Monday, July 25, 2011

Where we are now:

For the homestudy, we've had our initial meeting and I have done my personal interview. I'm a talker, you know, so it's fun for me! I actually enjoyed writing my autobiography. It's not often that you sit down and really think about your entire life- the people and the moments that impacted you most. Nathan didn't write his until last night (he's not had a second of time in  the last few weeks!). I think he was a little overwhelmed, but I encouraged him to just be himself and be honest. He wanted me to proof-read it... I think I cried four separate times. To be honest, writing is not his strong suite from a technical standpoint and there were errors all over the place, but except for the ocassional spelling mistake, I didn't change a thing. It was just so... him. They were the most raw, sincere words I think I've ever seen come out of him. It was just beautiful to read! 

Anyway,  Nathan's interview and our homevisit were actually scheduled for TODAY, buuuttt we had to reschedule :(  Since I've been in my big comfy chair for a week and the hubster has been pretty focused on taking care of me, and the kids, and working, and everything else that I usually do- the house had not been touched by my OCD hands in quite some time. I felt guilty knowing he was stressed about getting home from work in time to finish cleaning, while I was laid up in my big comfy chair. I choked down some pain meds this morning, prayed for God's healing hands and got to work.

Bad audible.

I was getting sick between tasks, suffering thru a cold sweat, dizzy, shaky, blaaahh. Maybe I wasn't quite ready to take on such work yet afterall. That bad decision landed me right back in my big comfy chair for the rest of the day. I can barely talk anyway, and it hurts when I do, so it really is for the best.

We will probably get that in next week, along with our background checks and fingerprinting! Exciting! Nearly done with this step!

We've just started applying for every grant possible... can't hurt right? We would love for you to be praying that we are considered to receive the help. However, no matter who actually gets the money, it will help bring a child home so we are grateful that they exist whether we receive one or not.

We have some really cool fundraisers coming up! Our sweet friend, Mandy, has something up her sleeve at church and we will probably end up getting the rest of our family and friends involved too. It's just so EASY. Easy is good :) Mandy is also the one designing our tee shirts!! Pretty soon we will start cranking those out and make them available for purchase :)
Alsoooo...... most of you ladies have probably heard of Matilda Jane. They have THE CUTEST clothes for little girls, a few boy pieces and even some nice things for women as well! I'm having a trunk show at my house with my dear friend, Brea, and she is donating her profit from my show to our adoption! Isn't that awesome?! It's only awesome if you all come out and buy your girls some amazing clothes! lol. They will be available to order online (wink, wink) if you can't make it, but would like to order for my show.... details to come :) And there are a couple of other things rolling around in our heads that may pan out later.

I put a million smilies in that paragraph, but I'm just thrilled with the support we are getting from everyone! Things have been insanely busy the last month, but we are home now and ready to buckle down and get our girl HOME. Time to get to work!


Zoooeeyy Mama. BTW- Diary of a Wimpy Kid= Life saver.

I have so many things I want to post! Between the mission trip to Jamaica, the weekend trip to NYC with my handsome hubby, a week at Camp Allen in Missouri, and last week's surgery (tonsillectomy: still recovering... it's been rough), I seriously have not had a second to spare.

I'm still cofined to my big comfy chair with  pillows, ice chips, and meds galore (oh my), but am no longer sleeping 23 hours a day. Nathan has my big comfy chair multitasking. It not only functions as a comfy place to sit and prop my leg (did I mention I also broke my knee cap?!), but is also a dinner tray, a medicine cabinet, a full time bed, and a technology center than rivals NASA's.  Now I can type on drugs. Cool, huh?

Gimme a second and I'll get you all caught up!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

About the button...

A friend brought it to my attention that I hadn't been very clear about the purpose of the "Help Bring Anna Gray Home" button.

Let me tell you why it's on MY blog, and then you can decide if you want to put it on your's.

First, it's a reminder to pray. To pray for Annie, that her needs are cared for, that she is comforted when she cries, that she receives the medical care she requires, that she gets a hug today, that she comes home safely and in God's perfect time. Also a reminder to pray for our family as we tackle this adoption process, that we get thru the paperwork with ease, that we don't hit a lot of roadblocks on the way, that God provides the financial needs required to bring her home, that our children learn to step out on faith in our Savior.

Secondly, I hope that it raises awareness. I hope more and more people become aware of not only our family and our sweet Anna Gray, but of ALL the children waiting to be matched at Reece's Rainbow. There are an estimated 147 million orphans in the world. In Eastern Europe, children born with Down Syndrome are considered "throw aways". They are left in orphanages with only their most basic needs met and if not adopted, go on to adult mental institutions where they are treated with less care than we would treat a pet rock. We have been told that we will most likely get ugly looks when we go get her, because children/people "like her" aren't to be seen in public. It's ambitious, but maybe our button will be shared, and shared again, with someone who connects to one of these children and wants to bring them home.

Thirdly, it's no secret that adoption costs money- and a lot of it, to be honest. Selfishly, part of the reason our button is available is for those who feel led to support us with financial giving. Again, we would never ask anyone to give us money, but thankfully there are some who feel called to do so and will financially contribute to bringing Annie home. This is an easy, tax-deductable way to do it.

I offer the button on my blog for those who support us in any one of these ways, or any combination of the three.
Obviously, why you choose to share it on your blog is up to you- but whatever the reason... we thank you dearly!

Your very own Annie button!

If you haven't noticed, we have our very own Anna Gray button on the top right of the blog!

That's a very good thing because YOU are able to grab it and share it on YOUR blog! Sharing a little piece of our precious girl will help get word out about not only her, but the other little treasures at Reece's Rainbow who need help getting home to their families.

Please feel free to share away! Every little bit helps :)

Yard Sale Update

You guys REALLY stepped up in support for the yard sale!!

I'm so blown away by your love and generosity. I would consider the yard sale successful- because of you. We raised $800!  We had SO SO much donated, more than the church could hold from what I'm told. We had both family and friends volunteer to work on our behalf and we raised a significant amount of money for both adoptions- with TONS of items left over for another one at a later time! (And several people have told us that they didn't have time to gather items, but would like to be involved if we do it again!)


Our first holiday without Anna Gray...

Is it weird to really and truly miss someone you've never met?

Back in February, I wrote a blog about it hitting us all of a sudden that it was time for our next child. I wrote that it was starting to feel like something was missing, that literally when we walked out the door it felt like we were forgetting somebody... wanna guess what month Anna Gray was born?!

The 4th of July is a not a big deal in some homes. For some people, it's mostly about the barbeques and fireworks... and that's okay! America has given them the right to make that day whatever they want, or don't want. As an active military family... it's a pretty big darn deal in our house. For that matter, after having to spend too many holidays apart- EVERY day is a pretty big darn deal in our house. But you know, the husband swells a little extra on days like July 4. He takes pride in the country he chooses to protect and the freedom it provides.

So happy Independence Day to each and every person. And our thanks to the other members of the military- both past and present- and their families for their willingness to protect what we take for granted every day.

Monday was a little different, as TWO of our girls were missing from our celebration. We expected to miss Layla (she was on a boat with grandparents), but neither of us expect to miss Anna Gray so much! We just felt incomplete without her here. It's kind of a strange feeling when we've never even held her, but our arms ache for her just like when our other children are away.

I really expected the next several months to go by fast (and I'm sure they will, in hindsight) but so far the time is INCHING by.