Monday, June 27, 2011

First Parents' Night Out


Our first adoption fundraiser event was a success! 

We had 13 precious children in our care -- lots of them very young.  The ages were as follows: 13 mos., 14 mos., 15 mos., 19 mos., 21 mos., 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 6, 7, & 8. 

The kids had a blast together, and everyone was happy, well fed, and in their pjs when their parents came back for them. 

Anna-Lise and Andy and I had fun, too.  And we slept very good that night. :)

We were blessed with $230 to add to our adoption fund that night.  Amazing!

If you're thinking of doing a similar event, and want some ideas, here is how we approached it....

When parents arrived, we asked them to fill in a large sign-in sheet on the wall.  This made for easy reference for caregivers.

Here are a few of the notes. (Insightful parents, no? ;)
'official animal guy'
'director of play :)'
'likes to escape'
'drama!!! :)'
'all boy...can be rough, but sweet, too'
'very LOUD!!!'
'sweet 'n sassy'
'a biter :('

We had a schedule, which we followed pretty closely.

We served a meal that was healthy, easy, and could be changed up to accomodate food allergies or picky kiddos.  In short, everyone was happy and well fed by the time we left the table.

lunch meat, cheese, veggies & hummus, avocado, grapes, watermelon, etc.

We followed dinner with a healthy dessert -- Dreyers fruit popsicles (no corn syrup, food dye, etc.)  The kids didn't know the difference! :)

After everyone was cleaned up and in their pjs, we dimmed the lights and turned on Shaun the Sheep.  If you haven't seen Shaun the Sheep, you are missing out!  The youngest to the oldest all watched with interest.  We picked up this dvd for $5 at Target.  We're going to wear it out.  (Also on Netflix.)


If you're interested, our next Parents' Night Out will be Friday, July 8.  :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

another mohog


Keandre has been requesting another 'mohog'.  (AKA 'tocog'.)  So this morning, before jetting off to church, we obliged. 

Unfortunately, I needed to stay home this morning because I've got a headache and no voice.  Keandre is baffled.  He's convinced I'm kidding him.  If only....  Do you know how hard it is to parent four kiddos when you can only whisper??? ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's just two months...

Destany, 3 months old

...until another precious daughter may be in our arms.  Yes -- we are very excited to announce that as of this afternoon, we are matched!  The expectant mom is as sure of her decision for adoption as one can be, so we are excitedly making plans to welcome another sweetie into our lives in the near future.  She is due exactly two months from today.  Yippee! :) 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

fundraising for an adoption

If you are not familiar with the legal fees associated with adoption, you may have wondered about fundraising -- why it's necessary, and whether it's appropriate.  My friend Cate blogged about this topic today, and I think she explained it so very well. 

Thanks for sharing our link, too, Cate.  What a fun surprise. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

my love


I was just out of high school when we met, and a year and a half later we were engaged.

Friends asked me how I knew Andy was 'the one'. 
How could I know I wanted to spend the rest of my life
with him? 

At 19 years old it was hard to imagine the rest of my life at all, much less married to someone I was still getting to know.

But this I could say this with confidence:
"I can't imagine what it would be like to NOT have Andy in my life.  That is how I know he is the one." 

I am so very thankful God brought us together.  What a journey it has been!

Happy Anniversary, my love!  Thirteen years and counting.

It just keeps getting better. :)

*A big thank you to Heather for the beautiful pictures! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

sweet baby love

Lucas & Destany, 2.5 years and 10 months old

If you know us IRL (in real life), you know we've been praying for an expectant mom who was considering choosing us to adopt her baby girl, due in about 2 months.  (We don't post details about potential matches -- only ask for prayer.  Thanks for understanding! :)

We were so deeply encouraged by your immediate outpouring of love, prayers for all involved, and a desire to help us fundraise to pay the adoption/legal fees.

It looks like that match is not happening after all, and we are grieving that, but trusting God with the outcome.  We know He has a plan for this Mama and her precious daughter.

Starting to get ready for this little girl to join our family definitely confirmed for us that we can't wait to adopt again.  Even our children were ready to jump in whole-heartedly. :)  Our local agency has very few waiting families right now -- they have had so many placements lately that they are at an all-time low number of available families.  So we are excited to put our energy into fundraising again, and we will be available as soon as possible.  In the meantime, our agency knows they can call us with an emergency placement if we are needed.  

My heart goes pitter-patter at just the thought of a call. :)

Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Parents' Night Out!


Needing a break from your precious kiddos?  

Wishing for a date night or a Mommy's Night out? 

We can help! :)

Our first fundraiser event will be a Parents' Night Out this Friday, June 24.  If you would like to get involved as we prepare to bring our next baby home, there are two ways you can help. 

1)  Bring your sweetie(s) to our house between 5pm and 9pm on Friday, June 24.  Enjoy a kid-free night on the town in exchange for a donation of any size toward our adoption fund.

2)  Volunteer to help provide dinner or dessert, contribute some needed supplies (play dough, sidewalk chalk, etc.), or come play a game with us us.     

What will your kids do while you are out?  We will paint and use play dough, eat dinner together, go for a walk, play games, play with the rabbits, and generally have a great time!  We'll end the night with a movie so everyone can wind down before their parents pick them up.

Details: There will be a ratio of one caregiver for every 4 children.  All hands-on caregivers will be friends who we would trust with our own children.  And if you send pjs and toothbrushes, your child(ren) will even be ready for bed when you return. 

Please comment here or email me if you'd like to be involved.  And thank you for your continued love and support! :)

To see how it went, check here.  Definitely a fun and successful night!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

adoption fundraising

I have been neglecting our blog lately, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon.  I have missed this outlet, and a few of you have wondered where we are.  I will catch you up soon. :)

In the meantime, we need your help

Are you familiar with any organizations that offer adoption grants, help families fundraise for adoptions, or match their efforts dollar for dollar? 

God is prompting us to get moving and trust Him for the outcome.  We aren't sure where to start.  If you post your ideas in the comments here, we will follow up on every single idea, organization, etc.

Also, this post will be easy for other potential adoptive families to find through a simple search, so your ideas will help others, too.

Thank you so much! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

GI appointment & nutritionist


Today we had an appointment with Keandre's GI doctor and a nutritionist at the children's hospital.  Our time there wasn't as helpful as I had hoped, but it never hurts to check in.  Basically it comes down to this:

Keep doing what we're doing until July. 
(Pretty profound, huh? ;)

His stomach hurts daily, and he still coughs and gags -- especially when he is throwing a tantrum.  And we have just a few of those every day.  Four-year-olds aren't particularly adept at dealing with life-altering medical conditions.  Especially when they are dealing with pain and have to avoid some of their most favorite foods ever. we wait, and pray that his body continues to heal.  There is not much more we can do for him until his endoscopy, aside from trying to help him cope with it all.  Prayers are always appreciated. 

what tired Mamas do...


It was 8pm. 

She was still wearing her dinner. 

There was an empty cooler in the bathtub (I made raw milk yogurt today). 

Quickest and easiest bath ever. 

Too bad it's kinda tacky to store coolers in your bathtub! ;)
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