Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sweeeeeeet Discount. Think Free.

Caramel LatteI've discussed Seven slings before. Love them. I never thought I would be buying one again, but alas, the time came and I got mine free + shipping. Yep, free. I tried it thinking "no way, not free, this is a trick", but no, the whole total was like $15. And if you need one (or a killer shower gift) head on over and snag yours too. I've been practicing babywearing with various teddy bears around here. Obviously this chick adopted as moms of newborns don't have abs like that, but I love the whole concept. The code is ucovers if you need it. The one I used last week was DISCOUNT2. Try those and see if you don't get an awesome sling. And maybe awesome hair and abs. I'm counting on it.

I get to try mine out on Jude on FRIDAY!!!! I'm totally squealing as I type this. So, tomorrow I'm headed to Africa. Some of the other Give1 gals are taking over (I LOVE YOU) and will keep this boat floating while I'm gone. Be good to our families of the week while I'm gone. Fight their fights for those kids! Have you donated this week? I knew you did. You always do. I'll keep you posted as well as I can from Ethiopia, but forgive me if we miss a day here or there. We'll get back to normal soon. I love you all so much and I can't believe we're finally here at this place. Can you believe it?! I'm thinking of you and I can't wait to tell you all about it.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Week, New Family

Hey guys,

I'm so pleased to introduce you to the Hauschildt family today. They are in a bind and need some back-up. We're talking prayers (far more importantly) and dollars. And prayers for dollars. All that. Because they have a little boy in Africa that's theirs and they can't pass court. Things aren't lining up right and it's going to take a private attorney to cut through some red tape. They've been matched with this toddler since he was a baby, months and months. They've visited him several times, but they can't get him home. Could we all please just stop and pray for this family. For their hearts and for that little boy. And pray that God will miraculously and quickly and fiercely tear down any walls that the enemy has put up to keep him in that orphanage.

And as we all know, lawyers are expensive. Adoption's expensive, but extra lawyers and multiple travel trips... that just takes resources. Can you throw a dollar (or 2 or 3) their way to ease that particular hardship? Thanks. Y'all are the best.

***So far you guys have blessed this family with $411!***

Friday, July 27, 2012

Court Date!

Well, I know this blog is sort of a blend of my personal journey, adoptions in general, and fundraising all smooshed together. Most of the time we have nothing to update, but now comes the fun part. Things are going into high gear for us now. We have a court date of August 6th, and we leave on Wednesday for Ethiopia! Wynne is going to be doing our family pictures! How cool is that?! I'm so excited about meeting my boy and it's an insane bonus that I just happen to be traveling with some of my favorite people on the internet. A whole handful of sisters that I've never met that will be with me on one of the biggest days of my life. I feel like God is spoiling me rotten!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Compassion International Homeschool Curriculum

Back to school time is almost here! This year Little Mister will be in 1st grade! I can't believe it. We attempted homeschool for a couple of months last year, but I don't think it's going to work for us, so back to public it is. I'm looking forward to spending some alone time with Abby before Jude comes home. Anyhoo, back to the topic.

We all know how important it is to teach and instruct our kids to have kind hearts and open minds. Well, look what I found on Pinterest to help that little endeavor along (good pin, Linsy Wallace!). Compassion International has a few free lessons regarding God's Global Family. The lessons include studies on geographic regions and what their life is like, as well as Biblical teachings on things like evangelism, giving, and praying for others. Check it out if you're looking to fill up a couple of summer weeks!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Congolese Adoption Details

Beth recently wrote a great post on the steps that occur in an Ethiopian adoption and today I wanted to let you know the steps for a Congolese adoption.

The first thing to note is that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has a few requirements of people adopting through their country.
  1. Married couples and singles must be over 25 years old.
  2. Singles can adopt children of the same gender.
  3. Couples should be married at least 5 years.
  4. Couples should have no more than 2 children at home already.* 
* although some exceptions have been known to be made for this rule.

