Almost DONE!

I updated my little vine on the side….did you see it?? We left that little lady bug behind;)  ((Small update: There was a cute little vine, but I accidentally deleted it.  Oops. Just take my word for it…it was really cute.))

We may have gotten a bit overzealous with the tee shirts. If you want one, let us know! I’ll mail it to you for $20.  (or 2 for $30!) Pretty please! I can only wear so many tee shirts!!;)  Otherwise, you better hope I don’t get your name at dirty santa this year…

(Just for clarification, any more money donated/raised will still go toward our expenses.  We have some travel expenses that are going to be a bit more expensive since we’ll be traveling around summer time…you know, when ticket prices jump up! We’re not stressing about it, though.)

Thanks, everyone:) We cannot wait to go to Korea!

Here’s a link to some children waiting for their family…..it could be you , ya know!

Cheers!

Time for an adoption update. There have been many rumblings in the adoption world about the changes in Korea.  First, we heard that we would have to travel for a longer stretch and we would need to appear in court in Korea. Then we would have to wait for 2 weeks and take care of the embassy appointment ourselves.  Then we heard that none of that seemed to be actually taking effect (affect?), so we’ll see as time rolls on.  On a positive note, our paperwork is in Korea where it will be translated and then distributed to the many different offices who need copies of my diploma, etc. Ha!  Now the weird part is that once we sent that paperwork off, we were done with our end of the process.  So, while we’re really excited, it’s also surreal and VERY hard to wait.  But we know she will be home soon!  We have to  wait for everything to make its way through the process. We have had no snags or issues, but the process is long and it can be tiring.  We don’t have any more definite dates or anything, but I promise, you’ll be the first to know!;)

On to more fun things to talk about….

We are very happy to say that we FINISHED our puzzle piece fundraiser! And even sold a few extra pieces! 🙂 We also heard from a few grants this month, so  I’ll give you a breakdown on where we are financially:

Puzzle Piece fundraiser: Right at $2500!!!

Zoe Clothing, donations, our necklaces and tees and 31 Gifts: About $2500!

Matching Gifts and Reece’s Rainbow fund: $3100!

We received 2 grants: $6000!

We have raised  (from our fabulous supporters)  and been granted over $14,000!!! What, what?? To say we’re excited is an understatement!

Since God doesn’t have a bank account, He uses people to meet financial needs. For that, we are grateful! We’re more aware than ever how a little goes a long way and we’re thankful for every single donation.

So, give yourself a pat on the back, a big hug (well, not too big since I’m not a touchy feely person;)) and a “woohoo!”  We are extremely grateful.  That is a massive chunk out of our expenses and a huge relief and blessing.  Thanks so much!

Shopping, anyone?

 She Does Justice                                                              She Does Justice is a very cool site that you need to check out.  They make/sell handmade products to support various ministries and causes, including our adoption!  See the button over there to the right? Click it and shop their store and we’ll 25% of the sale. It’s a win-win-win. You win by getting a beautiful scarf, print, bracelet….they win because you’re supporting their efforts and we win because they’ll send us a check to help with our adoption expenses.  Yayyy!!

Here’s more about Megan….the founder (and fellow adoptive mama!!!!)

I am a wife. A mother of four. A lover of Jesus.

I love to plan. I love to create. I believe in the importance of community.

I am an advocate for orphans and for the poor.

I want every single person to know that they are loved and important.

I aim to act justly. To love mercy. And to walk humbly.

When we started the process of adopting our daughter from Africa, I started selling handmade items as a fundraiser. The shop was far more successful than we ever anticipated and have watched it continue to grow.

I want to share my passions. My passion for life. And family. And Jesus. And justice.

Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk humbly. Micah 6:8

Okay, you may shop now!-TG

PSOur Zoe Clothing Fundraiser is underway through Jan. 31st, too!

Christmas Lingers At Our House

Greetings! Look at this….

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You know who that’s for! And, we sent another care package with Sean. He’ll be “in the area” for his job, so he’ll deliver it. Sooo ready for her to be home. This year!!

We have a matching grant that you can donate to. When our account on the Reece’s Rainbow site reads $518, we’ll receive an additional $250 from a friend of a friend. Whom we have never met. It makes me teary. If you give through this link, it will be tax deductible. (And you’ll see a picture of Julianna when she was younger!) Click here to donate and consider yourself hugged.
If you donate on our blog, it goes straight to us, no tax deduction. Of course, either way works for us!

