Friday, September 30, 2011

Adoption photos!

I haven't really had a chance to put it out there yet, but I am doing photos to raise funds for the adoption! I have already been busy with appointments without advertising the fundraiser :)

Same deal as before:
$50 for one hour, with all proofs on disk. Family, Seniors, Children, Engagement... just let me know what you need! It's a great deal to get the photos you want AND help bring Annie HOME :)

Email me to set up an appointment or ask any questions you may have!
Thanks, ya'll!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More super cute supporters!

I am getting ready to place another order for shirts! Let me know if you'd like to purchase one (or more!) to help bring Anna Gray home :)

$15/each or 2/$25

Don't forget to send us photos of you wearing your tshirt!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Show us your shirts!

We delivered about 70% of the shirts this weekend!
Please feel free to send us/tag us in pics of you wearing your Annie shirts!

How CUTE is little Morgan?!

Not even here yet and already taking up room :)

Anna Gray has furniture!

She now has a dresser/changing table moved in and ready to be stocked.

I don't know if you can see it on the dresser, but Layla cut out a picture of Anna Gray and taped it onto our family picture. She fits PERFECTLY.
Here's a closeup-

She has a high chair propped beside our table ready to feed her.

And she has a glider/ottoman in the living room ready to rock her.

Thanks so much to the Gregory family!!

She even has a few sweet hand-me-downs from her cousins (half of which were handed down to them from her sisters and handed back!). They probably won't fit for at least a year, but she has them :)

Her crib is in storage, we will put it together soon enough and I am getting a carseat this weekend. There's a baby coming, folks! Exciting :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shirts are in!

If you placed an order for the Anna Gray tshirt, I have it on my kitchen table!
Look for me to contact you regarding delivery :)

And if you didn't get your order in the first time, you still have time left to order your's! We will be placing our next order next week!
They are $15 each or 2/$25.
Thank you all for your support!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


If you've been reading, you know we've had some difficulty with Dr.Rude- MOST of that was due to her crabby attitude. Four trips to see her and her crabby attitude were more than enough. Except... they weren't- because although we were finally getting our medical statements back, we discovered the notary had stamped upside down. We were more flustered that we would have to deal with her again than the fact that the paper had to be re-done. Honestly, how sad is that? So I bravely (and I say "bravely" because I do NOT handle these types of things well... confrontation: ewwww) went back to her office (trip #5) and explained the problem and requested a re-do. She said no, that it was "stupid". I swallowed deeply and explained that I don't make the rules, but I do have to follow them. Dr.Rude huffed and puffed and agreed to do it... "in a few weeks" because she will be gone for one week for conference. Not gonna cut it.

I attempted to POLITELY let her know we were on a time crunch, but she insisted she would not be able to find the notary and would have to spend more of "her own time" to sign again. I offered to bring my own notary (we know a few) to her office to watch her sign. She wasn't having it. She would get it done when SHE got it done.

Okay. I'd had it. I just do not understand WHY someone would, not only insist on making things harder than they have to be for anyone, but do it with such disgust. In my head, I really and truly did start praying for God to soften her heart and give her a spirit of hospitality. I just couldn't get it out fast enough before Dr.Rude started in how "stupid" it was again. So, instead I told her to give me back my form, that I would rather pay for another darn physical than be treated this way. I was not gonna let her and her crabby attitude keep my daughter in an orphanage any longer I had to. I wasn't ugly, but I was stern. She said to give her one day to see what she could do. Before we got home, Dr.Rude called to say it WAS ALREADY DONE. Really?! Really.

I wasn't thrilled to go back today (trip #6) to pick it up, and she was no more thrilled to see me as I was her. She handed me the medical statement without saying a word or even looking up at me. Shew! Good, it's over... except... it's not.

I was afraid that the fact this time, the notary stamped on the far right side of the page for no apparent reason would cause a problem. After sending it to our stateside helper, it turns out it wasn't. Know what was? Dr.Rude has written her medical findings for me using specific codes, as doctors do. However, the code she wrote implies that I am a "bus driver involved in an accident with pedestrian or animal". Whaaaaa??  Not kidding, not even a little.

It has to be fixed.

Nathan called Dr.Rude to explain the problem and she quite told him that he was wrong. He hung up, we looked online... nope, not wrong. He called back- strait to voicemail. Her office decided to close 30 mins early and she will be gone for a week.

Who would have EVER thought that our PHYSICALS would be the most difficult part of this adoption?!

On a positive note (woohoo for something positive!), we are SO SO close to being finished! About 75% of our "paperwork" has been approved and is ready to go. Pray pray pray we complete the rest quickly!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The adoption process explained... sort of.