If you meet the requirements set out by the DRC and decide to adopt from there your steps would include:
  1. Finding and applying with an agency that preforms Congolese adoptions.
  2. Fill out all the paperwork that will make up your dossier, including your homestudy. This usually takes a few months to complete.
  3. Get on the waitlist for your referral. Depending on the age and gender you are asking for this usually takes a few months, exact wait times vary from agency to agency. (I should also mention that some agencies that work with the DRC have a list of waiting children to select from so you can pretty much skip this step.)
  4. Get your referral. Such a big day! This is the day they send you photos and medical info on your little one and you can decide to accept the referral or wait for a different one.
  5. Then a bunch of legal stuff happens, which takes a few months. A court date will take place in the DRC (which we do not have to be present for).
  6. Travel! Once all the legal paperwork has been completed then you get to travel to pick up your little one(s)!
If you are familiar with Ethiopian adoptions, or if you read Beth's previous post, you will notice that there isn't a whole lot of difference between the two programs. I am not sure of all the requirements for Ethiopia but I believe the DRC is a little more strict when it comes to the people they allow to adopt in the country. The major difference is the fact that there are two travel dates with Ethiopian adoptions and only one for Congolese.

If you have any questions regarding Congolese adoptions I would love to try to help answer them!

Monday, July 23, 2012

New Week, New Family

Hey guys! It's a really exciting day for us here on Give1. We've got three new sites live with new families on them. You can check out Give1 Domestic, Caribbean, and Asia (coming soon) now. They're not perfect yet, still tweaking, but go ahead and check them out. Subscribe by email to get updates with each post. Give however you can wherever you can.

So, like I said earlier last week, that covers most countries. We're still missing a European blogger, so we're happy to host a European adoption whenever we need to (and right now we need to). So let me introduce you to the Brintons. You may already know Sara as she's a major Noonday gal. In fact, she's been training some of the gals in Rwanda for the big Noonday/Matilda Jane collaboration (which I am patiently freaking out over). Well, say hello to the Brinton family.

They are adopting Lana and will be traveling to bring her home. The clock is ticking and this week they need $2500 to happen. Do you think we can help out with that? I do. Just give what you can and share. Your shares are SO helpful.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What is Rainy Season? And Why?

Find Beauty in Rain

In an effort to be more informative, let's go into some basics of Ethiopian adoption. LOTS of people who read this blog are just considering adoption and are still choosing which program best suits them, but remember in the beginning when you didn't know how to say dossier (it's doss-ee-ay)? I do. There's so much to figure out. Well, here's a basic of Ethiopian adoption: Rainy Season.

So let's back up, actually, and find out why Rainy Season effects anybody's mental health. Here's the steps for an Ethiopian adoption:

1. Apply for your program. Start your home study and paperchase, which typically lasts 3-6 months.
2. Get in line for your referral. A referral is what they call the matching process. Your referral is a big honkin' deal when they send you pictures and background and medical info on the child that fits your criteria.
3. Once you have a referral you wait another month or so to be issued a court date. You travel to Ethiopia, meet your child, and then legally become their parent. Then you generally have to say goodbye, get on a plane and go home and try to keep it together for another month or two or three.
4. Finally US Embassy will clear your child for travel and let you know that you can come pick them up, so you happily do.

Now, back to Rainy Season. Ethiopian courts generally close from mid-August til mid-October. Regions of the country are just so rainy that apparently daily life just needs to stop for a while. I'm actually not too clear on the specifics, but it's just one of those things we plan on accepting. The tricky part is when comes when you need a court date and courts are about to close. It's hard to think of your child aging another two months without any progress. Ethiopian courts announced the closure yesterday from August 22-October 1st. This is actually shorter and later than most, so it's great news for waiting families, my own included. It means more families will be official sooner than later, so we're rejoicing about that! So that's that. Some essentials of Ethiopian adoption. Somebody want to do a guest post about the essentials of Congolese adoption? I'd love to hear about the process.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

We're Growing!

Hey Guys,

Big news on the Give1 front too! In a few weeks when you type in give1save1 it's going to take you to a world map. If you're an Africa fan you'll just click on the Africa, but if you happen to have other adoption interests (and so many of us do), you'll have several new blogs to follow and new regions to learn about and support. We hope that Give1 will soon become not just a goofy passtime, but also a resource for adopters.

The domestic adoption blog will be run by one of our own past featured mamas, Bonnie Kulenkamp.

Of course we'll be looking for families to feature right away, so if you or someone you know needs an application, send an email to Bonnie at onesweetworld67@gmail(dot)com.

Lindsay Morris is heading up the Caribbean blog. 