The boys go back to school tomorrow. They’re thrilled. We used some gift cards today, so that helped. Now I’m just hoping someone comes to clean my house and put up decorations! But I really am still enjoying my tree. Are there rules about holiday decor? Don’t worry, it will be down by February… unless I can work it into Caleb and Sean’s birthday themes!

charity:water, pretty please!!!

Happy Wednesday!

a few random thoughts…….

we turned our heater on tonight. finally.

jacob ate a chocolate covered pretzel today. (thanks, missy!)  he also loves folding washcloths and putting silverware away.  who knew??

caleb is more like an adult than a child. always has been:) he’s hilarious, too!! he’s so much like sean, it’s not even funny!

i feel like I’m pregnant, but no one can see! i’m a crazy mess and no one knows why:)

i have another cause for ya.  it’s charity:water.  they put wells in underdeveloped nations so the people don’t die from drinking contaminated water.  if you can, give a few dollars to my page HERE.  you can read all about the organization there, too.  It’s pretty self explanatory!  seriously….can you donate? if so, thank you!

thank you to those who have bought our stuff, too! we appreciate the love!

do you like my all lower case letters? they make me cooler. (more cool?)

 

Thanksgiving 2012–check!

Well, Thanksgiving’s over. I’m done being thankful.  Just kidding, of course.  It’s good to be home, back in the land of routine and our own beds.  (just wondering, have you traveled with a child with autism? on a holiday? and his birthday? okay then.)  On a serious note, if you have questions about how to do this, or if you’re curious about Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder, or little boys in general  I’d be glad to offer my vast insight….or point you in the right direction!  I’ve met some good friends because of our common bond with our children.  We’ve also recently added a few food allergies to our repertoire, so I’m learning more about that.  Never a dull moment at our house!

Jacob turned 9 today.  It’s crazy!!  I can’t even believe it.  He is now well stocked with Skylanders “stuff”, so all is good:) He doesn’t like cake, so I made cookies.  (wheat free, egg free chocolate chip, fyi) He gets a bit overwhelmed with lots of people, so we always have a very low key celebration. He’s easy!

My newest batch of necklaces  (all crosses this time!) was waiting in the mailbox for me! Let me know if you want one or 5.  I have 1 bracelet left, too.  They’re all either olive green, like this pic, bluish green, or green with a red heart in the center. The other designs should be here soon. You can order on the sidebar or if you’d rather mail a check than use paypal, you can email me or Facebook me. (tonyagarrick5 at gmail dot com) and I’ll send you my address.

This was our last Thanksgiving as a family of 4, by the way! Aren’t you excited??? WE ARE!!!

 

 

Trust

Wow, it’s election day again! Even though the campaigning started waaaayy too early, it doesn’t seem like 4 years have gone by. So, what about tomorrow? This is what I know. I’ll be supportive of either candidate who becomes president.  I don’t think one is our saving grace and one is some horrible being. I do know that God created them both, just like he created you and me. I also know that neither man can save this world, nor can they condemn it to utter despair.  They’re just men.  Psalm 25:5 says “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” v.21 “May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.”

Moving along…

It is National Adoption Month! Learn more about getting involved somehow in orphan care, foster care, or adoption. If we’re believers, we are all called to care for widows and orphans. (James 1:27)

Here’s a ministry that helps both.  Wiphan.  Take a look.

Learn more about adopting through foster care. AdoptUSKids

There are many children with special needs featured on Reece’s Rainbow.

There are so many other good organizations that help in various ways. Feel free to let me know of your favorites!

Do you know a family who has adopted? Know someone who’s in process? Do you have any friends who are foster parents? This month is a good time to encourage them. Take them a meal, send them a note, give them a big hug. Not everyone adopts, but everyone can care.

Now a word about our adoption……thank you so much for those who ordered the necklaces as soon as I posted them on Facebook! I’m ordering more and will let you know when they come in.  If you want a t-shirt, holla’!  I’m mailing some out this week.  All of the money is going toward our adoption expenses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: If you feel led to give, you can do so by clicking the donate button or by ordering a shirt, necklace, 31 gifts item (event on FB with shopping link)  or shopping on Zoe Clothing, where we are still benefitting from sales.  We are grateful for those who have supported us.  We greatly appreciate your generosity.  If you would like a tax deductible receipt, please mail it or send it via paypal on the Reece’s Rainbow site. (their mailing address is on there, too)  If you do give there, we will not be given the names of our donors, only amounts given.  So, if you give, please let me know so I can thank you!