Unless you are involved in adoption somehow, you most likely have no idea how this whole thing works. You'd have no reason to, I suppose. Honestly, before we committed to bring Annie home, I knew very little about international adoption. I knew the key terms: homestudy, dossier, immigration; but really had no idea what they entailed.  Nearly every day, I/we are asked WHY. Why can't we just go get her now? Why do we have to wait so long?  And while I've vaguely kept you up to date on our "paperwork", you most likely have no idea about the details. I haven't talked about them extensively because 1) I would never want to seem as if I'm complaining. Lord knows how grateful we are to have this kind of stress. 2) I don't have time because of all the paperwork! 3) I don't want it to be overwhelming or discouraging for anyone else considering adoption.

But because we get WHY all the time, I want to take just a sec to tell you... even though it won't actually answer the why (it has to be done this way).

Here's a basic list of what we need/needed to do in order to bring Anna Gray home, because "paperwork" isn't always paperwork. Sometimes, it's just work.:
  • Petition to adopt a specific child X 3
  • Petition for adoption
  • Homestudy
    • Completed by a licensed social worker (get a copy) at a licensed agency (get a copy). The homestudy itself is basically a report about us. It tells about our home, our family (including our children, our marriage, our sex life), our childhoods, our finances, 3 reference letters, background checks, employment letters, physicals (including HIV and TB tests), 4 interviews...
    • But here's the thing: In order to tell about our home, the social worker has to visit it, check it out, look around, ask questions, etc. In order to tell about our finances, the social worker needs copies of our taxes and W2s. And sometimes your references forget to write their reference letters (wink, wink), so make sure you follow up. The police dept. will do your background checks. Employers don't always love writing employment letters, especially when you are consistently NOT at work, due to military commitments. Doctors can make physicals super unpleasant and don't forget to go back 48 hrs later for them to check your TB results. And if your labs aren't back by then, come back a third time to get those, and it's possible your medical statements haven't been notarized yet, so go back a 4th time to pick those up later. OH, and if the notary accidentally stamps it upside down... go back 5th and 6th times.
  • The immigration form. Very important. We also needed a letter to send with that, signed by a physician- and NOT the aforementioned physician- about Annie's medical needs.
  • Another employment statement for Nathan.
  • Proof of home ownership
  • 2 original copies of our marriage certificate, from Florida, then sent back to Florida to be apostilled
  • 4 copies of our passports
  • 5 Power of Attorneys
  • Name declarations and 3-4 other forms and I have no idea what they're for, honestly.
All of that together, makes up the dossier. Dossier is a fancy name for "packet o'stuff about you". But that packet o'stuff takes a lot of work, time, and organization to get together!

It's stressful, folks. REAL stressful (in my most southern accent... I'm fully aware that it should be "really"). And Little Miss Type A over here doesn't like to depend on other people. Controlled chaos is my favorite place to be, and sometimes I have to leave off the "controlled" part in order to get it all done. This week has been a doozie, I tell ya.

Short-term stress (please, Lord) to get our little chipmunk home! Some nights we just *STARE* at her pic on the fridge. It's my happy place :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sunday boost.

This is how we spent our Sunday afternoon :)

Counting change from the bottles returned today!

I have NO IDEA who turned in bottles today, but one of them had a $100 inside it!
Seriously, folks... we just cannot thank you enough. I mean... gosh. Thank you.

You can tell so much about our personalities based on the way we each we each stacked coins. *funny*  What I should have taken a picture of is the cereal box we put all the change into to transport it to the coin machine! ha. Redneck wallet :)

Today's total was nearly $350!


As if you weren't already doing enough, we could really use any extra prayers you can spare. We need to finish our dossier quickly and effectively without losing our minds. Between that, me back in school full-time, and trying to make decisions about Nathan's job... it's a fine line right now. This past week really did a number on us. The good news is, it's ALL short-term stress and it will ALL be worth it in the end. We just need to focus on preserving happy hearts and quality family time while we pray through it. You're awesome!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


If you haven't heard...

A small collection of baby bottles was cashed in this week. Not all of them, just some. I have more. There are more out there. Just a handful of the bottles that you all have been filling with change.

So far?


Really. Not all, just some.


Also... on Monday, I sent our initial shirt order for nearly 90 shirts. No joke. Just the first order.

Happy, happy tears. Overwhelmed-by-the-genosity-of-others tears.
Going to get our girl and bring her home tears.

Thank you.

In other news... a draft of our homestudy is being written! Whoop! Check check check. The to-do list is getting smaller. Still tons to do, but it feels so good when chunks (the good kind!) are out of the way. Next!