You can reach Lindsay at lindsaym_83@hotmail.com for an application.

We'll also be featuring Asia on their own blog. Asia has been ridiculously successful on this blog and they totally deserve their own space.

Tonya Garrick is pioneering that one. Email her at tonyagarrick5@gmail.com for an application.

We're still looking for someone to take on Europe and I think that'll round us out. Anyone else who's not represented (like if you're adopting from Antarctica, perhaps) will hook up with one of us for a week. We're about to break open the adoption world! I'd love it if you could help spread the word to all your friends that might be interested. We'd love to start out with a bang!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Referral Day!

Happy Referral Day to us! Well, yesterday. We have accepted the referral of a 6 month old baby boy! What?! Did we not start this journey a year ago (exactly) with the hopes of adopting 2 teenage girls?! Yes, we did, but God has different plans, doesn't he? We've changed our plan about a million times this year and you guys got the play by play. You should know I'm kinda flakey. You probably have figured that out by now, huh?  Y'all, I seriously never thought I'd have another baby and I wasn't sad about it either. But this little guy won me over in a second. He has a few medical issues, so they are attempting to expedite his case and hopefully we'll have a court date really soon. Then I can show you his pictures! I just can't wait!

Patchwork on Turquoise

We are, in fact, ridiculously behind in the financing department as we thought we still had lots of time left to save up and all that. Nope, we don't. Yesterday wiped out our bank account entirely, but the donations that you guys sent in are literally keeping us going. Like honestly, no groceries until the paypal money started trickling in (and it did). The money that we got from you guys was enough for us to be able to accept the referral. Just thank you! I love you all so much!

I'll still be here for a few more days or weeks and I'm painting up a storm. If you'd like to donate to our Charity page, you can do that here. Or you can purchase a painting from the Etsy shop. Just FIY, I'm painting like a crazy woman, but the custom art girls, if you buy one today, might take several weeks to get in. I have sold SO MANY (thanks, everyone), and we'll be traveling soon, so they might take a while. If you like the Africa paintings, they are ready to roll. Just email me with a verse and I'll put it on and ship it out. And more will pop up in the shop all day and all week. If there's a color scheme you like and it sold or you don't see it, just email me. I promise you, this is the last time you'll hear me yack about fundraising for us on here for this adoption. I've hit a wall. Thank you for every dollar and every prayer. I can't wait for you to meet him.

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Week, New Family

Good morning, all! I hope you had a good weekend. We did! More on that tomorrow. Today we're here to talk about the Crocketts. They have just adopted Kalkidan from Ethiopia and are waiting to go pick her up and need some plane money.  I love it when they pass court cause I can show a picture! Don't you love that?! Me too. Here she is. Adorable, right?!

So if you'd like to hear more about the Crocketts (still unfolding) journey, visit their blog. And if you'd like to donate, do that here. And as a super added bonus, they have a friend who will be matching their Give1Save1 grant this week. So donate away!!!

***So far you guys have donated $1910 to Kalkidan's adoption***

Thursday, July 12, 2012

West Elm's South Africa Collection

To die for. I love all things West Elm, but seriously, smoosh WE and Africa, and I'm in heaven.

My faves include:

So there. A way to get some authentic Africa into your home without paying a ton in luggage fees! What's your fave? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thompson Family Update with a Giveaway

I've got an update for you!!! A bunch, actually. Let's start with the Thompsons.

Here's a word from mom, Desiree:

I had no idea what was in store for us as we started our week with Give 1 Save 1.  All we knew was we were longing to be reunited with our son, who we had left in Ethiopia around 2 months earlier.  And that this was our final fundraiser, after Give 1 Save 1 we were done.  We prayed that we would get whatever we needed but more then that share the story of our beautiful son and ask for prayer.  

Our week went well and we raised a lot, it was more then we thought and we were excited about that.  We also got encouraging emails throughout the week and people showed their support in prayer.  On Monday morning after our week was over we got the email of our life - we had been cleared to go pick up our son!  This email came exactly one year after we had applied to start our adoption!  And the amount we raised paid for our son's flight home!

Since then we have been home just over three months and we have had our fair share of ups and downs.  Lately there have been more ups then downs and we continue to grow as a family.  We really feel blessed and privileged to be Tariku's parents and we are grateful that the Lord chose us for this journey.  Thank you for being a part of our story and praying for us, donating to our adoption, and supporting us through encouragement.  Being a part of the adoption community is AMAZING - we are all truly blessed! 