WHY DO WE HAVE TO FUNDRAISE?  When we had our boys, our insurance covered the majority of those expenses. When you adopt, your insurance doesn’t cover anything. So, while we have saved money and are paying as much as possible ourselves, we know we have to rely on our “village”….our friends and family and those who have taken an interest in our adoption. Also, we hope to hear good news from a grant that we applied for in December. We appreciate your prayers and kind words!!  Adoption is an emotional roller coaster, let me tell ya!  We also know that God is using this time to teach us about our own faith, faith vs religion, and totally transforming our lives. It’s hard and good at the same time.

WHO ARE WE ADOPTING? Here’s a picture of sweet Julianna…

Isn’t she the cutest thing ever? She was snacking away on her toddler puffs!! Drinking her juice like crazy and just being adorable!! (This was about 10 minutes before she slung my glasses off. I should’ve put that picture up, huh? Hey, tantrums don’t scare me!)

So, if you want to help, we welcome it! We’ll keep you posted on any new information about the adoption, but as of now, we’re still thinking she should be able to come home in the Spring.  We can’t wait!

 

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Sunday

It has been a beautiful  2 days here in MS. The cool weather has kicked in–woohoo!!  Sean is gone for a couple of weeks–boooo! I wore my new boots today–love them–thanks, Sean!  Caleb made his wonderful costume today while Jacob and I worked on his school project.  We had a nice, relatively fight-free afternoon.

I’ve had a few questions about our tees that we’re selling. The ladies’ shirts are true to size and a medium red color.  The men’s are lighter and more “washed” in appearance.  You can click the picture to order.  I’ll put our fundraiser link HERE so you don’t have to scroll down to find it.  We appreciate those who have purchased items from us or Zoe Clothing.  We’re still on their site, by the way! Isn’t that nice of them? Seriously, it is;)  If you bought a shirt from them, upload it to their FB page! And mine, for that matter:) Did we tell you that if Caleb had been a girl his name would’ve been Zoe? We love it! (Julianna was close to being a Zoe, too, just so ya know)

While I’m soooo very excited about our baby girl coming home next year (excited is an understatement), I still have a burden in my heart for those children who don’t have families.  It just makes me sad, as a mother. Children need to be in a home where they are loved. So tonight, I’m putting up a link to Reece’s Rainbow for a boy named Felix. He is in Eastern Europe and is waiting on his family. He’s also HIV positive. And he needs a mama. He has been transferred out of the baby house into a mental institution.  That’s where children with special needs go. To a mental institution where they receive no real education and they just live there forever. Felix is 4.  There is a social worker in Oklahoma who has offered free home study services to any OK family who wants to adopt him.  It’s almost more than I can stand to write. I know that I can’t save the world and I know that everyone doesn’t adopt. We all have our own “callings”.  I get it.  But someone may be interested in learning more about Felix, so I’ll spread the word here and you can share this info to others. You can also learn more about adopting and caring for kids with HIV at Project Hopeful. Also, here’s a link for AdoptUs Kids, the US foster system’s registry for children within our country who are eligible for adoption.

Thank you for supporting us on this part of our journey! And believe me, it truly has been a journey that is changing us, hopefully, for the better.

How Many Days ’til Christmas?!?

Fine, thanks for asking! And you??

Along with  Zoe Clothing and our tees and necklaces for sale, a local Thirty-One Gifts rep has very graciously offered to host a fundraising sale for us. We will get a percentage of all sales, online and in person. Your order will be here in plenty of time for Christmas. If you order online, you can have it shipped to your home. So, here’s the 31 Gifts link where you can shop! (Thanks, Karen Crossett!!!)  I’ll have a party at my house, too, so local peeps, you’ll receive an invitation soon.

These are 2 of their products that I have and love…the Cinch Sak (cute backpack or sleep over bag–yes, I have one for Julianna already!)

and the Thermal Tote. (great for gifts, ball games and zoo trips!) Mine are in the Circle Spirals pattern. Basically, big polka dots!

Happy shopping, y’all!!

 

 

Also, we received notice this week that one of our grant applications will be reviewed in November by one organization. You can pray for that, specifically. (pretty please!)

I added a page (at the top) with links to other families’ fundraisers. Feel free to support them, too!!  Share the love!;) I’ll leave it up through the holidays.

We’ve been asked about our own tees. Ladies, they are roomy and we have  a variety of sizes:) Guys….it’s a shirt.

63 days ’til Christmas! I have kids–I have to know these things!! Time to start planning for the holidays….I do tend to procrastinate, though.

In the words of the Walgreens cashier (every single time I come in or go out) “take care and be well!”