this person....any ideas out there? Alex is rocking her work at the 4th grade level. I had her in 5/6th with Lily and was teaching them together. I was just amazed at how well she was doing...I was maybe a little too eager to believe that she was doing so well. Turns out she was copying everything off of lily and not doing any of her own work. The big kids are mostly self-directed and Lily covered for her for like 4 months. SO now, I have split them up and am looking for some online adaptive programs for Alex. I put ALex in 4th grad time4learning and she is puttering along near the 80% mark on all of her things. I have a subscription to study ladder from going to the Great Homeschool COnvention last year...so I tried that for her today...she seemed to like it...also 4th grade. She had done dreambox in the past and I will probably start that up for her again for math. She likes to read and has pretty good comprehension so I am not too worried about her...she is just a couple of years behind. Her synthesis skills are somewhat lagging. I don't know if a different kind of approach would help her more. Mostly I am worried about Zoe..I feel like I am treading water with her. ALthough since starting this post, I actually do feel better about her because I had forgotten how completely paralyzed she was by schoolwork less than a year ago...at least now she doesn't literally freeze up and cry when I ask her to write her name! Suggestions, words of wisdom, anyone?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A care package for Ulysses.

We sent a care package to Ulysses on 12/31. It flew over with someone and according to that person...it was going to be there in a few days. I am so excited for him to find out that he has a family coming for him, rooting for him, and loving him from afar. OK...what we sent... 1. 13 inch stuffed panda 2.A set of colorful bouncy balls 3.A lego little creator set 4. A 12 pack of little pull back racer cars 5. 2 coloring books and color crayons 6. a notebook and a set of pencils with erasers and a sharpener 7. a disposable camera 8. 2 cute long sleeve shirts in size 8 9. Of course, a photo album with pictures of all of us, our house and play areas outside The person who took the package to China, said he would get it in a couple of days and that was on 12/31. So, I wonder if he has gotten it yet? I was kind of hoping for some pictures of him getting the package. If I get some new pictures, I will post some. I really want to do that "we are waiting to travel adoptive mom thing" where I put his picture as my facebook profile picture...but I don't have a picture to do that with yet....darnit. Ulysses has been with the advocacy group we found him through for years...so after he comes home, we are going to have access to a ton of pictures and information. Then I will have pictures...but none I can post for now. I am getting super excited. Our dossier is in Washington DC now with Assistant Stork being walked through the State Dept and the Ch*na embassy. I don't have any idea for sure when it will be heading back our way...but I know the State Dept has already cashed their check so I am hoping the Embassy next week and back to us the week of the 13th. It would be super awesome to get our Dossier to Country before the Chinese New Year....or logged in? that would be awesome. It is only supposed to take 10-14 weeks after LID until we would likely travel.

Karyn Purvis Insights and Gifts - sharing power