I love updates, don't you? How about a few more? Pardon weird photo sizes as I'm pulling these off of everyone's blogs and facebooks and they're all different and I'm too lazy to do it properly on this rainy day. It'll be ok. 

The Krohns, our family of the week this week, were submitted to embassy today!
Photo: New pics of Nahome holding a family pic we took when we were there! Can't wait to get that boy home!

Wynne is living her personal fantasy dream while waiting to be submitted.

The Jacksons passed court. Meet Bruk.

The Waymans are home with Hayes.

And the Hadens are home with Shep.

Do you love that you had something to do with all of this??? I do too. Did you donate this week? I did too! If you still haven't, just hit that donate button over to your left. So far the Krohns have received $136 towards their adoption. Would you mind hitting facebook for me real quick? I think we can get that number up by about a thousand bucks if I know you guys.  I can't wait to see Nahome all settled in and hear his update! 

Let's do a little impromptu giveaway! You get three entries. Leave a comment for each one. You can win anything out of this shop by leaving a comment telling me you 
1. Donated to the Krohns
2. Shared on facebook
3. Tweeted about the family of the week

I'll pick the winner on Sunday night. Ready, set, go! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Story You've Got to Know

This one is amazing. OK, so I'm catching on that the Olympics are sometime kind of soon, yeah? I'm not really much of an athlete or anything, and I don't really follow it most of the time. Sorry. So I really couldn't name a single athlete competing in the upcoming Olympics. Besides one that I learned yesterday. Lopez Lomong.

Lopez Lomong is an American olympian, a runner. He's originally from South Sudan, was kidnapped during a church service and forced to become a child soldier, escaped and ran to Kenya where he was rounded up with thousands of other 'Lost Boys', brought to America, and adopted as a teenager. Whoa.

So that's his amazing story. Here's some links for you:

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Week, New Family

Good morning, y'all! How's your summer going? I'm over it. I'm ready for fall. Like seriously. I'm not a summer gal, which is unfortunate since I live in Texas and it's summer most of the year. But I'm starting to burn fall smells in my Scentsy warmer and daydreaming of pumpkin recipes and Christmas. My husband says I'm definitely peaking too early, but I disagree. 

Anyhoo, on to the family of the week. Say hello to the Krohns. They have already passed court, which is good news for you because now you can lay eyes on this beyond adorable little boy. Let me tell you a little something about this angel. He was on the Waiting Child List for about 2 seconds. I was one of the many people calling about this little guy, but this is the family that God had picked out for him. And it's been wonderful to see it all play out. And now I'm absolutely honored to play a little part in his story, and you can too. They've got one more trip to go and pick up Nahome (by the way, if you want to read the AMAZING story about that name, click here and you'll have no doubt that this was the family for him).


I would be pleased as punch if you would donate to help get Nahome's trip home. You can do that by donating your $1 right here. And then spread the word. Let's highjack Facebook today for this little guy. Seriously, look at that smile... 

***So far you guys have donated $10 towards Nahome's adoption***

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Adoption Nutrition

Explore Global Nutrition

You guys, I love a good find. How have I not found this before now? I don't know. But just in case you haven't come across this, run over to Adoption Nutrition and learn! 

I have learned about one million things since finding this site last week. You can learn about your child's birth country's eating habits, recipes, typical deficiencies and problems that you might run into. There's just too much to talk about here. So have fun, and try making some injera. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Great Birth Order Debate

Hey guys,

Today I want to chat a bit about birth order. Lots of people that read this blog are just now starting to embark on their adoption journey. Remember that? It was only a year ago for me. There are so many questions... How many? Which country? How old? What agency? Yikes. It's overwhelming making some of those decisions. Initially we just sort of felt our way around. We felt drawn to two older girls that we saw on someone's blog. When you see their faces and hear their stories it's so easy to try and find a way to give that child a home and that's what we wanted to do. Give two (almost) teenaged girls a home. And with the purest heart and best of intentions we set out to do that. We quickly discovered one million roadblocks. Besides many practical, logistical problems, once we were assigned a social worker she pointed out that that age was probably not a good fit for our family that already includes two little ones (3 and 6). We didn't care. She was adamant. That happens sometimes, and you have to find a way to agree and work together.

I want to tell you guys a little bit about what to expect in those first meetings with your social worker and some things to consider before you go in. Here is one rule of thumb: You do not break birth order. You adopt at least one year younger than your youngest. That's the rule. The main reason is that certain rights and treatments are given to children based on the order that they were born. Dethroning your oldest might upset the vibes in your house. And truly, this is the popular and accepted rule among authorities, some social workers being more stickler-ish than others about it.

But we all know that some rules are made to be broken. So let's explore that.

My problem with the rule is that older kids aren't being adopted. If you look on the waiting child list at your agency you will not find an infant or toddler on that list. There is a wait list a mile long for those kids (and I'm super glad for it). But my heart does bleed for the older ones. Meaning 4 and older. Our social worker strongly advised that we adopt a year younger than our youngest, which would put us in the 0-2 year old line. It's a very long line, and I was selfishly hoping to skip those years anyway (been there, done that, not a fan). So we've decided to stay younger than our oldest since he does value his place as oldest, but we're  not limiting ourselves to staying younger than Abby. There is a possibility of artificially twinning Abby, as well (another no-no), but we'll explore that topic in another post.

I'm feeling ok about breaking the rule because of an argument that I heard from a leading adoption specialist and counselor, Arleta James, in her presentation on Adoption Learning Partners webinar, Brothers and Sisters in Adoption. She had lots of interesting things to say on the subject of breaking birth order, and ultimately said that she didn't think that it was much of a big deal. Birth order is more fluid these days as families blend through marriage as well, so it's something that lots of families are going through. Also, she pointed out that rights and responsibilities, rewards and consequences should be given out based on maturity and not age. Not to mention that adopted kids may have younger emotional ages than chronological ages, so that sort of skews things to. I agree with all her points, so I'm cool with it.

We felt strongly that we wanted to adopt a child that might otherwise have a hard time finding a family. That's not true for everyone at all. I think God calls us all to be open to different scenarios. But today I just wanted to throw a few thoughts into the mix in case breaking birth order is an obstacle for you in adopting the child that you feel is on your heart. Just something to think about as you're making some of those early decisions.

Now, I'm totally not a fan of debates. Not my thing. You guys all know where I stand for my family, and every family is so unique, so there's no judgement from me in a different choice. But in the interest of fully informing our friends at the beginning stages of what to expect, let's share a little today. Really really nicely, because we're totally a snuggly family here. But I want to know... are you breaking birth order with your adoption? And why did you decide that?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pop and Lolli

Chirpie Tree

Noah's African Circus

I know I don't have to tell you how crazy adorable these Pop and Lolli wall decals are. You guys are totally stylish, I know. But I will give you one reason to go ahead and shop if you're in the nesting mood. Pop and Lolli donates a portion of their proceeds to buy academic materials for children in South Africa. Want to know more? Head on over and read more, if you like. 

See you guys tomorrow for a big article on birth order... to break or not to break, that is the question...

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Week, New Family

Good morning, guys. I hope summer's treating you well and the mosquitos (and children) aren't eating you alive. You guys ready for a new week? Let me introduce you to the Simpkins family. Actually, I'll let them introduce themselves...

A word from Mom:

I am a teacher. My husband is a self employed landscaper. Last year, God placed a burden on our hearts for Adoption. I always thought we would adopt—from China. I had no idea God was going to pick our hearts up and drop it in the eastern part of Africa—in Ethiopia.  I began sewing little girls dresses to help cover our adoption expenses. My little sis helps me paint canvases. I sell these on ETSY and have a page on FB. I have been blessed to raise several thousand by doing this. It is exhausting trying to squeeze the “crafts”  in to an already full and busy life with full time job and 4 kids…but it is worth every minute of it. When we finally get him home with us, the long journey to get there, the financial hurdles, the late nights up from sewing, the criticism from all of those who didn’t agree with our decision—it will have all been worth it. 

We are learning with every day that passes—we are fortunate to have been called to travel the adoption road.

Beth again: hey! Ok, let's do it. You know the drill. Donate and share! And stick with us this month. July is our first birthday month on Give1 Save1, and we're celebrating with some giveaways and great articles! So be sure and follow by email or join the Google thingy on the side over there.